My Worst, Disappointing, Least-Like Movies of the Year

It’s the end of the year boys and girls, you know what that means? It’s list time!

I’ll put up my list of “Best/Favorite” movies of the year later, but with all those best and favorite movies I have, I had to sit through some stinkers. Some of these I knew weren’t going to be any good walking in, but I ended up taking the hit anyway. The list ranges all over the place, so don’t think I’m attacking certain movies because it’s easy. I walk into every movie with a clear mind and soaking up the movie for what it’s worth. Good or bad.

The list will have the movies in alphabetical order, just to be fair, and because I really don’t want to go through the trouble anymore of picking a number one because they weren’t good enough to make it on my other list. Like all lists, this is my opinion! So if you don’t agree that’s perfectly fine, and probably justified. Finally, there are other movies that could have gone on the list, but these are the ones that truly stuck out. Alright, let’s get this over with.

 

Dishonorable Mentions

Blackhat (Universal Pictures/Legendary Pictures/Forward Pass)

Hitman: Agent 47 (20th Century Fox/TSG Entertainment/Infinite Frameworks Studios/Fox International Productions)

Hot Tube Time Machine 2 (Paramount Pictures/MGM)

Taken 3 (20th Century Fox/EuropaCorp/Canal+/TSG Entertainment/M6 Films/Cine+)

The Transporter Refueled (EuropaCorp/Fundamental Films/TF1 Films Productions/Belga Films/Canal+)

 

 

Disappointments/Least-Liked/Worst Movies of the Year

Aloha (Sony Pictures/Fox/Columbia Pictures/Vinyl Films)

Cameron Crowe’s latest film was hit with criticism with “white-washing” and keeping the film from critics to review just a couple days before release (not the only film on this list that did that). However, watching the film you can see why they kept it away from critics. Aloha had a great cast of Bradley Cooper, Emma Stone, Rachel McAdams, John Krasinski, and Bill Murray. Sadly, they couldn’t save this. The film tries to have high stakes, but only when it wants to, and it even felt ridiculous at times. Overall, the film was very uneven that at times made the film boring.

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Fantastic Four (Fox/Marvel Entertainment/Marv Films/TSG Entertainment)

This one definitely goes into the disappointing and worst section. 20th Century Fox can’t nail down “Marvel’s First Family,” and it is strike three for them. Of course, it didn’t help that there was so much behind-the-scenes drama between the studio and director Josh Trank, and the troubling reshoots and scenes in the trailer that are nowhere in the film. Despite all that, like I said in my review: The fans lose in this, not Fox or Trank, us because we want to see a good Fantastic Four movie and what we got crap. Started out good, but crap nonetheless.

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Jupiter Ascending (Warner Bros./Village Roadshow Pictures/Dune Entertainment)

I really wanted to like this movie more than I did. There are some great scenes in there, but the film felt way too big for its own good. The Wachowskis seemed like they were doing a lot of world building, but it all felt too condense and rushed with nothing having time to breathe. Dare I say, it probably would have worked better as a mini-series instead of a movie, but that’s just my opinion. The first sign was indeed the release date switch, when they pushed back the release date by a year.

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Maggie (Liongates/Roadside Attractions/Grindstone Entertainment Group/Gold Star Films/Lotus Entertainment/Silver Reel/Gold Star Films/Matt Baer Films)

I wasn’t expecting too much of Maggie, but I walked in open-minded (as always) to watch a different take of the zombie genre. Arnold Schwarzenegger as a father dealing with his daughter, played by Abigail Breslin, being infected with virus that is turning people into zombies was interesting to see. However, Maggie’s slow burn didn’t really do the film any favors as the film felt too slow at times and when something powerful happened it took me a while to actually register it because I had to catch up at times. One thing that made me put the film on the list was the ending. The ending looked like it was going to go down a very powerful route, but instead went out in a whimper, and didn’t take the risk that that film could have really made and where they were potentially hinting at. I will say that Arnold as a father figure was great to see.

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Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension (Paramount Pictures/Blumhouse Productions)

I was a fan and defender of the Paranormal Activity films up until the third installment, and I enjoyed most of the spinoff The Marked Ones, but the series showed signs of losing it during the fourth installment. It seemed like the series just didn’t care anymore, and while it tried to add new things to the series, it just never kicked off the way they probably thought it would. As for The Ghost Dimension, the last of the series, it just didn’t do it for me. The supposed answers we were promised were rushed and lackluster, and the ending was just weak and not a good end to the series at all. The movie felt like just another installment that was setting up the real final installment. Another case of a good series losing it momentum by the end, and overstaying its welcome.

