Saturday, November 21, 2020

THE TOP TEN WORST FILMS OF 2018! (SIgh) I've been waiting almost two years to say some of this....

This is one of those years where I feel like I have a lot more to say about the worst films then the best this time around. That's not normally the case and frankly I hate when that's the case. Frankly most of the time, I would rather just not even bother giving a worst list the time and effort, but I did one year in the past and not I feel obligated to do this exercise anyway, even if that one year is now two years past in the rearview. 

This year is different, but like all other years I do this, certain caveats remain. For one, while I've tried and definitely had the time if not the ability or energy to watch every film of 2018, I have not. There is a good possibility that there are indeed worst movies then the ten that I'm choosing to profile here that I haven't seen. If that's the case, and again, it's very likely, don't tell me about them. Seriously, I'm not under any journalistic assignment guidelines to review certain movies and while I do try to watch as much as possible I do not go out of my way to watch bad movies and I certainly will not go out of my way to watch them just to fill up this annual list. So I'm sure there's some Kirk Cameron disciple wannabe out there whose film technically got a theatrical release that I didn't get around to, unless something really wrong happened, like I was kidnapped and tortured by sadistic terrorists who thought beheadings were too humane for me, it will not be on this list. 

While I do strive with my best lists, try to decipher or determine what is the best of the year using some admittedly arbitrary but somewhat constructive set of personal criteria to determine what film(s) are quantatively the best of the year (although I don't always get to some films that should make that list in time some years unfortunately), with the worst list, while there is some aspects of that kind of pretentious mathematical problem-solving speculation to determine the worst still, most of the time, I'm just picking the ten films that I thought were the worst of the year, of the films I saw. And I saw some bad ones this year. Maybe not more bad films then normal years, but bad films nonetheless and more then a few that, well, I'm sure I'm gonna some heat for. 

Now, there weren't necessarily a ton of bad movies this year, at least among the ones I watched, but boy the bad were particularly bad this time around. I don't think it helps too much that there was also a lot of mediocre and average films this year. Stuff that I didn't outright hate, but I didn't have much of a reaction to at all. That could've just been me this year; it's two years behind, 2020's been rough and maybe that's effected me as I'm still mostly watching films from years gone by, but even still, I'd rather get around to shutting this lid ASAP. just so I can move on, so let's get to it. 


Number ten. 

So there was a last minute change or two to the bottom of this list. I don't normally reveal my number eleven's on these things, but up until the last second, I had "Bumblebee" on this list. 

Yeah, a "Transformer" movie, and from what I'm told, one of the better ones. It was honestly, the first one that I was physically able to sit through, so it probably is. It was even entertaining a bit; it's probably the closest I could've gotten to liking a "Transformers" movie, which-, look, I'll just say it, I hate "Transformers", hate everything about them. I hate the concept, I hate the toy, I hate the TV shows; I didn't get the appeal of these things long before Michael Bay decided to soil whatever positive attributes they might've had for me. 

So, to me, it really is something that I'm knocking off something in the "Transformers" franchise and replacing it on this list, with a film by one of the great American directors of all time, but I gotta call it as I see it, and I'd rather sit through "Bumblebee" again then sit through this.  And somebody gotta try to stop Clint before he starts embarrassing himself more.

10. The Mule

Eastwood's not the only legendary director on this list, but he's definitely the one who's most lost his way. Or perhaps his way had just passed him by, 'cause "The Mule" feels like every classic trait of a great, classic Clint Eastwood film, done about as poorly and tone-deafed to modern eyes and ears as possible. 

My original review:
Before writing this review, I went back to re-read my review of the last Clint Eastwood film I watched, "Richard Jewell", his biopic about the falsely-accused Atlanta Olympic bomber. I wrote about one of Eastwood's recent obsessions, sudden fame. I panned that film, I don't regret that, there was a lot to pan, and I don't feel regretful about panning "The Mule", which seems to have the opposite problem, there's not much here at all to talk about. With "Richard Jewell", Eastwood was taking his half-ass shot at political commentary through one of his most interesting recent subject, sudden fame. "The Mule" deals mostly with his other most recent, prominent subject, and some varient of Eastwood's the old man who's old ways are passing him by. He's been telling some varient of that narrative for awhile, but it used to be compelling or interesting, or have some take on the subject. 

On paper, "The Mule" should have an interesting take on it too, Eastwood plays Earl Stone, a 90-year-old horticulturalist who takes a job as a drug mule for a Mexican cartel. How does this happen? Well, fairly easily actually. He has a fight with his long-abandoned family over something and while his longtime ex-wife Mary (Dianne Wiest) runs off the pointless exposition about him, and then he gets a job offer. He's broke and losing his home, so he decides to take it. 

And, he's successful for awhile. The cartel leader, Laton (Andy Garcia) like Earl and as he gives him more and more drugs to transfer, he sends some presence to watch over him, but meanwhile, the DEA, represented by Agent Bates and Trevino (Bradley Cooper and Michael Pena) are zeroing in on Earl, although they're not exactly looking for a nonagenarian drug mule, so there's some tension there. Mostly, it's an excuse to see Earl talking with several people he runs into on the road, and in very cliche ways. Sometimes troublingly so as well. 

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that "The Mule" is basically just, "Unforgiven", but without any of the narrative subtext of the death of the western genre that movie entails. An aged bad guy, granted this guy's sins are mostly just annoying his family enough to complain about his presense or lack thereof depending on what the situation is they're mad at him about, and he's traveling a long way on a job, mostly for money. Change horses to a pick-up truck and change hitman to drug mule, and narratively you basically have the same story. That said, "The Mule" isn't an interesting modern day western or anything, it's just an old man not understanding the modern ways and then stumbling his way through the world any way. He's knowledgeable and wise, 'cause it's Eastwood; he's still that paceful, slow old rough hand who speaks softly but carries a big stick, and knows all the angles, but you care a lot less in this one. He's not the iconic Eastwood in this movie, and he hasn't been in awhile. Perhaps that's a problem that maybe only I have, but a better script or movie might've helped. There's no real sense that "The Mule" is some last gasp of a great, or even a fragile, frailed old man; he's just this old man who takes an inevitable job. Oddly, the portrayal of the cartel seems the least realistic of anything in the movie; he's an old man who clearly is one of the last people the police would consider as a mule, who would they be so concerned or focused on him so much? Perhaps this feels that way to some, but I'd argue that might only because it's Eastwood playing him and we're bringing whatever remnants of the Eastwood persona that still resonates in our consciousness into that performance. Personally, I think the story should be and really is, more basic and generic then the films wants us to to think it is. I mean, his big redemption arc regaining the love of a family that he still doesn't care enough about to not go traveling around the country at work; why even care about them if they don't care about him?! 

"The Mule" is worst then Eastwood on his own old-man tangents to make some now-outdated point, it's Eastwood on autopilot on his old-man tangents that don't even try to make a real point. It is admittedly impressive that Eastwood, in his '90s now, is this old and is still making movies, but frankly his movies are becoming less and less impressive the more he makes these days.

Number nine. 

You know, a lot of the films that end up in those mediocre positions I talked about above, were documentaries. I watch a lot of docs and I feel like I'm always nicer to them then I should sometimes, even though I had multiple docs on my list last year, including my number one slot, but it happens sometimes. A lot of documentaries aren't particularly entertaining but they do the job they're trying to do and are essentially good films, and I don't think I should pan those films just because I'm bored. However there's one or two that usually slips through the cracks and ends up on my worst lists, and there's one this year, so I'm gonna get this over with early. 

9. Our Blood is Wine

You know I wasn't gonna put this on the list originally; I had some bigger movies that I wanted to tackle. I know I'm one of like nine people that have seen "Our Blood is Wine", but this movie sucked. It's basically a glorified vacation video to the Republic of Georgia to tour their wineries, which this movie cares and is way more interested in wine then I'll ever be. This is like if Miles got to do everything he actually wanted to do in "Sideways" instead of getting sidetracked by Jack's misadventures and without the sex or appeal of the idea. 

My original review: 
So, the Republic of Georgia is apparently the birthplace of wine, which is why famed sommelier Jeremy Quinn decided to take a extending working vacation there, I guess. 

The sentence I wrote above is literally the only notes I bothered to write on "Our Blood is Wine". I-eh, look, I didn't outright hate this movie or anything, but I never got the feeling I was watching something that was more than a watching somebody's vacation photos, somebody who I didn't know to begin with and didn't particularly. Which is a bit of a shame, 'cause I actually find wine and the process of making it interesting, as well as the idea of wine-tasting and wine-pairing. I don't know how legitimate the field is, but I think there is something to it at it's core. I know, I feel there's something off when I'm drinking something that doesn't quite go with the food I'm eating, so, yeah it makes sense that certain wines probably taste better with certain foods and certain wines have different tastes as well. 

And certain wines are made differently and where they're made should matter a little bit as well. I mean, I somehow I can tell the difference between Coca-Cola and every generic knock-off and they probably have the same ingredients and are made the same way, but somehow I always know Coca-Cola. I'm not a wine-drinker so that's my comparison, but Quinn is a world-renowned Chicago-based sommelier. That's a very impressive title to me, sommelier, 'cause you have to be tested to get that title, and tested blindly to tell the difference between several different wines and be able to determine those quite minor differences. I mean, red wine mostly just tastes like red wine to me, and I know that a lot of wine is actually really similar, and there is something truly inspiring to see it made in the birthland of wine and made in the ways that it's been made for generations upon generations upon generations. 

