The lameness of this roundup’s title reflects the lameness of a typical winter movie season. January (J) and February (F) are when Hollywood offers a refrigerator review, as movies that haven’t looked appetizing are now acceptable when compared to starvation. After the Oscar hopefuls of ND (November/December) and the tentpole blockbusters of JJ (June/July or Abrams), JF movies focus instead on the law of diminishing franchises. The Jenky Fun of 2017 includes: the Persistently Unkillable Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (part VI), the please stay in the Underworld: Blood Wars (part V), and XXX: III Return of a guy with an X in his name. I could tell you how/why these movies are terrible, or I could tell you that none of them cracked 45% on Rotten Tomatoes or Metacritic. Odds are, you already know if these movies appeal to you. This roundup wants to prepare you for the ones you hope crack 50%, but end up being 50 Shades Darker (Rotten Tomatoes – Metacritic).
“Fifty Shades Darker is not darker or better. It’s watered down, raincoat-brigade style erotica, even with the spiced-vanilla S&M.” Gary M. Kramer Salon.com
Watered down S&M = struggling into a bathing suit.
“Even someone with Johnson’s considerable charisma can’t get any heat going with a block of wood like this. Actually, to call his performance wooden is an insult to wood, which is a fine natural resource that demonstrably makes our world a better place.” Jason Bailey Flavorwire
“The worst thing to happen to fictional Seattle since Frasier bedded Roz.” J. Olson Cinemixtape
In Fictional Seattle, the space needle is a rocket, everyone owns multiple umbrellas, and people are 15% less weird than in Portlandia.
“It’s not a terribly good idea to base a movie on a book in which almost nothing happens for 500 pages, but that’s what we have here.” The Seattle Times Moira Macdonald
“The film features a lot of that specifically American semi-improvised style of comedic acting where the actors act as though they’ve either forgotten what they’re about to say, or have suddenly remembered it.” Jim Schembri 3AW
“Charlie Day and Ice Cube will live to crack wise another day. “Fist Fight,” on the other hand, is where laughter goes to die.” J. Olson Cinemixtape
“A risible excuse for comedy that treats compulsory education as a joke and violence as a reasonable way to solve problems.“ Peter Debruge Variety
“[At first,] we learn the Great Wall of China was originally erected to protect the Chinese from marauding forces embodying the depths of human greed. Shortly afterward, we realize The Great Wall was made for precisely opposite reasons.” Jay Horton Willamette Week
The heights of human greed?
“Whether it’s a case of miscasting is unclear, but without a willing hero to anchor this already dubious movie from start to finish, The Great Wall hits a brick wall.” Steve Davis Austin Chronicle
“A splashy, old-fashioned monster movie stupid enough to amuse audiences from any culture that enjoys watching folks fight giant lizards.” Sean Burns Spliced Personality
“The Founder represents a veritable plunge into darkness. It’s impossible to look at Ray Kroc and not see America’s complex relationship with capitalism.” Matthew Turner iNews.co.uk
Reality Star Trek: America Into Darkness.
The man, played with dark relish by Michael Keaton, has the fabulous name of Ray Kroc (there is a suitably reptilian air to his grin as he says things such as: “Contracts are like hearts. They’re made to be broken”).” Ed Potton Times (UK)
“Keaton sells the crap out of Kroc’s filet-o-fishy business, but sauce overrides substance: it needed tougher meat.” Kevin Harley Total Film
“A Batman film with more humanity than the Batman films with actual humans in them.” William Bibbiani CraveOnline
“Fiction is the lie through which we tell the truth.” – Albert Camus
“A movie that’s like watching a really bright kid playing with the snap-together toys while talking to himself.” Richard von Busack MetroActive
“The merchandising tie-in we deserve.” Pete Vonder Haar Houston Press
“It’s too weird and entertainingly trashy to write off.” Aaron Yap Flicks.co.nz
“I let out an audible gasp at the end. That has never happened.” Rohan Naahar Hindustan Times
“An enjoyable piece of B-movie silliness, Split supplies mystery, suspense and creepy trepidation, and boasts a tour-de-performance from James McAvoy in the leading role. Or rather roles.” Jason Best Movie Talk
“There’s a quality to the violence here that elevates it above the literal (and reprehensible) nihilism of movies like last year’s “Hardcore Henry,” and instead achieves something more akin to dance.” Peter Debruge Variety
Question answered, John Wick is the one who dances with the devil by the pale moonlight.
“A more audacious film, bolder and more violent than its predecessor. It’s also surprisingly hilarious, wringing humor from physical pratfalls and dry wit in unexpected moments.” Angelica Jade Bastien RogerEbert.com
“Chapter 2 is this series’ The Empire Strikes Back, if that movie had a running gag about murdering people with pencils.” Pete Vonder Haar Houston Press
“Mark my words; it’ll be a modern classic.” Anthony Ray Bench Film Threat
This review is giving you an order, which is appropriate given the publication.
“Want to put a little gore on your funny bone at the movies this weekend? Then just try to get in to “Get Out,” a very clever horror film with enough social satire to start a great debate or three.” John Urbancich Your Movies (cleveland.com)
“I laughed, and then I was scared, and then I started laughing again, and then I wanted to run out of the theater but then I stayed, and then I started laughing again, and then I was really, really scared. That’s about it. Oh…this movie is awesome.” Bob Grimm Reno News and Review