Story Article (what I’ve been up to)

Hello everybody!  Nice to see you again.  The last two and 1/2 months have been indisputably exhausting for me, and things like: watching movies, Tweeting, and breathing have been pushed to the back of my mind to make way for everything college has to offer.  Never in my life have I worked as hard as I am now, and let me tell you, God is certainly using this rattling culture shock to change me.  I’m more excited (and worrisome) than ever before.

If you didn’t know (which makes sense since I have not been very specific), I’m enrolled at The University of Northwestern – St. Paul, and my major is professional writing (couldn’t you tell?).  One of my classes is a journalism workshop.

“What do you create in that class?” you may ask.  Why, The Examiner, the school’s newspaper, of course!  There are over 25  student writers in the class who report to specific sections (feature, lifestyle, opinion, etc.) and are assigned stories by a section editor.  I’m writing for the lifestyle section (because it deals with entertainment, something I understand), and I’ve written two stories for it so far.  It’s taxing work, but my gosh, it’s satisfying and is giving me some genuine experience.

I’d like to talk more about what’s happening, but I have much work to do.  I’ll leave you with the links to see what me and my fellow students are creating.  By the way, I am still seeing movies and I have a few ideas for the future, so don’t think I’ve quit this blog.  Also, you should know that I write differently for college classes, so tell me what you think.  See you later!

The Examiner’s official website.  They are working on the site, so it might be a bit difficult to work with.

My first story.  I’ll post my reviews for the paper in my blog.  I have permission to do this, don’t worry.

Update-College Move-In/My Thoughts On: “The Dark Tower”

Oh boy, it’s finally that time.  In four days, this guy will be moving into a dorm and will be earning his BA in the next three years.  To be clear, I have been in PSEO courses for the past two years (earning college credits in high school in order to skip the obligatory general courses required for a degree).  I commuted from home and had much more time to watch/review movies.  Since this is my first semester for real, there will be fewer posts.  This is due to a combination of: getting used to the new schedule and setting, not having my car (it would be a hassle to take it with me), and the lack of a job.  I’m not broke, and the school has a bus so there will be a few reviews here and there.  When in doubt, check my “About” section for the most updated version of my schedule.

You may have noticed that the website has not changed, though I said there were a few things I wanted to change in the last update.  Well, a lot of it has to do with the fact that this website costs me nothing.  I would have to pay a monthly fee to have complete control over design and presentation; but since I don’t have a job, and do not get paid for these reviews, it will stay this way for a while.  Sorry (unless of course you don’t mind how it currently is).  Now let’s get to the main attraction.

The Dark Tower is the newest entry into the “disappointing Stephen King adaptation” genre (along with The Shining Mini-Series, Dreamcatcher, Maximum Overdrive, Thinner, Lawnmower Man, and The Langoliers).  Of course Mr. King’s legacy has brought us some of cinema’s most famous stories like: Shawshank Redemption, Misery, Stand by Me, Carrie, and Kubrick’s The Shining.  Considering that he’s published over 250 novels, short stories, etcetera, Hollywood will squeeze every last penny out of his bestsellers.  Today, we have The Dark Tower, a film so standard, so lazily-executed, you’ll forget it 1 hour after leaving the theater!

The main problem with The Dark Tower is the utter lack of detail.  You know how Peter Jackson made Lord of the Rings (the story that was supposedly impossible to adapt) into movies?  It was not by pure luck that the end result was near-perfect.  The books told of fantastic battles, memorable characters, and one heck of a universe!  The Dark Tower shares many of these traits: multiple books, loyal fanbases, both stories are fantasy epics, and their film adaptations were both highly anticipated.  Only difference is that you could see the effort and love behind every scene in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.  The Dark Tower felt like it was written by a Sony computer, shot by a hummingbird, edited by a cocaine addict, and directed by a coffee table.  This is an enormous shame because the marketing was great.  The two leads looked cool and the action sequences promised some stunning visuals.  In reality, the characters are blander than bread, the PG-13 rating ensures that all the potentially awesome violence is gone, and the story is a compilation of fantasy movie clichés rather than an original story.

