Crash! Landen’s Worst 20 Movies of 2012

I didn’t know if I would have seen enough terrible films in 2012 to make a Top 10 list, but after a quick review.. Nope, I was wrong. One of my problems is that I’ve been more selective in recent years. I think I’ve always been really good at watching a film’s trailer and being able to tell if the film will, you know, suck or not, but in the past I would still see the film even if I did think it was going to be a BIG mistake. I try to avoid those now, instead of trying to find that one diamond in the rough. I don’t need to watch films like ‘The Devil Inside’, ‘Abraham Lincoln:VAmpire Hunter’ ,’Jack And Jill’, ‘Pirahna 3DD’ or  ‘W. E’ to know that I’m going to feel like I’m wasting my time. In fact, there are several on the list I felt the same way about, but they were somehow forced upon for one reason or another. So, in short, these aren’t the absolute worst movies released in 2012, these are just the worst that I had the misfortune of sitting through.

I think I only managed to write one review… JUST ONE of all of the films on the list. Maybe, I’ll get to that later (Three now, but I’m still slacking, but…)

EDIT (3-3-13) Wow, have I watched a virtual cornucopia of crap movies lately. So you know what? I’m just going to expand this to a Bottom 20. There was more than enough suck to go around in 2012, I guess. And I could probably go to 25. There are some others that are deserving. The Awakening was a pretty good film until it’s complete derailment in its third act. Seven Psychopaths made me laugh, but didn’t make me care for anyone in the movie… There are others, but we’ll stick with twenty for now.

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20 Moonrise Kingdom (Yes, you heard me and I’m a huge Wes Anderson fan. This was an extremely disappointing effort to say the least. I think the usage of the kids was even a bit slimey in parts. Bottle Rocket was even better than this. His last 5 films were works of genius in my mind, so maybe I have the bar raised too high, but I don’t think so. This was boring, weird, creepy in the wrong way in parts and the actors are starting to perform in a sedate manner for Wes Anderson in the sort of way actors perform for M. Night Shamalamadingdong. For me, this is easily Anderson’s worst film and that’s shocking considering the talent involved).

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19) Ted (I did laugh at this one. Several times… but ultimately I didn’t get through it. Literally. I have no idea how the movie ends, nor do I care. If you like Family Guy, you might like this better than I did. There was a smattering of people in attendance, and I’m betting more than a few of them were fans of that show. Not saying how I came to that assumption. Ahem… But, strangely, I was the only one that WAS occasionally laughing. There were a couple of times I was wondering why I was the only one laughing, which was really surprising when I’m the one that got up and walked out before it ended. And not because I hated it… It just became more unbearably boring and/or tedious the longer it went.)

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18) The Amazing Spider-Man (As I say in the review, I can’t really be objective on this one. I should probably lower the rating, though. After re-watching this, I felt like I was going easy on it in my review. There are just too many problems with it, despite a decent cast starting with Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone.)

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17) Here Comes The Boom (I can tolerate Kevin James to the point that I think he’s actually funny, but this probably deserved to be far lower. SPOILERS: As Mark Kermode said. it violates the ‘Rocky’ rule. If you know what that rule is, I’ve just given away the ending. Sorry, but you won’t really be missing anything, except maybe Salma Hayek and she doesn’t do much in this.)

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16) The Raid (A movie that I’m going to try watching again. Maybe I was expecting too much since I was given the impression that this was ‘the best action film of all time’. It wasn’t and that was just predictable hyperbole. Maybe I’ll like it more after lowering the expectation meter.

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15) Man On Ledge (This one wasn’t as good as I thought it would be and I didn’t think it was going to be that great. Mr. Assertive and his wife were in New York City at the time they shot this and one of their friends was part of the film crew. I watched it for that reason. It’s not completely horrible. It couldn’t be with Ed Harris and William Sadler in the movie, it’s actually watchable to some degree, but it is completely forgettable… Except for Genesis Rodriguez. She’s really hot. Not even her world class hotness combined with Elizabeth Banks, who I’ve long been a fan of, can get this movie out of my Bottom 10, though.

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14 Lawless (I really wanted to like this one, but it just got more ridiculous and too hard to believe the further along it went. It had a decent soundtrack. Maybe they should have traded the soundtrack for a competent script. Very poor job by the director with a  great cast.)

