Monday, 12 January 2015

Blog: My least anticipated films for 2015

We are over a week into 2015, and there are many great films to look forward to over this year. Unfortunately, that means there are also many craps films to come out. So, let us take a look at the top 25 films I am anticipating the least for 2015.

As per usual, I should mention that this is an opinion piece about what films I don't think look good based on the information that is available, not me attempting an accurate prediction of what films will actually be awful.

NOTE: There is one film on this list which has been released. This post was released after the films release due to unfortunate delays, but that section of the post was written before the release.


(Dis)Honourable Mentions:

Ted 2 An unneeded sequel with the bland Amanda Seyfried as a love interest to Mark Wahlberg, thereby making the first film's focus on him and Mila Kunis a waste of time.
London Has Fallen Sequel to 2013's mediocre "Die-Hard in the White House" flick.
San Andreas  Nothing about this film screams anything other than "formulaic"
Kidnap Halle Berry doesn't have the best luck with selecting her films, so combined with a weak premise brings back memories of The Call
Point Break The writer of SaltStreet Kings and 2012's Total Recall brings to screen the latest of Hollywood's remakes. No thanks.

25. The Coup

Release Date: 6th March

Premise: In their new overseas home, an American family find themselves caught in the middle of a coup. They must find safe escape, as foreigners are being executed in this environment.

Why?: Owen Wilson as the star of an action film. Did nobody learn from Behind Enemy Lines? Also, can't really get excited for John Erick Dowdle helming another film after Devil and As Above/So Below.

Silver Lining: Lake Bell remains charming and likeable, so she may prove a bright spot here.


Strange Magic poster.jpg24. Strange Magic

Release Date: 23rd January

Premise: A fairy tale of goblins, fairies and imps meeting for the first time and the consequent confusions and conflicts the culture clash causes.

Why?: The latest movie produced by Lucasfilm has little to stand apart from the many other films that take place in a minuscule world, especially looking derivative and unfunny.

Silver Lining: The graphics look fantastic.


23. The Fantastic Four

Release Date: 7th August

Premise: When four people teleport to an alternate universe, which alters their physical form and gains them new abilities, they must harness their abilities and work together as a team to save the Earth from a familiar enemy.

Why?: Considering how much of a massive superhero fan I am, it seems rather strange to place this on this list. But it's troubling to see how we're months away from the films release and don't even have an official poster. It already seems dated how the villain has been changed into an antisocial blogger, but it doesn't seem right to be focusing on a grounded tone for one of the most imaginative comics that's the very definition of "science-fiction".

Silver Lining: The cast are a talented bunch who've each proven themselves, especially Michael B. Jordan who will kill it as The Human Torch. Controversy be damned!

Mortdecai poster.jpg
22. Mortdecai

Release Date: 23rd January

Premise: Art dealer Charlie Mortdecai is on the search for a stolen painting that's reportedly linked to a bank account filled with Nazi Gold.

Why?: Johnny Depps star power is as strong as it was in the 90s, but unfortunately, the same can't be said of the quality of his work. He's fallen into relying on portraying generic characters with quirks instead of character development, and it's tiring to see him do so. Unfortunately, this looks to continue on the trend in something that looks quite derivative.

Silver Lining: More Jeff Goldblum & Aubrey Plaza is a must.

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21. Amityville: The Awakening

Release Date: N/A

Premise: A single mother moves her three kids into a new house, not knowing its bloody history.

Why?: The latest cash-cow in this never truly dead horror franchise looks rather cheap, formulaic and as though gross moments and gore will take emphasis over characters. At the end of the day, is there any need for another Amityville film?

Silver Lining: The director made 2013's Maniac, which was well received among film fans. It's also good to see Kurtwood Smith getting work.


20. Hitman: Agent 47

Release Date: 28th August

Premise: A young woman named Katia van Dees teams up with Agent 47 in order to find her father and her true ancestry. They discover that Katia is a genetically engineered assassin just like Agent 47. Together, they fight the Syndicate to find Katia's father.

