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Top Ten Worst Horror Movies

24 Dec

10 Worst Horror Movies

10. Final Destination

Final Destination is on this list not so much for being an incompetent film as just a weird film. There are several elements to this weirdness, but all of them are centred on the core premise. A guy has a vision of his own death. Having received this vision he avoids said death, along with several other teenagers. Since they were ‘supposed’ to die and didn’t, Death (that is the elemental personification of Death) thereafter takes a personal interest in seeing to their demise. So far, so weird. This is just the beginning however. Over the course of the film it becomes apparent that Death doesn’t have a lot in his schedule and watches too many cartoons. Overly complex and convoluted deaths abound, often with an Acme twist, forcing an already silly plot to supreme levels of idiocy. This, along with stilted and wooden acting, unimaginative scene setting and a hammy script ensure Final Destination’s reputation as a bad horror movie.

9. Return of the Living Dead III

A little known film in many circles, Return of the Living Dead III was a film among the 80’s splatter era, and is a prime example of why that era sucked so bad. Basic premise: boy’s girlfriend dies, boy goes to Colonel Father and asks him to re-animate her. Colonel Father, in the best traditions of army whack-jobs, agrees and they promptly give her a dose of zombie gas. She wakes up, makes a snack of a few Latino gangsters and begins a new zombie apocalypse. Despite the obviously masterful plotting, what really lets this film down are the special effects. In that time of ketchup-for- blood, the special effects department managed to come up with zombies that looked as though they had wandered in from a children’s play. What ensues is just plain embarrassing, the cast seem to agree. Watching bored people run away from clay-mation monsters that they evidently don’t care about is not a way to spend an afternoon.

8. Black Sheep

This 2006 fable of killer sheep is a good example of a special kind of film. This kind of film is based around one single joke, ala Killer Tomatoes etc. The single joke that Black Sheep is based around is instead of turning into a Were-wolf, someone turns into, yes, a Were-sheep. How hilarious! Oh, and they could set it on New Zealand! And run the tagline “Get ready for the violence of the lambs!” or “Get the flock out of here!” or even “There are 40 million sheep in New Zealand…and they’re pissed off!” As this concept demonstrates, there may be beauty in simplicity, but there is also a hell of a lot of stupidity. Black Sheep fails to engage on every level. It is clear that once the writers had come up with their core idea they let everything else write itself albeit badly. The humour is confusing at best, and in a comedy horror, that is simply inexcusable. Save yourself and your eyeballs the bother and stay away, you have been warned.

7. I Am Legend

I Am Legend is a film about Will Smith showering. Oh, sorry, got it wrong. I Am Legend is a movie about Will Smith exercising and driving a fast car. Ah, damn, again. I Am Legend is a movie about world renowned biologist Will Smith being the last and therefore coolest man on earth fighting bad CGI albino vampires by night and showering, exercising, driving a fast car, playing golf on an aircraft carrier and getting emotional with a dog by day. Yes! Got it right! Oh yeah, the film is rubbish too, for the definitive last man on earth experience watch 28 Days Later, to see Will Smith be Will Smith, watch this.

6.  The Village

M Night Shyamalan has been taking a lot of stick recently. Every movie that he has done since The Sixth Sense has been derided to varying degrees, and the Village is a prime example why. It starts with an intriguing premise (as Shyamalan’s screenplays tend to), there is a village in ye olde times. This village is surrounded by a large forest, a dark forest in which exists unnamed creatures. The villagers have a truce with these creatures, they stay out of the forest and the creatures stay out of the village. Then one night the truce is broken and all hell breaks loose. It is at this point that he makes the mistake that he has been making ever since, confusing plot twists for actual plot. We are lead through a story so labyrinth that it is impossible to follow and the film suffers as a result. A poor showing given such an original premise, as such it is rightfully panned.

5. The Howling

The Howling makes for an easy entry on this list, both for being terrible and spawning a million sequels which were even worse. In this most abhorrent of features we follow our protagonist Karen. Karen is a news reporter. One day she is felt up by a bad man. Then she is upset and goes to a resort to recuperate. She is sad when she arrives because the people there are weird. This is because they are werewolves. Then she kills them all with a macguffin, turns into a werewolf herself and is killed also. As a story, The Howling is uninspired and contrite, as a movie it is awful. With many incoherent and unexplained moments, terrible effects, protracted painful dialogue and muddy lighting the film as a whole is amateurish, dull and confusing.

