Monday, January 9, 2012

Five Movies: The Five Worst Movies I Saw in 2011

 Today I'm going to kick off Cap'n Howdy's Year End Recap for 2011 with the bottom of the barrel. As I'm generally convinced that I won't see anything that sucks more than the films below, I feel comfortable locking this in place and moving onward and upward.

 I actually very rarely watch a movie expecting it to be terrible. There are plenty of movies I know are going to be, how shall we say, "not good" but those films tend to have entertainment value that compensates for their lack of finesse (or if you prefer, quality). I gravitate towards movies with rewatchability, something that's going to play well with a crowd of people willing to set their need for well told stories aside and have a good time. Sometimes that burns me; the films on this list are movies that bored me, annoyed me, or couldn't justify their meager existence by the standards of "popcorn fare."

 Contrary to popular assumptions, I didn't really see that many "bad" movies in 2011, which is admittedly a bit surprising, even for me. It is telling, however, that of the five films below, all but one of them were "So You Won't Have To" reviews, and the one that wasn't happened during "What the Hell Week," that momentary lapse in judgement when I watched Saw VII. Speaking of which, the (presently) "final" Saw film wouldn't even make this year's list. That's how bad things got.

5. The Thing - A prequel with no reason for being that only reminds you how much better you've seen this exact story. Twenty years ago. I still have no idea who this movie was made for, because if you're going to see this iteration of The Thing, you HAVE to have seen the Carpenter version for the ending to mean anything. If you've seen John Carpenter's The Thing, there's nothing for you in this movie.

4. Sucker Punch - I can totally understand who this movie is for, and even by the standards of 13-15 year old friendly, geek fetish fanboy drivel, Sucker Punch fails. It's like that scene in A Dirty Shame where Johnny Knoxville introduces Tracey Ullman to the various fetishes - a little bit of schoolgirl uniforms with steampunk Nazis and samurai with Gatling guns mixed with dragons and killer robots on trains and oh yeah it all happens during sexy stripteases to Bjork... but it's all so... boring.

3. The Change-Up - We're moving into really vile territory here. I didn't like The Thing and Sucker Punch - they wasted my time. The Change-Up was repulsive, irredeemable, chauvinistic crap. I felt insulted that the people who made this thought I might laugh at anything that happens in this piece of shit. Oh yeah, did I mention that the movie opens with a baby shitting in Jason Bateman's mouth? That's comedy, folks.

2. Blubberella - Speaking of unfunny, offensive, stupid, juvenile crap, how could I leave Uwe Boll off of the list? Somewhere in the midst of making Bloodrayne III: The Third Reich, the good doctor thought it would be fun to make a parody of his own films using most of the same cast and sets, but replacing his vampire heroine with a really fat chick. And constantly making jokes about how fat she is. Get it? It's a comedy because she makes fat jokes about herself! And so does everyone else! And don't forget jokes about Jews because it's a movie with Nazis! Oh look, Uwe Boll is Hitler! And that white guy who plays the gay stereotype is in blackface playing the mother from Precious! It's so hilarious. So hilarious you won't ever have to waste your time. But if this is number two, then number one has to be something really heinous...

1. Scream 4 - Fuck Scream 4. If Wes Craven can't do better than My Soul to Take and Scream 4, he can hang up that "master of suspense" moniker and go back to teaching literature. The film is nothing but 90 minutes of sour grapes about the state of horror films disguised as another "deconstruction" of the genre. It's a film that uses the structural hook of "remakes" as the template for the kills but can't even muster the energy to be a bad remake of Scream. It's just another tired sequel that nobody asked for and nobody is talking about. I watched it with Cranpire, who is as close to a die hard "fan" of the series as I know, and he hated it. What chance did the rest of us have?

 Additional Awards:

 It May Have Been Broke, but You Sure Didn't Fix It: Red State - Kevin Smith decided to go in a different direction with Red State, and it still sucked. While it's true that I couldn't finish Cop Out, I did sit through Smith's ham handed take on the Westboro Baptist Church by way of the Waco / Branch Davidian disaster, and I wish I hadn't. Not only is the camerawork reminiscent of the worst "hand-held" style TV cinematography, but the story is so damned smug by the end that I wished all of the protagonists had been killed instead of just the three kids hoping to get laid. Oh. Spoiler.

 Not Going to End Up on Any Other List so here's as Good a Place as Any: The People vs. George Lucas -The reason I didn't review this documentary is because there's nothing in the film that its target audience doesn't already know. That defeats the purpose of the film, since only internet geeks outraged over the changes to Star Wars would even care in the first place. I didn't realize it was still necessary to beat up on Jar Jar Binks twelve years later, but sure enough he's there to be flogged. Listen, if you really want a strong deconstruction of George Lucas and Star Wars, watch the "Mr. Plinkett" reviews. They're more entertaining.

 Probably My Favorite Gimmick Review of a Movie That Deserved It: The Hangover Part II

 The Worst Movie I Saw in 2011 That Wasn't from 2011: A Night to Dismember - I still have no idea what we watched, and two people continue to remind me that I traumatized them at Horror Fest with this "film."

 (dis)honorable mention goes to: In Time, Exporting Raymond, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Killer Elite, The Mechanic, Season of the Witch, Ride Rise Roar, Cyrus, Quarantine 2: Terminal, Bong of the Dead, Blood Runs Cold, and in a surprising turn-about, John Carpenter's The Ward. Don't think that just because they didn't make the final five that they're worth you time AT ALL.

 "Sorry, I somehow missed these" list: Green Lantern, Apollo 18, Straw Dogs, Cars 2, Hoodwinked Too: Hood vs. Evil, A Serbian Film, The Human Centipede 2: Full Sequence, Jack & Jill, What's Your Number?, Abducted, Battle: Los Angeles, Bucky Larson: Born to Be a Star, Atlas Shrugged, Zookeeper, Red Riding Hood, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part One, and I only saw five minutes of Dylan Dog: Dead of Night. I turned it off.

 I'll be back later this week with the middle and the best and then the very best of 2011. Believe me, kiddos, it only goes up from here!

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