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Patrick's Picks: The 10 Worst Films of 2018

by Patrick Gibbs

It's been an interesting year for film, and an unpredictable one as well. Who saw Black Panther coming? Or thought that the first Star Wars movie from an Oscar Winning Director would be the first box office disappointment in the series? That we'd have multiple documentaries that people actually saw, or that Netflix would give us a Best Picture front runner?

It's not always easy to tell how a movie is going to turn out, or how it is going to be received, and even then, everyone has their own opinions (I saw Solo five times, but I didn't love Infinity War). But the people behind the following films all should have seen at some point that thing were going south. There were obvious signs, but the studios, directors, and in some cases the stars refused to see those signs. Here are my choices for the 10 Worst Films of 2018.


1. THE HAPPYTIME MURDERS
Jim Henson never intended his pioneering work in the art of puppeteering to be reserved entirely for entertainment aimed at children, and it was a long time goal to branch out into groundbreaking projects aimed squarely at adults. The Dark Crystal and projects like The Storyteller may have been hit and miss, but in life, Jim Henson never put his name on anything that wasn't at the very least a highly interesting failure. It is very sad indeed that this has changed since his death. Henson Alternative (HA!) is a production company that was formed for the purpose of realizing this goal, and instead has served purely as a way to separate the wheat from the chaff, metaphorically speaking.

The Happytime Murders takes place in a world where puppets coexist with humans but are treated as second class citizens (and also, apparently, where Who Framed Roger Rabbit? never existed and therefore this concept seems even mildly original). Phil Phillips is a washed up P.I. who was the first (and only) puppet cop on the LAPD, until he was fired when his partner (Melissa McCarthy) accused him of deliberately missing when firing at a puppet who was holding her hostage, accidentally killing an innocent bystander. Phil is hired by Sandra, a nymphomaniac puppet, to find out who has been blackmailing her. Phil investigates a lead at a puppet-owned porn shop, and while he goes in the back to check their records an attacker kills everyone present, including a Mr. Bumblypants, a nervous rabbit. Bumblypants was a cast member of “The Happytime Gang”, a puppet sitcom that was due to go into syndication. It doesn't take long before other members of the gang start to get knocked off, and Phil becomes the number one suspect, with his former partner serving as his reluctant ally in clearing his name and finding the real killer.


Melissa McCarthy may be an Oscar contender for Can You Ever Forgive Me?, but it is becoming increasingly difficult to forgive these abominable collaboations between the judgement impaired actress and her seemingly talentless husband Ben Falcone, who serves as a co-producer, and cameos as another police officer. "I wish I'd f**ked you, Ben", she exclaims. We hate to tell you, Melissa, but this Tom Arnold wannabe is just going to keep f**king you and your career until you wake up and realize that you are better than this.

Perhaps the most surprising aspect of The Happytime Murders is how utterly lifeless it actually is. Once you get past the shock value of the raunchy sex jokes and puppets dropping F-bombs, there really isn't anything to it at all. The human actors are all giving "where's my paycheck?" performances (only McCarthy, Maya Rudolph and the First Lady of tasteless cinema, Elizabeth Banks, seem to be even trying, and Rudolph is the only one who emerges largely unscathed). Worse than the acting is the script by Tood Berger, which can charitably be described as armature, and the puppets are perhaps the least expressive we've ever seen from the Henson workshop (the lone exception being Bumblypants, performed by Fallen Elmo Kevin Clash. The rabbit is easily the cutest puppet in the movie, and while hardly ranks among Clash's best work, but he is clearly grateful for the opportunity to be back in the fold and he's giving it his full energy). Director Brian Henson displays literally none of confidence and skill he brought to The Muppets Christmas Carol, and one has to wonder how he ever believed that his Dad's name belonged on this particular project.

Even worse than constant onslaught of sexual vulgarity is the deplorable subplot involving the man Phil accidentally killed. The image of a puppet exploding into fluff when it is shot is only mildly amusing once, but we see it again and again, and watching a puppet's head explode in cotton right in front of it's puppet daughter, who looks down in horror as her Daddy lies at her feet, dying . . . Ok, that's certainly weird. But it's not funny at all, not even in an "I know I shouldn't laugh, but I can't help it" kind of way. And turning the character of the young girl into the surprise twist killer, a trouble revenge killer who has discovered that her blood lust and her unquenchable thirst for dirty sex seem to be interconnected, would be way too much even in a Brian DiPalma adaptation of an Elmore Leonard novel. Congratulations, you shocked us. But for what purpose? The answer is simple: the filmmakers have no idea, they haven't thought it out that far. Some reviews have compared The Happytime Murders to Howard the Duck, but it's not a fair comparison. Howard may be a legendary misfire, but at least it was legendary. This is much closer to Movie 43, and like that film, the memory of The Happytime Murders is already being selectively blocked from the public consciousness, and hopefully it will stay locked away forever.


