January 14, 2013

Worst Movies of 2012

The moment none of you have been waiting for! It is time for the unveiling of the worst cinematic experiences I had in 2012. I am sure you are already heated over the inclusions and exclusions of my top twenty list. I don't think there will be as much of an issue with the bottom ten. At least I don't think so. In any case, I do not want to waste time with the preamble, let's just get this over with, shall we?

10. The Raven. I am not even sure where the problems begin. Everything about The Raven is bland and uninspired at best, boring and annoying at its worst. I went in hoping for something interesting, perhaps a touch classy, and hopefully with a bit of blood. Above all, I was hoping for something with a little bit of intelligence. Sadly, what I got was little more than a period Saw movie. The movie is set in the final days of Edgar Allan Poe's life. They have turned the final days of a great writer into a pedestrian murder mystery. Instead of something exhilarating, it is a a lazy excuse to cram a bunch of Poe-inspired murders into one film. Frankly, in retrospect, the whole project seems to be an ill advised one. I never thought of it before hand, but I wonder what the genesis of the project was. I cannot imagine anyone who is a big lover of Poe being interested in something like this, taking the last days of a real person and creating a fictional story leading to his death with elements inspired by the fictional writings of the real person. Yuck.

9. Casa de Mi Padre. This is a movie that is admirable for the chances that it takes. It is worthy of some affection for being a stab at something sweet, weird, quirky, and at times creative, but at the same time I only found it fitfully amusing, more than a little dull, and a little to the long side. I suspect that it would have been better if it had been made as a series of skits for the Funny or Die site. That is really what this amounts to, a series of skits linked together in a loose fashion to form a movie. I don't know. This movie did not leave me with all that much to say about it. I see what they were going for and the cast all seemed game to do it, it just did very little for me. There were a few moments of laughter, lots of boredom, and way too much of Will Ferrell's bare ass.Yes I laughed a couple of times, yes I like what they were going for, but no, I did not care for this movie. Boring and overlong.

8. House at the End of the Street. Not even the late David Hess could have saved this movie. Boring, annoying, and predictable. I remember walking out of this so bored that I ended up not writing about it. I mean, the plot comes down to people wanting to chase a loony off because he affected property values. The creepy teen looked like a never and Jennifer Lawrence takes an admirable stab at making it watchable, but all efforts were for naught. Skip this.

7. Gone. Here is another movie that made such an impact that I ran home immediately to write about it. Or not. I tout I wrote about this lame "thriller" but I guess I forgot to. No matter, it is terrible and immediately forgettable. This clip from the Foywonder's review at Dread Central sums it up: You know why this movie is called Gone? Because the suspense is gone, the tension is gone, and the intrigue is gone. Everything you want from a psychological thriller and a serial killer chiller is gone.

6. The Cold Light of Day. Somehow this paint by numbers thriller made it past all the filters between starting production and hitting the big screen. It arrives flat, dull, and lifeless. I have to believe that the only reason it made it as far as it has is due to the involvement of Bruce Willis and Sigourney Weaver. I have to believe that the wide theatrical release of this movie was just a hope by the studio to squeeze a extra bucks out of it before it went to DVD, looking for something to justify its existence. Blah, blah, blah. Wake me up when it's over. Seriously, this is just lazy writing. There are logic gaps and some things just seem to happen, while other things are curiously never explained or expanded. There really is no reason for this movie to be except for late night cable filler. Maybe.

5. People Like Us. I remember when I first saw the trailer for People Like Us and thinking that it just looked stupid. I watched what was in the trailer and felt like I saw the whole movie save for the big reveal. If you have seen the trailer you know that the Chris Pine character learns he is the brother (half) to the Elizabeth Banks character but cannot tell her the truth. Blah, blah, blah. Against better judgment, I went to see the movie and found myself annoyed the whole time. It is the sort of movie that could have been cleared up in five, maybe ten, minutes. Instead we have a manufactured excuses to string the audience along for the length of a movie. Seriously, this entire movie is based on him not telling her who he is, rather being a strange yet helpful stalker. It is just bad. To make matters worse, when the string is finally pulled, we are expected to get all weepy over their newly shared history.

4. Alex Cross. This is purely paint by numbers filmmaking. Heroic good guy willing to go all the way, a crazy bad guy who is deadly and intelligent, a personal involvement to push our hero, and a confrontation where only one can walk away. Nothing new here. The screenplay is weak, filled with atrocious dialogue that may look great on the page but lands with a thud on delivery. The conclusion feels tacked on, as if they lost their way at some point and had to get back to why the murders started in the first place. The performances are not all that good, I just did not believe Tyler Perry for one minute, he always looked like he was acting. I will give Matthew Fox a pass, I liked his crazy killer. The problem is that he belonged in a better movie where his craziness was treated better. Alex Cross is a flashy movie that goes nowhere fast. It is silly, simplistic, and even a bit predictable. It is instantly forgettable.

3. The Collection. Believe me when I tell you that it is every bit as bad as its predecessor, The Collector. Pretty much the only redeeming thing it has is the blood and gore, the effects. I certainly can see the appeal of the idea, but the writing and execution is so poor as to boggle the mind. I am more than willing to suppress my disbelief but this one, well, I just couldn't do it. The bad guy makes no sense, no explanations are offered, there are issues of logistics, timing, character, motivation, and space. I don't know what else to say about this thing. It is a mess of logic with no one to care about. Sure, it was nice seeing some blood, but this thing makes Saw seem like Citizen Kane. For that matter, this movie is pretty much Saw but without the questionable morality. The Saw movies are equally ridiculous, but there was a touch of ambition behind them, this has none of that, take some traps, some blood, some hollow characters and let the parts fly. Pass.

2. Red Dawn. This is really a bad movie. At no point was I sold on it. Sure, I had a pretty good idea going in that it was not going to be good, but I held out a little hope it would be at least modestly entertaining. It wasn't. Nothing rings true, there is no development of characters to speak of, and no real reason to care. I saw opportunities for interesting character moments but instead of doing something interesting, they were just dropped, ignored, omitted, and forgotten. Also, what was with the new weapon that didn't affect the Koreans? Another missed opportunity. This movie fails on pretty much every level. Considering how long it has sat around. I suspect it was only released to theaters in an attempt to cash in on Chris Hemsworth's rising star. This is a movie to be avoided. It lacks intelligence and fun. I would have been happy with either one of the two. However, if you are easily distracted by endless generic action scenes and moments of faked emotions, by all means, enjoy. You would be better served to watch the original, it may not be without its own set of faults, but it feels much more genuine.

1. The Apparition. This is a movie I will admit to being interested in. At the same time, I cannot say i was expecting all that much from it. Turns out that is a good thing as the movie proved to be awful. It is nothing more than a studio ploy to separate you from your money, and I fell for it. The movie is dull and does no give you much of anything to latch on to. It bypasses all of the story elements and goes right to the ghost stuff. Forget about having characters to care about or a haunting to actually be shared by, prepare for nothing. I think my biggest disappointment in the movie is that the idea being sold in the trailers is not the movie I saw. There is the idea that the apparitions are creations of the mind, the believe it and you die bit. That is not what his movie is about. The idea of belief never really comes into the equation, there may be a bit of lip service paid to the idea, but it doesn't hold any water when put next to the actual content of the movie.

That brings it all to a close. Better luck next year.

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