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Dr. Sam Loomis’ Ten Worst Films of the Year

2007 was easily one of the best years overall for film that I can remember in quite awhile, but as I went over the well over 100 films that I saw, I found quite a few downright stinkers as well. This was also the year I saw easily one of the worst films ever made. Scroll down a little if you can’t wait to see the title.

The top 10 lists are hard enough to do with the best films, since when you’re comparing 6-10, there isn’t a whole lot of value that makes one better than the other; it goes more on feeling than anything else I guess. However, I find the worst lists even harder because really bad movies are usually forgotten soon after you see them. So, with the exception of number 1, which was not hard at all to put in that position, the rest of the films are equally as bad.

10. THE NUMBER 23

When I first heard about Jim Carrey choosing not to be involved with the sequel to Bruce Almighty, I thought maybe the man is getting some sense again. However, then I saw this Joel Schumacher-directed debacle that makes the eventual Evan Almighty look like a classic in comparison. Carrey plays a man obsessed with the number 23 and starts seeing it in everything he reads, looks at, or thinks about. Scary stuff, right? Wrong.

This movie will give you a headache if you even attempt to try and wrap your head around our main character’s conundrum, and while the end would have been a great twist in a good movie, here it just falls as flat as the 2 hours leading up to it.

9. SAW IV/PIRATES OF THE CARRIBEAN: AT WORLD’S END

I guess including these two together is a bit of a cheat (Call it the worst 11 if you must), but they belong here for basically the same reasons, so I thought I would lump them. Both of these are examples of overly convoluted and confusing sequels that only needed to be a couple of hours of popcorn fun. By reaching for higher goals, their weaknesses become even more apparent.

Take a fun sequel like Live Free or Die Hard for instance, a film that is stupid as all get out but never takes itself seriously enough for you to care. If you dare watch either of these films, assuming you haven’t already, make sure you brush up on the previous entries. You might even need to bring a crib sheet along, and I’m being serious. I was more than willing to be swept away for some nonsensical fun, but instead got a lesson in the franchises’ hits and misses, and felt like I had just watched two of the most pointless films ever made.

8. HALLOWEEN

Seriously, I have no problem with remakes per se, even of films that I love like no other. The remake of Dawn of the Dead wound up on my best of list in 2004. I actually had faith at one point that Rob Zombie would do a decent update of my most treasured film, but instead he decided to go the origin route, which would have been fine if he had just stuck to that. What made him think that sticking his own version of the original film in the last 45 minutes would work is beyond me.

And for the love of Christ (Spoiler Alert): Why the hell did they have to kill me? Fuck you, Rob Zombie!

7. FLAKES

Michael Lehmann tried to go back to his glory days of Heathers, and wound up with the umpteenth version of the pissed off twenty-something who we could give two shits about ranting and raving for an hour and a half about Starbucks and bad music. It was an obvious reaction to Lehmann’s apparent unfair treatment over the years by the studio system. But seriously, dude, after My Giant, did you think they would want you back?

And when I say obvious, that’s what I mean. Those “Drinking and Driving” gorefests they show you in Drivers-Ed classes are more subtle than this pretentious piece.

6. GHOST RIDER

Nicolas Cage might be in line for some Raspberry Awards this year. I have two of his films on my list, and National Treasure 2 wasn’t far behind. When you show a snippet of a film within your film (Night of the Demon), and I realize I would rather be watching that instead, that is not a good sign for your movie. When a comic book hero’s big power is that he stares at you and makes you feel bad about yourself, that is not a good sign. When I start thinking that Dolph Lundgren was not that bad a choice to play The Punisher back in the eighties: once again, bad sign. When Eva Mendes’ cleavage upstages everyone else in the film: guess what? Not a good sign. Do I need to go on?

