Hollywood is good at marketing, if it's good at anything. And, it loves getting us jazzed for any movie that may be coming our way. But even clips from a bad film can be the ingredients for a great trailer as long as you follow the recipe properly. You grab a couple shots of the dreamy lead actor, cover them with a hit song, cut backing audio to make room for a cheeky one-liner, and serve up a release date. But, good people of the internet, lend me your ears and allow my words to act as a stern caution. DO NOT fall victim to these tricks. Trust your instincts and know that the 127th Avengers installment won't be as charming as the first 126. Know that "reboot" is a buzzier word for "remake" and "remake" is a buzzier word for "we couldn't think of anything new." Know that any decent, new idea that might wriggle itself through the tightly woven filtration system guarding the gateway to the silver screen probably won't get made and if it does, it will be a limited release. I'm sorry, but these are things you needed to be mindful of. Now that I've left you devoid of any hope in entertainment, I'd like to continue on to my death blow. Here are fifteen highly anticipated movies that will probably suck.
15 Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle
I'm not really sure where to begin with this one. The fact that Columbia Pictures thought the world needed a Jumanji sequel after twenty years is confusing enough without them slapping on a loose Guns N' Roses reference in the title. I'm not even going to touch on the studio making this mess without Robin Williams (although I'm sure they'll figure out a way to give him a cameo, or at the very least have an Allan Parish hologram pop up in every theater around the country), so I'll focus on the plot instead. Four teenagers get sucked into an arcade game version of Jumanji they find in their high school's basement during detention. Um, what? In 1995, the kids were dealing with an ancient board game that we were left to assume was cursed by some 10th-century shaman. But how in the hell was some engineer at Atari able to transfer all of that tribal magic into a box arcade game? Is this pixelated version 2,000 years old? Was this aforementioned game designer moonlighting as a witch doctor? Will these questions most likely remain unanswered forever because... screw it... Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson!
14 Avatar 2
After all the stories about die-hard Avatar fans suffering from mental breakdowns when they realized they'd never be able to physically live on Pandora combined with every entertainment publication beating you to death with stories of James Cameron's ground breaking visual effects, I was left with one of my favorite quotes from 2009, "Avatar was one-dimensional." Eight years ago, audiences filled theater seats over and over again to catch a glimpse of the nearly three-hour epic, but unless you're one of these freakish Na'vi superfans, you know as well as I do that the movie doesn't stand the test of time. I'm not the first one to tell you that the plot is an exact replica of Pocahontas, and I'm not the first to bring up the sheer laziness that comes with naming an unobtainable mineral "unobtainium." But I'm not here to vent about Avatar. I'm here to rant about Avatar 2 which, by the looks of it, has all the makings of the crappy original, plus a baby. I'm going out on a limb of the Hometree here, but this movie (which isn't set to come out until December of 2020) is going to really suck the big one, but someone has to help Sam Worthington pay the bills, so we have to do what we can to help.
Sometimes, I feel like I'm the only person who thought that the original Saw was a pile of dog crap that was left out in the elements to morph into a rock-hard turd covered in that white fuzzy mold. Sure, thinking of wacky ways for people to torture themselves in order to avoid torture is fun. But when you lock two of the worst actors you can find in a room for two hours, that's torture for the viewer as well unless, maybe, that was their intention. Whoa! Anyhow, this new installment of the franchise finds us smack dab in the middle of a spree of murders that resemble the killing patterns of...dun dun dun...John Kramer. But, Kramer has been dead for years, right? RIGHT? Who cares? Whether you're a Saw fan or not, you can't possibly think the eighth addition to the franchise is going to be good, and if it is, it deserves an Oscar nomination because they've overcome the odds.
12 Pitch Perfect 3
I don't have anything against America's sweetheart Anna Kendrick. She's a tremendous actress with more range than most, a great voice, is charming on talk shows, and cute as a button. To expand further on the Pitch Perfect cast, Rebel Wilson, in my opinion, is one of the funniest women in Hollywood, and her comedy is probably the biggest draw for the Pitch Perfect movies. That said, not one Pitch Perfect movie has been remotely decent. I actually went to the premiere of Pitch Perfect 2 and had to sit in a room with the director, Elizabeth Banks, while the plotline, characters, and dialogue of her film disintegrated minute by minute in front of us all. This time around, Trish Shie is directing, which isn't that reassuring considering her biggest credit to date is one of the Step Up sequels. And while Kay Cannon of New Girl and 30 Rock fame wrote the script, she's also the mastermind that brought us the first two shoddy installments of the Pitch Perfect franchise. My advice to fans is to queue up "Cups" on Spotify, put it on repeat, and cry in the mirror because you'll have more fun doing that than seeing this movie come December.
