Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Decade in Review, Revisited: The Worst

According to my count I’ve seen 650 films from the last decade, which is more or less an accurate count. I was particularly anxious to cover the “worst of” list, because looking at the worst is even more subjective than looking at the best. I have a feeling I may step on some toes, but it’s all done in good faith.
Of the films I remember seeing (yes, I tabulated a list) I’ve given 45 Fs. I’m unsure if that’s too much or too little. Here they are, alphabetically…
Big Momma’s House (2000) / Anger Management (2003) / Are We There Yet (2005) / Around the World in 80 Days (2004) / Big Fat Liar (2002) / Big Momma’s House II (2006) / Blades of Glory (2007) / Boat Trip (2003) / Cats & Dogs (2001) / Cinderella Story (2004) / Daredevil (2003) / Dukes of Hazzard (2005) / Duplex (2003) / Elektra (2005) / Fred Claus (2007) / Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties (2006) / High Crimes (2002) / House of Wax (2005) / I Love You Beth Cooper (2009) / John Q (2002) / Josie & the Pussycats (2001) / Kangaroo Jack (2003) / Like Mike (2002) / The Lizzie MaGuire Movie (2003) / Love Don’t Cost A Thing (2003) / Mad Money (2008) / Marley & Me (2008) / Material Girls (2006) / Men In Black II (2002) / Nacho Libre (2006) / Next (2007) / Norbit (2007) / Not Another Teen Movie (2001) / Rat Race (2001) / The Ring (2002) / Scary Movie II (2001) / Scary Movie III (2003) / Scooby Doo (2002) / Seven Pounds (2008) / Shallow Hal (2001) / Stuart Little II (2002) / Stuck On You (2003) / Swing Vote (2008) / Wild Hogs (2007) / XXX (2002)
The above 45 films are those eligible for my own personal awards of “Worst”. The biggest offender was 2002 with a whopping ten titles emerging from it. 2000 and 2009 (the book ends) only got one a piece.
The Worst Performances
Runners Up (Paris Hilton in House of Wax, Fred Willard in Scooby Doo, Ben Stiller in Blades of Glory, Ben Stiller in Duplex, Jack Black in Shallow Hal)

#10: Ben Affleck in Daredevil
A performance so monotonous that I can’t believe this is the same man who played the electric Ned in Shakespeare in Love. Perhaps, he’s only good in small doses.
#9: Jack Black in Nacho Libre
I’ve covered this before – let’s just leave it at bad, bad, bad.
#8: Eddie Murphey in Norbit
An atrocity, and probably the lowest point in his career (and there have been other low points); so disgusting it fails to be humorous and just becomes sad.

#7: Martin Lawrence in Big Momma’s House
It’s strange how this managed a sequel, but then it seems sequels have nothing to do with the predecessor being good. What’s more it has the feel of being improvisation: horrible improvisation.
#6: Jerry O’Connell in Kangaroo Jack
O'Connell seemed to show at least an average amount of competence in Crossing Jordan. Thus, I wonder if he's really that talent-less or just not talented enough to make this drivel work. It's painful to watch at times, and I think he knows.      

#5: Hayley Duff in Material Girls
Sure, she'll never be as big as her sister (and by big I mean terrible), but she does give her a run for her money in the shrill acting department.

#4: Hayden Panetirre in I Love You, Beth Cooper
Perhaps it's unfair to single her out as the film's worse offender, but then again - no. 

# 3: Hilary Duff in Material Girls
It's one of the oddest performance I've seen. She manages to overact and underact at the same time, and still manages to annoy me with her shrill platitudes (the script's fault as much) on life. What a bore.
#2: Will Ferrell in Blades of Glory
There has been one occasion where I have not loathed Will Ferrell, in Stranger than Fiction. Other than not, his talent eludes me. but this is just too horrible for words.
#1: Anthony Anderson in Kangaroo Jack
I can't speak of this objectively because its very existence offends me. Suffice to say, it's not very good.
The Worst Worst
Runners Up: (Big Momma’s House, Daredevil, Nacho Libre, Shallow Hal, Stuart Little II)

#10: Blades of Glory
I’ve permanently been standoffish about Will Ferrell and Ben Stiller since. This is the sort of contemptible imaginings that just make me sigh at the state of “comedy” in this day and age. What a chore.

#9: Scary Movie III
Dare I continue? Anna Farris shows burst of talent at times, but it’s never in this franchise. It just gets worse and worse and this third incarnation is just vile. To add to its badness they decide to spoof every single movie they can think of. Epic fail. Epic.

#8: Garfield: A Tale of Two Kitties
I can’t explain what prompted me to see this. I missed the original (with good reason apparently). I like the comics, but the sight of this disgusting cat makes me want to hurl and with a story that beats as much as a punctured heart I curse the day that the filmmakers realised the money to be made in anamorphic characters.

#7: I Love You, Beth Cooper
It's a distasteful “coming of age” film that reinforces all the stereotypes present in countless other teen romantic comedies – but worse. From it’s unbearably clichéd ruses to its pointless plot points and wooden acting I’m glad few people (I know) mention it.

#6: Men In Black II
I remember being mildly charmed by the original; the sequel? Not so much. Will Smith aggravates me most of the time, and though I don’t despise Tommy Lee Jones I’m not a big fan of his. With this unfortunate sequel I though at least they’d stop with the pairing; I was wrong

#5: Elektra
Though I do like Jennifer Garner (a well deserved Emmy winner for Alias) I can’t fathom what made her think that we wanted to see this movie. Daredevil was bad, but this was even worse because we didn’t get a chance to see Collin Farrell ham it up. Ugh.

