Archive for the Worst-Of lists Category

Jenny Orosel’s TOP SIX DISAPPOINTMENTS OF 2012

Posted in 2012, 2013, David Cronenberg, Jenny Orosel Columns, Worst-Of lists with tags , , , , , , on January 13, 2013 by knifefighter

MY TOP SIX DISAPPOINTMENTS OF 2012
By Jenny Orosel

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6-The Netflix DVD for CABIN IN THE WOODS didn’t have the audio commentary

A small complaint, but I was really looking forward hearing what Whedon had to say.  Damn, you Netflix!  Damn you!

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5-SINISTER (2012)

It could have been a great movie.  But instead of taking the “found footage” subgenre into new directions, it was predictable and seemed like most of what they did had been done before.  That said, I realize I am one of about six people in the world who didn’t like SINISTER, so perhaps someone had urinated in my Cheerios that morning.  I might give it a chance again sometime, but my disappointment was so strong it will be a while before I’m willing to sit through it again.

Has director David Cronenberg abandoned "body horror" forever?

Has director David Cronenberg abandoned “body horror” forever?

4-2012 was the year I gave up on two of my favorite horror directors ever returning to the genre: David Cronenberg and Peter Jackson.

Sure, Cronenberg’s still has style.  But first he went all action movie with A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE (2005) and EASTERN PROMISES (2007).  This year came A DANGEROUS METHOD (technically 2011) and CHRONOPOLIS (2012), two almost exclusively cerebral movies and polar opposite his signature “horrors of the flesh” philosophy that made films like SHIVERS (1975) and VIDEODROME (1983) classics of the genre.  No one can do that kind of horror the way he could, and I miss that.

THE HOBBIT? No BAD TASTE or DEAD ALIVE!

THE HOBBIT? No BAD TASTE or DEAD ALIVE!

Peter Jackson followed the LORD OF THE RINGS TRILOGY with KING KONG (2005) and THE LOVELY BONES (2009).  He’s shown that he’s interested in dark works, but both are so well-polished and well funded they lean more toward LOTR than, say, MEET THE FEEBLES (1989).  Now I find he’s going to follow his HOBBIT trilogy with a TINTIN movie (2015).  I lost all hope for another BRAINDEAD (1992, also known as DEAD ALIVE) or BAD TASTE (1987).  And that’s a shame, because he seemed to be the last director out there who had a childlike sense of fun about grit, slime and general grossness.

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3-AMERICAN HORROR STORY: ASYLUM (2012)

I loved the first AHS season.  I will be the first to admit that it wasn’t anything groundbreaking.  But it was a great combination of ghost story and soap opera, a sort of PEYTON PLACE for the horror crowd, and fun Wednesday night entertainment after the Tiny Human had gone to bed.  The second season tried way too hard to be Important with a capital “I”.  There were Statements to be made, and Issues to make people aware of.  Unfortunately, they tried to put too many into the series and cluttered it up so much that, even compared to the archetypes of the first season, there was no character development beyond what was barely needed to get from scene A to scene B.  By the time I gave up on the show halfway through I felt like I was being yelled at by someone who read one Yahoo news article and now thinks they’re an expert.  If there’s a third season I hope they bring back the guilty fun of the first.

Ray Bradbury and friend.

Ray Bradbury and friend

2-Ray Bradbury wasn’t immortal.

Growing up in Los Angeles, he was a fixture of the city.  He never passed up an opportunity to help out a library, and even after his stroke when he was mostly deaf and partially blind, he gave a lively and inspiring lecture at the Encino library on Venture Boulevard, and as the night wore on and he was visibly exhausted, he still took the time to give a kind word to each of his fans and sign a book or two.  He wasn’t just an example of how to behave as a writer, but as a human being.  I cried when I heard he passed.  Godspeed, you Prince of Awesome.

Where oh where are the SONS OF EL TOPO?

1-SONS OF EL TOPO still hasn’t been filmed!!

© Copyright 2013 by Jenny Orosel

(Jenny writes the regular column “Meals for Monsters” here at Cinema Knife Fight)

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THE WORST MOVIES OF 2012 by Michael Arruda

Posted in Michael Arruda Reviews, Worst-Of lists with tags , , on January 2, 2013 by knifefighter

MICHAEL ARRUDA’S PICKS FOR THE WORST MOVIES OF 2012
By Michael Arruda

Here’s my list for the Worst 10 Movies for 2012.

The most amazing thing about this list is that TWILIGHT: BREAKING DAWN PART II isn’t on it!  That means I saw some pretty bad movies this year.

That being said, the list below if full of stinkers, and I have to say that it was difficult ranking them because they were all bad.  All 11 of the following movies could easily have made it to the top of the list, the Worst Movie of the Year.  In fact, they all should share that distinction.

First, before we get to the top 10, an Honorable MentionSNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN – Kristen Stewart as Snow White?  Nuff said!  A complete waste of time and talent.  The only saving grace is the dwarves keep their shirts on.

Now for the 10 WORST MOVIES OF THE YEAR:

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10. THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN – Andrew Garfield as Spidey ain’t so amazing!  I know this one did well, and audiences liked it, but for me, it just never climbed out of the shadow of the superior Sam Raimi – Tobey Maguire Spidey movies.  And no J. Jonah Jameson!

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9. PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 4 – Young Kathryn Newton does a nice job in the lead, but all for not, as this one’s a drag.  Plays more like PARANORMAL INACTIVITY.  Weakest film of the series.  Maybe it’s time we put this series to bed.

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8. SILENT HILL: REVELATION 3D– Yet another in the growing line of movies that thinks it’s a movie but is really an extended video game.  There’s no script to speak of.  All visuals, no story.  In other words, a video game disguising itself as a movie.  While I did enjoy the visuals in this one, the movie as a whole is horrible and includes some embarrassingly poor acting performances by people who should know better, like Sean Bean for instance, who has an accent in some scenes but loses it in others.

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7. DARK SHADOWS – Johnny Depp as Barnabas Collins.  Need I say anything more?  A complete mess.

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6. THE APPARITION – Ashley Greene from the TWILIGHT movies makes a nice lead, but this incredibly weak horror movie is so bad it’s not scary.  Plus the cardinal sin is committed of showing the final scene from the film in the movie’s trailers.  It has a muddled story that smells of last minute rewrites.

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5. UNDERWORLD: AWAKENING –Rretire this series already!  No script, no story, no decent dialogue, no fun.  Folks, we have to stop paying money to see these video-game movie wannabes to send Hollywood a message:  movies are about stories, not images.  Even Kate Beckinsale in tight black clothing can’t save this one.

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4. PROJECT X – I hated this comedy.  I love raunchy comedies like the next guy, but this one has at its core a couple of very unlikable characters who belong in a detention hall, not in front of a camera.  This wild tale of a high school party gone awry is so devoid of creativity, it makes AMERICA’S FUNNIEST HOME VIDEOS seem like high art by comparison.

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3. SILENT HOUSE – Elizabeth Olsen looks frightened and screams a lot.  Dull, unimaginative horror movie with a lame twist at the end you can see coming a mile away.  Keep miles away from this stinker.  Its title describes the theater audience watching this one.

