Massawyrm's infamous annual VERY WORST OF list, 2009 edition!
Published at: Dec. 31, 2009, 9:46 a.m. CST by merrick
Hola all. Massawyrm here.
It’s that time of year again folks. Just as everyone is finally pumping out their series of lists (to which I will of course add to the pile), there seems to be no end of additional “Worst of” lists to compliment the various “best of’s”. And every year I try to look away, knowing full well what they’ll do to me. A worst of list isn’t like a best of. “Best of” is a compliment. It is that grand exaltation, that final pat on the back that says “You made a great, noteworthy film that should be checked out by all.” A Worst of is a fuck you. It says “of all the films that came out this year, yours should be eradicated from history and contains no merit whatsoever.” But the biggest difference is that while most critics spend the final month of the year cramming like a senior at mid-terms for their best of, they don’t even think twice about the worst. So they write a list of the “Worst films I bothered to see this year.” Often times they’ll even write a snarky little addendum mentioning that their shit detector kept them from the real dung heaps, and that the list is what they actually saw.
Fuck that. Compliments are easy. Compliments are retractable, excusable even. Insults require care. If TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN was the worst movie you saw this year then pat yourself on the back, consider yourself lucky and live your life content that you dodged a mess of bullets there, Neo. You are one lucky son of a bitch. You are also incapable of writing a halfway decent worst of list. Bay doesn’t even crack the worst 20 (and I hated that movie.) WOLVERINE? TWILIGHT NEW MOON? PINK PANTHER 2? Not even close. WATCHMEN? GI JOE? FIRED UP? Get the fuck out of here. I can’t believe I’m even seeing those on lists. How many movies did you see this year, 12? Jesus Christ. Man up and watch some real fucking turds why don’t you? At least try to fake it with mediocre failures, or runners up like H2, THE UNBORN, THE INFORMERS, THE FINAL DESTINATION, CONFESSIONS OF A SHOPAHOLIC or MY BLOODY VALENTINE 3D. But those aren’t the worst either. What was?
In my opinion? These were.
10) STREET FIGHTER: THE LEGEND OF CHUN LI. I try to reserve my ten spot for a truly awful film that retains some sort of unintentional entertainment value. There’s nothing quite like a truly great bad film. THE CORE, THE COVENANT, IN THE NAME OF THE KING - all truly hilarious entries best watched by beer soaked groups of peers at midnight on a Friday. Please welcome this year’s entry: STREET FIGHTER: THE LEGEND OF CHUN LI, a film tenuously adapted from the long running video game series. This half aborted shit stain would be almost entirely forgettable were it not for the genius efforts of one Chris Klein. Either Klein took himself too seriously or was in on the joke of appearing in this film and went all BAD LIEUTENANT:PORT OF CALL NEW ORLEANS on it. He. Is. Hysterical. Holy shit the guy split my side every time he was on screen. You can read my complete dissection of the film here where I refer to it as a “moist, gaping hole of sanity…repeatedly fucked by its own incompetence, its mind numbingly awful script, and its complete and utter inability to even sustain its own logic.” Yeah, this film is glorious.
9) YEAR ONE. Easily the biggest failure of the year, this film possesses one or two giggles for just about everyone – and then nothing but nonstop pain for the rest of the time. As I wrote six months ago: “Jack Black IS Jack Black. Michael Cera IS Michael Cera. And the audience IS none the better for it. In what is easily the most mind numbingly brutal big name comedy I’ve seen this year, you will delight to everything you love about low grade comedy. Someone will eat a pile of shit. Someone else will piss in their own face. There will be farts o’ Plenty (both in the film and the outtakes as well.) And then there will be callbacks to those jokes later in the film. Oh yes. This is not the triumphant return of Harold Ramis. This is the sad, pitiful career suicide that places your face squarely in your palm and causes you to mutter and sputter in confusion about what the fuck it is that you’re watching.” It never gets any better.
