Best of the Decade – Part 2 (40-31)

40) Me and Earl and the Dying Girl 2015

Why? Besides being a solid A+ on the naming department, the title gives you everything you need to know about it. A movie dealing with teens dealing with death, the awkwardness of friendship and love in general, and how one can face the inevitable.

The Nick Offerman and love of movies in it doesn’t hurt it either.

Favorite moment? The movie reenactments.

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39) Aftershock 2010

Why? Partially picked because of how few people know about this film, Aftershock is one of the first lesser known films I watched that had a great emotional impact on me, and that was when I was still only 21 or so! The hard choice a mother faces can be seen as an allegory to the One-Child policy that China already had.

And the fact that we get to see so much of the events after the earthquake (you know, the Aftershocks) and how it affected so many lives is just heartbreaking.

Favorite moment? Hard to beat the initial earthquake scene.

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38) Life of Pi 2012

Why? Life of Pi, like The Martian, ends up being one of my go-to movies to show the youth of the world as a teacher when we have time, except I try to say it relates to math because of Pi. Life of Pi changed the way CGI worked in films forever, winning plenty of awards along the way because of how aesthetically beautiful it was.

It deals with a lot of hard topics in a way that those young and old can relate to.

Favorite moment? The “real story” being told.

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37) Uncut Gems 2019

Why? My first film from this year on the list (which was very hard to place in the decade, mind you) feels like a reminder that Sandler knows what the hell he is doing with the acting game, he just chooses to phone it in for easy paychecks. This film is an uncomfortable two hours, of people making bad and risky decisions for a payoff that may or may not be worth it.

It is excruciating in all the right ways, and a tense experience that is really hard to create.

Favorite moment? The final bet.

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36) Inside Out 2015

Why? My second animated film on this list, Inside Out hit me like a bag of trucks. First of all, it was led with Lava, which as a short made me cry by itself. But the journey of “emotions having emotions” through the guise of a pre-teen girl was its own a tear-filled experience, at least twice in theaters, and usually again when I watch it on my own or with my family.

It is a wonderfully weird concept, that sure, doesn’t make a lot of sense with scrutiny (see: many Pixar films), but a ride worth taking nonetheless.

Favorite moment? Bing bong bing bong.

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35) The Big Short 2015

Why? What’s this? My number 1 film of 2015 already on the list? That is okay. The Big Short is still wonderful, done in an exciting and informative way, and made me generally smarter about things I didn’t understand well. Hell, it still has good rewatchability. Just maybe that we are farther from the crisis in general, and there are other movies on the subject I like more (spoilers for this list), this felt like a good spot to land.

Adam McKay‘s heel-turn into Oscar nominated films was a shocker and a welcome one at that.

Favorite moment? The celebrity cameos to explain terminology.

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34) Get Out 2018

Why? After working on a whole lot of skits, Jordan Peele realized he knew what was missing in the world, and he gave us Get Out. With Us being good (and not as good), he has cemented himself fully as someone to watch. A lot of films in the late 2010’s deal with racial tensions in America, but almost none as creatively do it as with Get Out, in the guise of a regular horror and creepy film.

It fuses the truth, with horror and comedy to get people in the doors and more importantly, get people talking.

Favorite moment? The hypnotism.

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33) Before Midnight 2013

Why? Before Midnight is the first sequel on this list, and after examining the whole thing, there are only 2, maybe 2 and a half films that are sequels. So this is definitely the only end of a trilogy! The raw emotions that Linklater let these two do, just to talk, about love, and fear, and sadness, and hope. It is inspiring on its own. Add to the difficulty of creating the trilogy in sort of real time with 9 year gaps lets us come back to a couple we adore and want to succeed and cheer for.

There is a chance of a forth film in 2022, but as for now Linklater hasn’t told us anything.

Favorite moment? The argument.

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32) Prisoners 2013

Why? Prisoners is a movie I went in with no expectations, only a trailer, as I didn’t know who Denis Villeneuve was. Turns out, he is a director I love and is featured many times on this list. This is one of those films that really showed me for the first time how good of an actor Gyllenhaal and Dano really are. Already had my assumptions about Jackman.

A long, mystery, dealing with moral ambiguity and a terrifying conclusion. Prisoners changed the way I saw cinema for the next few years.

Favorite moment? Jackman losing it.

