My Bottom Ten Films of 2017

Note: I had to have seen the film to put it on my list

The Snowman  (2017)  R

The Snowman

Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures

Detective Harry Hole (Michael Fassbender) gets put on the case of a woman who has disappeared, and her pink scarf is wrapped around an ominous-looking snowman.  Oh, man this is a bad movie. The film takes place in Norway, but some actors speak perfect English, one actor keeps his British accent, and Academy Award winner J.K. Simmons has an accent from God knows where. The film is titled, The Snowman, and the serial killer leaves snowmen as his calling card, but not once do the detectives mention the snowmen. Val Kilmer has a small but important part, but because he was battling cancer at the time of filming, he had a hard time speaking, so his lines were dubbed in making Kilmer’s scenes seem a little unreal. The storyline is confusing and, at times, seems like something is missing. It’s as if the director didn’t film 15 percent of the script. Oh wait, that’s exactly what happened. Those missing scenes probably wouldn’t have helped this mess of a film.    My Rating:  You Would Have to Pay Me to See it Again

Woodshock  (2017)  R

Woodshock

Photo courtesy of A24

After helping her terminally ill mother commit suicide, Theresa (Kirsten Dunst) finds comfort in the reality-altering effects of a potent cannabinoid drug.  I hated this film which is too artsy for its own good. The film spends lots of time with Dunst alone in her house, either being depressed or high on the drug, seeing colored lights on the walls or staring at herself in the mirror. Since she keeps taking the drug (some sort of liquid that she mixes with pot) we never know what scenes are real and what scenes are just in her head. I have no idea what the point of this film was and why an actress of Kirsten Dunst’s level would take the part. Much like the movie itself, it’s a mystery that won’t be solved.   My Rating: You Would Have to Pay Me to See it Again

Transformers: The Last Knight  (2017)  PG-13

Transformers: The Last Knight

Photo courtesy of Paramount Pictures

In the absence of Optimus Prime, a war has been started between the human race and the Transformers.  To save the world, Cade (Mark Wahlberg) forms an alliance with Bumblebee to try and learn why the Transformers keep coming back to Earth.  If you paid me to explain the plot of this film, I would have to give back your money because I have no clue what this movie is about. It’s a film that introduces a main character in the first 20 minutes and forgets about that character until the last portion of the film. The main Transformer, Optimus Prime (voiced by Peter Cullen) is missing for at least a third of the movie, and you have a character, Sir Edmund Burton (Anthony Hopkins), who gives us a backstory that is so complicated it would take a flow chart to know what he is talking about. It took six editors to make this film, and I think that’s part of the problem – the film seems like it wants to be 3 or 4 different films, skipping storylines all over the place. This movie is all noise and no plot, at least not one I could figure out. There is an extra scene during the closing credits, but typical of the whole movie, I have no clue what it’s supposed to set up for the next film. The film was shot in 3D, so it’s worth the money to see it in that format, but you really should see something else…or just watch some of the animated series from the 80’s. At least those shows had plots you could follow.   My Rating:  You Would Have to Pay Me to See it Again

Rough Night  (2017)  R

Rough Night

Photo courtesy of Columbia Pictures

Five best friends from college (Scarlett Johansson, Zoë Kravitz, Kate McKinnon, Jillian Bell, Ilana Glazer) reunite ten years later for a wild bachelorette weekend in Miami. While partying, they accidentally kill a male stripper and then try to conceal the death. Talk about a buzz kill. I did not enjoy this film; it seemed much longer than the 1 hour and 40 minutes that is listed in IMDB.com. The film tries to be a hard R comedy in the vein of The Hangover or Bridesmaids, but it fails miserably in its attempt, with few and far between comedic moments lost in its over-the-top attempt to be raunchy. I was hoping that Kate McKinnon would take over the film, but her scenes seemed forced and just aren’t funny. I have a real problem with comedic films that trivialize the use of hard drugs as a vehicle for jokes. In this case, both Coke and Meth are seen as just fun drugs that have no consequences and are portrayed as fun drugs the characters use to act even goofier. The fact that this film centers on the accidental death of someone (which, by the way, is seen by the end of the film as a good thing) should clue you in on how bad this film really is.    My Rating:  You Would Have to Pay Me to See it Again

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul  (2017)  PG

diary of a wimpy kid the long haul Bottom Ten Films of 2017

Photo courtesy of 20th Century Fox

The Heffley family is going on a road trip to Meemaw’s 90th birthday party.  Greg (Jason Drucker), though, needs to find a way to re-route the trip so that he can go to a video gaming convention.  If jokes and pratfalls involving peeing into a bottle, pigs farting, vomiting on a carnival ride and hearing someone go to the bathroom are your ideas of funny, then this is the movie for you. I don’t think I laughed once, and the kids at my screening were bored. It’s sad to see how far down Alicia Silverstone’s once-promising career has gone when you see her playing the mom in this film. Hey, it should tell you a lot that a kids movie is rated PG. This movie has already been placed on my worst films of 2017 list.   My Rating: You Would Have to Pay Me to See it Again

