SFCrowsnest Cinema Sludge: The Worst Films of 2012 (Frank’s Take).

December 26, 2012 | By | Reply More

As with any other movie year in review, 2012 had its share of dismissive duds plastered on the big screen. For a handful of really top quality films there were less than stellar cinematic staples that critics and moviegoers suffered through. True, attending the movies and finding worthy entertainment seems to be a chore…a serious burden to bear for SFCrowsnest readers.

So let’s take a look at some of 2012’s mediocre moments at the movies that were reviewed for SFCrowsnest cinematic consideration and may we pray that these stinkeroos do not spawn any sequels in the process. Maybe you agree with some of this celluloid sludge or maybe not? Whatever your stance is there will be ample opportunity to weed out what the undesirable flicks are going to be like in 2013.

Now see what the Top Ten Worst Films in 2012 were  for Frank at SFCrowsnest at quick glance, shall we? (Listed in alphabetical order)

Total Recall movie reboot

Total Recall? It didn’t look like this last time around?

THE APPARITION (* 1/2 stars out of 4 stars)The poltergeist puff piece ‘The Apparition’ would not put a decent scare into Casper The Friendly Ghost. This generic boofest is set in the predictable confines of suburbia and ill-advisedly looks to capitalise on the ‘Paranormal Activities’ phenomenon. Merely a derivative goose-bump ghost ride, ‘The Apparition’ is the callow concoction of first-time feature film director-writer Todd Lincoln. As an extended blueprint of haunted hokum, ‘The Apparition’ fails miserably in providing any convincing chills that are featured in this woefully mild fright flick.

BATTLESHIP (* ½ stars out of 4 stars): In the noisy and numbing naval actioner ‘Battleship’, the waves come crashing into the shoreline with soggy results. Labored and lumbering, the boisterous ‘Battleship’ sinks more than it creatively swims. Based on the plastic-pegged Hasbro navy combat guessing board game, director Peter (‘Hancock’) Berg’s  water-logged wasteland primarily focuses its giddy gunpowder on an intrusive alien-invasion plotline. Despite its epic-sized grandeur, ‘Battleship’ is empty-headed, clichéd and formulaic in its colourless scope. Laced with nonsensical adrenaline, Berg concocts a misguided military mishap that is fortified in over-indulgent silliness.

THE COLD LIGHT OF DAY (** stars out of 4 stars): The toothless spy thriller ‘The Cold Light Of Day’ has a snappy movie title which sounds like it belongs attached to a James Bond supercharged production. It is too bad that the movie’s moniker is the only thing legitimately hip and happening about this flat and spineless suspense piece. This rudimentary race-around-the-clock spy drama is something that audiences have seen many times before. Conclusive in its follow-the-dots feeble fury, ‘The Cold Light Of Day’ feels about as intriguing as wire-tapping a hotel room occupied by a shady state official accepting a bribe.

HIT & RUN (* ½ stars out of 4 stars): The aptly named idiotic action-packed romancer ‘Hit & Run’ feels just like its movie title suggests. The engine-driven actioner forcefully slugs the audience over the head with its empty-headed hedonism that is relentlessly pointless and recycled nonsense. Erratic, baseless and tediously conceived, this cock-eyed car chase caper runs on low-brow fuel while it routinely revs up to silly-minded shenanigans that is best suited for a hyperactive hamster race in an enclosed cage.

HOUSE AT THE END OF THE STREET (* 1/2 stars out of 4 stars): Well folks…what is in store for you in the hackneyed horror flick ‘House At The End Of The Street ? The answer: nothing much that your ordinary generic and flatly delivered frightfest has not demonstrated countless times before. A basic boo-enhanced thriller that has all the scary element of a misshaped mushroom pizza topping, ‘House At The End Of The Street ‘  is sketchy in thrills and cheap in chills.

RED DAWN (* star out of 4 stars): This is just what the cinema world was really clamoring for at this moment…a pointless and protrusive generic action war movie update based on a mildly serviceable mid-80s military yarn from yesteryear. At least movie audiences got a kick out of 1984’s ‘Red Dawn’ that had some reasonable jingoistic kitsch to go along with its resonated vibes of the ‘red scare’ sentiment during the Reagan era. However, 2012’s ‘Red Dawn’ does not echo the innocuous campy outlandishness of its 28 year-old original blueprint but goes for the ultra-mindlessness of a stilted percolating popcorn pleaser that borders more on its boorish foundation as well as on its bombastic spice of pseudo patriotic posturing.

RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION (* ½ stars out of 4 stars): The results are pretty much conclusive: vacuous and contrived action-horror spectacles dripping with mindless video game banality and a harried heroine that impressively twists in a skin tight black latex outfit that would make a salted pretzel envious. In Anderson’s fifth entry of his tired and tedious trademark actioner ‘Resident Evil: Retribution’, the empty-headed frivolity is pretty much built on the same old meandering mentality of a butt-kicking apocalyptic chick in a posturing jumpy and jolting action-adventure. Well, at least movie-making recidivists such as Anderson and Wiseman are consistent in the feeble boisterous goods they sell on the big screen.

A THOUSAND WORDS (* star out of 4 stars): Veteran funnyman Eddie Murphy continues to partake in these woeful assembly line comedies that predictably register with a big thud. Murphy’s latest yuck-it-up monstrosity, ‘A Thousand Words’, certainly will leave one hopelessly speechless. Convincingly unoriginal, desperate, lazy and thoroughly insipid, ‘A Thousand Words’ is utterly painful in every syllable. This is a low rent laugher with high-minded aspirations of being another Murphy-oriented misfire to join the ranks of other forgettable farces. Anyone care to go down memory lane with the comedian’s flaccid fare that included such damaged ditties as ‘The Adventures Of Pluto Nash’, ‘Vampire In Brooklyn’, ‘The Haunted Mansion’, ‘Dr. Dolittle 2‘ and ‘Imagine That’?

TOTAL RECALL (* 1/2 stars out of 4 stars): Len (‘Underworld’) Wiseman’s  numbing, noisy and nonsensical dazzling ditty Total Recall marches through the monotonous motions as a surly sci-fi actioner but only manages to muster up inconsequential static. The excess of action-oriented sequences, CGI hedonism, exaggerated fight scenes, curvaceous cuties in a hormonal catfight, a robotic nemesis and a swaggering leading man caught in the cosmic craziness arbitrarily comes with the territory. Still, these familiar flourishes that accompany a sci-fi thriller does not make for automatic formidable filmmaking even in a summertime escapist action flick meant to drown one’s sensory bank.

V/H/S (* ½ stars out of 4 stars): Woefully chaotic and carelessly gimmicky, ‘V/H/S’ is a prolonged and problematic horror anthology that shoddily knits together six edgy short stories and ties it all in one thumping theme that is trivial, nonsensical and illogical. Predictably, the morbid morsels in ‘V/H/S’ sing about as soundly as a lethargic hummingbird with laryngitis. Clearly, ‘V/H/S’ misses the opportunity to be innovative particularly when recalling the one time out-of-date video technology oldsters fondly remember as the VHS tape. Overall, the sluggish execution for ‘V/H/S’ feels artificially realised.


Category: Films, MEDIA

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About FrankOchieng

Frank Ochieng has contributed film reviews to SF Crowsnest off and on since 2003. He has been published in other various movie site venues throughout the years. Ochieng has been part of The Online Film Critics Society (OFCS) and had written film reviews for The Boston Banner newspaper (USA) and frequently is a media/entertainment panelist on WBZ NewsRadio 1030 AM on "The Jordan Rich Show" in Boston, Massachusetts/USA.

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