|Posted on December 31, 2010 at 2:38 AM|
I don't go out of my way to see bad movies. I just don't. Call that a luxury of reviewing film but not having to be an actual critic who unfortunately have to sit through the likes of Vampires Suck or Sex in the City 2. I also didn't waste my time with The Last Airbender because, honestly, I just didn't give a shit. I knew those movies would be horrible before having to see them. They lack anything to get me excited.
But that doesn't mean I don't see bad films. Some films I'll see and not be able to stand watching it. It's all relative, of course. I have to take the potential of the film versus what we eventually end up with. For example, Frozen isn't a particularly good movie, but it's also a direct to DVD flick trying to sell one single concept and it succeeds in doing that. Still made my list...but I digress. So here's a list of films that aren't all horribly bad but aren't as good as they probably should have....and some that are horribly bad as well just for good measure.
Honorable Mention: Frozen
A large number of horror fans love this movie. They really do. Check out horror blogs and you'll see it in the Top Ten of the year. Go on...I'll wait. Most likely they are talking and writing up director Adam Green. Horror fans love the guy thanks to Hatchet. So I get that. But I can't overlook how bad Frozen is - apparently they are more forgiving than I am.
Despite being direct to DVD, it's really no excuse for how cringe-worthy the thing really is in terms of character, plotting and pace. It relies on its one premise stretched to too long a length to really work. It would have been far more effective as a short film than having to deal with the annoying characters and bad dialogue with a bunch of people we just don't care about and one-note story of man-eating wolves that it relies on too much. A better writer would have done more with this idea. Even Devil and Buried, two similar premises of small-location and small cast movies, were able to do better and they didn't have the benefit of mother nature...but they did have the benefit of better writing overall. A movie that people either love or hate, I'm not one to hate but...
10: The Wolfman
An obvious choice for a disappointment. The casting was there, the director was there, but everything else just wasn't. We knew beforehand the film wouldn't be amazing. It managed to get some thing spot-on, atmosphere in particular is just fantastic, and Del Toro is solid as a lead, but things just didn't come together. It's plodding, sometimes boring (which a werewolf movie should never be) and characters one-dimensional bores of people that you actually don't even care who is doing what and why. Something about a...moon or something...and silver...and there's Agent Smith...he's doing something....oooo nice special effect...and back to...stuff.
Out of all of the horror movie creatures, The werewolves and wolfman villain really don't have a lot of good things going for it in the realm of film. Some good ones here and there, Dog Soldiers, Ginger Snaps and certainly the classics The Howling and An American Werewolf in London, but as big-budget pics and popularity goes, it's all been pretty substandard in comparison to Dr. Frankenstein and his monster and anything involving vampires and Dracula.
Certainly not a horrible film, but certainly a film with some issues that are hard to overlook, notably the heavy-handed ending. I don't have much else to say about it, it was a bland movie that had a rich idea but didn't quite nail it. There were directorial decisions that are certainly questionable and the writing is all over the place despite some nice set-pieces to carry the bulk of the movie. Still, as I said in the review, I do think it's decent for a first feature, but it's not a movie I'm going to say ushered in a new director to keep an eye on that blew us away.
8: Cop Out
I love Kevin Smith. He's a fully likable and personable guy, especially if you live here in LA where it's kind of hard not to run into him sometimes. Cop Out, though, is just Smith out of his element. What's great, though, is that Smith owns up to it, noting the difficulties he had and he's actually one of the first people to criticize his own directing (he calls himself an editor with a camera, and certainly a writer first). Plagued with issues, it shows on the screen and the movie comes out as a complete mess.
It all boils down to the complete disinterested performance of Bruce Willis. He just doesn't give a shit and you can tell. His character is boring, he's bored, Smith's directing isn't suited for this type of material at all and the only highlight is Tracey Morgan doing his best Tracey Morgan impression.
7: The Tourist
The Tourist is just an uneventful waste of potential. It has every single element you could ask for. Venice. Great director. Two of the best actors in the business (three...I do like me some Paul Bettany who is quite good in it and he should probably fire his agent considering I have two movies with him in it on here), but goddamn does it just fall flat. No chemistry, a plot that goes nowhere and a film that's so determined to be like a classic Hichcock movie it ends up not seeing the forest through the trees. An absolute waste of potential and I wouldn't even know where to begin to call it a failure. So I won't begin.
6: Case 39
I'm not even sure if it counts as this year. Wasn't this on last year's list? Who knows...this thing was shelved for so long nobody even remembers it and for good reason. It's just flat-out awful. I wonder what was going through the actors' heads, keep in mind so-called A-list actors at that in Renee Zellweger, Bradley Cooper AND Ian McShane. It makes Gary Oldman's paycheck movie appearance in The Univted forgivable. One of the worst of any year and a piss-poor excuse for a thriller/horror/whatever.