2. THE 15:17 TO PARIS
Clint Eastwood has no shortage of impressive accomplishments peppered throughout a career spanning over 60 years, including two Best Picture/Best director wins (Unforgiven and Million Dollar Baby). He's a genuine icon and a living legend, much so that the older he gets, we all like to ignore the many, many misfires he's had as a director over the years and concentrate solely on the hits. But sometimes he does make it more than a little bit difficult.

While over the past decade his films have increasingly felt like Grandpa Simpson starting to tell a story and forgetting the point halfway through, there was still the spectacular box office success of American Sniper, and he followed it with a full on return to form in Sully, a story of true life heroism that took place so very recently in the past that it could almost be called the present. Perhaps the most impressive accomplishment of Sully was the fact that the heroic act the film was based around was over in minutes, yet the story was successfully stretched to feature length. It seemed like a no brainer that Clint should direct the story of the three US marines who stopped the 2015 Thalys terrorist attack on board a passenger train. In fact, I think what happened is, somewhere along the line, someone actually used the expression, and Clint got confused and thought he'd been challenged to make the entire movie without using his brain (if you've ever seen The Eiger Sanction, you know that he's flirted with this concept before).

"So I tied an onion to my belt, which was
 the style at the time . . ."

Where Sully had the help of no less an actor than Tom Hanks to guide it safely to a landing, this time around, Clint decided to cast Spencer Stone, Anthony Sadler and Alek Skarlatos, the real life heroes whose story he was telling. Now, these guys had never acted before, and the overwhelming consensus among those who saw the finished film was that they still had never done so. The questionable choice might be defended with the argument that they weren't cast for their acting chops, but rather to give the film a raw sense of realism, but that seems slightly at odds with filling out the supporting cast with a "who's who" of some of the most overtly recongizable sitcom stars of the past 30 years. Since this is a biopic about guys in their early 20's, we spend a lot of time on their childhood, (thankfully, while Eastwood did use real children, he got them from casting agencies), and we are quickly introduced to Spencer and Alek's mothers, played by Jenna Fischer (Pam from The Office) and Judy Greer (who has appeared on everything that has aired on American television since 1997, and is perhaps best known is Kitty the cross-eyed secretary on Arrested Development.). Fischer and Greer are extremely talented and dynamic actresses, and under normal circumstances they could be expected to disappear into the story. But these are anything but normal circumstances. In addition to the first time actors, the script was penned by first timer Dorothy Blyskal (who worked as a PA on LoganLive By Night and Sully, and will likely go back to working as a PA on many other films after this) because they were looking for someone to write this quickly and she had been shopping  around a script about her firefighter cousin who died in 9/11. Since it had similar themes about heroism and a feeling of being meant for something greater, she was was asked to take a whack at writing a workable script for this project. After six days, when she had failed to deliver a workable script, they decided to go with the unworkable one, featuring such immortal dialogue as "Ever since you told me you were going to war I've had this profound sense of fear, but I prayed and God told me He has something really exciting planned  . . ." So, yeah, that doesn't help things.

When Pam and Kitty meet with one of the kids' teachers, the woman is concerned that the boys may have ADD. As the teacher rattles of a number of how many children suffer from it (I can't remember how many, I wasn't paying attention.). Kitty (who admirably resits the urge to do the "take one last look at these" bit) defiantly snaps back with "My God is bigger than your statistics." As you can probably tell, there is a lot of emphasis on these guys' Christian beliefs. A LOT of emphasis. The references to God come frequently, and if you try to sit through this you will no doubt find yourself muttering a number of variations of His name yourself throughout the 94 minute run time.

