5 Films I should have avoided in 2015 (and 1 that I am glad I didn't!) / by Frixos Masouras

DISCLAIMER: As one who reviews films, believe me I understand how opinion works. A film that I love, you might consider to be garbage (arguments be damned). So going into this you should understand that I view films in a completely different light from everyone... just like everyone else! You might stop at any of these films just to shout "WHAT?!" at the monitor, plus some obscenities regarding me, just because I added them next to some OTHER films that we all agree are garbage. BUT, going into a film I have been waiting for with bated breath and instead of falling in love I get handed a bowl full of marathon-runner used socks for dinner is sometimes way more painful than going in KNOWING that you are about to be handed a bowl of... you get the picture. 

2015 is in the past and it came and went in a blur of films. Here is a list of six films, five of which I should have avoided and one that I am glad I didn't.

So, in PARTICULAR order of sockness* here are those 5 films I'd like to speak about. 

*Raises flame shield for good measure*

*Brandishes Wand of Meh*

*Prepares the Scroll of Scroll* (don't ask)

 

05. Seventh Son (yes, it opened in the US in February 2015, so no, not a 2014 release)

"Cut? Why? He nailed his line didn't he?"

"Cut? Why? He nailed his line didn't he?"

I would love to see the script for this film. If Jeff Bridge's lines read "mfmghk asdgoihg, grrrnk a ioppp"  then I'll just tip all the hats I have and campaign every year for this man to get an Oscar. For ever. But I am sure that his lines were normally typed out and clean. His speaking on the other hand... Well, I say 'speaking' but what I really mean is "WHAT THE FUCK IS HE SAYING!!!". Jeff Bridges showed up in this film and, well, that's all he really did. Cracked one good joke, flipped us the bird and fucked off. Here I was waiting for a proper high-fantasy film to high-tail it to success, thus ushering in a new era of non-Jackson fantasy films. Boy did I eat a sock on that one.  The whole thing is 102 minutes, feels like a lap-dance by a stripper who doesn't even wanna be in the room with you while a terrible song (think any song that makes you cringe so hard you have an involuntary bowel movement) forces her to move around like she has a wide variety of sports injuries all over.

Kit Harrington is in it for about a heartbeat and he looks like he simply stumbled onto the wrong set, hopefully drunk (probably after a night of drinking with Jeff Bridges. Who, of course, never stopped drinking throughout filming regardless). Julianne Moore is in there somewhere, but she delivers something akin to what Ray Liotta gave us in the Dungeon Siege film (In the Name of the Kin..zzzzzz. That one)! Ray Liotta, a wizard. Fuck. Me.
Just no. Nothing against Ray or Julianne AT ALL, and I get that actors have to eat as well. But.... no.

Walked in expecting to be entertained and I walked out feeling like I was jumped by eight orcs who just took 7 euro from my pockets and then just shouted obscenities at me for the rest of the day. Wherever I went.  


 

04. Fantastic Four

"Is THIS your tempo?"

"Is THIS your tempo?"

Oh boy. Where does one begin. From the horrendous miscasting (apart from Michael B. Jordan who looked like he was trying, to his credit!), the offensively bad script or the absurdly FLAT delivery of every shot, this film is a smorgasbord of clusterfucks with a side-dish of failure so large that the ticket should have been half-fuckin'-priced. I won't even hover over the fact that the film LOOKS like it never knew what to do with itself and instead I will focus on just how much HURT I felt for one of Marvel's greatest villains. Toby Kebbell is a top bloke, no joke, but this is what happens when you give Lionel Messi a BMX and tell him to play  Chopin's Nocturne No.2 using only the squeak that sounds off when you squeeze the brake lever. There are three people responsible for this atrocity, Jeremy Slater, Simon Kinberg and Josh Trank himself but like a firing squad where most riflemen are shooting blanks so you don't know who actually kills the accused, we DON'T know who had the bright idea of making DR. DOOM a socially inept blogger. 

Shame on everyone involved in this atrocious piece of something. I really have no single word to describe it but I have only myself to blame for ACTUALLY sitting through it when all the signs pointed towards "No". 
 

 

03. Fifty Shades of Grey

Yeap. Douche.

