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These Movies Suck! The 10 Worst Films of 2015 - Part I

Another year is almost in the books, and with that means the time-honored tradition of discussing what made us cheer and what made us pull out our hair being at the cinema for 2015. This year wasn't as bad as last year, where I had to endure shit like God's Not Dead, About Last Night and last year's reining champion of suck in The Fault In Our Stars, but there's still movies that made me suffer through the 12 months, and for that, they're going to end up on this list of shame.

10. Spectre - How do you follow up one the best entries in the continuing adventures of Agent 007 and the best performance in the current Bond era? By making one of the most boring and uninteresting entries in the franchises' 50+ year history. James Bond goes rouge to stop a sinister organization from becoming Big Brother on steroids and face its leader whom he shares a past with Her Majesty's most trusted servant, but the revelations dished out are stuff you could easily guess coming from a mile away. Daniel Craig and Ralph Fiennes look bored and turn in uninteresting performances, whereas Naomi Harris, Christoph Waltz and the lovely Monica Belucci aren't given enough to do. Dave Bautista shines as a silent, brute assassin and Hoyte Van Hoyema's lighting and camerawork further proves he's one of the best DP's in the industry, but even those attributes can't save an overlong, bloated and dull spy thriller.

9. Pitch Perfect 2 - Sure, I enjoyed the music from the Barden Bellas, along with the vocal harmonies from the other a capella groups (especially from the rival antagonists Da Sound Machine), but this sequel suffers two problems: First - despite having a more international flavor to the proceedings, it's still a carbon copy cut-out of the first movie, from the Bellas' rep being tarnished in some goofy way, to Becca (Anna Kendrick) having a falling out with her friends, only having to find a way to reunite again for the final showdown, which leads me to the second, and most pressing problem with the Elizabeth Banks-directed chick-flick - Pitch Perfect 2 simply isn't that funny to watch. Rebel Wilson still gets chuckles from me as the outrageous Fat Amy, but the rest of the humor just falls flat. There's going to be a second sequel due out in 2017, but for me, twice was enough.

8. The Divergent Series: Insurgent - Last time we left Tris Prior (Shaileen Woodley), and her hunky boyfriend, Four (Theo James), they were escaping Hogwarts, uh...I mean running away from the Community, sorry...running from Generic, Oppressive Totalitarian Ruler no. 655. In this latest YA/sci-fi series, they've gone from borrowing elements from Harry Potter & The Hunger Games, to now borrowing elements from Christoper Nolan's Inception and the Wachowskis' The Matrix trilogy. Woodley is a terrific young actress and I think Kate Winslet is good in just about anything, but even these two can't lift a script that borrows from more literary and film elements more than Joseph Koinski does and somehow has even less of an interesting spin on it.

7. Krampus - A horror-comedy about a demon that punishes kids for being ungrateful shits by dragging their parents to Hell? And there's sequences where gingerbread cookies attempt to kill family members during a blizzard on Christmas? How could this go wrong? Simple: it's a tame slasher flick that dispatches the victims cleanly, and the characters themselves are thoroughly unlikable and/or bland & uninteresting. I believe that was part of director and co-writer Michael Dougherty's satire, but we still need characters we give a damn about, otherwise it's not that horrifying when they expire. Also, if you're using a figure from German folklore as a backdrop as a retort to the notion of holiday films emphasizing family togetherness and good will towards man, don't skimper on being bloody and gory. It just takes the fun out of watching the damn thing.

6. The Wedding Ringer - For once, I'm going to say something positive about Kevin Hart: his scenes with Josh Gad are good. I actually laughed seeing the pair of comedic actors cutting loose on the dance floor, because the comedic rapport between them is very solid. But I can't forgive a script that goes on auto-pilot from the start: Doug Harris (Gad) is in desperate need of a best man because he has no real guy friends of his own. He seeks out the services of Jimmy Callahan (Hart), who acts as a "best man" for guys like him who would be fucked without him, and over the next week, all comedic hell breaks loose; from meeting Gretchen (Kaley Cuoco-Sweeting)'s parents/in-laws (hope you find setting the legendary Cloris Leachman on fire hilarious!) to playing football with the father-in-law's buddies (including football greats Joe Nameth and Joe Riggins, I shit you not) and a bachelor party that would make the guys from The Hangover proud. I've seen this movie before - I liked it better when it was called Meet The Parents in 2000 & Hitch in 2005. What makes terrible and predictable comedy even worse are the homophobic gags and how women are seen; essentially summed up to three things: 1.) nagging, bitching harpies, 2.) gold-digging whores, and 3.) whores who tell the guys to lighten up and have fun. Pardon me if I don't find these things funny or clever.


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