Mt. Rushmore of Movies Blogathon

I really need a break from watching that clip of Jimmy Kimmel getting the orchestra to play Matt Damon off the stage from the Oscars last Sunday, it’s becoming unhealthy, and I have a headache from laughing too much. Thankfully, the ever hilarious M.Brown at Two Dollar Cinema is running a fantastic blogathon to distract me!

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If you’re not following Two Dollar Cinema already then you really ought to be. His movie reviews are so much fun to read, and I guarantee you his ‘Yays’ and ‘Boos’ will have you laughing out loud!

Anyway, onto this Blogathon! To celebrate Presidents Day, M.Brown has invited us all to create our own Mt Rushmore of movies. It’s entirely in our hands what we pick! This Blogathon last took place 3 years ago (before I was even blogging) so I had a read through all the previous entries and oh boy, I’ve got my work cut out for me. You guys are so creative! But I’m going to give this a try. If you’d like to take part too, you’ve got until this Friday, so check out the original post here.

So, without further ado, I’d like to introduce you to the Mt Rushmore of Movie Cameos! Not just any old cameos, I’ll have you know, but the kind that make you jump in your seat with glee because you had no idea they were going to show up.

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Bill Murray – Zombieland (2009)

When you’re on the run from a zombie apocalypse in the middle of Hollywood, how are you going to find a good place to hide? Use a map of the star’s homes and find where Bill Murray used to live, of course. The only issue with that is it turned out that Bill Murray was still very much alive, disguising himself as a zombie in order to ‘blend in’, and allowing himself to be able to freely wander the city. What you shouldn’t do during a zombie apocalypse? Try to scare your gun-wielding friend. RIP, Bill Murray.

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John Cena – Daddy’s Home (2015)

I’ll be the first to admit that Daddy’s Home was a terrible movie. It was terrible the first time I watched it, and when I was forced to watch it a second time on a plane (one of those older ones with the shared TV in the aisle) I could have cried. What made it worse was all the R-Rated jokes were cut out of the plane version! However, I am an absolute sucker for those John Cena videos doing the rounds a couple of years ago, and so when he turned up at the end of Daddy’s Home, all was almost forgiven!

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Tom Cruise – Austin Powers in Goldmember (2002)

Who can forget the opening credits to Goldmember, which looked like something straight out of Mission: Impossible? Wait…dammit. Then I guess I should have seen it coming when it turned out that Austin Powers was being played by Tom Cruise! The weirdest part was that he looked the part completely! Of course, there were plenty of cameos in this movie, but we can only fit 4 heads onto Mt Rushmore!

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Ryan Reynolds – A Million Ways to Die in the West (2014)

This is a personal guilty pleasure of mine. After showing up in a previous Seth MacFarlane movie, I was hoping Ryan Reynolds might show up, but I didn’t expect him to. When, in a Western bar, he did make an appearance, I literally squealed (in a cinema of all places) and then made some odd, disappointed sound which I can’t describe with a keyboard when he was instantly killed by Liam Neeson. Sigh.

Honourable mentions go to nearly everyone in This Is the End (2013), because I could have made this entire post about that movie and still struggled to pick just 4!

Thursday Movie Picks Television Edition: Superheroes/Super Powers

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Does anyone remember the days when superheroes were confined to comic book pages, rather than dominating our screens? I feel like it wasn’t that long ago, and yet I don’t remember a time now that didn’t involve waiting for that year’s big Marvel or DC release. Then these masked heroes made their way onto our screens at home, and that was deadly exciting. Although nowadays, every show is connected in some way, and if you aren’t fully caught up with each hero’s individual show, the crossovers are going to confuse you.

Sigh. Can we go back to the days of Smallville, when we only had to worry about 1 show? Someone’s going to tell me there was a connected show to that now, and make me look silly, I just know it.