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31) Marriage Story 2019

Why? Marriage Story deals with a topic we don’t talk a lot about in films. Divorce! Getting married is easy, keeping it and ending it is harder. Two PHENOMENAL performances from Johansson and Driver, this is done in such a way that there are not too many overall scenes, but it is overall very awkward and sad.

I haven’t reseen the movie, but I have gone out of my way to rewatch various parts and I am able to with ease already knowing the full context. This will be a hard movie for me to rewatch and sit through beginning to end, but definitely one that warrants it at some point in the future.

Favorite moment? The court scene.

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Best of the Decade – Part 1 (50-41)

Welcome to my top 50 of the decade list! Every day I will do the next group of 10, according to all of the Staff here at Gorgon Reviews, on what we thought was the best of the decade.

We decided to not include documentaries, as they are much harder to compare, but you will see films represented more than one country at least.

50) The Martian 2015

Why? To me this movie is entirely pro-science in a fun and exciting way. We have smart characters, who solve problems by being smart, despite obstacles in their way. Smartness isn’t played as a joke, it is appreciated, and a lot of care went into making most (not all, that is fine) of this movie at least somewhat realistic.

I have seen this movie usually many times just showing it to my students near the end of the year.

Favorite moment? While the ending is very emotional, I enjoy most when they finally get communication up and running.

50

49) Chi-Raq 2015

Why? I want to make some statements with a top 50 list, and not be incredibly boring. This movie rolled a few of my jams up in one. Lyrically spoken, it brings back an Ancient Greek play into modern times, to deal with modern problems, and it is dripping with satire.

It gives new light to a problem. It doesn’t actually offer real solutions, but it is still making great points with its power.

Favorite moment? Samuel L. Jackson laying those smooth lines down as the narrator.

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48) 50/50 2011

Why? Coming out earlier in the decade, this felt like the perfect blend of a comedy/drama for me. I laughed, I cried, and I laughed some more. Joseph Gordon-Levitt really showcased his emotional range and showcased how someone might deal with a surgery that didn’t technically have a favorable outcome. He isn’t in it for the sympathy.

Favorite moment? When his mood shifts right before the surgery. Tears every time.

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47) I, Tonya 2017

Why? I, Tonya does a few things for me. It gives me a very different view of a story that I just had assumptions about (I was 4-5 at the time) and that is likely true about a lot of people. And it also finally let me see Margot Robbie in a different light as an actress that I had never seen before. You know, acting.

Favorite moment? The scenes where Tonya/Jeff’s relationship blossomed into an abuse for all.

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46) Nocturnal Animals 2016

Why? Strangely enough, this movie probably dropped the most out of any film compared to their respective rankings in top of the year lists. For 2016, I had this as my second favorite movie, a harrowing experience I never wanted to experience again.

However, on a rewatch, it is still extremely well acted and an interesting movie, but without the surprising fear elements, it didn’t sustain as much interest.

Favorite moment? It still has to be the highway scene.

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45) August: Orange County 2013

Why? Take an all-star cast of incredible actors, have them act a popular play, and sure enough, we will get emotions and wonderful acting. I hadn’t heard of this play before hand, so it was shock to me when I realized what was going on.

Julia Roberts and Meryl Streep are wonderful together, in that they bring out each other’s worsts.

Favorite moment? Hard to beat the dinner scene as it brings everyone together and everything full front.

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44) The Greatest Showman 2017

Why? Honestly, I loved this movie when I saw it. The worst part about it for me was how short it was (and still is). It was my most anticipated film of 2017, and I knew I was getting a fictionalized story about the real man, but didn’t care. It gave me a sense of fun and wonder that a circus was meant to give its audience, and honestly, as he deceived them, you could argue it was meant to deceive us about the real man.

This would be much higher if it was a little over 2 hours long.

Favorite moment? My favorite song shifts constantly, so at the time of the writing, I will go with The Other Side.

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43) The Witch 2015

Why? I was completely shookith with this film when it came out, appreciating how much the director went for realism in a story dealing with the supernatural. The clothes, the house, the language. Anna Taylor-Joy has started her career off really with this film, escalating her into several other horror/thriller roles.

The introduction of the film started things off very bleak from the beginning, and it was the struggle throughout that made it just that much more horrifying.

Favorite moment? The ending scenes with our goat.

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42) Moana 2016

Why? Our first animated film on the list, and not the last, Moana felt like they finally perfected the “modern Disney Princess” film. Trying to fix the backlash of their older films with problematic narratives.

Tangled and Frozen were obviously stepping stones to get there, but Moana has it all, including a banging soundtrack with only one overall dud in my eye. Looking at you Shiny.