4. The Wasp Woman

It is a shame to drag this film up from the depths of history, however it ultimately necessary, let us elaborate. The Wasp Woman was made in 1959 on a shoestring budget (these shoestrings evidently belonged to a hobo) and is one of the single most boring films ever made. Poorly received in the day, it fares even more poorly in the present day. The basic premise is this: an anti-aging cream is invented which uses “wasp enzymes”, a female CEO of a cosmetics firm takes notice and uses the cream herself to great effect. However as time passes she changes and inevitably becomes the titular wasp woman. Halle Berry Catwoman comparisons aside, this film is let down by an awful screechy soundtrack, a flat script, hammy acting and above all, a truly laughable attempt at a monster costume, look it up if you dare!

3. Gothika

Halle Berry is another whose star has waned in the last decade. Ever since her Oscar win for Monster she has starred in a series of successively awful films. Gothika is case in point. The film opens in an absurdly gothic psychiatric hospital, with Halle Berry playing the role of one Miranda Grey. Miranda Grey drives home one night, encounters a little girl ghost, is possessed by said ghost and wakes up in the psychiatric hospital the next morning as (shock!) a patient, having murdered her husband. What follows is an attempt to attach plot to this drivel, without any success whatsoever. Plot is essential to horror, as we have seen, and Gothika is a good example of why this is the case. Without originality or suspense, no scares ensue.

2. Teeth

Teeth is a horror that attempts something new and tries to be funny about it, on the former it triumphs and on the latter it fails miserably. The premise is this, a girl has teeth in her vagina and can bite off a man’s penis with it. Where this movie fails is execution, what could have been a somewhat meditative movie is turned into a rote high school flick in which said girl lives in a town with an improbably high number of perverts and has an origin story of sorts as she bites off the penises of these men and the fingers of one gynaecologist. It is unfortunate that this is the case, as at times there is genuine promise. The reason Teeth fares so poorly is that while it is a great idea, the execution is simply terrible.

1. Feast

Feast is the result of Project Greenlight, a competition set up to encourage amateur horror directors. Throughout you can see the touch of the amateur; the strange camera shots, the occasional lighting problems and oh yeah, the absolute lack of any redeemable features. There is no humour, plot, chemistry, atmosphere, inspiration or (something essential for a horror) scares. The plot is this, monsters attack a bar. One sentence, that’s all. There is no attempt to stray beyond this, and indeed this mentality pervades the film as a whole. The characters speak in one liners. The creatures are one note. The film is set in one room (practically). One minute is too long to be watching. End of.

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Christmas

24 Dec

Christmas/X-Mas: What to think?

Christmas time is a strange time. All around the world people laugh and sing with glee as magic fills the air and snow falls, heralding the hour where Santa on his sleigh appears, handing out good Christmas cheer! Or at least that is what Coca-Cola would have you believe. No, Christmas is a time of decadent consumerism, false hopes and terrible marketing.  This little piece will not enlighten you (no such pretentious ambitions here) but will definitely entertain you as you stare into the abyss, that black hole ever hungry for your hard earned cash…enjoy!

Christmas as a festival has very deep roots. As far back as Roman times, various tribes and peoples in the north of Europe were recorded as having celebrations in the middle of winter, during the coldest day of the coldest month because, hey, you’ve got to have something to look forward to! Over time and mainly over the spread of the Roman Catholic faith, these festivals were appropriated to suit Christian beliefs and make them more Bible-friendly. The early monks, missionaries and other converters were well aware that their austere faith didn’t offer much in comparison to the constant quaffing and carousing that the pagan lifestyle offered, so they took the festivals and rebranded them. Eventually, as the church became more centralised over time these different appropriated festivals were amalgamated into something resembling what we now call Christmas. The date was never a fixed one until relatively recently. So, yes, no one really knows if the little baby Jesus was born on this day and everybody certainly knows that Santa wasn’t Saint Nicholas.

