Worst of 2013

Reel Review Roundup’s Worst Films Of 2013

Compiling this end of year list, I noticed my taste in films had slightly shifted. I may have softened a bit. Instead of rolling my eyes and making gagging noises at popular worst of picks A Good Day To Die Hard, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters and Movie 43, I found myself forgiving their downfalls because of how much they made me laugh. And if I am laughing, I am having a good time, so they managed to avoid a place on this list. I’m just as surprised as you are. For me, the identity-free fifth entry in the declining Die Hard series was an overblown hoot. How I laughed at all the implausibilities, impossible close calls and over the top action. Hansel and Gretel won me over with its tongue in cheek approach – how else would you approach it, though?! And Movie 43 had me in hysterics for some skits. Sure, not all of them were funny, some downright bad – but where else are you going to see Hugh Jackman with a scrotum on his face? Here are the ones that I could not excuse:

10) The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones – I’ve never said “what the heck?!” so many times during one film. But those moments in this incoherent young adult novel adaptation are the only things that make the 130 minute running time barely survivable. Repeated exposition, pants-less introductions, over-zealous lovers and wretched dialogue are what killed this envisioned franchise before this chapter even ended.

9) Jobs – man-child Ashton Kutcher baits Oscar with all his might in a are dramatic role as Steve Jobs. He makes a lot of speeches, but we are all very aware that he is just acting.

8) Runner Runner – everything about this supposed thriller that delves into the world of online gambling is so incredibly dull. Dull script, dull performances, dull direction. This isn’t even bad enough to be funny. It’s just dull.

7) Red 2 – a thrill-less, laugh-less action/comedy. Oh dear. A shameless cash grab sequel to a moderately successful and amusing comic adaptation, in which not even those on screen seem to be very invested.

6) Goddess – an Australian wish fulfillment fantasy musical gone awry. It says it wants women out of the kitchen and achieving their dreams, but when this housebound housewife gives it a go, she can’t cope. Talk about mixed messages. A very confused film.

5) Adore (aka Adoration) – an intriguing set up: two middle aged women who have been best friends since forever both begin an affair with the others strapping 18-year-old son. Daring to open an icky can of worms and explore it, Adore dissolves into a mess of bad scripting and horrible acting. Perhaps this topic is un-explorable, because all it ends up being is laughable. Doesn’t help that this eventually plays out like an R-rated soap opera.

4) Diana – Another Naomi Watts misfire (luckily I didn’t mind her skit in Movie 43, otherwise there would be three of her 2013 releases on this list). Horrible guess work is done on a relationship Princess Diana had with a surgeon before her death, concocting embarrassingly bad dialogue, painting the princess as a fruit loop and piling on the schmaltz like it was going out of fashion.

3) Pain and Gain – some say this is Michael Bay’s biggest achievement; a satirical comedy with its sights on a handful of iron pumping airhead criminals. I didn’t see the satire. All I saw was a group of homophobic, misogynistic muscle men who’s only comeuppance is for their crimes, not their horrendous attitudes.

2) Dead Man Down – subtlety is a word not found in Dead Man Down’s dictionary – a scarred character whose self esteem has plummeted due to her appearance, is a beautician. Groan. Her relationship with a hitman, whom she blackmails into killing them an who disfigured her, is dramatically incoherent. They bond over Tupperware, for goodness sake.

1) Lords Of Salem – the most boring, obvious, pointless smorgasbord of “horrific” and “unsettling” imagery is enough to put you to sleep when it is trying to terrify. The more times Rob Zombie goes behind the camera, the less likeable his films become.

Dishonourable mentions:

Texas Chainsaw 3D

Broken City

A Haunted House

Parker

Riddick

Lovelace

The Counselor

Lincoln

Carrie

The Lone Ranger

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