Thursday, January 5, 2017

Five most disappointing films of 2016...

You know I try and avoid films I think will be bad, whether it through personal taste or via early scathing reviews, so of the 37 movies I saw on the big screen that were of interest in 2016, these were the ones I felt most disappointed by.

Batman v Superman movie billboard
Top of my list has to be Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice from Spring last year. I hold my hand up to say I'm a Marvel not DC Comics aficionado, but I still love seeing super-heroes adapted on the big and small screen successfully.

For me this movie was so grim, joyless and overlong. Jessie Eisenberg's 'Lex Luther' was the hammiest villain ever, 'Louis Lane' still needs to be rescued, the introduction of the other Justice League members seemed shoe-horned in and 'Jimmy Olsen' even gets a bullet in the head in this excessively dark and gritty film.
Batman v Superman Batsuits
Ben Affleck did make for a good Caped Crusader, but Gal Gadot's 'Wonder Woman' was one of the only redeeming features in the movie, and maybe that's because she supplied something new to the DC cinematic universe and a bit of levity to proceedings. Overall it didn't lift my spirits and transport me in the way other recent superhero movies have.

After saying all that, I still enjoyed seeing all the movie costumes and props from Batman v Superman designed by Michael Wilkinson on display at Warner Bros. Studios backlot tour.

Suicide Squad movie billboard
Another DC Comics adaptation that failed to inspire this year was Suicide Squad. I admire them for offering something new to audiences with his ragtag bunch of killers, mercenaries and thieves working for a shadowy black ops government team, but the whole movie didn't come together for me.

Margot Robbie's 'Harley Quinn' was obviously a standout character, although hardly a role model for girls with her psychotic fawning over the 'Joker' and her extra-short hot pants, the plot was weak and it was overly reliant on bad CGI monster hordes.
Suicide Squad film costumes
 It was filled with disposable characters, like 'Slipknot' who was barely introduced only to be killed off to heavily-handedly price a point, whilst other like 'Katana' were clumsily dropped into the action with no rhyme or reason. Overall the pacing, motivation of characters, unconvincing humour and storyline was a hot mess.

As always it was cool to see these movie costumes from Suicide Squad designed by Kate Hawley on display though.

Independence Day Resurgence billboard
My third pick for worst movie of the year was Independence Day: Resurgence. Twenty years in the making, this was one of the most unnecessary and unwanted film sequels of the year.

The original 1996 movie set the standard for blowing up national landmarks, but over the years this cinematic trope has been repeated to death, even by Roland Emmerich in his other films, so now it just feels unoriginal and lazy.
Independence Day Resurgence film billboard
And even though Jeff Goldblum, Brent Spiner and Bill Pullman were back, why would you possibly consider making this sequel without Will Smith (especially when his career isn't doing so well at the moment). Bland characters lacking chemistry and an over reliance on CGI monsters and fights, plus sappy set pieces (a school bus full of kids in trouble), made for unimaginative science fiction and a dull Summer blockbuster.

5th Wave movie poster
At the beginning of the year The 5th Wave was another young adult adaptation hoping to eke out a film franchise from Rick Yancey's trilogy of science fiction novels. I really like Chloe Grace Moritz and she makes for a fine heroine, but she's no 'Katniss Everdeen'.
5th Wave film poster
The most interesting thing about the movie are the first four waves of invading alien destruction and then it all goes downhill from there, with the obligatory love interest with a secret and little kids running around with guns, which made it feel like this film was sponsored by the NRA.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them movie billboards
My last pick may come as a surprise for some. I'm a huge fan of J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books, movies and entire wizarding world, but I found Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them lacking in charm, joy and ultimately magic.

The idea of setting this prequel film franchise in America in the past where we've not explored the time period, country and a more grown-up perspective was an innovative approach but the execution seemed dull and drab.

Eddie Redmayne is always imminently watchable but even the stares and facial ticks he brings to 'Newt Scamander' feel a little tired and his menagerie of magical creatures where introduced in an overly expository, rather than interesting way.
Fantastic Beasts Where to Find Them film costumes
I hated that the big bad villain was this unrecognizable swirling mass of CGI, it reminded me of villain in the Green Lantern movie, and ultimately it felt that the story could have happened without Newt Scamander and there's not the same connection that Harry Potter had with his storyline and adversary.

I also have to say that Warner Bros. stretching the movies from three to five installments smacks of a greedy studio trying to make money, rather than there being a strong story to be told. I'm hoping I'm wrong and that they can rescue these new magical adventures with the next film, but it will need to be much more dazzling, inventive and a cinematic spectacle to win me over.

If you are a fan, be sure to check out these Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them movie costumes designed by Colleen Atwood in more detail.

What do you think of my choices for least favourite movies in 2016? You can also check out my five worst films from 2015 as a comparison and my five favourite films from 2016 to see what I did like.

Now let's see what delights, and frights, Hollywood has to offer in 2017...

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