Monday, 2 January 2012

FILMS YOU SHOULDN'T HAVE SEEN IN 2011: 10 through to 1

For every fantastic present, there's an over-done turkey and 2011 was no exception on that front concerning films. Here are the worst films of the year that you will never ever get that time back - for shame on you Hollywood, for shame!

10. Cowboys & Aliens
This makes it into this Top Ten list because it should have been in the list of films you SHOULD have seen! James Bond! Indiana Jones! The guy that did Iron Man! Spielberg producing! How could it go wrong?!?

It did! The trailer hinted at drama, action, comedy - and what we got instead was a scowling Craig with personality left off screen somewhere, Ford supplying what little humour there was and a long drawn-out finale that, like Close Encounters Of The Third Kind proved, you should never, ever go into the spaceship.

The potential was huge, the disappointment was equally so.

9. Transformers: Dark Of The Moon
Sequels - This list of miss-fires will have its fair share of them. If they got it right once, the lure of extra cash disguised as giving audiences more of what made them happy in the first place is too strong.

The Transformers franchise, despite acknowledging the flaws of its second outing, hasn't learnt one bit from the over-complicated, hard-to-watch mess that was Revenge Of The Fallen. Getting rid of Fox was neither a good or bad decision but replacing her with a beautiful but expressionless plank of wood was definitely not a wise move. And with LeBeouf now relegated to "Optimus!" screamer throughout its running time, it is now time for a clean sweep - new writers, new director, new cast - or for it to be put back in the toy chest.

8. Happy Feet 2
The simplistic idea of combining cute animals with toe-tapping tunes made the original Happy Feet a well-deserved success. The songs felt like they were written for the film and not randomly shoe-horned in to help push album sales.

The same cannot be said for the second trip to Mumble's world. Unrecognisable songs for many, with not only plot hopping but storyline ignoring, it felt like two weak ideas hastily glued together to fill out the short running time. No happy feet or heart here.

7. Pirates Of The Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
The lure of more money was too much for the studio but instead of trying to go back to the beginning formula that proved successful, they stuck with the same technique that almost sank the franchise.

Over-complicated and full of pointless characters, Captain Jack Sparrow's fourth adventure rambled again across many lands and seas without actually going anywhere or making any sense whilst doing so. It was more "seriously?" than "savvy?"

Even though Depp's Sparrow is a delight to behold, he's not able to hold a film together for 2 hours on his own - he needs characters to bounce off of (literally in some cases!) and a plot to sail through - which was sorely lacking here.

6. Sleeping Beauty
Sexual awakening is a well-ploughed (sorry!) field in cinema. So much so that whole sub-genres were created to fully explore the various aspects of it - the biggest being the "coming-of-age" comedies of late.

This couldn't be any further afield from those if you tried. Coming across as art for arts sake, the tale of a girl essentially whoring herself out (anything except for penetration is the one rule) to pay for her education and food etc, drifts along with characters that have no explanation nor redeeming qualities for you to sympathise or engage with.

5. The Green Hornet 3D
With a plot and an overall product that felt like it was made up as they went along, this entry into the world of cinematic heroes had the unfortunate position of being in the same genre as the likes of The Dark Knight, Iron Man and Kick Ass.

Woefully miscast, badly edited and unimaginative, the only good thing in the film was the car - which isn't a good sign at all!

4. Conan The Barbarian
Another franchise reboot and another whiff of a money-making attempt. The trailer promised so much, as they always do, and the film itself delivered a soulless mix of unfunny, unsexy nonsense.

Neither tongue-in-cheek or brave enough to go hard-core aggressive and masculine, this Conan tried to "explain" him with an origins story when it should have just been giving him a quest to embark upon. Arnie can rest easy knowing he still holds the crown.

3. Your Highness
My personal biggest let-down of the year was the film that should, by viewing the trailer, have been the successor to the classic The Princess Bride. It wasn't even even good enough to be the Bride's chambermaid.

Too ready to go with smut jokes, it decided to just stay with them rather than expand and bring in varied types of humour. Improvisation was apparently key during the making of it and it showed with a simple plot lost along the way a slew of drug and dick jokes. Even Natalie Portman in a Princess Leia-esque bikini couldn't save this.

2. Sanctum 3D
Splashing Cameron's name all over this in the hope of riding on the success of Avatar only built up the eventual disappointment even more!

With no attempt at characterisation nor any likable individuals, how could you be expected to care who survived or not in this un-tense drama where water was the only exciting thing to appear on the screen. The using of 3D in dark underwater caves showed that the industry still had alot to learn - tagging a film "3D" won't make it good or a hit. Especially if you can't even experience the third dimension because just black emptiness upon the screen doesn't really work.

2. Immortals
Immortals - the film that was so mind-numbing that I couldn't even finish the review and post it. Again, like some of the other major disappointments, the warning signs were all there - this was "From the producers of..." which doesn't mean anything regarding the story, dialogue or direction.

Even making the recent Clash Of The Titans seem bearable, this incoherent mess seemed to just rely on six-pack shots of the new Superman looking what no doubt was supposed to be thoughtful and moody but ended up looking like Joey Tribbiani's "smell the fart" technique.

1. Tree Of Life
You just know that there are people out there who will commit celluloid snobbery - say a film is outstanding etc just because it's supposed to be or has been classed as such. This was this years entry.

All for different story telling techniques, variety can lead to new discoveries and new experiences in the field of cinema. However, if you're asking an audience to sit for 140 minutes then maybe you need to deliver at least some semblance of narrative to keep them engaged or make it feel worthwhile. Malik's fifth film in over 30 years looks and feels like those bizarre perfume commercials where random shots and lines of dialogue all pile up upon each other to sit there bold a s brass daring you to question what's going on and therefore show your ignorance at it all. Confusing and unengaging.

So, how unlucky were you then? How many did you see? How many will you see now just to find out if they're that bad? Did I list your fave film here and you seek vengence???


  1. Ermm 'Blitz' and 'Puss in Boots' should have made it in ahead of Cowboys, even though I agree about the disapointment of Cowboys it shouldn't have made it in to top 10 ahead of the awful 'Blitz' and also now I'm thinking that 'Take shelter' should be there only for being a let down. But you haven't seen it.
    This is one list I'm glad to not seen all 10. 6/10 and here here to Tree of Life being number 1..

  2. Immortals, ummmmmm not good :)

  3. Green Hornet lasted about 10 mins before I switched off and Santum about half an hour...please to say didn't try the rest lol! Didn't really like Red Riding Hood either