Wednesday, December 31, 2008

The Worst of 2008

It's that time of year. 2008 is over and it's time to take stock. What kind of movie year was 2008? For my money, I'd say it was a particularly great year for genre film. We haven't had a year this good for geek cinema since 2005. Sure, that's not too long, but name me two better years for sci-fi/comic films. Yeah, I thought so...

But I'm not here to ruminate on all the nuances of the year. I'm here to club the worst movies of the year. Now, this list is a bit skewed. I don't get paid to see every movie that comes out, so I still have to be picky about what I see, and I'm usually pretty good about knowing what I will and won't enjoy. So you won't be seeing movies like Disaster Movie, The Hottie and the Nottie, any number of awful horror remakes. Those are forgone conclusions. To that end, these are the five movies that I enjoyed the least. Some of these are truly terrible movies. Others are simply big disappointments. Let's get started...

Dishonorable Mention - Star Wars: The Clone Wars - A movie that I can't rightly even call a movie. Look at it for what it is: A 90 minute pilot for the Cartoon Network series, which I'm told is getting progessively better. Good, because this pilot is a terrible, terrible movie. Everything from the lazily painted backdrops to Ahsoka Tano to Jabba the Hutt's gay, New Orleanian uncle just reeks of Lucas and co. wringing the last drops of life from a once mighty franchise...

5. The Happening - Earth to Shyamalan: Plants. Are. Not. Scary. The only way to truly enjoy The Happening is to watch it as some kind of morbid comedy. Some of the death scenes are well staged, but in the context of the movie, they're laughable. However, watching Marky Mark try to negotiate with a houseplant (a plastic one at that) is pretty funny.

4. Hancock - For what the first act of this movie promised, the left turn it inevitably takes is so sharp that it could cut diamonds. The second half of the movie completely ruins any good will that the first half had built. It's a film that wants to be longer, darker, more satirical, and edgier than it is, and for some reason, it just isn't. If not for The Dark Knight, Iron Man, and Hellboy II, Hancock might have single-handedly set superhero movies back ten years..

3. You Don't Mess with the Zohan - The first movie on this list featuring SNL alums, Zohan tries desperately hard to have its cake and eat it too. It wants to be an action comedy of epic proportions, but it also wants to do what Sandler and Co. have always done (dick jokes and silly voices). The result is something that isn't at all as funny as it seems to think it is, and ends up being just embarassing for all involved.

2. 10,000 BC - Roland Emmerich's career of late is yielding one logical conclusion: He needs to get producer Dean Devlin back into the fold ASAP, because it's clear that he was the brains of the operation. 10,000 BC is a movie that's dumb as a brick, and hopes its audience doesn't notice. In two hours, we go from frozen tundra to rainforests to deserts and ultimately to pyramids. There's just a horrible lack of logic to this whole movie, and I'm STILL confused by what it was supposed to be doing. I have no idea.

1. Step Brothers - Even worse than You Don't Mess with the Zohan, I laughed maybe four times during Step Brothers. Moreso than any of the other movies on my list, Step Brothers was just embarassing to watch. Seeing two forty year old men act like a pair of eight year olds is just pathetic. Like I said in my original review, had the two men been in their 20s, it might have been acceptable. But Step Brothers as it is now is just terrible. Unfunny nonsense, and the worst comedy I've seen in years.

There you have it. Come back soon for two more lists. My top ten of 2008, and a list of ten that deserve more attention.

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