Despite the short runtime, the pacing is boringly slow and there are more “talking head” scenes than you would ever want in a Stephen King adaptation.  When the action does show up, it’s only slightly less generic than Power Rangers (2017).  The aforementioned neutered rating prevents any real impact, the camera does whatever it wants, and the actors, much like the audience, look uninvested.  The story is even worse.  Most of the narrative is a mishmash of King tropes, and all the interesting stuff is not explained.  Who built this tower?  Why are there so few people protecting it?  What is the backstory (and motivation for that matter) of our antagonist?  Where do these alternate beings come from?  None of these vital questions are answered very well, if at all.  The best we get are a handful of references to much better King adaptations in one pathetic attempt at fan service.  For all of you who subscribed to the “Stephen King universe” thing, I didn’t see any overarching plot that connected to any other one of King’s works.  Granted, I haven’t read The Dark Tower novels so the connection could be in the books, but it’s certainly not in this bare bones flick.  The only mildly entertaining things about the film are a few cool slow motion moments and Matthew McConaughey (who you could tell was enjoying every second of screentime).  Unfortunately, that only goes so far, especially when the climax, the final battle between Idris Elba and McConaughey, is the definition of “all buildup, no payoff.”  This confrontation was almost as bad as Batman vs. Superman… almost.

Bottom line, The Dark Tower is a thoroughly skippable waste of time and money.  Quite a shame too, because many potential fans were likely turned off from King’s (supposedly) great magnum opus epic.  As for me, I’m much more apprehensive about the new It film.  The Dark Tower gets Guy’s Guru Grade of a C-.

Thanks for understanding my transition into college life; I’ll get back to reviews once everything is sorted out.

Update-Website Changes, Moving, and New Schedule.

My gosh, trying to figure out WordPress editing is a pain.  So here’s the situation:

This week, my family and I are moving to a new house.  I’ve been packing (I have a lot of crap) the last two weeks, and the actual transportation process is quite complicated, so I have a deadline for having all my stuff packed (no “day-of” cramming for me!).  This is why it took Alien: Covenant forever to publish. I did catch a matinee of King Arthur, so I’ll try to have a MTO (My Thoughts On) for it on Saturday.  My schedule will change with the new digs as well.  Keep two sharp eyes out at my “About” page, as it will always have the most updated version of my schedule on it.

One other factor is my financial situation.  I’m quitting my job when I move (the commute would be too long).  Yes, I will have much more free time, but I will also have much less money to spend at the theater seeing every single summer blockbuster (hence why there will not be a Pirates 5 or Wonder Woman review anytime soon).  The reviews will be less frequent, but steady (hopefully).

Also, that opening sentence does tie into something.  I’m currently trying to improve my site so that it’s easier to view.  For example, when these redesigns are complete, the entire reviews will be linked in the pictures.  The whole review will not be on the home page.  This way: the home page is less cluttered, my statistics will be more accurate, and you don’t have to scroll down forever!  I have no idea how to accomplish this yet, but I never quit, so just know that it will be done.  Unless it requires me to pay for a new theme or something, which I can’t do (don’t have a job anymore).

Well, that about does it.  When all this mess is over, I’ll let you know.  I have many exciting things coming over summer.  But for now, thanks a ton.  Toss some comments my way letting me know if there’s anything about the site that bothers you, shower me with compliments, or point out that one typo that always slips past editing.

Update-Finals (2017)

First, thanks to everyone for reading/liking my Disney Remakes post.  United, we can stop these unnecessary cash grabs!  Anyway, finals week approaches!  You know what that means?  A momentary gap of content on Guys Guru Grades.  Here is my “sorry” in advance because I have been getting beaten around by schoolwork recently.  There will be no review tomorrow.  Writing the Disney Remakes post really drained me, and I have to get all my homework projects finished.  Also, none of the movies that came out on Friday really interest me (and I’m kinda low on spending money).  In the meantime, I wish my student followers luck with their finals.  For everyone else, stay intelligent and enjoy life.

“Logan” Review

It’s about dang time I reviewed an X-Men movie huh?  There is a perfectly reasonable explanation for this: I don’t care about the X-Men (the comics, the characters, and the films).  Ok, “don’t care” is a bit much.  For what they’re worth, these characters have a huge following, and their films (which range wildly in quality) have started many careers and had a major influence on the superhero industry.  They maintained a darker tone than most other superhero flicks (largely due to complex characters and clever social commentary), and they persisted through many ups and downs in the genre.  However, I was never that engaged with the films, especially the horrid ones.  For me, the tone isn’t dark enough (like The Dark Knight or Watchmen) to dive into the really gritty stuff; or it was never lighthearted enough to be an enjoyable action flick (Doctor Strange or Captain America: Civil War).  Considering that this is Hugh Jackman’s final outing as the character, they have to do something phenomenal.  Something that will keep the audience on the edge of their seats.  Ladies and gentlemen, I bring you Logan; one of the best superhero movies of the 2010s.

