So after yesterday’s Bottom 10 of 2015, I now move onto films that whilst not bad enough to be in the Bottom 10, were certainly never anywhere near being in the Top 10 either (my next list will be those that were in the Top 10 at some point but didn’t quite make it). I’m not saying that all of the below films were awful (although some were), but to say that they were good would be pushing it.

Please note that these films are sorted into nothing more than alphabetical order.

 

A Walk in the WoodsA_Walk_in_the_Woods_Poster

Cast : Robert Redford and Nick Nolte

Plot : Bill (Redford) is an acclaimed writer and has returned to his native US to retire. Despite trying to resettle into normal life, he longs for one last adventure and decides to walk the Appalachian trailer, a wooded route of nearly 2,000 miles.

After initially struggling to find someone to go with him, he eventually enlists the help of old friend, Stephen (Nolte). Stephen’s health is heavily deteriorated due to alcohol abuse, but the two set out on the journey together.

So why only “Ok, at best” : On the face of it this was going to be one of those films that appealed to hikers themselves and those with a bit of wanderlust, the latter of which I fall into. The locations are beautiful and look like somewhere that I may want to visit myself,

The “humour” relating to two older gentleman struggling to keep up with their younger counterparts soon wears thin. Granted, it does have the initial laugh but then it sticks with the theme of them not being as fit as younger people, almost as if it’d come as a surprise that two men within their latter years aren’t as physically fit as people that are in their 20s and 30s.

However, the biggest disappointment for me comes with the ending. *SPOILER* Bill and Stephen reach a map which shows where they are on the route and they realise that they’re not even close to even being half way. After a bit of discussions they decide to give up. Yep, all of that build up until that point and they go home. For me this was such a let down and whilst some will argue that this is a story about two friends trying to achieve a dream and getting more out of it than they would have done had they kept going, it just felt like such a let down.

Out of all of the films that I saw this year, I would rate this as the second worst ending, second only to the bland nature of “Still Alice”.

 

Billfid14691

Cast : Mathew Baynton, Simon Farnaby, Jim Howick, Ben Willbond, Laurence Rickard and Martha Howe-Douglas

Plot : A young William Shakespeare (Baynton) decides to travel to London to try and find his fame and fortune, and he quickly befriends Christopher Marlowe (Howick) and the Earl of Croydon (Farnaby), the latter of whom enlists him to help write an epic play for Queen Elizabeth (Helen McCrory), whilst also plotting to help King Phillip II of Spain (Willbond) to invade England.

So why only “Ok, at best” : I do feel very harsh in rating Bill so lowly because it is ultimately a kids film and therefore not designed for someone who is 31. For those who aren’t British, there is a TV show called “Horrible Histories” that teaches children the history of the world in a sketch style format, and in many ways it is like a child friendly Monty Python. This shares the same cast as the TV show and in many ways it was largely enjoyable, especially as each actor players three or four characters each.

I am a big fan of Baynton, who has recently come off of a successful run in the TV show “Me, You and the Apocalypse”. He has many likeable qualities and out of everyone who was in the film, he was definitely the right actor to put as the main character and he is again largely enjoyable, however, he is the only cast member that translates successfully from TV to film, and this is a shame as Jim Howick has also been fantastic in TV shows that include “Reggie Perrin”.

It’s hard to put a finger on why I rate this film so low because as I say, it’s not an awful by any stretch, but I seem to recall the comedy being exceptionally one dimensional and re-watching the trailer to post below backed that up. I can’t imagine that even kids would find a lot of the jokes funny, and a lot of them stay long beyond their welcome.

Whilst enjoyable on a lot of levels, it wasn’t on many others and this is why it is in this half of the list.

Child 447966

Cast : Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, Joel Kinnaman and Noomi Rapace

Plot : Shortly after the finish of World War 2, Russian soldier Leo Demidov (Hardy) has risen to be part of the Ministry of State Security and he soon starts noticing a pattern relating to child murders. He soon started investigation before things take a turn as his wife, Raisa (Rapace) is arrested and accured or being disloyal to Russia. He suspects that it is the work of Vasili (Kinnaman), a fellow agent in the MGB that has taken a particular dislike to Leo’s rise.

Leo joins Raisa in an outpost that she has been sent to, but whilst there he forms an allegiance with General Nesterov (Oldman), and together they try and solve the murders.

