Hey everyone, Jack Drees here! 2019 may be the first year in a while without a new “Sharknado” movie, but I still have ten other stinkers to talk about. That’s right! Now that I have talked about my top 10 favorite movies of 2019, I’m about to dive deep into my top 10 LEAST favorite movies of 2019. Much like in the best list, I do want to state a few rules, because without them, there’d be chaos. First things first, this is a subjective list. What do I mean? Everything you see here is strictly my opinion! I am in no way saying that these are the top 10 objectively horrible movies of the year, they are just the bunch that didn’t work for me compared to all the others. My list may be different than your list, that’s what makes us human. That’s why we have souls. Also, I have not seen every single movie that has come out in 2019. In some cases, I may have been busy, or I just put something far down on my priority list, or there may have been a movie that looked bad enough to the point where I thought, “F*ck it, I’m taking a day off.” There have been several bad movies that have come out this year, but there are some that others considered to be bad that I missed out on. Some include “The Curse of La Llorna,” “Rambo: Last Blood,” “X-Men: Dark Phoenix,” and “47 Meters Down: Uncaged.” Those are the movies I didn’t see! But we’re not here to talk about those, we’re here to talk about those I did see! Before we dive into the main ten, let’s get a few dishonorable mentions out of the way.
Kicking off the dishonorable mentions, we have “Cold Pursuit.” For awhile, I had no idea that this film was actually a remake. Goes to show that remakes don’t always work. I will say, this film had a couple scenes that were worth paying attention to, but it’s not really enough. This film is truthfully forgettable, but it did not bore me or make me blow a gasket as much as some of the other entries on here.
Continuing the dishonorable mentions, let’s talk about “Last Christmas.” This perhaps prompted me to want to start playing Whamageddon, you know that game where you have to blaze through much of December avoiding the song “Last Christmas?” Overall, “Last Christmas” is almost charming, but it has one or two unlikable characters that stand out, and in a time where we have iconic holiday films like “Home Alone,” “A Christmas Story,” “Die Hard” even, I’d rather watch those in December than this trash.
Concluding the dishonorable mention section, let’s dive into “Midsommar.” Out of all the movies that I have to talk about on here, maybe aside from one in the actual top 10, “Midsommar” is maybe the most disappointing one to see on here. For starters, it is directed by Ari Aster, who also directed “Hereditary,” which made my HONORABLE mentions last year. Speaking of which, the direction is visionary, solid, and pristine, but the script is what makes this film fall apart. Overall, “Midsommar” is underwhelming.
Now that we have briefly talked about some crap, let’s continue this post by flushing ourselves down the crapper! These are my top 10 WORST movies of 2019!
Starting off this list is “Jexi!” Following in the footsteps of say “The Emoji Movie,” “Jexi” officially continues the trend of bad movies heavily revolving around phones. I will admit, this film was almost charming at times and I could tell that there are maybe one or two moments that can probably get a laugh out of a number of first time viewers in the future, but this film honestly shattered itself to the ground for me. I guess you can make the argument that this is almost a satire, perhaps almost even an allegory, for how technology is practically taking over our lives, not to mention the world. But if that’s the case, this idea has been presented better in other films like “2001: A Space Odyssey” and “The Terminator.” Basically, the film revolves around a basic pasty white dude character played by Adam Devine who often relies on his phone for everything. If this were an adventure film, he’d probably be the least likable hero of all time, because he’d probably Google how to fulfill his quest! Early on, there’s a situation where he ends up getting a new phone. Only thing is that this new phone, or at least the AI inside it, is a psychotic, backstabbing, mind-blowingly corrupt bitch that needs to die. The movie starts out in a less than satisfying manner, kinda gets better as it goes along, and just ends up slitting its own throat by the end of it. Just goes to show, bad endings can ruin good movies. Not that this was anything great, it was itself up to be at least mediocre, but still.
#9 is a movie that I probably want to not watch today, not tomorrow, not ever again! I’m talking about “Yesterday!” This film is directed by Danny Boyle! WHAT HAPPENED?! Seriously! This is the guy who directed “Slumdog Millionaire” for crying out loud! I guess if you really admire the Beatles, maybe you’ll like this film, the same way I can see someone really liking Elton John to find enjoyment in “Rocketman,” but this film just felt stupid. I like the Beatles a lot, but Jack Malik? Eh… Not so much. I get that this film is sort of supposed to present some sort of highly altered reality, but the process of getting there is rather tacky and it caused me to question the art of screenwriting. I cannot even talk about it without cringing! And if you ask me, my personal favorite Beatles song is “Let It Be.” Honestly, this movie sullies that song’s reputation and all it stands for. I get that the scene with “Let It Be” in it is trying to go for comedy, but it just felt RIDICULOUS. And speaking of bad endings, this movie has one as well. No spoilers, but this movie made me not want to live to see tomorrow.