Logan is directed by James Mangold and written by: James Mangold, Scott Frank, and Michael Green.  Stars-Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Stephen Merchant, Dafne Keen, and Boyed Holbrook.  Premise-Set a couple decades in the future, an aging Logan is trying to take care of a crazed professor X in the Mexican border.  By a twist of fate, he finds a young mutant running from unknown evil who desperately needs his help.

James Mangold also directed The Wolverine, which was a major improvement over its predecessor, but I can’t help but think he was held back by studio demands.  One of those demands being a PG-13 rating.  The first thing I have to bring up is the: tough, no holds barred, brutal, not at all for kids, R rating.  Thank you Deadpool for being a faithful adaptation that grossed over $700 million.  Companies are finally growing a pair and can bring us proper portrayals of comic book violence without the fear of poor box office returns (note, I am aware Deadpool is not the first R rated comic book film).  It only took 17 years for us to see the Wolverine chopping up people with the realistic amount of gore and blood.  Yes, the action scenes in Logan are incredible.  Flawless stunts, kinetic (without being annoyingly shaky) cinematography, gruesome sound design, and violence that makes Deadpool look tame.  One scene in particular… oh my gosh.  It takes place in a hotel and is a Triple M.  Basically, I have not come across a scene that kept me suspended in anticipation for over 3 minutes!  You’ll be able to tell what scene I’m talking about by the editing, sound, and Marco Beltrami’s awesome score.  By the time it was over, I didn’t notice I was holding my breath!  That never happens!  This movie is worth watching, twice, for the action alone.  Not to say that the story is lacking.

There is a surprisingly large amount of emotional depth in Logan.  It’s no secret that this character is the most developed out of all the movies, is the most popular, and has been a major source of drama for the franchise.  I’m impressed with how personal this movie gets with the character.  This may be Hugh Jackman’s best performance as Wolverine since the first two films.  There are many scenes with no dialogue, just Logan.  We see the wear and tear on his body and how emotionally conflicted he is.  It makes for one heck of a protagonist I’ll tell ya.  The supporting cast also shines.  This is Keen’s first film, and she’s fantastic.  Most of the time, she doesn’t speak, and she has great chemistry with Jackman and Stewart (who is also top notch).  This is probably the best child performance I’ve seen since Raffey Cassidy in Tomorrowland (hey look at that, strong female characters that are not remakes, who’d have thunk it?).  Sadly, this film is not perfect.

There are a few “characters on the run” clichés that take you out of the experience.  Particularly a decision (an obviously dumb one) that happens during the second act that you can predict the end result of.  It’s a shame because that is a seriously important/dramatic part of the movie, but they used a boring cliché (one that was used in X-Men Origins!) to set it up.  The next problem the sheer amount of question marks I had when I left the theater.  There’s about 29 unexplained plot points (regarding the past, supposed atrocities characters committed, secret locations) that I’m sure will be explained in future installments.  But, I’m left clueless as to what is going on for most of the time.  Honestly, I’d prefer if they left all the details to the wayside so they could focus on one specific conflict rather than try to tell 15 stories at once (looking at you Apocalypse).  The biggest problem is the villain(s).  There are two of them, and they are both clichés.  I’d tell you what tropes they are, but that would spoil the film.  Just know that these guys are forgettable and largely unimportant.

There is no doubt about it; Logan is not to be missed.  If you want action, it’s here, if you want character development, it’s here, if you want a dang good cinematic experience, it’s here.  Logan gets Guy’s Guru Grade of an A-.  On a side note, I may not be producing as much content for the next month or so.  Basically, I have some major college decisions to make this month, and my emotions are in utter turmoil trying to figure it out.  I’ll still be getting at least one review published a week (as doing this allows my mind to focus), but the projects that I wanted to finish last month are being delayed so I can sort other things out.  Thank you.

Check my Twitter for updates.


