It would not be the internet without some snark and pessimism, so let’s throw some shade on some of the poorer productions of 2013. Because what better way to celebrate millions of dollars and thousands of hours of moviemaking then to sit here on my high horse and just shit all over all of it. So here comes some hate.
Now there are certain movies you won’t find on this list because I knew enough going IN to those particular weekends that these movies were going to be shit anyway, so why put myself through the hardship? So you won’t find any “The Smurfs 2” here, or “The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones,” or “Jobs.” It was obvious from jump street that movies were going to be bad, plus they really aren’t made for my particular demographic anyway, so no, I didn’t see them, and they did not make my list. Nor did movies like “Paranoia” or “Getaway” because they had cheap, direct to video, hack jobs written all over them, and massive amounts of negative reviews for both confirmed these feelings.
But definitely does NOT mean that I always pick winners. So while I was bored, disappointed or outright disgusted by movies like “Jack the Giant Slayer,” “Broken City,” “Parker,” “Dead Man Down” and “Carrie,” they still did not bore, disappoint or disgust me as much as these five movies.
A comedy without any jokes that work. An action movie without any good action scenes. A high-concept premise ripped right out of a comic book and slapped onto a screen as if people would give a shit. “R.I.P.D.” just has everything going against it. Jeff Bridges Yosemite Sam inspired character gets annoying, Ryan Reynolds is again asked to motormouth his way through a movie and try to imbue his one-dimensional character with a little bit of personality, since none of that stuff was figured out in the scripting stages, and Kevin Bacon is so underutilized as the most boring antagonist this side of a Steven Seagal direct to video movie that it really should be considered a crime. Hey, people who made this hunk of crap, want to know what it means to cast Kevin Bacon as your bad guy and then ACTUALLY USE HIM? Then watch “X-Men: First Class” or “Super,” both of which he is in, both of which he is the villain, and both of which he is AWESOME in. You blew it, “R.I.P.D.” you stupid piece of shit, doomed to be lost in $5 dollar DVD bins in Super Wal Marts across this great country forever and ever.
4. The Lone Ranger
When the $250-million “The Lone Ranger” was released unto the world, it grossed a mere $260-million in worldwide box office receipts, so when you add in the marketing and post-production budget, you have a massive money loser on your hands. Add to that an average critic rating of 4.9 out of 10 based on 216 reviews (stats thanks to Rotten Tomatoes) and you have a movie with a wretched stink all over it. Then Johnny Depp (whom I usually adore) and Armie Hammer came out and said that the critics had their reviews written for the movie before it was even completed production, and that critics only shit on this movie for the simple reason that…it was being made in the first place? When this happened, the world let out a collective “puh-leeease!” Because we all know the movie did not bomb because critics were pre-hating on it. The movie bombed because it was a steaming pile! You want to make a nearly three-hour western that follows up scenes of genocidal atrocities immediately with slapstick jokes and hi-jinks? You want to make a movie in which the villain is a cannibal, and then proceed to edit around all the scenes alluding to his cannibalism, leaving him to be nothing but a scar-faced weirdo? You want to make a movie based on The Lone Ranger property but then not have him be fully 100% the Lone Ranger, complete with iconic theme music, until the last fifteen minutes of your overly long movie? Feel free to do so, but then go fuck yourself when you are done because this all makes you an asshole.
Plus, how can the folks who made the excellent animated western “Rango” immediately turn around and make this piece o’ crap live action westnern? Mind boggling, really.
3. A Good Day to Die Hard
First there was the cinematic atrocity that was “Live Free or Die Hard,” which already saw the nueturing and debasement of one of the great American action movie heroes of all time. Then this new sequel was announced with the god awful title of “A Good Day to Die Hard.” Then it was announced that while the producers of this movie considered as a possible director for this film the men behind “Attack the Block” (Joe Cornish), “Fast and Furious 4-6” (Justin Lin) and “Drive” (Nicolas Winding Refn), they ultimately decided on the guy who made “Behind Enemy Lines” and “Max Payne.” Yeesh. We all should have known then and there that there was abbsolutely NO WAY that this was going to be a good movie.
But here there I went, right into that movie theater, hoping for at least a watchable movie. Didn’t even get that. “A Good Day to Die Hard” is terrible on just about every single level. I am begging the movie gods to stop with the desecration of the great John McClane character, but alas, as long as these things keep making money ($304-million worldwide, you bunch of assholes), we are going to keep getting these terrible movies. Don’t believe me? “Die Hard 6″ is in the works.
2. The Counselor
The fact that “The Counselor” had SO MUCH talent behind it, and it turned into such a boring, plodding, nearly indecipherable mess of a movie was just TOO damn crushing of a disappointment. This movie should have been brilliant. But instead it is just trashy crap. The “plot” is middle of the road and very uninteresting, so uninteresting that writer Cormac McCarthy (normally so amazing in his writing) and directly Ridley Scott (a legend in his own right) were both obviously not interested in this plot themselves, as they barely put forth enough information for this stuff involving a drug deal gone bad to make any sense.
Which would have been fine if they had genuinely developed the movie’s characters and told this story through the characters’ development, but even the characters are all flat and boring, save for Cameron Diaz’s character, the only one even slightly interesting among the film’s players. Michael Fassbender plays a lawyer who gets into the drug trade. That’s it. Javier Bardem plays a guy already in the business. That’s it. Brad Pitt also plays a guy in the drug biz, and his defining characteristic is that he is apparently ready to walk away from everything at a moment’s notice. Big whoop. And don’t even get me started on Penelope Cruz’ character, who is merely a virginal, pure, innocent person who only exists to be corrupted and destroyed by her lawyer boyfriend. Wow. How fascinating. This movie was just a massive disappointment all around.
1. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
While this movie isn’t not really written poorly or directed with incomptence, it tops this list for a totally different reason. Sure Ben Stiller made a fine movie in terms of characterization and art direction and acting, but he fucked it all up with his crass commercialism and product placement throughout this movie.
And I know movies are expensive and product placement is indeed a necessary evil, but it is one thing to include some real world products in your movie in the background or as scene details, but when you make these companies a major part of your plotting and story, you have some explaining to do.
For example, I would love if Ben Stiller could explain why he felt the need to include the Papa John’s pizza chain as a plot point, when he could have made up a national pizza chain instead? Why did he feel the need to include Cinnabon in the movie, and even include a joke about how their cinnamon buns are “frosted heroin?” Was it necessary to include the McDonald’s “I’m Lovin’ It” jingle as an inane joke? Did they have to make a joke based on him wearing a KFC uniform as a kid? Couldn’t it have been a uniform for a made up fried chicken place?
And making all of this blatant and obvious product placement worse (and those are only a FEW examples) is the fact that this movie is trying to be all life-affirming, about how you need to go out there and actually EXPERIENCE life and go LIVE and climb up a volcano and fight sharks and meet new people in different cultures, and then when you are done with all of that, go get a delicious Cinnabon and then sign up for eHarmony on your iPhone while flipping through LIFE Magazine’s website. This is disingenuous and even kind of mean-spirited and it makes me want to say “Fuck you, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty. Take your movie’s message and your product placements and shove them up your duplicitious, insincere ass.
What are your least favorite movies of 2013? Go ahead and use the comments section below to let us know!