The Top 10 Worst Movies of 2018

2018 Worst

Thankfully, the films above were ones I avoided.

 

My love for movies is vast and may have no limits. So much so that, once in a while, my mind tricks me: “Yes, the movie is supposed to be bad, but it might show that you are willing to sit through anything in order to be a professional critic”.

It is true I am willing to sit through any film if it brings me closer to being a professional movie critic, but the following ten films were the ones that tested me more than any other this year.

 

10.

10 Aquaman

With the exception of 2017’s Wonder Woman, DC really is not hitting hard on the cinema front, and it continues with Aquaman. Yes, Jason Mamoa was good, but anyone with a brain stem could have predicted every possible outcome of this watered down material.

 

9.

9 FBTCOG

As big of a fan as I am of the original Harry Potter films, the newest ones are lacking in the department of character development and grace. Even with a plot twist at the end that had some bit of interest, Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindlewald was nothing short of exhausting.

 

8.

8 Venom

Say what you will about the MCU, but at least they don’t fail when it comes to plot (mostly) and villains. The same cannot be said about Venom, which is sad because I would love to see Tom Hardy as Eddie Brock again if these companies could just get along.

 

7.

7 JWFC

There was new promise in 2015 when Jurassic World came out, reviving the dinosaur universe. Then came Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, which, while it looked nice, put the movies back near extinction.

 

6.

Irreplaceable You

 

 

No spoiler: Netflix original films are not always great, but Irreplaceable You is beyond the level of sappy and impossibilities you find on the Hallmark channel. I would call it the worst romantic film of the year, however…

 

5.

5 The Kissing Booth

I am a fan of romantic comedies when they are smart and witty, both of which The Kissing Booth is not in the same time zone of. Good young actors are caught in a script that just gives the taste of blah.

 

4.

4 TCP

 

 

Okay Netflix, I promise this is the last time you will have a movie on this list. Marketing of The Cloverfield Paradox was well done, but that is the only thing that can be said positive about this sci-fi crap fest.

 

3.

3 The Meg

I have seen all but the last of the Sharknado movies, and those were better than The Meg.  A bucket of chum has a much more pleasant smell than this film.

 

2.

2 Slender Man

If my good friend James in Michigan is reading this, consider this my deepest apology. When we last saw each other, I went with you and your family to see Slender Man, because nothing else was out. You paid for my ticket, and I would not blame you for pressing charges against me.

 

1.

1DOAN

 

Of all the movies I have seen in 2018 (both good and bad), I have talked about none more than The Death of a Nation. At the end, Dinesh D’Douza gives us the website to go to if we want to learn more. When I went, I saw no facts there. Perhaps most painful of all for the film is that, at only three in a half minutes in, Hitler commits suicide. If Hitler killing himself because he does not want to be in your movie is not a metaphor for how much your movie sucks, I don’t know what is.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindlewald (2018)

Fantastic Beasts The Curse of Grindlewald

Newt (Eddie Redmayne) is back, and in for more than he bargained for.

One of the best things about the original Harry Potter films was that all were such good entertainments on their own merits that I still have a problem of picking my favorite (though the 5th and 8th are strong contenders). One thing is for certain: none of the prequels are in the conversation.

Which brings us to Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindlewald, and while I am a fan of J.K. Rowling’s magical universe, I feel the movie is more for the hardcore fans than the casual ones. Basically, this not a movie for those who may want to start off in the Potter universe. One thing the movie does keep in tradition with is the good casting choices. We see the return of magizoologist Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) after the events of the first Fantastic Beasts film where he helped with the capture of the evil wizard Grindelwald (Johnny Depp). The film starts with Grindelwald’s escape and Scamander having a meeting with a young Dumbledore (Jude Law), who asks Newt if he could help catch Grindelwald again, who is now in Paris.

We get returning characters such as Tina Goldstein (Katherine Waterston) and her sister Queenie (Alison Sudol), along with Queenie’s boyfriend Jacob (Dan Folger). Tina is in a race with Grindelwald to find Credence Barebone (Ezra Miller), who is on a search for his own past before he was adopted.

