February 1, 2013 by Vinnie Leduc
We’re about a month into 2013, a year loaded with movies we’re highly anticipating (and video games as well), but we’re gonna take a look back at some of the best and worst movies of 2012. Let’s save the best for last, so for now we’ll discuss the worst and most disappointing films released last year.
The Most Disappointing Movies of 2012: Brave, The Chernobyl Diaries, Dark Shadows, Friends With Kids, The Man With the Iron Fists, The Pirates! Band of Misfits, The Possession, Safe House, Total Recall
Both Brave and The Pirates! Band of Misfits were rare misfires from animation studios with excellent reputations and great records. One of its trailers seemed to indicate that Brave was supposed to get Pixar back on track after Cars 2 proved in the previous year that the animation powerhouse doesn’t always take golden dumps, but the film regressed into something you’d expect from Disney back when their animated films were exclusively 2D. The Pirates! Band of Misfits was sunken by a supersaturation of jokes, many of which were misses.
The Chernobyl Diaries was like Apollo 18 the year before: a cool premise that turned out to be a short movie that felt long. As a fan of Tim Burton’s movies, I couldn’t believe how bored I was during Dark Shadows. What happens when you transplant four members from Bridesmaids but keep them out of the spotlight for most of the film? You get Friends With Kids, in which Jennifer Westfeldt’s effort to write, produce, and direct is muddled by putting herself in the main starring role as part of the story’s primary couple.
An enticing red band trailer revealed some bloody potential for the Tarantino-branded The Man With the Iron Fists, but it couldn’t capitalize on some decent elements and fell prey to RZA’s wack-ass plot and corny writing. The Possession was neutered by its PG-13 rating, and all the good parts had already been spoiled by its awesome and creepy trailer. Ultimately it made me, if I had to, choose The Devil Inside, which wasn’t even close to good, as the superior exorcism film. Tricked by a bumpin’ trailer, I fell asleep during an action scene in Safe House.
These are all movies I really wanted to like, but being one of our most anticipated films of 2012, the biggest disappointment of last year, like the previous year when we
named shamed Cowboys & Aliens, is another sci-fi flick. Although Total Recall promised sleek special effects, a smokin’ hot Kate Beckinsale, and creative marketing, it probably wasn’t going to top Arnold Schwarzenegger blasting his way through Mars, but it did waste a chance to forge its own mind-bending identity despite changing the locale. It paid homage to the original classic, but the totally unnecessary remake was unremarkable, unexceptional, and uninspired in nearly every other way.
The Worst Movies of 2012: Act of Valor, The Apparition, The Cold Light of Day, Cosmopolis, The Expendables 2, Fun Size, Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance 3D, Gone, Hit & Run, House at the End of the Street, Joyful Noise, The Lucky One, Magic Mike, Mirror Mirror, One For the Money, The Possession, Silent Hill: Revelation 3D, Silent House, Soldiers of Fortune, Stolen, This Means War, The Three Stooges
It was a particularly bad year for the horror genre. House at the End of the Street devolved from a standard and unoriginal plot into a weird and stupid one. If you ever read the original eBay posting that The Possession‘s “true story” is based upon, you might feel some real horror. I felt horrible dragging a friend and a couple of my brothers to this massive disappointment. Silent House‘s gimmick of events happening in real time turned out to be real boring. On top of that, the zero-thrill movie had the worst use of an R rating this year. The Apparition had no gimmick and little premise beyond a summoned haunting; it’s no wonder that Warner Bros. gave it minimal marketing and its smallest wide release ever. Silent Hill: Revelation 3D made absolutely NO sense whatsoever and gave video game adaptations a bad rap, something they definitely don’t need.
The Three Stooges couldn’t get a single chuckle out of me, Fun Size didn’t do much better, The Lucky One was this year’s obligatory Nicholas Sparks romance-novel-turned-godawful-movie, and Joyful Noise was so difficult to watch that to finish it, it took me three weeks of leaving it by my side whenever I washed the dishes. Cosmopolis turned psychological sci-fi into sleep-inducing confusion, and I don’t even remember what happened in Gone (something about the cops not believing a possibly crazy girl who thinks her sister’s been kidnapped?). Snow White’s a story I’ll always remember no matter what incarnation it is, but I wanted to forget Mirror Mirror, a “comedy” that resembled a high school play and whose target audience must’ve been incontinent (i.e., babies and senior citizens). Even if good ol’ fashioned female porn replaced the male stripping in Magic Mike, another movie aimed at a specific demographic, the movie still would’ve been among the most boring and pointless ones of the year.
I love my action movies, but they usually have to offer something beyond the standard guns and explosions. Both of director Simon West’s 2012 movies sucked big time. The first one, Stolen, re-confirmed the theory that Nicolas Cage accepts every role offered to him. The other one, The Expendables 2, showed that it doesn’t matter how epic your all-star action ensemble cast is. Lazy writing (the villain’s name is actually “Vilain”), mediocre action, and stupid one-liners (if you could even make out what Stallone was mumbling) killed any hopes of this testosterone trip redeeming itself from similar problems in the original. Act of Valor tried the opposite strategy by employing a no-name cast of unknowns marketed as real-life Navy SEALS. Stick to your day jobs, fellas. Both The Expendables 2 and Act of Valor may have succeeded at the box office, but nothing could save Soldiers of Fortune, which I’m betting you’ve never even heard of. Don’t look it up. The Cold Light of Day, a sloppy thriller that got slapped with a random idiom for a title, is another movie you’ve probably never heard of because it rightfully received nearly zero marketing and promotions.
Neveldine/Taylor, the directing pair behind Gamer and the Crank movies, couldn’t turn the worst Marvel superhero around in the completely uncalled-for Ghost Rider sequel. The same day that was released, This Means War showed that Tom Hardy can’t make every movie awesome and made a compelling case against mixing romcom with action. Same goes with Hit & Run, an independent project by couple Dax Shepard and Kristen Bell that was seldom good, and One For the Money, a painfully boring POS that couldn’t get me to even grin once. All I know is that it was about Katherine Heigl as a bounty hunter with an unbearably poor Jersey accent, and it was somehow worse than that Jennifer Aniston and Gerard Butler romcom from a few years ago, easily making One For the Money the worst movie of the year.
What do you think? We couldn’t watch every single movie released in 2012, so did we miss anything that you’d rather pay not to watch instead of actually sit through? Let us know in the comments.