As 2015 comes to a close, I think it’s time that we talk about the movies that matter. No, not “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” or “Brooklyn”, but the movies that sucked. With that in mind, here is the bottom five movies to come out this year.
5.) The Loft
January and February are largely known as Hollywood’s dumping ground months. A period in which mostly crap is released, some of which will make it on worst of the year lists. However, one that not many seem to be mentioning is “The Loft”, a would be thriller in which five men (including Erik Stonestreet from “Modern Family”, as well as Karl Urban and James Marsden) go to a penthouse, only to find the body of a dead woman.
This might be interesting if any of the characters involved were interesting. Instead, what you get are the five most obnoxious men imaginable. So horrible that the characters of “Entourage” would look at them with disgust. That and the treatment of women. If you are a woman in the movie, you are either a lying slut or someone who is seen as meat and little more. If anything, this is a movie that means to be suspenseful, but ultimately comes off as misogynistic, ugly and misanthropic. Why anybody would want to watch this is beyond my comprehension.
When it comes to Johnny Depp, two movies this year get mentioned. One is “Black Mass”, the good but not great Whitey Bulger biopic that featured Depp’s best performance in years. The other is “Mortdecai”, which among other things, has an existence that puzzles me. Outside of maybe Johnny Depp, who the hell is this movie supposed to appeal to?
Depp plays Charlie Mortdecai, a moronic art dealer who must rescue a painting that is believed to contain a bank code for Nazi gold. From then on, shenanigans ensue. By this, I mean the rest of the cast is wasted (Gwyneth Paltrow, Olivia Munn and Ewen McGregor try, but can’t rise above the material), humiliated (poor Paul Bettany has to play Mortdecai’s man servant named Jock Strappe) or there because…well, I dunno why (Jeff Goldblum, who plays a character who, in a stretch, acts a lot like Jeff Goldblum). Then there’s Depp, who indulges in his worst impulses by mugging, preening, speaking in a fake British accent and generally grating on your nerves throughout. If this isn’t his worst performance, I don’t know what is.
The whole thing is really fucking odd, which would be fine if any of it was funny. It isn’t though, and again, I have to wonder why Depp and Lionsgate not only made this movie, but thought that anyone would want to see it. This and the fact that there were actually high expectations for the thing, which the studio thought would lead to a franchise. However, the fact that the thing bombed put the kibosh on that, which at least reminds me that the movie going public, whilst not always making the best decisions, aren’t that dumb.
3.) The Cobbler
Instead of bitching about Adam Sandler or talking about his bad fortunes as of late, I want to talk about director Tom McCarthy. He’s usually an acclaimed filmmaker, whose movies have included “The Station Agent”, “The Visitor”, Win Win” and more recently “Spotlight”. That’s a pretty good resume. That is until you find out that he both directed and co-wrote “The Cobbler”, in which Adam Sandler tried to get serious again, and instead gives us what feels like the Happy Madison equivalent of a prestige picture.
Sandler plays Max Simkin, a cobbler who has worked in his families shop for generations. One day, he finds a pair of shoes that allow him to step into the lives (or shoes, in this case) of others. He tries to make the world a better place-by that, I mean the movie then proceeds to be racist, mean towards the trans-gendered, and at one point, step into the body of a handsome DJ (Dan Stevens) in what almost becomes a rape scene that’s played for laughs. So far, the movie is completely unwatchable, and almost made the bottom spot.
Then the conclusion happens.
Basically, Max discovers :SPOILER that his father (Dustin Hoffman) is not only alive, but that good old Max is actually part of a lineage of cobblers who must work to make the world a better place. This all really happens by the way. What for the most part is a painfully bad indie movie becomes a superhero origin story by the end. SPOILER: This ending almost makes the whole ordeal worth watching, but then you remember everything that happens beforehand, and that canceled it off. Seriously, just avoid this the same way you should avoid Sandler’s new Netflix deal. Or anything he’s done for the past five years.
Last year, you may remember that number two on the list was a movie called “The Prince”, which featured a visibly bored Bruce Willis delivering the worst performance of his career. Well, the same director (Brian A. Smith), distributors (Lionsgate and Grindstone Entertainment) and yes, Willis, as back and worse than ever with “Vice”. The end result is the mix of “Westworld”, “Blade Runner” and unpleasant undertones (this movie really likes to see women getting tortured and raped) that you always knew you never wanted.
How bad is “Vice”? Well, not only is it worse than “The Prince”, but Willis delivers an even worse performance. His entire role was clearly shot withing a few days in a single set (his office), and throughout, his disdain for the material and the people he is working for couldn’t be more clear. It’s genuinely depressing to watch. The fact that a lot of the movies he’s been doing lately are a lot like this-horrible Redbox filler that’s clearly meant for the least demanding consumer. At this point, the man needs an intervention of some sorts.
The rest of it doesn’t fare well either. The whole movie looks hideous at times, all shot and edited like it’s from a kid coming down from a pixie stick rush. The whole thing is shot in prominent blues (as you can see above) but it feels hollow instead of artistic. It also has the worst security guards and henchmen I’ve seen this year-a bunch of galoots that couldn’t stop the films escaped robot (Ambyr Childers) if they had all the training in the world. Hell, I bet they have trouble tying their own shoes as well.
1.) The Human Centipede III: Final Sequence
What’s weird about the first “Human Centipede” is that, for however outrageous it’s central premise was (evil doctor sews a group of people together ass to mouth, and you know what someone’s eventually gotta do that comes out of their rectum…), it actually showed a little restraint. Granted, it was still disgusting and tasteless, but director Tom Six didn’t want to shower the audience in a flood of gore, bodily fluids or fecal matter. Also, whilst not a good movie, it at least occasionally had moments of pitch black humor that somehow managed to work.
Fast forward five years and one sequel later, and the third (and fortunately, last) entry in the franchise has nothing in restraint, but is possibly the most I have seen a horror movie actively hate it’s audience. In place of anything resembling wit is empty headed satire that regularly jabs at the state of Texas (and former president George W. Bush) with all the subtly of multiple sledgehammers. It’s ultimately the cinematic equivalent of this happening to you:
So, what you you get outside of the expected gore and poop jokes? Well, you get rampant racism, with the prison warden (the original’s Dieter Laser) regularly using racial slurs to describe inmates. Also, sexism and misogyny in porn star Bree Olson being cast simply so she can be sexually abused on a regular basis. Oh, but let’s not forget the attempts at being meta, as the whole thing (like the second one, which I have avoided) takes place as a movie within a movie-that is, the characters are inspired by the first movie. Even the film’s director, Tom Six shows up as himself.
I genuinely can’t think of a worse movie than this. Like, only the worst of image boards like 4Chan could probably come up with something worse than this. To add to it all, the whole thing feels like it wants everyone-from those who have to watch it to even fans of the prior movies-to absolutely hate it. The movie is nothing more than an empty trolling attempt. Something that exists only to infuriate.
You see the GIF above? Don’t let that happen to you by watching this. For some of us, it’s unfortunately too late.