2018 Movie Review: The Mediocre

Welcome back to my 2018 Movie Review. Last week I covered the worst of the movies I watched this year. This week I’m covering the films that I deemed just okay. You know the ones I’m talking about. They’re the ones where you watched them and thought “Well, it could’ve been worse.”

If I had to rank them from one to ten, ten being the best, then these films would rank anywhere from five to seven. If you read last week’s review I stopped at number 22 so I’m starting at 21 and making my way to 11. So here they are, the Mediocre Movies of 2018:

Oh, I should warn that here there be spoilers! Now onto the show.

i think we're alone now21. I Think We’re Alone Now

Rotten Tomato’s Critic Score: 62%

Rotten Tomato’s Audience Score: 46%

IMDB Score: 5.6/10

When I purchased this film, I did so primarily because it was a post-apocalyptic film starring Peter Dinklage. The plot of the film is focused on Dinklage who plays a library custodian who is the sole survivor of a city. Apparently, before the beginning, a disease wiped out everyone else. So you know what Dinklage does? He decides that he’s going to clean each individual house, swiping batteries and family photos. What? If it was me, I’d be doing… well… anything other than that. The plot thickens when a strange girl played by Elle Fanning drives into town. The reason why this film is so low on my list is that the end is just so weird and anticlimactic. I understand what they were trying to do, but come on. Another reason why I thought the film was just okay was that they never once played the song, “I Think We’re Alone Now.” What a waste.

the meg20. The Meg

Rotten Tomato’s Critic Score: 45%

Rotten Tomato’s Audience Score: 47%

IMDB Score: 5.8/10

Based on the book by Steve Alten, this film is like Jaws but only on steroids. Think like a really roided up great white shark and then add a couple thousand more teeth and you’ve got the monster in this film starring Jason Statham, Bingbing Li, and Rainn Wilson. This film wasn’t great because after Jaws, you really can’t improve on the Shark Attack Genre. There was decent character development, but people only go to these types of films for two reasons. The first reason is they want to see the shark eating people. The second reason is that they want to see the shark eating people. Shark Attack Fans don’t need a fancy plot, character arcs, or an intriguing bad guy that wants to erase half of the universe. Maybe that’s why Sharknado does so well. Sad but true.

overlord19. Overlord

Rotten Tomato’s Critic Score: 82%

Rotten Tomato’s Audience Score: 72%

IMDB Score: 7.1/10

Zombies in Nazi Germany. HOW COULD THIS FAIL??? Simple: They’re not really zombies. My expectations going into this film were ruined when I found out that they aren’t going to release zombies onto the battlefield. They’re going to keep them locked up in this underground makeshift German WWII bunker. Sure, the characters were interesting and the battles were pretty action packed, but I really wanted to see zombies marching across Europe munching on the Third Reich’s enemies. Is that too much to ask? Plus, this was basically a rip-off of Captain America’s origin story. Ya, you read that right.

peter rabbit18. Peter Rabbit

Rotten Tomato’s Critic Score: 64%

Rotten Tomato’s Audience Score: 57% 

IMDB Score: 6.6/10

I didn’t see this one in theater, I waited until it got to Netflix. My niece and nephews were looking for something to watch and they asked me if I’d seen it yet. I hadn’t so they decided to watch that one. I was pleasantly surprised with the live action version of Peter Rabbit. Sam Neil as Old Man McGregor was really fun and the voice actors I thought were decent. My niece and nephews liked it and I thought it was a rather enjoyable family film about an old man trying to murder and eat these cute and cuddly bunnies but ultimately dies from a heart attack. You know, that old chestnut. 

annihilation17. Annihilation

Rotten Tomato’s Critic Score: 88%

Rotten Tomato’s Audience Score: 66%

IMDB Score: 6.9/10

Some of you might be wondering why I’m including these scores and this film is one of the reasons. The difference between the critic score and the audience tells you something. It tells you that the film is visually stunning. It tells you that the acting is pretty decent. It tells you that the overall storytelling is adequate. It also tells you that the plot doesn’t make any dang sense and will have you scratching your head at the end thinking, “What did I just sit through?” If you’ve not seen this film and would like to, I’d give one piece of advice: Don’t get emotionally tied up with the characters. Trust me.

