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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

CNAMB's Worst Films of 2010

Unless there were to be some miraculous act of *choose your own religious icon*, with any best of the year film list, unfortunately, comes a worst of the year list. Last year I had but two films to name (thankfully), and technically that would be the same with this year, too. Nevertheless, there were also a few movies that stood out for, well, not standing out at all. Those movies that weren't horrendous or worst of the year worthy, but failed to deliver anything but a one time watch and shrug-filled forget. I'll get those out of the way first.

The Most Mediocre of 2010  

(from *cough-cough* best to worst )

The Book of Eli

thebookofeli

Some interesting ideas flooded a film that was frankly, not all that interesting. A few cool action set pieces, some decent acting but, in the end, I just didn't care much about anything that was going on. And as much as I enjoy seeing Mila Kunis on screen, I find it hard to believe that in a land where everyone has jacked-up teeth, that she, who was born well after the apocalypse happened, had them shits looking like a white strip commercial. Her stylish post-apocalyptic inspired get-up wasn't any easier to chew on, either.  

The Crazies

thecrazies

With what started out as a strong kind of sort of infection film, The Crazies quickly went from interesting and tension filled, to clichéd and quite boring by the second half. There were a few great moments, but overall it wreaked of familiarity and apparently wasn't worth my memory's time as - outside of a few scenes and the always enjoyable Timothy Olyphant - I can remember very little about the film. Lots of promise and it came close to being decent but, ultimately, the ball was dropped somewhere along the line.

The Wolfman

thewolfman

Loved the atmosphere. Loved the way that the titular beast looked. Loved the classic gothic setting. Loved the gory bits. So what the hell happened with The Wolfman? Well, let's start with it being far too long and far too uninteresting. The unnecessarily complicated plot seemed to be going by way of the kitchen sink theory, and the pacing was so out of whack that I had no idea where I even was in the story. To make things worse, the dialogue was utterly laughable. I can see where this one had so many pre-release issues, and it shows in the final product. A series of cool scenes filled in with way too many boring ones, driven by the biggest casting mistake a studio could have ever made, does not result in a good film.

Legion

legion

Sure, it's not a very good film in the least, and I do have it on my most mediocre list, but I actually didn't mind watching Legion too much. I had shit expectations and it only slightly surpassed them by at least having a few cool angel fight scenes towards the film's end (but there really should have been more of that). Still, I cannot believe that a movie can be - in this day in age with critics abound – as fucking clichéd as Legion was. The characters were as awful as it gets, ranging from a rich snotty women, a slutty chick, a doubting hero, and right on down to the fucking black guy that listens to loud rap, smokes weed and carries a gun. Whatever.

……………………………………………………………………

Okay, now that the whatever films of 2010 are out of the way, let's move on to the meat and taters of this here post: The worst films of 2010. As with last year, I only have two films, thankfully, and while this list is littered with two films that made me groan, they are a slight improvement over the films that made my two-film list last year. Alright, let's get on with it, shall we?   

The Worst Films of 2010

(once again, from *cough-cough* best to worst)

The Road

theroad

I just don't know what it is about The Road that peeved me off so much, well I do, but I am not sure why my unimpressed feeling slowly became a complete feeling of despise for the film over time. It looked great, it captured an apocalyptic setting that needed to be captured, Aragorn was solid, as always, and this generation's Lance Henriksen, Garret Dillahunt, even makes an appearance. What's not to like? Well, let's start with Kodi Smit-McPhee, who's character, Boy, was quite awful and just plain annoying from start to finish. His dialogue constantly drove me up the wall, and how could any kid grow up in the apocalypse and not begin to form some sense of balls? I know he's a kid, but this is a survival situation that would sort of force anyone to learn to instinctively toughen up, and quickly, too.

That little jerk-off aside, what really chapped my ass the most about The Road was the complete lack of emotion that was to be found. This is a movie where everything is based on emotion, but there is none built at all. It's as if the filmmakers were simply expecting people to fall for it because it was such a sappy situation. Father, son, the apocalypse, WAHH! Sorry, bro. You have to earn my emotions, not instantly receive them with cheap ploys and crying men who couldn't even keep their clothes on half the time. See, now I'm just getting more pissed even thinking about this fucking movie. Skip The Road and watch Winter's Bone instead. It does everything that The Road couldn't, and Dillahunt's in that too.    

The Road Review

 

  Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever

Nothing quite says disappointing like having your first 2010 film, which also just so happened to be a birthday gift that I had on my wish list, be a complete pile of overhyped shit. Not that Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever – the sequel to one of my favorite horror films of the last decade – received this insane praise all around, but the reception was certainly warmer than anyone expected and enough to give me fair hope for a fun time. All the elements were there: Good special effects, decent art design and a certain sense of 80's familiarity that is always welcome in a film of its type, when done right, of course. 