#8: Dora and the Lost City of Gold
Coming in at #8 is “Dora and the Lost City of Gold.” I saw the original trailer for this film and I thought it was one of the most unsatisfying and horrible pieces of media I have witnessed this year. Can’t say the movie is all that much better! I was born in 1999, so as some of you might expect, I grew up with a generation of people who had “Dora the Explorer” pop on their TV screens from time to time. At the time, it was a fairly reasonable time-waster, and I will say that one thing this film gets right is that it seems to pay as much respect to the source material while still somehow managing to be its own thing. But the thing about “Dora the Explorer” is that when I look back on it, I do have memories that I can cherish, but it’s also a cartoon that either does not completely hold up, or feels somewhat cringeworthy. Overall, this film is cliché, boring, and a little bit embarrassing to watch at times. I have never imagined myself in a situation where Dora would be singing a song about turds. Will the kids enjoy the movie if it is in front of them? Maybe. But as for me, I cannot say it was one of my more pleasant experiences this year. Also, I mentioned it in my review, and I’ll mention it again, Swiper was pretty badass. But it’s not enough!
#7: The Fanatic
“Moose didn’t just cross the line. He f*cking nuked it.” That is a line from the epic, bombastic disasterpiece of crap known as “The Fanatic” starring John Travolta. To this day, the only real reason why I watched this film is because of Chris Stuckmann’s Hilariocity video on YouTube. By the way, if you want to watch a video as amazing as that, click the link at the end of the paragraph! John Travolta is one of the most… “interesting” actors working today. Yes, he’s had praise over the years with films like “Grease” and “Pulp Fiction.” But he just did FREAKING “GOTTI” LAST YEAR! I REPEAT, “GOTTI!” That film was s*it! Unlike “The Fanatic,” I failed at getting around to doing a review for “Gotti,” but I did mention it on my 2018 worst movies list. In that countdown I mentioned that film has a sort of so bad it’s good element intact. “The Fanatic” is the same way, perhaps a bit more so. It feels like I’m watching something such as “Samurai Cop” or “The Room.” One of those cult movies that is mainly regarded as watchable because of how perhaps unintentionally funny it happens to be. But to be serious, this film partially fails as a story because I don’t really know who to root for. It’s almost an interesting allegory on the relationship (or perhaps a relationship that should not be formed) between a celebrity and one of their mega fans. However, it’s just not enough to make a good movie.
#6: The Secret Life of Pets 2
I saw “The Secret Life of Pets” when it first came out in theaters. It was… OK. Not great, but OK. But that film made WAAAAAAY more than its budget, so naturally a sequel had to happen. AND IT SUCKS! The secret’s out! “The Secret Life of Pets 2” is utter garbage! This movie had Harrison Ford in it for Pete’s sake! HE COULDN’T EVEN SAVE THIS HOT MESS! Fun fact, if you watch this movie and stay for the credits, you can hear Harrison Ford’s voice at the end of the credits just letting you know that the movie’s over. I know Harrsion Ford is never obnoxious or lively when it comes to how he traditionally expresses himself, but his delivery of that message was a symbol of how I felt while watching this movie. Lifeless and less than satisfied. This is not the worst animated film I have ever seen. It’s not like I just watched “The Emoji Movie” or something, but it’s just plain stupid! The characters are boring and badly written, the ending is so convoluted and insane that I couldn’t even buy it for a second, and there is a scene that I think you can ONLY appreciate if you were on acid. If you have seen the movie, you may know what I’m talking about. Get your grip together Illumination, you just had “The Grinch” last year, which was horrible. And now you have this dogs*it, which is two times worse!