So why only “Ok, at best” : For a lack of better words, Child 44 is just plain boring. It’s not memorable in the slightest. I had to look up what the major plot points, the only film that I have had to do that for for this entire run, and that should tell you everything that you need to know.

Tom Hardy, whilst normally enjoyable, is just a bit mopey throughout, Gary Oldman is largely forgettable and the very fact I forgot Noomi Rapace was even in the film should tell you everything that you need to know.

I’ll be completely honest when I say that in any other year, or if I hadn’t started working at the Odeon a few months after seeing this and therefore getting films to free (therefore seriously increasingly the numbers that would have otherwise appeared on the list), this would have comfortably been in the Bottom 10.

 

Hitman : Agent 47Untitled

Cast : Rupert Friend, Hannah Ware, Zachary Quinto and Ciaran Hinds

Plot : Katia (Ware) lives in Berlin alone and has dedicated her life to finding her scientist father, Dr Piotr Litvenko (Hinds). Katia is curious about her father having known about his involvement with a training program that developed perfect assassins. She is approached one day by a man named John Smith (Quinto) and he warns Katia that there is one of these assassins on his way to kill her.

The pair just manage to avoid the agent (Friend), but he soon catches up with them and appears to kill Smith, however, he soon arises and it turns out that the agent has actually been sent to protect Katia from a group that Smith works for. The trio then play a game of catch and mouse, all whilst continuing the hunt for Dr. Litvenko.

So why only “Ok, at best” : Let’s put it this way, I would not have gone to see this film had I not got unlimited free tickets at the cinema.

I have never played any of the Hitman games so have very little idea of the majority of the story of the franchise, other than the basics of “you go around killing people” and to be honest the only reason I was even slightly excited about the film was Zachary Quinto, who I know can produce excellent performances after his roles as Sylar (Heroes) and Spock (Star Trek), but even then his inclusion was pushing it.

The problem with Agent 47 is that much like it’s lead character, there’s just nothing there emotionally and I wasn’t engaged with the story in the slightest. Hitman offers precisely nothing new to any genre of any kind, and it feels very much like I have seen this story many times before.

Much like Child 44, I couldn’t really remember a lot that really happened in Hitman and had to look up the major plot points of the story but as soon as I did I remembered one of the reasons that I didn’t like it. There is all this struggle to find her father, but then one day he’s just there, it’s so unwarrantied, , and I think that unlike other movies based on games, you really need have played the games to get any semblence of joy from this, and, again much like Child 44, had this been any other year then there is a heavy chance that this would have been in the bottom 10.

 

Lady in the VanThe-Lady-in-the-Van_poster_goldposter_com_1-400x593

Cast : Maggie Smith, Alex Jennings and Jim Broadbent

Plot : Play-write Alan Bennett (Jennings) has moved into a new house and seems to be enjoying his life, other than struggling to come up with a new hit for the stage.

He soon becomes aware of a woman calling herself Mrs. Shepherd (Smith) who lives in a van and resides outside of people’s houses. The neighbourhood describes her as a menace, not helped by her increasing stench of body-odor. The street is eventually turned into permit parking only and Mrs. Shepherd guilt trips Bennett into letting her stay on his drive way.

Bennett makes it clear that this will only be a temporary fix, but it turns out to be anything but.

So why only “Ok, at best” : I have said to many friends who have contemplated seeing Lady in the Van that chances are that you’ll only like it if you’re over 50 years old as there isn’t anything there for anyone younger. The problem with that is that they have tried to get the younger crowd into the film by showing James Corden as a market trader and that he has arguably the film’s best line, but if you watch the trailer then the part you see with him in it is his only scene and the only two lines he has.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a James Corden fan and if you’re English, chances are you share that sentiment, but it’s blatantly obvious that they were trying desperately to get younger people more interested in a film that generally wouldn’t appeal to them. As I am “only” 31, this film wasn’t designed for me, but unfortunately I can’t view it from the eyes of a much older person, and I think that during the screening I went to I was the youngest person in the screen by at least 20 years.

Lady in the Van isn’t necessarily a bad film, but there’s nothing particularly remarkable about it either and it’s just a nothing film. They try and build the character of Miss Shephard as someone who is quite remarkable….and yet there’s pretty much nothing remarkable about her other than that she was a nun who once *spoiler alert* accidentally killed someone through no fault of her own. She isn’t a particularly remarkable characters.

