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: Transformers: The Last Knight

If only it were the last of its kind.

The Transformers franchise is one of the biggest wastes of potential in the history of film. Based on the popular Hasbro toys and the cartoon series, the Transformers movies have so much material to draw upon to not only make a compelling movie, but also an absorbing universe similar to the one Marvel Studios has created. 2007’s Transformers is still one of most pleasant surprises in the history of summer blockbusters, 2009’s Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen was a dumpster fire of epic proportions, 2011’s Transformers: Dark of the Moon came close to matching its predecessor’s ineptitude but averts that fate by having an epic climatic battle, and 2014’s Transformers: Age of Extinction should’ve left the franchise extinct according to most (*I enjoyed it, however*). But due to the fact that these films print money, a fifth film, Transformers: The Last Knight, has now arrived in theaters.

In The Last Knight, we find out back in 484 A.D. a magician by the name of Merlin (Stanley Tucci) enlisted the help of Cybertronian Knights to help King Arthur and Camelot defeat their adversaries thanks to a staff given to Merlin. In the present day, more and more transformers are arriving to earth despite the fact they are hunted by the Transformers Reaction Force. During this time, Optimus Prime (voiced by Peter Cullen) crash lands onto his home plant of Cybertron and is corrupted by the sorceress Quintessa (voiced by Gemma Chan). She forces him to embark on a mission to destroy earth by obtaining the staff of Merlin, which holds the key to bringing the planet Cybertron back to life. It is then up to inventor Cade Yeager (Mark Wahlberg), Oxford professor Viviane Wembly (Laura Haddock), and astronomer/ transformers historian Sir Edmond Burton (Sir Anthony Hopkins) to find the staff of Merlin in order to save earth from annihilation.

Despite that synopsis and the promise of delving deeper into the mythology of the transformers, the movie is impossible to follow. There is no flow to the story, as most of the characters give exposition to try and explain what is going on. It’s as if the writers were literally making the story up as it went along, something we’ve grown accustomed to with this franchise.

TRANSFORMERS: THE LAST KNIGHT
Mark Wahlberg in “Transformers: The Last Knight.”

Even more glaring this time around are the amount of useless characters in the movie. Jerrod Carmichael is one of the top comedians in the game right now, but you wouldn’t know that watching this movie, as his scenes are unfunny and awkward. John Tutorro returns for this installment, and his psychobabbling grows irritating every second he appears on screen. Isabela Moner’s street savvy Izabella comes across as heroic in the trailers, but is rendered ineffective for long periods of the film.

Stanley Tucci now plays two characters in this woebegotten franchise, and he’s given top billing even though his screen time is limited to 5 minutes as Merlin. Josh Duhmel returns to the franchise as well, but his arch of now being part of the team hunting the transformers despite being one of their biggest allies in the first three movies makes little sense. While Laura Haddock is more heroic and intelligent than previous female leads in this series, she still experiences Michael Bay’s exploitative cleavage shots much like the ones Megan Fox, Rosie Huntington Whiteley, and Nicola Peltz experienced. Mark Wahlberg still has his whole Boston dad from Texas affect going on, but he’s effective enough as the leading man and is an improvement over Shia Labeouf. And not even a real knight in Sir Anthony Hopkins, who is in peak “I’m just collecting a check” form, can make this film tolerable. He comes across as a senile old man who was just dragged out of a retirement home and thrown into a movie.

If there’s anything positive to be said of these films, the action sequences are something to behold. Director Michael Bay knows how to direct action sequences and make great use of state-of-the-art special effects, and The Last Knight delivers thrilling action sequences involving the Transformers and finally perfects shooting these scenes in a way in which the audience can tell what is going on.

That being said, Bay once again goes overboard with his use of explosions, making the parody trailer “Michael Bay Explosions” in the T.V. show Robot Chicken seem more like a documentary than a joke. The film beats you down with its action, special effects, and booming sound to the point of fatigue. Technically, the film constantly switches from wide-screen frame to full-screen frame, leaving one to wonder if Michael Bay has gotten so lazy that he does not care if the framing of his films are consistent from scene to scene. But there is evidence to the contrary, as the film is so frenetically edited you would have had to have put effort into the countless quick cuts there are in the film.

Michael Bay has his great films such as the Bad Boys movies, The Rock, and Pain and Gain. It has become clear, however, that he should not be at the helm of the Transformers franchise, as after five films, only one of them is legitimately considered good. One can only hope The Last Knight is the final Transformers movie to be directed by Bay, as it’s time for him to step away from this series and allow someone else to try and salvage what could be one of the most thrilling franchises in Hollywood. As it stands, Transformers: The Last Knight is a two-and-a-half hour all-out assault on the senses that bludgeons its audience to the point of exhaustion. A polished, continuous car-wreck that has no end in sight. I may not have proof that Transformers: The Last Knight destroys brain cells, but I certainly wouldn’t be surprised if such a discovery was made.

Rating: 1/4 Stars. Stay Away.