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2. BATTLESHIP – hahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!!!!  A complete joke of a movie.  No relation whatsoever to the popular board game.  The most amazing thing about this movie is how bad it is.  Think about it:  it’s a story which pits battleships against alien spaceships.  How bad can it be?  Worse.  Taylor Kitsch has the distinction of being in both one of the worst movies of the year (this one) and one of the best (Oliver Stone’s SAVAGES)For that matter, Liam Neeson shares that distinction, as he was in THE GREY as well in 2012, but lucky for Neeson, he’s only in this bomb for about five minutes.  He’s obviously just collecting a paycheck here.  Awful, awful, movie.

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1. RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION – how bad is this movie?  Let’s put it in perspective:  in terms of video games masquerading as movies, it’s worse than both UNDERWORLD: AWAKENING (less of a story) and SILENT HILL:  REVELATION 3D (less impressive visuals).  Did I say it has no story?  Watching this movie is like picking up a book and reading a section of a chapter from a random page where you don’t bother to read the beginning or the end.  RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION is so bad it’s even more boring than the TWILIGHT movies.  It has perhaps one of the most annoying and lamest villains Albert Wesker (Shawn Roberts) you’ll ever find in a movie.  He makes Loki seem like The Joker.  And as good as Milla Jovovich looks kicking bad guys’ butts, her shtick only goes so far, for me, about ten minutes.  Repeat after me: END THIS SERIES NOW!!!   Worst movie of the year.

 

 

—END—

© Copyright 2013 by Michael Arruda

THE WORST MOVIES OF 2012 by L.L. Soares

Posted in 2012, 2013, 3-D, Bad Acting, Bad Situations, Based on a Video Game, Exorcism Movies, Fantasy, Faux Documentaries, Just Plain Bad, LL Soares Reviews, Sequels, Worst-Of lists with tags , , , , on January 2, 2013 by knifefighter

THE WORST FILMS OF 2012
By L.L. Soares

Well, there were lots of really good movies in 2012, but, as usual, there were some dogs as well. I think the fact that it was a lot easier writing this list – and keeping it to 10- is a good sign. There were a lot more good movies than bad ones in 2012.

These are the worst movies I saw last year.

NUMBER ONE:
SILENT HOUSE

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I keep hearing the original 2010 film from Uruguay was better. That’s not hard to believe. The American remake of SILENT HOUSE was one of the worst movies I’ve had to sit through in a long time. Poor Elizabeth Olson, who was so great in MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE (2011) is completely wasted in this “thriller” about a woman terrorized in her summer home by an unseen intruder (well, unseen until the end). The big gimmick here is that it was supposedly filmed in real time, all in one take. If that’s so, then it was a lot of effort for nothing. It has a stupid twist ending, involving something that should have been traumatic, but is never made believable by the awful script. It was an idea that could have been done well, but the filmmakers involved completely blew it. Laughably bad.

NUMBER TWO:
RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION (IN 3D)

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The previous Resident Evil movie (RESIDENT EVIL: AFTERLIFE, 2010) was at least dumb fun. I was starting to think this was one of the better film series based on a video game – at least the movies were entertaining. Then the new one (RETRIBUTION) comes out in 2012, and it’s just friggin dismal. It’s more of a place holder between the previous movie and the next one than a real movie of its own, with very little plot to distinguish it, and no attempt to tie up loose ends. I walked out of the theater feeling really cheated. If nothing else, this movie convinced me that it’s time to stop making RESIDENT EVIL movies.

NUMBER THREE:
DARK SHADOWS

DarkShadows

As a kid, I used to watch the original DARK SHADOWS TV show after school every day in the late 60s/early 70s. It was extremely low-budget, and sometimes laughably bad, but they always played it straight and tried to make it a decent show. Basically a soap opera with vampires and werewolves, the main plot involved the vampire Barnabas Collins and his struggle to reunite with the reincarnated version of his lost love, Josette.   It spawned two pretty good movies at the time, too (HOUSE OF DARK SHADOWS in 1970 and NIGHT OF DARK SHADOWS in 1971), which were clearly horror films. Then Tim Burton decided to revive the old show as a new movie. Is it a bigger budget version of the old horror show? Nope. It’s a completely asinine comedy, involving Johnny Depp as Barnabas (the role was originally played by Jonathan Frid), rising from the dead in the 1970s and experiencing culture shock when confronted with hippies and bad fashion. Made with that “wink wink” style of comedy that I can’t stand, this is easily one of the most annoying films of 2012. What a wasted opportunity to make a movie version that was truly scary. Instead, we get a moronic exercise in tedium.

NUMBER FOUR:
THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN PART 2

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You know something’s wrong when the latest TWILIGHT movie isn’t the worst movie of the year. The end of the “saga” – BREAKING DAWN – was broken into two films so the greedy studios could make more money. Meanwhile, we get more of the same crap we’ve been getting since the first film. Bella (Kristen Stewart) is now a vampire and is still in love with Edward (Robert Pattinson). The bad guys are told a lie and instead of checking it out, just attack our heroes and their family, when everything could have been resolved in a few minutes. I want to say this movie was a relief, because I knew the series was finally over, but I bet you they find a way to keep it going. Just to keep the money coming in. I want the two hours of my life I wasted on this movie back.

NUMBER FIVE:
SILENT HILL – REVELATION 3D

SilentHill

Not a good year for movies with “Silent” in their titles, I guess. And almost all of the 3D movies in 2012 were pretty lame, so this one has two strikes against it from the get go.

The original SILENT HILL movie from 2006 wasn’t great, but at least it had some interesting imagery and some strange scenes to keep it from being a complete snooze. About a journey to a surreal town/world where it’s always raining ashes and demons fight each other for power, it was actually one of the better video game-based movies. But as we learned with the RESIDENT EVIL franchise, these guys should stop while their ahead. It took six years to make this sequel, and they shouldn’t have bothered. It’s boring, incoherent, and just plain bad. Poor Pyramid Head, the strange-looking beastie from the series who deserved a better movie to appear in. Maybe it’s time to finally have a moratorium on movies based on video games.

NUMBER SIX:
UNDERWORLD AWAKENING (IN 3D)

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The UNDERWORLD films aren’t based on a video game, but they might as well be. Kate Beckinsdale returns as an ass-kicking vampire who has to fight werewolves and humans in what has to be one of the most boring franchises around. I hate this series. I hate it even more because Beckinsdale is hot in that leather outfit and deserves to be in a horror movie franchise that doesn’t suck. The vampires here might not sparkle like in the TWILIGHT movies, but they’re not much better. Another boring series that needs to just stop already.

NUMBER SEVEN:
THE DEVIL INSIDE

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Another “found footage” horror movie – a genre I normally enjoy. And the first half of this exorcism movie is actually pretty good, until it falls apart. A woman is making a documentary about her mother, who has committed murder while being possessed by a demon. There are a few good scenes, but they’re not enough to save the movie. Overall, it’s just too predictable and doesn’t give us anything we haven’t seen before. And then there’s the fact that the movie doesn’t really have an ending. Instead,  it ends abruptly and we’re given a URL and told to go to the website for more. I’m sorry, I don’t pay for a movie ticket to be told to check out a website. Another movie where I left the theater more than a little pissed off. You would be much better off renting the 2010 movie THE LAST EXORCISM instead. It’s another “found footage” horror flick about an exorcism, but it’s actually really good and doesn’t waste your time.