Anyway! This Thursday brings another series from Wandering Through The Shelves, and this week we’re talking about Superheroes and Super Powers, which is good, because my opening paragraph would have looked silly if we weren’t. These are my favourites:

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I’m specifically talking about Season 1 of The Flash here, because that was some great TV. A good origin story, a cast with genuine chemistry, and a really, really good bad guy. There was mystery, and a little time travel made the story even better. I gave up somewhere in the middle of Season 2 because it was just getting ridiculous. Does anyone still watch this? Does it get better again?

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Who would have thought that the Daredevil character would be redeemed after that terrible movie, which for the record I guiltily enjoyed? At this point I feel Netflix are unstoppable at the moment, and Daredevil has some of the greatest fight scenes ever made in terms of both filming and choreography. I’m behind on the rest of the Marvel/Netflix shows though!

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I might be ‘pushing’ my luck here but Pushing Daisies was such an amazing show! Lee Pace’s character, a piemaker, has the powers to bring any dead person back to life, simply by touching them. The downside? If he touches them again, they stay dead forever. He uses these powers to bring back his childhood sweetheart, who he know can’t even hug. This show could have been so morbid, but it’s colourful and often hilarious!

My Disney Mix-Tape

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Today’s post is all thanks to Drew at Drew’s Movie Reviews. Last week, in collaboration with Bex at Film Music Central, Drew posted something far greater than simply a list of his favourite Disney songs. He turned them into a full fledged mix-tape listing! You…you know what I mean by mix-tape, right? You’re not too young?

I’m just about old enough to remember sitting on my bedroom floor on a Sunday evening with my hifi stereo, timing the record and stop buttons perfectly to record my own mix-tapes from the radio’s Top 40 hits. The key to success was pressing stop in time so that you wouldn’t catch the DJ’s voice. You see, the art to the perfect mix-tape is not just choosing the right songs, but putting them in the right order so they flow!

You can see Drew and Bex’s choices on Drew’s blog here. Drew was kind enough to let me run with his idea and create my own mix-tape, and I’m sure he would be happy for others to do the same!

Admittedly, I started my mix-tape by scribbling down my favourite Disney songs to sing along to in the car, that’s my theme. Once I’d whittled these down, the hard part was choosing the order. It’s not perfect, but I think I did okay. Let’s press play!

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#1 Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride (Lilo & Stitch) – Staring off with something joyful! Plus it makes me think of the sun, sea and sand which is nice when driving around the rainy, grey UK.

#2 Where You Are (Moana) – Continuing the island theme! Plus, I will never get bored of shouting ‘Consider the COCONUT, Consider it’s TREEEEES’ whilst sat in traffic.

#3 You’ve Got a Friend In Me (Toy Story) – It’s always nice to travel with a friend, and even better if you can serenade them whilst in the car. Sorry, passengers of mine.

#4 In Summer (Frozen) – Speaking of friends, Olaf is just the best friend to have ever, right? Plus, us Brit’s have always dreamed of what a real summer looks like.

#5 I’ve Got a Dream (Tangled) – There’s a dream theme here, but I’ll admit. I just love this song so darn much. Plus, it’s guaranteed to make my husband join in singing with me.

#6 I’ll Make a Man Out of You (Mulan) – Taking a powerful turn here. I also like to sing this song to cars that drive well below the speed limit.

#7 You’re Welcome (Moana) – #sorrynotsorry for another Moana song. Speaking of singing to traffic, I break into a rendition of this when someone pulls out in front of me.

#8 Lava (Lava) – A calming break from all that road rage. Plus, this is the greatest song from any Disney short in my opinion.

#9 Part of Your World (The Little Mermaid) – Following on from the beautiful songs theme. I can’t play this with my Mum in the car though. She acts the entire song out!

#10 The Bare Necessities (The Jungle Book) – Let’s finish the way we started, with something cheery. Everyone loves The Bare Necessities!

