Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Film Doctor's 10 most disliked films of 2010

10) Grown Ups

Smirking comics in their 40s display male infantile aggression in front of their kids before the inevitable mass group hug. Sandler's domesticated constraint, like the canned pleasure of the amusement park, settles over his film like fallout.

9) Eclipse (of the Twilight Saga)

I mostly remember the heavy odor of estrogen in the theater and Edward's puling last question for Bella: "Will you marry me?" An uneasy werewolf/Cullen family alliance battle a bunch of damp vampires from Seattle.

8) From Paris with Love

I normally like Luc Besson's work, but here Travolta revels in his American homicidal boorishness and we're supposed to approve?

7) The Wolfman

Benicio del Toro snarls it out with his dad (Anthony Hopkins) under lots of makeup. Emily Blunt keeps leaving the estate, and who can blame her?

6) Alice in Wonderland

All of the wit, madness, and menace of Carroll's two classics get ground into the usual bland, safe, predigested Disney pap. Johnny Depp moons around as the sentimental hatter. Alice gets empowered.

5) Clash of the Titans

Watch the unusually tendrilly and toothy underwater mega-turtle Kraken bubble out of the sea to devour everyone. Yikes! As Perseus (Sam Worthington) says to his troops before going to meet Medusa (in her black bra), "I know we're all afraid, but my father told me some day, someone was going to have to take a stand. Some day, some one was going to have to say enough. This could be that day. Trust your senses, and don't look that bitch in the eye!"

4) Knight and Day

Tom Cruise just wants to be loved.

3) Piranha 3D

This Jaws-wannabe wants to be hip, but piranhas gnaw like Brillo Pads on their victims, leaving behind so much diaper rash gore.

2) Chloe

Amanda Seyfried tries very hard to be mysterious and alluring.

1) MacGruber

The supreme embarrassment, this year's Land of the Lost, a soulless, Godless stretch of craven time-sucking attention-whoring dreck. Watch MacGruber cheerfully defecate on a corpse. With his beard-stubble and mullet, Will Forte may think he's cute, but his brand of terminally ironic humor has all of the appeal of watching a humanoid twitch on screen.

9 comments:

Hokahey said...

I rather enjoyed The Wolfman and Clash of the Titans as escapist entertainment; nothing brilliant. Alice was lacking true wonder - too much Depp dip - though I did like Bonham-Carter as the Queen. "I need a pig here!" Chloe was pretty bad. For me the worst of the worst was Jonah Hex. Also, Knight and Day was really bad. Another bad one: The Girl Who Played With Fire; not just boring - real shabby editing. Iron Man II was dull. It has not been a great year.

FilmDr said...

Thanks for your thoughts, Hokahey.

There were also quite a few films that I liked very much--Greenberg, The Social Network, Inception, Summer Hours, I Am Love, and The Ghost Writer all come to mind. Jonah Hex was so cheesy, I enjoyed it. I tend to really dislike movies that have much promise and then squander it. I almost included Love & Other Drugs on this list for that reason.

I'm aggravated at the moment because Black Swan has not shown up anywhere in SC. Local theater owners tend to wait for Oscar attention before they'll release prestige films.

Erich Kuersten said...

Man oh man, what's wrong with a little estrogen, doc?

I would never dream of seeing a Twilight movie in the theater, like going to see the Beatles live in '66 or something... but at home on the big screen with no one around to hear me swoon over Kristen Stewart's self-absorbed pout, I thought it was really effective and even original - the whole thing flows together like a dream with great editing, color saturation, consistent tone and even decent acting, especially by the werewolf kid. You got to realize, if you aint a 14-year old girl, Eclipse wasn't made for you.

Now think of if you WERE a 12-16 year old girl, and how 80-90% of all films made are for the straight white male age 16-35 demographic. Yet, the girls can still see these films and enjoy them, adapting the 'mindset' of a different age/gender to appreciate the carnage. Are we less adaptable than them, that we can't imagine ourselves as 16 year old girls swooning over a fantasy Pacific Northwest where everyone is sooo into us, oh my god you guys!!

Just saying - much as I would never in a million years want to see it again, I watched Eclipse enraptured, the way I used to be over my babysitter when I was 8, and everything she liked I liked, including Sean Cassidy's 'Doo Doo Run Run' album. Jeezus christ.

Craig said...

Worst by a landslide: Salt.

FilmDr said...

Good (funny) point, Erich. Who am I to object to the estrogen? But I kind of liked the first Twilight film, mostly due to Edward's aristocratic vampire snottiness around these highly temporary humans. By the second and third films, however, Edward, Jacob, and Bella attain a kind of holding pattern of constrained desire that trails on indefinitely. Edward has nothing to do in Eclipse. Stewart becomes enormously dull, and yes, I'm trying to keep in mind the audience of the movie. I just hate to see the targeted demographic prove so gullible. It's like Nietzsche's eternal recurrence has taken over with only the occasional tent scene or vampire battle to lessen the monotony.

Craig,

I considered including Salt, but it didn't quite make the list due to its brainless pleasures (Jolie hopping from vehicle to vehicle on the highway). I also thought of The A-Team, Sex and the City 2, Resident Evil: Afterlife, and the latter camping half of The Deathly Hallows (speaking of eternal recurrence).

Rocket Boy said...

What about 'The Losers'? It had that 'I'll never get those 2 hours of my life back' feel about it.

Hokahey said...

Now that you mention Love and Other Drugs, FilmDr, I must say that's one of the worst movies of the year - crass, insincere, and exploitative. It didn't entertain me for a second.

FilmDr said...

Rocket Boy,

I guess I was lucky to not see The Losers.

Hokahey,

And yet, Hathaway and Gyllenhaal are two of my favorite actors, and the pharmaceutical theme was engaging. The film's trailer doesn't even hint at Hathaway's character having Parkinson's Disease. Love & Other Drugs shifts awkwardly from a romantic comedy/Lifetime channel tearjerker to a Hangover raunchfest, thereby seeking to please anyone who enters the theater. By the time we get to The Graduate-esque ending, I figured that the screenwriters had decided to punt the most unlikely contrived crap into the stands. I hear that it took much wooing from the director to persuade Hathaway to commit to the movie. Too bad she didn't trust her gut.

Shazzy said...

"I know we're all afraid, but my father told me some day, someone was going to have to take a stand. Some day, some one was going to have to say enough. This could be that day. Trust your senses, and don't look that bitch in the eye!"

OMG! Is that a real line from that film? Was the Kraken made of cheese?