14.1.19

Bottom 20 of 2018

Whatever the status of the year in film, I never seem to lack entries for these Bottom lists. I admit I sometimes seek out bad films just because they make for good material for my podcasts, so perhaps that's the reason. Also, I almost never turn off a film. If I did it would be ineligible for this list. But enough chit-chat, on with the show!


THE LIST


20) Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

This is the very definition of a modern Hollywood film: Loud, brash, charmless, unintelligent. The original Jumanji had heart. This one barely has a pulse. Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is to the original what Terminator Salvation is to The Terminator. It's a pointless movie. All it does is water down the original concept and come up with excuses for The Rock to ostensibly make fun of his own image, while at the same time cultivating the idea of his unparalleled manly manliness at every turn. As for Kevin Hart.... At some point people are going to realize that he's a completely unfunny little troll, right?


19) Ready Player One

80's nostalgia! A beloved novel! The Bearded One finally directing something that doesn't sound comatose from the get-go! Yes, Ready Player One had everything going for it, except of course anything interesting. The story was excruciatingly dull ("Let's chase.... uhm.... something, but like in a virtual world"), and the film looked as if somebody had managed to capture the essence of Hollywood's misuse of CGI and fused it with pure distilled uncanny valley.


18) Bird Box

It's like A Quiet Place with vision instead of sound. It's like The Happening, only with Sandra Bullock instead of that Wahlberg dude. It's like a real movie, except with Susanne Bier directing. Susanne Bier doesn't know shit. And it's not because she's a woman - I'd gladly hand over any of her projects to another capable female director - it's because she's a moron (her inability to describe what the film's theme is on national Danish TV is hilarious). Bird Box, in all fairness isn't that awful, it's just pointless and ineffective. We love Sandy, we love plenty of the other actors, but the inadequate script and the lackluster direction, coupled with a 2+ hour running time, makes this a bit of a struggle to get through.


17) All the Money in the World

Wow. All that hoopla for this? Recasting a central character mere weeks before the opening? Controversy over reshoots? Everyone holding their breath, waiting to see if Ridley Scott could pull it off? And all we have to show for it is this clunker. Turns out they should have kept Kevin Spacey in the film, then at least it would have been able to generate some emotions in the viewers. Who knew that the kidnapping of a cunt billionaire's spoiled grandson, which stretched out over several months, just isn't all that interesting to watch?


16) QEDA

This valiant attempt to make a Danish science fiction movie is as ambitious on paper as it is bland and vanilla in reality. The astonishing visual effects and the very capable production design can't hide the fact that this movie doesn't really want to own up to the fact that it's science fiction, or that it doesn't have a very solid grip on it's own story. I mean, just the fact that none of the characters can agree on how to pronounce the title kind of says it all.


15) The Spy Who Dumped Me

Life will slowly drain from your body as you watch this loud, unfunny comedy, much like life has been drained from Mila Kunis after she hooked up with Ashton Kutcher. 


14) Peppermint

Taken with a chick! And the chick is Jennifer Garner! How on Earth did you manage to fuck this up?! Well, it turns out that if you tell a revenge story, and the revenge happens OFF SCREEN, it doesn't make for a very rewarding experience. Boy, this was a baffling misfire. I would almost have preferred an Electra 2!


13) Mute

Duncan Jones squandered all street cred and every single geek point he earned with Moon when he made the atrocious Warcraft. This follow-up seemed to be designed to get him back on track, but unfortunately Mute just didn't work at all. The movie was sloppy in its direction, the script was pointless, the lead unlikable and the ending was crushingly disappointing. In fact, this felt like a failed TV pilot recut to a feature film. If only Netflix released those stats, so we knew how many viewers bailed on it before the end. My guess is: Quite a few. The director was clearly one of them.


12) Hereditary

With all the cockiness of early M. Night Shyamalan first time feature film director Ari Aster offers up what has been called "scariest film of all time". It isn't. The first hour is a dreary and drab family drama, and then the "real" plot kicks into high gear and the film becomes unbearable in an uncoordinated, shrill hotchpotch of ideas we've already seen in far superior films. By the time we get to some actual good moments, 90 minutes into the film, most people will have checked out.


11) Geostorm

Gerard Butler plays a scientist. That is all.


