Cinema Crazed's Worst 10 of 2011…

It was a lackluster year for the movies. The bad movies were just slightly abysmal, while the good movies failed to be great movies. We couldn’t find a single amazing movie out of the bunch in 2011, but we came close to finding ten really good movies, and ten really bad movies for the year. 2011 was just a lull for everything in pop culture and the media and you’d be hard pressed to find something excellent that stood out among the rest of the muck. 2011 had a varied year of films, but while we did find more than enough great movies to fill our top 10 we didn’t find a masterpiece until the end of the year, and even then we’re having a hard time using the M word. Nevertheless 2011 was a year for new experiences, unique films, and most importantly underdogs. The best films flopped and the worst films excelled at the box office. There were surprises, some neat twists and of course the box office was at its all time lowest. While Congress is working on that censorship thing with SOPA, we appreciate our time delivering these top ten lists for our readers.

Sure they may not be the most agreeable lists on the site, but they arouse conversation and we love to debate with our audience. What with the increasing demand from the indie world we weren’t able to cover all of the year’s films, but we tried to tackle all of our most promising and we compiled lists of 10 great films, and 10 really bad ones. And for the first time ever we compiled five indie films you should look out for. Of course we couldn’t catch many films in time due to our demands on the site (Warhorse, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, Take Shelter, The Artist), but we have a nice little mélange of 2011’s banner films that we felt warranted mentioning. So by all means indulge in Cinema Crazed’s official Top 10 and Worst 10 of the year 2011!

10. Red State
Directed by Kevin Smith
SModcast Pictures
Religion is bad? Religious fanaticism is bad? Gays are secretly evil? What is Kevin Smith trying to tell audiences? Maybe Kevin Smith is making a commentary about his own fans and how they follow him blindly. Who knows? Nevertheless, one of the most confused and sloppy films of the year earned a spot on our list simply for being faux-indie propaganda from a man whose clearly displayed his religious beliefs on his sleeve for years. So the film feels disingenuous. Especially when we’re never sure what his intentions are, or what his final message is really trying to tell us. There was a lot of potential with “Red State.”

Speaking as an atheist who strictly against the notion of organized religion I couldn’t be more welcoming of a dissection of the evils of religion. But when it lacks the teeth that “Red State” does it fails to inspire my support or any fanfare I can muster up. “Red State” is faux indie hogwash, a meshing of conflicting ideas and lack of any real texture that gives it the illusion that it has something to say when once the credits have rolled, it’s actually said nothing. It’s a waste of time.

Why We’ll Never See This Again:
The ending almost had balls, but then dropped them at the last moment.

9. The Thing
Directed by Matthijs van Heijningen Jr.
Universal Pictures
For people still moaning “It’s not a remake, it’s a prequel!” well early reports this year from the screenwriter of “The Thing” confirms 2011’s “The Thing” was originally a remake but turned in to a prequel. And you can pretty much sense that it was going to be a remake of the hallowed John Carpenter horror classic by the plot that’s not only insanely derivative but lacking in any of the creativity Carpenter and co. brought to the big screen. “The Thing” was a mythical horror film, one comprised of genius and sharp writing while 2011’s version is plainly a premake (prequel/remake) that could very well be straight to video fodder.

It’s not that “The Thing” is one of the worst movies of 2011, it’s just one of the most ineptly made films that many assume had potential once. But we disagree. “The Thing” never had potential. The special effects are lousy, the characters uninspired and stock, the premise is paper thin, and the climax meant to bridge over to the original Carpenter masterpiece? Haphazardly slapped together and doesn’t even seem to try. No knock on Joel Edgerton and Mary Elizabeth Winstead, but they’re so much better than this film allows.

Why We’ll Never See This Again:
The filling test lacks the same bam as the blood test. It’s also really stupid.

8. Trespass
Directed by Joel Schumacher
Millennium Entertainment
One of the most inept thrillers of the year and possibly in years, “Trespass” is essentially a remake of the Spanish horror film “Kidnapped.” We can’t prove it, but Joel Schumacher cribbed from the overrated thriller to bring us this utterly hapless and ridiculous thriller about a group of masked and armed men who invade a home that contains millions of dollars in diamonds. No wait, they’re there to take the family’s kidneys because they need them. No wait, they want to take the father hostage because he’s worth a lot of money. And the house is in the middle of nowhere surrounded by woods.

