It’s a dubious distinction, snatched by Adam Sandler for the second year in a row: a spot on our 10-worst- movies list.
Sandler co-wrote and produced last year’s worst movie — Bucky Larson: Born to be a Star — for his protégé Nick Swardson.
This year, Sandler’s absymal That’s My Boy made the cut. Gosh, if he continues at this rate, he’ll score a hat trick in 2013.
There were so many contenders from Hollywood’s Hall of Shame this year — Rock of Ages, Chernobyl Diaries, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Dark Shadows and so on — it’s no wonder the Razzies have become almost as popular as the Oscars.
The best of this year’s movie crop are being saved for last, as always. Check out this space next Friday for the gems.
Meanwhile, here’s my annual list of the top-10 turkeys:
1. Silent Hill Revelation 3-D
Nanoose Bay-born actress Jodelle Ferland should thank her lucky stars she’s no longer associated with this videogame-based horror franchise. The only revelation here is that this cheesy 3-D sequel to the visually striking 2006 nightmare is a lazy, convoluted and unbearably boring mess in which the creepy young heroine, now 18, must wade through mindless mythological nonsense before her inevitable confrontation with demons in the ash-covered ghost town of the title. Like the heroine, we, too, should have listened to that “Don’t go to Silent Hill!” warning.
2. Darling Companion
It sounded so promising. It’s the third film in Lawrence Kasdan’s boomers trilogy after The Big Chill and Grand Canyon, with a top-shelf cast headed by Kevin Kline, Diane Keaton, Dianne Wiest and Sam Shepard as upscale empty-nesters and family and friends who confront relationship issues while searching for a beloved dog that goes missing in the Rockies. Yet this banal, seemingly interminable dramedy barks up the wrong tree. It’s marred by contrived characters and a clunky, flaccid screenplay that meanders more than the mutt of the title before collapsing under the weight of painfully obvious metaphors. By the time it’s over, you wish it was the humans who wandered off and the dog that stayed behind.
3. The Raven
A hopelessly miscast John Cusack’s grating performance as Edgar Allan Poe, James McTeigue’s murky direction and a preposterous screenplay that imagines Poe as a lovestruck crimefighter searching for a sadistic serial killer inspired by his own stories were among the offences that made this dreary, barely coherent homage such a disservice to the American detective author. There’s great potential for a clever, compelling drama about the mystery surrounding the wordsmith’s unsolved death in 1849 Baltimore, but this gloomy gothic fiction sure isn’t it.
4. That’s My Boy
Andy Samberg must have been wishing he hadn’t quit Saturday Night Live after agreeing to star in this raunchy, cringe-inducing comedy as the uptight estranged grown son of Adam Sandler’s latest man-child — a drunken tabloid celebrity who impregnated a sexy high school teacher when he was 13. Sandler lost me long before the shot of an obese stripper gorging herself on bacon and eggs while hanging upside down, one of many witless sight gags shoehorned into this dog’s breakfast. You know you’re in trouble when you’re upstaged by Vanilla Ice, who gamely hams it up as the washed-up rapper he is.
5. Killing Them Softly
Not since being miscast in Troy has Brad Pitt squandered his talents as badly as in his role as a cucumber-cool mob enforcer dispatched to kill two lowlifes for knocking over a mob-run poker game at the onset of the 2008 Wall Street meltdown in this repellent, cynical and gratuitously violent crime drama. Not even James Gandolfini’s cameo as a dissipated hitman could redeem this pretentious, pointless rubbish.
6. Paranormal Activity 4
Deja boo! That sums up this feeble fourth instalment of the micro-budget horror franchise that, like a certain bad-tempered demon, refuses to die six years later. Cue the grainy visuals, creaking, slowly closing doors, self-moving household objects and tedious waiting game for jump-scares, and all you have is a once-haunting premise about unexplained bumps in the night stripped raw, with familiarity replacing legitimate thrills. It’s time to give up the ghost.
7. The Devil Inside
While we’re on the subject of no-longer-scary movies overstaying their welcome, can we please have a moratorium on bad exorcism movies and faux documentaries? This slapdash entry, about a traumatized woman who travels with a documentary filmmaker to Rome, where her mother — a triple-murderer believed to be possessed — is locked up in a Catholic mental hospital, doubles as both. It’s also an unintentional comedy, starting with its absurd declaration that “the Vatican did not endorse this film nor aid in its completion,” as if Pope Benedict would even acknowledge it exists, or care.
8. Red Dawn
Did we really need a remake of John Milius’s jingoistic 1984 action fantasy about Spokane teenagers who rise up against Soviet invaders? This update pitting a guerrilla squad of cute, resourceful teenagers headed by Iraq war veteran Chris Hemsworth (Thor) against North Koreans who attack their town is no less absurd, and every bit as mediocre. “Dude, we’re living Call of Duty and it sucks,” says one soldier. He could have been describing this movie.
9. This Means War
Reese Witherspoon is a smart, gifted actress, but man, has she been making some bad career choices. It’s a good thing she’ll soon be seen in Victoria-raised Atom Egoyan’s West Memphis Three project Devil’s Knot, because she did herself no favours signing up for this creepy, mean-spirited and charmless dud about two deceitful CIA super-spies and best friends (Chris Pine and Tom Hardy) who simultaneously fall for Witherspoon’s character, an attractive product-tester, and will stop at nothing to get under the covers with her. This rom-com actioner is as ugly, unfunny and off-putting as its cast is easy on the eyes.
10. Playing for Keeps
If you needed a reminder to take the garbage out before Christmas, just remember that this is what Hollywood does. This clunky rom-com starring Gerard Butler as a hunky, immature former soccer superstar who reconnects with his ex-wife and young son by coaching the boy’s soccer team is a rancid example. You’ll be shaking your head in disgust and disbelief by the time Uma Thurman, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Judy Greer enter the picture as sexy soccer moms who throw themselves at this swaggering, lovable man-whore. The spectacle of Dennis Quaid embarrassing himself as a wealthy, back-slapping adulterer who manipulates the debt-ridden jock, convinced there’s nothing his wads of cash can’t buy, is almost as sad and demeaning.
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