Sunday 2 January 2011

The Worst Films of 2010

10. Enter the Void
The question to ask about Gaspar Noe's latest provocation isn't the loaded "Is this pushing cinema in new directions?" but "In which direction does this push the cinema?", and I think that - for all its considerable technical and creative bravado - Enter the Void actually only bends us back towards the same empty-headed spectacle most Hollywood 3D product has been aiming for this year, albeit underpinned here by the misinformed sincerity of a Gap-yearer who's discovered Tokyo's red light area for the first time. When it was boring, it was at least as boring as anything in those stereoscopic let-downs Tron: Legacy or Alice in Wonderland - and the rest of the time it played like a terrible betrayal of its alleged source, the Tibetan Book of the Dead. Noe couldn't care less about the soul, not when he has bodies to gawp at and penetrate; you don't come away from the film enlightened as feeling vaguely sullied.

9. Baaria

ore-ier, more like. A tutsi-frutsi cartoon from Cinema Paradiso's Giuseppe Tornatore, telling the story of his ancestors in the Italian countryside, which dragged on like a relentless, sepia-tinted slideshow, or the world's longest Dolmio advert. Even some arbitrary nudity from Monica Bellucci (somewhat over-qualified in the role of "Bricklayer's Girlfriend") couldn't rouse the audience.

8. Tron: Legacy
20 GOTO 10

7. The A-Team
Coming as it did from the director who made the preening Narc and the obnoxious Smokin' Aces, no good was perhaps likely to come of this - but did it really have to be this bad? At the press screening, critics rushed the screen to repeatedly kick and punch at the permanently smirking image of Bradley Cooper - and as for Liam Neeson's participation: well, after Taken last year, Clash of the Titans, The Next Three Days and this in 2010, he now gives the impression of an actor grieving not his late wife, but the remnants of his very soul.

6. Kick-Ass
You could asphyxiate on the toxic cloud of cynicism coming off this one, and it nags at me that so many respectable voices - i.e. non-slavering fanboys - continue to laud the strong-armed, jackbooted brutishness leading Conservative donor (and current coalition arts advisor) Matthew Vaughn has so far displayed throughout his career: this is, after all, the same individual who made his directorial debut with a film in which murder was forgiven, so long as drug dealer Daniel Craig could profit from it (Layer Cake), followed it up with a wantonly violent, destructive, not to mention homophobic family film (Stardust), and returned this year with what most often resembled an instructional video for adolescent sociopaths. (Frankly, Claudia Schiffer is welcome to him.) Vaughn displays the cold, hard, calculatingly corporate touch of a sometime producer who's worked out the most efficient way to deliver an audience to his studio paymasters, much as goons were hired in days of yore to bring the intended victims of kidnappings back to their captors. The paedophile debate sparked by the relation of Vaughan's camera to the foul-mouthed, short-skirted Hit Girl is almost an irrelevance; Kick-Ass is guilty of far greater crimes against the public and the cinema alike.

5. The Final
Laughably inept high-school slasher movie that might only have passed muster on video back in 1997; as released by Curzon Artificial Eye's supposedly upmarket distribution arm Chelsea Films, it proved an epic fail on every front.

4. Boogie Woogie
Just what the art world needed: its own Pret-a-Porter. At the end of ninety excruciating minutes of coke-addled monotony, you emerge certain that everyone involved in its production deserves chopping up and pickling in formaldehyde: Danny Huston and Gillian Anderson look to have forgotten how to act; Heather Graham once more displays her remarkable ability to pass through even unfundable shit such as this unsullied (she truly is the sweetcorn of actresses); Joanna Lumley and Christopher Lee wisely maintain some degree of distance, by appearing in the only strand that (vaguely) resembles a proper movie, rather than a shard of pretentious Hoxton twattery. Also starring: Alan Cumming, Jaime Winstone, Nuts favourite Gemma Atkinson. And we wonder why they axed the UK Film Council.

3. The Bounty Hunter
If we never see Gerard Butler upon our screens again, it will surely be too soon.

2. Garfield's Pet Force

Morally, of course, it's hard to make a case for this blink-and-you'll-miss-it, computer-generated schedule-filler being a worse film than Kick-Ass. Yet it seemed a greater betrayal of everything pop culture once stood for. Hell, of everything Garfield once stood (or sat) for: the tubby feline suddenly has a six-pack and a spacesuit, and is up and about, you know, doing stuff? It was like a bad dream - directed by the numbskull who gave the world 1997's infamously hopeless Spawn (shouldn't he have had his licence revoked by now?) and, most dishearteningly, written by Garfield creator Jim Davis himself, so it's not as though he has anybody else to blame for the decision to chase quick bucks on half-empty 3D-equipped screens. What next: Garfield Does Dallas?


"Real women. Real life," went the tagline on the flyers for Noel Clarke's latest, setting up in opposition to the generally unpopular (but actually far less irksome) Sex and the City 2. I suppose one person's definition of real life is going to be different from another, but I doubt any save the most suggestible of PRs would consider the following essential components of 24 hours in their real life: international jewel thieves who stash their booty in Pringles cans; classical pianists who look like Tamsin Egerton, and spend their days parading around in "Elle MacPherson Intimates"; lesbians in "Eat Me" knickers; a Mexican stand-off between Michelle Ryan and Emma Roberts; a cameo from Ben "poor man's Anstis" Shepherd, seemingly at a loss even to play himself.

Essentially a two-hour wank tape for its writer-director-star ("Ooh, I bet he's got a huge penis," Roberts is obliged to gush of Clarke at one point), this leering, lumbering bollocks rightly tanked at the box-office, despite its hefty marketing spend - although some day, when branding consultants rule the earth, all films will be made this way. As Kidulthood and Adulthood (brought to you in association with Costa Coffee, "Britain's grittiest coffee") made patently obvious to anyone who wasn't hellbent on jettisoning any shred of integrity in return for being seen as with it and down with the kids, if Noel Clarke is the future of British cinema, then Michael McIntyre is the future of
European agricultural reform, and I myself am the future of women's tennis.

No comments:

Post a Comment