rampage16. Rampage

Rotten Tomato’s Critic Score: 52%

Rotten Tomato’s Audience Score: 75%

IMDB Score: 6.2/10

Here’s another scenario where the scores really tell the story. Critics hate movies like this for one reason: it’s a film that only cares about destruction on a massive scale caused by gigantic monsters. And Rampage delivers just like Pizza Hut, on time and full of cheese. Don’t go into this film trying to find an Oscar nomination. You won’t find one. But what you will find is a fun, destructive, arcade game based film. Oh and the Rock’s in this. And Jeffrey Dean Morgan. Need I say more?

venom15. Venom

Rotten Tomato’s Critic Score: 28%

Rotten Tomato’s Audience Score: 86%

IMDB Score: 6.9/10

I’m a comic book nerd. More though, I’m a Spider-Man fanatic. I absolutely love that character. When I saw Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3, I was heart broken because Topher Grace played Venom and he wasn’t crazy big and bad. Jump to 2018 and I’m watching this film and thinking “Wait, where’s Spider-Man?” Sony has this crazy fascination about not making quality comic book movies. I didn’t like Tom Hardy’s interpretation of Eddie Brock. The movie wasn’t rated R, which I think it should’ve been. By all accounts, Venom needed to be viewed as a bad guy. He bit the heads of policeman. Having said that, at least Sony didn’t portray Venom like they portrayed Electro in that turd in the wind film in the second reboot staring Andrew Garfield. Oh, and why have four symbiotes if you’re just going to kill two of them off camera? C’mon Sony! 

jurassic park fallen kingdom14. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

Rotten Tomato’s Critic Score: 48%

Rotten Tomato’s Audience Score: 51%

IMDB Score: 6.2/10

So originally, I had this film higher on the list, but as I started writing this I came to the realization that it wasn’t as good as I thought. For one, it seemed to erase the cannon of the second and third film. For the third movie that might not have been such a bad thing, but the idea of dinosaurs coming to the mainland it’s an old concept. How can you have Ian Malcolm talking in a senate hearing about the dangers of dinosaurs and not have him talk about the San Diego Incident in the second film? Plus the idea of engineering, breeding, and training Indoraptors to kill rebel insurgents is sooooo cost ineffective. However, the film explored the lore of how Jurassic Park came to be and even introduced the idea of human cloning. Plus, it had that really cool horror scene with the Indoraptor stalking people in the mansion. 

tomb raider13. Tomb Raider

Rotten Tomato’s Critic Score: 50%

Rotten Tomato’s Audience Score: 56%

IMDB Score: 6.4/10 

Alicia Vikander was a decent Lara Croft. I think I liked her better than the OG Angelina Jolie. I’m not too sure why the movie was not as well received as it should be, especially in the age of the strong female protagonist. She wasn’t made into a sexual object like in Jolie’s films and she wasn’t a Mary Sue like Rey was made to be in Star Wars. The character had to work to get everything which made for an intriguing film.

the house with a clock in its walls12. The House with a Clock in its Walls

Rotten Tomato’s Critic Score: 66%

Rotten Tomato’s Audience Score: 47%

IMDB Score: 6.1/10

I really enjoyed this film. Seeing Jack Black and Cate Blanchett throwing insults back and forth just as much as they flung spells was quite enjoyable. For those that missed this questionable “family” film, Lewis is recently orphaned when his parents die in a tragic accident and he has to live with his uncle who is the family’s black sheep. The uncle, Black, and the next door neighbor, Blanchett, are trying to figure out where a doomsday clock is located in the house that the uncle resides in. Not by a coincidence, the house used to be owned by an evil wizard named Lizard. Now, if this sounds like a film you could show your five and six year olds, I would precede with caution. The film is directed by horror titan Eli Roth and is written by Eric Kripke who wrote the CW’s Supernatural. I think that’s why I didn’t quite like it as much because I took my niece and nephews to see this film because it’s rated PG, but there is necromancy, zombies, and other dark magical stuff. Even though I enjoyed it, I thought that it should have been kicked up to PG-13.