The Republic of Georgia is more well-known in the news these days for having several disputes with Russia, mostly over the South Ossetia region, and the locals do worry that a side effect of this could be having to lose their land and their way of life as they expect/fear the traditional ways of making wine to go by the wayside and being replaced by modern day machines, which, yeah, that does change the taste. The evolution of food and how it's changed over the decades and centuries even is something that actually we should look into more. Like, 100 years ago chickens were the size of turkeys and somehow that's not what we have now. 

Anyway, I wanted to like this movie, but yeah, this felt like a glorified vacation to a vineyard. Sometimes the movie felt like a decent PBS documentary on the subject, or something I'd see on Create one night, but I think I'd still see better on there and the rest of it is just, watching others on a glorified vacation. It'd be like watching a movie of me going to a film festival or the Oscars, it'd be interesting for a sketch or two perhaps, but is it a full movie? Eh, probably not.

Yeah, that's the thing, this documentary had interesting aspects to it, the history of the evolution of food and wine, is a very compelling topic and this would be a very good starting point to tell that story, but ultimately, this movie isn't that. It's a 30-minute doc, at best, about the modern state of Georgian wines, and the rest of the movie is the filmmakers just being overly awed at Georgian wine and wineries. I felt like I was a sommelier's vacation slides, and falling asleep while he did it. 

Number eight.

8. Black '47

(Blowing raspberries sigh) 

I don't really have much to say about this one; it's not a terribly made movie or anything, it's probably the movie that least deserves to be on this list, but god, this thing bored me to tears. 

My Original Review
Look, I'm probably gonna by the toughest critic of this movie that you're gonna find, but this movie was a rough chore to get through. It's not a bad movie, it's actually very interesting, but it was so slow and monotonous and...- I just- I couldn't deal with this. "Black '47" was the first time in a long time, I was debating whether I could even finish the movie. It's not that bad, so I pushed my way through it eventually, but my god this movie was just,...

Maybe it's the setting that's bothering me. The title "Black '47" is reference to the time and location, it takes place in Ireland in 1847, right at the peak of the Potato Famine that took several thousands lives and pushed those who did survive into starvation and poverty, if they didn't somehow manage to get out and immigrate to America. On the one hand I appreciate the details that's put into trying to recreate this era of Irish history, but,...- well, you remember that film, "The Invention of Lying", where there's no such thing as acting so movies were just great narrators retelling stories of history, and Ricky Gervais's character got stuck with the 14th Century from his producers, so he had to write about the Bubonic Plague? That's kinda what I feel like I watched here. I appreciate recreating the setting, but I don't think I wanted to see that.

And I can kinda appreciate the narrative, basically, "Black '47" for all-intensive purposes, is a classic western that happens to take place during the Irish potato famine. A deserted soldier named Feeney (James Frechville) has returned from the wars in the Middle East. His home is now decrepit, his family has been killed or died off, and he decides to take out revenge against everyone involved. Eventually the Crown, who has control over Ireland at this point, and there's a lot of history involved with that better knowledgable historians can discuss, but they hired a disgraced policeman named Hannah (Hugo Weaving) who's currently arraigned for murdering a witness to go out and help the Crown find and kill Feeney. They were soldiers together during the Anglo-Afghan War, the one from the 1840s and he knows how difficult this guy is to take in. Basically, he's the 1840s version of Liam Neeson in all those "Taken" films, only the bad guy.

Eventually, after he's hung a judge and killed several others involved with the family, they realize that his next victim is Lord Kilmichael (Jim Broadbent) and they begin guarding him, as do several of the townspeople after Kilmichael puts up a bounty, I guess the leader of this group is Conneely (Stephen Rea). There's also some good supporting work from people like Barry Keoghan and Freddie Fox, and there's one particular image involving this strange way the ash-like dust comes over his face and beard, that's just creepy. It's really well done, but the effect is that Frecheville looks like an old bust of a Civil War General.

I'm a bit torn on this one, 'cause there is some really strong execution here, and this is a decent setting for this story, but this story is just not compelling. At all. It's not entirely predictable, but the movie is focused on where and when it's taking place, that I just don't care why it's taking place. The idea of a classic-style western in this world and timeframe, that can work. It's worked in literature before, and I know John Ford tried to adapt Liam O'Flaherty's "Famine" once or twice; Ford, on top of western occasionally made films that took place in Ireland like one of my favorites, "The Informer" and most notably "The Quiet Man", and they were essentially western stories but in Ireland, but not this era of Ireland, westerns. Lance Daly is an Irish filmmaker; I can see why this appeals to him, but this is just a slog to get through. Somebody's gonna eventually remake this story, and tell it well. Somebody's gonna start with a compelling characters and backstory, and then they'll enter into this period of history, and that would be more fascinating as opposed to, starting with this desolate, death-ridden, era of Ireland, and then try to force a western narrative into this world. The way this storytelling is done in this movie, is just so wrong, that it completely bogs down, a lot of what's good about both the narrative and the setting. And the crafts of the movie as well. This is one of those movies that was a pain to sit through because I just did not want to be here, and it's not because of how ugly and horrid this part of Irish history is, it's that this movie didn't compel me enough through the way it told it's story to convince me to want to stay here with it.

Even re-reading my review, all I could seem to write about was boring this movie, and I don't like to bash something that's actually trying so hard to tell a different story, and I don't think the craft of the movie is the problem here; there's a lot of skill in the movie, but my god, I just couldn't sit through this. It was laborious for most of the movie, and the good filmmaking just didn't make up for it. It's a good idea in theory, to tell a really classic western in a desolate landscape of Ireland during the potator famine, but maybe it's a such depressing and annoying time period, that perhaps we just shouldn't; I don't know, but this movie came close to boring me to death, and that's why it's on the list. 

Number seven.

I gave two animated feature negative reviews this year. The other one's, which is in my Dishonorable Mentions is gonna get me in more trouble 'cause it's a popular award-feature that apparently I'm the only that thinks was complete crap, and I thought about forcing a spot on here for that movie, and it's bad, I easily could've put it on here, but instead I went with the little-seen anime that frankly I don't think that many anime people saw or cared about if they did. 

7. Maquia: When the Promised Flowers Bloom

There's a chance this could also just be another of my biases, I've talked occasionally about how I can't stand royalty behind-the-throne bullshit, mostly that's Henry VIII stuff, but you know, in the year that gave us "The Favourite" which is just one of the best movie ever about that kind of crap, it makes the shitty stuff of that nature look a lot worst. And this isn't based on a real story or anything, this was a fantasy version of that bullshit. 

My Original Review:
"Maquia: When the Promised Flower Blooms" marks the first "stand-alone" feature-length film for P.A. Works, one of the major Anime studios in Japan, until now, mostly known for television. It's also the first feature-length film for director Mari Okada, one of the few major female filmmakers in Anime; she's written several features and series and "Maquia" is an interesting debut. It's a medieval fantasy feature that's oddly about, a single teenage mother having to raise a child that she adopts. The titular, at least in the American translation, Maquia, is an orphaned Lorph, a tribe of people who live, I guess on a different-but-parallel plane of humans, They have a long life expectancy, capable of living hundreds of years and aging slower than most other mythical species. Her tribe is then attacked by a competing group called the Mezarte, leaving most of her tribe dead, presumably, and then she ends up in the human world, along with her infant brother, who she ends up adopting and raising named Ariel.

Years later, the king of the Mezaerte forces a marriage to Maquia's best friend, Lelia, in order to increase the life expectancy of the Mezaerte. Her boyfriend Krim tries to interrupt this, but after Maquia becomes pregnant, he ends up going to the human world where he connects with Maquia, who's constantly struggling to raise her growing son, who is beginning to seem troubled and confused by his origins.

This movie is hard to describe honestly. I like the look of it, in theory, the pastel watercolors look is a detailed and interesting approach although I'm not entirely sure how much it adds and while it's okay, it's not Studio Ghibli-level or anything. A lot of the ideas in it, especially the idea of a story about a single mother raising a kid, that's honestly the best stuff of the movie, and frankly, while it might have some significance to some, I felt like I was watching some really antiquated royalty bullshit played over fantastical worlds and peoples that I just couldn't get behind. This might be me, and my biases, I've noticed anecdotally for instance, that women, in particular, seem way more interested in Henry VIII as a character then I do. A know there's a lot of important history there, but good god, if you actually dig into the details, it is so much ado about nothing in hindsight. "Oh, I need a son; I need a son, to carry my name, and all you wives can only give me daughters!", well guess what, the daughter took the throne, things kept going, and it wasn't always peachy, but even then, most of that was his bullshit they were cleaning up. (Shrugs) I felt a lot of the fantasy stuff was just that kind of old-time trivialness. Honestly, I think the movie would've been more interesting without any of it.

The movie it reminded me of the most was "Where the Heart Is" and that's a film that also mostly worked best when it shows the evolution of a young woman as she deals with young motherhood. "Maquia..." got caught too caught up in this world it was creating which, honestly, I just found confusing.

I get the main idea of one group wanting to get control of the other one that had more eternal life, but it's actually more layered and complex then I'm explaining and, it just-, like in order for it to really matter it had to be built up more in the beginning, but it also had to be a lot simpler then it was here. I hate to pan the movie because of it, there's a good idea for an epic narrative about motherhood, but by the end of the movie, I felt like I was lost in someone else's story. I'm interested in seeing what else Mari Okada and P.A. Works might do in the future, but for the time being, this was mostly a disappointment.

