2011 has not been a great year for movies as my forthcoming best of post will allude there are very few films that sat above the generally good films at the top of the pile, unlike 2010 which had shutter island, inception, buried, toy story 3, social network and more. This year is more of a mess. Which is contrary to the worst movies of the year, where some of the inclusions (dishonourable mentions) are entirely based upon personal preference whereas the others in my bottom 10 could easily have been replaced by another 10 films, 2011 was bombarded by a tidal wave of terrible films. I didn’t proactively seek out bad films, so no New Year’s Eve, Trespass, Red Riding Hood, Film Socialisme, the Change-up or Adam Sandler. What we do have though is a selection of bad films and a few that are so bad that flirt with evil.
Alex Pettyfer delivers one the worst performances of the year which had me guffawing because of Kyle screaming like a child kicking and punching because he doesn’t get what he wants ticks all my comedy boxes. The rest of the script wheels out high schools clichés and pathetic sob stories with frightening regularity. Otherwise the messages are of a particularly poisonous brand. According to Daniel Barnz film, one of the Olsen twins is ugly because she has piercings and turning someone ugly means a shaved head, piercings and tattoo’s. And all round obnoxious rich boys should be treated like kings because they are prettier than us mere mortals. Beastly is an intolerant film that truly condescends to its target audience.
9. THE THREE MUSKETEERS
Paul W.S. Anderson is after the heart of Michael Bay as the most tasteless and crass man in cinema. peddler of explosions in cinema. The Three Musketeers exists as an excuse to leer at his wife, Milla Jovovich, to the point where the camera basically disappears down her cleavage (it’s in 3D too). It’s also a transparent attempt to make a steampunk competitor to the Pirates of the Caribbean series – connected by one of the worst living actors in Orlando Bloom playing a pivotal role. In this re-telling the musketeers are relegated to mere support characters to the horrible miscast Logan Lerman as D’Artagnan. Let’s not forget that transparently open ending which is fishing for a sequel, no thanks.
8. THE SMURFS
The strange thing about this film is that it was made by people who clearly had no love for that, which they are adapting, with endless references to the smurfs being annoying. It really beggars belief that a film would hate itself as much as this. That’s not to say such hate is unreasonable as very few films were more annoying than this one its constant use of the word Smurf as a verb with some of the most hideous product placement of the year, once you have seen the Smurfs rapping along to walk this way (Smurf this way) on Guitar Hero it is stuck in your head for no matter how hard you try to forget.
7. BRIGHTON ROCK
Piping the remake of the thing to the post as the most pointless remake of the year is Brighton Rock. The original film had the honour of the novel’s author Graham Greene assisting with the script. This remake thinks it knows the material better than the author, turning the period of uncertainty and violence in the era between the wars into the 1960’s and the shocking climax into something farcical. A remake with nothing new to say or add, worst of all – it’s incredibly boring.
6. APOLLO 18
A sad inclusion this one because the premise was so promising – a found footage film that states why man no longer goes to the moon. Reality delivered a knock out blow. Now it could be argued that the film reflected the stark desolate atmosphere of the moon and that would be a fair point if there was anything else going on. The film also completely failed as found footage film, with it constantly breaking the rules. There were too many camera angles and when the monster finally revealed itself it was nothing more than pathetic.
5. TRANSFORMERS DARK OF THE MOON
It couldn’t be a bottom 10 of any year without an appearance from the clown prince of crap himself – Michael Bay with transformers dark of the moon, while an improvement on the second film this still represents perfectly everything that is wrong with modern cinema – Shia LaBeouf. He is bad with a range from shouting and screaming to archetypical and offensive American stereotype, but in all seriousness the real perpetrator here is Bay. With a camera that stalks its female characters and there curves, racist characters and a non-event of a story. While to his credit he can film action sequences we don’t get to those until 90 minutes into the film, a long gruelling stretch where the titular robots barely figure and we are presented with the most fatuous, sexist, racist and depressingly successful trash.
Immortals is as homoerotic as any of the other films that pillage the rich mythology of Greece. Tarsem Singh’s movie is without praise, the film has a colour palette that looks like someone relieved themselves all over the negatives. Mickey Rourke puts in a guttural performance of method eating that he would turn in before he disappeared from the acting world. The story lacks any sort of logic and it turns something as cool as the titans into an illogical bore. Worst of all though is that it wanted to have its cake and eat it, the people who made immortals wanted it to be a 15 but to do that they had to cut certain bits which made for some of the worst editing of the year. What makes this worse is the film is very bloody even without these cuts, it truly does come across as nothing more than a victim of its own stupidity.
3.THE GREEN HORNET
The reason it’s so bad is essentially down to studio pressure, however we can only judge the film it became rather than the film it had the potential to be. What we got was a film helmed by one of the most visionary directors of our time than resembled the nondescript output you would expect from a studio stooge. Then there is Seth Rogen. The green hornet was always meant to be an unpleasant guy; Rogen has stretched that idea to breaking point with him being the typical slacker you get in any of his films added with the sort of ego that means Britt Reid thinks he is a gift to all women, which was agonising to watch. It does have good bits, exclusively when Jay Chou is on-screen however Rogen doesn’t want you to forget him so he muscles his way into a film that neither needs him nor can be carried by him.
2. MOTHERS DAY
Darren Lynn Bousman has taken the gore he pedaled in the saw series (2-4) and tried to give it more meaning and depth in his dire remake of the troma classic mother’s day. He takes a cast of non-characters that would be common place in the shoddiest of all horror sequels and used them to suggest that everybody can potentially sell out their best friends, killing them in often brutal circumstances just to help themselves. Gore is used in and of itself; there is no great significance there. Then the so-called great performance of Rebecca De Mornay is nothing more than the tone used to condescend to children delivered to adults, miraculous performance right there folks. A badly told, acted and directed film used to house a poisonous subtext.
1. SUCKER PUNCH
Here we are the big kahuna of bad films in 2011 is sucker punch by Zack Snyder. The worst thing about sucker punch is that it is supposed to be some sort of feminist subtext. The female characters of Sucker Punch are all defined by the male gaze, their sexual prowess. These are just beautiful women, rather than characters with any depth or personality beyond their stripper like stage presence. A point which is made even harder to swallow thanks to the films incredibly vocal fans stating that the film is deep and us naysayer’s don’t understand it. There is nothing to understand the film is nothing more than Zack Snyder showing how incapable he is as a writer, even his usual striking images and set pieces lack meaning. The soundtrack had some of the worst cover songs I have ever heard, that alone was enough have me on the edge of my seat ready to leave. Sucker Punch is the worst film of 2011, which turns so-called feminism into sexism in a conceptually blunt movie lacking excitement and purpose.
Here’s looking forward to a better 2012 with less aggressively bad films for me to rant about and more stellar films to make the best of lists easier.