In a Nutshell – The worst films of 2015

You cannot escape them – some movies leave a scar on your mind. Here’s the 10 worst cinematic experiences of 2015.

Time has come to review the entire year and pick up the worst cinematic experiences. Even though there was a lot of solid films in 2015, I was quite surprised how many titles could possibly fit the 10 worst films list. So, here we go – the worst garbage, most dissapointing and the least memorable pieces from 2015!

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  1. Ant Man

I have intentionally opened this list with Marvel’s almost-blockbuster Ant-Man. Even the most ardent fans of Avengers should be honest about this one – the very idea of this film was incredibly ridiculous.

Although I admit it was a very light film, with a bit of humor, no sane person could change the way I perceive a guy, whose nickname is Ant-Man. Paul Rudd had some fun, Michael Douglas should have said “no” before he looked into the script, but the only actor truly worth remembering was Michael Pena. Nonetheless, Ant-Man was still awfully campy at moments, sometimes a bit boring and included just-another-no-name-villain as protagonist’s nemesis. Anyone remembers this bald guy’s name in the film? Just as I expected.

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  1. It Follows

Sometimes people wish to see light even in the most overwhelming darkness – that’s how I relate to this cult around Mitchell’s It Follows. I agree that the film is based on a very original idea, consists of a modern, stylistic soundtrack, nicely delivered cinematography, but… the rest is A MESS. Maika Monroe ruins the whole movie with her demolishingly cringy acting, the script is just laughable (mainly in the second part of the film) and it is not even remotely scary.  I get it, the point of the film is that the scare comes from the mysterious “follower”, who remains quite undefined, but let’s be honest – if you are scared by naked, elderly people standing on a roof then it’s about time to stop watching horrors. Or at least watch The Exorcist and then say that a flick is scary as hell.

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  1. Spring

Some praised this indie mixture of horror and romance as something fresh and uniquely engaging. The film told a story of an American, who simply said “**** this ****” one day and travelled to Europe, seeking for a better life. Unfortunately, as far as I’m concerned, Spring was a lackluster attempt to squeeze too much out of a dry fruit. Lou Taylor Pucci’s acting skills are a pain in the *** and the only true reason I finished Spring was Nadia Hilker (mainly her good looks of course). The plot twist, which made some viewers love the film for, was also highly predictable. Why on Earth we need to watch beautiful women turned into werewolves, vampires and all that weird, unattractive stuff? They really look better without any slimy or furry stuff on their bodies…

Check out my review of Spring.

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  1. Seventh Son

The peak of popularity for fantasy films was reached once The Lord of The Rings was storming the cinemas. Right now, there is a lack of good flicks in this genre. And Seventh Son was no sort of help to change it.

More than being just a mediocre fantasy film, Seventh Son’s cast was almost a guarantee of success. Internationally acclaimed actress Julianne Moore as a bloodthirsty witch and Jeff Bridges (no comments needed) should have constituted a hypnotizing duo. What’s more, there was a solid back up from supporting roles – Olivia Newman, Djimon Hounsou and this year’s star Alicia Vikander. It looked more than solid, but Sergei Bodrov managed to create a terribly boring film nonetheless. And even if you added Al Pacino, Marlon Brando and Meryl Streep to the cast, nothing would change. Not one bit. So, my dear UMP followers, don’t waste your time on this film.

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  1. Heaven Knows What

This one might be surprising – at least for those, who follow the latest news on the various prizes and awards. Heaven Knows What gained some vast recognition and received multiple awards (…), but it only proves that the modern cinema is frankly dying. The film follows three drug-addicts and their day-to-day activities, which are faltering, shouting and taking drugs. I must agree that it is a very realistic sketch, but a chaotic and a dull one. And as I have written in my review earlier this year, even hardbass included in the soundtrack did not help to make it better. That HAS to mean something.

Check my review of Heaven Knows What.

