Andrew’s Worst 10 films of 2013

So, as with any year, we have good and we have bad, but just how bad was the selection of 2013? Well, we had some excellent highs, but that didn’t mean we didn’t have some equally impressively bad lows. So, lets take a look at what were my personal pet peeves about 2013 with the movies that make up my own personal movie hell top 10 of the year.

10 – Identity Thief

Another comedy that is predictably dull to a T, has no comedic moments, charm, or any reason to give a crap. A real shame too, as Jason Bateman is one of the best comedy actors, it’s just a shame that he signed up to this pointless and snore inducing tale that had potential in it’s setup. The addition of Melissa McCarthy doing what has become her trademark character performance only serves to drag the movie down into the depths of un-original un-funny movies that saps all life out its audience. It makes you weep for the comedies of old. Steve Martin would have never appeared in something this bland and uninteresting.

9 – Parker

How do you make a boring Jason Statham movie? Well, have a look at Parker and find out. Not only does the movie lack any real action sequences when there is plenty (and i do mean plenty) of setup, and an extremely overly-convoluted plot, but then adds a character that in any other movie would be on screen for less than 5 minutes and then leave. Only on this occasion, said character is played by Jennifer Lopez, so of course she has to stick around for the rest of the entire movie, right? Even a scene in a hotel room that ends a la Lethal Weapon is so boring because nothing happens, despite it being a perfect opportunity for great action. It’s not Statham’s fault, he’s perfectly fine in the movie, it’s just horribly written and has no pulse to speak of. Very poor indeed.

8 – GI Joe: Retaliation

The first action-sequel in the list that does that typical action-sequel thing, dumbs down the plot and dials up the action, to ludicrously mind-numbing levels. The first GI Joe was corny, but it worked, so of course it only makes sense to kill off practically every one of the characters (or at least the ones you can get back the actors) and bring in Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson to lead a new team and Bruce Willis as a retired veteran for backup. This movie would be further up the list if not for a spectacular and genuinely enjoyable action set-piece involving Snake Eyes and Jinx battling a group of Cobra ninjas whilst swinging high above the mountaintops on ropes. If only the rest of the movie had been as well executed and as enjoyable.

7 – The Heat

Take a collection of scenes from buddy cop movies going back to the 80’s, replace the two buddy cops with Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy, and put in a blender for 5 minutes. What you’ll get will still be better than this unfunny mess of scenes that has no plot and even less connective tissue tying said scenes together. Add to that the typical performance from McCarthy that is not too distant from her other movie, Identity Thief that also made this list, and a lacklustre performance from Bullock that is so far removed from the Oscar winning great that we know she can do it’s embarrassing, that you can’t help but to wonder just how desperately the two leads wanted to work together, or how much they were paid. Unfortunately, a sequel is already in the works.

6 – A Good Day To Die Hard

So, we come to the second in the list that is both an action-sequel and stars Bruce Willis, and yes, is worse than GI Joe: Retaliation. John McClaine travels to Russia to try and help out his son Jack, who has been arrested for murder, only to find out that Jack is an undercover operative for the CIA. Of course, when all hell breaks loose, and Jack is on his own, only his ageing dad can help him kill an entire army of bad guys, right? Ridiculously dumb action set-piece after set-piece is what follows, and just becomes very boring very fast. With Red 2 (which just missed the list) and GI Joe: Retaliation, it’s a wonder that Bruce Willis is still the draw that he is to cinema audiences. They should learn well enough to stay away after this. Good day to die hard? No, just a good day to stop.

5 – Jack The Giant Slayer

Filled with uninteresting characters, ropey performances and even ropier special effects, Jack The Giant Slayer is a dull and bore inducing take on Jack & The Beanstalk. Not since Pinnochio has there been so much wood on screen. The ‘action’ sequences do nothing to help the movie’s faltering pace, which crawls along uneventfully for most of it’s 114 minute running time. Even a wonderfully intentionally cheesy performance by the great Stanley Tucci can’t save this one.