11 Blade Runner 2049
If you think back at the movies Ryan Gosling has done since he became a household name after 2011's Drive, it's easy to overlook the awful projects he's attached himself to. Aside from La La Land and maybe A Place Beyond the Pines (depending on who you ask), he hasn't done anything of consequence in six years. Which brings us to Bladerunner 2049, a guaranteed box office smash that has fans and critics around the world marking their calendars for the October 6th release date, and to be honest, I'm right there with them. In lieu of Ridley Scott, who directed the original Blade Runner in 1982, Columbia Pictures has hired Dennis Villeneuve fresh off of last year's stunning Arrival and even had Hampton Fancher write the screenplay, which is significant in the fact that he hasn't written that much since he wrote the original Blade Runner. However, all the reasons why Blade Runner 2049 should be good are the same reasons why it won't be.
We're three months away from its release, and there's already enough hype surrounding it to sink a ship, which is most likely what will happen. It's rare that a film of this magnitude leaves audiences walking out of the theater saying it was all they hoped for and more. And yeah, I'm as excited as anyone to see Harrison Ford reprise his role as Rick Deckard, but it breaks my heart to have to do a double-take with these promo photos and make sure the man pictured is, in fact, Harrison Ford and not just some grumpy old man who wandered onto the set.
I'll be honest. I like Jason Momoa. He's married to immortal superbabe Lisa Bonet, throws hatchets for fun, and seems like an overall nice guy. But I can't tell if he's a good actor or not. Don't get me wrong, he was great as Khal Drogo but he was only in like ten episodes, and he spoke a made-up language the entire time. Aside from GoT he's most notably been in Conan the Barbarian which was the movie equivalent of being attacked by a bear and The Bad Batch, which looked shiny and cool but turned out to be the movie equivalent of being attacked by a shiny/cool bear. I'm not saying that Momoa chooses to do bad movies. I'm just saying that his agent has convinced him to do movies that were supposed to help build a name for himself when at the end of the day everyone still knows him for making Emilia Clark eat a heart in 2011. Besides Momoa's track record, here are the two main reasons as to why Aquaman will be bad: 1. Every DC movie has been terrible, and before you start screaming about the amazingly mediocre Wonder Woman, let's not forget the scene where she brings a three-foot-long sword to a German gala and no one bats an eye, okay? Okay. 2. Aquaman is one of the lamest superheroes in comics. He fights crimes that occur in the ocean, so unless you're really into maritime law, I wouldn't count on this one keeping you glued to the screen.
9 My Little Pony: The Movie
With the release date of My Little Pony: The Movie only a few months away, it would be safe to assume that every "bronie" on planet earth has neglected any responsibility they may have and are instead organizing their adult-sized horse onesies in preparation for the big day. Despite the show's overwhelming following, this is only the second theatrical release in the history of the My Little Pony franchise and the first since 1986. And this time around, they're not pulling any punches. The producers have a full orchestra doing the score on top of an already big name cast to lend their voices to the story. Unfortunately, as your loyal and trustworthy correspondent, I must warn you that, statistically speaking, no television show has ever been able to successfully make the crossover to film, at least not while the show is currently airing. I'm sorry to say this but what fans have to look forward to here is a 90-minute episode and some famous voices. No more, no less.
8 The Lion King
Whenever this movie is mentioned, I feel like it's impossible not to bring up 2016's The Jungle Book for so many obvious reasons. One, they're both about talking animals in the jungle. Two, they're both CGI-based remakes of classic Disney films, and three, they're both directed by Jon Favreau. The Jungle Book wasn't too bad and I was expecting to walk out of that theater fuming, so I wasn't as confident to toss The Lion King onto this list as I was with some of the other entries. Then, I was knocked to the floor with images of that computer-animated lion from The Chronicles of Narnia and I snapped out of it. Could the all-star cast be enough to save this mess? Possibly, yes. But I wouldn't count on it. The novelty of a Donald Glover voiced Simba can only last so long. What worries me is the name Jeff Nathanson. Nathanson is a screenwriter who's had a lot of success over the last three decades, but he's had it with some really crappy titles. We're talking Speed 2: Cruise Control, Rush Hour 3, and Tower Heist. Sure, this is the guy who wrote the terrific Catch Me if You Can, but he's also the man who put aliens in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, so let's weigh our expectations and assume that this will suck.
7 The Six Billion Dollar Man
For four years in the mid-1970's, actor Lee Majors played Steve Austin, a former pilot-turned-secret-agent, who, in case you were wondering, had no relation to the most bada*s professional wrestler of all time. Austin was in a horrible accident. But luckily for him, the government had the technology to rebuild him. They fitted our hero with a few bionic parts for a measly six million dollars that Austin agreed to pay back by performing missions at the behest of the United States government. And now, Mark Wahlberg wants to bring the beloved action tale to the big screen by changing "million" to "billion." I've heard this is a true passion project for Wahlberg, who's been trying his darnedest to get this movie made for a few years now, which does give this storm cloud of a film a silver lining strictly because the last time he was this into a project was with The Fighter, which turned out to be great. Still, it's difficult to shake the fact that this is nothing more than another adaptation from television to film and starring the guy who thought Entourage was a good idea. So, there's that.
