Happy New Year, everyone, and welcome to 2018!
Where there’s a yin, there’s a yang. Can’t have a list of good films without mentioning the bad ones. And boy howdy were there some bad ones this year. I think I’m going to start with these first.
I got nothing smart to say, so let’s take a trip down Tormenting Lane and remind myself of what Hollywood let happen.
#10 – THE DINNER
Hey, parents. If your kid and his best friend beat and murdered a defenseless homeless woman, laughing their asses off, filmed it on their phones, and posted it on Youtube, would you sit around and talk about how to cover it up to protect their futures? No, you wouldn’t. You wanna know why? Because you’re good people. This movie, however, says that these rich parents will use their money and social status to cover up the incident so their futures aren’t down the drain. And that’s all this movie is. Rich parents talking about this and listening to Steve Coogan’s character talk like he knows everything about everything and makes himself out like he should be king of the world due to his own personal technophobe outlook on life. A movie so devoid of realism, actors that barely look like they’re trying, it’s no wonder why early buzz was calling this one of the worst of the year.
IMDb – 4.5/10
RottenTomatoes – Critics: 46% / Audiences: 17%
#9 – THE EMOJI MOVIE
Can you imagine what it would be like if WRECK-IT RALPH and INSIDE OUT were bad movies? Well look no further than this hunk of turd. Not only does it rip-off these great movies, a secret world inside your insert-concept-here, but it’s basically a ninety minute commercial. With very little story, it pads itself out with entire scenes dedicated to teaching you how to play games. People paid ten or more dollars for an advertisement. To make matters worse, it’s got zero laughs, a world that makes no sense, among a laundry list of problems that make this an unbearable watch.
IMDb – 2.9/10
RottenTomatoes – Critics: 9% / Audiences: 40%
Harry Potter and Hunger Games are rolling in their graves. The story follows a teen girl who has a weak immune system and lives isolated in a special house designed to keep her healthy and safe. She’s never been outside, but finds the motivation when she meets her cute new neighbor, and the two fall in love. On the surface, it sounds like it’d be just a bad young-adult adaptation of a book. However, it’s far more horrendous than it sounds. It talks down to its audience, right up to using cartoons to explain things that do a fairly decent of explaining themselves in the story already. Characters range from bland to unlikable, and a world that has probably the most useless police imaginable, and an ending… by God this ending will have you in such a bad mood, you’ll want to chew on glass for pain that isn’t caused by this movie. I know both actors Amandla Stenberg (THE HUNGER GAMES) and Nick Robinson (JURASSIC WORLD, TV show MELISSA & JOEY) are trying their hardest, but they don’t work through this awful, rotten story.
IMDb – 6.4/10
RottenTomatoes – Critics: 46% / Audiences: 62%
#7 – RINGS
Remember when THE RING was a huge sensation and everyone was gushing over how scary and memorable it was? Well, what if I told you that it’s lackluster sequel would be considered a work or ingenious art after watching the third installment? Yeah, this movie is that bad. Starting off almost promising with an airplane full of people watching the infamous killer footage, the movie ultimately scraps this idea as soon as it’s introduced and goes back to being what it usually is: one person at a time. I wouldn’t normally think twice about a movie that was as boring and uninteresting as this, but once you realize that it rips off IT FOLLOWS and DON’T BREATHE, films that are significantly more imaginative and impressive, and fails to do anything with those ideas. It fails to do anything new, there are no scares to be found, it ends on a cliffhanger that will never lead into a sequel, it’s a terrible movie. I maintain that I would have rather watched the prank video on Youtube for ninety minutes, which is arguably the only good thing that came out of this, which should tell you a thing or two.
IMDb – 4.5/10
RottenTomatoes – Critics: 7% / Audiences: 24%
#6 – THE SHACK
Ugh, my first heavy-handed Christian film after watching the surprisingly good THE RESURRECTION OF GAVIN STONE, and it was about as painful as I imagined one of these movies would be. Criminally starring Sam Worthington (AVATAR, TERMINATOR SALVATION) and Octavia Spencer (THE SHAPE OF WATER, HIDDEN FIGURES), the story is about a man who loses faith after the murder of one of his daughters. He loses touch with his friends and family until he goes back to the shack where his daughter was killed, and the subject of divine intervention with God personally paying him a visit to help him through his pain. On the surface, this doesn’t sound so bad, right? Well… maybe for some people, it’s not as bad as I make it out to be, but this movie had me fuming. While it does a better job of promoting peace and forgiveness, it also basically states that if you pray hard enough, God will show you your dead kid that she’s fine in Heaven. Religion can be comforting, I get that, but this movie panders to the religious hardcore the point of being so lost in its delusions that it doesn’t ultimately say anything of real comfort, but rather offering false hope to a real world that is not that lucky. Instead of taking comfort in family and friends, and taking time to grieve, the movie states: just pray and you’ll feel better. No, that’s not how grief works and praying shouldn’t be the sole method of healing.
