Wednesday, January 30, 2019

DrogeMiester's Top 10 WORST Movies of 2018

Just recently I revealed my list of my personal favorite movies of 2018. And now to officially close off the year, it's time to dive into my least favorite movies. As I briefly mentioned in my best of 2018 list, I saw fewer movies in 2018 than I have in previous years. I could dive into the reasons for that. It was a bit of a strange year for me. But nevertheless, I do not use this blog as a personal journal, so the specifics of that aren't important. However, I detail that a little more here because the consequences are more prevalent in this worst of the year list. Despite me not seeing as many movies, I tried to catch as many positive highlights as I could, which is why I feel quite comfortable with what I came up with, even if there still might be some gems that I missed that could've made the list. However, the movies I sacrificed most often were the bad movies. Yes, I do like doing my due diligence by informing my friends of why movies were bad. Those can be fun reviews, even if they weren't fun movie-watching experiences. But there was a lot of them this year where I saw all of the reaction and simply decided to pass. Some of them I meant to catch up on later, but I just never did. And that makes this specific list a bit tricky, so I'm going to do something slightly different.

Before I give you the final results of my worst movies of the year, here is a long list of "dishonorable mentions." Movies that would've been strong candidates for this list, but didn't make the cut because I chose not to see them. I have them listed in alphabetical order:

- "The 15:17 to Paris"
- "Action Point"
- "The Darkest Minds"
- "Fifty Shades Freed"
- "God's Not Dead: A Light in Darkness"
- "Gotti"
- "The Happytime Murders"
- "Holmes & Watson"
- "Mortal Engines"
- "Peter Rabbit"
- "The Possession of Hannah Grace"
- "The Predator"
- "Red Sparrow"
- "Robin Hood"
- "Sherlock Gnomes"
- "Show Dogs"
- "Slender Man"
- "Strangers: Prey at Night"
- "Truth or Dare"
- "Welcome to Marwen"
- "Winchester"

Yeah, that's some pretty awful trash there, based on what I've heard from critics and audiences alike. It seems like most of those are the bottom of the barrel films from 2018. So with none of those making this list, what does that turn this list into? Well, essentially this is more or less a list of the most disappointing movies of 2018. I could have that reflected in the title of this blog, but for the sake of branding, I'm going to keep the title the same as I've had it since 2013. Just know that the movies that made this list are those that I chose to give a chance to for one reason or another, but they ended up breaking my heart. And oftentimes that can be a worse experience than knowing a movie is bad going into it.

10- Ocean's 8

I'm coming out swinging with this one, sure to already offend half of my friends with just the first entry on this list. So let me make this clear. I love the idea of more female representation in Hollywood. But I'm not going to give a movie an automatic pass just because it was progressive, especially when this was such a lazy attempt to cash in on progressive trends. You can't just copy and paste the screenplay for "Ocean's Eleven," with the only real difference being female characters instead of male characters, and expect me to be pleased just because there were females on the screen. Yeah, sure, our ladies were having a lot of fun with the movie, but I was somewhat bored to tears because there was no substance. The heist genre is one that's been done a lot and I can enjoy a good heist movie, but you've gotta at least try to be unique and original. Give me good characters. Give me solid motivation. Give me suspense. Make me believe that they might not pull this off. Throw in some twists and turns that I didn't see coming. In other words, give me the movie "Widows." Because, yes, that was a female-led heist movie from 2018 that was fantastic, yet sadly didn't get nearly enough attention. It made me completely justify throwing "Ocean's 8" out to the dogs where it belongs.

9- The Nutcracker and the Four Realms

Sometimes I think Disney comes up with good ideas as to what will make a great movie. Other times I think they're just throwing things at the wall to see what sticks. If they turn everything they can get their hands on into a live-action movie, some of them are going to work, giving Disney things to ride with. "The Nutcracker" was not one of those things that stuck. No one asked for this movie. No one wanted it to happen. No one was excited when the trailers were released. No one saw it when it came out. I find it interesting to note that "The Nutcracker" ballet was not an initial success, but it ended up catching on because the music that went with it was a huge success. And I think that kinda holds true to today. Sure, there are exceptions, but if you asked a random person on the street to sing "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies," I'm sure they could do it without thinking too hard. But if you asked that same person to then recount the story behind the song, could they do it? Probably not. Because no one cares. And would it really mean anything if you were to tell people that Disney was making a sequel to the original "Nutcracker" story? Nope. Especially when it comes off as a crossover between "Chronicles of Narnia" meets "Alice in Wonderland," but significantly worse than both.

