December 30, 2013

2013: Worst 10 Movies

So, as I type this, the year is nearly over and while there are still a couple films to see before the first rolls around I sincerely doubt there will be any contenders for the worst of the year list. As for the list itself, I think I did a pretty good job of avoiding known quantities like Scary Movie V, A Haunted House, and Grown Ups 2. Even still, I managed to see my fair share of terrible movies, including a few that could have made this list like The Family, Riddick, and Identity Thief. After that, there were still 10 movies worthy of appearing here. Let me also say the rules I set say that I have to have seen the movie in the theater and it had to be a release for that year. Many of these titles are interchangeable with regards to where they fall, save for number one... You'll see it soon enough. Without further adieu...



10. Oldboy. Believe it or not, I had hopes for this. The end result is not very good at all. The story moves too fast, makes too many assumptions, and does not seem believable. It suffers from poor pacing, poor acting, and a visual style that seems more interested in clever camera moves than anything else. Fortunately, we still have the fantastic original.


9. Beautiful Creatures.  Here is another movie trying to fill the young teen romance hole left by Twilight. It tanked at the box office, so it is just another has been and rightly so. This is not a good movie, and I am pretty sure there is a scene that implies statutory rape. It is a story of a witch finding love with an outcast longing to escape their deep southern town. It is over the top, half baked, and not memorable at all. It replaced actually intelligent writing with repeated references to Vonnegut and Bukowski. They only wish...


8. Escape from Planet Earth. This is a flat, uninspired, yet colorful babysitter. Nothing special or memorable or anything. As I sit here trying to type a little about it, I am having a hard time remembering any of the details and I never did write about it. I have learned that it was in development hell for six years and had more ham a dozen rewrites forced on it by the Weinstein Company. Nothing helped and more than likely made it worse. In a year of lackluster animated fare, this ranks pretty low.


7. Escape Plan. This is probably a good 25 or 30 years too late. This team up of aging action icons should be a lot of fun, but it just isn't. It is really a bit of a bore as we watch them go through the motions on their way to the inevitable conclusion. This is a huge missed opportunity that sees its stars flounder about relying on past success and familiarity with their character types. I think they still have some fun movies in them, but this is not it.


6. Trance. This Danny Boyle film is an aggravating disappointment. It is built around the theft of a valuable piece of artwork. But something happens that causes the man who hid it to forget what he did with it. They hook up with a hypnotist to try and find the truth. The plot is a convoluted mess that seems to revel on pulling the rug out from user you. It keeps changing the story and whats important. Some may like this, but I found it annoying and poorly constructed.


5.  Dark Skies. Here is a movie that never finds a voice of its own, instead it begs, borrows and steals for other films and never gives itself time to develop much of anything. It plays like a mash of InsidiousPoltergeist, and Fire in the Sky. It brings up points but then never follows through, they are left hanging without context. Pass.


4. The East. While it is advertised as a subversive statement on corporate guilt and ecoterrorism, the movie is revealed to be more Donnie Brasco than The Promised Land (not necessarily a bad thing). It is much more meandering and typical even as it tries so hard to be something more. I was bored by its meandering and the scenes that are there for convenience to plot movement than for anything else. If only they paid off on what the trailer was advertising.


3. After Earth. Watching After Earth is much like watching someone else play a video game. And you know just as well as I do that watching someone play a game is not very fun. Essentially, this movie takes the idea of cinema as a passive activity to the edge of the cliff and just keeps on going onto the abyss. It is true that movies are essentially a passive activity, but they don't have to be, the good ones engage the viewer and involve the imagination, this one takes a standard survival tale and mixes it up with the side scrolling action game. Boring, uninspired.


2. The Host. I knew I shouldn't have bothered with this. I had been hoping that Andrew Niccol would work some magic and make this interesting. No such luck. It is a lame teen romance in the guise of a science fiction, alien invasion. The problem is that nothing was given context, nothing interesting was offered. I can excuse a nonsensical setup of it does something else interesting, like The Purge. This was just annoying all the way around, from the whiny characters, to the invasion that has no logic, to the constant voice overs. Ugh. Now I want to punch something....


1. Movie 43. There are very few movies that I want to walk out on. Movie 43 is a movie I wanted to walk out on. It is one of those moves that I actively disliked. It is filled with big name stars doing things that are just not funny. First movie to get a 0 rating for, me. There is nothing else you need to know.

That wraps it up. I find it interesting that the majority of these movies came out in the first half of the year. Not sure if my decision makung got better or I just liked worse movies. I guess it does not matter much, it is what it is and these are bad movies. One day I would like to go a year where I did not see enough bad movies to fill a worst of list. That's not likely to happen.

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1 comments:

Wendell Ottley said...

It is actually pretty normal that the worse movies are the ones from the first half of the year. They are often shoved into the theater during the slow months, most of which happen to be before the summer season gets rolling. The Oscar-bait and theoretically better films are all back-logged until after Thanksgiving. So yeah, get ready for more stinkers as January and February roll around.

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