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13) Battleship (Another big budget mainstream movie highly derivative of other crap blockbusters, this one being based on an old board game starring Taylor Kitsch, who was stunningly horrible in one of those X-movies, pop singer/Chris Brown punching bag Rihanna, super hottie Brooklyn Decker and Liam Neeson in ‘take the money and run’ mode. The surprising thing about this one, is that it wasn’t as horrible as I thought it would be. The word ‘processed’ comes to mind when trying to describe ‘Battleship’, and when I say ‘processed’ I mean that they spent all the money on CGI FX and didn’t try very hard on story. It is based on a board game.

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12) The Cabin In The Woods (A movie that wags its finger at you for enjoying horror movies. Co-writer Joss Whedon commented “It’s basically a very loving hate letter”. His brand of horror? The Buffy The Vampire Slayer TV show. He’s one of those morons who professes to ‘know the genre’ because he’s heard of the cliches like the ones that smoke weed or have sex always die and the virgin survives. Not true, nor is it true that the ‘token black guy’ always dies. Cabin is put forth as a ‘fresh take’ by critics, but most of the ideas presented here have already been used in actual horror films. Finding out the virgin isn’t a virgin at the key moment?  Laready been done, in a children’s horror movie, actually. If you want to see parody of the slasher film genre, you don’t have to look any further than Friday The Thirteenth Part Ten. better known as Jason X.  I would say the worst part is that he profits from and engages in the very thing he criticizes within the film, but it’s really just the annoying Joss Whedon dialogue, where everyone in the film sounds like they’re reading Joss Whedon dialogue. That, and the crappy acting, too. There will be those that call this the ‘thinking person’s horror film and I’ll those people elitist snobs who hate horror movies. Joss? Your movie sucks (to quote Roger Ebert). And the Avengers, as much as I liked it, would have been a better film in anyone else’s hands who preferred telling an actual story rather than trying to keep the audience distracted with jokes so they don’t realize there’s no actual story. Mini Rant Over.

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11) The Perks Of Being A Wallflower  (After seeing this, I now know there are no perks. It definitely wasn’t what I expected, but that’s not always the best thing. In this case, it was not quite ‘worst case scenario’ but it was unbearably pretentious. It reminded me of a film from the early 90s called Metropolitan; a great movie if you haven’t seen it. That one dealt with a bunch of pretentious high school types, but with a far more intelligent script where the writer seemed aware that being a pretentious arse isn’t something to be admired. By the end of that one the emperors have no clothes so to speak.  And there’s no pedophilia involved in Metropolitan… nor any of the other disappointing things about ‘Being A Wallflower’).

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10) Resident Evil: Retribution (The most amazing thing about this movie is that the character Alice can put on that outfit above with all those buckles and straps in under a minute…Now that I think about it, that scene probably would have been more interesting than the rest of the movie. That or Milla eating a ham sandwich while watching someone else play the Resident Evil video game would have been an improvement.)

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9) Deadfall (Craptastic! It was hilariously bad, so at least it did entertain a little. How you could make SUCH an awful movie with a cast that featured Eric BAna, Sissy Spacek, and the lovely and talented Olivia Wilde who is still extremely HAWT even in a movie this bad. Even Treat Williams is better than this. Neither the writer  nor the director could tell you who the protagonist in the film is. I think they may haven thought that everyone in the film was the protagonist. I would say watch this and tell me if I’m wrong, but I’m trying to help people by making this list, not harm them. )

Sinister

8) Sinister (I was told this was a great little horror movie. trust me, it’s not. I was also told that it was an ‘intelligent’ horror flick. So that’s 0 fer’ 2. And I really have to write a review for this one, because it even ticked me off a little bit. Not even Killer Joe ticked me off. When I figure out the ending before the title card even comes up, I get pretty steamed. ‘Sinister’ filmmakers; to quote the great Buddy Revell “you didn’t even try. How does that feel?” The next one on my list is similar in that regard.

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7) House At The End Of The Street (Probably deserves to be lower. I guessed the awful ‘twist’ about a minute into the movie… And it just got worse from there. And why Jennifer Lawrence continues to be lauded as a great actress is far. FAR beyond my comprehension.I thought she was okay in the Hunger Games and that X-movie, but as far as I can tell she only has three expressions: Smiling and the default blank stare. I’m sorry, that’s only two. Well, crap. SHE JUST WON AN OSCAR. WTH?… AND… I SWEAR that was Viggo Mortensen in the dress at the beginning of the movie.)

