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Wednesday, December 27, 2017

2017 Year-End Recap: Disappointments, Worsts & Movies I Didn't Get

Let's get this over with. I enjoy putting together these end of the year lists, as it's fun to recap the year in film and give praise to film's worthy of recognition. Of course, there's also this list, which focuses on the misfires. Honestly, I've never had much of a taste for concentrating on which films I just wasn't into, and I likely won't have too much commentary on where these picks stem from by the time I've finished up writing this post (reviews are linked though). That said, I've combined three different categories here. This list contains my picks for the most disappointing films of the year, the movies that seemed to be loved by most audiences that I just wasn't into, and my picks for the worst films of the year. I will note I did not see every movie considered "bad" (sorry Emoji Movie), but here we go.

Biggest Disappointments (Alphabetical):

Alien: Covenant - It's okay, but two great Michael Fassbender performances don't make up for a bungled attempt to combine the horror of Alien with the ideas of Prometheus.

The Glass Castle - Short Term Twelve's Destin Daniel Cretton and Brie Larson reunite for a misguided melodrama that is heavy on emotional moments but doesn't come together well enough by the end.

Justice League - It gets by on being decent fun, but we should be expecting more from a superhero team-up film, as opposed to this mishmash of creative visions and studio tinkering.

The Mummy - Even if the idea of new takes on Universal Monster movies didn't intrigue you, one would hope Tom Cruise's involvement at least means quality. Instead, we were given one of his worst blockbuster attempts.

Movies I Just Didn’t Get (Alphabetical):

Atomic Blonde - The praise may go to a sustained action sequence in the middle of the film, but the rest felt like a slog through neon lighting and convoluted plotting.

Beauty and the Beast - With a billion + dollars in the bank, Disney more than reached their goal but while working as an okay live-action remake, it's visually uninspired and bloated, At least there was Luke Evans' Gaston.

Happy Death Day - I would have been more than happy to go along with this unique horror-comedy, but the gimmick didn't help sustain the charm of this lighthearted slasher flick.

It - Between the review, the podcast and the second podcast, I've covered my thoughts on It and why it felt too scattered, stagey, and not scary, despite a solid cast.

Split - I'm happy to champion Shyamalan's skills as a filmmaker when I can, but for all the mood and terrific work from James McAvoy, Split wastes a lot of time and puts forward some mixed messages by the end.

Wind River - Between Olsen's poorly written role, a capable but miscast Renner, and a leaning into Sheridan's lesser instincts as a writer, his effort as a director proved to be subpar compared to what was seen with Sicario and Hell or High Water.

The Worst Films of The Year:

Runner-Ups: The Bye Bye Man, Fist Fight, Snatched, The Space Between Us, Table 19

10. Death Note
The first of a few Netflix releases that felt like the first draft of a script was put into production.

9. The Comedian
Disguised as a prestige pick, this hacky comedy about an aging comedian has plenty of embarrassing moments for many involved.

8. War Machine
Brad Pitt's foray into Netflix has all the makings of a good satire, aside from how bad of a job it does making its big moments land with anything more than a thud.

7. The Only Living Boy in New York
Every year you get a few films that feel like "Indie Movie: The Movie," and this is 2017's most unfortunate example.

6. Bright
An exciting idea with the worst amount of favors done for it thanks to Ayer's decision to overload his rewrite of the script with lazy retreads of his other movies.

Like last year's awful London Has Fallen, here's the latest xenophobic action thriller. It has the curious bonus addition of having the most recent young white male lead (Dylan O'Brien) taking on the previous young male white lead (Taylor Kitsch), with help from everyone's fav 80s leading white male lead (Michael Keaton).

The kind of movie that gives good Oscar bait a bad name.

George Clooney took a thrown away script from the Coen Brothers and directed his worst film yet.

After spending 10 years defending Transformers films to varying degrees, here's the first one that felt like even Michael Bay was phoning it in and I wasn't having it.

A maddeningly awful and (by the director's own admittance) unfinished thriller that Universal still felt was necessary to release as is. There are a variety of reasons this film is awful, and it's enough to make this my pick for the worst movie of the year.


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