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  1. Avengers Grimm

Channel Sy-Fy is a gold mine of campy stuff nowadays, but they have strong back up from the production studio Asylum, which aims at remaking all the currently popular blockbusters – the so called mockbusters. Since this year Marvel has risen up with Avengers: Age of Ultron, Asylum had to strike back with… Avengers Grimm. But don’t expect Thor to fall from the sky – this film’s heroes are, among others: Cinderella, The Wolfman and Snow White (?!). So, the title suggests a rip-off of Marvel, the plot manages to include more classic characters, whilst the production budget was lower than insubstantial – I hope you understand this HAD to be included in this particular list.

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  1. Green Inferno

Well, that was definitely Eli Roth’s year. It cemented his position as one of the most terrible filmmakers of our times. Green Inferno was advertised as a gruesome, spine-chilling experience and the director’s bow before classy gore Cannibal Holocaust. The outcome was something entirely reversed. The gore scenes were campy, no-name actors did their best to become Roth’s cannon fodder and immensely big Amazon jungle was reduced to several, claustrophobic locations. Oh boy, Green Inferno is a mess.

P.S. I admire Lorenza Izzo for supporting her husband to such an extent. I really do.

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  1. Cowboys vs. Dinosaurs

The title says it all – imagine a film where Brokeback Mountain meets Godzilla or Jurassic Park. And add some random dialogues, terrible acting and special effects produced in Windows Movie Maker. Do I really need to tell you more about this utterly bad thing?

P.S. How do they finance these movies? I want to direct one as well…

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  1. Love 3D

Gaspar Noe’s most recent film is an ultimate failure of the French director. His bold attempt to cross the barriers and discuss the essence of love via sex exploitation could be a provocative, intelligent film. Well, could is the key word. Instead, Love 3D paralyzed me with how pathetic it was. The script, which – as the rumor has it – was about 7 pages in total, was a story of a love triangle of three dauntingly bleak characters. The dialogues were painful for any self-respecting viewer (those discussions about titular love written by middle-school teenager…) and the sole essence of the film – sex scenes – where more disgusting than appealing. Mr. Noe should really switch to porn industry…

Check my review of Love 3D.

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  1. Knock Knock

I believe it’s good that this particular film by Eli Roth did not gain enough recognition to be viewed in cinemas. Some of you might have been lucky enough to avoid this ultimate failure, but I joined the miserable, unfortunate percentage of people, who witnessed Knock Knock.

Where to begin? Obviously, it’s a nail to the coffin for Keanu Reeves. It’s just unbelievable how cringe-worthy his performance is, how artificial and lackluster, how ridiculous and hilariously bad. It almost seems like Eli Roth hired Keanu to put him on display and add a golden sign “look! Here is the worst actor in the universe”. The plot of Knock Knock is a home invasion type of script, but don’t expect too much Funny Games spirit here. It’s just two stunning women, who try to be scary and Keanu who tries to be scared. The outcome is a horror comedy so campy that even the first Scream could be considered a full-bodied thriller. And that “**** me daddy” scene, oh God why…

P.S. You know a movie is the worst film of the year when even two pairs of beautiful naked bodies cannot change your perception.


 

That was it. Hope it wasn’t as painful for you to read as it was for me to watch all that garbage 🙂

And here’s a list of outsiders (for many reasons they didn’t make it to the top 10):

  • Jupiter Ascending (anyone still claims Channing Tatum is a good actor after that?)
  • Fantastic Four (I just couldn’t find words to describe how boring and cringe-worthy this flick was)
  • The Human Centipede III (I hope there will be a fourth one, in the Star Wars universum maybe)
  • Klezmer (my natives direct bad films too…)
  • Mortdecai (why Johnny, just why?)
  • Self/Less (how did they convince Ben Kingsley to play in this garbage – I will never know the exact numbers)
  • The Subjects (good idea turned into something amazingly pathetic)
  • Megashark vs. Kolossus (one of the many epic clashes made in Movie Maker)
  • In The Heart Of The Sea (Thor in the seas fighting a huge whale… wait, it’s not Thor?)
  • Blackhat (Thor pretending to be a technology nerd… wait, it’s not Thor again?)
  • Cop Car (You can dream to be like the Coen brothers, but you will never become one of them, mr. Watts)
  • The Hoarder (Mischa Barton wasting her career opportunities vol. XXX)

Cannes 2015 #1

Reading Cannes reviews always makes a bit jealous, especially when it comes to movies, which make a buzz there or those booed with echo. Nevertheless, I’ve been waiting for some of the opinions regarding several titles and I can’t say I’m that extremely surprised.

