Our Ten’s List: Least Anticipated Movies of 2018.
Some times you can spot a box office bomb a mile away. Here we sniff out ten scheduled for the first half of 2018.
Last week we looked at ten movies that got us excited to head to the theater. This week we look at ten movies that have us looking for the exits. Dumb stories, unworkable premises, bad acting, or worse, these ten flicks are bad news. Just like our most anticipated list, we’ve limited ourselves to the first half of the year. This way there’s at least some promotional materials and a trailer to go by…unless you’re Han Solo, at which point you’re on this list precisely because there’s no promotional material! We’ve also decided to rank our choices since some of these movies might -just might- wind up being OK.
Ten Least Anticipated Movies of 2018. (January – June)
10. 12 Strong (Jan. 19)
In the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, a covert team of special operatives is sent to Afghanistan in order to hit back at the Taliban and Al-Qaeda.
Why We’re Leery: Movies about the US-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have been either jingoistic action fests or maudlin salutes to the troops that ignores the actual facts. Besides some excellent documentaries, we haven’t had a balanced accounting of the conflict. Bluntly put, we just haven’t achieved the emotional or psychological distance to actually make a decent film about this subject As such, this movie feels like another dose of gung-ho patriotism with just the lightest whiff of soul searching.
Another red flag is how much this film looks like a big sloppy action movie. I’m not sure if it’s because Jerry Bruckheimer is producing it or because the more somber war flicks have made lousy money, but this film’s trailer looks for all the world like they’re remaking Rambo III. That’s not a great look in 2018.
9. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (Jun. 22)
Well, if man-eating dinosaurs weren’t bad enough, Isla Nublar is about to explode. Pretty much literally. So the responsible thing to do is
let them all die rescue them dinos!
Why We’re Leery: We just got done panning a movie because it looks like a big sloppy action flick…and now we’ve got a big sloppy disaster flick dressed up like a Jurassic Park movie. This trailer is a mess! There’s not enough of the considerable Chris Pratt charm in the world to sell a dinosaur morality parable full of explosions…again. Maybe this will be fine for mindless popcorn chomping, but so far Jurassic World 2 looks to be a hot garbage fire.
8. Rampage (Apr. 20)
In the live-action adaptation of the quarter-muncher Rampage, we have The Rock trying to stop a giant gorilla, wolf, and
Godzilla lizard from pulverizing a city.
Why We’re Leery: Live. Action. Video Game. Adaptation. Of Rampage. Starring The Rock. The levels of incredulity needed to buy in to this premise is staggering.
If Jurassic World looked like a big sloppy disaster flick, Rampage makes it look like Gone with the Wind. I know The Rock can sell pretty much any film based on his charisma and charm…but this is one heavy lift. This had to be some sort of dare where studio execs bet Dwayne that he couldn’t possibly get people to watch a movie based on the shallowest arcade game of the 1980’s. What’s next, Karl Urban and Adam Driver starring in Bad Dudes?
Wait, that sounds amazing. Somebody call Sony, they’ll make any damn movie.
7. Sgt. Stubby: An American Hero (Apr. 13)
On the eave of World War I, a new recruit finds a stray dog who joins him on his journey to the front lines.
Why We’re Leery: The animation quality here is pretty low. The backgrounds look flat and static and the character models would be hard pressed to stand out on TV let alone at the movie theater. While the film is based on a true story, I’m struggling to see how this movie is relevant. Just because Wonder Woman revived WW1 as a setting doesn’t mean you need to run out and make any old WW1 story.
6. The War with Grandpa (Feb. 23)
When grandpa moves in, a young boy has to give up having his own room. That’s a good enough premise to base a comedy about inter-generational warfare, right?
Why We’re Leery: Leave good enough alone, Robert DeNiro. We have a whole career’s worth of amazing movies to look back fondly upon…and even a few decent comedies if we really wanted to see you generate a few chuckles. We don’t need another reason to put an asterisk next to your “lifetime achievement” Oscar. As it is, we’re desperately trying to forget all of the raunchy comedies you’ve been pumping out in the last decade.