The dramatic parts of the film aren’t particularly moving, the comedy isn’t particularly amusing, and the acting is bland, at best. The acting throughout is not convincing from any member of the cast and for lack of better words, I was bored.

 

LegendLegend

Cast : Tom Hardy, Emily Browning and Christopher Eccleston

Plot : In 1960s London, the Kray twins, Ronnie and Reggie (both Hardy) are feared by pretty much everyone. Whilst Reggie is viewed as the more sensible of the two, Ronnie is mentally unstable and has already served several stints in institutes specialising in mental health.

Whilst Reggie is courting Frances Shea (Browning), Ronnie’s actions cause the two to become increasingly known by the police, eventually causing Nipper Read (Eccleston) to start a thorough investigation into them. Reggie struggles to keep Ronnie under control as they both struggle to keep their head above water, but it isn’t until Ronnie acts out a revenge kill that the pair get involved an unstoppable road towards jail.

So why only “Ok, at best” : Oh, I can already feel the hate coming in from all angles demanding to know why I didn’t like Legend. Now, rest assured that you aren’t the only one who is questioning this, infact, I seem to be the only person who didn’t enjoy Legend and to be honest, I can’t recall why.

Legend looks great, the acting from Hardy is superb, infact, if he doesn’t get nominated for an Academy Award for his portrayal of Ronnie alone then I’d be surprised, and the storyline is engaging…..BUT I just didn’t enjoy it. Now don’t get me wrong, this film is probably the closest on this list to have made it into my third list (those that were good, but not good enough for the Top 10), but I couldn’t honestly put it in there because I simply didn’t enjoy it.

I think the reason for this is that I went in so incredibly hyped for this film. It was probably the most excited that I have been for a film in 2015, but I think that that is the problem. I went in with such high expectations that they were probably never going to be met, and because of that I look at it rather negatively.

As I say, there is nothing overly wrong with the film but for me personally, I couldn’t put it into a list that considers it to have been better than being ok (at best) and have been honest with you all. I’d rather given you my honest opinion of the film than lie just to be popular.

 

Pixels51n2ntzrn3L

Cast : Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Josh Gad, Peter Dinklage and Sean Bean

Plot : Back in the 1980s, still in the early years of arcade games, Sam (Sandler) and Ludlow (Gad) come close to beating Eddie (Dinklage) in a tournament. Around the same time, America decides to try and communicate with alien life by sending out images of their culture, including scenes from games such as Donkey Kong, PAC-Man and various others.

Skip forward to modern day and Sam has become a fix-it man for technology when he is suddenly invited to the White House by his friend, and President, Cooper (James). It turns out that the aliens misinterpreted the message sent in the 1980s and have started a war on Earth, with what is effectively a Best-of-Five series of battles, with video games being their battle of choice.

Sam, Ludlow and Eddie are all forced to play video games in a life or death situation, but sometimes cheaters just can’t change their ways.

So why only “Ok, at best” : When I first saw the trailer for Pixels I got quite excited and loved the ideas of video games coming to life and trying to kill us all. It looked like an amazingly fun movie and I eagerly anticipated it…..that was until Adam Sandler appeared on my screen. My enthusiasm very quickly faded after that but I still went to see it when it was released….that’s the thing with getting films for free due to working in a cinema, you go and watch films that you wouldn’t even consider otherwise.

So I took my seat in Screen 9 of Lincoln Odeon, and the sparsely populated screen tells you all that you need to know about England’s opinion of Mr Sandler, but then the film started and I realised about half way through that I was actually enjoying myself. Other than the occasional dose of what could best be described as “Sandlerisms”, I was enjoying it.

I’m not going to lie, it did actually appear on the “Top 10” tab on my spreadsheet for a few weeks, but then came the moment I realised that maybe I hadn’t enjoyed it as much as I had. There have been many occasions during my 31 years on this planet that I have seen a film more than one at the cinema, a list that includes films such as Star Trek, The Fellowship of the Ring and some films from the 1990s that I am actually embarrassed to admit to watching, and Pixels almost became another addition to the list.

I had been invited by two of my fellow colleagues to watch it with them before my shift, and I agreed, but it got to about two minutes before it was due to start and I realised that I just couldn’t be bothered. It was at that point I started looking at the film in depth and certain scenes, and realised that I just hadn’t enjoyed it afterall.

