April's almost over, and Peter Travers is ready to unleash one last hefty shower of scum — you're definitely going to need your the galoshes to wade through all the dreck that hit movie theaters this month.
First in the trusty scum bucket is the Marlon Wayans sequel A Haunted House 2, which Travers says is even less funny than the first (if that's even humanly possible). Next up is Antboy, a Danish kids movie dubbed horribly into English that's almost campy enough to be enjoyable. Really though, the title is the only thing this movie has going for it — and not even that's enough to save it from the bucket.
Next up is The Players, a French movie that finds Academy Award winner Jean Dujardin (The Artist) succumbing to episodic movies about cheating husbands: "Wanna know if there is an Oscar jinx?" Travers asks. "Go look at Jean Dujardin in The Players — or don't, because it's in the bucket."
While Travers knows you don't like it when he picks on family-friendly movies, Rio 2 is too much of animated disaster to ignore: "Frantic, hyper," Travers bemoans, "it's like a kid swallowed too much candy and threw it up." At number four, the real time drama of the NFL draft is put on screen in Draft Day, but it's nothing more than a shameless, disgusting plug for the league.
Lars von Trier's Nymphomaniac, Volume II falls at number six; while Travers enjoyed the first part, the second just drags on and on with lugubrious, ridiculous S&M scenes. Number seven is Authors Anonymous, which stars The Big Bang Theory's Kaley Cuoco as the one member of a writers club who hits the big time, evoking the jealous ire of her fellow aspiring novelists. In a "shockingly" ironic twist, the one thing this movie about writing needed more than anything, Travers points out, was a good writer.
The Other Woman leads off the bottom three and wastes its talented cast (Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann, Kate Upton and Game of Thrones' Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) on a trite story about three women getting back at a two-timing man. Then there's the disappointing, Johnny Depp-starring Transcendence, and after the panning he gave it last week, Travers is more than happy to take the credit for the sci-fi flick's terrible performance at the box office. Last, but not least, is Travers' vote for the worst movie of April, which he knows will get the hate mail flying in: Heaven is for Real. Part of the new wave of Christian cinema, the film stars Greg Kinnear as a pastor in Nebraska whose five year old son suffers a burst appendix and claims he saw heaven, populated by Jesus and grandma, for a brief moment.
"I am not trashing any real belief in anything," Travers qualifies. "A belief in God is a really good thing. Christian movies can be a really good thing. But why don't they make them? Why do we keep seeing stuff like this and Son of God that are so treacly you just want to say, 'I'm not buying this.' I don't get why this is such a hit."