Worst of 2011

Reel Review Roundup’s Worst Films of 2011

They say reviewing films is like a dream job and a piece of cake. You sit there for a couple of hours with your popcorn and Maltesers and you watch movies all day. Well sort of. What people do not realise is that you have to sit through hours of junk. Dopey dialogue, horrible acting, bad scripts. It can be a tough slog. Here are some of the duds we had to endure this year:

10) Mars Needs Moms – Disney’s misfire about stern parents that are abducted and taken to Mars to rear baby martians. Huh? And all played out with motion capture characters with no facial expressions. Many people thought Cars 2 was this year’s worst animated flick, but at least it was funny.

9) Battle: Los Angeles – An alien invasion in Los Angeles from the point of view of several cardboard cut out military characters. The script is inept, the performances are dreadful (not that the cast had much to work with) and the camera work was headache inducing. Bring a sick bag.

8 ) Love and Other Drugs – This film got off on the wrong foot with me from the get go. As  Jake Gyllenhaal has a quick tryst in the storeroom with a colleague during the opening credits, her phone falls on the floor and auto dials her boyfriend who is in the electronics store they work in. Oh, come on!

7) Abduction – When the first problem of the film is the title, you know you are on to a bad thing. There is no actual abduction in this movie. Oh dear. But that is the least of this film’s worries as wooden Taylor Lautner struggles with laughable dialogue (shouldn’t he be skilled at this after so many Twilight movies?).

6) Larry Crowne – A middle-aged doofus must reinvent himself after being fired from his job. This film had so much potential, alas, Julia Roberts’ love interest is too irredeemably cold and there is a ridiculous finger snapping initiation into a scooter club (?!). There is also the creepy and completely unconvincing relationship that develops between Hanks and a female college students who rearranges his furniture (again: ?!).

5) Cowboys and Aliens – How could a movie with cowboys and aliens be so dull? What seemed like a genius mash-up of genres with talent such as Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard and Brian Grazer behind the scenes, ended up being a complete misfire. Awkward flashbacks and long droll stretches with uninteresting characters. Yawn. Not even the occasional appearance of the surprisingly vicious aliens could liven things up.

4) Insidious – Despite the overuse of creaky doors, floorboards and anything else that moved, this started out as an effective little chiller…until the game of chasy with a ghost child, communications with the dead through a gas mask and silly ventures into another world called ‘the further’ (giggle).

3) Fast Five – The most intelligence insulting film of the year. It has always been a fairly brainless franchise, but this is a new low for rotten dialogue, recycled plotting and bad acting. It was like they didn’t even try. “We know people will see it, so who cares?”

2) Red Riding Hood – With all the reboots we have been bombarded with, I was looking forward to a retelling of this old fable but i was bitterly disappointed. Glammed up villagers, a telepathic conversation between Red and the wolf and a laughable bit of G-rated girl on girl grinding to make a boy jealous. Hopefully the two Snow White projects to be released in 2012 don’t go down this horrid path.

1) Restless – Gus Van Sant tops his Psycho remake catastrophe with this dull, boring, charmless film that ticks all the boxes for quirky indie comedy/drama films. This was the first time I have seriously considered walking out of a film. See? It’s not always an easy job. This filmmakers should have seen Submarine and taken notes on how to properly handle this genre.

With hundreds of films released in one year, to have only 10 duds must be a pretty good year, right? Unfortunately, there were many more. Here are 10 more atrocities that deserve to be named and shamed:

New Year’s Eve

Sanctum

Hereafter

Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1

The Iron Lady

The Green Lantern

I Am Number 4

Conan the Barbarian

The Rite

Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs Evil

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