People can harp on as much as they like about Santa being the modern image of Saint Nicholas, but that doesn’t make it the case. Santa is a modern phenomenon, evolving alongside the growing importance of Christmas as a commercial event. It is easy to lay the blame entirely at the feet of the Coca Cola corporation, so that is precisely what must be done. I don’t know who did it, but the person who came up with the image of a morbidly obese, animal abusing, alcoholic man with questionable  fashion sense who, utilising the world’s most advanced surveillance system, spies on your children and then judges them according to his uncompromisingly Manichean belief system, is not someone I’d like to meet. Not to mention that they also dreamt of him having a crack team of midget slave labourers to crank out toy after toy all year and have him break into your house to reward or punish your children while they sleep like the possibly perverted psychopath that he is. No, that image is entirely new (also entirely disturbing, Santa is an object of terror for many children worldwide, as he was for this writer).

The idea of present giving and more importantly present buying is one more rooted in the modern world, another little tidbit from the corporations. As is the concept of decorations  etc.

Now it is an old and facile view to take that all the ills and ailments of the world stem from corporate profiteering, but the phenomenon of Christmas is new (relatively) and exists but for your money. So buy your presents and indulge in your traditions, but always remember you don’t have to do it because it is ancient or to boost the economy, or to meet the present demands of your children. No, you do it, because as so many god-awful Christmas cartoon specials have reminded us ad infinitum, for the Spirit of Christmas, good times and good cheer, happy memories (I believe that this sentence may have caused me type 2 diabetes, I certainly now have glaucoma)!

Have a merry Christmas, or whatever.

Sean Cameron

Heartbreaker/L’Arnacoeur review

24 Dec

Heartbreaker/L’Arnacouer

It is a little known fact that French cinema is at the moment undergoing a golden era. Riding the crest of this golden wave of glittering gallic masterpieces are a few exceptionally well produced pieces, of which Heartbreaker is an example.

Starring Roman Duris as a conman whose job is to break up couples, Heartbreaker follows the story of this Duris, hired to break up Vanessa Paradis from her fiancé on the wishes of her gangster father. At first it seems impossible, she is seemingly completely in love with her fiancé who has it all, riches, looks, charm and a philanthropic spirit. To make it worse, Duris falls for Paradis and has a time limit of five days before the happy couple’s long awaited marriage.

What ensues is an exceedingly well crafted, beautifully shot and well scripted feature that will melt all but the hardest of hearts with its blend of pitch perfect casting and sardonic humour. Duris and Paradis share an easy chemistry, helped immeasurably by the sights, sounds and sunny weather of Monaco. Providing excellent comic foil are his partners in crime, his sister and her husband. By turns assaulting rabid nymphomaniacs and impersonating Milanese race car drivers, there is rarely a slow moment.

Well incorporated into the mix are heavy doses of Dirty Dancing. That’s right, Patrick Swayze doing his thing, in a French movie. Before every male reader turns his head and groans, bear with me. This film is that rarest of gems, a romcom that both celebrates and exemplifies the genre while simultaneously being both a send up and a satire. The fourth wall is pulled down brick by brick in several encounters while the ending is both archetypal and unique.

As can be ascertained from this glowing review, there are a great many positive aspects to this film and very few reasons not to haul yourself to the cinema to see it. Unless you are allergic to subtitles (sous-titres), see this movie.

5/5

Sean Cameron

Halloween

24 Dec

All Hallow’s Eve, Samhuin, All Souls Day…Halloween is and always has been many different things to many different people. Over the years these things have transformed markedly, as all festivals do, to reflect the popular culture of whichever period and place it inhabits. It is safe to say that the sanitised homogenous marketed tripe shovelled down your throat in the present hasn’t always been the nom du jour. Indeed as you progress down the years, decades and centuries, the festivities take on decidedly darker airs, harking back to an age of superstition and magic, when the things that went bump in the night were more than your clumsy partner forgetting where the bedroom door is. Read on to be entertained and educated (I can’t offer anything more!).

