Movie Quibble is in its second year! Hip hip hoorah. Here’s a round-up of the ten worst films that I paid to see in the cinema during the past twelve months. Except for RoboCop, which I got into for free thank god. If you’re at a loss over the absence of Postman Pat: The Movie from either my Top Ten Best (coming soon) or Top Ten Worst lists, sleep soundly knowing that I will get round to watching it post-haste and will let(er) you know how it is by delivering a first class review. Let’s hope it gets the stamp of approval! To forestall potential confusion, the list goes in descending order, with no. 10 being the least worst and no. 1 the most vehemently abhorred.
10. The Wolf of Wall Street
Why? For some reason that nobody will ever be able to explain, there was great public demand for an extended version of The Wolf of Wall Street – a film of three hours in length- after its cinema release, when rumours emerged that Martin Scorsese had several deleted scenes of drugs and orgies up his sleeve that didn’t make it into the initial cut. It was Peter Jackson-syndrome run wild. This rumour has since been dispelled, and thank Benjamin Franklin we didn’t get another dose of souped up rags – to –riches morality rammed down our throats by a dildo-wielding Leonardo DiCaprio and his cream-toothed colleague Jonah Hill. TWOWS was too long, too thematically similar to Goodfellas (albeit inferior in every way) and it peaked with the Ahum-Ahum anthem twenty minutes in.
Worst Moment: When Jordan Belfort, the very picture of health and happiness, gets a leering cameo at the end of the film about his own life, something he can boast about for the rest of his days. ‘Hey, check out my IMDb. One acting role; five Oscar noms; directed by Mardy Scorsese. Oh, and I’m filthy fucking rich, too!’
9. The Double
Why? Richard Ayoade is excellent at quick camerawork and quirk, but he went too far with this darkly surreal blend of awkward comedy scenarios and suicidal angst. If you feel, as many do, that the world has had a bit too much of Jesse Eisenberg already, a film starring two of him is bound to cause you some annoyance. Maybe he should change his name to Heisenberg (only one letter’s difference so it wouldn’t cost much to have it made official) and become a chemistry teacher, then die. Nah that’s mean.
Worst Moment: Laughing so hard at the synth-funk theme tune to ‘80s Sci-Fi spoof show The Replicator, starring Paddy Considine, that you are blinded to The Double’s moribund plotting and give it 4/5 in a review when it’s clearly a 3, tops.
8. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
Why? ‘The Defining Chapter’… How, Peter Jackson, can it be the defining chapter of The Hobbit/The Lord of the Rings/The Middle Earth film adaptations when three quarters of the film doesn’t actually appear in Tolkien’s source material? The Undefined, Non-Existent Chapters, more like! This trilogy closer is as ridiculous as its Lego game counterpart. The bloat of peripheral plotting is beyond absurd, and the CGI is an utter jugfuck. No, no, no.
Worst Moment: Gimp troll! Yucky! Even the Vietnamese war veterans in the Saigon picture house I saw the film in were recoiling in horror.
7. Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
Why? There’s gravelly voiceover exposition and then there’s Robert Rodriguez gravelly voice over exposition. Josh Brolin really loves to talk about stuff, and he gets ample opportunity here. Compared to the original wunderkind neo-noir, this Basin City revisiting lacks the visual edge that made the first so immersive. Sure it looks similar but the comical 3-D effects actually push you out of the rain ‘n’ blood soaked world and back into your worn, uncomfortable cinema seat. Since Sin City there was 300, 300: The Rise of an Empire (also starring Eva Green as its seductive caricatured temptress of a leading lady), as well as the astonishingly shit graphic novel adaptation The Spirit, so A Dame to Kill For really brings nothing new to the Frank Miller motion picture genre.
Worst Moment: Such a forgettable film that nothing comes to mind. Give it ten minutes, I’ll come back to it after I write about Godzilla.
*Back after ten minutes*
Why? ‘Because what’s really happening here… is that you’re hiding something!’ You’re not wrong, Bryan ‘in the Meth-le’ Cranston, you’re not wrong. And as it happens, even after you die before the first act is out despite being top-billed, they will continue to hide that something from everyone for almost the entire film. Even though the film is named after that thing. Credits gotta go to the sound people, but apart from the eargasms this was a tsunami-causing belly flop.
