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The 10 Worst Movies of 2017 (So Far)

15 June 2017 | Features, Film Lists | by Mike Gray

5. Ghost in the Shell

ghost-in-the-shell-movie-e95870433a64bc33

1995’s Ghost in the Shell is considered one of the best animated films of all time. This hard-R cyberpunk sci-fi film set in 2029 New Port City, Japan, follows the efforts of an assault team lead by synthetic cybernetic human Motoko Kusanagi to track down a hacker named Puppet Master who is “ghost-hacking” people for his own political ends. Meanwhile, Motoko is haunted by her own ghost, which may hold the key to who she was before being rebuilt into the being she is today.

Radically original and visually stunning, Ghost in the Shell became a high watermark for anime, becoming a breakthrough hit in the Western world and introducing a generation to Japan’s animation output. Now considered one of the best films of all time, there was no reason to remake it–but because people like money and hate to come up with original ideas, 2017 saw the release of the live-action Ghost in the Shell.

Forget some of the more obvious and well-trodden criticisms of the film’s whitewashing of its main characters: why was this film made in the first place? It cost an unbelievable amount of money to make ($110 million, not including promotional costs), and while it looks spectacular, what did it accomplish that the first film didn’t?

In fact, it accomplished less since even CGI and MPAA rating-conscious studios couldn’t capture the ultra-graphic stylistics of the first film. Key elements couldn’t even be reproduced, such as Motoko’s somewhat androgynous nature and copious–but symbolically important–nudity.

A live-action (and whitewashed) adaptation wouldn’t please fans in its home country of origin, and while Ghost in the Shell is a much-loved anime, for the most part it’s also relatively obscure to mainstream Western audiences–besides which, those that do love the original film hated the idea of it being adapted and would refuse to see it. But at least Scarlett Johannson knows how to play an unemotional character.

Having only grossed $169 against a total $250 million budget with promotion included, the live-action Ghost in the Shell is considered a gigantic box-office bomb at this point, which hopefully will signal to studios that there are some things that don’t need to be adapted or remade.

 

4. Snatched

snatched-2017

Amy Schumer has had an incredible rise to the top: breaking through to mainstream American audiences thanks to NBC’s Last Comic Standing, Schumer became one of the most successful stand-up comedians in the country whose raunchy stand-up routine found a number of young fans. In 2015, she starred in the big screen comedy hit Train Wreck and enjoyed critical acclaim as a new face and voice in comedy.

This sort of quick success would probably push any performer to capitalize on it–especially when big studios are guaranteeing a big payday. From this came Snatched, a big-budget comedy starring Schumer and Goldie Hawn, the first film Hawn has starred in since 2002.

The story of an estranged mother and daughter who go on vacation to Ecuador but get kidnapped and held for ransom, early previews of the film didn’t exactly generate excitement. When the first reviews came out, the initial hesitation of the film’s potential audience turned to active indifference, and when the film opened on Mother’s Day weekend 2017, the film was marked dead on arrival.

Budgeted at $42 million (promotional costs not included) and only grossing an anemic $55 million, Snatched is a disappointment in a lot of ways. It’s difficult to say what the problem was here, but the answer is manifold: the story itself is hacky, and in this context what was once Schumer’s greatest strength, being an edgy comedian, was watered down. Hawn and Schumer were also a mismatch, never coming across as a believable mother/daughter combo.

The plot is predictable and all of the familiar beats it hits are telegraphed from a mile away. Finally–and the most crucial element of any comedy–it wasn’t particularly funny. A lot of the humor fell flat, and when an occasional solid laugh does show up, too much time has passed since the last one. Maybe Schumer’s sharper instincts will return in her next outing because as Snatched suggests, a toned-down Amy Schumer doesn’t seem particularly funny.

 

3. The Circle

The Circle 2017

Mae gets a job at a tech company called The Circle, a sort of Google and Facebook hybrid busy with making new technologies that will change the world. She quickly advances in the company but begins to grow concerned about their latest experiment that she becomes a part of that makes one’s entire life transparent–literally, one is hooked up to the internet with a camera so that everyone can see everything they do.

After some demonstrations of the terrible effects of being completely “transparent” and witnessing the increasing omnipresence of The Circle in everyone’s life, Mae becomes conflicted about the ethics of what the company is attempting to achieve.

The Circle may have been seen as an unbelievably prescient and revelatory film about the dangers of social media and the downsides of oversharing your life online had it been made a decade ago.

Instead, it’s 2017 and what The Circle details is pretty much just the world we already live in, only nobody particularly objects to it and those that do simply don’t engage social media outlets. Besides this, the film has a problem with tone, largely oscillating between being a corporate drama or a sci-fi Orwellian nightmare, and never finds a balance–or a satisfying conclusion.