In my best list of the year, I suggested that this is the year of Keanu Reeves. Everybody might as well have Keanu fever. After all, he did films like “John Wick 3” and “Toy Story 4,” both of which were met with enormous praise. But I shouldn’t be too sure on such a sentiment. After all, this is the guy who also decided to do “Replicas” of all movies! “Replicas” originally came out in January in my area. I waited until June to see it partially because it was eventually on sale at Best Buy. Turns out when I saw it, it eventually became one of the most forgettable movies I have seen all year. Everything about this movie is just terrible! The chemistry between the characters, the CGI, the writing! My gosh! I’m almost surprised that this movie is not a reason for which I have decided to seek therapy! Then again, writing on a blog is therapeutic enough. So, I think we’re good here. I think the only upside that can come from “Replicas” in any way, shape, or form, is that this movie came out in January, before “John Wick 3,” before “Toy Story 4,” before it was confirmed that Keanu Reeves was going to be in the video game “Cyberpunk 2077,” before it was revealed that he was gonna have a small role in the next “SpongeBob SquarePants” movie. Work first, play later.
#4: Isn’t It Romantic
Here’s a question for you all. “Isn’t It Romantic?” NO, IT’S NOT! And speaking of questions, who is Rebel Wilson’s agent? Because they need to find better opportunities for this woman. Granted, I may have an unpopular opinion in terms of REALLY disliking “Pitch Perfect,” but she always seems to get roles that are forgotten overtime or in movies or programs that just don’t do all that well. I mean… There’s “Jojo Rabbit,” but still! You want to know how bad “Isn’t It Romantic” is? Well guess what? Here in the United States, Argentina, and Canada, it is being released theatrically, but elsewhere, it went straight to Netflix! Based on certain Netflix releases here last year such as “The Cloverfield Paradox,” that’s not always the best sign! One of the worst parts about this movie, and maybe one of the best parts as well depending on how you look at it, is that it is 89 minutes long, just short of an hour and a half. While this movie did not end up feeling like two hours for me, it did end up feeling like an abomination. The dialogue is cringy, the plot, while straightforward, is as bonkers as letting a beer bottle compete on a game of “Wheel of Fortune,” and as a parody, it’s insulting. I may ask for a lot of things during my moviegoing experience, because I am ultimately an entitled f-hole, but don’t make me feel stupid. Romantic comedies are not my thing, so maybe I am not the target audience for this film, but to have a movie make fun of a genre that I tend to think is sort of too sappy for my taste and fail is a bit of a letdown. Overall, this is not romantic, and most importantly, not worth your time!
I think Peter Travers from Rolling Stone said it best, “Cats” is a “disaster of a movie shouldn’t happen to a dog.” I mean what is this catastrophic hairball?! This is arguably, the worst collectively reviewed movie of the year, definitely one of the worst of the decade. I will say this. I was not alive back in 1977, so I never got to witness one of the first screenings of “Star Wars” including the premiere at the Chinese Theatre in Hollywood. But I got very lucky, I managed to RSVP for “Cats,” particularly for a screening in Boston on the Tuesday before it came out. I went in the snowy cold, and I can confirm that I am now a part of film history. I was one of the first to witness one of the most poorly received movies ever! This is honestly something that I would put on my resume, especially if I were applying to some outlet that needs a film critic. I’ll just insert “One of the first to sit through ‘Cats’ so nobody else had to.” I’d be their hero. As for the movie itself, I TRIED being generous in my review. I left the movie not liking it, but I thought one song was neat, and some of the visuals worked. But the editing, the casting, the nonsensical storytelling, the rest of the music, the dreadfully abysmal pacing, the cat puns, it’s all a clowder of deplorables! As soon as the Universal logo came up and I began watching this movie, a part of my brain wanted to puke. Then as I sat through this anger-inducer, it became increasingly boring. People laughed in the theater, but I am willing to bet that some of the laughs given were in regard to how truly awful this monstrosity really is. When the end credits hit, people somehow applauded either because it’s classy, maybe they had a good time, maybe a time so bad it’s good, or maybe because the movie was over at last. Speaking of that, I just let out an almighty “THANK GAAAAWWWSH!” because this was simply worse than watching other people watch paint dry. And I originally thought seeing Nick Fury get his eye removed by Goose the Cat to be the worst feline-related thing to happen in a movie this year. Not only does this entire production of utter blasphemy top that, but eradicates it with heat vision. For the record, I have not seen the new adaptation of “The Lion King,” I cannot talk much about that. I think one of my mistakes this year as a critic was being generous to this film, because as much as I think I made a solid review, I think everybody else who saw this movie and hated it, ripped it to shreds whenever the opportunity struck. Before we movie on, here are some AMAZING “Cats” review highlights.
