Well it’s that time a year again, time to rant against the evil and awful inflicted on us poor movie critics and audiences over the past year. There were some great films, some pretty good ones, a whole bunch of mediocre flicks, and then the slime at the bottom. Here are the worst of the worst from 2006.
This year’s countdown to the worst flick of the year includes a remake, three sequels, Paul Walker, and the Duff Sisters, and that’s just the beginning…
NOTE: On compiling the list and organizing the links for each film I found that some of these films had been given inflated ratings on IMDB, which sad to say has become a trend. Just so you don’t think I’m being unfairly harsh to these disasters in filmmaking you can check out and see each and every one was considered Rotten by the critics of Rotten Tomatoes.
10. The Omen
It wouldn’t be a worst of the year list without at least one remake. Yes, it does take me to a warm happy place for killing Julia Styles on screen (though it manages to take almost all the fun out of it), but not even that can save this film from floundering and dying on screen. From the early scenes of Hurricane Katrina and 9/11 to the nanny from Hell (Mia Farrow) every choice is puzzling at best and pathetic and shameless at worst. For those of you who don’t know, the story concerns the devil who is born as a human child named Damien (Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick) and raised unknowingly by an American politician (Liev Shrieber) and his wife (Styles). The only reason it doesn’t find a higher ranking on out countdown is the endless amount of unintentional jokes and humor it manages to squeeze out of this dog of a movie. I can’t wait until they remake Sleepaway Camp. Oh wait, I can.
9. Basic Instinct 2
What could be worse than a pointless remake? How about an absurd sequel no one wanted to see fourteen years later. Sharon Stone, now almost 50 years old, gets naked and all sexed up to once again star as murderous nymphomaniac author Catherine Tramell (Michael Douglas was smart enough to go and make The Sentinel instead of showing up too). This time Catherine uses her wiles on a Scotland Yard Detective (David Morrissey). Stone walks around nude or in trashy outfits, has some un-erotic sex in cars, offices, penthouses, and in public, and even ask if they will arrest her for smoking. Jeesh. Nothing but lukewarm reheated decade old slop here folks. But if you are into GILF’s than this one’s for you! (If you don’t know what that means ask ZolarCzakl to show you his collection).
8. Material Girls
Somebody needs to sit these Duff girls down and explain to them the limitations of their “talent.” Hilary and Haylie star here as heirs to a cosmetic empire who end up homeless and penniless due to a scandal, but don’t worry ‘cause they have spunk and a plan to win it all back. This thing has made-for-television written all over it. The writing was either done by a chimp wearing a tuxedo or the Duff girls themselves, the acting is fine (for your average porn or infomercial), and the jokes are all bad sitcom zingers that went out of style three of four decades ago. What the hell are Brent Spiner and Angelica Huston doing in this piece of trash, and more importantly – How did it even get made? On the bright side Hilary Duff’s next project, a historical reenactment, looks intriguing.
7. X-Men: The Lamest Stand
X-Men: The Last Stand or “How Brett Ratner and Bryan Singer Killed a Franchise” is so bad that the characters start killing themselves off so to ensure they won’t return for X4: The Lastest Stand. Where to begin with what’s wrong with this turkey? They mangle the Dark Phoenix storyline, characters forget when and how to use their powers at random throughout the film, every character has their own subplot, there’s the idiotic redesign of Colossus and the S&M Club bouncer version of the Juggernaut, and the huge gaffe of giving the wrong powers and names to a handful of the endless cast of mutants who show up in the film. But hey, there’s tons of special effects (good thing too since there’s little else). A total disaster from start to finish that ranks right up there with Superman III. Think I’m being unfarily harsh? Then check out Aaron’s review which makes mine look like charity by comparison.
I’m sorry folks, but I’m just sick to death of this genre of film. Everything has already been done at least twice, so until someone finds a new slant to the tale just stop. Slacker druggies (here Heath Ledger and Abbie Cornish) spend their time getting high and ruining their lives. Joy. Why should I care about two self-absorbed egomaniacs on smack? Any reason please? The acting is fine but there’s really no reason for this film except to show some beautiful people behaving monstrously to themselves and each other. Geoffrey Rush slums here in a supporting role as mentor, supplier, and enabler of the pair. It’s no Requiem for a Dream (it’s not even Requiem for Murder), in fact its a pretty boring nightmare full of people I’d rather see dead in a ditch than on screen putting themselves, and the audience, through hell.
