No one sets out to make a terrible film, yet of the two hundred and fifty to three hundred films I see a year, most of them will be bad. Not horrifically so, though perhaps ten will get there, but most movies made are not very good.
When is a film truly terrible? When it repulsed the audience with just how truly terrible it really is, when it does the unthinkable and wastes my time. When the acting is a joke,when the direction and writing are less than amateur, when everything about the film is just wrong. When the end credits are rolling and you realize just how entirely unnecessary the film you have seen really is.
I have the luxury of seeing films for free, but I value my time, it is precious to me, and when I see a film that wastes my time, I get angry because quite often the movie should never have been made in the first place. THAT to me is a bad film, when you time has been wasted in every way, when there is not a single redeeming quality. I do not care about budget, I do not care who is involved, if it is bad I call it bad.
Films are put into production after a fairly long process of decision making as to whether or not it is a good investment, will make money, could win or be nominated for Oscars, how it will do overseas, and finally, how will it fare in the home market. Based on all of that it gets green lit. Now there are times a director or actor being attached gets it made, but that is happening with less frequency. The box office failures of Warren Beatty’s Rules Don’t Apply (2016) and Martin Scorsese’s Silence (2016) will be the end of that.