Bro-Reviews: The 10 Worst Movies of 2017

One overwhelming feeling I couldn’t escape from my movie going experience in 2017 was just how underwhelmed I was walking out of most films this year. Another feeling I most certainly couldn’t help but feel was how angry I was watching certain films. Sure, bad movies are released pretty much every week now these days, but 2017 saw many films leaving myself and audiences visibly and audibly upset walking out of theaters. Of course, one cannot view every bad movie, but the following films listed are the the absolute worst 2017 had to offer.

(Dis)Honorable Mentions:

Bright (Netflix)

Joel Edgerton and Will Smith in “Bright.”

Alien: Covenant

“Alien: Covenant.”

Fifty Shades Darker

Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson in “Fifty Shades Darker.”

Snatched

Goldie Hawn and Amy Schumer in “Snatched.”

10. Fist Fight

Ice Cube and Charlie Day in “Fist Fight.”

Mean spirited and unfunny, Fist Fight wastes a talented cast with a juvenile script and obvious gags. Its underlying message of how awful the public school system has become also goes nowhere, and ranks as one of the most misguided comedies of 2017.


9. Justice League

Ben Affleck, Gal Gadot, Ray Fisher, Ezra Miller, and Jason Momoa in “Justice League.”

One thought after the success of Wonder Woman, DC might finally be on the right track. Justice League proves DC hasn’t learned from their previous mistakes, as this rushed and heavily re-shot answer to Marvel’s The Avengers didn’t even gross as much as the incoherent Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice. The DC Extended Universe may be beyond saving at this point.


8. The Emoji Movie

The Emoji Movie.”

If you ever wanted the film embodiment of a corporation desperately trying to appeal to younger audiences and thinking they’re being clever about it, The Emoji Movie is for you.


7. Geostorm

Gerrard Butler in “Geostorm.”

Geostorm makes Armageddon look like Casablanca. It could’ve been dumb fun, but it’s mostly listless and overdone with poor special effects. Geostorm tries to breathe life into the dying disaster movie genre, but fails spectacularly.


6. Transformers: The Last Knight

“Transformers: The Last Knight.”

The Transformers franchise has so much potential to be great, even in the hands of a true auteur like Michael Bay. But we must put an end to the Autobots and Decepticons, as Transformers: The Last Knight is an overlong and over-complicated fever dream that ranks as the worst the series has to offer. And that’s saying something.


5. The Snowman

“The Snowman.”

The Snowman feels like an incomplete project not even a first year film student would submit. It’s poorly structured, sloppily edited, and above all else, boring. The Snowman aims to be the next Se7en or The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, but comes across as a counterfeit knockoff no sane person would classify as good filmmaking.


4. Baywatch

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“Baywatch.”

Bikinis, cleavage, abs, comedy, action, and The Rock?! What could possibly go wrong? For Baywatch, everything. This lame, uninspired summer action comedy is a chore to sit through, rendering this bay unwatchable.


3. Mother!

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Javier Bardem and Jennifer Lawrence in “Mother!.”

Calling Mother! pretentious would be an insult to the word. Mother! believes it’s groundbreaking and deep by realizing Biblical scripture in modern times, but is ultimately a pointless venture made purely for shock value.


2. All Eyez on Me

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Demetrius Shipp, Jr. in “All Eyez on Me.”

Tupac Shakur was a fascinating man and a rap legend, but you wouldn’t know that by watching the ill-fated bio-pic All Eyez on Me. This two-and-a-half hour long slog through the rapper’s life plays like a cheap, scratched-up greatest hits album that is missing some tracks, and ultimately has no flow.


1. Wish Upon

Joey King in “Wish Upon.”

From bad acting, shameless pandering to millennials, to being downright comedic instead of scary, Wish Upon hoped to lure in an unassuming and undemanding audience that still believes The Blair Witch Project was real. The result of this poor update on “The Monkey’s Paw” turned out to be not only one of the best screening experiences I’ve ever had, but most importantly, the absolute worst 2017 had to offer in film.

 

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Bro-Reviews: 2017 Summer Box Office Winners and Losers

Whether you’re a winner or a loser, box office revenue is down significantly compared to last summer.