Now, this never had any danger of being in my bottom 10, I enjoyed it too much for that to be the case, but I can’t knowingly put it in anywhere near my Top 10 either due to the previous paragraph.

 

 

San Andreasb_qd3q7usaacgny

Cast : Dwayne Johnson, Carla Gugino, Alexandra Daddario and Ioan Gruffudd

Plot : Helicopter rescuer Ray (Johnson) is separated from his wife, Emma (Gugino), but they share a good relationship and they both spend decent amount of time with Blake (Daddario), their daughter. One day, whilst doing his job, Ray notices that the San Andreas fault is having major activity and it causes massive destruction to that region of California.

After he is separated from his family, Ray must find a way to get them all back together, although all of the family’s trust in Emma’s boyfriend (Gruffudd) is abandoned when he enacts Darwinism, abandoning Blake. As the waters rises because of LA’s sinking into the ocean, can Ray rescue his family before a massive tsunami gets to the city?

So why only “Ok, at best” : If you’ve seen one American disaster film then you’ve seen them all, and that was yet again the case with San Andreas. The problem with all of these disaster films is that, without any exceptions as far as I’m aware, the major Hollywood ones all have the family being separated and then having to fight through the disaster, all before being reunited….and none of them suffering any major harm.

Everything feels artificial and whilst not awful, you never genuinely feel like the main characters are in any danger, and San Andreas definitely sticks to this. Dwayne Johnson is an excellent action star, but he seriously needs to broaden his range as in pretty much every movie I have seen of his, he just seems to be playing pretty much the same character, and it makes his presence in movies a bit boring.

Outside of the predictability of the story and Johnson’s more one dimensional character choices, San Andreas isn’t an awful film by any stretch, but it brings precisely nothing new to the genre. It’s watchable, but nothing more.

 

SpectreUntitled

Cast : Daniel Craig, Ralph Fiennes, Christophe Waltz, Dave Bautista and Andrew Scott

Plot : James Bond (Craig) is recovering from the events of Skyfall when M (Fiennes) bans him from going into the field after he causes mass destruction in Mexico. M is also trying to fight off the new head of the agency, C (Scott), who believes that the program for spies such as Bond has now served it’s purpose. Bond obviously ignores his banning to investigate the mysterious group known as Spectre.

He eventually gets into a secret meeting in which he hears a mysterious man (Waltz) talk about a plan to take the world, but the man knows that Bond is there and he only just survives a pursuit from Hinx (Bautista). As Bond’s investigations run deeper, he realises that he needs to protect the daughter of an old ally, but with the man and Hinx on his ail, it certainly won’t be easy to protect her.

So why only “Ok, at best” : I’ve never been the biggest fan of Bond films and before about two months ago I hadn’t seen any of the non-Brosnan Bond films. For me, much like San Andreas, they’re far too predictable and you know that Bond is never going to die. You can put him a nano-second from death and you know he’ll somehow find his way out, and that is why I’m not a fan of Bond films.

The strange thing about Spectre is that Christoph Waltz’s Blofeld is advertised as the main villain in the film, and yet he’s only in it for what can’t be more than ten minutes. The main villain isn’t in more than 90% of the film and that is never a good thing. Dave Bautista’s Mr Hinx is viewed only as the secondary villain, and yet he is a far more genuine threat than Blofeld, and the best sequences in the film are the ones where Hinx is involved.

With a lengthy run time that runs just shy of 2 and a half hours, Spectre drags and drags and drags. There are spells where nothing its really happening, characters aren’t being developed, the story isn’t moving along and everything is just dragged out to the point where you feel bored. It just doesn’t move, and then by the time something actually does happen, you’ve been so bored by Daniel Craig’s monotonous acting, the least interesting Bond girl (if you can even call her that)

The only thing that I truly liked about this Bond film is that it continues to back up the theory that James Bond is merely a code name, and that it is given to a new agent when the previous one gets too old, dies or gets captured. This is backed up by the code name of M passing from Judi Dench to Ralph Fiennes after the former’s death in Skyfall.

 

Steve Jobssteve-jobs-movie-poster-800px-800x1259

Cast : Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet, Michael Stuhlbarg, Jeff Daniels and Seth Rogen

Plot : Steve Jobs (Fassbender) is getting ready to launch the Apple Macintosh in 1984 and is 40 minutes away from the product being officially launched. During this time he is forced to interact with a girl who he is adamant isn’t his daughter, despite all of the evidence to the contrary. Jobs is distracted throughout by the voice recognition system not working properly and demands that Andy Hertzfeld (Stuhlbarg) fix it. The product is a flop.