8) ALL ABOUT STEVE. Probably the least terrible of bunch in terms of quality, this film earns its place in history for being a misguided mess of a film with one of the worst protagonists in modern history. Sandra Bullock plays Mary Horowitz, a woman one cat removed from being a crazy cat lady. She is obnoxious, wantonly unlikable and completely unhinged. And she’s also the heroine of the film. When set up on a blind date with a stud-ly reporter named Steve (Bradley Cooper) she, upon seeing him, sluts it up hardcore, attacks him in a manner that would be considered date rape if their roles were reversed and complete freaks him the hell out. Steve bolts and makes up an excuse about needing to go on a job. So Mary stalks him.
Every time Bullock is off-screen the movie is fine, tolerable even. It’s Bradley Cooper, Ken Jeong and Thomas Haden Church running around together as a dysfunctional news crew. It’s not that bad. But every time Bullock reappears it is positively horrifying. The movie goes out of its way to set Mary up in a situation in which all of her insanity and social retardation puts her in just the right place to be the movie’s hero. She even learns that she probably shouldn’t have stalked Steve - AFTER of course Steve realizes what a special, delicate creature Mary really is. So, you know, the stalking all worked out for the best. Classically irresponsible and completely mystifying, the film will baffle you from beginning to end with just how delightfully bat-shit insane Mary can get; including inexplicable shots of her bedroom complete with a black power poster and John Holmes centerfold. No reason. Just because.
7) PLANET 51. This year there were 20 animated films. Not a one of them was half as bad as this mongrel. One of the single most mind numbing, boring experiences I’ve had all year. Here’s the play by play if you need the details.
6) I LOVE YOU BETH COOPER. Good book + solid director should equal a decent last day of high school/graduation flick, right? Nope. Somewhere along the line Chris Columbus forgot how to direct comedy. This is so mishandled that at times it hurts, while proving to be infuriating the rest of the time. You can HEAR the snappy dialog. The script is sharp. Lots of good stuff buried in there. But Columbus can’t get it out of his actors and can’t edit a punch line for shit. This is embarrassingly bad, an unspeakable work that bears forgetting as soon as one is able. They didn’t show it to us – for good reason. Columbus owes me and my wife $19 and an hour and a half of our time. It wasn’t a bad idea or a mangled project. It was simply ineptly handled.
5) POST GRAD. How do you make a worse film than I LOVE YOU BETH COOPER? You remove the narrative structure and have the film amble blindly through a virginal female fantasy that finds its resolution through convenience rather than character growth. At least COOPER knew where it was going, even if it had no idea how the fuck to get there. This is just a meandering mess of bullshit flanked on all sides by the insipid whining of Alexis Bledel. Here is my review. As you might surmise, I was a bit abusive. No film tested my resolve to not walk out of a film (I’ve never walked out of a film) like this one this year. I just had to repeat to myself: This is not going to be the one to beat me. This is not going to be the one to beat me.
4) MISS MARCH. There are exactly 4 scenes in which the main character experiences explosive diarrhea in an 89 minute film, making that one scene every 22 and a quarter minutes. Fortunately only one of those scenes illustrates it in all its “glory.” When it’s not busy shitting itself, MISS MARCH spends the next 22 and a quarter minutes longing to be THERE’S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY’s retarded younger brother, telegraphing most of its jokes minutes before arrival, including a painfully long setup for an epileptic blowjob joke involving a strobe light. Take everything that’s ever been done wrong in a teen sex comedy and have it train fuck everything that’s ever been done wrong in a road trip comedy and you get this dismal bubbling wet fart of a movie. “That's why you pooped. Lots of poop. Almost four years worth of poop. I should call you poopy pants. Mr. Poopy pants” Actual dialog. One might qualify for disability after watching this movie. If this is at all indicative of what The Whitest Kids U’ Know are capable of, I hope I never run aground of them again.
