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The Ten Worst Movies of 2010 (that I saw)

Another year is coming to a close, which means I have once again seen a lot of movies.  This year, unlike last year, I made an attempt to avoid awful movies (for example I did not see or rent Grown Ups because Adam Sandler and Kevin James are the closest thing to crack-cocaine in terms of brain cell destruction, nor did I see Saw VI because I believe it is wrong for a film franchise to have three consecutive films that claim to be “the final one”).

Sidenote- seriously does Kevin James ever wake up and think, “Man if I sucked di*k for drug money on live television I would be less of a disgrace to my family. I have made three of the worst films ever recorded – Chuck and Larry, Paul Blart and Grown Ups.  And I know it.  And I have tons of money, but I don’t care.  I want to make dumb Americans even dumber and profit off of them mercilessly.”  And can we stop treating Adam Sandler like he is some beloved entertainer?  I know he reminds you of that moderately cute and cool kid in your Hebrew School class, but the dude is done.  Mr Deeds, Chuck and Larry, Grown Ups, Little Nicky, Big Daddy, etc.  The guy has done everything he can to kill good taste.  Enough – please collect your cash and go away.   

So naturally, despite moderate efforts I was unable to avoid bad movies for several reasons.  Travelling to comedy clubs around the country and having spare time, Oprah Winfrey and wanting to see if Samantha Jones finally gets AIDS were all contributing factors to the several terrible films I saw this year.  Before I get to the Bottom 10 I want to share a special note of two movies that were not worthy of the “worst,” but based on critical praise and box office success, are the two most overrated films of the year:

Box Office Overrated Film of the Year

ALICE IN WONDERLAND

Over $300 million is what this film pulled in.  Weird is the best way to describe it.  Boring is a very accurate way to describe it.  Johnny Depp – you were cool and talented the first eight times you played a weird character, but now it feels redundant.  For a change, try playing a male with genitals who does not talk like a pretentious college student who has returned from a study abroad semester and now pronounces Barcelona as Barthelona. 

Overrated Movie of the Year – Critics

THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT

For me, the reason to give gay people all the rights they deserve is selfish: I am tired of Hollywood patting itself on the back for showing gays as regular people and then acting like they re-invented the wheel.  But that was ok for me with Brokeback Mountain, which I thought was pretty damn good, but what really gets me is when a mediocre movie that is lathering itself in every indi-film cliche is praised as a great film.  Enter The Kids Are All Right.  Granted there were other movies that will be nominated for best picture like The King’s Speech (will be this year’s “we have to nominate at least one movie with British people and one movie related to the Holocaust, so why not nominate this one which has both?) and Black Swan (dark artsy-fartsy, but interesting in parts), which were interesting, but incredibly overrated, but the Kids Are All Right really stands out.  It just is not that good.  The movie is a B- at best, but critics have treated it like The Godfather fu*ked Amadeus while Goodfellas watched.  If you have not seen this or have and thought it pretentious enjoy this brief cinematic interlude:

But none of those movies were worthy of being on:

J-L CAUVIN’S TEN WORST FILMS OF 2010

10. The Deuce – (tie)

Sex and The City 2 and Iron Man 2

Two sequels – two bowel movements.  Iron Man 2 is shameless in what is becoming a Hollywood trend – we have a hit, we want at least three films and everyone will pay for the second so we can make it a huge bag of sh*t and make half of the movie about setting up and establishing things for the third film.  It is literally the middle child before there is a third child.  The movie was just mediocre, but because of how shameless it was and how much worse than the first it was – it earned a spot on the list.

Sex and the City 2: It was good to see these old bags who have influenced a generation of emotionally and spiritually lost women go out like Brett Favre – with a cinematic equivalent of an interception.  Here is the summary of the Carrie Bradshaw saga: she finally gets her man (women will give a good guy one chance, good penis a few chances and a super wealthy guy almost infinite chances – see “Mr. Big”).  And what does she do when she gets her better looking Trump?  She complains about the monotony of married life, makes out with an ex boyfriend in a foreign country and complains to her hubby when they eat dinner in for…wait for it… two consecutive nights!  The lesson for all the women who wanted to be Carrie, thought Carrie was fabulous, came to NYC to have a “Sex ad the City experience:”  Carrie was a bitch.

Ugggh, what's the point of being married to a billionaire if I cannot be constantly spending money and travelling so I can forget how empty my own life is?

