Seeing as it’s a pretty slow news week in film, I decided to subject you to one of the many lists I like to make at the end of the year. Putting together a ‘top list’ in any genre is no easy task, but putting together a list of this year’s Most Abominable Movies has proven to be downright blackboard-chalk-screeching painful.
Here’s my problem: I try not to knowingly subject myself to sucky movies. I’m not really the type who goes out and sees every movie with no idea that the thing is going to suck the big one. No, like any reasonably intelligent person who doesn’t live under a rock, I can usually tell if something is going to please me greatly (or even a little). So yeah, I’m a film snob. And no, I don’t think it’s cool to purposely sour my taste buds by offering up the latest Katherine Heigl or Tyler Perry crap-fest.
So, admittedly I had a little trouble choosing my biggest piles of film poo. Unfortunately, I could only muster up a total of 5 films worthy of shoving that $10 ticket up my derriere. Here they are–in all their glory (and in no particular order). And please, feel free to point out how obviously off base I am. But be prepared to support your argument with evidence!
1. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time
Despite the obvious problems with this film (Jerry Bruckheimer), I think my biggest peeve was the fact that poor Jake had to LEARN how to speak in a British accent to match the rest of the cast. He-LLO! This is freaking Persia. It’s Iran–not the freaking Union Jack! And seriously–Jake is just too pretty for Prince Dastan. Who’s going to mess with a face like that?
2. The Last Airbender
Oh boy. Glee glee glee at how craptacular this most recent Shyamalan disaster turned out. I must channel my inner Roger Ebert here and repeat: “The Last Airbender is an agonizing experience in every category I can think of and others still waiting to be invented. The laws of chance suggest that something should have gone right. Not here. It puts a nail in the coffin of low-rent 3D, but it will need a lot more coffins than that.”
Yes. Coffins indeed. Noah Ringer as Aang and his two comrades wander aimlessly through the murky and bland set, speak their lines with all the commitment and fervor of an empty wooden box, and battle CGI monsters with all the bravery of white belt karate students with ballet training. And here’s a note to Asian-American actors upset that the film used Caucasians to represent: Please, be thankful you didn’t get to participate. Missing an opportunity like this is akin to missing that famed Oceanic flight 815.
3. Dinner for Schmucks
I’m fully prepared to take a lot of grief for this one. First of all, I know you’re asking, “how can a movie where Steve Carrell makes tiny dioramas out of dead mice and Paul Rudd gets to be the straight man be awful?” And second of all, I am in no way an Armond White supporter. But really, the guy sums Schmucks up wholeheartedly for me: “Actors are paid to be embarrassing, and audiences pay to get embarrassed. That’s the lesson to learn from Dinner for Schmucks, an idiot-comedy for idiots.”
4. Grown Ups
I didn’t laugh once during this entire film. No, I don’t think it’s funny that Sandler is fully aware of the fact that he’s stealing my $10 so I can watch him and his buddies pee in a pool, fart and hump things. I think movie humor sort of requires that the comedians in said movie not snicker openly at the jokes of fellow comedians in said movie as if to cue me for laughter. It also helps not to pigeon-hole each “actor” with one funny running attribute throughout the entire length of the film. Is Kevin James chubby enough to be made the butt of an endless supply of fat jokes? Yes.
I was, however, held down and forced to watch this film twice over the holiday season with the soul mate’s nephew and nieces (ages 12, 8, and 7). These three found the movie quite hilarious and couldn’t get enough of it. So, that said, raunchy comedians making a kids film = FAIL.
5. Clash of the Titans
I saw this cluster-f*&k in 3D (first bad choice), and my dreams of Release the Kraken glory turned into Release the Craptastic disappointment. This film was one of those classic examples of hurriedly tacking on post-prod 3D in order to greedily take advantage of the current 3D-mania in theatres. Distracting and annoying instead of enhancing the story, this mess had all the key ingredients of a really bad film: sloppy and stilted dialogue, over-the-top acting, bad editing. I should have just listened to my gut and let Harry Hamlin live in infamy. Yes, this regret will haunt me forever. And, the homage to Bubo the owl was really kind of lame and seemed like it was just thrown in there haphazardly.
Do you have 5 more Most Abominable films you’ve seen this year I could add to my list?