Top 10 Worst Movies of 2016

Another year is almost upon us. It’s time to look back on the good and the bad.

2016 has been one crazy year. We missed a lot of people including David Bowie, Alan Rickman, Gene Wilder, Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds, Prince, George Michael, and so on. They are leaving a hell of a legacy behind them. On the other hand, 2016 has been another wonderful year for film. Plenty of movies that surprised me and exceeded my expectations. However, I cannot remember the last time so many movies flopped—both critically and financially. It’s disappointing to see good movies such as The BFG and Kubo and the Two Strings not earning the money it deserved. I’m actually glad some movies I missed out on flopped.

Like I usually do, let’s start off with the worst movies of the year. There were plenty of films I’ve seen in 2016 I would definitely like to forget. This year has seen some great actors wasting their talents, more rip-offs to better young-adult adaptations, some of the worst comedies imaginable, and a CGI-fueled clash between two of the greatest superheroes. Without further ado, here’s my list of the top ten worst movies of 2016.

Dishonorable Mentions: Free State of Jones, Hardcore Henry, A Hologram for the King, I Saw the Light, Independence Day: Resurgence, Regression, Sausage Party, Suicide Squad

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(Source: The Verge)

10. Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice – I knew this film was not going to be any good after Ben Affleck was announced to play Batman. That was three years ago after the release of Man of Steel (which I mildly enjoyed)! Finally seeing it in theaters, Ben Affleck and Gal Gadot are the only decent things about this cluttered, derivative mess. Zack Snyder cannot even direct a compelling narrative that had a lot of potential for making up the problems Man of Steel had. If the best part in the movie is the opening, that’s not a good sign. The tone is so dead serious that it almost bored me to tears. Not to mention the climactic fight between these two superheroes being overhyped—it’s just them crashing into walls. Batman vs. Superman is a disgrace to two of the best superheroes of all-time. How can they ruin such a great supervillain like Lex Luthor? Jesse Eisenberg is impossible to take seriously.

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(Source: The Los Angeles Times)

9. Warcraft – For someone who has never played any of the World of Warcraft video games, I had a feeling this might be a new fantasy classic and would end the streak of bad video game adaptations. Duncan Jones, who directed Source Code, one of the greatest science-fiction films in recent memory, showed some footage to his father David Bowie before his death in January. It is, without a doubt, a nice thing to do; being curious on what someone’s son has been working on. From seeing the final product, all I could say is this: What the hell happened?

This fantasy epic—more like, an epic failure—has visuals that look pretty cool (I mean, look at the Orcs!), but the green screen effects are atrociously obvious. I wish the mythology would have been explored more. Some of the humor is forced, the battles are a bore, and features a huge waste of talent from such a solid cast. I’m glad Ben Foster went somewhere after this dud. Warcraft is a movie for gamers, by gamers.

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(Source: IndieWire)

8. Jane Got a Gun – The popularity of the Western genre has decreased since Clint Eastwood’s Award-winning film Unforgiven. There are plenty of Westerns that came out after 2000 that were actually great; 3:10 to Yuma and the 2010 remake of True Grit are some examples. Of course, there were plenty of misfires over the years. Jane Got a Gun is no exception. Being in production for many years, the movie ended up being released in 1,200 theaters nationwide. Resulting in becoming one of the biggest box-office bombs of the year. Director Gavin O’Connor (Warrior, The Accountant) and three writers including star Joel Edgerton had created a character study and revenge tale that is neither interesting nor exciting. Natalie Portman plays Jane Hammond, a frontierswoman, who seeks revenge on a gang, led by Ewan McGregor’s John Bishop, after attacking her husband—sound familiar? The overuse of flashbacks doesn’t make up to really sympathize with any of the characters. Portman, Edgerton and McGregor seem lost here. The final showdown is a bit of an anticlimax. By the end, Jane Got a Gun proves where the Western genre is going.