9. Black People Besides Tyler Perry Can Make Bad Movies (tie) –

Lottery Ticket & Copout

When I saw Lottery Ticket I was hoping for something in the vein of Barber Shop and when I saw Copout I was hoping that Tina Fey was writing Tracy Morgan’s material.  I was wrong on both.  Lottery Ticket, starring fully grown Bow Wow produced the unthinkable – it offered a movie where Mike Epps, an incredibly unfunny human being, was the funniest thing in the movie.

Copout, combined with his deplorable HBO comedy special, proved that Tracy Morgan is completely unfunny when Tina Fey is not writing his words.  I was harsh on Fey when she was the head writer of SNL, but this chick has apparently worked miracles to make Tracy Morgan appear funny every week on 30 Rock.

Probably the least funny person of 2010.

8. The Worst Thing Clooney Has Ever Done –

The American

Even George Clooney can go to far.  Here is how I think this boring movie was made: George Clooney spends time in Italy fu*king models so he said, what if you filmed me driving and looking thoughtful while I was on vacation in Italy?  And maybe throwin a few conversations, some guns that we barely use but just show me putting them together?  And what if this was all so boring and self-indulgent that when I do a sex scene with a woman who is off the charts hot, it still cannot save the movie?  What, Hollywood – you love me so much, like a quarterback who is also in an A Capella group, that you are afraid to tell me no?  Let’s do it! 

The review for this film can be summed up by the young black woman who was siting in front of me while watching it.  With about 15 minutes left in the movie she just, “Damn, this movie SUCKS.”  Sometimes talking at movies is OK and this was one of those times.

7. They lost me when Adrien Brody fu*ked a lab creature –

Splice

I thought this was going to be a tense sci-fi thriller.  Instead about one hour in to a relatively mediocre movie Adrien Brody fu*ks a creature he created in a laboratory.  From then on it became one of the worst films of the year and the most awkward moment I saw in a movie since Willem Dafoe ejaculated blood in Antichrist (last years #3 worst movie on my blog).

6. I think it is time to admit that The Rundown was accidentally entertaining –

Faster

The Rock was the most entertaining WWF/WWE star of all time.   Then his first starring movie not associated with a Brendan Fraser franchise was the very enjoyable The Rundown.  Seemed like he was destined to do great things – maybe not Oscar great, but legitimately solid entertainment.  Faster is the death of that optimism for me.  When I saw previews for Faster I thought – “Man, that looks like Taken, but on steroids!”  What it was was Taken on creatine with a lobotomy.  How they managed to make a movie about a dude travelling the country murdering people for revenge somewhat boring is beyond my intellectual capacity.

5. Even low expectations could not save these bad westerns (tie) –

Jonah Hex and The Warrior’s Way

Jonah Hex I saw while on the road.  I would have been better off lying in the middle of a road.  I think it was written in about 14 hours because it felt like it had potential if someone had just written a story.

The Warrior’s Way I saw with a buddy because I had already seen everything that he had not promised to see with his girlfriend.  The Warrior’s Way is honestly one of the 20 worst films I have ever seen, but since I had no interest in it and my expectations were zero I did not think it deserved a higher spot on the list.

4. I really hated this fu*king movie and its awful 3-D –

Clash of the Titans

I am sort of shocked that this was not the worst film of the year but it is close.  Between Avatar, Clash of the Titans and Terminator Salvation it is obvious that Sam Worthington is unable to act with actual people.  And after Clash of the Titans, maybe he shouldn’t be allowed to.  A giant bag of crap (shame on you Ralph Fiennes and Liam Neeson) and the poster child for the other cinema scam – 3-D.  I actually was able to watch half of the movie clearly without 3-D glasses and the 3-D was terrible (James Cameron rightly criticized the filmmakers for scamming people for extra ticket money, but not providing legitimate upgrade in quality).  I hate 3-D and I hate how it is becoming an automatic surcharge on every other movie now.  No one likes watching movie with special glasses.  It is annoying and when it is accompanied by a giant piece of crap like Clash of the Titans it really sucks.  And yes, a sequel is being made.

How did Liam Neeson look at this and say, "Get my agent on the phone - I LOVE IT!"

3. Like Mexican sex shows – only the horse was entertaining –

Secretariat

If the horse in Secretariat only had two film credits – sex with Mexican prostitutes and Secretariat, he should leave Secretariat off of his resume.  Schmaltzy to the point that the entire dialogue could have consisted of Jon Favreau screaming “who’s the wild man now?!” from Rudy and it would not have been as corny and embarrassing.  The only thing that was good in the movie were the 15 minutes of horse racing.  Everything else was awful.  I wanted Seabiscuit (but about the greatest horse of all time), but instead got a terrible ABC Family made-for-TV movie.

