Today is Dec. 28 and we are in that final week of the year between Christmas and New Year’s. Many people are on vacation at this time. For those who are still at work, it’s usually a slow week. However, if you are a movie critic, this is the time of year when you compile your top ten lists. Almost all critics will give out their best movie of the year list, and sometimes a top ten worst movie of the year list too. They usually stop at that point, but for the last half decade there are well over 20 3D movies that are released within the year. Shouldn’t they get their own top ten too? I always thought so. Now let’s get to the worst 3D movies 2015 had to offer.
#10 ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’
Disney is riding high with the success of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.” Purchasing the Star Wars franchise was a smart idea, just like when they bought Marvel. The most annoying aspect of the Marvel movies they release is that it is apparently mandated that they all get converted to 3D in post-production. What is not mandated is that they go through a good conversion. Not only was the 3D in “Avengers: Age of Ultron” sub par, so was the movie itself. That’s a shame considering the first installment was the #3 best 3D movie of 2012.
#9 ‘Point Break’
A combination of different facets goes into determining what gets a movie on the top ten worst 3D movie list. Bad 3D is the quickest way, but being a bad movie, even with decent 3D will land you on this list too. Remaking the Kathryn Bigelow directed original may have looked good on paper, but boy, was it one lousy movie. Turning the bank robbing surfers into international extreme sports athletes got us some exotic locals and decent 3D to go along with it, but the paper cut out characters and the inability to direct action sequences by director Ericson Core did in this movie from the start.
Once upon a time Dreamworks Animated Studios was just as powerful as Pixar. They hit it big with the “Shrek” movies, “How to Train Your Dragon” and many more. When they started to produce their movies in 3D, they always took full advantage of the technology and gave more than a few “Oohh’s and Aahh’s” to audiences everywhere. Over the last number of years, that hasn’t been the case. They still do good work with their 3D effects, but the stories they have been telling has not been worth going to see. “Home” was just the latest to fall into that category.
#7 ‘The Divergent Series: Insurgent’
It was certainly a surprise to see how entertaining “Divergent” was when it came out in 2014. Teenaged angst post-apocalyptic novels turned into movies has been quite popular for a lot of years. Hats off to Summit Entertainment for releasing “Insurgent” in March instead of making it a summer or holiday time release after the first found great success. They earn a big frown face for deciding to convert the movie into 3D. The effects were terrible and it was clear the only reason the conversion was done in the first place was to make an extra buck or two.
#6 ‘Jurassic World’
It may be a surprise to see “Jurassic World” fall onto any worst movie of the year list. After all, until Star Wars came along it was the #1 movie of 2015 and broke many box office records in the process. The 3D wasn’t even half bad. The movie itself? That was pretty bad, but that’s what you often get when a director with very little experience outside the indie world is put in charge of a major franchise. Colin Trevorrow could not remotely capture the magic of the original one and could never build any tension. How could he with all that bad editing? In one frame a dinosaur could be ten feet away from a human meal, in the next shot the dino was fifty feet away. The movie succeeded from some great marketing and a good story, “The park is open.” Universal could have hired a guy holding a “Will work for food sign” to direct and the movie would have found the same success, but it was not a good movie.
#5 ‘Terminator: Genisys’
Who would have thought James Cameron would ever sell out? He had nothing to do with the making with this 5th installment of the Terminator movies, but he came out and said that he felt that “Terminator: Genisys” was the first worthy successor to “Terminator 2: Judgment Day.” He must have seen a different version of the movie than the rest of us did and the 3D effects were as just as bad.
Hollywood can use the term “Re-imagining” all they like, these movies, like “Poltergeist” earlier this summer, are remakes plain and simple. It was only a matter of time before this one got remade considering the success haunted house movies have had of late. The original was co-written and produced by Steven Spielberg and directed by Tobe Hooper. The new one was written by David Lindsay-Abaire and directed by Gil Kenan. You probably never heard of them either. The fact that we have not heard of them should not matter, but maybe it does because they went on to make a weak, non-scary movie with lousy 3D effects to boot. Actually, there was one good 3D shot in the movie, but you need more than that to avoid getting put on the worst 3D movie list. In this case, they made the top five.
#3 ‘Jupiter Ascending’
Originally slated to be released during the summer of 2014, “Jupiter Ascending” got pushed to Feb. 2015. That’s never a good sign, but if you saw the movie you know why. The Wachowskis gave us “The Matrix” in 1999, but haven’t come close to finding that kind of success since. There was a report of people walking out of the movie when it was shown at Sundance and it’s a good bet people did that at their local cinemas too. The biggest problem was with the cast. Mila Kunis and Channing Tatum had zero chemistry together and Eddie Redmayne was such a wussy villain, my 8-year old nephew probably could have beaten him up. The movie had some good 3D, but what a waste of money this was for so many people.
Finding an Adam Sandler movie on a top ten worst movie of the year list is nothing new. The only question is whether is whether his movie comes in at #1 or #2. It was a tough fight, but he does not grab the top spot this year. “Pixels” was actually a cute short film expanded into a feature length for Sandler and his crew. You might have thought having him team up with director Chris Columbus, that they could have made something special together. You would be wrong, so wrong! The movie is about classic video game characters invading Earth and if you grew up playing those video games, you probably had your heart broken when you see how they were used. Add one of the poorer 3D conversions this year and you wind up with another Adam Sandler “Masterpiece.”
#1 ‘Seventh Son’
The title for this movie review when it came out in the beginning of February was, “‘Seventh Son’ is just bad, bad bad.” Sometimes you need to be really blunt to get your point across. You may have seen this movie being shot at your local Renaissance Faire because that’s where it looked like it was made. You had two lead characters who spoke with American accents when this was supposed to be a fantasy movie taking place in the olden days, before America was even discovered. Finally, all the action sequences reeked. This movie made a strong case to be the worst 3D movie of the year 11 months ago and it was never supplanted in all that time.
There you have it. The top ten worst 3D movies of 2015. If you paid extra money to see any of these movies in 3D then you have my sympathies. Such a waste of some extra dollars in your pockets. Have no fear, next we will examine the top ten best 3D movies of 2015 and then go on to look at the best and worst for the whole year.