Stinging in the New: 10 Lousy Movies Not to Watch in 2015

Jupiter AcendingCome 2015, humanity will be deluged with a slew of new movies, both studio and independent. There are some I’m looking forward to.

And then there are others that I wouldn’t see if even I were threatened with being thrown into a vat of rancid, boiling butter by the vindictive ghost of Attila the Hun.

Judging movies without seeing them is risky. God knows I’ve done it many a time, but like an addiction, I can’t stop doing it. No need, then, to resolve not to for the New Year; in fact, I’m going to continue in that vein with this post, which offers a list of the pictures I expect to be just plain awful, judging by their trailers, advertising or any other content available. These films, I predict, will be bad enough to warrant creation of a new kind of vomitorium geared to cineastes—one that will allow moviegoers to expel the contents of their stomachs in comfort after digesting nauseatingly bad celluloid creations. Soon, these should be up and running in theaters worldwide. I don’t have a patent for them, alas. Maybe someone will take me up on it.

I submit, then, my list of potentially lousy movies I refuse to see in 2015. And by the way: Just because I refuse to see them doesn’t mean I won’t. There’s a good chance I’ll force myself to watch some of them when they arrive on demand or via Netflix. I’m expecting to be proven right with all of these choices, but I’d welcome being wrong.

I just don’t think that’ll happen.

Mortdecai

Junk, thy name is Mortdecai. The trailer for this abomination shows Johnny Depp once again hamming it up dreadfully—this time, as an art dealer bungling his way through various escapades. His British accent is awful. His crass behavior is obnoxious. And the film looks to be about as tasteful as a smushed, rotten durian fruit languishing by the side of a hot road in Arizona. I will not be seeing it. As a movie lover, I can’t.

Jupiter Ascending

Oh, joy—another film about someone tapped to save the world by the Wachowski siblings. As if the reprehensible Matrix (1999-2003) trilogy weren’t enough. Once again, it looks like special effects and an all-too-serious mien substitute for a solid script and non-posturing performances. Too bad; we could use more decent sci-fi these days. We won’t get it with Jupiter Ascending.

 

Avengers: Age of Ultron

How many more superhero films do we have to be bombarded with before Hollywood recognizes our need to cry “uncle”? The first Avengers movie (2012) was mediocre enough; now we’re getting another one … directed by one of my least-favorite filmmakers, Joss Whedon. If that doesn’t cry out “glib” and “smashing things,” I don’t know what does.

Taken 3

Stop. The. Insanity. Now. I can’t take more Taken. Really, Liam Neeson, why are you doing this? I mean, I know it’s for a paycheck, but once upon a time, you were a great actor. Your performance in 1993’s Schindler’s List (as well as in oddities such as 1981’s Excalibur) was superb. Taken 3? Please tell me it’s an anomaly. Well, a third one, at least.

Paddington

I hate to say it, because I love this character, but Paddington looks like toilet humor masquerading as a children’s movie. And slapstick. Oh-so-annoying slapstick. That’s sad, because there’s so much that could be done with this little bear from a cinema standpoint. Maybe we’ll have to wait another 20 years for a quality movie of it.

The Wedding Ringer

I don’t know about you, but I’m kinda tired of these one-note raunchy gross-a-thons posing as “comedies.” The Wedding Ringer, about a fellow who hires someone to be his best man, looks like that type of movie. I think we’ve been there, done that with this genre. Time to try something else … that’s funny.

The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water

Perhaps it’s not fair to lament this children’s movie, but frankly, I’m wondering why kids have to be subjected to this garbage. There are better family films out there; why subject the tykes to this puerile nonsense? SpongeBob is bottom-of-the-barrel fare for little ones. I’d even take Barney over this one. Well … maybe not.

Fifty Shades of Grey

I love movie titles with puns in their names. No, I don’t. It smacks of a lack of inspiration, and this bit of tripe exemplifies that. And, no, I don’t think the movie will be sexy. Sleazy, yes. But representative of any true, credible sexual feeling? Hell, no. This is going to be steamy, salacious rubbish; I know that for a “fact.”

The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

Hey, the 2011 predecessor to this movie wasn’t very good anyway—let’s do a sequel! That must’ve been the mindset in the making of this film, which takes a great cast, once again, and feeds them a maudlin script. It’s like doing a sequel to Krull or something. Why are sequels rarely done for good movies? Inquiring minds want to know.

Cinderella

As an actor, Kenneth Branagh is terrific; his Shakespearean interpretations leave little to be desired. As a director, however, he’s not my favorite: Thor (2011) being his worst offering. Cinderella, I assume, will be in that mold. No Cocteau’s La Belle et la Bête (1946) this. I’d rather turn into a pumpkin than watch it.

Simon Hardy Butler is a writer and editor living in New York City. He has written for publications ranging from Zagat to Adweek and has interviewed innumerable people—including two Auschwitz survivors whose story may be heard at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s website: http://collections.ushmm.org/search/catalog/irn189827. He also blogs about anti-Semitism for the Times of Israel. His views and opinions are his own.

26 thoughts on “Stinging in the New: 10 Lousy Movies Not to Watch in 2015

  1. Pingback: Stinging in the New: 10 Lousy Movies Not to Watch in 2015 – CURNBLOG | Eclectic Pursuits

  2. Love the list! I may see Jupiter Ascending just for those ridiculous ears on Channing Tatum! The trailer makes me think Mila Kunis is a little dead inside. I want to see her play a villain again.

