Worst 5 Films of 2010

by     Posted 3 years, 115 days ago

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There are plenty of terrible movies released each year and I don’t see most of them.  Either they’re not screened for critics, the screening conflicts with a film I want to see more, or I felt that my time could have been better spent another way.  But for all of these terrible films, there’s a fine line between “bad” and “insulting”.  The Switch is a bad movie, but that’s simply because it’s unfunny, lacks creativity, and wastes a talented lead actor in Jason Bateman.  But it doesn’t offend me.  The five movies that made this year’s worst list had to do something that insulted my intelligence and/or my belief that people should be treated equally no matter their sex, race, etc.  These are films I would wish on my worst enemy because then we could bond over having experienced these cinematic travesties.

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5. Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief

I was less than enthralled with the misadventures of three teenage protagonists who don’t know how to count.  Percy Jackson (Logan Lerman) discovers he’s not only The Chosen One, but also The Framed One and if he doesn’t recover Zeus’ precious lightning bolt, the Greek gods will go to war and destroy the world.  Our hero decides he would rather rescue his mother from the underworld and that the whole “End of the World” thing is Future Percy’s problem.  Percy and his useless friends then go on a quest to find magic pearls that will get them out of the underworld, but only get three pearls for four people.  Oops.  The hero’s inability to understand that three is less than four is compounded by crappy special effects, uninteresting supporting characters, and squandering the potential of introducing Greek mythology into the modern world.

4. Clash of the Titans

Of the five films on this list, the remake of Clash of the Titans did do one good thing for cinema: it showed how crappy a rushed, 3D post-conversion could be.  Unfortunately, that did nothing to diminish the movie’s success at the box office, but at least we now have a clear example of how bad 3D can look.  However, you can’t blame the 3D for the convoluted story, paper-thin characters (although the 3D made them look like cut-outs), dull set pieces, and uneven pacing.  And if Percy Jackson takes the crown for stupidest protagonist, then Zeus (Liam Neeson) wins the prize for stupidest antagonist (The 2011 Stupids will be held following the 2011 People’s Choice Awards).  His plan to murder the city of Argos so that they’ll learn to love him makes almost no sense.  Zeus’ plan to help his son Perseus (Sam Worthington) in his quest to stop Zeus is where it gets delightfully stupid.  Clash of the Titans bore the tagline, “Damn the Gods” and this movie, with the help of Percy Jackson, certainly did just that.

3. Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

Percy and Clash are stupid, but the next three films on the list add a nice heaping of racial and gender insensitivity to the mix.  I understand the financial necessity of attaching name actors to your blockbuster picture and there simply aren’t any Middle Eastern actors who have widespread name recognition in America.  So while I’m not crazy about casting Jake Gyllenhaal as the Prince of Persia and Ben Kingsley as the Bad Guy of Persia, I can accept it.  What I can’t accept is why the rest of the royal family is white and why the love interest from another Arabian city is white and why the comic relief character who stumbles into the movie is white.  Toby Kebbell, who plays a member of the all-white Persian royal family, even throws on some brownface for good measure.

But even if you manage to get past Persia being England if England had a desert, you still have to contend with petty, mean-spirited “heroes” who believe smug arrogance is the same thing as charm.  Percy Jackson wanted to be Harry Potter, Clash of the Titans wanted to be Lord of the Rings, and Prince of Persia wanted to be Pirates of the Caribbean.  None of them succeeded.

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2. The Twilight Saga: Eclipse

In my review of the film, I asked why folks found The Twilight Saga so appealing.  I got more responses telling me I should have read the books than actually defending the movie.  If I need to read a book in order to appreciate a movie, then the movie is a failure.  And I still don’t have a satisfactory answer to my question about why Bella Swan is a worthwhile protagonist.  There are going to be scores of teenage girls who grow up thinking that rather than fighting your own battles, it’s better to have big strong guys fight your battles for you.  It’s also okay if those guys lack a personality (Edward) or are domineering assholes (Jacob).  It just matters that they’re hot and will do everything for you, including walking and telling you how you feel.

Every time I see a Twilight movie and the scores of teenage girls “Oooh” and “Aaaah” over the offensive actions of the protagonists, I feel sad for the future.  Also making me sad for the future: knowing I’ll have to endure two more of these movies.

