Hi, and welcome to Ynce Iche’s Movie Misery Corner! Tonight, or technically today, because it’s 2am, I’ll be talking about five of the worst movies I saw this year. I am so, so alone.
In the interest of not being mean-spirited, I figure I should start with the movie I liked the most. Was Daddy’s Home good? No, not really. It exists primarily because studios will make any movie that Will Ferrell attaches his name to, but I’ll give him credit for elevating the material. He makes all the right facial expressions at all the right times, and his earnestness even despite his stepchildren’s blatant loathing is what keeps the story afloat. Mark Wahlberg radiates an occasionally grating machismo, but throughout the film, you actually get the sense that the two men really care about the kids. That gets lost (both in-universe and in terms of the film’s plot) in between ill-advised Christmas gifts and elaborate skateboarding mishaps, but the movie’s dogged optimism gives it a kind of bland charm. When my grandma visited and saw Daddy’s Home was available on Amazon Prime, I groaned, but my eyeballs remained fixed to the screen for pretty much the entire runtime of the movie. It’s a time-waster through and through, but there are worse ways to waste your time.
This movie requires Dan Aykroyd to dress up as a cane-wielding pimp with a chain mail hand and a party store wig. He also talks in a stupid voice and quotes King Arthur. The latter is because his character, a bumbling English professor, is dressing up as said pimp to protect a merry band of sexy multiracial prostitutes from the city’s most feared crime lord, who is also an old lady. Old ladies are kind of like babies or small animals, in that if you show them in a movie doing something incongruous with their respective archetypes, that automatically qualifies as a joke. Returning to the topic of party stores, this is the movie equivalent of a goody bag. It’s an aesthetically repugnant assemblage of cheap junk that sounds appealing only in the most abstract way, and makes you wonder whose time and money was wasted in its creation. I laughed a few times, mostly because something so ridiculous occurred onscreen that I couldn’t help it, or because Dan Aykroyd fell over.
This movie is almost exactly like The Hangover, but without the device of the characters discovering their antics after a blackout. The filmmakers, I guess, assumed that if seeing proof of debauchery after the fact was funny in another movie, showing the debauchery as it happened would make theirs even funnier. Or maybe they were just looking for something to differentiate their knockoff. This movie has some individually funny aspects, like Jason Mantzoukas and Krysten Ritter as kinky organ thieves, or the fact that one of its characters is nicknamed Nardo and is somehow even called that by the priest at his wedding. I said individually, because this movie is basically just a series of wacky misadventures, most of which are boring and intermittently offensive. Also, Adam Pally gives the performance of a dead-eyed mannequin in this movie. Maybe his character should’ve actually lost his kidneys, allowing Pally to play to his strengths by portraying a corpse.
I don’t remember the first half of this movie. Maybe I wasn’t awake, or maybe the film just didn’t exist before I watched it, and instead unfolded like a portable cardboard set piece in a local theater, performing an ephemeral play for an audience of one: me. What I did see hewed entirely to the studio formula of tossing two well-known actors together and having them say things at each other until they start shouting. Bryan Cranston is a pretty talented shouter, and sometimes you can ever see a vein pop on his forehead, but that’s just about all he gets to do. James Franco says “the only dingle I know of is the berries on the butt” with so much conviction that at the time I wondered if he believed it. I can’t believe they named a character Kevin Dingle just for the sake of that specific joke. Well, yeah I can.
The Secret Life Of Pets
This movie felt like it was five minutes long, less like an actual structured film with a plot than a whole bunch of shapes and colors and musical cues converging into one eminently consumable point. I was in the hospital when I saw it, meaning that I didn’t really have much choice in what went on the screen in the rec room. The sign on the rec room door was missing a letter, but which letter I don’t know. I think one of the Os. When the Kevin Hart-voiced rabbit screamed at the pleasingly formed dogcreatures onscreen, all I could do was think about the little kids who’d picked the movie before the teenage patients came in. What had gotten them there? What were they going home to? Why hadn’t anyone, TV or movies or even the internet, told me that locked mental wards were full of fucking eight-year-olds? Why was this movie basically like Flushed Away but worse?
And that concludes part one of The Ten Worst Movies I Watched In 2017, as well as this installment of the Movie Misery Corner. Next up: Fist Fight, The Angry Birds Movie, Central Intelligence, Mike And Dave Need Wedding Dates, and Patch Adams.
[SPOILER ALERT]: None of them filled the gaping void inside of me.