VINCE’S DISCLAIMER: I didn’t make a list of worst movies this year because to do it fairly, I would’ve had to knowingly subject myself to terrible movies. I don’t care what anyone says, you do that often, eventually it’s going to mess you up. Ever read a film critic who’s seen every Katherine Heigl ass-pile (or whatever the equivalent of Heigl was in 1983) for the last 30 years? They slowly go insane, they start recommending films like Atonement. Poor Peter Travers used to be the best critic around. Now he feeds his scabs to pigeons and buries herring in his garden to commemorate krystallnacht. I don’t believe in seeing every movie and pretending I don’t already have a pretty good idea which ones are going to suck. Snobby as it may sound, I’m trying to not ruin my taste buds by purposely scalding them on microwaved chili biscuits from Am/Pm. But I know how people love lists of bad movies. Luckily, for that we have Burnsy. You think that guy worries about his taste? Dude lives in Orlando. [/end disclaimer]
Putting together a Top 10 list is a grueling process in any genre, but I found the feat of selecting the 10 worst movies of 2010 to be downright painful. It’s primarily difficult because these movies are atrocious piles of cow flop that should cause unparalleled levels of shame to be cast upon the families of everyone involved in them. It was also painful because I watched so much crap this year, and there was so much more crap that I could have watched but just couldn’t. Seriously, The Bounty Hunter? I don’t have the will power to not throw my TV into traffic. But here’s the thing – I enjoy watching terrible movies so much more than great movies because I live to criticize. Vince can tighten his scarf and crank Florence + The Machine from his hybrid IROC while he raves about Hesher, but by all accounts Hesher is a great movie, so nobody’s going to argue.
I find that terrible movies incite so much more debate than great movies. For example, anytime I mention that my choice for the worst movie of all-time is Empire Records, I get yelled at by at least 5 girls (before we have an orgy). It never fails. However, in order to put this list together I had to look beyond the eventual scathing retorts I will receive and go with my heart. Or in this case, my anus. This list features some very obvious choices, because these movies just flat out sucked on levels that I never knew existed. And each of the 10 movies could justifiably be ranked No. 1. By no means am I a qualified movie critic, but I do have the benefit of being in the most important demographic in America (hooray for white males 18-35!), so my opinion is quite valuable. All in all, my sacrifices have been made for your education, friends.
Please enjoy, and feel free, as always, to tell me how wrong I am or point out my glaring omissions. But be kind, because my mom reads this. She started an account to say how awesome this site is…
Dishonorable Mentions: Clash of the Titans (loved the original way too much to enjoy this clusterf*ck of a retelling), Robin Hood (only reason I left this pooptacular new version of the classic tale out of the Top 10 is that I’m hoping a sequel pays off), Cop Out (just not funny, this movie broke my heart), The Losers (should have been better, but they chose to cast Chris Evans anyway), Machete (I’ll probably be killed in my sleep for this, but I didn’t like it at all), MacGruber (some very good jokes were ruined by some really terrible jokes), Date Night (we’ll get to Steve Carell soon enough), The Runaways (could have been great, but they went the other direction)
Movies I Just Couldn’t Watch: The Backup Plan (I f*cking hate J-Lo), The Bounty Hunter (Gerard Butler needs to cut this sh*t out), Dear John (C-Tates ain’t no romantic punk bitch), Burlesque (I’d rather crap broken glass), Little Fockers (my mom tried to get me to see it and I actually told her I never saw the second and didn’t want to ruin it), Marmaduke (I watched Yogi Bear for this list, Marmaduke was out of the question), Charlie St. Cloud (not even that hot Zac Efron chick can make me watch this), Gulliver’s Travels (Jack Black isn’t a leading man or funny), Valentine’s Day (this movie is an act of terror), Sex and the City 2 (even women hated this movie), Tooth Fairy (I can’t stand to see the Rock turn into Hulk Hogan), Leap Year (I wanted to see this just to hate it, but decided to keep my genitals)
Sidenote: Vampires Suck
I did not rank this movie, but I needed to mention this excrement to make a point – including anything made by Aaron Seltzer and Jason Friedberg or Uwe Boll is unfair to the rest of the field. It’s like allowing LeBron James to play in an all-blind AAU youth basketball league. But I watched Vampires Suck, as I watch all Seltzberg movies to make me feel better about my own creativity, as a means of gauging just how awful these other movies are. Seltzberg movies like Vampires Suck, Epic Movie and Meet the Spartans are all equally terrible to the point that they define the rock bottom of cinematic comedy.
