Monday, December 22, 2008

The Worst Films of 2008

Here is my worst films of the year, followed by fellow writer, Dan Mecca's list.

This year brought a couple true masterpieces to the life of cinema, but it also gave us some pretty poor movies and one particularly horrendous movie. Here are the year’s worst films:

Disclaimer: I did not go see such caliber films as The Love Guru, Meet The Spartans, or 10,000 B.C. so those do not appear on my list. Also, there will be spoilers.

I’ll kick it off with some honorable mentions: Rambo, Flawless, How to Lose Friends and Alienate People, Vantage Point, Speed Racer, Run Fatboy Run, and Hancock.

5) Nights in Rodanthe

In one part of Nights in Rodanthe Richard Gere’s character, Dr. Paul Flanner tells Adrienne (played by Diane Lane) that the hardest thing he has ever had to do was say goodbye to her. This is only days after they have met and even less time since he had to tell his patient’s family why their father and husband died in his hands at the operating table. Yeah, I’m sure saying goodbye was horribly difficult for you. Then we are led to believe, by a montage of disturbingly sexual letters, that the two have completely fallen in love since they departed. Many people will say this is standard fare for a one-note romantic flick, but I’ve seen it done well in Nicholas Sparks’ other movie adaptation, The Notebook. As the movie ended and I could hear tears hit the floor of every woman around me and the groans of the few other men dragged along I wondered how I managed to sit through this atrocity.

4) Jumper

This movie really could have been good. Doug Liman directed such outstanding movies as Bourne Identity, Go, Swingers, and even Mr. and Mrs. Smith; which was enjoyable. The premise is awesome: a person can teleport wherever he wants. Except that person is Hayden Christensen, and he can’t act. His relationship with Rachel Bilson’s character is just annoying and the action leaves much more to be desired. There is zero story, it’s just a bunch of consecutive scenes that the director thought would look cool. The worst part is there is supposed to be a sequel.

3) Righteous Kill

Robert DeNiro and Al Pacino are together again. This is first time since their small stint in Heat and starring, but not seen together, in The Godfather Part II. Sounds like a good idea, right? Well no one told the actors that they haven’t made a good movie in the last couple years, or that the director had another atrocious movie this year, 88 Minutes. Directed by Jon Avnet and released in April, it would be on my list if I could muster up the patience to finish the last 30 minutes. Fortunately, I don’t see that happening. The worst part of the movie is that DeNiro and Pacino have just devolved into playing caricatures of their former personas. Scene after scene (and yes they are in virtually EVERY scene together) they act exactly as one would expect them to act. The film does entertain in a couple of scenes, but with a script so cliché and directing so bland it can’t last for all 100 painful minutes.

2) Max Payne

The videogame this film is based on is all sorts of wonderful, and mainly because of the story. Somehow this film managed to botch it, taking out the best elements and adding in some of the worst. Director John Moore tried to push every scene to the maximum amount of grittiness possible and it comes off cheesy and laughable. PG-13 as well? Come on. At least it wasn’t Mark Wahlberg’s worst movie of the year.

1) The Happening

"Be scientific, douchebag"

Dan Mecca's Worst Films of the Year:

5. The Happening

For this one I can only say that the once-reliable M. Night Shyamalan did appear to try really hard. At achieving what I could not tell you. Featuring the worst performance of Marky Mark’s career, this film promises the best of Shyamalan in the first fifteen minutes and then literally does everything wrong, derailing into an ambitious, pretentious, asininely-written opus concerning – the environment? I mean, I guess.

4. Fool’s Gold

I just don’t even know how this thing was not “accidentally” burnt in the editing room. Probably because Matthew McConaughey’s too cute. Understandable.

3. Made of Honor

Before I lambaste this movie, let me just say this: I like romantic-comedies. I enjoyed 27 Dresses, I came to love The Notebook and When Harry Met Sally, It Happened One Night and You’ve Got Mail are all personal favorites. This movie demeans those movies (yes even 27 Dresses) so vehemently I almost walked out of the theater several times. But I didn’t, because I was with a lovely girl and I relished the thought of writing this. Don’t ever see this movie, no matter how many McDreams you’ve had about McDreamy. It will just offend you.

2. 88 Minutes

I remember when Al Pacino was the greatest actor of all time. He’s not anymore. Here’s the proof.

1. Max Payne

I remember when Mark Wahlberg was the greatest rapper-turned-actor of all time, even better (for a Departed moment) than Big Willie. He’s not anymore. Here’s the proof. Oh and The Happening too.

1 comment:

Tristan H said...


Jumper?! Fool's Gold?! The Happening!? Overcritical, definitely! lol

Sure Hayden is perhaps lacking in the acting departments as I have seen in most movies he has been in, but Jumper wasnt that bad. His supporting cast really brought it up, and the action and special effects were on par to make it an enjoyable movie. Not award winning but not one of the worst of the year.

Okay Fool's Gold was hyped by Tropical Smoothie and I may have wanted to see it cause it was one of those make me feel good movies, but it was that bad? really?

The Happening, sure it was once again overhyped in the commercials and one of the most key moments was ruined but it surely was a nice and suspenseful movie. Nice suspense, maybe a few cheesy elements in its discussion of why the event was happening but once again, not the worst.

I must resist the urge to look at those honorable mentions. Okay, I cant resist.

Speed Racer, suspenseful, one of the best in visuals this year, for the audience, fine for the whole family entertaining and engrossing in the theaters.

Rambo, eh, I will agree.

Vantage Point, heh, its getting a sequel too :) I liked its innovative way to tell the story.

How to Lose Friends and Alienate People, hm I nearly forgot I saw it but I did. Nice with that one english actor guy I guess and that Theresa part was hilarious.

Okay so I agree with a few of the Honorable Mentions.

You all are kind harsh critics on these films.