As a hardcore fan of “The Big Lebowski” I felt it was my duty to check out “The Jesus Rolls,” one of the most inexplicable movies of 2020 so far. For fans of the original 1998 Coen Brothers masterpiece, Jesus Quintana is a familiar name, an adversary of The Dude who is also a very small supporting player in “The Big Lebowski.” For reasons never quite clarified (or even justified), John Turturro who portrayed Jesus, brings the character back for a pseudo-sequel that is kind of a follow up to “The Big Lebowski,” but not quite. It’s a surprisingly saccharine and dramatic film and a pretty dull one at that.
After the success of Mary Lambert’s adaptation of Stephen King’s “Pet Sematary,” Paramount sought out to deliver a sequel, despite the original leaving no room for one. Every single character died in the first movie, and no one is really the wiser about the whole zombie shenanigans that ensued in the climax. Lo and behold though, Paramount delivers on a sequel that centers on a whole new series of characters, all of whom are somehow obsessed with the mythical Native American burial ground tucked behind a seemingly harmless Pet Sematary.
“The Boy II” is one of the most inexplicable horror movies released in 2020 so far. The surprise success of the abysmal “The Boy” from 2016 (made cheap, producing big bucks) prompted the studio to make a follow up and franchise. And for some reason the writers and producers decide to completely retcon and reboot the entire mythos and story that was established from the original movie. Rather than stick to their successful formula, the original writer and director come back to reconfigure “The Boy” in to a limp, dull, and incredibly tedious “Annabelle” facsimile. It embraces all of the haunted doll clichés that’s become so common in this sub-genre wholesale, and completely ignores the 2016 horror drama.
Fred Walton returns for what is such a ridiculous sequel to an already abysmal thriller that I’m stunned there was any demand for it. Walton already spent ninety minutes stretching a five minute campfire tale in to a full fledged crime thriller, but this TV movie sequel watches like a ludicrous episode of a mediocre crime series. This is a premise so absurd and void of real tension or suspense. It seems like the writers spent so much time looking for a concept to resuscitate this concept and they fail with a tedious piece of genre claptrap.
Mike Flanagan has managed to become one of the most recurring auteurs for Stephen King’s adaptations, and “Doctor Sleep” is a particularly heavy undertaking. Even for the now seasoned filmmaker, “Doctor Sleep” is a tough artistic task that has to appeal to general audiences, while also tying in to Stanley Kubrick’s original masterpiece, and appeasing King, who went through every length to ensure “Doctor Sleep” was detached from Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation. It’s a shame the movie didn’t quite click with audiences and grab higher numbers, as it’s easily my favorite film of 2019, bar none.
As Disney soaks up just about every viable property and franchise in Hollywood, studios have sought out some of the more vacant properties, and here comes the long dormant “Bad Boys” series. With the nineties as popular as ever, “Bad Boys For Life” is a great property to revive. The new sequel acts as a soft reboot that could potentially help it live past Will Smith and Martin Lawrence and in to the “Fast and the Furious” long road. “Bad Boys For Life” is a shockingly good restart for a new series, and I like how the producers take the titular heroes and allow them to grow in a world that’s becoming harder to keep up with.
2019 was a surprisingly very good (and busy!) year for pop culture and film. Everything was so breakneck and speedily delivered that it was impossible to keep up. I wish I could have watched all the films I had planned for this list, That said, I did manage to see so much that I had a tough time compiling a definitive top ten. 2019 had so many surprises for movie fans of all kinds and these are ten films from 2019 that made the cut of the top ten for me.
What were some of your favorites? Let us know.
I spend a lot more of my time looking for movies I want to see these days, so admittedly I was able to dodge a lot of awful films in 2019. With the abundance of avenues to new movies it’s nearly impossible for one person to view it all, so out of the movies I was able to catch in 2019, these are five of the absolute worst that were unleashed on movie goers and movie buffs. Excluded but genuinely considered for the list were The Reliant, Men in Black: International, 47 Meters Down: Uncaged, Netflix’s Rim of the World, The Haunting of Sharon Tate, Long Shot, Kiss Kiss, and Dark Phoenix.
What were some of the worst from 2019 for you?