Worst Films Of 2011

29
Jan 12

13 Worst Films Of 2011: Joint 12th – An Oscar Nominee

Do You See3 comments • 514 views

So negativity is the new black, and as ever it is easier to cream the crap from the good, than list the best of the year. I saw 120 films in the cinema last year and 154 on DVD, of which it turns out about 131 were officially released last year. But I was a little more discerning, if such figures allow one to be discerning. Previously I was desperate to see the good in everything, and so would even subject myself to a Jennifer Aniston romcom to see if something decent came out of it. It rarely did. This is a disclaimer to say that it is quite possible that the films I am about to list are actually not the worst of 2011 at all, rather the worst of those I saw. So do not quake in your boots Paranormal Activity 3, The Smurfs or even the Horrid Henry movie. Russell Brand I am sure will be pleased to hear I missed Arthur, and whilst Jason Bateman and Ryan Reynolds have no reason to rest on their laurels – I didn’t see the piss-in-a-fountain body swap comedy the Change Up. Despite LOVING body-swap comedies.

So why thirteen? Well thematically there are a few films which crop up together, which means there will be ten entries – with some nice joint entries to try to decide exactly why the colour Green is so bad for films.

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30
Jan 12

13 Worst Films Of 2011: How Do You Know What Number 11 Will Be?

Do You See10 comments • 641 views

I like Owen Wilson, I really do. Its probably out of deference to liking his general charm that How Do You Know was pushed down to eleven, so I could be sure that whilst Owen Wilson has already turned up on this list twice, he doesn’t make the top ten. As far as it goes I like Albert Brooks too – Lost In America is one of my favourite films, James L. Brooks is alright- Broadcast News still holds up today (edit due to abject idiocy, see comments for details). Add to that a real appreciation of Reese Witherspoon and this film should not be in this list. The main problem is that the film posits a question, and so to answer said question Reese Witherspoon does pretty much this face all the way through the film. Its her characters “not sure” face.

With this cast, and James L.Books directing, number eleven promises an intelligent, revisit of romcom staples with an attractive, likeable cast. Does this plot description (thanks IMDB) look interesting?

“After being cut from the USA softball team and feeling a bit past her prime, Lisa finds herself evaluating her life and in the middle of a love triangle, as a corporate guy in crisis competes with her current, baseball-playing beau.”

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31
Jan 12

13 Worst Films Of 2011: 10 – Named After A Donovan Song

FT3 comments • 813 views

Clare Foy is a terrific British actress who deserves great things as her career starts to stretch towards Hollywood – but you have to say she doesn’t look too happy here. Nicholas Cage is an Oscar winning actor. Ron Perlman is a great genre actor, who brings no end of war worn personality to his roles. Dominic Sena is a director who has probably never bettered his Rhythm Nation video for Janet Jackson, but has a list of action movies on his CV which aren’t the worst of the worst (OK Whiteout was pretty ropey, but I have a soft spot for Gone In Sixty Seconds). There is not enough here to say that this film would necessarily be bad. Or even tip its hand in the opening two minutes as to quite how bad it will be.

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1
Feb 12

13 Worst Films Of 2011: 9 – Live Action Version, 100% Less Leaping

Do You SeePost a comment • 883 views

OK, this one is sort of a cheat, as with the exception of a festival screening, the following film was not released in UK cinemas in 2011. But it did go straight to DVD and waved at me on LoveFilm to be interested in it. I like Japanese films and have been disappointed in the decline in distribution of them of late, and whilst this was a remake, it was a remake of one of my favourite Japanese films, which was a really interesting anime. Not only that, it was a live action remake of a film which in animated form is funny, silly and really rather touching in places. Despite having a slightly mangled title, I saw this new version and thought, that’s a story which could actually work well in live action – why not give it a go. And then, when watching all two hours of the new version of it, I discovered why not.

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9
Feb 12

13 Worst Films Of 2011: Joint 7 – Its Not Easy Being…

Do You See4 comments • 494 views

Batman. Bloke who dresses up as a bat. Mainly black and grey, occasional yellow accents on the suit. Superman, big bold blue red and yellow. Spider-Man, blue and red. Even Wonder Woman sticks with the red, white, blue and a bit of gold. I’m not sure if there is some sort of costume guidance when superheroes manifest their powers, but there is clearly some guidance that came out of last years crop of superhero films. Thor, whilst silly, stuck resolutely with the metallics and reds. Captain America, as you might imagine, rocked the red, white and blue. So what is it with Green? Why did the two green superheroes fail last year.

