Hey, folks! Many apologies for my absence of late. Over the past week I have been dealing with: 1) a water heater busting and turning half of my apartment into a lake, 2) a brief bout of illness, and 3) driving five hours away from home to take a week-long class for work. Yes, I am writing you from a fancy schmancy hotel while my apartment is hopefully not rapidly breeding mold…Okay, I exaggerate. My apartment did half drown, but it was swiftly taken care of and is now quite dry, thank the lord. Also, the hotel is not fancy schmancy. But it’s clean and comfortable, and I probably wouldn’t know how to behave in a fancy schmancy hotel anyway, so it’s cool.
Anyway, as many of you who have been around my blog for a while probably know, for the past two years I’ve done a little series called NOOOOvember in which I invite guests to come on over and write about movies that they had hoped were going to be good but actually turned out to be massive disappointments. I did not do a callout for that this year. Not because I don’t love having you guys here—you’re literally the best and you make my blog a million times better—but just because I decided I had such a backlog of things to write about that I should focus on catching up on that instead. However, I didn’t want to let the NOOOOvember season slip by completely unnoticed either. So I decided to type up a little list about a few of the disappointments I’ve experienced this year. They are as follows…
#5: Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials
Okay, this is the best of the worst for a reason. Fact is, I actually didn’t mind The Scorch Trials so much. It’s a decent enough sci-fi/action flick that I had a fair amount of fun with when I went to see it. Ultimately, my issues with it come from two things: 1) It wasn’t as good as The Maze Runner, and 2) I later found up that almost everything in the film is different from the book. As someone who has not read the second Maze Runner book, I guess I don’t have a right to be upset about the apparently many changes, but I went with a friend who was all too aware of these changes, and when she described some of them to me, I was a bit taken aback that the film decided to go in such a drastically different direction. I’m cool with straying from the source material if it makes the film better, but in this case I think they may have dropped the ball.
#4: The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
In a year of pretty excellent spy films (i.e. Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation, Spy, and Kingsman: The Secret Service), one of them just had to be a letdown. To be fair, I actually did like The Man from U.N.C.L.E. But from the thoroughly entertaining trailers, I expected to love it, and I just couldn’t. It has a great cast and style out the wazoo, yet even so there’s something lacking there. Not only is the story not particularly unique or interesting, but there were a few moments in the film that actually made me pause and think, “Is it just me or was that really stupid?” Probably not a good sign. And probably, by most standards, not the best film.
Now we’re starting to break into the films that actually made me angry. I mean, how could Disney let me down?! Although I guess if I’m being honest, Disney’s live-action endeavors rarely totally work for me. Admittedly, Cinderella wasn’t so bad, but Tomorrowland is definitely another story. Let’s review this film’s offenses. Making George Clooney into a vaguely creepy jerk? Check. Completely throwing subtlety out the window to shove its key themes in our faces? Check. Wasting a solid premise on something that becomes painfully hollow and generic? Double check. I could go on, but I think you get the idea. Oddly reflecting one of the core points of the film itself, Tomorrowland has a lot of promise, yet it simply doesn’t become what it could be. The film may have a happy ending, but my review does not.
Why, oh, why did I risk getting my hopes up for this? God knows I’ve been burned by horror remakes before. Really, I should’ve learned from the likes of Carrie. It’s not that this (or Carrie, for that matter) is so very horrible—it’s just that horror remakes tend to leave me with an overwhelming feeling of “what the hell was the point?” Not only does Poltergeist barely lift a finger to liven up the original story with something new, but the few changes that it does make are not that great. I mean, I know Zelda Rubinstein has long since passed, may she rest in peace, but to put Jared Harris in her place is just…a big no. Harris can be great, sure, but he lacks the sizeable sass that made little Rubinstein’s character so fantastic. Plus, the teenager in this is painfully bad. Like, nearly everything she said and did made me cringe. The trailer suggested a lot of promise for this one—perhaps an edgier, creepier version of a horror so many of us know and love—but what we get is just not worth whatever crazy amount of money Hollywood spent.
#1: Fantastic Four
I don’t know if it will ever NOT pain me to talk about this movie. Guys…what happened with this one? The trailers for Fantastic Four looked awesome—almost Interstellar-esque. But the movie itself…I mean, yikes. The cast is stacked with young stars, the tone is drastically different from the previous set of Fantastic Four films (very much on purpose, I believe), and the effects are pretty cool, so it should add up to at the very least an okay superhero movie, right? WRONG. Fantastic Four is a jumbled mess of a film that made me feel like someone had slipped something into my drink at the movie theater. The characters are weak, the tone is all over the place, and the story jumps around so much that it’ll leave you dizzy and confused. I’ve never been a fan of the cheesy Fantastic Four films of the mid-2000s, but if this tells you anything, this remake caused me to look back on those with a sense of nostalgia. It’s that bad. It’s my I, Frankenstein of this year, truly putting the NOOOO in NOOOOvember.
How about it, kiddos? Any of these among your top most-hated films of the year? I’m pretty curious to see what everybody else has hated so far, so by all means, comment below! Anyway, I’m going to try to put up an important post tomorrow, but I will also be studying for an important test tomorrow…so we’ll see. Either way, expect a post you’ll want to pay close attention to very soon! 🙂