So there are only 5 movies in this list. To remember more would haunt my dreams too much. I’m still recovering from the great Tron Legacy tragedy of 2010 so I tread lightly writing this and remember the Hostel level torture of watching these films. All kidding aside though, some of these films could’ve been good, and some of them should have been good, and still others just didn’t have a chance in Hell. Here’s the list:
5. Mars Needs Moms
Mars Needs Moms is the film that was such an epic failure it caused the closing of an entire division at Disney. There was a division within Disney responsible exclusively for CGI films. The company acquired Pixar, which still puts out the best CGI films even when they are at their worst, so Disney’s CGI creators in house seemed unnecessary. Then came Mars Needs Moms which was so bad and lost so much money that the division was dissolved. Disney still does CGI movies outside of Pixar but the team is really small and just a part of the overall animation division of the company. The idea for the film was kind of cute but the execution just didn’t work. On top of the poorly written story the motion capture was extremely creepy looking and the debacle over the voiceover of the main character brought bad press to the film. Hey the 3-D on the blu-ray actually looks pretty good though.
4. Cowboys and Aliens
This film definitely falls into the should’ve been cool category. It was one of our most anticipated films of 2011. Come on, it was coming to us from the director of Iron Man and it featured Daniel Craig and Harrison Ford in a western/scifi hybrid film. Well the story is flat and bland, the alien design is uninspired, and Daniel Craig feels completely out of place in the film. Harrison Ford does all he can to try and carry the film by being awesome but it’s just not enough. The film never truly seems to take advantage of the mixing of the genres and the script needed another pass that could’ve made the dialogue pop and actually be entertaining. Few films were as big of a disappointment as this one.
3. The Green Lantern
Marvel Comics seems to have the feature live action film thing down and DC has a solid track record lately with their feature animated films. Fans hoped that the Green Lantern film would swoop in and revive DC’s live action movie profile (outside of the extremely successful Batman films). Then few people seemed to be excited about the casting of Ryan Reynolds as the man in the green ring and the production seemed to be a slapped together affair. The movie that finally hit theaters featured really poor CGI, a basic script that felt more like a brief treatment of a story rather than an actual script with meaningful character development. On top of that Reynolds simply did his best young Tony stark in the film rather than helping craft a truly unique comic book character.
2. The Green Hornet
The Green Hornet didn’t seem to be a film that had a chance of being good and had an even less chance of finding an audience. Once the film hit theaters those fears were validated. Sure Kato was entertaining but the messy and amateur script, terrible special fx, and poor pacing and direction of the film destroyed it. The character and his story were reinvented to fit the sense of humor portrayed by Seth Rogan. Now, making this film more comedic isn’t necessarily such a bad thing because so many of the most recognizable elements of the comic book are way too dated for a serious contemporary film. A better idea though might’ve been to do a period film in the vein of Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow. At any rate, this is just a bad movie.
1. Dream House
It says a lot when you go into a film with extremely low expectations and the film is still the worst of the year. The film appeared to be another of the low budget simple plot CGI heavy ghost stories made popular by distributors like Ghost House Films. The surprising part was the cast. Not often do you see a film like this one with the likes of Daniel Craig, Rachel Wise, and Naomi Watts making up the cast. You expect a pretty manufactured story right? Well this film is written so horribly that the manufacturing plant must have been invaded by Gremlins because not one thing works about this film. Also the mis-direct is completely annoying rather than cool. The fact is that this isn’t even a horror film, not even close. Even if the film worked it would be more of a suspense psychological thing, that’s if it worked. The acting is mediocre but mostly because none of the actors really get anything to do. The story is connect the dots with character development being reminiscent of a cardboard standee like you’d see in a theater that would be advertising a film that’s better than Dream House. Not often do I exit a theater angry at just how bad a movie was but this time I did.