Why?: I can't say I had anything personally against this film, it just didn't interest me. But then I saw Skip Woods was one of the screenwriters. The awful screenwriter who got his hands on X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Sabotage and A Good Day To Die Hard is the sole reason this film's on this list.

Silver Lining: Rupert Friend & Zachary Quinto are solid actors, so at least they'll be doing good work.


McFarland, USA poster.jpg19. McFarland, USA

Release Date: 20th February

Premise: A cross-county coach in a small Californian town transforms a team of Latino athletes into championship contenders.

Why?: Like Million Dollar Arm and The Blind Side, we get another true story about underprivileged minorities and end up casting the focus on a privileged white person who helps them. It's a trend that doesn't look to end anytime soon, and it isn't helped by how lifeless the picture looks.

Silver Lining: Kevin Costner is a safe bet to give a good performance.


The Longest Ride (2015) Poster18. The Longest Ride

Release Date: 10th April

Premise: The lives of a young couple intertwine with a much older man as he reflects back on a lost love while he's trapped in an automobile crash.

Why?: Adaptations of Nicholas Sparks novels rarely seem to escape the generic trappings of the romance genre. As much as you see bland scenes of a kissing couple, you tend to witness generic arguments that lead to heartbreak just as much. It's a combination that's more eye-rolling than it is saddening, and judging from his other films, George Tillman, Jr's direction won't break the trend.

Silver Lining: A solid cast is on hand, so don't be surprised if the performances are rather good.


17. Paranormal Activity: The Ghost Dimension

Release Date: 13th March

Premise: Supernatural occurrences happen when a family move into their new home.

Why?: The previous Paranormal Activity films followed a formula. Spooky occurrence here and there, characters not believing it could be something spooky, until the final 10 minutes. It looks like the latest won't break away from this, which makes me wonder if there's actually an endgame in mind for the franchise, or if they're making it up as it goes on.

Silver Lining: The PA sequels are making less money with each release, so perhaps this one will make less, and give the creators a chance to make the next film the franchise ender, like the creators of Saw did.


Cinderella 2015 official poster.jpg
16. Cinderella

Release Date: 13th March

Premise: A live action retelling of the classic fairy tale, about a servant step-daughter who wins the heart of a prince.

Why?: Once more, Disney continue on their trend of unnecessarily giving live action remakes to their animated classics. There seems to be little to give the film its own identity from the original it will be compared to, barring a generic monologue from Hayley Atwell. Hopefully there will be more, so the overall reaction is not to questioning the point of the films existence, ala Maleficent.

Silver Lining: Cate Blanchett as Cinderella's Wicked Stepmother? I can't not love that casting.


15. Tak3n

Release Date: 9th January
[NOTE: This part of the post was written before the films actual release.]

Premise: Bryan Mills, an ex-government operative, is accused of the murder of his wife Lenore "Lennie" Mills. As he is tracked and pursued, Mills again brings out his particular set of skills to find the true killer and clear his name.

Why?: Other than the awful use of the number in the title? The Taken films exist only so we can witness a mounting bodycount, which was entertaining the first time round, but grated the second time around with choppy editing and disorientating camera work in order to accommodate for the 12a rating. Olivier Megaton returns to direct after the second instalment, so enjoy trying to make out what's happening in the action scenes.

Silver Lining: It's not yet another case of somebody getting taken, so there's that, and Liam Neeson usually brings a good performance to the table.


Terminator Genisys poster.jpg14. Terminator Genisys

Release Date: 1st July

Premise: Upon learning Skynet will attack him from the past and the future, John Connor sends Kyle Reese back through time to save his mothers life, and ensure his own existence. However, Kyle finds the past changed, where Sarah Conner was raised by a T-800 that's programmed to protect her.

Why?: In this vast, fantastic world that's full of many possibilities in imagination and storytelling, it feels lazy and unnecessary that the latest film will systematically reboot the franchise, while essentially remake the first two films.

Silver Lining: The film could result in the rights going back to James Cameron.


