Thursday, 7 January 2016

Blog: My least anticipated of 2016

Is it still hard to believe we're in the year 2016? Get ready, for there's loads of great films coming out this year. But, there's also a great deal of awful films ready to also be released. So, let us take a look at the 25 films I am anticipating the least for 2016.

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. I should also mention how I often grasp at straws to find some silver lining for the film, but hey ho.


(Dis)Honourable Mentions

The Huntsman: Winter's War Unnecessary prequel/sequel that seemingly undoes much of Snow White and The Huntsman. But it's okay, there's cheap effects to see.
Grimsby Sacha Baron Cohen plays a moronic football hooligan who keeps mucking things up for his spy brother.
The Young Messiah Sean Bean hunts a 7 year old Jesus, looks indistinguishable from other similar films.
13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi Michael Bay takes a break from Transformers to deliver explosions, stilted dialogue and heavy handed patriotism.
Leatherface Yet another attempt to continue on a horror franchise, and ANOTHER prequel for the character.

Alice Through the Looking Glass (2016) Poster25. Alice Through The Looking Glass

Release Date: 27th May

Premise: Alice returns to Wonderland Underland, travelling back in time to save The Mad Hatter from the evil Lord of Time.

Why?: Tim Burton's Alice In Wonderland was a gloomy misstep with limp material, unsure if it was a sequel or a remake of Lewis Carroll's famous tale. With Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter returning, and Sacha Baron Cohen joining, it looks to be as over the top as the first one. Whether that's appealing or is irritating is up to you.

Silver Lining: Director James Bobin directed the sweet modern day return for The Muppets, so hope isn't completely lost.

Dirty Grandpa teaser poster.jpg24. Dirty Grandpa

Release Date: 22nd January

Premise: Right before his wedding, an uptight guy is tricked by his grandfather, a perverted former Army general, to Florida for spring break.

Why?: Yet another film that reminds us how long it's been since Robert De Niro was making fantastic films with Martin Scorcese. It looks to hinge around three predictable items: Robert De Niro not acting like a typical old man, Zac Efron's uptight character loosening up and Aubrey Plaza trying to seduce the 72 year old Oscar Winner.

Silver Lining: It does look like the cast are giving their all in their roles.

23. Rings

Release Date: 1st April

Premise: A group of high school students have to find someone to watch an evil videotape or else they will all die.

Why?: Akiva Goldsman isn't a good writer, in spite of his Oscar win and work on Fringe. So to see he's written the screenplay, along with the writer of Dream House and The House at the End of the Street doesn't give me hope.

Silver Lining: It'll be interesting to see how Samsara operates now that VHS tapes are considered relics of the past.

22. Yoga Hosers

Release Date: 24th January

Premise: Two teenage yoga enthusiasts team up with a legendary man-hunter to battle with an ancient evil presence that is threatening their major party plans.

Why?: Kevin Smith was once an exciting voice in cinema, but that's been diluted by a string of disappointments, making it difficult to get excited for another film from him. Having not seen them act, it currently feels like nepotism to have the stars be the daughters of Smith and Johnny Depp (who is also starring).

Silver Lining: Quite the decent cast here, including Stan Lee and Kevin Conroy. Plus, Justin Long is playing a character named Yogi Bayer.

21. Underworld: Next Generation

Release Date: 14th October

Premise: The plot has not been released, but a few guesses can be made from that title.

Why?: Yes, I'm surprised this franchise is still making new films. It came out in a time long past, where black leather was the norm for action heroes, but that time has passed and like Resident Evil, it's time to end the franchise. Unfortunately while the former is releasing one final film to close out the characters stories, this one looks set on passing the torch to a group of new characters, presumably younger ones. Joy.

Silver Lining: As somebody who used to watch Merlin, it's nice to see Bradley James coming over to Hollywood.

20. Mother's Day

Release Date: 29th April

Premise: Intersecting stories with different moms collide on Mother's Day.

Why?: Garry Marshall seems content with delivering interconnecting storylines taking place on a holiday, as this is his third film in a row to do that very thing. Whether you enjoyed Valentine's Day and New Year's Eve will probably influence your enjoyment on this one, but for my money, this is one to miss.

Silver Lining: Wondering when Garry Marshall's next film will take place. My guess is Talk Like A Pirate Day.

19. Bad Moms

Release Date: 19th August

Premise: A woman with a seemingly perfect life - a great marriage, overachieving kids, beautiful home, stunning looks and still holding down a career. However she's over-worked, over committed and exhausted to the point that she's about to snap. Fed up, she joins forces with two other over-stressed moms and all go on a quest to liberate themselves from conventional responsibilities, going on a wild un-mom like binge of freedom, fun and self-indulgence - putting them on a collision course with PTA Queen Bee Gwendolyn and her clique of devoted perfect moms.

