1.24.2012

Today the 2012 Oscar noms came out, so instead....

The Vulture's Worst Movies of 2012 Critics' Poll!  Some highlights:

Thelma Adams, Yahoo! Movies
1. War Horse. Some people weep over Steven Spielberg's emotionally manipulative movie. It made me weep for other reasons. And that telegraphing John Williams score sent me into a murderous rage.
4. Green Lantern. Just having Ryan Reynolds in a skin-tight outfit is not enough. Okay, it's nearly enough but a coherent story really, really would have helped.
And while David Fincher's The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is not the year's worst movie, it seems to me to be the most unnecessary remake.

Melissa Anderson, Village Voice
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.
The Worst Day, the Worst Child Actor.
I Don't Know How She Does It.
As pleasurable as chewing pieces of glass (ceiling).

Zach Baron, The Daily
Young Adult.
Burn in smug rich person hell, Jason Reitman.
Sucker Punch
. One of an improbable two sleep-rape fantasias starring Emily Browning in 2011. But at least Sleeping Beauty didn’t require Browning to warble an awful cover of “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This).”
Friends With Benefits
. Not one but two flash mob scenes, plus a street artist uncritically named after noted My Lai war criminal Lieutenant William Calley. Not even the slut-shaming What’s Your Number? — in which Anna Faris was forced to wear an Anne Taylor pantsuit and play lingerie basketball against Chris Evans — was as excruciatingly detached from basic human reality.

Richard Brody, The New Yorker
Four stood out; the worst shall be first.
Hesher.
Isn’t violence cute? 
Submarine
. Isn’t intellect cute?
Beginners
. Isn’t homosexuality cute?
War Horse
. Ponderous banalities delivered like graven tablets from on high.

Ed Gonzales, Slant
1. The Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence). Just when you thought it was safe to rim again.

Mark Holcomb, Village Voice
Bad Teacher/Horrible Bosses
. Why is Hollywood trying to get me to identify with sociopaths?
Paranormal Activity 3.
The cinematic equivalent of somebody explaining why a joke is funny. For the second time.
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Sodomy, She Wrote
.

Mark Kermode, BBC
10. Lion King 3D

Michael Koresky, Reverse Shot
5. New Year’s Eve. It may seem pointless to waste a slot on a knowingly silly romantic comedy that no one expected to be more than a trashy lark. But at one point during the film — each successive subplot of which seemed on a mission to continually outdo the prior one in stupidity — I glanced around at the viewers in the packed theater, and they looked like they we were watching Sophie’s Choice.

Kevin B. Lee, Fandor
The Descendants
. It's not "Hawaiian"; it's plain lazy filmmaking.

Nathan Lee, Film Comment
Midnight in Paris
. I'm not sure what I hated more, Allen's misogyny or the unrelenting tedium of his received ideas, but either way it made me want to stab myself in the face. 

Michelle Orange, Movieline
Battle
: Los Angeles. Aliens from planet Shakey Cam invade Santa Monica. This movie would nauseate a methed-up mosquito.
The Change-Up
. My relationship with Jason Bateman can survive everything but contempt.
Just Go With It
. I'm writing a book about Adam Sandler's producing career, it's called I Don't Know How He Does It. Just kidding, it's called Zookeeper.

Christopher Orr, The Atlantic
Just Go With It
by a vast margin, the worst film-going experience of my year, though I confess this may be in part because I was unable to bring myself to see Jack and Jill. Adam Sandler’s decision to follow up Funny People — and his indelible portrait of a comic filled with disgust for his witless, “family comedy” output — with those two films and Grown Ups can mean one of only two things: He is either the least self-aware actor in Hollywood, or the most.

Jonathan Rosenbaum, JonathanRosenbaum.com
Drive
. Extreme violence as a function of specious and hypocritical morality was already the selling point of The Passion of the Christ; this clever and talented celebration of  carnage employed it as a function of specious and hypocritical “sensitivity,” which makes it in some ways even more offensive.
Shame
. More “sensitivity,” tied in this case to sexist and homophobic complacencies and diverse brutalities.
Contagion
. Like so many other Soderbergh films these days, another tiresome example of cynicism viewing corruption as inescapable, everyday, and deeply profound.
J. Edgar
. Even though this had its points and moments, it winds up being dangerously close to an apologia for a creep who doesn’t deserve this sort of pity or “understanding.”
Rampart
. The sort of Oscar-mongering that can cast a liberal activist (Woody Harrelson) as a racist thug to show us how “complex” the modern world is supposed to be.

Charles Taylor, New York Times
Shame
. At last, an art movie for Santorum voters.
The Tree of Life
. "Father? Mother?" Oh, brother.
Anything that Miranda July ever does in this life or the next.

Alynda Wheat, People
1. Jack and Jill. So offensively lazy and stereotypical that I'm convinced that Adam Sandler hates us — not just critics, ALL of us.
2. Restless. Mia Wasikowska dies so beautifully ... pity she couldn't do it faster.
5. Bad Teacher. I thought Justin Timberlake dry-humping Cameron Diaz would be hotter, somehow.

Armond White, Movie City News
Super 8
. A movie only Spielberg-haters could love.

Stephanie Zacharek, Movieline
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
. 9/11 gets the "I can has cheezburger?" treatment.
Waiting for Forever.
If your idea of a great Valentine's Day is to ring up your secret beloved and breathe heavily into the phone, this is the movie for you.
Cars 2
. The first one was a lemon, too. And I don't care what your 4-year-old thinks.
Larry Crowne
. Proof, supposedly, that Julia Roberts is too old to be bankable. Has it occurred to anyone that maybe it's Tom Hanks we don't want to look at?
Something Borrowed
. Please, keep it. No, really.



ps.  Sodomy, She Wrote.  LOL.  This alone is totally worth the time it took to read all of these.

pps.  I love how both this poll and the Oscars "agreed" on Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.  Ha.

ppps.  To continue what P calls the "Oscar Vitriol Parade," here is Manohla Dargis' review of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.  Bon appétit.

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