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The Unforgivable Films of 2018

This is the Bruce Wayne to my Batman. Or the Batman to my Bruce Wayne. Depending which side of the schizophrenia you think is the normal one.

Always on the final day of the year, I post my Top Ten list. But, the day before, we post this. The Razzies to my Oscars, the Hugo to my Bart, the bear to my Leonardo DiCaprio. This is the Unforgivables list. The list of films that I fucking hated this year.

This is the 9th Annual Unforgivables list. The tradition began when I saw the movie The Switch in 2010 (Bateman, Aniston, jizz cup) and got so mad while watching it I wrote up a Jerry Maguire memo to tell them how awful it was and how they should never see it. And it went over so well, I decided to start doing it every year. Other previous ‘winners’ since The Switch have been Just Go With It (2011), Big Miracle (2012), Identity Thief (2013), Heaven Is For Real (2014), Vacation (2015), Batman v. Superman (2016) and most recently, The Emoji Movie (2017).

This year is an interesting year in that I wasn’t overly in love with most movies. I liked a lot of stuff, but there was nothing I had really strong feelings for. And, now that I watch so much stuff each year, my feelings often tend to fall toward the middle with a lot of things. I don’t hate things as much as I used to. Of course, every year by Thanksgiving I tell myself I can’t come up with a top ten list or an Unforgivables list, and yet every year, we manage. But this year I was interested to see where the hatred would lay, since in recent years I’ve moved away from the obvious Adam Sandler/Melissa McCarthy movies at the top and gone more toward studio stuff with no soul. I’ve started going into these lists by wiping the slate clean. Doesn’t matter what I rated something, doesn’t matter what I previously thought of something. If I feel it should be on, it’s on.

One more thing I should point out before we get started, the very complicated, scientifically created, government controlled algorithm that dictates what movies make this list. We take troves of data, filed in triplicate, cosigned by a notary, put them through the cortex processor machine (that’s a thing, right?), and boil it down to a singular criterion: the movie has to make me angry when I watch it or think about it. That’s it. Doesn’t matter if I gave it 5 stars. If I was pissed while watching it, it can be an Unforgivable film.

I have two unofficial guidelines I go by (but do not beholden myself to): 1) no sequels, and 2) no films we all knew would be garbage going in. The sequels thing I’ve openly broken in recent years, but that’s only for stuff I knew had to make it on. Sometimes irrational anger overtakes rational guidelines. And the second guideline is more for stuff like — I don’t know, Show Dogs. Did anyone think that was gonna be particularly good going in? But again, sometimes you hate something so much that doesn’t matter. The hate wants what it wants.

I think we ended up with an eclectic list this year. This is the kind of list that I don’t think people could guess as well as previous years. I mean, maybe you could get 4 of them easily. But I don’t think, if anyone sat down to try to predict where I was gonna go with this, that they’d get more than maybe six of them. But that’s also probably because I do my own thing and refuse to look at/go by what everyone else has dictated are the worst films of the year for their slideshows. I’m just here to shit on the stuff that made me angry and I don’t give a shit about what anyone else thought.

But without further ado, let’s get to the list. You guys ready? Because we’re fucking doing this.

Here are your Unforgivable films of 2018:

10. Venom

We are disappointed.

The biggest mistake this movie made was getting Tom Hardy to star in it. If not, and it were someone like Joel Egerton or whatever, then we wouldn’t have cared. It would have been just another generic superhero movie that we all just kind of forget about (kind like Aquaman is gonna be). But when you got Tom Hardy, you got expectations. So when this came out subpar, we were gonna ask questions. Problem is, though — the answer as to why this failed is on screen. And that answer is: you treated Tom Hardy the way a high school kid treats his girlfriend. Says everything he needs to say to get in her pants, and then immediately stops talking to her.