10) Downsizing

What the hell were they thinking when they made this film? No, I'm actually asking, because it's not immediately obvious what the hell the filmmakers wanted out of this dull dud. The amount of untapped potential in the story is astonishing. In the category of most money wasted on useless films (oh, hello there Ishtar and Howard the Duck) this one must earn some kind of prize for being the most lifeless. Everyone in the film seems to wander around like empty shells, waiting to be filled with some kind of purpose that never comes. At least most of the other giant flops in film history went down in flames, screaming and yelling, in an absurd display of mismanaged ideas. This one just sort of shrugs and crawls whimpering into the night.


9) Okja

Also knows as: Bat-Shit Crazy Vegan: The Movie. If you're one of those people who think they're getting completely unbiased and fair information about modern food consumption in all those Netflix food documentaries, you're as braindead as the cow I just ate. Most of the food documentaries on Netflix lie somewhere between completely misleading and criminally deceptive. So there's that. If you love those, however, you're going to love this self-righteous piece of garbage too.


8) Call Me By Your Name

This film was almost impossible to get through. It's unbearably dull. The drama is vague and almost non-existing. The dialogue is so oblique it's borderline nonsense. The characters are fundamentally unlikeable. And it's ever so slightly rapey. When you peel away the faux intellectualism, push past the homosexual angle and look beyond the gorgeous locations all you have left is a really badly told love story.


7) The Relationtrip

I love discovering tiny indie gems - especially ones about love and relationships, because sometimes those stories work better in the form of a smaller film without a big budget or recognizable stars. They often feel more honest. That was exactly the feeling I got from this one when it started, but then it turned into the most infuriating, artificial construct. I can't remember the last time I wanted to punch a movie in the face this badly.


6) The Meg

Look, I love a big loud, dumb Hollywood action film as much as the next guy (unless the next guy is The Rock), and I find Jason Statham utterly charming, but I still have SOME standards. The Meg managed to be dumber than Deep Blue Sea, and less scientifically accurate than Sharknado, while trying to convince us that China is pretty cool. I'll watch Deep Blue Sea 2 before I'll watch this again.


5) Sick for Toys

This could just as easily have been number 1. The only reason it isn't, is because this is essentially an amateur film, and I feel a little bad judging it side by side with professional films. Still, it's a film. It was released. A Blu-ray was sent out. Someone bought the disc. The disc was brought to movie night with a bunch of film geeks, who sat down to watch it as if it was a legitimate product. Turns out they were wrong. The end. And that little story has more drama and suspense than the entire Sick for Toys fiasco.


4) The Nun

Both Conjuring movies have ended up on my Top lists in the past, and this spin-off should have followed suit. Unfortunately the shitty script and lazy direction relegates the film to the Bottom list. This is a badly told story, it's not scary at ALL, and it completely wastes the potential of the title character. In fact, the film is so bad it makes me wish they hadn't made it at all, and it makes me consider if they should just flat out close down the entire Conjuring franchise right now. Quit while you're dangerously close to being behind.


3) Game Over Man

Too bloody and violent. The characters are too unlikable. It's too cheap. Too boring. Too unimaginative. And there's too much ass-licking. No, actually ass-licking. Yes, there's a scene where a guy is forced to lick another guy's ass. It's a long scene. So much licking. Of an ass. And we see it. I mean, we really see it. Well, at least there are no rape jokes or cut-off penises while that happens.


2) Speed Kills

John Travolta sure is a sorry sack of shit these days. I guess that explains why he gravitated towards this cheap piece of garbage. It kind of makes him look good. Well, less bad I should say, because this is an awful, amateurish film. It's badly shot, poorly edited, it looks cheap and the story doesn't work at all, but worst of all is the grotesque Travolta performance at the center. He looks like a wax figure now, like a Spitting Image mask. And on top of that, he doesn't seem to be able to act convincingly as a human being any more. Perhaps he should go back to playing alien.... Battlefield Earth 2, anyone?


1) Gun Shy

Gun Shy is SO incompetent that it almost seems like an elaborate internet prank. I'm not sure what happened to Simon West. Perhaps he's tied up in a basement somewhere, replaced by an evil, far less talented twin. If that's the case he's been sitting there since 2001, because the guy who did THIS film can't possibly be the same guy who made the fantastically silly Con Air or took The General's Daughter to a completely different level, with razor sharp directorial choices. Gun Shy does everything wrong. It's an embarrassing, boring, cheap excuse for a film. I'd rather watch the "Never Gonna Give You Up" music video 40 times in a row than watch this film again.

WRAP-UP

There you have it! The absolute worst film-experiences I had last year. Luckily, there were plenty of GOOD experiences as well, make sure you check out my Top List as well, and remember, at least we didn't have to suffer through 18 hours of Twin Peaks: Season 3 shite this year. So there's that.