[Note: I tried to avoid bad movies this year, but some proved painful just the same. Things I learned: beware of cute dogs, Colin Farrell, and Taylor Kitsch.]
10) Seven Psychopaths
This meta-pseudo-Tarantino doodle dithers in the desert. Will the eccentric psychos finish their screenplay or shoot each other? Christopher Walken talks to himself on a tape recorder. Tom Waits emotes with a rabbit.
With fake scars on his face, Taylor Kitsch plays an expert veteran "killer." Benicio Del Toro, sporting an Elvis pompadour, leers over Blake Lively. Oliver Stone caters to stoners.
8) Seeking a Friend for the End of the World
Thankfully, everyone will die.
Smart-ass Snow (Guy Pearce) must save a princess, I mean the US president's daughter (Maggie Grace), from an outer space maximum security prison overrun by demented convicts. Since they are all out in space, who cares?
6) Total Recall
Colin Farrell's character Douglas Quaid does not know what the hell he's doing in this ersatz Blade Runner multi-ethnic cityscape, saying things like "If I'm not me, then who the hell am I?" and "Everyone seems to know me but me," even though he incongruously possesses a kick-ass secret agent skillset such as the ability to quickly bloodlessly PG-13 kill a roomful of anonymous jackbooted riot police masked goons, fly jet-cars, and evade a comely Kate Beckinsale (alias Lori Quaid) who made me giggle with every appearance she makes as the angry villainess.
5) The Twilight Saga:Breaking Dawn Part 2
Epic, tireless PG-13 vampire lovemaking montages, magic powers aplenty, Michael Sheen squealing like a deranged Napoleon. The computer-generated baby Renesmee (with a curiously small head) gurgles and grins on cue.
4) Rock of Ages
Tom Cruise slithers around like a 48 year old variation of a 25 year old Axl Rose, wearing fake tattoo guns stuck in his leather pants, drinking scotch with an underpaid baboon named Hey Man. In the lower circles of hell, I can see people grooving to this rockin' Gleepocalyptic answer to '80s anthemic power ballads.
3) This Means War
Two addlepated chucklehead CIA spies vie for the affection of Tweety Bird.
2) The Raven
Truly, the Pit. So bad I couldn't even review it. Edgar Allan Poe's immortal prose treated with all of the sensitivity and psychological nuance of a razor-edged pendulum abruptly sawing some slob in half.
As people expire dappled with PG-13 hints of blood, Battleship raises a question: how much tragic grandeur can one extract from a 131 minute military advertisement based on a board game? The movie's unholy conflation of Hasbro and the US Navy makes sense. They both just want to show off their toys.
Endings: Stanley Kubrick's The Killing
From my piece in the May issue of Sight & Sound, out on stands now, the ending of Stanley Kubrick's the Killing. Nicely edited for space (yes, I went over wo...