NUMBER EIGHT:
THE INBETWEENERS

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The British series this movie was based on, about four socially inept teenagers who are desperate to finally lose their virginity, is supposed to be pretty funny. Or so I’m told. But, if that’s the case, I have no idea why the movie version is so unfunny. The characters are likable enough. There’s some heartfelt scenes where you actually care about the people involved. But there are hardly any laughs. This is supposed to be a comedy. A comedy without laughs isn’t much of a success. And the fact that this was a big hit in England is kind of depressing.

NUMBER NINE:
BATTLESHIP

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The idea of making a board game into a movie is kind of dumb. The people involved with this movie were given an almost impossible task – to take this concept and run with it – and they try. But it’s a failure. Another waste of film and actors and special effects – all for nothing. Poor Taylor Kitsch. After playing the lead in a really good movie (JOHN CARTER) that was unfairly maligned, he next starred in this cinematic garbage, and any buzz he had as an up-and-coming movie star pretty much vanished. Until SAVAGES, that is. But will SAVAGES be enough to keep his career from fizzling out? 2012 must have been a real rollercoaster for poor Mr. Kitsch. As for BATTLESHIP, I hope the poor box office for this one has sunk any chances of a sequel. But no matter how awful this movie was, it was still better than the eight movies I listed before it.

NUMBER TEN:
WRATH OF THE TITANS

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Despite their budgets and the high-tech special effects, the TITANS movies have left me cold. First there was CLASH OF THE TITANS (2010) that was a remake of a 1981 Ray Harryhausen fantasy film with stop-motion monsters. In the new films, the monsters are CGI, but I don’t see them as much of an improvement. They’re kind of generic in a way. Sam Worthington plays Perseus as kind of a one-note character (and I know he’s capable of more than that – maybe he’s as bored as I am). Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes are completely wasted as Zeus and Hades, respectively (but they’re the only characters in the movie with any real passion). Some of the monsters look cool, but overall, the movie is kind of boring. The story just isn’t that compelling….ZZZZZ… Oops, did I nod off there for a moment?

HONORABLE MENTION

PROJECT X – A faux documentary-style teen sex comedy about the craziest house party ever. It didn’t make my list because it was so forgettable that I…er…forgot about it until I saw it on Michael’s list. It mustn’t have annoyed me as much as it did him, but, frankly, it’s not worth talking about any further.

© Copyright 2013 by L.L. Soares

BEST AND WORST COMEDIES OF 2011

Posted in 2012, Best Of Lists, Comedies, Kelly Laymon Reviews, R-Rated Comedy, Sex Comedies, Worst-Of lists with tags , , , , , , on January 18, 2012 by knifefighter

THE BEST AND WORST OF COMEDY IN 2011
By Kelly Laymon

This past year saw some great comedy that needs a glance back.  But I have a few notes before we start.  First of all, while my main focus here is the raunchy R-rated stuff that I generally handle, I’m going to have to highlight a great PG-13 comedy.  Also, I’m covering a few films that I was going/supposed to do and couldn’t because they weren’t in wide release, my neighborhood was hit by a small yet disruptive hurricane on the opening weekend, or I was on a road trip with my mom.  I’m also touching on ones that were released before I joined Cinema Knife Fight, but that LL reviewed.  Also, I am not listing films in any particular order or ranking.

BRIDESMAIDS got a ton of well-deserved attention.  I generally don’t like Kristin Wiig much and find that Maya Rudolph is better when she’s less over-the-top and more dramatic, as in AWAY WE GO (2009), but this worked for me because the film really played to their strengths as more understated actors.  All of their interactions seemed real.  My only complaint is that there should have been more scenes involving ALL of the gals.  When all six characters were together, it was at its best.  I was particularly fond of the exchanges between the seasoned Wendi McClendon-Covey and naïve Ellie Kemper.  The Jon Hamm scenes deserve an award of their own.  Sometimes I wonder if he’s trying too hard to prove his comedy chops because he’s SO handsome though.  But the Irish cop (Chris O’Dowd) was the real star of the film.  And while I thought Melissa McCarthy was good, I think some of the praise she’s received has been undeserved.  Entertainment Weekly called her the new Queen of Comedy.  Gimme a break!  And this film was a nice finale for the late Jill Clayburgh.  In the blooper reel on the DVD, they apologize for the horribly dirty lines she has to say.  She just laughs and says something along the lines of, “No, I’m having so much fun.”

WHAT’S YOUR NUMBER? is a film that I expected to completely suck.  All in all, it wasn’t that bad.  The trailers made it look very silly and slapstick, but the actual film was a bit more down to earth and semi-amusing.  Anna Faris reads an article in Marie Claire about the average number of men women have sex with in their lifetime.  Since she’s reaching the dreaded #20, she decides to re-visit all of her exes to see if she can make a relationship stick with one of them.  Some of the scenes are humorous, though it would still be nice to see Anna Faris in better material.  Her films always seem to JUST miss the mark.  And it was a sad waste of the great and snarky Joel McHale.

On the flip-side, OUR IDIOT BROTHER was a bit of a disappointment.  It suffered from what I sometimes refer to as “the overly quirky and precious indie problem”. (Side note: Two of the worst offenders in my book are LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE (2006) and JUNO (2007)).  Paul Rudd is good as the dopey brother who needs to pull his life together at the expense of his mother and three sisters.  One sister’s a savage career woman (Elizabeth Banks), another’s a quirky lesbian comedian who’s not any good (Zooey Deschanel, who I’m very tired of), and the third’s a put-upon and poorly-treated housewife (Emily Mortimer).  Fellow co-stars Rashida Jones, Adam Scott, and Elizabeth Banks—all three of whom I like a lot—couldn’t save the overly meaningful lessons that the “idiot brother” inadvertently teaches everyone.

CEDAR RAPIDS was an enjoyable film that didn’t get a ton of attention.  Ed Helms plays a naïve insurance agent who goes to the big city for the region’s yearly insurance convention.  His roommates are the very funny John C. Reilly and Isiah Whitlock, Jr..  Reilly plays a seasoned con-goer and all-around bad influence, while Whitlock is straight-laced, but goofy.  Anne Heche is the married “what happens at a con, stays at a con” love interest.  Aside from enjoying the humor in this, I saw a lot of myself and my friends in the characters and some of the convention antics.  The film ultimately has a good heart and leaves you with a warm and fuzzy feeling.

Steve Carell and Ryan Gosling in CRAZY STUPID LOVE, one of the better comedies of 2011.

The PG-13 ringer on my list is CRAZY STUPID LOVE.  It would be impossible to talk about the comedies of 2011 without highlighting this one.  The entire cast is solid, but the film really belongs to the relationship between the newly separated, dorky, forty-something Steve Carell and Ryan Gosling.  Although their makeover scenes have some flashes of THE 40 YEAR OLD VIRGIN (2005), they totally work.  Ryan Gosling, who’s mostly known for more dramatic roles, is great as a sarcastic, know-it-all, trendy, hipster womanizer.  He’s the kind of character that could be totally unsympathetic, but is played just right.  The “big speech” at the end is kind of corny, but sometimes even really good movies have a semi-lame moment or two.