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11
Feb 12

13 Worst Films Of 2011: 6: Occupy The Upper West Side

Do You See2 comments • 639 views

Last year only one fiction film really engaged with the issues around Occupy Wall Street. Set in New York, the 99%, the disenfranchised took on a fictional banker to strike a blow for the little man, the trodden on, the people who did follow the rules. And what a banker – an obscene penthouse occupying, master of the universe with an hugely bad taste swimming pool, Steve McQueen’s car from Bullitt in his apartment and has the leering air of Hawkeye from M*A*S*H. Cos its Alan Alda. This recession revenge film plays with the class struggle by subtly giving us flawed middle management heroes – those who organise the revolution here are the squeezed middle, not even those at the bottom of the ladder. Except, well, Eddie Murphy phones in a lousy eighties performance and did I mention the whole thing is directed by Brett Ratner.

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14
Feb 12

13 Worst Films Of 2011: 5 /4 : Ships & Monsters

FT18 comments • 1,754 views

Yo ho ho and a bottle of dumb. My joint fourth worst films of last year are additions to franchises, which use boats, monsters and lack any real plot logic. Both films are adapted from books, one ridiculously loosely, the other relatively slavishly. But in both cases I left the cinema rubbing my head wondering why it was ever made. And then I looked at the box office results and it was more than clear why. The movie business love franchises, even faltering franchises, an box office is king. But empty special effects sequences tied together do not make a film, and be it a franchise extension or a relatively tedious point in a franchise wind down, ships and monsters aren’t enough for me.

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26
Feb 12

13 Worst Films Of 2011: 3: Horrible By Name

Do You See2 comments • 731 views

There is a reason why comedies always seem to come out strongly in a list like this. When a comedy succeeds, it can be as sublime as cinema get (academy take note). When a comedy is average it often feels like a let down, the moments between the laughs become almost tragic pauses. But when a comedy sets up a decent idea, is stuffed with good players and then suddenly goes off to squander its own idea and end up in a oddly misogynistic backwater, well that is a remarkable let down. And can a film that has Colin Farrell looking like this really be all bad. OK, there was the Jennifer Aniston factor but even including that the answer is yes – this film is horrible.

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29
Apr 12

13 Worst Films Of 2011: 2: About That Radiohead Embargo

Do You See9 comments • 854 views

Expectations are often the problem, rather than a bad film, when you go to the cinema a lot, like I do. And many a time I have drifted out of Screen 1 at the Renoir disappointed that a favourite boutique arthouse director had not lived up to his previous work. The problem being that their previous work I probably went to with no expectations at all and was pleasantly surprised. Pleasant surprise has the habit of becoming awestruck respect, and in some cases films which you “discovered” are hugely over-rated. And thus their poor, but not significantly poor successors end up in this list because the expectation outweighed that of what any film could seriously provide.

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7
May 12

13 Worst Films Of 2011: 1: About As Surprising As The Film Itself

Do You See17 comments • 2,111 views

There is a game that is played between critics and films sometimes. Occasionally a film comes along which is kicked to death in the street like some sort of cathartic act of bullying. I can only imagine critics walking out of certain films with some sort of mob mentality dropping on them like a Derren Brown collective piece of mind control. What causes this is the perfect storm often of excess onscreen, excess offscreen (in particular the press notes) and the film itself being no good. There are other things that will help this along. A commercially successful director who has never really produced anything all that brilliant. Use of the word vision: as in “from the visionary director”, or his own “unique vision”. Sometimes I wonder if it is just a matter of critical flexing of their otherwise weedy and Vitamin D deprived muscles. Certainly we saw it earlier this year with John Carter, a perfectly amiable folly which I rather enjoyed. Because that is the thing with these follies, they often aren’t the worst thing in the world, they are often rehabilitated, enjoyed for what they were, or even ironically taken up. As I said above it’s a game, and getting to the end of this list it is a game I am playing for the second time. I already slagged this film of last year, and had a perfectly good time in doing so. And a year on, I am starting to feel a bit bad about it, whilst having committed to playing this game one last time.

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