Our Ten’s List: Least Anticipated Movies 2018, Part 2.

Our Ten's List: Least Anticipated Movies 2018, Part 2.

Our Ten’s List: Least Anticipated Movies 2018, Part 2.

We’ve talked up our most anticipated films, now it’s time for ten films that have us quaking in dread.

Into every life rain must fall, and into every cinemaplex a turkey must screen.  This July, Hollywood has already been hard at work pounding us over the head with sequels.  The bad news is that its going to get worse!  Here we collect ten upcoming flicks that look to disappoint in the second half of 2018.  As with the best list, we’ve got them in chronological order so the worst isn’t necessarily the last on the list.  unfortunately, like the most anticipated list, the movie god’s have worked it so that the last film is indeed deserving of the top spot.  It’s a goddamned Transformers movie after all!

Our Ten's List: Least Anticipated Movies 2018, Part 2.
From the heart of hell, I spit at thee, Michael Bay!

Our Ten’s List: Least Anticipated Movies 2018, Part 2.

10.  (Tie) Unfriended: Dark Web – July 20.   Searching – August 3.

Unfriended: Dark Web:  a group of teens open encrypted files on an abandoned laptop, only to find a series of disturbing snuff films.  When they video conference their findings, the group which owns the laptop makes them the objects of their next grisly video.

Searching:  the desperate father of a missing teen opens her laptop, hoping to use the information in her social media accounts to piece together the last hours before her disappearance.

Notice a trend in those descriptions?  Yeah, out of touch Hollywood is trying to get tech savvy with the young folks.  Too bad, like most film trends, it’s expiration date has already passed.  Both movies are also beating the same visual trick to death.  Trash horror movies are always looking for the next gimmick, and these two seem to have stumbled upon firing the cinematographer and using a grainy web-cam instead.  I It has the headache inducing low-fidelity of night-vision with the stomach churning shakiness of found footage.  We know these brainless horror movies cost a wooden nickle to make, you can stop trying to make them look even chintzier any time now.

9.  (Tie) Alpha – August 17.  A.X.L. – August 24.

Alpha: a young neolithic hunter (Kodi Smit-McPhee) is separated from his group when wolves attack.  The boy and a young wolf are both left for dead and must learn to cooperate in order to survive.

A.X.L.: a hard-scrabble teen with a passion for repairing motorcycles discovers a robotic canine.  Lost during a military exercise, the murder-bot bonds with the boy.  Things get problematic when the military and the robot’s creator both come looking to separate the boy and his dog.

How many dog movies are we going to get this year?  Sgt. Stubby already left a steaming “present” at the box office this spring.  We really don’t need two more canine duds, especially when the plots of each sound like a grade-schooler rushed them out on the bus the day they were due.  Does this have anything to do with the Chinese zodiac?  Let me check…and of course it goddamn does: 2018 is the year of the dog.  Screw you, Hollywood.  Bad dog.

Our Ten's List: Least Anticipated Movies 2018, Part 2.
Somebody needs to pull an “Old Yeller” on all this pandering to China!

8.  The Nun – September 7.

After a sister in a Romanian convent commits suicide under odd circumstances, the Vatican sends a priest and a novitiate to investigate.  Of course they find a demon haunting the cloister.  They always find a demon.

Another spin-off to The Conjuring series.  Every creepy image and jump scare from the original movies is going to get a dang spin-off.  I can’t wait for next summer when we get the harrowing tale of a spooky wooden chair, because James Wan used one for ten seconds in The Conjuring.  The plot here is about as generic as you can get for a haunting film.  Well, I would say “haunted house with creepy dolls in it” is more generic…but they covered that ground in Annabelle, so now they’re just going in order of blandness I assume.

7.  (Tie) Unbroken: Path to Redemption – September 14.  God Bless the Broken Road – September 21.

Unbroken: Path to Redemption:  In the first film, we followed the journey of Louis Zamperini.  A former Olympian, Zamperini was marooned on a life raft while serving in WW2 and then tortured in Japanese prisoner camps.  He made a promise to serve god during his ordeal, and the second film covers his return to America as he tries to fulfill his oath while dealing with PTSD and other afflictions.

God Bless the Broken Road: a single mother and war widow struggles to make ends meet and deal with her grief.  She meets a free spirited race car driver who brings her excitement but challenges her religious values.