1. The Last Airbender

This year, there really isn’t a “five worst films” list as much as there’s “four bad films and The Last Airbender“.  There’s awful, terrible, unwatchable, atrocious, and then there’s this movie.  After I saw The Happening, I wondered if it was possible for M. Night Shyamalan to do any worse.  It was and he did.

Avatar: The Last Airbender is a wonderful TV show and is easily adaptable into a feature film.  Shyamalan managed to bungle it from the word “Go”, by having his casting department set a preference for white actors to play Asian-based roles.  The whole “racebending” issue cast a pall over the entire production and the decision was never justified.  He didn’t need name actors like Prince of Persia and the young actors he ended up casting didn’t give good performances anyway.  Of course, they weren’t helped by Shyamalan’s abysmal script.

The Last Airbender ultimately had no respect for anyone or anything.  It didn’t respect racial diversity, good storytelling, narrative cohesion, special effects, set pieces, characters, or the source material.  I hated the film only because it decided to hate me first.  The last-minute 3D conversion almost felt like Shyamalan had suddenly discovered a new way to make his movie an eye-sore and didn’t want to miss the opportunity to make the experience of seeing the movie even more miserable.

I hope the executives at Paramount learned that “Because my kids like the TV show” is not a good enough reason to hire a director.  Shyamalan had already burned away all his good will, but someone thought “Hey, let’s give him a potentially lucrative franchise.  What’s the worse that could happen?”  M. Night Shyamalan’s The Last Airbender is the worst that could happen.

Monday: Top 10 Posters of 2010

Tuesday: Top 10 Trailers of 2010

Wednesday: Best Performances, Directors, and Other Miscellany of 2010

Thursday: Worst 5 Films of 2010

Friday: Top 10 Films of 2010




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  • Paul

    Your list is completly terrible. The only one I agree with on this entire list is Clash Of Titans it was horrible. But the other 4 where actually decent movies. You said worst movies of 2010 not biggest disappointments. There were many movies that was by far worse then those on your list. How about MacGruber and Tooth Fairy. But by all means bash movies that aren’t of your personal taste instead of movies that actually sucked.

    • salezy

      macgruber ? cmon man its humour isnt for everyone(thats a bummer),but its not a bad movie,like machete that tries to be too serious.

  • Ryan

    I agree that the Last Airbender was one of the worst of 2010…but it was still better than the Crappening! RUN ITS THE WIND!!!!!…dumb.

  • BattleAngel29A

    Agreed on all points but feel compelled to replace Percy Jackson with Tron: Legacy. Seeing Tron in IMAX 3D was such a letdown that it actually prompted me to rent The Last Airbender to see if it could be *that* much worse… Personally, I preferred Airbender, which should say a lot about how pathetic Tron was. At least “the happening” and “airbender” can be viewed, quite like Troll 2 or Battlefield Earth, as classic shitfests; they movies so blatantly awful that they are actually lovable in a bizarre way. I mean beating a fish to death? Like you said, it’s almost like Shtamalan leaves no wasted opportunity to fail. But Tron had every opportunity to astonish, to revitalize, to progress, or at least to show and not tell. The absolute disregard for it’s potential, and the sub-videogame unveiling of plot is literally criminal. I find it to be the single most banal “entertainment” experience of my life and really struggle to think of a theater experience I enjoyed less.

    • Raj

      You said you rented Airbender. So you never saw it in 3D? From what I understand, half the reason to hate it was the Shamalayn’s style combined with 3D and failing (the out-of-focus kind of backgrounds, etc).

      And I think Percy, Airbender, and Prince of Persia were all enjoyable.

      Just don’t go into them expecting awesome.

  • Venusian

    I loved Tron. Anyways, I come here for news, not opinions on whether something is good or not. The Worst 5 Films of 2010 ? That’s making up another other article to fill your quota and draw in readers for your adversing hits. And I admit I’m guilty, I looked. But instead of wasting our time with your opinion about a movie ( and by chance telling us that we’re idiots if we liked it ) go back to giving us news and leave us to make up our own minds.

    • tigersuit

      What the fuck is you problem? This is a filmblog. They’re supposed to do news, interviews, editorials and reviews. And you know, since it’s their site, not yours, they can do whatever they want. If you don’t wanna read this kind of stuff, don’t read it and just shut up about it. You’re in the minority with your opinion anyway.

