So, we are two weeks into the new year and I have not, until now, posted my best or worst of the year lists. I know on some level these are unnecessary, especially from someone such as myself. Still, here it is, my bottom ten movies of the year list. I will try to make it short and sweet, seriously, how much do you need to know? You probably already had an idea of how bad these are. Still, for some reason, I am always ready to jump in front of that bus for you and take the bullet. That’s right, this is the kind of movie where a guy could jump in front of a bus and die of a bullet. Read on, brave souls….
The rules are the same as always, I had to see it in the theater and it has to be a 2016 US release.
10. Jupiter Ascending. This movie is a mess. I never felt like the movie wanted to draw me in. There would be a scene of perfunctory exposition followed by an extended action sequence, wash, rinse, repeat. Jupiter never felt in awe or surprised by what she found, the space opera elements felt out of reach. It is like they combined Dune with the uppitiness of a period costume drama.
9. Pixels. Pixels sets itself up as a fun looking movie, but that is where it ends. The movie is a triumph of high concept and marketing. The movie itself fails at just about every turn. Sure, I loved seeing Pac-Man and Centipede and Donkey Kong in the real world, but that is as far as it goes. This is a movie that is big in idea and light on intelligence and execution. It lacks heart, soul, and any reason to really care. Not much to miss if you choose to skip it.
8. While We’re Young. This is a movie I sort of feel I should like, but I don't. I really don't. It embraces its hipster tendencies and never looks back. I feel like there are some good ideas here, but I cannot stand the execution or these people. This is one to skip.
7. The Gunman. There was little chemistry, sloppy exposition, and no emotional or even exciting pull to the plot. Frankly, once it got to the end, it felt a bit like a sermon wrapped around an action movie. By all means, use your movie as a political/social platform, but give me a reason to care. If you are looking to fall asleep, this is the “action” movie to help.
6. Unfinished Business. Do you ever watch a comedy and wonder where the funny was? Of course you have. Well, add this one to the mix. The latest Vince Vaughn "comedy" has landed with a thud. It just played out like a limp noodle. There was no life, no spark, nothing to be interested in.
5. Mortdecai. The problem is that the movie has no heart. The chemistry is less than stellar and no one seems to really care. Everyone goes about their business and I never once feel involved. Sure, the trailer makes it all seem pretty funny, but when it gets to the film, it never comes together. It moves along at a brisk pace, keeping the jokes firing, but more often than not they simply fall flat. It wants to be Peter Sellers and The Pink Panther. It is not.
4. Paranormal Activity: Ghost Dimension. The series is over and it did not end a moment too soon. If anything, it ended a bit late. The series that I really did defend and enjoy ends on a whimper. The format became progressively more and more forced to the point that I just did not care about it anymore. The problem is you are learning the story from the people it is happening to rather than those causing it to happen, the end result is boredom.
3. The Perfect Guy. The Perfect Guy is just a bore. I will say that I like Ealy's presence, he is good as the charmer and equally good as the creepy stalker. Unfortunately, it is not blended well, it is like a switch is thrown halfway through the movie. Nothing is a surprise, nothing is shocking. It is a paint by numbers movie that doesn't even try to hide its twists. Then it goes off the rails, and not in a good way, at the end. If you see it, let me know if you see the problem, it is pretty obvious.
2. The Vatican Tapes. If you were thinking about watching this, let me suggest that you would be better served looking elsewhere. I would never try to completely dissuade you from seeing a movie, I believe the more you see the better, but this really is not good. It is a movie that never gets going, doesn't really go anywhere, and just as it might be getting interested, it ends. It was almost like someone forgot the final reel.
1. The Gallows. It takes bits of Paranormal Activity and The Blair Witch Project, and perhaps a dash of Sinister. It then proceeds to suck out all of the intelligence, or potential intelligence, tosses in a couple of phony jump scares, and just throws it at the screen in hopes that the audience will stay in their seats until the end. Then there is that guy recording it all, he such a seriously unlikable character that I was put off right from the start. They should have given us at least one likable character.
For an added bonus, here are a few more bad movies that missed making this list: The Lazarus Effect, Focus, Vacation, Get Hard, and The Secret in Their Eyes.