Review 2018:
Bad Films.

Film Yesterday I ran down my top ten films of the year. In short order, here's my bottom ten:

The Snowman
The Image Book
Fifty Shades Freed
Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House
Sicario: Day of the Soldado
Hold the Dark
Status Update

If that list looks a bit thin, it's because for a portion of the year I adhered to the rule of only watching films with a Rotten Tomatoes rating of over 70% and otherwise being pretty generous to anything which looks like it has a thought in its head, which is why I'm already feeling guilty about including Entebbe which at least tries to do something different with those dance sequences.  The Image Book has had some great review which is why I risked another Godardian shovel over the head, but I'm still convinced JLG hasn't made a good film since the 1970s.

Some of these are just boring.  Hold The DarkFifty Shades Freed (yes, really), Winchester and Mark Felt which somehow made a biopic about Deep Throat preachy and boring and looked especially poor when compared to this year's other All The President's Men homage, The Post.  A potentially expansive epic is turned into men talking grimly in brown rooms.  At a certain point it looked like it would smartly keep Woodstein off screen until it can't help itself and produces its own inferior version of the parking lot scene crucifying actor Julian Morris in the process for not being Redford.

But of all these, The Snowman was the worst.  As the director's admitted about 10-15% of the screenplay went unfilmed which meant they had to find ways of plugging the gaps in editing.  In some ways this is a fascinating watch, as we see Thelma Schoonmaker presses establishing shots into action via ADR to provide at least some connecting tissue between otherwise disjointed scene chronology.  But other oddities linger, like whether Val Kilmer actually had some dialogue originally or what the business was with the sausage in the pivotal breakfast scene.  A prime example of how even a great director, decent source material and impressive cast sometimes doesn't mean anything.

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