Anders Croft is a surviving weirdo. A semi-regular contributor to Boston Hassle and permanently-contributing member of Promotion Pals for the past 2 years, Anders likes to write trash about trash while hiding the fact that they’re trashed. Don’t Google them!
Well. Here we are again… Another year of film flushed down the toilet.
I’m glad we’re all still breathing for the time being. I’m not so glad that we still have trash coming out every year that, when collectively viewed, will liquify your brain. This was an especially great year for trash in the cinema (and at home), so I really do hope you’re up for this list. I’d like to say they’ve been arranged in some sort of order based on how unbearable they are, but I’ll let you make that decision. See you next year!
10. Undercover Grandpa
I was okay with this. I was okay with it because it so blatantly verges on unabashed parody that I could have a good chuckle or two in good faith. But now that I think about it, now that I’m starting to put the pieces together, Undercover Grandpa is the kind of bottom-of-the-barrel schlock that supports this nightmare we live in. It’s an absolute disguise for fans of the esoteric, a trap which causes even the best of us to tiptoe inward for a peak at just how disgusting or bad James Caan’s performance could be, if only to be punished by an overbearing plot and a surprising commitment from the titular character. Erik Canuel has fooled us all. Erik Canuel is part of the world’s problems.
9. Cop & A Half: New Recruit
I kind of enjoy the intent of this: a bad-yet-sincere twist on the Burt Reynolds classic, Cop & ½, directed by Henry Winkler. If this film could talk, it would turn around and do a raspberry at Henry and Co., if only to say “Poo-hoo on your boys’ club, Mr. Winkler!” But this is a seriously fucked up movie that makes every starring actor complicit in police violence. It’s literally the story of a little girl aspiring to be a cop while drones fly around the town shooting at people. I don’t know about you, but that sounds pretty 2017 to me.
8. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
Hey, I’ll admit, I was a fan of the original three movies. I liked the effects, the bombastic music, and really just the fun of the whole thing. It was a solid remedy to the Star Wars films we were seeing at the time. But did we seriously need another one of these things?
Young Johnny Depp looks like an approximation of a skinwalker, and Javier Bardem is… well… he’s doing something. And it’s not really working.
Why does this represent the nightmare world swirling around us? It’s so clearly a turd fallen from franchise capitalism that it almost seems self-loathing. Half of the marketing of the film relied on a zombie shark, for Christ’s sake… Please, no more Pirates movies. Also fuck you, Johnny Depp and Geoffrey Rush.
7. Despicable Me 3
Minions. Enough Said.
These neo-Rabbids still haunt our society to dwell in a never-ending gray space between the ironic and the intentional. I’m still not certain where my own beliefs in them stand, but I can say I won’t fight in any war to uphold the Minions.
6. A Dog’s Purpose
I guess this is on my list because of the scandal regarding the treatment of the dog on set. (And because this is just legitimately a bad movie). With charges of misinformation and a bad handling of the already troubled S.S. Dennis Quaid PR cruise, A Dog’s Purpose fails at every mark. It’s even the first film that made viewers question the legitimacy of Josh Gad’s upbeat persona, possibly prepping the shitstorm that would be Olaf’s Frozen Adventure.
5. Rock Dog
I don’t even know where to start with this one. I guess I’d say it’s interesting that Rock Dog somehow warranted a 46% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. But as Glenn Kenny writes for RogerEbert.com, “All this is every bit as silly and innocuous as it sounds, and it goes down, if not like honey than like very finely spun cotton candy.”
I don’t want to say that Glenn wrote the most phoned-in interview for a film like Rock Dog, but I will say he had a very suspicious fascination with a character named Fleetwood Yak.
Anyways, Rock Dog sucks and it’s one of the most uninspired children’s films of last year.
We’re not going to talk about CHIPS. Dax wants us to talk about it but we’re not going to.
It bums me out to see a film that not even The Rock could fix. Baywatch is a mixed bag, trying to cash in on the weirdly successful millennial humor found in the revamped Jump Street series. It is, at its worst, a bit hard to digest, and at its best worth a smile or giggle. I won’t say Baywatch is responsible for everything awful this year, but I will say it made me take a long and hard look at my friend Dwayne… and that doesn’t make me happy. (But you’re treading on thin ice, buddy!)
2. The Mummy
The Mummy, in concept, is a garbage blimp come to spray the masses with a forced film universe (an FFU, if you will). I regrettably enjoy the idea of a shared horror universe but understand that it’s an almost impossible feat to pull off. You can almost hear the narrative string snap at the arrival of Russell Crowe’s Dr. Jerkyll, a shoehorned figure that carries the logical weight of Universal’s monster universe. It hurts to see this pan out, but you’re soon reminded of how we got here: Universal has slowly been heading down a road of mediocre or over-the-top horror films for a long time, starting in the early 2000s. We didn’t stop them then, and they paid the price now.
1. The Emoji Movie
I can’t. I hate every single person in this movie. I hate them for doing this movie. I hate T.J. Miller, James Corden, Anna Faris, Steven Wright, Jennifer Coolidge… everyone. (I can’t honestly say I hate Patrick Stewart. I get it – poop is funny.)
The Emoji Movie is the ultimate butthole a year like 2017 could produce. It’s something that just misses the mark by an absolute mile, only to come back and run your ass over for being stupid enough to watch. I don’t know where to begin with how bad it is. I’m sure you’re well aware of why something like that might be the worst thing you’ve ever experienced.
There’s one cool moment in the movie. It has to do with Instagram. But, then again, aren’t we all just one cool moment on Instagram away from being a shithead? From being a villain? From being a President?
The Emoji Movie will never answer life’s deepest questions. It can only raise more objections to reality. I implore you not to cap your year off with this. It’s the capstone to a thesis that protests our very humanity. Please heed my warning: The Emoji Movie will haunt you.