Here are the movies that came in at #80 – #71 on my complete movie list for 2016. Expect to see a few sub-par sequels, a movie with some singing animals and more.
80. Bad Santa 2
Shockingly I haven’t seen ‘Bad Santa’ all the way through but I’m going to assume it was better than this. This movie was funny though but you won’t think so if you don’t laugh at very uncreative vulgar jokes. One of the funnier moments was a sitting on Santa’s lap scene. Billy Bob Thornton was easily the best part of the movie but it wasn’t like he was going against much. Those who fell at the very end of that “not much” category were Tony Cox and Christina Hendricks. Cox is just a lil fella who showed that he’s a pretty bad actor even in this type of movie and Hendricks….smh… She has continued to show that she is awful at choosing roles besides ‘Mad Men’. Her role here was nothing new for this type of movie and you would think she would steer away from it with her habit of picking bad roles but nope. She’s just a waist of potential right now.
The trailers looked trash but I wanted to give the duo of Melissa McCarthy and Paul Feig the benefit of the doubt because up until this point they hadn’t missed yet…but we all can’t be perfect. I guess they only do well at R rated movies. Anywho…let’s start with the cast. They had their moments but I didn’t find them that funny really, especially Kate McKinnon. I didn’t see how people found her to be the standout. I just found her annoying and I’m usually a fan of her. Even if the main four ladies were hilarious, Chris Hemsworth would have probably still been the best part of the movie because his bimbo character brought all the biggest laughs. His opening scene alone had tears coming out of my eyes. That no lenses in the glasses bit was classic. I needed to see more stuff like that. On to the villian…he was wack; OK that’s the end of that. Now onto the special effects. The third act battle brought some cool looking effects (some of it would have probably looked cool in 3D had i watched it that way) but for some reason, the human characters weren’t blending well with the CGI. It reminded me of the struggle I had when I used a green screen to direct this show back in college. But anyways, this movie was a letdown in different ways and it probably shouldn’t have been over two hours. Thank goodness Thor was around to soften the blow.
78. Hands of Stone
2016 had some pretty weak boxing movies compared to 2015 and this was one of them. This movie was aspiring to be an interesting viewing but it was continuously to held back by different things. For starters, the movie feels like it bounces around so much that it doesn’t allow one moment to just set in and breathe; The transitions have to better. Next, the boxing scenes were lifeless. It seems the director doesn’t care much for them because you don’t get the gist or the better moments of the fights with the portions that were shown. Lastly, the performances. While Edgar Ramirez was the best part of the movie as Roberto Duran, Usher grinned his way to a pathetic performances and Robert De Niro’s narrator voice wasn’t working for me.
I sometimes love and sometimes hate movies with a bunch of singing in it but I expected this movie to fall right in the middle in terms of my feelings toward it. Unfortunately, it couldn’t even do that. It was a cool little family movie but I wouldn’t go back to watch on it on my own time for different reasons. First, it ran a little long for me and it’s probably because it had too many personal stories to touch on with all the main characters. Second, it wasn’t that funny to me. Third, even for a “cartoon”, there was some very fake/over-the-top things that happened that bothered me for some reason. The water destruction of the theater scene was one of those moments that I thought seemed a little to ridiculous and forced just so some big turmoil would strike the production. That among other parts stood out to me for SOME REASON. It wasn’t all bad though, even though I feel like since the performance at the end didn’t mean anything, the movie almost had no point besides personal strides for the characters being made but…wait what was I trying to say…um I don’t know but the big performance at the end was entertaining and the cast did a great job with the singing. Speaking of the cast, they all did some great voice work but the standout, in my maybe biased opinion, was Seth MacFarlane.
76. Bridget Jones Baby
I never watched the first two movies in the franchise so I don’t know why I watched this one but I did. I was surprised that I got the gist of the whole story without seeing the other two but that’s good the movie was able to mold a new story with this one while working off a continued story all while bringing in new viewers for the ride. Speaking of the movie’s story, the plot took forever to kick in. I mean, I guess the way it was set up, it need that build up time but still, Jeez! The humor also took some time to get its feet under itself. At the beginning, I started to get scared that the humor on display wasn’t up my alley because I wasn’t laughing at any of the jokes but as it moved further on, the movie became funnier which then made it more enjoyable. The interview scene with the algorithm guy (yep, that’s what I’m going to call him) at Bridget’s news job was one of the funnier moments. All-in-all, this movie was better than I expected but at the same time I wouldn’t have been mad if I didn’t see it.