“For the most part, “Cats” is both a horror and an endurance test, a dispatch from some neon-drenched netherworld where the ghastly is inextricable from the tedious.” -Justin Chang (The San Diego Union-Tribune)
“I truly believe our divided nation can be healed and brought together as one by “Cats” — the musical, the movie, the disaster. In other news, my eyes are burning. Oh God, my eyes.” -Ty Burr (The Boston Globe)
“I have been processing this movie for the last 24 hours trying to understand anything as terrifying and visceral a trainwreck as Cats. You have to see Cats.” -Alex Cranz (io9)
“There are a few moments of inadvertent entertainment to be found, but it turns out that in this case, leg warmers have more life than digital fur.” -Katie Walsh (Star Tribune)
First off, full disclosure – I am not a cat person. Second off – after watching this frankly mortifying film adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats, I’m not altogether sure I am a movie person anymore either. -Alan Corr (RTE Ireland)
#2: Godzilla: King of the Monsters
There was a point when I saw this movie that I thought it was going to be a lock for my worst movie of the year. Well, guess not! Goes to show how s*itty some of 2019’s movies truly are! I am here to remind you that “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” is not only one of the worst movies of 2019, but one of the most disappointing film experiences I have ever witnessed. That is the thing that probably makes “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” as bottom of the barrel for me as it is, because unlike various other films on the list such as “Replicas,” I had this as one of my most anticipated films of the year. I remembered seeing 2014’s “Godzilla” and thinking it was “fine,” but just like that movie, the trailers were bloody fantastic. Plus, it introduced more monsters like King Ghidorah, Rodan, and Mothra. The film had some potential. But guess what wastes it? The same thing that repeatedly wastes “Transformers” movie after “Transformers” movie: Underdeveloped, unlikable, undeniably forgettable human characters. And if they were played by no-name actors maybe I’d let it slide because they are building their career, so props to them. But they’re not! You have Millie Bobby Brown, okay, she may still be building a career, but she’s still famous. Nevertheless, this movie has Millie Bobby Brown who plays perhaps the most well-known character from “Stranger Things,” Vera Farmiga, who has been nominated for an Oscar, Golden Globe, and a few Primetime Emmys! They got Thomas Middleditch to be in this s*it! To do what? Waste time?! GAH! I said it once, I’ll say it again. Ken Watanabe’s back? Who f*cking cares? I’ll give the movie an ounce of credit because one of the criticisms everybody supposedly had with “Godzilla” 2014 is that there was not enough Godzilla in the movie. This movie seems to expand the creature’s runtime and focus more on monster business. However, if you ask me, as I look back on Godzilla’s presence in the last movie, it felt special when he showed up. There was never really a point where I wanted to roll my eyes when he appeared. Here, I didn’t care about almost anything. I know a lot of people have pointed out, including myself, in their reviews that the script didn’t not allow for a moment for me to care about the human characters. A lot of general moviegoers’ opinions I have come across have gone something along the lines of “It’s monsters fighting, whaddya expect?” First off, bad writing is bad writing. PERIOD. Second, I would love to say I immensely enjoyed all the monster fighting, but I almost don’t even remember any of the monster fighting from this film. In fact, part of that may be due to a supposed migraine I must have received upon leaving the theater. I mean, I remember they fight in various locations around the world, including Boston of all places. I must say, as a Bostonian, this movie is an insult to my intelligence, and just because you have a big fight in my city, it doesn’t make anything better. I’d say the destruction of my city is practically a symbol of how I view this movie. A monstrous mess, nothing more. The only things this movie has going for it are some neat visuals, some cool sounds, and one or two nice shots. Other than that, the writing is all over the place, the casting is embarrassing based on the well-known or high-profile actors who are reduced to speck of dust, and as much as I want to look forward to “Godzilla vs. Kong,” this movie has left an unfortunate hole in my heart that can be difficult to sew back together.
