Thursday, 20 December 2012


Having sorted out the plums from 2012's cinematic crop, we're left with the duffs. Every year brings a rich crop of utter drivel and they haven't spared us this time: once more there are plenty of terrible movies to pick from. And that's after I'd filtered the most likely candidates out by not going to see them in the first place, so there's no Jack And Jill, no Project X, no Paranormal Activity 4 on the list. Life's short enough: even if the Mayans got it all wrong and I've got another forty years to go, I'm still not going to waste 90 minutes on a dickless cretin like Keith Lemon.

Yes, really. Probably since Existenz, I've slowly stopped being a David Cronenberg fan. Like Woody Allen, I much prefer the early gloopy/funny ones (I saw Shivers again the other week and it's still great), and I was bored senseless by this impenetrable, possibly allegorical and deliberately inaccessible film of Robert Pattinson's meaningless odyssey. It makes his other 2012 release, A Dangerous Method, look like Lethal Weapon.

This wasn't the film that finally convinced me that the found footage technique has no value whatsoever - that was Evidence - but it illustrates the format's drawbacks perfectly. Never mind that it's unwatchably shot and acted and edited, it's the pathetically shoddy pretence of "reality", and the fact that it can't sustain the deception. In this insulting instance, so-called director William Brent Bell cannot even be arsed to provide an ending.

Middle Eastern whackjob despots should surely be a rich seam of satirical comedy, but Sacha Baron Cohen far seems more interested in desperate bad taste gags about wanking and abortions and child rape. Even by the standards of Borat, Bruno and amoebic dysentery, it's shamefully unfunny.

This really should have been better. I don't give a toss about fidelity to the comics: if I want the comics I'll read the comics. Plotwise it's not dissimilar to The Raid but it's not nearly as much fun, it's ludicrously overviolent, it's devoid of spectacle (much of the time it's devoid of light) and it's absolutely impossible to care. For all that was wrong with it (such as the presence of Rob Schneider), the Stallone film is immeasurably superior in every regard.

Hardly anyone saw this one: it got a tiny release back in February and I only caught it on DVD some months later. A cheap, flatly made and mostly dull romantic drama about a nerd who invents a blood-powered car (Little Chopshop Of Horrors) and then has to kill people to keep driving....and then ten minutes from the end decides to pointlessly murder some children and throw a baby into the car engine. Tacky and charmless.

Wanted to like it so much, as I liked Metropolitan all those years ago, but within half an hour there wasn't a character I didn't want to see strangled. All of you: just shut up and stop being so tiresomely self-important (like I can talk). Plus it's got dance sequences in it, for goodness' sake.

*bangs head on desk until the pain goes away* Honestly, you've got Sarah Douglas and Steven Berkoff and Robert Englund and THIS is what you came up with? Really? Go away. It's rubbish.

Originally screened at Frightfest 2011 but only given a minimal theatrical release this year for no earthly reason other than to publicise the DVD, it's a mean-spirited and artless affair with shoddy CGI gore and a roster of characters Amnesty International wouldn't give a shit about.

Dickheaded bromcom in which a pair of top CIA wankers use the colossal might of the American intelligence services to see who can hump Reese Witherspoon first. I'll defend Joseph McGinty Nichol's Terminator Salvation, but I won't defend this: it's beyond despicable.

Hell, if Michael Bay can throw away a quarter of a billion dollars on more than two hours of flagwaving and things going wallop bang thud kerpow and characters so cardboard they have to be propped up with a stick, why shouldn't Peter Berg? Working out whether it's significantly better or worse than Transformers 3 is like working out which testicle you'd prefer to have slammed in the door of a Ford Focus.

Other awful movies, whether just shoddy trash or well-intended failures, that didn't make the list include, in no particular order: 21 Jump Street, J Edgar, A Fantastic Fear Of Everything, Piranha 3DD, Ted, The Watch, Deviation, House At The End Of The Street, The Master (yes, sorry about that) and Elfie Hopkins. Let's hope (assuming the Mayans weren't talking through their hats) that 2013 is better.

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