Why?: From the writers of The Hangover trilogy, The Change-Up and Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, comes a film that sounds like it's been done too many times already. Buttoned up women letting loose? So far, so derivative.

Silver Lining: Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, Christina Applegate and Emjay Anthony? Say what you will about the film, but don't knock the cast.

18. The Boy
TheBoy 2016-OfficialPoster.jpg
Release Date: 22nd January

Premise: An American nanny is shocked that her new English family's boy is actually a life-sized doll. After violating a list of strict rules, disturbing events make her believe that the doll is really alive.

Why?: It's very rare that horror films released in January are of good quality, just look at  The Devil Inside. I specifically mentioned that film because these two share a director, which doesn't help how the film looks to be set off by a character disobeying what was specifically asked of her.

Silver Lining: Lauren Cohan's often a delight to watch, and I doubt this will be any different.

Masterminds (2016) Poster17. Masterminds

Release Date: 30th September

Premise: A night guard at an armored car company in the Southern U.S. organizes one of the biggest bank heists in American history.

Why?: The combination of Zach Galifianakis acting like an annoying buffoon, simplistic attempts at humor and Owen Wilson is off putting.

Silver Lining: Jason Sudeikis as a hitman? Sure.

16. Arms and The Dudes

Release Date: 19th August

Premise: The true story of two young men, David Packouz and Efraim Diveroli, who won a $300 million contract from the Pentagon to arm America's allies in Afghanistan.

Why?: Todd Phillips has always been more interested with giving himself a cameo in his films, rather than writing a decent script or making characters to care about. He's done this so many times, I'm doubtful it'll change this time around.

Silver Lining: Miles Teller and Jonah Hill sounds like a decent combination.

Angry Birds 2016 film poster.jpg15. The Angry Birds Movie

Release Date: 20th May

Premise: Three angry birds are living in a small paradise of flightless birds. However, when they learn of the impending arrival of the Green Pigs, the Angry Birds must team up to investigate the Green Pigs, in order to find out their evil plans.

Why?: This film is an oddity. A film adaptation of a game that's literally just throwing birds at Green pigs, released years too late to capitalize on the popularity of the franchise. It doesn't feel like this film should exist, and the limp material in the trailer does little to say otherwise.

Silver Lining: The cast is at least solid.

14. Dad's Army
Dad's Army (2016) Poster
Release Date: 5th February

Premise: The Walmington-on-Sea Home Guard platoon deal with a visiting female journalist and a German spy as World War II draws to its conclusion.

Why?: Between Dorian Gray and Johnny English: Reborn, I really wouldn't have minded if Oliver Parker had decided to go back to acting. Regardless of this, the idea of taking a British sitcom considered a classic and reinvigorating it for the big screen, especially when the results look so mediocre, feels like nostalgia for the sake of box office numbers. Then what would be next? Fawlty Towers or Only Fools and Horses getting big screen adaptations? No thanks.

Silver Lining: At least it contains a decent cast.

How to Be Single (2016) Poster13. How To Be Single

Release Date: 12th February

Premise: New York City is full of lonely hearts seeking the right match, and what Alice, Robin, Lucy, Meg, Tom and David all have in common is the need to learn how to be single in a world filled with ever-evolving definitions of love.

Why?: Dakota Johnson may seem to be the lead, but it looks like she'll be relegated to the cliché storyline of finding romance, while Rebel Wilson takes over as the raucous party girl she's built her career around playing. I suppose this film will depend on your tolerance for the Pitch Perfect star, and I'm far from a fan.

Silver Lining: Alison Brie is a charming presence, here's hoping she plays a character and not just "the fourth girl".

Gods of Egypt poster.jpg12. Gods of Egypt

Release Date: 26th February

Premise: Set, the merciless god of darkness, has taken over the throne of Egypt and plunged the once peaceful and prosperous empire into chaos and conflict. Few dare to rebel against him. A young thief, whose love was taken captive by the god, seeks to dethrone and defeat Set with the aid of the powerful god Horus.

Why?: Much hate has been said about the use of white actors prominent in the cast. While this is a problem in itself, the amateurish effects, blatant green screen and weak story would be problems no matter what ethnicity the cast were.

Silver Lining: A decent cast has been assembled at the forefront.

Amityville: The Awakening (2016) Poster11. Amityville: The Awakening

Release Date: 15th April

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 an effective piece of horror, so here's hoping it'll rub off on this film. It's also good to see Kurtwood Smith getting work.

10. Ice Age: Collision Course
Ice Age: Collision Course (2016) Poster
Release Date: 22nd July

Premise: Scrat's epic pursuit of his elusive acorn catapults him outside of Earth, where he accidentally sets off a series of cosmic events that transform and threaten the planet.

Why?: So not only is this franchise STILL going, but now it's so unsure about what to do that it's introduced an ALIEN SPACESHIP. Not even as a joke, but as the catalyst which starts off all the trouble in this film. Joyous.

