Hold your nose!
At least when you get to the bottom of my list of my 10 worst films of the 52 first-run films I saw in the theater during 2015, one each week for my Monday online reviews.
That’s where the real stinkers reside.
I must admit, a couple that you’ll see a paragraph or so below, Nos. 10 and 9 and such, didn’t make me run from the theater gasping for breath or anything.
Better year than most … maybe.
So here we go, for your stop-and-stare, avoid-at-all-cost or laugh-at-or-with-me pleasure, from kind of disappointing to downright despicable, I present my Bottom 10 from 2015.
10. Rock the Kasbah. First off, I’m a big Bill Murray fan. Huge. This one, not so much, as he plays a down-on-his-luck (and we find out later, lying-through-his-teeth) music agent and promoter who takes his lone client to Kabul. After she ditches him, Richie finds a young local voice in the hills, and takes her to be the first woman on the TV talent show Afghan Star. This part comes from real life. But there’s too much stretch and macho not enough music and human reality for Bill to really prevail.
9. Black Mass. This is the true story of Boston mobster Whitey Bulger, who tried to be a nice guy to his family friends as he really was a … Boston mobster and all that means to his enemies and whomever got in his way. You’ll hardly believe the guy behind the makeup is Johnny Depp. And the childhood friend who grew up to be a lawman would bend so far and still think he’s in the right.
8. Project Almanac. I had much hope at the start of this one as a way smart teen and his pals figure out how to time-travel. Alas, instead of using his invention to handle some meaty topics they discuss, they settle for watching the Imagination Dragons at a cool concert, and the main man falls for love angles that make their experiment — and the movie, in my opinion — go way, way wrong.
7. No Escape. A family led by a patriarch played by Owen Wilson finds itself stranded and in peril in a nameless Asian country. The atrocities that flash by his kids’ eyes as they try to escape the political regime bad guys are, well, too awful, in my opinion, even as I kept repeating, It’s only a movie, it’s only a movie, it’s …
6. Get Hard. Yet another in a long line of Kevin Hart comedy vehicles, this one pairs the short guy with Will Ferrell in this two-way fish-out-of-water tale. Hart plays a tough guy hired by Ferrell’s rich man sent up the river to teach the ways to stay safe in prison. Only Hart’s a family man who’s never been jailed and snobby rich dude’s assumptions there are just the start of the offensive innuendo cracks.
5. Run All Night. Liam Neeson plays a bad guy who must save his good son from the sinister mechanizations set in action by the orders of the guy who used to be his best friend and boss, a very bad man played by Ed Harris. It’s all because Neeson’s character, you see, had to kill Harris’ son, who was even worse than his father. All of it is paced and manipulated to get you rooting for the least of all the evils.
4. The Heart of the Sea. The whaling industry in Cape Cod is brutalized by a giant whale in director Ron Howard’s beautifully shot tale of why and how Moby Dick really got written. Too much whale, too much sea, too much little boats, too much imagined horror despite the pretty cinematography.
3. The Age of Adele. A woman lives through a car accident that somehow alters her body and stops the aging process. And starts a journey of hiding that fact from everybody but her daughter, who little by little, looks like her sister, her mother, her grandmother. See her problem? Try explaining it all to a suitor a generation younger, or his father who recognizes her for who she really is. The problem is, the movie moves at a snail’s pace, and I felt I’d aged a decade when I left the theater.
2. The D Train. Oh, Jack Black, when you run off the rail, it’s a major collision at the busiest of intersections. Black plays Dan Landsman, who’s actually done pretty well for himself despite a pretty miserable high school life in Pittsburgh. Then comes the 20-year reunion, and his fascination for the tough-guy classmate played by James Marsden, who’s made one TV commercial out in LA. What trouble they get into when he jets out there with his boss, played by confused Jeffrey Tambor, and how awkward it is for his poor wife, played unsettled Kathryn Hahn. It’s all so terribly uncomfortable for we viewers.
1. Ted 2. This crass-talking Teddy Bear is a bore, foul-mouthed, pot-smoking, beer-drinking … A sequel with best friend Johnny played by Mark Wahlberg so the furry one can marry a beauty played by Jessica Barth. Oh, Seth MacFarlane, how wrong, wrong, wrong you went with this script and direction and, well, even Ted’s voice (yes, you) creeped me out.
What was your least favorite movie of 2015, and why? What do you agree with most from my list, and why? What do you disagree with most from my list, and why?