Bottom 10 of 2012
Battleship—In the high-dollar, summer blockbuster category of epic failure came this horribly misguided attempt to turn a kids’ board game into a $200 million franchise. It was the second massive bomb in a row for poor actor Taylor Kitsch (after John Carter). And it still hasn’t fully dissuaded Hollywood from making Monopoly, Candy Land and Ouija movies.
The Devil Inside—Ending? Who needs an ending when your Exorcist knockoff is this horrifyingly bad? Those “boo”s you hear at the end aren’t ghosts—they’re audience members wanting their money back.
Last Ounce of Courage—A number of cheapjack, ultraconservative films hit theaters this election cycle (October Baby, 2016: Obama’s America, Runaway Slave, Saints and Soldiers: Airborne Creed, Atlas Shrugged II: The Strike). The absolute, teabagging worst was this hilarious, hyperventilating drama about how liberals, homosexuals and black folks are waging war on the military, the Bible and—most of all—Christmas.
One for the Money—Oh, Katherine Heigl. You’re cute. You have a bubbly personality. We’d probably like you as a person. But we really don’t like you as an actress. In anything. Taking you out of the tired rom-com mold and sticking you in this goofy bounty hunter comedy didn’t help any.
The Oogieloves in the BIG Balloon Adventure—I’m not even going to get into who or what an Oogielove is. Just know that this mind-numbing giant puppet adventure (from one of the guys who imported “Teletubbies” to America) set a box office record for the lowest opening gross of all time for a film playing at over 2,000 theaters. The $12 million parade float of a film made an embarrassing $443,901. Oops.
Rock of Ages—To be fair, this jukebox musical was never about the story, the dialogue, the characters or the jokes (all of which are awful—especially the jokes). It was about the music, man! As it turns out, though, the lyrics of old Poison songs aren’t quite as earth-shatteringly poignant as they were when we were 13.
That’s My Boy—At this point, Adam Sandler should be exempt from “Worst Of” lists. Or given some sort of permanent Hall of Shame induction. You’d think he couldn’t sink lower than 2011’s dude-in-a-dress embarrassment Jack and Jill. You’d be wrong. This crude, scabrous comedy ranks among Sandler’s foulest emissions.
Red Dawn—There were plenty of terrible remakes this year (Total Recall, anyone?). But this lazy, badly timed reinterpretation only served to remind us how bad the 1984 original actually was.
To Rome With Love—Woody Allen offered up his worst comedy since abandoning New York for Europe with this collection of four tonally awkward, entirely non-hilarious stories about fame, opera, adultery and more adultery. This botched anthology represents Allen at his silliest and most confusingly sexist. (Casting Ellen Page as a sexpot Hollywood starlet? Giving Penélope Cruz the choice role of “hooker.”)
Tyler Perry’s Madea’s Witness Protection—If we had to choose one Tyler Perry film this year (and we probably should), it’d be this one. Sure, Good Deeds and Alex Cross were stinkers, (You are not a dramatic actor, Tyler). Throw in drag comedy and Tom Arnold, though, and we’ve got a super stinker.
The Piano in a Factory at National Hispanic Cultural Center
Zhang Meng's whimsical film about a father's attempt to build a piano for his daughter in the wake of his unending marriage.
Friday Filmmakers Coffee at Jean Cocteau Cinema
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