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(Source: IMDb)

7. The Huntsman: Winter’s War – I was excited to see this when I heard Frank Darabont was going to direct the sequel to Snow White and the Huntsman. He directed two of the best Stephen King adaptations of all-time—The Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile. Not to mention the bland Kristen Stewart not returning to reprise her role as Snow White. Even though I found its predecessor to be average, The Huntsman: Winter’s War disappointed me on a gargantuan level.

This movie has no idea what it wants to be. A prequel? A sequel? Or a Frozen rip-off? The cast is trying really hard here; Chris Hemsworth and Jessica Chastain are two of the most charming actors working today. But, they have no chemistry whatsoever, and their Scottish accents are horrible. Charlize Theron had little to nothing to do here as the Queen Ravenna. And Emily Blunt is at her absolute worse as Freya the Snow Queen. Her mumbling and sudden outbursts reminded me so much of Eddie Redmayne’s “villainous” performance in last year’s Jupiter Ascending. If anyone is suffering from insomnia, listening to the dialogue from The Huntsman: Winter’s War would certainly help you get a good night’s sleep.

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(Source: IMDb)

6. Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising – Seth Rogen is one of the most overrated comedians in recent memory. Ever since Superbad (which I didn’t mind him in), he plays the same character over and over again. The R-rated animated comedy Sausage Party made me lost my appetite, but Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising was much worse.

Even though I somewhat enjoyed Neighbors, it went a little too far with its humor. Especially having way too many dick jokes. When they got it right, they got it right! Was a Neighbors 2 really necessary? If I saw this in theaters, I would have walked within ten minutes. Watching this in the comfort of my own home resulted in a painful film-watching experience. It’s raunchier and a lot nastier than its predecessor. One of the early scenes involving Mac and Kelly’s (Rogen and Rose Byrne reprising their roles) daughter—now a toddler—holding a dildo sums up the film’s humor. I did chuckle a few times throughout the 90-minute duration, but I didn’t laugh out loud. The dramatic moments felt forced and the craziness of the sorority felt tiresome. How come Seth Rogen and Zac Efron became good friends at the end of the first film even though they were big enemies is beyond me. Chloe Grace Moretz is a talented young actress, but she needs to take a break from raunchy comedies and young-adult adaptations, which leads to a perfect segue to my pick for number five.

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(Source: comingsoon.net)

5. The 5th Wave – Another misfire starring Chloe Grace Moretz. Instead of fighting against neighbors, she’s fighting to save the world. The 5th Wave had promise early on when they talked about the different disasters Earth had faced leading up to the potential “Fifth Wave”, where kids are separated into military-based groups to save the world from aliens. Then, it quickly goes to generic and predictable territory. With the popularity of The Hunger Games, everyone apparently decided to make these rip-offs to attract teenagers. Moretz is trying her hardest to save it from being an absolute disaster. I don’t know what the hell Live Schreiber was thinking when he signed to do this film. The lack of originality, bland performances from everybody, and the mundanity of its narrative and direction wasn’t enough to hold my attention.

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(Source: Collider)

4. Yoga Hosers – If you any of you seen him in interviews, Kevin Smith is one of the most awesome people working today. Not only does he create some funny and honest films such as Clerks and Chasing Amy, he also knows a lot about comic books. After a very limited theatrical release, his second entry in his True North trilogy—the first being Tusk, which I avoided like the plague—has earned its cult status on Netflix. I have never seen anything this absurd and irritating in my life! Lily-Rose Depp and Harley Quinn Smith play two teenagers who spend most of their time on their smartphones and playing in a band while working at a Winnipeg convenience store. One night, they fight off Nazis in the form of bratwursts. It’s definitely as bad as it sounds.

These two actresses do have long careers ahead of them, but they play two of the most annoying characters I’ve seen all year. Not only are the Canadian stereotypes are appalling, it also features godawful one-liners and even worse jokes that it made my jaw drop. And Johnny Depp is just doing his usual Depp-isms, but in a French-Canadian accent. I cannot listen to “Babe” by Styx the same way ever again.