6 Murder On The Orient Express
I'm skeptical of any movie with a stacked cast and all the hype that comes along with it, but I'm also a sucker for big blockbuster flicks. So you can imagine my rollercoaster of emotions with this one. The director, Kenneth Branagh, is no stranger to adapting classic writings to the big screen (he's brought several Shakespeare plays to modern cinema, including Hamlet, twice). And after manning the helm with Thor, we know he's capable of handling big-budget movies. However, I can't help but pay attention to a few personal red flags including, but not limited to, Johnny Depp. The guy hasn't put out a reasonable movie in close to ten years, and I'd be shocked to find out this is the one that injects respect back into an otherwise flat career. On top of that, the creators of this movie have taken the liberty of changing the names of characters to better suit their needs, and history will tell us that whenever you're working with a beloved piece of literature, it's important to screw around with the particulars as little as possible or risk much-deserved failure.
I think we're in for some "disappoint me" here, folks, so just be prepared.
5 Fifty Shades Freed
How do I know the third installment of the Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy will suck? Because the first two installments were about as good as a poop-covered popsicle. It's also a dead giveaway that in a time when Hollywood loves milking these book adaptations for everything they're worth by making the third movie a two-parter (The Hunger Games, Harry Potter), they've chosen to put this franchise to rest without any hassle or cliffhangers. Seems to me like Universal Pictures isn't doing anything but fulfilling contracts at this point. Even the star, Jamie Dornan, who plays Christian Grey, wasn't positive that he would be coming back for the sequels and had to be reportedly convinced to do so. This entire Fifty Shades thing has been cursed from the beginning when the script for the first movie was rumored to be so awful that no leading man wanted to attach their name to it. I think even the book's core fans will agree that this movie is skippable, or at the very least, the type of flick you wait to come on Netflix.
4 Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
I would never have thought Jurassic Park would spark a movie franchise spanning over twenty-five years. I always felt as though the original worked perfectly by itself as a standalone film, but then came 1997's The Lost World: Jurassic Park and Spielberg put a tyrannosaurus rex in New York City, so I've been wrong before. However, this whole Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard thing is nothing more than a couple shots of raptors over a haphazardly glued-together storyline. My favorite review that I read about Jurassic World was short and sweet, describing the dino-reboot as "a movie." Nothing more, nothing less. It had actors I like in a universe I'm familiar with battling creatures they have to outsmart rather than outfight. But, you only get that pass one time. To think that audiences will let that formula slide twice in five years with one franchise is preposterous. I don't care how many mega-dinosaurs show up.
I'll be honest. This movie might not suck at all. In fact, it could very well be great, especially during a time when Ghostbusters are women. Alas, this is a remake and while it would be fun to see Mulan as a physical person rather than a 2D drawing, I'm too nervous that this is a package deal that includes CGI dragons and crickets, and that's always a recipe for disaster. What isn't a disaster, however, is this tremendous cross promotion (whether it's planned or not) with adultswim's Rick and Morty which, if you aren't aware of yet, consists solely around the show's main character getting his hands on a particular type of McDonald's dipping sauce that only ever existed when the original Mulan was in theaters. The fast food giant has hinted at re-releasing the sauce with the new movie sometime around 2019, but we'll have to wait and see. I know I got a bit off track with this one, but that sauce was damn good...like...better than Mulan good.
2 The Life And Death Of John Gotti
Movies like this should come with a simple black-and-white warning label like cigarettes do. "Caution: Viewing The Life and Death of John Gotti may result in aggravation and the wasting of twelve dollars." First of all, this movie is directed by Kevin Connolly, who, up until now, was mostly known for playing Eric on Entourage. I'm not trying to say that he's a bad director, but I am pointing out that he has only one feature film-directing credit to his name, and it was nowhere near this type of production in either scale or budget. To make matters worse, this movie hasn't had much luck in terms of casting. Lindsay Lohan was dropped from the film due to "demands from her management team," and Joe Pesci quit after he gained thirty pounds to play Angelo Ruggiero only to then be cast in a different role (a dilemma that resulted in Pesci filing a $3-million lawsuit against the producers). All of this adds up to a delay in production and a crew of people that want to get the project over and done with rather than make a good movie.
1 Justice League
Zack Snyder has kind of gone all-in on DC Comics. The man is set to produce eight DC projects in the next three years, and he's already directed three [Watchmen, Man of Steel, Batman V. Superman]. Now, he's adding the next TWO Justice League movies to that list. Now listen, I'm as much a sucker for slow motion fisticuffs as anybody, but who could possibly be looking forward to another DC ensemble after last year's nausea-inducing Suicide Squad? I'll admit that I thought Watchmen was awful when I first saw it and it's grown on me over time, so maybe I'm calling this one a little too early. But I'd be more willing to bend if Batman V. Superman hadn't been such a dumpster-fire on wheels. What this seems to be boiling down to, almost year after year at this point, is that compared to Marvel, DC Comics is dull. It's your dad's comic publisher that really wants you to get good grades and have stellar credit. The Justice League characters are too apple-pie wholesome to carry a movie together. Plus, Ben Affleck is just some old white guy at this point.