mandy11. Mandy

Rotten Tomato’s Critic Score: 92%

Rotten Tomato’s Audience Score: 67%

IMDB Score: 6.7/10

Well here we are at the final film on the Mediocre Movies of 2018. This one was supposed to be on the top films next week, but I watched another film that kicked it down to this level of trash. What film is that? HA! Find out next week. So this film stars Nicholas Cage and his wife is brutally killed by a crazy religious cult that’s led by a cooky singer turned cult leader. Taking place in the early 80’s, Cage must seek vengeance and destroy the cult and the demonic, drug addicted biker gang that protects them. To be fair, it’s not the craziest thing I’ve seen Cage star in. But I also wanted Cage to be a bit more outrageous. He’s actually pretty tame in this one. You would think that Cage’s character would just go off the rails when his wife is killed right in front of him, but he turns into a combination of Jason Bourne and the guy from Taken. I don’t really advocate that you go out and buy this film, but if a friend’s got it and you’re interested then sure, watch it. Just be warned, it’s a crazy film with even crazier cinematography to it. Just warning you all.

Well guys, as we come to the end of the year, I’ve come to realize that I may have wasted hours and hours of my life watching all of these films. The upside to this realization is that if you haven’t seen some of these films, maybe you won’t now that you’ve read this. Next week is the blog I’m excited for. The cream of the crop, the best of the best, and maybe even a few good films.

What made my top films of 2018? What was the best one? Want a few hints?

• You’ll just have to stick around… the neighborhood?

• Ranking these movies was…. a snap?

• When you read this next blog, make sure to find a ….. quiet place…. to read it?

• When you do read this, don’t keep it…. solo…. and make sure to share it?

• If you don’t read it, I’ll just keep…. bugging… you until you do?

• Winnie the Pooh and Deadpool too. (That was a two-for-one pun)

• Maybe when you… trick or treat… next you’ll want to dress up as a… black cat? (Also a two-for-one)

Make sure to stay tuned next week!

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Most Anticipated Movies for 2018 (part 1)

With 2017 behind us and all of 2018 in front, I’m going to be giving a top 12 movies I am excited for this half of the new year. I will not be listing this from most excited to least excited. I’m picking two movies from each month (winner and runner-up) and explaining the reason why I’m excited for them. All film release dates are subject to change.

January

Winner: Day of the Dead: Bloodline
dotd bloodlinesThe zombie genre is a dying genre, pun intended. With The Walking Dead starting to wane and the death of George A. Romero, created of the modern day zombie, in 2017 it looks like this would be an appropriate stopping point for the genre. Of course, zombies being what they are, maybe this will actually be where they crawl back from the point of death and start it’s comeback?
From the trailer, it looks like a really bad remake of the original Day of the Dead (1985). It has to be better than the second attempt to remake this film, Day of the Dead (2008). And wouldn’t it be really great to have an actual good zombie flick to start off the new year? (Yes, this is a dig at Resident Evil: The Final Chapter serving as a crappy start to 2017.) DotD: Bloodline comes out Jan. 5.

Runner-Up: Insidious: The Last Key
Honest time, I haven’y seen the sequel films past Insidious 2. The reason why I listed this film is because I absolutely love this franchise and I also liked the character Dr. Elise Rainier, parapsychologist and her two bumbling and quirky minions. I might have to catch up with the other films before watching this one. The Last Key also comes out Jan. 5.

February 

Winner: Annihilation

annilation

Natalie Portman in Annihilation.

There are multiple reasons why I’ll probably be in a line at my local theater on Feb. 23 when Annihilation comes out. Those reasons include Natalie Portman, Oscar Isaac, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and that mysterious plot. For those of you that don’t know, Annihilation follows Portman’s character as she enters an environmental disaster zone in order to find her missing husband, Isaac.

Runner-Up: Black Panther
I’m not really psyched for Black Panther and I’m not sure why. The trailer looked so awesome, the action looks great, there’s some really impressive actors in the film. For all intents and purposes, this should be a film that I would be dying to see. In the end though, it’s just another Marvel superhero film and I think I’ve become a bit jaded by the genre at long last. As I say that, I will always go see Marvel films in theaters because I absolutely love the genre. Unless they change the formula though, they won’t make me eager to see them anymore.
Black Panther comes out Feb. 16.