Favorite moment? The ending reveal/victory I didn’t see coming and it still holds up in repeated viewings.

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41) Bodied 2018

Why? Likely to be one of the more controversial films on this whole list, because this damn thing is a controversial film. It has so many elements going on in it that SHOULD lead to it being something we should avoid, that it somehow mashes together to make an uncomfortable masterpiece.

When I rewatched this movie, it still made me captivated, and cringe at all the right moments.

Favorite moment? I am going to say I love/hate the ending.

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Click here for Part 2 (40-31)!
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Blinded By The Light

What is this year? Two movies about Asian men being super into some older band?

We had Yesterday, about The Beatles, and now we have Blinded By The Light, about The Boss, Bruce Springsteen.

Sure, neither of these movies are at all related. One a mystical event wiping them from the world. Another a realistic tale about a dude who just liked Springsteen decades later to an obsessive degree. Yet, at the same time, I feel like they will forever be linked in the future despite everything.

And you know, because of people like me.

boss
People like me, who don´t get to look good in plaid.

Javed (Viveik Kalra) has had a typical Pakistani upbringing. Well, he has been living in London for most of his life, that is different. But his father (Kulvinder Ghir) and mother (Meera Ganatra) are strict, and have his whole life planned out for him. Same for his sister (Kit Reeve).

Despite having a British best friend (Dean-Charles Chapman) across the street, who got to do everything, Javed had to watch and live vicariously a lot of the time. When it got to be time for graduation and college, Javed liked to write poetry, but that wouldn´t lead him to a good career. He couldn´t follow his passions in writing, he had to do something that would make him some money.

Dealing with racism, not fitting in, and a home life that doesn´t care, Javed found a home in one of his fellow South Asian friends, Roops (Aaron Phagura), and his love for a man named Bruce Springsteen. Javed immediately began to connect to his music, about the struggles of life and found a new passion in it all. His music encouraged him to try new things, to date, to follow his passions, and of course, to write.

But following your dreams doesn´t mean you will be on a path of least resistance.

Also featuring Nell Williams, Tara Divina, and Hayley Atwell.

room
The most appealing part of the room is just how clean it all feels.

I didn´t like Yesterday because the story was a mess and bad all over. I didn´t like Blinded by the Light because I failed to ever care.

This film almost received a 0 from me, but it had some nice scenes at the end. Mainly the protest scene and the arguments with his family scenes. They brought me in a little bit. But everything else felt so forced, and more importantly, slow.

It felt like an eternity to get through this movie, and took awhile to get to a real point. It doesn´t offer anything new on the basic side of things. Kid wants to do something, parents do not want him to do it, and he is able to do it anyways for success! Yay!

Is it better because its a true story? Because its about Springsteen? None of these inherently make a great story. And if it is a true story, it still fails to tell me why it matters. This kid, if he grew up to be a famous song writer or author, we don´t know. At the end we know he grew up to go see Bruce Springsteen in concert a whole lot of times.

Setting the bar quite low for reasons to make a movie here.

1 out of 4.

The Gentlemen

Let’s start this review with a little bit of a confession. Later this year we are getting a Kingsman prequel movie called The King’s Man. That makes a lot of sense to be the title of a Kingsmen prequel film. No one should get that confused.

Enter me. Movie reviewer. Reviewer who tries to not watch trailers or too many other notes about films before seeing it. I remember that the Kingsman prequel had a really obvious name for the series, but didn’t remember exactly what.

So, when I saw I had a screening upcoming for The Gentlemen? My mind went only one place. Ah yes, the Kingsman prequel.

And let’s just say, this movie had me pretty confused for about 20 minutes about how the heck this was at all related to those other films. When they started making a lot more modern references and talk about cell phones, I knew I must have just been a dumb fuck at that point. Anyways, that movie comes out in September. This one is an original and it comes out now.

grant
But wait, there’s more!

Mickey Pearson (Matthew McConaughey) is a weed dealer on a grand scale in Great Britain, and he isn’t even a citizen. Damn Americans. He has so much weed, making so much money, no one knows how he does it. Where does he hide his crops?

Well, he wants out of the game. He is getting older, less likely to go killing people and defending his territory. If he can sell out his whole operation to someone else, he will have enough money to retire the rest of his life with his comfy and rich friends.

