05 March 2011

Good and Bad of 2010: Movies - Vol. 5

Now that Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is victorious as Best Picture of 2010, it's time to dabble in the films that just weren't successful, and I don't mean box office. The following movies represent the low areas of the year, the films that could have been so much better but are logged down by bad acting, or bad directing, or bad writing, or general bad baddiness. These don't necessarily represent the worst things I have ever seen [OMG (!!!) the pain (!!!)], simply movies that suffer greatly, elicit rolled eyeballs, and begs the general question of "why, oh why, was this movie made?"

It should be noted most of the movies below are either remakes or sequels. Wonder what that means.

The Worst Movie of I Have EVER Seen:

There is a movie more terrifying, more appalling than the likes of Troll 2 or Demolition Man or (possibly) The Room. It's Furry Vengeance. Released over the summer, I had the misfortune of watching the movie at a drive in. It was frightening, frankly, that a movie of this...er, caliber...was even released. True, I didn't need to actually watch the movie unfold, I could have instead concentrated my efforts on the lovely lass to my left, but Furry Vengeance is one of those movies where you can't stop watching because you can't believe how bad it is. And I don't mean enjoyable bad, or even 'their heart was in the right place' bad. This is just embarrassing, completely embarrassing and if I was an actor or man on the production team, I would completely erase any mention of this flick on my resume. I can't possibly imagine a child would even enjoy this movie, cos I have little doubt that even they're intelligent enough to notice that they've already seen every scene in this movie ten times before already in their lives. No amount of Last Airbender bashing or reminding myself of the colossal disappointment that was Clash of the Titans can amount to the brain dead, very-copy-deserves-to-be-burned atrocity that is Furry Vengeance.

The Bad

Dir. Scott Charles Stewart

Angels and bullets? A world of what? Worthy of every Razzie available (not already directed towards Eclipse), Legion proves that pretty much anyone can persuade Hollywood studios to finance shitty movies. Now where's the good ones? And don't let Stewart anywhere near the Preacher property. Similar to Skyline, visual effects and loads of explosions take precedence over a little something called plot. Hell, characterization and even logic are three seats back. Aside from a nifty Angel vs. Angel fight scene in the closing minutes, I can't honestly find anything redeemable with this production. If I were to recommend it, I would do so only by judging its MST3K-worthiness. Get some friends together, make some popcorn, and get ready to riff. And prey they don't produce a sequel.

Clash of the Titans
Dir. Louis Leterrier

A missed opportunity to make an thrilling, dramatic narrative not unlike Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings, Clash 2010 becomes a uninspired, paint-by-the-numbers action film. Decent film, highly disappointing in its execution. What I wanted was a film that took an opportunity to really explore the world of the Gods and mankinds revolt against them and the subsequent fallout of that. What I wanted was a dab of political thriller tossed in with the Olympians bickering at each other and causing civil unrest. What I wanted was a dimensional hero that had no clear path, who was constantly searching for who he was. What I wanted was a movie with intelligence, with a story to tell and a coherency, interest, and creativity to see it executed. I received none of that. Instead, Clash of the Titans is a prime example of mindless entertainment, and forces me to shake my head in sadness at what a marvelous movie it could have been.

The Wolfman
Dir. Joe Johnston

The thing about this reintroduction of The Wolfman to modern audiences is that there really isn't much to say about it, and that, I think, is the real problem. Even as the film unfolds, my interest was wavering. Special effects and make-up (provided by Rick Baker) exceeded expectations and were utilized well, but similar to Clash 2010, it didn't reach it's potential. I'm not sure if there is any specific area to place blame, or whether blame should even be subscribed, but The Wolfman means well but ends up without substance, a hollow production that could have been highly memorable and even tragic. In the end, Benicio del Toro is rather obnoxious and mumbly, Anthony Hopkins is Anthony Hopkins, and the conclusion sneaks up on us faster than the Wolfman seeking his prey.

Alice in Wonderland
Dir. Tim Burton

A movie directed by Tim Burton for Tim Burton and fans of Tim Burton, not daring to stretch into anything other than a movie directed by Tim Burton for Tim Burton and fans of Tim Burton, boasting set designs, characters, personalities, and creatures that were obviously Tim Burtonized for Tim Burton's approval and the love of Tim Burton fans who felt compelled to go out and buy memorabilia that have images of Tim Burtonized Wonderland plastered on, thus making Tim Burton, and Disney, rich, and Tim Burton fans poor and happy and satisfied. Yea, that was one large run-on sentence, but really, it mirrors Alice in Wonderland, which just goes on, and on, and on, and on. I wouldn't nitpick the movie if it seemed that Tim Burton actually went out of his comfort zone and tried something else...........something NOT 3-D, kids.

