And now the moment you’ve been waiting for all year. This two-part post is dedicated to the films that inspired me, moved me, made me a little teary-eyed (and then completely deny it by telling myself there was a hair in my eye), pissed me off, made me yell in disbelief and almost made me smash my laptop to pieces. With that being said, I now present to you my top 10 best and worst movies lists of 2012.
This post, however, is dedicated to the worst – for they, indeed, shall be first.
WORST FILMS OF 2012
10. JOYFUL NOISE –
Ever been to a church service, and you sat in front of a lady who belted out each song being sung with an annoyingly high-pitched voice, and her excuse for doing so is “She’s singing for the Lord”? That’s what “Joyful Noise” feels like. The simple story of a choir led by Queen Latifah (fresh out of voicing her mammoth character in “Ice Age: Continental Drift”) and Dolly Parton (fresh out of a wax museum) trying to win a national gospel competition is bogged down by a childish rivalry between the two, boring sub-plots like the interracial relationship between Latifah’s daughter (played by Keke Palmer – the film’s saving grace) and Parton’s granddaughter (played idiotically by Broadway star Jeremy Jordan), and cliches that you’ve seen millions of times in films about talented teenagers and competitions (*COUGH*the Step Up franchise*COUGH). There’s periodic song numbers in the film – most of them unevenly placed. You will facepalm yourself so hard when you see and hear Jeremy’s “gospel” version of Usher’s “Yeah” (I shit you not!) and you will scream in agony when you hear arguably the WORST song from a Hollywood movie for 2012: Dolly Parton’s mushy, sickeningly sweet “From Here to the Moon and Back”. The script is poorly written, the dialogue is cringe-worthy (“RESPECT MY SNORING!” says Latifah in one scene), and the acting is reminiscent of a badly-made TV movie. I’m looking at you, Lifetime! Sitting through 4 hours of church is worth more than sitting through the 2 hours it takes for “Joyful Noise” to end. Now can I get an AMEN?!
9. ICE AGE: CONTINENTAL DRIFT –
“OH NO, HE DIDN’T!” Oh yes, I surely did! I just had to include an animated film to this list, and “Ice Age: Continental Drift”, one of the most disappointing sequels of 2012, comes in at Number 9. The Ice Age franchise is thawed out of cryogenic slumber yet again, and what I received was a recycled, forgettable story (I don’t even remember what the hell this movie was about), irritating characters (Wanda Sykes as Sid’s ANNOYING Granny comes to mind, and its questionable cast (Drake and Nicki Minaj ….yes, THE Drake and Nicki Minaj…. play MAMMOTHS in the film! WTF?!!). The visuals alone will keep kids bug-eyed and alert from start to end, and the story itself will bore the fuck out of anyone over the age of 12 years old (like I was when I saw it). “Ice Age 4” had so much potential of becoming an actual family movie that BOTH kids and parents can enjoy. But if the parents can’t help but look at their watches instead of the screen, what’s the point? Sticking your tongue into a frozen pole is way more entertaining than sitting through this visual exercise in potty training. Unless you’re a true fan of “Ice Age”, more particularly the further adventures of Scrat, skip this shit!
8. A THOUSAND WORDS –
Recently, in tribute to Eddie Murphy’s critical and commercial dud ‘A Thousand Words”, I wrote an explicit, brutally-honest thousand-word review on how the film failed on every single level – from story to acting to comic timing to actual comedy. I had fun writing that review, but why waste time repeating myself – and stating the obvious? So I’ll spare you the misery, and present to you (non-explicitly) TEN WORDS ON “A THOUSAND WORDS”‘
“Choose “Lincoln”. Don’t choose “A Thousand Words”. Watch movies responsibly”
7. GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE –
What’s a Worst Films list without good ol’ Nicolas Cage? Last year, he made it to my Worst Films of the Year list with the 3D action/fantasy/horror/whatchamacallit “Drive Angry” (which apparently is exactly what many moviegoers did after they wasted their money on that piece of shit). In 2012, Nick Cage gave us “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance”, the unneeded sequel to the disappointing 2007 film “Ghost Rider”. Here, our hero, Johnny Blaze (played by Cage), tries to save a boy from being sacrificed by the Devil in order to unleash the Antichrist into the world….or something like that. The directing duo of Mark Neveldine and Brian Taylor, who gave us the high-octane, hyper-stylized Crank and Crank 2: High Voltage, gives us blatantly fake action scenes, undeveloped characters and monotonous visual effects. And Nicolas Cage….well, what did you expect from Nicolas Cage at this stage in his acting career? Superhero movies don’t get any worse than “Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance”. You can believe that!
6. RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION –
The next film in this already-dying franchise should be titled “Resident Evil: CONCLUSION”. I won’t be surprised if millions of moviegoers rush to the nearest movie theater to see it. I guarantee it’ll be the “Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2” of 2013. With that being said, “Resident Evil: Retribution” gives us the same shit from the previous four films, and nothing more. The story is boring and uninspired, the acting is flat and effortless, and the action scenes look and feel like something out of a cartoon. In short, stick to “Resident Evil 6” (the game, that is) and avoid this movie at all costs.
5. UNDERWORLD: AWAKENING –
What happens when you create a story with enough history and exposition to last three films, only to realize that you have no clue as to what direction the story is going? I can safely assume this is the main problem with “Underworld: Awakening”, the majestically disappointing fourth film in the the fan-favourite movie franchise. What could have been a great continuation into the adventures of the vampire Selene (played once again by Kate Beckinsale) turned out to be a terrible, poorly-executed attempt at action/horror film-making. You do not give a rat’s ass about the story or the characters in the story, not even Selene. And similar to “Resident Evil: Inquisition”…oops, I mean “Retribution”, the story feels like a live-action video game, complete with levels, bosses and one-dimensional characters. “Underworld: Regurgitating”….oops, I mean “Awakening” is a slap to the face of anyone who appreciated the first three films, an insult to anyone seeking enjoyment from an action-horror film and a total fucking waste of time in general.
4. TAKEN 2 –
“I don’t know if Olivier Megaton….or Megatron….is actually your real name. Sounds like a fucking French Transformer or something. Megaton…. MEGATRON. Anyway, I don’t know why you were hired to direct a sequel to a film that didn’t NEED a sequel. And if you’re looking for positive feedback, you won’t get any from me. Now, what I have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a year and a half of film reviews. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you reimburse me the money I wasted on “Taken 2″, that’ll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don’t, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you”
Need I say more?
3. LIZ & DICK –
Yes, I know! It’s not a Hollywood film. But it is about the love affair between Hollywood legends Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. And it is a Lifetime movie, and a PUTRID one at that! And that’s coming from someone who doesn’t even watch the Lifetime Channel! Starring America’s ‘sweetheart’ Lindsay Lohan as Elizabeth Taylor (the logic behind that is BAFFLING) and Grant Bowler as Richard Burton, “Liz & Dick” boasts horrendous acting, corny dialogue, cheesy music, a badly-written story, and a lack of proper make-up artistry (Lindsay and Grant look the same as years go by in the film. The logic behind that is also BAFFLING). The film is every bit as pointless and talentless as the actress standing in the poster. While it may end up becoming a cult classic in due time by fans of movies that are so bad they’re good (yes, there are movies like that, folks!), “Liz & Dick” is yet another nail in the coffin of Lindsay Lohan’s career. But fuck it! At least we’ll always have “Mean Girls”.
2. THAT’S MY BOY –
It’s a 2012 film starring Adam Sandler. What more do you want me to say?
Which leads me to my NUMBER ONE pick for WORST FILM of 2012.
1. PIRANHA 3DD –
No other film this year infuriated me more than “Piranha 3DD”. To the untrained eye, it’s easy to nitpick this movie. I mean, look at the fucking title! But to me, personally, I felt offended – and betrayed. I will unashamedly admit that I was a HUGE fan of the 2010″Piranha 3D” film. Yes, it was gory and sleazy – but honestly what did you expect from a film about horny Spring Breakers getting slaughtered by killer fish? But most importantly, it was highly entertaining, never took itself too seriously (which is good for a horror comedy – which is what the film was), and it was fucking HILARIOUS! Think of it as the best (for being intentionally funny and entertaining) SyFy Original Movie ever made. However, “Piranha 3DD” felt more like a shitty, intentionally terrible…and dare I say typical …SyFy Original Movie. The story, which sets the action in a water park instead of the open beach, is ridiculous to say the least. The acting talents of Danielle Panabaker and Ving Rhames, among others, are wasted. Cameos by washed-up actors like Gary Busey and David Hasselhoff are ineffective and unfunny. Seeing the pot belly of Hasselhoff as he runs to the theme song of his signature TV series “Baywatch” is painful to watch. The piranha themselves look fake and badly rendered, and the death scenes lack the visceral glee and over-the-top humour of the original film. For example, after having sex, a guy ends up with a piranha on his dick. Am I supposed to laugh my ass off when I see him chop it off? Hell fucking no! Ultimately, “Piranha 3DD” was a piss-poor attempt to re-capture the spirit that made “Piranha 3D” such a hit with both moviegoers and critics. After seeing the film for the first and only time, I was so pissed off that I wrote a hate-filled review/rant which I posted only a few hours later. And I know that I’ll regret seeing this film for years, even decades, to come. “Piranha 3DD”, you’re officially the WORST film I’ve seen in 2012. Now take a bow.