PAUL is a tough one to talk about.  It plays so much to the nerdy fan boys who know about authors, comics, and conventions that I don’t know how normal people viewed it.  As someone who knows the convention circuit and a lot of authors and has traveled the UFO regions of Nevada, Arizona and New Mexico, I totally dug it.  Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, of SHAUN OF THE DEAD (2004) and HOT FUZZ (2007), are great as two English buddies on a nerd tour that starts at the San Diego Comic-Con and is supposed to take them on a UFO hot spot voyage.  Seth Rogen is the voice of the vulgar, pot smoking alien they stumble upon, and we have yet another nice performance from Jason Bateman.  And if your eyes are dry when Paul visits the girl whose yard he crashed into sixty years ago, you have no soul.  Kudos to Blythe Danner.

THE HANGOVER II wasn’t as bad as people said.  For a sequel, it held up better than most.  As with the first one, which I loved, I found more humor in the simple dry throw-away lines than in the big, crazy situations.  I liked that they paid tribute to the first right down to the music cues (Danzig on the opening credits, Kanye West during the arrival scene, Wolfmother as they make it back for the wedding), etc..  And the fact that Zach Galifinackis’s Alan was still obsessed with what happened in Vegas was a nice touch.  I was disappointed that Ed Helms’s Stu wasn’t marrying Heather Graham’s stripper Jade from the first one.  And Stu’s “big speech” at the end about his inner demons seemed forced and almost silly, whereas his “big speech” at the end of the first one had a cheer-worthy power to it.

Although he didn’t ruin THIRTY MINUTES OR LESS, Nick Swardson resumed his usual roll of the anti-funny with BUCKY LARSON: BORN TO BE A STAR.  It is a fantastic…waste of a supporting cast.  Don Johnson and Christina Ricci both co-star in this train wreck.  I won’t even bother to describe this exercise in lameness other than to say that it’s a terrible attempt at porno humor.  I’m convinced that Adam Sandler is funding Swardson’s career through Happy Madison Productions in order to make us appreciate Sandler more.  It is so ridiculous and over-the-top, without even a toe dipped in reality.  And, when it comes to the comedies I like, the characters and situations need to be relatable.  I need to see tiny bits of myself, my friends, and things that have happened to me or could happen.  I knew it would be pretty bad and even texted a friend when I sat down to watch it that “I must really hate myself to be watching this.”  If you want to see a comedy about porn that’s actually funny, go for Kevin Smith’s ZACK AND MIRI MAKE A PORNO (2008).

Don Johnson had a small role in another small and little-seen sex-themed comedy in 2011, A GOOD OLD FASHIONED ORGY.  He plays the rich, jerky father of Jason Sudeikis and owns a posh beach house in the Hamptons.  He no longer uses the house, but Sudeikis and his high school pals (including comedy staples you’d-know-’em-if-you-saw-’em,  Martin Starr, Lake Bell, Nick Kroll, etc..  Luckily, the annoying Will Forte is toned down and plays it straight…and he’s not in it much.) still party at the house each weekend during the summer.  Once Johnson puts the house up for sale, Sudeikis decides that they need to have one final legendary bash over Labor Day weekend and he lands on the orgy idea.  Sudeikis has been very likable and funny in a few films over the past couple of years, such as GOING THE DISTANCE (2010) and HORRIBLE BOSSES.  We’ll just pretend that the super-mediocre HALL PASS (2011) didn’t happen.  And I enjoyed this one too.  It’s a dumb guy plot, but the dialogue and jokes worked for me.

I’m not going to rehash the films I already reviewed, but the links are below.

© Copyright 2012 by Kelly Laymon

OTHER COMEDY REVIEWS BY KELLY DURING 2011 (Just click on the title):

HORRIBLE BOSSES
THE SITTER

YOUNG ADULT
50/50

THE CHANGE-UP

30 MINUTES OF LESS

Cinema Knife Fight Presents: THE WORST MOVIES OF 2011

Posted in 2011, Cinema Knife Fights, Ghosts!, LL Soares Reviews, Michael Arruda Reviews, Vampires, Werewolves, Worst-Of lists with tags , , , , , , on January 3, 2012 by knifefighter

CINEMA KNIFE FIGHT:  WORST OF 2011
By MICHAEL ARRUDA & L.L. SOARES

(THE SCENE:  A majestic movie theater, filled with well-dressed guests.  MICHAEL ARRUDA & L.L. SOARES sit on the stage in front of the movie screen.)

MICHAEL ARRUDA:  Welcome back to the second half of our end of the year column.  Last time out, L.L. and I gave you our picks for the TOP 5 BEST FILMS of 2011.  Now it’s time for us to unleash our picks for the WORST 5 MOVIES OF 2011.

L.L. SOARES:  For the BEST OF column, our audience was filled with personalities from the movies we saw, all hoping for a chance to be selected as one of the year’s best.  Let’s see how many brave souls have stuck with us now that we’re uncovering the stinkers of the year.

(Camera pans over audience, which is still filled to capacity, and includes superheroes, apes, aliens, vampires, cowboys, assassins, and Daniel Craig, busy having a 3-way conversation with a Goth girl with a tattoo, some cowboys and aliens, and some ghosts.)

LS:  Still packed?  These guys are braver than I thought.

MA:  I think that giant cannon you have aimed at the exit has something to do with it.

LS:  You think?

MA:  Let’s get this party started.  You went first last time, so I’ll go first this time.  Again, tonight we’re looking at our picks for the TOP 5 WORST MOVIES OF 2011.  My pick for Number 5 is—(reaches into his jacket and begins to pull out an envelope.  An arrow flies by his head, piercing the screen behind him.  MA  puts the envelope back into his jacket.)

DYLAN DOG:  DEAD OF NIGHT.  This was one weird movie, an attempt to bring horror and comedy together that just didn’t work.  Based on an Italian comic book, this bizarre tale of a private detective, played by Brandon Routh, who makes it his business to keep the peace among the city’s warring population of vampires and werewolves, wasn’t funny enough to be a successful comedy, not quirky enough to be campy, and it wasn’t scary at all.  Plus it told a far-fetched story that was hard to swallow.

I also hated the title, as it makes the movie sound like a kid’s cartoon.  Coming up next:  DYLAN DOG AND SCOOBY DOO MEET THE SPACE GHOST!  Gag!

Granted, I didn’t hate this movie, but it was so mediocre, mild, and underwhelming, there’s no way I could keep it off this list.

LS:  Well, I can’t chime in here, because I didn’t see this one. Although I did hear it was pretty bad. Thanks for confirming that – so I don’t have to see it.

My Number 5 pick for Worst Movie of 2011 is PRIEST. I had to sit through the trailer like 14 times (I think the movie’s release date was delayed a few times). The trailer showed us the entire story. So, by the time I saw the movie, I already felt like I’d seen it 15 times already!  And every single time —it sucked. In a future where the Vatican has taken over the world, vampires are the big threat that church-trained assassins have to take down. Based on an anime. Sponsored by Ambien. I can’t tell you how excruciating this was to sit through. Easily one of the most boring movies of 2011. I just didn’t care about any of the characters at all.