Rock Dog  (2017)  PG

Rock Dog

Photo courtesy of Lionsgate

Bodi (Luke Wilson) has always known that he was a little different from his father, Khampa  (J.K. Simmons), who feels his son should follow in his own footsteps and protect the flock. Instead, Bodi decides to go to the big city and try and become a rock star like his hero Angus (Eddie Izzard). Combine ugly looking animation with unmemorable original songs and a storyline that is predictable, and you get this film. The film is boring and only very small kids will enjoy this movie.  The only redeemable aspect is J.K. Simmons who does his best to bring some life to this film, but even his efforts aren’t enough to make this movie watchable.   My Rating:  You Would Have to Pay Me to See it Again

Fist Fight  (2017)  R

Fist Fight

Photo courtesy of Warner Brothers

After mild-mannered English teacher Andy (Charlie Day) gets Ron (Ice Cube) fired, Ron wants to fight Andy in the schoolyard.  Hollywood is so devoid of good ideas for films; they are remaking bad movies into even worse films. This film is loosely based on a bad 80’s film named, Three O’clock High. Both films are unfunny and at times, very mean-spirited.  I didn’t laugh once during this “comedy” and many times was appalled by the subject matter.  Running gags are repeated so much that they are latterly dragged to the ground. If you think a teacher on meth waiting for teenagers to graduate before she can sleep with them and eight-year-olds cussing is hilarious, then this film is for you. For the rest of us, this is one class that you should skip.    My Rating:  You Would Have to Pay Me to See it Again

The Space Between Us  (2017)  PG-13

The Space Between Us

Photo courtesy of STX Entertainment

Set in the near future, an astronaut stationed on Mars, gives birth to a boy, Gardner Elliot. The boy is now a teenager (Asa Butterfield) and has made friends online with a girl named, Tulsa (Britt Robertson), on Earth. Gardner is given a chance to go to Earth. There he will experience an adventure of a lifetime. This is almost a sure thing to be on my bottom ten list of films for this year. The dialogue is atrocious, and the plot has holes that you could drive a rocket ship through.  There is absolutely no chemistry between Butterfield and Robertson, making their love story hard to believe. There were several times that I grimaced when a new, unbelievable plot point was introduced, including a bi-plane (that Robertson is piloting) crashes into a barn, and a huge explosion ensues. I was constantly wondering what Gary Oldman and Carla Gugino, two actors whom I like and respect, are doing in this mess of a movie.    My Rating: You Would Have to Pay Me to See it Again

The Bye Bye Man  (2017)  PG-13

The Bye Bye Man

Photo courtesy of STX Entertainment

Three friends (Douglas Smith, Lucien Laviscount, Cressida Bonas) move into an old, off-campus house.They soon discover that their house is haunted by the Bye Bye Man, a mysterious figure who just might be the root cause of the evil behind man’s most unspeakable acts. I have seen better student films than this mess of a movie. The special effects look like they were created for a 1960’s TV show. The acting is some of the worst I’ve ever seen, with Cressida Bonas particularly standing out. Her scenes are just painful to watch.  It’s sad that Faye Dunaway, an Oscar-winning icon, has to stoop this low to be in this film. The plot is predictable, and the few scary moments only happen because something or someone jumps out of the dark. I wanted to say “Bye Bye Man” in the first fifteen minutes so that he would come and take me out of my misery.   My Rating: You Would Have to Pay See Me to See it Again

Kidnap  (2017)  R

Kidnap

Photo courtesy of Aviron Pictures

A mother (Halle Berry) is on a mission to save her son’s life after he is kidnapped from a park.  A note first: when I saw this film, the movie kept freezing for 10 to 15 seconds, so it made it very hard to judge the pacing. This is a one trick pony movie with Halle Berry’s character chasing after the people who kidnapped her son. It’s tough to keep a chase film going, especially when most of the movie is one car chasing another one. Some of the car chase sequences are not well done and are quite confusing. It’s a very shallow story, and it’s hard to watch Berry consistently go from crying to screaming and back to crying. I wish for the days where Berry was given a script where she could use all of her acting skill.  This just wasn’t one of those.    My Rating: Cable

 

Also:  The Comedian, A Cure for Wellness, Ghost in the Shell, Going in Style, The Mummy, The Book of Henry

For more of Mike’s reviews and interviews click here

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