2018: Year In Review (The Bad)

The end of the year brings with it many traditions. It’s a time to reflect on the things we’ve went through, the state of the world (it ain’t great) and to arbitrarily rank our favorite movies for complete strangers to criticize and mock on the internet. It’s that time once again, for every Tom, Dick and Harry with an opinion to list their favorite movies of the year. This list, however, is a bit different in that I’ve ranked every film I’ve seen, not just my favorites. Oh and that my rankings are correct. 

The list will be broken down into:

  • The Bad— Films that received an F or lower D.
  • The Ok— Films that received a higher D or C.
  • The Good— Films that received a higher C or B.
  • The Great— Films that received a higher B or A
  • The Discoveries— Films I liked that weren’t released in 2018.
  • The Documentaries— A ranking of the documentaries I’ve seen this year from worst to best.

The world is on fire. Schools are getting shot up at an alarming rate, actresses are leaving Twitter over harassment, children are being locked in cages, the house of mouse is slowly becoming an all powerful conglomerate and a Star Wars film flopped. 2018 straight up sucked but these are the films that help distract me from everything wrong with the year. For better or worse.

This is 2018: Year in Review (The Bad)


55. The Kissing Booth

Directed by: Vince Marcello

Plot: Girl dates the brother of her best friend. Drama ensues.

The only thing worth noting about this film, is the amount of sex the two main characters have throughout. Its never explicitly shown but you hear moans and there’s multiple scenes of them laying in bed together, sweaty. There was a shit ton of sex comedies of the 80’s, so I’ve seen my fair share of boobies n’ bush but, and correct me if I’m wrong, you hardly ever see sex in high school romantic comedies. There’s probably a ton I’m forgetting (I’m teetering on the edge of drunk) but my mind is telling me that shit stopped after American Pie.

Who knows and more importantly, who the fuck cares. This film is God awful. Here’s the entire film in two-ish sentences:

“Me and my buddy have had rules for each other since we wuz kidz. One of them wuz ‘don’t date my brother.’ Uh oh, spaghetti-o’s!”


54. The First Purge

Directed by: Gerard McMurray

Plot: The government makes all crime legal…blah blah blah. It’s the fourth one in the series. You know what happens.

Jesus, this film takes subtlety behind a shed and beats it to death with a baseball bat covered in anti-authoritarian stickers. It’s 100 minutes of a drunk guy yelling at you that the government is evil but even though you agree with everything he’s saying, he’s so loud and obnoxious, you just want him to shut the fuck up. He might be right but he’s been saying the same goddamn thing for years with nothing new to add to the conversation. That not only describes this film but the entire Purge franchise. They really need to give this thing to Larry Cohen or let it die.


53. Director’s Cut

Directed by: Adam Rifkin

Plot: Herbert Blount aspires to replace the real director of a movie and make it his own by capturing the lead actress and inflicting much horror upon her in his version.

Eventually, someone is going to properly utilize this film’s premise and make a masterpiece. The idea behind the film is so unique, so original, it makes me hate this film even more for wasting it. For this film to work, the film-within-the-film the main character (Penn Jillettesteals and re-edits has to look like a real film. Rifkin is such a poor director, the film-within-the-film would’ve worked better narratively, if it was an episode of CSI Jillette edits into feature length. The fake film Director’s Cut is built on top of, is trying to be a David Fincher-esque thriller but it looks ridiculously cheap and not a single person alive would be obsessed with Missi Pyle. There’s an amazing concept here and a more talented director will eventually do something spectacular with it but it certainly wasn’t Rifkin.


52. Hotel Artemis

Directed by: Drew Pearce

Plot: Remember the hotel Continental bits of John Wick? This is that but stretched to feature length but no where near as good.

Imagine an adaptation of MacGyver in which the titular tinkerer/hero spends the entire runtime collecting random bits of junk and right when you expect him to piece it all together to make the ultimate machine of kickassery, you realize there is no machine of kickassery coming and you just wasted 90 minutes watching a guy collect junk.

That’s Hotel Artemis.


Suspiria

51. Directed by: Luca Guadagnino

Plot: A ballet dancer (Dakota Johnson) joins a school run by a coven of witches. 

I applaud the balls of Luca Guadagnino in even attempting to remake Suspiria; which could very well be the greatest Italian horror film ever made. He tackled the impossible and unlike the recent Halloween (2018) reboot, he did something completely original with the material. I appreciate the effort and outside of some interesting deaths, that’s about the extent of the films positives.

If I was to attempt to make a complement sandwich out of this film, it would be the exact opposite of those old Wendy’s commercials.