4 – Spring Breakers

A look at the trouble that a group of teenagers get themselves into when they go on spring break and find it is not all that they expected it to be, this turned out to be a horrible mess of non-sensical scenes and characters, and is spliced together with all the style and subtlety of an MTV music video. Centring around four girls who from the very start of the movie moan that they have no money to go on spring break, despite drinking and taking copious amounts of drugs, and having a gun that they can then go a rob a diner with. Once on spring break, the movie loses all signs of a plot as we follow them partying for about 30 minutes, before the single interesting thing happens and the character of Alien (played with relish by James Franco) turns up, at which point the main characters begin to atrophied from the movie. It has no ending, as we don’t see the characters after the events of the movie take place and have no idea how it has affected them once back home. A horrible mess of a movie which is considered to be Harmony Korine’s best work. It’s funny the characters begin to leave halfway through once they realise they are in over their heads, possibly because the actresses did too, I know I wanted to when watching it.

3 – A Haunted House

If you want to watch 90 minutes of Marlon Wayans running around on screen screaming at the top of his voice (which is very unusually high pitched), then there are other better movies than this (Scary Movie for example). A spoof of the Paranormal Activity series, which has one or two laughs, but then like all other modern spoofs just doesn’t know when to stop with certain jokes as it doesn’t have enough material to go onto something else. I long for the days of classic spoofs like the Airplane movies or any of the Leslie Nielsen classics, where the comedy was not only relevant but was genuinely side-splitting. This is that bad I would even prefer to watch the worst of Nielsen’s spoofs ‘Reposessed’. Oh, yes.

2 – Scary Movie 5

Yes, another spoof, and is it any surprise. This suffers from all of the same problems as A Haunted House, only much much worse – At least that had one spoof it stuck to and then referenced others, here the movie of choice to spoof is ‘Mama’ but then quickly descends into ‘movie of the moment’ madness, and throws in some odd scenes which are neither funny or make any sense as to why they are in there (honestly, the hoover party scenes are one example that had me scratching my head). Please Hollywood, stop with the spoofs, please, please stop with the spoofs. The only good thing you can say about this movie is it’s not as bad as ‘Meet The Spartans’ or the next movie on this list.

1 – Movie 43

You guessed it, yet another so-called ‘spoof’. A movie so monumentally bad that even if only one of the a-list celebrities involved had appeared instead of the gargantuan amount who made up the cast list, it would still be listed as a hate crime against cinema. A series of sketches (and that’s using the term loosely) that have absolutely nothing to do with each other, Movie 43 really is an all new low in the Hollywood gross out comedy genre. Not only is it filled with disgustingly obnoxious ideas that even Judd Apatow wouldn’t touch, it’s also one of the most misogynistic and anti-female movies to have been made in the last decade of cinema, with stories involving a woman who wants her boyfriend to defecate on her, one where a room full of men react to a teenage girl getting her first period, and another that features a new type of ipod music player – the iBabe – that takes the form of a full sized naked woman. Movie 43 is one of the most detestable things I have ever seen, and That includes 20 minutes of The Human Centipede.

Dis-honourable Mentions:

Other movies that were given consideration but narrowly avoided making the list include director M. Night Shyamalan’s latest movie After Earth, which sees father & son duo Will Smith and Jaden Smith team up again in one of the most boring and dumb sci-fi movies to be made, where the characters are uninteresting, and the goal seems to be ‘become a vulcan’. This year also saw movies take a tumble into the matrimony genre, with poor attempts at comedies revolving around marriage in Brit-flick I Give It A Year and American ‘comedies’ Bachelorette and The Big Wedding (the latter of which stars the new Antichrist of movies, Kathryn Heigl). All of these were un-funny, un-original, and filled with un-interesting un-likeable characters that you wouldn’t piss on if they were on fire.