Intruders

6) Intruders (This is one of those foreign made quasi-horror films where logic is not the top priority. I like Clive Owen. He’s not the problem here. The film has a somewhat creepy opening, but can’t sustain what little it sets up. Disappointing even for a low budget horror film.

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5) Haywire (Laughable. BORING. Illogical. Reminded me of a terrible indie movie along the same lines called Rigged AKA Fight Night that was just as preposterous. No offense to fans of this crap, but I just can’t buy a woman who is probably no more than a buck thirty five kicking the asses of men that are twice her size and are supposed to be trained just like she is, unless this is in a superhero movie and I generally don’t even buy it then unless the woman in question is supposed to have sooper-dooper powers. I’m sure this wasn’t aimed at me, though. I can buy Superman flying in a movie, but I won’t buy Lois LAne, a REPORTER, not recognizing him because he puts on a pair of glasses. Does that make sense?

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4) Cloud Atlas (I have an unfinished review for this one that I probably need to finish. reminds me a little of Cabin In The Woods, now that I think about it. The film engages in behavior that it professes to hate, in this case it illustrates bigotry by being bigoted in its message. You also get the feeling that the filmmakers are impressed by themselves, especially in the early moments where they cut from one story/timeline to the next as if they’re trying to lose the audience so as to seem as if they’re being brilliant. I will say, by movie’s end… all 18 hours of it… I hardly knew any of the characters’ names in the story. Worse still, I didn’t care. The thing that I will most remember about this film, is that this is when I found out that the Wachowski brothers are no longer the Wachowski brothers, depending how you look at it. Crazy world we live in.

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3) Killer Joe (I didn’t know this was a comedy until I heard an interview with the director, William Friedkin, after I watched this. I did laugh at the (very) end, but I wasn’t laughing with the film as much as at it. Killer Joe seemed like a desperate attempt to shock the audience like he used to do decades ago. Has Friedkin made a good movie since the 1970s? If he has, I haven’t seen it.

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2) Cosmopolis Not the worst , but certainly the most boring film on my list.

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1) Dark Shadows (Tim Burton is one of the worst filmmakers working today, I don’t care how many fans he has. With few exceptions, his movies are poorly written, never funny and  focus on the costumes of the characters instead of having them have actual personalities. He can’t handle action scenes; ‘big moments’ in his films are usually relegated to having someone stand in place, posing; showing off their costume. He draws from the horror genre, but seems to be aiming his films at 13  year old girls going through a ‘goth phase’, taking the actual ‘horror’ out of the equation. His films lack any substance, each subsequent film being more soulless than the last. There is no depth to anyone on screen, and the tone usually resembles  that of a bad 1970s television sitcom. The backdrops of his film even seem stagey… fake… even lacking texture. The sets look like plastic play-sets. All of this applies to Dark Shadows. But, fans of that old series will probably take it in the walnuts more so than anyone else. The original series was a horror-gothic soap opera TV series. Tim Burton makes it camp, because he does that with every movie he makes. He sets it in the 70s, I guess because it originally aired in the 60s and 70s, and adds a disco twist, because “Hey! Everyone loves disco, right? Especially now that we’re 3 decades removed from the disco era…” Saying the story is a mess is being kind. It feels as if it’s written as they went along or maybe Burton just let the actors improvise, because movies are always better when actors disregard what’s written and just perform whatever actions that they wish. Dark Shadows takes dues ex machina to a whole new level. It’s a great cast wasted… Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfieffer, Helena Bonham Carter, Eva Green, Jackie Earle Haley, Jonny Lee Miller, Chloe Moretz and newcomer Bella Heathcoate, who is quite lovely,  not to mention horror icon Christopher Lee… but with Burton, who focuses on visuals and finds actual story uninteresting apparently… well, you get what you get: a big steaming pile of poop. Dark indeed. Burton is a regular on my Worst lists, which probably signifies that I’m a glutton for punishment, if nothing else. He underachieved in 2010, where his Alice In Wonderland made it all the way down to #2. With Dark Shadows, he gave the appearance that he might have been sleeping during the filming and made it all the way to the bottom of my list of cinematic dogs. Fine work, Mr. Burton.

