Monday, January 18, 2016

The Worst Films of 2015

As a general rule, I tend to avoid seeing particularly awful movies.  After all, I'm not a paid critic (but am interested if you have any jobs or openings-please contact me!), so I get to be very selective about what films I end up seeing in the theaters or at home.  Unless a film is going to be nominated for an Oscar, in fact, I won't see it unless there's some sort of morbid curiosity about the film or I was somewhat curious to begin with, but this year I managed to still hit movies that I considered bad, awful even.  They didn't include some of the leading Razzie contenders (I was smart enough to avoid Pixels and Fifty Shades of Grey is more nominated there because of the uncomfortable anti-woman aspects of the Razzie Awards in general as it's really not that bad of a picture and Dakota Johnson is actually relatively good in the movie), but they all include films you should make a point of avoiding as you peruse your Netflix queues trying to find something new to watch.  Without further adieu, the five worst movies of 2015 (in alphabetical order):

The Gift (dir. Joel Edgerton)

Joel Edgerton's directorial debut is a jumbled mess of ideas.  We get a story with an unnecessary villain, cheap script tricks that undermine the audience's intelligence and reek of lazy writing, and central performances from Jason Bateman and Joel Edgerton that are uninformed and drawn in completely 2-dimensional shades.  The fact that this film randomly got raves on Rotten Tomatoes makes me wonder if most critics have never seen a good horror film so they don't have a touchstone.

The Hateful Eight (dir. Quentin Tarantino)

What would happen if you took one of the most visionary and cinematic directors of the past decade, cast a plethora of talented character actors, and stuck them in a snow-surrounded cabin for two-and-a-half hours?  Before you answer, remember we're going to fill the movie with weirdly anti-feminist ideals, repetitive unfunny sight gags, conversations that go nowhere and have a weirdly plain cadence, and then have the plot go the exact way you'd expect despite over an hour of expository dialogue trying to convince you otherwise.  If your answer was the awful Hateful Eight, you are correct.  Unfortunately that makes you the only winner involved in this situation.

Jurassic World (dir. Colin Treverrow)

A truly awful cinematic experience, Jurassic World is, to quote myself, "the worst thing to happen to a classic movie since Indiana Jones 4."  This film literally takes the original movie, and subtracts all of the charm, character work, and quite frankly realistic special effects and tosses them in the garbage.  When even Chris Pratt and Judy Greer are turning in terrible performances, you need to rethink how you're re-launching a beloved franchise.

Pan (dir. Joe Wright)

I had read the reviews, but quite frankly I couldn't believe them.  Joe Wright, the guy who made Atonement and Anna Karenina, didn't seem capable of making a truly terrible movie, particularly not with Garrett Hedlund and Rooney Mara at the helm.  However, he did to the point that the JM Barrie estate should consider a lawsuit, as the film is atrociously gaudy and bloated, with everyone involved giving shoddy performances.  Plus, that Nirvana music number still makes zilch sense to me.

Stonewall (dir. Roland Emmerich)

I'm not ranking the films on this list, but know that if I was this would be the worst.  Spectacularly homophobic, to the point where everyone involved owes an apology letter to GLAAD, the film is also defiantly anti-sex, as well as filled with a complete disregard for history and one where the entire plot feels created without any sense that the audience has a brain.  Truly one of the worst movies I've seen in years.

There they are-the worst films of 2015.  Do you agree with my assessment, or were you hoping that I'd have something like Woman in Gold (know it was one-spot away) or another film that I perhaps didn't see (Aloha, Paul Blart 2) that showed up?  Share your worst cinematic experiences of 2015 in the comments below!

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