X-Men Movies Ranked

X-Men (2000-B+

X2 (2003)-B

X-Men: The Last Stand (2006)-B-

X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)-D-

X-Men: First Class (2011)-B

The Wolverine (2013)-C+

X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)-B+

Deadpool (the X-Men contribute enough to the story to be called an X-Man film) (2016)-A-

X-Men: Apocalypse (2016)-C+

Logan (2017)-A-

Quick Update

I know there has been a lack of reviews lately, for that I apologize.  It’s that time of the year when all the group projects and final exams become your entire life.  I will be back to full production by the 17th.  Until then, keep checking my Twitter page because I will be posting tweet-reviews of Christmas movies.  In the meantime, keep up your hard work as I will keep up mine.

Thank You

Update-My Current Situation

Remember that follow-up post I mentioned in my Finding Dory review (and the San Andreas review)?  Here it is, in all its super-late glory.  Truth be told I have been working on this dang thing since I posted the Finding Dory review!  I didn’t get writer’s block, I was consistently unsatisfied with how it turned out.  The early drafts came across as whiny or confusing, and since I don’t want to get myself in trouble, this final draft is going to be short and to the point.  This is something (a vlog in written form) I haven’t done before.  Since I don’t ever want to upload something that poorly gets my point across, I have spent awhile to make sure I stay on track.  Ultimately, I have decided to wait for a more appropriate time (assuming I even get around to it) to rant about this year.

There will not be a review of Disney Channel’s Adventures in Babysitting (2016). To be honest, that movie is one of Disney Channel’s least bad. I say Disney “Channel” because nearly all of the pandering corporate nonsense of Disney goes into their 4 child-targeted channels.  Let me tell you, the only things worth watching on those annoying channels are the actually good Disney movies that they air every so often.  Even then, they fill up so much time with commercials it would take you 3 and ½ hours to watch The Incredibles!  Ok, this is not a Disney channel rant Erick, get back on track.  Point is, there are worse “original movies” on those channels (Teen Beach Movie, Radio Rebel, Frenemies, 16 Wishes, etc.) than Adventures in Babysitting.  I was mostly angry at the pretentious marketing, which called it, “The movie event of the summer!”  Here is what the movie boils down to; an unapologetic rip-off filled with youth (especially millennial) stereotypes, bland slapstick humor, and poor acting.  The only thing good about the movie is Sabrina Carpenter, who looks like she’s actually trying to have fun.   I thought the original film was a pretty decent comedy with a wildly original premise.  It does get kinda lost in a pile of awkward scenes and 80s cheese, but I do have to thank it for starting the careers of actress Elizabeth Shue and director Chris Columbus.  Again, sorry for the lack of review, but I just don’t have the time.  If you were wondering, I give it a grade of a D.

The last thing I have to tell you is that I will be at a camp from the 8th to the 12th of this month.  Therefore, I will be completely inactive on Twitter (let’s see how many followers I lose).  I will be back in time to review the sure-to-be-crappy Ben-Hur remake, but Jason Bourne is going to be put on hold.  By the way, I haven’t seen/reviewed Star Trek Beyond because I haven’t seen any of the previous films.

Thank you for understanding.  These last two weeks have been a bit crazy/stupid to me.  See ya in a week!

Update/My Thoughts On: 10 Cloverfield Lane

Ok, I have some explaining to do.  First, the reason I didn’t have a review for last Monday ( the 14th) was because I needed to watch Cloverfield before I saw 10 Cloverfield Lane.  It took FOREVER for the DVD to get to my house, so I was delayed.  I did review and publish Seven Samurai a few days earlier, which was to be the substitute.  Secondly, I didn’t choose to review Miracles from Heaven over Allegiant just because Miracles is a Christian movie.  I hate Divergent.  I couldn’t even make it through the entirety of the first movie!  Aside from being a rip-off of The Hunger Games (admit it, Divergent fans), the plot is annoyingly slow, the blandness of the acting would give Kevin Costner a run for his money, and the characters were either stereotypes or forgettable.  Sorry guys, I’m bailing on Allegiant.  In the meantime, I saw 10 Cloverfield Lane, and it’s awesome!

Partially written by the writer of Whiplash (Damien Chazelle), 10 Cloverfield Lane stars: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, John Goodman, and John Gallagher Jr.  Premise-A woman (Winstead) has a car accident and wakes up to find that she is in a bunker with two men who tell her that the outside world is no longer safe, but can she trust them?

