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!


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.


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.


Top 20 of 2018

Before we get started I want to share an observation I made in early December. It dawned on me that I had NO idea was was going to be my favorite film of the year. I couldn't even, off the top of my head, figure out which titles would go on the top 5. I had to look it up! That was a strange feeling.

Perhaps that feeling seemed especially strange in the light of the last couple of years' Top lists. Blade Runner 2049, The Force Awakens, Interstellar - all these were clear-cut no. 1 candidates from the moment I saw them, and most of them had good competition on the next couple of spots. This year, I couldn't come up with a single obvious candidate.

During the year, as I note the movies I watch, I give them a rating from 1 to 10. I hate ratings like that, so these are purely for private use, because that makes it easier to get started on the Top/Bottom lists. Normally whatever ends up on the top spot will be a "9" film. I rarely dish out a "10". This year, however. There were no 10's, no 9's and only a few 8's. In other words, this wasn't the most impressive year for films in recent memory. Oh well, on with the show:


20) The Lodgers

What a delightfully little creepy film this was. Two siblings live alone in a gigantic decrepit mansion and must apparently follow some strict rules or all hell breaks loose. An intriguing, simple setup, great performances from the two young leads, and excellent production design. This was the film Crimson Peak should have been!

19) Skjelvet

This Norwegian disaster movie - a follow-up to the more aquatically centered The Wave - delivers exactly what it promises on the box. Unlike its American counterparts it delivers the goods in a simple, focused manner, shying away from over the top violence or over-elaborate visuals, and instead choosing basic, relatable human emotions to drive its drama. And it just WORKS.

18) The Christmas Chronicles

What a genuine surprise this Netflix Christmas movie turned out to be. Kurt Russell is energetic and fun as jolly old Saint Nick - just don't call him fat - and his enthusiasm lifts the entire movie, creating an enjoyable ride for the whole family that I instantly fell in love with. Sure, it's stuffed to the brim with clichés, and the plot is the most basic of Christmas movie plots, but despite that the movie - in no small part thanks to Kurt - still managed to bring me instant Christmas spirit, and I suspect I will be able to count on it to do the same in the years to come.

17) Bushwick

Civil war has broken out in America! There's fighting in the streets. Gangs of thugs attempt to take advantage of the chaos. And in the middle of all this we follow a young woman and a brute who are just trying to get home to their families. The film uses long uninterrupted shots to create a palpable tension along the way, and Dave Bautista surprises with a genuine, heartfelt performance. Plus, the general feeling of a society on the verge of collapse feels a little too real, given the status quo of the world we live in.

16) ToY

A young, well-off photographer spends her time taking pictures of prostitutes, while interviewing them for an art project. She meets an older call girl and the two begin a relationship. Cue lots of awesome lesbian sex, right? Wrong. This is a melancholic, intimate film about tortured souls caught in impossible situations. The journeys of the two main characters are completely different than the setup would suggest, and so much more rewarding. You may want to watch this in daylight, though. This is a rough ride.

15) It Stains the Sands Red

This little gem took me completely by surprise. The story seemed beyond silly - a stripper is stalked through the desert by a zombie - but it didn't take long before the film revealed that it was going to be more than a simple one-note joke. It Stains the Sands Red has more depth, more guts (no, the metaphorical kind) and more heart than most indie movies, even though it sounds so simple at first.

14) The Kissing Booth

This adorable little teen romance from Netflix took me by surprise. It's a story about a girl who falls in love with her (male) best friend's brother. Certain aspects of the story are tackled with surprising maturity, while others are as silly and schmaltzy as I hoped for. Plus, it does take the predictable route with its story. Joey King is adorable as the lead, Joel Courtney (of Super 8 fame) is adorable as her friend, and even Jacob Elordi, who plays the brother and looks like a brainless block of meat, turns out to be more capable than you'd think. This is the kind of movie that makes you want to use the heart emoji, when you tell your friends about it.

13) Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

Wait what? The Jurassic World sequel? This is your TOP list, you do realize that, right? Why, yes inner voice, I do, but here's the thing: I loved it! I had a blast watching this sequel! I HATED the original - those fucking kids just needed to die - but this one I enjoyed from start to finish! An escape from an island in the middle of a volcanic eruption? Dinosaurs chasing our heroes through an old wood panelled mansion? What's not to like? Even the kid was tolerable!

12) The Cloverfield Paradox

I love science fiction movies and it's rare we get a big one like this with almost no warning! Sure, The Cloverfield Paradox steals almost every idea from other movies, so much so that it comes off like Best Of compilation of science fiction tropes. But I don't care! The drama worked! The thrills worked! The Sci-fi nonsense worked! Even the sporadic humorous moments worked.

11) Darkest Hour

We kind of knew Gary Oldman would kill it as Churchill from the moment his participation was announced, and he did, delivering an Oscar-winning performance to rival all previous versions. Oldman is practically frothing at the mouth with sheer glee playing this larger-than-life statesman and his enthusiasm is highly contagious. What I didn't expect, though, was that the film itself would be so much fun! After all it's a serious story, dealing with important historic events, and it could easily have turned into a dusty, dull history lesson. Luckily Joe Wright delivers an energetic, bubbling and wonderfully cheeky film.

10) Upgrade

When I first heard about this film I thought the techno-terror story sounded rather dull and predictable. Fortunately Upgrade turned out to be a highly inventive science fiction film that rarely betrays its low-budget roots. It's got quite a few tricks up its sleeve! It manages to open up quite a few interesting ethical questions while at the same time just being a kick-ass, bloody, cool B-movie.

9) Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

This gutsy, often brutal, honest, funny, highly controversial and complex movie should be shown in every classroom. It creates a world full of difficult ethical questions and it never dumbs anything down or takes the easy way out. The characters are incredibly layered, the subjects it tackles are really important, and the film feels both light on its feet and dense beyond words. My only issue with Three Billboards is that it doesn't have an ending, it just sort of stops, but I can live with that, given what the film has to offer along the way.

8) Revenge

This brutal revenge story doesn't really break any new ground. It's the familiar tale about a young girl getting attacked, sexually violated and left for dead by a bunch of entitled, gross men, and then she takes her.... Revenge! The visual style is stunning. The direction is sharp. And Matilda Lutz is hypnotic in the lead. At first she's just straight up gorgeous, but then, when the revenge begins she turns into a fierce, lethal opponent.

7) Hot Summer Nights

I love coming-of-age stories. I love 80's movies. I love, dark and moody love stories. This film had every one of those elements. Hot Summer Nights takes a little while to get going, but manages to build up an intriguing world that feels oddly timeless, while constantly referencing specific decades. There's music from the 60's, mentioning of theatrical releases from the 90's, while the story comes across as a coming-of-age remake Scarface! A very impressive debut from director Elijah Bynum.

6) The Hurricane Heist

I fully admit this is way too high on the list (like WAY too high), but I also have to admit that this was one of the most fun film-experiences of the year. The critics trashed it predictably, but most of them are morons, so who cares. This is Twister meets Hard Rain - except here the bad guys actually count on the bad weather and use it to their advantage! Toby Kebbell is a likeable hero, but it's Maggie Grace who really steals the movie, and she gets to be the John McClane of the show! Sure, this is one of the dumbest films of the year but I maintain that it KNOWS it's dumb! I love heist movies! I love bad weather movies! I love B-action movies with A-film aspirations! The Hurricane Heist is all that and more.

5) The Post

Imagine my surprise! It's been 29 years since Steven Spielberg made a rock solid masterpiece. Since then he's made an abundance of movies that flat out frustrate me. He's also made a few decent ones, and a few I can only describe as pure garbage. The Post was solid as hell. I didn't expect that, I didn't expect a film good enough to stand close to All The President's Men, albeit slightly hidden in its shadow.

