Well, no more putting this off. There were a lot of great movies to come out of Hollywood this past year, but for every great film, there was a bad one to boot. While I "accidentally" missed some of the obvious low-hanging fruit, like Flatliners and The Bye Bye Man, I did see my fair share of bad cinema over the past year. So let's talk about it, ya? As usual, I have my beverage of choice, (cider mixed with apple pie moonshine-it's delicious) and am ready to talk about the worst movies of 2017. Let's go!
For my review of each film discussed here, click on the picture.
(Dis)Honrable Mention: The Boss Baby
Kicking the list off is a film that SOMEHOW received an Oscar nomination. (OSCAR! IS....IS THAT RIGHT? HOW CAN THAT BE CORRECT? HOW COULD THE ACADEMY THINK THIS IS OSCAR-WORTHY? IS THIS REAL LIFE?) The Boss Baby is a perfect summary of everything wrong with modern American animation. I will openly admit I'm not a huge fan of animation as a whole, but even I am upset that this got an Oscar nod over something more deserving like Your Name. It's erratic. It's messy. It doesn't even have that good of voice acting! And so. Much. Baby butt. Like, ok guys: we get it. Baby butts can be cute! It's something that people go "Aw!" over, for some reason. (Obviously I'm not one of those people) But every other scene here features a baby's butt in some way. To the point that this film is uncomfortably obsessed with them. STAHP. Oh! And the "rules" of this movie? They don't exist! Like....do the parents know that the baby can do all the things he does? Why do I even care about this when everything else about this movie is so bad? Beats me.
(Dis)Honorable Mention: The Greatest Showman
Next up is a film that may come as a surprise to some, but....man. I did not like The Greatest Showman. I will admit that its big single "This is Me" has grown on me a tad since the film came out, (though "Mystery of Love" is still SO MUCH BETTER) but otherwise there isn't much here that I enjoyed. The film is just SO superficial. It makes P.T. Barnum into a hero, it villainizes everyone who took issue to the circus, and it glances over some of the more interesting aspects of his life like, you know, the part where Barnum exploited people that were different for his own gain. Nothing to see here, right? And....poor Rebecca Ferguson. I wanted to laugh out loud when her character, an opera singer, belted out a Celine Dion-lite number halfway through the movie. Oh, just enjoy it for the fact that it's a musical? Well, the choreography isn't even all that good! None of the dance numbers, save one, even utilize the props surrounding the circus itself. Y U NO USE CIRCUS? And the way it's shot....it's so freaking erratic! You can't get a respect for any of the dancing or singing when the camera is moving at a hundred miles per hour! The only sequence I enjoyed was the Efron/Zendaya musical number, which made good use of, you know, the circus, (and was the only number with good choreography) but this good sequence just frustrated me even more because it showed what could have been SIGH.
Alright, at this point I must've put a dent in this list, right? (Looks and sees that only the dishonorable mentions are done.) Oh no. NO. GOD NO. PLEASE GOD NO. (Starts crying into drink)
10) It Comes at Night
Next up on the list is a shockingly terrible film from A24. The studio had one heck of a 2016, including being the studio behind the shocking Best Picture winner, but they had something of an off year (for them, at least) in 2017 because they managed to drop a couple of bad films. (Don't worry though, they still dropped PLENTY of good movies too) Their latest crack at the horror genre was one of these bad films. There's a single good idea in this movie: a hallway that writer/director Trey Edward Shults gets a lot of suspense out of. Aaaaaaand that's it. Most of this movie is spent inside a house, which means frustratingly little happens for the vast majority of it. There's no pacing, and everything up until the final 15 minutes is just....boring! "Hey guys! Let's create a world where going outside risks imminent death, and then spend the entire movie inside!" - the creators of It Comes at Night. This is one house that you should avoid at all costs. (Don't worry, I'll be here all night. Maybe Oscar will take over for a bit? Oscar? Hello? .....)
