The Arts and Entertainment arm of Gildshire Magazines has a long history with the movie industry. Every other Wednesday we preview the upcoming new releases to the cinema near you. We’re always on hand (remotely speaking) when Oscar time rolls around. It’s safe to say we love the movies, not to mention the movie-going experience as a whole. That said, the light needs the darkness, the sunshine needs the rain, and the yin needs the yang. For every hundred or so movies we love, there are those that we don’t love as much. Okay, we’ll just come out and say it. There are some action movies that are a waste of our hard-earned money and the valuable time we could have spent rinsing out a few things. Rare, though they may be, some movies deserve critical panning and audience pariah status.
It is action movies as stink bombs we want to talk about today. These are our choices for the occasiona experience that made us want refunds and a memory wipe.
Dracula Untold: Origin action movies are hard ones to make well. Everyone knows what the character became and are watching for hints. We want the feeling of the fully-drawn character, told in new ways, even while watching Batman’s parents be offed for the fifth time. Some movies do it well. In fact, the X-Men franchise, for all of its flaws, does origin stories fairly well. Dracula Untold takes us in a nether-world where the fanged one isn’t feared or pitied, but rather lionized! We left feeling oddly displaced, and not in a good way. Rotten Tomatoes 22. Domestic Gross: $56,280,355.
Season of the Witch: This one is hard to include because Nicolas Cage opens movies for us. Ron Perlman’s presence, as well, should only have raised the bar. Unfortunately, the bar slips completely under the sea in this action snoozer. Is Cage past his action prime? Perhaps, he is. We know for sure, though, that this movie is past its pull date. Rotten Tomatoes 9. Domestic Gross: $24,827,228.
Jonah Hex: We’re always particularly disappointed when solid casting goes awry in bad movies. That’s the case in Jonah Hex (or, what one reviewer called Jonah Blecchhh.) Josh Brolin and John Malkovich should, by showing up, cook an entertaining dish. Instead, we get this stewpot mess. Jonah Hex the character, and Jonah Hex the movie compete for who can put the audience asleep the fastest. It’s a tie. Shoot me now. Rotten Tomatoes 12. Domestic Gross: $10,547,117.
Babylon A.D.: We never set out to disrespect icons but Vin Diesel has mixed in a few duds with his good movies. (I’ve always wondered if they know when a movie is going to blow. Or do they think everything they make will be Citizen Kane?) Babylon A.D. is one for the Diesel Dud files. Bad action is one thing, and bad sci-fi is something else, but bad in both categories is bad news indeed. Rotten Tomatoes 6. Domestic Gross: $22,532,572.
In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale: We have to admit something right now. We know, in advance, that movies made from video games are going to be wretched. Therefore, it is our own fault that we paid good money to see this wad of nonsense. God help us, we thought Jason Statham could save it! Instead, he spends most of the movie looking like someone caught in a washing machine. This is a terrible film. Rotten Tomatoes 4. Domestic Gross: $4,775,656.
Catwoman: Behind every successful stands a woman… There are scores of old sayings that start that way. Have you heard the one about the successful man who is almost brought to his knees by a woman? You’re right, which one? That’s the case in the Batman franchise. This laughable movie almost ended the series, to the point it took Warner Brothers eight years and “The Dark Knight” to get back on track. Halle Berry has starred in many great films, and some of them are action movies. This isn’t one of them. Rotten Tomatoes 18. Domestic Gross $40,202,379.
3000 Miles to Graceland: Hey, did you want to go see the movie with shotgun-blasting Elvis impersonators played by Kevin Costner and Kurt Russell. I didn’t think so and wish I had said the same thing. One of the worst criticisms that can be made about a movie is to say, “It can’t decide what it wants to be.” Unfortunately, that is this movie. Road trip movie? Action thriller? Comedy? It takes a stab at all three, failing each time. Count it among uninteresting road trips, unfunny comedies, and tedious action movies. Rotten Tomatoes 14. Domestic Gross $15,749,959.
They say confession is good for the soul. If so, then our soul feels like it has been in a summer shower. These are the action movies we’ve, later, thought ill of ourselves for choosing. Thanks for listening, because we know you wouldn’t make the same mistake.
Or, would you?