You know, sometimes I think one of the biggest problems I see filmmakers do is that they want to make everything bigger and more important then it has to be. Again, there's good aspects to this movie. The young teenage girl, having to raise her brother in a world that neither of them have been in, that stuff is great. I'd love to see a whole animated movie one day, that's just seeing a teenage girl having to become an adult overnight, while simultaneously raising her own child. That alone, could be amazing, without any of this other bullshit in it. And you see movies like this, and maybe there's some narrative symbolism or stuff that works for the Japanese audience that I didn't get, but narratively, the fantasy stuff, I didn't care about it, it was too confusing, once I did struggle and pause the movie and rewind to try to keep up and understand, I didn't care. Most bad movies, probably suffer most from not knowing what the important parts of the story and how to frame those parts are, and "Maquia..."  is a really good example of that. 

Number six.

Oh-kay, now we're getting to the shit we really need to talk about. Cause what in the hell happened here? 

6. The Party

This was most mind-boggling bad movie of the year. Not just because it's bad, not just because of how it's bad, but because of who made this movie. Sally Potter is one of the most interesting and creative filmmakers around. She's made some wonderful movies over the years, and yes, some of them have been very experimental, like her film "Yes", which details a romance between Joan Allen and Simon Akbarian that's told entirely in Shakespearean iambic pentameter. She's also made just some wonderful movies about women, "Ginger & Rosa" is an underrated gem. She's always made something interesting, if not good over the years. And then, for some reason, she made a "Get All Your Hollywood Friends Together And Shoot A Movie" movie, one of the last people I'd ever think would make something like this, and she's made one of the absolute worst entries in this genre. 

My Original Review
Sally Potter's one of the last filmmakers I would've thought would make a movie like "The Party". This movie belongs in that weird subgenre of indies I call the Hollywood Party movies. Now, this one takes place in London, but essentially this is the kind of movie that's basically just getting a bunch of close friends and actors together in a room or a house or a loft, and they act out a party scene of some kind. Sometimes it's literally just a movie about a party that seems to be able to pass as a party. Alan Cumming & Jennifer Jason Leigh's "The Anniversary Party", is probably one of the best of these, as well as one of the most insider of these. One of the few Joss Whedon's projects I actually like, his adaptation of "Much Ado About Nothing" feels quite like this as well. There's others, some are theatrical experiments, others are just some modern variant on "The Big Chill". Potter's "The Party", is basically an experiment, which is something I expect from Potter. My favorite film of hers is "Yes", a romance story where all the dialogue was spoken in Shakespearean rhyme and rhythm, so she's prone to an experiment or two, but I always gave her a little more credit than this.

"The Party" is a barely-70 minute long snore where a bunch of people gather for an event, there's a few revelations and a couple things happen. Now, in the right setting, this narrative can be amazing. Here, however,- well, it really is much ado about nothing.

There's talk of things, politics and life theories, political correctness, relationships all get mentioned and thrown around, but you never get the sense that there's any meaning behind these topics. Apparently, Janet (Kristin Scott Thomas) has just been placed in some high political position, while Bill, she learns over the night, is dying. What political position? It's never specifically explained, although it seems like this is a left-wing collective group. We have a pregnant lesbian couple for instance, Jinny and Martha (Emily Mortimer and Cherry Jones) as well as an eccentric opposites attract couple with the philosophically extreme April and Gottfriend (Patricia Clarkson and Bruno Ganz), she's a left-wing radical totalitarian who criticizes everything and everyone, most especially her husband a flightly life coach who seems to think the right records can help bring people back to life. Then there's Tom (Cillian Murphy), the rich banker drug addict, who's high on coke the whole night, and causing his own mild chaos wherever he goes.

I don't know, like, I can see, maybe Richard Linklater taking similar characters and materials and making a compelling narrative out of this, but he's used to restrictive settings and he loves discussion of high-minded subjects from several different perspectives. Potter just seems annoyed by it, everything's vague and nothing matters here until Bill announces his upcoming death and even there, there's-, the movie begins and ends with a character, pointing a gun at us and shooting, just like the end of "The Great Train Robbery", there's no need for that gun or any gun to even be in this movie. This isn't a movie that needs that kind of Chekhovian planting and it doesn't even payoff at the end.

This movie gets worst the more I think about it, honestly. I can appreciate the attempt at doing something like this, by a natural experimental filmmaker, but this is so far away from Potter's strengths that I'm confused at why she was even trying to make this. There's not much else to say, this was a boring, uninteresting, bad barely a blip of a movie, and I'm shocked that somebody as great as Sally Potter made this.

My god, I'm not usually disappointed by a movie, I don't like to come into a movie with expectations, but boy, I just assumed that if Sally Potter's name was on something that I'd at least be in safe hands. Coming from her, this movie is just bizarre. I guess chalk it up to a failed experiment, but for somebody known for experimental filmmaking, this felt, way outside even her own norm. This isn't the kind of experiment that she should be making, and I hope she never does again. There are filmmakers who I can imagine making something like this and even some doing good things with it, but Sally Potter, she's way more interesting and compelling then this, with literally every other film she's ever made. 

Number five.

(Annoyed sigh) 


You know, despite what some might think, I really don't want to do this, but-eh, ugh, let's get one last shot at "Green Book". 

5. Green Book 

I know some people, some very important people in the film critic community who actually really liked "Green Book" and I can see why they might. Again, it's- it's almost never about the story that's told, and this isn't a bad story. It's in how its told, and I'm sorry; I know some people didn't like other Best Picture nominees this year; I thought it was a weak bunch myself, but this was the worst of the nominees and well- not the worst Best Picture of all-time, to me that distinction goes to "Gigi", but this is a bad one, and the first time that I've even considered putting a BP winner on this list, since-eh, oh god, maybe "Gladiator"?! Maybe? 

From my original review:
Well, here it is, the film I’ve been hearing about. By far, the most controversial Oscar-winning Best Picture since “Crash”, which coincidentally was also a movie about racism. (Shrugs) I think “Crash” was and still is a pretty great film. It’s not perfect, and I wouldn’t have voted for it either, but it was in my Top Ten that year. I’ve seen it lately; it still holds up, and I don’t really get most of the criticisms of it. The big one I hear is how it’s so liberal and heavy-handed with the messaging, but I don’t see that. In fact, if anything, I think it’s incredibly nuanced. It’s a little simplistic admittedly, because it’s writer/director Paul Haggis, was trying to understand racism, which is a folly’s journey, ‘cause racism isn’t logical, but I can’t claim that that’s the worst idea either, and I can't fault someone for trying to understand it. If anything that movie shows that racism is a complex issue and that it effects all of us in some way, whether we want it to or not, and that is a universal truth. So, it’s a bunch of examples of that; how else would one show it? At least they’re good examples. (Also, Haggis was still in the throws of Scientology at the time, and there’s that undercurrent of naivete that’s involved that film as well, that actually is a much bigger detriment to the film's quality to be honest, 'cause that's where I think it ultimately does fail and that really should be discussed and analyzed more with “Crash,” but that’s for another day.) 

The majority of the backlash to “Crash” came after it won, “Green Book”’s backlash was long before it even got the nomination. In fact, I don’t think I predicted it to get nominated it was so severe, much more so than the previous year’s troubling film with pro-racism undertones, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”, and like that movie, the one thing everybody agreed on were the greatness of the performances even if the messages were conflicted at best. “Green Book” does have it’s strong defenders though. One of my FB friends is Sasha Stone of and she’s very much in the movie’s camp. I respect her opinion quite a bit, as well as a few others who also like the movie.


Look, I’m just gonna be blunt here, this was a tough movie to sit through. I really struggled with this one. Part of it, is expected, the movie is about race relations in the South in the early Sixties, I mean, yeah, this shit happened and probably quite a bit, and frankly it’s relevant now, as every other week there’s some new racist idiot video taping themselves trying to kick an African-American family out of a pool, or whatever the hell racist assholes are doing now. Also, I don’t necessarily think the premise of the movie is bad at all. There’s some who complain that the movie isn’t from Don Shirley’s (Oscar-winner Mahershala Ali) perspective and that’s a valid point, but I don’t necessarily think that its in turn a negative that the movie’s instead from Tony “Lip” Vallelonga’s (Oscar nominee Viggo Mortensen) point of view either. I mean, is it bad that a white man’s perspective changes, especially if it’s a bad perspective to begin with and needs to be changed?


I mean, I wish it was more earned and I can feel my eyes rolling as I write this. Still, the problem isn’t the subject matter, it’s a good story that I can see an argument for being told. The problem isn’t that the perspective isn’t the greatest; it could’ve been and it could still be a good movie that’s both, from the perspective of a white protagonist while still being about the troubles, trials and tribulations of racism in the South. Look at “In the Heat of the Night”, that movie pulls it off incredibly well and I don’t hear too many people complaining about that film these day. Does, “Green Book” pull that off?

No, it doesn’t. It-, it just doesn’t. There are clearly many issues with the execution but, I’m putting Peter Farrelly’s feet to the fire first. Farrelly is a comedy director, him and his brother, and they’re good ones. They haven’t been lately admittedly, but if anybody’s ever watched a PBA event recently, you’ll know that “Kingpin” is the most influential sports movie ever made.... That’s probably their most underrated and greatest work, and of course, “There’s Something About Mary”, is a classic, but I want to think a bit about their other great comedy “Shallow Hal” It's probably much more problematic than I remember, but it was also  about a white man overcoming his prejudice, in this case,-, mostly fat and unattractive people. It’s premise, however, involves its main character getting hypnotized into only seeing peoples’ appearance based on the quality of the person they are, so Jack Black sees Gwyneth Paltrow in his love interest best instead of the overweight girl who breaks chairs when she sits on them. It’s a funny movie and there’s actually quite a few good layers to it, that said, yeah, he only sees the reality in people, once he’s hypnotized to not see his preconceptions.  It works for that genre, although now that I’m thinking about it, I don’t remember any African-Americans in that movie, or for that matter, most of their movies, like, at all, including “Shallow Hal”. Hell, the aforementioned “Kingpin”, half of that movie, as great as it is, is just making fun of the Amish. He’s got a comedic sensibility, and that’s good for a break in the action, but trying to shift that into a narrative about race relations?


