Welcome to another episode of moviemanMDG’s Movie Talk, where I talk about everything film-related. All right, it's time once again for my second-favorite part of the year. In my last episode, I counted down my personal winners of 2019. Now, it’s time to count down the biggest losers of 2019. This is where I name the films that failed to offer plenty of redeeming qualities to save themselves from disaster. I didn’t see a lot of bad films this year, so “The Fanatic”, “Arctic Dogs”, and “Playmobil: The Movie” are safe…for now. However, I saw enough stinkers for me to make this list. Let me remind you again that this list is subjective, so if you happen to like any of the films that are on there, that’s fine. Don’t let me stop you from having a different opinion on a specific film. This is just a list of films that I alone didn’t think were that great. All right, enough chit-chat, let’s get to that list. Yay…
There are plenty of films that center on action stars dealing with kids, like “The Pacifier” and “The Game Plan”, and they’re honestly quite tolerable despite their issues. This film, however, is not one of them. “Playing with Fire” sucks the fun out of its familiar formula and fills it with slapstick, poop jokes, and yelling. John Cena and the rest of the cast did their best to deliver the charm, but they’re not enough to contain its poorly-crafted plot, repetitive humor, and bland characters. This is one fire that’s difficult to put out.
This film could’ve been another great contender for the Oscars. Unfortunately, it wound up being the opposite. “The Goldfinch” has the makings of being an inspiring and emotional drama about life, but it fails to capitalize on those classifications, resulting in a dull and disappointing project that’s more Oscar bait than Oscar-worthy. Despite the cast and the cinematography being the saving graces of the film, it’s the type of painting that belongs in a trash instead of in a museum.
War movies tend to provide an emotional and action-driven experience that’ll make audiences feel like they’re part of the war themselves. Sadly, “Midway” struggled to be that type of war film. “Independence Day” director Roland Emmerich provided plenty of action scenes that were quite intense, but the film proved that he’s not a great choice when it comes to its narrative. The plot is uninspiring, the characters are bland and uninteresting, and the emotion is completely empty. It works fine as a tribute to the heroes that were involved in the Battle of Midway, but as a film in general, this is no “Saving Private Ryan”. Can I get “1917” now?
Like many pointless apps on a cell phone, “Countdown” is a waste of time and money. What could’ve been a fun horror experience that deals with death turns out to be a cheap and overly-cliched jump-scare bonanza that’s neither rewarding nor entertaining. It’s like being scammed by a game that promises to be great but in reality, it turns out to be poorly-designed. It’s frustrating. With its weak plot, mediocre characters, and an overabundance of horror cliches, this underwhelming mess makes the actual countdown app more enjoyable than the deadly countdown app in the film.
2019 hasn’t been too kind to Luc Besson. His latest film, “Anna” is a tedious and bland thriller that wasn’t able to capitalize on its interesting premise and its action sequences. Despite the tolerable performances from the cast, the film is filled to the brim with uneven pacing and a disappointing storyline. A forgettable action film from the guy who directed “The Fifth Element”.
Speaking of forgettable, “The Hustle” is a female-centered remake of “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” that has no reason to exist in my memory. Aside from Anne Hathaway’s endurable performance, the film is lazy, foolish, and dull mostly due to its plot and the humor. It completely wasted the talents of Hathaway and Rebel Wilson and, more importantly, it wasted my time. That’s what happens when you con the wrong critic, Miss Hustler.
Before he redeemed himself with his police thriller “Black and Blue” back in October, filmmaker Deon Taylor directed another terrible film that’s worthy enough to make it into my list. “The Intruder” is another formulaic obsession thriller that’s dumb and unmemorable despite Dennis Quaid’s performance. This is actually the first film in a while that I didn’t watch in the theater all the way through due to personal reasons, and based on what I saw, I wasn’t sad about it at all.
There’s a good chance that you probably didn’t realize this film existed. If that’s the case, let’s keep it that way. “Jexi” is another huge comedy misfire that wastes the talents of the cast and the filmmakers. Directed by the guys who brought us “The Hangover” and “Bad Moms”, the film has an important message to tell, but it was easily overshadowed by its repetitive adult jokes, uninteresting characters, an unlikable Siri-like character with the voice of Rose Byrne, and a sluggish screenplay. You’re better off looking at your own phone instead.
What a way to end your beloved franchise, Mr. Perry. At first, I thought “Boo 2!: A Madea Halloween” was the low point of the money-making film series about the loud-mouthed, but lovable, grandma. Then this film came along and made its way far below the low point. “A Madea Family Funeral” is the final nail on the franchise’s coffin as it ends the series with a very loud thud instead of a bang. Even with the return of the usual formula that was used from the earlier Madea films, the film still failed to deliver the laughs and the heart that the series is known for. Ranging from the mediocre acting to the inconsistent tone, this so-called “finale” made me wish that I was attending an actual funeral instead.
I’ve seen a lot of disappointing disasters in 2019, but none of them can reach the same level of disappointment as the one that was released back in January. “Replicas” starred Keanu Reeves in his first role outside of his “John Wick” franchise since his resurgence not too long ago. What seemed to be a thrilling sci-fi piece of entertainment that deals with using science to play God turned out to be an extremely underwhelming and poorly-directed experiment with little to no redeeming qualities whatsoever. The performances were okay for the most part, but other than that, there’s nothing in this film that made me want to revisit it again. Dull plot, bland script, hokey visuals, and a lack of strong thrills. These flaws make “Replicas”, in my opinion, the biggest disaster of 2019.
Well, that about does it with my top ten least favorite films of 2019. Glad we got that out of my system. On the bright side, I didn’t give one single film an F grade this year, so that’s something. This has been a pretty good decade for us when it comes to the movies. Sure, we had some ups and downs, but at the end of the day, the power of film still continues to bring us together and inspire us to strike up a conversation or two, whether the product is good or not. Here’s hoping that it will continue to do so in the 2020s. With that said, thank you all for reading and have yourself a happy new year.