    • tigersuit

      And btw, he’s not telling you what to think. He is giving his educated opinion on the matter, it’s his job to have opinions about film. Everybody is free to make up their own minds. A review isn’t supposed to make up other peoples minds you know. You totally read this wrong if you though he was trying to make up your mind.

    • Excpired

      Venusian, the point is to draw in readers who are like-minded; it is called a gripe. Also, what kind of movie aficionado doesn’t love lists? I love to hate lists, I love to live by lists and I love to defend lists. Clearly you hate this list because your taste in movies is so poor that half of these were likely on your best of 2010.

      The list is pretty strong in my opinion, in any case I would certainly put all 5 of them in a top 25 worst movies of 2010 and I would put Airbender in a top 25 worst movies of all time.

      Shyamalan needs to retire to doing SyFy movies.

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  • dogg

    Man, there were such worse movies this year. Starting with The Never-Ending Boring Camping Trip AKA Deathly Hallows. Titans never claimed to be other than an action flick for teenage boys. Twilight had some decent vampire fighting at the end, and improved its FX overall–providing males dragged into a much needed shred of relief.

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  • Alberto

    That’s your point of view. So that’s why I dont agree with this end-of-the-year list because they’re only the author’s opinion. many people have different opionion. percy jackson is by far one of my favorite movie as also prince of persia. how about that movie called THE LAST SONG or YOGI BEAR…are those movies better than this 5? I DONT THINK SO!!

    • Excpired

      You also have to remember a worst list is no good if you only put movies on it that were already resigned to being terrible movies before they came out.

      Like The Last Song, I mean, we all already knew it was going to be another failed rip-off of that other movie that did well. The Last Airbender however had been hyped and everyone was thinking “ohh Shyamalan’s making a return.” Prince of Persia I had hopes for because Gyllenhaal is one of my favorite actors and the franchise is a great video game franchise.

      The point is, not only were these movies bad but they were so bad that they couldn’t even be finished. I watched 3 minutes of Persia before I wanted to vomit from the terrible dialogue, after I saw the creepy stare from the main character in Airbender and 12 people say “lets do it” in less than 2 minutes I was gone, and well Twilight… we all knew it was going to be just another Twilight so perhaps that one is a given and shouldn’t be on the list.

  • Carlos

    I´ve only watched Titans, Percy and the Last Airbender. They were all bad and The Last Airbender was just terrible. I agree with your comments and I think this is the right place to give your opinions, if we disagree, that´s democracy. It´s good that someone else was bothered with Shamalyan misplaced casting.

  • Michelle

    Obviously you didn’t see Skyline or Devil. Because those were both worse than anything on this list.

    • Mike

      Not true for Skyline. Had quite some positive aspects, along with almost only negative aspects during the last half hour or so.

  • Greg

    The only one of these movies I actually saw was Airbender and I have to admit it was the worst movie I have seen in years. I also saw Jonah Hex and that was not far behind.

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  • Ana Luísa

    today is April 1? because this can only be a joke!
    – Hater “Twilight Saga” detected –

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  • dukeofyork

    If you are going to complain about racism in a movie or whatever please get it right. Persians ARE NOT ARABS. Especially so in the historical context of which the film is supposed to take place. Persians historically are Caucasian. Having Jake Gyllenhaul playing a Persian prince is no different than having an american with Swedish heritage playing a medieval Englishman or a British actor playing a Russian czar.

    Prince of Persia may not be the strongest entry of the year but almost every point of dislike i’ve heard towards this movie is based primarily on a false premise, that Persians are Arab and thus should be played in the movies by an Arab. It is this type of wrong headed political correctness that accomplishes exactly the opposite of what it seeks to do. Is Hollywood too white? Yes, yes it is. But this is not the movie or the proper way in which to go about fixing the problem. It is only going to create more problems.

    end rant.

    other than that i mostly agree with this list.

    • Gary

      Actually dukeofyork you have got it totally wrong also. As a person who is looking for political correctness and all that, The Persians are an Aryan race and Jake Gyllenhall is not a Caucasian. Jake is actually a Jewish actor which would make him a semite meaning that he is the cousin of Arabs and closer to Arabs(since they are also Semites) than he is Persian. Although it’s true that many people in the world can not differentiate between Arabs and Persians, thinking that they are all the same race.