Yeap. Douche.

Admit it. Much like the above entry, you knew this was coming (sexual pun no. 1. You count the rest). I had previously read some parts of the book therefore I am solely to blame for choking down on this grandiose example of TERRIBLE. The best place to begin describing just how much this film sucks is of course the two leads.  Let's be honest, you can tell when a script is terrible but an actor is trying their best to keep it up. Dakota Johnson biting her lip was as forced as a heimlich maneuver performed on a person who had something jammed so deep in their throat that you have to start from their ankles. The script demanded that she play the part of a 21 year-old virgin and clearly (kudos to her for being sexually active as any human being of appropriate age should be!) she doesn't have the slightest of clues how to do that. If the script had asked of her to play a perma-constipated 29 year-old then I would have been onboard, cause she clearly nailed that shit. 

And then there's Jamie Dornan. Is he a looker? Sure. Is his god's gift to anyone attracted to men? Mmmmno. Can he act like it? No more than I could bench-press a Concorde. The man had less charisma than a shark gnawing on a dead whale after the other 50 sharks had their fill. So he was left gnawing on dangly left-overs on hard bones. Picture it. Yes, that shark looks stupid and he knows it, but "whatchagonnado right"?   

In a way, this is divine justice since the book got the film it deserved. Of course, it made $571 million, on a $40 million budget. And what does that tell us? Simple. It tells us that we, as a species, are still not tuned sexually as we should be, because if people flocked to see this in order to satisfy some sexual urge or deviant curiosity then people should really speak up about sex more. Like, A LOT more. Because this is not representative of ANYTHING sexual I can possibly think of, and I can think of many sexual anythings!

Quite simply, this film is the most successful 'clickbait' to ever soil our world.  

 

02. Crimson Peak

"All I am saying is that The Devil's Backbone is old. Don't worry, our plot-twist is safe"

"All I am saying is that The Devil's Backbone is old. Don't worry, our plot-twist is safe"

Hubris. Heresy. Doom. What on earth is a Guillermo Del Toro film doing on this list, right? Well, let me explain. Picture yourself meeting someone. You talk, get to know each other and you slowly come to see that this person is right for you. You crack jokes together, cry together, feel together. End up together. And one day, after returning home from work expecting the per-usual amazing Tuesday massage and sex sessions that you have established for so many years now, you realise that this person simply got up and left after taking a selfie in bed with your best friend. Which was, of course, posted on your Facebook wall as the most horrendous Frape ever. A post which your mom liked, just for good measure. 

You see, Larry? THAT'S what happens... 

A film that was branded a "MASTERPIECE" (prior to its release, of course).  A word I do not use lightly at all. But I am a sucker for Del Toro and his body of work. I really am. So after all those trailers and drinking OCEANS of hype upon hype for the return of The Master to the horror genre, I was instead treated with a sick joke. Watching Crimson Peak felt like I tasked Gordon Ramsay with boiling a single egg. 

A visually stunning film that had less depth than an inflatable pool, still sealed in its cheap plastic. In retrospect, there were no signs that this would have been the case AT ALL thus making the butthurt of discovering its narrative ineptitude that much more painful. To top it all off, just to see how off-key this whole viewing experience was, even Charlie Dunham was passable on screen (albeit for just some fleeting moments... probably for the best).  Hiddleston, Wasikowska and Chastain were spot on. And by that I mean they stood exactly where they were told to and spoke the lines they were given with just enough performance to drive home just how much of a disappointment this film was for me. 

Beware of Crimson Peak indeed....

 

01. Terminator Gehrbaege (See? I can do that too...)

[Screaming Internally]

[Screaming Internally]

Yeah. Here we are. The movie that I should have avoided like the plague. An absolute stinker of a film, that not only sucks harder than a hole in a spaceship orbiting the earth, but it also besmears the name Terminator. The latter point of course doesn't matter since the name itself is well and truly submerged in a deep sewer filled to the brim with exclusively human excrement already.

Watching this absolutely horrendous excuse of a film was as painful as watching a mother repeatedly slapping her own child. And having a hoot of a time. It was one of those "I know it will probably suck, but I must watch it anyway" situations. I was NOT prepared.