9) The Mummy
Of all the crappy summer blockbusters we got this year, (there were many) this one made me the most frustrated. Sure there was a new Transformers movie this summer, (don't worry....it's coming) but unlike most, I was excited at the idea of a well-executed "Dark Universe" that Universal promised us would start with the release of this movie. I mean, c'mon! A universe where some of the iconic horror films of the 20th century are remade and interconnected starring some of the biggest names Hollywood has to offer? Where do I sign?? Unfortunately, the first film in this supposed new universe was rushed and featured a TERRIBLE exec/focus group influenced script. It was such a weak start to this new universe that Universal is already considering scrapping it. Which makes me so sad! I want my remake of a classic horror flick like Creature from the Black Lagoon! (I know, Oscar! The Shape of Water is a thing!) Ok. A TRUE remake, and not a spiritual one. Why did you start with The Mummy, Universal? Sure, it's a recognizable name. But it's also been barely 10 years since the last installment in that franchise! (Also mediocre) Why didn't you lead with something we haven't seen in a while, like Invisible Man? Oh, ya. And this movie is terrible. Did I mention that? WHY OH WHY is Sofia Boutella, the Mummy, barely even in this? (She's also the best part of the movie, which makes it even more frustrating) If you were going to ultimately make Tom Cruise the Mummy, (spoiler, I know, but who cares?) why don't you just lead with him?? Questions that we'll never get an answer to. RIP, Dark Universe. Gone too soon.
Ugh! Remember movies like this are why I need alcohol to get through this post. Hong Chau is wonderful. That's LITERALLY all you need to know about this movie. Because everything else about it is a disaster. (Man, I'm already tossing words around like "disaster" and I'm only on number 8!) It's so messy. This film is basically two stories thrown into one, and neither are particularly interesting. But at least the second half had Hong Chau! The first half was COMPLETELY pointless, as we get this big setup from Matt Damon and Kristen Wiig to do this procedure, just to have Wiig change her mind at the ABSOLUTE last minute for NO REASON AT ALL. Her character is completely pointless, which sucks! Then in the second half there is this apocalyptic message about global warming, which I'm all for, but it is SO overbearing. That word is putting it lightly, and it's all bound together by some TERRIBLE exposition. Just a big ol' can of nope. It's a real shame because this film is directed by the great Alexander Payne. He's made great films before, and he will again. This one, however, is a dud. But, hey. Hung Chau is wonderful in it, so there's that.
7) The Belko Experiment
This one is one of the lesser known films on this list, but it was nooooot good. For those that don't know, The Belko Experiment was a horror/slasher hybrid film that was centered around an interesting premise: kill each other, or we kill you. But, sweet baby Jesus was it anything but interesting. The characters sucked, the pacing was awful, and it ends up playing out almost EXACTLY how you expect it to. And, at the end, when it's time to talk about what it was all for, this film has the NERVE to go with "We're not at liberty to say." It's at this moment I would like to remind you that the script of this film was written by James Gunn. You know, the same guy behind the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise. Seriously? Unfortunately, this film is nothing more than yet another terrible installment in the slasher/horror genres.
Alright, while you ponder over the idea of James Gunn writing one of the worst scripts I have ever seen, I'm gonna go get a refill on my drink. I'm gonna need it to get through these last few.....
