While we still have an astonishing nine more months until this year is officially over, one wonders how high up some of these turkeys will land come final annual aesthetic tally time. More disconcerting is the notion that, indeed, things can and WILL get worse.
Hey traditional Spring film season - glad to see you haven't truly changed your subpar stripes. It's just like the good old days - you remember, don't you? The times we used to spend together? We'd take four months out of every year and just hang out, your weekly selection of Summer/Awards cast-offs and long delayed failures clogging up the local Cineplex with nothing but shoulder shrugging mediocrity. This is the way it used to be, the way we film fans remember the span between January and May - before the blockbusters move in and take over the ticket line landscape. There's no popcorn fare in your past - just lots and lots of ideas that got really, really lost in the tepid translation. Oh sure, you tried to pad your rep, resorting to surprise hits like How to Train Your Dragon and Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland to change your image. But for the most part…things are back to the way they used to be, and the feeling of familiarity is intoxicating.
Indeed, Spring 2010 was fairly abysmal, the overall perspective more mind-boggling than just mediocre. This was the time of vomit-inducing RomComs, of a Valentine's Day so inert and inane that it, alone, could contribute to a rise in lovelorn, lonely hearts suicides. It was the quarter of failed future shock (Repo Men) and even worse cop drama dreariness (Brooklyn's Finest). It was the period that gave us The Joneses, the lame Legion, The Back-Up Plan, and the rotten Romero retread The Crazies. Not every offering was so horrific, but we did have to suffer through more Nicholas Sparks than any human being should have to endure, and another set of Harry Potter wannabes. Things were so bad this time around that John Travolta riffing on his previous Pulp Fiction success was more satisfying than most of what came out of the tainted Tinseltown factory.
Still, there were five that really stood out, five that made their limited running time in the theater the cinematic equivalent of being seated next to a sober Kevin Smith on a cross-country flight. Some of them were obvious from the minute they were announced - right, Jackie Chan? Others snuck up on you like unwelcome relatives at a social occasion. Eventually, it's embarrassing for everyone involved. While we still have an astonishing nine more months until this year is officially over, one wonders how high up some of these turkeys will land come final annual aesthetic tally time. More disconcerting is the notion that, indeed, things can and WILL get worse. Let's begin with:
5. Date Night
4. Death at a Funeral
3. Our Family Wedding
2. The Spy Next Door
1. Furry Vengeance