It could be worse. How so? This list explains.
Pinocchio sure looks like a Jackass for looking at that pile of horse crap, Kevin Hart has to suck out turtle snot, and Christian Bale has to look like he’s wearing a glass eye and then always losing it. Two questions: How could a professional film critic like myself choose “The Bubble” over “Jurassic World: Dominion? and Why did we need a holiday sequel to “The Binge?”
Because at least that comedy expressed my complaints about how this dinosaur franchise has gone extinct. And I guess it wants to follow in the tradition of “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” and “A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas.” I dunno.
Let the countdown to Cinematic Hell commence!
I know two people who saw this reboot of the Stephen King story the way most of us couldn’t, and I envy them for that. The original 1984 horror movie was lame, and this one was more odious with its obligatory F-bombs and aggravating little girl, who has fire powers. Thank God it burned down at the box office, party thanks to its simultaneous release on Peacock.
9.) “The Man From Toronto”
Kevin Hart and Woody Harrelson both have the potential to be the perfect screw-up and hitman in a smart comedy, but this is a formula and dumb comedy with a number of cliches. I have no idea how such a made-for-Netflix feature can taint Hart’s talents, especially since he proved himself further with “Fatherhood,” but that was before I saw him in another even worse Netflix comedy.
8.) “It’s a Wonderful Binge”
How much cocaine and mean and stupid characters do we need during the holidays? Apparently this holiday themed sequel to “The Binge” required those elements to celebrate. Original cast members like Dexter Darden and Eduardo Franco are wasted, and newcomers like Nick Swardson and Kaitlin Olsen are poorly used. I bet you wish you appreciated “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” more. I know I do.
7.) “The Gray Man”
It’s understandable why this was a hit on Netflix with a sequel on the way. It’s a $200 million project made by the Russo Brothers (who produced my favorite movie this year “Everything Everywhere All At Once”) and featuring an A-list cast including Ryan Gosling, Chris Evans, and Ana de Armas. This boring, stupid, cliched, insipid, reckless, thoughtless action movie burns its budget money like how a rich man lights his cigars.
This Marvel bomb has been appearing higher on many other Worst of 2022 lists, and now, it’s on mine. People were just going to see this, whether we liked it or not, but at least, they now know what we were trying to warn them about. Jared Leto, who just won the Razzie for “House of Gucci,” gives a lifeless performance as a doctor, who decides to cure his illness, but possessing the powers of a vampire. This movie sucks the life out of you.
Ever since Orson Welles read “The War of the Worlds” on the radio in 1938, people have been entertained by movies or fake news about aliens or space rocks destroying our planet. In Roland Emmerich’s latest “Independence Day” knockoff, he has some kind of alien race controlling the moon so it can crash-land on Earth and destroy humanity. Everything about this movie is so disastrous, that Ed Wood probably would have loved it.
4.) “Jurassic World: Dominion”
This conclusion to the “Jurassic Park” franchise is just as odious as “Fallen Kingdom.” This screenplay was so boring and dopey, that neither the original stars Laura Dern, Sam Neil, and Jeff Goldblum nor the new stars Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard could save it from extinction. It’s more laughable than it is epic. And would it kill these dinosaurs to go on a Subway diet instead of eating villains for dinner? It seems so routine about how its story was supposed to end, as if we’re supposed to expect reboots. Please don’t let us suffer.
Yet another live-action Disney remake to polarize fans. Director Robert Zemeckis has made a number of great films, but he’s lost his way with a wooden remake that should have been made of more wood and less CGI. And if Pinocchio was interested in smelling a pile of crap he finds in the streets, then he would also be interested in seeing this list.
2.) “Me Time”
Kevin Hart and Mark Wahlberg apparently wanted to mimic Adam Sandler’s work with mass stupidity, mean characters, and childish jokes regarding turtle snot and droppings, and it’s supposed to be funny when a little girl catches her father about to “play with himself.” How could such a talented comedy filmmaker like John Hamburg sink so low? This was the biggest Hart attack of the year.
A better idea is that the party animals from “Me Time” and the bingers from “It’s a Wonderful Binge” should either be on that cruise in “Triangle of Sadness” or out to dinner with Ralph Fiennes as their chef in “The Menu.” They all deserve each other.
David O. Russell is a brilliant filmmaker with classics as “Three Kings,” “Silver Linings Playbook,” and “American Hustle,” but how could he sink so low with an A-list bomb that starts off as a screwball comedy and ends as convoluted “JFK” wannabe? Christian Bale, John David Washington, Margot Robbie, Zoe Saldana, Rami Malek, Mike Myers, Robert De Niro, and many others can all do better than succumb to this idiocy. And one of them has a glass eye. Ho hum! I’m just glad Bale didn’t say: “You poked my eye out!”
“The King’s Daughter,” “Halloween Ends,” “Blonde,” “Mack & Rita,” “The 355,” “Hotel Transylvania: Transformania,” “The Ice Age Adventure of Buck Wild,” “Memory,” “Marry Me,” “Don’t Make Me Go,” “Ambulance,” “Senior Year,” “Beauty,” “Gone in the Night,” “The Wolf and the Lion,” “Day Shift,” “Fall,” “Deep Water,” “Meet Cute,” “Spiderhead,” “Don’t Worry Darling,” “The School for Good and Evil,” “The Son”
The Bombs I Didn’t Touch with a 39 and a Half Foot Pole
“Umma,” “Marmaduke,” “Redeeming Love,” “The Tiger Rising,” “Home Team,” “Blacklight,” “Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” “A Madea Homecoming,” “The Contractor,” “Luck,” “Easter Sunday,” “The Invitation,” “Gigi & Nate,” “The Estate,” “Bromates,” “Prey for the Devil,” “The People We Hate At The Wedding”
And one more thing………
A few weeks ago, Variety presented their lists of the worst movies of this year, and that struck up some controversy with movie-goers and even Elijah Wood. Here are their picks, 3 of them I liked, 1 I didn’t see, the rest I didn’t really care for, if you know what I mean.
Owen Gleiberman’s Worst Five
- “Three Thousand Years of Longing”
- “Bones and All”
- “Minions: The Rise of Gru”
Peter Debruge’s Worst Five
- “The 355”
- “The Bubble”
Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, especially movies. We can’t all like the same things. We are not zombies, we are people with honest opinions. If my cousin likes “Dirty Grandpa,” it’s cool with me. If my friends hate “Frozen,” it’s cool with me. If some of us think “Bohemian Rhapsody” is overrated, then chill out. And if two people I know saw “Firestarter” the way most of us couldn’t (as I’ve mentioned before), then I still envy them.
Worst of the year lists are purges. We want to express our problems with movies, but us critics should also consider ourselves to be parents. We can be loving and disciplinary at the same time. I’ll keep doing these worst of the year lists, whether you like them or not. But you should also know that we also give good-great reviews on so many better movies, like my Best of 2022 list in recent memory.
I hope this little speech will allow you to acknowledge that we’re not the jerks movies and shows make us to be.