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Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 (Sony Pictures/Columbia Pictures/Happy Madison Productions)

I didn’t walk in really expecting much from this. I’ll admit, I enjoyed the first Paul Blart: Mall Cop. It had its funny and goofy moments, but it knew what it was and didn’t take itself too seriously. Unfortunately, the sequel did take itself a little bit too seriously for its own good. The jokes fell flat the majority of the time, and to be honest it just wasn’t that good. All the charm and goofiness the first film had was stripped away and replaced with unnecessary fat jokes and lame/awful jokes.

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Point Break (Warner Bros./Alcon Entertainment/DMG Entertainment/Studio Babelsberg)

Despite my slight optimism for remakes in general, Point Break was a shallow and pointless remake that didn’t do much for me – and probably anyone – and while it had it’s very short and brief moments and a great performance with Edgar Ramirez, Point Break failed on all spectrum’s.

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Seventh Son (Universal Pictures/Legendary Pictures)

Seventh Son felt a bit messy. The movie isn’t horrible, but the movie sometimes feels like you’re already familiar with some aspects of the world and it’s a little off-putting at times. One scene in particular threw me off only because they made the scene feel like it was really important, but emotionally it didn’t come out that way because there was no real investment in character involved.

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Terminator Genisys (Paramount Pictures/Skydance Productions)

Terminator Genisys had some potential, Arnold Schwarzenegger came back, after some fans wanted him back, Alan Taylor was directing, and the film was going to add some new things to the timeline that we all know. Then that second trailer came out. You know, the one that gave away what could have been the biggest twist in the series and potentially a great moment to watch onscreen for the first time. Yeah, that one. Knowing that going in really hurt the movie, and despite their being another layer to the twist, it still wasn’t enough to forgive them for spoiling that big plot point in the trailers, TV spots, and posters.

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The Gallows (Warner Bros./New Line Cinema/Blumhouse Productions/Management 360/Tremendum Pictures)

Another addition to the Found Footage horror subgenre was The Gallows, and like some of the films before it: it wasn’t good. Despite some cool and eerie shots in the movie, one of the characters – mainly holding the camera – was annoying to the point that it took me out of the movie. I can handle annoying characters, but holy hell did he reach a whole new level. Moreover, the motivation and reveal of why the events happen ended up making no sense whatsoever and seemed like a last minute thing. The Gallows may be the worst Found Footage movie I’ve seen.

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The Green Inferno (BH Tilt/High Top Releasing/Worldview Entertainment/Dragonfly Entertainment/Sobras International Pictures)

I’m not the biggest Eli Roth fan, but I’ve slightly enjoyed some of his movies in the past, but The Green Inferno was rough to watch, and not in the way it was supposed to be rough to watch. None of the characters were really all that likeable, with the expectation of maybe two, and even the slow burn and waiting for everything to go to hell isn’t worth the wait. Some of the gore is good – that’s what the film is really about anyway – but overall this wasn’t good at all. This is definitely one of the worst films of the year.

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The Lazarus Effect (Lionsgate/Blumhouse Productions/Relativity Studios)

This one had a ton of potential and even had the cast lead by Olivia Wilde and Mark Duplass to back it up. Unfortunately, the potential of the film disappeared once the film became a supernatural slasher-esque film in the last act. The Lazarus Effect had a great premise behind it, but the execution of it lacked power and left the film underwhelming to watch.

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Tomorrowland (Walt Disney Pictures/A113)

This one hurt. I was actually conflicted to put Tomorrowland on this list and not put it as an “Honorable Mention” on my “Favorite/Best” movies of the year. However, that wouldn’t be extremely fair to the other movies. Tomorrowland had ton of potential, had a great team behind the camera and in front of the camera, but ultimately it was the lack of execution and beating over the head theme (which I loved, but sill) that made this probably one of the biggest disappointments, if not the biggest, of the year.

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So, what were your biggest disappointments, worst, or least-liked films of the year?

September Movie Releases

Hello everybody!

Another month has gone by and we’re on to another packed month full of great films. September seems like it’s going to be great by the end of the month, and may even have some early Academy Award nominees. I know, too early to think of that, but you know what? When you look at these films, you’ll be saying the same thing too. Let’s take a look at what’s coming out this month.

 

 

2nd

A Walk in the Woods

Ken Kwapis (The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Episodes of The Office) directs this film that follows Billy Bryson (Robert Redford), who returns to the U.S after living in England for two decades. As a way to “reconnect” again with his homeland, he decides to hike the Appalachian Trail with his oldest friend (Nick Nolte). I hadn’t heard of this until the trailer dropped, and honestly it looks alright. I don’t know if I’ll end up watching it, but I’m sure it will find its audience. The film also stars Emma Thompson, Kristen Schaal, Nick Offerman, and Mary Steenburgen.

