Friday, 31 December 2010


On one level this was easier than the Best list as there were, sadly, more candidates. Even given the natural filtering process that weeded out a lot of films I had no interest in (no Sex And The City 2 or Bounty Hunter for me!) there was a lot of dross out there. But the ones I hated more than any others were:

1. BASEMENT. Wretched apology for a British horror film in which five idiots wander around an underground bunker, but they're not alone. It's all got something to do with the War On Terror and is complete rubbish; it stars Danny Dyer and has the production values of home-made pornography. Although I only saw this on DVD, it DID get a small cinema release for entirely unfathomable reasons. Somebody needs a slap because this is borderline unwatchable.

2. ROBIN HOOD. It's misleadingly titled, since the entire movie is all prequel and backstory; it's historically ridiculous (landing craft in the 12th Century?); it has no fun, excitement or romance, and Russell Crowe's accent veers wildly between Michael Parkinson, Maximus Decimus and Ian Paisley. This is what now passes for mainstream, popular entertainment; this is what is deemed A-list feature quality, but it just makes you wonder if cinema is actually something worth bothering with. Ridley Scott should have his Sir taken away forthwith.

3. A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET. Having comprehensively stomped all over Friday The 13th, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Hitcher AND The Amityville Horror by remaking them for drooling idiots, producer Michael Bay now dumps mightily on Elm Street and misses the whole point. It's illogical, it's stupid, it's unpleasant, you don't care about the heroes and there's no reason at all for the damn thing to exist as it's not even very well made. A sequel is apparently on the way.

4. BONDED BY BLOOD. The third cinematic retelling of the notorious Rettenden Range Rover Murders, in which a group of loathsome pieces of subhuman crap swear loudly at each other and get bloodily murdered. Good. Serves them right. World's better off without them. Can we stop doing these despicable gangster movies now? They're idiotic, loud, obnoxious, morally objectionable and boring as hell.

5. TAKERS. Mysteriously released around the same time as The Town, which has a similar plot but is far better, this isn't actually a film as it's apparently shot on a handheld budget camcorder. One decent foot chase apart, and despite some decent names in the cast, it's actually pretty dull.

6. CHERRY TREE LANE. A British home invasion thriller in the style of Michael Haneke: a well-off professional couple are terrorised at length by young thugs while they wait for the couple's son to return home. I honestly didn't see the appeal of this film as it seems to concentrate on the suffering of the parents as much as any Saw film, but without the visceral splattery entertainment factor, and the final avenging payoff is almost an afterthought. As 95% of the film takes place in one room with a total cast of about nine people, maybe it could be adapted for the stage? Again, I caught this on DVD but it DID get a very limited theatrical release, so it counts.

7. MACGRUBER. SNL-based MacGyver spoof (after all these years? So topical!) with a resistible star, a supporting cast of big names (Val Kilmer, Powers Booth, Ryan Phillippe) thoroughly disgracing their CVs and one joke - the villain's name is Dieter Von Cunth. That's the peak of MacGruber's hilarity. I know I don't have that much of a sense of humour but that's just not good enough.

8. KILLERS. Ashton Kutcher is supposed to be a top government assassin, and takes his shirt off a lot. That may be enough for some people but Killers is basically Knight And Day-lite (and Knight And Day wasn't a film of much depth to start with) crossed with the dull bits of True Lies and Mr And Mrs Smith. Bland, plastic and completely empty.

9. THE OTHER GUYS. Don't like Will Ferrell, don't like Mark Wahlberg. Not a big fan of Steve Coogan either. Certainly don't appreciate star-driven buddy cop comedies that suddenly lecture me, Michael Moore-style, about the evils of American capitalism over the end credits, especially given the amount of money Ferrell and Wahlberg are paid for these things. Kind of makes me wonder why I bothered to go and see it, really. As star-driven buddy cop comedies go, Cop Out was much better (despite the absolutely terrible Tracy Morgan).

10. THE FINAL. Another one with an imperceptibly small theatrical outing and a quick release to the DVD shelves: a confused and silly torture movie in which the victims of high-school bullies, bitches and thugs fight back. Nothing like enough suffering, bloodshed and pain, and a very weak ending.

Dishonourable mentions to Due Date, London Boulevard, Jonah Hex and Solomon Kane. There were also a couple of stinkers as yet unreleased theatrically, most notably 2001 Maniacs: Field Of Screams. Come on 2011, I know it can be better.

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