Jessica Kang from Indiewire wrote a review about Denis Villeneuve’s drug cartel thriller “Sicario”, which I was really curious about. The team Deakins-Johansson-Villeneuve gathered up again and blew the competition away, but there’s been an insatiability regarding the plot. Still looking forward to see this movie, as I’m more than certain, that Villeneuve is simply unable to mangle any of his cinematic features.  The director was also said to take under scrutiny a remake of “Blade Runner”, which he greatly appreciates as a movie fan. Still, I hope to see “Sicario” to hit cinemas this year – Del Toro’s try for an Oscar and ominous soundtrack by Johansson with pristine shots by Deakins – that’s something worth waiting for.

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Some positive reviews were also written about “Green Room” by Jeremy Saulnier. The “amateur” director, whose first movie began as a Kickstarter idea (“Blue Ruin”) stormed last year’s Cannes festival. Critics are quite consistent in the approach towards “Green Room”: idea of vengeance movie is somehow continued and it is a very disturbing, yet impressive piece of cinematography. As Jason Gorber wrote in his review, “Brash and haunting in equal measures, “Green Room” may be no masterpiece — but it’s the closest achievement in Saulnier’s career to merit that consideration.”, I take that as quite encouraging.

I’m dissapointed by reviews of “Sea of Trees”, but only watching one clip from the movie (a short scene, where Watanabe and McConaughey are walking somewhere in the forest) raised some concerns, that this might be a far shot from “Dallas Buyer’s Club” for Matthew. Well, I’m still interested in it. Yet there was no spectacular failure (just reminisce Ryan Gosling’s debut “Lost River” – read my review here), I sense that Gus van Sant’s “Sea of Trees” might be “booed” one this year.

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Finally, there is “The Lobster” by Yorgos Lanthimos, which received a lot of positive feedback. Tim Grierson from Paste Magazine even stated, that “The Lobster” could be compared to Kubrick’s “Clockwork Orange” in its cynical manner of exhibiting faulible human nature. If that is true, then “The Lobster” could be a film worth watching, even though for someon, who absolutely neglected the artwork in “Dogtooth” – probably most remarkable film by Lanthimos.

There is more to come from Cannes, but I guess there is already a lot of good stuff screened there this year. For us, ordinary people, there is long waiting ahead, until we are blessed with this festival’s movies. But for some of them, I hope it will be worth to wait.

2015 – What to see this year?

Another portion of “what to see this year” is here. No need to write a lot, just check what will be worth seeing in this year (the list will be updated so don’t worry):

1. Black Mass

That’s one of the hottest things this year.  The story focuses around the life of one of the most vicious mobsters in the history of U.S. – James “Whitey” Bulger. Not only it seems to me, that Johnny Depp took his chance and made it back to the pantheon of the best in Hollywood, but also there is a smell of an Oscar in this trailer, don’t you think? Apart from that, I miss this Depp from “Public Enemies” – edgy, darksome, but hipnotizing. The cast looks  crazy too – Benedict Cumberbatch, Joel Edgerton, Peter Sarsgaard, Kevin Bacon and the list goes on. But yet, this is not the end of cool stuff about “Black Mass” – the high hopes are rooted also in another name: Scott Cooper, who is the director (if anyone has seen “Out of the furnace”, then you know what we can expect) of the movie.

