Short Ends and Leader's 10 Worst Films of 2011

by Bill Gibron

31 December 2011

#6 - Dream House 

5 - 1

#5: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 1 (dir. Bill Condon)

In the book, Edward and Bella get married, have a baby, and the child causes a final clash between the vampire rulers. Fin. Somewhere along the line, the producers of the film adaptations got the wrongheaded idea that they were dealing with Harry Potter, and decided to make the finale two parts long. Two parts! So what does this initial installment offer? Two plus hours of our couple tying the knot, copulating, and complaining about being pregnant. When said baby is born, we’re done, and it’s time for Part 2. Huh? We waited all this time for that?

#4: The Darkest Hour (dir. Chris Gorak)

There were at least four alien invasion films released in 2011, and all but one - Attack the Block - were atrocious. While Skyline skidded by on its engaging F/X and Battle: Los Angeles was just dull, this invisible space monsters in Moscow fiasco takes the evil ET cake. It’s so awful, so undeniably underdeveloped and lacking in any real dread that you simply sit back and watch a lame light show that’s supposed to scare you - and never does. Here’s hoping that any cosmic powers that are watching catch wind of our crappy creative treatment of their threat - and decide we aren’t worth it. 

#3: Hop (dir. Tim Hill)

Santa can finally relax - it’s the Easter Bunny’s turn to be toasted by the makers of mediocre motion pictures. Of course, the bright colors and candy-coated conceits of this story made it a big fat hit with those who aren’t counting calories or afraid of carbo-loading. For everyone else, this confused combination of fairy tale and tacky social commentary comes across like a rotten holiday egg - pretty on the outside, foul and sulphurous on the inside. Oh, and by the way, when did jelly bean poop officially become funny? Just asking.

#2: The Smurfs (dir. Raja Gosnell)

Before he dies, it looks like director Raja Gosnell is going to destroy everyone’s memories of sunny Saturday morning animated fare. First, he sullied the good name of one Scooby-Doo and the Mystery Machine membership. Now, he’s attacking Belgium’s favorite undersized imps. For about ten minutes or so, the movie kinda works - that is, when it stays in Smurfland and doesn’t venture into the real world of New York City. Once they hit Manhattan, it’s fart jokes and double entendres o’plenty, just what the long term fanbase were hoping for with the return of these beloved blue gnomes. Groan.

#1: Red Riding Hood (dir. Catherine Hardwicke)

We said it at the time, and we really mean it - what film retrofits a famous fairy tale into a Twilight-esque excuse for young girls to fantasize about having sex with wolves? Even more concerning - why does a hack mistress like Catherine Hardwicke get another shot at staining the cinematic artform? Apparently, the appeal of Stephanie Meyer’s miserable vampire romance cannot be underestimated. This over the top atrocity, complete with gratuitous Gary Oldman can’t decide if it wants to teach tweens about the joys of self-empowerment or the pleasures of animal carnality. When you figure it out, give us a call. We still won’t care.

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