MA:  I’m with you.  In fact, I think I disliked PRIEST  more than you did, since it’s a little closer to Stinker Number 1 on my list.  So, I’ll comment more on this one in a bit.

LS:  My Number 4 pick is THE ROOMMATE. Take Barbette Schroeder’s SINGLE WHITE FEMALE, cast it with younger girls and have it take place on a college campus—oh yeah, and make it as dumb as possible—stir briskly, and you have this awful, cliché attempt at a horror movie, starring TV actresses Leighton Meester from GOSSIP GIRL and Minka Kelly from the short-lived CHARLIE’S ANGELS reboot. I heard that director Christian E. Christiansen was deported back to Denmark after he made this one. (just kidding). But man, it was awful.

MA:  This one didn’t bug me as much as it bugged you.  I remember it being more mediocre than awful.  I also remember liking the acting in this one, especially the two leads, Meester and Kelly.  While you hated THE ROOMMATE, I just found it VERY average.

It narrowly missed the cut for my TOP 10 Worst Movies of 2011.

My pick for Number 4 is DREAM HOUSE starring Daniel Craig.  Craig has had a notable year.  We saw him in three movies this year, and all of them made our lists.  COWBOYS AND ALIENS made my Top 5 Best Movies List, and THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO made your Top 5 Best Movies List.  But with DREAM HOUSE, he hits rock bottom.  To be fair, Craig is fine in this movie, so it’s not him.  It’s everything else.

LS: Yeah, right.

MA: Of course, the most notorious thing about DREAM HOUSE was its trailer, which gave away a major plot twist!  This twist takes place about half-way through the movie, and since I knew about it beforehand, the first half of this movie was a complete waste of time.  Nice going guys!  Way to go!  Give away the film’s major plot twist before the audience sees the movie!

But even without this spoiler, the film is pretty lame.   Craig plays a writer who quits his position at a publishing house to write a novel and in so doing spend more time with his family.  Of course, family time becomes spooky time as they seem to be visited by ghosts, but there’s a twist (which those of us who saw the trailer already knew), and what Craig learns horrifies him and changes the plot’s direction, as he seeks out not a ghost but a murderer who’s very much alive.

DREAM HOUSE is supposed to be a haunted house/ghost story, but the ghostly elements are all peripheral at best.  It eventually becomes more of a psychological thriller, but it fails here too because it’s not very thrilling.  David Loucka’s weak screenplay is eventually done in by an even more ridiculous and extremely convoluted ending.

DREAM HOUSE is a complete fail.  I didn’t like it at all.

LS:  Well, I have to agree with you there, except I hated it even more than you did. DREAM HOUSE was Number 2 on my list. So I’ll get to it later.

MA:  Number  3 on my list for Worst Movies of 2011 is the awful thriller PRIEST, which you already talked about, since it was Number  5 on your list.

I can sum up what’s wrong with this one just by reviewing its plot.  PRIEST takes place in an alternate world where vampires and humans have battled for centuries, but the humans have finally won the battle because they have a secret weapon: warrior priests.   Nuff said.  Actually, the story goes on as the vampires kidnap the niece of the most famous priest warrior, and he of course must rescue her.  Blah, blah, blah.

PRIEST has a horrible story, unexciting visuals, no character development, and the icing on the cake?  It was in 3D.

PRIEST was one of the more forgettable movies of the year.  In fact, I’ve already forgotten about it.  You should too.

LS:   Dammit, I forgot that PRIEST was in 3D, so we had to even pay extra money to be bored to death!! Yeah, this one smelled so bad the projectionist had to wear a gas mask.

My Number 3 pick is a movie I was excited to see beforehand. And it was a complete letdown. I’m talking about PAUL. I was actually looking forward to this one. It stars Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, the stars of such great indie comedies as SHAUN OF THE DEAD and HOT FUZZ. Unfortunately Pegg’s co-writer and director on those movies, Edgar Wright, has nothing to do with PAUL. Maybe that’s why it’s so damn awful. This time around, the director is Greg Mottola (who actually directed SUPERBAD and ADVENTURELAND, so he’s not that bad!), and this one is a big mis-step for everyone involved. Pegg and Frost play two sci-fi nerds who pick up an escaped alien in their RV in the middle of the desert. The creature, named Paul, has the voice of Seth Rogan and looks like your typical gray, big-headed Roswell extraterrestrial. In theory, this sounds pretty good, but the movie itself has almost zero laughs, except for Kristen Wiig as a fundamentalist’s daughter who has a hard time accepting that there’s other intelligent life in the universe. But otherwise, you can hear the crickets. Some movies just should never have been made.

MA:  I didn’t see PAUL.  I forget the reason I wasn’t available to review it that weekend, but after reading your negative review, I decided to skip it altogether, or at least save it for a rental.

LS:  My Number 2 pick is a movie you’ve already talked about – DREAM HOUSE. Daniel Craig lives in a house with the ghosts of his wife and daughters. Daniel Craig finds out that he used to be in a sanitarium, but he doesn’t remember it. Daniel Craig finds out everyone thinks that he killed his family. Daniel Craig solves the mystery. Meanwhile—I struggle not to nod off. This movie had a lot of twists and turns, but in the end it all amounted to a big pile of stupid. Easily the worst movie Daniel Craig has made so far.

MA:  I can’t argue with you there.

My pick for the Second Worst Film of 2011, A VERY HAROLD AND KUMAR 3D CHRISTMAS.

As much as I’ve really enjoyed the recent slate of raunchy Rated R comedies to hit the big screen in the past few years, I didn’t like this one.  I have no problem with raunchiness as long as it’s funny, and that was the major problem I had with this movie:  it wasn’t funny.  The gags were vulgar and raunchy, but they weren’t making me laugh, and I guess the point I’m making is it wasn’t because they were vulgar and raunchy; it was because the comedy just wasn’t sharp.

I know they were going for the Cheech and Chong-style humor here, but there were far too many drug references.  Again, it’s not the fact that it was a drug reference.  It was that it wasn’t funny.  They did the same thing with male genitalia.  Every joke either ended as a drug reference or a male genitalia reference.  Can’t make this joke work?  Hmm.  Let’s just end it with a line about getting high, or have someone say something like “Hey, is that your dick?”  Lowest common denominator, bottom of the barrel writing.

And it was in 3D no less.  Ugh!  A VERY HAROLD AND KUMAR 3D CHRISTMAS makes coal in a stocking look pretty good!

LS:  I liked the very first HAROLD AND KUMAR movie. I didn’t see the second one. And I’m sorry I saw this one. I actually like the characters, but you’re right, this one was not funny. I think I laughed twice. And the preachy “these stoners need to grow up and be responsible adults” storyline just bored the hell out of me. I don’t see a HAROLD AND KUMAR movie to see responsible adults. I see it because I want to laugh. But their 3D CHRISTMAS movie didn’t make me laugh enough.

Well, on to my Number 1 pick. And it is THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN PART 1.  I know this is an obvious choice—but it really was the worst movie I saw in 2011. With no real plot (except Bella gets married, Bella gets pregnant, Bella has a baby) to speak of. Boring doesn’t begin to describe this one. And it’s so bad they had to cut it into two parts, so we’re not even done with the TWILIGHT series yet. NOOOOOOO! I was just surprised it wasn’t in 3D.