    • Thanks! Yes, the quintessential “alien” ears are not so beguiling, aren’t they? It’s sad; there’s talent involved in Jupiter Ascending. Too bad the movie doesn’t seem to use it well.

  3. I don’t think I’ll see Paddington and I know I won’t see SpongeBob. Fifty Shades will be very tough — but, though I’m not prone to quoting E.L. James — the line in Fifty Shades “You have to kiss a lot of frogs…” comes to mind here. I’ll probably see the other ones, hoping for a pleasant surprise.

    • I’ve been surprised before–and happily, to boot. These selections, however, don’t fill me with anticipation. You never know, though … will 50 Shades be more than all-too-serious junk? The trailer doesn’t incite me to think otherwise.

  4. When my husband and I saw the trailer for Taken 3 at the theatre, I laughed. I really thought it was a joke. I even asked Husband: “What’s left to take?” The only consolation is that the trailer is firmly branded with a “Final” stamp.

    I’m sure kids and families will enjoy Paddington, but watching the trailer for that sort of tore apart many of my fondest childhood memories.

    The less said about Fifty Shades of Grey, the better.

    I quite enjoyed the first Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, but I really don’t think it needs a sequel. Most movies don’t.

    I am looking forward to the new Avengers movie, though, and I think Jupiter Ascending looks really cool. That’s my taste in movies, right there. 🙂

    • “What’s left to take?”–very good! That about sums up the series! I was disappointed by The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel; I wanted it to be stronger, more poignant. It left me flat, and though it did have some pleasant parts, it was forgettable for me. I agree that it doesn’t need a sequel, though.

  5. I thought Joss Whedon was just annoying until he almost destroyed Runaways. Now I find him loathsome.

    And one of the best things about our cutting the cord right after our (now three-year-old) son was born is that as far as I know, he has yet to have any idea who Spongebob Squarepants is. I am hoping this condition continues at least until he moves out of the house.

    (I’m actually a little refreshed by your description of The Wedding Ringer, about which I only knew the title and jumped to the conclusion that it was a sequel to that awful Adam Sandler thing from 15 years ago. Someone in Hollywood wrote an original script that’s not a sequel to something? I didn’t know that still happened!)

    • Ha, ha, Robert! Thankfully, it seems we’ve been spared another iteration this year of “The Wedding Singer,” but who knows whether that’ll last. I will say that if I don’t have to see another Adam Sandler movie for the rest of my life, I will be a very happy man. (I’m still trying to get over the horror of “50 First Dates” … ecch!)

  6. The only one I’ll disagree with you on is Paddington, and that’s because I’ve seen it and thought it was wonderful, as did my children. As for the others, I’ll make my mind up once I’ve actually watched the movies.

    • We may differ on Paddington; I look at it as a crass update to keep up with today’s times, and the advertising suggests it has little of the charm of the original story. But that’s just my opinion.

  7. The only two movies that I disagree with you on are Cinderella and The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. Those are on my must see list for 2015. And I do agree that the Jean Cocteau Belle E La Bete is a brilliant film.

    • I definitely agree with you on La Belle et la Bete. It’s one of my favorite films, with sumptuous imagery and an otherworldly atmosphere. Perhaps I was a bit too hard on Cinderella and The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. For the former, I just wonder why we need another version of the classic story when we have what I consider the definitive version in Disney’s cartoon. As for The Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, I felt the original was just OK, with more going for it from an acting standpoint than a script perspective. I’m not sanguine about the prospects of the sequel, but hopefully I’ll be wrong.

    • Ha, ha–thanks, Mike! We’re probably in the minority on this, unfortunately. It is odd, though, that he can go from Shakespeare to superheroes so quickly. Sadly, I thought his version of Much Ado About Nothing offered a low-quality rendering of the Bard’s great work. I believe The Avengers: Age of Ultron will dish out the same. 🙁

    • Add me to your lil’ group: I didn’t care much for The Avengers and thought it was “blah”; I found myself quite bored during the first half and the film direction left a lot to be desired. I like his TV work more, but they don’t age really well, and I predict people will feel the same about The Avengers after the intiial shininess of it will fade.

      • Yes, please join us! I agree with you about The Avengers–it was one of those “why?” movies … as in: “Why was this movie made?” I have to confess, I find Whedon’s TV work smug and off-putting, but I’m probably in the minority on that, too; Buffy the Vampire Slayer, for one, has a large following. I’m not among those that enjoy it, though.

  8. Happy New year Simon!
    You have dished up a festive pile of crap here mate! I am with you on all the choices, especially the lamentable sequel-fests, and comic-book nonsense.
    As for Paddington, what were they thinking of?
    Best wishes, Pete.

    • Many thanks, Pete–Happy New Year to you, too! Your post made me laugh; I also wonder what the heck they were thinking with Paddington … and what was Hugh Bonneville thinking? The film doesn’t seem to do justice to this children’s classic, and that’s a genre that screams the need for more quality movies. Sigh.

      • I expect good old Hugh was just taking the money, with eyes on the franchise! He is much better on TV. I can recommend the comedy about BBC internal politics, W1A, if you can get it there. (W1A is the postcode of the BBC in London). Cheers, Pete.

        • I’m sure you’re right, Pete. I saw Bonneville do some very funny work on TV as an official working on Olympics programming about a year or so ago–was that a different program? (I forgot the name of it.) I like him a lot, but he doesn’t have a lot to work with in Paddington, unfortunately.

Leave a Reply