With the Oscars less than ten minutes away, I thought it was appropriate to honor the worst of the year before we spend all night talking about the best. Of the 86 films I've seen so far in 2008, here are the stinkiest films and performances.
The 10 Worst Films:
10. Tell No One (Guillaume Canet)
This so-called "Hitchcockian" thriller has none of the humor, interesting plot twists or thrilling, ambiguous villains that comprised some of Hitch's best work. Instead, all we get are some dumb clichés, an annoying lead and a 10 minute explanation of the whole film that is entirely false.
9. Frost/Nixon (Ron Howard)
What a complete waste of time. Ron, just because you have a good play and actors who have done these roles 100 times before doesn't mean you can just sit back and let the cameras roll for two hours.
8. 21 (Robert Luketic)
I knew the exact trajectory of the main character (played her by Jim Sturgess) from the first five minutes. The rest of the film didn't make me want to stick around.
7. Changeling (Clint Eastwood)
On the plus side, Changeling gives you more for your dollar (always a good thing during this recession) since there are six separate stories packed into one film. On the negative side, none of them are any good.
6. Mamma Mia! (Phyllida Lloyd)
I believe I've already said enough on this movie in the above review, so I'll leave you with a thought from my friend Christi, "ABBA should sue them for ruining their songs." She is so right.
5. Untraceable (Gregory Hoblit)
Diane Lane, you deserve much better than this lame "thriller" that was nothing more than a complete waste of time. I seriously can't remember a thing about this movie besides Lane and Joseph Cross.
4. Jumper (Doug Liman)
Jamie Bell and Rachel Bilson, you both deserve much better than this lame "action" movie and playing second fiddle to the incomparably bad Hayden Christensen.
3. Camp Rock (Matthew Diamond)
I honestly wasn't expecting much from Disney's latest made-for-TV movie, but this was so bad it made High School Musical look like Chicago. As I mentioned in the review, Vanessa Hudgens could have showed up and I would have been grateful for it.
2. Prom Night (Nelson McCormick)
One of the funniest movies of the year. Too bad it was supposed to be a horror movie.
1. The Wackness (Jonathan Levine)
I've racked my brain for awhile and I honestly can not think of one even slightly redeeming factor in this movie. Of the other movies I gave an F to, Camp Rock at least had those slightly amusing bickering scenes between Nick and Kevin and Prom Night had Brittany Snow and a couple of good laughs, but The Wackness has absolutely nothing. The overly quirky and "street" dialogue assaulted my ears like the Blitzkrieg, Ben Kingsley's overacting made me want to die everytime he tried to be hip and funny and the film's depiction of a teenager's sexual awakening was both overly pretentious and boorish.
The Worst Performances:
Hayden Christensen, Jumper
---How do you make me hate you from the opening monologue?
Joe Jonas, Camp Rock
---You would think that as soon as they filmed that first scene in the limosine, where Joe can't even put the right emphasis on any of the lines, that the producers would have realized they picked the wrong Jonas Brother to star in this film.
Robert Pattinson, Twilight
---I will give him the benefit of the doubt on some of the dialogue because he was given some truly awful, but some of those facial expressions (especially during the scene where he first meets Bella in the science classroom) were hilarious when they should have been serious and/or scary.
Vanessa Hudgens, High School Musical 3: Senior Year
---You would think that after three films with the same character, she would finally learn how to not embarrass herself; you thought wrong. This is just as atrocious as anything in the first two films.
Angelina Jolie, Changeling
---An Oscar nomination for this phoned-in performance?! That is, if you call repeating the same three lines (all containing the phrase "MY son" in them) over and over again and smashing a plate against the wall.
Meryl Streep, Mamma Mia!
---The worst performance I've ever seen from the great Meryl. I've never seen her overact that much.
Worst Supporting Actor
Pierce Brosnan, Mamma Mia!
---Normally, when you cast a musical, you cast someone who can sing. Apparently someone missed this memo.
Colin Firth, Then She Found Me
---Not necessarily bad, but he's in a completely different film from Helen, Bette and Matthew.
Ben Kingsley, The Wackness
---This guy has an Oscar? What the hell?
Diego Luna, Milk
---He stands out among the cast. Unfortunately, it's not in a good way.
T.J. Miller, Cloverfield
---Shut the fuck up already and get eaten by that monster.
Worst Supporting Actress
Malin Akerman, 27 Dresses
---Akerman was given a prime role (bitchy, whiny younger sister) in this slightly above average rom com and she completely ruins it. Over the top and just plain annoying.
Monique Coleman, High School Musical 3: Senior Year
---I never noticed before HSM3, but Coleman is quite an awful actress, isn't she? She only has a couple of lines and yet she completely butchers all of them.
Meghan Jette Martin, Camp Rock
---Also given a prime role (the "Regina George" of Camp Rock) and completely ruins. Makes all the wrong choices comedically and her "crying" scene is atrocious.
Thandie Newton, W.
---It's so out there and different from the rest of the ensemble that I'm not sure if it's the worst performance I've ever seen or a whole new way of acting being born.
Dame Julie Walters, Mamma Mia!
---Oh my God, the Wicked Witch of the West has come back to life! Run for your life! Argh, that cackle will haunt my dreams forever!