Steven Spielberg and Woody Allen had pretty bad years in 2016. They have made our list for the biggest Jewish bombs of Hollywood for the year.
While Spielberg and Allen are the two most prominent directors to make our list, we offer these names in no particular order and are not going to fill out lists with arbitrary numbers.
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Lets start with these two since we already mentioned them.
Steven Spielberg is sure happy that 2016 is ending. He produced a movie and a new TV show, both of which were bombs with the critics and the viewers. There’s “Bull, ” a new TV drama on CBS which no one is watching and will probably be cancelled by next fall. Movie and TV review site Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 24% rating. Its based on the early career of TV psychologist Dr. Phil McGraw. Then there was “The Girl on the Train, ” with Emily Blunt. This box office dud was based on the popular novel of the same name.
But where 2016 really hurt Spielberg was in the the failure of his much awaited “The BFG” based on the Roald Dahl novel. He directed and produced the movie which took years to get made. With a $140 million budget it only made $178 million worldwide. Yes that’s more than it cost to make, but with all the additional marketing expenses and percentages of the gross that the actors, writers, director and everyone else gets today, the movie lost Disney a bundle. And the critics did not love it.
As for Woody Allen, he failed as a director, writer and actor in both TV and Movies. 2016 saw Allen return to TV for the first time in 50 years. He wrote, created and directed “Crisis in Six Scenes” which aired on Amazon. There was great fanfare and expectations for the show. Woody Allen’s return to television was a really big deal. But the short series which starred Allen and Miley Cyrus was a disappointment.
Set in the 1960s, the show had something to do with middle class suburban people dealing with the radical changes in American society at the time. Its attempts at screwball comedy fell flat.
Then there was the movie “Cafe Society” which Woody Allen of course wrote and directed. It starred Jesse Eisenberg, Steve Carell and Kristen Stewart. It had something to do with a Jewish kid from New York in the 1930s trying to get started in Hollywood. It was supposed to be witty. It wasn’t.
Poor James Franco. The prolific actor and director has had his share of ups and downs over the years, but 2016 was basically a down. IMDB lists him with 10 acting gigs this year alone including one movie he directed and two which he wrote. Like Woody Allen, Franco’s failures span both television and film. On TV he wrote the stinker “Mother, May I Sleep with Danger?” The bizarre movie was a remake which no one asked for. He also starred in “11.22.63, ” a TV miniseries about a high school teacher who goes back in time to try and stop the Kennedy assassination from happening. This unoriginal plot line bored viewers over eight one hour episodes. It was basically a Twilight Zone retread and that show knew to keep things under 30 minutes.
In movies his “Why Him?” which just came out got a 40% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Adam Sandler has become such box office poison that he now has to make movies direct for Netflix. You can’t have a box office bomb that way. Forbes listed him as one of the ten least valuable actors in America for return on investment of their paydays. His Netflix film this year was “The Do-Over.” It co-stared Sandler’s fellow SNL alum David Spade and had a plot so stupid it would not have even worked 20 years ago when Adam Sandler was still popular with college aged stoners. We held our noses just writing this. The movie got a whopping 5% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Ben Stiller gave us “Zoolander 2.” Need we say more?
Jesse Eisenberg was panned for his bizarre portrayal of Lex Luthor in “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, ” which left everyone praying for Gene Hackman to take over the role again in future films. Then there was the stinker “Now You See Me 2.” Did you miss it? So did everybody. It was one of this year’s many sequels which no one asked for. Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 34%.
And he was also in “Café Society.”
Jeff Goldblum was in Independence Day 2.
Dishonorable mention: The pointless remake of Ben Hur. Never watch this stinker. Not ever! See the original instead.