It is commonly thought among ethnologists, folklorists and historians that what we now know as Halloween has its roots in the Celtic festival of Samhuin (read “summer’s end”). This day was believed by the Celts to be the time of year when the boundaries of the ‘other’ world and our world overlapped and spirits crept into the world. It was the darkest time in their calendar and they lit large bonfires to keep the darkness away and to scare away any bad spirits that may be lurking. These bonfires later found their way into Guy Fawkes Night, but they stayed a symbol of Samhuin for many a year.

Later traditions that have become associated with Halloween, such as trick-or-treating, find their roots in Scotland and Ireland. Trick-or-treating in particular originated in Scotland with what is and was known as ‘guising’ (read ‘guy-sing’), where children would go from door to door requesting food or money. In a way, it was elaborate begging, child labour, a violation of human rights. For children it was and continues to be fun.

The Halloween of today however, truly stems from the USA. It was there that the Scottish and Irish migrants took their beliefs and it was there that these beliefs found popularity. The first mass market Halloween costumes were being produced in the USA by the 1930s and since then the Halloween industry has boomed. Now we are sold themed sweets, costumes, films, tv shows, attractions and everything in-between.

So what we have seen in this limited but hopefully interesting piece, is that Halloween had its roots in Celtic culture, moved on through the centuries and acquired new traditions while shedding others, eventually coming to the USA, where it found popularity as a secular holiday that, as time went by, was increasingly aimed at children. Now it is the second largest festive industry in the USA and is celebrated across the world. Essentially though, Halloween is different things to different people. For Neo-Pagans it is a night to do whatever they do. For Jehovah’s Witnesses it is a night to ignore, because of course anything pagan is stupid. For children it is a night to receive and stuff themselves with sweets, and that is where the essential magic lies. For don’t we all want chocolate?

Sean Cameron

The Top Ten French Comedies

20 Nov

As of late we have seen a mass proliferation of French films into the UK. Why they have arrived can be attributed to the sheer quality and quantity of output from French filmmakers such as Agnes Jaoui, Jean Pierre Bacri and Thierry Lhermitte. These people have driven cinema forward, and without being elitist, have elevated the general quality of films present in UK cinema. There are other factors of course, such as the fact that French films are better financed now than they have ever been, and also that relations between the UK and France have improved in recent years. Look to the list beyond this and be enlightened as to ten of the best French comedies produced that you will probably not have seen, then haul your uncultured ass along to the Filmhouse to take part in their French film festival. Recommended in particular is LOL, starring Sophie Marceau and Christa Theret and also Des Hommes et des Dieus. This writer personally guarantees that you will be both pleasantly surprised and amused. Just a note though, make sure you know how to read first, there ain’t no engurlish in them thar films!

10. Les Visiteurs

This film is one of the most conventional on show. It was the most successful French film ever in the French domestic market. Based around a simple everyday concept; an 11th century knight and his servant are transported from the past into the present and learn to deal with and survive in the modern world. The result is a hilarious, mostly due to the excellent performances given by Jean “Leon” Reno as the said knight and Christian Clavier as his bumpkin servant. Despite the humour being somewhere around the toilet level at times, Les Visiteurs offers an idiosyncratic experience which will challenge your preconceptions of time travellers in general. This is a very enjoyable film indeed.

9. Asterix and Obelix: Mission Cleopatra

At the time (2001) this film was the most expensive French film ever produced. The benefits of this budget are easy to see. With stars such as Monica Belucci and Gerard Depardieu present, stunning sets and mountains of extras, this film offers a feast for the eyes. Based around an Asterix comic, the plot is somewhat childish but ultimately satisfying. Although the laughs maybe somewhat conventionally scripted and easy to see, they are no less funny for it. With excellent performances, wonderful costumes, gags and songs, this film has no sense of self importance and revels in that fact. Self-knowing, wry and again ultimately warm and lovable this is not a film to miss.

8. Les Bronzés font du ski

This film, made in 1979, is a who’s who of French film, at least in the modern era, with names from Christian Clavier, Thierry Lhermitte, Maurice Chevit and Marie-Anne Chazel. These stars light up this otherwise conventional film and elevate it from what some may consider a slightly low status. Despite its immense success in France, it received little to no exposure elsewhere. The plot here is simple, people go skiing and people have accidents (which are hilarious, despite the injuries that the various characters experience). Indeed people do things. Two somewhat inferior sequels were made, but this film did something different, something impossible to copy. It created characters that are thoroughly believable as human beings and thus the situational comedies are all the more enthralling. Join in the iconic song (the title by Pierre Bachelet), drop your presumptions and come along.