13. The Visit

Release Date: 11th September

Premise: A single-parent mother finds that her family's lives go away after her two young children visit their grandparents.

Why?: It really is hard to get excited about anything M. Night Shyamalan comes out with, especially after the travesties that were The Last Airbender and After Earth.

Silver Lining: Kathryn Hahn is fantastic and underrated, so it's good to see her headline a film.


12. Friday The 13th

Release Date: 13th November (could it possibly be a Friday?)

Premise: All that's known at this time is that it'll be another instalment of the popular horror franchise, involving Hockey-masked serial killer Jason Voorhees.

Why?: Is it a sequel to 2009's poorly received reboot? Is it another horror remake? Will it be a found-footage film? Nobody is sure which of these rumours will turn out to be true, but none of them sound appealing.

Silver Lining: It's not a sequel to Jason X


Paul Blart - Mall Cop 2 poster.jpg11. Paul Blart Mall Cop 2

Release Date: 17th April

Premise: Paul Blart heads to Las Vegas for a Security Guard expo, only to inadvertently discover a heist which he must stop.

Why?: Despite Paul Blart: Mall Cop not being well received, it was enough of a box office hit to justify a sequel. 6 years later, it appears the result is a ridiculous outing with enough fat jokes, Kevin James acting like a buffoon and poor attempts at humor to truly feel like a Happy Madison release.

Silver Lining: It'll probably take 6 years for a third one to come out (if this does well, that is).



10. Seventh Son
Seventh Son Poster.jpg
Release Date: 6th February

Premise: John Gregory is the seventh son of a seventh son, and protector from witches, ghouls and all manner of evil spirits. His search for an apprentice lies in a farmers son, whom he must survive his training to face the powerful Mother Malkin.

Why?: It's usually troubling when a film is delayed from release, but when it gets delayed three times, with the eventual release date 2 years after originally planned, that comes off as worrying. It's not helped by how this looks like the latest bland adaptation of a children's book.

Silver Lining: One of the screenwriters is Steven Knight, who wrote for Eastern Promises, Locke and Peaky Blinders, so here's hoping his script work elevates things from the overall bland look.

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9. The Wedding Ringer

Release Date: 16th January

Premise: A shy young groom needs to impress his in-laws, so turns to a best-man for hire to help him out.

Why?: Am I who finds the premise quite similar to I Love You, Man? Regardless, the overall picture seems mediocre to the point where they have to pander to the lowest common denominators. This includes jokes about religious stereotypes, gay people, comparing a group of unappealing men to The Goonies as rapists, and even setting a Grandma on fire. Why? For "laughs".

Silver Lining: If you were a fan of Lost, you get to see Jorge Garcia. If you were a fan of Frozen, you get to see the voice of Olaf in a starring role.

Get Hard film poster.png
8. Get Hard

Release Date: 27th March

Premise: A businessman hires a tough guy so he can learn how to survive his upcoming 10 year prison sentence.

Why?: Kevin Hart's over the top, screaming shtick mixed with Will Ferrell acting casually racist? Combined with typically poking fun at Harts size and gags about sexual assault? No thanks.

Silver Lining: Allison Brie is starring in this.


SB-2 poster.jpg7. The Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out of Water

Release Date: 6th February

Premise: Spongebob goes on a quest to find a stolen recipe. It takes him to our dimension, where he tangles with a pirate.

Why?: The average fan of Spongebob Squarepants will agree that the show has been in a decline for quite sometime now. From the initial look of the trailer, it appears that another feature length film won't change that. The use of CG in a real world setting looks ghastly, while the overall picture looks like a hyperactive misfire.

Silver Lining: The kids will love it, and that's really who this film is for. Also, show creator and original showrunner Stephen Hillenburg is returning to work on this film.