This movie is 2016’s It Follows.  It takes many horror concepts (and even a few clichés) and adds genuine suspense and creativity to create something new and original.  The plot is a brilliant combination of many horror sub-genres: claustrophobia/close-quarters, psychological terror, post-apocalypse, and a few others I can’t say because it would spoil the movie.  The best part about the story is that it keeps you guessing.  Never once was I correct in predicting a twist, a scare, or the ending (which is incredibly difficult to do, especially with horror).  By the way, this movie has nothing to do with the original Cloverfield movie (bar a hidden Easter egg I might have missed).  Don’t let the title (or J.J. Abrams attached name) fool you; it’s an entirely new storyline.  So yes, that literally means I had to sit through Cloverfield‘s terrible pacing and acting all for nothing (crap).  I didn’t know this because I don’t typically watch trailers or read plot synopsis’ (it shapes expectation, and I want to watch every movie as unbiased as possible in the theatre).

Let’s talk about the acting, specifically John Goodman.  My gosh, he gives one of the most terrifying performances in any horror movie ever made!  This is an Oscar (nomination) worthy performance!  His character is very complex, but Goodman manages to perfectly transition between charming, terrifying, funny, and threatening every time there is a cut.  I will legitimately be ticked off if he isn’t nominated, because the movie is worth watching just to see him!  The rest of the cast (aka three other actors) is fine.  Winstead is fine, and Gallagher Jr. is fine, then again I’m probably just overjoyed about John Goodman (with good reason).

The opening of 10 Cloverfield Lane is done without dialog (using visual storytelling very well), and the writing as a whole is solid.  It does bear more than one resemblance to Misery, but the abundance of concepts and creativity tells me that they were not trying to rip off Misery.  But the best part about this movie is that there are no jumpscares.  I cannot stress that enough, this is a horror movie (modern day horror no less) that has not a single jumpscare!  I was expecting one every other scene, but each time they surprised me by building tension instead of throwing some loud sound effect in my face (even It Follows was guilty of that).  The score is haunting, and the F/X whilst cheap, are not overused.

The only thing I didn’t like about this movie was the ending.  The climax goes on for too long, some laws of physics are completely ignored, and it’s pretty much the definition of “we’re trying way too hard to force a sequel,” logic.  It should have ended more ambiguously; it’s a blemish on an otherwise extraordinary film.  10 Cloverfield Lane gets Guy’s Guru Grade of an A-.

Top Ten WORST Movies of 2015

So, 2015 is finally over. Looking back, it wasn’t that bad of a year. We (or at least I) did have “The summer of disappointments” but overall, the year wasn’t nearly as bad as it could have been. Then again, that could have just been my impossibly high expectations. Either way, this year actually added a lot of culture to cinema. We got 5 films which entered IMDb’s Top 250 Movies, and we also got 5 films (of widely varying quality) which grossed over a billion dollars at the worldwide box office (that’s a record)! Sadly, we were treated to a superfluous amount of sequels, remakes, spin-offs, and borderline stupid movies throughout the year, and it is my job (and decision more importantly) to go over the worst this year has to offer (yay…). Before I begin, I have to acknowledge that some of my opinions/views on many of the movies that came out earlier last year have changed a bit (opinions can change when you throw months of contemplation into the mix).

First, some ground rules.

  • The movies that appear on this list must have had a theatrical release (at least in the U.S.); it must not be a straight to video movie (so no Outcast, The Ridiculous 6, etc.).
  • Only movies which I have seen start to finish can be on this list.
  • The movies on this list will not be ranked by the grades I gave them in their reviews. I have taken the movies I believe to be the worst of the worst and compared the heck out of them; the order of which these films descend is the result of those comparisons.
  • This list relies much on my personal bias and opinions. This isn’t a review; it’s a countdown of what I thought to be the worst of the year.

Alright, let’s get this over with.


#10 – Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials

I’m going to be frank here, I am extraordinarily glad that the “young adult vs. evil corporation/government genre” is finally starting to die. Granted, we did get a few good gems here and there, The Maze Runner is one of them. Of course it had its flaws (doesn’t every movie?), but the action, intrigue, and set pieces kept my interest and even managed to earn a respectable B+ grade from me (more like a B- now, but whatever). Too bad the dang sequel had absolutely none of that! Seriously, this movie is boring! The CGI is even worse than the first movie, the characters are forgettable, and the redundancy of the action scenes really becomes a problem after the first 30 minutes. Just watch the first movie instead.


