The CineMarter Awards - Worst of 2015

The CineMarter Awards - Worst of 2015

Like the Razzies - but with more cultural relevance - today's CineMarter Awards mock the worst of cinema from 2015.

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Seems a little redundant to give "Worst Film" and "Worst Non-Cinematic Film" to the same film. Maybe you should have split that into two categories instead of making the worst of all films also carry off the subset.

Religious themed movies make you upset? That sounds more like a personal problem than a professional movie reviewer problem. But, you're the boss.

I personally liked the idea of "Little Boy". I don't think it was well executed but I've missed the kind of movies like "The man without a face" where a person (or animal as in Sandlot) is shunned or feared by the community but turns out to be a good person(or animal) who just needs someone to see them for who they are.

Sadly, it fell flat of the genre but it wasn't a "worst of 2015". It was just bland and occasionally stupid with bad (but age appropriate) acting and the central theme of the relationship between the main character and the outsider just didn't pay off. Religious aversion might be the only thing tipping the scale for you and that's pretty heavy handed in the bias department. Not that all movie reviewing doesn't already require varying degrees of bias. Then again, if you found the kid's acting particularly annoying then I'm guessing there's no redeeming quality of the film. I just thought it was a cheesy film meant to manipulate the ol' heart strings. All the pieces were there to be great and they just didn't make it. Hopefully something having a religious theme didn't weigh as heavily as it appears in your evaluation. That would actually fall into the category of bigotry which you seem to always rail against elsewhere.

In any event, thanks for putting the work into these two award articles. Clearly a lot of thought went into them and despite my contention with your motivation for a few of these I enjoyed reading your work.

Lightknight:
Religious aversion might be the only thing tipping the scale for you and that's pretty heavy handed in the bias department.

Or, maybe the bias is yours. I haven't seen the movie (and it's just one of a set anyway), but he's far from alone in his judgment: "Critics Consensus: Well-meaning but manipulative on a horrifically misguided scale, Little Boy is the rare faith-based film that many viewers may find legitimately offensive." http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/little_boy_2015/

Could you imagine being the offspring of Sandler or Schneider? I think i would have to tell everybody that my real family died in a crash and they were ordered by the courts to look after the child they just orphaned. My conscience would remain clear (aside from the "other" stuff).

Pyrian:

Lightknight:
Religious aversion might be the only thing tipping the scale for you and that's pretty heavy handed in the bias department.

Or, maybe the bias is yours. I haven't seen the movie (and it's just one of a set anyway), but he's far from alone in his judgment: "Critics Consensus: Well-meaning but manipulative on a horrifically misguided scale, Little Boy is the rare faith-based film that many viewers may find legitimately offensive." http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/little_boy_2015/

One thing I'll note is that your bias (if you have some, Matthew Parkinson had a category specifically for faith-based preachiness which is why bias can be assumed but I know you and I have had many well reasoned scientific discussions) is that you believe they're saying that it's manipulative because of the faith elements. You're reading into that what you want to because it isn't manipulative because of the faith elements, it's manipulative because they're throwing a movie-long pity party for the small helpless protagonist in which they just continually try to make you feel sorry for and protective of him. It is centrally designed to manipulate your emotions, not your religious fervor. That he prays (he doesn't pray, he tries to levitate things by waving his hands and grunting like he was taught to do by a magician him and his father used to listen to on the radio) or tries to do nice things for people isn't manipulative.

I also didn't say the reviewer was alone. A lot of people have issues with religion or the beliefs of others that don't match their own. That's basically a standard of being human. But something being preachy about a subject matter it believes in shouldn't be a major deciding factor in whether or not it's a good film. This film in particularly isn't good because of numerous missed opportunities by the writers and pretty cheesy acting by the main character that got annoying at times. It isn't bad because the kid was trying to use faith to save a family member, that was really just a mechanic. Intolerance of beliefs that are different from our own is just bigotry. It's normal to dislike a movie because it teaches messages we don't agree with. But it's a step too far to demonize them for merely expressing the messages they believe in. The impulse to do so may mean that someone less partial should be doing the reviewing.

