As 2017 comes to an end and we wrap it up, let’s talk movies. No, not such films as “Wonder Woman” , “Ladybird” and “The Disaster Artist”. I mean the ones that suck. The worst movies of the year. With that, let’s put this baby to rest.
Sometimes, a movie makes it on “worst of” lists not just because of their quality, but because everything about the endeavor feels pointless. Case in point, the remake of the 90’s film “Flatliners”. Was anybody asking for a new take on this story? Even if it was from the director of the original “Girl With the Dragon Tattoo” and the writer of “Source Code”? Even if it starred talented actors such as Ellen Paige and Diego Luna? Anyone?
Judging by reviews, Box Office and the fact that I actually watched it, the answer is “no.”
Filled with weird gaps in logic (Why are all these weird things starting to happen to the protagonists? Answer: I dunno.) flatly (pun partially intended) directed, and ultimately too boring for it’s own good, this is the kind of thing that makes you wonder why you even bother to watch movies in the first place. Even casting the original’s Kiefer Sutherland in a role feels pointless. His character is uninteresting, and outside of whoever was clamoring for this kind of thing, why is anyone supposed to care? It’s a movie that seems to wallow in it’s own pointlessness. Just watch the original-it ain’t a classic, but at least it feels like it has a reason to exist.
4.) Once Upon a Time in Venice
In a way, it almost feels like cheating to include yet another movie that barely saw release in which Bruce Willis is being lazy. It’s putting forth more effort than he has in years. I’m sure that even if the “Death Wish” remake were to make a good to decent amount of money, it wouldn’t propel him to give a shit.
Until then, we have the would be comedic action caper “Once Upon a Time in Venice”, in which he continues to degrade himself for money by barely emoting or skateboarding naked with something clung between his butt checks. Or John Goodman and Jason Mamoa inexplicably showing up because…I dunno, maybe they owe someone a favor. Oh, and the fat dude from “Borat” showing up in a Speedo because the director thinks that’s funny.
To Bruce Willis: I know there’s no way in hell you’re reading this, but I wanna say this anyway. Either start giving a shit about the movies you appear in or get the fuck outta dodge and retire already. Even your fellow currently going Direct to Video On Demand actor still puts forth an effort.
Speaking of actors who are in a bad movie because they probably owe somebody a favor, there’s…well, there’s “Pottersville.” It has a great to good cast: Michael Shannon! Ron Pearlman! Christina Hendricks! Judy Greer! Ian McShane! Thomas Lennon! All staring in something that damn near beggars belief and description, but here it goes.
Shannon stars against type as a good hearted store owner whose married to Hendricks. One night, he discovers his wife is having an affair with the town sheriff (Pearlman) and lo and behold, it turns out they are members of the furry fandom. This drives our protagonist up the hill, so he does what any rational man would do: he gets piss drunk and dresses up in a mascot outfit.
This being the kind of idiotic town that is found in awful comedies such as this, everyone is convinced that they found Bigfoot. This leads to a TV monster hunter pretending to be Australian (Lennon) to try and kill the bugger, and an actual Bigfoot hunter (McShane) popping up as well.
I still have no clue what in God’s name I watched. A weird attempt at mixing Capra style sentimentality, broad comedy, weird cultural references (really, how many people actually give a shit about the furry fandom at this point? I mean, you do your thing and whatnot, but I thought everybody moved on) and what sometimes feels like awkward attempts at Hallmark/Lifetime network schmaltz, “Pottersville” is easily the weirdest fucking movie to come out this year. I almost want to recommend it simply for the fact that it’s so bizarre, and is the kind of modern bad movie that people will be talking about years later. There literally is nothing else like it to come out this year.
Also, poor Christina Hendricks.
Do you remember watching the show “C.H.I.P.S.”? Did you ever watch it thinking to yourself thinking “You know, this would be better with more homophobia.” Or if Ponch was a sex addict who at one point opined about eating ass? Or if people constantly said fuck? Does any of that sound like the kind of C.H.I.P.S. you’ve always wanted? Then good news, this is the movie for you.
For me? It’s unwatchable. Every joke is crude, raunchy and as lazy as they come. The performances (especially the leads) range from over the top to the point of anger inducing to embarrassed to be there (Mya Rudolph in particular seems like she doesn’t want to be in this.) It’s “edgy”, which means it has gory violence that’s meant to be funny (admitting, something that I have laughed at in comedies in the past) and canned “poor taste” gags that feel both predictable and pointless. Like they think because there’s a penis on screen, the movie is automatically funny.
The strangest thing about this is the fact that their had been talk about it for a while, and that star/director Dax Shepherd at times seemed to see this as a passion project. So if your idea of a passion project is the kind of thing where someone gets a dick shoved in their face, then here you go.
1.) The Last Face
Speaking of passion projects gone wrong…
I tend not to get annoyed when celebrities talk about politics and social issues-with a few exceptions. One of the biggest examples for me is Sean Penn. A self righteous, self promoting, hypocritical alleged wife beater and all around asshole who thinks he’s one of the most important human beings alive and that everything he says and does is the most important thing anyone could commit.
I mention this because last year at the Cannes film festival, his latest directorial effort “The Last Face” debuted to nothing but sheer vitriol and derisiveness. So, when it was barely released in theaters this year and tried to get by with the help of On Demand services, could it actually be as bad as they said it was? I mean, genuinely great films such as “Pulp Fiction”, “Taxi Driver” and “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me” were booed at Cannes. Could it just be hyperbole that it was this bad.
No, it is so much worse. It is the Sean Penn of movies.
Here, Javier Bardem and Charlize Theron play two doctors working for Doctors Without Borders or whatever, trying to aid people in war torn Africa. I mention this because they are totally in love and fucking, which really is one of the things this movie is about. Sure, technically it’s supposed to be about the social and political changes within the country, but what it’s really about is the love between two pretty people who fuck during weird tooth brushing foreplay, all while the movie inserts scenes of black bodies being killed and mutilated in graphic detail, but it’s not really about such injustices. It’s really about a pretty white woman and her hunky boyfriend.
To add insult to injury, everything about the movie is misguided. The overqualified cast does what they can, but can’t escape the horrible dialogue they are given. People quote the Red Hot Chili Peppers without a hint of irony. The score is overwrought and painful, and has Eddie Vedder as one of the musicians delivering backing vocals. It’s all directed like we are watching the world’s most violent perfume commercial. Worst of all, it doesn’t really have anything to say. I mentioned what the movie is really about already, but the mere fact that such a sappy love story takes place during such a tumultuous, bloody time is a slap to the face for anyone who suffered and died during this period.
That’s why it’s the “Sean Penn of movies.” It’s an obnoxious, albeit well meaning but misguided and all around insulting experience that insults the very issues it wants to address. The kind of thing that thinks it is really important, and gets angry when you don’t recognize it as such. Fuck every single thing about this movie.