What Not To Watch Roundup 2017

Life (2017)

Who are any of these characters? Why are they here? Have they ever seen the movie Alien (1979)? What about Gravity (2013)? Have they ever tried to combine the movies Alien (1979) and Gravity (2013) without bothering to understand what was compelling about either of them? Probably they haven’t. But somebody has. (Psssst, it’s whoever made this movie.)


Passengers (2016)

You should be tempted to buy five copies of Life (2017) on Blu-Ray if the shopkeep tells you that it’s the only way to avoid watching Passengers (2016). It’s super disgusting and morally insane. But if you like your sci-fi served extra soft and your romances imagined in the worst possible taste, it’s hard to look away. Don’t look in the first place.


Baywatch (2017) and CHIPS (2017)

It’s fine to want to do the thing that 21 Jump Street (2012) did, which is: surprise everyone by being hilarious, clever, and fresh, when by all rights you should have been Starsky and Hutch (2004). A couple of understandable, reasonable attempts. Alas, Baywatch (2017) and CHIPS (2017) are not 21 Jump Street (2012). They are both Starsky and Hutch (2004). CHIPS perhaps will cause you slightly fewer exasperated frowns during. But don’t watch either of them.


All Eyez On Me (2017)

Almost as spineless and stagy as the Biggie hagiography Notorious (2009). There will never be a good music biopic. They will always range from the printed From: _____ card on a gas station bouquet (Daydream Believers: The Monkees Story (2000)) to the Hallmark greeting card with cellophane envelope and gold foil inlay (Ray (2004)). They are sometimes captivating examples of shoddy construction and/or poor taste. But rarely are they as depressing as this tribute to 2Pac’s noble soul, fiercely tragic mom, and supposedly baseless sexual assault convictions.


Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (2017)

Fourteen years into this franchise, the CGI has gotten marginally better but Gore Verbinski’s no longer around to do anything imaginative with it. Everyone onscreen seems bored, irritated, and resigned, as if they’ve recently lost an argument with an agent, manager, money manager, or estate lawyer. At least there’s still boats.


Assassin’s Creed (2016)

These video games are badly written, ahistorical, and morally numbing. But they are plenty of fun to play! They have always rested on the series’ lone innovation: the player controls a regular fellow who is in turn playing a video game (piloting his virtual reality ‘ancestor memories’), and this serves as a clever excuse for the fact that everything is so video gamey. The movie fumbles this division, to terrible effect. Plus it’s a joyless, confusing mess.


Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

This one breaks our collective nerd heart. The fabu cast! The director of What We Do In The Shadows (2014)! The promise of hi-jinks galore! But it’s a sloppy snooze. Wait instead for a fan edit; someone will shave sixty to ninety minutes off of this mess and not lose any of the several solid gags.

You have a little bit of 2017 left, dear cinema enthusiasts! Make sure to spend that remaining time not watching these bad films.


6 responses on “What Not To Watch Roundup 2017

  1. This represents an impressively large sword you have fallen on, Frontalot. I thank you for sparing me from every one of these films.

  2. I don’t know what I’ve done to deserve such unbridled joy in my life, but I have somehow managed to not see even one of these movies.

    It’s a Holiday Miracle (on Ice!)

  3. Some years later I have rewatched Ragnarok and found it totally charming so I take it back, what I said, I take it back, I was in a bad mood then maybe, I don’t know, I take it back.

Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man.

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