6) The Circle
Hey! I bet most of you saw this one and said, "Oh, ya! This movie was a thing!" (That was you, wasn't it, Oscar? I know what you're thinking....) It was hard to miss-its trailer was in front of nearly every film I saw in late 2016/early 2017. The marketing budget behind this was substantial, and I'm not really sure why. it was. Sure, they got Emma Watson to take a break from her wonderful philanthropic endeavors and paired her with the great Tom Hanks, but I think the die-hard Emma Watson fans were going to go and see this regardless of what the marketing budget was. Unfortunately, though, what we got was AWFUL. The story here is so freaking generic! And it's going to be a heavily dated film in just next few years with its absurd science fiction view on technology. But, things happen here that are so freaking stupid, and it's all centered around a "Oh! Look at what will happen to our privacy!" story that we've seen a million times before.It also doesn't help that Emma Watson is not that good. Sure, she's given nothing to work with, but guys like Patton Oswalt and Tom Hanks can clearly sleepwalk through a performance, (as they do here) which really brings Watson's shortcomings out even more. If you pair Watson with the right director, she's great. (Just look at The Perks of Being a Wallflower or The Bling Ring) But, when she's not....it can be somewhat hard to watch. It also makes me so sad that this is Bill Paxton's last role. RIP, man. You deserved better than this. :(
Five more to go! Oh no. I have to talk about Suburbicon again? NOOOOOOOO. This movie sucks! And it still blows my mind with all the A-list stars attached to it that it does. I still have no clue what happened to this film, but it is an absolute dumpster fire. It's a "whodunit" flick with the most obvious "dunit" in the freaking world. So, you figure out the mystery in the first 20 minutes. Now what do you do? Well, walking out is a good idea. Because if you stick around you're in for a story that is horrifically uninteresting, predictable, and messy. It can't figure out what it wants to be, all while being so obvious it was painful. And the acting is whatever. 2017 was a bad year for Matt Damon, and Suburbicon was no exception. He was clearly just in it for the paycheck, which makes no sense since it's George Clooney who directed this! And it was written by the Coen Brothers! WHAAAAA? (OSCAR! IS.....IS THAT RIGHT? HOW COULD THIS HAVE BEEN WRITTEN BY THE COEN BROTHERS?) The main story isn't interesting, (there's a side story that tries to tie into modern systemic racism that is very forced too) the acting is lackluster given the talent, and, well, everything short of the production design (which is at least OK) is so bland! It's like every other movie about the 50s wrapped into one cliche mess. At least Oscar Isaac took his screen chewing prowess up to eleven....
4) Transformers: The Last Knight
You knew this was going to be on the list sooner or later! Like Downsizing, this movie has exactly one redeeming quality: Isabela Moner. Unfortunately, she and the film's other major female star, Laura Haddock, are forced into constantly answering the "Why are you single?" question every other freaking minute throughout yet another trainwreck installment into this franchise. Which is a shame, because when they aren't being forced into relationships, they are both (but especially Moner) pretty awesome! Sadly, they are the only things that even remotely good about this film. The pacing is awful, (why are these things STILL 2.5 hours long?? OSCAR! WHO THINKS IT'S A GOOD IDEA TO MAKE A BIG STUPID ACTION MOVIE 2.5 HOURS LONG? Wait. Michael Bay? Ohhhhhh) the dialogue is awful, and the CGI is a giant clusterbomb. Michael Bay has a very distinct style. "Bayham," as it's called. But Michael Bay's unquenchable desire to throw as much visual stimulus as he can at you at any given moment makes this film a REALLY tough watch. You just can't decipher anything that's going on in front of you! And, of course, you have no idea where anyone is in any given moment, which means you simply don't care about any of the characters. Also, and maybe this bothered me more than others, but WHY is this film shot in THREE different aspect rations? THREE? (Just imagine Angry Joe said "aspect rations" there instead of "hours") It was so jarring and so distracting. Did he just not think people would notice the black bars on the screen constantly changing, sometimes shot by shot? Or did he just not care? How did this movie gross over $600 million? Oh, that's right. Because it was one of only a few American films to get a release in China. Least it didn't do too well there, either.
Oh, man. We're getting to the REAL bad stuff now. I don't understand what people see in Bright. Even though it's on Netflix, I wanted to walk out on this dumpster fire, sorry excuse for a sci-fi film. The "world" created here is TERRIBLE. Please, tell me what's interesting about the world Bright created. I'll wait. The effects are terrible. The action setpieces are hilariously corny. The overarching message on systemic racism is overbearing. There are literally ZERO redeeming qualities about this thing, and yet.....Netflix is planning a sequel? WHAT? Who thought....who thought this was a good idea? The acting isn't even all that good, which is sad because this film features Will Smith, Joel Edgerton, AND Noomi Rapace as the villain. I've been dreaming of the day Rapace would play an awesome villain, but today isn't it. The film hides her under a lot of BAD makeup, which means she isn't given the chance to do much of, well, anything! She's just sort of.....there. Like the rest of the film. Oh, and did you know that this film is trying to make an analogy to racism in modern America? Because if you didn't, you must've fallen asleep while watching this. Because it reminds you of its ties to modern American SO FREAKING MUCH. "Batting you over the head" is putting it lightly. What is there to like about this? The fact that orcs and humans hate each other? Because if that's all it takes to create an "interesting world," give me about 5 minutes and I'll think of something for you. Hard pass.
