The Worst Movies of 2015

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It’s that time again… Reluctantly speaking… Time to share the crappiest, worst movies of the year, so none of you have to see them! If you skipped them in theaters, good!

10) The Loft – I’ll admit I’m a sucker for erotic thrillers (see my Knock, Knock review), but there’s nothing erotic about The Loft. Five guys rent a private loft to have extramarital affairs? One rapes prostitutes? One has feelings objectifies a prostitute? One films his friends’ affairs as a fetish? All of this is gross and none of it works.

9) Chappie – Another movie that shows Neill Blomkamp (District 9) is a one-trick pony. Chappie makes us sit through an unintentionally funny ultra-violent tale where we have to root for a gun-toting engineer who gets away with threatening his coworkers in the office, another engineer with a god complex, an overly childlike robot, and Die Antwoord. The worst part of Chappie is it’s nothing but a two-hour Die Antwoord music video.

8) Taken 3 – The silliest and most soap opera-y installment in the franchise and it’s just as lazily directed as Taken 2. We clearly didn’t need a second Taken and we sure as hell didn’t need a third one.

7) The Gunman – I couldn’t put my anger over “buying” a Redbox copy aside thanks to Sean Penn’s half-assed action sequences and overkill on shirtless scenes. What’s even more sinful is casting Idris Elba in a very pointless role and Javier Bardem in a very hilariously melodramatic character who dies after 45 minutes of onscreen time.

6) Unfinished Business – Unfinished Business screams poor taste by picking on the mentally disabled, homosexuals, disabled veterans, and glorifying infidelity while trying to make us sympathize with three unlikable morons. Further insult to injury is added due to its uneven balance of mean-spirited humor and attempt at being inspirational with Vince Vaughn’s bro-ish logic.

5) Jupiter Ascending – It’s sad knowing that the creators of The Matrix have fallen. They had some interesting ideas, but they’re lost in a frenetic, plot hole-fueled epic that features the year’s worst performance (an embarrassing Eddie Redmayne).

4) Lost River – Did you guys know that Ryan Gosling tried to make a surreal noir film reminiscent of David Lynch and Nicolas Rending Refn? It’s just an expression of Gosling’s weird fetishes that will make you shrug your shoulders in the end.

3) Fifty Shades of Grey – It would be a waste of breath and finger strength to type out fifty reasons why you know this is a piece of crap.

2) The Green Inferno – Eli Roth is officially the Michael Bay of horror movies in this poop-stained, weed-drenched, idiotic, pretentious, anticlimactic gorefest. Not only couldn’t Roth execute his promising artistic pitch, but he couldn’t even gross me out effectively. Also, if you start to see the cast’s twitter addresses in the closing credits of movies from here on, you can thank Roth for the tacky product placement.

1) Fant4stic (Fantastic Four) – This movie makes me sad every time I think this was the worst movie of 2015. There was such potential with Josh Trank’s (Chronicle) vision and cast. Well, I’ll give this to Fox – they did a great job in the trailers covering up the movie’s messy effects, poor pacing, wooden acting, rushed narrative, and lack of personality.

That’s it for 2015, thanks for reading! What were your picks for the worst movies of 2015? You can share in your comments below!

“Knock, Knock”

Eli Roth must have learned the meaning of the word “restraint” in between making the horrendous “Green Inferno” and the surprisingly entertaining “Knock, Knock”. I wasn’t bored once in this ridiculous ride.

“Knock, Knock” is an erotic thriller combined with a home invasion movie, starring Keanu Reeves as Evan. Evan is a likable and handsome family man who’s left alone for a weekend to work on his architecture project while his family is away at the beach. Evan soon meets two young damsels-in-distress named Genesis (Lorenza Izzo, Roth’s wife, who was also in this year’s “Green Inferno”) and Bel (Ana de Armas) who show up asking to use his phone. Evan quickly regrets being polite after they seduce him into a threesome and won’t leave.

Roth trades in his gore and juvenile humor trademarks for mind games and dark humor, proving he has some range. The mayhem doesn’t occur until the 50-minute mark, but even prior to that, “Knock, Knock” is still a surprisingly tense movie in the first half. We get to know Evan and both femme fatales in the first half, seeing that Evan is clearly putting on the nice guy act and misses his youthful days. Genesis and Bel see this in Evan and use it against him from the beginning.

SPOILER ALERT

Genesis and Bel are very innovative and twisted in screwing with Evan’s life and do the following – vandalize Evan’s home, smash his wife’s sculptures before her exhibit, trick him into thinking he’s a pedophile, steal his dog(the dog lives, FYI), and post a recorded sex tape between him and Bel on his Facebook.

All of this above gives the movie a dark comedy vibe in its execution, but the acting and dialogue give it an unintentionally slapstick tone. Reeves is on par with one of Nicolas Cage’s sillier performances here and yelling lines like, “DON’T DO IT, THEY’RE CRAZY,” and “YOU SUCKED MY ****! IT WAS LIKE FREE PIZZA,” earn unwanted laughs.

Roth still has a bad habit of writing homage scenes that come off like a hack job, including one very obvious homage to “Fight Club”. But I can forgive Roth’s absurdity due to his restraint and craftmanship with “Knock, Knock”. It’s definitely a well-made guilty pleasure.

Grade: B-

“The Green Inferno”

Green Inferno
Star Lorena Izzo next to director Eli Roth.

“The Green Inferno” is “Hostel” (2005) in a jungle. Half way through the movie, I couldn’t tell if director/writer Eli Roth was playing it safe with his formulaic writing, or if he let his ego get the best of him. You know what you’re in for when there’s a character held captive who rubs one out so he can “think straight.”

“The Green Inferno” is Roth’s first film in eight years (last one was “Hotel: Part II” (2007)) and it stars Lorena Izzo (Roth’s off-screen wife) as Justine. Justine’s a horror archetypal innocent college student who joins a horror archetypal douchebag’s activist group to fly to the Amazon and protest against a mining company that’s destroying an ancient tribe’s village. They soon find themselves as the entree for the villagers they’re trying to help after their plane crashes.

Roth said in an interview that he imagined “The Green Inferno” as if “Cannibal Holocaust” (1979) was made by Terrence Malick (“The Thin Red Line” (1998)) and Werner Herzog (“Rescue Dawn” (2007)). Difference between Roth and his influences are that his influences have clear vision and taste. I like tasteless movies, but Roth is on par with Michael Bay in terms of  being unbearably tasteless.

SPOILER ALERT FROM HERE ON!!!

Here’s some of the scenarios we’re forced to watch in “The Green Inferno” – the archetyal stoner almost gets his penis bitten by a tarantula whilst peeing in bushes. In a later scene, we watch him get eaten by cannibals who have the munchies while he yells, “They got the munchies!”

I also wonder if Izzo sees anything perverse in her husband’s choice in filming her run in bra and panties covered in tribal makeup, avoiding the danger of genital mutilation. That happens at least twice in this movie!

Oh, and let’s not forget the film’s atrocious final act! Deus ex-machina, an anti-climactic resolution, a false jump scare nightmare sequence, a half-assed mid-credits sequence, and the main character saying the gunman who saved her were the bad guys and the tribe was nice to her? What a mess!

I’ll probably watch “The Green Inferno” again when it comes to Netflix, but that’s only with a group of friends and a case of beer to power through this juvenile disaster.

Grade: D