Lisa Marie’s 16 Worst Films of 2011


 

Now that 2011 is finally over, we here at the Shattered Lens can finally get around to listing our individual picks for the best and worst of 2011.  Pantsukadasai, Necromoonyeti, Leon Th3 Duke, and Dazzling Erin have already posted some of their picks for the best of 2011 and over the next five days, I’ll be risking your scorn by listing some of my own choices.

I’d like to get things started today by listening my picks for the 16 worst films of 2011.  As always, these choices are mine and mine alone.  So, don’t go harassing Arleigh just because you think Another Earth wasn’t a pretentious and silly film.  Instead, harass me so I can harass you back. 🙂

16) Battle L.A. — It takes a special type of film to make Skyline look like a work of art.

15) Cowboys and Aliens — Meh.  This should have been so much more fun than it actually was.

14) Your Highness — I still love James Franco.

13)  Shark Night 3-D — Another film that should have been a lot more fun.

12) Season of the Witch — The first film I saw in 2011 was also one of the worst.

11) The Ides of March — Hey guys, did you know that politics is a dirty business!?  Oh my God, consider my fragile mind blown.  Thank you for clearing things up, George Clooney!

10) Another Earth — Honestly, Another Earth probably wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the way that so many of the toadsuckers out there get so superior and condescending whenever they’re telling me that I should love this movie.  If you read the comments under my linked review of the film, you’ll find a very good defence of the film from Leon and then you’ll find a more typical response from some idiot named Naresh Raj Shrestha.  Unfortunately, Naresh seems to be a fair representation of most of the people who take to the Internet to defend this film.  All I can say to those people is “Fuck off, kids.  I’ve got real movies to worry about.”

9) Dream House — Daniel Craig.  Again.

8) Contagion — So.  Boring.

7) The Beaver — So. Stupid.

6) Priest — Yeah, yeah, it’s in 3-D.  Yay.

5) Dylan Dog: Dead of Night — This film sucks just as much as you think it does.

4) The Rum Diary — Is it possible to make a boring movie with one of the exciting movie stars in the world?  Apparently, it is.

3) The Conspirator — Self-important drivel that was released at least four years too late.

2) Straw Dogs — Tell ’em about the Southland, Rod Lurie!

And finally, here’s the worst film of 2011…

1) Anonymous — One thing is for sure.  Whoever wrote Shakespeare’s plays, he was a lot more talented than Roland Emmerich.

Coming up tomorrow: my ten favorite songs of 2011.

The Most Meh Film of 2011: Cowboys and Aliens (dir. by Jon Favreau)


For about a year now, I’ve been seeing the trailer for Cowboys and Aliens before every single film I’ve gone to see.  And now, finally, the Jon Favreau’s latest film has been released.  I saw it on Friday afternoon with my friend Evelyn and our reaction to it can be summed up in one word:

Meh.

Seriously, this might not be the worst film of 2011 so far (not as long as Priest, The Conspirator, The Beaver, and Sanctum continue to exist in our reality) but it’s definitely one of the most meh films of all time.  Cowboys and Aliens epitomizes everything that we mean when we say “meh.”  It’s not exactly terrible but it’s not good either.  What it is, ultimately, is very forgettable. 

This is one of those films where everything just seems to be a little bit off-track.  It’s like a car that technically runs but the whole time you’re inside of it, you know that there’s a chance the engine’s going to explode and you’re going to be stranded in Oak Cliff* with a dying cell phone.  You’re just happy that it gets you to your destination so you can get out of the car, not because you actually enjoyed the trip.

If you want to get into specifics, I’d point out that:

1) Daniel Craig isn’t all that believable as a notorious gunslinger.

2) Harrison Ford looks annoyed to be there.

3) The cast is full of excellent character actors — like Sam Rockwell — who essentially get to do nothing.

4) The aliens basically look like leftovers from Skyline andBattle L.A. 

5) The action sequences are pretty boring (there’s not one moment that makes you gasp and go, “Wow!”) and are so badly edited that it’s difficult to keep track of who is shooting at who. 

6) For the first quarter of the film, we’re watching a bad western and then, suddenly, we’re watching a boring, uninspired science fiction action film. 