The Summer movie season is officially over, after 4 long months, it’s finally over. While this summer had it fair share of winners that won the box office, their were plenty of losers, and boy did they lose. It’s now time to asses the winners and losers of the 2017 Summer box office.

Winner: Wonder Woman

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Gal Gadot in “Wonder Woman.”

The highest grossing film of the summer by a significant margin, Wonder Woman was a much needed win for the DC extended universe and showed girl power is alive and well in Hollywood. The film saw unprecedented holds from weekend to weekend over the summer, playing similarly to 2002’s Spider-Man en route to $406.8 million domestically, making it the 7th highest grossing super-hero film of all time and the highest grossing film ever directed by a woman.

Loser: Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

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Dane DeHaan and Cara Delevigne in “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets.”

Valerian is a prime example of what happens when you let directors go into a CGI candy shop and allow them to lose their minds on screen. While visually striking, Valerian lacked star power and chose style over substance in this over-long, over-budgeted Star Wars wannabe. The film’s box office receipts didn’t help matters either, as it grossed a puny $39.8 million at the North American box office compared to its $172.2 million budget. A bomb indeed.

Winner: Marvel Studios

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“Marvel Studios.”

At this point, Marvel Studios has perfected the blockbuster formula. Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2 grossed $389.4 million in May, showing that Star Lord and the gang won’t be going away anytime soon. Marvel Studios was also able to reap the rewards of re-booting the Spider-Man franchise with Spider-Man: Homecoming in July, grossing an impressive $321.2 million during its theatrical run.

Loser: Former Franchise Tent-Poles

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“Transformers: The Last Knight”, “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales”, and “Cars 3.”

Alien: Covenant, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, Cars 3, Transformers: The Last Night. What do they all have in common? They are all franchises that at one point were box-office giants who presided as the kings of the summer movie season but have now all but exhausted ideas to the point that audiences have grown tired of them. While the international box office receipts helped prevent them from flat-out bombing and in some cases made them profitable, it’s time for studios to re-think their strategies in regards to tent-pole franchises.

Winner: War for the Planet of the Apes

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“War For the Planet of the Apes.”

A stunning achievement in motion capture and special effects, War for the Planet of the Apes is nothing short of technically brilliant. Add in the emotional component most summer box office films are missing along with enthralling action, and War For the Planet of the Apes proves you don’t have to be brainless to be a successful summer blockbuster.

Loser: Baywatch

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“Baywatch.”

On paper, Baywatch seemed to be a no-brainer. A summer comedy filled with beaches, bikinis, and the Rock would surely breed box office success, right? Unfortunately, incompetent direction, lazy joke writing, and exploitation of female bodies made Baywatch unwatchable, making it one of the biggest duds of the summer movie season.

Winner: Rotten Tomatoes

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“Rotten Tomatoes.”

If there were ever a time where the influence of the review aggregate site flexed its muscles, it was this summer. Films that boasted overwhelmingly positive reviews such as Dunkirk ($175.5 million) and Baby Driver ($104.3 million) enjoyed box office success and long theatrical runs. Maligned films such as The Mummy ($80.1) and The Dark Tower ($46.1 million) on the other hand saw their hopes and dreams of launching franchises either stall or end due to dog piling bad reviews.

Loser: The Summer Box Office

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For every financially and critically successful film released this summer, there was an even more financially and critically disastrous film released. Add in an August with very few appealing films, and the summer box office is down nearly 16% compared to last year and movie going attendance is the worst it has been in 25 years. One can only hope the looming Fall movie season can pick up the slack, but the 2017 box office appears to be experiencing diminishing returns.

Bro-Reviews: Baywatch

This bay should go un-watched.

Over the last decade or so, Hollywood has had quite the fixation on reviving the 1980s and 1990s. This was first done mainly by Sylvester Stallone with 2006’s Rocky Balboa, 2008’s Rambo, and The Expendables franchise, but later made its way to 80s television properties. Prominent examples include 2010’s preposterous but fun The A-Team and the now wildly successful 21 Jump Street franchise. Now here we are in 2017, and the latest 80s property to get the big screen treatment is Baywatch, the king of slow-motion use and the queen of hot chicks frolicking around in skin tight bathing suits that starred David Hasselhoff and Pamela Anderson. In theory, this sounds like a good idea, throw in a man that oozes charisma in Dwayne Johnson AKA The Rock and you’ve got a recipe for success, right?