I don't know what Legion was trying to do, but it didn't do it well whatever it was. It made the similarly-premised Demon Knight seem like Renoir's Rules of the Game by comparison. Legion was a sloppy idea to begin with and and equally sloppily cast sleepwalking through a nonsensical plot. It was never scary, more goofy than anything, and the action ranged from mediocre to horrible. A film that probably should have never happened, meaning the idea itself is so dumb that I'm surprised it even got greenlit.
I think where it all really went wrong was in the film's reach exceeding its grasp. It tries to get too big, bringing out an apocalyptic tale of angels battling and fighting. But we never really see any of this, at least not in any substantial form. We see...well we see the form it takes when you have a pretty inexperienced writer/director trying to make it all happen. I fear for Priest, bringing back Bettaney and the director on board. At least he didn't write that, though.
4: Alice in Wonderland
You simply need heart to make this work, and the film just didn't have it. Visually, it's there. I love the look: a darker version of Wonderland and if there's anyone I'd want creating that, it'd be Tim Burton. But the script is where it completely fails, well that and some damn hammy acting by otherwise talented actors. People want to point just to Tim Burton for the shortcomings, and they are there because he certainly doesn't capture the tone and it's lacking the charm, but a large, large finger should be pointed at screenwriter Linda Woolverton who's script seems aimless and overwritten as it somehow mismanages every single attribute of anything Alice in Wonderland related. The original tale was dark, and the film was attempting that, but it was also attempting to appeal to a younger demographic. The blend just didn't work...
...surprisingly the 3D actually did...unlike the next film...
3: Clash of the Titans
I love director Louis Leterrier. He knows how to handle action and special effects as good as anybody. I also tend to like Sam Worthington. He's a solid lead action guy and this is tailor made for his abilities. He has a great look on screen and with sword and shield, he is absolutely a great Perseus in that he can do a lot of expressions and not have to talk a lot. It even has Liam Neeson, perfectly cast as Zeus. What Clash of the Titans lacked, though, was a core.
Greek myth always had that: a purpose or, some would say, a heart and "point" to it all. Instead we get a very basic, shallow special effects film that, somehow, makes all that boring. The first film was no masterpiece either. It was cheesy 80s special effects schlock just as this is cheesy 2000s special effect schlock. But at least the original had the heart founded within the characters. Clash of the Titans is probably my most disappointing film of the year. The worst films, though...
2: Frankie and Alice
I loathe this movie. I loathe the force-fed story. I loathe the campaign to get Berry an Oscar nomination. I loate the complete lack of human element behind a very humanistic story. An absolute pandering piece of melodrama that lost me about thirty minutes into it. It's like getting beat repeatedly with a bat long after you got the point and then having your nipples twisted just to make sure. Not only is it a by-the-books movie, but it's a bland by-the-books movie. Being something we've seen before is fine, but still being uninteresting on top of it all is unforgivable.
If people are laughing during your movie when it's not a comedy or trying to be funny, you have completely failed. Skyline is a joke played on everyone. I remember last year praising the ideas of lower-budget flicks like Paranormal Activity and District 9 showing that a simple idea and smart presentation can overcome any budget. It's all about talent, though, to make it happen...the directors of Skyline have none. They couldn't write a movie, they couldn't direct a movie...they could make some pretty special effects and considering the brothers Strausse are special effects guys, that makes sense. But you don't just go to the movies to see special effects do you? You need a vehicle for those. A character to route for. Maybe a plot of some sort. Perhaps a story as well. You like those things, right? Skyline has none of them.
Skyline is like a really bad blind date. You aren't too familiar with it or its friends, but you go ahead anyway because...well you just do. You then end up with a check you thought you'd at least split. But no. She wants you to pay for it all despite the fact she bought the most expensive stuff on the menu (and a bottle of wine which she drank most of). Then what does she do? Talk about herself the entire night. Sheesh, what a bitch. Narcissistic much? So you try and steer the conversation but no...she won't have any of that. She also won't have any of that kissing business despite all the effort you went through and chance you took to put with her annoying habits like eating and talking with her mouth full or constantly checking her phone every ten minutes as she texts others people. Probably some guy. Some guy who wears Ed Hardy T-shirts and always has an energy drink in is hand. Some guy who probably says "brah" about as much as he talks about himself in the third person. Some guy who is happy to listen to her bullshit, applaud her awful fashion sense and lack of life direction and probably get a blowjob at the end of the night because that's what douchebags like that do and stupid women tend to always fall for only to find out by the time they're 30 that those guys don't make for best relationship and now they're worried their ovaries will dry up in ten years and they have to "settle" more guys like me.
Oh...where was I?
Of course, as I said, there were a ton of bad films. Vampires Suck, MaGruber, Marmaduke, Furry Vengeance which sounds like something out of the fetish aisle in your porn shop (not that I would know...) but I know those are bad and I'll not see them. Really...why would I even want to see Marmaduke? Then again...why was Marmaduke even made? Were people really clamoring for a Marmaduke movie? Then again...Vampires Suck was number one at the box office so what do I know?