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#1 It’s a Small World (Disney Theme Parks) – Screw the haters! I love the Small World ride! I love the Small World song! I bet it’s stuck in your head now too, isn’t it?

#2 A Whole New World (Aladdin) – Buuut if you’d prefer, we can have a Whole New World instead. This song got 100x better when Adam Driver sang it on Saturday Night Live.

#3 Hakuna Matata (The Lion King) – In case the road rage returns, it’s important to remember Hakuna Matata. It means no worries, for the rest of your days…

#4 Gaston (Beauty and the Beast) – Okay, I wasn’t sure where to slot this song in, but Gaston’s song is just brilliant, and I pray to the powers that be the new adaptation does it justice.

#5 We Know The Way (Moana) – I know what you’re thinking, another Moana song?! Put that satnav away, I know the way!

#6 Try Everything (Zootopia) If I don’t know the way? We’ll take a slight, scenic detour, and remind ourselves that it’s important to try everything. Even terrifying drives down country roads.

#7 On My Way (Brother Bear) Once I get back to a road with actually marking, and at least 2 lanes, we are well on our way!

#8 I See The Light (Tangled) I hope this isn’t the light at the end of the tunnel, because I can do a mean duet of this song all by myself.

#9 Life’s A Happy Song (The Muppets) This is the happiest song in the world, and the perfect outtro to my playlist. Fun fact? This is the song me and my husband walked back down the aisle to on our wedding day!

So there we have it, what do you think? I have actually made this into a Spotify list, so if you can bear to sit through It’s A Small World you can listen to it here!

Thursday Movie Picks: Television Edition – Science Fiction

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To quote the great Father Christmas (in January, sorry) I’m making a list, I’m checking it twice. My first venture into Wandering Through the Shelves‘ Thursday Movie Picks was kind of a disaster, seeings as I went off an out of date list and wrote about the wrong subject. Whoops. Fingers crossed I’ve got it right this week! Anyway, 2017 is an exciting year for Thursday Movie Picks because Wanderer has thrown in some Television Editions! This is the first of the year, Science Fiction.

Here are my favourites:

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Westworld (2016 – )

I hardly need an excuse to gush about Westworld, because in my opinion it was the best show on TV last year, and I won’t stop talking about it until everyone has made the effort to give it a go. Westworld is a Western-themed adventure park, in which ‘guests’ can pay thousands of dollars to visit and interact with the ‘hosts’, of whom are all robots. The guests are free to do as they wish in the park, they can murder, they can rape, and the hosts all have settings to stop them being being able to harm guests.

That alone is enough to make an amazing TV Show, but of course with any Artificial Intelligence theme, these hosts are becoming more and more self aware, and as time goes on, shenanigans ensue! There are so many twists and turns along the way, and that’s what makes Westworld such a great watch.

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Wayward Pines (2015 – )

I’ll admit, Season 2 of Wayward Pines wasn’t as good, and in fact it feels like a different show, but I absolutely loved Season 1! Basically, a Secret Service agent travels to a town called Wayward Pines to search for 2 of his colleagues who went missing. An accident happens along the way and he wakes up in the town, where everything is a little…off. There’s no phone signal, the residents are unwelcoming, and he can’t escape. Literally. Each episode answers a few questions, but just brings up even more, and it’s the kind of show that gets you making theories constantly!

I can’t explain how the Sci-Fi theme fits in without giving away some key plot points, but I promise you that it fits this theme perfectly. It’s based on a book trilogy of the same name by Blake Crouch, and I’d love to give them a read someday.

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3rd Rock from the Sun (1996 – 2001)

I can’t believe I’m saying (typing?) this, but I’m currently watching 3rd Rock from the Sun for the first time in my life. Why didn’t I watch this sooner? It’s got that perfectly crafted 90’s, literal humour that I just love. I’m 2 Seasons in so far, and the comedy in this show still holds up amazingly well. If you live under a rock like I clearly have been, this show revolves around a group of aliens who have traveled to Earth to learn about the planet’s inhabitants. In order to fit in, they have disguised themselves as a human family.