March

Winner: Ready Player One
ready player oneOh my gosh guys. I’ve just started reading the book written by Ernest Cline, the book that the movie is based from. It has so many pop culture references and the movie follows suit. Once this film comes out there will be a plethora of YouTube videos dedicated to pointing out all the Easter eggs. Ironically, that’s the whole point of the storyline in the film. The film follows the users of a virtual reality world called OASIS as they try and find the ultimate Easter egg. This comes out March 30.

Runner-Up: Tomb Raider
Most of the people my age shouldn’t have to ask what the premise of this film is. We’ve grown up playing the video game franchise and watching the films with Angelina Jolie. If you’ve never heard of Tomb Raider before, just think a rich female version of Indiana Jones.
The reason that this film, which comes out March 16, excites me centers around two actors: Alicia Vikander and Walton Goggins. Goggins is great at playing the villain. Vikander looks the part as Lara Croft and has played in multiple roles including The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and Jason Bourne.

April

Winner: Rampage
rampageThis may seem like just another monster trashing a city movie, but for those that used to spend hours playing the video game, Rampage, this is a nostalgic must see film. Some might say they will want to see this film because of the star studded cast featuring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Joe Manganiello, and Malin Akerman I’ll be going to see all the destruction that the humongous gorilla, crocidile, and wolf will cause. Destruction starts July 15.

Runner-Up: The New Mutants
With Disney purchasing 20th Century Fox, it will be interesting to see whether this film will be integrated into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). This new entry into the X-Men mythos centers on five young mutants as they discover their newfound abilities while held in a secret facility against their will. They must fight to escape their past sins and save themselves. The New Mutants show themselves April 13.

May

Winner: Avengers: Infinity War
avengers infinity warOk, I know what I said about the superhero genre when I talked about Black Panther. This is different though. The lives of all Phase 1 MCU characters are at stake. Many will survive, but a few key staples of the cinematic universe could be killed including Iron Man and Captain America. Plus this film pulls together decades of build up as Thanos comes to collect the pieces of the Infinity Gauntlet. It also has the biggest cast in all of MCU history. This could be the biggest and most impressive film in the MCU and that’s why I’m excited for this one. I’ll be in line May 4 to watch this film.

Runner-Up: Solo: A Star Wars Story
So, I’m not really excited for this film. I think that this film is one that doesn’t necessarily need to be told. Rogue One was an interesting tale that told us about how the Death Star plans were given to the Rebel Alliance. What will this new anthology film explain? My guess is whether the Millennium Falcon actually completed the Kessel Run in 14 or 12 parsecs. I guess we’ll find out for sure on May 25.

June

Winner: Deadpool 2 (No official title yet)
deadpool2The first one was vulgar, hands down. It was also one of those films where parents took their kids to see because they all thought that it was a comic book film and comic book films were never that vulgar. When I went to see it in theaters there were some parents like that. So know this, if you want to see the film, this will be almost as vulgar, or more vulgar than, the first. The thing that I liked about the first Deadpool film was the humor and the fourth wall breaking. It was absolutely 100% true to the comic books and I respected it for that fact. It will also be interesting to see if Disney (now that they have purchased 20th Century Fox) has any say about toning down the vulgarity. This will supposidly come out June 1.

Runner-Up: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
The month of sequels it seems. June 22 shows the release of this new film into the Jurassic Park franchise. The trailer shows Chris Pratt’s character getting convinced to go back to Isla Nublar to rescue his pet Blue, the Velociraptor and all the rest of the dinosaurs on the island from the volcano that’s apparently erupting, triggering another (be it) smaller extinction. First off, I wouldn’t care about Blue anymore because it’s a VELOCIRAPTOR AND WILL EAT MY FACE FROM MY BODY!

Whew, that was a lot of linking, media adding, and trying to figure out my battle plan as far as movie watching for the first half of the year. I can’t really list too many of the films that come out July to the rest of the year because there may be some films that are announced to release after this post. In June, I’ll list the rest of the movies for the year. Agree or disagree with me? Let me know in the comments below about what your must see 2018 films will be.