Having recently written an article praising the top ten (IMO) contributions to cinema this past year, what could be more refreshing than taking ten bad films and slagging them off? Well, maybe there are a few better things, like fun times with family and friends, or drugs…but if one did what one wanted all the time then everyone would be dead, so just read it.
10. Rush– Director Ron Howard could have used a bit more engine-uity (sorry) with racer biopic Rush, which tracks the careers of F1 rivals James Hunt and Niki Lauda. The driving scenes were quite engaging, but ultimately there’s only so many ways to make cars going round and around feel fresh. As for the glossy out of car drama, the dialogue is a tough sell and the character developments are predictable. Forumula 1? More like Formulaic 1!!! Also, how dare they waste Natalie Dormer in such a small role!?
Worst moment: In an outrageous coincidence, the drivers bump into one another on an airstrip for a final scene in which they have a competition to see who can shake their head and smile knowingly for the longest.
9. The Wolverine – Wolverine: Origins had Will.I.Am in it, so the clawed crusader’s new solo outing could only be an improvement. It was, but not by a great deal. Dark Japanese mysticism and a brilliant first act eventually gave way to robot-ninja silliness and a bucket load of Computer Generated Idiocy.
Hugh finally comes out of the claw-set. Here all week folks.
Worst moment: Every single excruciating flashback to the now long dead Jean Grey. There are many.
8. Gangster Squad – Pretty boy Hollywood cops go undercover to take down a drug and prostitution kingpin. The Untouchables it ain’t. It’s very touchable. You shouldn’t touch it. But if you wanted to touch it, you could do so quite easily.
Worst moment: Making a big deal out of Sean Penn shooting someone instead of ‘fighting fair’, as if anyone in his position wouldn’t use a gun if they had one, let alone a hardened criminal.
7. Man of Steel – Zack Snyder is the king when it comes to adapting comic book iconography for the silver screen (see Watchmen and 300) but his directorial laser-vision was unable to pin down the all American hero/religious metaphor Superman. Man of Steel’s first trailer was inexplicably scored with Gandalf’s death music (more like Man Of STEAL! AM I RIGHT?!) and the full film proved little more than two humourless hours of inconsequential destruction.
AMERICA. WHAT YOU GONNA DO? WHAT YOU GONNA DO WHEN THEY COME FOR YOU?
Worst moment: Zod screaming ‘RELEASE THE WORLD ENGINE!!’ Impossible not to think of this…. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v_RgNLI1rYY
6. Kick Ass 2 – Swapping the wit and charm of the first film for toilet humour and mindless uber violence. Kick Ass 2 seriously suffers from the lack of big bad Mark Strong and prequel director Matthew Vaughan.
Worst moment: A rape joke in sickeningly poor taste, which lasts about for 30 seconds but feels like an eternity.
5. Machete Kills – A nadir of film making by all accounts and surely a career low for everyone involved. The film depicts an ‘underground highway’ built by the Mexicans to circumvent the US immigration forces. Fascinatingly, a real life border tunnel was found just weeks after Machete Kills was released (article here: http://digitaljournal.com/article/314564 ). Pure coincidence, or did Robert Rodriguez unwittingly reveal the cartel’s best kept secret by giving DEA officers the idea to look beneath their feet?
Worst moment: ‘Machete don’t tweet!’….The ‘Machete don’t text’ line from the first film wasn’t really that funny to begin with, but after the third or fourth recycling in Machete Kills you want to crawl under your seat and slowly suffocate amongst the dried coke, discarded popcorn and bodily fluids of the cinema floor.
4. The Counsellor – Overproduced, existentialist claptrap. Considering the A list cast (Diaz, Pitt Bardem), the legendary director (Ridley Scott) and the awesome trailer, The Counsellor was a huge let down. Below are some quotes from the abattoir of metaphors that was Cormac McCarthy’s script:
‘Truth has no temperature’.
‘I think that if you ransacked the archives of the redeemed you would uncover tales of moral squalor quite beyond the merely appalling.’
‘It is our faintness of heart that would close our eyes to all of that, but in so doing it makes of it our destiny… But nothing is crueller than a coward, and the slaughter to come is probably beyond our imagining.’
‘If you look into the sun through a telescope made of prawn crackers you may find the answers you think you are looking for, but this knowledge will come crumbling down in the embryonic face of the world eating termites, the self-replicating swarm that emerge at the rise of the midnight sun. Counsellor, you will learn the ways of the animal kingdom and the eggs shall finally be poached, and then when we eat those eggs, we will discover the true reptilian nature of human suffering’.
(Note: Also, how dare they waste Natalie Dormer in such a small role!?)
(Note2: I made up the last quote)
Worst moment: The Counsellor (Michael Fassbender) falls asleep in a cafe. Then he gets up, walks to a hotel, and falls asleep.
3. How I Live Now – Cow whispering. Cousin- on- cousin sex. Worldwide nuclear war that gets completely side-lined. Rape parties. Potato picking. Cow whispering. 9 year old girls walking for four days without food or water. 18 year old girls telling nine year old girls to ‘fu***ng die’. Clichéd OCD head voices. COW WHISPERING. Alcoholic teenage boys getting shot in the head for swearing. Cow whispering.
Worst moment: You guessed it, the bit when the soldiers ge- aha, gotcha! It’s cow whispering.
2. World War Z – Less Dawn of the Dead, more Dawn of Securing Rights for Great Books, Then Pissing on Them. In Max (son of Mel) Brook’s novel, an unknown narrator goes from country to country, city to city, taking accounts from survivors of the Zombie apocalypse. In Paramount’s film, Brad Pitt plays an EU ‘specialist’ who witnesses the ‘Z’ outbreak first hand and proceeds to trot about the globe saving everyone. Unlike the walking, flesh hungry Romero-esque zombies of the book, World War z sees them running at super human speed…and they don’t even eat people!
Worst moment: Midway through his life or death vaccine retrieval mission, Brad Pitt pauses for a cool and refreshing Pepsi-Cola. ‘AHHHH! PEPSI! Sweet, sweet nectar to my lips! I guess the zombie apocalypse isn’t so bad after all!’
1. Dom Hemingway – From the very first production still – featuring a severely hungover Jude Law and a resplendent Richard E. Grant marching through a train station – Dom Hemingway looked to be the business. Perhaps it ranks as the worst film on this list purely because of the expectation which preceded it. Then again, it may also be because it was a rambling, vulgar, ill judged and often laughably childish attempt at a gangster flick and quite truly the worst film of the year.
Above: Jude Law and Richard E.Grant after the Dom Hemingway première. ‘What have we done!?’
Worst moment: 30 minutes in, Dom meets an American girl named Melody in France. Fast forward to the end: Dom is in London, on the brink of destruction and past all hope, when who should he see but Melody? He doesn’t recognise her at first, but luckily her name is emblazoned in rainbow colours on the back of her moped helmet, and Dom spots it as she drives past. After a short sprint he catches up for a chat, and then everything is all sorted and fine and happy and that!
Thanks for reading. Merry New Christyear Massive for you and your friends! xxx