Well, that’s my list of crap films for 2012. Feel free to comment and/or agree with me.

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4 Responses to “Crash! Landen’s Worst 20 Movies of 2012”

  1. […] or anything to care about in Cosmopolis… But it did give me another candidate for my ‘Bottom 10‘ of […]

  2. […] The movie, after having Alice and an assault team shooting at hordes of zombies and mutants for nearly an hour, finishes up with what you knew would be a catfight climax followed by a non-ending that ‘sets up’ the next film. Supposedly the sixth installment  was going to be the series finale, but I read that a seventh installment is on the way, along with a reboot….  I had to edit myself right there. This definitely will make my revised Bottom 10 of 2012. […]

  3. As much as I agree with the majority of this list, it broke my heart to see both The Raid and The Cabin in the Woods here, both of which were, for my money, in the top ten of 2012.

    I can understand most aversions to The Cabin in the Woods, sure – I think that Joss Whedon is a polarising figure; but to invoke Ebert is perhaps a bit harsh. Whedon doesn’t aim to carpet-bomb the entire genre, only the more questionable, ‘cash-in’ brand of horror that has risen to prominence over the last fifteen or so years, and I think he hits the mark on that front.

    As the premise of the film suggests, a lot of horror has been reduced to nothing but a bunch of suits pressing buttons and gambling on the outcome. It’s not the deepest of films, sure – pseudo-intellectual at best – but who’s to say that a whole-hearted indulgence in the pseudo-intellectual can’t be fun?

    The decision to actively engage in the tropes of the genre is a risky move, but I think it pays off. The Cabin in the Woods isn’t as overt a parody as something like Trucker and Dale; I chose to view it as somewhat of a spiritual successor to Scream, and loved it.

    As for The Raid, I’d consider it as more of a visual display than anything else – a stunningly choreographed one, at that. While there’s a sure degree of hyperbole involved in declaring it the ‘best action film of all time’, in terms of the martial arts sub-genre, The Raid definitely presents a compelling case for existence.

    Men kicking other men, and sometimes punching them, too. What’s not to love?

    Besides my petty niggles, kudos for pointing me in the right direction with these lists. Someone had to bite the bullet and watch Battleship, and for that in itself I salute you. Great writing, as always.

    (I’d also recommend Burton’s Ed Wood if you haven’t already seen it; considering it seems to explain a lot of his reverence for the kitsch, a la Mars Attacks and Dark Shadows. It doesn’t quite excuse the last ten years of his career, but at least gives some context to his habits – and I’d label it as a decent film, to boot)

    • Crash! Landen Says:

      Hey, Superfly! Thanks for the nice comments…

      Maybe I AM being a little hard on Cabin In The Woods in some ways… It’s ‘professionally made’… It has a point, which I normally would give praise to… I guess, it’s the snarky style (typical of Whedon) that grates on me. There is a happily cynical tone that I guess I personally just do not like in some movies. I actually enjoyed Seeking A Friend For The End Of The World for the opposite reason, a very optimistic film in the face of inevitable doom where they kept presenting typical scenarios of apocalyptic films and then would veer off in another direction as if to say “Yeah, we’re not going there. You’ve seen that before and we have no interest in it.” But I’m digressing.

      I can see why you’d like it, though. You’re the third person I know that’s seen it that told me they liked it. Maybe this will be like with Independence Day, a movie that I despised ever since its release, but I’ll be clearly in the minority on that one, too… Fireproof dog… Mac compatible alien operating system… Ack… I’m not a (complete) hater of Joss Whedon though. I like the Avengers. I really liked Serenity. Toy Story. Even Titan A.E…. I think I need to post my review of CITW to really give an idea of why I hated it so much.

      With The Raid, I do intend on watching that again. One’s personal mood can affect how much you love or hate a movie. I probably was in the wrong state to have watched that one in.

      As for Battleship, that one was forced upon me. This is one where I had the mindset that it was going to be HORRIBLE, so naturally, it wasn’t quite as bad of an experience as I was bracing for. Afterwards I was like “Well, I’ve seen worse.”

      The most surprising comment that you wrote, though, was that you saw ‘Trucker’. I thought I was the only person that ever saw that one. Again, thanks for the kind words.

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