7. Mon Oncle

This is a film that film students will know, and perhaps despise. It is the arguably the most conventional (but unarguably the only Oscar winning) film that French cinema auteur Jacques Tati ever created. It is here, again, that Tati employ his signature character, Tatischeff. Like Chaplin’s Little Tramp, but French, Tatischeff was a very distinctive character used in every single one of Tati’s films (six in total). Mon Oncle is no different. Thus Tati bumbles his way through the idiosyncrasies and hypocrisies of modern life, albeit in his idiosyncratic but ultimately humorous manner. As an example of Tati’s work, this is limited, as a beginning to French cinema and indeed to Tati, it is invaluable, miss it at your own risk.

6. Parlez-moi de la Pluie

The first of the Jean Pierre Bacri and Agnes Jaoui films on the list; this is also the most recent. Bacri and Jaoui were theatre actors who wrote and performed in a number of their own plays. They then made films of these plays, each with marvellous results, of which this film is an example. We follow Agathe Villanova (Jaoui), a politician and feminist as she returns home for ten days to shoot a documentary filmed by Michel Ronsard (Bacri) and Karim (a truly excellent Jamel Debbouze). As is always the case in these films, there is a labyrinth of family politics to unwind, nonetheless, like other movies on this list; Parlez-moi de la Pluie is a wonderful example of a good story told well. With an expertly woven script incorporating drama, tragedy and comedy, Parlez-moi de la Pluie is entrancing. Truly, it would be a sin to miss it.

5. Le dîner de cons

The infinitely superior predecessor to “Dinner for Schmucks” (Paul Rudd, Steve Carrel, 2010), Le dîner de cons is notable for a number of reasons: the first of which are two leads, Thierry Lhermitte (a name which should be familiar by now) and Jacques Villeret. Lhermitte is excellent as always, but it is Villeret who shines. Villeret, now sadly deceased, plays monsieur Pignon, an idiot whom Pierre Brochant, publishing extraordinaire, invites to his “Dinner for Idiots” in order to mock him. The film clearly flaunts its theatrical roots, for it compromises one room and two men for the vast majority of its running time. That the film is so hilarious is a testament to the quality of the script and the ability and chemistry of the two actors on display. For Villeret is truly mesmerising, fully becoming his character, a master at his peak. If you are fully possessed of your sanity, you will see this, the original, the classic.

4. L’Arnacoeur

L’Arnacoeur is the most recently released film on this list. Starring Roman Duris and Vanessa Paradis, it follows the story of a professional break-up artist, who (surprise surprise) breaks up couples for a living. He is hired to break-up the daughter of a gangster from her fiancé, a rich Englishman, but of course, over the progression of the film, he falls in love! What is not exemplary in this film is the originality of the plot, what is exemplary however, is the general quality of the film. Truly beautiful cinematography (the film is set in a sun-flooded, softly shaded, golden Monaco), riveting performances and a riotous script ensure that this film is a fundamentally good natured experience that you’d be mad to miss.

3. Neuilly Sa Mere

This is again another more recent film, and is an excellent example of the kind of high class comedies that the French film system now seems to be producing effortlessly. For this film we follow young Sami Benboudaoud as he is transplanted from his working class council estate to live with his aunt and her wealthy husband Stanislas de Chazelle in the posh Parisian département of Neuilly. Excellently scripted, this film offers an insightful look into the discrepancies of contemporaneous French society, from the disaffected Arabic portion of the population (Sami etc) to the Sarkozy worshipping yuppies (Stanislas’ son Charles) and the prejudices encountered. Done in a breezy and ebullient manner, Neuilly Sa Mere wins you over quickly, educates you a little and more importantly causes asses to be laughed off. See now.

