"The World After" - another such apocalypse and its loss
"The World After", Photo: PR
We don't need us to say that "The World After," the sci-fi adventure drama starring Will Smith and his son Jaden Smith, and directed by M. Night Shyamalan ("The Sixth Sense," "Split," "Cervant"), was one of the worst movies of 2013 — and of the decade in general. Even Smith himself admitted in an interview with Esquire magazine that it was "the most painful failure of my career." With particularly devastating (and justified) reviews, most of which deal with the film being slow, banal and terribly boring, "The World After" proves that you don't have to live 1,000 years in the future to try to survive in a post-apocalyptic universe, like the film's unfortunate heroes. After leaving the movie theater, we felt as if we had experienced a cinematic apocalypse right in our flesh.
"Unforgettable 3" - sorry, remind us who these are?
"Unforgettable 4" | Trailer. Courtesy of United King
As fate would have it, the fourth installment in the retiree-only action movie series starring Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jason Statham and other aging action heroes arrives in theaters this weekend. We keep our fingers crossed that the new film will be more like the second rather than the third and most "forgotten" of the dusty and graying brand. Despite Harrison Ford, Mel Gibson and Antonio Banderas joining Unforgettable 3, the film gave up limiting adult viewing (R) in favor of a more family-oriented rating (PG-13), making it look like a Purim production of an assisted living facility where the elderly guys run around and pew pew with wet jumper guns. Not only did they not hit anything, but the film itself left targets completely clean.
"Fantastic Four" - Fantastic or Muflet?
"Fantastic Four", photo: PR
Admittedly, the first part of Fantastic Four, Fox Studios' super-failed adaptation of the Marvel family comic book brand, was actually quite successful, more reminiscent of a dark supernatural psychological thriller than a typical blockbuster. But after serious problems and production disputes, which led to the original script of the much-maligned director Josh Trunk being abandoned and studio heads bringing in outside writers to give the film a more "banal" ending for them, we got a puzzling piece that starts well, but ends terrible. The two halves of the film simply do not connect, and even Trunk himself has disavowed the project and does not consider it in his resume. And rightly so.
"Ben-Hur" - Jerusalem of Gold (fake)
"Ben-Hur", photo: PR
Sorry, we have a flat in the carriage. She also poured lager and fluttered in neutral. Yes, all these well-worn clichés put together, and we're not ashamed. The remake of the award-winning 1959 classic was considered a huge failure and tried, without much success, to use computer effects to hide the fact that the unnecessary remake of "Ben-Hur" was nothing more than a cheap, routine and soulless reproduction of the original (which, incidentally, was the third adaptation of "Ben-Hur" after two silent versions). In one sentence: one of the most notable box office failures of the last decade. Oh, Yodela, Yodela.
"Snowman" - please do not defrost and refreeze
"The Snowman", photo: PR
The talented Michael Fassbender stars in a film based on a bestseller by revered author Hugh Nesbo. What could possibly go wrong? All because "The Snowman" is a confused, confusing and boring mess that has lost its way deep in the snow. Even the celebrated detective Harry Hall couldn't extricate himself from this incoherent mess that calls itself a "script," and for our part, this mysterious and terrifying snowman can wait until summer and melt quietly, without anyone caring.
"Slenderman" - Bhayat, eat something
"Slenderman", photo: PR
The idea of making a full-length horror film based on an internet trend, or rather on Krippippasta (an urban legend associated with the horror spread on the Internet), turned out to be not very successful, and worse - not really scary. Very few people watched "Slenderman" in the cinema (perhaps because their parents disagreed), and one of the most amusing consensus about this improvised, slim, lean (we had to) production describes it as "rustling in the woods—the movie." What is true is true.
"Cats" - a lot of fur, but the film is completely furry
"Cats", photo: PR
Quite a few people – including us – watched Cats just to see what the fuss was about, or rather, panic. The much-maligned film version of the successful musical is considered one of the worst musicals of all time, and quite a few poisoned arrows were directed at the half-cat-computerized and half-human characters who turned esteemed and beloved actors such as Idris Elba, Judy Ganch, Ian McKellen and Jennifer Hudson into creepy creatures that usually inhabit nightmares rather than the streets of London. The production was described as "weird and synthetic," and we still haven't addressed the precedent-setting move by a nervous Universal Studios, which rushed to release a revamped version of the film to theaters, which corrected some embarrassing visual bugs (such as Dench's human hand, which popped up instead of her feline hand). Well, we stopped whining.
"Artemis Fowl" - every possible fowl
"Artemis Fowl", photo: PR
True, it's safeto assumethat Disney chose to shelve the cinematic distribution of Artemis Fowl in favor of a direct launch on Disney Plus because of the COVID-19 pandemic. But you can alsosaythat this is a particularly bad movie, that it really won't become the next Harry Potter. It is a fact that they decided to cancel any plans for a sequel. Artemis Fowl committed every cinematic transgression imaginable: it's a boring, tedious and flightless film, with sleazy effects and a main star – Fredia Shaw – that will forever be mentioned in one sentence with Daniel Radcliffe (well, maybe only inthat particular sentence). And yes, someone also needs to tell Josh Gad that the Hagrid auditions are over, but a long time ago. What the hell were they thinking at Disney?!
