Tuesday, January 1, 2013

My Worst Ten Films of 2012

For the record, I never saw such (alleged) stinkers as One for the Money, W.E., Project X, A Thousand Words, Damsels in Distress, The Raven, LOL, A Little Bit of Heaven, What to Expect When You're Expecting, Bel Ami, That's My Boy, People Like Us, The Watch, Cosmopolis, The Apparition, The Oogieloves Movie, The Words, The Cold Light of Day, Stolen, House at the End of the Street, Bringing Up Baby, Butter, Here Comes the Boom, Atlas Shrugged Part 2, The Man with the Iron Fists, Red Dawn, Playing for Keeps, Parental Guidance or anything with Tyler Perry.

But of what I have seen, these were the worst.

Dishonorable Mentions:

360 - I only watched the first forty minutes, and I'd seen enough.  Just a slow, slow slog meeting a bunch of boring or unpleasant people, and supposedly all their storylines tie together in the end, but even with a cast of Anthony Hopkins, Rachel Weisz, Jude Law, etc., I just didn't care.

AMERICAN REUNION - These kids are too old for this excrement.

LOCKOUT - Guy Pearce gives a great tough-guy performance in an "Escape from New York in Space" movie that might have been cool to me if I'd seen it in 1990.

MAN ON A LEDGE - Sam Worthington's star power's faded.  The whole thing felt predictable and cheap, and it really falls apart if you think about it. ("Please don't think about it!" pleads the studio.)

THE PAPERBOY - Matthew McConaughey, Nicole Kidman and John Cusack all give great performances in a story not worth telling.  (Why am I watching Kidman pee on Zac Efron?)  This slice of Southern Gothic is not enough Lee "Precious" Daniels and too much Lee "Shadowboxer" Daniels.

RED LIGHTS - Starts off promising but gets progressively worse until we hit our twist ending that has no impact whatsoever.

ROCK OF AGES - Not counting any scene that had Tom Cruise.  It's worth seeing on DVD or cable to just watch Tom Cruise's scenes. Everything else about the movie is terrible.  Had it come out in the 1970's, it'd be the next cult midnight show where people yell at the screen.  Who on Earth thought having three Foreigner tracks on the soundtrack was a good idea?

TOTAL RECALL - Director Len Wiseman and wife Kate Beckinsale probably shouldn't make movies together anymore.

And now...

... My Worst Ten

10. Taylor Kitsch in JOHN CARTER and BATTLESHIP - Neither movie is as bad as you may have heard. I actually kinda liked John Carter, whereas Battleship only ceased being the worst movie of the year once the aliens showed up.  But Kitsch is the worst thing about both movies, and he was the lead.  His movie career will go the way of Josh Hartnett.

9. ABRAHAM LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER - This movie could have, should have been campy fun, but it's poorly lit and surprisingly uncreative.  I credit them for casting Benjamin Walker, who looks like a young Liam Neeson, but I thought it might have more creative weaving into history while Abe slaughters vampires on the side.

8. THE EXPENDABLES 2 - The first movie was a fun reunion of all these old muscle-headed action stars.  Now while it's cool that Jean-Claude Van Damme shows up, and he's a villain, this sequel wears out its welcome early.  Just empty-headed mindless gunfire at a bunch of faceless foreigners.

7. THE DEEP BLUE SEA - Poorly-paced melodrama about a woman who leaves her affluent husband for a younger man who doesn't love her back. But they have passion. On the days that he likes her.  There's a three-second pause after every line.

6. & 5. GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE and SEEKING JUSTICE - How far hath Nicolas Cage fallen. Dude won an Academy Award, you know.  Academy. Award.   First, he's starring in arguably the worst comic-book hero franchise, and then he's doing these VOD projects that make about $75,000 in theaters before disappearing.  We know he doesn't manage his money well, so maybe that's it.

4. THE DEVIL INSIDE - A low-budget horror movie where the characters don't behave rationally. I know, they make a hundred of these a year. But have you ever watched one that ends on a cliffhanger then directs you to its website to what happens next. Its website?!

3. UNDERWORLD AWAKENING - The fourth time is not the charm. Kate Beckinsale is back, but it doesn't matter. It's the future where vampires are known and the humans are trying to exterminate them.  The plot's the thinnest yet.

2. BENEATH THE DARKNESS - Dennis Quaid tries his hand at playing a psychopath in this trifle where the mystery is obvious from the beginning, but the participants on screen pretend that it isn't.

1. TAKEN 2 - The first movie had a visceral satisfaction to it. A great trailer, and a movie that lived up to it.  Even though it's the same director, the sequel is almost a parody of the first one. After the traumatic events of the first movie, the wife and daughter decide to surprise Dad by showing up... in Istanbul?  You'd think the daughter would never leave the mainland USA again.  Relatives of all the dead Eurotrach from the first movie seek revenge in the second, and several of them get dispatched with ease.  The whole thing has an unpleasant sheen to it.  It's a cynical cash-grab.

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