It’s Really Tough making movies. It’s terribly hard. And can be incredibly un-rewarding. Although usually the experience of making it can be worthwhile but so much money gets spent on it you wonder about why you would keep doing it. But at least people get paid to make the bad ones. Transformers: Dark of the Moon gave a lot of people work.
What I’m trying to say is. There is no excuse for lousy movie$.
Of course I love bad movies. This is not a list of bad movies. This is a list of miserable movies. Lifeless movies. Movie Failures. $tuff that annoyed me.
THREE FAILURES BY THREE AMERICAN MASTERS
I gotta deal with these before I get into the bottom ten. These were the real disappointments. But I still cannot bring myself to name them the worst. Because each of these has glimmers of greatness.
3. HUGO – SO I was excited to see Martin Scorsese work with 3D BUT the 3D added nothing and the cinematography was the most boring of Scorsese’s career…
Y’KNOW the kids are pretty good actors BUT C’MON I think they spend over an hour talking about having adventures and never do anything.
I LOVE IT when Marty makes weird casting choices BUT the Borat scenes are pretty useless.
To be fair the opening 10 minutes is wonderful.
THE AUTOMATON SHOULD HAVE BEEN PLAYED BY JOE PESCI. This was 2 hours too long.
2. WAR HORSE – The horses can act. Even the animatronic ones. The humans are unforgiveably hammy. Jeremy Irvine spends every moment of screentime either crying or looking like he’s about to cry. Emily Watson is wasted again. David Thewlis is barely in it. Benedict Cumberbatch is perfect but blink and you’ll miss him. The Cinematography is great, but too much when it exactly recreates the ending of Gone With the Wind. There are so many haphazard cinema homages. All done wonderfully. None of them needed. It’s cute to see Spielberg play around with trying so hard to not show gore, but the battle scenes have no punch, no excitement. Empty cinema constantly on the verge of almost feeling good.
1. TREE OF LIFE – I love Terrence Malick’s movies. But I do not love Tree of Life. I guess in some ways its good to know he had a bad movie in him. This one left me so unhappy. And I was angry throughout. Probably 30 minutes of a great film buried throughout. I liked Brad Pitt in a few scenes. The kids were unreal. Nothing to hold onto. Over-written. Over-edited. Too Long. More intrigued by Sean Penn’s scenes. Exhilarating to see Malick shoot modern scenes. Wish this had been made in the 80s as a big messy masterpiece. Would have been so interesting.
TEN WORST FILMS of 2011
10. GREEN LANTERN – Undeniably miserable. Terrible scenes of serious drama between Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively. Hard to maintain viewing consciousness during them. The Scenes in Space work. Too much CGI, but they’re fun and weird as hell. Totally crazy. But such a small portion of the movie. Peter Sarsgaard acts like he is in some David Cronenberg movie. So that’s kind of nice.
9. THE BEAVER – This movie is pretty stupid, but mostly its pretty lame. Mel Gibson can’t even save it with his crazy. The movie’s mundanity kills even that. Jennifer Lawrence and Anton Yelchin have a lot to make up for.
8. THE MUPPETS – Maybe my most controversial pick. Not only a failure as a Muppets movie. A failure as a movie. Doesn’t respect the Muppets and it doesn’t even care enough about its new (stupid) characters Walter and co. to give them anything interesting to do. Jason Segel and Amy Adam’s gross over the top expressions prove that they never watched the Muppet Show or saw a great Muppet movie. Just be yourself guys. Jeez. The songs are second rate. The Song and Dance is not entertaining and does not recall old Muppet shtick.
7. COWBOYS & ALIENS – What a bummer. Shouldn’t have expected much. Look at the Screenwriting credits. Watch Iron Man 2. Wasn’t in the mood for another waste of Harrison Ford.
5. THE KILLER ELITE – There are a few scenes in this movie where Robert DeNiro is shooting guns or just holding guns. These scenes have high entertainment value. There are not many of these scenes.
Almost as lifeless and un-involving as Tower Heist.
4. MEEK’S CUTOFF – Glad QT also picked this. Wonder what his reasons were. There is an intriguing settlers heading west film here. And Kelly Reichardt has never seemed more sure of herself than when she’s showing these pilgrims’ progress west. Michelle Williams and Will Patton are really good in it. Zoe Kazan and Paul Dano are playing hipster dress-up. And then you remember that you read the director’s statement and you remember that the movie is a metaphor for the Iraq War and Bruce Greenwood’s goofy Meek is George Bush. And the settlers are the Americans and the Indian is the Iraqis and we’re all lost and there’s an uncertain future and this becomes the dumbest slog you’ve sat through and you feel like one of those old timers at the Film Forum who goes “What the fuck was that?” when the credits come up and the house lights turn on. This allegory says nothing interesting about its subject. It just exists as a allegory and if there was no allegory it might have been a good movie.
3. LIMITLESS – This is a great idea for a screenplay. But it was written by someone with zero imagination. It’s not a movie about having unlimited mental capabilities. It’s a drug addiction movie that follows every cliche in the book.
2. SUPER 8 – JJ Abrams shouldn’t write his own material. This movie looks like a 70s/80s Spielberg movie. It has kids talking over each other like in a 70s/80s Spielberg movie. There is a big difference between this movie and a 70s/80s Spielberg movie. This movie SUCKS. The kids are annoying (Elle is good). The adults are the worst kind of uninteresting adults from a JJ Abrams TV show. The beginning feels like a JJ Abrams TV Show. The mash-up of Jaws and ET doesn’t really make sense. And the Monster is an awful design that is impossible to relate to. KILL THIS MOVIE.
1. TOWER HEIST – Hell, I thought this was gonna be good. The Trailer was good. But this movie may have been the most lifeless film I saw all year. I don’t hate this movie. I feel nothing towards this movie. This is emptiness. You stare into the abyss of TOWER HEIST and nothing stares back.
Also Ben Stiller and Eddie Murphy are getting older and someone should tell them that. Maybe Ben Stiller can cool it on the Gym. He’s starting to look weird.
TO BE CONTINUED…