Laters, Baby: The Worst Movies of 2015

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Hello everyone. These are the worst movies of 2015. Now, before you say “Oh but what about Pixels?” well let me just say that I didn’t see Pixels. These are the worst movies I decided to watch for whatever reason, be that because I thought they would be good, I thought they would be so bad they would amuse me, or because I am a masochist.
So, the first movie I’ll talk about is the first bad movie I saw in 2015 (and one of the first movies I saw in 2015 bad OR good): The Lazarus Effect.

I think that The Lazarus Effect was a pretty awful movie regardless of the cast, but the fact that I like most of the actors in it really makes it even worse. Olivia Wilde and Mark Duplass can act. Donald Glover is a talented rapper and a very funny comedian (and a decent-enough actor, as he proved last year in The Martian). Evan Peters is. Well. I liked him as Quicksilver…

The plot is uninspired. The acting isn’t even cheesy, it’s just bad. The movie isn’t the least bit scary. It’s just another movie to add to the pile of shitty modern horror. Which is sad, as this year gave us quite a few great horror films. Including Creep, also starring Mark Duplass.

Now, that was a little introductory entry. So here’s what I’m going to do next. I’m going to talk about the movies that could have been good. The ones I was cautiously excited for. The Lazarus Effect was one, and that turned out terribly. These are my biggest disappointments of 2015…

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I have spoken at length about The Danish Girl, both on my blog, and in real life to the people I discuss movies with. This movie isn’t poorly-shot. It is VERY pretty. It has wonderful production design and costume design. The reason I found this movie to be so bad is that it just isn’t what it should be.

This could have been a great mainstream movie about transgender people, and instead what we get is a pretty boring, stereotypical, massive oversimplification of the life of one of the first transwomen, Lili Elbe.

Transwomen and cisgender women, to my knowledge, don’t touch their faces that much. It’s really not great for your skin to touch it that much. The movie really fetishizes the face-touching.

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YO I’M ABOUT TO SPOIL SOUTHPAW SO FAIR WARNING
I love boxing movies. The Boxer starring Daniel Day-Lewis. The Fighter with Marky Mark. Rocky I, IV, & VI. Creed. Boxing is one of the only sports that I think you can make an interesting movie out of. So, being the Gyllenhaal-ic that I am, I was very excited for Southpaw. Jake Gyllenhaal was great. 50 Cent was great. Oona Laurence was very good. The directing, cinematography, and all of the other technical stuff was great. But by the devil was the plot awful. This movie had the most underwhelming, overwrought, melodramatic, cliched, boring, laughable, STUPID story I have ever seen in a boxing movie besides Rocky V.

It’s just an endless chain of terrible shit happening to one man.

AGAIN GUYS *SPOILERS* BUT THE MOVIE SUCKED SO YOU SHOULDN’T CARE

So we have ourselves a Boxer, who is crazy, and boy howdy is he a nut woo hoo oh man did I mention he is NUTS?! Anyway so he has this little feud going with this other boxer and his people bring a gun and someone else brings a gun and Jake Gyllenhaal’s wife gets shot. And he’s sad, so he turns to alcoholism and pills. Then his manager drops him and he loses all his money. Then his daughter gets taken away. Then he has to find a new apartment because they take his mansion away. Then he meets some old boxer and convinces him to help him train or something but then the old boxer is an alcoholic. Then we meet this young like. 12 year old up and comer who gives the boxer’s life meaning, but then he dies, obviously. Then his daughter says “I wish you died instead of mom” and I laughed out loud in the theater. Then everything goes back and everyone is happy again through a series of events I forget.

Seriously I’m not making up a single thing in that plot. It’s just a series of bad things happening, to the point that it becomes hilarious.

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Okay, I didn’t really have THAT much hope for Attack on Titan, but the Titans looked cool in the trailer and I really like the anime.

Turns out, the only good thing about the movie is that the titans look cool. The rest ofthe movie is just weird Japanese soap opera crap. There is a giant baby though.

Just… stick with the anime…

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The worst superhero movie of the year is definitely Fant4stic starring Kate Mara’s reshoot wig.

Let’s see if I can put this into perspective. Say that this movie is made up of eggs. An egg for each member of the cast (Toby Kebbel, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan, Miles Teller, Jamie Bell; all very talented in my opinion). An egg goes to Josh Trank, the director, who directed Chronicle which I am a fan of. An egg goes to the license, which I love. An egg goes to Marvel, who I love. And an egg goes to the idea of adding a body horror element to the movie, which is a pretty cool, unique take on the Fantastic Four. Now you take those 9 eggs and you throw them down an elevator shaft, have the elevator land on the egg bits, and then have the building fall down on top of it, and that’s the movie we got.

It starts off relatively strong, and then about halfway through the movie, it seems likely that the studio took over and tried to do…something? Different? I don’t know, but if Kate Mara’s reshoot wig is any indication, it is one half-assed, rushed second half.

It’s really very bad.

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Honestly I don’t know why I was so excited for Some Kind of Hate. Was it the Misfits reference in the title? Was it that the main character was supposedly based on Glenn Danzig? Fangoria’s glowing review, calling it the It Follows of the slasher genre? Was it the very solid trailer? The answer to all of those is “yeah, obviously.”

