It happens, you invest big money in a film and you’re not able to reap the rewards… but sometimes you might…if you happen to be Michael Bay and rode the wave of a popular toy line and then some. For this list, I have been selective on the movies that most people would agree are indeed the worst of the worst and not movies that are not liked because of bias of the industry and elite critics. For example, “God’s Not Dead” which starred Kevin Sorbo (famous for playing the title character on the TV series Hercules: The Legendary Journeys) as the main antagonist atheist who teaches at the college and university level.Also, I will not include the recent Power Rangers movie since technically it bombed but it has a positive hold with its audience. These movies may deserve bad reviews or not…but it is one of those movies that critics will attack because of its content and message, or it’s just not DC, Marvel, Star Wars, or Star Trek, but the masses disagree. Again, the list here is what I see to be a consensus of people (elite and common) that agree that these movies…truly suck eggs. This is based upon website Rotten Tomatoes.
1. The Last Airbender (2010): Both critics and fans dislike how the movie was written. The all agree that the movie took too many creative liberties leaving the plot, and the acting very hallow and poor. There is no character development and heroes are truly zeros. It does not do the animated series any justice and one has to wonder how Nickelodeon had to weather through this live action adaptation.
2. Transformers: Age of Extinction (2014): Like I said, its Michael Bay’s baby. You come to see the Transformers kick iron and steel. Not to see Mark Wahlberg playing overprotective father, but hey Nicola Peltz (who got hacked by Norman Bates/Mother on “Bates Motel”) is eye candy for certain audience members. Bay’s involvement in Transformers hinders the movie franchise even though he pulled a few rabbits with the first installment and “Dark Of The Moon,”but up until “The Last Knight,” “Age of Extinction” has proven to be the weak link in the Transformers movie series. Half the audience agree with the critics. This was not a good movie. If you waited for the DVD regarding this one…you made the right choice.
3. Green Lantern (2011): DC Comics was still trying to find its way beyond the more successful Superman and Batman movies although those franchises had clunkers along the way. This came out between the end of Smallville’s 10 year run on TV and before the successful Arrowverse was established, giving DC much better standing on the small screen rather than the big one. Green Lantern just tried too hard and they made Hal Jordon such an unlikeable guy…with no chance to truly redeem himself. Looks like Greg Berlanti was done a favor when he was not able to direct this movie. He truly helped DC on the TV side with his involvement in four of the current seven DC adaptions (not counting “Preacher” which is produced by Sony Pictures Television instead of DC/Warner Bros.). Berlanti will also serve of Executive Producer of “Black Lighting” which will begin midway through the 2017-2018 season. Oh, and in spite of a few cliffhangers in the Green Lantern movie…forget it. It will not be resolved. However, DC finally found someone to truly run on…that being Wonder Woman. Let us hope that Justice League can give Marvel’s Avengers a run for the money.
4. Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013): This movie managed to slip through and like Transformers it might see a follow-up…thanks to the international movie market. Panned by the critics but the audience likely it…barely. This movie gives us an adult Hansel & Gretel who survived their experience with the witch and her gingerbread house (although Hansel needs to be on insulin). H&G become bad ass witch hunters for hire. They are challenged in this movie by Grand Witch Muriel. This movie might have been taken more serious if it did not go for a comedic angle. If you want to see a better modern adaption based on the tales of the Brothers Grimm, watch the TV series “Grimm” which ran for six seasons and 123 episodes.
5. R.I.P.D. (2013): Some comic book ideals should just be kept in the comic book world and R.I.P.D. (aka Rest In Peace Department) is one of those ideals that should have stuck with the comic book pages. Not even Jeff Bridges could save this movie. The premise of the movie is that there is an afterlife law enforcement agency that makes sure certain deceased souls get over their passing. These souls become soulless monsters called “deados.” R.I.P.D. officers are also given new identities and appearances in order to keep people in the dark about the afterlife. Kind of like time traveler Sam Becket in the TV series Quantum Leap. With $130 Million invested and a $78 million return…critics and audience members alike made sure that R.I.P.D. does truly indeed Rest In Peace…or Pieces.
