This week just gone, I have sat through some utter rubbish. So much so that I've expressed out loud how I've wasted entire evenings devoted to trying out new films I've never seen before. The features listed below didn't exactly get great reviews out the gate but I always ignore reviews first, and go in with an open mind in hopes that there is something there.
This is not the case with these awful films that you should avoid as to ensure you don't waste hours of your life. Now normally I'd write full reviews for these films but because of their faults which are almost presented on a platter, I can sum each of them up in a paragraph. Here are 10 films to avoid. Agree, disagree? What are the films you reckon people should avoid, or watch at their own risk?
1. Kill Me Three Times - Simon Pegg is a fantastic actor, there is no doubt about that, but here he is at his worst. That is something I thought I'd never say in a sentence as the man is capable of great dramatic and comedic talent, but in this awful crime caper, he just pulls silly faces and does nothing interesting.
This American-Australian comedy thriller fails at being both funny and thrilling in spectacular style. The characters are so dull, and simultaneously stupid in their staging of plans and kidnaps. The minimal dialogue leaves a gaping void of emptiness which is then shortly filled by the absolute worst, cheap and lame film score that attempts to blend Western/Sci-Fi elements but ends up just being flat-out corny and very irritating. Teresa Palmer, Sullivan Stapleton, Luke Hemsworth and Simon Pegg give career worst performances. The lone bright spots in this mess are Callan Mulvey and Alice Braga who genuinely seem invested.
2. Self/Less - The admittedly decent premise in Self/Less, that echoes ideas seen in films Face/Off and Total Recall, is absolutely wasted, so much so someone else should steal that idea and make a better film. Ryan Reynolds gives it his all but even he can't save this cheap looking action thriller. Ben Kingsley plays a wealthy man who lives on through the use of a new body after falling sick.
Instead of delving deeper into the science behind the technology, this film descends into dull shootouts and car crashes. The actual scene where Kingsley's character Damian transfers is so quick-lived and underdone there is no thrill or intrigue, I expected something more substantial. What's worse, this film has horrible editing that attempts to capture the essence of its setting in a stylish manner, but accompany that with bland cinematography, all you're left with is a holiday video diary that just happens to have Ryan Reynolds wandering around in.
3. Momentum - Olga Kurylenko remains one of my favourite James Bond girls among Ursula Andress' Honey Ryder and Famke Janssen's Xenia Onatopp. After seeing her in Oblivion, Seven Psychopaths and The November Man, she's definitely an eminently watchable talent and a superb action star. Momentum is an action vehicle led by Kurylenko herself, so I had to see it! Big mistake...
Momentum starts out poorly and further descends into trash. For the first time, I actually couldn't understand or make out what was going on during the first scene. Unfocused direction with clearly no idea of how to string together basic action, messy editing that adds fast cuts only to disguise the fact of how dull and slow moving this film really is. Then there's James Purefoy's shockingly hammy performance as the bad guy. The dialogue he delivers is painful, we've all seen the chatty, enigmatic antagonist but none as cheesy and dull as this. Kurylenko has the chops but she's taken out by some truly erratic and shoddy filmmaking.
4. Movie 43 - I am a sucker for giant ensemble casts. Give me the Expendables, but don't give me Valentine's Day. Movie 43 packs Oscar winners and nominees through and through, that's all it has to offer really. Hugh Jackman, Kate Winslet, Richard Gere, Halle Berry and Emma Stone do things I've never I'd see them do onscreen. With over 10 different skits from homeschooling to new Apple products, vulgarity and shock come in full. I laughed, very little though, you can catch each of these scenes on YouTube. Avoid sitting through the entire feature, especially the British version with the three horny and immensely unlikeable teens.
5. Rock Of Ages - Some may find entertainment in this musical, but as a non-musical fan this was a nightmare, a nightmare made only worse when Russell Brand appears onscreen. I hate that man with a passion, why he's starring in films I can't understand. Julianne Hough looks great and performs superbly, as with Tom Cruise in a different type of role, but the awful music set pieces, cuteness and vomit-inducing character interactions and dialogue made this one a very unpleasant viewing experience.
6. Boyhood - There's always that one film that garners critical acclaim and even Oscar awards and you just can't see why. That is Boyhood to me, a 165 minute film that has been shot across a period of 12 years. Whilst that is a technical feat that impresses, giving you the chance to see all these stars age and also grow up, that's all this film has to offer in my eyes.
Painfully slow, very dry and with no element of surprise or anything noteworthy that has cause and effect, Boyhood is like sitting through a family holiday photo slideshow, except with this film you can just walk away. Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette are as reliably strong as ever but they can't bolster down this bloated, overly long drama that has one too many out of focus shots and no style.
7. Tusk - Justin Long plays probably one of the most aggressively unlikeable characters in this potential packed film that squanders its premise on dialogue heavy scenes that don't register as entertaining or compelling. Genesis Rodriguez is wasted, though it's nice to see Haley Joel Osment back on our screens. Tusk could've worked had it gone down the route of The Human Centipede and gone all out with body horror and shock, yet maintain some of the dark humour that Tusk has but rarely shows.
8. Area 51 - Easily the worst, most unfocused and messy found footage horror ever made. No wonder it has been on the shelves for years and years, why would anyone want to sit through this? The characters are bland, like, there is nothing interesting about them except that they are loud and obnoxious. The found footage itself really is unwatchable with too much static layering and overly shaky cam. The horror isn't scary, the filmmakers have gone for an over stylised look that blends night vision with phone camera quality to proper cameras, and the result is a blur, leading to no tension and no scares whatsoever. Avoid wasting 90 minutes and stick on scarier POV horrors.
9. Teeth - Apparently this is a great film for feminism. All I see is a poorly acted, poorly paced and dull black comedy horror that doesn't land any of those genre titles. I get that the teeth themselves are a defence mechanism against rape, and weirdly the whole idea is quite neat in its own strange way but the gory aspects never shock or amaze, and all of the characters involved are made to be very pathetic and wimpy. There's a lot wrong with Teeth, another film that has received strong reviews but I strongly disagree with.
10. Duplicity - Now this is a film I really, really do not like. If you're looking for smart thrills, espionage, drama, character chemistry and action avoid this at all costs. All Duplicity has to offer is a talented cast who are stranded in a bad film. There is a scene that really made me consider turning it off early, and that scene sees Tom Wilkinson and Paul Giamatti at an airport swearing and shouting off at each other, all in slow motion, with the most obnoxious and annoying blaring score that attempts to mimic their behaviour in a comedic manner, but blimey it fails. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=inpUWzhRsAI Here's a link to that bad, bad scene. Owen and Roberts have some chemistry but that may be the one saving grace, but everything else in Duplicity is empty, avoid!