If you’re worth a lot of money wouldn’t it make more sense to live around the general population than close yourself off? And why do the robbers describe themselves as police men yet Nic Cage’s character never checks the security monitors to verify their stories? And if they’re so rich wouldn’t it make sense to invest in a bunker or panic room? Yet another bomb by Schumacher and Cage, “Trespass” is an excruciating and derivative attempt at thrills and chills with utterly unlikable characters and Nicolas Cage who continues to garner roles in spite of his mind-blowing ability to suck the life out of any film he’s in. “Trespass” deserves much more scrutiny for having the balls to try to pass itself off as A grade material, but thankfully it’s been relegated to home video. Where it belongs.

Why We’ll Never See This Again:
Any time Nic Cage is on screen he is a black hole of suck.

7. Green Lantern
Directed by Martin Campbell
Warner Bros. Pictures
We debated with ourselves for a long time on whether or not to put this on our top 10 worst films of 2011. Surely there were worst movies out there, but this year has been more about incompetence than flat out bad cinema, and “Green Lantern” was the epitome of incompetently made cinema this year. “Green Lantern” has potential to be one of the greatest science fiction epics of all time. It’s a concept brimming with imagination, vast concepts and character variety. If made with the right people this could have very well been the surprise hit of the year.

But as it stands it’s a half assed, poorly written, and terribly acted farce. It has no idea what it wants to be. It spends needless time on Earth, it squanders short amounts of time in space, the characters are hollow and one-dimensional, the villains are forgettable, the film is crowded with characters we barely get to know or empathize with, Blake Lively is miscast, and Ryan Reynolds plays one of the biggest douche bags to ever grace the big screen in years. This Hal Jordan is not a valiant pilot with heroic possibilities, but a reckless unlikable son of a bitch who has zero redeeming qualities to him. At the end of “Green Lantern” we were left high and dry with a horrible screenplay, a cheap attempt to begin linking DC films together, and of course an open ended climax assuming this is to be a series. We surely hope not.

Why We’ll Never See This Again:
Seriously, Hal Jordan is a major douche bag.

6. Drive Angry
Directed by Patrick Lussier
Summit Entertainment
We love grindhouse films, and we dig hot rodding movies, but “Drive Angry” is a movie without a target audience. It’s a niche film without a niche crowd. Who was this film marketed to actually? Playing off like a cheap sequel to Nic Cage’s flop “Ghost Rider,” this retro grindhouse mess is an unwatchable often unpleasant farce that’s too stupid to take seriously, and too straight faced to laugh at. The plot goes absolutely nowhere and is nothing but a rehashed bag of concepts and ideas that amount to nothing but a bunch of really badly staged chase scenes and horrible special effects.

And Nic Cage continues to define himself as one of the worst actors of all time as he delivers one of the most horrible and hideous performances for a hero in a big screen picture in utter years. There isn’t a single likable person in the bunch and it speeds at infinite levels of pure suck to become nothing but a rehashed idea that should have been left on the cutting room floor. And Amber Heard? If you’re planning to break out, now is the time. Because we’re definitely losing our patience with you, doll face.

Why We’ll Never See This Again:
One of the worst “death” speeches ever delivered. And it was delivered by Cage, no less! What a shock.

5. Big Momma’s House 3 aka Big Momma’s: Life Father, Like Son
Directed by John Whitesell
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Martin Lawrence? Eddie Murphy? Tyler Perry? What’s the deal, fellas? Dressing as a woman doesn’t automatically mean comedy. Unless you’re five. And mentally disabled. And what’s worse is that in Big Momma’s House 3, the writers make the implication that Lawrence is passing the torch on to co-star Brandon T. Jackson. He’s yet another of the young stars who should fire his agent, because he has potential to break out. And it’d be heartbreaking to see him reduced to starring in “Big Momma” films cross dressing and fooling a whole new generation of uppity white folks who can’t tell when a man is obviously swapping sexes.

