Mother! is not just the worst film of the year, it may be the worst film ever. This film is a pretentious, disjointed mess that, according to the director, is an attack on the religious beliefs of millions of Americans as well as green propaganda. But one would never know this from watching the movie.
The “plot” involves a woman (Jennifer Lawrence) repairing an old house she shares with her husband (Javier Bardem), a poet identified in the credits as Him, suffering from writers block. Their peaceful tranquility is interrupted by one of Him's fans. Him invites him to stay and that night the woman sees Him helping the man who is sick and has a wound on his stomach.
The next day the man is fine, and his wife (Michelle Pfeiffer) arrives. Then their sons show up arguing and one kills the other. Him lets the family hold the funeral for the son during which a sink is broken, flooding the house. The people go away, but return after Him published his book. Him allows his fans to ransack the house, neglecting his wife and his newborn baby. Things descend into mayhem, complete with fighting soldiers, and Him gives the baby to his fans. The baby’s fate is one of the most disturbing scenes ever.
Apparently the plot is meant to mirror the Bible— Him's fan is Adam, his wife is Eve (the wound in the man’s chest is from having a rib removed), the sons are parallels to Cain and Able, the broken sink is the flood, and the baby is Jesus.
The woman is Mother Earth and Him is God and (so I’ve read). The point is that God is more concerned with being praised than protecting Mother Earth from his beings. Get it, the Christian God is responsible for global warming!
If for whatever reason you must watch Mother! please download it here and help support Campaign For Liberty.
Justice League is DC’s super-hero team-up featuring Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, The Flash, and Cyborg (a relatively new hero. Cyborg is a college football player injured in a car accident. His scientist father saves him by turning him into a Cyborg).
Taking place after the events of Batman v Superman and Wonder Woman, Justice League has Bruce Wayne— his faith in humanity renewed by Superman’s sacrificing his life at the end of Batman v Superman (spoiler: he is brought back from the dead)- working with Wonder Woman who is also willing to stand with humanity after withdrawing from society following the events of her solo film, working to unite other super powered individuals to confront an impending attack.
The threat comes in the form of Steppenwolf, an ancient creature in search of three “mother boxes”. The boxes combine to form "The Unity," which will enable Steppenwolf to turn the earth into a literal hell and transform humans into Parademons, his army of flying demon monkeys that feed on fear.
The movie benefits from strong performances, especially by Ben Affleck as Batman and Gal Godot as Wonder Woman. The action sequences are mostly good, and the heroes have interesting arcs, particularly Batman. He spends the majority of the movie doubting his leadership ability and having a death wish with the absence of Superman. Wonder Woman shows an unwillingness to lead on a mission that could result in the deaths of the other members.
So why does it make my worst list?
Because the movie is too short. Warner Brothers decided that the first cut delivered by Zach Snyder was too long, so when Snyder had to leave the project they ordered Joss Whedon to cut it to no more than two hours. As a result, the interesting arcs I referenced above are too short, characters like the Flash and Cyborg are given the short shift, and Superman’s redirection is very sloppy- he goes from confused and angry to back to normal in a flash.
The villains are also undeveloped. We are told that after being defeated thousands of years ago Steppenwolf was banished. Who banished him? Where does he come from? We are not told, even though he is part of the New Gods, one of the most intriguing storylines in DC comics. The CGI for Steppenwolf looks cheap while his dialogue consists of cliches, and the flying monkeys from the Wizard of Oz are scarier than Steppenwolf's Parademons.
Justice League is still in theaters or you can pre-order the download here. Hopefully WB will release a directors cut.