But a simple idea dealing with illegal things will never be that easy. We have a very good and nosy reporter (Hugh Grant), the owner and operator of a gym for formerly bad people to make them better (Colin Farrell), Pearson’s number 2 man (Charlie Hunnam), and an ambitious Chinese gangster looking to make a break in the business (Henry Golding) that are all going to make things more complicated.

People will turn on everyone if it means survival in the end.

Also starring Jeremy Strong, Michelle Dockerty, Eddie Marsan, and Tom Wu.

swag
Success is always measured in dollars, nothing else.

The Gentlemen is definitely a return to form for Guy Ritchie, and is definitely not a prequel to that one franchise I will stop talking about.

This film felt like his previous great works that people think about when they say Guy Ritchie. Snatch, Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, and sure, RocknRolla, This is not like most of his trash from the last decade.

We get twists and turns, hard to understand accents, shocking moments, extra action when necessary, and surprises. A lot of what I said could be considered the same thing, and I don’t care about that.

It was very entertaining, if not hard to follow at the beginning [Editor’s note: That could be because this viewer was a dumbass, see the beginning of the review.] of the film. I did get annoyed at the seemingly excessive racist Asian language that happened at multiple times, although I accept that as bad people going against other bad people, it makes sense for the characters to be…racist. That was hard to type. Still can be frustrating as a viewer.

I give the most praise to Hugh Grant. He went really out of his normal style for this role (except for his general flair for the dramatics that he always carries) and killed it. I also quite enjoyed Farrel and Golding, Golding in particular is on the rise out of seemingly nowhere.

The Gentlemen is just going to be a fun time, with a little bit of death and mayhem.

3 out of 4.

Isn’t It Romantic?

It has been tough for Rebel Wilson to breakout so far as a leading actress. Probably mostly because she is seen as a goofy, lovable sidekick character. She played it in the Pitch Perfect franchise and What To Expect When You’re Expecting really well, to make her mark.

But with those roles came more roles of similar nature. Only small parts, and if she is a leading lady, she is sharing it with a few others in a group, and those films haven’t been met with any acclaim.

Now with Isn’t It Romantic?, she gets to be not just the leading woman, but obviously the leading character. This is a movie about someone she plays, and everyone else is side folly. I could be mistake, but I believe this is the first time she has done this in a big picture before.

And why not start with a purely satire picture, so that people know we are supposed to find it ridiculous.


Having a RomCom? That means the impromptu musical part will be my favorite!

Natalie (Rebel Wilson) works as an architect, but has no self confidence at all. She lets her work friends walk all over her, she does favors with none given back, she can’t get a word in at meetings, she has an assistant (Betty Gilpin) who just likes to watch movies and is lazy, but she is fine with it.

But this leads to their discussion of romantic comedies. Because Natalie thinks they are stupid, but her assistant loves them. And sure enough, after getting mugged by a subway and waking up in a hospital, Natalie has found her life to be different. The world is cleaner, people are nicer, and good things are suddenly happening to her out of nowhere.

A guy who used to be a jerk to her (Liam Hemsworth) now only wants to seduce her, she now has a gay best friend (Brandon Scott Jones), and her best friend forever (Adam DeVine) is also getting wrapped up in the genre and found a new love (Priyanka Chopra)!

Looks like everything is going to work out after all…

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Have your dreams come true? Gain a Hemsworth.

Plenty of satires have mocked what they were satirizing, and also given a film that follows those tropes as part of their satire. But how far is too far? And how much of it is just an excuse to make another romantic comedy?

It sort of feels like lampshading. “Oh golly, romantic comedies have a gay best friend, and now here is ours!” and things like that. And this movie does do that a lot, which loses its impact over time.

ON THE OTHER HAND. This film does not fully commit, thankfully. It does subvert the expectation as well, giving us that breath of fresh air.

It would be most ideal if it subverted it more often, but if it only subverted the trope, then she wouldn’t be stuck in a RomCom, so it is hard to find the balance.

And also, let’s be honest, I loved the multiple musical numbers. Those really are my jam.

It could have been better, but it also could have been way, way worse.

2 out of 4.

Les Misérables (2019)

Do you hear the people screen, screening the films of Academy? They are watching all the foreign films that might take home a win!

Even if they share a name, with other films going for the same!

And if it gets the nom, and goes up for an award, it will likely lose to Parasite all the same!