Worst Moment: Giant arachnid-mollusc alien breaks out of an Area-51 military facility embedded in the side of a mountain. Not only is the door inside the base about ten times smaller than the fugitive creature, but apparently no one – not the infantry, the circling helicopters, the news crews, the satellite intel operators – notice that the tower-high beast has busted out and is loping across the desert flats until it’s one minute away from levelling the city of Las Vegas. To top it off, we don’t even get to see the trashing of the real Sin City because the camera cuts to a TV news reel of the aftermath, as seen by Elizabeth Olsen’s bleating non-character. Godkillher.
5. The Zero Theorem
Why? The Zero Theorem is on this list for tempting audiences with a modern day 1984 but instead giving them a ninety minute bore. Terry Gilliam’s filmography has traversed the beautiful (Time Bandits), the absurd (The Adventures of Baron Munchausen) and the downright awful (Brothers Grimm). At his best he has brought us such wondrous classics as Brazil and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. These films makes you feel powerful. They are sky-scraper sized middle fingers erected for the sole purpose of flipping off the mind-numbing bureaucracy of the current age and instilling hope in all whose faith might be flagging. The Zero Theorem actually detracts from Gilliam’s counter-culture ethos, but two wrongs don’t make a good film, as they don’t say.
Worst Moment: The proto-Minecraftian cubic dimension which Christophe Waltz darts around in to solve the ‘Zero Theorem’. If the point was to make it as pointless as possible, then you’ve succeeded Terry. Just remember that life is only pointless if you don’t give it a point and I’ll never be anywhere near as creative, funny or successful as you.
4. The Expendables 3
Why? For taking what on paper is the greatest cast of the 21st century (well, if you forget about Kelsey Grammar) and ending up with a two hour in-joke that’s so badly scripted and cut together that it can’t even present its audience with a convincing bag guy. Disgraceful, since he was played by Mel Gibson.
Worst Moment: Sly Stallone and Jason Stalemeat sideways-fistbumping in a dive bar while watching Ronda Rousey and Kellen Clutz screech along on a karaoke stage to Neil Young’s ‘Old Man’.
Why? Robocop did not need to be remade; no amount of Gary Oldman was going to change that, and everyone knew it. Everyone? Everyone.
Worst Moment: Can we just say all of it? No? Hmmm. How about when OmniCorp ‘switch off’ Alex Murphy’s (Joel Kinnaman) emotion but as RoboCop he manages to maintain a semblance of humanity by scanning the auras of suspects to determine their attributes (e.g Fear: 70%, Stamina: 50%, Tits: 30%).
2. The Monuments Men
Why? Above is a picture of a blank canvas. Staring at one for two hours is more constructive and enjoyable than watching this war film about art professors.
Worst Moment: Clad in a swagger of self-assured superiority, George Clooney sits across the table from a German who stole paintings and gloats about the man’s imminent, lonely death, in doing so completely nullifying the hardships endured by he and his fellows and abandoning the staunch principles that got him there in the first place.
1. The Riot Club
Why? In hindsight it was obvious that this film would be terrible. The script was rehashed again and again, the budget was cut, it took over a year to come out after shooting wrapped despite being a low-key ‘comedy’ drama, and my mate Ollie was fired from it. Nobody fires Ollie and gets away with it. Truly though, The Riot Club is a laughably feeble attempt at political commentary; it ought to have been a wavy, hedonistic rampage in the style of Wolf of Wall Street, maybe identifying some social issues here and there but mostly having fun whole doing it. Its attempts at suaveness are queasy beyond belief, and the restaurant-set climax is a re-affirmation of everything that can go wrong in filmmaking. The Riot Club is a disgusting piece of trash. It is sickening. 0/5.
Worst Moment: All of it. I am definitely allowed to say, ALL OF IT. Read the original review here.
Thanks a brunch for reading. I’m going to watch Cliffhanger now. Peace off!