Alright, I’ve been bouncing around it, but the fried chicken scenes just pissed me the hell off. Like, I can see the genesis of the idea and why they might think it was a decent idea, and the timing is right with the rise of KFC as it became a National brand and you know the history of the recipes and how it’s changed from it’s early days,- I know way more about the history of “Kentucky Fried Chicken” than I really should, but I can just see the scene being pitched and Farrelly going to it’s natural conclusion, and I guess it’s funny in that little box, but then, when Dr. Shirley’s an invited dinner guest for a rich white family who’s holding his concert, they then specially make fried chicken for Dr. Shirley ‘cause it’s the only thing they believe African-Americans eat, it just doesn’t play well. The whole thing is a set-up to show how racist it actually is, and it’s a play on how-supposedly-everybody-likes-fried chicken-joke. Well, my mother hates fried chicken, so that’s not true either.

There are some good scenes here of course. I like the scene where they call a lawyer to get them out of jail after an altercation with police. Both of these men are interesting characters and I don’t think that we’re supposed to naturally think that just because Tony Lip had this great road adventure with Don Shirley in the South that suddenly he’s all cured of his own bigoted tendencies, although they do mention at the end that they remained friends until their passings a few years ago and I’ve heard some varying reports that disagree with that description of their relationship.

Still, it reads badly. It’s a culture clash that frankly doesn’t put any culture in the best of lights. I’ve heard that this film’s been compared to another Oscar-winning Best Picture that they have a lot in common with, “Driving Miss Daisy”; I actually watched "Driving Miss Daisy recently, I'm not gonna pretend there's not problematic elements to that film either but that's actually a movie about a complex friendship that builds over decades, and there's still loads of tenuous nuances involved in it. I wouldn't even call it a road trip movie, there's much more going on and while I don't necessarily think that it should've won the Oscar either, I can see why it did; it's not a movie about racism being "ended" because of a friendship, it's a movie about a friendship that grows and evolves in spite of apparent racism and despite some of the clear biases of the characters and the social injustices built into ours and theirs socioecominc world.  However, to go back to “Crash” for a second, while I think “Crash” is trying to understand a real problem, I don’t get the sense that “Green Book” is trying to learn or understand anything, if anything, it seems a bit smug. 

Admittedly, part of that might be the disturbing way that Peter Farrelly put up one finger to the camera at the Oscars after winning the Screenplay Oscar, almost like he knew they were going to win; there’s an arrogance over “Green Book”, that’s undeserved that “Crash” doesn’t have. And to compare it to “Three Billboards…”, as well, that movie was made by a Brit who was playing with motifs and tools from an outdated genre, and that’s why that film's insinuations are somewhat more forgivable, even if their implications are really troubling. 

Farrelly should know better, but this isn’t his natural genre. There’s nothing wrong with going outside that either, Blake Edwards made “Days of Wine and Roses” for Christ’s sake, it’s not impossible for a comedic mind to shift his attention to more serious subjects and make a great movie out of them, but I don’t think he did turn off his comedic mind the way I believe he thinks he did, or if him and the creators of the movie think that’s what they did, then they probably have more problems with themselves (And that does seem to be the case as it seems like all the white male filmmakers behind this project have had to back out of, in some cases, incredibly stupid statements over the recent year) much less, problems with society at large, and I’m not sure how he knew so certainly he was going win more than one Oscar that night but yes, this film’s Oscar definitely deserves the derision that it’s gotten.

It’s not the worst movie of all-time or anything, and I can’t entirely put my finger on it, but this movie feels like it was made in bad faith. Even the parts that are good and show that there is something here…. I mean, it’s got details that are interesting, and I do like the idea of a major African-American performer traveling and performing into the South with a white driver he’s hired as protection, who’s got to travel through the Green Book, the underground travel guide for traveling in the South for African-Americans. I mean, there’s definitely something there, I can think of several details about African-American performers and the travails of traveling they endured and the performances are strong enough, but the execution of the story is not worth it. I was tempted to recommend it even despite all this, but what would I be recommending here, a half-ass version of the same problematic movie that we’ve all seen several better versions of for the last thirty years? Admittedly, I can think of some worst versions as well that did better than they should’ve at the Oscars, but still,....

Also Italian aren’t that damn obsessed with food! And seriously, I hope that was Farrelly's addition as well 'cause, since it was Vallelonga's relative that co-wrote the screenplay, I hope that that wasn't one of the only major details you remember about him.

You know, once in a while, I think the Oscars really screw up. They hadn't in a while; I might not have always agreed with them, although the two previous years I thought their choice for Best Picture was my number one film. (Although maybe in hindsight, "Get Out" should've been ahead of "The Shape of Water".) This was a huge screwup. All the other movies everybody supposedly complains about being terrible Best Picture winners, like this is worst then all of them. Because of it's arrogance. This is told from a really naive and unknowing person, who's not empathetic. They take their cues on racism from the most narrowest stereotypes and...- god this movie is so much worst the more I think about it and especially when compared all the other movies that-, most of which told this story so much better- like that's what's really offensive about this movie winning so many Oscars, there's so many better movies that have been made, and most of those movies, are decades old. This is an ancient story, told arrogantly with the same perspectives that we, as a society and a film viewing public, have long outgrown and I don't know how the Oscars got duped into picking this. This is the first time that the Academy's just picked a straight up bad movie for Best Picture since "Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" and this movie's way the fuck worst. 

Number four.

4. Brampton's Own

I don't know how exactly I ended up watching this, but eh, just trust me on this one. This is why you read reviews first, instead of just randomly watching something on Netflix.

My Original Review:
So, about halfway through "Brampton's Own" a Netflix movie that got a limited enough theatrical release apparently that it qualifies for a review from me, my friend who I was watching the movie with, and who coincidentally was the one who picked the movie out, stated that, "This is one of the ten worst baseball movies he's ever seen." This led into a thinking exercise as I tried to figure out what the worst baseball movie of all-time was. I'm not 100% knowing in this case, but I feel fairly safe in saying that there's gotta be a "Bad News Bears" sequel or two that's genuinely the worst of all-time. "Major League: Back to the Minors" would probably be the one I've seen to completion that I'd vote for, unless we're counting, "Angels in the Infield". No, not "...Outfield", "Infield". There's a little-remembered challenge for those Youtube critics, seek out the horrible TV/Straight-to-DVD (finger quotes) "sequels" to that thing.

I'm bringing this up because it's way more interesting than anything I can talk about with this movie. I struggle to put it on the aforementioned Worst Baseball Movie list, since I'm barely certain that it's even worth counting quite frankly. It's barely a baseball movie. It's barely a movie at times. I'm actually still watching it while I'm writing this review, 'cause it's just too painfully bad to actually sit down and let the movie play all the way through; I can only put up with the strange camera choices like the awkward panning between shots in one scene where a camera moves from one set of character to the other that's talking, instead of doing some kind of two-shot, or the weird OTS shot I'm looking at now of the lead actor talking to, I think it's his sister about his old high school girlfriend...- It's not even sure its either of those character's shoulders; it's like somebody shot a master from an OTS of the most annoying side character in the film, for no reason, and just kept it. I can't entirely blame the aimless directing, the confusing over-plotted script isn't helping. The actors are,- well, I guess Jean Smart can never do anything wrong, but they're not given the best to work with, although I'm hard-pressed to think of "Brampton's Own" as a well-cast film either. I mean, this movie couldn't even find a Major Legue ballplayer to play the Major League ballplayer for a cameo scene.  Like, they didn't have to get Ichiro or anything, but you couldn't convince one Seattle Mariner to be in a scene? Like you don't have to get Felix Hernandez or anything, but I mean you couldn't convince Edwin Encarnacion to be to do a page of dialogue? I mean, the main character plays for the Tacoma Rainers, that's a real baseball team; they're the real Seattle Mariners' AAA affiliate! Like, c'mon here!

So, the guy who seems the most responsible for this is Michael Donager, he's a Writer/Director, this is his second feature directorial effort after something called "This Thing with Sarah" from seven years ago, however he seems to have gotten the most acclaim from co-writing and being a lead actor in a film called "The Escort" that actually didn't do horribly on the festival circuit. That movie had a different director though, a guy who has a lot more credits, mostly in television, but still, that's the first advice I'm giving this guy; he needs to put the camera down. There's a few scenes that are kinda well-written here, so I don't want to bash him too much. Although the use of the phrase, "I want to eat you like a watermelon", um...- yeah, oh boy, yeah, if that scene doesn't damn this movie to a future "MTS3K" episode.... I get it, we're all struggling filmmakers, it's a mini-miracle anything ever gets made and he's trying. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt that this film probably was something that was supposed to be grander and more epic and austere than this, and for whatever reasons, budget, producers perhaps, it just ended up like this instead, but even then, this movie at best feels like a part of well-worn ideas from other movies. And not always better movies either.

You have the longtime Minor Leaguer, Dustin (Alex Russell) who's never made the Show, and instead of staying on, he's come home to the titular small town where he's still somewhat of a folk hero, but now, after twelve years, shockingly, everything's change! His mother,  is engaged and moving in with a new boyfriend, Bart (John Getz, who's also decent in limited work here) and who has a son Dustin now befriends named Cody (Carter Hastings). There's the old high school girlfriend Rachel (Rose McIver) who's engaged to the town's new local dentist but might still feel for Dustin, but doesn't want him to keep chasing his dream of playing in the Majors...- Who still holds onto his past memories as a high school star...-. There's some other friends from his past...- there's a lot here, way too much.