#4: Norbit
I didn’t want Murphy to win the Oscar for Dreamgirls, and if this is what prevented it – I’m fine. That doesn’t make it any better, though. Eddie Murphy has talent, but the offensiveness horribleness of this “film” is unnerving. What a travesty.

#3: Big Momma’s House II
What’s worse than the original? The sequel. I suppose once upon a time the crossdressing thing held some appeal (Robin Williams, Dustin Hoffman, Jack Lemmon all did it with genuine comedic ability) but this tired film is such a chore I cringe that this is what black comedy has turned. I cringe that this is what ANY sort of comedy has turned to.

#2: Material Girls
Perhaps, there’s just the slightest bit of folly in expecting this to be good; but I’m not one to harshly judge all teenage fodder. In the case of Material Girls, all the hate is justified. Uninspired, ridiculous and so horribly acting I can’t believe that Anjelica Huston has reached this level.

#1: Kangaroo Jack
I get a headache thinking about the horror of this film. A film about two idiots who lose thousands of dollars in a jacket when the put it on a kangaroo who is not dead. The film is so abysmal I’m at a loss to how it’s not been rated 0 on all the media outlets. Its very existence seems like an abominations to me, and I never want to see it again. Ever.
Is there any film above that you’d be willing to defend? Make your arguments. 
An F is more than just a bad movie; an F is a film I wish would disappear completely. What were your Fs last decade?


joe burns said...

I liked both Duplex, Mad Money, and Rat Race. What didn't you like about them?

Robert said...

I liked "Are We There Yet", in the sense that at the time I watched it (like, 12) it made me laugh. I wonder what I'd think of it now...

The Kid In The Front Row said...

Some of these I like!

Simon said...

My Parent dragged my fragile pubescent self to Big Momma's House 2. Horror.

CS said...

I really cannot argue with the list as it is spot on for the most part. I will say though that I did enjoy Not Another Teen Movie and Blades of Glory far more than I thought I would. They both fall in the guilty pleasure category for me.

Jess said...

I do tend to avoid movies I don't think I'll like, but from your list I do have a soft spot for Stuck on You (it always makes me laugh) and Shallow Hal for all the transformations they do. The WORST movie I've seen is still Over Her Dead Body. Eva Parker is orange and it's terrible acting all around.

Alex in Movieland said...

I thought Norbit actually had some funny moments :))) politically incorrect, but funny. So I would never put it there

Louis Baxter said...

Anthony Anderson is actually really good in The Shield, although I don't want be the guy who inadvertently defends Kangeroo Jack. That movie is a violation.

Ryan T. said...

While I can't fault this list for the most part, just wanted to say that I more or less liked the following films: Stuck On You, The Ring, Rat Race, Josie & The Pussycats, Not Another Teen Movie, and Anger Management.

I'm glad to have seen NONE of your Worst Worst Films except for Men in Black II, but that was more me liking the first one, right?

Now what would make an interesting post is you picking out the BEST performances from these movies... off the top of my head Colin Farrell seemed to had a lot of fun in Daredevil and Anna Farris, while more or less wasted, still shone a bit in Scary Movie.

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

joe i'll tackle mad money because i consider it to be the worse offender. perhaps i was expecting more from the woman who wrote thelma and louise but the characters are so unnecessarily shrill even diane keaton can't sell that mean spiritedness (and ridiculousness) in a role.

robert i too wonder. rewatch and let me know.

kid in the front row tell me which. i want to here arguments for them, my thoughts aren't omnipotent.

simon ah, you poor thing. but at least you have a valid excuse, i have none.

cs i can honestly see guilty pleasure appeal in not another teen movie but blades of glory just irks me. if i could i'd give that top ten a grade lower than f :)

jess over her dead body was that bad? thank god i skipped it i guess. it's a pity though, eva longoria actually has some talent, though it's easy to forget it at times.

alex very surprised you (of all people) come to norbit's defense

louis baxter that movie IS a violation. i keep trying to think if anderson has ever impressed me and i'm drawing a blank.

ryan that's a good question. of the f's the best performance i can think of is marisa tomei in anger management. she's trying, lord knows, but it's just a giant no for me. paltrow in shallow hal and freeman in high crimes try too. i wanted to like jose and the pussycats but i just didn't. i loved those comics.

Mike Lippert said...

I agree with Kid, I liked some of these too but since you called him out and want arguments for each one I think I'll just walk away from that one.

I'm so very glad Anthony Anderson seems to have fallen into obscurity. The only time I ever found that man funny was in his Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle scene.

One thing though, how can Sacry Movie 3 be on the worst list when Sacry Movie 4 exists. At least 3 has one laugh (president Ford), while 4's laugh rate was in the negatives.

Ross McG said...

thank goodness ive seen hardly any of those. i tend to avoid films with the words 'Martin' and 'Lawrence' above their title.
youre clearly way off though Encore with Blades of Glory, which i happen to think is Ferrell's finest hour. And Stranger Than Fiction is a load of pretentious old not-as-clever-as-it-thinks-it-is wank.
You're welcome, Stockholm...

TomS said...

The only one of these I SAW was "Marley and Me." Hmmmm...am I a snob? too selective? or just tired of being disappointed?

As you might imagine, I liked "Marley and Me"...much better than I expected to (I enjoyed the sweet and touching book). I had misgivings about Wilson and Aniston, but they actually played respectably....And, the dog, well...how could I resist?

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

mike there's a fourth scary movie? and on anderson, the man really does little to impress and he turns up in A LOT of movies.

ross hee on stranger than fiction. i won't lie, the presence of dustin and emma make me like it all the more. it's not as smart as it thinks it is - but neither am i.

tom ha. well of course, you're a dog lvoer. i mean, a movie about a dog and a couple, knowing the life span of dogs was there any guess as to what would happen before the credits roll?