The end of the year is always a very therapeutic time of the year. A time when we remember all the good things we have been blessed with over the past twelve months. We also finally say goodbye to all the bad. As much as I felt there was stuff to watch at the theater this year, there was some stuff that I felt was absolutely horrid, completey inept of anything moderately passable as good. Here is a list of twenty hours I wish I could get back, ten films that put a thorn in my side, ten films that I remember for all the wrong reasons. My ten least favorite films of the year. I am going to discuss the four biggest disappointments of the year as well.
Sometimes, the least favorite films of the year are not exactly the worst films. I don't write about films as a job, this is a hobby. So essentially I can write about whatever I want. I feel like I can read a movie well enough to know that I won't like it. When I saw the trailers for films such as "Nine Lives" or "Boo! A Mandea Halloween" or "Mother's Day," those are all movies I know isn't going to be for me, if they are for anybody at all. I don't think that they brought much to the table, movies I guaranteed would be talked about for all the wrong reasons. So I skipped them. There are some films I felt curious about, and others I felt like I needed to see simply because I saw their predecessors. My least favorite movies are exactly that, the movie experiences I enjoyed the least. The movies where I wished I was doing literally anything else but watching them. If you missed any of the ten films on this list, I envy. If you were unlucky enough to see them, I feel your pain. But take comfort in knowing that after tonight, we no longer have a reason to discuss these ten films again.
1. INDEPENDENCE DAY: RESURGENCE
This movie will go down as my own personal "Star Wars: Phantom Menace," my own personal hearbreak as a fan. As I have grown up and rewatched films that I loved as a child, some films fell to the wayside, others continue to be movies I champion. "Independence Day" is a movie I still champion. It was a movie I felt really needed a sequel, and dreamt of one ever since I saw it with my family in a packed theater in 1996. Yes, its a goofy movie, but a good movie. This sequel felt like a complete betrayal of what made the first film good. A stupid fan film, even though it was made by the same people behind the first. Everything that was good about the first film is bad, and everything bad about it was worse. It bulldozes through itself, not giving a shit about character or story development. Entire stretches of the film don't make sense, the special effects are off, everything is phoney, these characters I loved twenty years ago don't feel like themselves anymore. Perhaps the time to capitalize on this franchise passed, but the filmmakers should have been smart enough to see that. Its like they didn't even try, this film reaks of a cheap, cash-grab. And us who grew up with this alien actionier are all the poorer for it.
2. ALICE THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS
Much like "Bridget Jones' Baby" and "Zoolander 2," this is a sequel that we just didn't need. Tim Burton's first film was bad, yet mildly ambitious. Take away Burton and his ambition, all you have left is a soulless, lifeless movie not worth being made. The special effects are so horrible, that they just take you out of the experience. There isn't a reason compelling enough to go back to this world and everything about the experience smells desperate.
If this is the future of social media and reality television, then we are in for a horror worse than a Trump presidency. If you are unlucky to see this piece of eye-garbage, then you are in for a horror worse than a Trump presidency.
New law for anybody working in Hollywood. Leave the classics alone, there is no need to remake them. Everybody who works in Hollywood NEEDS to make original ideas, the classics will be preserved and completely off-limits to anyone in the public, and no amount of money they throw at anybody will be enough for them to get their grubby mits on a classic film to tarnish for a new audience.
5. YOGA HOSERS
In the late 2000's, I felt director and writer Kevin Smith had slipped into self-indulgence. But when he made his first horror film "Red State," and his horror/dark comedy "Tusk," I thought his career was evolving. Then he makes "Yoga Hosers" and proves to us that he hasn't learned a single new trick. "Yoga Hosers" is a massive example of self-indulgence, complete with Smith parading his under-18 teenage daughter in skimpy outfits along with Johnny Depp's daughter, occasionally fighting Nazi sausages. Smith you used to actually be funny, what the hell happened?
6. THE DISAPPOINTMENTS ROOM
It was exciting going into a theater and sitting down waiting to see a horror film in 2016. Simply because there lots of good horror in the year (more on those in tomorrow's article). So when you happened to sit down at a bad horror film this year, it was a surprise and a disappointment, pun totally intended. This is a haunted house movie with no scares, no tension, no mood nor atmosphere. Just a laundry list of tired cliches and a script so stupid, it may have been written by a room of llamas.
Stephen King's Cell had some very good things in it, but it kind of fell flat near the end. The movie adaptation of "Cell" is just flat from beginning to end. Nothing much interesting happens, John Cusack and Samuel L. Jackson are completely wasted, and the movie isn't very scary. The worst of it is that the elements of King's novel that would have made the movie better are taken out for...typical horror cliches. The ambitious ending is taken out for a typical Hollywood ending. A embarrassment to end them all.
8. THE HUNTSMAN: WINTER'S WAR
Proof that even great actors like Jessica Chastain, Emily Blunt, Christ Hemsworth and Charlize Theron need a paycheck every once in awhile, even if it means starring in blithering stupid movies like these. The only catch? Well, Kristen Stewart doesn't show up!
The film was supposed to be about a killer who stalks a teenage girl slumber party. The real horror of the movie is how these teenagers treat each other before the movie finally becomes a horror film in the last ten minutes. If people think my millennial generation is bad, just wait until they get a load of what's coming!
10. ALLEGIANT: THE DIVERGENT SERIES
Finally, this poor excuse for a poor man's "The Hunger Games" finally leaving the theaters, sure its going to TV, but that doesn't mean I have to watch it. Its been a rough sit going through this shitty franchise in the theater each year. So hallelujah! The most pointless and worthless franchise of the decade is finally over! Not a moment too soon!
BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENTS OF THE YEAR
BATMAN VS. SUPERMAN: DAWN OF JUSTICE & SUICIDE SQUAD
I am not a Marvel fanboy. I love the DC characters. I want them to succeed. You may prefer DC over Marvel and that's okay. But there is no doubt in my mind that Marvel characters in all their films (either Disney and even Fox) were handled much better than Warner Bros handled theirs. Both of these movies prove that their studio had a lack of faith in the people that made them, where corporate decisions were made instead of creative decisions. If DC wants to turn things around, then they need to start trusting the people they are hiring, and allow them to make the movies they want to make. Find people who love the characters, and let them bring their dreams and ideas to life. This DC Extended Universe can still get turned around. I plan to see "Wonder Woman" this year, I guess I'll see "Justice League" too. There is still hope to make something out of this franchise, hell they may even outgross Marvel. If they want to make long-lasting movies, they need to trust each other more and allow creativity to flourish.
What should have been an intriguing and unique science fiction film, kind of like we used to get in the 1960's and 1970's, turned out to be nothing more than a movie about a perverted creep who makes decisions solely based on his own self-satisfaction. Buyer beware, this is not the movie the commercials are selling you. This is a dirty, disturbing, disgusting movie, pumped up by two leading actors who are completely wasted in this sad example of a motion picture.
I feel bad, because this was a dream project of Michael Fassbender for seemingly many years. So when you are watching someone's passion project before your eyes, and its not very good...its tough. What's sadder though, is that a movie managed to make Michael Fassbender boring.
Sigh...okay...the bad stuff is out of my system. I can relax a little!