Thursday, January 2, 2014

The Worst of 2012 So Far

Again, I know I am a year behind.  However, I don't like leaving things unanswered.  As a result, now I go on to my Ten Worst Films of 2012 so far.  Again, all 92 films received a grade from A to F, then a ranking between those with similar grades.

Num. 10
I know many people thought highly of The Deep Blue Sea.  It is good to see Rachel Weisz and Tom Hiddleston show their range, and I thought well of the performances,  However, I also found The Deep Blue Sea rather boring, stuffed with too much 'greatness' within it.  I simply found no joy in the film, and as such I might appreciate The Deep Blue Sea if it actually moved. 

Num. 9
I was once asked if there was a bad Denzel Washington film.  I'm sure Washington, as shrewd a person in Hollywood as there is working today, has made the occasional mistake, but in this case an answer did come.  Safe House might have been interesting if it weren't so generic, and while I admired Ryan Reynolds' Afrikaans, the movie was a boring muddle.  So yes, there IS such a thing as a bad Denzel Washington film, though mercifully those are few and very far between.

Num. 8
Was it a spoof of the television series?  An homage?  A mocking of it?  In short, the tonal confusion of what Dark Shadows was (comedy, horror, drama) was only part of how bad Dark Shadows was.  Johnny Depp continues to act by rote, making Barnabas Collins into Jack Sparrow: Vampire.  In turns ridiculing and embracing the weirdness of the source material, shifting Barnabas from a figure of sympathy to a figure of horror to a befuddled object of lust, Dark Shadows simply did not know what it was.  When the antagonist vomits TWICE on Barnabas, I figure she was representing the audience.  It's never a good sign in a film when someone throws up on someone else.

Num. 7
This Is 40 is something of a sequel to Knocked Up featuring two minor characters from that film to their own vehicle.  I found it an anti-comedy: depressing, smug, and full of itself.  I didn't care for these people or their First World WASP problems.  I never saw Knocked Up but after watching This is 40 I have no desire to do so.      

Num. 6
Can an action film be dull?  Yes, and proof of that is Lawless.  It doesn't help that everyone acts as if life is really boring, and given they are bootleggers, that is an extraordinary accomplishment in and of itself.  Despite having a cavalcade of good actors (and yes, Shia Labeouf), Lawless was putting me to sleep.

Num. 5
Lockout is a film I barely remember.  It might have been good fun if hadn't been so stupid and clichéd, and come to think of it, creepy.  Bless Guy Pearce's heart for trying to make something different, but Lockout is something we or anyone else will remember or want to watch.

Num. 4
Battleship is the nadir of using board games as feature film material.  Dumb it is, of that there is no doubt.  However, it was also boring and insulting to the audience with logical inconsistencies within the film itself.  Taylor Kitsch, who was being built up to be a big star, instead found 2012 to be an annis horribilus, starring in not one but three box office bombs (John Carter, Savages, and Battleship).  I personally liked John Carter though recognize its flaws, and I couldn't muster enthusiasm to watch Savages.  However, Battleship appeals only to really dumb people, easy to please.  I imagine fans of Matt Smith's Doctor Who would love it.  The fact it couldn't give us a 'you sunk my battleship' is most unforgivable of all.

Num. 3
I liked Taken and admire Liam Neeson's rebirth as an action star.  The Grey, however, was a slow-moving, predictable slog.  I didn't care whether he lived or died, and the story has a whole group of clichés that caused me to doze off a bit. 

Num. 2
Shockingly, Robert Pattinson can't act. 2012 gave us three examples of this model's pouting as performance: Bel Ami, Breaking Dawn Part II, and my second worst film of 2012, Cosmopolis.  It all moved so painfully slowly, and Pattison showed just how blank he is as an 'actor'.  I did fall asleep at Cosmopolis, so when I woke up I asked no one in particular, 'why is Pattinson hugging that big black man?'  This alleged journey into the dark side of capitalism shows that capitalism does work...few paid to watch this dull disaster.         

It might be unfair to pick on this little-seen film as the Worst Film of 2012 So Far, but even something as boring as Cosmopolis is more watchable than this hideous thing.

Num. 1
Nipples & Palm Trees already has perhaps one of the worst titles in film history.  I imagine it is a reference to sex in Southern California.  However, my history with Nipples & Palm Trees is a most unhappy one.  I was approached by if memory serves correct writer/actor Matthew James to review this film.  I always enjoy discovering new, smaller films, and despite my misgivings over the title I opted to have a copy sent to me.  Boy, was THAT a mistake.  I figured Nipples & Palm Trees was like a porn movie that took out all the sex and left what is laughingly referred to as 'the plot'.  It was simply hideous, and I felt bad having to actually try to review it because I couldn't find one good thing in it: not the acting, certainly not the story, nor the directing or even the catering I imagine. 

I was so disgusted by Nipples & Palm Trees I did something I had never done and have not done since: I literally and I do mean literally threw it out the window.  I got the DVD, put it in the case and tossed it out of my house.  I did go back and put it in the trash, where it belongs.  Nipples & Palm Trees so appalled me that I have rejected almost all non-OFCS sent screeners, fearing I would have a repeat of this grotesque enterprise.  Really, Nipples & Palm Trees might be the worst film I have seen in the nearly five years I have served as reviewer.  Even something that I truly detest like The Hangover Part II is better than Nipples & Palm Trees, and The Hangover Part II is the ugliest film I ever paid to watch.   

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