There's a way to tell a story with these elements, even a way to make it new and fresh; "Brampton's Own" just trying to be a tire-old nostalgia-esque romance of Americana. Small town, baseball, apple pie, high school sweethearts,.... It's not adding anything new to this and it's not well-done enough to make the classic tolerable. 

I'm- I've been talking about this movie way more than it really deserved to be talked about. I don't want to be so blunt and I don't want to be this mean to this movie, there are far egregious and worst wastes of celluloid I can think of, but there's absolutely nothing here worth discussing. I'll give the movie some credit for not having the cliche happy romantic ending, but it didn't established well enough to care why it deserves to have the ending it ultimately had either.

This is another one of those genres/narratives I absolutely hate, the "return to your small hometown" story. Why doesn't anybody go to small towns in movies and remind themselves that they absolutely suck and then move back to the large city? Clearly that's what most people do, or the cities wouldn't have so many fucking people in them. And yes, some of these movies and stories are good, but this movie's every bad cliche of these. I mean, the only thing that's kinda interesting is that he's a minor leaguer and some of the minutia and details of that are somewhat interesting, but even then, it's still just a varient of a cliche. 

Number three.

So, when I was watching this movie, I tweeted and posted on FB about how bad it is: 

15 Minutes into "(TITLE REDACTED)", and the movie doesn't know how valedictorians work and it thinks "THE GREATEST SWEDE OF ALL-TIME" is an actual award. I don't know who the actual greatest Swede is, but don't they have an award named after one of the top all-time Swedes? #ThisOneisGonnaHurt

Anyway, my friend on Facebook, Nathaniel C. Tenson responded to it, by saying that he liked the movie and that it was a million times better then the first one, so I kept watching. 

Um...-, sorry buddy, but my friend Nathaniel was wronnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnng.

3. Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again

Patrick H. Willems is wrong too about this film I might add; this movie is not significantly better then the original. I don't actually know which is worst; they're both awful; I double-checked my 2008 list, and surprisingly, the original "Mamma Mia", would not have made my worst list had I made one that year, but it would've been like, 11th; I saw a lot of bad movies that year. Maybe if I had seen more bad films this year, this might've been pushed aside, as well as everything else, but you know what, I doubt it. If you ask me, almost everything that was, I wouldn't say good, but "watchable" about the first movie, is basically taken away here and it's-, oh, this one is painful to sit through.  

From my original review:
...I don't think this is a controversial opinion, but I absolutely hated the first "Mamma Mia". I didn't expect to hate it; I'm not an ABBA fan, but their music is fine and should've been able to be a cool inspiration to jump off into a story. Hell, it had happened in film before with "Muriel's Wedding", and that was a decent movie. But I just felt sorry for ABBA after I saw the first "Mamma Mia". I'm sure they don't care as it was already a hugely successful Broadway show and now there's a sequel a decade after the movie adaptation, but I can't help it; the story of the movie was just moronic and awful. I mean, I guess I prefer it to say "Rock of Ages" but that's mostly because it's so infectious in it's idiocy that you kinda give in even when you don't want to. 

That said, the sequel, got surprisingly good reviews across the board, much moreso than "Mamma Mia!" which actually did split critics badly... I can kinda see, sorta what they're talking about to some extent, but if I'm being honest, as bad as I thought the original was, this sequel, is just pointless. 

It's begins stupidly. There's no other way to put it, this movie doesn't know how Valedictorians work and one of Sophie's dad is apparently busy, getting an award for, and I'm not making this up, "Greatest Swede of All-Time"! Yeah, that pretty much triggered me to tweet. (I mean, I don't know who the Greatest Swede actually is, but-eh, off the top of my head, Alfred Nobel comes to mind. He comes to mind in particular because he actually has a Prize named after him that tends to give out awards for greatness in several fields.) Anyway, I do have to believe that this is just a weird difficult project to begin with. It's a movie musical sequel of a movie musical, that was a movie adaptation of a Broadway musical, that was based on the music of a disco group, and by the way, the original wasn't that great to begin with. What the hell do you even try to do for that? 

Well, I guess they decided to, tell what us about the "Dot, dot, dots!" from the first movie were. (They're called ellipses btw, movie.) So we get the flashback to Donna's (Meryl Streep) youth (Lily James) and the inexplicable reasons that she is so drawn to this magical Greek isle and decides to run a hotel on the island. And we get, of course, Young Harry, (Hugh Skinner) Young Bill (Josh Dylan) and Young Sam (Jeremy Irving) the young version of Sophie's (Amanda Seyfriend) three fathers. (Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgaard and Pierce Brosnan, respectively) that she met, because she invited all of them to her wedding in the first movie, where they all met her and reunited with Donna after a couple decades time. 

That's the flashback aspect of the movie. The current day aspect, is that Donna has now died, and Sophie has taken it upon herself to remodel and reopen, the hotel (I'm not sure why it was closed even after Donna passed, which is also stupid on it's own, but we'll get to that.) , 'cause, that's just what she wants to do now. Her husband Sky (Dominic Cooper) is in New York training in the Hotel business... (I probably would've picked Vegas, but New York works too, I guess... [Hey, it's the one field my college has actually been listed as the best program in the world at one point; I'm taking the shot! Go Runnin' Rebels!]) and apparently he's so good at his stoge that he wants to stay in New York and work there permanently, while Sophie, who btw is now pregnant, because of course she is, although her kid only has one father, doesn't want him to leave and she wants Sky to come back and run the hotel with her in Greece. 

I mean, it's not like the original movie wasn't contrived, it was blatantly contrived, but this is such a non-conflict here; I'd call it a celebration of the original, but even a celebration of an original work, like "Rocky Balboa" still had like, stuff going on. Sure "Mamma Mia" and "Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again" are basically just an excuse to have a bunch of people perform ABBA songs; that's always what it's been, and for some that's enough, but by that same token "Singin' in the Rain" was just a vehicle for a bunch of 30-year-old Arthur Freed songs. This is just a derivitive of an excuse for ABBA songs, and it's not like they held back before. There's a couple new songs there, but there's a lot of the same ones as the original. And even less context for them. In fact, sometimes they're not even like musical numbers, songs just happen whenever, without setup or reasoning. I mean, I guess some of them fit with the theme and the situation, but it's so dour for most of the movie; at least with the original, they were blissfully stupid with the musicals. Mostly though, any justification I can stretch with the original's reasons for existing, I can't find here. There's not a twist, or a new narrative; there's new actors playing the same roles we saw before and the old actors playing the same roles as before, only without the conflict. 

And one of the characters' dead for no reason. Let me get to Meryl Streep's role for here for a second, this- I'm sure there's some reason for this shit, maybe Meryl just smartly decided to get the hell out of this thing before it did actual damage to her career, but I'll say this, Meryl Streep's performance was my favorite part of the first "Mamma Mia!". She was the best character, gave the best performance, and even in crap like this, I like Meryl Streep's lighter side. We don't see enough of it; we don't see her in comedies as much, we are finally seeing her in musicals more, which, btw, she was a trained opera singer before she was an actress, so singing isn't actually like a new skill for her, and she had the most memorable and iconic scenes and movie. This movie, she's dead the whole time, but completely omnipresent, until the very end where there is, what I'm presuming is a heaven-like dream sequence, where she's there and she's alive and she performs... (Sigh) 

Look, I'm just gonna say, this is her Burt Reynolds in "Smokey and the Bandit Part 3" role. Remember the third one of those? For those who don't remember, Burt Reynolds isn't in it. He was too big to keep playing Bandit at that point, and admittedly, probably for the best. Basically, Jerry Reed, dresses up as the Bandit, and pretends to be the Bandit throughout the whole movie until one of the final scenes when Jackie Gleason confronts him after he thinks he's finally caught Bandit, and then Burt Reynolds gives like, the worst green-screen cameo, because Smokey just thinks he's the Bandit despite all the obvious signs to the contrary. This isn't that bad, but it's almost there. Here's the thing though, why is she dead? I mean, sure she dies, but this movie could've existed with her still being alive? Even with the same plot! In fact, it would add more conflict if she were alive. She's retiring to go off and live with Sam somewhere and now Sophie's getting the keys to the hotel and making it her own and that's distressing the mother and now Sophie's fighitng with her mother and her husband, and there's the setup for the big opening coming...- like, that would've actually made sense. Just to kill her off, makes none actually. 

It certainly weakens the Cher subplot which-, I'm not even gonna get into all the stupid plot points that leads to Cher being in this, but Cher's in this one, she plays Donna's mother, which, (sigh)  fine, but I don't know why this was an added element to the film. She has a weird duet with Andy Garcia who has a minor role and not enough of one as well, I might add. (Shrugs) Fine, I love Cher. She's Cher. She basically can't do wrong; she's literally teflon at this point. However, even when I am happy to see her in something these days, like on "Will & Grace" when she makes an occasional surprise appearance, or when she's hanging out with Kathy Griffin, or having regular residencies in Vegas, she's amazing and fun, and brilliant; but she's also just Cher!? She's not playing a part or anything, which is sad 'cause she actually is an amazing actress, but all she does now is show up in situations where it would just be cool for Cher to show up at, even when I am happy to see here, that's basically the only times I ever see her. When the stars align and there's something in the air that night, and suddenly here's Cher.

I'm happy to hear Cher cover ABBA, but she has no real reason to be in this thing either. She's basically in this because there's a lot of correlation between Cher and ABBA/"Mamma Mia" fans and she's taking advantage of that. (IDK, either that or maybe she owed Meryl a favor from when they were in "Silkwood" or something too...?) I honestly don't know what to make of her presence; it feels so weird. 

