Sunday, January 22, 2017

John's 5 Worst Films of 2016

It's time to start recapping the year (what?-the cinematic year doesn't end until the Oscars roll their heads into view) and as a result, we're going to look first at the worst of the year-my annual list of the five biggest disappointments.  I'm not someone that is paid to do this site (it's a labor of love...though I'm not married to this idea so if you know someone...), so you won't see films I was forced to watch like Zoolander 2, Suicide Squad, or London Has Fallen on this list as I pay for the movies out of my own pocket.  Still, that doesn't mean that I can't be susceptible to bad judgment, and as a result here are (alphabetically) the five worst movies of 2016:

The Bronze (dir. Bryan Buckley)

Somehow I'm supposed to take a deeply unlikable Melissa Rauch cussing like a sailor for 100 minutes and then suddenly supposed to root for her despite the fact that she spends most of the movie attempting to destroy a young girl's promise and dreams?  Sebastian Stan's natural charisma cannot save this dreck-truly an awful, cruel movie that never remotely attempts to be as funny as it's convinced it's being.

Finding Dory (dir. Andrew Stanton)

Oh Pixar, what have you done?  While it's probably still better than Cars 2, man was this a failure.  A movie that never should have been made as it's clear that Dory is a side character, it feels at best like a retread of the original, and at worst like a gigantic cash grab from Disney, trading in our memories of the lovely 2003 film for something cheap and disposable.  A true shame, and a major black mark on a once impeccable record that looks more filled with failures these days than successes.

The Jungle Book (dir. Jon Favreau)

Speaking of's what happens when you make another gigantic cash grab off of a beloved film of many an adult's childhood, and then destroy it with wonky CGI, lazy casting, and thin storytelling that never really sinks the basket.  I was intensely bored for all but one scene of the movie (Scarlett Johansson's Kaa being the only reason to praise this film), and particularly with that hammy climax-wow, what a misfire.

Rules Don't Apply (dir. Warren Beatty)

What would happen if you took one of the greatest directors of the past fifty years, took him largely out of filmmaking for fifteen years, and then had him make a film about a subject an equally impressive director covered quite well during that absence?  Apparently what you'd get is a movie that takes what might be an iconic movie star's last dance at the cinema and turns it into an excruciatingly boring affair, led by two leads that lack chemistry and in the case of Lily Collins, any discernible acting talent.

Sully (dir. Clint Eastwood)

It says something about Sully that somehow it made Finding Dory the second least necessary film of 2016.  Seriously-who thought this was a particularly good idea to greenlight?  The film is comically bad and poorly drawn, with Anna Gunn playing a ridiculously over-the-top villain (Clint Eastwood's politics get in the way of his moviemaking here), while Laura Linney literally just talks on the phone in a hushed and worried tone the entire movie.  An admittedly thrilling crash scene cannot remotely save this film from being an abject disaster.

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