If you hate canned laughter, over dramatic sitcoms you’ll hate this, but I absolutely love them. Also, it’s one of the first big roles for Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and it’s so funny to see him as a kid!

Now I’ll spend the rest of the day nervously refreshing my blog feed to see if I’ve got the subject right this week…

Thursday Movie Picks: The Underdog

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EDIT: It looks like I have an out of date TMP schedule! Thankfully I’m at least not the only one. So…enjoy? 

It’s totally acceptable to start New Year’s Resolutions 3 weeks late, right? Taking part in Wandering Through the Shelves‘ Thursday Movie Picks was one of mine, only I really had nothing to contribute to the first two week’s themes, so here I am, fashionably late! If you’d like to take part too, check out Wanderer’s schedule here.

This week’s theme is The Underdog, a theme I can fully get involved in. I love rooting for the underdog, against all odds, and even though in movies it’s sometimes clear they’ll win in the end, I can’t help but feel all giddy and excited for them anyway. Let’s kick this off, shall we?

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Walter, The Muppets (2011)

The Muppets will remain one of my all time favourites movies forever, so I don’t really need an excuse to talk about it, but I feel like the newcomer Walter was an underdog in more than 1 way. He joined the famous Muppet gang with stars in his eyes, and when it came to putting on a show he hid in fear, because he didn’t think he had a talent as strong as the others. Perhaps more importantly though, he was a new character in a group of Muppets who have been around for years, and there was a strong likelihood that audiences might not like him. I for one, loved him!

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Rey, Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)

I feel like Star Wars is all about underdogs, but if I had to choose just one it would be Rey. We don’t know how she started in life yet but in the Force Awakens she started out as a lone, scrawny scavenger, trading enough scrap to barely keep herself alive. Who would have thought she would be able to use Jedi mind tricks on Stormtroopers just like Obi-Wan, and hold her own in a fight against Darth Vader’s very own grandson, Kylo Ren? This girl kicks ass.

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Judy Hopps, Zootopia (2016)

In a world full of prejudice, bunny rabbit Judy Hopps was laughed at when she said she wanted to become a police officer. When you’re so small that even going to the toilet is a difficult task, how was Judy ever going to become anything more than a meter maid? With a little help from a wily fox named Nick, Judy became Zootopia’s greatest detective, and put out a message that you can be whatever you want to be!

10 Movies That Made Me Cry in 2016

So, despite 2016 being one of the best years I’ve had, I did a lot of crying. I didn’t cry on my wedding day, but I cried at home making a cup of tea the next day. That scared the life out of my very new husband I’m sure! For the record, I hadn’t changed my mind, the emotions of the day just hit me 24 hours later. I cried as I walked down Main Street in Disneyland on our honeymoon, because I couldn’t quite believe I was there. Mostly though, I cried at an unusual number of movies in 2016. Perhaps I’m getting sentimental in my old age!

Whilst we’re still early enough in 2017 for it to be acceptable to still make 2016 lists, I thought I’d share with you the 10 movies that made me cry the most last year. There are spoilers ahead of course, but I’ll make the text lighter in those parts so you can easily skip spoilers for movies you haven’t seen yet.

Get your tissues ready…

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#10 Florence Foster Jenkins

This whole movie took me by surprise to be honest. I was going to skip it, but I read so many positive reviews I gave it a chance, besides, when does Meryl Streep put in a bad performance? Okay, I just realised the irony in that statement. Anyway, Meryl’s final performance on stage made me feel so sorry for her character, that I shed many tears without even noticing.

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#9 Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

Anyone who’s seen A New Hope should know how Rogue One was going to end, but in all honesty I didn’t expect the entire cast to be killed off. My only real gripe with this movie is that we didn’t get to spend enough time with each of the main characters to really bond with them, but I cried like a baby when K-2S0 sacrificed himself, and at that bittersweet beach scene.

