Terminator Genysis Can’t Do Fanservice Right
I’m not sure any piece of media infuriated me more than the fifth and hopefully last edition of the Terminator franchise. I immediately pegged Terminator Genysis as official fan fiction, and while that instinct proved 100% accurate, the movie itself failed to live up to even the most modest of expectations. (Also, please please bear in mind this is coming from a guy who constantly defends Terminator 3 as being wonderful!) FACT: Terminator Genysis is flat fucking awful.
How does is Genysis disappointing, exactly? Well… I’m a reasonable man. I was more than ready to accept a bad Terminator movie. That’s happened before. I didn’t think anything could top my distaste for Terminator: Salvation, but Genysis shits all over the entire franchise in a woefully klutzy attempt at setting up a new trilogy. Time travel can be a tricky device for films and there’s no better example of this than the (rest of the) Terminator franchise where it’s used somewhat sparingly. Genysis uses time travel like a gun with infinite ammo, as the gang hops through timestreams more than Bill and fucking Ted. The end result undoes the previous events of every other Terminator movie that mattered for reasons that make zero fucking sense. In the process, we lose John Connor or something, the former focal point of entire series, but hey, they ruined that for you in the trailer and that was one of the few surprises the film had in store.
To be completely honest, it’s hard to get that upset about because the unresolved ending is clearly setting up alternate universes not worth mustering up a single shit for. Thankfully, further Terminator films are unlikely to happen now that the movie bombed with critics and the box office, but I was genuinely embarrassed by the introduction of a fucking multiverse in what’s essentially been a solid, comparatively grounded monster movie franchise about Man vs. Machine. – Chris Antista
Fantastic Four Wastes A Potential Reboot
Reed, Sue, Johnny, and Ben are my favorite fictional family in comics history, but outside the books, they’ve had decades of bad luck. Decades worth of cartoons that ranged from goofy to awful, along with a couple of tonally inconsistent and stupid films that got almost every character wrong. Funny that the 2015 reboot could end up being such a total disappointment that it makes one long for the days of Galactus clouds and terrible product placement. The newest (and perhaps last) attempt by Fox to make a Fantastic Four movie is a boring waste of money, existing to fulfill contractual obligations and little else.
Denny’s food was preferable to the film – barely
I was discouraged by Fantastic Four more than most bad superhero films because it squandered a fresh start with what appears to be an interesting movie beneath the surface. There’s definitely a great cast, and it starts building an interesting world, but it moves at a snail’s pace before the origin happens. Then there’s a time jump that breaks the film, as you can see the producers cobbled together a more conventional/boring comic narrative to replace whatever it was director Josh Trank imagined. The last 20 minutes are like a B-movie pretending to be The Avengers, right down to a world-killing plot ending just as fast as it began.
Honestly, I doubt whatever Trank was concocting for Fantastic Four was a great film, but I bet it was closer to a complete vision then what we got. As it stands, FF is a dull character study that makes a hasty turn into a mediocre action film for the last 40 minutes. It may have poisoned the franchise forever with moviegoers, though that assumes anyone even remembers this film exists. Now Marvel’s rumored plan of lowering the profile of Fantastic Four in comics doesn’t seem to even matter, as the FF are barely infamous after this wet fart of a film quickly left theaters. – Henry Gilbert
Secret Wars Wages On Too Long
I’ve been accused of being a Marvel fanboy, but Marvel’s major crossover this year fell far short of being amongst 2015’s best comic books. Jonathan Hickman and Esad Ribic got off to quite a flashy start by killing off both the Marvel Universe and the Ultimate Universe in the first issue, but it was only disappointment that followed that. And the letdown goes beyond a shipping schedule that makes the finale over three months late.