MA:  My pick for the WORST MOVIE of 2011?  No surprise, it’s also THE TWILIGHT  SAGA– BREAKING DAWN- PART 1.

If I could just shriek right now, that would just about cover my feelings, both towards this movie and the entire series.  And as you said, it’s not done yet!  We have one more of these turkeys due out in 2012!  Someone stop the madness! 

I haven’t liked any of the TWILIGHT movies, but I may have hated this one most of all.  First off, what an awful title! It takes longer to say the title than to summarize its plot!  Moody girl marries bland vampire, pregnancy troubles follow.  There you go folks. Let’s move on to Part 2 and hope we can add the tag line, “and everybody dies.”  That would be a satisfactory ending.

LS: The ONLY satisfactory ending. Except, since most of the characters are vampires, dying wouldn’t get rid of them.

MA: THE TWILIGHT  SAGA– BREAKING DAWN- PART 1 was yet another awful entry in probably the most boring movie series I’ve ever watched in my life.  The first third of this movie is simply a wedding.  Then it moves on to Bella’s and Edward’s honeymoon—can you stand all this excitement? —and then it finishes with Bella’s life being in danger due to complications arising from her supernatural pregnancy.

There are too many things wrong with this movie (and this series) to talk about here, but I’ll just summarize them all by saying none of the other movies on my list today even come close to the dread inspired by this horrid waste of film.  I know these movies appeal to a very specific niche, and that’s fine, but would it be too much to ask to offer  something some spark of creativity, humor, horror, anything!— to make it palatable to those of us outside this niche?  Because as these movies stand now, they offer nothing to the general audience of moviegoers, other than an-after viewing headache due to overwhelming boredom.

I’d rather sit through Breaking Wind than BREAKING DAWN.

LS:  Well, at least we agreed on the Worst Movie of 2011. You know there are a lot of bad movies in a year when SCREAM 4 comes out, and it doesn’t make my Top 5 of the worst movies.

MA:  How true that is!  I really thought I’d see SCREAM 4 on your Top 5 list.  It was Number 7 on my list.

LS: It was Number 6 on mine.

MA: Well, that wraps up another year of movies here at CINEMA KNIFE FIGHT.  With the exception of the movies we discussed today, I’d say that, all in all, 2011 was a very good year for movies.

LS:  Well, as usual, I had a Top 10 of Worst films, rather than a Top 5. So there were a lot more bad movies than just these. But I’ll list the rest of mine in a separate column .

MA:  Yeah, I had more than five on my WORST list too, but I also had a whole bunch of movies that I really liked, close to 20, on my BEST OF list.  That’s more than usual for me, which is why I said it was a good year for movies.

MA: Thanks everybody for joining us.  We’ll see you in 2012!

(The cannon explodes, blowing a huge hole through the exit doors.)

MA (to LS):  What did you do that for?

LS:  I just wanted to get the New Year started with a bang!

MA:  Okie-dokie.  Well, folks, there you have it.  Another explosive ending to a CINEMA KNIFE FIGHT column.

(Everyone in the room runs screaming through the hole to get away)

—END—

© Copyright 2011 by Michael Arruda and L.L. Soares

“MY BOTTOM 5” WORST MOVIES OF 2011 By L.L. Soares

Posted in 2011, Aliens, CGI, Cinema Knife Fights, LL Soares Reviews, Worst-Of lists with tags , , , , , on January 3, 2012 by knifefighter

MY “BOTTOM FIVE” OF THE WORST MOVIES OF 2011
By L.L. Soares

To Recap:

My Top 5 Worst Movies of 2011 are:

  1. THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN PART 1
  2. DREAM HOUSE
  3. PAUL
  4. THE ROOMMATE
  5. PRIEST

And here’s the rest of my Top 10 Worst Movies of 2011:

6. SCREAM 4 – It didn’t make my Top 5, but it did make my Top 10. Another lame Wes Craven sequel. At least it was better than last year’s MY SOUL TO TAKE. And it was great compared to TWILIGHT. But it was still pretty awful. Please stop making SCREAM movies, Wes.

7. DON’T BE AFRAID OF THE DARK – Great 1973 TV movie gets remade as a really stupid feature film. The ending still annoys the hell out of me. If someone you loved disappeared, wouldn’t you at least try to find them?

8. THE RITE – Anthony Hopkins as an old priest and master exorcist teaches a younger priest the ropes. This one claims to be based on a “true story.” Maybe the most un-scary exorcism movie ever.

9. REAL STEEL – I gave it a so-so review, but the more I think about this one, the more it makes me wince. I really liked the robot boxing scenes, and they’re what saves the film, but the scenes where Hugh Jackman tries to bond with the son he never knew get pretty schmaltzy. A scene where the kid teaches a big robot how to dance is so stupid, I wanted to poke my eyes out. Luckily, I didn’t. A movie critic needs his eyes. I hate movies that try to pluck your heartstrings with cutesy kids. This one would have been a lot better if it was just about Hugh and the robots, and he didn’t have a son.

10. SUCKER PUNCH – Several scenes look really good. But then again, it’s from Zack Snyder, the guy who gave us 300 and WATCHMEN. Unfortunately, the script is pretty awful and very dumb. The plot “twists” aren’t all that surprising, and there’s so much CGI that it starts to get tedious after awhile. This one seemed so much like a video game that I kept waiting for “Game Over” to flash on the screen.

© Copyright 2011 by L.L. Soares

Cinema Knife Fight Presents: THE WORST OF 2010

Posted in 2011, Cinema Knife Fights, Garbage, Worst-Of lists with tags , , , , , on January 14, 2011 by knifefighter

Cinema Knife Fight Presents: THE WORST MOVIES OF 2010
By Michael Arruda and L.L. Soares

(The Scene: An old-fashioned “mom and pop” movie theater with fresh popcorn popping in the background, and real butter melting on the stove. MICHAEL ARRUDA & LL SOARES are dressed in blue jeans and T-shirts. They’re drinking beer while feasting on a plate of nachos.)

LS: By the way, what happened to the tuxedos, champagne and the fancy food?

MA: This is the WORST MOVIES OF 2010 column. Beer and nachos is as good as it gets!

LS: That’s okay. I like beer and nachos too.

MA: Me, too.

LS: And don’t forget the delicious fresh popcorn, which is sooo much better than the stale Multiplex popcorn and mysterious “butter-flavored liquid” I normally have to deal with.

MA: Someone should write a story about just what exactly is in that mysterious liquid.  I agree.  Popcorn at the multiplex just isn’t what it used to be.  Yet I eat it anyway.

I suppose we should be grateful we weren’t served water and saltines. Anyway, welcome to our first ever WORST MOVIES OF 2010 column. We’ll be picking our Top 5 Worst Movies of the year, based on movies we reviewed this year at Cinema Knife Fight.

Anyway, would you like to start us off?

LS: Sure. My Number 5 choice is INCEPTION.

MA:  An overrated bloated turkey if I ever saw one!  Good choice.

