I’ve seen A LOT of shitty movies over the years. Some are so ridiculously bad that they’re hilarious. Films like The Room, Hard Ticket To Hawaii, & Troll 2 fall into this category for me. Then you have films that flat out suck. You can’t even find anything unintentionally funny. (The Mummy reboot, Batman V Superman, Almost everything post ‘300′ starring Gerard Butler) That being said, sometimes we all roll the dice with a film that we haven’t heard of. Maybe you stumble upon a true gem that slipped under your radar. However, you might have also stumbled upon a total waste of time and wish you could get two hours of your life back. Let me save you the trouble. These are some of my early warning signs that you might be taking a dive off the deep end into Shitsville.
#1 You’re watching a film that has “VS.” in the title
I love how Batman v. Superman tried to get around this by just saying ‘v’ instead of “vs.”, but you can’t fool me. It’s “vs.” & it sucked! Seriously, do an IMDB search of films that have “vs.” in the title. You end up with a collection of direct to video crap like Asteroid vs Earth, Hansel vs. Gretel, or Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies. You do have the occasional film that actually had a theatrical release. Those generally suck too!! Ecks vs. Sever, Alien vs. Predator, Alien vs. Predator Requiem, & Freddy vs. Jason were all bad or disappointing films. Unless you enjoy old Godzilla flicks, avoid “vs.” titles.
#2 You’re watching a film starring a very recognizable actor on a streaming service, but you’ve never heard of the film.
This rule has changed a bit. If a streaming company shelled out a ton of money for an actor to star in original content, that’s different. Netflix has been doing this a lot lately. That’s safe to roll the dice with. I’m talking about a film that was produced by a production company, then it somehow found its way to Netflix or other steaming services. This is the 21st century version of a direct to video film. I’m looking in your direction Nicholas Cage! Films like this were either A: meant to be the direct to video variety, but they were able to cast a known actor who needs to pay their bills, or B: the studio knew they had a dud & decided not to invest more money in a sinking ship by promoting it further.
#3 You’re watching a non mainstream horror film on a steaming service
Horror movies are cheap and easy to make. Put a mask on a guy, give him a weapon, have him chase a bunch of idiots around, & repeat. Steaming services are full of these low budget cookie cutter horror movies. You can find some hidden gems. Films like The Babadook & Hush are worth a look, but you most likely won’t find a hidden gem in this genre.
#4 You’re watching a movie sequel that took over a decade to make.
Movie studios that make a sequel for your favorite film, typically just clump a bunch of shit together hoping your fandom will be enough to generate some profit for them. It works if they quickly get to work on it. People these days have the attention span of a fruit fly though. If a studio waits to long, nobody cares. Interest will fade. Did you see Trainspotting 2? Nope, nobody did. I mean, I don’t see what the problem was. It only came out 21 frigin years after the original! Basic Instinct 2, (14 years later) Dumb & Dumber To (20 years later) I could keep going.
#5 You’re watching the “Director’s Cut” or “Extended Edition” of a movie you wished was good & thought this would make it better.
Sometimes you really want a movie to be good. You are slightly disappointed when you see it in theaters. When the home release comes, you might trick yourself into thinking the “Directors Cut” might fix a few things, or maybe they added a scene to better explain something. That’s what they want you to think! The studio obviously knows the movie sucked. They just want to recoup as much money as possible, so they plaster the words “Directors Cut” in big fucking letters on the box, call it a “special edition” give you a blu-ray copy, a DVD copy & a code for a digital download. Congratulations, you now three different ways of watching a film you already don’t like! It’s rare a directors cut fixes anything. It might slightly upgrade a film from shitty to bad, but it won’t change your overall opinion. Furthermore, most additional scenes are stupid and irrelevant. I don’t need to see an additional scene where the main character is picking up his dry cleaning!
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