6. Home

Home (2015 film) poster.jpg
Release Date: 27th March

Premise: An inept alien race called the Boov invades Earth to hide from their mortal enemy and make it a new home. Convinced they are doing a favor, they begin to relocate the human race, but one resourceful teenage girl, Tip, manages to avoid capture. When on the run, she is accompanied by a banished Boov named Oh who has accidentally notified the enemies of his whereabouts

Why?: A cast comprised of J-Lo, Jim Parsons, Rihanna and Steve Martin. So a former singer turned poor actress, star of an overhyped show, a current singer turned poor actress and a comedian way past his glory days. The bland trailer certainly doesn't help things either.

Silver Lining: Dreamworks have been proving themselves as a force to be reckoned with recently, bringing out quality films that can go toe for toe with Pixar, so this one may be surprising.


5. Alvin and The Chipmunks: Road Chip

Release Date: 23rd December

Premise: Not currently known, but some guesses can be made from the awful pun in the title.

Why?: After the awful 3 films that came already, it was a unified hope this disastrous franchise had been put to rest. Unfortunately not, as the badly CGed trio are returning for another round of awfully signing squeaky iterations of popular songs, while referencing pop culture in a forced manner. It doesn't help that the director is responsible for Old Dogs and Wild Hogs, or the writer gave us The Tooth Fairy.

Silver Lining: Critics will be able to make "Road Shit" jokes from that title. I know, it's clutching at straws.

Unfinished Business TeaserPoster.jpg
4. Unfinished Business

Release Date: 6th March

Premise: A small business owner and his two associates travel to Europe to close their most important business deal. However, the trip goes off the rails massively.

Why?: Vince Vaughn must be one of the most uncharismatic comedy leads I have seen, so to see him headlining another "comedy" isn't promising. It would be helped if the trailer didn't look so generic, unfunny (Pancake? Really?) or if Vaughn wasn't playing another tool (His character gets pissy for receiving 5% less?).

Silver Lining: Nick Frost is a delightful presence to watch.


HotTubTimeMachine2 poster.jpg
3. Hot Tub Time Machine 2

Release Date: 20th February

Premise: After Lou gets shot, Nick and Jacob must use their time travelling Hot Tub to save his life. But they end up 10 years in the future.

Why?: Despite a few good moments (like Craig Robertson phoning his wife when she was a child), the first Hot Tub Time Machine was a disappointing effort that relied overly on swearing, half-assed attempts at humor and cheap sexual gags. From the trailer, it appears to be taking an "If it ain't broke, don't fix it" approach, which is unfortunate since there is need of fixing.

Silver Lining: Parks and Recreation's Adam Scott is replacing John Cusack, which is perfect since Cusack was bland and Scott is a rather entertaining presence.


2. Fifty Shades of Grey
FSOG-teaser.jpg
Release Date: 13th February

Premise: Literature student Ana Steele's life changes forever when she meets billionaire Christian Grey, a handsome, yet tormented, man with singular tastes and desires.

Why?: It's astounding to see how big a hit Fifty Shades has become, considering it originally began as fan-fiction for Twilight. The main attraction is definitely the sexual moments and BDSM elements, which will likely have to be toned down due to this not being a pornography film. The trailer places more of an emphasis on the relationship between the leads, but I'll be surprised if it isn't underdeveloped in favour of a sexual focus. AKA, porn.

Silver Lining: The script is not the book, so the problems many had about the writing may be fixed by the writer of Saving Mr Banks.


The Boy Next Door poster.jpg1. The Boy Next Door

Release Date: 23rd January

Premise: Shortly after her divorce, a high school teacher has a one-night stand with her young neighbour, who quickly develops a dangerous obsession with her.

Why?: I have seen the trailer twice, and cannot shake the feeling that this film is an excuse for star and producer J-Lo to try and recapture her youth. An effort to prove she's still a sex symbol, by showing the 45 year old become the obsession of a nearly 20 year old student she slept with. Speaking of which, in what universe does Ryan Guzman pass for nearly 20? Regardless, this looks like a film that'll have you saying "This was done better in [insert film name here]".

Silver Lining: It could be a good contender for next years Razzie Awards.


Do you disagree/agree with my choices? Has this list alerted you to any films to see/avoid? Sound off in the comments below

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