While we suffer through endless scenes about how much these boys loved to play war (Spencer has a Full Metal Jacket poster on his bedroom wall, which isn't disturbing at all), we also get to meet the kids basketball coach (Buster Bluth, who clearly failed to teach these boys to be neither seen or heard), the Principal (Leo Getz from the Fox network version of Lethal Weapon) and their cool teacher  (I'm not kidding) STEVE URKEL. Honestly, I was holding out to see ALF show up playing the terrorist, since getting the real Ayoub El-Khazzani would have added a lot but likely would have caused some awkward moments on set.

3. RED SPARROW
Does anymone out there understand why "Jennifer Lawrence gets mercilessly abused" has become a sub genre?

Red Sparrow begins with Prima ballerina Dominika Egorova (Lawrence) facing a bleak and uncertain future after she suffers an injury that abruptly ends her career. She and her mother then receive a visit from Dominka's "Uncle Vanya" (seriously), aka Ivan Dimitrevich Egorov, a high ranking Russian official who recruits his niece for a secret mission, and when she witnesses an assassination, she is given two choices: execution, or go to Sparrow School, a secret intelligence service that trains exceptional young people to use their minds and bodies as weapons, by which I mean it's basically Hogwarts for whores and gigolos. Just imagine having a lecherous, middle aged owl come to your door with an acceptance letter to this place in the middle of the night and asking you to show him your wand. And then you get there and you put on the buttless sorting chaps to find out what house you're in.

Suffice it to say, Dominika is degraded, abused, nearly raped, and taught that her body is not her property (essentially, she goes through the Hollywood casting process.). But she graduates from BDSMU and is sent out in to the field to boink Moose and Squirrel, when she meets a CIA agent played by Joel Edgerton, who tries to convince her that he is the only person she can trust, and she becomes drawn to him.


This gruelling, graphic, disgusting and yet often very cartoonish snooze fest is a jaw dropping effort coming from Lawrence and Lawrence, especially Lawrence, who seems to really be losing her touch when it comes to choosing material. The only explanation that I can see for what she was going for here was to give the finger to Internet trolls by saying "OK, fine, I'll show you ONE boob, but I'm going to make sure that the whole wretched experience is part of such a dismal, uncomfortable and relentlessly unpleasant ordeal that you will literally never ask again."

4. FUTURE WORLD

In 2017, James Franco directed an acclaimed film about a self indulgent and clueless actor making a really bad film. In 2018, he skipped the middle man and just directed and acted in a film that should have been released directly to Mystery Science Theater 3000. Co-directing with Bruce Thierry Chung, a cinematographer who also wrote the screenplay, Franco casts himself in one of his favorite "look at me, I'm James Franco, bitches!" character types, the womanzing, grease stain of a villain with bad teeth who likes to wave a gun around and say "them" instead of "those" to indicate that he's a bad ass (Spring Breakers and this year's "You mean that wasn't a student film?" sci-fi travesty Kin are just two examples of his fondness for this type).


As Future World opens, a voice-over explains that mankind's technological breakthroughs in the development of artificial intelligence and robotics eventually lead to a global war (because the A.I. the Terminator films, or at least the first two). The remnants of humanity struggle to survive in a post-apocalyptic wasteland while the surviving machines remain hidden.

A queen (Lucy Liu) lays dying as her son, Prince (Jeffrey Wahlberg, nephew to Donnie and Mark, and just the spitting damn image of Lucy Liu so it totally works), travels across a barren wasteland to find a near-mythical medicine to save her life. After evading violent raiders on motorbikes led by the Warlord (guess who?), Prince meets Ash (Suki Waterhouse), a robotic assassin in search of its own soul. When the Druglord (Milla Jovovich) captures Prince, he soon finds himself in an epic battle to save the last remnants of humanity.

One might wonder why a star with Franco's respectability would attach himself to such a low rent Mad Max wannabe, it seems as if "weed" would be a sufficient answer, but there's more: when you are able to sign on top caliber stars of distinguished, cerebral science fiction (that's right: Milla Jovovich AND Snoop Dogg, bitches!) and the script offers multiple opportunities to make attractive young women disrobe and you don't even have to pretend to be teaching a class, that's a hard opportunity to turn away from, even if the resulting film is the cheesiest and most slapdash use of California desert locales and motorized vehicles since Eegah.

