Let's make this clear, writing a "Top Ten" list for the worst films you have seen in a year is never fun and as such you find little inspiration while writing about them. As such my reasons for disliking a film are probably not very deep, but here you have my
TOP TEN WORST FILMS OF 2012
10. CLOUD ATLAS
This film has the most ambition on this list, but ambition means nothing if the end result is poor. While technically proficient, “Cloud Atlas” is littered with terrible performances and the decision to have actors portray multiple roles has backfired on the Wachowski’s and Tom Tykwer who co-directed this mess. Although the film is meant to be very deep on the notion that everything is connected, for me I did not believe the reality of any of the stories (with the exception of the one starring Ben Whishaw as the composer and parts of the 1970’s reporter segment), and some of them were downright embarrassing (the Jim Broadbent segment where he is institutionalized is just shocking). The constant change in tone also never worked taking me completely out of the film to the point that I lost interest completely. To be fair, “Cloud Atlas” is beautifully designed, but narratively (at least for me) it just does not work at all.
9. THE CAMPAIGN
When the trailer for this movie first hit the internet, I thought it was very funny and looked forward to seeing Will Ferrell in top form again. Along with Zach Galifianakis, who for once seemed to be playing someone a little different than he was used to doing, it looked like “The Campaign” couldn’t fail. Sadly the film hit was a massive thud; it was just not funny at all. I was hoping for at least some sort of satirical element in regards American politics, but ultimately just got the worse of Ferrell constantly mugging for the camera. The film had no bite in it at all and it was an absolute bore.
8. THE HUNGER GAMES
When “The Hunger Games” came out, I will admit that I had little interest in it. I had not read the books or knew anything about them, and frankly the trailers for the film didn’t inspire much hope. However then all of the positive reviews started to appear and so I decided to check out what all the hype was about. I shouldn’t have bothered because “The Hunger Games” was beyond terrible. The film barely made sense (you should not have to read the book before seeing the film to understand it) and the way the film was shot with its shaky-cam style was nauseating and counter-productive because I never could understand what was going on or who was getting killed during the action scenes. The worst thing about this film franchise is that we have lost talented young actress Jennifer Lawrence to it for another three (they are breaking up the last book into two films) films. I will not be watching the sequels.
7. MINE GAMES
The tragedy of “Mine Games” is that it has all the ingredients to be an awesome movie; it is just handled so badly. It saddens me to thoroughly trash an Australian film but from even a technical standpoint “Mine Games” is an embarrassment. The cinematography is dull, the sets are amateurish at best (which look worse than they should due to being over-lit) and there is barely a good performance by anyone in the film. However the storyline which has a “Twilight Zone” style twist is so cool that it really needed a director who understood its strengths to make the film work. To see how this film should have been done, check out the superior effort “Triangle” by British director Christopher Smith. Click here to read my original review.
6. ERRORS OF THE HUMAN BODY
Here we have another film that I saw at MIFF that bored the life out of me, so much so that some five months after seeing the film I remember very little about it. That speaks volumes, doesn’t it ? I know that the film was a medical thriller about a doctor dealing with his son’s death to a rare disease. I remember that it was ugly to look at and confusing as to exactly what was going on, but what struck me the most surprising was the boring performance from Michael Eklund in the main role of the doctor (he was amazing in “The Divide” which was incidentally written by the director of this film). At the end of the film, there are some Cronenberg-like body horror images but it is too late by then because I had long lost interest in the film. Click here to read my original review.