This whole movie is weird, and not in the same way that "Mamma Mia!" was weird either, but just as bad. Maybe on  a technical level it's better than the original, but I can't justify it's existence, and better than the original isn't good enough to recommend a movie. 

Yeah I kinda regret that last statement, 'cause I'm not sure this was better then the original. This is one of the most pointless contractually-obligated sequels like, since maybe "The Whole Ten Yards". I just have no idea what they were going for with this. Like, I'm genuinely unsure if there was a decision plotwise in this movie that I remotely liked. I mean, I can't say that about the first one; I think the original movie had a fairly thin, but an actual plot that you can have tension around, and there just was none of that here. And you know, a jukebox musical is a tricky thing, 'cause essentially we know the songs and basically what you're doing, especially when it's a filmed jukebox musical, is that you're creating a bunch of new music videos for these songs. Creating new images and ideas with them. I hate the ideas in the first film and the images, but I remember them. This movie, has far less memorable images like that, and the first one had a plot where you at least kinda interested in seeing where it would go. And we get none of that here. We get a backstory we didn't ask for or care about, we get the flimsiest of modern stories that we don't care about, and we get Cher for some fucking reason. I'm sorry, but I genuinely do not get how this got positive critical reviews; the orignal movie wasn't well-liked, this one was and I'm just stunned by that to be honest. I think critics kinda just decided, well other then me, to accept the original for what it was, despite everything, and just decided to give this a pass to retroactively appreciate the first one, but this should've been thrown to the wolves. Cause this was shit.

Number two.

So a few years ago when I posted one of these Worst of the Year Lists in a FB group somewhere, I got into a huge argument with somebody who didn't like what I wrote, but wouldn't tell me exactly what his complaint was. And the strange thing was, he acted like I should've known what I did wrong. Like this went on for awhile and he kept scolding me for what I picked and still wouldn't tell me why he was so upset. I mean, I said a lot of things about a bunch of movies and like I said, I don't go out of my way to watch crap for this list so-eh, it's not uncommon for people to be pissed at me for this. I know people are still amazed I didn't like that Lonely Island movie, "Popstar...". 

But no, you know what this moron was angry at me about that he acted like a petty child wouldn't tell me what was wrong even though there clearly was something wrong that he was mad at. He was pissed that I put one of the "Captain America" movies in the Dishonorable Mentions list. 

How was I supposed to know that? Dickhead; and you know based on that, I'm wondering if I shouldn't have found a spot for one of them, 'cause all those movies sucked. They sucked in different ways, but the "Captain America" trilogy within the MCU is utter shit. All of them. I think it was the third one he was most pissed at, the one with all the superheroes fighting each other; yeah I don't care if it's happens in the comic books or whatever, unless it's an episode of "Celebrity Deathmatch" superheroes fighting superheroes is always stupid, and in that particular film, and as proven in subsequent others, it was a complete waste of time. In hindsight maybe I should've put that film on the Worst List, but honestly, considering everything I've said about superhero movies and I've said a lot of shit about this trend, I actually haven't put any of those films on the Worst Lists. I mean, I could've, but I haven't; even the DCU movies, including "Batman v. Superman" which is awful but it didn't make my Worst List. Part of that is that, honestly, I don't hate a lot of these movies; in fact I like a lot of them; I had "Logan" on my Best List in 2017, and "Black Panther" nearly made my Best List this year. But a lot of it is also that, even for the ones that I hate, I can usually appreciate enough of the film and filmmaking to pass over it when I'm doing these lists. There's usually worst out there. 

So no, despite me getting into trouble for putting these films on a Dishonorable Mentions List, I have yet to put a major superhero movie on my Worst of the Year Lists. 

That streak stops now.

2. Avengers: Infinity War

This is the worst MCU film. All the films with "Avengers" in the title are terrible, but this one, this is the first I was genuinely pissed off at. I might play the villainous role of not liking this trend and being annoyed at these films, and sometimes I am, but this movie effectively killed any good will this franchise had from me. It made the good movies in this franchise worst and made the shitty films unwatchable and intolerable. 

From my original review:
“There’s-, there’s a lot about “The Lord of the Rings”, that I hate...-, I’ve explained many of my reasons over the years about it, and I hate to continually go back to this example, but we screwed up as a society and it’s now so ingrained in the fantasy genre that I can never seem to fully get away from it, but there’s so much I hate about it that I never pinned down something else I hate about it ‘til now. Well, the rings. Seriously, they’re kinda-, look, I’m not anti-MaGuffin plot, but they’re not a good MaGuffin. It actually makes very little sense if you think about it for more than five minutes, that something can exist that’s so powerful that either it must be destroyed or it will destroy the world. It’s actually kinda perverse in that story in particular; Tolkien was trying to create and emulate a mythology, but the majority of it is based around the idea that the underlings of the world are at the behest or creation of the Gods, and essentially, everybody’s fighting in “LOTR”, to become a God by claiming one of those rings, or to prevent from becoming gods themselves. Now, granted everybody fails at this at the end, partially because for some stupid reason this power of these rings is too powerful for people to have, which, honestly is another sticking point; I’ve never really bought into the equation of Great Power = Great Responsibility thing either, but yeah, like the middle of all these warring sides all clamoring for power, you don’t really need the rings for that to be a conflict. 

Seriously, why couldn't everybody just be fighting each other for cultural reasons or political or economic or historical reasons between everybody? Instead of that, we have powerful rings which turns what could be a really powerful story ABOUT how the struggle and fight for power between those at the top and how it  hurts and involves everyone else, which is more in tune to many mythological stories, and makes it, well, a second-rate treasure hunt. I like treasure hunts, but not like that.

Anyway, my point being is that “LOTR” did this better, and the Infinity Gauntlet is an even stupider Maguffin. I mean, I get the idea of Thanos (Josh Brolin), the insane sociopathic powerful madman going from planet to planet and galaxy to galaxy and causing massive destruction and genocide all over the universe under some misguided belief that destroying the universe is the only way to preserve, protect and ultimately control it, but he can’t just be really powerful, everything has to be surrounding these stones? I know this has been set up for like a gazillion more movies than necessary, but that doesn’t make it any less dumb. You’re telling me a universe with space pirates, gods and a smorgasbord of superhuman beings and an insane amount of technology can’t just put up a fight against this menace and have that be compelling, without also having to add this metaphysical bullshit gauntlet crap? I’m fairly certain one of the early seasons of “Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers” did this better. I can’t remember if it was the Lord Zed or the Machine Empire season, but yeah, one of them had already taken over like seven or eight solar systems and the Milky way before the ruled the entire universe and now the Rangers were the only ones getting in the way? Where’s those teenagers with attitude when we fucking need them?!

Alright, so, Thanos, he’s been the big guy behind a lot of the destruction and antics through many of these movies in the past. He seems to already be a pretty powerful godlike figure, but now he wants to gather these stones into this gauntlet made by a dwarf Eitri (Peter Dinklage) who apparently also made Thor’s (Chris Hemsworth) hammer. He’s collected a couple of these things already, and it’s six stones to rule them all, so he’s got four to go. He’s got an alien army to attack Earth, he’s taken out Asgard entirely, his home planet, Titan, which I think is actually a moon, but whatever,- anyway, he believes that, overpopulation is humanity’s biggest problem and he wants to end it.


I’m not gonna say he’s not entirely off-base with this; Thanos, is a representation of,- let’s try to find a way without offending some cultures,- well, the purge. The periodical purge that humans have gone through of peoples and civilizations over the millenniums of existence. This doesn’t have to necessarily representative of (INSERT GENOCIDIAL DICTATOR HERE) either, this could be diseases like the Plague or the Spanish Flu that wiped out as many people as wars did, or it could represent collateral damage from environmental changes that wipe out societies. His home planet it’s noted by Quill (Chris Pratt) is eight inches off it’s axis, that’s the kind of change that would be destructive to all of Earth if that were to happen, all with a snap of a finger. This is a good villain for the Avengers to combat, even if this whole thing basically amounts to his stupid goddamn glove.

The real problem is, the Avengers themselves. The more this movie goes on, the more it feels like that I’ve just spent the last decade or so being forced to pay attention and follow these characters has been nothing but a waste of time and energy, only for them to be sacrificed, literally, for plot and story convenience. Hey, remember Scarlet Witch and Vision (Elisabeth Olson and Paul Bettany) from that last “Avengers” movie that sucked? Well, they’re back, and suddenly important. Or, all that great majesty that came with Wakanda and our introduction into Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman)’s whole secret world an universe, that’s a technological Atlantis that remained hidden in Africa for centuries, undisturbed from the progresses of Western influence, including any/all past/current African conflicts as well as all the excavation of the continent of its resources, including several mass enslavements and forced removal and deportation of it’s peoples? Well, it’s just a battlefield for this movie, forget all that depth and importance that that movie put into this universe.

Or how about, that one whole movie “Captain America: Civil War”, where all the superheroes fought each other and broke up into sections over stupid laws they were way too powerful to ever actually let them be enforced if they wanted to that lead to the permanent break-up and separation of the Avengers group, that’s all, even more completely pointless and relentlessly useless than I originally thought it was now? 


....Seriously, real talk, if they were all just gonna eventually get back together when a threat that required all of them were to come at the first beckon call, then why the fuck does that movie exist in this franchise to begin with? Here, get rid of the stupid law and the infighting, just say, “We’re greater-than-humans, superheroes known collectively as “The Avengers”. Sometimes, we’re together against a major foe, sometimes we’re separate from each other.” BANG! I just eliminated one stupid film from this franchise in two sentences or less, minimum, and saved about a billion dollars in production and advertising. If I could get everybody’s three hours of their life back for that damn thing, I’d be really happy. ([Probably more than that if I think about it.]) Hey, can’t they do that, ‘cause doesn’t Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) have some kind of time travel power or something? 


