“When am I gonna get a month where there’s no Scum Bucket?” Rolling Stone movie critic Peter Travers asks in his latest awful-movie video round-up. “It was certainly not November.” Thanksgiving month certainly brought its fair share of cinematic turkeys, and Travers has disposed of the 10 least appetizing.
First up is the blockbuster sequel The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, which makes the list solely because of its cash-grabbing split-release strategy. “You did it because you want our money,” Travers says to the studio execs, “and you sucker-punched us.” Meanwhile, Travers says the Abraham Lincoln biopic The Better Angels disappoints, despite the fact that acclaimed filmmaker Terrence Malick served as a producer, and takes on Open Windows for following a predictably voyeuristic plot involving a camera and a naked girl.
Travers isn’t surprised the horror compilation V/H/S Viral “came out and died” on the big screen. As for the list’s other horror flop, Jessabelle, our critic keeps his review short and sweet: “Ugghhh!” Travers is grossed out by the product placement in motorcycle documentary On Any Sunday: The Next Chapter (“I’ve never seen more Red Bull in my life than I’ve seen in this movie”), and he’s similarly disheartened by A Merry Friggin’ Christmas, which features a humor-less next-to-last big-screen appearance of the late Robin Williams (“It’s so sad to see him do a movie that’s just bereft of any kind of reason for being”).
The month’s worst holiday flick is Kirk Cameron’s Saving Christmas, which Travers calls “not only dull” but also “offensive” and “bad in every way.” But November’s two hugest flops are a pair of comedy sequels: While Travers loved the original Dumb and Dumber, he thinks Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels were “too old” to revive their idiotic characters for the long-awaited sequel Dumb and Dumber To; meanwhile, he reserves the darkest depths of the Scum Bucket for Horrible Bosses 2, which wastes a talented comic cast (including Jason Bateman and Jennifer Aniston) on a flat plot wherein characters walk around, “hoping for inspiration to fall from the sky.”
Remember, filmgoers: Leftovers should occupy your refrigerator, not your cineplex.