They clearly got Tom Hardy by telling him this was gonna be a character piece and he was gonna get to really explore everything about this guy. And they let him do it… then promptly cut all of it out of the movie. You know how you can tell? Because there are moments where Tom Hardy is doing something interesting and the movie promptly cuts away and in the reverse shot he’s not even reacting. Because they chose the most subdued take they possibly could. They cut whole sections out of this movie, and as such, the entire thing is streamlined to be as straightforward as possible, and it still makes no goddamn sense. How does it take the symbiote six fucking months to get from Thailand to San Francisco when it knew where it was going? How the fuck did it manage to buy a ticket for an airplane? Why is he chased by a fucking dune buggy out of nowhere in the woods after he gets infected? Does no one seem to care that this foundation is piling up bodies it’s using for research? Why does the symbiote randomly decide, “You know, I don’t want to destroy the world anymore because I like you”?

The other thing is — Tom Hardy is so goddamn weird here, you can’t help but wonder what kind of shit he did that didn’t make it into the movie. Meanwhile there are whole sections of plot that are just nonsense and terrible. This is one of those where it looks like they cut the interesting stuff out to try to make money, and yet they were rewarded by it making money. That’s disgusting to me. There’s almost nothing redeeming about this movie, save that scene where Tom Hardy goes nuts in the restaurant and eats the lobsters.

This is the kind of movie where, I feel like there was some good stuff shot, and they cut it all out in favor of money. Which is literally selling its soul for the almighty dollar. That’s one of the most Unforgivable things a movie could do.

9. The 15:17 to Paris

This movie achieved Unforgivable status for one scene and one scene only, and that scene takes place two minutes and forty seconds into the film.

After showing the guys walk onto the train (and not showing us the incident), they have bullshit voiceover introducing them, and then randomly jump back in time thirty years prior to when they were kids. It has two of their parents coming in for a parent-teacher conference.

“We’re concerned, I guess, with the boys starting junior high,” they say. Bullying, is their concern. And the teacher tells them their kids are the problem. They probably have ADD. “Do you think that you might be jumping to this conclusion too quickly?” Which is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. You fucking know if your kid has ADD or you’re completely blind and the kind of mother that will take a bloody gun the way Karen took Ray’s gun after he beat the shit out of that guy in public.

The teacher says one of their boys is way behind on his reading, and the other spends most of his day looking out the window. “I’m sorry, did you say he spends most of his day looking out the window? Just so I’m clear, do the other kids not look out the window?” Which is so missing the point, and designed to get most of the middle-America parents out there to completely ignore the issue at hand. Clearly she means the kid refuses to pay attention, and this parent refuses to hear the facts and takes the conversation completely off-point and twists the issue. Clearly, she watches Fox News.

Then, the worst part: the teacher suggests medications that will help them focus. And Mom #1 loses her shit: “Are you telling me I need to drug my child to make your job easier?” This teacher should fucking slap her right now, that’s so obtuse. She tries to explain that the medication will help them focus. And sure, a teacher saying that probably isn’t the best messenger, but still, these women are refusing to accept that their kids are anything less than perfect. And then the teacher makes the only real misstep she has when she says “if you don’t medicate them now, they’re just gonna self-medicate later.” Which is fucked up, even if it’s probably true. And then she follows it up with this gem: “You know, boys of single moms… it’s just statistics. But statistically, they are more likely to develop problems.” Clearly, the script is speaking and not the woman. No teacher would ever fucking do this. This sounds like the mothers telling the story. But that straw man bullshit allows Mom #1 to say the single most unforgivable line of 2018:

“My God is bigger than your statistics.”

When I heard that line I audibly said, “Fuck you!”

Not only is that line designed to feed the Middle American spiritual high horse, but it completely distorts the entire scene and sells you the bullshit theme of this movie, which is: it doesn’t matter if you’re a fuck up or if there’s something wrong with you. There’s really nothing wrong with you, and all you need is a moment to prove that you’re a hero.

This teacher is telling these parents, “Your kids are not learning the way the other kids are learning. They’re disruptive. They probably need medication, because without it, they’re gonna be fuck ups who go undiagnosed and will not be able to be productive members of society. If you ignore this now, it will fuck them up later.” So the parents, refusing to accept that their kids are not perfect, all-American football captains and straight-A students, do nothing about it. And the rest of the movie features them being fuck ups for the rest of their lives, basically. They can’t do soldier training properly, they can’t keep a job, they fuck up literally everything because they were never prepared to operate as regular human beings. But, according to this movie, even though they cannot function in normal society, because they did one thing on a train, they’re perfect. Let’s glorify them. And sure, we can glorify the action, but glorifying the human is so supremely fucked up. And they play themselves! What the fuck, guys?

