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He's Just Not That Into You
There is nothing worse than an ensemble cast chick flick. The vapid characters are inexplicably multiplied and woven together in a manner that is so unsubtle, it's like having your head repeatedly bashed against the television screen. He's Just Not That Into You happens to be the unfortunate victim of my chick flick ire simply because it was on the TV a few weeks ago. I wasted a good three hours of my life (thanks to Film 4's remarkable amount of ad breaks) watching this farcical creation. The girls are desperate, clingy and neurotic, while the men are misogynistic, unfaithful and moronic.
The worst thing about this chick flick is easily this phenomenal line, "We are all programmed to believe that if a guy acts like a total jerk that means he likes you".
In the grand scheme of diabolical movies, this probably won't make any other lists, but the fact it wasted my evening makes me pissed off enough to choose it. And yes, I am aware that I could have just turned it off. But then I wouldn't know that Alex turned up to Gigi's flat, declared that she was his 'exception' and overlooked the fact his possible girlfriend was called Gigi.
This all said, I somehow wish I was Alex's exception.
It's almost difficult to criticise Sharknado because of its sheer ludicrousness. It's funny, completely original and has terrible CGI. The plot is relatively simple: an abnormal hurricane strikes Los Angeles. It just so happens that there are man-eating sharks in the hurricanes, who like nothing more than to cause chaos.
The film follows surfer/bar-owner Fin and friends as they do their best to avoid being eaten. The lines are cheesy, the sharks aren't scary, and the tag line of the film is 'Enough Said!' The cast will never receive an Oscar nomination for their portrayal of the characters, especially with the cliched script. It really is difficult to take such a film seriously, but that's where the trick lies: you just don't take it seriously. It's easier to sit back and watch the cast as they run around and do their best to avoid the sharks trapped in tornados. The final scene which involves a chainsaw, somebody trapped in a shark's stomach, and gallons of fake blood is enough to make you laugh with relief and contemplate what you have just been watching for the past hour and 25 minutes.
Cockneys vs Zombies
Even though this title is included in this, it would probably be a good idea to let you know that this film isn't actually dire. In fact, for a film titled Cockneys vs Zombies it pretty much delivers on what it promises. This film is certainly no masterpiece of zombie flicks on a level with the likes of Romero: its storyline is predictable, its situations are mundane, and it's so cliched it hurts. It definitely doesn't innovate, which is annoying. But, at times, it can be absolutely magnificent.
The characters are all suitably cockney and comedic, the action is hyperbolic and ridiculous, and it has to be mentioned that there is a large roster of residents of an elderly care home, all of whom are completely comfortable with and adequate at defending themselves against hordes of the undead.
It's a shame that this film only received a limited release, because it is the epitome of bad films that are good: it gets the balance exactly right. It's short, sweet, and let's you know that if there was a zombie apocalypse in London, making your way to the East End would make it one of the funniest experiences of your life and hell, you wouldn't half be safe.
Batman and Robin
God, I love this film. It's terrible and I love it. How terrible? Both George Clooney and the director, Joel Schumacher, have come out and publicly apologised for allowing this thing to exist. It killed the Batman franchise for almost ten years. If you watch it, Christian Bale comes to your house and punches you in the throat.
As camp as a row of sparkly pink tents and overseen by executives who openly used the word "toyetic" (basically, "can we make an action figure out of this", as you'll see when they openly talk about action figures in the movie), Batman and Robin sought to move away from Tim Burton's movies, with their horrifically scarred mobsters and plots to murder first-borns, and tried to make itself a little more light-hearted.
In all honesty, it doesn't need jokes to lift the mood. I'm just going to list things that show up in the movie: Nipples and crotch-bulges on the Batsuit; the Bat-Credit-Card; George Clooney stuck in a voice like he's reading road signs halfway through a ten-hour coach journey.
What came of it? Well, like I said, the Batman franchise died, and everybody involved in the film effectively spurned it like a red-headed stepchild on a doorstep.
The worst film I have seen has to be Van Helsing (2004), not only because it is awful in every conceivable way, but also because it also gave rise to the current trend of large-scale, vacuous blockbusters, where everything on screen seems to be an explosion or a computer generated robot. Or a computer generated robot exploding.
It's a trend where script, character development, plot and acting all fall out of the window. Obviously there were films like this before, many misguided pieces of work where, for one reason or other, the artistic vision just didn't make it through to the finished product.
But this is different. There is no artistic vision to see here. The plot is incoherent, the direction is slapdash and the acting is awful. One must assume they were handed their lines on a damp napkin a few seconds before filming each scene. The special effects are some of the worst I've seen. It's easy to forgive some ropey visuals in old films, rear projection and dodgy models, because they're of time and quaint. But here? Everything is computer generated, and for no good reason either. It's as if director, Stephen Sommers decided to forego any sort of realism in favour of making everything look like a graphic from a 1988 Atari video game.
Princess Diaries 2
The ill-fated sequel is something we see all too often in the film industry, with producers and executives striving for lucrative franchises despite sub-standard scripts. The Princess Diaries 2: The Royal Engagement perfectly embodies this sales-over-substance ideal.
Despite the charming and successful first film, this is possibly the least engaging film I have ever had the misfortune of watching. A five year old could have crafted a more nuanced and compelling story on a Ribena smeared scrap of A4 in blunt Crayola. A fictional country, a farcically unbelievable love triangle, and unprecedented American awe of constitutional monarchy are themes which are presented as subtly as a fart in an elevator.
This shameless excuse for a contemporary fairytale presents a black mark on the CVs of the inarguably talented Anne Hathaway and Julie Andrews who, in the polar opposite ends of their careers, have both won Academy Awards.
Having a younger sister means I can watch cliched coming-of-age teen dramas and chick flicks with relative impunity, but in this case I seriously regret this fraternal benefit. There genuinely aren't enough superlatives to describe how embarrassingly diabolical this film is.
Watch it as a valuable lesson on how not to make a film.
Sucker Punch: one of the worst, most confusing and disjointed movies ever made. The film stars Emily Browning as Babydoll, a young woman in a mental asylum who tries to escape before her lobotomy. She befriends four other women: Blondie (Vanessa Hudgens), Sweet Pea (Abbie Cornish), Rocket (Jena Malone) and Amber (Jamie Chung) and they try to escape together. Babydoll then fantasizes about a world where they are all erotic dancers. Babydoll is apparently a fantastic dancer and frequently dances in order to distract everybody while the other women get what they need to escape. However, we never see her dancing. Instead, we see Babydoll's random fantasies where she and her friends have to fight others to escape. Whilst these scenes are visually impressive, they have very little to do with their escape plan.
Sucker Punch also fails to utilize its cast. The characters are so underdeveloped and hollow that you're wondering why you're watching these people. Clearly, director Zack Snyder put more effort into the visuals than character and plot development. Underneath all of the CGI, Synder attempt to empower the women but his clear objectification of them fails to do this.
I came out of this movie confused and annoyed that I'd just lost 110 minutes of my life that I'd never get back.