LS: Yeah, why go after low-budget movies with no resources? I’m gonna go after the big fish. When we first saw INCEPTION, I gave it a better review than you did, because I was dazzled by the visuals of the movie. I still think it looked great. So why is it on my WORST OF list? Because the more I thought about this movie over the months between then and now, the more I think INCEPTION was a major-league BORE.

In its effort to be so damn clever and complicated, INCEPTION thought that by putting dreams inside of dreams inside of dreams, we’d be pummeled into submission. But I can easily say that I never want to see this movie again. In a weird way, that van that takes 2 HOURS to fall into the sea epitomizes the entire movie for me. A lot of it is the cinematic equivalent of watching paint dry. Sure, it’s colorful paint, sure it matches the carpets okay, but it’s still damn boring to watch paint dry. I have seen the Emperor, and I am telling you, the dude is NAKED.

MA: If Godzilla had a mind-fart, it’d be INCEPTION.

Moving right along, my pick for the Number 5 Worst horror movie of 2010 is SKYLINE, a silly alien invasion movie that was simply dreadful.

It had fake-looking monsters, fair special effects, and very weak direction by the Brothers Strause (Colin and Greg). The film lacked anything resembling a memorable scene, which is amazing when you think of its subject matter. SKYLINE is so bad that it was even worse than the similarly themed MONSTERS (2010), a film that in spite of its title forgot to include monsters (okay, there’s a few monsters in MONSTERS, but it’s not called FEW MONSTERS now is it?). There are plenty of alien monsters in SKYLINE, but they’re about as frightening as Spongebob Squarepants and his pals.

LS: They’re all CGI and no matter how advanced CGI is, it still looks fake most of the time.

MA: SKYLINE also suffered from some very weak acting. Lead actor Eric Balfour looks like he’s constipated throughout the whole movie, and while I like Donald Faison a lot, (loved him on SCRUBS) he’s not so hot here.

The screenplay by Joshua Cordes and Liam O’Donnell left key things in the movie unexplained and sported dialogue that was plain and uninspiring. They also created a bunch of characters who were simply annoying.

SKYLINE flatlined.

LS: I didn’t think SKYLINE was great, but I had fun with it while I was watching it. It was just a big, dumb alien invasion movie. I was interested in seeing how it was going to unfurl. Sure, it’s not one of the best movies of the year or anything, but it wasn’t bad enough to make my WORST OF list.

And, for the record, MONSTERS made my BEST OF list—even if it did just get an Honorable Mention. I still don’t get why you hate that movie so much. I thought it was  really good.

MA: There simply weren’t enough monsters in it, and the few scenes in which the monsters did appear weren’t that exciting.  I found the movie stylish but exceedingly dull.

Coming in at Number 4 for me is DEVIL, a movie ruined by its title, and certainly not helped by the guy responsible for its story, our old friend. M. Night Shyamalan.

DEVIL was directed by John Erick Dowdle, who also directed the decent thriller QUARANTINE (2008), but unfortunately that’s where the comparison ends, because DEVIL is anything but a decent thriller.

It’s the story of five people who get stuck together on an elevator and find themselves trapped inside with a presence that is hell-bent on killing them one at a time, a premise that might have been compelling if not for the fact that the title of the movie tells the audience quite clearly that the baddie in this one is Mr. Horns and Pitchfork himself, the devil. Now where’s the fun in that? Things aren’t helped when the movie is set up as a mystery— hmm, I wonder what kind of creature is responsible for their plight? Could it be— the devil? Yep. Yawn.

LS: How did you guess?

MA: Common sense, dudes. If you’re going to write a mystery, don’t tell us in the title who the bad guy is!

The script for this one is a complete mess. Written by Brian Nelson, who also wrote the superior 30 DAYS OF NIGHT (2007) and HARD CANDY (2005), it doesn’t work at all. It plays out as if it were still in some serious need of revising.

By far, DEVIL was the most contrived movie I saw in 2010.

LS: I have to agree. This is one dumb movie. In fact, this one was so stupid it annoyed me. This is supposed to be part of a series of movies based on “ideas by M. Night Shyamalan” called THE NIGHT CHRONICLES. Basically other directors take his ideas and make movies out of them. I think DEVIL did pretty badly at the box office, so maybe the THE NIGHT CHRONICLES will stop with this one. I hope so.

Unfortunately, I doubt it.

DEVIL was Number 2 on my list. So I’ll agree that it’s easily one of the worst of 2010.

LS: My Number 4 pick is the big budget remake of CLASH OF THE TITANS in glorious…er, lame-ass…3D. The original movie (from 1981) wasn’t that great either, but at least it had Ray Harryhausen’s totally unique stop-motion animation to recommend it. The remake has nothing to recommend it. Sam Worthington, who was the only thing good in TERMINATOR:SALVATION and who became a star in AVATAR (both from 2009) is pretty much wasted here. His Perseus has no personality and his backstory is a snooze. And instead of Harryhausen monsters this time around, we get ho-hum CGI monsters and giant scorpions. Even the 3D effects are awful, since they were added to the movie AFTER it was made – so it wasn’t even originally filmed in 3D. Only one scene, with the Gorgon, seemed to be made for 3D. So not only was this movie bad, it cost me an extra 5 bucks for almost non-existent 3D effects.

MA:  CLASH OF THE TITANS didn’t make my Top 5 list, but I didn’t like this one either.  I thought it was middle of the road.

LS: My Number 3 pick for the WORST of 2010 is the new remake of A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET. This is another one that was just plain boring. The reason to see the original films was for Freddy Krueger, as played by Robert Englund. Sure, he was always making cheesy jokes and spouting corny one-liners, but Englund was terrific. It’s because of him that Freddy became such an iconic character, even if the multitude of sequels to Wes Craven’s 1984 original were pretty awful. You could always count on Freddy to be entertaining, even if the rest of the script sucked.

Recasting the role of Freddy was just plain dumb, and even though I really like actor Jackie Earle Haley, I think he was completely miscast here. His Freddy is humorless and tedious. And the attempt to make the entire story darker and more disturbing failed. Instead, it’s just grim and lifeless, without any impact at all. And boring. It’s a lifeless mannequin.

MA: I agree with you 100 % here.  I hated this one as well, and it just missed my Top 5 List, coming in at Number 6.

Coming in at Number 3, it’s MY SOUL TO TAKE, Wes Craven’s latest horror movie disaster. Who would have thought Craven could make a worse movie than CURSED (2005)?

MY SOUL TO TAKE is about a group of seven 16 year-olds who live in fear of the ghost of the Riverton Ripper, a serial killer who died on the night they were all born. The Ripper had multiple personalities, and on the night he was killed, the personalities or souls supposedly jumped ship and hid inside the bodies of the seven babies born that night. The teens start dying one by one, and the film leads us on a mystery tour of sorts—who’s doing the killing? Is it the ghost of the Ripper? One of the teens possessed by the ghost of the Ripper? Or is it the actual Ripper, still alive all these years later, since his body was never found?

MY SOUL TO TAKE has a lot of problems, but the biggest by far is I didn’t buy its story for one second. For example, its basic premise of the Ripper and how his personalities supposedly entered the teens when they were newborns is problematic. For this to be true, then the Ripper would have to be dead, for how else would a soul leave a body if it weren’t dead? Yet, the film also hints that the Ripper might not be dead, since his body was never found. Since these two storylines can’t both be true, it makes it very difficult to believe either one. It comes off as fake drama.