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#8 The Fundamentals of Caring

This movie about a disabled teenager and his care giver could have been so much darker than it was, but I was grateful for the humour scattered throughout. Still, that didn’t mean that I didn’t panic every time Trevor faked an attack. My happyness was right on the verge of sadness throughout the second half, and I cried when it seemed that Trevor was dead at the end, just to find he was faking again!

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#7 Captain Fantastic

Whereas the previous movie surprised me with how funny it was, Captain Fantastic surprised me with just how sad it got. I have a terrible tendency to cry when other people do, so seeing the entire family crying when they learn their Mother has just committed suicide nearly ended me. I considered turning the movie off, but I’m glad I stuck with it, because it was a beautiful story.

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#6 Hunt for the Wilderpeople

Okay, okay, onto some happy tears now. No, wait, I cried sad tears when Rick’s new foster Mother Bella died. The dog too. But! After that, I laughed to the point of tears several times, including the story Ricky tells which leads to the (terribly wrong) assumption that Hec has kidnapped Ricky and is abusing him sexually. It was cringe-worthy in the very best way!

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#5 The Jungle Book

I’m one of those people who will cry for hours when an animal in a movie dies, but remain fairly stoney faced if a human does. So I guess it’s no surprise that I cried several times during The Jungle Book. What hit me the hardest though was when Baloo was mean to Mowgli to get him to leave for his own safety. I’m sniffing just thinking about it.

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#4 Room

There’s really no explanation to this one. If you watched Room and your eyes stayed dry throughout, you’re a cold hearted monster. Just kidding, but not really…

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#3 Me Before You

I didn’t read the book before seeing this at the cinema, which didn’t really matter because the BBFC rating screen before the movie TOTALLY ruined the ending for me before the movie had begun. Seriously guys, could you not have worded it a little better, to not give it away? Anyway, I cried angry-sad tears at this one, the kind of tears you normally only get when you’re shouting at someone.

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#2 Tallulah

Another movie that took me by surprise in 2016! This one’s a Netflix original starring Ellen Page, a homeless girl who accidentally kidnaps a woman’s baby. It sounds awful I know, but this baby was being neglected, and Ellen’s character never meant to actually take her away. It was the feeling of helplessness that got me with this one.

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#1 Moana

When I was in Primary School I wanted to be an actress. I’ve always had a flair for being over-dramatic, but I decided what was holding me back was my inability to cry on demand. Well, I’ve solved that problem now. I only have to think about Moana and I start crying. I can’t even explain to you why to be fully honest, Disney have a knack for tugging on the ol’ heartstrings, but I haven’t been affected like this since “Take her to the moon for me. Okay?” (Bonus points if you know that movie).

So – confession time. What 2016 movie made you cry the most?

The 10 Worst Movies of 2016

Send help, I have a cold. A big, stinky cold that won’t go away, no matter how many oranges I eat that I can’t even taste. A lady asked me for ID today when I bought some cold medicine at the supermarket, and let me tell you, I am well over the required age of 16. She wasn’t impressed when I handed her my car key as proof of age. Get a sense of humour lady, and get out of my way before my nose drips on you!

So, whilst I’m feeling grumpy I thought today would be the perfect day to hate on what I think have been the worst movies of 2016. Like I mentioned in yesterdays 10 Best Movies of 201610 Best Movies of 2016 post, I haven’t seen anywhere near all the releases, and I’ve consciously stayed away from some movies I’ve heard were terrible!

As always, I go by UK release date, which generally causes a lot of confusion. For me too, so don’t worry. I’m giving Suicide Squad a generous pass, because I’m a sucker for the soundtrack, and as much as Daddy’s Home bored me, the last 15 minutes kind of made up for it. Other than those, I think I avoided a lot of stinkers this year. Let’s do this!