In addition to the chronic lateness of Secret Wars, what happens within the book is just so meandering, and seeing Marvel’s try to set up their own Game of Thrones just doesn’t work for me. Maybe I also lacked any real investment in what happened because multiple kingdoms meant multiple versions of classic characters. What’s the real impact of seeing Captain America die when there are like 18 others out there? And yes, some side books were great reads – Runaways, Renew Your Vows, and Civil War among them – but you never knew which really “mattered” to Secret Wars core story until the moments were recognized in the main book way later.
However, my main disappointment in Secret Wars is simply Jonathan Hickman himself. His vision of Marvel has been dominating the books before he even took over the Avengers books, and his style of storytelling has worn me out. He writes most classic heroes inconsistently, often choosing to spotlight his own less-than-stellar creations. I appreciate any creator trying to add new members to Marvel’s toy chest, but who really wanted to see grimdark doofs like Black Swan or Proxima Midnight get screentime in Doom’s court?
Like most other Hickman books, Secret Wars has these wondrously complex plans for stories upon stories, and he once again bungles the execution. Even though I was used to poorly explained deus ex machina, Secret Wars was a massive storytelling failure in terms of scale that Esad’s gorgeous art couldn’t save. Thanks to the delays, the major events are already diffused as the events are firmly in the past for the currently Hickman-free Marvel Universe, a place I much prefer to Battleworld. – Henry Gilbert
Survivor Series Is WWE At Its Worst
The WWE is on a constant cycle of angering fans and then redeeming themselves, so outright disappointments are rare. In many cases, the WWE surpassed low expectations when putting together surprisingly good shows like Fastlane and WrestleMania. Even dud events like Elimination Chamber would eke out at least one Match of the Year candidate. However, there was one month where a promising show ended up falling completely flat, and it was at the annual Thanksgiving week tradition Survivor Series.
The event promised some intrigue with the conclusion of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship tournament, but the decent semifinal matches were sunk due to predictable results. The finals, which was to be former faction-mates Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose’s first-ever major singles match was one of the most disappointing matches of the year, quickly fizzling out with a completely uneventful win for Reigns. In a failed attempt to curry favor for Reigns, he immediately lost the title when Sheamus cashed in his title shot to end the show, but besides the fact that the same ending had been done better with Daniel Bryan in 2013, none of the talent involved had the kind of crowd support that previous main event players had.
A WWE show with a bad main event can be saved with a good undercard, but Survivor Series failed there too. The Undertaker celebrated the 25th anniversary of his debut by winning a tag team match that buried the under-utilized Wyatt Family faction (where a loss wouldn’t have hurt the deadman’s standing). The worst part? The traditional Survivor Series matches were thrown together haphazardly with no participants announced ahead of time, and the return of Goldust was done during the pre-show match where fewer folks are paying attention. From messing up the main event to failing to prepare a proper undercard, Survivor Series was by far the worst WWE PPV of 2015. – Dave Rudden
Donald Trump Sucks the Life out of Saturday Night Live
Even though politician/political candidate hosts of Saturday Night Live rarely hold a candle to episodes helmed by actors and comedians, you can at least expect the sketch comedy program to show a new side of public figures. From Rudy Giuliani dressing in drag to the likes of Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin facing their impersonators, the politicians who have come onto SNL with a sense of humor about themselves find themselves with a bit more public favor come Sunday morning.
This was not the case when Donald Trump hosted SNL in November. The normally biting political satire that drives the show was pushed aside to allow for 90 minutes of half-hearted comedy starring a thoroughly unfunny Trump. Nary an insult was thrown Trump’s way, Trump never attempted to exit his comfort zone to play any sort of original character, and even the Trump-free skits like Weekend Update fell flat. It truly was the worst Saturday Night Live episode in years (and you’d have to go back to the likes of Nancy Kerrigan and January Jones to find as dull a host as Trump).
Unfortunately, Trump’s hosting gig scored the highest ratings of the season by a large margin, so it’s possible we’ll see SNL once again de-fanging their comedy and throwing away political jokes to placate humorless candidates ahead of this year’s election. – Dave Rudden
What disappointed you most in 2015? Sound off about it in the comments below!