Lisa’s Picks For The 10 Worst Films of 2018


 

Well, I guess it’s finally that time!

It’s time for me to finally post my picks for the best (and worst) of 2018.  This is something that I do every year.  Usually, I manage to do it before the third week of January but I’ve been running behind.  I’ll be posting my film, television, book, and music picks throughout today and maybe into tomorrow, depending on how long it takes me to narrow down my choices.

Let’s start with my picks for the 10 worst films of 2018!  Now, I have to admit that 2018 was not really a big year for bad films.  It wasn’t really a big year for good films, either.  2018 was just kind of a middle-of-the-road year altogether.  Below are my picks for the worst.  Some of you will agree and some will disagree.  In the end, what truly matters is that I’m right.

(Also be sure to check out my picks for 20172016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, and 2010!)

10. Holmes & Wason

9. Fifty Shades Freed

8. Pacific Rim: Uprising

7. Vice — I’m fully aware that this film is being hailed by some as the best of the year.  I found it to be painfully smug and overlong.  It was like watching The Big Short have roid rage.

6. Deep Blue Sea 2

5. 6 Balloons — Drug addicts are so tedious to watch.

4. Red Sparrow — I’m really starting to worry about Jennifer Lawrence.  She’s still a good actress but she seems to spend more time coming up with embarrassing late night talk show anecdotes than actually finding good scripts.

3. Den of Thieves

2. The Happytime Murders — Oh my God, did you know muppets could curse and fuck!?  My mind is blown!

And finally, the worst film of 2018 is ….

1. Life Itself

Life Itself is basically what This Is Us is going to turn into by the time it gets around to its sixth season.

So, those are my picks for the worst films of 2018.  You may agree.  You may disagree.  I love you either way.

Film Review: Pacific Rim Uprising (dir. by Steven S. DeKnight)


Moving to directing isn’t always smooth

Pacific Rim Poster

.Duel was a success for Steven Spielberg, and Alex Garland had a wonderful success with Ex Machina. Conversely, Cinematographer Wally Pfister’s Transcendence wasn’t as well received. Though he has worked on TV, Pfister hasn’t had a motion picture follow-up (though I’m eager to see him do so). Everyone moves in different directions and at their own pace. Steven S. DeKnight is well-known for his work on Daredevil and the Spartacus series on Starz. He makes the leap to directing with Pacific Rim Uprising, the results of which are a mixed bag for me. I saw the original four times in the cinema. Uprising has some fun moments, most of them with John Boyega (John Boyega, Star Wars: The Last Jedi) and Cailee Spaeny (The Shoes), but it wasn’t particularly memorable for me. I don’t know if I could actually say I hated it. That doesn’t mean that the kids won’t love it. There are some good moments of action that are reminiscent of Saban’s Power Rangers, and the movie provides exactly what it advertises – Jaeger on Kaiju action.

Uprising takes place ten years after the end of Pacific Rim, focusing on Jake Pentacost (John Boyega, Star Wars: The Last Jedi) son of the now legendary Stacker Pentacost. The world has moved on from the Kaiju crisis in various ways. When a new threat looms on the horizon, Jaeger pilots are needed once again. Jake would rather not get involved, plowing his trade as Jaeger tech smuggler. When he meets up with Amara Namani, a young hacker (Spaeny), both are brought into the newest rendition of the Jaeger Program. This also leads to a family reunion of sorts with Jake’s sister, Mako Mori (Rinko Kikuchi), who now heads the program. We even have our favorite scientist duo returning in Gottlieb (Burn Gorman, Game of Thrones) and Geiszler (Charlie Day). With all this familarity, you’d think that more of the same is the perfect recipe for a sequel.

The plot could have used a little more development, at least in comparison to the first firm. Uprising does stand on its own, and I could see some interesting arcs develop in future films. My problem with it was just that I didn’t feel a sense of worry for anyone. In the first film, there was this sense of escalation. Every incident was increasingly more dangerous for everyone involved. I didn’t quite feel that this film, but it makes up for it for having some interesting action scenes. DeKnight keeps the scenes short and sweet, and the flow of the movie is quite good, despite the lack of fights. Those moments are few and far between, which kind of left me a little drowsy waiting for them.

From a character standpoint, the real gems in Uprising are Jake and Amara. Boyega and Spaeny are great in just about every scene they’re in. Scott Eastwood isn’t bad either, actually, though he really isn’t given much to work with. Everyone else appears to be filling in roles. While it would’ve been nice to see more characterization in the rest of the crew, they do what they need to in order to keep the story moving.

Visually, Pacific Rim Uprising hits all the right notes. The Kaiju are strange and the Jaegers are impressive. The action moves in such a way where you’re not too lost with what you’re viewing. If there are any problems in this area, it’s that they appeared too clean (and that’s just a nitpick, really). Where the Original used nighttime or rainy shots to mask the effects (much like the first T-Rex encounter in Jurassic Park), most of Uprising’s effects are in broad daylight. It looks great, but also had a HDR quality to it that (for me) felt like you were watching a high end demo reel. The 3D also helped with the effects there.

Overall, I’d easily catch Pacific Rim Uprising again once it hits the digital circuit. It might be worth the viewing on an IMAX screen or even in 3D, but it isn’t anything anyone needs to rush to see.

Here’s the Second Trailer for Pacific Rim Uprising!


So far, this trailer has been getting mixed reaction on twitter.  I can kind of see why.  It doesn’t quite have the same amount of oompf as the trailers for the first movie.  I guess the real question is whether or not a Pacific Rim film is really a Pacific Rim film if Guillermo Del Toro isn’t directing.

We’ll find out in March!

Belatedly, Here Are The First Trailers for Pacific Rim: Uprising and Guillermo Del Toro’s The Shape of Water


Belatedly (because it dropped on July 19th but, at the time, I was busy writing about reality television for another site), here’s the first trailer for Guillermo Del Toro’s The Shape of Water.

If you’ve been reading this site for a while, you know that we’re big Del Toro fans here at the Shattered Lens.  Arleigh loved Pan’s Labyrinth and Pacific Rim.  I thought Crimson Peak was incredibly underrated.  So, you better believe that we’re all really looking forward to seeing The Shape of Water.

Especially after watching this trailer!

And, since I mentioned Pacific Rim, here is the first teaser for the sequel to that beloved film, Pacific Rim: Uprising!