I hope you sang that. Here is a French film not based on but named after the French book, Les Misérables.

beard
Shit, they even got Jean Valjean in this.
Stéphane Ruiz (Damien Bonnard) is a country man, moving to the big city. He was a cop, and is still a cop. But there are a lot of differences out there compared to the big city of Paris. We have a lot of groups here. Immigrants, various religions, the poor. Ruiz is about to work in one of the worst and hardest districts out there, but not without some training.

He is to follow around Chris (Alexis Manenti) and Gwada (Djibril Zonga), partners who have been running the day shift for quite some time. They don’t report every crime, no, they are here for relationship buildings. They simmer down the tensions between the various groups. They fix the growing insecurities and shake down when they need to, skirting the edge between legal and illegal.

Ruiz definitely doesn’t like the cut of Chris’ jib, but he has to go along with it. Harassing young people, dealing with criminals, all of that. And then eventually, while actually doing something potentially right, the men get overrun by the youth who are just trying to protect a friend. Then something bad occurs, and it occurs on film.

So now they have limited time to try and fix it, before maybe all hell breaks lose with the factions.

Also starring Issa Perica, Al-Hassan Ly, Almamy Kanouté, Steve Tientcheu, and Nizar Ben Fatma.

cops
The body armor shows they are cops. That’s all it takes in Paris.

The film took me awhile to really grasp. I read only a little bit about it, and it said it was based or inspired on some riots in Paris in 2005. So naturally I assumed it would take place in 2005 and be those riots, but no, it takes place in modern times. We got iPhones, drones, and all of that.

I didn’t know anything about these riots in 2005, and I still technically don’t know anything about them now. There is one scene where it is mentioned, and that is it. But we do have some riots in this film near the end, but presumably on a much smaller scale.

I was also lost a little bit culturally, as getting all of the references and tensions between various groups didn’t come naturally. At one point the dick cop is making references to modern day Paris and the book Les Miserables, and the puns or jokes he was making didn’t make a lick of sense.

However, despite that, we do have a lot of tense, edge of your seat moments. I enjoyed the drama and the dilemmas that our leads were put in, and really didn’t anticipate where they ended up. I was scared by the end of the movie, while also unsure if I was upset by the events unfolding.

A better cultural understanding of Paris and past riots would make for a more full experience I believe, but on its own, it is a solid criminal cops doing bad and good things situation.

3 out of 4.

Bad Boys For Life

Bad Boys bad boys, Michael gonna Bay, Michael gonna Bay and explode on you.

As of last week, I had not seen either of the Bad Boys movies. I did make sure to check out the first two before this third one quite a few years later. I figured the plot would be relevant [Editor’s Note: It wasn’t] to previous movies and didn’t want to be lost. And honestly, neither were my jam at all. I can’t remember much about the first film, and only a few scenes from the sequel stand out. It was definitely a chore I had to put up with.

And let’s talk about this title? Bad Boys For Life. I guess they don’t have high expectations for future films, letting go of that obvious for for the fourth film there.

And yes, I know Michael Bay didn’t direct this one. Let me have my fun.

ooohyeah
Lawrence is mostly just excited to have work at this point. 

Set all the real life years after the other movies, we have our heroes Mike Lowrey (Will Smith) and Marcus Burnett (Martin Lawrence) getting older and getting into slightly less trouble. Mike still feels he is king of the world and untouchable. Marcus is slowing down, ready to retire, and over a lot of this stuff. Hell, he is a grandfather now. He wants to make sure he can see his grandson grow up and now get shot at some point in the future.

At the same time, some Hispanic lady (Kate del Castillo) broke out of prison in Mexico, thanks to her son (Jacob Scipio), and they seem to have plans about getting their family back on top. Finding some lost money, getting the literal gang back together. All of that. And she wants revenge, for everyone who hurt the family, including a Mike Lowrey many years ago.

Oh yeah, they have history. But you don’t know about it, since it took place before even the first movie, because why not.

Anyways, not sure what else to talk about. Scary threat and scary bad people, and maybe some people will die.

Also starring Alexander Ludwig, Vanessa Hudgens, Joe Pantoliano, Paola Nuñez, Charles Melton, and DJ Khaled.

panning shot
Oh yeah, everyone is getting too old for this shit. 

Bad Boys for Life could have been a better film. The ideas were there. Some of the characters were there. But it did not ever reach the potential and by the end, we were left with the same damn shit.

First I want to talk about Martin Lawrence, featuring a fatter head because he has been a lot more out of the spotlight. Honestly, it fits his character. And I loved his character in the first half of the movie. A grandson changed his life. He had new priorities. He prayed and stick to his prayers. It was actually a delight to see. And uhh, eventually, it was all just thrown away and hey, action movie, shoot gun, bang bang bang killing people. Okay.

