Praise the heavens! July was actually a solid month for film. With Quentin Tarantino debuting a new work and plenty of smaller releases which resulted in a wave of support from Film Twitter, one really couldn’t find too many opportunities to complain wholeheartedly.
But, Disney is still coasting off its own IP and Netflix still releases whatever sloppy seconds they can find from other studios and passes them off as “stellar” original films. To these entities, I say do better.
Here are my picks for the worst movies of July 2019:
#3: The Lion King
I’ll refer back to my tweet on this matter:
I think #TheLionKing 2019 might be the most worthless movie of the decade pic.twitter.com/0XuDGGQ7Yq
— Nick Kush (@nkush42) July 27, 2019
Jon Favreau’s The Lion King is the nuts and bolts of the original movie without any of the charm or imagination. How is the exact same movie 30 minutes longer this time around? What is happening? Am I taking crazy pills?
And let’s address the elephant in the room: the CGI is fine. There’s still a glossy sheen to computer-generated images that attempt to replicate real life that we have not quite cracked. In combination with a less than realistic fluidity of movement to each character, we still have room to grow when it comes to VFX, even if The Lion King is certainly a step forward.
Besides Seth Rogen and Billy Eichner’s improvisation together as Timon and Pumbaa, the movie is simply a lifeless bore that has no artistic purpose to justify its existence.
*To read the site’s full review of The Lion King, please click here.
#2: The Red Sea Diving Resort
Hey, Chris Evans, maybe you should go back to Captain America for a little longer. At least Marvel films are more competent than The Red Sea Diving Resort.
The latest buzzy Netflix original film to quickly disappoint subscribers is a classic example of the bad good movie: it has wonderful aims by retelling the true story of special agents who saved countless Ethiopian Jews by smuggling them to Israel, but it goes about telling this story horribly. Not only is it a classic example of a bad good movie, but it’s also a classic example of the white savior complex in film. The refugees in the film are shown with little to no agency whatsoever, and only Chris Evans, his rippling muscles, and the rest of his team can give them dignity.
The issues don’t stop there, either. The Red Sea Diving Resort is borderline nonsensical in its editing choices, putting a fun romp of a scene where the agents prance around to “Hungry Like a Wolf” next to a mass shooting scene. When watching these sequences back to back, all I could mutter was a firm “yikes.” With paper-thin characters and an ending that is far too similar to Argo, it would be wise to watch Queer Eye for the 97th time than to give this one a chance as you’re scrolling through Netflix.
*To read the site’s full review of The Red Sea Diving Resort, please click here.
#1: Secret Obsession
Perhaps Secret Obsession was never hoping to achieve high-art status. I’ll give you that one, Internet. The film is the same as just about every trashy stalker thriller on TV; it’s the lost step-child of every Lifetime movie about awful men. But that still doesn’t mean that I have to like it.
Remember Brenda Song? You know, the girl from the Disney Channel? Well, there’s a reason that she hasn’t been in many high-profile roles since The Suite Life of Zack and Cody days: she’s simply not a very good actor. I truly hate singling actors out — we’re all out here trying to make a living, after all — but Song is never believable as a woman in peril and struggles to anchor this movie in any way, shape, or form.
I think many will view Secret Obsession as a guilty pleasure. (Any movie with the title “Secret Obsession” is probably aiming for that distinction.) The problem is that I never found this film fun or thrilling, even in a campy sense. More than anything else, it’s horribly boring and poorly staged, which is the worst possible lane for a movie such as this one.
In Case You (Or I) Missed It
Once again, shout out to the movie gods for bestowing a wonderful bounty on us this past month. As such, our (dis)honorable mentions list only has one nominee:
In most months, Stuber wouldn’t be included here; it would be somewhere in the middle of the best and the worst of the month. Nevertheless, the buddy cop film is slipshod and overly average with only occasional charm between Dave Bautista and Kumail Nanjiani. You don’t get brownie points for being merely competent on this website!
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Aww, I had Secret Obsession lined up. Full disclosure, I love a good Lifetime movie when they lean into the crazy. The ‘Stalked By My Doctor’ trilogy are fantastic. At one point Eric Roberts performs a duet with his split personality, tell me you don’t want to see that.
If Secret Obsession is just dull though I’ll give it a swerve.
You nailed it with The Lion King! In my review, I asked why the filmmakers simply didn’t just use the same voice track from the original film with the updated graphics. That’s about what The Lion King came down to — all the glory with no heart; no life. I can’t comment on the other two films, as I’ve never even heard of them until now. Here are my picks for the worst films of July: 3) The Lion King; 2) Stuber (like you, in any other month, this probably would have fallen somewhere in the middle; not terrible, but not stellar either); 1) Crawl (unlike some, I just could not find the joy in this one; the characters were just too dumb and too boring to enjoy the craziness!)
Hahahah! I liked Crawl just fine, although I can’t in good faith call it a “great” film. Just passable schlock!
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