      Just like to clarify things a bit.

      • dukeofyork

        Ah yes I forgot he was a Jewish actor. And while you are definitely right in saying that they are Aryan, if I am not mistaken an Aryan is a subdivision of Caucasian so we are both correct when I say Persians are Caucasian and you say Aryan with yours being more precise.

        Regardless I would like to think my greater point remains unaltered by my arguments several inaccuracies. People, the author included, are mistaken if they think Persian characters need be played by Arabs and that Caucasians playing them is somehow improper. A Caucasian actor playing an Aryan is far closer to the truth than an Arab, especially for a film that is supposedly taking place in a time where the lines between Persians and the rest of the peoples of the middle east were much clearer.

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  • Dean

    This is a I hate Hollywood list. Or they didn’t live up to my expectations list. Come on, how many movies did you see this past year? Machete and A-Team were worse than Percy Jackson or Prince of Persia. I also assume Gulliver’s Travels and Little Fockers are worse than any of these.

    And breathe!

    I get it. We are all tired of Hollywood but 2011 looks like a year for movies that will live in infamy and we won’t miss this year one bit! Bring on 2011!

    • Excpired

      I swear somebody says that EVERY year, and it almost never is a good year. The problem is a 2 minute trailer can speak wonders for a film of poo.

      There were some amazing films this year: Scott Pilgrim, Kick Ass, Black Swan, 127 Hours, The Kids Are All Right, The Road, The Social Network, Youth in Revolt, etc, etc.

      I’m sure in 2011 there will be a few goodies as well.

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  • Twilidiot

    Oh, Matt. I will have to razz you mercilessly for eternity over #2. You can do the same to me re: Eclipse Blu-ray review. Both are here on Collider, folks! Kudos to Steve Weintraub for keeping things balanced.

    Red and Knight and Day were the two movies this year, both boring and predictable, that made me want to wait until everything comes out on Blu-ray/DVD. I made the mistake of seeing them in the theaters and I still want my money back. Too bad, because that Red teaser-trailer rocked!

    But the most unforgivable travesty of 2010 was Valentine’s Day. Top 25 box office? 20 minutes and they’re still introducing new characters? Fortunately, I was able to leave the room on that one. If you’re going to claim to be entertainment, whatever you do, don’t be boring.

  • dogspunchingkittens

    What’s missing:
    Little Fockers, Yogi Bear, Alpha & Omega, Furry Vengeance, Sex & the City 2, The Tourist, The Bounty Hunter, and the Wolfman (I haven’t seen any of these, but that’s my best guess). Note: All of these are leaps and bounds more enjoyable than spending time at the Cineplex in the 3rd and/or 4th circles of Hell where The Last Airbender will be playing on repeat for all of eternity.

  • Brandon

    Ahem, GROWN UPS? That has got to be the worst movie I’ve seen in my entire life.

  • jaime

    WTF, the Social Network is the worst film of 2010.

  • Brian

    No Machete, or Jonah Hex, but Clash is there? What?

  • Alex

    Do you notice all of these movies are based off of something? Percy Jackson-based on a book, Clash of the Titans-remake, Prince of Persia-based on a videogame, Twilight-based on a book, Last Airbender-based on a tv show. What does this tell you about Hollywood?

  • chris

    Airbender wasnt that bad. Compared to Skyline, its great.

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  • Migz13

    Yeah.. airbender should hit top cake. The others? hmm.. I can think of other
    much MORE WORST ones than these. I’m not saying they’re good, I’m just implying that there are more WORST and I mean WORST movies these year than the other 4. Skyline anyone?

  • rachelc

    Completely agree with everything you said, especially about The Last Airbender. I have never walked out on a movie before, and I did stay for this one… but only so I could say how incredibly craptacular it was from beginning to end.

    Wouldn’t change a thing on this list, but I would add Sex & the City 2 as a dishonorable mention.

  • Josh

    Paul you have got to be kidding me….are you 12 or senile? Last Airbender was, quite possibly, one of the worst films ever made…the rest of the list is fairly accurate although Percy Jackson could have been switched out for a piece of trash like Splice or The Bounty Hunter or any Jennifer Aniston vehicle…I sincerely hope that they stop giving M. Night any more chances because I thought that the Happening was it for him….

