Hello, everyone, and welcome to another episode of moviemanMDG’s Movie Talk, where I talk about everything film-related. In the last episode, I showcased my top ten best films of 2020 just to light up the darkness in this horrific year. Now, it’s time for me to count down the top ten stinkers of the year, just to add insult to injury. Great, it’s bad enough that I had to deal with surviving the COVID-19 pandemic, now I have to talk about the ten films that I wasted my time on. 2020 was a very interesting year for me. For those who are new to my top ten list, I do the best I can to explain why I didn’t like my personal choices on this list in a mature manner because let’s face it, we don’t need any more of this stinking negativity. Just like with my top ten best films of 2020 list, this list is from my own personal opinion. If there’s a film on my list that you actually like, that’s completely fine. Don’t let my opinions change your own views on it because again, everyone has their own perspective on film, especially critics, and they have the right to share them without being judged. With that in mind, allow me to share mine as I count down my worse films of 2020.
Let’s start this list off with the latest comedy from the husband-and-wife duo, director Ben Falcone and comedian Melissa McCarthy. Or was it a romantic comedy? An action romance comedy? “Superintelligence” is a glitchy system that has no idea what it wants to be, resulting in it being one of the biggest disappointments of the year. Aside from its respectable cast and a passable final act, the film suffered from a series of malfunctions such as Falcone’s direction, its poor execution on the humor, and its tedious story. It didn’t take an artificial intelligence to figure out what went wrong with the final result.
Peter Berg is known for making some of the best fact-based thrillers in his promising career, but he’s also known for some of his disappointing misfires. His latest film, “Spenser Confidential”, is one of them. The film adaptation of Ace Atkins’s 2013 novel Wonderland saw the reunion of Berg and Mark Wahlberg, and while it’s a bit more tolerable than “Mile 22”, it’s another underwhelming collaboration between the duo. Despite a suitable cast and some decent action scenes, this action thriller from Netflix wasn’t able to provide plenty of riveting mystery elements because of its underdeveloped characters, its uneven tone, and its bland screenplay. This is a pretty big slap in the face for me and the fans of the source material.
Family films with talking animals usually spell trouble for critics, save for “Babe”. While cute in their own way, their stories can be a bit too nonsensical for their own good. My next pick happens to be one of them, but sadly, it wasn’t as entertaining as it could’ve been. “Dolittle” took a more faithful approach to the source material it’s based on, but its execution lead it to become a bland and CGI-bloated mess that’s more accessible to kids rather than their parents. To its credit, it did its part in providing some charm in its messages and the voice cast for the animals. However, it wasn’t enough to prevent the film from being a mediocre voyage that’ll make several people question Robert Downey Jr.’s career choices outside of his Marvel Cinematic Universe role. With its poor screenplay, unmemorable characters, and its stale humor, this latest iteration of Hugh Lofting’s character made the Eddie Murphy version look like Shakespeare by comparison.
A not-so-good comedy from Happy Madison Productions and Netflix? Surprise, surprise. “The Wrong Missy” is a forgettable and unsatisfying romantic comedy that may not impress people who aren’t fans of the recent works that Adam Sandler and his gang were involved in. While I admittedly enjoyed Lauren Lapkus’s performance, I’m afraid that she wasn’t enough to save this disastrous blind date because of its cliched screenplay and its mediocre humor.
With the combination of the Disney brand and a popular book series it’s based on, this could’ve been the next “Chronicles of Narnia” or the next “Harry Potter". Instead, it wound up being one of the studio’s biggest disasters in its recent years. “Artemis Fowl”, which is available on Disney+, failed to impress both the fans of the source material and newcomers who are unfamiliar with the characters. I wasn’t expecting this film to that bad, but to my surprise, Disney managed to prove me otherwise. The plot was extremely thin, the characters were one-dimensional, the narrative was way too rushed and underwhelming, and some of the performances from the cast weren’t really that impressive. This is definitely something that the studio should leave behind in order to maintain their dignity.