4) Look Away

It sounded like a simple, rather basic horror story: "A trouble teenage girls begins to talk to her mirror image". Cue scary scenes with a mirror and some murder, right? Well, it quickly becomes obvious that Look Away has so much more to offer. It's much more interested in its lead character's internal struggle than blood or cheap scares. It's far more layered and elegant than your average teen horror movie, and it ventures into some dark, dark territories along the way! I had a hard time shaking the film off when it was done.

3) I Kill Giants

Danish director Anders Walter cashed in his Best Live Action Short film Oscar-win for this project, and it was the perfect choice. I Kill Giants comes across as a more tender, youth oriented version of The Fisher King. Except, we know Robin Williams is crazy, we're not sure Barbara, the young heroine referred to in the title, is similarly afflicted. I loved the gentle way the movie handled her journey, and I loved the delicate balance act it manages between reality and fantasy. This is an elegant little dish, far more nutritious than the big budget fast food movies Hollywood usually serves up to the young adults.

2) At First Light

A young man gets a desperate call for help from an ex-girlfriend he knew he shouldn't have let go. The drama from that situation could feed a whole film on its own, but the reason for the call is what really sold me on At First Light. The ex has experienced a close encounter! Yeah, we're talking flying saucers! At First Light manages to combine a relatable teen love story with a sort of low-key X-files plot. There's a haunting quality about the film that really struck a cord with me, and the two leads are wonderfully intense. Star-Crossed lovers indeed!

1) Solo: A Star Wars Story

Solo is by no means a masterpiece. We're all familiar with its sordid background story, and we can see the scar-tissue from the operations that saved it midway through the production. I also fully admit that I can't really argue against anyone claiming that this was completely unnecessary. It probably was. And yet, I found it delightful. Second and third viewing really brought it home for me. Now I don't even think about all the surrounding nonsense, I just enjoy watching young Solo take his first steps towards becoming the scruffy-looking nerf herder we all fell in love with. The visuals are gorgeous, the robot is funny as hell, and the many hints to the Star Wars canon make me smile. I watch Force Awakens if I want old school Star Wars feel. I watch Rogue One for the desperate, emotional suicide mission. Solo, however is the kind of fun heist adventure movie that makes me want to revisit the original Indiana Jones movies. That's a pretty damn perfect feeling for a Han Solo film to create.


And there you have it. Like I said, not the most impressive year for films. I haven't caught any of the 2018 Oscar contenders yet, they may make it to the 2019 list, we'll see, but for now, my favorite 2018 film is the one where there's a guy who pretends a rock is a hand grenade. Make of that what you will.


2018: The Stats

2018 is done! What a ride! Especially that last part...

As per usual I'm just getting started on the lists of the best and worst movie-experiences of the year, but first: The Stats! How many films did I see last year? Were they any good? All that and more will be revealed in 1-2-3....

Number of films watched in 2018:


- 2017 (263) - 2016 (288) - 2015 (307) - 2014 (331) - 2013 (401)
- 2012 (405) - 2011 (343) - 2010 (338) - 2009 (302)

- Films watched for the first time: 152
- Re-watched films: 138

Films in play for the top/bottom lists:


Quality distribution (of new films):
- Good: 47
- Meh: 34
- Bad: 28

Format distribution:

4K: 13
Blu-ray: 155
DVD: 14
VOD: 101
Other: 4
Cinema: 3

Decade-of-release distribution:

1950's: 1 film
1960's: 1 film
1970's: 10 films
1980's: 14 films
1990's: 25 films
2000's: 37 films
2010's: 202 films (2017: 53 / 2018: 77)

Most watched films:

Blade Runner 2049 (4 times)
Solo: A Star Wars Story (3 times)
What Happened to Monday (3 times)

Number of TV-show episodes watched:
(not counting old episodes of Mythbusters or game shows)


Number of different TV shows watched:


Complete seasons watched:



And so, it's time for my favorite part of the year: Looking back at all the wonderful and no-so-wonderful film-experiences. Time to make those lists... Cue delightful frustration in 3-2-1...