2018 In Film Part 1: The Bad

Okay, the title is oversimplifying it a lot. These are just films I didn’t like, some aren’t necessarily bad, but were more a victim of hype. There’s going to be a few (and I can guess which ones) which a lot of people will disagree with, but taste is subjective so here goes, if you disagree, let us know with which ones. How I chose what to go in this was simple: these are the films that even if they were on tv and I had nothing to watch, I’d unplug my television and leave the house just so I don’t accidentally watch it. Oh, and there’s plenty of spoilers, so, be wary of that. In alphabetical order because, well how the darn else would I do it?

Breaking In

I see what they were trying to do. But it didn’t really work for me. The script really let it down, as did the directing. If this was a made-for-tv movie it would have been fine, but it really lacked the finesse needed for a wide cinematic release. If I didn’t have a list, I would have completely forgot I saw this film, it left no impression on me.

Original review here

+Gabrielle Union is fantastic in it.

-It looks flat and dull. Everything looks simple. Potential for stand-out scenes, ones which really stick with you, this potential is not lived up to.

The Commuter 

Have you seen a Liam Neeson film? Then you’ve seen this. Really standard fare with nothing new to it.

Original review here

+It does what it does well.

-But you’ve seen it all before.

The Darkest Minds

Similar to The Commuter. Nothing here hasn’t been done before, and done better. I was especially disappointed by it because when I first saw the trailer I thought it was some kind of X-Men body horror film, and not only was it not that, it was this. Incredibly bland, the kind of film you forget about very quickly after leaving the cinema. The best YA movie of 2000’s (just a shame it came out in 2018).

Original review here

+The intended audience will probably love it.

-A romance story where the romance doesn’t really work

Downsizing

Oh dear this was a mess. Way too long, It doesn’t make the most of the concept. Every single choice the story takes seems to be the wrong one, and we end up following possibly the most bland character in the movie. It has a lot of potential and briefly flirts with great ideas; the idea that a government is forcibly shrinking dissidents for example is a dream for a dystopian nightmare. In this, it’s used to cause a romance plot.

Original review here

+Hong Chau. Everything about her, her performance, her character, everything about it is fantastic. Shame she’s not the main character as her story is much better than the one we actually got.

-So much wasted potential.

capture7
Although it does win the award for “most random appearance from a cast member of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend”

The Equalizer 2

Did you like the first one? Then you probably won’t like this tbh. You know how sometimes a film is really successful and becomes a franchise? Each film seems progressively less like the ethos of the original, and then by the fifth one it seems to just have a slight essence of the original. Like the characters are there, but the motivations are completely different and make no sense. That’s what this one is like, like the 4th sequel to a film.

Original review here

+The sound editing. Weird thing to praise but just like the first one, it’s superb in that department.

-Waaaaay too many sub-plots.

Father Figures

This film could be on netflix right now, in fact it probably is. I wouldn’t know as I hope to never ever see it again. Everything about it seems like it was made in the 90s. It had no nuance, no cleverness, really nothing to recommend.

Original review here

+Katie Aselton’s character shares a great scene with Ed Helms, full of warmth and joy and cosiness.

-Completely pointless. I can’t imagine it being someones life ambition to make this.

The Happytime Murders

Oh dear. I really wanted to like this. It looked like it would be funny, subversive, and incredibly different to anything else. It’s none of those things. The jokes are all waaaaay too obvious, and most of them aren’t even really relevant to the film, they could be put in almost any cop film. It doesn’t do enough with the premise. And I don’t say this often, but this film would have been much better as a musical.

Original review here

+Some very funny moments.

-Nowhere near enough, and the rest of the jokes are very “first draft” ones which should have been improved. Note to the writers; just having puppets either say “fuck” or do fucks, doesn’t equal a joke.

Red Sparrow

Yup, this film existed this year. It has naked Jennifer Lawrence, was released this year, yet when was the last time you heard it being talked about? There’s a reason for that, it’s painfully dull with a script that is not as clever as it thinks it is, or as it needs to be for this genre. The dialogue is the the epitome of “telling, not showing” and despite it being over 2 hours long, barely anything about it will stay with you.

Original review here

+An effective throwback to a genre that doesn’t really exist any more

-For good reason.