So what makes Spring Fever make me wish I had yellow fever? First of all, it's not at all funny. The humor falls completely flat and a part of that has to do with the lack of properly conveyed quirkiness, something that attributed greatly to the success of Roth's original film. Even with the moments that are there to solely gross out in a humorous, over-the-top fashion, never did so in a way that garnered any sort of reaction out of me. But where Spring Fever pooped the hardest is it was not at all entertaining. In fact, I would go as far as to call it boring. And boring is something that is unforgivable. Mix that in with obnoxiously poor sound design and that way shoehorned in ending, and you have my least favorite movie of the year.

Cabin Fever 2: Spring Fever Review

Now, while I am starting to feel a little bad about calling some kid a jerk-off that probably doesn't deserve it (why do I have to have a conscience?), you can clearly see that some films can truly bring out quite a stir of emotions for films fans. Just writing about movies like this gets me all riled-up and now I want to hear what films snapped your banana off at the wrong spot in 2010?

17 comments:

  1. Be still my heart Matt. I completely agree with your thoughts on The Crazies. Great opening, great Olyphant, but how many person-you-forgot-about-shoots-the-bad-guy-just-when-you-think-hero-will-die scenes can a film have? (4, it would seem)

    Legion blew, but what killed me about it was how that trailer totally raised my hopes. Good thing I waited for DVD.

    And The Road, yes, I was also underwhelmed. I think the film did some things right, but it didn't make me feel a single thing.

    Oh oh! And high five Cabin Fever 2! It's a mess. A MESS!

    Sigh. That felt good.

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  2. Ha, we are such twinsies, Emily!!

    The lamest thing about Legion is that you think it will be bad ass angels brawling all over the place, instead, it's a bunch of faux-zombies for the first hour and ten minutes! Still, out of all those films, it disappointed me the least, sadly!

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  3. Eli was weird. I thought this was an anti religion film and boom! they poor some religiousity on the mutha (i'm channeling my inner Hughes Bros)

    Crazies was ok.

    I've actually read The Road and its a stellar book. The movie is ok...it doesn't do it justice.

    Cmon NOES remake wasnt the worst movie of the year?

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  4. I've heard The Road novel is pretty amazing also, but it seems like most people that have read the book aren't as on board with the film as others who haven't read it.

    As for Nightmare, I simply just haven't broken down and watched it yet. I've been avoiding it, but will take that dive soon enough. I won't be expecting too much, though, so that might work in its favor!

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  5. I totally agree with you on THE ROAD (ugh) and THE CRAZIES. The latter film actually made me angry. I was a fan of CABIN FEVER, but I understand where you're coming from. Very divisive movie, that one. I'm still finishing the movies I planned on seeing before I get to my "Best of" list, but it's kinda pathetic that a majority of the films I watched from last year so far are 6/10's and below.

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  6. i am climbing back into my man-cave and refused to see anymore movies, unless it has pirates, harry, star in their titles... the rest will be re-runs of andy griffith and happy days... until the f-nuts decide to remake those too...

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  7. My horror buddies at another site just LOVED Cabin Fever 2. I didn't understand it. That movie sucked so hardcore that I was literally furious at it while I was watching it. You have a great movie like Cabin Fever to work off of and you come up with this shit?? Seriously? No thought at all to the movie, just tons and tons of gross-out moments that were very poorly executed. Argh.





    That was hostile, yeah? Sorry.

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  8. You nailed it. Except I liked Cabin Fever 2. But still, you really nailed it (The Book of Eli can go fuck itself), and you're not the only one who has called out that kid. So sleep easy tonight.

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  9. Mila Kunis is the only person I'll excuse for being miscast.

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  10. Aaron: Yeah, I'm happy with my best of list, but there was a lot of decent/okay movies sitting in-between this list and my honorable mentions for the best of the year. There are still a quite a few films left out there for me to see, most of which are very promising or have gotten great feedback, so we'll see.

    iZombie: How about harry pirates that star in a movie version of Andy Griffith?!

    Girl: It's okay! It was very poorly pieced together, and I know one of the issues that Ti West took with the intrusion of the studio is that they sort of took over and reedited the film, on top of the obvious reshoots, making it something other than what he had envisioned. I mean, if he ended up with final cut, then I cannot imagine it wouldn't be better. But I guess it's hard not to think that after he came out swinging with The House of the Devil.

    GGG: Seriously? I mean, I know that it was his dialogue that drove me nuts, but I also feel like he really sucked hard, which is conflicting with what everyone says about him in Let Me In. Who knows. I do know that making one of two characters, of whom you are supposed to care about, be wicked annoying is bad news bears, fo sho!