2. Even when he tries, Tyler Perry sucks –

For Colored Girls

This year Tyler Perry finally got to show off his diversity as a filmmaker.  For so long he was known as the creator of shi*ty comedies.  Now we all know he can make a shi*ty drama.  This movie actually has several good performances, but it is a TERRIBLE movie.  One dude kills his own kids, one guy gives his wife HIV, one guy rapes his date, one (unseen character) abused his daughters.  The one good guy is a cop, but his wife cannot have kids because… wait for it… a man gave her an STD when she was younger.  I think the movie is for colored girls by default because it is definitely not for colored men.  It is also a lazy movie, because rather than adapt the original text to w workable film script he just has the character inexplicably delivering long, poetic monologues which do not work in a movie.  Tyler – just stick to your day job of making shi*ty “comedies.”

For the emotional scenes, Tyler Perry showed the cast footage they had already shot for the movie. So those tears are real.

1. When steroid abuse doesn’t kill who it’s supposed to (and your 2010 champion) –

The Expendables

A tremendously awful film.  Just like when white women feel like they need some fulfillment they open a cupcake store with family money and pretend to be serious entrepreneurs; when old white men feel unfulfilled they make movies like this.  An absolute embarrassment for even half-decent action movies, men and decent taste this is your champion for 2010.

The steroids should have killed Stallone before he made The Expendables.

I could not say it any better than I did in August on my blog – so enjoy:

https://jlcauvin.com/?p=1798

Tomorrow – Top 10 movies of 2010.

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The Expendables: The Movie That Cannot Be Spoofed

There is really no sacred genre of film that cannot be spoofed in Hollywood.  Every type of film has been spoofed, mostly by the Zucker Brothers or the Wayans Brothers or some other pair of siblings. Even Holocaust movies sort of parody themselves by the sheer volume of how many are made.   Perhaps Sylvester Stallone has harbored ill feelings towards Hot Shots Part Deux for the last 20 years when it spoofed, among others, Rambo III.  Stallone’s answer was to revive action films, not with CGI, but with loud explosions, exploding heads and uncomfortably homoerotic close ups of bulging male biceps, when he wrote, directed and starred in The Expendables, a movie so mediocre in some parts and so patently absurd in most that is impossible to spoof.  That is because it works as a spoof by itself, albeit unintentionally. 

This blog will ruin and spoil “the plot” of the movei so stop reading here if you care.  However, if you are older than 9 or have seen at least 2 action movies in your life then the simplicity of the movie will spoil the plot for you as you watch it and predict its “developments” 20-30 minutes ahead of time and you should read on.

The plot involves a pack of awesome, but somewhat aged bro-dudes, led by Sylvester Stallone, who in his 60s is built like Iggy Pop on dozens of steroids.  When Stallone runs, which is not shown for very long, lest he break a hip on camera, it literally looks like an old man racing for the door of his favorite diner at 4:59 pm in hopes of not missing the early-bird dinner special.

I GOTTA GET TO THE $9.99 BUFFET BEFORE 5 PM! AAAAAGGGGHHHHH

The violence of the movie gets started in the very first scene where our band of merry steroid abusers arrives on a ship to rescue some kidnapped workers from some Somalian pirates.  Our heroes give fair warning to the pirates, but because they are crazy and evil they do not heed the warnings so they end up getting exploded by gunfire, the defining blow coming from some gun that Dolph Lundgren (Drago from Rocky IV) uses to literally blow apart the top half of the lead pirate’s body.  Probably the most violent thing I have ever seen in a movie.

This is a good time to crown Dolph Lundgren the worst actor I have ever seen. Porn included.  I wondered, how can a guy who is handsome, extremely well-built, has a degree in chemical engineering (true) not get more acting work.  Oh right, because he is beyond terrible at acting.  He and Gerard Butler belong to a small, but well known cadre of actors who are not American, but who cannot do a passable American accent so their dialogue comes out sounding like they are mentally disabled – what accent is that, “stroke?”  Dolph does not disappoint in the movie, basically delivering the same character and performance he made so forgettable in Universal Soldier.   But it is ironic that a guy who quit MIT after receiving a Fulbright Scholarship to go there (true) pursued bad acting.  I mean, only an idiot would do that, but by definition he cannot be an idiot.

God has given Dolph Lundgren looks, a physique, a brilliant mind. The only thing he did not give him was acting talent. So what did Dolph decide to do with his life?