I didn’t like a single thing about this film. It’s too goddamn long, the pace is glacier slow, Dakota Johnson is terrible in it and there was no hook to keep me engaged. I didn’t care if Johnson became a good dancer, I don’t care about what the witches are doing and really don’t give a fuck about old man Swinton and his storyline. The original has always been accused of being style over substance but this one is just….boring.


50. Victor Crowley

Directed by: Adam Green

Plot: A survivor from the previous films gets paid a shit ton of money to go back to the scene of the murders for a news documentary. Running concurrent to that, is a group of would-be filmmakers who want to make a movie about Victor Crowley. They read some shit they shouldn’t and the ghost of Victor Crowley rises from the grave to kill again.

I’ve been singing the praises of the first Hatchet since it came out over a decade ago. It’s a fun throwback to a bygone era of horror films but with each subsequent sequel, it became increasingly apparent that the problems I had with it weren’t due to a first time director working with a limited budget. The budget wasn’t the glass ceiling, it was his talent as a filmmaker.

You can read my review here.


49. The Coverfield Paradox

Directed by: Julius Onah

Plot: Scientists aboard an orbiting spaceship rip open a rift between space/time and wacky shit ensues.

It’s ironic that Solo was the film that director/writing duo Lord & Miller got fired from because if I was on a game show, I would’ve bet all my money it was this one. It’s common knowledge that Abrams keeps throwing money at unrelated films to slap some Cloverfield shit in them but there had to be more changes to this script than just tenuous connections to past films. Either the script was originally a comedy and director treated it like a drama or the script was serious and the director decided it needed some silly ass shit. Either way, neither element works.

It’s not dramatic enough to keep you engaged or crazy enough to entertain you. The stuff with the severed arm was a fun bit of lunacy but there’s not enough of it. The ending is so dumb, it almost makes the whole thing worth it. Almost.

You can read my review here.


48. Rampage

Directed by: Brad Peyton

Plot: The Rock and a giant gorilla team up to fight other giant creatures.

A big dumb popcorn movie that fails at every conceivable level. The action is mediocre, the characters are less interesting than Ryan Gosling‘s love interest in Lars and the Real Girl and the script is painfully stupid. This movie gives dumb movies and bad name.A big dumb popcorn movie that fails at every conceivable level. The action is mediocre, the characters are less interesting than Ryan Gosling‘s love interest in Lars and the Real Girl and the script is painfully stupid. This movie gives dumb movies and bad name.


47. The Spy Who Dumped Me

Directed by: Susanna Fogel

Plot: Mila Kunis is dating a spy and then gets dumped by said spy. Action and comedy ensue. Not.

Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon get caught up in an action packed spy spoof that is in danger of being sued for false advertisement due to the fact that it is neither action packed nor a comedy.

The script is terribly written and predictable, the action, while competently directed, is uninspired and every line that comes out of McKinnon’s mouth feels like a stranger in the room that periodically stabs you in the face. It’s painfully unfunny and doesn’t do anything Spy (2015) didn’t already do better 3 years ago.


46. The Meg

Directed by: Jon Turteltaub

Plot: Statham fights a shark.

I’m assuming the reason this film cost 150 million dollars, was because the producers were somehow able to make a time machine to go back in time to the mid 90’s to steal an animal attack movie to release now. That is the only fucking reason I can think of to explain how and why this film exists. The decade this film belongs to, was very a different time. A much better time when rappers fought giant animal monsters to a soundtrack that they themselves wrote. This film however, has neither a rapper fighting anything, nor an R rating, so you can’t even see blood or tits. It’s doubly pointless.


45. Summer of ’84

Directed by: François Simard, Anouk Whissell, Yoann-Karl Whissell

Plot: A kid tries to convince his friends that his next door neighbor isva serial killer.

Can 80’s nostalgia fucking die already? Even in a world that doesn’t have Super 8, IT or Stranger Things (all of which do what this film does infinitely better), I can’t imagine this film ever being considered original. A kid suspects his neighbor of being a serial killer and recruits his buddies to help him solve the case. Now, close your eyes and picture that film in your head. The only thing this film does differently than the film you’re currently picturing, is it’s last act.

This film goes way darker than you’d imagine but to get to the only original part of the film, you have to swim through 75 minutes of uninspired meh.


44. Puppet Master: The Littlest Reich

Directed by: Sonny Laguna, Tommy Wiklund

Plot: All hell breaks loose when a strange force animates the puppets up for auction at a convention, setting them on a bloody killing spree that’s motivated by an evil as old as time.

I have never seen a more noticeable gap in talent between director and screenplay before. You can see literally see the potential standing right behind a wall of ineptitude.
If a more capable director was at the helm, it would’ve been amazing. It’s still the best Puppet Master film by a country mile but that is such an insanely low bar, it’s not even an accomplishment.