5. Blockers (Apr. 6)
When they learn their daughters plan to lose their virginity at a blow-out party, pearl-clutching parents scramble to ruin any chance of teenage nookie.
Why We’re Leery: I wish I could say definitively that, John Cena, you’re better than this. I think you’re better than this. I would like to believe in my heart that you’re better than this. So how about we both operate on the premise that you are indeed better than this cringe-worthy sex comedy. While we’re at it, Kay Cannon, who directed the Pitch Perfect movies, is also very likely to be better than this. For the benefit of everyone attached, lets go ahead and pretend that this doesn’t exist.
4. Sherlock Gnomes (Mar. 23)
Oh. Wow. Gnomeo and Juliette wasn’t a one-off movie! This is technically a sequel, where “Sherlock Gnomes” has to help our pair solve the case of missing garden gnomes. Holy balls.
Why We’re Leery: I don’t think, outside of the 1930’s Borscht Belt comedy circuit, there is anyone who likes a lousy pun as much as I do. That being said, even I know that “Sherlock Gnomes” is a piss-poor pun to hang an entire movie off of. I honestly can’t believe that this gnome-based wordplay gimmick got one movie, let alone a sequel. I think everyone attached to this should just call it a day and go gnome. See, I can make crappy puns, too.
3. God’s Not Dead: A Light in Darkness (Mar. 30)
After his church burns down, a local pastor
refuses to take a hint must turn to his brother, an atheist, for legal help in rebuilding.
Why We’re Leery: Oh, it wouldn’t be a “least anticipated” list without some God-bothering nonsense. Let me save you some time: because God is totally awesome and totally not dead, the atheist brother comes to love Jeebus with his whole little heart after taking the case. These movies are a hot commodity with the faithful because they tell them exactly what they want to hear. No matter how implausible the scenario, the the poor put-upon white Christian male overcomes the odds…of possessing literally all the privileges our country can possibly give him. Yay, God!
2. Winchester: The House that Ghosts Built (Feb. 2)
A grieving widow and heiress to the Winchester rifle fortune builds a labyrinthine house in order to contain the evil spirits of gun violence victims that she believes to be haunting her. A psychiatrist sent to get her declared insane starts to see evil spirits as well.
Why We’re Leery: Oh, the reasons –
- This film looks awful, as in it looks cheap and shallow.
- This trailer is chock full of cheesy jump scares and nothing else remotely frightening.
- This trailer makes Helen Mirren look like the crazy old lady from “The Frighteners.” That should be impossible and is shameful at the same time.
- Jason Clarke has a history of being in terrible movies, for precisely the reason that he can’t react to stimuli appropriately and feels like a robot.
Honestly, if Han Solo didn’t look like it is quickly becoming a cluster-fuck of Biblical proportions, I would say this would be my pick for worst movie of the year, sight unseen. The parts that don’t make me roll my eyes audibly make me want to heckle the movie. Somebody should tell Mrs. Winchester that all of the shrieking around her house isn’t ghosts, it’s the NRA preemptively foaming at the mouth about a movie that even has the temerity to say the phrase “gun violence victims.” I can’t wait to see how epically bad this movie’s premier is.
1. Solo: A Star Wars Story (May 25)
A stand-alone story about Young Han Solo. BECAUSE ABSOLUTELY NOBODY ASKED FOR ONE.
Why We’re Leery: Oh, I don’t know. Maybe because this movie has been hemorrhaging cast and crew. Maybe because Disney felt they needed to fire the directors and bring in Ron Fucking Howard to save this turkey. Maybe because the studio is already preparing to write down the film as a loss according to insiders. Maybe because the film has been plagued by re-shoots and delays. For all of these reasons, you could suspect that the adventures of young Han Solo are going to be tragically bad.
I saved putting out this list for almost a week because Disney kept promising a trailer…and then pushing it back…and delaying…and then just straight up pretending it didn’t exist. This movie is a dumpster fire filled with what little nostalgia for Star Wars survived The Last Jedi. A smart studio would smother this movie in its crib. A smart audience would stay in a galaxy far far away from it.