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4th

The Transporter Refueled

A reboot of The Transporter series that sees new transporter Frank Martin (Ed Skrein) gets caught up in a mix up when a job he pulls for femme-fatale, Anna (Loan Chabanol), ends up involving the Russian kingpin. Frank’s not the only one caught in the middle, his father (Ray Stevenson) gets kidnapped and Frank, along with Anna and her group, go on a mission to take everyone down. I wasn’t completely sold on rebooting The Transporter series – although The Transporter 3 was terrible – but the trailers have sold me on the idea and the film looks to being its own thing and not rehashing scenes and ideas from the past films.

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11th

90 Minutes in Heaven

Based on the book by Don Piper, 90 Minutes in Heaven follows a man involved in a horrific car crash is pronounced dead, only to come back to life an hour and half later, claiming to have seen Heaven. The film is following the string of faith-based films to come out around the same time every year, and the films always find an audience so good for them for keeping their audiences happy. However, I’ll be missing out on this one. The film stars Hayden Christensen and Kate Bosworth.

 

The Perfect Guy

After a breakup, Leah (Sanaa Lathan) jumps into a new relationship with a charming stranger (Michael Ealy). When her ex-boyfriend (Morris Chestnut) resurfaces in her life she has to decide to go back with him or stay with her new boyfriend, who isn’t all he seems to be. Honestly, I feel like we’ve seen this movie every year now. Girl breaks up and falls for another guy and the guy turns out to be unstable. And I’m not saying this because I’m not interested in watching the movie – also because it’s not marketed toward me – but it does feel like it is just a rehash of what we’ve seen before. And I’m only basing this off the trailers of everything.

 

The Visit

Written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan, the film follows two children (Ed Oxenbould and Olivia DeJonge) whose mother (Kathryn Hahn) sends them to their grandparents (Peter McRobbie and Deanna Dunagan) place to they can spend time with their grandchildren. Once there, the kids start to witness strange behavior from their grandparents. Okay listen, I’m probably going to end up watching the movie, only because it’s the only thing that comes out this weekend, but I’m not looking forward to it. In my mind, Shyamalan isn’t a director I look forward to seeing anymore. If The Visit ends up being good, then so be it, but M. Night’s track record isn’t all that great recently.

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18th

*Sicario and Everest get limited releases this week with an expansion next week. So check out next week’s releases for my thoughts about the film*

Limited Release: Pawn Sacrifice

Edward Zwick (Glory, The Last Samurai, Blood Diamond) directs his biopic about American chess champion Bobby Fischer (Tobey Maguire) as he prepares for a big match-up against Russian chess champion Boris Spassky (Liev Schreiber). The film looks like it could be good and looks like it’s going to focus on Fischer’s real life mental problems happening before the match. Also starring is Lily Rabe, Robin Weigert, Sophie Nelisse, and Peter Sarsgaard.

 

Captive

Based on a real event, a single mother, Ashley Smith (Kate Mara) struggling with a drug addiction is randomly taken hostage in her own apartment by a man, Brian Nichols (David Oyelowo), on the run from the law for breaking out of jail and murdering the judge assigned to his case. The event took place in 2005 in Atlanta. I didn’t hear about this film, until I started looking up what was coming out this month, and I have to say, this cast looks pretty great. Mara and Oyelowo are joined by Michael Kenneth Williams and Mimi Rogers. Hopefully, this one turns out to be good and not just one that is swept under the rug. Although I recently saw the trailer, and it didn’t do much for me personally.

 

Black Mass

Scott Cooper (Crazy Heart, Out of the Furnace) directs this film based on the life of one of the most infamous crime bosses in Boston during his day, Whitey Bulger. The film looks highly impressive and has an amazing cast lead by Johnny Depp playing Bulger, Benedict Cumberbatch playing Bill Bulger his state senator brother and Joel Edgerton as John Connolly, his old friend and FBI agent. The film follows Whitey Bulger making a deal with the FBI to be an informant to take down a Mafia family invading his turf. Seriously, the film looks great and this is one of those early Academy Award nominees I was talking about. The rest of the cast includes Dakota Johnson, Juno Temple, Corey Stoll, Jesse Plemons, Adam Scott, Peter Sarsgaard, David Harbour and Kevin Bacon.

 

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trails

The first Maze Runner film really surprised me. With the expectation of the ending that was simply building up the sequel, Wes Ball created a pretty great world and set of characters from the novel written by James Dashner. This time around the Gladers, having escaped from the Maze, they find themselves facing a new challenge in a desolated landscape with new obstacles and people. The second trailer really sold me on this and it looks like the world is only going to get bigger and I, surprisingly, can’t wait to see what they do this time around. Dylan O’Brien, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Ki Hong Lee, Kaya Scodelario, Dexter Darden, Alexander Flores, and Patricia Clarkson are set to return and set to be joined by Aidan Gillen, Giancarlo Esposito, Rosa Salazar, Nathalie Emmanuel, Katherine McNamara, Barry Pepper, and Lili Taylor.