Sex and the City 2
Dir. Let's-Leave-This-Blank

I saw Sex and the City 2 for free, and I felt robbed. Robbed of intelligence, robbed of the delight of a yummy Reese's peanut butter cup, and robbed of the hope it might be a slightly entertaining movie, or at least something bearable. I cannot possibly imagine any individual finding something redeemable in this giant 2 and a half-hour pile of garbage mess. Now I caught bits and pieces of the series when mum watched it here and there, so I knew the characters in a very general term, but what we're presented to here feels like a ginormous bitch slap to who these people are. Not one plot in this movie is remotely interesting, or borderline original or worth repeating. The end couldn't come sooner. The contrived fissure in the Big/Carrie romance was eye-rolling, vomit-inducing laziness. If - and I mean a big, gigantic if - the series ever sees a third movie, by holy flames of God, let someone else write it. And why, oh why, does Sex and the City get a sequel, and a movie written and directed by the talented Joss Whedon become a financial thump? There really is no justice.

Robin Hood
Dir. Ridley Scott

A imagined match made in heaven, Scott and Crowe present a lifeless, boring retelling of how Robin Longstride became a hero to many. Nice action scenes that do little to ease the boringness of the film, this is a sad case of what could have been. Boring, boring, boring, uninteresting, boring. Apologies to folks who liked the movie - I know a few from work - but Ridley Scott and Russel Crowe coulda done so much more with the story than what they did here. A huge wasted opportunity. Crowe still looks awesome all dirty and beaten up and ready to unleash Hell, but that doesn't do a whole lot of anything if there isn't a compelling story, a remotely well written script, or steady pace to help a film along.

Dir. Jorma Taccone

With the exception of a few scenes of mild chuckle-worthiness, MacGruber is mostly dull, lacking in general hilarity, incoherent, and quite messy. Not even the gorgeous Kristen Wiig could save it. Better left as a 2-minute SNL skit.

2011: Must See

With 2010 done and over with, it's time to look forward to the rest of the year, and I shall do just that! It's a year full of sequels, remakes, and adaptations of existing properties (not unlike previous years, but 2011 features a higher quantity), and I gotta say, they all look amazing nonetheless. I'm giddy for most of the flicks this year, and 2012 aims to be even better.

Sucker Punch

I could say that I fell in love with the attractive girls in sexy outfits, but I'll just say that I am completely enamored with the trailer because of: 1) The visual style is mesmerizing; 2) There's a motherfrakking dragon; 3) Nothing makes sense in the trailer; 4) I must figure out why. 5) What is the plot? 6) Robots! Samurai swords! 7) Beautiful special effects. Good or bad, Sucker Punch looks to be a killer for the senses and a experience one won't soon forget. [25 March]

Source Code

Duncan Jones blew the collective minds of audiences with Moon, now he's destined to do it again with Source Code. Plus, Michelle Monaghan is hot. Oh, and this looks amazing. [4 April]

Scream 4

I'm in love with the Scream franchise, and if there was any doubt I wasn't attending the midnight premiere for the fourth film, you're sorely mistaken. [15 April]


Don't know much about the character, frankly, but the trailer has me convinced that Thor just might be a spectacular film. At least, I find myself itching to see this over Captain America (sorry, Cap). Besides, Norse Gods, family feuds, and the fate of the world resting on an arrogant God wielding an hammer sounds absolutely awesome, one of those must-see movies. I'm sold, can't wait. [6 May]

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Diss the hell out of the sequels as much as you want, I loved Dead Man's Chest and dug At World's End and I can't friggin' wait for On Stranger Tides. Sure, I'm sad that Gore Verbinski isn't in the director's chair this time around, and the movie thus lacks a certain, I dunno, authority to it, but with Elliot and Rossio as script writers and Depp and Rush back, I have confidence my time will not be ill-spent. That said, I have my reservations. Still, I'll be there opening night. [20 May]

Super 8

Monster. Alien (?). J.J. Abrams. Executive producer Steven Spielberg. Pretty. Ticket bought. [10 June]

Green Lantern

If I were to compare what I've seen of Green Lantern to a pre-existing franchise, I'd say we have another Fantastic Four on our hands. A fun comic book movie without substance, dimension, believability, and a bunch of groaning fanboys with their heads to their chest in shame. Believe me, I hope I'm wrong. Guess we'll find out. [17 June]

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

I didn't care. Then I saw the trailer. Oh. My. God. Want to see. Now. [1 July]

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2

No other movie this summer matches my excitement for the final chapter in this saga about a teenage wizard whose acceptance of death in life will decide the fate of the world. And no, that's not a spoiler, just a brilliant theme that reverberates in all seven books. J.K. Rowling, David Yates: I love you guys. [15 July]

Captain America: The First Avenger

I know next to nothing about Captain America, but I know I like action movies, superheroes, Chris Evans, and Joe Johnston. With all those elements, how could it go wrong, eh? Yea, I know, so completely shouldn't have said anything, but early footage and pictures look promising. I'm not looking for a great Dark Knight-like film, just something enjoyable like Iron Man a few years back. I don't think this movie will catapult the Cap into a whole new franchise of his own, instead serving as a standalone movie that will lead into a string of Avengers flicks. At the very least, it offers the opportunity to watch Chris Evans in action, and I'd pay top dollar to see that. [22 July]