Skip forward to 1988 and Jobs, now fired from Apple, is getting ready to launch the NeXT computer. In the four years since the Macintosh launch he has acknowledged the girl to be his daughter, but he struggles with other relationships, including that with Steve Wozniak (Rogen), co-founder of Apple. Jobs is irate with Wozniak for quotes in an article and scolds him. Meanwhile, Jobs has slandered John Sculley (Daniels), the CEO of Apple for trying to oust him unfairly, although this is shown to be false in flashbacks. The NeXT flops.

Skip forward to 1998, can it be third time lucky in the various aspects that are lead up to the launch of the iMac, the first product launched after Jobs returns to Apple?

So why only “Ok, at best” : Whilst an excellent character study into how people change over time, and how a man can keep rising again despite constant failure, Steve Jobs just didn’t do anything that made me want to watch it again. Now don’t get me wrong, Steve Jobs is not an awful film, not be any stretch, and the cast are very competent, but just like some other films that appear on this list, is suffers in many ways from just not being that interesting.

I imagine that if you’re a fan of Apple’s products, or had an interest in the man himself, then you’ll probably like this, but I do not fall into either of those categories and because of that, I failed to be engaged at all by Steve Jobs and whilst it’s relatively well made, I was just sat there just slightly above being bored.

That’s all I really have to say on the matter really.

 

The Good DinosaurUntitled

Cast : All voices – Raymond Ochoa, Jeffrey Wright, Frances McDormand, Marcus Scribner and Jack Bright

Plot : Set in an alternative reality in which the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs actually missed Earth, a young Apatosaurus is born and is considerably smaller than it’s siblings, he is named Arlo (Ochoa). Arlo struggles to keep up with the rest of the family in work on the farm, and his failure to keep out a human child (Bright) out of the corn reserves, angers his father (Wright).

As they chase the child, the pair get to an unfamiliar location and the heavy rain causes a flood that claims Arlo’s farther’s life, and sweeps Arlo to an unknown area of the world. He must make it back before being picked off by carnivores.

So why only “Ok, at best” : The Good Dinosaur is arguably Pixar’s worst offering to date, with an unoriginal storyline, characters that just aren’t that interesting and one of the most ridiculous animations that I’ve ever seen, and that’s where I’m going to start.

Whilst the backgrounds and environments in TGD are stunning and almost photo-realistic, they’ve seemingly put so little effort into the actual characters that it just looks absolutely ridiculous. You’ve got T-Rex’s that look like they’ve been breeding with pugs, Apatosaurus’ that just look ridiculous, and just a plethora of other horrendous visualisations.

Away from the look of the film, it’s hard to really get emotionally interested in The Good Dinosaur because you know that he is going to make it home and earn his mark. In many ways it feels like a rip off of The Land Before Time, it’s a fairly similar set up in many ways, but TLBT is far superior to The Good Dinosaur.

Don’t get me wrong, there are a few heartwarming moments throughout, but it’s a largely empty film with very little worth being excited about.

 

The Hunger Games : Mockingjay Part 2mockingjaypostersmall_0

Cast : Jennifer Lawrence,  Josh Hutcherson,  Woody Harrelson, Donald Sutherland, Philip Seymour-Hoffman and Liam Hemsworth

Plot : Katniss (Lawrence) is still the figure head for the resistance in their fight against the capital, and it’s finally time for the assault on President Snow (Sutherland) and the capital. Katniss is wary that Peeta (Hutcherson) is still going to act violently against her after the events at the end of Part 1.

The group move in after the main assault on the capital, and they narrow survive several traps before Peeta tries to kill Katniss. The group forces them to separate but as they move towards Snow’s mansion, the trust is at an all time low as they battle against traps, soldiers and other such creatures.

So why only “Ok, at best” : The fourth installment of a franchise that started with the blatent rip-off of Battle Royale was nowhere near as epic as some would have you believe. Now don’t get me wrong, Mockingjay Part 2 (I’m just simply going to call is MP2 for each) isn’t awful, it’s a very watchable film, but the main problem is that there are so many storylines that are brought to a very unsatisfactory end. Even if I was a fan of the franchise, I would still have been disappointed with this final installment.

