The Projectionist’s Bottom 12 Films of 2012
This is the list that critics love to make, because it’s time to be creative. Because Best Lists tend to overlap, and there’s not much left to say, it’s tough to make one of those stand out in the crowd, unless you’ve decided to go nuts with it.
This year had a lot of competition vying for the Worst Film of 2012. Usually, those take the form of a movie that is so boring, and on top of that, stupid, you wonder why it needed to be made. And they often contain a severe lack of sense.
Why the hell were we subject to Breaking Dawn split into two movies? Oh…I know, it was money. But besides that? Here’s the story of Breaking Dawn: human girl marries vampire, goes on a honeymoon, gets pregnant, which pisses off the werewolves for some reason, werewolf “imprints” on the child which protects the child from the werewolves, the Volturi get wind of the child and think it might be immortal, get mad, come out to see the child, and find out the child isn’t dangerous after all. The end. Director Bill Condon, realizing this probably, decides to put in a scene where everybody’s head gets ripped off but then tells us all it was just a dream or something. Which is sort of like the premonitions in Final Destination, only no one actually dies. There are 11 movies worse than this? Yep.
Battleship begins with a potential awesome movie about the U.S. and Japanese navies actually going to war with each other in a “true” game of “Battleship.” What the movie becomes, though, is a leech on the awful Transformers franchise and sticks aliens into it. Look, I know that the board game “Battleship” appears to need to be more than about naval warfare, and God knows I wish there could have been aliens in it, but at least do something different than any other alien invasion movie ever before. Also, the “return of the Pearl Harbor Navy fighters” scene, while patriotic, is really, really, stupid.
10. The Collection
It’s a sequel to The Collector that no one asked for, even though the first one was pretty decent. The Collection takes place at an abandoned asylum that should be a lot scarier than it actually is. One scene is particular I found frustrating: tarantulas about to crawl over our protagonist but director Marcus Dunstan is much more interested in cutting to the rescue party outside, when a potentially claustrophobic, icky scene doesn’t get its full impact. The “torture porn” genre is in desperate need of some fresh ideas.
It starts off OK, and can have some creepy moments, but The Devil Inside is pure trash. And the ending of this movie is beyond infuriating. That’s why this movie kicked off the year with an amazing box office haul and then pretty much straight up died after that. Found footage movies got all sorts of interesting twists in 2012: Chronicle was good, and Sinister, while not a true found footage movie, I felt was an interesting take. This is one of those where the camera just doesn’t seem to belong in the action.
8. Dark Shadows
Honestly, this didn’t look good from the start. And despite the presence of Johnny Depp, Eva Green, Michelle Pfeiffer, and the terrific Chloe Grace Moretz, it’s yet another Tim Burton film that lazily walks through weirdness in the hopes that it will be entertaining. Oh look, Barnabas Collins is sleeping upside down again! How nutty. The Moretz reveal at the end is just awful, poorly executed and makes everything you saw of her character make no sense whatsoever.
7. Taken 2
This movie strains credibility every chance it gets, from the point where Neeson makes a phone call in front of a bunch of bad guys who are aimlessly standing around allowing him to make the phone call, to the part where his daughter just starts throwing grenades everywhere causing damage and could possibly kill people, all for the reason so that her dad can figure out where she is, to the bad guy’s motives, to the fact that they just don’t kill Liam Neeson when they have the chance…I know movies are entertainment and we want the good guy to win, but damn, don’t make it so easy on him.
Liam Neeson makes his third appearance on the list. I actually do like Neeson (and The Grey was fun), but man, did he ever get into some bad movies in 2012. Wrath of the Titans is a straight-up cash-grab, much like the original was when they decided to convert it to 3D. Nothing in this story makes any sense, and the movie continuously builds up some scary guy named Cronos who dies almost as immediately as he is awakened. Also completely forgettable.
5. Rock of Ages
When people sing, they should sing like they mean it. This is the sort of problem that happened with Russell Crowe in Les Miserables. But everyone in this 80’s hair-band musical holds back. If you think, “We Built This City” is a great song, then belt it out like you think it is, and not like the embarrassing “Tee-hee, we’re singing karaoke,” way that these performers do. And Tom Cruise is giving it his all, but he’s not a singer, and no one else around him seems to be willing to match his intensity. Either that, or he’s too intense.
This series was going along pretty well, but then they ran out of eras to go back to and this serves as a “true” sequel to the original Paranormal Activity, or at least, a continuation of the original with a different family at its core. The dumbest thing about this movie is how the demon has become even more dickish than usual, becoming an arbiter of tomfoolery. Wait a minute, no…the dumbest thing (spoiler alert) is that the kid from the original Paranormal Activity has been adopted by another family with no explanation as to how the kidnapped child from the first one even got free in the first place. And if these demons want the child, what is preventing them from getting him? Holy crap this movie is frustrating.
This movie’s title promises so much fun. How could this be bad? Seriously, it takes a lot to mess up a title like this with such a boring-ass movie. The dull way this story progresses with absolutely no humor (which is unforgivable considering the title) just makes you scratch your head with puzzlement. Is there any surprise that Rufus Sewell is in this? Poorly photographed and shot, it’s pretty amazing two movies are worse than this. Technically, it might be the worst.
I used to like Adam Sandler when he was goofy and took great glee in making off-the-wall comedies. As he has gotten older, the goofiness has started to melt away, and now he just makes really bad comedies that attempt to have some heart but have horrible premises. That’s My Boy starts with a hilarious opening scene and then the rest is pretty awful save for a cameo by Rex Ryan where he plays a Tom Brady-loving agent. A big part of the problem with That’s My Boy is taking the usually very goofy Andy Samberg and making him play the straight guy to Sandler’s prick dad. Painfully unfunny throughout, Sandler’s movies don’t have anything going for them anymore, witness the debacle of Jack and Jill last year.
If proclaiming my love of Ashley Greene could somehow get her to go out with me, I’d shout it from the rooftops. But it can’t, so screw her. This horror movie is outrageously dull and confused in what it’s about. Apparently, playing around with the dead has opened a portal of some sort, and once again, thanks to the Paranormal Activity effect, they don’t want anything in particular, they just want to play pranks on people until a trip to the library or the talk with the expert weirdo takes place. I see these ghosts in movies now and scream like Jennifer Love Hewitt in I Know What You Did Last Summer: What are you waiting for, huh? WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR!!!???
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