Every year there are a few films which disappoint us. There are others which outright suck. When I started Unseen the idea was never to discuss the dregs of cinema except occasionally. However because the focus of Unseen shifted from highlighting just lost treasures to covering more recent films I've been forced to write about a lot more misses and turkeys than I used to.
Here then are my lists of the misses and turkeys I saw in 2019.
Disappointments-these films almost kinda could maybe been something
RED PENGUINS - The follow up to the director's RED ARMY is half a good film. The story of the Pittsburgh Penguins attempt to sponsor the Red Army team with the aim of siphoning off the players for the NHL. However like the plan it goes off the rails somewhere along the way and ever comes back.
LOS ULTIMOS FRIKIS- A film about a heavy metal band in Cuba that strangely has very little music.
A GIRL MISSING- a nurse's life is turned upside down when a relative kidnaps one a member of the family she works for. It's a jumbled story that is icy cold
ZOMBI CHILD weird mix of coming of age tale with a true life zombie tale goes banana shaped when it turns into the scariest horror film of the year in the last 15 minutes. WTF?
HENRY GLASSIE FIELD WORK- Portrait of the anthropologist has some stunning sections but Glassie is AWOL for most of the film. Instead we get footage of the people he is studying. Huh?
SADAKO- The restart of the Ring Franchise crashes and burns- despite having some moments
PLUCKED-The story of the theft of a Stradivarius violin is an hour too long making a compelling story a big WTF.
LOW TIDE- What should have been a great thriller misfires all over the place. Not only doesn't it know when it's set, it has so many story problems I put half my review in inviso textbecause I had to discuss it and didn't want to spoil if for those who are interested in seeing it. (And there is a good film possible with a better script)
TO THE ENDS OF THE EARTH- One of my most favorite directors in the world Kiyoshi Kurosawa makes a film in order to make a trip to Central Asia. Despite having great moments and a deeply moving version of an Edith Piaf classic, this film has no reason to exist.
WASP NETWORK- Olivier Assayas takes a ten part miniseries idea and chops it to two hours. It's a mess- so much so Assayas has been recutting the film
THE DRONE- a drone is possessed - beyond bad horror film that sadly isn't even funny.
DUMBO- mean and ugly live action rethink of the classic Disney tale will scar generations
JOKER- over rated and over hyped origin for Batman's greatest foe is just bad.
LIBERTE-ugly aristocrats have sex in a forest. Long, dull and stupid it's just utterly pointless and boring.
EL PADRE MEDICO-The story Padre Ferdinand Bendoraitis who was once considered second to Mother Theresa is so badly told I have no idea about anything his life or what the filmmakers were trying to say about it.
KNIVES AND SKIN- dreadful thriller is winning all sorts of awards- but I have yet to meet anyone who actually likes it. Frankly I don't know anyone who hasn't either walked out on it or turned off a screener.
TASTE OF SKY- Portrait of a restaurant in South America rambles all over the place and just bores.
YOU DON'T NOMI- Portrait of the film SHOWGIRLS is so inside that it will only means something if you have more than a working knowledge of SHOWGIRLS.
CLEMENTINE- beyond awful film about a woman obsessed with her ex-girlfriend who breaks into her summer house where she meets another young woman while nothing happens for 90 minutes.
YOUNG AHMED- the grooming of a young terrorist has no understanding of religious extremism except from the headlines- worse it wusses out in its WTF ending.
OVER 18- A way too simplistic film on the evils of porn.
WELCOME TO MARWEN- Robert Zemekis makes a film so bad you'll want to scrape your eyeballs with steel wool dipped in acid if you simply don't simply pluck them out of your head