  • aaronsullivan

    Funny thing about Airbender. I will not defend it as a film because it had amazing potential from the source material and there are sooo many obvious problems — there are many scenes that clearly lack bending effects and I wonder if funding was pulled as the writing started to appear on the wall.

    I will say this, however. The casting was awesome save for the two top baddies — the race arguments and particularly Matt’s ignorant take on it are mostly silly grandstanding, imo, though I think an Asian Aang would have been a good idea. No one should knock the performances because the movie was so uneven and the tone coming from the director so unsure, I think all the actors thought they were in a different type of movie.

    The biggest mistake was ticking off the fans. Unlike most fans, I was able to overlook the pronunciations of the names and the apparent race fiasco. I was expecting huge swaths of the story to be cut out and could accept the shortcuts taken. While watching it, I can’t help but infuse the onscreen characters with what I know of them from the TV series and is missing in the movie. (We’ve watched the excellent series 3 times through from beginning to end, thank you Netflix.) It makes the whole experience really fun and involving for me and my family.

    I completely understand people who hate it, and I DO resent that it was so impossible for most to enjoy when the franchise probably had the potential to be Star Wars for the current generation of kids. Ah well.

    For the race thing: The races M. Night chose were distributed by our own population densities pretty well. You had East Asian and some African for the huge earth nation. You had Indian for the slightly smaller Fire Nation and you had Caucasion for the much smaller Northern Water Nation and Inuit for the Southern Water Nation. The Airbenders were monks and were from all national descents — he could have thrown a bone to the huge martial arts influence by casting Aang as East Asian, imo, and letting him have some fun would have been nice, too! M. Night made the Fire Nation his own nationality that simultaneously had the worst villains and his favorite, most interesting characters for the long term. It’s also important to note that the second movie would most certainly have added an East Asian main hero and been almost entirely set in the Earth kingdom among East Asians. Whether you think all the cartoon characters were East Asian or not, I think the ethnically diverse approach that M. Night took makes for a stronger approach to themes especially in the long term — you know, if the movie was actually awesome and well-made.

  • D. R.

    No doubt that Percy & Clash & Prince are not timeless masterpieces. Each of them would be worthy of a Mystery Science Theater takedown. But worst of the year? Don’t think so. They do a decent job as lightweight fantasy entertainment. And last I heard there’s no law against that. Twilight? Couldn’t stand the first one, so no way would I waste precious hours on earth on this one. Airbender? Okay, you got me there.

  • alistair

    ok you say this is not really a worst movies list of 2010 because there are other films like the last song or furry vengeance which simply had no cinematic value whatsoever to begin with but there are certainly worse films than percy jackson and prince of persia. saw both and the audience appeared to enjoy themselves. just sayin

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  • Joe

    I have no problem with his list. But it does amaze me that Jonah Hex is not on this list. I thought to myself while watching the movie “are they trying to make this as crappy as possible to make this some sort of “cult” movie down the road” That’s right biznatches, i just used quotations inside of my quotations. That’s just how i roll… Happy New Year effers!!!

  • Alex–

    Worst film I saw this year was.
    Dawn Treader – incredibly annoying character, bad action, poor special effects, shallow story and the incredibly boring slow pacing.

    Prince of Persia is by far the best reviewed video game film ever made. It’s a fun film not golden but much better than people expected. (unless they were ignorant of the video game to film curse)
    Percy Jackson was also a fun film with a lower budget than most films of this type, who cares how many stupid pearls. The film had good acting, charismatic actors and decent special effects. All wrapped up in Greek mythology which is awesome.
    Clash of the Titans was admittedly pretty crap, had had some nice parts.
    The A-Team was pretty bad.
    The Losers was much better except where it counted the action scenes were terrible.
    Deathly Hallows wasn’t that entertaining either, more like a big depressive stretched out camping trip. It only get’s some slack because it’s Harry Potter, just like the even more boring but less depressive film before it.
    Valentines Day was pretty bad. I’m amazed that the best thing by far from that film was Jessica Biel’s characterization.
    The Wolfman was probably the biggest dissapointment, even though I had prepared myself for being dissapointed with Armond Whites review. It could have been so much more.
    Twlight – Why are you watching a young female romance? Do you read romance novels, because your doing the equivalent of reading a romance novel and critiquing it.