#9 – Minions

I had a really difficult time deciding which movie deserved this spot on the list: Pan or Minions. I went with Minions because although Pan is (for the most part) bad, it was at least perplexingly bad (Blackbeard singing Nirvana? What?) and that led to some unintentional laughs and entertainment (even if it’s for the wrong reason, and that kept it off of this list). Minions was bad, but annoyingly so. The characters are forgettable or one-note, and the story (surprisingly) had some potential, but was instead just used as a contrived screenwriting device to get the minions from place to place. I can’t believe so many professional companies are making the mistake of putting the comic relief in the spotlight: Nickelodeon with Planet Sheen, Pixar with Cars 2, Netflix with All Hail King Julien, and now Illumination Entertainment with Minions. The one thing all of these products have in common is the poor quality. Sure, the animation is pretty, but that’s about the only creative thing about Minions. Watch one of the Despicable Me movies if you want both entertainment and substance. On a side note, this movie is one of the highest grossing films of this year (it’s over 1 billion and still rising) so this will tell all the greedy executives that they can get away with making these kinds of products for cheap and still make a profit.


#8 – Poltergeist

Pan may be stupid, but hardly ever did it insult/offend me or anything else connected to it (save for the story of Peter Pan itself). The COMPLETELY unnecessary Poltergeist remake did insult my intelligence (and the original film), multiple times! Here’s how bad this movie is. If the original Poltergeist never existed and the remake was completely original, it would still be a horrible film! The scares are cheap, the characters are clichéd, the F/X are obvious, and the story is basic. The original was a major influence on the horror genre because it knew how to set up an environment which the audience could easily relate to and add a supernatural element which could interest (not just scare) both the likeable characters and the audience. The remake uses overdone tropes and clichés in hopes of making a quick buck off of a familiar product (aka every remake ever pretty much). That being said, this movie is “A” worthy compared to the crap on the rest of this list. Like….


#7 – Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2

Truth be told, I had no idea this movie existed until I saw the Rotten Tomatoes rating (which is currently at 5%) which was not pleasant. Let me tell you, this movie sucks. It is: mean-spirited, poorly acted, clichéd, completely forgettable, and worst of all, not funny. What else is there to say that I haven’t already stated in my review? Don’t watch this movie! Adam Sandler produced 5 movies this year, only one of which was good (Hotel Transylvania 2), Paul Blart 2 was the first, and pretty close to the worst.

#6 – Taken 3 (which I don’t have a review for)

If Olivier Megaton ever makes another action film, I think the art of cinema itself will cry out in agony! I love Taken, I love Liam Neeson, I love action films, I FREAKING HATE the Taken sequels! While most of the blame should definitely go to Megaton, the story, acting, and editing is just as horrid. While Taken 2’s biggest problem was the stupid writing, Taken 3’s biggest problem was the hyperactive, quick-cut, eyesight-ruining editing! Seriously, the editing in this movie is the worst editing I have seen in a movie, ever! There is a scene where Bryan talks to Lenore in a kitchen. Sounds like a quiet scene right? No explosions, villains, or any of that, the scene was supposed to develop the characters. However, (and this scene is when I noticed how bad the editing was) the cuts were just as quick and shaky as they are in the rest of the movie! I kid you not, this movie cuts every two seconds, sometimes in even less time than that! I watched this film on DVD with my Dad (because we knew this movie was gonna suck) and he quit watching it after the first 40 minutes. I had to pause the movie multiple times so I could rest my eyes! I received two headaches that required aspirin to fix! The editors of this movie (who have only edited appalling action movies) should be blacklisted and kicked out of the cinema industry for good. Oh, but that’s not the only problem with this movie. Here’s a question for you, “What the heck is Oscar winner Forest Whitaker doing in this pile of garbage?!” What a sad, disappointing waste of talent. We all love Taken, so let’s do it a favor and forget the sequels were ever made.


#5 – Pixels

Some critics were personally insulted by this movie much more than I was because they are retro gamers, but I was insulted nonetheless because the art of cinema was butchered with this movie! The visuals are Oscar worthy, but that is literally the only redeeming thing about this entire movie! The acting is lazy, the writing is lazy, the jokes are lazy, and the climax is filled with so many plot holes, that you could filter seawater into clean drinking water with it! Seen any lazy Adam Sandler movies in the last decade and a half? If so, then you have seen Pixels. Besides the premise and F/X, every lazy joke and character can be found in: Grown Ups, Click, Eight Crazy Nights, etc. Avoid this waste of time at all costs!