They have destroyed the legacy of spoof films that the brilliant Leslie Nielsen and Zucker brothers (before they went off the sanity map) worked so hard to elevate to the mainstream. If these movies were humans, they would be executed in public squares for the betterment of society. So while it’s worth pointing out how terrible Vampires Suck is (and it was f*cking horrendous to watch Seltzberg reuse their own awful jokes as if to openly mock their idiot fans) this film’s heinous existence is too obvious to rank.
10) The Human Centipede*
I have no problem with horror movies and I appreciate extraordinary gore with a childish delight. That’s why I thought The Human Centipede was a disappointment. The idea was unique enough to draw me in, like a clown car crash, but the execution was pitiful. I know a lot of people who loved Centipede, and I suppose I would have liked it more if I had checked reality at the door, but I find that horror movies are at their scariest when I think, “This villain is way too real.” Dieter Laser had me laughing more than he had my skin crawling. More than anything, I refuse to believe that in 2010 we can’t find better actors for horror movies. In the 80s it was adorable, now it’s painful. Show me that the second-hand poop is disgusting, girl!
*Technically this film was from 2009, but it was released in the U.S. in 2010, so there.
9) Prince of Persia
Jake Gyllenhaal isn’t an action star, as much as Maggie Gyllenhaal isn’t a romantic leading lady. Jerry Bruckheimer has also completely lost his touch, if he ever really had it. This film was a mess from start to finish, incredibly boring, and at least 15 years late (what’s next, Excitebike?). Aside from the obvious, it’s the little things that really make me despise movies and in this case it was dialect. Look, I don’t expect this movie to be written in an ancient Arabic language, but I’m pretty sure it’s safe to assume that Persians didn’t have British accents. Jake said that he actually had to learn to speak with a British accent because the rest of the cast was British. This is a f*cking film about Persia! It’s Iran! Hell, even Channing Tatum and Tom Cruise have enough respect for audiences to not even bother with accents when they make period pieces. Jake might as well have talked like a Chinese robot. Admittedly, that would have been awesome.
This is a superficial choice as Katherine Heigl + Ashton Kutcher = Automatic failure. These two could cure puppy cancer and I would call it crap. But in fairness to the art of cinema, this movie was actually awful. Aside from the horrible acting, the plot is so contrived and unoriginal that I wanted to walk out of my own house. Because the characters are portrayed by two of the least likable people in Hollywood, I actually openly prayed for them to be killed. In the film, of course.
7) Remember Me
I watched Remember Me earlier in the year solely because of Roger Ebert’s review. I wasn’t offended by the ending, because 9/11 happened and people are going to make references to it in fictional work whether we like it or not. For example, I didn’t dislike Benjamin Button because it used Hurricane Katrina as a backdrop, as much as I hated it for being Forrest Gump. What made Remember Me so remarkably bad was the feeling I had that the writer and director used 9/11 more as a marketing device than a plot destiny, like they wanted scandal and word of mouth make people see it to believe it. Robert Pattinson’s character could have been stabbed, hit by a bus, impaled on a lightning rod, or raped by bears but they chose – SPOILER ALERT – to go with him being in the World Trade Center when the planes flew into the buildings on that fateful morning. It was way too obvious, and it didn’t help that the plot was paint-by-numbers and the acting was uninspired.
6) Eat Pray Love
I originally had this movie ranked as my worst of the year because it was magnificently awful. Seriously, I was impressed by how terrible it was. Scores of women adore the book and this film, so my vitriol possibly stems from my awesome manliness, but I like to think it’s mostly because Julia Roberts is overrated and completely phoned in her acting effort in a film with a ridiculous and insulting plot. Much like Confessions of a Shopaholic, I found the theme to be poorly-timed. Granted, I am overly sensitive and conservative when it comes to fiscal responsibility, so the idea of dropping everything to travel the world is absurd to me, while somehow inspiring to others. We can argue about the reality of the plot like I’m your father (and I might be) but I’ll just settle for the excuse that Julia Roberts suffocates this film with her incredibly annoying delivery. And it’s a shame because I enjoyed James Franco. But that’s a given.
Fun Fact: Julia Roberts was in Ocean’s 12 and it sucked. Julia Roberts was not in Ocean’s 13 and it didn’t suck. Now hand over my Nobel Prize.
