January 19, 2009

2008: Bottom Ten Movies

There were a lot of bad movies this year, just like every year. I think the saddest thing about this years crop is that it had so many comedians that I have enjoyed over the years.

Now, fortunately for me, this list was a bit easier to put together than the Top Ten list, but that is small consolation for sitting through these films of my own free will. I wonder if next year's list will be tougher to do as I plan on trying to cut back? Time will tell. In the meantime, check out this year's list:

Bottom Ten Movies of 2008.

10. In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale. When it comes to a reason for what makes this movie so bad, it is difficult to choose just one. Looking at the big picture, it is a cheap knock-off of Tolkien and his Lord of the Rings universe. Not a good way to start. The Lord of the Rings story boiled down with the fat separated out. The problem is that rather than take the good stock, Uwe Boll scraped off the layer of fat, added some of his own lard and dropped it in the deep fryer with a healthy dose of cheese. If you couldn't tell, this is not exactly going to help you with your cholesterol level.

9. Babylon A.D. The science fiction epic should have been able to deliver the goods, but instead of being an entertaining movie, it's an exercise in tedium filled with overblown action sequences with characters I could not care less about telling a story that doesn't make much sense. The best thing you can do with this movie is skip it. If you absolutely must see a hollow exercise in action, make it Death Race; that one may be dumb, but it is more exhilarating. This is just a bad movie from start to finish. There is no setup, little story, and no character. I have no reason to care about any of it. Babylon A.D. is a terribly hollow film that may have started great on paper, but ended up a generic, violence-riddled mess. Whatever comments on society that were made in the book were lost through the translation and editing process.

8. Semi-Pro. I saw a group of actors trying to be funny, saying lines that must have been funny to write. I guess it was the translation. Somewhere between pen reaching paper and words exiting mouths the jokes lost what made them humorous. Pointing to the reason for failure is like looking for a needle in a haystack. There was a certain alignment of the planets, increased sunspot activity, a bend in the space/time continuum, any number of things conspiring in perfect union to bring this film down. What should have been a laugh riot turned out to be about as much fun as sitting through Cat in the Hat again.

7. One Missed Call. If you want to make any actual sense of what goes on over the course of One Missed Call, I am afraid you are going to have to write it yourself. It seems that the only thing screenwriter Andrew Klavan was doing was getting the characters from one scene to the next. It does not appear that he had any grasp of what the story was or any desire to give it any life. Seriously, with some of the things that go on in this movie, no one takes the time to actually talk about what is going on. Everyone just sleepwalks through their roles, spouting dialogue that has nothing to do with anything and explains nothing.

6. Meet Dave. Are you looking for social commentary on the strength of the human spirit? Do you need research on the worthiness of the human condition? Perhaps you just want to laugh at something that makes no sense. If you are looking for anything like that, you are going to want to go elsewhere. This is not a good movie; the script is poor, the concept was not thought out beforehand, and the execution is a mess.

5. The Love Guru. Myers creation of Guru Pitka is not so much a new creation as it a retooling of his Austin Powers character. It is the same old schtick just dressed up in some new colors. Rather than riding the wave of an out-of-time, swinging spy, we get a sexually repressed American peddling new-agey Hindu themes. It just isn't that funny. It does not help that whenever Myers tells a joke he turns and winks to the camera. Ugh. Not funny. I like Myers and would love to see him make a funny movie again.

4. The Haunting of Molly Hartley. I went into this movie with low expectations to begin with, it is a shame it could not even meet them. When is a haunting not a haunting? Give up? When it's The Haunting of Molly Hartley! Get it? I know, I know, not very funny. If you thought that little joke at the movie's expense wasn't funny, just imagine what awaits inside the darkened theater. From the script, to the acting, to the directing, this is just an awful film that does not make a lick of sense.

3. Space Chimps. When it comes right down to it, this movie is poorly animated, poorly written, and just plain dull. I could have overlooked the animation issues if the story was worth watching, good writing will trump that every time, but that is not the case here. Space Chimps is a chore to sit through. It is the sort of movie that makes it almost mean to beat up on, but when it is as bad as this is, it can be hard to let it slide. Just do yourself a favor and skip this.

2. Prom Night. I am not one to write off remakes as automatically unnecessary or guaranteed to be bad, but this one turned out to be both. There is no reason for it to exist other than to dupe those who choose to see it out of their ticket money. I cannot think of a way to defend the film, but I guess it is not really my place now that they already have my money. It is poorly written and executed.

1. Strange Wilderness. Perhaps you need to be under some herbal influence to enjoy this movie, for I cannot see anyone sober enjoying this outside of the occasional giggle. It is a poor production all around with little in the way of redeeming value. I was happy when the credits rolled and so will you be, should you choose to be parted from your money.


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