8- Maze Runner: The Death Cure

Here's of the winner of the "Wait.... THAT came out this year?" award. Because, seriously, does anyone even remember that they finished off the "Maze Runner" franchise in 2018? I didn't. For some reason it felt like this movie came out two or three years ago, but then when I saw it on my list from this year, I was like, REALLY? I had to go back and read my initial review to remember what I even thought about this movie and I was rather amused by the fact that I predicted in said review that I would completely forget about this movie. There's one prediction that I actually got right. Apparently I claimed in said review that there were entertaining moments scattered throughout the movie, but the fact that we're now about a year later and nearly the whole movie is just gone from my memory I think is quite telling. I remember enjoying "The Maze Runner," too. Or at least the first two-thirds of it. But then the ending of it was super disappointing and it was followed up by two sequels that just do not stick in my brain at all. Because, yeah, does anyone remember the "Scorch Trials," either? I don't. There's a reason why this dystopian genre has died off. No one was able to figure out how to make fresh content and thus the world simply stopped caring.

7- Bird Box

I read a story in my local news where a Utah girl crashed her car because she was participating in the "Bird Box" challenge. Because there are apparently real people all over Earth who think driving blindfolded is a good idea in order to get their 10 seconds of internet fame. This is worse than the Tide Pod challenge in my book because at least when you eat Tide Pods, the only person you are putting in danger is yourself as opposed to you and everyone around you. So yeah, this story just did it for me. The whole "Bird Box" phenomenon is one of the worst things to happen to 2018. Granted, I can't blame Netflix themselves for the challenge or the non-stop internet memes, but I can blame them for distributing a really stupid horror movie. The movie sets up a lot of bizarre scenarios, but I don't think the filmmakers even knew how to answer them. So they didn't. This movie leaves just about every story thread unresolved because I don't think there ever was a resolution. I left the movie feeling super confused as to what the whole point was. It was also not scary at all, so I don't even think it qualifies for the horror genre. And there are zero thrills, so I can't call it a thriller either. It's just a festering piece of garbage that exists and is causing teens to potentially kill themselves.

6- Dr. Seuss' The Grinch

I bet you all knew this was coming. The second I heard that Illumination was making an animated Grinch movie, my heart immediately sunk. And this was several years ago. Never once did I even think this was going to be a good idea. Then the trailers came out and all I saw was a bunch of childish slapstick humor that didn't make me laugh. As it turns out, said humor is the funniest and most creative elements of the movie. And they weren't the least bit funny and creative. Personally I'm a huge fan of the Jim Carrey Grinch movie. They took a short story and brilliantly expanded it into a feature length film with great characters, lots of humor, tons of emotion and a huge shot of Christmas spirit. Illuminations Grinch takes a short story and drags their feet for the entire run time as it was apparent that they had no idea how to convert this into a full length movie. So half the movie is Cindy Lue Who scheming to trap Santa Claus so she can tell him in person about how great her mother is. The other half is the Grinch scheming to steal Christmas. You know, the sequence that is told in a three-minute montage in the other ones? This is the most boring, pointless piece of Christmas garbage out there. Let's please not let this become a holiday classic.

5- The Ritual

In case you didn't notice, I included a Netflix original in this list with "Bird Box." Given that streaming is the future of cinema, Netflix counts in my book for either of these lists. I try not to get too carried away with including them on here, but I had to include a second one on this list because this one was a really confusing experience for me. And it was a movie from TIFF that was released theatrically in the U.K. in 2017 before Netflix put it out in the U.S. in February 2018. So that totally counts, right? I like myself a well-made horror film and this one had a lot of positive buzz coming with it from people who are legitimate fans of horror. So I rather excitedly checked it out because I was expecting this to be a hidden gem that I could brag about to my friends who are also horror fans. But I got nothing. Four friends go on a hike because a fifth friend recently got shot and killed and he had suggested they go on a hike. So they go on this hike to honor his memory. And what we're given is four people all making cliche, horror movie mistakes as they wander into a dark forest in order to take a "shortcut." We've seen this a thousand times before, executed much better in many of those instances. To top it off, the ending was really stupid, which is something everyone seems to agree on.