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(Source: Flavorwire)

3. Mother’s Day – The world said goodbye to Garry Marshall this past summer when he passed away from pneumonia. He is one of the most down-to-earth people in the world, but it doesn’t change the fact that his movies aren’t entirely good. Mother’s Day, his last directed film, follows the same structure as his previous two duds—Valentine’s Day and New Year’s Day (which I’m not going to bother with). Where we see several different storylines of different people on how they go on with their lives during a certain holiday. This movie feels more like a two-hour long sitcom episode than an actual film. It has every single stereotype in the book—from gay people to people of different races (case in point, Indian people). The jokes are horrendous and the story arcs just come off as syrupy. Not to mention one embarrassing scene where the mother (Margo Martindale) of two sisters (Kate Hudson and Sarah Chalke) doesn’t get a warm welcome due to seeing one of her daughters coming out of the closet. With an all-star cast including Jennifer Aniston, Jason Sudeikis, Julia Roberts, and Garry Marshall-regular Hector Elizondo (one of the saving graces of Valentine’s Day), I could see the outcome of each arc coming from a mile away. Julia Robert’s wig plays out as a much better character.

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(Source: IMDb)

2. Dirty Grandpa – How can a great actor like Robert De Niro waste his talent in such a dreadful piece of work? It’s easy! Have him do a scene where his grandson (welcome back to the list, Zac Efron!) catches him masturbating through porn. That’s not the worst of it. I have never been so close to walking out of a theater when I saw Dirty Grandpa back in January. Every scene gets worse and worse. From De Niro making jokes about his grandson’s fiancée’s pink VW beetle to having a nude Efron waking up on a beach from a hangover wearing nothing but a bumblebee fanny pack with beer bottles surrounding him to De Niro cursing more than he does in every single Scorsese movie he has been in combined. No one tries to be funny, and every single character annoyed me to the point where I could not take it anymore. Once Dirty Grandpa was finally over, I literally walked out of the theater in shock. I went home to watch Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho to get the bad taste out of my mouth. But—at least it’s not the worst movie I’ve seen this year.

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(Source: AskMen)

1. Nine Lives – A lot of people, like myself, thought this movie was a damn joke after watching the preview. Sadly, it’s a real movie about Kevin Spacey playing a successful NYC businessman who wants to buy his daughter a cat for her birthday. An accident leads him to the hospital, and his body is put inside the cat by a cat-store owner/cat whisperer (Christopher Walken, who looked like he walked on the set to star in the sequel to Click). What makes this Shaggy Dog rip-off (The Shaggy Cat?) so awful is that Barry Sonnenfeld directed it. He went from directing Men in Black, one of the funniest sci-fi films of the 20th century, to directing this puddle of cat piss. Not only was the film not funny at all, even Kevin Spacey looked like he didn’t want to be a part of this movie. Even his “one-liners” sum up his feeling about this movie (“Just drown me,” he says when he is given a bath as a cat). I love cats, and I do admit the cat is gorgeous, but I have seen other cats portraying so much better performances than in Nine Lives (Keanu anyone?). Hell, I’ve seen better CGI in Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance than in this film. One of the subplots involves Spacey wanting to create the tallest building in the country, which will bore kids to tears with its talk about business. It’s just amazing how bad Nine Lives is!

I hope you enjoyed what my picks are for the worst films of 2016 as much as I did tearing them apart. Feel free to leave any comments about what are some bad movies you had to endure this year. Stay tuned for my list of the best movies of 2016.

2016 Summer Movie Preview: May

Time to forget about the crazy weather Maine has had last week, and focus on the upcoming releases for the next three months.

Yes, May is officially here; which means the summer movie season starts tomorrow. Compared to every year, 2016 is off to a decent start for film despite some disasters. I have a feeling this summer is going to kick ass with all the big blockbusters (not to mention sequels) as well as small, independent films (most of which premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival). I’m going to do the same thing as the last two years; talk about the ones that are getting a lot of attention and ones that look interesting to me. Without further ado, let’s get started with the films that are coming out this May.

May 6

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Captain America: Civil War It’s hard to believe it has already been eight years since the first Iron Man has released in theaters. With every major Marvel superhero—the Hulk, Thor, Captain America—getting their own movie (featuring some minor characters) before teaming up to save the world, everyone got hyped to find out that this is going to be a series. The MCU is now in its third phase. Captain America: Civil War introduces some of the same characters from the previous films as well as some new ones to the MCU (e.g. Spider-Man) is going to be more than just a superhero movie. Bring it on!

