Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Best, Worst, and "Ok" - Part 2

This post is specifically reserved for the worst offenders in science fiction this year. These films are beyond redemption. Please feel free to add to the list or disagree with me. Best scifi films of 2011 coming soon.

"Worst" Scifi films of 2011
Apollo 18 promotional poster.
Apollo 18 - This film looked so much more interesting in the trailer. After all, Apollo 18 is set on the moon. Think The Blair Witch Project meets the moon landing. One problem: Blair Witch-like films are as stale as month-old bread. I had hoped the moon landing would add a twist. Not so much.

See for this little treasure.
Paranormal Activity 3 - is an exercise in excess. When the original Paranormal Activity came out it was psychologically terrifying and a welcome relief to the blood-drenched mayhem of the Saw franchise. That said, the previous two Paranormal films sufficiently tied up most loose ends, rendering a third film utterly useless. Despite this, I entered the theater thinking that perhaps there was more story to be told, specifically about the sister's luckless childhoods via VHS tapes. I was wrong and more importantly so were the writers and producers. Somehow I don't think the filmmakers intended for most of the audience to laugh their way through it.

Mary Elizabeth Winstead in The Thing
The Thing (remake)As a big fan of John Carpenter's cult classic, I was most excited to see The Thing "prequel" (*cough* remake) this year. But the alleged prequel to the classic 1982 film is a mediocre homage, rather than an addition to the storyline.
Justin Timberlake is ready for his closeup
In Time In Time had an intriguing concept, but flatlines halfway through. Science has finally figured out how to stop the aging process at age 25, however, within a year of turning 25 you have to earn more time or you die. Time can be transferred between people, which is why the wealthy have effectively become immortal. Like I said, it's an interesting concept, but with no follow through it lands in the science fiction junk pile. Oh and the lead actor is Justin Timberlake. No offense to him, but there's a reason pop stars and male models shouldn't replace 'real' actors.

Adult film dvd cover ? Nope, it's a scene from Sucker Punch.
Sucker Punch - If you doubted Zack Synder's lack of judgment after the protracted love scene in The Watchmen set to the spiritual tune of Hallelujah, watch Sucker Punch. Thankfully, Synder had quality material to work with in The Watchmen and 300. Zack's original material leaves much to be desired. When left to his own devices, without a comic book to follow, Zack wrote a story about sexually abused girls in a mental hospital who fantasize themselves as militant strippers with samurai swords and submachine guns. The critics were not kind : 
Monika Bartyzel of Moviefone writes, "The women of Zack Snyder's 'Sucker Punch' are not empowered. Though they are given vicious snarls, swords and guns, the leading ladies of Snyder's latest are nothing more than cinematic figures of enslavement given only the most minimal fight. Their rebellion is one of imaginative whimsy in a heavily misogynistic world that is barely questioned or truly challenged." 
Michael Phillips of The Chicago Tribune stated that "Zack Snyder must have known in preproduction that his greasy collection of near-rape fantasies and violent revenge scenarios disguised as a female-empowerment fairy tale wasn't going to satisfy anyone but himself."
I worried when I heard that Synder was directing the new Superman film, Man of Steel. Thankfully, comic book movie expert, Christoper Nolan is producing and will no doubt reign him in.
Alex Pettyfer is shooting lighting bolts from his hands. Oh and he's also number four
I Am Number Four - All of the films on this list are bad, but none are worse than I Am Number Four. Predictable and dry, I Am Number Four is a sad excuse of a scifi film. John Smith played by handsome newcomer Alex Pettyfer, is an alien on the loose, sent to earth from the planet Krypton by Jorel his father...wait. That's another story. No, John is sent to earth from the planet Lorien by his father, alongside eight others to escape the Mogadorians, who destroyed their planet. It goes downhill from there.
Rosie Huntington-Whiteley doesn't know where she's at.
Transformers: the Dark of the Moon - Four Words: Michael Bay/Shia LaBeouf. The scripts don't make sense, the acting is laughable, and the cgi is over the top. When an actress (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley) makes Megan Fox look Shakespearean, it's time to go. These movies are just insane. Please stop.

"Worst" Fantasy Films of 2011

Fantasy and Sci-Fi are closely related. Why not throw a few fantasy films into the mix?

Who knew that Nicholas Cage could ride a horse?
Season of the Witch - Nicolas Cage/January release=awesome. This time Nick is a medieval knight with long wavy hair battling witchcraft. It never got above 10% on Rotten TomatoesGame of Thrones this is not.
Amanda Seyfried is clearly on a backlot
Red Riding Hood - Amanda Seyfried has the honor of being in my worst list for the second time. Coming in at 11% on Rotten Tomatoes, this movie was a terrible retelling of the ancient horror story. It wasn't scary, interesting, it wasn't a lot of things. It quickly transcends into a ridiculous whodunit. By the end of the film you're willing to confess to anything they want  you to, if it means leaving the theater with your dignity. Lastly, Red Riding Hood was directed by the original director of Twilight, nuff said. If you want to watch a great film of the classic tale, watch Silver Bullet. I love that movie.