5. NEXT

Back to back Cage films. In this one he plays the reluctant hero of yet another Philip K. Dick adaptation that doesn’t work (Think Impostor). Cage can look 2 minutes ahead into the future, which might be an even more useless power than he has in Ghost Rider come to think of it. How would this really help; what can you do to avoid the next two minutes? Apparently a lot, and this film cheats the viewer and shoots itself in the foot so many times with its ridiculous concept that I quit caring after the 100th time or so it came into play.

There’s one scene where Cage keeps going back and forth with pick-up lines to hopefully get Jessica Biel into the sack. The scene goes on for like two minutes and it seems like two hours. That’s pretty much the feeling I got for the duration of the film.

4. YOUTH WITHOUT YOUTH

I would have actually reviewed this film, but I saw it out of town with no computer access, and I really didn’t understand enough of what I saw to write a lengthy review. I’m glad that Francis Ford Coppola has decided that he should be making a more serious film again, and I’m glad he went back to his more independent roots to find some inspiration.

Tim Roth plays a 70-year-old man that is struck by lightning and wakes up a 35-year-old genius that has caught the attention of Hitler. After that, the film lost me in ridiculous dialogue and nonsensical visuals. Hopefully, the 2nd time out of the gate will be a much better film, but considering Jack was a much better film than this, it won’t take much.

3. THE REAPING

Hilary Swank does her Oscar trophies due justice with this terribly inept and flat-out ridiculous religious omen scare-fest. Swank plays a woman with a strange job of seeking out possible religious phenomena and debunking them until she comes up on a small town in Louisiana that might very well be afflicted with the biblical ten plagues.

It’s a horror film with no scares, terrible special effects, and a twist ending that will make you laugh out loud. For Swank, this is the best “Fuck You” to the academy I’ve seen since the one-two punch Denzel Washington and Halle Berry gave with John Q and Gothika.

2. HOSTEL PART II

Eli Roth gets all kind of love from the geeks out there, and I have yet to see why. I hated Cabin Fever for its unwillingness to even admit it wasn’t ripping off Evil Dead scene for scene. I found the first Hostel to be decent in parts, but overall it was nothing special. And Hostel II is the worst of the bunch since Mr. Roth apparently thinks that the more gore the more intense his film will be, and in the end it’s just more unintentional humor.

If you can actually watch Heather Matarazzo strung up and gutted while her blood drips down into the mouth of a willing lass and not roar with laughter at the stupidity of the scene, then you have a stranger sense of the macabre than I. Roth also takes away any intensity that the first film possessed by digging deeper into the mechanizations of this offbeat company that deals in the grotesque for profit. I can’t figure out why the “Less is More” approach doesn’t sink in to a lot of these horror writers and directors, but this is proof that it should.

1. PERFECT STRANGER

Shortly after watching this film, I had someone tell me that it was the worst film they had ever seen. I knew it was terrible, but I guess I’m not so quick to judge. However, after mulling over it, I see what that person meant. Perfect Stranger is a film that doesn’t have a single scene that works on any level of storytelling or filmmaking.

When I think about other films I would put on my “Worst of All Time” list (Showgirls, Legend, Batman and Robin, etc.) I can at least think of something in them that worked to a point. But in Perfect Stranger I couldn’t think of anything.

And why Halle Berry didn’t see that the big bullshit twist ending was ripped off from another mediocre film she did, Rich Man’s Wife, shows you how much she’s paid attention to her check-cashing mentality she’s shown in her recent role choices. In defense, the writer probably realized that only a geek like me would even figure that out. All of a sudden Catwoman is looking like a winner, and yes, Perfect Stranger could very well be the worst studio film ever made.

DISHONARABLE MENTIONS

WILD HOGS, THE HITCHER, THE HILLS HAVE EYES PART II, BUG, RENO 911-MIAMI, PRIMEVAL, ALPHA DOG, YEAR OF THE DOG, and REDLINE

Dr. Sam Loomis’ 10 Best Films of the Year

The Projectionist’s Top 12 Films of the Year

The Projectionist’s Bottom 12 Films of the Year

The Projectionist’s Other Observations of 2007

2006: The Year in Film

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