This movie is embarrassing. This is the worst movie Clint Eastwood has ever directed, by far. And that list includes Jersey Boys. This movie feels like it was directed by the Clint Eastwood we saw on screen in The Mule. Did he have any idea what the script even was or where the camera was going?

I am so mad that this movie happened. But fuck this movie forever for that line alone, because it epitomizes everything that’s wrong about this movie and what it’s trying to do. And here we thought talking to that chair was going to be the most embarrassing moment of Clint Eastwood’s career.

8. The Hurricane Heist

This movie features exactly zero tropical cyclone thefts.

7. The Grinch

Why did this movie need to be made? The 1966 short is absolutely perfect on every level. Then they made the Ron Howard live-action version. Not the greatest movie ever made, but it’s fun and charming. So why would you go back and do an animated version? And let the fucking Minions people do it?

The animation style is awful, their filmmaking is dated the minute the movie comes out, and every choice they make is designed for… I don’t know who or what it’s designed for. Maybe just to make money and for no real artistic purpose whatsoever.

I can ask questions about every single decision in this movie. But it made me grotesquely upset as I watched it. On every level. And the biggest reason for that is because there is going to be a generation of kids who only knows The Grinch as this version and not the way it should be known. That is such a goddamn travesty I couldn’t help but give it a spot on this list.

And I know some people are gonna look at me putting this here and go, “What? It’s fine. It’s innocuous.” No. Fuck you. That’s the problem. That’s what makes it stick. The kids are gonna enjoy it and it’s just going to become normalized. This movie is not okay.

6. Ibiza

I tried not to hate this. But look at that fucking poster. UGH.

This movie makes you hate it from second ONE. It starts with a wide angle shot of New York and “New York, New York” playing. Immediately I wanted to throw the fucking remote at my TV.

And then every character who isn’t the main character is not a real person and not actually someone who can exist in real life. All of the situations are contrived. This feels like the Dane Cook of comedy elements, where people are laughing and think it’s funny because it’s said in an inflection that cues you to laugh, whether or not what was said of funny. Everything is cranked to 11 when the actual substance is like, a 4.

This is everything I hate about comedies today, AND it’s Netflix, which just makes it worse for me. Literally every single moment in this movie made me mad at it. I wanted the characters to die. That’s how unrealistic and annoying they all were. I don’t know what it is about comedies that makes them feel like they have to do this. I’m guessing because they can’t write real people and create comedy from actual human situations.

The worst part about a movie like this is that I know there are gonna be people who liked it. And people who go, “Lighten up, it’s not that bad.” No! No. We need to hold these things to a standard, because without them, they’re just gonna get even lazier, more uninspired and watered down than they already are.

Quick, name five comedies of the past decade that are gonna end up on par with the great comedies of all time. You can’t. Because there might not even be one. And all the movies like this — they’re watering them down from that shit.

5. Skyscraper

这部电影是不可原谅的,因为它不是为美国观众制作的。

这部电影是Die Hard遇见的The Towering Inferno,但这部电影仅供中国观众使用而不是其他人。他们在The Rock扔了一辆本来应该是Brink卡车的东西,所以他会在这里出演,并且与他完全没有其他人。

没有人物发展,纸上薄的故事,动作每8分钟跳动一次,光滑的CGI只是看起来和感觉假。没有关于这部电影的感觉真实。每一点都感觉制造和设计,以向外国观众出售钱。

问题不在于这部电影是否可观看。问题是,如果你关心他们完全为别人制作这部电影,那么就假设你已经去看了。他们贬低了你作为电影观众的态度。他们贬低你的品味,你的智力,感觉就像你去看你的治疗师一样,他们花了很长时间让你帮助他们通过他们的档案来检查另一位每周安排更多课程的病人。

这不仅仅是因为这是灵魂,它是没有灵魂的,他们期待你不仅接受它,而且拥抱它。那我就是无法忍受。

4. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

Our first sequel of the year. I told you, they only make it on when I feel they need to. And this one needs to.