Judd Apatow brought his life story to the screen, only it’s not his life story (or at least that’s what he told us) in This Is 40, a spin-off/follow up to Knocked Up, which can’t even be bothered to bring in any of the cast from that movie for a cameo despite having a running time that challenges the Lord Of The Rings movies. This is 40 years, This is 40 minutes too long, This is 40 reasons to gouge your eyes out – pick one, all are applicable.
The Bling Ring saw Sofia Coppola bring a true story of teenagers breaking into celebrities homes and stealing their belongings, which couldn’t decide if it wanted to be serious, or comedic, or have a point, and again saw the screen filled for 90 minutes with shallow vapid characters that you didn’t give a damn about. And then Sylvester Stallone returned to 80’s action form in Bullet To The Head, without a doubt the most 80’s inspired action, brain dead action movie which makes The Expendables look like a work of Shakespeare.

So, there you have it, and shall we take guesses as to what will make the top of the list next year, already plenty of trailers out there for upcoming movies that could just as easily win turkey of 2014. Place your bets now!

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Posted on December 26, 2013, in Features and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. Good list. I agree with many of your choices, most especially Spring Breakers, Movie 43, Identity Thief and Parker.

    Haven’t seen some of your other selections, but I will say I quite enjoyed The Heat. And certainly didn’t hate Jack the Giant Slayer.

    • I found them both to be tediously annoying, and both unbelievably lazy. The heat is literally a clip show made up of scenes from other cop/buddy movies, and has practically no connective tissues between these scenes, and even less plot. Jack The Giant Killer was just awful, bore inducing and filled with terrible… everything! I would even say it’s Bryan Singer’s worst movie, worse even than Superman Returns.

      • I only graded Jack the Giant Slayer a C and found very little (80 whole words, I think) to say about it. So … I won’t give it much of defense. It wasn’t good, really I just didn’t hate it.

        The Heat also has flaws; I observe some in my own review, but in the end I thought it very funny with just enough character to pull it through. Is it innovative? No. But I don’t think it was really trying to be. It wanted to be fun, and I think it is that.

      • It’s a fair comment, and movies are subjective, but I found The Heat just thinking it was this big amazing thing because it had two women in the lead, and that was the only thing that hadn’t been done before, everything else had.

  2. Great list. I knew Movie 43 had to top any such list, and it was there. How could it not?

  3. Great list man. I would probably have to go with Movie 43 as the worst of the worst as well. That was seriously cringe-inducing from start to finish, and it was a true test of my patience to sit thru it all.

    I was I guess one of the few who did like Spring Breakers, though for the reasons I loved it I can completely understand why people wouldn’t like it.

    In my list as well would prob have to be The Fifth Estate and Gangster Squad.

    • I get that people liked Spring Breakers but for me the only thing redeeming about it is James Franco’s performance, but everything else is so bad, it has very little plot, has very little character and the whole thing of it being intentionally controversial just to be controversial is the main focus of the movie, and that just isn’t enough.

      I kind of agree about The Fifth Estate and Gangster Squad, but The Fifth Estate does have two fantastic performances by Benedict Cumberbatch and Daniel Bruhl that are consistent throughout, and though it had major pacing issues, the performances made for great watch (it’s hard to have scenes that gripping with people just sitting around a table talking). Gangster Squad I agree more on, it’s terribly plain, uneventful, and has one of Sean Penn’s worst performances ever committed to screen, but the thing that I found oddly redeeming by the movie’s end is that it wraps up everything with a suitably entertaining conclusion. I definitely would have done it a different way as the whole first hour of the movie is poor, but I found it didn’t leave as bad a taste in my mouth as everything else on my list this year.

  4. I avoided most of these. The few I saw weren’t spectacular with one exception. Spring Breakers is a lot more likely to be on a list of the BEST films of the year than the worst. I’m with Tom above – it’s a film that challenges conventions.

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