It’s that time of year where we all like to cuddle up to a fire and watch a film or two. The weather is bad outside and it gets dark early so there really is nothing better than passing the time with some great films. However, it’s easy to get sucked into some pretty bad films out there. Hollywood can make some real stinkers that are badly acted, badly directed, have poor scripts and just all-round bad ideas all together. Let this list be a warning for you of some movies you should avoid over this winter months.
12 Strong has the usual war storyline where U.S special forces soldiers are depicted as amiable tough guys with a keen sense of gallows humor and just enough moral scruples to lend them a sense of humanity. Their backstories are almost non-existent, save for some lame scenes showing a few of them with their families. 12 Strong has no moral grey areas. There are good guys and bad guys. The soldiers are seen as good-natured heroes while the villains are evil and bloodthirsty. In one scene the bad guys execute a little girl in the middle of a town square for the crime of being educated. This gruesome atrocity is cynically used to give the American army the moral high ground as well as to provide an additional rationale for the U.S.‘s mission: Now it’s not just about revenge, but also liberation.
You should always be skeptical of films that are named after dates. Director Paul Greengrass takes on the infamous 2011 Norway attacks, the worst massacre in the country’s history, by Anders Behring Breivik that left 77 people dead. While the filmmaker devotes some time to the motives and psychological state of the lone-wolf terrorist at the center of this film, the resulting portrait of Breivik reveals little more than a loner with insurmountable mommy issues. While it’s refreshing to see a terrorism story that doesn’t involve Americans defying the odds and saving the day, nevertheless the fact that it wasn’t filmed in Norwegian despite it being a Norwegian story gives the audience a bitter taste.
The Girl in the Spider’s Web
When the Girl With the Dragon Tattoo came out, Lizbeth Salander was the ultimate badass. Now however the reboot of With The Girl in the Spider’s Web and sequel doesn’t have the same dark mood and suspense of the original Millennium series. Fede Álvarez betrays his own talents and delivers a listless film that is a mashup of action scenes without any real character development. The original films – both the Swedish and American versions – possesses a daring storyline not found in your typical studio thrillers. It had brazen violence and torture that made it popular with it’s fans. The newest installments is a cleaner, gentler, more sanitized version.
Gotti, which the New York Post declared the worst mobster movie of all time, is a bloated over-acted, over-produced films, poorly directed film with too many subplot points. The result is a complete mess of cinema. The film jumps around in time without any regard to the viewer who quickly becomes confused about what is happened to who. The film tries too hard to be so many things. It’s part documentary, part mobster movie, part character piece. It took over 8 years to make and ended up being one of the most boring films this year. John Travolta seems to either make amazing masterpieces or real flops. This is definitely one of the latter.
You would think that if you put Winona Ryder and Keanu Reeves together it would be an instant success. Perhaps the producers did too and phoned in the rest of the film-making process from afar. In their fourth movie together, Ryder and Reeves play two hopeless introverts thrust together at the wedding of Ryder’s ex, who happens to be Reeves brother. The script is definitely the culprit in this one as none of the characters are given anything to work with, despite the actors’ individual charms and chemistry together.
Do you agree with the list? Which film would you include?
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