There were times when a film not only failed to meet our expectations, but was also overshadowed by backlash due to their concepts. “The Last Days of American Crime” is one of those times. Controversy aside, this latest thriller from director Olivier Megaton is an overlong and tasteless experience that tried way too hard to be an epic and thought-provoking crime blockbuster. With its excessive runtime, uncaring characters, and its lack of strong thrills, the film has committed a crime that should not go unpunished.
There are good horror films, there are bad horror films, and there are horror films that made me pretty angry. This film belongs in a category where “angry” isn’t enough to describe my reaction towards it. “The Turning” is the type of horror film that managed to turn my head for all of the wrong reasons. Despite its gloriously creepy atmosphere and a passable cast, the film was an infuriating experience that’s neither scary nor captivating enough to capitalize on its gothic tone. The scares were forgettable, the plot and the characters were poorly-handled, and the ending…my God, the ending. That has got to be one of the worst things I have ever experienced in my life. If you want to know why I hated the ending, go read my full review of the film. This was another horror experience that completely wasted my time, and the same should be said to those who dare to view it themselves.
What seemed to be a dream come true for fans of the “Fantasy Island” show from the 1970s actually turned out to be an unwatchable nightmare. Helmed by Jeff Wadlow, the guy behind the terrible “Truth or Dare”, Blumhouse’s “Fantasy Island” attempted to transform its light-hearted premise into a full-fledged horror film about the dangers of wish-making. This resulted in a cliche-heavy and tame dream that’s extremely easy to forget. Due to Wadlow’s weak direction, mediocre characters, and a severe lack of scares, this is one vacation that you shouldn’t take. The film also shows further proof that Jeff Wadlow should take a break from the horror genre and move on to something else.
Yes, this film existed. Yes, the title was meant to be a joke, and yes, it’s as bad as you thought it would be. After directing the entertaining “Stuber” last year, Michael Dowse immediately went downhill with a comedy that wasted the cast’s talents like they were pieces of unused paper. Lazy, repetitive, offensive, and downright unbearable, “Coffee & Kareem” is quite possibly the most embarrassing buddy comedy that Netflix had to offer. It was a massive joke that’s more insufferable than funny.
What a way to end off this year’s top ten worst list: with the first 2020 film I reviewed way back in January. You know, before the virus showed up and kept us inside our homes for months. There were plenty of films this year that reeked of horribleness, but none of them reeked as badly as the latest installment in the “Grudge” franchise. The 2020 version of “The Grudge” got the same treatment as the “Hellboy” reboot, in which it received an adult rating compared to the PG-13 rating that the previous installments had. While the “Hellboy” reboot was an okay watch despite its easy-to-digest flaws, “The Grudge” is an intolerable experience that used the R rating as an excuse to justify its existence. It just goes to show that just because a specific franchise got a rating upgrade, it doesn’t make it better. From its dull story to its poorly-developed characters, the continuation of the horror franchise is not only a major disgrace to Takashi Shimizu’s version, but it’s also one of the most painful theatrical experiences that I had ever sat through and the absolute worse film of 2020 in my eyes.
There you have it. Those are my ten least favorite films to cap off the year. Overall, 2020…was an ugly introduction to the new decade. Every year has a series of ups and downs, but this year happens to be special for all of the wrong reasons. Every time we have some good news, they’re immediately replaced by something that kept dragging us down to the abyss, especially the coronavirus deaths. If you happen to be one of the people who have been deeply affected by the virus, whether it’s one of your family members that died or the fact that you’ve been tested positive, I would like to say I’m sorry this happened to you and I hope you get through it okay. After everything that we’ve been through, including the COVID-19 lockdown and the infamous presidential debate, it’s safe to say that this is one year we all want to leave behind and never look back. As we all look forward to a new year filled with highly-anticipated films, let us all remember that as long as we show our continued support for one another and keep ourselves strong and healthy, we’ll return to our normal lives sooner rather than later, and we can go back to celebrating the art of cinema at our own cinemas. With that in mind, everybody, stay safe out there and have a happy new year.