Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Bad, 2009

2009 was a disastrous year for the cinema. We try to stay optimistic, but years like the one that just passed slowly drain us of said optimism. We are ever grateful for the handful of wonderful films that were released in 2009 and are happy to report that we will save the best for last, discussing and celebrating the best films of 2009 in the coming days. But for now, we focus on the films that defined 2009: the bad ones.

In attempting to compile this list, we came up with approximately 30 titles to fill 10 slots. Yikes. It was a great year for terrible movies -- one of the best years for terrible movies in recent memory. Amazing. Bad sequels, bad original films, bad horror, bad comedy, bad sci-fi, bad animation, even bad indie was quite an eclectic year for crap.

What follows is a final warning, a final goodbye, a final dagger in the heart of 2009's awful films. We hate you, and we hope to forget you soon. --J and K

The lists, followed by commentary:

He Said:

If not for a few truly wonderful saving graces, 2009 would go down as the worst year for movies in the decade that just came to a close. What a way to go out, Movies of the 2000s. There are films to celebrate, and so I can't wait to move forward to discuss them. For now, we must pay tribute to the horrible films of 2009, and there were so many it was difficult to select only 10.

I Love You, Beth Cooper was clearly the year's worst, a revolting comedy that simultaneously wanted to court Superbad fans and the Home Alone crowd and was actually appropriate for neither. Speaking of Home Alone, the film was directed by Hollywood's Worst Director, Chris Columbus, who apparently thinks it is sweet and funny to depict sluts running wild with a creepy man-child and falling prey to ridiculous pratfalls and uncomfortable sexual situations. Fun!

It says something that any movie could top Land of the Lost, which is the tackiest, ugliest, most awkwardly unfunny and entirely inappropriate film Will Ferrell has ever made. Awful from top to bottom. Ferrell's career is not dead, but it is now on life support after that unmitigated disaster.

And rounding out the top three (bottom three?) is another heinous would-be comedy, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, which is a simpering, stupid, unsavory load of celluloid refuse featuring Matthew McConaughey as an idiot womanizer (accurate enough, I guess) who is visited by annoying "ghosts" (even though most of them aren't actually ghosts) who guide him through the folly of his life. Each subsequent joke falls flatter than the last, and the film's transparent attempt to moralize at the end is shameless and revolting. And Michael Douglas' extended cameo as the lothario grandfather is just gross.

As for the rest, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra was the comedy classic of the year, Serious Moonlight debased Adrienne Shelly's legacy, Spread attempted to trick us into thinking its vapid nastiness was somehow profound, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, by far the worst sequel I've seen in years, was ridiculous, overblown, overlong macho porn, Love Happens was an utterly disastrous romantic comedy, Knowing should have been blown up with its brooding characters, and Astro Boy set new standards for uncomfortable ugliness in animation.


She Said:This year's worst movies for me fell into two categories: banal retarded nonsense or atrocious misogyny masquerading as comedy. Well, sometimes said movies achieved such awfulness as to manage to hit both categories.

This year's spread of bad movies made even more clear that the limits of PG-13 are bursting at the seams. Such raunchy, offensively tacky and woman hating films as Beth Cooper, Land of the Lost, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, Fired Up, and Transformers 2 proved we need another restriction between ages 13 and 17. Or, perhaps movies like those previously mentioned could just not be greenlit at all. From boob mugs, scorin' contests, and "stabbin' wagons" to preening porn postures and "facials," most of the films in my worst list are not just the worst but are shameful and repugnant.

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