Silver Lining: Nick Offerman's in something, so I'm good.

The Divergent Series: Allegiant (2016) Poster9. The Divergent Series: Allegiant

Release Date: 18th March

Premise: Beatrice Prior and Tobias Eaton venture into the world outside of the fence and are taken into protective custody by a mysterious agency known as the Bureau of Genetic Welfare.

Why?: After the previous film brought many of the storylines to a close, this next instalment feels like a film from a very different franchise. It seems to be moving towards an ending against an enemy who's suddenly appeared, and supposedly has always been there, as opposed to what's been built up over the past two films. After the quality of Insurgent, i'm not holding out much hope for a satisfactory end.

Silver Lining: Er, you can notice how Shailene Woodley's hair has changed over each film?

Miracles from Heaven (2016) Poster8. Miracles From Heaven

Release Date: 18th March

Premise: A young girl suffering from a rare digestive disorder finds herself miraculously cured after surviving a terrible accident.

Why?: Was it just me who thought the trailer was some kind of joke? It looks like a parody of the Christian films that heavy-handedly go for the emotions. Nope, it's genuine. Good grief.

Silver Lining: Remember that Heaven Is For Real meme generator? Here's hoping for something similar to promote this.

The Other Side of the Door 2016.jpg7. The Other Side of the Door

Release Date: 11th March

Premise: Grieving with the loss of her young son, the mother learns of a ritual which can bring him back for one final goodbye. At an ancient temple, she breaks a sacred warning to never open a door, which upsets the balance between life and death.

Why?: One of the many films which hinge on a person being stupid enough to neglect warnings they were explicitly told, resulting in half-assed horror scares.

Silver Lining: You can contemplate how Sarah Wayne Callies cannot catch a break with her characters. First The Walking Dead's despised Lori, and now this.

6. Unforgettable

Release Date: N/A

Premise: A woman sets out to make life hell for her ex-husband's new wife.

Why?: The combination of a petty sounding plot, a screenplay from the writer of Red Riding Hood and Katherine Heigl? Count me out.

Silver Lining: Rosario Dawson lovers, she's in this. Yay?

Ride Along 2 poster.jpg5. Ride Along 2

Release Date: 15th January

Premise: As his wedding day approaches, Ben heads to Miami with his soon-to-be brother-in-law James to bring down a drug dealer who's supplying the dealers of Atlanta with product.

Why?: Was a Ride Along sequel really necessary? The box office says yes, the unfunny trailer (with Kevin Hart as over the top as ever) says no.

Silver Lining: If you don't like Kevin Hart, you'll enjoy seeing him get hurt so much.

4. The Forest

The Forest Poster.jpgRelease Date: 8th January

Premise: A young woman searches for her missing sister in a Japanese forest where people go to commit suicide, only to find herself confronted by angry and tormented souls of the dead.

Why?: Aokigahara Forest is a shocking reality the people of Japan have to live with. It feels distasteful to have it be the starting point for a typical and uninspired horror film, complete with cheap attempts at scares. Plus, what's wrong with residents of Japan being the lead characters?

Silver Lining: A writer of the fantastic TV series Hannibal, and Bear McCreary composing the score? Not bad.

Norm of the North poster.jpg3. Norm of the North

Release Date: 15th January

Premise: Displaced from their Arctic home, a polar bear named Norm and his three lemming friends wind up in New York City, where Norm becomes the mascot of a corporation he soon learns is tied to the fate of his homeland.

Why?: Rob Schneider has a starring lead in a film? Did I travel back to the 90s? The animation looks cheap, the jokes are poor, and the voice acting isn't even synced with the lip movements. It feels like 2016's The Nut Job.

Silver Lining: There won't be a worse looking animated film this year.

2. God's Not Dead 2

God's Not Dead 2 (2016) PosterRelease Date: 1st April

Premise: When a high school teacher is asked a question in class about Jesus, her reasoned response lands her in deep trouble and could expel God from the public square once and for all.

Why?: The trailer indicates the people live in some awful dictatorship run by evil moustache twirling athiests, as shown by Christian Melissa Joan Hart being persecuted for mentioning her belief in God. Yes, because if any religion in America will be persecuted, it'll be the majority religion. Here's a game, watch the trailer and substitute the use of Christianity and God for ANY other religion. Then see how quickly the film would not have gotten made, or even received a sequel.

Silver Lining: It may be an extremely elaborate April Fools prank.

Fifty Shades of Black poster.png1. Fifty Shades of Black

Release Date: 29th January

Premise: A parody of 50 Shades of Grey.

Why?: Marlon Wayans reunited with the director of A Haunted House and A Haunted House 2 for what looks to be a parody just as lazy, uninspired and lacking in actual talent.

Silver Lining: There's nothing that can legitimately go in this column. Fuck this movie.


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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