The screenplay by Wes Craven was simply horrible. The characters and story seemed to be a lame attempt to recapture the cleverness of SCREAM and A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET, but in this case it doesn’t come close to working since the story is so damned unbelievable.

LS: The “cleverness of SCREAM?” That’s pretty funny.

MA: I thought you’d like that.  MY SOUL TO TAKE was one of the worst movies of the year, a shame since it was made by someone once considered a master of the genre, Wes Craven.

LS: It’s been a long time since Wes Craven was a master of anything. I expected MY SOUL TO TAKE to be bad, but it was dismal! Easily one of the worst movies Craven has ever made, and he can’t blame a script by Kevin Williamson this time around (like he could with CURSED or those awful SCREAM sequels), because Wes wrote this one himself. Next time, get a real writer to write your script, Wessy.

MA: Okay, my pick for Number 2, is TWILIGHT: ECLIPSE.

While I didn’t pick this as the worst movie of the year, I will say that this movie and the others in this series have the dubious distinction of being the most BORING movies I’ve ever seen in my life, period, and if I have to see yet another TWILIGHT movie, I may not survive the experience.

I’ve seen worse movies than these TWILIGHT films, in terms of the way they’re made and the acting in them, but never have I suffered so much from pure boredom than I have sitting in the theater watching the ridiculous plight of Bella and which boyfriend—vampire or werewolf—she’s going to choose. It’s one movie during which I WANT people to turn on their cell phones!

I’ll also add that they don’t really deserve to be called vampire films. Even Walt Disney created more frightening characters than pale-ass Edward!

The sun can’t set fast enough on TWILIGHT!

LS: Yeah, yeah, this was an obvious one. It’s a horror movie without the horror. It’s vampires that have been defanged and werewolves that have been declawed. It’s romance masquerading as horror, where the members of a love triangle get to play dress-up and pretend to be scary creatures. PRETEND being the operative word here. TWILIGHT: ECLIPSE is a joke, and a bad one. But because there is an audience for this tripe, it continues to rake in the dough each time a new one comes out, and there’s going to be more sequels. So we have to put up with this stuff.

And you’re right. Sure, really bad movies deserve to be on our WORST OF lists, but so do movies that are just plain boring. Boring is the WORST thing a movie can be. And the TWILIGHT films are boredom squared.

On to my Number 2 pick. For me, it’s DEVIL, based on an “idea” by M. Night Shyamalan. How do I know this? Because his name is in big letters on the movie poster. Even though he didn’t direct it and didn’t write the finished screenplay. And yet, his fingerprints are all over this cinematic dud. I think we’ve talked about this one enough. It’s garbage. Let’s move on.

MA: By all means.  Continue.

LS: As for my Number 1 pick for the WORST MOVIE OF 2010, it’s a tie. Two movies so bad, I couldn’t decide which one was worse. And they’re ones we’ve already discussed, so I won’t belabor my dilemma, except to say they’re both awful. MY SOUL TO TAKE reaches Number 1 status because it’s dumb, badly acted, horribly written, and the 3D effects (we had to pay extra for glasses to see this thing) are NON EXISTENT. Not like CLASH OF THE TITANS, where there’s just one good 3D scene. In MY SOUL TO TAKE, there is not one moment where you say, “Hey, this is cool 3D, I’m glad I have these glasses on.” Wes Craven scraped the bottom of the barrel with this one. There is not one positive thing about it I can think of. It’s abysmal.

But there’s another movie just as bad, and that’s TWILIGHT: ECLIPSE. TWILIGHT may look better, may have slightly better acting, may be slightly more coherent, but the story is BOREDOM taken to a new level, and there is not one character I like or care about or want to survive by the end credits. Sitting through a TWILIGHT movie is like being tortured. Hell, both of these movies were pure torture to sit through. And I don’t plan to repeat the experience anytime soon.

MA: I agree, but for me, there was one more movie that was even worse than TWILIGHT:  ECLIPSE.

My pick for the Number 1 WORST HORROR MOVIE of 2010 goes to PIRANHA 3D.

PIRANHA 3D is nothing more than a GIRLS GONE WILD wannabe disguised as a summer horror movie. Shame on everyone involved with this stinker, including lead actress Elizabeth Shue, Richard Dreyfuss for allowing himself to do a cameo in this one (spoofing his JAWS character Matt Hooper), and, most of all, director Alexandre Aja for directing this fish tale.

The 3D effects in this one also failed to impress. And the blood and gore here was on the tasteless side, with a huge bloodbath scene, the centerpiece of this movie, that I thought went on way too long. It relied on shock instead of suspense.

The sex-obsessed screenplay was written by screenwriters Pete Goldfinger and Josh Stolberg. These guys also wrote SORORITY ROW (2009), another awful horror movie obsessed with sex instead of horror. Maybe they should switch genres.

PIRANHA 3D was by far the most disappointing film of the year for me. It was also the year’s most shallow film. A complete disaster from start to finish.

LS: If you truly thought that PIRANHA 3D was worse than MY SOUL TO TAKE, TWILIGHT: ECLIPSE and DEVIL, then you really need to turn in your critic’s card. You’ve always had bad taste, but this little number takes the cake.

MA:  Bad taste?  PIRANHA 3D was AWFUL!  It SUCKED!

LS  PIRANHA 3D actually made my BEST OF list as an Honorable Mention.  It was easily my favorite 3D movie of 2010—I thought it was a lot of fun—and at least the 3D worked in this one. It had naked girls aplenty and even more gore. The story was entirely tongue-in-cheek, and it wasn’t boring for a moment.

MA:  No, it wasn’t boring.  It was HORRIBLE!  Naked women and dumb ass gore do not a good horror film make!  And you put this on your Best of List?  You’re the one who needs to tear his critic’s card and go back to school and take some taste classes.  Give me a break!

LS:  There were so many worse movies in 2010. I am speechless that this was your number one pick.

MA:  Speechless???  Hell, there’s a first time for everything!

LS:  I have one more movie to mention. My choice for the BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT OF 2010. It wasn’t the worst movie of the year, but it was bad, and I went in expecting a lot better from the people involved. And that honor would go to George A. Romero’s SURVIVAL OF THE DEAD.

I love Romero to pieces. I think he’s directed some of the best horror movies ever made. He’s still the best director to make a flesh-eating zombie movie —hell, he’s the one who started it all. But SURVIVAL OF THE DEAD was a complete letdown, from the acting to the script, I just sat there with my jaw hanging open wondering what Romero was thinking when he made this one. But I still enjoyed it more than the movies I’ve listed here as the WORST OF 2010. I just hope Romero gets his mojo back sometime soon.

MA: And for the record, I really liked SURVIVAL OF THE DEAD.  It was a heck of a lot better horror movie than PIRANHA 3D!

(LS rolls his eyes)

MA:  Okay, that wraps things up from here.

LS: Well folks, we’ll say so long for now, and the next time we see you, it will be with the review of a new movie!

—END—

© Copyright 2011 by Michael Arruda and L.L. Soares