    Simon: Word to that, sister.She could play the titular role in "The Life and Times of Nell Carter," biopic and I would be totally fine with it.

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  11. I'm gonna be a dissenting voice here and say that while CABIN FEVER 2 was no masterpiece, it was a fun and non-demanding gross out horror flick. I'm sure, considering the weird shit that we all post on our blogs from time to time, genre flicks don't all have to be artsy, super-clever, or technically proficient benchmarks, or even amazing super-splatter cult classics... sometimes I appreciate a movie for just being a mindless, middle-of-the-road zonkfest with nasty shit and a juvenile chuckle or two; and I had a good time with this one, and have a tough time understanding why so few other people are willing to just give it a pass. I think some people expected waaaay too much. I expected a lot LESS and ended up enjoying it thoroughly. *shrug* To me, this is the kinda minor movie that younger, NON-jaded horror kids will see NOW and then remember fondly twenty years later, much like some weirdos do with movies like THE PEOPLE UNDER THE STAIRS, or some other similar, low-level semi-obscure thing.

    Otherwise, very much agreed on the overrated THE CRAZIES, and I'm willing to go about 50-50 with ya on THE WOLFMAN remake.

    Lists are always tough, though, cause everybody wants to try and tell you where you're "wrong"... so please don't take my counter-offensive on CB2 the wrong way. I still respect you as a man, and everything. ;P

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  12. No problem, Astro! If I thought everyone agreed with me on what I like and dislike for films, I wouldn't even have to post a list. I am one that truly appreciates middle of the road to poor, to terrible to below the poop hole cinema, but Spring Fever just didn't do it for me. It tried too hard to be funny and gross, but kind of failed at both for the most part.

    I do agree that it will probably be one of those films that the newer generation of horror fans love, and if I were younger, I would probably love it too. I look back lovingly at Night of the Demons, but if I had never seen it before and if it were to come out now, I'm not so sure how I'd feel.

    Even if I disliked the film, I still own it and maybe down the road I will watch it again and possibly enjoy it more. Or not. Only time will tell. That sounds so poetic! Appreciate your thoughts and thanks for providing an opposing view point.

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  13. The Crazies was meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeh! Carriers was better. You liked that movie, yes? Or maybe I'm making that up...
    Also, FUCK LEGION! Seriously! How DOES a movie like that get made? Ugh.
    Still haven't seen The Road. I keep putting it off until I read the book. But I'm afraid the book will make me cry a lot. So I don't want to read it on the train.
    Great list, sir!

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  14. Yes, I actually gave Carriers a favorable review. Actually, four out of the six films in this post are apocalypse films coming from a wide variety of styles, budgets and ideas. However, while Carriers was a mostly standard apocalypse film, it had very well written characters and avoided having to explain everything that was happening. Very solid movie and came very close to an honorable mention on my best of list.

    And in case you didn't get enough of Legion, keep an eye out for The Priest! Prepare to squirm!

    Thanks, Christine!

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  15. You need to see the Nightmare reboot. Good or bad I need to hear your thoughts! It is your duty as a franchise fan. But see if you can Instant Watch that jawn, please don't put anymore money in Michael Bay's overflowing pockets.

    I've seen a few of these and out of all, the biggest disappointment was Legion because as Emily said, the trailer looked 3 shades of awesome and I leaving the theatre opening night I just felt, embarassed for myself and the film for its blatant rip-off's of Terminator-esque, apocolyptic, heavy handed religiosity rendering subtly, the films weakest point. Blah!

    It really could've been more original, and that was my hope, but it ended up being very forgetable.

    Same with a lot of these.

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  16. Yessssssssssss, spread THE CRAZIES hate, that wasn't even Vanilla yogurt, it was Plain. I have been hearing fantastic things about THE ROAD though, surprised to find it here Matt. I have to admit though, I really had stupid fun with CF2. Terrible movie, but the dick and fart humor was only exceeded by THE TAINT.

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  17. Ashlee: Red Box has Nightmare, so I'll probably either grab it off there or move it up my Netflix queue. My need to see it is 100% because of my fandom for the original series and nothing else.

    And Legion had the ingredients to be an awesome movie, but spoiled it with poor writing and not being able to deliver on the promise of a real Angel apocalypse. It was only a step above a straight to DVD/SyFy movie.

    Carl: I'm surprised by peoples love for The Road when it is essentially a hallow film. It has the look, the idea, the production and everything else needed to be a great film, but it didn't have real heart, which is something that cannot be lacking in a film of its type. It's still worth a watch, though, if not to see Viggo naked! Barf!

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