The recently Golden Globe-nominated feature has an all-star cast that includes Mahershala Ali, Naomie Harris, Awkwafina, and Glenn Close. Swan Song is about Cameron, a husband, and father who is expecting his second child but ends up being diagnosed with a terminal illness. From there, Cameron grapples on whether he should tell his family or not. This list will name the five terrible movies that involve the cast of Swan Song, whether they’re background nobodies to the starring lead. The only movies that are exempt from this list are animated features. Let’s get started with the first film.
In this misguided attempt to gain some Academy Award nominations, Collateral Beauty features an all-star cast that sees Will Smith play Howard, a successful New York advertising executive who loses his daughter. In response, Howard shuns himself from society, much to the concern of his coworkers and friends. Worried that they might lose their jobs, Howard’s friends hire actors to play Love, Time, and Death after they realize that the executive writes letters to each. The plan is to make Howard appear crazy as the coworkers’ plan on digitally removing the actors from the videos to show the board that Howard isn’t suited to carry on as an effective leader. Do you see how absurd this premise is? It completely makes sense why the marketing for this film was completely misleading. Collateral Beauty is an overly sentimental and melodramatic farce that tries to tug at the heartstrings but fails to do so miserably.
Another entry that failed to gain Oscar attention is Hillbilly Elegy, which is based on the controversial book of the same name from J.D. Vance. It focuses on a Yale Law student who details his upbringing throughout the Appalachian hometown that defines his past and shapes his future. Like Collateral Beauty, Elegy is an overly sentimental mess that fails to truly dig deep into its characters portrayed onscreen. Given the talents of Glenn Close and Amy Adams, the two powerhouse actresses give their characters so much needed life; however, their performances are weighed down by a script that focuses on the stereotypes of Hillbilly characters. The character of J.D. Vance doesn’t come across any better, as he’s portrayed as an unsympathetic snob towards his family and hometown. Given the level of talent in front and behind the camera, Hillbilly Elegy should’ve been better than a failed Oscar attempt hopeful.
Joe Dirt 2: Beautiful Loser
The definition of an unnecessary sequel, Joe Dirt 2 sees David Spade return as the title character. He goes on an epic journey through the American heartland and ends up being caught in the past. The original film was a bland, stereotypical, and nonsensical mess that David Spade played well admittedly. Joe Dirt is considered a cult classic, but the sequel never justifies its existence. A comedy doesn’t necessarily need to have a deep or thought-provoking plot; however, it MUST do one very important job: to be funny. Joe Dirt 2 fails in that aspect on all fronts, relying on stale gags and childish humor to drag you throughout its nearly 2-hour runtime. You might enjoy the film if you loved the first, otherwise, this sequel is a waste of time.
A Warrior’s Heart
Before Twilight fame, Kellan Lutz got the lead as Conor Sullivan, a high-school athlete whose life takes a turn for the worse after the death of his father; however, a love interest and his passion for lacrosse help him through his tough ordeal. A Warrior’s Heart isn’t the worst film you’ll ever see, but it’s something that’s greatly suited for the Hallmark or Lifetime crowd. It’s generic and often cheesy story doesn’t add much to the genre that tackles the same themes, and Lutz’s isn’t able to rise above the pedestrian source material. The film’s heart is definitely in the right place, but it’s a forgettable bargain bin movie that has been done better in other films.
This 2017 feature quietly snuck its way into theaters and for good reason. Ed Helms and Owen Wilson play brothers Kyle and Peter Reynolds, who believed that their dad was dead since they were young. However, it’s revealed that their father is alive and the two brothers go out on quest to search for their biological father. Father’s Figures doesn’t exactly know what it wants to be. Sometimes it’s a gross-out comedy. Other times it’s a sentimental drama. The two genres never mesh well together, and it doesn’t help that Helms and Wilson lack chemistry. Don’t get me wrong, both men are very funny in their own right, but they’re weighed down by a script that’s a muddled mess with crude and unfunny jokes.
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