Written by Markus Robinson, Edited by Nicole I. Ashland
There was an abundance of crap which came out this past year. Just to give you an idea, “Movie 43”, a movie everyone and their weird uncle (who’s into some pretty weird stuff) hated, didn’t even make it on my list.
So, without further ado, here is my Top 10 (or Bottom 10 as it were) list of the Worst Films of 2013:
10. Aftershock: A horror flick about a group of “young people” who seek adventure (lead by non-actor Eli Roth himself) attempt to find it in a country outside of the United States, a la the premise of “Hostel”, but this time the “bad guy” is an earthquake. The problem is not that “Aftershock” simply isn’t scary (it isn’t, but that’s not the problem). The problem with “Aftershock” is it’s a NOTHING MOVIE. It’s bad, but simultaneously forgettable, while simultaneously being a prime example of why certain people think watching movies are a waste of time. Yes, if all I went to the theater to watch was Eli Roth and Adam Sandler movies, I’d hate movies too.
9. 21 & Over: How is it that Miles Teller simultaneously headlined in one of the best (The Spectacular Now) and worst films of 2013?! Aside from having the most predictable plot of the year, two guys take their uptight friend out for a night he’ll never forget and bad stuff happens (first of all, not for one second did I believe any of these guys could’ve been friends in real life) “21 & Over” contains a slew of the laziest Asian jokes I’ve ever heard (so lazy, they’re racist) including a running gag where the main Caucasian characters refer to their Asian friend as Jeff Chang instead of just Jeff. But worst of all, after about an hour in, this tonally challenged script expects its audience to suddenly care about its loud, obnoxious, sexist, racist, alcoholic characters, as the third act blindsides us with a healthy slathering of unwanted sentimentality.
8. Grown Ups 2: To be completely honest, the main reason why “Grown Ups 2” is only at number 8 on my list is because, compared to other Adam Sandler productions such as “That’s My Boy”, “Jack and Jill”, “Just Go With It” and “Grown Ups”, this sequel doesn’t doesn’t look that bad. But this is essentially the definition of damning with faint praise because “Grown Ups 2” is still an annoying comedy. It just didn’t make me want to gouge my eyes out. “Grown Ups 2” isn’t humorless. But a majority of the humor here is pee pee, projectile vomiting and bird poo licking jokes. And for those who want to defend this movie by stating how comedy is subjective, you have to be some kind of special idiot to think “Grown Ups 2” was any good.
7. The Hangover Part III: Kudos to director Todd Phillips (who should really be directing action flicks) for not giving audiences another carbon copy storyline of the original; even though this movie is set in Las Vegas…once again. That said, Phillips seemed to have had only one goal in mind when making “The Hangover Part III” and that was to make something better than the disgusting retread that was “The Hangover Part II”. So, while this isn’t as offensively gross or vulgar as its predecessor, “The Hangover Part III” is offensively tame, dull and uneventful.
6. Machete Kills: Director Robert Rodriquez doesn’t know when to stop. The reason 2010’s “Machete” worked, was the same reason a good joke works the first time you hear it. But if you tell me that same joke over and over again, with little to no variation, no matter how good it is, around the seventh or eighth time, I might punch you in the face out of sheer frustration. That’s what watching “Machete Kills” is like. “Machete” was fresh, funny and creatively pushed the satirical boundaries. All “Machete Kills” sees is director Robert Rodriguez reciting the same joke for 90 minutes. In other words, the forced racial slurs, the same grindhouse visuals (but with not as much nudity) and the Machete don’t text, tweet, or use any kind of modern technology joke scheme that we loved in the first one, comes off as tired in this soulless sequel.
5. The ABC’s of Death: What a great premise! You get 26 Indie filmmakers to direct 26 individual shorts depicting different ways to die and each short corresponds to a letter in the alphabet. What horrid execution! Because of the title, I had anticipated something scary or thrilling. But for the most part, the shorts in “The ABC’s of Death” are little more than vulgar and/or boring. I guess there are a couple of well thought out shorts in the jumble (one from the director of “You’re Next”) but seriously, the rest are insultingly bad.
4. Oldboy: Why was this film made?! What was the point?! Never evolving director Spike Lee spearheads this remake of Chan-wook Park’s adored 2003 Korean future classic, about a man who, after having been locked away for 15 years (this time it’s 20) is bent on revenge; but Lee does it in the most meaningless and forgettable way possible. In fact, this goes right up there with Gus Van Sant’s remake of “Psycho” as a pointless exercise rather than a full fledged “movie”.
3. Scary Movie 5: Who watches these movies??? Imagine every Funny or Die sketch you’ve seen that didn’t work and then add Ashley Tisdale. In arguably the worst spoof movie ever made and undoubtedly thrown together in a few hours, “Scary Movie 5” is what happens when C and D-list celebrity comedians try to make a movie. Gross slap stick comedy and a never ending sequence starring Mac Miller and Snoop Dogg push this story forward; “Scary Movie 5” is tasteless and downright insulting to the intelligence of anyone who saw it. Hell, even Marlon Wayans’ “A Haunted House” had more redeeming qualities!
2. Stand Up Guys: Containing a watchable premise, things are quickly made unwatchable because of a perfect storm of tonally clunky direction, a script filled with some of the stupidest and seemingly plagiarized dialogue and a wealth of shockingly terrible acting from Award winners Al Pacino, Alan Arkin and Christopher Walken. Yes, it doesn’t help that Pacino can hardly move anymore or that Arkin and Walken continue to play caricatures of themselves, or even how each one of these actor’s very particular voice cadences gets in the way of any sentimentality “Stand Up Guys” should have had, but at the end of the day, no real excuse can be made for performances which come across as though each actor is reading this script for the first time.
1. The Canyons: What?! A movie starring Lindsay Lohan and a porn star with no acting background turned out to be the worst film of the year?! The hell you say! I understand that “The Canyons” was a low budget production, but that doesn’t excuse the 100 minutes of pure crap that I was subjected to; especially with the talent behind it being what it was. I am referring to the fact that “The Canyons” was a collaboration between writer Bret Easton Ellis (the acclaimed writer of the novel, American Psycho) and director Paul Schrader (who holds writing credits on “Taxi Driver”, Raging Bull, The Last Temptation of Christ, and maybe most famous for directing “American Gigolo”). There is almost no story here. A bunch of vapid Hollywood types sleep around, as they all suspect one another of cheating. After 5 minutes we get it. Movie over. “The Canyons” is a lot of: People talking about their feelings and then not talking about their feelings...and then talking about their feelings again. But everyone is so unlikeable and mean and self centered and void of all emotion and then suddenly exploding with emotion, that it is impossible to have a vested interest, or at the very least sympathize with anyone on screen. Also, on a technical level (camerawork, sound, lighting) “The Canyons” can’t do much right, as it stands as not only the worst film of 2013, but one of the worst films I’ve ever seen.
Just missed/ honorable mentions (in order): A Good Day to Die Hard, Twixt, Movie 43, Escape from Tomorrow, Man of Steel, Lee Daniel’s The Butler
Movies I didn’t get to see, but heard were terrible: R.I.P.D., Paranoia, Getaway, Texas Chainsaw 3D, any Tyler Perry movies Follow me on Twitter @moviesmarkus