I was okay with the first Jurassic World because it was fun. Not a single original bone in its body and a broad ripoff of the first one (that literally references the first one openly), but fun. I’ve liked it less and less as time has gone on, but in the moment, it was fun. It’s like The Force Awakens. We all enjoyed it, but over time, there’s not a whole lot you remember, and mostly you’re left just going back to the original stuff it’s trying to copy. But still, it was solid enough that even if they made a sequel, it should have been perfectly fine.

This movie is not fine.

They brought back characters nobody cared about for no reason at all. They loosely remade the general plot of The Lost World. They used news stories for exposition. They brought back Jeff Goldblum just for good will. They sold a movie on the trailer and then literally bait and switched into a different movie.

Bryce Dallas Howard is now trying to stop the recreated extinct species from going extinct again? They retconned a partner for Richard Attenborough just for a plot? They set up a really obvious villain and then the main characters just can’t see how shady everything is? Chris Pratt vehemently wants nothing to do with the dinosaurs and then all of a sudden, “Hey that super dangerous velociraptor that may not kill you for five seconds might die,” and he’s like, “I’m in”?

I’m focusing entirely on the dinosaur element of the story, because I don’t even want to get into the “We’re pretending to illegally take the dinosaurs off the island to save them, but we’re really gonna sell them on the black market, which is totally something that no one will ever find out about” and the “cloned little girl” subplots.

Remember the first movie? “Hey, we cloned dinosaurs. It’s awesome. We’re gonna make it into a theme park. Come check it out. Oh, shit, dinosaurs got loose, we need to not die.” Simple. You try explaining the plot of this movie, you just keep pulling out other strings you have to deal with. It’s too complicated. And worse, it’s NOT INTERESTING. Can you name a single memorable moment in this movie that wasn’t in the trailer?

There’s a moment in this movie where they shoot the dinosaur, then tranquilize Chris Pratt. And the dinosaur vet lady pulls a gun on the twelve military guys surrounding her. And she avoids being shot by saying, “If I don’t treat the dinosaur, it’ll die.” And since all they want is the dinosaur, they have to put their guns down. And then head military guy (Ted Levine… because sure) is like, “How about this: if that dinosaur dies, I’ll shoot you.” So what now? What was the entire point of the standoff? That’s this movie in a nutshell. It’s doing things because it looks like a movie like this is supposed to go, but none of it makes any goddamn sense.

They’re missing Spielberg’s sense of excitement and adventure. Remember how amazing it was just seeing the brontosaurus the first time? Now it’s all so commonplace. Not because it is commonplace, because they treat it as commonplace.

Mostly what I’m mad about with this movie is — how could you fuck it up this quickly? I mean, sure, get to #3, #4, and it’ll water down and get tired. But you fucked it up on #2! And it’s not even like they did something weird that doesn’t totally work like Last Jedi. They had a story. And nobody gave a shit, and it’s terrible. And now I can no longer look forward to these movies the way I used to. This franchise is one of the few ones left where I can legitimately say I still like it, and now they’ve taken this away from me too.

The only way I will rescind my feelings about this movie is if they manage to merge this into a shared universe with Westwold (whose season two basically has the exact same ending as this movie). Short of that, you guys fucked up bad.

3. Life of the Party

You’d think I’d be able to let these go by now. But no. I cannot.

Melissa McCarthy essentially remade Back to School, one of my all time favorite movies and one of the great comedies of all time. And you thought I wasn’t gonna notice?

Here’s the problem with her movies — who finds them funny? Now that she’s a star, she can’t just do raunchy Bridesmaids stuff. So it’s watered down. Now she’s appealing to the masses. Which means lowest common denominator humor. But even in that dough, it’s being rolled out so thin that it’s just unwatchable.