6. A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010): They just could not wait to reboot this movie franchise. There are people that are still attached to Robert Englund as the guy who enjoys murdering people in their sleep and does not need to break into your house to commit the crime since a group of parents seeking vigilante justice made that easy for him. If you want find out the backstory do that on your own. Jackie Earle Haley just could not make his Freddy Kruger stick and even though he is still working in the entertainment business…he just does not make blips on most peoples’ radar. He will appear in the third Tick incarnation (2nd Live Action series about an incompetent but loveable superhero) and stars in the upcoming movie “The Dark Tower.” Meanwhile if you must have a Freddy fix, there are eight movies with Robert Englund you can check out including the final movie in which Freddy takes on another slasher icon Jason Voorhees.
7. Ben-Hur (2016): You know with the perfection in technology and F/X, sometimes it is just better to tell a good story and let that story speak more than visuals. The 1959 adaptation of Ben-Hur starting Charlton Heston did just that, and even those who don’t claim to be Christian will admit that the 1959 movie was a masterpiece. This Ben-Hur is just as bad as updating the story from the book of Exodus (no fooling). Only Heston could play the iconic characters that did God’s will and rescued the Jewish people from Ancient Egyptor saw Christ’s death on the cross. Mel Gibson’s “The Passion of The Christ” is still the best Biblical movie that was made recently. After watching that movie, skip Ben-Hur 2016 and go back to Ben-Hur 1959. As a bonus, check out the 1925 silent film adaption as well with Ramon Novarro in the title role.
8. The Lone Ranger (2012): Are they trying make the Native Americas realistic or just politically correct? At least Jay Sliverheels who played Tonto in the TV series was a true Indian, but Johnny Depp’s heritage is mostly out of Europe (especially England and France). Is Depp’s Tonto just another over the top character that Depp can pad his resume with? Does he think he can top being Captain Jack Sparrow? Well not with this Tonto. Another iconic brand that works better in the past.
9. CHIPS (2017): Once again, something that should be left in the past. They took the lead characters Jon and Ponch and made these CHP officers into such because one saw his dreams go to waste and the other doing it because he worked in the FBI and had to go undercover. It wants to mock the old TV series but can’t really do in the 21st Century. This movie truly deserved to crash and burn at the box office. Good news is that you can see repeats of the old CHIPS on DVD, iTunes and on digital TV subchannel “Heroes & Icons.” At least Larry Wilcox and Erik Estrada made Jon and Ponch respectful icons compared to Dax Shepard and Michael Peña respectfully or at least pointing out the roles.
10. Jupiter Ascending (2015): The Wachowskis could not replicate their success of The Martix series with this cross between the Martix and Star Wars. Jupiter Jones is your typical cleaning woman but Luke Skywalker she is not. Has nothing to do with her being a girl and the Star Wars universe (or galaxy) has plenty of strong female roles to go around thank you very much. Anyway, thanks to Caine Wise who is half human and half dog, takes Jupiter away from the cleaning job just as Charlie Townsend took three (and then some) young women from being grunts for the police force to his “Angels.” In the case of Jupiter Jones she to be the “owner of the Earth” and has these special powers. Sounds more complicated to me. Maybe the original “Charlie’s Angels” sounds good right about now. It’s simpler being a private detective with police officer training than being someone who owns a planet. Audiences and critics can agree on that one.
Honorable Mention. Rock of Ages (2012): Just because you plug a Jukebox Musical with the right hits, does not mean you’re going to able to take it from the stage to the movie theater. It’s been said that going to a live concert is an experience for the five senses. Seeing the concert other than the venue itself is not the same, and this is likely why the movie adaption of Rock Of Ages just does not work. At least with the stage version the characters do break the fourth wall and interact with the audience and admit they are just characters in a story. No different than your real-life rock musiciansyou pay good money to see them perform their songs live. The movie does one thing right…it includes the Def Leppard song that this musical was named after.