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A Bigger Splash (opened in limited theaters yesterday; expanding nationwide later this month) – Ralph Fiennes has had a ball this decade. From finishing the final two Harry Potter films as Lord Voldemort to becoming a charismatic concierge on a journey to prove his innocence in The Grand Budapest Hotel, he is going to have a blast here as a rock star on an Italian vacation in A Bigger Splash. I am down for something wild and thrilling.

May 13

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Money Monster – George Clooney, one of the highest-paid actors working today, plays a Wall Street expert whose live television show is interrupted by a broke investor (Unbroken’s Jack O’Connell, delivering his best “New Yawk” accent) who puts him and his producer (Julia Roberts) hostage in front of millions of viewers. It does sound intense enough. But with an all-star cast under the direction of Jodie Foster, this seems to be nothing but your standard thriller about the issues on Wall Street. I have a feeling this might perform poorly in the box office.

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The Darkness – I’m not a big fan of horror movies. Hell, most 21st century horror movies I’ve seen or heard about weren’t all that good, because of the over-reliance of gore and cheap scares. The Darkness has the potential of being good or bad. I will see anything starring Kevin Bacon, so maybe I’ll see it.

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The Lobster – This hit at last year’s Cannes Film Festival has one of the most oddly intriguing premises in recent years. Taking place in a futuristic society, people at a hotel must find love within 45 days. If that doesn’t happen, they turn into the spirit animal of their choice and released into the forest. An all-star cast featuring Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, John C. Reilly, Léa Seydoux, Ben Whishaw, among others are the direction of Yorgos Lanthimos. With dark comedy involved, The Lobster is one strange love story I’m looking forward to see.

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Love and Friendship – For over a hundred years, Jane Austen’s work has been adapted into some of the best movies of all-time (e.g. the 1940 and 2005 versions of Pride and Prejudice and the 1995 version of Sense and Sensibility) and even parodied (this year’s guilty pleasure Pride and Prejudice and Zombies). One of Austen’s least popular stories—Lady Susan—becomes adapted into one of Sundance’s big hits, starring Kate Beckinsale and Chloe Sevigny. For someone who has never read any of Austen’s work but seen some of her movies, this looks like one hysterical comedy of manners with beautiful sets and costumes.

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High-Rise (expanding nationwide in June) – Known for playing Loki in Thor and The Avengers, Tom Hiddleston is one of the biggest international sex symbols of this decade. He can be as intimidating as he is charming (I can see him take over for Daniel Craig as James Bond). He stars in what looks like one of the most stylish and insane thrillers directed by Ben Wheatley—High-Rise.

May 20

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The Nice Guys – Now that’s what I’m talking about! A comedy-thriller directed by Shane Black (Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang, Iron Man 3) and starring Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling as two detectives investigating a murder of a porn star in 1970s Los Angeles. Then, crap ensues. I had never laughed so hard during a trailer in a long time. I’m ready!

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The Angry Birds Movie – Ah—a corporate sellout, yay. I wouldn’t be surprised if kids will fall in love with this movie based on the beloved game. I’m pretty sure adults will be bored to death. Just because it features a star-studded voice cast, doesn’t make the movie look good.

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Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising – Is this really necessary? For someone who kind of enjoyed the first Neighbors (despite the countless dick jokes), nobody asked for a second film. Instead of facing against a fraternity next door, Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne, and Zac Efron battle a sorority. Skipping this one, for sure.

May 27

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X-Men: ApocalypseX-Men is one of my favorite superhero series. X-Men: First Class and X-Men: Days of Future Past both made up for the catastrophe known as The Last Stand by not only bringing back the mutants we know and love, but also introduce younger versions of them (except for Wolverine who is immortal). Bryan Singer returns the director’s chair to direct the younger mutants facing a new enemy. Please don’t be bad…please don’t be bad.