Have you watched  David Caradine's spot where he is advertising this bent pip... I mean fitness product? I cringe so hard, the paint on my office walls crack just by thinking about it. Of course, David is no longer with us (he died doing what he loved. I don't judge. Truly) but Arnold Scwarzenegger is (thankfully). And Arnie should seriously consider his next step with a lot more care because I never expected to be given a film SO bad that I refuse to ever watch it again even for a laugh. I'd watch The Room five times in one day (with some alcohol at hand) instead of sitting just ONCE through this tripe again.   To all those responsible for this abomination, shame on you. It's not your party and you won't cry if you want to because you make these films for US. And WE pay to appreciate the artistry involved in creating a film. If the crew involved wanted charity money then they could have started a crowd-funded project instead "for grocery funds". I am sure we would have mustered something...  

The script was PAINFUL, not only because it was filled with cheap-wine-style lines and twists that only a 12 year-old would come up with (nothing wrong with a 12 year-old coming up with twists like that. It's the 'grown-ups' doing it that piss me off) but because it purposely BUTCHERED the original Terminator, seemingly just for shits and giggles. The whole concept felt like an idea that a studio exec threw from a toilet cubicle to his friend in the next cubicle, while they were shitting out expensive meals that many people have bled and toiled over in order for them to have it in their plate in the first place. Written on used toilet paper nonetheless. Are you kinda grossed out? WELL, GOOD, DAMMIT!

I am NOT going to ask of you to stop murdering my teenhood. I just want to ensure that future teenhoods to come have equally awesome cinematic memories and characters to hold on to as they slog through this bitch of a life.   

 

BONUS ROUND!

Ok, those are off my chest. Now on to the one film that I am glad I DIDN'T avoid.

*Drum Roll*

 

??. Jupiter Ascending

"Seriously! Have you read the whole script? I couldn't believe it!"

"Seriously! Have you read the whole script? I couldn't believe it!"


Let me guess. You are either:

A) Gobsmacked at how I could possibly enjoy this shallow piece of shit

B) You haven't watched Jupiter Ascending yet

C) You are punching the air shouting "Damn right!"

Do you know what this film is? This is what Sucker Punch was five years ago. To this day I read lots of hate for that film which I do not understand. I must have watched Sucker Punch close to 6 times by now and I enjoyed every single one, especially the extended version. It's stylish as all hell, does it's job PERFECTLY while keeping me entertained from start to finish! The cast was great at doing exactly what they had do (with a certain Oscar Isaac in there!), while the action was incredibly delivered leading up to the pitch-perfect finale in what might be the most AWESOME film from 2010 till today (note: by awesome I don't mean inspiring or incredibly deep or thoughtful. I mean exactly that, awesome).

That's a big paragraph for Sucker Punch but what of Jupiter Ascending? Well, I got the same feeling watching it as I did Sucker Punch. It was a carefully crafted, self-aware cheesefest that never took itself too seriously. Is Redmayne (THE Redmayne) going over the top with his performance as Balem Abrasax? He is and it is absolutely delicious because he is having a brilliant time doing so and it shows! Visually stunning? Check. Kept me entertained from start to finish? Check. Did I wish that this was three films instead of one? Check! Yes! I wanted MORE of this world because, much like the previous film mentioned here it is AWESOME! Don't expect hugely impactful allegories or yet another thesis on karma (just a little dab of those here and there of course!). This is the Wachowskis having fun! And, dammit, I had fun too! Jupiter isn't meant to be a fearless hero, and that's OK! She is a down-to-earth human being caught up in the middle of something gigantic and that is exactly the angle where us, the viewers, see the film from.  Jokes, cheesy/cute romance, blindingly beautiful visuals and sequences with just bucket-loads of entertainment from start to finish while the great twist here is that Sean Bean DOES NOT die! BOOM! That's a joke in on itself and I love this film more just because of it. 


- Frixos Masouras 2016



*: I don't have a sock fetish, this is a long-running gag in my life where suckage and general failure is akin to eating a sock. There, it's out now. Feel free to use it yourselves. It's cathartic. 
Trust me.