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10 Worst Movies of 2010

2011-01-03 18:08
 
If 2010 has taught us anything about the movies it's that every masterpiece is swiftly followed by at least four more rancid excuses for entertainment. Here are the 10 worst offenders, though, sadly, there's more where these came from...
10 Worst Movies of 2010
10. Legion

Despite a memorable scene where a seriously old lady goes ape-shit on a bunch of local yokels in a roadside diner, Legion suffers terribly once it starts giving its actors – everyone from Dennis Quid to Paul Bettany – actual lines to deliver. All the yakking about some or other pertinent supernatural event that will see the end of the world, blah blah blah, gets in the way of what could have been an exciting cult thriller in the tradition of Sam Raimi's best horrors. This one made B-grade seem like a bad thing.

9. Eat Pray Love

Julia Roberts, we sure did miss you. But can you go back to being a stay-at-home mother though? Never has a big-screen return by a widely adored star seemed so pointless – or taxing. The story, based on author Elizabeth Gilbert's real-life story of leaving her safe life and marriage behind to find love and happiness in exotic parts of the world, is awash with all the sumptuous sights and sounds that make movies such a pleasure. But as the 2.5 hour mark came and went, Liz becomes less of an inspiration and more of an irritation.

8. Alice in Wonderland

Be honest, you didn’t actually enjoy this movie, did you? From the nauseatingly saturated visual design to the thoroughly dopey, uninspired take on the Lewis Carroll classic tale, Tim Burton (of all people) managed to make Wonderland look nightmarish, hellish and the most strenuous Disney ride since whatever the last Pirates of the Caribbean movie was called. And Johnny Depp's disturbing performance as the Mad Hatter didn't help matters at all. Whatever these people were on during filming, I'm sure it's not available at your local dealer.

7. From Paris With Love


One of the more offensive releases this year, From Paris With Love seeks to deal with France's immigrant population by classifying them all as drug dealers, gangsters and terrorist nutjobs and blowing them all to smithereens. That a pasty-faced, overweight and sweaty John Travolta is somehow meant to be the hero of this whole mess is probably its greatest running joke. An insult to action comedies everywhere.

6. The Bounty Hunter

Has there ever been a more unlikable romantic pair on the big screen this year? Jennifer Aniston and Gerard Butler, both perfectly attractive and entertaining people in their own right, seemed to be struggling to make it through this laborious road trip comedy about a formerly married couple who get handcuffed to a bed together. At least that's all I took away from this travesty. It also didn’t help that Aniston and Butler then faked a real-life romance (aka a "showmance")  to sell The Bounty Hunter to their poor, adoring fans. Not exactly a vote of confidence in their onscreen 'chemistry'.

5. Egoli: The Movie

In a year that saw more than a few stellar South African movie productions (Spud, A Boy Called Hope, Jozi) how is it that one of the legends of local television seemed to have been vomited onto the big screen? It sold itself as an epic drama filled with all our favourite characters of old, titillated with the promise of sexy escapades with a stripper and intrigued with the promise of a gritty storyline about Niek and Joe's past as Defence Force soldiers in Angola in the 80s. But it was all a cheap lie. We'll never forgive Franz Marx for this abomination of a beloved TV series. As reviewer Sam Brighton (who was extremely excited for this release) so aptly put it – from the Place of Gold to a mine dump.

4. Letters to Juliet


A romance that suffers from much the same problems that plague Eat Pray Love, Letters to Juliet comes off the worse offender for assuming that its audience of lovesick women is also stupid. Shakespeare's tragic heroine is terribly exploited in a tale about a silly young woman (played by Amanda Seyfried), an aspirant writer, who spends her pre-wedding vacation in Verona on some misbegotten mission to reunite an aged woman (the lovely Vanessa Redgrave) and the man she lost her virginity to aeons ago. And somehow falls in love with her bitchy grandson. Never before has such beautiful scenery had the misfortune of sharing the screen with such tedious, lifeless nonsense.

3. Grown Ups

Sometimes when you put a whole bunch of funny, talented people in a movie together, magic happens. See Hot Fuzz, Pineapple Express or The 40-Year-Old Virgin for proof. Put a bunch of over-the-hill, whiny, barely funny comedians (Chris Rock, Adam Sandler, Rob Schneider, etc) in a summer movie and weep as your precious time and money is wasted as an endless stream of pee jokes, poo jokes and general genitalia-obsessed jokes are unleashed. How on earth did these schmucks snag hotties like Salma Hayek, Maria Bello and Maya Rudolph?

2. Sex and the City 2


Remember how fresh, funny and boundary-breaking the TV series was? And how the first movie follow-up had healthy doses of the same elements with Carrie and Big getting their fairytale ending? This sequel to a sequel pooped all over that, with Carrie's whining reaching new, indescribable of levels of agony, a ridiculous trip to the Middle East desert to mock the locals while wearing truly ugly clothing, and let's not even spare another thought on Samantha spending most of the movie fanning her vagina. Urgh.

1. The Last Airbender

Without even trying, The Last Airbender became my most hated movie of the year within minutes of starting. I do not even know where to start. It's the diabolical lack of light and colour, the utterly useless performances, those silly karate-like moves, and the crushing realisation that M. Night Shyamalan has fallen very, very far. There is absolutely nothing to recommend The Last Airbender – it is amateur, uninspired movie-making that farts in your face and tells you it's Chanel No. 5. It couldn’t even get its dreadful attempt at 3D retro-fitting right. Ghastly on every level. I'd never come so close to fearing that a movie might actually cause me physical harm. And it did, psychologically, which is worse.

Definitely not the worst (or best) movies of the year:

The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

Many readers were upset I didn’t include this in my TOP 10 Movies of 2010 – a sentiment which provided some much-needed laughs, so thanks for that. There is so much about the Twilight Saga that has ruined supernatural fiction forever, but somehow its third instalment – which was just more of the same but with more, you know, yearning and... DANGER – had a strange beauty to it, and a nicely maintained pace. And Taylor Lautner's abs. And with each Twilight movie, the music gets better and better. Is it ok that I'm excited for Breaking Dawn?

Scott Pilgrim vs the World

I had high hopes for this one. It zipped, it zapped, it told a thousand different stories in one frame, and it boasted a frenetic visual style that kinda laughed in the face of crap like The Last Airbender, which could have used a quarter of this much imagination. But, alas, the novelty of Scott Pilgrim wore off far too quickly. It's mad energy soon became tiring, the gaps in Michael Cera's competence as a leading man started to show, and once Scott dispensed of Ramona's 4th (or was it 5th?) evil ex, I was struggling to care anymore. Director Edgar Wright is a treasure, he has made comedy exciting again, but he painted himself into a corner with this one. It's one of those movies that can only function at full throttle, which, unfortunately was more than I could handle.

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