5. PEPPERMINT

I had a hard time deciding whether or not to include Eli Roth's Death Wish on this list, because it was such a memorably ill time timed bit of tastelessness and a pretty irresponsible movie about vigilante gun violence that went so far as to portray a hero that not only obtains his weapon illegally because he doesn't want to go through the waiting period, he gets all of training on YouTube! In the end, it's still the closest thing to an actual movie Bruce Willis has done in years, it features a very strong supporting performance from Vincent D'Onofrio and tries to balance the bloodlust with a touch of bit "have your cake and kill it, too" by including moments of questioning whether grabbing a gun a taking the law into your own hands is really a good idea. This last fact also works against it, because it is maddeningly frustrating that there was actually a very powerful and timely film in there somewhere if they'd dared to go further the direction of the original novel and made a really thoughtful film about the effect fear has on judgement, and the addictive aspects of violence and the illusion of power that comes with packing heat. But for the most part, Death Wish really just took the easy road and went for cheap thrills.


But next to Peppermint, it looks like a morally centered work of art. It's both utterly perplexing and sadly understandable why someone like Jennifer Garner, one of Hollywood's most beloved "she is such a good person" figures off screen, would agree to star in this movie: it's devoid of any sense of decency, it's wrong headed beyond words and it wreaks of racism (this movie wasn't likely made specifically to try to reinforce Donald Trump's" snarling depiction of Latinos as ruthless, baby eating drug dealers, but aside from the presence of Jon Ortiz as Lt. Beltran, one good Mexicop, it makes no effort at all to avoid doing so). It's one thing to watch Mel Gibson recklessly murdering every "bad hombre" in sight in Blood Father, because A. Mel has killed just about every type of person imaginable on screen and B. If one is watching a Mel Gibson movie, one is hardly expecting a glistening fountain of cultural sensitivity. But to see America's favorite PTA Mom and Batman's designated driver putting a gun to someone's head an pulling the trigger is going to give audiences a little bit of pause regardless of racial overstones. Garner, the once highly in demand, self proclaimed "action chick" (who starred on Alias and even met her future ex-husband while swinging ninja turtle sai's on the set of a two hour Evanescence music video) may be a daily staple of every tabloid in the known universe, but onscreen she's been a reduced to playing supporting utterly thankless wife and girlfriend roles, and at over 40, the offers for quality action vehicles are not exactly pouring in. It's not fair to judge Garner for jumping at the chance to star in a movie that could sell itself as "from the director of Taken " when the best major roles she's had this decade was as Kevin Costner's 20 years younger secret pregnant girlfriend in That One Football Movie No One Saw. But it's important to remember that Pierre Morell isn't a good director, he just has a French name and he got lucky with one piece of casting.

Peppermint sets its story in Los Angeles (it feels unique already), and it centers on Riley North (Garner), a banker, wife and mother. Her husband Chris owns a failing mechanic shop, and one day Chris's friend tries to talk him into robbing Diego Garcia, a powerful drug lord. Chris turns him down, but not before Garcia has already discovered his involvement and ordered his men to make an example of him. Riley and Chris take daughter Carly out for pizza and to a carnival for her birthday since no one showed up to her party. At the carnival, Carly orders peppermint ice cream (yes, that is literally the entire basis for the confusing title). As the family walks to the car, Diego's men gun down her husband and daughter in slow motion, sound free drive-by shooting. Riley manges to survive, and picks the killers out of a line up (they are literally the only three out of the dozens of men brought in who are covered with face tattoos, so it's really not that difficult). But when corrupt lawyers and a judge working for Garcia let the killers off Scott free and Riley is painted as emotionally unstable, she escapes from a an ambulance that is taking her from the courthouse after a violent outburst and proceeds to steal $55,000 from her bank before going off the grid.


Five years later, the week of the anniversary of Chris and Carly's deaths, the three tattooed killers are found dead, hanging upside down from the Ferris wheel at the carnival. The killings attract the attention of FBI agent Lisa Inman, who tells Beltran and his white partner (the one who was emotionally scarred by the whole affair and is not a shell of his former self) that Riley has now returned, having robbed a gun store of various assault rifles and ammunition. When Riley blows up the judge that let her families killers off the hook, the cops decide to tell the media about her, which proves tremendously helpful in the sense that now she gets to be a social media celebrity (despite the epidemic of shootings in the United States, literally the only thing that has changed about vigilante movies from 2018 is that instead of people calling radio stations to cheer on our sociopath anti-heroes, they post stuff on Instagram). Peppermint is joyless, grisly, amoral, poorly executed slog that manages to make one and forty one minutes feel like a week and a half. If you get a kick out of watching little girls put in harm's way, held at gunpoint or shot even dead multiple times (they flash back to the fateful night, she doesn't literally get killed multiple times) than I guess you might find a reason to watch this odious piece of exploitation. But for everyone else, there are better ways to spend your time.
  
