1 January 2011

The Mad Prophet's Bottom 10 Films of 2010

Happy New Year! Out with the old, in with the new, and whatnot! We'll miss 2010, as we're thrust into the cold light of 2011. As we leave behind cinema like Inception and The Social Network and squint at the uncertain future to be had in a whole year's worth of upcoming movies. As we slowly and sickeningly realise that we're once again in a year that has a new Transformers film scheduled for release.

But you know, 2010 wasn't all great. If I compile a bottom 10 list, for instance, there still wouldn't be enough room for some of the really rubbish stuff. I'd have to give dishonourable mentions to such joyless films as From Paris With Love and Wall Street- Money Never Sleeps and Takers just because I couldn't fit them into the ten spaces available.

What would that look like, that bottom 10? Seeing as how we're waiting around for the final 10 favourites, let's pinch our noses and have a gander...


10. The Last Airbender (dir. M. Night Shyamalan)

"So low/high on the list?", I hear you cry in dismay? There was a point where I at least conceded the thrill of the special effects and the cinematography by Lord of the Rings DP Andrew Lesnie was enough to elevate this one out of the pits of the year. However, I can't discount how shit the story and everything else about it was, no matter how much I like the source material. A wasted opportunity of cataclysmic awfulness- go and watch the season of the animated series that this film is based on instead.

9. Shank (dir. Mo Ali)

Only in compiling this list did I realise that I forgot to review this film on here, but I did cover it for Den of Geek. In a world where nobody uses an S where a Z will do, this comes as a cross between Mad Max and Ken Korda's magnum opus Speeding on the Needlebliss, from The Adam and Joe Show. The thing reeks of inexperience in a way that I can't forgive. It shares its name with an apparently much better film from 2009, which sucks because it's already confused enough without being confused with something else.

8. Little Fockers (dir. Paul Weitz)

One of two late entries on the list, Little Fockers marks the boiling point for the complete combustion of Robert DeNiro's career. It's lazy, it sets up jokes that go nowhere, and it also has jokes with set-ups that are entirely too obvious, and most depressingly, it's DeNiro's second film on the trot that co-stars Jessica Alba. It has a disjointed narrative, in which there is no development of characters, and neither are there any laughs to be had. Who cares if the actors had fun making it? I had no bloody fun watching it.

7. Life as We Know It (dir. Greg Berlanti)

Filmed on location on planet Earth, Life as We Know It is a thing of perverse contrivance, which has nothing even close to the romantic feelings it's supposed to evoke. Katherine Heigl continues to be such a hateful presence that she crushes every leading man she's paired with underfoot in mushy displays of obnoxious behaviour and self-importance. Poor Josh Duhamel, is what I'd say if he were any better. Predictable, inscrutable, and once again, capital-P Perverse.

6. A Nightmare On Elm Street (dir. Samuel Bayer)

What is it about brown and green colour-grading that's so popular in shit American horror movies these days? Is it that watching through the fug of what looks like shit and snot is meant to distance us as viewers from just how excruciatingly bad Platinum Dunes remakes like A Nightmare On Elm Street actually are. This is the second year running that Michael Bay's horror-raping production company has made something unworthy enough for the bottom 10, and in 2011, we're promised a remake of The Birds. Yes, Hitchcock's The Birds. In that much at least, I'm very scared, but nothing else is frightening in movies like this.

5. Valentine's Day (dir. Garry Marshall)


The existence of this one is probably least surprising of all the films on this list- the world was yearning for that film that crossed Short Cuts with one of those 15-word crossword magazine tie-breakers that starts "Love is..." This vomit-worthy ensemble piece has more loose threads than a particularly unhinged jumper, and yet nothing to really grab onto. There are some starring here who know better, and had better work in 2010, but it doesn't change how I had to sit through a whole two hours of this.

4. Jonah Hex (dir. Jimmy Hayward)

This should be the subject of an episode of CSI at some point. Where did it go wrong? Which pillock cast Megan Fox? What was up with that prosthetic that stifled Josh Brolin so? Why was John Malkovich so rubbish? And was it really, as I suspected, directed by the horse who played Clint Eastwood's steed in the Dollars trilogy? The studio cattle brand might be all over its arse and it feels like watching the subject of a cold case investigation and wondering what happened to this Western along the way that mussed it up to be so crap.

3. Old Dogs (dir. Walt Becker)

For American audiences, this was one of the worst films of 2009, and it finally made a plop into UK cinemas in March. The worst out of this travesty is clearly John Travolta- at least Robin Williams redeemed himself later in the year with World's Greatest Dad, but Travolta only had the similarly execrable From Paris With Love. Together, they shared a screen in the most anti-Disney film imaginable, full of corporate back-and-forth, lame and occasionally racist jokes, and Seth Green being embraced by a gorilla.

2. Gulliver's Travels (dir. Rob Letterman)

The other late entry on the list is one I really wanted to put at #1/#150, but seeing as how it's failing massively at the box office anyway, it almost feels like it isn't doing enough harm. It harmed me though, filled as it was with outright offensive awfulness. It becomes ironic because of it's utterly un-ironic approach to depicting some little people who all gratefully accept whatever mass-culture detritus Jack Black has to give them, and now all of us "little people" aren't bothering to take this crap. Well, except me and a few others, who now share a sacred bond, and a shared suffering.

1. Vampires Suck (dir. Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer)

Cheap, nasty and not as funny as just watching the Twilight movies it's supposed to be spoofing. Because it was cheap, it made its money back, meaning they're bound to turn out another lame spoof in 2011 despite their careers being thought dead before this latest atrocity. Because it was nasty, I'm appalled that they're going to be allowed to do it again. And because of all of the above, it's such a ringer for the title "Worst of 2010" that I'm almost tempted to disqualify it on the grounds of not being a film. I'm too angry for that, so let's put it up on this fridge of shit, where everyone can see it. FUCK THIS MOVIE.

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Tomorrow should bring the video special counting down my top 10 films of 2010, and we'll wrap up the New Year Bank Holiday weekend on Monday with a look forward to this year.

I'm Mark the mad prophet, and until next time, don't watch anything I wouldn't watch.

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