I have to ask also, what is the point of creating any of these fantastical, amazing worlds if the only ultimate endgame requires them to either be destroyed or saved from destruction? Can’t there be something in between these extremes that’s just as compelling, or even moreso? I’m sure a lot of people came out of this movie feeling like they were kicked in the gut, I did too, but it wasn’t a satisfying climatic kick that crushes your guts that blows your mind, and breaks your heart; it’s the kind of kick that happens to you, when you’re already beyond the point of physical exhaustion, and suddenly, everything that you’ve spent your time working on that made you so excited, suddenly completely falls and shatters, like a long, elaborate computer project that you’ve been working on all day and night, and suddenly, your computer crashes and it’s not saved; all that wasted time and energy that you spent pouring out your soul, for what?

Look, I really don’t want to seem as bitter as I am, but these movies, this franchise, they’ve just annoyed the hell out of me over the years. Even when I like them, I just find myself pissed that this thing keeps on going. I feel I’m being forced to suffer through all the worst parts of superhero comics. Crossing over every universe so it takes place in one world, superheroes battling superheroes instead of the bad guys like they should be, having to sit through origin stories of every character in this damn thing, most of those movies that I usually like, only for them to be meaningless because they get impacted by these grand event comics that has nothing to do with the story they’re telling but this big story needs to supposedly involve every superhero from every universe, so everything’s put on hold, or outright ended…! (Annoyed grunt)

To go back to “Power Rangers” for a second, and I don’t know why I’m suddenly interested in them so much, I was never the biggest fan of them either, but you know why they work as a multi-superhero universe? Cause they were always a team. There was a bad guy, so those five or six people, or however many in one year there were during their whatever seasons, they were teamed up to destroy evil together. Okay, it doesn’t work perfectly there, cause of a bunch of dumb crossover with teams and whatnot, but still, for the most part, the idea is that in this universe where superheroes exist, the villains are too great for there only to be one superhuman to protect them, hell it’s a major aspect that’s built into the mythology of both the American and Japanese versions of that series. It’s not a requirement for a multi-superhero universe to do this, “Watchmen”, somehow gets away with it by creating it’s own unique full universe to explain it, and I’m not the biggest “X-Men” fan, but at least symbolically within the text there’s reasons for mutants to co-exist in the same world as men. But in “Avengers”?

Superheroes all seem to co-exist in this world because somebody wants this world that’s just full of superheroes, and that’s never sat well with me. It’s sorta the same questioning I have with “Game of Thrones” as to why, if the history of the narrative is pretty heavily influenced by the actual Wars of the Roses, then why create a fantasy world to tell this story at all, but even with that example, I get why you would do that, especially if you’re creating a world from scratch. 

The Avengers are established characters in their own worlds most of them, on their own heroic adventures and journeys and going through their own experiences, they’re not brought together because there’s a powerful outside force out to destroy the world, there’s always a powerful outside force that’s out to destroy the world. Just because it’s fun to imagine a bunch of our favorite superheroes and characters coming together, doesn’t mean it’s good narratively. I mean, it certainly could be if done well, but these aren’t done for the purpose of telling a great story, they’re done because, the people, the fans want to see it.


Look, it’s not simply that I’m not a superhero guy and it's not like I want Hollywood to start making movies of franchises, characters and plots that I’m more drawn to instead, I don’t; it’s that I know for a fact that just because you think you want something doesn’t mean that once you actually get it, that it’s gonna be good, or for that matter, exactly what you wanted or how you wanted it. If you’re just kowtowing to what the majority wants, you’re still not going into their head and make everybody happy; sometimes what we think we want is not actually what we want and sometimes we don’t know what we want until we see it. I once a told a friend something to the effect of, “You think anybody was clamoring for a story about a millionaire who goes on vigilante streaks at night dressed like a bird until they actually saw it?” No, of course not, of course they didn’t. It was somebody's artistic vision that people saw and liked after it was in someone’s mind. Comic books are a real example of this effect, one of the best ones in fact but this is what happens when they’re not treated as such and are instead treated as our own creations to do with and manipulate as we please.

“The Avengers” movies, all the ones with the title “Avengers” in the beginning of them, they’ve all been terrible. This one’s the worst yet; (Ugh, and I know I have another to go at some point.) it’s the one I’ve been fearing would happen. It’s absolute proof to me that the notion that combining these worlds and universes together into an epic storytelling experience, doesn’t make it greater, grander or for that matter, even any good at all. If anything, this might be the worst of the bunch because of how it makes everything else before it worst, by showing how manipulative and little they actually were, pawns on a chessboard, easily taken out at will. This was planned for years, why was I made to care? Thanos might be destroying in order to create and ultimately rebuild (Granted, that’s giving him credit to think that far ahead) but the MCU I now recognize is just a bunch of creating, in order to destroy. Perhaps if I had a stronger connection to these movies, I’d be more emotionally elegiac, but I don’t think so. 

Comic books, for all intensive purposes, are fairly cheap to make, and these stories work better in that medium because of it, because many people who do love comics can afford to dive into these several pieces of media that they can read relatively quickly, and it doesn’t require a giant, grand effort to write, draw, color, and publish them, especially if they’re coordinated under an all-around vision at a publishing house like Marvel, and those creators are given as much time as possible to create as complex a narrative and universe as they possibly can, literally, anything they can possibly draw with pencil and paper, as much of or as little as they need, but these are movies. They take longer to make, and even if these were all made as cheaply as possibly, which they’re not, they’d still be more of an undertaking than any comic books or scenes that they’re depicting. It can take just a handful or two of people to create a comic book, it take thousands of people to make these movies, each one of them and the time, money and man hours involved in such an undertaking is overwhelming, and that’s wasted with a film like this, that makes this film feel like a waste of time but makes all those other movies and all that was put into them feel like a bigger waste of literal time and energy that’s been building up for years, then yeah, in that case, I’m not just pissed at them based on concept or their overreach into Hollywood and pop culture, I’m just pissed off at them now, period….

(Deep breath)

And there’s still a movie to go
And superhero movies to go before I sleep
And superhero movies to go before I sleep….  

Well, that remark I made about the Plague and Spanish Flu is suddenly way more haunting then I intended. And I'll just let everyone know that, while I didn't like "Endgame" either, it's probably not making my Worst List for 2019; it's a far better movie, but I stand by every word of this, "Infinity War" is the worst. This movie shits on the entire MCU, and frankly, whatever sliver of hope or appreciation or respect I had for this undertaking, frankly it's all over. Even the good stuff, "Black Panther" is not as good now, 'cause of this movie. The two good "Thor" movies aren't as good now. Nothing in the future if there is one, it's not going to be as good as it could've been, because of how bad "Infinity War" is. In TV, you'd call this "Jumping the Shark", this is worst then jumping the shark, TV is TV; it's weekly, it easy to watch, cheaper to make, shows go on forever, it's not unusual for longform narrative to fall off eventually; movie, big budget, tentpole, blockbuster movies, these cost billions of dollars, they're meant to be seen on a big screen movie theater you have to pay for seeing them in a theater, or I guess now, buy a subscription to a streaming service, but-, you know, that's bullshit, these are films made for the big screen, with big paying audiences, and they threw it all away with this film. 


And somehow it wasn't my number one. Tsk. Alright, let's do this. 

Number one. 

For 2017, my worst film of the year was "Kedi" a little-seen barely-known documentary about Istanbul street cats. It was produced by Youtube, so basically it was an 80-minute cat video that for some reason was on my watchlist and when I wrote a review of it, I could only manage to barely write a paragraph about it. It might've been innocuous to most everybody else who saw, but to me, the movie represented everything wrong about the film industry at that time. Especially if you talked to those Spielberg and Scorsese-types, those old-timers who believe that the worst thing about movies is the fact that the movie theater experience was slowly being eroded and turning from a medium for all the people to a medium for the few. Honestly, I don't necessarily agree with all that, but after seeing a movie like "Kedi", yeah, I 100% understand why they're calling foul for their being too many superhero films and whatnot invading the cinemas, with their truly artistic productions standing side-by-side with a literal cat video, I can see where they're coming from. It's cheapening the artform. 

But that's mostly their complaints, and considering we're in the middle of a pandemic, and everybody's watching everything on Netflix now, I can see how that thinking can seem shallow and non-progressive. Honestly, while I think they do have points, I don't entirely agree with them. To me though, the worst thing about cinema and for matter most media in recent years, is, well, fans. 

Yeah, I've ranted this before; I know people who think I'm the worst because I think fans and fandom are the worst things ever, but they fucking are, and I won't back down from this. If I have to care about what the fans think when it comes to whatever art I'm creating, kill me. I don't think it's just hanging around the Facebook film groups either, many TV showrunners and film producers, all they ever seem to talk about or go to conventions is to please and talk to the "Fans" for the projects they're still working on and haven't seen yet, is that they're going to please them. 

NO! I say no, do not aim to please the fans, ever! You're artists, first you create, then they like what you do, not the other way around. You're artists, if they're real fans, they'll like what you're doing and nothing much else will matter. If they want to control the art then they better become artists and create their own work. 

And many great artists, do indeed start out as fans, in fact most do, including the guy who made this film, and in pains me to put a filmmaker who I admire and love so much at number one on this list, but you know already that I had to. Cause if fans are truly the worst thing about the film industry today, then fans who aren't artists creating art, about how good being a fan is, is truly the worst thing of all, and by a mile, the worst film of the year.

 1. Ready Player One



This movie is everything wrong with all of you, all rolled into one. On a technical level, I might say, "Infinity War" is worst, but I said in my review that this was going to top and I'm sticking to it, 'cause this shit can go eat a dick! 