6. SLENDER MAN

Image result for images of slender man man designFor those of you who are not familiar with just how stupid the Internet can get, Slender Man is a fictional entity created for a 2009 Photoshop contest on an online forum called www.somethingawful.com (which surprisingly is not a political site). The goal of the contest was was to create paranormal images. A user named Eric Knudsen (who also goes by the pseudonym "Victor Surge", because when you have this much excess time on your hands you need two names to credit with all of the crap you do online) created the character of "Slender Man", a terrifying mythical creature who is defined by the traits of being both slender and a man. Oh, and he has no face. Knudsen was inspired by Stephen King, H.P. Lovecraft and the fact that he had never had a girlfriend, and before long his creation had surpassed Keira Knightley as the most frequently Googled pale skinny figure with a bony chest and no facial features in all of cyberspace. But as the old saying goes, "you can't create something truly original without two 12 year old girls in Wisconsis leading one of their friends into the woods and stabbing her 19 times just to impress it", and unfortunately that is exactly exactly what happened here. Ok, everybody caught up on the back story?


So, the film follows four friends, Wren, Hallie, Chloe and Katie, in small town in Massachusetts, who decide one night to summon the Slender Man. A week later, Katie disappears and the other three girls go to her house to investigate for clues. The three discover that Katie had been involved in the occult and that she wanted the Slender Man to take her.

The three girls decide to make contact with the Slender Man in an attempt to get Katie back in exchange for something else, all wearing blindfolds because the Internet told them to. Chloe panics, opens her eyes and comes face to face with Senor Silly Puddy himself. Wren, suffering from visions that mostly consist of a lot of failed dolly zooms, searches for a solution, while Hallie just tries to move on and pretend like nothing happened (and in fairness to her, everyone watching the film will agree that absolutely nothing of interest has happened up to this point). A short while later, Lizzie, Hallie's younger sister, suffers a major panic attack and is sent to the hospital and sedated. Hallie discovers Wren had attempted to come into contact with the Slender Man again, with the help of Lizzie.

Hallie confronts Wren about her sister. Wren tells Hallie that the Slender Man only wants them before she is taken by the Slender Man. Hallie, realizing that the only way to save Lizzie is to give herself to the Slender Man, sacrifices herself for her sister. Lizzie is able to recover and reflects on the situation that resulted in the death of her sister and her sister's friends, and 90 minutes of severe, mind numbing boredom for anyone unfortunate enough to have plunked down the price of a ticket .

7. ROBIN HOOD



If one were to suggest that Kevin Costner and Russell Crowe each owe Leonardo DiCaprio a giant fruit basket for producing this new version of Robin Hood, it would be the understatement of the year. Where Costner's Robin was the Indiana Jones version and Crowe's was trying to be the Gladiator one, the latest incarnation is going for Batman Begins, but with a bow (and if you want that, you're better off with the first two seasons of the CW's Arrow). There really isn't a single aspect of this wretched film that works and that sadly even includes the performances. Edgerton is a very appealing actor, but the character is so badly established and his motivation so weak that the best he can hope for is to have occasional moments where we can almost take him seriously as a teen LARPer desperately in need of a girlfriend.  Jamie Foxx is dangerously close to reaching full on Cuba Gooding, Jr. levels of "we're gonna need that Oscar back", and Ben Mendelsohn seems sick to death of playing the villain and doesn't even try to go beyond snivelling and sneering for two hours.  The movie reaches its low point, which is quite a feat, when the Sheriff angrily screams at Rob "I'm gonna boil you in your own piss and make sure Marian is raped by soooo many Arabs  . . . "


This wickedly nasty take on the character is punctuated by a back story about him being sexually abused by Priests when he was young (seriously). The treatment of the Catholic Church in this movie is like The Da Vinci Code mixed with Spotlight, and the Sheriff reports to a malevolent Cardinal (played by F. Murray Abraham) who appears to be under the impression that this is a bad version of The Three Musketeers. But the one element that goes beyond the badness of everything else, even beating out the screenplay, is the costume design. Rob's hooded jacket looks like it was made by The North Face, and in one scene, Will appears to be wearing a grey cardigan over blue striped pajamas (all that was missing was a pair of fuzzy slippers). While Robin Hood seems to be a property that Hollywood has a hard time getting right, it's also a hard one to make completely uninteresting. But I should have known that Lionsgate was up to the challenge: this movie is violent, crass, wildly anachronistic, endlessly stupid and shockingly boring (it's a full hour two long, and it clocks in at just under two hours).

