Matt’s Worst 5 Films of 2009

     December 28, 2009

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I’m not a negative person, but it’s come to my attention that what I intend as mockery is interpreted as bitter disdain.  I just think a lot of things are funny and this is a job you can’t take too seriously.  Sure, there are events that pissed me off this year like Roger Friedman happily bootlegging X-Men Origins: Wolverine, but I understand I’m not writing about the atrocities in Darfur or the meltdown of the U.S. economy.  I write about movies and I’m very happy to do so.

Of the five films I think were the “worst” of 2005, all of them were screened for critics.  If a film was deemed too terrible to give the public a heads-up, then I think that speaks for itself (although G.I. Joe proved an exception as the majority of my friends told me it was surprisingly enjoyable).  However, I respect all filmmakers who put themselves out there and even the worst film deserves my admiration because filmmaking is a grueling process which takes months; in comparison, it takes me about an hour or so to criticize it.

Finally, two of these films I just think are silly and while terrible, they’re mostly harmless.  The other three, well, I have a bit more to say about them.  Hit the jump for the countdown.

x-men_origins_wolverine_movie_image_logan_hugh_jackman_01.jpg5. X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE

X-Men Origins: Wolverine didn’t need to be this bad.  While Marvel Comics’ Origins mini-series isn’t great, the film mostly focuses on Wolverine’s time in the Weapon X program.  It sets up a fantastic conflict between Wolverine and Sabertooth with two terrific actors in the parts.  And yet somehow, we get to set pieces that feel like quick-time events (ironically, the Wolverine video game tie-in is a lot of fun), continuity gaps from the rest of the series, CGI-faced Patrick Stewart, plot holes, and a whole mess of other problems that led me to five pages bashing the film.  I will say this for the film: it’s not boring.  It’s so bad it’s good.  I just find it frustrating that the X-Men franchise is not that difficult to adapt into great films but we’ve had back-to-back disappointments with X-Men: The Last Stand and now X-Men Origins: Wolverine.  However, I’m hopeful that Bryan Singer will get the series back on track with the upcoming X-Men: First Class.

You gotta be fucking kidding me moment: Adamantium memory bullets.

mudflap_skids_movie_image_slice_transformers_revenge_fallen_01.jpg4. TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN

There’s confidence, there’s bravado, there’s arrogance, and then there’s whatever the hell Michael Bay has.  I don’t think there’s a name for it, but we need one because Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen is a stunning display of it.  As someone who genuinely enjoyed the first film and was looking forward to the sequel, it’s difficult to understand how Bay made it so boring.  Perhaps it’s because he has no concept of pacing, character, comedic timing, and he sucks the soul out of any conflict in the story.  And yet, unlike Wolverine, Transformers 2 never crosses that “so bad it’s good line.”  Maybe it’s because we expect Bay’s failings and inability to realize that you can’t enter the Air and Space Museum in Washington D.C. only to exit out the back door into goddamn Arizona.

You gotta be fucking kidding me moment: Anything involving The Twins who were apparently constructed out of CGI and racism.

post_grad_movie_image_03.jpg3. POST GRAD

This is where my anger starts to boil up.  I can manage Ryden Malby’s (Alexis Bledel) supposed intelligence completely shattered by any lack of common sense, her painfully “quirky” family, the stunning ignorance about post grad life beyond knowing that kids usually move back in with their parents following graduation, and all the characters who would be offensive if they weren’t so hollow.  It’s the end of the film that really pisses me off because Post Grad honestly thinks it’s not shallow and idiotic that Ryden ditches her dream job at a publishing company because she had to start at the bottom instead of instantly being made an editor and getting to do what she wanted.  But it gets so much worse when she decides to pack up and follow her friend Adam (Zach Gilford) to New York because she realizes she loves him once he decides not to be her bitch anymore and goes to live his own life.  The moral of the story: women can’t do real work and should just become dependent on men.

You gotta be fucking kidding me moment: The Malby family chanting their name in the car even though they’ve done absolutely nothing worthwhile and are essentially celebrating how quirky they are.

The Twilight Saga New Moon movie image Kristen Stewart, Taylor Lautner (1).jpg2. THE TWILIGHT SAGA: NEW MOON

Before all of our readers who are Twlight fans decide to go off on me in the comments section for declaring New Moon as the second worst film of the year, allow me to offer you this challenge: find me one moment in the film (not the book) where Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) makes a decision that’s not based on either of Edward (Robert Pattinson) or Jacob (Taylor Lautner).  Explain to me why a man who breaks into her house and goes through her things while she’s not there isn’t creepy.  Would you be okay if someone you liked did this to you?  Explain to me why a man who says he could lose his temper and attack you at any moment is worthy of your affection.  Is it okay to have to be constantly nice to him for fear of him abusing you?  All of these questions are based purely on the story and the actions of the characters, removed from the performances, directing, etc. (all of which I thought were also pretty poor but not offensive).  Answer these questions for me, and I’ll begin to reconsider your film.  Until then, you may want to take a second and consider my position about why this film is a negative portrayal of women that should be condemned rather than admired.

You gotta be fucking kidding me moment: While the shirtless wolf pack is pretty funny, Bella having night terrors over her break-up is incomprehensible.  Why does Edward want a girl this needy?

1. CAPITALISM: A LOVE STORY

capitalism_love_story_movie_image_01.jpgIt’s a testament to Moore’s awful filmmaking that I agree with his point completely and loathe the way he tries to make it.  After seeing the film, I began writing a review only to realize that it doesn’t make sense for me to put more energy into criticizing his movie than he put into making it.  Capitalism: A Love Story is a borderline parody of Moore and it demonstrates his lack of self-awareness combined with the worst attempts at manipulation possible.  Does Moore think the people who see his movies will be surprised at the pain and unfairness visited upon working class families by the crimes of big business?  Is he really so dense that he think he can charge up to a banking institution and demand to speak with the top people in the company without being turned away?  Moore doesn’t want a serious exploration of the economic plight of struggling American families.  He wants to be turned away from banking headquarters so he can show that he’s “the little guy.”  That was true twenty years ago when he made Roger & Me, but now he’s a name and if he were serious about exploring the complex issue of our country’s economic collapse, then he’d book a fucking appointment like any other serious documentary filmmaker.

If he truly care about getting answers, he wouldn’t shout questions at traders as they left the stock exchange.  He calls his movie Capitalism, an economic system, and doesn’t interview a single economist.  This is a serious issue that required real reporting and Moore phoned in his agitprop by cashing in on shattered lives and then responding with some half-assed notion of revolution that will bring down capitalism.  Then he wraps Wall Street with crime scene tape.  Knowledge is power but Moore thought it would be better if his viewers would remain ignorant and just follow his outrage.  After all, what would a revolution be without blind trust in a demagogue?

You gotta be fucking kidding me moment: Moore pretends that credit default swaps are too complicated to explain and that’s how Wall Street abuses the nation.  Moore then moves on without taking the one goddamn minute it would take to explain what a credit default swap is.

Other 2009 Lists:

Matt’s Top 10 Films of 2009

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