5) Dinner For Schmucks
This movie caused me so much grief this year. So many of my friends despised it. In fact, I’ve never heard such hatred spewed over one movie, at least not since Philadelphia. But my Klan group aside, I figured that most of my friends are morons and they don’t know squat about movies. Plus, Pauly loved it and he and I share a funny boner. How can a film with Paul Rudd and Zach Galifianakis be terrible? Answer: Steve Carell. Every time he was on the screen I was wishing for him to disappear. There were some genuinely funny parts in this film that were overshadowed by terrible acting and execution. Carell is reaching the point that he expects us to think he’s a comedic genius, instead of dedicating himself to actually being funny. I really hope he views Jim Carrey and Robin Williams as inspirations, and not for their comedic efforts.
(Vince and I agree that Armond White’s review of Dinner For Schmucks nails it: “Actors are paid to be embarrassing, and audiences pay to get embarrassed. That’s the lesson to learn from Dinner for Schmucks, an idiot-comedy for idiots.”)
4) Yogi Bear
(The Final Four of this list are equally bad, so they’re really each No. 1 in their own way.)
To say that Yogi Bear is bad is an insult to body odor, rotten egg farts and people who can’t determine the difference between your and you’re. To say it’s terrible is an insult to latex fetishists, men who wear Capri pants and the Westboro Baptist Church. This movie is so atrocious that not even the now famous alternate ending made me feel better when I rewatched it after sitting through this hour-and-a-half crotch stomp. I expect this kind of visual feces from Dan Aykroyd and even the guy from Ed. Anna Faris and especially Justin Timberlake are better than this. If they were professional athletes they’d be benched for this performance. Average people are fired when they exhibit this kind of failure in the workplace. The people who made Yogi Bear have done an epic injustice to the Hanna Barbera cartoon classic. The Yogi Yahooeys are banned from this year’s Laff-A-Lympics.
3) The Last Airbender
In convincing Vince to let me do this list, he had two demands: 1) No teeth and B) I absolutely must include The Last Airbender. As if that was even an issue. Much like the 2009 flaming bag of dog crap Dragon Ball: Evolution, Airbender was also based on a wildly popular cartoon series (Avatar: The Last Airbender) and much like Dragon Ball, the movie version was a disaster of cinematic proportions. M. Night Shyamalan’s legacy was already tainted before his foray into mainstream action, but this film cemented his status as a washout. I turned this movie off three times because the acting was so bad, and the characters and story were a mess. Even when I figured out what was going on, I didn’t care anymore. I watched Yard Crashers instead.
2) Furry Vengeance
When an actor is starting out, it’s more than acceptable for him to take roles that suck because a guy’s gotta pay the bills and earn his status in Hollywood. Brendan Fraser is no Laurence Olivier. Hell, he’s barely even Joey Lawrence. His film resume is “Meh” at best, but he’s had enjoyable moments (Airheads, The Mummy, Kids in the Hall: Brain Candy, The Scout) so we’ve put up with him. Furry Vengeance is the equivalent of a guy losing everything in a divorce including his will to live. If Brendan were a homeless person, this script would have been a cigarette in his coffee cup. Next to this, Charles Grodin should have received an Oscar for Beethoven. I mean, if dancing CGI animals are your thing, then this may be the film for you. But I’ve never been so inspired to sue a movie studio than I was when I watched this heap of hobo vomit.
1) Grown Ups
I could write a book about my constant disappointment in Adam Sandler. Financially, he’s a genius. He preys on the weak with elementary humor and that translates to box office spoils. He’s also incredibly loyal, employing his closest friends when nobody else wants to. Luckily for him, he’s wealthy enough to do that without turning into MC Hammer. His fortune, though, comes as a result of our constant punishment. This time it was Grown Ups, the waterboarding and car battery to our testicles of comedy, and the absolute worst movie of the year.
I watched Grown Ups twice to make sure that it was as bad as I initially thought, and it is. It’s depressingly bad. I didn’t laugh once, mainly because the jokes were so obvious and poorly delivered in a fashion that comedy snobs like me have come to expect from David Spade, Chris Rock, Kevin James and Rob Schneider – the Four Horsemen of the Comedy Apocalypse. Like so many people, I grew up on Spade, Rock and Sandler and now I cringe at the mention of their names.
The plot is unapologetically formulaic – the only guy playing a character is Schneider, everyone else is playing himself, and they’re all terrible. There is no redeeming quality of this film other than the ending. And Sandler is aware of this the whole time, and he knows that people will keep paying $10 to watch him pee in a pool. Some of us watch with the hopes that we may laugh again like we did with Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore. But either way we’ve already contributed to his next big piece of sh*t.