From my original review:

STOP! I need to stop! 

(DVD paused. Sigh) 

Let me see if I got this right. In the future, of this world, of “Ready Player One”, every amount of world progress has stopped, because of a video game. A video game that encapsulates, the ability for anybody to do/use or create anything but since it’s creator has died, he’s gone all Willy Wonka meet LOTR and hidden keys into this virtual reality world that everybody exists in where everybody studies and analyzes pop culture to find the three keys because that’s apparently what the creator was obsessed with, and the possessor of those keys would then be able to control this world filled with pop culture references. This is a world of gamers who are obsessed with pop culture nerdom because their creator was obsessed with popculture, so now everybody’s playing a video game in order for somebody to become the leader of the video game world obsessed with pop culture nerddom.

(Long thinking pause, deep sigh)

Okay, this is the worst movie of the year. I’m not kidding; I’m deadly serious. I don’t care that I got a couple hours left in the film, I don’t care who made it. I’ll watch it all the way through, ‘cause of who made it, and so far, I think that-, maybe I’ll like this movie, a lot, ‘cause it’s goddamn Steven Spielberg and he can make anything tolerable or even good. (Except “War Horse”, I-, I don’t know what went wrong there. Oh, and “1941”, but that was him trying to make a comedy, we can let that slide.) But, I don’t care, I’m not accepting this celebration of geekdom by geekdom in a world worshipping geekdom in a world worshipping geekdom just to be the ruler of geekdom by being the greatest geek/nerd in the world of them. Fuck this movie, fuck this concept, fuck the book that it’s based on. Even “Ender’s Game” had a real reason to be obsessed with finding the greatest gamers, it was a war strategy, that was used to defeat a villain after all other typical military and combat options were proven inferior, this is just justifying one’s fetishes as a lifestyle and creating a fantasy world in which to live it out, unless this thing has a really good dark twist ending where everybody gets destroyed by their own selfishness, fuck this movie, and even then, just putting this concept out there instead of keeping it in the playroom next to the useless action figures and the much better and more fun to play with plush animals, is just wrong. It’s the bottom of the barrel for this era of nostalgia worship, and it needs to stop! NOW!

(Deep breath, sigh)

Okay, I’ve said my peace, Master Storyteller Spielberg, continue telling this story, and I will try, I repeat “try”, to give an honest thoughtful analysis of the execution of the content.


(Long deep growl)

Okay, obviously, my hopes that I would enjoy this in spite of my disgust with the concept, were not fulfilled. I’m trying to get an understanding of why I’m supposed to appreciate this, but all I really see is some bane message about how good and important it is to be a fan, ‘cause fans,- I don’t know, they-eh,- fans like things others create? I feel like I’ve just been told to play a video game forever and ever so I can get to the end, only for the reveal at the end to be, “Stay in the real world; ‘cause it’s real!” Like, exactly like that episode of “South Park” that parodied “Rock Band”, only they found the humor in it, and this movie doesn’t get how pathetic this actually is.

You know what it is, it’s the fact that indeed, everybody is apart of the OASIS, the virtual world in this universe that everyone’s lives revolve around. Maybe symbolically it works, but literally it doesn’t, and I know this ‘cause there is a good version of this story.

I don’t know what the comparisons to “Ready Player One” have been, I thought it was pretty much “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” to begin with, and yeah there’s a lot of that in there, including all the goddamn Easter Eggs, including some literal ones. I’ve seen “Who Framed Roger Rabbit”, mentioned a bit, you know, that was a fantasy story in a fantasy world, a world where cartoon characters existed alongside humans and that also include an evil villain mastermind who wants to destroy their world in order to benefit in his, in this case, the character’s name is Sorrentino (Ben Mendehlson), but the real comparison to show just how awful this truly is, is Gary Ross’s “Pleasantville”. That movie basically has the same plot, characters enter a fictional made up world, only to eventually discover that they instead of living in this fantasy they have to instead go and make do and live and deal with the real world and the real circumstances of it. It also does it, by stripping away the fantasy world that they’re in and realize that the fantasy itself was not what it seemed to be. As far as I can tell, the OASIS, is what it is, a utopian OASIS that exists, outside the world as we know it that people would rather spend their literal lives in, and such a world is dangerous no matter what it entails. Which is why somebody like Sorrentino would be willing to take advantage of it.

Anyway, our main hero is Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan), an orphaned young adult who lives in what are called, the Stacks of Columbus, OH, the layers of old shipping crates and mobile homes, the Hoovervilles under which the centerpiece of the OASIS world is, along where IOI has built up an army of anonymous gamers known as Sixers (Which, as a Philadelphia 76ers fan, is really annoying, I’m used to cheering for my Sixers!) are searching for three Easter Eggs that the game’s original creator, a Mr. James Holliday (Mark Rylance) had put these eggs in the game before his passing a few years ago. Along with several other gamers who could win control of the OASIS if they find the three keys. He along with other racers like Aach (Lena Waithe) a graphic designer of objects that can’t be bought or sold in the stores with coins in this world and Art3mis (Olivia Cooke) a rebel leader who had a personal vendetta against Sorrentino and who like Wade had chosen not to “Clan Up” together as many gamers had in search for the missing Keys. It’d been years and the only clue anybody had to the location of one key was an underground race that was impossible to win that Wade, known as Parzival in the OASIS would ride everyday hoping to find a way to finish it and achieve the first keys, and of course, once he figures out the secret to the race, along with a helpful search through Holliday’s archives, ‘cause Holliday kept track of everything in his entire life including every film he ever watched and when. (Loser! Nobody has to keep track of when they watched something, you just have make a list of every film you’ve ever watched, trying to keep of when you watched everything is just stupid.) 

It’s a pretty traditional narrative form. Sorrentino wants to capture them and find the keys for himself, he goes after the team in both the OASIS and the real world,- unfortunately he doesn’t quite get pop culture so he’s at a disadvantage. Also, he’s worst than Sony at keeping passwords in especially secret places, mostly though, it’s the pop culture thing that pisses me off. Like, fine, he’s an executive tool who only wants technology to advertise and control others, at least let him be big into Monopoly? Something, nobody’s truly that maniacal, even Trump has hobbies and interest, stupid ones but still…, and no, Kegels does not count. I’m saying that nobody’s that disconnected from the world, certainly not in this world. Frankly, I lost it when they cut to the man in his earpiece explaining to him that Ridgemont High wasn’t in a John Hughes movie.

BTW, with all these goddamn people in the OASIS, when the hell do they have all the time to listen to all the eighties music or watch all these movies and TV shows and such, or watch Art3Mis’s Twitch tutorials or whatever BS? Unlike Sorrentino, or anybody it seems, I had to study and learn all this shit, I'm still learning a lot of it, not because I have great affection for all these pop culture things, but because I strongly believe that I should know them, especially since this is my field of work and study, but I also think it's just important to learn about things including and especially what's popular in the world. I mean, how did Holliday find all the goddamn time to get off his ass and create all this shit, and still manage to have an 11th favorite horror movie, that apparently, people like Wade are supposed to know about and study up on?!

Who the hell has an 11th Favorite Horror Movie?! (I’m gonna get a phone call from some of my horror friends for that one, but seriously, I don’t have an eleventh favorite horror movie!)

I’ll give it this, the film is made well. The production design and special effects are amazing. It’s cinematography is spectacular. It’s the high quality I expect from Spielberg. But I can’t get over the story, and all the implications it has, all the behaviors it celebrates, and all the mixed messages it has about nostalgia and pop culture as being the be all and end all. I can admire the craft, but I can’t accept what the product represents.  

Fuck this movie! Oh, and did I mention, Fuck this movie! Um, and apparently, from what I've heard about the book that this is based, which-, look I can't hate on Spielberg much; he's made movies I don't like, I hate that he made this, but I blame the original book and it's author Ernest Cline, who c-wrote the screenplay with Zak Penn way more then I blame him, and I think that's correct, 'cause from I've heard, apparently the book is worst. Apparently there's like ten pages where they're literally just retelling a whole few scenes of "War Games". Like, the pages are literally just, re-enacting the movie. Like, why? I mean, I like "War Games" that's a good movie, but I don't want to read it after I've seen it already. 

And you know, there's a way to do this. Everybody talks about how referential Quentin Tarantino is for instance and I like all his movies; he's not just creating a fantasy world he's the uber-hero of his universe because he watched a lot of exploitation movies, he's taking those inspiration recontextualizing them, reimaging them, and telling new, interesting, cool stories that aren't just powerfantasies like the one's kids create with their action figures. "Ready Player Now" is basically like, a game of "Jeopardy!" where the contestant picked all the categories, wrote all the questions and answers and is playing against two stuffed animals who don't ring in. I don't think I've ever hated a concept for a movie more or anything, more then I hate "Ready Player One". 

The damnedest thing is that it's actually pretty well-made, and entertaining, 'cause Spielberg can take a shitty story, and make it tolerable, but oh well. What a waste; he shoulda made something else. 

Wow all that felt good to get off my chest. Let's get to the Dishonorable Mentions so I can finish off this year. Thankfully their weren't too many. 


All About Nina-Eva Vives
Andhadhun-Sriram Raghavan
Ant-Man and the Wasp-Peyton Reed
Bumblebee-Travis Knight
Game Night-John Francis Daley & Jonathan Goldstein
In Fabric-Peter Strickland
Mary Queen of Scots-Josie Rourke
Revenge-Kjersti Steinsbe
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse-Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey and Rodney Rothman
Where is Kyra-Andrew Dosunmu

Pandas-David Douglas & Drew Fellman