Unfortunately, it also wastes the talents of Emma Watson as May, along with Tom Hanks, Karen Gillan, and Patton Oswalt; Oswalt and Hanks especially seem miscast here as the villains of the film. Also wasted was the $18 million making it, which isn’t a lot for a film but this must have meant something to somebody to put the money up for it in the first place. Instead, it seems like a completely unnecessary movie and one that–although just released this year–is already behind the times.

 

2. CHiPs

In yet another example of an adaptation nobody asked for, here’s CHiPs. You know, CHiPs? That buddy cop TV dramedy with middling ratings that went off the air 34 years ago? Surely making a movie based on a TV series that nobody under 40 would remember in 2017 isn’t a bad idea. At least, that’s what Dax Shepard thought when he wrote and directed this film.

Apparently current attitudes and ideas aren’t in Shepard’s wheelhouse in general, since the “comedy” on display throughout CHiPs is stale, juvenile, and rife with sexist and gay panic jokes. As every female in the film is there to throw themselves at the leads (unsurprisingly, Shepard stars in the film) or else show off the goods, this film seems to be made solely for adolescent boys–only with its R rating they wouldn’t be able to see it.

Even if they could, they may find the humor a notch below their 4chan standards. Worse, instead of being a smart parody of the source material, CHiPs plays it straight–which is unfortunate, since the source material wasn’t exactly Shakespeare to begin with.

On its opening weekend, it appeared in dire 7th place, having only made $7.6 million. It sank even lower than that the next weekend, until finally it disappeared from theaters all together. Crass, pointless, and somewhat unbearable to watch, CHiPs is the second-worst adaptation to appear on this list, the worst one being….

 

1. Baywatch

Baywatch

Baywatch was a syndicated TV show that ran from 1989 to 1999 and was once billed as “the most-watched show in the world,” recording a billion viewers in hundreds of markets across the world. It would be nice to say so many people watched it because it was an incisive, cinematic, and well-acted show that depicted complex characters experiencing the various highs and lows of life while creating a rich tapestry of meaning, but that would be a lie.

People liked it because it featured buff bods and buxom babes running around on the beach in skimpy clothing.

And that’s fine. We’re all human beings that enjoy a prurient thrill every now and then–especially back in the 20th century when internet access to such things was limited. But like Playboy, there’s no real purpose for that kind of entertainment anymore.

And this might shock you to find out, but a show that was mostly about women jogging around in swimsuits was pretty shallow. But Hollywood, never being able to pass on literally any pre-existing property hoping to cash in on its fan base, gave the green light and handed over $70 million to produce a big-screen adaptation of Baywatch.

The results were expectedly terrible, of course. Centered around a group of lifeguards on a Florida beach and the various intrigues and romances they get into, it’s possibly the most disposable film to enter theaters this year. Directed by Seth Gordon–who previously made the similarly craptastic Pixels in 2015–and starring Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efron, and Alexandra Daddario, one wonders why this film was made in the first place and even further why it has a two-hour running time.

Considering the original series made 242 episodes, you could save some money and just screen two episodes of that back-to-back and garner the same experience as you would watching this, the worst film (so far) of 2017.

Author Bio: Mike Gray is a writer and academic whose work has appeared on Cracked and Funny or Die and maintains a film and TV blog at mikegraymikegray.wordpress.com.

 

 

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  • Kush Limbaugh

    CHiPs and Baywatch were masterpieces, you asshole!

  • David Pollison

    What ever happened to that saying: “If you don’t have something nice to say…”

    • Clickbait happened

    • Valentin Genev

      They are writing movie reviews for people who don’t want to waste time and money on a crappy movies. I probably wouldn’t have watched GitS if I knew what to expect.

    • Doby Gillis

      Are you serious with that bs? GTFO of your mom’s basement and join the real world, Felicia.

    • Conan the Republican

      Went away a long time ago.

  • Mortimer

    Amy Schumer sucks.

    • Conan the Republican

      Literally…and carpet-munches.

  • Jacob Lyon Goddard

    Shooting fish in a barrel is too easy, this place deserves better.

  • Can we add the new Transformers to the list? We all know it’s going to suck. It’s the same old shitty effects w/ bad editing and awful treatment toward women.

    • Conan the Republican

      Homo much?

      • Excuse me?

        • Conan the Republican

          That’s funny…I don’t remember stuttering…

          • Is that you Michael Bay?

          • 999SickBoy666 .

            Conan, you said that you couldn’t follow “Ghost in the Shell”, which has one of the most linear, clichè and obvious plot ever, and yet you are trying to reason about ACTUAL topics, like ISIS and the condition of women? Admitting that you can’t follow a movie targeted to general audiences is one thing but what you wrote here is embarassing (even for someone with “Republican” in his nickname).