Let’s go with the whole Katniss vs Snow story arc. The film builds up to what would be an absolutely epic final encounter, only for Katniss to be knocked unconcious, awaking to find that Snow has been captured and is simply in his greenhouse. Where’s the excitement in that? It’s such an anti-climax to the main arc of the story that you’re just left completely disengaged.

Then we go to the whole “who will Katniss choose” arc with Peeta and Gale as the two options, however, before watching MP2 I sat and watched the entire franchise, and there’s nothing about Gale and Katniss’s friendship that ever really suggests that they’re more than just friends. Whilst I can see the whole Katniss and Peeta connection without any issues, Gale and Katniss are never seemingly close to getting together. They have somehow managed to make a love triangle that is worse and less convincing that Twilight.

I could continue going out but I really don’t want to. The only thing that saves MP2 from being in the bottom ten is that again, it is relatively watchable and the early tensions between Peeta’s breakdown is comfortably the best part of either of the Mockingjay films.

 

The Night BeforeThe-Night-Before

Cast : Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Anthony Mackie and Lizzy Caplan

Plot : When they were young adults, Ethan (Gordon-Levitt), Isaac (Rogen) and Chris (Mackie) discovered that an unforgettable, almost legendary, party exists, but they can’t find it, that despite all of their best efforts. Several years later, Isaac and Chris have both moved on in their lives and are responsible adults, whereas Ethan hasn’t and is still obsessed with the party.

Ethan is also depressed after breaking up with his girlfriend, Diana (Caplan), but whilst at his job as a waiter at a party, he stumbles across tickets for the party and the trio all set about getting ready for it, although getting there proves to be more of a struggle than they had initially anticipated.

So why only “Ok, at best” : The Night Before was just your average comedy and there was nothing particularly remarkable about it, and therein lies the problem. I write this mini-summary four days after watching the film and other than the main talking points in the film, I can’t really recall much of what happens. It’s a largely forgettable comedy that will no doubt appear on various TV stations every year due to that being the nature of Christmas themed films, but it’s not really worth a watch.

Now that’s not to say that I didn’t laugh. Far from it, I laughed at least five or six times, and one was a particularly hearty chuckle with the scene set in the church, that scene is by far the best thing about The Night Before and summed up Seth Rogen’s ability to make you laugh in a situation that any other comedian wouldn’t be able to.

Whilst Rogen brings a certain skill to his role, and Gordon-Levitt yet again does well in a “mopey-I’ve just been dumped” sort of role, Anthony Mackie (aka Discount Will Smith) offers precisely nothing new to his repertoire that you haven’t seen before, and his acting is so one dimensional that he’s practically the same as he is within the Avengers films.

 

The WalkThe_Walk_(2015_film)_poster

Cast : Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Ben Kingsley

Plot : In the 1970s, Philippe Petit (Gordon-Levitt) developed a dream to walk the gap between the two towers of the World Trade Centre on a wire. It is of course completely illegal and therefore they have to find a way to do it without alerting the authorities before hand.

Along the way they find many difficulties in not only hanging the wire, but also getting up to the top floor to begin with, but can Philippe successfully make his way across?

So why only “Ok, at best” : The second Joseph Gordon-Levitt entry in a row on this list was one of my biggest disappointments of the year. I was really looking forward to The Walk, even though all tension was taken out of it when I discovered about a week in advance that the real life Philippe Petit not only survived his crossing, but kept changing direction to worry the nearby cops (their reaction to him turning on the spot whilst suspended several hundred metres in the air is great), but even with knowing this, Petit is portrayed as extremely competent in doing what he’s doing, and it takes a lot of the tension out of the scene.

He might as well start skipping along the wire, that’s how farcical the whole thing becomes after his third or fourth pivot. Not to forgot they he successfully lays down on the rope, regularly gets up and down, as well as many other party tricks, however, it just occured to me that technically Philippe doesn’t actually complete the walk across at any point. He keeps turning around and ends up exactly where he started. He actually failed to reach the other side because he never steps foot on the second tower.

Ultimately, The Walk reminded me a lot of a disaster film in the sense that you spend so long building up to the event, but the audience is only there to watch the event, they tend not to really care about the stuff before, and whilst the storyline before the crossing happens isn’t bad by any stretch, there’s nothing particularly unique with The Walk.

