07 January 2010

Film: Worst Movies of the Decade


Choke
(2008, Clark Gregg)
Appalling in every sense of the word, this is a sex comedy that is neither sexy nor funny. The great Sam Rockwell is reduced to playing a sex addict with zero depth. He's perhaps the most unlikable protagonist in the history of film. And then there's Anjelica Huston, in flashback as his mother, looking like she just walked out of an audition for a live-action Carmen Sandiego movie. It's a movie seriously in need of the Heimlich.


Daddy Day Camp
(2007, Fred Savage)
That Fred Savage. Great child actor, heckuva nice guy. But trying his hand at film directing was something that shouldn't have been been attempted. A sequel that stunk up the cinema, this was a new low for the Oscar-winning Cuba Gooding, Jr. And that's saying something.


Date Movie
(2006, Aaron Seltzer & Jason Friedberg)
When you've got hundreds of romantic comedies to mock, how hard is it to write and direct a parody of the decades of schmaltz? For these two, apparently, it's impossible. But that didn't stop them from going on to commit such further atrocities as Epic Movie and Meet the Spartans.


Duplex
(2003, Danny DeVito)
Could the dream home that constantly undergoes more and more damage be a metaphor a comedy that gets worse and worse by the minute? Perhaps, but that would be giving the creative team too much credit.


Enough
(2002, Michael Apted)
What an accurate slogan, because my limit was about 30 minutes into this lousy excuse for women's empowerment. The movie is, quite literally, a beating.


The Family Stone
(2005, Thomas Bezucha)
For the first half of the movie, everyone wants to punch Sarah Jessica Parker in the face, and with good reason. From there, you can see every twist coming a mile away, which doesn't make it any less frustrating once you get there. To cap it all off, there's a manipulative montage set to "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas". Next year, your troubles will be miles away. Get it! Actually, they'd be away quicker if you just stopped watching.


Fat Albert
(2004, Joel Zwick)
Bill Cosby has apologized for Leonard, Part 6. He should do some serious pennance for this, too.


Ghost Rider
(2007, Mark Steven Johnson)
A comic book movie that manages to get everything wrong, except for Peter Fonda as a motorcycle-riding Satan. One of Nicolas Cage's least enjoyable performances this decade. No, I don't like I-talian, nor do I like the rest of this movie.


The Happening
(2008, M. Night Shyamalan)
There must be some black magic at work to make Zooey Deschanel annoying. Co-starring Terrible Movie Champion Mark Wahlberg, this is the absolute bottom for M. Night Shyamalan, which is pretty obvious considering the killer is the wind. Ooooo, scary!


He’s Just Not That into You
(2009, Ken Kwapis)
Between 10-plus annoying characters, a meandering plot and a sex scene or two that clearly pushes the boundaries of a PG-13 rating, it's safe to say I'm just not that into this adaptation of the self-help best-seller.


Lara Croft: Tomb Raider
(2001, Simon West)
Not even perfect casting can save a disaster like this. One of the 21st century's first video game adaptations, it was supposed to be a vast improvement over travesties like Super Mario Bros. and Mortal Kombat, what with our new technology and all. But sometimes special effects can't cover up this many missteps, with a plot that goes nowhere and subtext about Jon Voight and Angelina Jolie's troubled relationship. Game over, man.


Max Payne
(2008, John Moore)
Ice. Darkness. Snow. Shadows. Hard rock soundtrack. A couple ideas cribbed from '70s vigilante cop shows. This is enough for a movie, right? You'd be dead wrong. And if you watched this movie, you'd make a death wish yourself. For yourself.


Miami Vice
(2006, Michael Mann)
Michael Mann is, in my opinion, one of the greatest American directors. But everyone makes a bad movie every once in a while, and this violates a key rule of action movies: it's boring. Sucking all the guilty pleasure out of his original series, this is just a joyless, violent mess.


Mission to Mars
(2000, Brian de Palma)
After only a small bit of intrigue, de Palma--whose last good movie was, um, Mission: Impossible?--quickly implodes the story in a haze of spooky special effects and a twist so bad you'll want send your TV into outer space.


Monster-in-Law
(2005, Robert Luketic)
Despite the best efforts of the always reliable Wanda Sykes, this stretches the limits of the term "romantic comedy." Every possible cliché you could think of is jammed into this obnoxious, mean-spirited hunk of junk. If this is what we waited on Jane Fonda for, I don't want to see her again either.