"The Sniper" - Liam Neeson, serial misser
"The Sniper", photo: PR
This time we made life easy for ourselves, as we could choose any of Liam Neeson's recent films, in which he less is more doing the exact same thing: picking up a weapon and going out to rescue someone kidnapped by the bad guys/taking revenge on the bad guys who kidnapped someone he loves/exposing a conspiracy and then taking revenge on the bad guys and saving the kidnapped lover - and putting him forward or backward a year or two on this list. With a hand on your heart and a finger on the trigger: Does anyone here really know the difference between "The Sniper," "Ice Road," "Shadow Agent," "Revenge Unchained" and "Catch," or do you, just like here, have all these movies become formulaic copy-paste? Don't get me wrong, we love Nissan very much. But we don't like his recent films, which looked like they all came out of Hollywood's most generic assembly line, running on automatic. Not haram on this huge player?
"Morbius" - the exploits of the anemic vampire
"Morbius", photo: PR
Another Marvel comic book movie, this time a Sony Studios adaptation of Morbius, a vampire antihero who is one of Spider-Man's enemies. The problem is that Spider-Man doesn't appear in this movie, and unlike the still-somehow-likable Venom that takes place in the same cinematic subworld, nothing happens in Morbius. I mean, maybe something happens, but after Jared Leto mixes his DNA with the genetic sequence of a bat, he starts taking himself too seriously – and it happens almost all the time in the dark so you don't see anything. Full disclosure: After waking up, we preferred to clean the blinds rather than check what we had missed in the film, because Morbius is such a poor and anemic work that no blood unit will be able to revive it.
The year of disappointing sequels
"Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny", photo: PR
What do Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny, Fast & Furious 10, Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania, Shazam: Wrath of the Gods, and Mission Impossible: Death Revenge Part One have in common? Let's keep it short: they're all high-budget pawnbrokers and expectations that didn't live up to expectations this year. On the other hand, what do "Barbie," "Oppenheimer" and "Super Mario Bros.: The Movie" have in common? None of them were pledges, all three of them crashed the box office and received excellent reviews. 2023 may not be over so you can't crown her disappointing film right now, but admit it's an intriguing trend.
And what about TV?
Which shows were so difficult, embarrassing, and unnecessary to watch that we would expect an apology for them too? There really is no shortage of them, but here are five from the past few years that made us vote on the sign (or alternatively, slam it to the floor out of frustration):
"The Inhumans" (2017)
"The Inhumans", photo: PR
Before Marvel Studios launched their Little Corner of the Universe on Disney Plus (not that everything is perfect there, God forbid), they scattered their assets on several TV channels. One such production was The Inhumans, which lasted for one season of only eight episodes on ABC. This highly publicized series focused on an alien royal family fleeing to Earth after a military uprising on its planet, but was so meager, melodramatic and embarrassing that Marvel decided to renounce it altogether and ignore the promises of a future link to the studio's cinematic universe (except for an amusing and rather morbid guest appearance by one of the characters in Doctor Strange in the Dimensions of Madness).
"The Colony" (2018–2016)
"Colony", photo: PR
Another series deals with aliens, but this, for once, survived for three seasons. Josh Holloway ("Lost") and Sarah Wayne Callis ("Fugitives," "The Walking Dead") headed a dystopian family of aliens who invaded Earth and made humans their judges. The truth is that the first seasons of "The Colony" were not bad at all, and even quite suspenseful. However, the great sin of the series is that it was simply abruptly canceled after the third season with an otherworldly Klifter, leaving us outraged and stunned. A tip to ourselves: Don't start watching any series until it's at least renewed for a fourth season, or comes to a natural end before that. Yes of course...
"Blockbuster", photo: PR
Workplace sitcoms are a safe bet. After all, who doesn't want to laugh a little while toiling from morning to night in their dreary job? But "Blockbuster," which aired on Netflix last year, seems to have missed the departmental motivational conversation and provided us with ten dull and not particularly funny episodes that took place within the walls of a video library — and even the nostalgia didn't help it. Just like the now-gone movie rental brand, Blockbuster faded after one season (and when you think about it, it's pretty amusing that Netflix produced a series based on what was once its biggest competitor in the movie rental scene). We didn't turn the tape back. Actually.
"Marco Polo" (2016-2014)
"Marco Polo", photo: PR
Another Netflix production, which in a surprising move decided not to spare any means and produce a large-scale epic series, as if it were no less than HBO. The result was the historical drama "Marco Polo", which focused on a young version of the famous explorer. Most reviews of it, as well as the plot itself, pointed to a more outrageous mold than a wafer forgotten for years in the kitchen of a rickety merchant ship, and after two stagnant and horribly expensive seasons, Netflix decided to minimize losses and shut down the set. However, the losses were far from minimal, as "Marco Polo" caused its creators losses of about $200 million and is considered one of the greatest television flops of all time.
"Idol", photo: PR
What is there to expand on Sam Levinson and The Weeknd's bizarre work, which was so bad that its first and only season was even cut in the episode - just to get it over with as soon as possible? We've written enough about it, haven't we? Much has been said about the toxic and misogynistic atmosphere behind the scenes, that Idol is actually HBO's excuse to air soft in prime time, and that The Weeknd should focus on music rather than acting. Everything is still very fresh, since this series went off the screens only about three months ago (and of course has not been renewed for another season), but has already managed to establish itself as one of the worst in history.
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