#4 – Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip (that person is currently having a very bad day)

For the love of all things holy in this world, can we please stop making these stupid, clichéd, annoying, movies based off of a franchise that should have died 20 years ago! Good freaking gosh, this movie was annoying! Again, not the worst film in this *shudders in disgust* quadrilogy, but certainly not a decent film either! If you guys wanted to know what a bad day for a film critic looks like, it would be the day I had to watch and review this stinker. Do you know the worst thing about this movie? It was supposed to be released on Christmas day, but they decided to move up the release date to the day The Force Awakens was released. Yes, the freaking chipmunks had the gall to be released not just on the same day as a Star Wars movie, but what is probably the most anticipated movie of all time!!! Now I can add “pretentious” to the egregious list of problems in this movie.


#3 – Fantastic Four

You know what? I don’t give a crap whose fault it was that made this movie so bad: Josh Trank, the writers, the nonexistent chemistry between the actors, or the producers putting pressure on Trank. What matters is that EVERYBODY dropped the ball on this one, that’s for sure! What’s funny is that the behind-the-scenes drama is not an excuse because Jaws had just as many off-screen issues and yet it managed to be both a critical and box office hit. Fantastic Four is the most boring superhero movie in existence (and if you say Unbreakable is, I’m going to punch you). That is a major problem because it’s a superhero movie man! It also came out during the comic book movie renaissance no less! I guess no one can give this blue clad group of heroes the film they really deserve.


#2 – Terminator Genisys

I had a difficult time deciding if Fantastic Four should go here or Genisys. Here’s what made the decision for me: Fantastic Four didn’t have much to compare to as all of the Fantastic Four films which preceded it were awful. On the other hand, Terminator Genisys had two of the best action movies of all time to live up to (cinematic milestones as well). Not only did it fail at that, but it straight up insults the originals, and by extension: the audience, fans of the franchise, and cinema itself! Chris Nashawaty (someone I hardly ever agree with) stated in his review of Genisys, “Since then [the release of Terminator 2], the series has been on a steady decline with 2003’s Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines and 2009’s Terminator Salvation—two sequels which had no real reason to exist other than as brand-awareness cash grabs.” I couldn’t agree with him more. What makes Genisys worse than the Rise of the Machines or Salvation, is the fact that it intentionally screwed up the near perfect story in the first two by trying to re-write something that should have been left alone. There’s a popular saying, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” This movie has provided the best proof that this saying is indeed, valid. The negatives don’t end there though! The acting is abysmal (also, they completely wasted J.K. Simmons), the effects are average, the action is forgettable, and the freaking trailer ruined the only interesting moments in the whole dang movie! Much like Taken 3, let us forget this movie ever existed and let it fade into oblivion.
Dishonorable Mentions (to “borrow” a phrase from WatchMojo)


This movie is produced by Michael Bay, do you need any more information? In all seriousness, this movie has its moments. Some of the effects are impressive, and certain parts of the story are very interesting, but that’s about all you will find in this average production.

Here is a sci-fi movie which blatantly rips off other (better) science fiction forms of media. Accompanied by poor characters, and subpar acting, Chappie is a visually dazzling, but substance lacking waste of time.

A blemish on DreamWorks Animation’s impressive record would perfectly describe this dated, but harmless child marketed film.

As I said above, Pan is a stupid, obnoxious, CGI-induced failure of a fantasy film. It’s not over-the-top enough to be entertaining through and through (like Pirates of the Caribbean) and it’s not dramatic, or written well enough to build a personal connection to (like The Lord of the Rings). However, it’s at least enjoyable to poke fun at.