Red State

I heart Kevin Smith - A Couple of Dicks maybe excluded - and his next movie, Red State, certainly looks interesting. A movie Kevin has been looking to get off the ground the last four years, he finally got finance to make it a few months ago and had it edited and ready to go by January. Word of mouth says the movie is definitely an departure for Smith, as it's dark, gritty, and really good...with the exception of some pacing problems. Otherwise, sounds like Red State might be something to really write home about. Watching interviews, listening to SModcast, it's difficult to not become as enthused about the project as Kevin is, and I'm sure it's the hype and tidbits of info about the movie that has me excited like a little kid getting an Millennium Falcon for Christmas. It's premiering in Minneapolis in a few days, and unless someone wants to donate $78 to the cause, it doesn't look like I'm going, sadly enough, so I guess I'll have to wait until later this year to experience Red State like the rest of y'all. Gotta say: bloody can't wait, folks, bloody can't wait. [October 19]


I don't know much about this movie other than it looks to be one hell of a dark comedy that's right up my creek, it stars Ellen Page as Wilson's 'superhero' sidekick, and it's getting a limited release as opposed to a full on launch a la Kick-Ass in hopes of gaining more bank. I hope it shows up around these neck of the woods, because my excitement factor is off the roof. Looks terrific. As for a release date, well, lets just say it ain't heading my way anytime soon.


And that concludes coverage of the movies in 2010 here at Ramblings of a Minnesota Geek. Tomorrow I delve into the world of television. Cheers!


Jack L said...

Nice write up,
I'm happy to admit that I've only seen one of the terrible looking films you mentioned, and that is Robin Hood, which I found lifeless and boring as well. So I fully agree with you there!

As for the upcoming films, I'm really looking forward to Tintin, because I'm a big fan of the comics and Spielberg is the best possible director for the film.
Sucker Punch looks simply awesome as does Super.
Not sure about Source Code, it could go both ways... but I'm kind of looking forward to it anyway.
Harry Potter 7 part 1 was the best in the series in my opinion and I think the part 2 will be even better so I'm rather looking forward to it.
The superhero films don't interest me much, the genre has never been one of my favourites...

jeremythecritic said...

Relieved I'm not the only one looking forward to Scream 4. I am very curious about Source Code also just from the talent involved and the premise. The trailers for Captain America, Green Lantern and Thor don't excite me (especially Lantern which I think looks hideous). Lately, there seems to be an over-saturation of superhero movies that offer nothing new so it'll be interesting to see if any of those deliver. Super 8 looks like it could be something.

James Smith said...

Did you see Clash without the crappy 3d conversion? It upgrades to harmless, forgettable entertainment. I'm really interested in seeing Harry Potter 7 & 8 back to back, as one film. 7 seemed like the most mature of the whole series, and visually beautiful, so if they can carry that over into the action scenes it could be amazing.

Andy the Time Lord said...

Jack L - Congrats on saving yourself from the trap of these flicks. If only I were so lucky...

I need to see a TINTIN trailer before I pass judgment, but I'm definitely intrigued to say the least.

Jeremy - The SCREAM franchise has been my BREAKFAST CLUB since age 9, and to see this series continue is nothing short of extraordinary wish fulfillment. I agree with you on the superhero front. Hell, I'm a bigtime supahero (!) fan, and I'm feeling a bit in the "meh" area for these upcoming hero flicks. Completely agree about LANTERN. They need to release a better looking trailer pronto, cos right now, it does look hideous.

James - I haven't seen a 3D flick since AVATAR, and don't plan on changing that until there's another movie that demands to be seen that way. CLASH overall is good actioney entertainment, it's just I had higher expectations that enforce my dislike more than others.

It'd be really cool if theaters played DEATHLY HALLOWS, PART 1 three hours before PART 2. Of course, I think my butt would go numb from sitting for so long, but I wager it'd be worth it.

Fletch said...

Clearly, you have not seen Strange Wilderness, aka the worst movie I have ever seen. Then again, I have not seen Furry Vengeance, so perhaps we're even...

C'mon, MacGruber was fun! It's not great by any means, but I kinda liked it. And this coming from someone who saw the movie having never seen one of the skits.

The only other of your worst that I saw were Clash (I thought it average, not that bad) and Alice (which I hated with a passion).

So, how ya feeling about Sucker Punch as of today? It's getting killed by reviewers...

Hmmm...might have been easier for your 2011 Must Sees to list the blockbusters this summer that you're NOT interested in. ;)

Andy the Time Lord said...

STRANGE WILDERNESS, the one with Seth Green? Nope, but that's sad to hear. But then again, he recently just co-starred in OLD DOGS and that flick was rubbish.

I felt MCGRUBER had its moments, but overall, they were few and far in between, so the enjoyment factor or the 'ha ha's' wasn't high.

With CLASH, its inclusion here is more or less the result of my huge disappointment of what could have been, the political drama on Mount Olympus and the gritty LOTR-type vibe they originally set out to do, but thanks to loads and loads of editing (over 40 mins. according to CHUD.com) has made it into a mindless action film, and the movie should not have been that.

Haha, SUCKER PUNCH. Well, you'll find out full well with my review coming sometime tomorrow. Let's just say this is one of the few times where I sorta agree with the critics, sadly enough. And y'know, that ain't a bad idea to list the flicks I have no interest in. Hmm. Thanks for the idea...