Three movies have been released that she has written and directed with her husband. Tammy, The Boss and this. All of which are Unforgivable and in the top five. There’s just nothing remotely competent about them. There’s no comedy, there’s no drama, there’s no character development. It honestly makes me wonder who they’re made for.

I’m honestly running out of things to say about them because they’re just so bad, and it’s so much of the films that you can’t even pinpoint one element to make fun of. It’s everything. It’s all terrible.

This movie feels like the equivalent of the kind of jokes your Mom makes that you and all your siblings roll your eyes at because it’s not even remotely funny, and yet she thinks it’s hilarious, and all the older women laugh at. And you’re torn between saying how unfunny it is while also going, “You completely messed up telling it in every way.” I tell you what you do — you close your eyes and hope it all goes away soon.

Much like I do with these Melissa McCarthy movies.

2. I Feel Pretty

Seems kind of fitting that Amy Schumer and Melissa McCarthy movies go back-to-back. Both became known for raunchy type humor, and then once they got super famous, they became mainstream, family friendly, and have made almost exclusively terrible movies. McCarthy will aways have Spy as the lone comedy bright spot on her resume and has dramatic abilities, but the rest of her comedies are garbage. Amy Schumer is really only getting started. She has Trainwreck (decent), Snatched (on this list last year) and now this. And already she’s earned herself a perennial shortlisting on this list until she proves otherwise.

The point of this movie is that it’s supposed to be the body positive movie, and instead sure looks like the fat shaming movie. The entire first act is her feeling bad and basically being openly ridiculed for not being a size… whatever the skinny sizes are. And the worst parts is, they don’t know how to do it subtly. The opening scene is her going into Soul Cycle and asking for a wide shoe. And the lady behind the desk randomly shouts to the guy standing next to her, “Do we have a WIDE shoe? Like a regular shoe except WIDER. I guess for WIDER feet?” I guess people who turn their brains off will just laugh at that, but to me, it’s like, “First off, who is such an asshole that they’d do that to a person,” and, more importantly, “Who the fuck doesn’t know what a wide shoe is?” Why is this funny on any level? Why can’t comedies build stuff out of character? There are a dozen ways to do that exact same thing without having it be wildly over the top and just bad. But apparently this is what things are nowadays.

What I want to know is — how was this made? Did someone write this because Amy Schumer was looking for a movie? Did she have any say in the story? Did someone just decide on this plot? Because I could have told you “Dumpy woman gets hit on the head and suddenly thinks she’s beautiful” isn’t gonna work in 2018. I just don’t understand how something like this makes it through. There are so many levels this has to go through before it comes out, and somehow everywhere along the way people went, “Oh yeah, that’s funny, that’ll work”?

This is one of those movies where I know whether or not I will like a person and their tastes based on whether or not they like it. I would honestly be more okay with a person telling me they’re a serial killer than if they said they liked this movie.

However, we did get one good thing out of this, which was Greta Gerwig going to see it in the theater.

1. Ralph Breaks the Internet

He really wrecked it.

This movie is The Emoji movie, only with storytelling. Which means it should have known better.

I realize in advance that my problems with this movie are going to sound a lot like this:

Image result for old man yells at cloud

But you have to realize… this is not that.

Because here, it’s actually the Cloud.

I was so hurt and disgusted by this movie. This is like watching that Logan Paul video, only the body they’re showing here is traditional Disney animation.

First and foremost, we have to state the obvious: Disney has made only two direct sequels in the history of their animated feature canon. Two. The rest were straight to DVD. They are: The Rescuers Down Under and this. Technically we can say Winnie the Pooh but that’s kind of murky. If you wanna count it, you can, but I don’t know if I would. Disney has made a career on being exclusive and varied in their canon animation. This is the first one that seems like a blatant cash grab. (But don’t worry, Frozen 2 is coming right behind it.) That’s arguably the most Unforgivable thing about this movie. Don’t waste a “Walt Disney Animation” film on this. Just make a VOD movie. You only do it if there’s a story worth telling. And this — not worth telling.

