With the good comes the bad. While it has been a pleasure and joy to sit through the many great films on my “best of” list, there has been another side to the coin of film-going. The films in the following list either tried and failed miserably or appeared to not try at all. Despite society moving slowly towards acceptance and equality, it was disheartening to see films with such cavemen attitudes towards women such as 50 Shades of Grey and other races such as American Sniper.
Here’s hoping for a more enlightened 2016.
1 – American Sniper: Deplorable, racist drama about an army sniper dubbed and American hero for his skills, yet his Middle Eastern counterpart (as equally skilled) is the evil bad guy. Modest “hero” never accepts the term, but this film doesn’t care and hails his as one anyway. Also: way too much flag waving.
2 – We Are Your Friends: Interesting idea: the life of a DJ and the skill involved in the job. However, this is boringly routine and predictable. Zac Efron’s charm cannot carry this dull film.
3 – The Gallows: Another found footage film with zero imagination or even motivation for its characters to keep filming. Low on character count, but they are all insufferable, annoying jerks that you want to see snatched up by the spooks in the gallows.
4 – Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension: This series goes from ludicrous to even more ludicrous. More ghosties spook another average family in a suburban mansion. The 3D is strictly for gimmick purposes, endless exposition is delivered gratingly and in the most ham-fisted, unnatural way. A chore to watch.
5 – 50 Shades of Grey: Anti-feminist, largely tame, insultingly bad would-be sizzling sexy film has characters that defy logic and basic decency. Based on the mega selling books, this maddeningly female unfriendly piece
6 – Run All Night: The kind of film that is so average in every department that you can barely remember anything about it months after seeing it. Liam Neeson continues his action hero schtick that he was great at in Taken, but needs to try something else.
7 – The Longest Ride: More of the same Nicholas Sparks weepiness. Don;t bring tissues, bring a book, or a deck of cards. Or just don’t bother.
8 – The Theory of Everything: A movie about a man with a brilliant mind and life that fails to go beneath the surface just makes for a deeply unsatisfying experience. You would get more insight from Stephen Hawking’s Wikipedia page than this film. Eddie Redmayne nails the physicality of the role, but is left zero substance.
9 – Seventh Son: An excellent cast (Julianne Moore, Jeff Bridges and more) leave us wondering “What were they thinking?”by appearing in this hokey fantasy action film.
10 – Far From the Madding Crowd: 1800s female farmer rejects advancements from respectable, hard-working men, to fall for the guy who cuts her hair in a hilarious display of masculinity and grabs her crotch in a cringe-worthy scene. Literary classic given daytime soap opera treatment in this drawn-out, tiresome story that manages to turn a strong and interesting female character into an unrelatable mess.
StalkHer, Youth, The Wedding Ringer, Terminator Genisys, Macbeth, Entourage, Blinky Bill, The Intern, UnIndian, Aloha, By The Sea, Clouds of Sils Maria.