For the past 2 1/2 weeks, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed publishing reviews for My Top 20 Films of 2012 series. As of February 10, I’ve revealed # 20 through # 4, and thought this might be a good time for a small break before I post my top three movies.
Why don’t we take this moment to look back at 10 bad films from 2012. I’ve gone back into the memory banks, pulled out a slew of films I really wish I had forgotten and decided these are the 10 worst movies I unfortunately experienced in 2012.
10. "Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance" - As bad as you think this Nicolas Cage follow up to his 2007 "superhero" movie could be, it's worse. The only positive thing I can say is the filmmakers do the courtesy of explaining how Johnny Blaze became Ghost Rider during the opening minutes. So, if you are an unlucky soul who paid money for this movie, you don't need to rent "Ghost Rider" to play catch up.
9. “The Watch" - A poorly constructed monstrosity about aliens invading suburban U.S.A., but four local Glenview, OH residents - played by Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, Jonah Hill, and Richard Ayoade - attempt to foil their dastardly plans. My plans of watching a good movie were certainly foiled. The story meanders between comedy and sci-fi, but isn't very funny nor exciting while it takes odd turns into parenting issues and the complications of sterility. Sterility?
8. "Total Recall" - Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel, Bryan Cranston, Bill Nighy, and John Cho star in a completely hapless remake of the fun and exciting 1990 Arnold Schwarzenegger vehicle. I love the premise, but was completely underwhelmed by the execution, and the only character I cared about was Lori Quaid (Beckinsale). She tries to track down and kill her "husband", Douglas (Farrell), with an unrelenting abandon reminicent of another Schwarzenegger film, "The Terminator" (1984). Oh wait, she's the bad guy. Why am I rooting for her?
7. "The Collection" - When Hollywood promotes a movie by stating "From the twisted writers from 'Saw IV, V, VI, and VII'", I knew what I was getting myself into. Despite walking in theatre with an open mind, I left the theatre with my mind filled of cluttered images of horrific gore and longed for the days of the original "Saw" (2004). In this follow up to 2009's "The Collector", a masked creep with beady eyes finds countless ways to torture and kill, including using an elevator shaft like a trash compactor. Let's not mince words. This film is repugnant, but the filmmakers did do one thing right: it only runs a mere 73 minutes.
6. "Taken 2" - With absolutely no dramatic tension and carrying the simplest of plots, Liam Neeson maims and kills a countless number of nameless and faceless bad guys to help rescue his wife (Famke Janssen) while in Istanbul. You can almost hear director Olivier Megaton, writers Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen, and Neeson himself laugh throughout the entire picture as they go through the motions bringing this lifeless, but also very violent, action picture to the screen.
5. "Dark Shadows" - A complete mess. Johnny Depp stars as Barnabas Collins, a vampire who is awaken after a very long slumber and tries to restore his family's good name. An all-star cast - including Michelle Pfeiffer, Helena Bonham Carter, Chloe Grace Moretz, and Jackie Earle Haley - helps support our creature of the night, but the movie isn't funny at all, and instead is just a series of missteps that go nowhere. An utter waste of two hours.
4. "A Thousand Words" - Eddie Murphy plays a fast-taking Los Angeles book agent who is tormented by a mysterious tree that appears in his yard. The premise is every time he speaks a word, a leaf falls off, and once all of the leaves are gone, Jack (Murphy) will die. The film doesn't know if it wants to be a comedy or a life-lessons drama, and neither work at all. I wish the movie was called “One Word” and, therefore it would’ve run for just five minutes.
3. "Silent Hill: Revelation" - A group of netherworld creeps terrorize a high school student (Adelaide Clemens) and lure her to an awful and disgusting place - sitting in between reality and a dream world - called Silent Hill. Creatures without faces (but with blades spewing out of their limbs) cause bloody havoc, but they pale in comparison to the frightening amateurish script. Throughout the entire picture, a startling revelation is revealed every five minutes, but I stopped caring after revelation # 2.
2. "Alex Cross" - Other than Tyler Perry and Matthew Fox taking on surprising roles as a police detective and a murderous bad guy, respectively, there is absolutely no reason to see this unbelievably terrible police drama. With a menacing thug, Picasso (Fox), on the rampage in Detroit, Alex Cross (Perry) tries to hunt him down, our hero becomes the hunted. In probably the poorest editing job I've seen in 2012, scenes supposedly designed to develop the characters, instead, feel forced, fake and false. Some conversations seem so random and misplaced, the picture becomes laughably distracting, and the movie falls apart. This movie has to be seen to be believed (I guess that's two reasons), but really, I do not recommend you see it.
1. "Gone" - Jill (Amanda Seyfried) takes matters into her own hands when she thinks her sister was kidnapped by the same man who abducted her a year ago. For some unknown and bizarre rationale, the police don't believe Jill, and they decide to hunt her down instead. Huh? So, she runs around Portland, OR playing detective while simultaneously dodging police, and I was dodging and fighting my will to fall asleep during the film's cliché-riddled 1hour 35minute runtime. Seemingly every terrible idea from every woman-on-the-run made-for-TV-movie presents itself on display, and rather than buy into Jill's preposterous predicament, "Gone" becomes an utterly dull and dumb experience. Poorly filmed, poorly edited and poor written. Sigh. I feel bad for the actors, but I feel worse for anyone who watched this movie.
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