The second worst actor is the guy who plays the fictional (I think) country’s military leader.  I do not know his name, but he is on Dexter, which, if they traded Michael C. Hall for Dolph Lundgren in Season 1 of Dexter, they would have assembled the Miami Heat of bad acting.

Dexter's Season 1 cast is like the Cleveland Cavaliers of 2007. Michael C. Hall is LeBron and this guys is Anderson Verejao. And like the 2010 Cavs, this guys showed how much worse he can be without his LeBron in The Expendables.

There are some introspective and thoughtful moments in the movie, mostly with Mickey Rourke, as the “I got out of the team, but I am still left with emotional scars and cliche thoughts,which will be painfully obvious because there will be mandolin music playing in the background when I speak” guy.

The main villain of the movie is played by Eric Roberts.  Now he he would be the obvious choice for many filmmakers as a bad guy in spoof films, but Stallone locked him up for this one so he would not be available for The Depenzables.

There is a damsel-in-distress and a scene that I found poignant was when Stone Cold Steve Austin (trained at the Actor’s Studio I believe) playing Eric Roberts’ henchman, punches said damsel in the face.  It is nice to see that after Stone Cold was suspended from the WWE several years ago for some time for punching his wife, that Hollywood has less exacting standards for female treatment than Vince McMahon.  It did give a level of reality knowing that Stone Cold had done it in real life.  Perhaps Chris Brown can be in the sequel.  Or they could get OJ out of prison to play Jack The Ripper.  That wouldn’t be creepy.  

But this movie already had one black guy: Terry Crews, who has the muscle size of 4 athletic black guys so I guess it counts as diversity.  Stallone, in another nuanced, homoerotic gesture gives Terry Crews the biggest, baddest, black firearm that vanquishes dozens of enemies at a time, but not so much that you can’t see gallons of blood pouring forth as he does it.  In one scene Crews (known for being in every other movie right now a la Kristen Wiig and for his bizarre Old Spice commercials) actually throws a bomb at a helicopter.  Like a small missile.  He throws it.  This is exactly what they did in Hot Shots Part Deux, except it was bullets. Watch the link below – I am not kidding how prescient Hot Shots Part Deux is for The Expendables.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1a0L3Z1A-RM

But the real stars of this film are the dialogue and the violence.  The dialogue is basically just a collection of David Caruso tag-lines from CSI: Miami, but without The Who playing at the end of each one.  Just beefy dudes smirking at each other, amazed at their collective sense of humor.

But the violence is truly remarkable.  The action took place on a fictional small island (or perhaps real, who knows) and by my count The Expendables managed to murder 1.8x the population of the entire island, all without suffering a single casualty, except for good taste.  They would enter a room, which appeared to have 9 bad guys and next thing you know, 14 throats have been slit, 19 heads have been blown up by high powered guns and 16 necks broken.  It just didn’t seem to add up.  But don’t tell that to the ravenous actions fans that surrounded me in the theater.  No one-liner was too pithy or punny to not get a cheer or a clap.  No death was too absurd not to earn an “oooohhhhh sh*t!”  The violence in this film was so absurd that I think if a theater sees a parent with a child under 13 going into to see it they should call child services.  Making this movie simply R, instead of banning it, would be like making a film with gang bang, full penetration sex scenes R.  I am not some guy who decries America’s puritanical values (fu*k those people and their Eat Pray Love viewing this weekend).  But the violence in this movie would be harmful to a young mind.  Just look what it has done to Sylvester Stallone, and he supposedly has an adult brain.

If you are not crying or laughing at this movie, but instead are cheering or impressed I consider you an accomplice to this crime against humanity.

Which brings me to the DaVinci of this Sistine Crapel: Sylvester Stallone.  Something has gone Mel Gibson wrong in this dude’s mind.  He is in his sixties, still juicing for movie roles and is making his movies exceedingly violent.  Say what you will about religious fanaticism and Mel Gibson, but even after he became fanatical he made Braveheart, Passion of the Christ and Apocalypto, three very violent but very excellent films.  Stallone proves that violence without faith can make for some very sad movie-going experiences.

It is hard to say that Jean Claude Van Damme and Steven Seagal are lucky, but in this case they are.  Because they are the only two 1980s action icons not featured in this film (Jeff Speakman, A/K/A “The Perfect Weapon” not an icon, sadly).  See this movie if you must, but be prepared to either vomit or laugh uncontrollably. 

OK, now I have to get back to my Play Station 3 and rape some prostitutes and kill some people in Red Dead Redemption.