2. Mad Max: Fury Road

Although I’m not a huge fan of the recycling in the movie industry, there is something extremely catchy about the visuals of the “Mad Max” remake. Not to mention the fact, that the cast with Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron looks, at least, quite firm, the movie itself is of Aussie production – and as far as I’m concerned, Australians learned how to direct good movies.

3. Crimson Peak

Guillermo Del Toro charmed me years back with one of my personal favorites – Pan’s Labirynth. Since then, his other works like “Don’t Be Afraid Of The Dark” (2010) were highly dissapointing, but this guy deserves a chance again. “Crimson Peak” is set in a Victorian-like atmosphere, with leading roles by Tom Hiddleston and Jessica Chastain. Well, maybe I’m a bit naive, but something tells me it won’t be another stupid, kinky horror. Trailer below:

4. Cut Bank

The Coen brothers are one of the few people in the movie industry, that turn practically every single thing they touch into gold. “Cut Bank”, although not being directed by any of them, has got this Coen-influenced magic – at least that’s what the trailer shows. A mixture of dark comedy, awkwardness bursting out from the screen and original cinematography – seems to me, that “Cut Bank” might be just another reason to love Australian modern cinema.

5. Youth

Michael Caine, Harvey Keitel, Rachel Weisz, Paul Dano – the cast sounds impressive. It is hard to deny the true talent of Michael Caine, but my silent favorite here is Paul Dano, whose irresistible acting skills are still somehow kept in the shadows. The very short trailer, which you can see below, also reveals a sublime cinematography of “Youth”, adorned by a gentle choir singing. Plus following the enourmous success of “Whiplash”, this movie also focuses around the broad topic of music and its impact on one’s life. Interesting, isn’t it?

6. Cowboys Vs. Dinosaurs

Putting it on this list and the title itself – neither of this is a joke. I guess there is no need for me to say anything more. Seriously, cowboys dealing with dinosaurs?

7. Slow West

It raised a lot of great reviews druing this year’s Sundance Festival, but nonetheless, you don’t really have to read them all to see it’s gonna be kicking – Fassbender following his cowboy-style roles and Mendelsohn walking around the forests in fur. I do forecast either an amazing story or one of the biggest flops of the year. Either way, can;t wait to see it!

 

 

Beasts of No Nation, Sicario, Lost River and more!

Sicario, Beasts of No Nation and more – what I am looking for this year!

There is a lot to see this year. Just from recent news, I was thrilled to hear, that two great directors – Cary Fukunaga and Denis Villeneuve – directed new movies and will view them this year. The first one made already some razzle-dazzle around his new “Beasts of No Nation“, as his film will be streamed on Netflix simultaneously with cinema premiere. The plot will follow an unnamed country in Africa, where children are forced to fight arms to arms with adults. To spice it up, the main star in the cast is Idris Elba – need anything else? Here is the first picture from Variety.com:

Denis Villeneuve new movie will tell a story of a CIA agent, whose mission will be to take down a cartel boss in Mexico. No matter how recycled this idea sounds, I’m sure it’s gonna be a festival contender and might be a chance for Benicio Del Toro to redefine his rather “dying” career – although he played Escobar lately in “Escobar: Paradise Lost“, which was not that bad after all. So, “Sicario” shall be something to look forward to.

Apart from those two hotties, Ryan Gosling’s directorial debut “Lost River“, booed during last year’s Cannes premiere, that went through a lot of downs, finally made an up as well. The film is set to be premiered theatrically in US in April. The movie is strongly Winding Refn-influenced, as Gosling used work with the Danish director twice (“Drive” and “Only God Forgives”) and tells the story of a mother, who is tied to a forlorn mystery,when her son finds a secret way leading another, underwater town. Sounds mesmerizing to me!

Finally, there is more coming. One of my all time favorites Ben Mendelsohn joined forces with Ryan Reynolds in a new movie called “Missisipi Grind” by  duo Boden & Fleck – a drama focused on two guys, a no-hoper Gerry (Mendelsohn) and a poker player Curtis (Reynolds) who both travel South with one purpose – to change their lives.