2) November Criminals
This film, however, I did walk out of. Most of you have probably never heard of this movie, to which I say.....congratulations. But, do you recognize anyone in that photo? Ya. That's Chloë Grace Moretz and Ansel Elgort. I'm guessing they got roped into this low-budget murder-mystery with massive paychecks. Them AND Catherine Keener and David Strathairm. (SERIOUSLY, OSCAR?) But, no one cared. I can hardly say I blamed them: this script is TERRIBLE, and there is literally nothing else going on here to stay invested. Every aspect of this film is just.....bad. Moretz/Elgort looked like they were reading a script off screen as they were saying their lines, and they had absolutely no chemistry. Their "romance" was the reason I actually turned this film off about halfway through. The movie establishes a relationship between them with some of the most disgusting logic I have ever seen. In today's #MeToo era, there is no place for this in cinema and, after the film decided to force another sexual encounter down our throats with the same despicable logic, I turned it off. Oh! And there are racial stereotypes here, too! Because of course there are! I still don't know what happened in this film, but.....honestly? I don't care. Neither should you.
Alright, guys! I'm almost done! I can tackle this last one, right? I mean....how bad could it be.....? Oh no, Oscar. You couldn't possibly....
1) I Love You, Daddy
NO, OSCAR. I DON'T WANNA. I DON'T WANNA TALK ABOUT THIS FILM EVER AGAIN. HOW WAS THIS TRAVESTY OK'D BY ANY STUDIO EXECUTIVE? WHO THOUGHT THIS WAS A GOOD IDEA? OSCAR? DO YOU HAVE ANY ANSWERS FOR ME? GAH. Even if you somehow, SOMEHOW, took this film out of the overall context of 2017, you don't get something that's even remotely good. The black and white? Doesn't add anything. Everyone outside of Louis C.K. and Charlie Day (there are some vulgar words I want to throw his way, Oscar) are sleepwalking, and the third act is as rushed as anything I've ever seen.
NO. I'm not done. Because you CAN'T take this out of the context of 2017. (My rage is building, Oscar!) This sorry excuse for a piece of cinema is indescribably misogynistic, and it made me legitimately sick to my stomach as I watched it. For those that don't know, this atrocity centers around Chloe Grace Moretz striking up a relationship with a Woody Allen-like character. A character who's faults are cast aside with "Oh, they're merely accusations, so it's ok, right?" NO. NO IT'S NOT OK. YOU CAN'T WRITE THIS OFF. And the projection in this movie!! Louis C.K. projects his own personal feelings onto the poor women in this film so much, as I guess in his sick, twisted mind he thought the premise of this travesty would be ok because Rose Byrne's character said it was! Ya, that'll do it, right Oscar? WRONG. I don't understand how this script was ok'd by a studio executive. I don't care if it was pre-Harvey Weinstein. Anyone with half of a heart could look at this and say, "Whoa, guys, we need to rethink basically all of this." Then, when you combine it with the fact that it was set to release in 2017, in the new era of #MeToo? Its distributor (The Orchard) deserved to lose every penny it spent backing this thing. There are no redeeming qualities to be found here, and there is no doubt this is the EASY winner for worst film of 2017.
(Takes a deep breath) It's done. It's over! I've made it through! I never want to think about these travesties ever again. You have been warned about these films, folks. Anyway, I'll be back again with MUCH happier posts. Next up is the Fourth (wow, fourth?) Annual Awesome Actor Awards, so stay tuned! And, you know what? I hope you found joy in my sorrow. After all someone's gotta take one for the team, right?
https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/M/MV5BZjBhYmVmZGUtNjA4MC00NjFjLTgxNjEtY2VmYjk3N2FlODlmXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNDg2MjUxNjM@._V1_SX1777_CR0,0,1777,736_AL_.jpg (The Boss Baby)
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https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/M/MV5BZTUxNTE5YzAtOGM1OS00M2FhLTgzMjYtOTc2ZTc5YzU0MTFmXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNjUwNzk3NDc@._V1_.jpg (It Comes at Night)
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http://img.wennermedia.com/social/louis-ck-i-love-you-daddy-2546ddf4-dc9e-4eb7-9dd8-48e88aae27a7.jpg (I Love You, Daddy)
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