It may be April Fools' Day, but the parade of terrible movies released in March is no laughing matter. In his latest Scum Bucket round-up, Rolling Stone movie critic Peter Travers tosses the month's grossest flicks into the cinematic crap receptacle.
First off is the Abel Ferrara drama Welcome to New York, which explores the infamous Dominique Strauss-Kahn affair. Despite his loyalty to the filmmaker, Travers wields the bucket based on the studio softening the film from an NC-17 to R rating. Next up is Do You Believe?, another corny, ham-fisted Christian drama from the God's Not Dead crew. This time, "everyone in Chicago looks at a cross above the Chicago river," and that's about it. "It's people. . . telling you you must believe," Travers snaps. "No! Don't believe."
He also runs away from Tim Johnson's animated 3-D comedy Home, which features the voices of Jim Parsons (as an alien) and Rihanna (a teenage girl searching for her mother, played by Jennifer Lopez). "In the real world, we would never see a movie where Jennifer Lopez would agree to play Rihanna's mother," Travers says. Even worse is the by-numbers action-thriller Run All Night, which finds Liam Neeson treading water with another Taken-esque role. "Liam, you've gotta get a brand new bag," Travers pleads.
Neill Blomkamp may have struck sci-fi gold with District 9, but Travers says he's milked his formula dry with Chappie: "[He] keeps making that same movie again – robots who are more human than we are. Do something else!" Speaking of formula, our critic says everyone in Insurgent seems to be thinking, "We wish were in The Hunger Games." In reality, they're in the Scum Bucket. And Sean Penn earns similar scorn for his role in The Gunman, another pointless Taken knock-off. "It's awful," Travers says. "It's one chase scene after another. Sean, your heart's not in it – and neither is our box-office dollar."
The month's second-scummiest flick, Serena, stars Hollywood royalty Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper. But the drama, a "Greek tragedy set in the Ozarks," falls shockingly flat. "These people need really good directors," Travers says. But March's biggest disappointment is the big-ticket comedy Get Hard, which wastes two of the world's funniest comic actors, Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart, in a lame plot about an embezzling hedge-fund manager trying to toughen up before entering prison. Travers can't resist some pointed word-play while tossing this dud in the bucket: "A movie called Get Hard shouldn't be what this one is – one limp noodle."