December 30, 2011

2011 Year in Review - Mike's 10 Worst Films of 2011

In addition to writing a list of my favorite films each year, I also write a list of my least favorite films. Even though I know which films to avoid, there are still plenty that I seek out anyway. Either I'm curious or it stars someone I like... There was no shortage of bad movies this year. Note that I (thankfully) didn't see a lot of possibly even worse films, like The Art of Getting By, What's Your Number? and New Years Eve. But to start off, this year I've also decided to make a list of the most overrated films of the year. Films that were okay or decent or even fairly good but that have been showered with outrageously undeserved praise.


Top 5 Most Overrated Films of 2011:


5. The Artist
A fine film and very enjoyable and beautifully made, but the fact that it's getting all sorts of awards and nominations is absurd. The film is more than just a gimmick - it's a heartfelt homage, but too clever. Some gags involving the lack of sound are too obvious, as is the concept of making a silent film set during the silent-talkie conversion. When you get down to it, The Artist is really just a silent film for people who don't want to watch actual silent films - of which there are many great ones that you should see before this one.


4. Bill Cunningham New York
A nice documentary about a nice man, but why all this praise? We learn a lot about Cunningham and get to know him, but many basic questions go unanswered. It also failed to point out the irony of such an interesting and pleasant guy working in such a vapid, pretentious industry. So often, documentaries are lauded because of their interesting subjects rather than the actual merits of the film itself. Bill Cunningham New York is a prime example of this.

3. Rango
Unfunny, boring... it seemed to be a random collection of randomness collected on the screen. Psychedelic dream sequences might look cool but a film needs pacing, characters that are interesting beyond their looks, and an involving story.


2. X-Men: First Class
A decent superhero film that nicely adds a retro James Bond touch. But it still follows the superhero movie formula to a 't'. What bothered me even more was when people talked about how great it was and then said that it was maybe as good as the first or second one. I didn't think any of the X-Men films were all that great, so it's not exactly putting it in good company.


1. Bridesmaids
Bridesmaids was mildly funny, but far from great. And with a running time of over two hours, way way too long. I think the bar has lowered so much that whenever a decent comedy comes out, it's hailed as a classic by default. I don't think there was anything 'smart' about the script and its tired gross-out gags, and it's really just The Hangover with women, but not nearly as funny. Just because it's a woman instead of a man does not make fart jokes funny. Even more insulting is the Best Supporting Actress buzz for Melissa McCarthy - a character that had me cringing whenever she was on screen. I didn't find anything funny about the minstrel show-like fat girl jokes, and McCarthy's School-of-Disney-Channel-Sitcom overacting made it nearly unbearable.




The Worst Films of 2011:


1. Your Highness
2. Passion Play
3. Mars Needs Moms
4. Green Lantern
5. Sleeping Beauty
6. Sucker Punch
7. Atlas Shrugged: Part 1
8. Hop
9. I Am Number Four
10. A Good Old Fashioned Orgy

and beyond:
11. The Change-Up
12. The Three Musketeers
13. Zookeeper
14. Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1
15. Drive Angry


Honorable mention: Jack and Jill, Just Go With It, Conan the Barbarian, Immortals, Straw Dogs, Johnny English Reborn, Gnomeo & Juliet, Battle: Los Angeles, Arthur, Kung Fu Panda 2, Jane Eyre, The Dilemma, Larry Crowne.







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