Society can’t be this stupid. “Big Momma’s” is a shockingly enduring franchise that fails to deliver a single laugh and makes no effort to deliver a believable original premise. So we see these two men cross dressing an entering a girl’s performing arts school using comedy shticks that we’ve seen a thousand times over in better films like “Some Like It Hot.” Martin Lawrence must be so tired of making films like this. But then again… what else does he have? Jackson would be wise to seek out better roles for himself, because we simply cannot grasp why cross dressing is still considered a legitimate form of comedy in modern cinema.

Why We’ll Never See This Again:
Martin Lawrence in fat suit looks more and more like a man wearing a rotted skin from some poor movie fan he keeps preserved in his basement.

4. The Green Hornet
Directed by Michael Gondry
Columbia Pictures
There has to be one movie every year that infuriates us to no end, and this year it was the complete and utter bastardization of Bruce Lee’s series “The Green Hornet.” This could have been the beginning of a major franchise, the start of an antithesis to the Batman series where fans could retreat to a gripping and dark tale of two masked crime fighters taking down the crime world from the inside out. This could have been an intelligent neo-noir costumed superhero bash with great fight scenes and killer tech. Instead what we get is a vanity project of a chubby comedian quickly wearing out his welcome. Trust us, we’re glad Seth Rogen lost a lot of weight, but he was so utterly wrong with the role of the Green Hornet that it’s ridiculous.

And when he could have balanced out his miscasting with a true star as sidekick Kato, Rogen instead casts a bland nobody to play his sidekick so he won’t lose screen time and maintain the focus on him. “The Green Hornet” is another example of America bastardizing Bruce Lee’s work, as this fantastic idea is turned in to a horrific buddy comedy with bad writing, flat jokes, and self indulgent cameos from star Rogen’s best friends. There isn’t a single likable quality about this piece of crap from Kato Vision, to the horrid special effects, right down to Kato being transformed in to an inept fool by Rogen. There were so many ways this movie could have gone, rather than the deplorable vanity project this became.

Why We’ll Never See This Again:
Nothing screams “iconic superhero” than the title character and his sidekick warbling “Gangster’s Paradise” in a pimped up car.

3. Passion Play
Directed by Mitch Glazer
Image Entertainment
It’s junk cinema like this that gives mainstream audiences the wrong idea about arthouse films. Because art house this is not. Although it does give off the impression it’s trying to be something of a modern art film, in the end. Filled with oodles of pretentious plot devices and meaningless symbolism, “Passion Play” pairs the poorly miscast Mickey Rourke with the young Megan Fox to tell the tale of a bird girl, society’s efforts to corrupt her beauty, and the jazz musician who will do anything to help her.

We don’t know why Mickey Rourke isn’t more selective with his roles these days, but “Passion Play” is a gross display of poor choices made with a film that is utterly nonsensical and fails to deliver the slightest bit of intellectualism it pretends to obtain. Admittedly we don’t remember much about “Passion Play” as we’ve blocked it out like a bad kidney stone, but it’s surely not worthy of your time unless you’re willing to see Megan Fox mug for the camera and feign a performance for cash.

Why We’ll Never See This Again:
Faux-Lynchian storytelling was never our bag.

2. The Hangover II
Directed by Todd Phillips
Warner Bros. Pictures
Only in America can you get audiences to pay to see the same movie twice in a row! Matching the baffling success of “The Hangover” was a feat in and of itself, but the writers and studios took basically the easy way out and completely remade the original film and just setting it down in a different location. While there are some highlights to the film like Jamie Chung and… Jamie Chung… and Jamie Chung, don’t kid yourselves people. This is the exact same film as before. Rather than a lost tooth there’s a tattoo, rather than a baby there’s a monkey, and rather than a one night stand with a stripper there’s a one night stand with a transsexual stripper! And there’s also a gross under reaction to a lost finger in the climax of the film. I would ponder on if I’m the audience for this film, but I’m a guy.