I wondered when the holy rollers were going to try to sneak the usual faith-based crap into theaters.  Apparently the stars lined up, since both god bothering films are slated for September.  Unbroken was a decent film, backed by a full production and high values.  It helps that it was a good story, regardless of your churchmanship.  This feels like a cash grab, meant to trade on the recent passing of Billy Graham – who I hope is currently keeping the devil company.

God Bless the Broken Road is a preachy bit of heartland twaddle based on a country western song, so I don’t think I need to waste any more ink on that.  As usual, faith-based films rival horror films for awful production values, terrible acting and cliched stories.  At least horror films have some titties in them.

6.  A Star is Born – October 5.

A young woman with dreams of becoming a big star and a well-known musician struggling with addiction meet by chance.  As they develop a romance, her career is on the rise while his is quickly disintegrating.

Bradley Cooper is remaking a classic musical, and I can only ask why?  This is the 3rd remake of A Star is Born…unless you count the fact that La La Land was essentially a hipster version of A Star is Born.  Can another Hollywood vanity project featuring Cooper’s mediocre musical talents about stardom really be necessary?  Cooper is doubling down by directing and producing as well as starring.  The cast also features Lady GaGa and Andrew Dice Clay, so this is probably not going to be a train wreck of oversized egos at all!

5.  Venom – October 5.

Eddie Brock is a disgraced journalist who tries to resurrect his career by doing an exposé on the Life Foundation.  While crashing the secretive science laboratories, Eddie comes into contact with an alien life form that can transform him into the powerful creature named Venom…at the cost of his fraying sanity.

This project has been rumored and whispered about for years.  When the trailer finally dropped this year, it was a big pile of meh.  The character design doesn’t translate well from Todd McFarlane‘s anatomically challenged art style and the CG is not impressive.  None of the action sequences really pop.  For a character who can morph his body at will, Sony seems to think stretchy arms is going to impress us. This spin-off also suffers from one of the recurrent problems with Hollywood spin offs, that of trying to make a bad guy into a protagonist.  Nothing on display here has got me buying what Sony’s selling.

4.  The Nutcracker and the Four Realms – November 2.

Clara seeks a key that will unlock a cherished heirloom from her mother.  To find it she follows a golden thread into the magical realms of Snowflakes, Flowers, and Sweets  There is a fourth realm, however, ruled by a tyrant queen that Clara must brave in order to find what she seeks.

The live-action Disney films continue apace, all glitter and lace and cookie cutter plot lines.  I think my vision blurred during the trailer; was I watching something about the Nutcracker or yet another Alice in Wonderland/Huntsman flick?  The babe in toy-land versus the wicked queen routine is getting old.  And no, remaking all of your old animated films over with CG does not count as variety!

3.  Robin Hood – November 21.

Robin of Loxley, returned from the Crusades, finds merry Olde England ruled by tyranny and greed.  He decides to take a stand and run a populist/nationalist campaign moonlight as the prince of thieves, Robin Hood.

Wow.  Just wow.  Hollywood learned exactly nothing from Guy Ritchie’s spectacular belly-flop remake of King Arthur.  Historical action films have been the plague at the box office for nearly a decade, and even Ridley Scott couldn’t top Kevin Costner’s cheesy but iconic take on the role of Robin Hood.  Good luck to the cocky little cockney bastard from Kingsman trying to fill that quiver!

2.  Dr Seuss’ The Grinch – November 9.

The Grinch.  He tries to steal Christmas.  You know the score here.

We’ve already got a classic animated take on Seuss’ biggest Christmas story, and a passable live action version.  This film looked like it was going to distinguish itself by telling an interesting origin story for the fuzzy green scrooge, but the trailer makes it clear that we’re just going to be embroidering the story everyone knows instead.  Of all the items on this list, I’d imagine this one to be the least awful.  It just feels a tad unnecessary, and could have done something new and exciting.

1.  Bumblebee – December 21.

An origin story about the Transformer Bumblebee.  You know, the one without any dialogue?  Hoo boy…

I usually disqualify Transformers flicks off the bat, since they’re all shit and anyone who doesn’t know that by now is far past warning.  This spin-off, however has one major difference: no Michael Bay. Travis Knight (Kubo and the Two Strings) is in the directors chair, and brings a much different sensibility to the project.  There’s actually some tenderness..and none of the crassness Bay thinks is hilarious.  All that being said, while I wish Knight all the best, I’m not fool enough to put faith in a Transformers movie.  Bay is still producing the thing, after all!

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