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Alice Through the Looking Glass – Yay, a sequel to the visually stunning yet disastrous 2010 remake of Alice in Wonderland. Skip!

Recap:

Most Anticipated: Captain America: Civil War, High-Rise, The Lobster, Love and Friendship, The Nice Guys, X-Men: Apocalypse

Least Anticipated: Alice Through the Looking Glass, The Angry Birds Movie, Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising

I hope you enjoyed reading on what my thoughts are on several movies for the month of May. Tell me in the comments below on what your most anticipated movies are for the month of May. Stay tuned for a movie preview for the month of June after Memorial Day. Take care.

2014 Summer Movie Review: Neighbors

Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne introduce themselves as the "Neighbors"

Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne introduce themselves to Zac Efron as the neighbors. What could possibly go wrong?

I hate it when I’m watching a trailer for a comedy that looked funny. For the most part, they could give all of the funny parts away in under three minutes. Once everyone go sees the movie, they would expect what they have seen from the trailer. Neighbors, the latest comedy from the creators of last year’s overrated comedy This Is the End, is no exception. Because the previews for the movie gave away just about everything, doesn’t mean I hated the movie. I went to see Neighbors this past Saturday, and I laughed, guffawed, cringed, and had a good time.

Neighbors centers around Mac and Kelly (Seth Rogen and Rose Byrne), a couple who live with their newborn baby in a nice and friendly neighborhood. Then, a fraternity moves into the house next door. Mac and Kelly introduce themselves as the new neighbors. They ask Teddy (Zac Efron), the leader of the fraternity, to keep the noise down whenever he and his frat brothers have overnight parties. Even though they were invited to one of their parties, they still had to endure with their schemes. After the police blames Mac for setting the parties, a battle between family and frat ensues.

Seth Rogen is known for playing a stoner in every movie that he’s in (excluding Funny People). In this movie, he proves he can do more than just a stoner. He also provides some good laughs from the audience. Even Rose Byrne provides laughs as the mother. It’s refreshing for the mother to get good laughs. I was surprised by Zac Efron in this movie. After starring in such movies as the harmless yet forgettable High School Musical and the formulaic yet amusingly funny 17 Again, I could tell how much he matured as an actor. Not only is he funny, but he keeps the energy going with the parties, and has great chemistry with the frat boys, especially Dave Franco as the co-leader.

Director Nicholas Stoller does a capable job capturing the realities of a fraternity. Although they made me laugh, I could see most of the funny moments coming from a mile away. Neighbors is so crude, vulgar, and almost uncomfortable to watch that I couldn’t help but laugh. Particularly one sequence had just about everybody in stitches. Like with This Is the End, there are a lot of amusing movie references (i.e. Taxi Driver). But, the only things I didn’t see coming are the countless (by that, I mean, there are A LOT of) dick jokes. They got old wicked fast.

2.5/4

2014 Summer Movie Preview: May

2014 started the year off with a bang for movies. It included a lot of bad-looking movies that I was glad to skip (I, Frankenstein and Pompeii). There was a movie that gained a lot of controversy before its release (Noah). Lastly, there were  movies in which I loved to death, and can’t wait to see again (The LEGO Movie, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, The Grand Budapest Hotel). Today, is the beginning of the summer movie season. The season in which the most anticipated blockbusters come out to see what they have to offer.

I have a feeling this summer is going to have entertaining movies. Over the next four months, I’m going to give my thoughts on the highly anticipated summer blockbusters and some independent films. Without further ado, let’s get started on the month of May.

May 2

The Amazing Spider-Man 2

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 – I really enjoyed the 2012 predecessor – The Amazing Spider-Man. It felt like a much more realistic take on Spider-Man’s origins than in Raimi’s trilogy. Director Marc Webb revisits some of the plot points from the 2002 film, and giving them a vivid glimpse of what happened. Andrew Garfield was the definitive choice to portray Peter Parker than Tobey Maguire. He acted more like any teenager would; funny, charismatic, and a bit of a smart-Alec.