This should be true for any other kind of preachy material. From political movies to anything else. To further fine tune my point, being preachy itself can easily be a detractor for a film, but what it is being preachy for should not be relevant. The interpretation of such a claim is that if the film had been preachy about a subject the reviewer was passionate about then it wouldn't be bad, ergo the discrimination (albeit a subjective evaluation) is being done because of the subject matter being preached rather than that it was ruining the film to soap box something.

I'd say the film did just fine with its religious demonstration and if you watched it you could attest or deny my claim here. Especially in the context of 1940's Americana. To sum it up for you, a priest told him to do nice things like feed the hungry and house the homeless and befriend the friendless. Oh no, the horror... what will religion ruin next? This is basically a big movie about karma and if you do good you should expect to get good in return. That's spiritual, not religion per se. The film even has an atheist as the main supporting character who regularly voices the danger of encouraging a desperate child who is willing to believe anything he is told to think that faith can perform magic. He brings up the threat of it failing and the result being devastating to the kid including causing him to lose faith in himself. The kid doesn't even actually pray, he just performs a magic trick he was taught by a magician early in the movie, so for it to be seen a super spiritual is hilarious. You want to see religious preachiness, look at Fireproof. The best the atheist supporting character gave the boy when things didn't work out was that his family member would be proud because all the love the kid had for him was contained in that list (of good works to perform). He didn't say "now I believe God exists" or "faith really does do things". Just that the kid was demonstrating love by trying to do something even if it didn't have any impact and that his family member would have appreciated that. So we have an atheist perspective and a religious perspective portrayed positively regarding the actions he took.

To me, the greatest sin of the film was the failure to turn a solid idea into a solid payoff. It never felt like his relationship with the town's outsider really made a difference. That's why I referenced films like "Iron Giant", "The Man without a face", or "Sandlot" as a contrast of what the film could have been compared to how it turned out. All films with a character that is hated or feared by the people around except that the protagonist discovers that they're not the monster the others thought they were. This film used it as a central component but then failed to make it relevant. People who saw this as overly preachy in favor of faith did so because of distaste for religion. The film failed to make or try to make a convincing point for faith and issued way to many reasoned counterpoints from the atheist perspective. Is the mere inclusion of faith as a mechanic now considered preaching? That's pretty disappointing that the people who so regularly push for inclusivity and tolerance wouldn't even be tolerant of the mention of faith in a film.

Xsjadoblayde:
Could you imagine being the offspring of Sandler or Schneider? I think i would have to tell everybody that my real family died in a crash and they were ordered by the courts to look after the child they just orphaned. My conscience would remain clear (aside from the "other" stuff).

Sandler has filled a niche market with brilliant business savvy. You may not like his films but just because movie snobs don't care for his stuff doesn't detract from the wild success he has achieved and continues to achieve.

We'd have an argument against him if he was losing money, but he's not, which shows a compelling market for the products he is offering. I haven't been a big fan of his work in my adult life, but they're usually worth a few laughs. Ridiculous 6 is no different. It's going to be panned heavily by critics as all low brow comedies face but at the end of the day it'll be a fun movie to watch with friends and laugh with or at.

I wonder if it gets critics' goat when a movie like that gets wild public viewership?

Lightknight:

We'd have an argument against him if he was losing money, but he's not, which shows a compelling market for the products he is offering. I haven't been a big fan of his work in my adult life, but they're usually worth a few laughs. Ridiculous 6 is no different. It's going to be panned heavily by critics as all low brow comedies face but at the end of the day it'll be a fun movie to watch with friends and laugh with or at.

I wonder if it gets critics' goat when a movie like that gets wild public viewership?

Yes but liking someone because they make a lot of money sounds even worse. Heroin dealers make a lot of money and a lot of people happy. I personally dislike his trait of always writing himself as the mary/gary sue which shows an ego that i can't even begin to understand. Also he is just not funny. Even stoner humour has some redeeming qualities. I never considered myself a film snob, it's just from a very early age i could see what he was doing in all these movies and it shows a woeful lack of creativity whilst pushing himself as a brilliant, easy going, lovable guy. It is manipulative and self-centered. But that is just my opinion. :)

 

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