This was one of my four most anticipated films of 2011 (back when the film had the much cooler sounding title “Twixt Now and Sunrise”), so you can understand how disappointing it had to be to end up on my 2012 “worst films” list. It is seriously hard to imagine that the director of masterpieces the likes of “The Godfather”, “Apocalypse Now” and “The Conversation” had anything to do with this mess, but it is sadly true. None of Francis Ford Coppola’s genius is on display here as the master attempts his version of a horror film. Sadly “Twixt” is neither thrilling or scary, nor entertaining. What is the most baffling about “Twixt” though (besides its nonsical storyline) is just how bad and flat the cinematography is by Mihai Malaimare Jr. He was the cinematographer on Coppola’s previous two films and he did outstanding work on both, not to mention his stunning work on Paul Thomas Anderson’s “The Master”, so what went wrong here? The film also has two inexplicable scenes shot in 3D for no purpose what-so-ever that look ridiculous, and almost everyone gives terrible performances in the film. Even the always great Elle Fanning puts in a dud here. The only fun to be had in “Twixt” is a bit of by-play between Val Kilmer and Bruce Dern who appear to be having fun in their roles. Click here to read my original review.
4. ABRAHAM LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER
Just from the film’s title alone, it is obvious that the tone of this film has its tongue firmly planted in its cheek, so to go into it expecting anything but ridiculous fun is a mistake. However this is what I did, and alas I found that there was no fun at all to be had with this stupid film. There was once a time when it looked like Russian director Timur Bekmambetov was going to become an excitingly bold and visual director, but after this film I care little for what he does next. It’s true he still can create pretty pictures in his action scenes, but the entire film had no heart whatsoever and its over reliance on CGI was truly depressing. I feel sorry for the actors in this film who had nothing to work with thanks again to another truly poor script by writer Seth Grahame-Smith (whose own novel he adapted). I understand the film is not meant to be serious and is just meant to be some light fun, but I found it excruciatingly boring which made the relatively modest running time seem like an eternity.
More than any other film on this list, “V/H/S” made me very angry, for two different reasons. The first was simply because of the lack of quality in this seriously poor “found footage” horror film. With the exception of Ti West’s segment, “V/H/S” had some of the lamest scenes of horror I had ever seen in a film. Before seeing the film, it had been getting rave reviews from horror websites all over claiming it to be the saviour of the “found footage” genre. However I feel like this was more just looking out for their buddy rather than giving truthful reviews for the film because the film was produced by Brad Miska who also runs the “Bloody Disgusting” website. I absolutely hated this film with a passion. The other reason why it made me so angry was it clashed with (I saw the film at MIFF) a screening of Abbas Kiarostami’s latest film “Like Someone In Love”, a film I have still been unable to see. I will forever kick myself for choosing this lame “horror” film over Kiarostami. Click here to read my original review.
2. THE MAN WITH THE IRON FISTS
When the trailers came out for this film, I didn’t think it looked very good at all, but being a lifelong fan of martial arts flicks I decided to give it a shot, especially because I had heard that the director Rza was also such a fan and this was his tribute to said films. Well he may be a fan but he clearly does not understand what makes them so good because “The Man With The Iron Fists” was just an embarrassment. First of all, the screenplay is pathetic and none of the characters are in any way interesting. The only person who seems to be having any fun in the film is Russell Crowe, and I have no idea what he is doing in this type of terrible film. Normally with a martial arts you can look past a terrible story if the fights are any good, but even here the film failed. They were poorly shot and edited and my heart was shattered when the end credits came up and it mentioned that the fights were choreographed by my once favourite Corey Yuen. Man, it is sad to see how far he has fallen.
1. THIS MEANS WAR
1. THIS MEANS WAR
Initially I thought “The Man With The Iron Fists” was going to be my worst film of the year until I went through my list of films I had watched in 2012 and saw this title. “This Means War” is so bad that I had erased it from my mind that I had ever seen it. The only reason I saw this film was because Tom Hardy was in the cast, but even he couldn’t save this dud, in fact this was the worst performance I had seen from Hardy, a man incapable of giving a bad performance. The blame has to be piled onto McG, one of the biggest directorial hacks working in Hollywood today. He has no idea how to tell a story and visually he hasn’t a clue. I cannot really talk more about the film because I literally remember very little of it. What I do remember though is how disgusted I was after watching it. Avoid at all costs.
Well now that that is over, let's get onto the good stuff.
Well now that that is over, let's get onto the good stuff.