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A Star Bores and More: The Worst Films of 2018

December 26, 2018

 

Mercifully, I had trouble coming up with 10 solid candidates for a Worst Films of 2018 list. Maybe I’ve gotten better at sniffing out the stinkers and avoiding them before I waste my time seeing them (hello and goodbye, Mortal Engines and Welcome to Marwen!) But I managed to find a 10-pack of patience testers.

10. Mary Poppins Returns A spoonful of sugar? More like a spoonful of treacle! (Gluttons for punishment can click on the highlighted titles for longer reviews.)

9. Holmes & Watson As another fake British duo — Spinal Tap’s David St. Hubbins (Michael McKean) and Nigel Tufnel (Christopher Guest) — once said, it’s such a fine line between clever and stupid. Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly’s brainless spoof of Sherlock and his sidekick tramples that line into dust.

8. Bel Canto Julianne Moore is less than meets the eye (and ears) as an opera singer — her voice was badly dubbed by Renee Fleming — who’s taken hostage in South America in director Chris Weitz’s deeply off-key adaptation of Ann Patchett’s best-selling novel. You’ll feel like you’re being held captive too.

7. What They Had Four fine actors — Hilary Swank, Michael Shannon, Blythe Danner and Robert Forster — are stranded in a mawkish family drama about dementia that was written and directed by another actor, Elizabeth Chomko, who should’ve never given up her day job. What they had is a cinematic turd.

6. Avengers: Infinity War It sure felt like infinity. I would rather pass a kidney stone than spend another two-and-a-half hours watching this brutally dull tale of Thanos’ quest for the five Infinity Stones. Or something.

5. Solo: A Star Wars Story The charmless Alden Ehrenreich, a.k.a. the even poorer man’s Hayden Christensen, can’t achieve liftoff in substitute director Ron Howard’s relentlessly brown snooze-apalooza. Even with the always-welcome presence of Chewbacca, it’s a Wookiee mistake.

4. A Star is Born “Five Reasons Why ‘A Star is Born’ Sucks” was by far my most popular — and divisive — post on my blog this year. The hardest part for me was limiting it to five reasons.

3. I Feel Pretty Someone smarter and more woke than me needs to write an essay about the spate of movies in which women suffer violent blows to the head and wake up to find their life has changed for the better: the upcoming What Women Want (with Taraji P. Henson) and Isn’t It Romantic? (with Rebel Wilson) and this tone-deaf Amy Schumer farce. It’s about as much fun as a concussion.

2. The Death of Stalin Or, as I like to call it, The Death of Comedy. The only film I walked out of this year, director Armando Iannucci’s Soviet satire is as slow and witless as his most famous former creation, Veep, is quick and sharp. I’d sooner spend time in a stalag than be forced to finish this joyless slog.

1. Red Sparrow From Russia with Hate: I’d be better off dead than watching Red again. I liked the tale of an Eastern European undercover operative who pretends to be attracted to powerful sleazebags better the first time when it was called The Melania Trump Story. SAD!

What were your least favorite films of 2018?

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