Mr. Deeds
(2002, Steven Brill)
Making a bad Adam Sandler movie? That's easy. Defecating on the grave of Frank Capra? That takes some nerve, and the director of Little Nicky was more than happy to oblige. Few people should feel as much shame as the creative team behind this atrocious remake.

Paper Heart
(2009, Nicholas Jasenovec)
All the good will endeared by interviewing real couples is undone with a completely fabricated, utterly unbelievable love story between adorable Michael Cera and annoying Charlyne Yi, complete with puppet interludes. It may be better to love and lose than to have never loved at all, but you're better off never seeing this movie.


Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End
(2007, Gore Verbinski)
The reason "bigger is better" rule should not be followed for sequels (see Spider-Man 3 below). Everything that made its predecessors so much fun is thrown out the window in favor of stereotypes ("Wehcome to Singapah") and 20 Johnny Depps. By the time the witch grew to 15 times her original size, I wished the world was ending.


Planet of the Apes
(2001, Tim Burton)
I just have to wonder at what point Tim Burton just gave up, because there's no way this matched up with his vision. It's all hooting (from the apes) and hollering (from Mark Wahlberg) and heavy-handed messages about racism (from Burton ladyfriend Helena Bonham Carter). It's the only real blotch on his otherwise stellar record.


Quantum of Solace
(2008, Marc Forster)
Realism, schmealism. Another case of an action movie that lost its sense of fun--and its soul--in trying to out-do the first one. And I hereby ban Olga Kurlyenko from ever appearing in another movie. Ever.


Saw II
(2005, Darren Lynn Bousman)
Beyond a lack of any scares, there's also no sense of uncertainty, because every twist and gory death can be seen from a mile away. Someone finds a key that says "don't use me." Hmm... I wonder if whomever uses it will die? And because this predictable yawnfest outgrossed the original by at least $30 million, it ensured we'd all be treated to another bloody outing every Halloween. Thanks a lot, teenagers.


Spider-Man 3
(2007, Sam Raimi)
My son, my son, what have ye done? After raising the bar for comic book movies with Spider-Man 2, Raimi--who I'm sure had good intentions--undid all his success with this overlong, overstuffed sequel. It's so appallingly bad, from the terrible casting choices (Topher Grace as Venom? Really?!) to the 20-minute interlude that seems ripped from a bad SNL skit (Tobey Maguire goes emo! He tap dances! He orders his neighbor around like a slave!) to the focus of the film (on Sandman, one of the lamest characters ever) which makes viewers completely forget about everything that happened in the first two films. If that wasn't enough, there's a third villain: James Franco, slowly realizing his potential as an actor, as the new incarnation of the Green Goblin. Oy vey.


Taxi
(2004, Tim Story)
Queen Latifah: funny and can act. Jimmy Fallon: not so lucky. Put them together behind the wheel of a suped up taxi and you've got hilarity! At least that's what producers thought. If you make it through the end of this ride, you'll demand your money back.


Twilight
(2008, Catherine Hardwicke)
The coldest touch in this movie seems to be from the formerly authentic Catherine Hardwicke, who ensures not a single genuine moment will come out of this conveniently packaged abomination, complete with sub-SyFy special effects and sub-Lifetime acting. And vampires playing baseball, I kid you not. The only convincing thing in the whole movie is the sexual tension between the two leads and that's only because they're teenagers.


A Walk to Remember
(2002, Adam Shankman)
That's me in the corner. That's me in the spotlight. Losing my religion.
The most embarrassing thing about this movie--and there are many--is that it reduces an earnest faith to a bunch of sentimental hooey.

3 comments:

Swindle said...

I never saw the appeal of Saw so after hearing all the raving on how good it was from people I borrowed the first two and watched them. They were so predictable and so boring. I think I might have actually fallen asleep during one of them. It never ceases to amaze me how stupid people must be to keep seeing these movies year after year. Oh well never underestimate human stupidity. Also good picks for the other worst movies of the decade.
-John Swindle

Sean Brown said...

Gigli?

Kip Mooney said...

Had I seen Gigli, it would likely make this list. Fortunately, I have never been subjected to the alleged torture.