Second note. In the middle of the movie we get a big speech from a character and it is meant to be this big moment. A change of heart speech. And then a really bad thing happens at that moment. Mike realizes at that point that everyone else was right, and that he was wrong. He was doing the bad stuff, he shouldn’t be involved, he needs to let others handle the current issue at hand. Hell, Marcus was right and Mike was wrong. They establish it, we all agree with it.

AND THEN RIGHT AFTER THEY GO BACK TO DOING THE BAD THING THEY ALL JUST AGREED SHOULDN’T BE DONE.

What in the hell? I feel like I was taking crazy pills.

This is a film that has some good laughs and scenes, and has good ideas, that get tossed aside on a whim to give us just another buddy cop action film. It didn’t stick the landing in terms of character growth at all, especially with the actual ending, which became a standard big kill fest with expendable bad guys, fire, and some underwhelming CGI.

Oh yeah, and there is no need to watch either previous movie. Despite having a villain from the past, it certainly isn’t one in the first two movies. Despite having a character that was in a relationship with Mike in the past, it is another thing that happened off screen. Completely lazy writing at points for these minor details, and, you know, the main plot of the dang film.

I am just so upset that it had potential and started off way better than expected.

2 out of 4.

Arctic Dogs

Ohhh, box office failures? Guess I have to see it.

Much like you all, I never heard about the movie Arctic Dogs coming out to theaters. It wasn’t given to the press. If it had an advertising budget, it went up someone’s ass.

Arctic Dogs went to theaters on November 1st, and completely bombed. It opened in over 2,800 theaters and currently (at time of writing) has the worst amount earned in an opening weekend for that many theaters at just $2.9 million. Completely, and utterly destroyed by its competition.

But surely an animated film about some doggos can’t be that bad?

pages
Oh. Foxes. Maybe. Never mind.

Swifty (Jeremy Renner) is an arctic fox, living in, well, the Arctic. He is super white, blends in with the snow, and thus, others seem to just ignore him and let him do his own thing.

Oh, yeah, this is a animals as humans movie. And the coolest animals in this small town are the Arctic Dogs super hero animals. What do they do? Oh. They deliver mail and packages to other small towns. Cool.

So naturally Swifty wants to be an Arctic Dog sledder, despite being a fox. And he meets the weight requirements, but isn’t really strong. So he is sent into the warehouse to help stamp packages, looking on the outside in.

Well, one time, Swifty has to send out a package. And it is to a weird Walrus recluse (John Cleese) who has Puffins working for him, all weird. And apparently that is enough for the Walrus to get rid of all the Arctic Dogs, just in case.

Now it is up to Swifty to deliver the packages, and, maybe, one day, also save the day.

Also starring Alec Baldwin, Anjelica Huston, Heidi Klum, James Franco, Laurie Holden, and Omar Sy.

redacted
Yep, Walrus on a robot spider bod. The ladies love it.

You see, Arctic Dogs isn’t bad enough to warrant its record. I mean, it is bad sure. But it is straight to DVD bad, not let’s scorn this movie so it never tries this nonsense again, bad.

Voice casting, most of it is uninspired. Not even John Cleese could save it with his wonderful words and accent. Hero is generic. We have had plenty of times someone who wants to be something, that he literally shouldn’t be able to do, but does it anyways because perseverance. But they keep doing it with animals or inanimate objects so that the real message is lost.

At least this time in this movie he didn’t just train hard enough to eventually get the job and prove people wrong. No, he got the job because all of the others were captured. Why? Because of plot reasons that don’t make at all any sense. Why would the villain want to take out all of the mail delivery dogs, when he still needs to get mail delivered to finish his evil plot? … … … Ohhh, because of poor writing.

Our female lead has the personality of Engineer, which is at least slightly different than the personality of scientist. And she unknowingly helps the bad guy the whole time, because I guess she isn’t smart enough to know what she is building? And there could be plot resolved from this earlier, if the main characters could talk better.

Oh, and let’s not forget the bad guys motivations. He is used to represent Global Warming, because its great to have a single source for the blame and make things fixable.

I just…I don’t know why the plot is so, so, so, so bad. The animation is definitely okay/average. But the terrible plot, nonsensical decisions and overdone tenants of the story line make this a disaster from the start. Good thing no one watched it.

0 out of 4.