The Secret Of Marrowbone

A film so bland I actually skipped past it in the list. A mess of genres which didn’t work at all, and had way too many twists. Having just one of them would have made it a much better film

Original review here

+Some good ideas. And one of the twists is really good.

-Uneven in terms of genre. Has no idea what type of film it is.

Truth Or Dare

I read reviews of this before I saw it, calling it one of the worst horror films they’ve seen in a while. “surely it can’t be that bad?” I thought, wrongly. Nothing about it works, it’s too sanitised, too poorly scripted, and you don’t give a shit about the characters. The same mistakes a lot of bad modern horror films make, really.

Original review here

+REALLY good performances. Like, REALLY good.

-That ending.

Tully

This is a film a lot of people will fall in love with. It just wasn’t for me. The characters didn’t appeal to me (and in some cases actively annoyed me), there were too many moments which seemingly were there to pad out the plot, and the ending will either entrance you or annoy me, it annoyed me.

Original review here

+Some of the dialogue is very funny.

-“that person is a figment of your imagination” endings just make me annoyed.

Winchester

Wanted to like this, I love Helen Mirren (as everybody does). It was just really boring though. Too many scenes which weren’t needed, and the scares were repetitive and stopped being effective the third time they did the same one.

Original review here

+FANTASTIC premise. Deserving of a much better film.

-Doesn’t make the most of the premise. Entirely forgettable.

 

 

Advertisements

Father Figures (2018)

This is one of the first films this year where I knew absolutely nothing going in. Didn’t know who was in it, what it was about, didn’t even really know the title. After watching it, it turns out there’s a reason for that. It’s quite dull. Nothing about it really works, the performances are flat, the characters are badly written to the point where they’re basically just really annoying and easy to dislike, and the story takes too long to go nowhere. I mean, it’s technically a film, but only in the same way that a Pot Noodle is technically food. I mean, it has moving images which are projected, and there is recorded sound that goes along with it, and you watch it in a cinema. But in terms of emotion and storytelling, it’s lacking. You know what it reminds me of? There was a period in the 70’s where it seemed like every British sitcom (Porridge, On The Buses, Steptoe and Son etc) got a movie. Normally they’d contain sub-par writing and they’d just use an increased budget to do an episode with lots of exterior shots. The stories would basically be fluff and it would be hard to imagine it being somebody’s dream to tell that story. That’s this film. It also features an inexplicable cameo by someone who won’t be known by anybody outside of the one country the film is set. I mean, who is Terry Bradshaw? I’ve read his Wikipedia page and I’m still not entirely sure. It doesn’t help that they have him playing himself, then have Ving Rhames playing a fictional team-mate of his. For someone who knows nothing about American Football (from what I can tell it’s about them trying to put an egg in a really impressive Super Bowl, presumably to make an omelette later on) this is quite weird and takes you out of the movie.

Now, back to the performances. Ed Helms seems like he’s playing a character that was written for Ben Stiller that he turned down. He’s hinted at having anger issues but this isn’t really explored besides people saying “hey, remember your anger issues, stop being angry”. Christopher Walken seemed to be sleepwalking through his performance,  and similar accusations could be levied at Owen Wilson. There are two exceptions to this: Glenn Close has one scene in particular where you’re reminded of just how truly great an actress she is, and Katie Aselton is the highlight of the film by far. It’s not just her performance (although that is great, she plays her character perfectly), it’s the way her character is written too. There’s a five-ten minute scene of her and Ed Helms characters interacting drunkenly, and it’s full of warmth, emotion, and laughs. All of which are missing from the rest of the film. This is probably one of the only times I can think where a romance subplot in a movie saved it. It was the only period in the film where I was completely invested in the characters in front of me. Shame it didn’t last.

I could lie and say this movie had potential, but I can’t bring myself to do it. Outside of that one scene, there was nothing I really enjoyed about this. I suppose this is why it wasn’t advertised, and also why the release date changed from November 2016 to January 2017, and then changed again the same month as the intended release. Apparently, it’s the sixth worst opening of all-time for a film released in over 2,500 theatres. Never like to see something like that, and it makes me sad that it happened, but I cannot really defend this film. I can’t even really say it tried, as it’s so cliche and unoriginal that I don’t even think it did that. About thirty minutes into this film this couple sitting near me received a phone call saying their child had been injured at school and needed picking up, they were the lucky ones.