Traditionally, I’d have released an “A Year In Film” post by now with my votes on the best and the worst of 2011’s releases. Unfortunately, a quick peek at this round’s Academy Award nominees (as well as a good look around some bloggers’ picks) has shown that I have pretty much not seen most of the best that last year put out.
I’m gonna make do for now with a list of my 5 least favourite from last year – although even then, from some of the blogs I’ve read, it seems like I missed some of the worst of last year too. I’m just going to take that as a compliment to my own taste at picking movies I think’d be worth my while.
#5 – Season of the Witch
I have seen just one Nicolas Cage film in my life in which I really enjoyed his performance: The Rock. Whether or not he deserves that credit I don’t know, as he had Sean Connery and Ed Harris to help him along, and I was too damn young back then to pay attention to bad acting anyway. In every movie of his I’ve seen since, he’s been the same personality-less scallywag dragging himself (and the show) around in a half-panic.
So why should Season of the Witch have been any different? Silly me, I hoped it would’ve been. He couldn’t have gone too far bad with Ron Perlman as a sidekick, right? Let’s just say, both actors did exactly what was expected of them: In his support role (both within and without the script), Ron was decent. Hope for the movie existed in scenes that he was in. Nicolas, on the other hand…you know where I’m going with this. He wasn’t as idiotic as he was in Knowing, or as misfit as he was in Ghost Rider or as exasperating as he was in The Wicker Man, but Nicolas Cage was never going to save our season from no witch.
Is it fair to blame the troubles of this movie entirely on Nicolas Cage? Of course it isn’t. The script was shoddy to begin with. The visuals, recycled. The supporting cast was questionable. Very few of its characters even made us care about them, let alone being worth being cared about.
And most tellingly, there was just one scene that I truly enjoyed: the opening one, ergo, the one before everyone who’s anyone in the movie got involved. No one in the movie should’ve.
#4 – Bad Teacher
It’s all in the name isn’t it? The way this show was done, they took an idea which sounded entertaining and formed it with stock characters, stock actors, stock subplots, stock interactions and reactions, a stock carwash scene and Justin Timberlake. I used to hate Justin Timberlake in his *NSYNC days, then gradually respected him when he went solo, but he hasn’t done himself any favours here. As for Cameron Diaz, I like her. In general. Not so much in this one. She looked great, as always, and probably tried her best, but it wasn’t enough.
#3 – Abduction
The shame about Abduction is that it had a strong supporting cast, and an interesting premise. Unfortunately, it also had Taylor Lautner in a lead role that expected him to both perform action and carry some sort of depth about him, all the while keeping in mind that his character (just like he himself) is a teenager. There was something very wrong about this whole affair; the kids were out of their league but like the most professional of professional wrestling matches, the experienced ones did their best to put them over. Stick to Twilight and come back in a few years, Taylor.
#2 – The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1
You already know my thoughts on this one from the review I did earlier on, but I’ll tell you again why it’s on this list: the story is terrible. With the amount of holes in the script, Van Helsing could very well have run his stake through it several dozen times for all we know. My feelings towards the main characters hit the lowest out of all the films in the series, and that’s saying quite a lot. It’s actually odd considering I noted that the lead actors themselves seem by now much more comfortable with each other than they were in the first flick, and in retrospect Kristen Stewart was actually alright as an actress, but for some reason, the character dynamics here were silly, bordering on soulless.
Terrible story, terrible characters, terrible takeaways, terrible film.
#1 – The Green Hornet
No, I couldn’t have imagined when 2011 began that I’d be voting for this as its biggest cinematic disaster. Yet here we are.
The Green Hornet tv series of old was one that was genuinely thrilling and entertaining, two words that are as far as possible from its recent movie incarnation. I’m not sure exactly what (un)inspired Michel Gondry to choose Seth Rogen and Jay Chou for this job, but it must have been a pretty trippy batch of it. They stumbled through every scene, devoid of chemistry, know-how or even a clue of what was going on – I really cannot think of any on-screen pairing that has been any worse than this one. It’s a shame Stephen Chow had to pull out; I’m certain he’d have made a reasonable difference. Christoph Waltz was in there, an actor who’s been a firm favourite of mine ever since his opus in Inglorious Basterds, but he was ingloriously underutilised here. By underutilised I mean turned into a fucking coat hanger with a cool gun.
I can’t even remember most of how the film went, so you’re probably trying to figure exactly what made this firmly the least lovable on my list. Suffice to say that in a year where I watched Taylor Lautner play lead in two disastrous movies, saw the Pirates of the Caribbean incorporate a love story between a missionary and a mermaid, in a year where I had to sit through that God-awful sex scene in Breaking Dawn, in which I ran a Saw marathon and in which dammit I watched The Human Centipede, the worst, the absolute worst any film made me feel in 2011 was when I had to sit through that scene in The Green Hornet where Rogen and Chou wrestled each other around a living room and swimming pool like children at a sleepover squabbling about soft toys. It was extensive, exhausting to watch and just too damn tragic.