Adam Sandler is not done making movies, but after a pitiful 2015, and really decade, maybe he should do something else. He won’t. Pixels is one of several poor film he appeared in this year and it is bad. The film’s plot has extraterrestrials misinterpreting video-feeds of classic arcade games as a declaration of war, and invading Earth using technology inspired by games such as Pac-Man and Space Invaders.
To counter the alien assault, the United States hire former arcade champions to lead the planet’s defense. That sounds like a lot of fun right? The Lego Movie by way of Independence Day. Think again! Premise: Awesome. Execution: Abysmal. The visuals were cool at times, but overall the film is just tedious, poorly-paced and written, and makes a mockery of those classic arcade titles. Like most Sandler films, the jokes are recycled, reused, and childish.
Filmically, the direction is okay at best, and the editing is incredibly choppy, making a one-hit wonder’s music video from the 80s look more artistic. Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 17% approval rating, and many critics agreed, favoring towards the 2, 1, and even 0 star reviews. They also gave us this gem of a synopsis that I think sums this review up best, “Much like the worst arcade games from the era that inspired it, Pixels has little replay value and is hardly worth a quarter.”
15. Accidental Love
This film started with promise. Originally entitled Nailed, Accidental Love started production in 2008 under the direction of David O. Russell. Filming was frequently halted due to financial difficulties, leading to Russell quitting the project in 2010. The film was completed without his involvement and Russell has since disowned it, the finished product credited to “Stephen Greene”. I don’t blame him for disowning it, it’s something that Alan Smithee, the famous Hollywood pseudonym wouldn’t want to put his name on.
The story is about Alice, a small-town waitress who is accidentally shot in the head by a nail gun. Her lack of health insurance renders her unable to have the nail removed, leading to mood swings and hypersexual behavior as a result of brain damage. Alice then heads to Washington, DC to campaign for those with bizarre injuries, with the support of an unprincipled Congressman.
The film lacks direction and defied classification. Was it a slapstick, or a dark comedy as Russell intended? It’s neither of these, it’s just a mess. Unsurprisingly, Accidental Love was panned by critics and did not make anything close to its $26 million budget back.
16. The Boy Next Door
A step up from Lifetime, ok maybe a half-step. The Boy Next Door, starring Jennifer Lopez who plays a high school teacher named Claire who, in the midst of being separated from her husband (John Corbett), has a one-night stand with a younger neighbor (Ryan Guzman), who develops a dangerous obsession with her. If you combine a Lifetime movie with some late-night cable sexual thrills and add clunky dialogue and cliches galore, you get The Boy Next Door.
My favorite part of the movie personally, and several publications pointed this out, is when Lopez’s young lover gives her a copy of the Iliad, a first edition. The Iliad is a work written nearly 3000 years ago and the book looked like a pristine hard-cover of a Jane Austen novel you can get at Urban Outfitter, paraphrasing a publication. Some reviews were looking for campy thrills, but really got none of it, in my opinion the movie takes itself too seriously.
The film was a box office success, thanks to its January release date and Lopez’s pull with Latino audiences. Lopez gives a pretty stellar performance, but everything around her from the clunky dialogue, to Ryan Guzman’s boring character. I don’t think I’ve seen a stalker so boring. A news outlet in Australia called this the Fatal Attraction of 2015, it may have been because erotic thrillers are a dying breed, but it’s quality comes nowhere close to Fatal Attraction.
17. Hot Tub Time Machine 2
Joining Paul Blart Mall Cop 2, Hot Tub Time Machine 2 fall into that category of who wanted this, and why was this even made. Unlike Paul Blart, this was a box office failure grossing a total of $13.1 million, which was less than the film’s budget and opening weekend of the first film (both $14 million). John Cusack, the star of the first film, which actually received mixed to positive reviews, was not involved in this one, a decision that gives his agent an award.
This time the guys go into the hot tub time machine to stop someone from killing Lou, and end up in the future. Rob Corddry, Craig Robinson, and Clark Duke come back dutifully for the sequel and promptly fall into the dark, unfunny hole that is this movie. This sequel is overflowing with juvenile humor coming from the mouth of grown men.
It’s not smart juvenile humor like som Judd Apatow films. but stupid testicle jokes that are way past their prime. I would strongly suggest you avoid this mess, just like John Cusack did. Good call John!
18. Fantastic Four
When the director of the film tells you not to see it, you should probably heed their advice. Fantastic Four had every element of a Hollywood horror story, an unhappy cast, lengthy reshoots, disagreements between the studio and the director and a director seemingly hellbent on torpedoing his own career. Unhappy with director Josh Trank’s first cut of the film, Fox made changes without Trank’s supervision.
Fantastic Four grossed $56.1 million in North America and $111.6 million in other territories for a worldwide total of $167.8 million, against a production budget of $120 million (estimated $200 million including marketing and distribution costs). It had one of the lowest box office openings for a big-budget superhero films and its C- audience Cinemascore is one of, if not the lowest for a big-budget superhero film.
The negative publicity, panning by critics and poor box office returns led to the downfall of the film. Just about every aspects, sans some praise for technical improvement over the previous Fantastic Four release, was panned and ripped apart. Director Josh Trank said that people would’ve liked his first cut and it would have received positive reviews. We will mostly never see that version, but the version we did see was one of the worst films of the year.
19. United Passions
Although this first premiered at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, but it was released theatrically in North America in June 2015. The English-language French drama film about the origins of the world governing body of association football, Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) was Ninety-percent funded by FIFA, and it shows.
The film grossed a mere $918 in its opening weekend. That’s right. Less than $1000. It opened in about 10 theaters and its $918 performance in comparison to its $25-32 million budget made it the worst opening of all time in U.S box office history. The release of the film coincided with an investigation for corruption. proof that at least FIFA has a sense of timing.
Starring Tim Roth as former FIFA president, United Passions, FIFA’s vanity project, received a rare 0% on Rotten Tomatoes and has already been considered one of the worst films of all time. If you are wondering, the FIFA funded film mentioned none of the corruption, the deals, the back-stabbing, etc. Everyone who saw it ripped it apart and the fact that its release matched up perfectly with the corruption scandal was just the cherry on top.
20. Taken 3
The final (thank God) installment in the Taken trilogy, Taken 3, takes the audience on a ride of incoherent PG-13 action sequences, appalling direction, and horrid film editing. At least the acting is decent, especially from 62 year old action star, Liam Neeson. I will say if you love the other Taken movies, you will not love this one, but you may like it.
The film makes no sense, I’m all for an unbelievable stunt, but Neeson survives TWO explosive car crashes. It was the Taken series and it was a sequel, so it made a killing at the box office, to the tune of $326.5 million. From this film, you can really see why it’s time to hang up the franchise. I was surprised they were even making a third movie, and what a shame they did.
The film was widely panned by critics, receiving a 10% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and several 0 ratings from critics, including Peter Travers, who said the film sucked and made no sense at all and that the only thing taken was the audience. On Metacritic the film has a score of 26 out of 100, based on 30 critics, indicating “generally unfavorable reviews”. The only person who should survive this mess is Liam Neeson.
Fifty Shade of Grey- I paid $9 for this?
Aloha- Emma Stone’s character is supposed to be part Asian
Home Sweet Hell- A mess, truly a mess.
Entourage- The worst movie about dinosaurs this year.