If you want to watch a version of Robin Hood, there are much better bad versions to choose from. The 2018 incarnation doesn't just fail to split the arrow, it misses the target completely, and best that everyone involved with this can hope for is that it will be quickly forgotten.

8. Gotti

The only interesting apsects of this movie happened off screen. Highlights include John Travolta and his various producers cozied up to the infamous mob family in order to get this movie made, and in the process ensuring that the film's sense of truth and artistic integrity ended up sleeping with the fishes; two of the major players behind getting the movie financed would of in jail themselves, and the movie going from being directed by Nick Cassevettes to Barry Levinson to Joe Johnston to finally settling on the dork who played Eric on Entourage.


But at least they scored some major casting coups, snagging Al Pacino, the semi retired Joe Pesci and Lindsay Lohan, a nd for the role of John Gotti's wife Victoria, Kelly Preston, who came with three decades of experiences pretending to be John Travolta's wife. Pesci backed out after his part was changed and his salary cut by $2 million". Pacino went AWOL shortly after Levinson did, and Lohan decided that her time would be better spend chasing down children and their parents in the street and filming it.

The finished film is an incoherent dud that jumps around through The Teflon Don's life, desperately wanting to be Even Gooderfellas, as it hits every cliche of the genre while trying to steer clear of anything that might reflect at all badly on the title character, who is portrayed as the world's most devoted father and an all around stand up guy who was only trying to provide for his family.

9. MILE  22 

Despite getting off to a strong start with Lone Survivor, Mark Wahlberg and Peter Berg have been getting progressively worse at the whole "based on a true story" thing, and Patriot's Day built up genuine animosity from both critics and people involved in the events surrounding the Boston Marathon (none of whom remembered a super cop named Tommy Saunders with the ability to teleport to every significant location and moment as needed to be at integral to every single part of that day). Stung by the criticism, director and star sat down and asked themselves: what if our next film had no discernible story at all? The result of the conversation, of course, was Mile 22.



Wahlberg plays Jimmy Silva, a tough as nails, brooding, intense, sullen, short tempered, sad, arrogant, fiercely intelligent, methodical, intelligently fierce and methodically sad agent of a government agency called "Overwatch", which doesn't officially exist. Its operatives are "engaged in a higher form of patriotism" according to it's leader, Bishop (John Malkovich, who comes across as if he is waiting for his laxatives to kick in, and apparently agreed to do the film only if he got to wear Sean Connery's hair piece from The Hunt For Red October). Overwatch gets activated when police officer Li Noor (Iko Uwais, former  Kanjiklubber and star of The Raid: Redemption ) surrenders himself at the U.S. embassy in an unidentified Southeast Asian country, in order to negotiate for safe passage out of wherever it is he is (maybe he doesn't know) in exchange for information. It seems that Noor has a disc that contains information regarding some missing caesium (a chemical element which Silva describes as "Hiroshima and Nagasaki put together"), and if the U.S. gets him out of wherever, they get the code to unlock it the encrypted disc, which is destroying itself and will be rendered useless in a few hours.



Silva agrees to take Noor to an airplane at an airstrip 22 miles away. While they are driving, they are (surprise!) ambushed, and the movie turns into one big super chaotic free for all. Director Berg shoots the action with all of the subtle restraint one would expect from the director of Battleship, and stubbornly refuses to choose between cinéma vérité and slow motion shots, seeing no reason he can't do both at the same time. The tense, crackling dialogue includes such gems as "the definition  of an unknown known is a thing which exists, but which you do not know about, and which YOU CANNOT EVEN IMAGINE!" and "This is such sh*t. This is the worst f*cked up sh*t of all of the f*cking sh*t we've ever seen. This is the sh*ttiest, most f*cked up sh*t . . . "

That last line may be the best description of this movie ou will ever hear, and we haven't even covered the hilarious comic relief subplot: it seems that Silva's fellow agent, Alice (Lauren Cohan) is going through a divorce, and a nasty custody battle, and is she's too busy saving the world to ever get to see her daughter! Haha!And that's not even the funny part: per husband (played by director peter Berg, a bad actor before he became a bad director) is making her use a divorce family planning app on her phone for all conversations, which filters out all profanity and negativity. The clever bit that makes this so complicated (get ready to fall out of your chair now) is that Alice (giggle) likes to swear. So,  you can imagine the wacky shenanginans and goings on that ensue! But while Alice can 't take her anger at the heartbreak of being separated from her baby out on her husband, at least she gets to shoot bad guys at point blank range.

