Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Worst Movies of 2012

Okay, so this is going to be the two-part '2012 in Review' for movies...I'm going to start with what I didn't like. Surprised? More accurately, what I'll be starting with is the 'disappointments' section - i.e. not the worst movies I saw all year or even necessarily terrible, but simply the ones that built up the most hype and weren't nearly as good as I wanted them to be. Oh, how cruel the cinema gods can be. Here they are, in no real order:


DISAPPOINTMENTS


The Dark Knight Rises


This is something I’ve been waiting to see for like, four years since the excellent The Dark Knight blew open the gates back in 2008. Christopher Nolan has been getting bigger and bigger over the years, and I really think it’s gotten to his head with The Dark Knight Rises – while previous films of his were accessible while still providing thought provoking themes and intelligent writing, The Dark Knight Rises finally sees Nolan crumbling under the weight of his own ego with a lot of style but very little substance. There is just so much going on in this movie that it’s impossible at first to catch any kind of meaning or coherent themes, but about halfway through you realize that there really isn’t anything worthwhile. The themes in this are rehashed and not very well thought out, and the movie just doesn’t have the same kind of intelligent writing as the previous two. The action is sometimes pretty decent, and there are some very good scenes here and there, but overall the plot is ludicrous and the film overall is generic and shallow, far beneath the best that Nolan can give us.

Prometheus


Another one that got a lot of hype. I was skeptical because, well, Ridley Scott made Hannibal a few years back and that is one of my least favorite films of all time. And likewise, I wasn’t exactly disappointed with this, because Prometheus overall isn’t that good. But it starts out with a lot of promise, and has some fascinating concepts set up – however, the film does not DO anything with these concepts. Halfway through the film, any pretense of intelligence is dropped in favor of pretty standard sci fi action cliches and storytelling tropes that don’t really set up any drama or tension. It’s boring, it’s silly, it’s over-long…it’s just not a good film.

Looper


I like Looper better than the other two movies on this list, but I was really looking forward to this and figured it would be the sci-fi action movie to beat this year – I was wrong. While this is pretty good, and has a neat concept behind it, as well as a cool atmosphere and some good action here and there…it’s just not great. It drags on too long, the pace is disjointed and sluggish and neither Bruce Willis nor Joseph Gordon-Levitt really gives a great, captivating performance like I know they’re capable of – they both seem subdued, actually. This is entertaining enough, but not as good as I wanted it to be.

***

And now, without further ado...the worst, most despicable, poorly written, poorly directed and hateable movies I saw in 2012! Counting down from #5 to #1...

WORST MOVIES OF 2012


5. The Words


Sappy melodrama with absolutely no basis in reality. I did not believe a minute of this; not the characters, their reactions to situations or the situation itself, and the bizarrely disjointed pacing and boring dialogue didn’t help either. Just a weak, weak movie and I’m not really sure what the intended audience was supposed to be. Skip it.

4. Silent House


Awful crap, but at least it isn’t just tired and rehashed like the other two horror movies on this list – no, Silent House finds new ways to be horrible, such as camera work so bad it makes most found-footage movies look like they were shot by Spielberg, and this isn’t even a found footage movie at all, which is almost as hilarious as it is sad. And a needlessly garish plot thread about incest near the end, dumped on you with as much finesse as an elephant trying to fit its way into a small trailer. Silent House is a dubious and tasteless movie that I would not recommend to anyone.

3. The Possession


This is a terrible film without anything recommendable about it, from the rehashed and tired storyline to the awful acting from pretty much everyone in the film to the horrible characters, who are about as likable as toe mold. The Possession is pretty much as vapid and thoughtless a film as you can get unless you’re…well, the two films above it on my “worst of” list, which are…

2. The Devil Inside


I already went on a rant about this one in my review, but seriously, it’s bad. Everyone in the world has tried their hand at a ‘demonic possession’ film in the last few years and this is the worst one I have ever seen. Back when Exorcism of Emily Rose came out in like 2005, this kind of thing was still a little interesting, but a movie like The Devil Inside has no place existing in 2013. Or ever, in any reality, at all, for that matter. Throw this in the incinerator and forget all about it.

1. Cloud Atlas


I haven’t walked out of a movie this angry since Edge of Darkness a few years back. Cloud Atlas is a nadir of sorts; a miracle of insipidly bad Hallmark cards set to a mind-numbing three-hour runtime that will make you want to commit mass genocide once it’s over. This is so preachy, so pretentious, so full of itself and so obsessed with its own holier-than-thou goodness…that I literally can’t even describe it in words to you and convey exactly how sappy, poorly written and embarrassingly sentimental this is. The fact that it has seven or eight different, poorly written stories going on is bad, and the fact that all of them amount to the insultingly simplistic and patronizing message of “stand up against oppression” is worse, but really what it comes down to is the whole picture – the fact that so much money, so many good actors, so many special effects and studio tricks, went into producing those two aspects – that seals the deal. Cloud Atlas, you are the worst movie of the year.

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