  • vera

    Worst
    the Wolfman, Robin Wood, Sex and the City 2 and The Expendables

  • Destructive Momo King

    I think M. Night tried to turn it into a horror-ish film. But it didn’t work. All the firebenders were Indian. There are so many things about this movie that upset me, but I won’t list everything.
    The only people who like this movie are people who’ve never watched the show. Basically, adults.

  • João Paulo

    This List is shame and the five i agree The Last Airbender (maybe), but Clash of Titans is good entertainement, Prince of Persia is great movie action, Percy is really good, Eclipse is the best movie of twilight saga, sorry your list is complete wrong.

    1 – Jonah Hex
    2 – Vampire Sucks
    3 – Gulliver’s Travels
    4 – Valentine’s Day
    5 – My Soul To Take

    this is a good list.

  • koky

    That is your opinion for the four of the five worst films of 2010, here is mine:

    1. Skyline
    2. A team
    3. Machete
    4. Johan hex

    And also we are birds of the same for the last and worst one:

    5. The last air bender

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  • Eduardo

    Fuck You !

  • saba

    hello,this is the most retarded poo ive ever heard,percy jackson was practically the best movie of 2010,and twilight is decent aswell.get ur facts right u stupid list.

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  • Edmund

    I really liked your list. Of course there are more worst shows and I actually would like you to do instead of only 5 but 10 worst list to include the films stated by some of the replies.

    However, kudos for putting The Last Airbender as the first. Some of the readers disagreed with the list but what I would like to point out is how the list represented how these films fell way out of our expectations. If you realised these films are adaptations from either books, popular series, games or even past films. They have a creative premise to work on, fans to boost the box office. Avatar has a great fanbase boasting not only children but young adults mesmerized by the story in the cartoon series. Disappointment results when Prince of Persia was nothing more than an insult to cultural respect and integrity to original content. Percy and his friends are nothing more than an upsized Disney playhouse episode of cartoon suited to the toddlers. Twilight roots on its abs and pretty faces which sell the film to girls and women veiled by their senses for handsome and machoness. The clash of titans lacks flair of its predecessors made decades ago. More films set sail and collide into the dead rocks of mediocrity and utmost stupidity. Sometimes I wonder if Hollywood is insulting our intelligence. Nonetheless, your list is one most suited to my heart. I wished I never seen this film.

    I really hope that these films had never been made and the money redirected to better directors and scripts.

  • The Smoke

    Cool review and all of you guys have vaild views. Here are my worst top 5 films of 2010:

    1.-Jonah Hex
    2.-Last Airbender
    3.-Vampire’s Suck
    4.- Monsters
    5.- Let Me In

    These were the movies that made me want to hit myself (hard) to wake myself up to see if these were all just a bad nightmare.

  • Hamza

    The only one in this list I agree with is The Last Airbender. Other than that, my list of 5 worst films of 2010 is completely different:

    1. The Last Airbender
    2. Valentine’s Day
    3. A Nightmare on Elm Street
    4. Grown Ups
    5. Green Zone

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  • ASM

    Hello, Matt Goldberg. ASM I’m a blogger from Brazil.

    My opinion: you do not know who is talking. Honestly, if you were in a panic because her mother was in the hands of a very bad guy, you’re not counting pearls (Percy Jackson)

    You probably have no knowledge of Greek mythology, as if he knew anything, he bore what he was talking about (though you pay attention at all bored Clash of the Titans).

    He was talking about a Disney movie … Geez … I guess not think he knew what he was talking about (Prince of Persia). The directors of Disney, anyone know how to blend comedy, action and romance, all within the same film.

    I think I have answered your question (Eclipse): What’s interesting about the protagonist Bella … nothing. Exactly. It is not the most popular, are not all boys who like her. And almost all the girls identify themselves with a similar point. Being torn between two loves of his life, awkward …

    At one point you’re right (The Last Airbender): the preference for white actors. In fact they should be brown. But even so, the movie was very well based the first two seasons, because you can not put four seasons in a 2 hour movie.

    If you want to contact me, visit the website: http://www.simplesmentten.blogspot.com

  • sanjay.

    pop was gud .cant agree on that.

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