It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. And this year had both. I saw some fantastic films that I will never tire of (Mad Max, The Night Before, which I inexplicably left of my best of list last week, The Hateful Eight just to name a few). But, then there was the dregs of society that I saw a record 31 awful, and I mean awful, films this year. There are so many, I will have to categorize some of them into groups, as there were just too many in specific genres to list otherwise. I have to say, I saw some of the WORST films ever made this year, films you wonder how in the hell they got made in the first place. Think of all the things that have to got wrong. Watch the latest season of Project Greenlight to get a fly on the wall view of how shitty films get made and it's always with unshakable enthusiasm and deluded people left and right. That film made the list below for the sheer awfulness that it turned out to be, and I correctly predicted two seconds into the second episode. But God help me, there were ones even worse. Here they are. Enjoy my pain as I sat through each and every one of these masterpieces of crap to write this column. Mazel Tov.
10)Remakes and Sequels- It was another banner year for this group which included such stellar nominations as Magic Mike XXL (one was apparently enough for the world), Transporter: Refueled (this one stalled hard even though the TV series was awesome), Alvin and the Chipmunks:Road Chip (that pun is awful) and Monsters:Dark Continent (you can sure tell this is a totally different director and not a good one either). Then there was the equally pointless, Point Break, which audiences said a resounding NO to. Thank God. Hitman hired the worst lead possible for the part in that he looked nothing like the actual character. That film was so bad, it may be labeled as toxic waste if shipped to your house. The Maze Runner and Divergent sequels continue unabated by the fact that no one seems to be going to see them. The worst one, by far, was the inane Poltergeist remake.
This one changed the name of the little girl from Carol Ann to something
else not even worth looking up, for no apparent reason. It was so NOT
scary and stupid it helped kill the promising IT remake because the
studio concluded the public hates clowns after this movie died a painful
box office death and not the fact this film sucked balls. These are the
Hollywood executives making money hand over fist. Sigh.
9)Big Stars Flubbing Hard- There certainly was a lot of that this year. Johnny Depp redeemed himself with Black Mass after the abortion that was Mordecai. You know you're in trouble when the trailer airs and crickets are all you hear back. The Boy Next Door continues JLo's slide into obscurity with this turgid mess about a 40 year old sleeping with an 18 year old neighbor. Yuck! Child 44 had super star Tom Hardy in a great book ruined by an inept screenplay. Rock The Kasbah almost had the record for lowest grossing film but got saved by another film which will be mentioned later. No Escape was a cleverly worded title telling the audience how they would feel watching this Owen Wilson misfire. Rikki and the Flash somehow got Meryl Streep to possibly give the worst performance of her career thanks to Diablo Cody's inability to write coherent screenplays. But the winner of this category had to be the unwatchable crap that was Hot Pursuit. Sophia Vagara is gorgeous, funny and way better than this film. Reese Witherspoon was awful from start to finish and horribly miscast, even if I doubt anyone could have saved this never should have been made film.
8)Movies that never should have been made in the first place- Spike Lee can be a great director. Or he can direct pretentious nonsense like his latest Chi-Raq. The Entourage Movie was an exercise in reviving something that should have stayed dead. Aloha hired Emma Stone as a part Asian woman which tells you hard Hollywood tries to not hire minorities, even when they are called on. But the worst of the this bunch was 50 Shades of Grey, which proved that titillating and erotic, if not done right, becomes very, very dull. This was the film that should have been NC-17 and it would have made far more money, theaters be damned that didn't play it. But the studio played it safe and no one was happy. And by the way, hire people who have more chemistry together than these two dullards.
7)Horror/fantasy films- There were WAY to many awful horror and fantasy films this year and 2016 looks no better. Where are the new John Carpenters or Wes Cravens? Unfriended took a promising idea and drove it into the ground with a tepid screenplay and lackluster directing. Jem and the Holograms took a beloved cartoon and urinated all over it, making it the lowest grossing film ever. Victor Frankenstein failed at yet another retelling of a story we are all sick of. Pan was equally worthless with a prequel for Peter Pan that absolutely no one was asking for. But the worst, hands down, was Green Inferno, which should have stayed on the shelf it had been sitting on for the last two years. Nothing happens for 45 minutes and when it does, the gore is less scary than what I see on Walking Dead every Sunday. Eli Roth should be ashamed of this rip off of Cannibal Holocaust.
6)Blackhat- Micheal Mann is one of the greatest directors working today. This was not one of them. A horrifically miscast Chris Helmsworth plays the world's buffest computer hacker who then is tapped for some secret mission so boring I forget what the plot was about. A huge bomb in a year of huge bombs.
5)Terminator: Genisys- STOP! MAKING! TERMINATOR! MOVIES! PLEASE! While not as bad as the last one with Christian Bale,this one was not much better. The time travel stuff makes no sense, Emila Clarke is not a good replacement for Linda Hamilton, and Matt Smith is in the film for a second and a half in a really stupid part. Arnold was still good in this. Too bad the screenplay sucked.
4)The Leisure Class- This film got a 0% on Rotten Tomatoes and that is being generous to this utter waste of time. Yet again, Project Greenlight throws a beyond crappy film at us, that even the least knowledgeable person about films should have seen was going to suck from day one. How does this happen? I watched the show and so many people, including the head of HBO Films as well as the Farrely Brothers, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck, all helped it be this bad. WTF guys? The director was a disaster from the get go and then you used his crap screenplay rather than one written by professionals? Are all people in Hollywood really stupid and just lucky most of the time because this film was one of the worst I have EVER seen? Please stop doing this. It's just too painful to watch.
3)Adam Sandler movies- Adam Sandler has been down this road before on this list where he had so many bad films he got his own number. Other than Hotel Transylvania 2, which I liked, his other three films were beyond terrible. Inexplicably, his turn in the Cobbler, about a shoe repair guys who can literally walk in other people's shoes while having some creepy desire to fuck his mother, was directed by the same guy who is up for an Oscar with Spotlight. This guy will be one of the first up for a Razzie and an Oscar in the same year. Pixels was kind of cute but for the budget they spent on this, and having Kevin James as the President was really off casting, this bomb died hard. The absolute worst was the Ridiculous 6, which could possibly be the worst Adam Sandler movie ever. It is literally laugh free and I only made it half way through before giving up, a rarity for me. I would rather watch Jack and Jill all day long than five minutes of this terrible, terrible film.
2)Tomorrowland- Much like the film Poseidon, this film breaks the rules of screenplays and fails miserably at it. Poseidon had NO first act, which makes for an impossible screenplay. Tomorrowland does the exact same thing. They start in the middle for some reason, provided no explanation for what is going on, as George Clooney as a boy finds this idiotic place of Science wonders. 30 long minutes pass of filler before we even get to the main character girl which proceeded to chug along at a glacial pace.This is one dull film. Much like The Ridiculous 6, I gave up half way through as I have better things to do with my life than watch this boring, pointless movie.
1)Fantastic Four- This film was never dull, but for none of the reasons you would think. It started of with promise when Ben meets Reed as children, but then quickly falls apart as the main cast arrives none of which are right for the part, and boy does that show. The movie sludges along to where we get yet another crappy version of Dr. Doom who yet again is not the villain who wants to rule the world, but destroy it, which is the equivalent of making Spider Man into a street thug. They do know there are comics they can read to get the character right? Nothing happens until the end, when re-shoots had to happen and poor Kate Mara has an ill-fitted, wrong colored wig that appears and disappears in shot after shot. You could make a good drinking game out of it it happens so frequently. The last battle is pathetic, as are everyone in this mess. It reeks of studio interference and a director who was in way over his head. Watch only if you a masochist.