7) A major plot point essentially centers on Daniel Craig (with the aid of some helpful Indians, of course) going on a “spirit quest.”  Seriously, filmmakers today use spirit quests and sweat lodges in much the same way that filmmakers of the 60s used garish acid trips.  It’s all an excuse for a bunch of zoom lenses and bright color filters.

8 ) Finally, and this is most fatal of the film’s flaws, it just takes all of this so seriously.  There’s not even a scene of a brave gunslinger shouting, “Draw, you four-armed bastard!” at an alien.  Seriously, this should have been a fun film.  Instead, it’s just another overproduced, forgettable establishment film.

Jon Favreau is a likable enough actor (even if he does seem to be fated to spend his career competing for roles with Kevin James) and he’s made some likable films (Elf, Iron Man, Zathura)  but Cowboys and Aliens could have been made by just about anyone.  It’s a film that feels like it was put together on an assembly line.  Originally, me and Evelyn swore that, if Cowboys and Aliens sucked, we were going to react by running down to the front of the theater and entertaining everyone by doing the Timewarp.  However, by the time it became apparent just how meh this film was, neither one of us really felt like creating a little sexy civil disobedience.  Quite frankly, we just wanted it to end so we could move on to the next film.

—————

*Oak Cliff, for all you Yankees out there, is a neighborhood of Dallas.  I used to live there but I was only a few months old at the time and I still wouldn’t want to end up stranded out there.

 

Coming soon: Bleh, Agck, and Yay! (And don’t forget Harry Potter!)


When you go to the movies as much as I do, you realize and very quickly accept that you’re going to end up seeing certain trailers a few thousand times before you actually get to see the film being advertised.  (By this point, I can pretty much recite that trailer for Cowboys and Aliens by heart.)  In the case of a good trailer, this can make an otherwise forgettable film into a must-see event.  And, in the case of a bad trailer, it can literally make you shout out at “Agck!” at the thought of having to sit through it again.

What follows are three trailers that, as of late, I’ve found myself sitting through on multiple occasions.  The first one makes me go “bleh,” the second makes me say “Agck,” and the third inspires a cautious but hopeful little “Yay!”

First off, here’s Page One.  This is one of those trailers that you look at and you think, “Everyone in this trailer is so physically unattractive that this must be a documentary.”  And it  is!

I have a feeling that Page One is going to be widely acclaimed and it’ll probably win awards from the same people who thought the shrill Inside Job was more thought-provoking than Exit From The Gift Shop.  That said, I can’t help but admit that watching this trailer inspires me to say, “Who cares?”  Seriously, yet another documentary where a bunch of old people whine about how they’re no longer relavent?  Yeah, sounds thrilling.

In fact, the prospect of sitting through Page One sounds almost as thrilling as sitting through a movie, made by the same people who gave us 2012 and The Day After Tomorrow,  about the authorship of Shakespeare’s plays. 

Anonymous, I imagine, will be quite popular with people who found the Da Vinci Code to be a mind-blowing experience.

Luckily, all is not lost.  True, it does appear that we’ve got a lot of Anonymous films in our future, but we’ve also got Another Earth.

I have to admit that, just on the basis of this trailer (which I’ve caught a handful times down at both the Dallas and Plano Angelika theaters), Another Earth is the film that I’m probably most looking forward to seeing (with the exception, of course, of Harry Potter.)   When compared to the self-importance of the trailer for Page One and the almost comical slickness of the trailer for Anonymous, the the low-key aesthetic of the trailer for Another Earth feels almost defiant.

Obviously, there have been many bad films that have had wonderfully effective trailers.  In fact, I’d be willing to say that 75% of most movies actually work better as a 2 minute trailer as opposed to as a 2-hour film.  And some good films have had terrible trailers.

In theory, Page One could turn out to be the greatest documentary since Exit Through The Gift Shop and maybe Anonymous will prove that Roland Emmerich is actually an artist as opposed to just a wealthy pyromaniac.  I certainly hope that’s the case because, believe it or not, I’d much rather sit through a good film than a bad one. 

However, on the basis of trailer alone, of all the upcoming films that don’t feature Harry Potter and Voldermort, Another Earth is the film I’m most looking forward to.

Speaking of which, here’s the 2nd trailer for the film of 2011: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2: