Do you remember The 5th Wave? If so…why?
Believe it or not, we are already 1/4 of the way through 2017. Nuts, right? Considering how eternally sluggish 2016 seemed to be, the current year is just flying by! Soon it will be summer, and then fall, and before you know it, we will be talking about the Oscars again. But, for now, we’re still in the thick of the Spring movie season, where the offerings are slim and the junk is plenty. Need proof? Just recall what last year had to offer.
Suffice to say a lot of it was pretty poor but, more importantly, a lot of it was just damn forgettable. Hundreds of movies are released within a given year, and not all of them will go on to garner acclaim or audience attention. Well it’s easy to remember the good (or even disastrously bad) films that are released in a given year, the most mediocre of the group? They will, ultimately, become lost to time.
But before that happens, why not make a listicle about them? Here’s the 16 films released last year that you (probably) already forgot about. Before doing research for this piece, I certainly did.
Note: For the sake of convenience, I’m only picking on films that got a wide release— if I were to include every little indie that was released in two theaters, this list would go from 16 to 1600. Furthermore, I disregarded a lot of the weird little horror films that BARELY eek out a wide launch (examples include: The Darkness, The Other Side of the Door, The Forest, etc.) These are pretty easy pickings and, surprisingly, there’s plenty of forgettable features worth putting on this list without them.
Also, the list goes in chronological order, but I did not include release dates. See if you can remember when the movies released on your own. I don’t know, it could be a fun little game or something.
The 5th Wave
Ever since the success of Harry Potter, it seems like every year has given us a mid-budgeted YA novel adaptation about some fantasy/sci-fi situation occurring around a bunch of teenagers. Some of them (The Maze Runner, The Hunger Games, etc.) turn out to be quite successful. But the vast majority of them wither on the vine like the “also-rans” they truly are. The 5th Wave, of course, belongs to the latter category.
The most memorable thing about The Choice is its poster, in which the arms of main star Benjamin Walker are wrapped around Teresa Palmer as though he was about to envelop her in a The Thing-like absorption ritual. But, hey, in a Nicolas Sparks adaptation, that’s just love, man.
The Divergent Series: Allegiant
It’s not the fact that there was once a film released entitled The Divergent Series: Allegiant — I certainly remembered that. More so, it’s the fact that the film entitled The Divergent Series: Allegiant CAME OUT LESS THAN A YEAR AGO? It feels like the wheels on this franchise came apart back in, like, 2014. Oh well: Allegiant might have lost its (already precarious) blockbuster status, but it gets a lower budgeted TV series follow-up in return! And you can’t put a price on that one.
My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2
My Big Fat Greek Wedding was a surprise hit when it came out back in 2002, so making a sequel to the indie-budgeted comedy was a no-brainer. Of course, the cinematic world of 2002 is very different from the one in 2016, leading My Big Fat Greek Wedding to make substantially less noise at the box office. Opening against Batman v. Superman also didn’t help it gain attention in the cultural zeitgeist either. We were all too busy bitching about Granny’s Peach Tea to roll our eyes at Nia Vardalos desperately trying to re-capture the success that long ago fell on her lap. Maybe we’ll pay attention next time, Nia.
But, eh, probably not.
A movie in which Ryan Reynolds plays a CIA agent who dies and has his brain swapped into the body of a death row inmate played by Kevin Costner (and also Gary Oldman and Tommy Lee Jones are there!) shouldn’t be forgettable, but I can guarantee 98% of people will have no idea what you are talking about if you bring up Criminal to them. That’s what an insanely generic title (and terrible reviews) will get ya, I guess.
The Huntsman: Winter’s War
“Who the hell asked for a Snow White and the Huntsman sequel without Snow White?” is a question asked by a million bloggers over, often phrased entirely in the rhetorical. This time, however, the question will get an honest answer.
No one. No one asked for a Snow White and the Huntsman sequel.
Ice Age: Collision Course
I vaguely remembered that there was in fact a movie released entitled Ice Age: Collision Course. Whether or not that film was released in 2016 or 2013 or 2007 is, at this point, pretty much lost to time.
Who thought the world needed a modern, more gritty take on Ben-Hur? Clearly, they were very very wrong.
“Sci-fi horror film about artificial intelligence, starring Anya Taylor-Joy, with a score by Max Richter” should very much be up my alley, but the fact that I forgot “Morgan” was the title of said film speaks more to its quality than anything else possibly could.
When the Bough Breaks
Another year, another forgettable “thriller” about a stalker torturing an innocent person and/or persons. At least, that’s what I think this movie is about. One second.
Yeah, okay, that is correct.
The Wild Life
Yes, once upon a time some lowly animation studio created a loose adaptation of Robinson Crusoe, and you’ll never guess who they got to be part of the voice cast!
No, seriously, you won’t, because there’s not a recognizable name in the whole bunch. It’s a lame animated comedy that didn’t even have the dignity to spring for a Rob Schneider or Dane Cook. I didn’t even know those could exist!
Masterminds was kicked down the release date totem-pole an approximate dozen times, screwed over by the collapse of original distributor Relativity. When the film finally hit theaters last September, it was pretty evident that everyone involved (including big names like Kristen Wiig and Zack Galifanakis) had already moved on. It seems obvious now that audiences had as well…if they were even there to begin with.
The Girl on the Train
Hollywood, I watched Gone Girl. I loved Gone Girl. Gone Girl was one of my top 3 films in the year that it came out. And, Hollywood, The Girl on the Train is no Gone Girl.
If you told me Max Steel was the title of a mine-set Cinemax softcore, I would believe you. Conversely, if you told me it was a lame low-budget toy adaptation, I would also believe you. To this day, I can’t tell you which description is truly correct.
Birth of A Nation
This is by far the most surprising installment for me on this list — after all, I would never expect that the winner of the Grand Jury prize out of Sundance would end up almost completely forgotten less than a year after its release. But you know what? I’m okay not remembering about Birth of A Nation. For as complex as the issues surrounding the film are, and the reasoning for why it ended up getting completely ignored hard to really get down to in just a couple sentences…Nate Parker is a gross rapist. The film can hang, for all I care.
Rules Don’t Apply
Warren Beatty was the man front-and-center during the big Oscar debacle of 2017. I say this because, judging from the performance of his movie in 2016 (his first in over a decade), no one under the age of 70 has any idea who this man is. But hey, fame is fame — it was either be a part of the biggest television flub of the millennium, or star in Bad Grandpa. Beatty made the right call — unintentionally, of course.
And there you have it, the sixteen films that you already forgot existed that were released last year. So far in 2017, can you spot any that will make next year’s list?
No, no you cannot. Because you already forgot about them.