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#10 Sausage Party

I nearly didn’t watch Sausage Party at all, because the trailer wasn’t funny and anything with James Franco’s name on it is an instant turn off for me. Sadly, my love of animation got the better of me, and I gave it a go. I’ll admit this, the opening is hilarious, the song was catchy and funny, and the first few jokes were so outrageous that I did that half gasp, half laugh thing, but after that the rest just bored me.

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#9 How to Be Single

Oh, how I wanted to love this movie. Such a wonderful cast. A beautiful setting. It wasn’t aimed at married me of course (I was engaged at the time) or my very un-single friends that I saw this with, but it fell so short of the mark. Why did the main girls never all meet up at any point? What was the deal with Damon Wayans Jr’s sorrowful yet completely out of place plot line? Sigh!

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#8 Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

I’m not just jumping on the DC hate wagon here, I swear. Batman v Superman earns it’s spot on this list because other than ‘MARTHA’, the only thing I can even remember about this movie is me shuffling around in my cinema seat because it was just so darn long. Anyway, wasn’t the whole thing just an advert for the Justice League movie(s?) anyway? Let’s face it, I’m still going to watch them.

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#7 Independence Day: Resurgence

Brexit caused two movie related things to happen in the UK in 2016. One was that The Purge: Election Year got pushed back so many times (for fear we would repeat it?) that I eventually forgot it existed, and still haven’t seen it. The other was that Independence Day: Resurgence did amazingly well at the box office, I guess because Nigel Farage declared we were going to name July (June?) the something our own Independence Day. *facepalm*.

Oh yes – the movie! Um, it was kinda boring. Someone punched an alien in the face. That was cool, if not slightly familiar.

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#6 Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates

After winding down from my own wedding last year I was really looking forward to watching a wedding related movie without it causing a panic attack or near meltdown at the very thought of planning a seating chart. This cast should have created something perfect, and I have nothing to say other than ‘YAAAAAAS’ for the musical number at the end, but I’m pretty sure I took a nap for the rest of this movie.

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#5 High-Rise

Thanks (but no thanks!) to blogger Mettel Ray for reminding me High-Rise existed! Apart from a shot of Tom Hiddleston’s naked butt, there was absolutely nothing to like about this movie. I think it was one of those artsy movies making a statement about something, only I’m not sure what that was. Probably that living in a high-rise with it’s own supermarket is not a good idea.

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#4 Wiener-Dog

The second sausage related movie in this list! Also, most likely the second artsy kind of movie that I just ‘didn’t get’. All I took away from Wiener-Dog was several stories about terrible people mis-treating a beautiful doggo, who deserves much better than to live in this cruel, cruel world.

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#3 Sharknado 4: The 4th Awakens

Let me get this straight. I LOVE Sharknado. I also enjoyed Sharknado 2: The Second One. That was back when they were super low budget movies that were terrible because they were cheaply made, filled with continuity errors and bad editing. Now, it feels like they’re actually trying, and it’s just not fun anymore.

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#2 The Boss

I find Melissa McCarthy so hit and miss. As a supporting actress, she’s hilarious and often steals the show, but as the lead she just comes across as obnoxious to me. The Boss could have been a half decent comedy with a heart warming story, but the inclusion of Peter Dinklage’s character just turned the whole movie stupid, and not funny at all.

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#1 Get a Job

It took 4 years for Get a Job to be published after it was made in 2012. That should say enough really, but if you’re still curious let me continue. It starts off so promising, mentioning how as children we have everything given to us on a silver platter and then one day, BAM. Go out into the wild, get yourself a job and become a grown up. It’s like that Twenty One Pilots song, Stressed Out. So many plots get thrown in that none ever get a satisfying closure, and seemingly Alison Brie is only there to make sexual innuendos and collecting a paycheck at the end of the day.

Well, I feel so much better getting that all off my chest! What did you think the worst movie of 2016 was? Just so I can avoid it!