December 27, 2015

Top 10 Worst Films of 2015

This year I tried to make a resolution to stay away from films that looked bad, annoying, or dumb. I did well for the most part, but there were a few disappointments.

10.  Avengers: Age of Ultron

By far the most disappointing film of the year, "Avengers: Age of Ultron" was evidence that the Marvel-formula couldn't keep together much longer. I was nice to this film when I first saw it, but if Marvel had to learn from any film in the MCU, this would be the one. Most critics are going to set this film aside in both lists (worst and best), letting "Ultron" float in the glory of being a box-office juggernaut. It's hard not to deny that the film is bloated and pleading for humor and originality. A drawn out, rehash from previous Marvel endeavors.

Read my review here.

9. It Follows

Were audiences and horror fans really this desperate to enjoy and praise such a transparent rip-off? Was safe sex not in the mix for these kids or did they grow up in one of those condomless towns? These are important questions since the film relies on the main characters having unprotected sex in order for the plot to advance and the evil villain to attack. Even if the "it" was a metaphor for the guilt of a less-than-pleasant sexual encounter, the film couldn't stick to its story. The mythology of the whole thing was out of place and under developed. The most interesting part of the film was the first scene, then everything fell like dominoes. If you take everything you've loved about 80's horror and mash it up with a paper-thin story and clueless characters, you'll get "It Follows."

Read my review here.

8. Crimson Peak

This list could basically be about the most disappointing films of 2015, because "Crimson Peak" was the epitome of disappointment. Even with Guillermo Del Toro's statement that this was not a horror film, but a love story, "Crimson Peak" still took a large hit. The sets, dialogue, story, and... uh... ghosts, suggested horror film to the point of disbelief when this was a romance. Unfortunately, the romance aspects were overshot and grim, and what was left was a film fighting for two different audiences.

Read my review here.

7.  Knock Knock

There are some things to like about this film, but a lot more to hate. Director Eli Roth has always tried to make statement horror films, from "Hostel" to "Cabin Fever", but "Knock Knock" was a film packed with a million statements then blended together in an incoherent goo. Roth also attempts to create a character piece, but with three characters and an hour and a half of screen-time, everyone still somehow manages to be thin. Think "Basic Instinct" mixed with "The Most Dangerous Game", but with more sex and dialogue written by a six-year-old.

Read my review here.

6. Mortdecai

We go back to earlier in the year when studios released the worst of the worst in hopes that audiences would forget. One of those films was the unforgettable, Johnny Depp comedy vehicle "Mortdecai." This must be a generational thing in film, because there have been great comedies in the same vein as "Mortdecai." What "Mortdecai" and Johnny Depp lack here is heart. The film feels almost like a Mr. Bean film, but with no discernible style and much less substance. Even in actor vehicles the star does something. "Mortdecai" lets Johnny Depp stand in front of the camera and model for an hour and a half.

Read my review here.

5. Vacation

I am very against remakes and reboots of films that have no right to be remade or rebooted. "Vacation" is a near identical remake of the original "National Lampoons Vacation." However, instead of the original Griswold family trekking America to get to Wally World, Rusty Griswold has taken upon himself to make the trip with his family. Did Rusty forget how the first trip went? There are the classic add-ons like the busted family vehicle, the small sibling bickering, and the occasional pit-stops. "Vacation" goes for the cheap laughs through body liquids and sex jokes, never generating the charm from the original nor the passive aggressive attitude of its main character.

Read my review here.

4. Taken 3

Few people, set aside James Cameron, know when to call it quits on a franchise. "Taken" creator Luc Besson does not, going so far to create a bland, off-tangent third installment to a dead series. The main problem was that this wasn't a "Taken" film. "Taken 3" focuses on Brian Mills (Liam Neeson) being set-up for murder and running around trying to figure out why. It was Besson blending boring drama with dull action. If there was any originality in the story, it was lost once Besson passed it over to director Olivier Megaton, who still has no individual style or charisma.

Read my review here.

3. Fantastic Four

About halfway through, I walked out of the theater and decided not to write a review (mainly because of only seeing half of the film). There was nothing here. No chemistry, no coherent plot, no witty dialogue. Then, after listening to the horror of how director Josh Trank treated everyone, it's a miracle this film got finished. At least we can wait for the next reboot of the series to come along any day now.

2. Fifty Shades of Grey

Out of the ashes of the "Twilight" franchise comes an even more horrific franchise: "Fifty Shades of Grey." It's grotesque to see people clasp onto something so vile like hyper-sexual fan fiction based on a young adult novel. The film adaptation does worse, creating a sexual deviant out of author E.L. James. "Fifty Shades of Grey" is a cinematic devil. Even in the hands of female creatives -- which Hollywood needs desperately -- this film is sexist in every aspect.

"Fifty Shades of Grey" also proves that studio is king in CARA (the Classification and Rating Administration). Only a few years ago, critical indie darling, and my personal favorite, "Blue Valentine" was released with an NC-17 rating for a minor cunnilingus scene that was implied, but not graphic. "Fifty Shades" is a larger fare both commercially and egotistically. If you have seen the film, you know that there are a lot more than implied sexual scenes. Until audiences grow wiser, these films will keep being released without a care in the world.

Read my review here.

1. Poltergeist

This wasn't just a bad film, but a bad experience. Personally, there is more behind why "Poltergeist" is a bad film than just the film. The audience was filled with loud people with a good majority of them being teenagers who couldn't keep their hands off their phones. The problems escalated with the adults talking loud. Then, there was the film which was almost a beat-for-beat remake of a classic. Unfortunately, the scares were dull and the graphics poor. Can we just go back to the time when we had to dress up to watch a film?

Read my review here.

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