Worst Films of 2019

(dis)HONORABLE MENTIONS:

Just a few this time! A Hidden Life, for having me waste my life with another Terrence Malick movie. We have Dumbo, for being a soulless remake from Disney, with bigger eyes cause of Tim Burton. Skin, which surprisingly isn’t in the top 15, because I always like to include ones people maybe never heard about before, so they don’t stumble into it in the future. And The Last Astronaut, which I don’t know if it counts as a 2019 release, because I saw it at a festival and it was a snooze.

15) Jexi
Why is it on the list? Honestly, a vindictive Siri like app on a phone could be interesting or funny, but it went there in all of the worst ways. Bumper can’t lead a movie on his own.
Least favorite moment? Wasting Michael Peña.
Any Worst Awards? Worst digital sex scene of 2019!

15
14) Breakthrough
Why is it on the list? This true story becoming a religious miracle is pretty week. Very little happens, except for a boy laying around in a hospital bed, while people discuss what to and not to do.
Least favorite moment? Unnecessary young hip pastor and religious conservative overcoming their differences.
Any Worst Awards? Worst film about people sitting around and waiting of 2019!

14
13) A Dog’s Way Home
Why is it on the list? A film like Homeward Bound, but with less personality, and a whole lot weaker story. They could have made this with a pit bull and had a bigger message overall.
Least favorite moment? The cartoon-y dog catcher.
Any Worst Awards? Nope. Turns out I have similar films that are like this but worse, so it gets nothing out of me.

13
12) The Secret life of Pets 2
Why is it on the list? This movie is a jumbled mess of various plot lines that get badly wrapped up together at the end. They repeat the mistakes of the first, and go even worse with it.
Least favorite moment? The farm subplot.
Any Worst Awards? Worst animated movie about pets of 2019!

12
11) A Dog’s Journey
Why is it on the list? In order to maximize tears, this sequel gives us four dog deaths and a real person death at very predictable times! That is the point of dog movies right? For them to get home or to watch them die.
Least favorite moment? Any conversation with the mom.
Any Worst Awards? Worst movie about actual pets of 2019!

11
10) Dark Phoenix
Why is it on the list? This movie is so bad, they dropped “X-Men” from the title. If at first they don’t succeed, make a worst version of it over a decade later I guess.
Least favorite moment? Stairs.
Any Worst Awards? Worst superhero film of 2019!

10
9) Overcomer
Why is it on the list? Oof, this guy has never made a film that can stand on its own. It could have been an okay sports story. But since they made it up, went heavy on religion, and pretty much set up an elaborate ploy to cheat, I don’t know who would enjoy it.
Least favorite moment? Where the dad yells at his loved ones.
Any Worst Awards? Worst sports movie where they win by cheating of 2019!

9
8) Poms
Why is it on the list? Completely low energy, boring performances, and a cookie cutter feel good cast with villains who are villains because poor writers.
Least favorite moment? The “wow the video has gone viral!” scene.
Any Worst Awards? Worst sports movie of 2019!

8
7) Playing With Fire
Why is it on the list? A film straight out of the 1990’s or early 2000’s, that includes a popular wrestler, who is too cool for kids, and has to deal with kids. Hah! Hilarious!
Least favorite moment? The end of the birthday party is tied with the wedding scene.
Any Worst Awards? Worst wrestler in a lead role, worst use of MLP, and worst comedy of 2019!

7
6) Maleficent: Mistress of Evil
Why is it on the list? The first one shouldn’t have been remade, to redeem a character who means evil. But then they did it, and doubled down on her being evil. Because why not. Also let’s have the plot be very similar, but bigger.
Least favorite moment? The forever lasting final battle.
Any Worst Awards? Worst fantasy, worst sequel, and worst live action “remake” of 2019!

6
5) Playmobil: The Movie
Why is it on the list? Not just feeling like a bad lego movie, it has poor animation, weird voice acting, and a plot that is meant for only those who have practically no attention span.
Least favorite moment? The parts where it was animated.
Any Worst Awards? Worst advertisement film, worst partial musical, and worst animated film of 2019!

5
4) Cats
Why is it on the list? Lacking a plot worth talking about, this movie musical is just a series of introductions until it finally ends, with visuals that you will never get used to.
Least favorite moment? The boat rescue.
Any Worst Awards? Worst CGI, worst furry fantasy, and worst musical of 2019!