And for a film series proclaiming itself as the ultimate guy films, “The Hangover II” is a lazy and horribly unfunny clone of its original counterpart that has no idea how to concoct any laughs. Not that the original was a laugh riot to begin with but at least it aspired for gaffs and giggles. “The Hangover II” is a miserable and excruciating comedy experience that exploits the economic woes of Thailand for comedy and fails at every turn. Every cast member seems to phone it in from minute one, and there isn’t a single laugh to be had at any time. Of course it was a big hit because audiences will pay for anything in theaters and there’s another film planned. We’ll just be a little more cautious with our money next time and make sure not to pay for the same movie a third time. And trust me, Ken Jeong is funny. America just hasn’t found a way to make him funny, yet.

Why We’ll Never See This Again:
Apart, the guys of “The Hangover” are much more appealing.

1. The Human Centipede II: Full Sequence
Directed by: Tom Six
Written by: Tom Six
Starring: People Desperately in Need of Work
IFC Films
No the movie doesn’t offend me. Nor does it disturb me. At the end of the day “Human Centipede 2” is about as useless a movie as it can be. While we didn’t love the original film, considering it one of the worst of 2010, this sequel is without a doubt one of the worst sequels in existence. And based on such an innovative concept like a human centipede to boot! Kidding of course. If this is the next evolution of torture porn then count me out because I don’t want to contribute to the funding and profits of cinematic quasi-art house dreck like this that will be dissected by movie geeks who insist this is just misunderstood post-modern art.

There’s nothing about this movie that’s art. It’s a black hole of nothing. It’s a void of garbage. It’s garbage surrounded by garbage. It’s a film that says nothing and aspires to do nothing but gross out its audience. And when it fails it tries to gross us out even more. Films like this should be exposed for everyone to see, just so they can understand how useless and utterly ridiculous crap like this is and why it’s infecting our theaters. No I don’t want it to be tucked away and forgotten. Because that will give audiences the idea that this is a film on the fringes, a film that’s edgy. So folks will seek it out and attempt to find some hidden meaning behind it. Tom Six is not just a juvenile director but one who has no idea how to construct the simplest of narratives, thus “Full Sequence” doesn’t try for anything beyond a rand string of sequences that eventually turn in to one giant form of mean spirited torture porn at its all time lowest.

And when it’s not weakly trying to shock us, it’s boring us to pieces with characters who fail to be fully fleshed out individuals, a black and white photography that leaves them flat lifeless figures wandering around dark corridor, and a director so full of himself he probably smells his own farts and licks them up. “Human Centipede 2” tries to be meta, and fails, then tries to be horror and fails, then tries for comedy and fails, tries for social commentary and fails, and tries to bash its fan base and fails. So it’s merely just a void of nothingness. It’s minus a film. It’s absolute zero a film. It’s worthless junk I never want to see again.

Why We’ll Never See This Again:
Where can we begin?

Annaliese: The Exorcist Tapes, The Rite, Bad Teacher, Horrible Bosses, The Three Musketeers, Faces in the Crowd, Zookeeper, The Roommate

Justin Bieber Never Say Never, Something Borrowed, No Strings Attached, Just Go With It, Jack and Jill, The Change Up, The Dilemma, What’s your Number?, New Year’s Eve, Bucky Larson

Such a very diverse and unique cast added to a very interesting premise, all for naught. “Sucker Punch” is definitely not one of the worst movies of the year, but it’s definitely the most disappointing. It’s a lackluster often erratic effort to muster up anime and pop sensibilities in a heavy handed often convoluted story that fails to deliver any interesting characters or unique situations. It’s a shame because we were really looking forward to Zack Snyder’s latest outing.

MOST OVERRATED OF THE YEAR… We Need to Talk About Kevin
Clumsy metaphor, clunky symbolism, and an excruciating experience, “We Need to Talk About Kevin” has been a critical favorite, and we just don’t get why. It’s a film that’s devoid of humanity and is based around two truly unlikable despicable individuals at an eternal war for reasons never quite explored and fails to deliver any sort of emotional punch or impact many critics have claimed it does. We don’t mind never seeing this one again.