Depressing and uninteresting from start to finish, Joy is not worth having your emotions wrung through a wringer just so David O. Russel can win an Oscar. It does have its moments, but they are very few and far between.
I had my thoughts that this movie would be #1 since the start of the list, but I also had my doubts. After considering what other options I had, I knew it would come down to this. Thinking about this movie even today, the rage and pain resurfaces within me. The absolute WORST movie released in 2015 (that I have seen) was the stupid, cheap, immature, lazily-written, insulting, pretentious, poorly acted, potential-wasting, four-flushing, vulgar, talent-sucking, dirt-eating, cringe-inducing, crap generating, ignorant, rip-offish, obnoxious, pile of monkey s*** remake/sequel,

#1 – Vacation

Films on this list may have depressed me, exhausted me, bored me, and gotten me riled up a bit, but no film last year has enraged me as much as this witless remake did. In my review, I was going to talk about John Hughes at some point, but I decided to talk about him before I said anything else, otherwise I ran the risk of making the whole review just me shouting obscenities and run-on sentences (can’t have that). Sure, everyone has their bias. Personally I haven’t met anyone who loves the classic works of John Hughes more than I do, so it would only make sense that a movie which disgraces one of Hughes’ best to such a devastating degree would tick me off more than the next guy. However, this movie would tick off anyone! It has out-of-nowhere gore, stereotypes, gross-out, cheap sex puns and references, vulgarity up the yin yang, and not a trace of the charm of the original. What’s really shocking is how many talented people they had in this movie! I won’t go over them again, but I wasn’t lying when I said in the review that everyone’s talents were wasted in this pointless movie! I despise this movie with a burning passion, and I hope that I will never have to get this angry ever again, although given the tendencies of Hollywood that’s not likely.


Holy heck that was difficult! Thank you all for staying with me for such a long amount of time. It means quite a lot to me, because when I have to stomach heinous films like the ones on this list, I remind myself that you enjoy my content and that helps to keep me going. What did you guys think about this list? Happy New Year everyone, and I will have my Top Ten Best Films of 2015 out soon.


*EDIT* I don’t know what happened with my Project Almanac and Poltergeist (2015) reviews. I believe I posted those reviews early in 2015, but something must have gone wrong with WordPress. This shouldn’t happen again, in the meantime, the reposts are up (you’ll need them as reference points for this list).

Update-December/My Thoughts On: Krampus

Many of you may be wondering where the heck I have been for the last few weeks. Well, I had finals. There you go. Needless to say, my first final exams for college courses took up even more of my time. I apologize for not having reviews for: Krampus, Spotlight, and In the Heart of the Sea. However, I was able to catch a late showing of Krampus recently so I am able to write a “My Thoughts On” for it.

Now for some good news. The end of the year is approaching, and with that comes big changes for me. For one, I’m going on a vacation (a well-deserved one I’d say). Now that I am done with this semester, I will be able to “evolve” my reviews into something much more, shall I say, entertaining. I will keep this surprise a secret because I have no idea when I will be able to reveal this plan. My reviews will continue throughout this month and there will be a list or two appearing very soon.   Now on to the review, thoughts, thing, you know what I mean!

Directed and (partially) written by Michael Dougherty, Krampus is about a family who is hunted and stalked by Santa Claus’ evil polar opposite; Krampus. I guess the director of one of the biggest cult classics of all time (Trick ‘r Treat) would eventually get to make another film at some point. The opening scene is hilarious (and it surprisingly moves the plot forward), Adam Scott and Conchata Ferrell get the funniest lines in the movie, there are a few genuinely suspenseful scenes, and there is an exposition scene (like the ones in Pan, Deathly Hallows Part 1, or Lady in the Water) which is done with stylized stop-motion animation (for whatever reason). It honestly makes me wonder why the movie itself wasn’t done completely in animation! We could have possibly gotten another Coraline or Monster House (another cult classic)! Heck, the movie would be even better because the designs of some of these monsters look too ridiculous to be taken seriously (or considered scary for that matter).

Speaking of the monsters: their costumes and designs range from creatively creepy to creatively stupid, but at least they are practical effects (unlike Goosebumps). But what brings this movie down the most for me was two things; the ending and the characters. I thought the movie was going to end at three different times, but the actual ending felt a bit unnecessary. I think they changed this because the (possibly original) ending was too dark (it is very dark), but they changed it at the last minute. As for the characters, most of them are very unlikable and annoying, which is the last thing you (as a filmmaker) want when the audience is supposed to care about these trapped people. Yeah, the story of this movie is pretty flawed, but I wasn’t expecting anything special anyway.

Overall, this movie is not a complete waste of time. It has its moments, but I’d rather re-watch The Visit, Hotel Transylvania 2, or save my money for the huge amount of hyped movies coming out this December. Krampus gets Guy’s Guru Grade of a C. Thank you for staying with me and continuing to view my content, you guys rock!