IMDb – 6.3/10
RottenTomatoes – Critics: 20% / Audiences: 78%
#5 – A GHOST STORY
I don’t get it. I straight up do not get it. How do so many people like this movie? The story follows a young couple, but the man dies. He eventually comes back as a bedsheet-wearing ghost and stays in the house he lived in with his girlfriend and essentially stays there when she leaves and haunts the place as new occupants come and go for the rest of eternity. This movie had critics eating out of the palm of its hand and while everyone else is gushing, I’m sitting in my seat bored out of my mind. I distinctly remember this movie having the most awkward and creepy shots, literally holding on Rooney Mara (THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO) eating a pie for a few minutes as the ghost of Casey Affleck (MANCHESTER BY THE SEA) just watches her. If the movie isn’t making me laugh thinking that Affleck looks like he belongs among the cast of IT’S THE GREAT PUMPKIN, CHARLIE BROWN, it’s depressing me. Yeah, depressing me. There’s a whole scene dedicated to how nothing we do matters because the universe will eventually implode on itself. Yeah, fine, the science of it is accurate, but it’s toting this information like it’s something big and new, when really, I’ve known this since I was a child. And being someone who is deathly afraid of death and meaninglessness, this movie really put me in an emotional dark place, and not in a good way. It’s beyond pretentious, awkwardly shot, and not even Affleck’s surprisingly good acting under that bedsheet can save this thing. If others liked it and saw the poetry and beauty here, good for you. As for me, you couldn’t pay me to see this again. The only reason why it’s not higher on my list is because I objectively know that the depression wasn’t something this movie intended. It had something to say, it just wasn’t anything I heard.
IMDb – 6.9/10
RottenTomatoes – Critics: 90% / Audiences: 65%
#4 – THE CASE FOR CHRIST
After seeing THE SHACK, I couldn’t imagine things getting worse. Well, they got worse. Based on true events, the movie is a biopic about an investigative journalist who is an Atheist, and after his wife gets back into becoming a Christian and starts praying and all that, he sets out to disprove the existence of God. There are so many things wrong with this movie’s very basic set up. If God does exist, we mere mortals are never going to know it and we will never have the means to prove it. But if that was the worst problem this movie had, then it’d be a downright great film. But it’s not. It’s horrendous. It’s hateful. Ironic, considering that it’s a bunch of Christians who made this thing. I’m no Catholic or Christian, I identify as Agnostic, which I think is a sister-belief similar to Atheism, but this movie is an insult to everyone that is its subject matter. I can’t imagine this movie not being an insult to Christians because it portrays them as weak, frail, useless, and incorrectly makes them out to be victims of a world that persecutes and hates them. But fine, I can’t speak for Christians and Catholics. If they see this movie and got something out of it, that it represents their beliefs to a tee, then take it and run. Ain’t anyone going to see me chasing after them. Having said that, I will take it as an insult to Atheists and non-believers. If this movie is to be believed, Atheists are drunken, hateful, miserable jerks who verbally abuse their wives who are out to destroy all things religion because of bad childhoods. In reality, Atheists don’t care. They’re normal people who get up, go to work, contribute to society, pay taxes, fight for equal rights, watch football with their friends, you know, normal people! But no, in movies like this, most of them made by the conveyor belt of Christ-sploitation movies, Pure Flix, Atheists are monsters that need to be combated instead of accepted. I have Christian friends. I went to their wedding as a groomsman! The Christians that I know are so much better, stronger, and accepting than this movie makes them out to be. With characters that make questionable decisions, an ending that makes zero sense, I can’t fathom ever watching this movie again. This movie was an insult. The only reason why this isn’t higher on my list is because Christians believing Atheists to be anti-Christs isn’t new and their films are likely always going to be a form of propaganda. At the end of the day, insult me all you want. But these next few films insult far more than me.
IMDb – 5.9/10
RottenTomatoes – Critics: 52% / Audiences: 80%
#3 – 9/11
Sixteen years later and this thing comes out. Movies about the September 11 attacks back in 2001 aren’t anything new. Some have been good (UNITED 93), others were, meh (WORLD TRADE CENTERS), but no matter how much you didn’t like WORLD TRADE, nothing holds a candle to this insensitive piece of crap. The story follows five people stuck in an elevator of one of the Twin Towers as the attacks happen. This is not based on a true story. No, I’m not referring to the attacks themselves, but rather the people it follows. These are fictional people who are trapped in an elevator as a terrorist attack is happening, and they instead bicker over a failing marriage, and whether or not anyone wants a piece of gum. While I exaggerate the gum thing, I don’t exaggerate how much this movie doesn’t care about the incident itself. It refers to some horrific things that happened, but it doesn’t show anything other than these five uninteresting and bland characters, one of them notably played by Charlie Sheen (TWO AND A HALF MEN). By the time the movie wraps up, it says, “Dedicated to the victims and the first responders. Never forget.” Except the first responders aren’t represented here and the victims are treated as cardboard cutouts of Hallmark Channel characters. There’s nothing to gain from this movie. When Angus T. Jones went off calling his TV show filth, he clearly didn’t see this movie. The only reason why it’s not higher on my list is because this movie wasn’t seen by anybody and it was around for maybe less than two weeks in theaters. Sweet, sweet justice.