Baywatch stars Dwayne Johnson as Mitch Buchanan, an overzealous but courageous lifeguard who leads an elite team of lifeguards in Emerald Bay, Florida. After adding new recruits to the team, namely the brainy and skilled surfer Summer Quinn (Alexandra Daddario) and former Olympic gold medal winner but selfish screw-up Matt Brody (Zac Efron), the Baywatch crew must investigate suspected drug smuggler Victoria Leeds (Priyanka Chopra), the owner of a swanky new nightclub called the Huntley Club.

Baywatch is a prime example of some aspects of the 80s/ 90s are better left dead. Part of the charm of Baywatch during its original run was that it was in on the joke. It was a campy T.V. show and knew it, and it wasted no time in shamelessly exploiting the hardbodies of Pamela Anderson and whichever other Playboy Bunny of the Month they could get to film for that week’s episode. Baywatch tries to have it too many ways: it wants to be silly summer comedy, it wants to be in on the joke as a satire, and it attempts to be a capable action-comedy as well, and it succeeds at none of them.

The television version of Baywatch was never known for award worthy acting, but this film adaptation makes it look like it should’ve been up for multiple Emmys every year it was on air. Ilfenesh Hadera’s Stephanie Holden is supposed to be the most experienced and capable member of the bunch, but her bland personality and non-acting abilities make her stick out like a sore thumb. Jon Bass plays the awkward tech genius Ronnie, who is only there to be abused and made fun of because of his awkwardness and fatness. The only problem is the filmmakers thought his scenes where he fumbles about flirting with Kelly Rohrbach’s C.J. Parker would steal the show, but suffice to say jokes about his dude genitalia getting stuck on a beach lounger come across as cheap gross-out humor than comedic gold. Alexandra Daddario’s Summer Quinn barely resonates in the film, making me question other than exploiting her body why she was even cast in the film. It’s Rohrbach who comes across best as C.J. Parker, as she appears to have fair comedic timing to match her busty looks, making her a perfect fit for Baywatch.

Zac Efron does what he always does: looks pretty, takes off his shirt, and plays an irresponsible d-bag who thinks he’s a bro, adding nothing to the film. Priyanka Chopra is a sultry villainous, but there’s not much depth to her character and comes across as a villain we’d see in either the Roger Moore (*R.I.P.*) or Pierce Brosnan James Bond eras. This brings us to Mr. Dwayne Johnson, whose Mitch Buchanan is the straight-man of the film. Mr. Johnson is charismatic, funny, and just plain likeable in real-life and in most of his other films. Here, he’s just flat-out boring. Considering he produced the film, he should’ve been able to have more power in creating a character that would be able to carry the film, but he doesn’t.

More shocking is how incompetently directed the film is. Director Seth Gordon directed the consistently laugh-out-loud funny Horrible Bosses back in 2011, but then went on to direct the much maligned and rightfully so Identity Thief in 2013. Much of the same problems in that film are present in this one: there’s little chemistry between any of the characters on screen, the action is hard to follow, and it’s just not funny in the least bit. And not to mention the fact that the film runs nearly 2 hours long. The television incarnation of Baywatch barely had enough material to justify hour-long episodes on T.V., what made the filmmakers believe they had enough material to stretch it to 2 hours? Was it the jiggle factor of the voluptuous bodies on screen? Was it the unfunny juvenile humor? Was it the lifeless cameos of David Hasselhoff and Pamela Anderson? Was it the tease of a sequel during the credits?

Baywatch is the definition of a wasted opportunity. Baywatch boasts a seemingly charming, capable, and pretty cast of actors along with a good premise that could’ve made for one of the better summer comedies we’ve seen in a while. Instead, we get an overlong, laugh-less affair that not even the beefy shoulders of Dwayne Johnson can carry, leaving this bay unwatchable.

Rating: 1/4 Stars. Stay Away.