I am looking forward to seeing him springing into more web-slinging action in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, despite the mixed reviews it has been getting. It might head into that Spider-Man 3 territory where there will be too much going on, but I’m still hoping for it to be good. Dane DeHaan as Harry Osborn and Jamie Foxx as the main villain? Couldn’t be much better than that.

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Belle – With it coming out today in limited release, this will expand across the country throughout the month of May. Belle is one of those films that gives history I never heard of. It follows the true story of Dido Elizabeth Belle, a mixed race daughter of Royal Navy Admiral, trying to end slavery in England while being raised by her aristocratic great-uncle. Featuring a stellar cast including Tom Wilkinson, Emily Watson and Tom Felton (Malfoy from Harry Potter) nifty-looking sets and costumes, Belle looks like a brilliant period-romance piece.

May 9

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Neighbors – There hasn’t been a lot of hilarious comedies lately. If you think the comedy genre is, for the most part, dead, it looks Neighbors – the latest from the creators of last year’s overrated comedy-horror ensemble This Is the End -will probably bring back the big laughs. A raunch-fest with Seth Rogen as a dad with a newborn baby against Zac Efron and his frat boys, a variety of amusing movie references, and a lot of energy? I’m so in!

May 16

Godzilla

Godzilla – This looks like this year’s Pacific Rim, but without the giant robots. Although I have yet to watch the original 1954 Japanese version featuring the iconic radioactive lizard, this version simply looks jaw-dropping. From the destruction to the look of Godzilla, the special effects look outstanding; giving the movie a realistic feel. This movie cannot get any more awesome even with it starring Bryan Cranston (of Breaking Bad fame), Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, and Ken Watanabe.

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Million Dollar Arm – Don Draper as a sports agent training cricket players from India to play in Major League Baseball? I don’t know about this. Even for a sports movie by Disney, it looks standard.

May 23

X-Men - Days of Future Past

X-Men: Days of Future Past – The only X-Men movies I have seen are X-Men Origins: Wolverine, X-Men: First Class, and The Wolverine. Although I didn’t enjoy X-Men Origins, the latter two were more than just superhero movies, but rather interesting character studies. With Days of Future Past being about the original characters from the X-Men trilogy going to the past to team up with their younger selves, this looks unbelievably fascinating.

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Blended – Remember when Adam Sandler used to be on Saturday Night Live? Making everyone laugh so hard that tears would roll down their face? Now that his SNL days are behind him, his comedy is starting to become boring. His new movie Blended is no exception. It’s a shame, because I liked him, alongside Drew Barrymore, in 50 First Dates. Boy, I never felt so embarrassed from watching the trailer. I’m definitely giving this one a pass.

May 30

Maleficent

Maleficent – It seems like every classic Disney cartoon is being remade into a live-action Disney film. With Maleficent and Cinderella, I think it’s unfair for the original cartoon. It’s not to say Maleficent looks bad. The movie looks visually stunning, although looking like Alice in Wonderland, Snow White and the Huntsman, and Oz: The Great and Powerful combined. Angelina Jolie is downright perfect for the role of Maleficent. Elle Fanning is not a bad choice for Princess Aurora, but her fake English accent ruins it. However, this dialogue between the two characters gets me pumped up for the movie:

Aurora: “Don’t be afraid”

Maleficent: “I’m not afraid”

Aurora: “Then come out.”

Maleficent: “Then *you’ll* be afraid.”

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A Million Ways to Die in the West– Written, produced, directed, and starring Seth MacFarlane, the idiot who can’t cancel Family Guy, A Million Ways to Die in the West looks like a grittier version of Blazing Saddles. It seems to satirize the Western genre in a disgusting way. Even though it has a great cast including MacFarlane, Charlize Theron, Neil Patrick Harris, Amanda Seyfried, and Liam Neeson, the trailer didn’t make me laugh. It might be good, but it doesn’t look any good, in my opinion.

Recap:

Most Anticipated: Godzilla

Least Anticipated: Blended

I hope you enjoyed reading on what my thoughts are on the upcoming movies for the month of May. Tell me in the comments on what are your most anticipated movies for the month of May. Stay tuned for a movie preview for the month of June on Memorial Day.