Here’s the problem — the plot of this movie is: Ralph has to fix Vanellope’s game because (spoiler alert) he wrecked it. And the way to do that is apparently by going on the internet and earning $20,000 so they can buy the part on eBay. Neglecting the fact that they can influence the things that happen on the internet and somehow earn real money, the way they have to earn the money on the internet is by going viral.

What?

That’s the fucking plot of this movie? Ralph has to go viral on the internet to make money? So that’s the message you’re imparting to kids? You went from “I’m a bad guy, and that’s okay, because if I’m myself, I’ll always be true” to “Get a lot of likes and views on the internet and you can make a lot of money!” That, to me, is not even pretending like this is a movie with any storytelling ambitions. This seems like a complete, soulless money grab.

The worst part of it all is the one thing everyone is talking about — the gigantic Disney princess jerkoff scene. Which is prefaced by them walking through the internet and seeing Marvel, and Star Wars. Which is basically Disney going, “Look at all the stuff we own!” People think that shit is cute (because we live in a cinematic universe society), but to me that is just unnecessary. That’s the exact kind of scene I don’t want in my movie. That kind of stuff made me not even pay attention to what good stuff might be in this movie. I say “might” because I truly don’t know. I can’t see past all the disgusting stuff.

Half this movie is an excuse to reference all the games and apps and things that are on people’s phones. So it’s basically The Emoji Movie, but with actual storytelling. There’s nothing of value here, and it’s further contributing to the worst parts of modern society. It’s so disgusting to me.

MAYBE I could have been okay with this if it wasn’t a Disney sequel and if the first one wasn’t so good. But it is, and it was, so fuck this movie.

It’s rare for me to be openly contemptuous of a movie, but truly, every time this movie has come up in conversation since I’ve seen it, I’ve automatically said, “Fuck that movie” out loud, every time. I hate it that much.

Disney really cut me deep on this one. They were one of the good things I had left in today’s movie landscape. And they took that away from me.

Ralph didn’t break the internet. Ralph broke my heart.

– – – – – – – – –

– – – – – – – – –

11. Dog Days — This movie was so close to making the top ten, but ultimately I think I just wasn’t filled with enough vitriol for it to put it on. Plus, I kinda knew this would be… wait for it… dog shit. I knew from Ken Marino’s last movie this wouldn’t be very good. This is generic, bad, boring, and it uses dogs in manipulative ways. Truly awful movie.

12. Overboard — It’s part “why would you remake this” and part, “Why did you think this was gonna be good?” They must have known, because when all you can get is Anna Faris in 2018, a lot of people turned down your movie. It’s just one of those set ups that they would deem “problematic” nowadays. They switched genders, but it’s still fucked up. And it’s just not god. one of those movies that didn’t need to be made on any level.

13. Samson — These religious movies are always dog shit, and the always make this list. They’re poorly made, poorly written, poorly acted, and only exist to make the religious sect feel self-satisfied. I hate every one of these.

14. Father of the Year — Shocker, a Happy Madison David Spade movie made my bottom 15. The non-Sandler movies always are worse than the Sandler movies, but they seldom make me as angry as them, because we all know what we’re getting. This is just an abomination of a movie, where David Spade is doing a half a Joe Dirt accent with the flimsiest plot you’ve ever seen, designed to appeal to the lowest common denominator of people.

15. Step Sisters — Netflix movie. This was close to making the actual ten, but I let it go because I didn’t have the energy. The less you know about this, the better. It’s less than one-dimensional, and has no redeeming qualities whatsoever.

– – – – – – – – –

16-25:

Action Point
Billy Boy
Broken Star
Distorted
Duck Duck Goose
The Holiday Calendar
The Week Of
Midnight Sun
Slender Man
Truth or Dare

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3 responses

  1. kp22kc

    Return to Never Land was a theatrical sequel release….although it did start out as a direct to video release.

    December 31, 2018 at 3:32 am

  2. Loved your descriptions of Hurricane Heist and Skyscraper!

    December 31, 2018 at 10:10 am

  3. Two animated films made the Unforgivable list this year.

    January 3, 2019 at 12:44 am

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