As the year in cinema is coming to an end, it’s time for us to look back and take stock of the best and the worst that’s been released this year.
Of course, there are plenty of factors that come into play when deciding what’s good and what’s bad, but some just stand out too brightly to be ignored.
Here are the five films that you might have felt were a waste of your precious minutes watching – next time, be more discerning and just spend your time watching the best films instead.
Incoherent, unwatchable and unintentionally silly, one wonders how Greg and Colin Strause’s alien invasion bore-fest managed to escape direct-to-DVD purgatory. This is what happens when all your filmmaking effort is put into special effects and zero effort is made into crafting a coherent plot or vaguely sympathetic characters. Skyline miraculously makes you appreciate Michael Bay’s relative ability to at least draw out an iota of suspense or investment from the audience in these kinds of by-the-numbers disasters. This is a movie so shambolic and stupid that you can barely call it ‘science fiction’ because the word ‘fiction’ implies that a story is actually being told.
Robert Pattinson catches a lot of flak and is the butt of many a joke, but it certainly wasn’t his fault that Oliver Irving’s debut feature was such a colossal failure. Sure Pattinson wasn’t brilliant, but How to Be’s pretentious banality is largely due to exceptionally inadequate writing and direction. This British indie tries to be a blend of Wes Anderson whimsy and Ricky Gervais deadpan but fails miserably in both respects. It’s quite stunning that an 87-minute movie can be so dull and soporific that it constitutes a fabled feat of human patience if one can last till the closing credits.
The Last Song is yet another Nicholas Sparks adaptation designed to make you cry. You’ll literally be crying that you paid good money to watch this. Even if you happen to catch it on television for free, you’ll still be weeping because that’s a solid chunk of your life that could have been spent in more pleasurable pursuits - such as being water boarded. Featuring Miley Cyrus and her face-scrunching school of method acting coupled with enough rancid, overwrought melodramatic manipulation to kill an elephant, The Last Song just makes you long for the proverbial fat lady to get it over with.
But this movie sucks more. It’s never a good sign when the parody you’re making turns out to be far more inane and awful than the inane, awful franchise you’re intending on mocking. This Twilight lampoon is a worthless collection of redundant gags and forced pop culture references that is the living incarnation of unfunny. Writers/directors Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer were also responsible for garbage like Date Movie, Epic Movie, and Meet the Spartans so at least their history of lameness isn’t unprecedented. These hacks should never be allowed to tell a joke to their friends let alone helm a comedy ever again.
The true horror of this new 3D frightener by Wes Craven is that while they manage to make fake blood and gore look three-dimensional, it somehow reduces its living, breathing characters into one-dimensional cardboard cut-outs. It’s sad when a horror master like Craven churns a movie as derivative as this soulless teen-slasher many years past his prime. He must have bills to pay or something. My Soul to Take feels like a C-grade scare-fest from the 80s - but instead of being so-bad-it’s-funny, it’s just so bad. How did a man who practically invented the modern horror formula get his own concoction so very wrong?
Now that you're read all about the worst of the worst in cinema this year, you might want to check out the best of the best, just to redeem your cinematic experience a little.