4- The Nun

"The Conjuring" franchise is one that I have slightly mixed feelings on. The two movies in the main saga are excellently crafted horror films, but annoy me slightly because they try way too hard to shove the true story angle down my throat when in reality the whole thing is hogwash. but despite that, I still mostly enjoyed both movies. Although I skipped "Annabelle" because no one on Earth claimed it was worth seeing, the prequel "Annabelle: Creation" was a lot of fun. So I expected a decent horror film out of "The Nun," especially since the demon Nun character was one of the best parts of "The Conjuring 2." I don't know what went wrong, though, because nothing about this movie worked. Said demon Nun barely shows up in her own movie and when she did, she made me laugh instead of being scared. The rest of the movie is boring demon mythology that shows less creativity than a filler episode of "Supernatural," topped with unexplained occurrences that hinted that the filmmakers didn't know the rules of the own movie and lots of pathetic jump scares or loud noises. It's a hollow movie with a great setup, but no substance whatsoever. It made me sad that a movie in "The Conjuring" franchise would be this lazy and dull, forgetting everything that made "The Conjuring" movies good. 

3- Pacific Rim Uprising

When it comes to action films, I feel that this movie was the easiest to get right. "Pacific Rim" is undoubtedly a really stupid movie. But it's also extremely self-aware and thus becomes one of the best bad movies because Guillermo del Toro knows how to harness your inner 9-year-old as you enjoy watching giant robots fight giant monsters all movie. All I wanted with the sequel was more giant robots fighting giant monsters. But since Guillermo del Toro was too busy winning best picture with "The Shape of Water," they hired Steven DeKnight, who had never worked on a feature length film, to take the reigns and he showed complete incompetence. The Kaiju don't even show up in this movie until 1 hour 20 minutes into the movie and the run time is only 1 hour 51 minutes to begin with. Said final battle is not that interesting and most of it was shown in the trailers, anyways. The rest of this movie is over an hour of horrendously awful characters and terrible plot. Poor John Boyega was trapped in a movie where no one else seemed to care and not even he was able to do anything to save it. All I wanted with this movie was an enjoyably dumb experience. But there was nothing was nothing enjoyable about this. Just a really dumb movie that left me sad. 

2- A Wrinkle in Time

I almost feel really bad putting "A Wrinkle in Time" at No. 2 on this list. When I first put this together, I sat and looked at "A Wrinkle in Time" almost being my least favorite movie of the year and I didn't seem right at first glance. But then I did my best to recall my viewing experience, I re-read my review on it, and I examined all the movies around it on the list. And yeah, it's strange, but this is exactly where this belongs. "A Wrinkle in Time" doesn't make me angry when I think about it. It's not offensive at all. It just has no soul and no life. The setup is as basic as you can get. The journey we went on was part boring, part weird. There was a lot of things that just happened for the sake of them happening and it didn't seem like the writers or director really kept track of the rules of this universe because a lot of it was rather inconsistent. The visual effects were good at times. But then there were times where it looked like a weather man standing in front of a green screen And on top of all this, young Storm Reid and Chris Pine are the only two actors that seemed to care. This is a perplexing disaster because with the cast and crew on board, this should've at least been passable. But it's just an all around mess that makes me think that no one involved even cared about this.

1- Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

Or as I like to call it, "Jurassic World: A Fallen Franchise." As I've made rather well known in this post, there's a lot of bad movies that I skipped. However, despite all of that, I am rather confident that even if I had seen every movie that came out in 2018, "Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom" would still remain my least favorite movie of the year. Are there movies out there that might be more poorly made on a technical scale with worse acting and what not? Perhaps. But "Fallen Kingdom" is a movie that made me completely give up on a franchise that I once called a personal favorite of mine. After seeing this, I threw in the towel and I now hereby publicly renounce my fandom from the "Jurassic" franchise. Saying that hurts me. I feel betrayed. I feel sad. I feel my blood boiling when I think of this movie and what it did to me. Colin Trevorow took something that was so near and dear to my heart, spit in its face, crumbled it up and threw it in the trash with his two "Jurassic World" movies and I'm left standing here feeling like I got stabbed in the back. And for that I feel that this is well worth the worst of the year honor. "But Adam... DINOSAURS!!!!!!" Do you know what? I don't care. The novelty of seeing a dinosaur on screen has worn off. I need some substance to go with it. "Fallen Kingdom" takes a once glorious franchise and transforms it into a complete joke.

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