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25th

Limited Release: Stonewall

Roland Emmerich directs this film that revolves around the 1969 Stonewall Riots, the violent clash that kicked off the gay rights movement in New York City. The film will be seen through the eyes of Danny (Jeremy Irvine) who flees to New York, leaving his sister (Joey King), after he’s kicked out of his hom by his parents due to his sexuality. When he finds the Stonewall Inn, he meets Trevor (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) before catching the eye of Ed Murphy (Ron Perlman), manger of the Stonewall Inn. Eventually the police and the patrons of the Inn get into it, which leads to one of the most violent and dangerous movements ever. The film is a depiction of a famous event that lead that had major implication in the LGBTQ community. So much so that the community is already trying to boycott the movie because the lead in the movie is white and comes from middle America and is focusing on more white characters and actors when the real riots had people of color involved and were even the leading force of the riots. I don’t mind people getting passionate and even legit angry about this important event in their history is getting disrespected. The film also stars Jonny Beauchamp, Caleb Landry Jones, and Matt Craven.

 

Expansion Release: Sicario

This movie looks great, plain and simple. Directed by Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners) it tells the story of an idealistic FBI agent (Emily Blunt) who is enlisted by government task force to aid in the escalating war against drugs at the border area between the U.S. and Mexico. While there she encounters some questionable people like Alejandro (Benicio Del Toro) and Matt (Josh Brolin). The trailers make this film look great and filled with great tension and with a cast like this, and also include Jon Bernthal, Jeffrey Donovan, and Victor Garber, Sicario could be a hell of a film to watch.

 

Expansion Release: Everest

Baltasar Kormakur (2 Guns) directs Everest and it looks like it’s going to be one of those films, we should go watch. The film tells the story of a climbing expedition on Mt. Everest that is devastated by a severe snow storm. The film is said to be based on various book about a disaster on the mountain in 1996 including Jon Krakauer’s “Into Thin Air” and survivor of a Mt. Everest disaster Lou Kasischke’s book “After the Wind.” But more importantly, the cast looks great. Josh Brolin, Jake Gyllenhaal, Jason Clarke, Sam Worthington, Michael Kelly, Martin Henderson, John Hawkes, Keira Knightley, Robin Wright, Elizabeth Debicki and Emily Watson. Plus, the film looks like it’s going to make its atmosphere as much as part of the film as the cast.

 

The Intern

Nancy Meyers (The Parent Trap (98), What Women Want, The Holiday) directs and write The Intern which follows 70-year-old widower Ben Whittaker (Robert De Niro), who finds out that retirement isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. So he goes back to work as a senior intern at an online fashion site, founded and run by Jules Ostin (Anne Hathaway). I wasn’t really looking forward to this, but I ended up seeing the trailer and it actually looks pretty funny. De Niro and Hathaway seem to have great chemistry and it doesn’t look like De Niro is phoning it in. Nat Wolff, Adam Devine, Zack Pearlman and Rene Russo also star.

 

Before I Wake

Mike Flanagan (Oculus) directs this creepy looking thriller about a couple (Thomas Jane and Kate Bosworth) who adopt an orphaned boy (Jacob Tremblay) whose dreams – and nightmares – manifest physically as he sleeps. Watching the trailer, you do get the creepy vibe and Flanagan has proven he can bring that creep factor and mess around with a scene (in a good way) with Oculus. Hopefully the film turns out to be good. Before I Wake also stars Annabeth Gish and Dash Mihok.

 

The Green Inferno

Eli Roth returns to the director’s chair for his Cannibal Holocaust-inspired film, The Green Inferno. The film follows a group of student activists that travel to the Amazon to save the rain forest and soon discover that they are not alone and that no good deed goes unpunished. The film has been finished for a while and has even been seen at film festivals. The film was originally set for a release earlier this year (I believe), but was pushed back when that studio backed out, but thanks to Blumhouse Productions the film will be seen on the big screen. The film is said to be highly disturbing and unsettlingly and even has a trailer devoted to only showing audience reactions to the film. Those kind of trailer really have no effect on me and personally are kind of dumb, since sometimes those audience are watching the film for free. The film is getting mixed reviews, so let’s see what a wider audience thinks.

 

Hotel Transylvania 2

A sequel to the surprise hit, Hotel Transylvania 2 follows Dracula (voiced by Adam Sandler) and his friends trying to bring out the monster in his half human, half vampire grandson in order to keep Mavis (voiced by Selena Gomez) from leaving the hotel. I didn’t watch the first film, only because I wasn’t too interested in it too much, but when I finally heard good things, it was gone from theaters. Watching the trailer for the sequel though, I might go back and watch the original before I probably end up watching this. The film have the voice cast of Kevin James, Steve Buscemi, David Spade, Keegan-Michael Kay, Andy Samberg, Fran Drescher, Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally, Molly Shannon, Rob Riggle, and Mel Brooks.

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So, what are you looking forward to?