          • Doby Gillis

            You are an absolute moron. Typical right wing retard.

          • Conan the Republican

            I’m fucking brilliant. You’re a commie simp.

  • Rudi

    And yet another hate list as click bait. Well, congratulations, I clicked, responded and most probably people will respond to my message by saying I’ve lost my mind.

    Ghost in the Shell? Small masterpiece with great editing and once again a brilliant ScarJo. 9/10

    Fifty Shades Darker? I loved it just as I loved FSoG. It looks great and it takes itself way less serious than people make you believe with its soap-like dialogues. 8/10

    Baywatch? I thought I would hate it, but it proved to be one of the most fun releases of the year so far. Judging by this list, the writer has no idea how to interpret movies. 7/10

    The Circle? Not great, but for its target group it holds a pretty important lesson. Also, Watson (once again) delivers. 6/10

    • Mortimer

      I’ll certainly not say that you have lost your mind but I think you should raise your movie standards a bit. You also said that Collateral Beauty is great movie a few months ago.

      Btw, I agree that negative lists on ToC are unnecessary.

      • Rudi

        I’m not going to lower myself by attacking you, but I’d never say something like that to anyone. It’s usually a sign of narcissism.

        Also, I don’t remember my exact words but I’m sure I haven’t said CB is a great movie, since I gave it a 7/10.

        • 7/10 is about 4-5 points too high though….

          • Rudi

            Yeah, thank you for your contribution. I’ll go watch a movie now instead of keeping myself busy with other people’s opinions.

          • You go right ahead and watch those horrible movies

      • mistresshate

        It’s called “Taste of Cinema” which would include Cinematic Tastes. That, to me, would include both negative and positive lists. And neither you two here were rude to each other. Everyone has their opinions on movies. Both you guys are valid. You’re cool, it’s fine. Geez.

      • Doby Gillis

        Then don’t read them you worthless snowflake. Look up the definition of criticism you tard.

        • Mortimer

          Ah, I see…you’re one of those retarded monkeys who appear randomly on some site and start to insult people (me and some others here) without any reason. Let me guess – you didn’t get laid for god knows how much long. Am I right, momma’s boy ?
          Or you are a girl who didn’t get laid for quite some time ? It’s the same.

    • colonelkurtz

      Can’t agree with the rest, but Ghost in the Shell I’m (somewhat) with you. I don’t have the nostalgia for the original that some do, and when i watched it I was underwhelmed. Sure there was philosophical stuff, but I’ve seen it done better elsewhere, plus a lot of big Japanese anime have philosophical content, so I expected it portrayed better. I wouldn’t give the new one high praise (SJ’s acting felt stiff and dialogue was real bad at times), but it was an enjoyable movie.

    • Afrikoka

      funny.

  • colonelkurtz

    Don’t pull whitewashed crap into Ghost in the Shell. Please. Any other complaint (though it was visually pleasing) is okay, but that is just annoying. She looks like the character as much as anyone, and even Japanese were fine with her. It’s just us white people who complain about this to appear more whoknowswhat.

    • Afrikoka

      or different opinions..

    • Doby Gillis

      crawl back under your rock with the rest of the cockroaches.

  • jann1k

    Ghost In The Shell worse than Fifty Shades Darker? Come on. I get that some people were disappointed by the changes made in the remake or didn’t want to see a remake of a classic at all, but this is just ridiculous. It was a good movie and nowhere near as bad as any of the other entries from this list I’ve seen so far.

    • Afrikoka

      lol.

    • Conan the Republican

      I am Scarlett J’s biggest fan, but GITS was impossible to follow, storyline-wise, and was just too CGI’d out.

      • Same As Always

        You must be slow. The story was fine. And the CGI looked great.

        • Typhon

          Clearly it wasn’t because the movie tanked.

        • Demode

          The movie sucked. Best to stick with the original anime.

        • Conan the Republican

          I refer you to the following two comments. Make that three (Phenome).

    • Phenome

      There are no movies worse, than the GITS-Remake. It was proof that CGI can’t save a movie.

      • jamako

        Disagreed. It obviously wasn’t as good as the original, but even with the dumbed down story it’s so clearly superior to trash like Fifty Shades.

  • Kuknalim Babu

    Ghost in the shell was whitewashed af pure and simple. Funny thing is, the film itself wasn’t all that bad, but it wasn’t brilliant either. Just a rehash of old tropes.

    • Typhon

      Probably because most anime characters have more Caucasian features, including Motoko, than Japanese. I wouldn’t even consider this “whitewashing” compared to other real-life movies.