2. Les Goût des Autres

This is a collaboration by Jean Pierre Bacri and Agnes Jaoui, adapted from a theatre production. Theatrical influences abound, indeed as one of the main characters is an actress a portion of the film is set on the stage itself. In another film this might have been a weakness, pretention may have abounded. Needless to say that it does not. Bacri and Jaoui show their true ability in this, their masterpiece. Tight, impressive scripting, imaginative set-pieces, beautiful cinematography, believable and sympathetic characters, humour by the bucket-load and excellent performances from all the cast ensure that Les Goût des Autres earns its place in the upper echelons of the pantheon of French film with ease. This film represents the best introduction into the world of Bacri and Jaoui (Un Air de Famille is an excellent second), and is also an excellent choice for a first French film. Go and watch, you will enjoy.

1. Bienvenue chez les Ch-tis

This, the last film on the list, may not be as high concept, or as artistically engaging as some other examples, yet on pure comedy it delivers in abundance. Indeed this is the funniest film, and in a list of comedies, that is the most important qualifier for prominence. In this we have that oldest of tropes, the north/south divide, which is ploughed fruitfully for laughs. Postal worker Philippe claims he is disabled in an attempt to have himself transferred to a sunnier clime. Upon the corporate discovery that he is indeed not disabled, he is sent to… (dunh dunh dunh dunh) …THE NORTH! What follows is an enlightened puncturing of stereotypes told in a warm human way with a playful style by writer/director/star Dany Boon.  Belly laughs abound for all nationalities and indeed it is an absolute pleasure to watch.

Sean Cameron

The World’s Greatest Dad review

28 Sep

The World’s Greatest Dad
Comedians in the world of film are a very peculiar thing. There are many comedians who have ventured into this world, each with varying degrees of success. Sometimes they make genuinely funny films which are truly original (although these examples are somewhat rare), such as Steve Martin in the Jerk or the Man with Two Brains, or Danny Boon in Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis. Occasionally they produce films of astounding mediocrity, such as Steve Martin and Eddie Murphy in everything they’ve done since the 1980’s.
The World’s Greatest Dad is the latest film to star Robin Williams, and is safe to say that it firmly falls into the former of those categories. This film marks a return by Robin Williams to the halcyon days of his greatest character acting. His performance easily matches that of his in One Hour Photo and in Good Will Hunting, and in doing so propels this man back to the top of his game.
As far as plot is concerned, the World’s Greatest Dad also sparkles, for the greatness of this film is not singly attributed to Williams’ performance, but a combination of story, comedy andperformance. We follow Lance Clayton, creative writing teacher at the local high school, as he negotiates the various lows that his life is comprised of. He has an art teacher girlfriend who refuses to make their relationship official within the school and who runs around with other men. He also has Kyle, his son. Kyle is a recluse, Kyle is dumb, Kyle is angry and Kyle is a pervert. Conversations about German schizer porn and masturbating to the sight of old ladies undressing is all in a day’s work for Kyle. Kyle is also into autoerotic asphyxiation (that’s strangling yourself while having a wank to you and me) which proves to be somewhat fatal later into the film and it is this event that forms the cornerstone of the film’s plot. Lance discovers his son, dead in a chair, and is understandably fraught and understandably perturbed. Unwilling to see his son remembered as a pervert he fabricates a suicide and writes Kyle a suicide note, and in a scene which defines this film’s sense of humour, cleans his deceased son’s crotch with a grimace on his face in an attempt to cover things up.
This brings us to the comedic element of this film. The World’s Greatest Dad is funny, but is funny on a level with Dr Strangelove or The Last Supper. The humour on display here is unabashedly blacker than midnight and defines the dry tone and acerbic wit present throughout.
In short, this film possesses many qualities which should earn it a view from you, the reader. This film won’t be big, or award winning, but it will make you chuckle darkly, feel lucky and above all, question yourself.
5/5 *****/*****

The Top Ten Biggest Movie Letdowns

17 Sep

Every year hundreds of movies are released worldwide,  across every decade there are thousands. Some films have a little more anticipation tagged to them than others and as a result have unequivocally disappointed. Here is a list of the ten biggest culprits:

10. Star Wars Episode II: The Attack of the Clones

The Star Wars franchise has taken a beating as of late, and here is one of the principle reasons why. Following the exploits of Anakin and Obi-Wan as they do something involving a threat to galactic security and for some obscure reason, negotiate trade agreements with amphibians and somehow end up fighting robots, the story fails to achieve real grip. Factor in Mr Christensen’s remarkably leaden acting and the overall lack of magic that the series possessed, this is an easy number ten.