I built up a lot of hype in my head for this movie. And it started off pretty well. It’s about a guy who really only looks like Danzig. And he gets bullied and stabs a guy so he has to go to high school prison camp where there are more bullies and a sadomasochistic girl who is the one on the right in that picture. And so Danzig accidentally calls upon the vengeful spirit of a murdered girl played by a Disney starlet and uh. It wasn’t extremely terrible but it didn’t even come close to the hype. It wasn’t so offensively bad that it was funny, but it also wasn’t good. That’s why I consider it one of the most disappointing movies of the year.

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The 2011 remake/prequel/rip-off of John Carpenter’s masterpiece The Thing was pretty bad. I think you can break why it was bad down into two parts:
1. It had the exact same plot as The Thing but also was a prequel
2. They replaced almost all of the practical effects with cheap-looking, boring CGI

The company who worked on the original practical effects for the Thing reboot, Amalgamated Dynamics, was founded by Stan Winston, and has worked on some of the best (if not the best) practical special effects ever seen in film. Their filmography includes Tremors, Alien 3, Starship Troopers, Spider-Man, and Alien vs Predator. 

They were super butthurt about the world not getting to see all the hard work they put into The Thing (as was I), so they went to Kickstarter to fund what was basically The Thing on a boat starring that guy from Aliens (Lance Henriksen, who was a shining light in this movie and many others).

So I excitedly started watching the movie, waiting and waiting to see the promised amazing practical effects. I never really got them. I also didn’t get a very good plot, very good acting, or really a very good movie. The big monster ended up just being a bunch of tubes and vague shapes and nothing really uniform or scary or very cool. There were some cool effects earlier in the movie (pictured, kind of, still not great though), but they really didn’t pay off. I understand they were on a budget, but I would have been happier with maybe a smaller-scale movie with a little more time put into quality, rather than quantity, practical effects.

So those were my most disappointing movies of the year and now I’m going to talk about movies that I just really hated. The first earns the title of Worst Horror Movie that I Saw of the Year:

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Sinister was pretty good. You can go dig through my archives and find my 31 Days of Horror Year 1 post about it. I think it actually might have been the first movie I did for that feature. Anyway Sinister 2 was terrible. Really really terrible. I hated it. It was stupid, uninspired, poorly-written, poorly-acted (by a couple talented actors), and overall just stupid and boring.

The creepy kids were dumb and not creepy.

The divorce subplot was boring.

The kills were OK but not at the caliber of the first.

My friend and I were the only people in the entire theater when we saw it and found ourselves discussing the right order to cook a meal in so that everything is hot when you’re ready to sit down and eat. I left the theater to pee and didn’t even ask him what I had missed when I came back.

Also at the end when the guy from The Wire season 2 hits the brother with his car, I absolutely told my friend that that was going to happen. I called it.

Now, this movie has earned the award for Still Funny But Also the Movie I Most Aggressively Hated Movie of the Year:

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Marketed as the Christian alternative to 50 Shades of GrayOld Fashioned is just as regressive and problematic as 50 Shades, but in the opposite way. In 50 Shades you have the sexualization and eroticization of a clearly very abusive relationship, but with this movie you get the story of a man so terrified of women and self-righteous that he won’t even be in the same room as a lone woman, for whatever religious reason he made up. The entire movie is this “charming” (aka: so annoying I felt physical pain) woman trying to get this religious hermit in a hoodie he never really takes off to sleep with her or be in the same room with her instead of on his porch all the time or something (her goals are never made clear, the harlot).

This is just another in a sudden plague of religious movies sweeping America right now. We have last years’ two worst movies: God’s Not Dead and Left BehindLittle Boy is a movie about a little boy in World War II who prays so hard that he nukes Japan. There are countless others. These movies aren’t bad because they’re religious. They’re bad because they’re poorly-acted and written to exclusively appeal to fundamentalist Christians who will pay money to see their beliefs affirmed on the screen, regardless of quality. These movies aren’t made for discerning filmgoers, people who see straw men not as evil villains to be knocked down, but as the natural result of least-common-denominator writing. The people who write these movies are only in it for money, so they make shitty low-budget propaganda for fundamentalists who are willing to empty their wallets just to watch prettier reflections of themselves on the big screen.

That may sound harsh. Maybe a little too critical or conclusory. But I live in a small, relatively conservative town. We get crap like this instead of quality, limited release movies. Sometimes we actually lose wide release movies to these 2 hour judgmental sermons.

Okay. Enough of my 2 hour judgmental sermon. Onto the last movie. The worst movie. I hated this movie. I hated this entire phenomenon. It’s a bad movie, and everyone involved should feel bad. You guessed it. It’s…

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Fifty Shades of Gray. What a bad movie. I don’t even know where to start. Maybe I’ll just bullet point all the reasons I hated it.
– Bad acting
– Bad writing
– Based on an even worse book
– The message is basically “if he’s rich and he’s pretty he can do whatever he wants”
– The Xbox line
– Every line
– Boring. The movie felt 4 hours long
– The hype
– The music sucked I don’t care that that stupid weekend song was nominated for an Oscar it sucked
– The fact that you can say “Oscar Nominee Fifty Shades of Gray” and not be kidding
– Sam Taylor Johnson directed Nowhere Boy before this and that one was pretty good
– Twilight
– E. L. James
– “Laters, Baby” made beer come out of my nose and it hurt

I also was not a big fan of the Vacation remake/sequel. It had some funny parts but overall was just not very good at all. Poltergeist  remake left a lot to be desired.

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