3) BRIDE WARS. Oh god. Was it just 355 days ago that I wrote THIS: “Imagine if Nora Ephron awoke from a dream to pencil down a half baked idea based upon having watched Rushmore just hours before and then that notepad was stolen by someone with no imagination whatsoever that wanted nothing more than to set feminism back 20 years or so. That’s Bride Wars. Lacking a single enjoyable, or hell, even palatable moment, this film meanders from lame girly revenge moment to lame girly revenge moment as two women who were at one time lifelong friends, seek to completely humiliate the other by dying their hair blue, giving them a super orange tan or tricking them into overeating so they won’t fit into their wedding dress. For 90 cringe inducing minutes. Yeah. It’s Mean Girls for the ladies that found that film a little too cerebral.” It was kind of hard to top. But as it turns out, two men managed to…
2) OLD DOGS. It’s a film so bad that it inspired a blog dedicated simply to chronicling the many expressions that appear in it. Earlier I wrote : “This isn’t a movie, it’s a series of skits in which John Travolta and Robin Williams race each other to see who can run out of dignity first. SPOILER WARNING: it’s a photo finish. Neither of these two are strangers to the cinematic mad grab for cash, every few years finding their way onto something not unlike a Japanese game show to see how they can be most humiliated for the biggest check; but I thought even they had their limits.” They didn’t. But there was an upside. The film was so badly received that it killed the WILD HOGS sequel. Yeah. Process that. This movie that merely shared a director and a single star while possessing a title that SOUNDED like its wildly successful predecessor killed the unrelated sequel for good and for all.
1) AFTER LAST SEASON. Oh sweet merciful Christ! The previous 9 films were just a fucking warm up. None of them, not one, is as terrible as the film I’m about to tell you about. This isn’t just the worst film of the year, this is the worst theatrically released film of the decade. Fuck THE ROOM. Director Mark Region is the guy that Tommy Wiseau, Uwe Boll, Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer dance around and throw shit at while singing some song reminiscent of the conehead singing from Todd Browning’s FREAKS. This isn’t a movie. It is an experiment in asking yourself “Which is worse” to figure out how badly you would have to be maimed before you sat in a theater and watched this again. I came to the point that I draw the line at permanent scrotal damage. I’ll take a kick in the nuts rather than watch this again, as long as there’s no blood. After that I have to start weighing my options. Seriously, watch this trailer and meet me back after the jump.
Yes. That’s a real movie. After the trailer premiered, the filmmakers began getting phone calls as rumors circulated that this was some sort of hoax or WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE tie-in. They were all dumbfounded by the notion that people didn’t believe their movie was real. Oh, it’s real. Shot on 35mm and released in 4 cities, it is a movie so bad that the distributors called up the theaters individually and told them to BURN THE PRINTS. Burn the prints. Why? Because it was cheaper than shipping them back. And perhaps because the Lord is indeed a kind and loving God.
That trailer is not quite indicative of how bad it gets. The film is about some sort of researcher – the film is never quite clear what kind as many of the facts we glean come from a 45 minute dream sequence in the middle of the film, the beginning of which is actually anyone’s guess – who discovers, maybe (again, a dream) that his research subject is psychic and can see murders going on around them in their city/town. As we peer deep into her brain, we are treated to computer generated effects that would make Pixar employees weep bitch tears at their amateurish execution. You have a screensaver on the computer you are reading this on that is more advanced than what they commit to 35mm. And worst of all, many of these screen saver like sequences go on, dialog free, for as long as 4 or 5 minutes.
You WILL lose track of time. You WILL abandon all hope. You WILL NOT be able to get through this movie unfazed without allowing yourself the ability to leave the room and take sanity breaks or hold a conversation. The film is astounding in its ineptitude. I will even go so far as to say that it is the worst theatrically distributed film of the modern era. Terrible lighting and sound is just the beginning of this fetid, painful, epic wonderland of suck. A truly unbelievable experience. It’s almost adorable how hard they try to convince you that an unfinished basement, sheets, cardboard and printer paper is a medical facility of any value. It’s kind of like a kid wearing a towel and a bucket trying to convince you he’s a knight. If you watch this, and I know some of you will, do not, I repeat, do not watch it alone. Get friends. You’ll need them when the movie slips into screensaver mode. And beer. Lots of beer. Trust me. Sober is no way to experience AFTER LAST SEASON.
That's it. That's the worst of the year.
Until next year friends, smoke ‘em if ya got ‘em.