There are people that say dumb action flicks don’t have to make sense and give them a slide. I’m just not one of those people. I expect the films I see to have at least a casual relationship with logic and common sense. I guess I expect more, and oh boy was I let down by Firewall. Harrsion Ford stars as a man who has his family kidnapped by the smartest (and dumbest – depending which frame you are watching) criminals who want to steal money from his bank using a USB drive. They want to frame him for the crime and stay anonymous (so why do they show up at his work and get caught on the security feed?). When our hero explains how retarded the idea is they make him come up with a new plan. The ridiculousness hits an apex when the filmmakers decide to make one of the villains out of dynamite. As Aaron said to me afterwards, an inspired choice but oh such a bad one. Problem is the film is filled with them.
4. Underworld Evolution
Speaking of films with a loose relationship to logic. The movie starts out with a long and complicated backstory about the first vampire and werewolf. If by the time it’s over you are still awake, the film then jumps right back into the scene where the first Underworld ended. Selene (Kate Beckinsale) and Michael (Scott Speedman) go on the run from their enemies, and the enemies of their enemies for some reason not explained (explanation isn’t this series strong suit), and find a human who has lived for centuries (because he’s Dick Clark?) and more crappola that will actually make your brain turn into soft serve. But hey, it’s got special effects including Selene’s magical rubber suit that heals itself as she does. This is crap on an epic scale. I know you probably can’t hire good writers to make something like this up, but how about someone who’s going to spend at least 10 minutes to make sure it makes sense?
I HATE films like Freedomland which take important issues and trivialize them for shock and suspense value. A mother (movie mom Julianne Moore, so you know right there things won’t turn out good for the kid) tells police a black man has stolen her child. A detective (Samuel L. Jackson) tries to keep the situation under control as racial tensions over-boil. The film doesn’t delve into the issues of child kidnapping and possible murder or the impact of racial tension and violence. Instead it uses it all as a backdrop to throw a huge orgasmic party. More than just bad, it’s wrong – on every level. Everyone involved in this project should feel ashamed. In fact there’s almost nothing right about Freedomland other than the small supporting performance by Edie Falco who gives the film it’s only infusion of heart and credibility, but it’s too little and too late by that point.
2. Running Scared
Aaron and I sat in a theater and watched Running Scared and every three minutes, almost without fail, we would turn to each other with puzzled glances full of shock and dismay. Thespian Paul Walker (two-time Razorblade Award Winner) stars as a low level thug who is responsible for getting rid of guns used in crimes. His kid (Alex Neuberger) and his friend Oleg (Cameron Bright) end up with one of the guns, as Oleg shoots his father who has been beating the crap out of him all his life. The pair then go on the run doing their best to make sure that nobody, especially all the people who could fix the situation, get the gun. The film also includes corrupt cops, nameless mobsters, camera moves seemingly done by Tony Scott on speed, a couple of child pornographers, and for some reason the Gnarl creature from Season 7 of BtVS. And of course it wouldn’t be complete without a last second plot twist which invalidates all the crap you’ve just seen.
As bad as everything else on this list is none were able to win this dubious honor. Terry Gilliam is one of those filmmakers that, almost carelessly, strides the line between brilliace and disastrous with every undertaking. Tideland is his worst film ever (and earns a place on the my worst of all time list). The story involves a young girl her decaying corpse of a father, the heads of dolls, a mentally retarded inbred who likes to blow up trains, drug use and heroin overdose (with the assistance of the small child), insanity, and incest. Think The Devil’s Rejects if you threw a small innocent but derranged child into the mix. It’s should be a crime to create something so unapolgetically bad. The only remarkable thing about the film is the ironic touch of Gilliam to end this train wreck of a film with an actual train wreck. I almost walked out of the screening a dozen times and to this day I regret that I didn’t; I’ll never get those two-hours back.