Mile 22 is really just 16 Blocks mixed with the turkey shoot sequence in Clear and Present Danger, and even if Christopher McQuarrie hadn't given us the most intense action ever seen in a spy thriller only a week or two before, this sad attempt to start a franchise would have stalled at the gate.

10. AIR STRIKE (UNBREAKABLE SPIRIT)



30 years ago, Bruce Willis was riding high after proving that 20th Century Fox was not crazy for giving the biggest movie star paycheck in history to a television star to play the lead in an action movie called Die Hard. 

Nowadays, the fact that he would have starred in three major theatrical releases by January (when Glass is scheduled to suck) would be extremely noteworthy, given that he spends so much of his time getting massive paychecks to spend three days on the set of direct to the garbage bin  VOD action films that star people like Hayden Christensen, Cole Hauser, Tom Jane, the dog from Fraiser. etc.  It was bad enough that Death Wish got bad reviews and  a place in infamy by being released just after the tragic mass shooting in Parkland, Florida. But then his next big theatrical project, which set for a major event release in China, had its plans to invade screens all over the country when Bingbing Fan ran into some tax trouble that not only ruined this film's release but shook the whole Chinese film industry to it's core (Hollywood.)

Set in 1943 during World War II, the story revolves around the Japanese bombing of Chonggqing, which started in 1938. Willis stars as the John Wayne character, an American Officer named Jack, who is training Chinese fighter jocks to take on the ruthless Japanese invaders, who are so cunning that they choose to speak in a secret language (Japanese) that can only be deciphered through subtitles, while the red blooded, All-American Chinese boys had their voices dubbed at birth, lip movements be damned. The film also features Best Actor Winner Adrien Brody as Steve, an American doctor, whose biggest accomplishment is having more screen time than the generously billed Rumer Willis, who appears just long enough to turn to the camera and say only one line for fear that if she moves her law too much it might fall off.

Runners-Up: Black Water, The Cloverfield Paradox, Kin, Mortal Engines, Skyscraper, The Spy Who Dumped Me, Venom, A Wrinkle in Time

The Bearded Trio - The Site For Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, John Williams and a whole lot more.

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Did Paul Freeman Accidentally Eat A Fly In Raiders of the Lost Ark?

The Famous Indiana Jones Fly In Belloq's Mouth Scene.  Did It Really Happen? I've always wondered if Paul Freeman unintentionally consumed a fly in this scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark?  It's the scene where Indiana Jones shouts down to Bellosh...I mean Belloq and threatens to blow up the ark.  Did a fly go in his mouth?

I remember watching this scene back in the early eighties and my ten year old mind thought he definitely had a snack while filming.  I recall talking about 'flygate' in my school playground at the time and the general consensus with my friends was that Freeman definitely had a sneaky snack.

Paul Freeman talks about the famous 'fly' scene in an interview with TheIndyExperience.com and settled 'flygate:'

This is a bit of a dicey question so don’t get too upset. (Laughs) A movie’s always got bloopers in it, some have a lot, and some only have three or four. And the most remarkable blooper was right before the opening of the Ark scene.…

Pinewood Studios To Expand To The Usa

BBC News have reported that Pinewood Studios are to expand to the USA.  This is great news for the famous studio that is rich in movie history.


UK film studio Pinewood Shepperton has announced plans to build its first sound stages in the United States. The Pinewood Atlanta complex will be built on 288 acres of land south of Atlanta, Georgia, as a joint venture with a US investment company. Georgia has been among the US states drawing film-making away from Hollywood with tax incentives in recent years. The deal is the latest sign of expansion at Pinewood, the home of the James Bond franchise. Earlier this month it announced a joint venture with a Chinese media group, potentially giving it access to the fast-growing Chinese market.
Read the full article here.

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