      • Young Thugga

        The anime didn’t have Caucasian features, it just seems that way to you since you are operating with a certain stereotypical image of Asians. Motoko, like most Japanese anime characters of the period, looks Japanese to Japanese people, and was intended to be Japanese.

        • Typhon

          What features are you taking about? The most segregating features are the eyes and hers around round like Caucasian, not slanted like Asian.

          • Young Thugga

            Alright, let’s talk anime eyes. They are big. No human eyes look like that, regardless of race.

            That’s the first thing. But also, Japanese eyes have a wide variety of shapes and sizes.

            Most Americans have not grown up around many Japanese people, and don’t see their media outside anime. And they have a stereotypical asian look for all asians, in their mind, that does not account for the rich diversity of anatomical features Japanese people possess. Just go check out my favorite female Japanese actress, Saki Aibu for example, or Miura Haruma for a male example. For more references, you can look up Mizuki Yamamoto and Aizawa Rina, or Arimura Kasumi, or Horikita Maki. I don’t think any of these have smaller eyes than your avarage white person. In fact, ScarJo’s eyes are smaller than some Japanese actresses lol.

            Anime eyes are normally drawn to meet certain stylistic conventions, and their shape and size depends on the era they were drawn in and the studio that drew them, more than on what any real human eyes really look like. But when a Japanese person sees an anime character, Mokoto or anyone else, they see a Japanese person that looks like an anime character, not a white person. And when a Japanese creator draws an anime character, they are drawing an anime character, not a white person.

            For the record I think ScarJo’s face is actually a really good match for Mokoto for some reason. If they had to cast a white person, they couldn’t have done any better than to cast her. But it’s still a case of hollywood whitewashing at the end of the day, and that’s not something you can get away from by talking about eye shapes.

          • Spiros Mpotwnakhs

            Μοtoko was cast as a Japanese. What whitewashing are you all talkin about? Major doesnt have freakin asian characteristics.

          • Young Thugga

            (anime voice) Eeeeeeh?? You realize Motoko and Major are the same person right? Yeah in the movie they changed it so she’s originally a japanese person that has her name and body changed, so that she could be played by Scarlet Johanson. But that just so happens to be the whitewashing I’m talking about.

            Now my questions: What Asian characteristics are you talking about exactly? What characteristics do asian people lack, that Scarlet Johanson possesses?

  • Ricky James
    • Jérôme

      get lost

  • Catalin Campeanu

    I can’t really remember laughing so much….. Baywatch! So, what’s your problem? Not enough tits in the movie for you to be chocking the chicken like you use to?

  • I am gravity falls fan

    Boss baby was great

  • Neil Boreland

    Granted there’s no Oscar winners here but worst movies of 2017 – you obviously don’t watch that many movies – there plenty more deserving of that accolade than these choices which are pretty much “easy targets” and nothing more

  • UnsyndicatedWriter

    Ghost wasn’t that bad, just controversial.

    Snatched was alright, just a generic comedy, had a lot of funny parts, and I usually dont like amy schumer but this was a good role for her.

    This could be updated for The Emoji Movie & Mother! I’m certain those are more hated than snatched and GITS.

  • Iñaki Zárate

    Where the hell is Alien Covenant? Fuck that stupid movie.

    • Mortimer

      Fuck you.

  • Dexter Bodhisattva

    Really? No Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets? Should be No1

  • Ivana Cvetanovic

    Valerian and the City of Thousand whatever must be on this list. I assume it was made before it was released.

  • Allister Cooper

    Oh, well, a bad movie is better than no movie!

    • fantail31

      Actually its not. Too much money and resources are wasted on a bad movie. Moves have to have a pretty damn good reason to exist at all in todays cinema climate.

      • Allister Cooper

        Greetings! True, but still, even some bad films have at least one thing of offer, and they show just what went wrong. Lesson learned :).

  • Rass

    What idiot compiled this list?

  • Josh James

    I’d be happy if Death Note, IT, Alien Covenant & Valerian were on this list.

    Ghost in the Shell & Alien Covenant were okay, but boring, predictable and disappointing, even insulting to the audience at times. It was my biggest let down because I’m a huge fan of Stephen King, the book & the two part mini-series.

  • Vendetta

    You forgot, “What Happened To Monday”

  • Andrey Edward

    GITS is great if you forget the original

  • Gee Nation

    They can kiss my ass…..Boss Baby was a good movie

  • Spiros Mpotwnakhs

    Ghost in the shell white washed? What? Kaori Yamamoto plays Motoko. Motoko is japanese. Major isnt. Other than the fact it didnt delve into the philology of the anime it was more than fine.