Jason Momoa in Conan. See for photo
ConanLet it be known that I love Jason Momoa and I think he was well cast as Conan. Jason as Khal Drogo in Game of Thrones, was a sight to behold. Jason is charismatic, talented, and clearly has the physicality needed for Conan. That being said, Conan was an unhealthy hybrid of Clash of the Titans (the bad one), The Scorpion King, Prince of Persia, with a little bit of The Mummy thrown in for good measure. Some of the above were half-way decent, some were not. This film, like the remake of Clash of the Titans before it, is CGI and beefcake gone wild. To compensate, the film goes heavy on the blood, guts, and bad one-liners, sans a storyline. The best line in the movie is " live, I burn with life, I love, I slay, and I am content." That's saying something.

Isabel Lucas as Athena in The Immortals 
The Immortals - is a grotesque spectacle of stunning visual style, 300-like chop scenes, and bad writing. Excluding the last scene in the Immortals, in which the heaven’s themselves become a grandiose battleground, Tarsem’s eye for beautiful landscapes is lost in the Immortals and that’s not the only thing that’s missing. The renowned director of The Fall, falls down on the job
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 - This one is not fair because I actually haven't seen it, but I couldn't help adding it to the list. From what I heard, the last scene was pretty bloody.


  1. Strange but I did not dislike either The Thing or Season of the Witch. I thought i was going to hate them and give them bad reviews (if I ever review them as I am in a blog burnout phase) but I wound up being moderately entertained by both.

    Haven't even had a chance to see the other films you have here. Will try though.

    Bill @ The Uranium Cafe

  2. Of those, I guess I should be happy I have only seen Sucker Punch, I Am Number 4, Conan, and Transformers 3. Absolutely agree on Transformers 3, absolutely agree on Conan (it was almost Conan the Destroyer bad), mostly agree on I Am Number 4, disagree on Sucker Punch. (By the way, despite the title, Halleluah is a song about sex, not spiritualism, and was perfectly used in Watchmen. Check out the full lyrics sometime.)

    My bad list (of what I have seen) would be Transformers 3, Conan, Battle Los Angeles, and The Adjustment Bureau, while the movies Super 8 and Cowboys and Aliens were very disappointing.

  3. Several of those I missed - on purpose! I wasn't crazy about the first Paranormal, so skipped this one.
    Did NOT like Sucker Punch. My wife actively hates that movie.
    Conan was all right, but not memorable. And my expectations were SO low by the time I watched Season of the Witch that I thought it was all right as well.

  4. I agree with most of this list. Twilight, nuff said. And I loved the booty-popping peasants in Red Riding Hood. Who knew those medieval folk knew how to rock it out. Even Gary Oldman could not save that piece of crap. And I think grandma must have been making hair product out in her cabin because all the gel was just a sight to behold.

  5. I'm pretty glad to say I haven't seen any of those movies.

  6. the blond girl remember how great was transformer 3,,great post

  7. Bill-- I've had movie experiences like that, in which the films received very low ratings, but I actually enjoyed them. Battle LA was one of those. It bombed on Rotten tomatoes, but I enjoyed it.

    Chip-- I looked at the lyrics for Hallelujah. I'm not seeing a sexual side to it, unless there's another version that Synder used for Watchmen. I think we may also disagree on Super 8. That's in my best list. Although I agree it could have been so much better!

    Alex-- I think it's hilarious that your wife hated Sucker Punch. That's telling! It was definitely not a film geared towards women was it?

    Melissa-- Agreed. I couldn't believe Gary Oldman was in that movie!

    Bonjour-- I'm glad you haven't either! :)

    Damon-- I'm sure the blond was memorable, but she's a bad actress.

  8. That's Conan. :/

  9. @msmariah - in regards to Hallelujah lyrics there are several sexual references, but the most obvious are contained in this verse:

    There was a time when you let me know
    What's really going on below
    But now you never show it to me, do you?
    And remember when I moved in you
    The holy dove was moving too
    And every breath we drew was Hallelujah

    Add to this we have a character (in Watchmen) who is impotent and who has had a thing for this woman for years, and the fact that he is finally able to have sex with her would be a "Hallelujah!" moment on multiple levels for any man.

    For what it's worth: you're not alone. I've seen people saying that not only is Hallelujah misused, but also All Along the Watchtower, 99 Red Balloons, and even Ride of the Valkyries. Those all have perfect reasons for being where they are in the film, too.

    As for Super 8, I felt it was just a rehash of scenes from various Spielberg movies (Jaws, Close Encounters, ET, Goonies, etc.) and Spielberg had already done them far better. Add to this I found most of the kids annoying, and it doesn't make for a fun movie experience. (And for someone who was around then, it bugged me that they couldn't even get the period right - Walkmans and Rubik's Cubes, uh, no.) I will say, though, that Elle Fanning really impressed me. She's got a good future ahead of her.

  10. Thanks for the list of films to avoid-I have to say they all look pants. i still think The Thing From Another World is the best of the 3 films. Have a Cool yule.

  11. Merry CHRISTMAS and Happy new year.

  12. Very aesome blog, hoping you are having a wonderful holiday season, +1 from me! very interested in seeing what you have for us next!


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