9. Planet of the Apes (2001)

For unexplained reasons, at one point in his career, Tim Burton decided to spend the rest of it doing adaptations. Sometimes successful, sometimes not, this is the absolute worst of the crop. This film is a perfect example of the golden rule: special effects do not a good film make.  With an uninspiring Spartacus-wannabe performance from Mark Wahlberg, a truly mystifying ending and the charm of the 60’s era effects, this film is a true let down.

8. The Golden Compass

Every so often, a classic children’s book series is adapted into film. The Golden Compass shows how to do it wrong. New Line wanted this film to be the next Lord of the Rings; indeed they advertised the film as such. However, in their eternal wisdom, they neglected to add essential elements. For example: heart. When you allow one of the writers behind the Nutty Professor 2 to both write and direct, you can surely expect something dismal. Indeed this film’s soulless script is the low point among many lows, and thus the film makes an easy entry on this list.

7. Jumper

Occasionally it is also the case that a certain respected director does not make a movie for a while. Understandably his first feature after an extended hiatus has certain expectations attached. Doug Liman manages to let down on every level with this unwatchable film. Hayden Christensen teleports! He’s chased by Templars (sort of)! Samuel L. Jackson has white hair! Thus the essential subtlety of the plot is conveyed. With no heart and no soul, Jumper makes for painful viewing, thus its entry on this list is well earned.

6. Highlander 2

For many of you, this may be a surprise and obscure entry, nonetheless, this film’s place is well earned. The original Highlander film, although by no means a masterpiece of the silver screen, had a certain lo-fi charm and an endearingly bonkers plot that saw it gain a reasonable following. In this film we find that not only is Christopher Lambert not Scottish, but neither is Sean Connery! No, they are both from outer space and need to return, urgently. To fight.  Highlander 2, with an incoherent script, nonsensical settings and highfalutin airs, exists but for lists like this.

5. The Simpsons Movie

The Simpsons has been on air for twenty years now. As the longest running prime time show ever, The Simpsons has understandably taken a dip in quality as time has gone by. With new seasons failing to capture the simple essence of the cutting satire and relatable stories of the beginning, it has become a cartoon ever more than before. The movie represented a chance to reverse this trend. It did not. It only proved to be unfunny and soulless, and thus resides at number five.

4. Transformers 2

As has been seen so far, sequels usually fare poorly when compared to the originals. Transformers 2 does not break the mould. The film is an extended advert for Hasbro and General Motors punctuated by explosions with a lot of added Megan Fox boobs (Megan Fox is also in the movie, albeit in a slightly more sporadic role). Indeed Michael Bay treats the audience as he always does, numpties willing to pay top dollar for tits, guns and explosions. Even in a film rated 12 he somehow gets away with this. Nuff’ said.

3. Southland Tales

Imagine a film about renewable energy, set on the eve of world war three. Now also imagine it being in the future, and in Los Angeles. Now cast the Rock as the lead, involve something about a porn star and twins and parallel dimensions and you’ve got Southland Tales. The first film after an extended hiatus for Richard Kelly, once renowned director of student favourite Donnie Darko, Southland Tales disappoints and confounds on many levels, and so is here at number three.

2. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

The expectations could not have been higher for this, the fourth in the Indy series. Thus this film could not have ever lived up to expectations. However it let down on an unforgiveable scale. The plot has no feeling to it that the 80’s originals had. We’re led to believe that not only can a geriatric archaeologist outwit and outfight professional soldiers, but that aliens leave ornate crystal skulls lying about for anyone to find, Shia LeBoeuf is related to Harrison Ford and a fridge can save you from a nuclear explosion!

1. X-Men 3

Words cannot express how bad this film is. I’ll try anyway.  Director Brett Ratner throws away the complexity of the previous films by having Jean kill everyone. Before that he has Ian McKellan lift a bridge and Vinnie Jones call Juno a bitch. After that Patrick Stewart is reincarnated as a freaky baby and everybody is happy. Except the audience.

Sean Cameron