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The Projectionist’s Bottom 12 Films of 2011

After making a list of the Top 12 Films (now 15, because I’m stupid sometimes), it’s on to the worst movies of the year. Often the most fun article to write, you have to know that if I come up with 12 terrible films, I spent at least 1 day of my life watching them. 24 hours of total crap. And that’s not including the ones that were bad but just not bad enough to crack the list.

2011 was a terrible year, so finding 12 movies was not hard. Figuring out their order, well, that becomes a bit of a chore. And just think, I didn’t even see Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, although I am highly considering including it anyway, just on the title alone.

The Bottom 12 Films Of The Year:

12. Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows (Directed by Guy Ritchie)

As much on this list for being bad as well as disappointing, Robert Downey, Jr. pulls off another bad second chapter of a franchise that started off well with the first movie. Sherlock Holmes was OK, Iron Man was very good, but the sequels to both of those movies suck. This movie was shot grainy and dark, has Holmes figure out impossible things with the clues provided, and makes his rival Moriarty pretty damn stupid when we see the mystery come together, which we’re never an active participant in solving.

11. Cars 2 (Directed by John Lasseter)

It actually pains me to put a Pixar film in my worst list, but after the original Cars showed some weaknesses in the Pixar canon, there is no excuse for this movie being the way it is. While many cite the overabundance of Larry the Cable Guy’s Mater character, I think the problem with cars in general as characters is that they don’t exactly exude personality like toys, bugs, monsters, superheroes, lonely robots, and other fictional/inanimate objects inherently have. This ends up looking like what it was on paper: a cash grab to sell more toys.

10. Sucker Punch (Directed by Zack Snyder)

Sucker Punch had one of the best trailers out there, and the movie looked visually stunning, but it may be one of the most brain-dead films I’ve seen in a long time. The premise has sexy teens in trouble going on adventures, that are all in their head, to do tasks that aren’t nearly that epic. The most ridiculous one involved stealing a lighter, which was somehow turned into slaying a huge-ass dragon.

9. Bad Teacher (Directed by Jake Kasdan)

Kasdan had a promising career when he did 1997’s Zero Effect, and he hasn’t done anything near that brilliant since. The problem with Bad Teacher is that Cameron Diaz’ character is never likeable from the start. I think you need to make your “bad” character a bit of an underdog, not a gold-digging bitch. Her goals are never anything we relate to, so all her bad behavior doesn’t come off funny in the slightest.

8. Just Go With It (Directed by Dennis Dugan)

Adam Sandler had one of the worst years I’ve seen any actor have. Here’s the first of two bad Sandler/Dugan films from the year, this one the conscious-slaughtering romantic comedy with so many moments of non-hilarity that it makes you angry watching it. When a supposedly good liar like Sandler’s character suddenly finds himself unable to lie in the most basic of situations, the movie’s existence doesn’t make sense.

7. Battle: Los Angeles (Directed by Jonathan Liebesman)

Another horrible movie with a top-notch trailer, this alien invasion flick suffered an awful fit of the boring. There is not one memorable scene in this movie, the humans and aliens are all bland. How an amazing trailer was cut using footage from this movie should land that editor a major raise.

6. Transformers: Dark of the Moon (Directed by Michael Bay)

It’s easy to pile on Michael Bay and these horrible, horrible Transformers movies, so inclusion of a Transformers movie into a worst list is really just a birth right. I get this idea that if no one included Transformers in a worst list, then maybe Michael Bay would stop making them, because he’d then realize he made no impact. But I think it would be difficult for him to stop anyway, since this last movie made over a billion worldwide and every day you and I go to work, Bay has a dump truck of cash come to his home. He doesn’t have room for it, so it’s all lying out in the yard. “Just put it next to the other millions,” he tells the driver. The unused takes from the previous three Transformers could be randomly made into a movie and it would still make as much sense as any of the three chapters, and still make lots of money, because hey man, “It’s just robots fighting, why should I expect or demand more?”

5. Priest (Directed by Scott Charles Stewart)

Vampire movies are almost exclusively terrible these days. They are especially terrible when the vampires use guns or punch people, and don’t get right down to using those fangs. Priest got almost everything wrong. I especially hated the CGI in this flick, because the actual, ugly, vampire creatures look fake from the get-go, are not scary or menacing, and when they die, it’s like you can actually see the visual effects crew pressing CTRL-DELETE it’s so obviously computer generated with no warmth whatsoever. Also, we’re going to have to do more with bad guys than just telling everyone they’re more powerful…just because. I need some satisfying back-story, maybe he went to a vampire training program and he studied at the Yale of Vampire Power Training under the tutelage of Professor Vladdy M. Paler. Hell, at this point, I’d accept “watched Dracula” as his training compared to this.

4. Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark (Directed by Troy Nixey)

This Guillermo Del Toro-produced long-shelved horror flick basically combined Gremlins with Gollum and then proceeded to take a large dump on my brain. The goal of the creatures is to get children’s teeth. That’s all. Kid teeth are their fuel, and man that would be scary if they actually took turns trying to rip the little girl’s teeth from her mouth, you know, the one that they have apparently befriended. What a horrible existence, to be locked in a remote area of the house all those years and never getting to suckle on a sweet child’s tooth all that time. How did they survive? And the ending makes no sense at all.

3. Jack And Jill (Directed by Dennis Dugan)

Dugan makes his second appearance on the list, but let’s face it, the quality of these movies rest on Sandler. What’s funny is I titled this review “Jack And Jill Is A Big Steaming Pile of Turd,” which is absolutely true, but two other movies are lower than a big steaming pile of turd this year. Anyway, Jack And Jill gets Sandler dressed up as a woman so ugly and annoying she’d be lucky to have anyone fall in love with her, much less Al Pacino, in one of his most embarrassing appearances in a movie ever (and this guy was in Gigli). Annoying tends to be just annoying, not really funny. I think the last time annoying made me laugh was when Jim Carrey announced that he was about to make the most annoying sound in the world in Dumb And Dumber, and that was 17 years ago.

2. Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1 (Directed by Bill Condon)

It pains me a little that this isn’t number 1, but in the end, there was one movie I disliked more than this one. Although when it comes down to this part of the list, it’s splitting hairs. Either way if you were on a deserted island and had any of these final 3 movies as your choice to watch over and over and over until you got rescued, you’d choose trying to swim back home. Breaking Dawn Part 1 really just sucks because it’s so damn nonsensical and boring. You have your two hot leads, married, having some sort of animal sex that probably would break Kristen Stewart in half that we never see (we just see the bed crack and break), and then have them play chess. Chess! The other half of the movie is Taylor Lautner sucking at acting, and something about werewolves being pissed off for no damn good reason, and bitch be pregnant.

1. Red Riding Hood (Directed by Catherine Hardwicke)

Which person is going to be the wolf in the end? Could it be GRANDMA? Could it be DICKHEAD? Could it be SLIGHTLY LESS OF A DICKHEAD? Could it be GARY OLDMAN? You won’t care entirely too much, because original Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke makes it so that nearly everyone could be the wolf and you’d just shrug your shoulders and go back to masturbating to Amanda Seyfried. In the end, it’s easy to figure out who the wolf is by how much emphasis Hardwicke doesn’t put on one character. All the other stuff just becomes parody at that point.

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