IMDb – 3.9/10
RottenTomatoes – Critics: 11% / Audiences: 51%
Before we hit my picks of the worst of the year, here are a few honorable mentions.
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#1 (tied) – DADDY’S HOME TWO
and HAZLO COMO HOMBRE
By God, what a painful set of memories these bring.
DADDY’S HOME TWO follows the same dads from the previous film, played by Mark Wahlberg (TED, THE DEPARTED) and Will Farrell (STEPBROTHERS, TALLADEGA NIGHTS), as their fathers visit for the holidays, but then shenanigans and everything goes to hell, blah blah blah, THIS MOVIE WAS HORRIBLE!!! God damn it all, I barely like Farrell in his best movies and this isn’t even remotely close to his best, or anything that resembles good, or even mediocre. The more of these movies I see, the more I weep for the days of true comedy, when the writers slaved over the perfect jokes for hours, and the director and actor worked on multiple takes to get the best delivery of such great lines. This movie took no effort in its humor. It’s stale, stupid, humorless, it served only as fuel for my frustration and anger. And when that wasn’t what the movie was doing, it was being racist, character actions having zero consequences to their deplorable choices, the story takes some hard right turns that confused me to no end and took every ounce of energy I had to not scream, and by heavenly lord, the sexism and blatant mistreatment of both women and young girls. The women portrayed in this movie are useless parents who have no say in what the men do. They take backseats to every single plot point, if you can even call them that. They don’t punish the kids, they don’t argue with the men, they are constantly pushed to the wayside and not given an ounce of equality in their respective marriages and either don’t do enough about their positions, or are perfectly fine with it. The little girls are subjected to being touched in inappropriate ways by little boys, basically teaching them to treat girls like objects. There’s a scene where a boy is going in to kiss a girl that he likes, but that girl is held in place so she can’t escape and has to let this boy kiss her. Oh sure, it’s played up like it’s cute and innocent, but I can’t see a single parent allowing their son to kiss a girl that he doesn’t know, nor would I see anyone allowing their daughter to be kissed by a boy that she doesn’t know. And like I said, there are zero consequences for these borderline gross actions, or they’re encouraged. This is one of the biggest insults I’ve seen toward women in a long time, and coming out of Hollywood lately, I’m utter dumbfounded how this movie has any positive ratings.
IMDb – 6.2/10
RottenTomatoes – Critics: 19% / Audiences: 57%
But if DADDY’S HOME TWO is an insult to women, then HAZLO COMO HOMBRE is an insult to gay men. The story follows of group of men who have been friends their entire lives, but one of them comes out of the closet, sending one of the heterosexual friends down a spiraling case of homophobia. The movie is essentially about a straight man proving to his friend that he’s sick and he’s crazy and if he just looked at enough boobs, he’ll be cured. THIS IS THE MINDSET OF THE EARLY 1900’S!!! Oh my god, it’s 2017! How does a movie this hateful get made?! Maybe things are different in Mexico. I don’t honestly know. And I know the homosexual community still faces hardships, persecution, and judgment every day. I know they do, and that’s putting it as mildly as you can get. But that’s why movies like this don’t help. Fine, it’s supposed to be about a man who ultimately accepts but… they fail spectacularly on this end too. Believe me, this movie tries its hardest to make every joke seem innocent. There’s nothing innocent about a friend being afraid of his best friend all because he’s gay. I have a cousin who’s bisexual, and another cousin who is gay. I love them both as they are. I wouldn’t want them to face persecution, or to be judged, and I would lose my mind if I ever met anyone who did. The homosexual community deserves so much better than this. Not a single joke works. The characters are horribly written. Plot points are utterly brainless, and it’s all played up for laughs. I am so angry thinking about this movie, all I want to do is punch a wall.
IMDb – 5.6/10
RottenTomatoes – Critics: 56% / Audiences: 70%
One movie treats women with no respect, the other treats gays with no respect. Gays have been gaining equal rights in the last few years, and more recently, specifically 2017, women have been harassed, threatened, molested, and even raped, and that’s not even the whole picture. How these movies get an audience, I will never know. They’re abominations of cinema and don’t deserve the slightest amount of respect or attention. Never see these movies. Avoid them like the plague.