It’s presented in an unusual fashion, almost dream like and whimsical in many ways, but again this didn’t help with the actual film itself as the danger isn’t made to feel real. Joseph Gordon-Levitt does his best in a rather limited role, but there are times in which his fake French accent is so strong that it’s hard to understand what he is saying. The rest of the cast are pretty much non-eventful and the fact that I can’t remember who else is in it other than Gordon-Levitt without having to look it up should tell you all that you need to know.

 

Victor FrankensteinVictor_Frankenstein_2015

Cast : James McAvoy, Danielle Radcliffe, Jessica Brown Findlay and Andrew Scott

Plot : Igor (Radcliffe) is a circus performer and has a very low down position due to a hunchback. One day he impresses Victor Frankenstein (McAvoy) whilst performing a medical procedure following an accident. Victor frees Igor from his cage and takes him back to his home in London, and removes the hunch, revealing it to be nothing more than a sack of pus that has gone untreated for years. He then equips Igor with a brace so he can walk upright.

Victor invites Igor to live with him, but things start taking an odd turn when the former invites the latter to join him in a science experiment to bring the dead back to life. Initially horrified, Igor becomes exceedingly intrigued as time goes on, and equally horrified as Victor’s ambitions exceed bringing simple animals back to life.

So why only “Ok, at best” : Re-tellings of classic stories are never likely to be good, effectively you’re just making up stuff as you go along, other than a few points here and there. That is one of the main reasons why the Hobbit trilogy was so bad compared to the Lord of the Rings trilogy, the latter stuck to it’s source material (other than the odd minor change here and there), whereas the Hobbit trilogy, especially “The Battle of the Five Armies” was mostly plucked from thin air. The point I’m making is that you’re effectively making stuff up about characters that people know very well indeed.

That being said, I can only rate Victor Frankenstein as a stand alone film and even then it’s largely unsatisfactory, and whilst I normally enjoy McAvoy and Radcliffe, neither were particularly above average in their respective roles, although the latter does bring a nice level of sympathy to the role of Igor.

The story itself is bland, for lack of better words, and nothing ever seems like a genuine challenge. You know that they’re going to end up creating a create that walks around and it’s just a matter of time before they get it right. There is no genuine struggle for either Victor or Igor, and it’s a big disappointment that when the monster is finally awoken the penultimate scene of the film, it’s visually bland and uninspired. They’ve made very little attempt to make the monster look life-like.

WhiplashUntitled

Cast : Miles Teller, J.K Simmons

Plot : Igor (Radcliffe) is a circus performer and has a very low down position due to a hunchback. One day he impresses Victor Frankenstein (McAvoy) whilst performing a medical procedure following an accident. Victor frees Igor from his cage and takes him back to his home in London, and removes the hunch, revealing it to be nothing more than a sack of pus that has gone untreated for years. He then equips Igor with a brace so he can walk upright.

Victor invites Igor to live with him, but things start taking an odd turn when the former invites the latter to join him in a science experiment to bring the dead back to life. Initially horrified, Igor becomes exceedingly intrigued as time goes on, and equally horrified as Victor’s ambitions exceed bringing simple animals back to life.

So why only “Ok, at best” : The final inclusion on this particular list is one that shocked a lot of my friends, with some even saying that it was their favourite film or the year, and yes, whilst J.K Simmons is fantastic and you understand the film’s morals and point, I didn’t feel engaged with it whatsoever.

Amongst many other reasons, the major issue that I have that causes me not to like Whiplash is that <INSERT CHARACTER’S NAME>’s whole story arc is basically a guy who just can’t accept that he’s not good enough to even be classed as competent. Seriously, watch the film again. <INSERT JK’s CHARACTER’S NAME> is basically asking him to be in time, and <INSERT MILES> is so incompetent in doing that to the point that <JK> justifiably ridicules him, and I refuse to feel sorry for a character that simply can’t accept that he’s not as good as he thinks he is.

This really isn’t helped by the monotonous acting of Miles Teller, who seems to have come from the school of acting that promotes you not to show any emotion whatsoever, a school that a lot of actors and actresses seem to graduate from with flying colours these days. Granted, his poor character doesn’t lend itself to a great performance, but even then he made me dislike an unlikable character even more.

I just really didn’t like Whiplash and all, and in all honesty, had this been any other year then much like a few others in this section, this would have comfortably been in my bottom ten.

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  1. […] 2015 in Cinema – Part 2 – It was ok (at best) […]

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