#1: The Haunting of Sharon Tate
Here we are guys! It’s rock bottom! It’s time to talk about #1! In my top 10 best list, one of the entries was Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” which partially featured Sharon Tate. As much as I love that movie, the only standout problem with it involves various scenes with Sharon Tate as it almost seems like she has little to no effect on the final outcome. But this entry to the worst list makes that Sharon Tate look like the second coming of Jesus. Why? Because my #1 worst movie of 2019 is “The Haunting of Sharon Tate!” There is a small part of me that almost refrained from putting this film on the list to begin with as there was not much of a theatrical release. But it did have one overall so I’m counting it, I don’t care! I cannot describe to you the utter misery I felt as I went through several scenes of the movie. The cinematography looked like it lacked proper craftsmanship and skill. The color grading at times looks a tad odd. And don’t even get me started with the screenplay of death! I do not mind rewriting history some of the time. For this movie, they decided to put a supernatural twist on the Tate murders. Honestly, it sucks. It just sucks. It really just feels shameful and full of poor of taste simply to exist. All of it is honestly ridiculous! I will say, Hillary Duff, for the most part was okay as Sharon Tate, but there are times, and this may be due to writing, maybe directing, that she did not come off as an experienced actor. Keep in mind, this a star on “Younger” and “Lizzie Maguire,” she has to have developed some sort acting ability by now! There is one scene that was incredibly disturbing and gory that I almost was able to see what the folks behind this film may have been going for, but it ultimately just turned me off. That’s what this movie is. A turn off! It turned me off as a viewer, and it made me regret not shutting my TV off sooner to save myself from further idiocy! Some of the other movies on this list are competently made. “The Secret Life of Pets 2” has some nice-looking animation. “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” has some cool visual effects! This movie on the other hand is the film equivalent to what it must be like to drink a dog’s urine! It’s both crappy in terms of presentation and substance! The interpretation of Sharon Tate herself almost felt mean-spirited and nonsensical from what I imagine the real Sharon Tate must have been. She was moody in a rather unsettling manner, not to mention often more depressed than Sheldon Cooper whenever someone sits in his spot! And even though Hillary Duff is not the worst actress in the world or anything, this movie probably would have been better if maybe they got somebody else to fill Tate’s shoes. Or, maybe it wouldn’t because everything else in it is just about as lifeless and catastrophic as a brick that fell stories from the sky from a wrecking ball. I am curious to know if there is an afterlife. If there really is an afterlife of some sort, I am also curious to know if Sharon Tate herself is capable of watching this film in some sort of way, perhaps through gazing upon someone else’s screen in real life without being seen. What would she think of it? If I were her, I’d be disappointed. Regardless, this is a film that never should have happened. It’s horribly told, poorly crafted, and feels cringeworthy to the tenth degree! And to know that we are getting a conceptually similar film from the guy who directed and wrote “The Haunting of Sharon Tate,” specifically Daniel Farrands, it’s kind of intimidating. Yeah, coming soon to streaming services and theaters, be on the lookout for “The Murder of Nicole Brown Simpson!” Or don’t… Save your money. Maybe I’ll watch it out of curiosity, but we’ll see. But speaking of seeing, if you have not watched these films, be sure to avoid seeing my picks for the top 10 worst movies of 2019!
Thanks for reading this countdown! 2019 personally contained a bunch of good movies, some mediocre movies, and as much as it has been a fairly decent year for film, I think the bad movies truly stood out. As usual, I enjoy doing these countdowns whenever I get the opportunity, it’s a solid form of therapy, and it gives me a chance to remind you, the consumer, to maybe save your money every once in awhile. I don’t think every person behind every film is a bad egg. For all I know, all of these films are passion projects, which can make it somewhat challenging to talk about in a format like this. But I still enjoy it, I find this to be some of my finest work, and it allows me to get creative in terms of what I have to say. It’s really fun process overall. If you have not gotten your countdown fix yet, this is your reminder that on January 11th, I will begin revealing my picks for the Top Movies of the 2010s. If you want to get in the mood, I will once again share the trailer I made for it originally presented here around Christmastime. Feel free to sit back, watch the trailer, and enjoy!
*All copyrights belong to their respective owners*
Remember to keep your eyes open for the upcoming countdown series, I am super excited to share it with you all! Ten years will go by starting January 11th! Be sure to follow Scene Before either with an email or WordPress account so you can stay tuned for more great content! If you want to support me further, if you have an applicable account, give this post a like, maybe leave a comment if you want, and go like my Facebook page! I want to know, what are your picks for the worst movies of 2019? You can state however many bad movies you want, 10, 15, 20, whatever. If you want to go smaller than that, be my guest, it’s up to you! You have the power! Leave your thoughts down below, and welcome to the new decade! Let’s get nuts, everybody! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!