While this sounds simple enough, the main problem with the film is that there are far too many story lines to follow, leaving one scratching his or her head. Only in the last third or fourth of the film does the drama pick up, and we begin to finally see some things we have not seen much of before in this universe.

Parents, the movie is fine for anyone who has ever seen any of the other films that were also rated PG-13. There is nothing completely sexual, and there is some swearing. It is the thematic elements and mild violence that make this for middle schoolers and up.

I admit there are some parts that hint at the original stories (my favorite was the inclusion of Nicholas Flamel), and a twist at the end that I am still debating on whether I liked or not. What has me most upset though is that this is only the second of five planned films. That is right, five, which makes me feel like it will tread down the path of the underwhelming Hobbit prequels. That, in the long run, would be a crime.

 

Overall: Two and a Half Stars **1/2

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)

fantastic-beasts-and-where-to-find-them

Eddie Redmayne is Newt Scamander, on a trip through New York that is not as he planned it…

Fantastic Beasts and where to find them does what it is meant to do: introduce us to characters that are magical in a magical world. It does not do much more than that, but what it does do is done pretty dog gone well.

For those of you who know nothing about the Harry Potter universe (and if you are one of those, just stop reading now and read the original books, see the movies, and then come back to see this film), Newt Scamander (Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne, proving yet again to any naysayers that his talent as an actor is quiet something to watch) is a magizoologist. He arrives in New York in 1926 (in the Wizarding World, this is seventy years before Harry Potter ever attended Hogwarts). A mishap occurs with a no maj (a non-wizard, aka “muggle” in Great Britain terms) named Jacob Kowalski (Dan Folger), resulting in many of Newt’s kept beasts are let loose in New York.

At the same time, Grindlewald (who will eventually confront Dumbledore) is on the loose, killing no majs and wizards alike (whether he shows up or the rumors about the actor who plays him are true, I will not say, though you may have heard by now). Investigations are led by the Wizarding President Seraphina Picquery (Carmen Ejogo) and auror (a wizarding version of the police) Perceveil Graves (Colin Farrell). Graves is also trying to get help from a troubled boy named Credence Barebone (Ezra Miller, from The Flash). Graves is also trying to stop the dangers of Newt’s beasts. Assisting Newt and Jacob  are witches Tina Goldstein (Katherine Waterston) and her sister Queenie (Alison Sudol), who can read minds. Others with minor roles include Oscar winner Jon Voight, Ron Perlman, and Zoe Kravitz (daughter of Lenny).

I admit a lot is happening on the screen, both special effects wise (which is obviously something spectacular to see) and screenplay wise (which is not too much to handle, but is close). Creator/writer/household name known everywhere J.K. Rowling wrote Fantastic Beasts and where to find them back in 2001 one for Comic Relief (it is meant to be one of the eventual text books at Hogwarts). I have never read it (though the original Potter series I consumed like oxygen), so I can’t say whether or not it is true to the source material completely or not. However, Rowling herself wrote the screenplay (her first), so really, who are we to disagree with her?

Parents, the PG-13 rating is not meant to say that you can’t take kids to this. If they have seen the original films (and if they haven’t, what are you waiting for?), then they are ok with this. There are a few curse words, nothing at all sexual, and quite a bit of action/peril. It is a little more on the side of the last few films of the original series, which makes sense, since films five six seven and eight were done by the same director, David Yates.

I hear now that we are getting more films to follow-up on Fantastic Beasts and where to find them. This does not excite me so much as it worries me. When The Hobbit films came out, I thought it was a mistake to add so much that it took three films to make the story complete (by the end, it all seemed superfluous). The same could be said for franchises like Pirates of the Caribbean (we are getting another one), Star Wars (kidding! kidding!) and Transformers (totally not kidding, and sadly another is coming out next year). Thankfully, if J.K. Rowling is still doing the writing, I have some hope for the Wizarding World.

 

Overall: Three and a Half Stars ***1/2