4
3) Climax
Why is it on the list? I will admit the movie is disturbing which it set out to do, and sure, a horror/thriller. But disturbing doesn’t mean its also good. This movie is a crime against my eyes.
Least favorite moment? All the terrible set up for child trauma and rape.
Any Worst Awards? Worst horror, worst sex scenes, and worst dance movie of 2019!

3
2) The Fanatic
Why is it on the list? Well, Travolta is actually acting in this movie. But the movie is so stupid and pointless, a shell of a potentially greater film, that it feels awkward when one person is trying to swim, but everything else is shit.
Least favorite moment? Our fan first asking for the autograph.
Any Worst Awards? Worst thriller, worst t-shirts, worst “event to make the plot start” of 2019!

2
1) Unplanned
Why is it on the list? There is a lot of things wrong with this film. Being a religious film doesn’t make it inherently bad, but increases the chance of being really low quality story wise. Couple that with a giant attack against one of the best organizations around to try and help provide support to those who don’t have it because our country’s health care sucks. And of course the lead character is a hypocrite, who had abortions and was grateful for those choices/abilities, and now actively makes sure that others can’t? Sounds like a raging asshole.
Least favorite moment? Any moment her boss, the straw woman, talked about needing to up those abortion numbers because of money!
Any Worst Awards? Worst religious movie, worst “real story” film, worst drama, and worst movie of 2019!

1

Thanks for reading! If you disagree with part of this list, let me know. If there is something I missed, let me know (but I probably saw it and reviewed it on this very site!

And as always, I accept hate mail via the post office, email, or tweets.

Underwater

To start this review, let’s talk about Underwater as a concept.

What does it mean to be underwater? Usually, someone who says that they are underwater means they have water above them. And they are rarely actually under water while speaking, because that is hard to do when surrounded by water.

But if you have water over you, there is a good chance you still have more water under you too. Right? To be under something you really just need to be under a little bit of it apparently. You can be completely surrounded by water, so why would you be so weirdly specific in order to just say you are under it?

Seems ridiculous. Speaking of being ridiculous and not super specific, let’s get on to the review.

swimsuit
Not much water surrounding these folks!

As you will try to read very quickly at the start of the film, as newspaper headlines/taglines/regular lines flash across the screen with the occasional strobe, there are big underwater research/drilling sites. Super big, bottom of the ocean, with drills going far down. Why? Energy or something. And I guess some earthquakes are happening and weird things. But we don’t have time for that.

We only have time for Norah (Kristen Stewart), who is contemplating what it means to exist and sleep and work, when the explosions immediately start rocking the ship. Panic, running, and immediately she helps save the day by blocking the water from blowing up the whole place. Norah, along with some stranglers she meets (Mamoudou Athie, T.J. Miller) make it up to the escape pods, and darn it, they are already gone.

She does meet the captain (Vincent Cassel) and some more crew members (Jessica Henwick, John Gallagher Jr.) and realize they don’t have much time to get out. The top is collapsing. The bottom is flooded. They make a quick plan to descend to the sea floor, get int these sweet underwater suits, and walk a long distance to an older station that should still have some escape pods. It is their only chance.

But what caused the explosions down there? What made the horrible sounds in the last drill recording, what is banging on their walls, and what is out for their blood?

new swim suits
Not great for speed swimming, but good for not blowing up purposes.

I expected Underwater to be much worse than it actually ended up being.

I saw a giant standee for it a few months ago and sent it to my wife that it would be bad. It had T.J. Miller on the standee, third name! What? The Bomb threat guy? The one who beat his girlfriend? The drunk and wants to fight man? Why is he in a movie right now?

Oh, turns out this was made in 2017, before a lot of that, and took forever to come out.

Now surprinsgly, it wasn’t completely terrible. Miller was terrible yes. And the film early on had an issue where it refused to let the audience fully react to scenes or let us see how characters got out of a jam. Quick jumps in time, that gets us through potentially boring struggles I guess? One quite annoying one had them crashing to the sea floor on a ride, hurrying to get the door open to jump, and then the next instant they were all on the sea floor running. What the hell? Where’s my jump?

A lot of the film uses the dark depths and hard to distinguish up/down to its advantage to confuse the viewer. But honestly, the monsters were really a cool design. I love what they did with them. Reminded me of underwater ghost vampires in a way, and sure, Cthulhu in another.

This film gets straight to the point at the beginning, and isn’t a long run time. It is relatively predictable, but it has some sweet visuals that can produce some scares and some relatively fun moments.

2 out of 4.