75. The Brothers Grimsby
Sacha Baron Cohen might not get to star, write and produce a movie anymore after another box office dud to go along with being critically panned. He’ll probably just have to settle for doing just one of the three. I enjoyed this dumb comedy, though, because it was funny but it became too dumb to laugh at more times than I thought. The third act fell victim to the dumbness especially. But when it was funny, it was VERY funny. Two scenes that stand out the most are the “Poison sucking” scene and the “Elephant” scene. They display typical Baron Cohen disgusting childish style humor but still hilarious. I mean that is my favorite type of humor so who am I kidding. The movie also showed some glimpses of good action. Especially at the beginning when Mark Strong’s Coddy was involved in a first person shooter type of scene. While watching it I just kept thinking that Strong would do great if given the opportunity to lead an action movie of some sorts and not just being the villain in it. Before moving on, I have to say that Isla Fisher really must lover her husband (Baron Cohen) because this movie seems so off from what I would picture her doing. But what do I know.
74. The Perfect Match
Even though my boy Terrence Jenkins was starring in it, I still assumed this movie was going to be wack. The movie surely tried to be too. Some of the acting was weak from the jump (I’m directing a lot of the hate at you French Montana). Jenkins had some bad moments too. The directing wasn’t all that good either. Bille Woodruff was experimental with some of his techniques but they still came off looking weird. With the story, some parts of the plot were poorly developed or made to make some situations seem like they were worse than they actually were. You have your generic conflict between one friend and a group of friends that occurs right before the third act that definitely seemed forced. Then you have the stories of the side characters that have weak resolutions that, at the end, make you ask why the movie even spent time on their stories anyways. I would have rather seen more time spent on Charlie (Jenkins) and Eva’s (Cassie) relationship. Even with all of its flaws, the movie was till somehow enjoyable. Donald Faison brought a majority of the laughs and Cassie actually didn’t do a bad job but she clearly wasn’t asked to show that much range so maybe that had something to do with it.
73. Now You See Me 2: The Second Act
I had high hopes for ‘Now You See Me’ and was let down even though I still thought it was pretty good. I didn’t set high anything for this sequel and still somehow I was letdown again. From the beginning I was thrown off because the recast of Dylan’s (Mark Ruffalo) dad with someone who clearly was much younger than the dad in the first one which made no sense because in both movies the flashback scene with the dad was around the same time. They also changed how Dylan got his watch but whatever. Those slight changes to minor plot points in the overall scheme of things just didn’t get the movie off on the right foot. Then I watch the movie and see they scaled back on the tricks compared to the first one, until the end really, and that was a letdown because you’re basically stripping away the funniest part of the movie. This one did include a cool magic fight scene in Moscow so I’ll give it that. Like in the first one, the great cast that was brought together was one of the best parts of the movie but this one was missing the presences of Isla Fisher. She wasn’t a standout in the first one but the gang just didn’t feel the same without her there. Lizzy Caplan did a good job as her replacement but I found it real odd that she was the main comic relief. She was funny at times but it was still an odd choice. One character I just didn’t like was Chase (Woody Harrelson), the twin brother of The Four Horsemen’s Merritt (Harrelson). He was just stupid and not wanted. Overall, this now franchise has so much potential but continues to just give us the movie equivalent of pulling a rabbit out of a hat.
I was going to watch ‘Jack Reacher’ (since I never seen it) before I watched this sequel but then ultimately I felt I wouldn’t have to and in the end I feel like I was right. Also, this lackluster action movie didn’t leave me wanting more from Mr. Reacher so I definitely was in no mood to start from the beginning (even though everyone says the first one is better). Tom Cruise has been on an action movie renaissance lately but this was a step back. It was a decent action movie but not anywhere close to what we’ve been getting from him lately. Oh, and Reacher broke out of a maximum security prison toooooooooo easy in this one so…yeah, another strike against it.
This movie had a cool idea to work with but, like a lot of movies with cool ideas before it, it needed more work done on its story to perfect what it had. For starters, I think the movie would have been better if it was more violent, just saying. Also, the rules of the game needed to be explained better to prevent the occurrence of plot issues. Speaking of the plot, there were some points that were thrown in, like the money situation with Vee’s (Emma Roberts) mom, to try to make the stakes serious but the attempts didn’t make me feel like that was the case. In terms of the cast, I’m a Roberts and Dave Franco fan so I was cool with their performances but Machine Gun Kelly was another thing. I mean, he wasn’t bad but I’m not a fan of his and I didn’t know he was in the movie so his presences was a not so pleasant surprise. All-in-all, even though this movie got more ridiculous as it went on (especially the ending), it kept me entertained. This was definitely a movie catered to a specific part of the “MTV crowd” if you know what I mean.
(Photo Credit: Todd Cunningham – http://www.thewrap.com/5-reasons-why-sacha-baron-cohens-the-brothers-grimsby-bombed/; http://www.ghostbusters.com/; Chiabella James/Paramount Pictures)