The Bottom 3: 2010’s Worst Movies

December 30, 2010 at 9:06 am

The Bottom 3: 2010's Worst Movies The Athletic Nerd Movie Blog

2009’s Worst Movies were pretty bad but I think 2 of them made the list because of my impossibly high hopes that they would deliver.

They didn’t and I was extremely disappointed.

This year’s list is different.  This year’s list is all about movies I just didn’t like.  Forget high hopes and hype, they stunk.  These are the 3 movies that left me wishing I had seen something else.

The 3 Worst Movies of 2010

What’s sad is one of them involves one of my favorite directors, another attempted to revive a beloved Disney classic and the other starred two of my favorite actors…

What happened? Why did they disappoint?

Read on…

#3 Alice In Wonderland

alice-in-wonderland-screenshot-hole The Bottom 3: 2010's Worst Movies

It saddens me that I had to include Tim Burton’s film on this list.  I’m not a MASSIVE fan of his films but I do have enormous respect for his style and unique approach to film.  When it was announced that he would be adapting Alice In Wonderland I was thrilled.  It seemed like a perfect match.

The Disney animated film is a treasured part of my childhood.  I couldn’t wait to relive the magic.  But I knew that there was a chance I wouldn’t connect with a Mad Hatter played by Johnny Depp or the ‘older’ Alice so I kept my expectations in check.

I left the theater stunned by how much I disliked the film.  The magic wasn’t there.

It felt like the story centered on the Mad Hatter due to Depp’s involvement and less on Alice and her adventures.  The queen wasn’t threatening at all.

The film went on to make a thousand million dollars so some people liked it.  I wish I did.

However, I did have an opportunity to hear Tim Burton speak a while back.  It was a fantastic experience that gave me new reasons to give the movie another shot…

You never know right?

Click here to read: A Conversation With Tim Burton.

Click here for my full review: Alice Returns…  The Magic Does Not

#2 The Last Airbender

The Bottom 3: 2010's Worst Movies Shyamalan

Towards the beginning of this film, a character named Katara narrates about Aang’s (The Airbender kid.) past like she has known him her entire life.  Then her character asks him what his name is.  But the ‘voice over’ version of that character already knew that.

Confused?  So was I…

Shyamalan is better than that.  Many people would argue that he never was that great but I will disagree forever.  He still remains one of my favorite directors.

Click here to read: Director Wars: Shyamalan vs Nolan 2.

The Last Airbender was a mess both in it’s flawed direction and it’s blurry ‘don’t call this crap 3D’ visuals.

I didn’t know anything about the popular cartoon and I still don’t feel like I do.  I don’t think I ever will.

Click here for my full review: The Last Airbender Wasn’t That Bad Was It?

#1 Dinner For Schmucks

2010 worst movies

This movie sucked.

How could they expect audiences to buy that premise?  Are corporate people doing this?  No!

Did anyone find this movie funny?  I found it frustrating.

Paul Rudd and Steve Carell are two of the funniest people on the planet and because of that alone, this movie has a few comic moments.

But nowhere near enough to save this disastrous comedy.  I hated it and I LOVE comedies!

2010’s worst movie was an easy pick this year.

Nothing else came close.

Click here for my full review: A Last Minute Dinner For Schmucks

Until next year!

Director Wars: Nolan vs Shyamalan 2

July 22, 2010 at 9:06 pm

Christopher Nolan M. Night Shyamalan

In part one of Director Wars: Nolan vs Shyamalan, I talked about wanting needing to be inspired by the movies I watch.

Both Christopher Nolan and M. Night Shyamalan have created original movies that have fueled my passion for screenwriting and filmmaking.

For years now, on the successes of The Sixth Sense and Signs, Night has been my favorite director.

However, the quality of his films have unfortunately diminished over the last few outings and left an opening for Christopher Nolan to become the new champ.

I left it all in the hands of their work.

  • Signs is my favorite movie of all time.
  • The Dark Knight sits at number 2.
  • The Sixth Sense was one of the coolest and original ghost stories ever.
  • Memento, The Prestige and Batman Begins are all solid and original films.

Both filmmakers craft interesting and entertaining movies that are filled with thrills and challenge our minds.  It’s these types of movies that inspired me to become a screenwriter in the first place.  I’m in debt to them both for constantly reminding me what hard work and dedication can achieve.

Who wins?

It was all up to the 2010 summer movie season where Shyamalan would release The Last Airbender and Nolan countered with Inception.

Director Wars: Nolan vs Shyamalan

Christopher Nolan has officially surpassed Shyamalan and become my all time favorite director.

Click here to read my review of The Last Airbender

Click here to read my review of Inception

Truthfully, it wasn’t even close.

While Signs remains my all time favorite movie, I can’t help but feel that M. Night Shyamalan has banked on his name instead of his stories to succeed.  He created three  straight classics (Or four if you count The Village.) and was basically given a blank check for his future projects.

He used his position of power to create Lady In The Water and The Happening. When those movies failed he turned to an existing property.  One of the reasons I love filmmakers like Night is because of the  original stories they create.  While I definitely didn’t enjoy his last few movies, at least he took a chance.

Having said that, he did miss and I believe he bought into his own hype.  His films had an arrogance to them.

For example:

Casting himself as a writer that would one day change the world in Lady seemed a bit out of place considering he is in fact a writer.

The Last Airbender just seemed lazy and the screenplay was the worst part.  Even after all the criticism and harsh words he has received, he still seems oblivious to the critics.  He’s more determined than ever to do things his way.

I have to admit, I respect him for that but in order to remain a massive fan, I have to enjoy his movies.  I haven’t.

I do hope he will return to form someday and make another movie that inspires me.  I won’t hold it against him like some people have over the years.  He’s putting his heart and soul into his films and I wish Hollywood studios put more faith in artists like him.  You never know when you’ll get another Sixth Sense.

On the other side of the coin is Christopher Nolan. A director who has an incredible resume.  He took original ideas and crafted outstanding screenplays (credit his brother Jonathan as well) then executed them perfectly on the screen.  His imagination seems limitless and the studios wrote him a blank check as well.

What does he do?

He creates films like The Prestige and then completely DOMINATES one of the most precious franchises of all: Batman.

Not only that, he followed up Batman Begins with arguably the finest comic book adaptation in history in The Dark Knight. A film that featured one of the best villains we’ve ever seen!

Then what?

He begins to work on a 160 million dollar passion project called Inception

The hype begins to build.

How will he follow up after the success of The Dark Knight?

Inception was a phenomenal film.  It really is a modern day classic and a masterful piece of filmmaking.  Sounds pretty deep but it is such an intelligent story that’s filled with entertaining action and visuals.  How can you not praise the high level of creativity.  Whether you loved Inception or not you have to admit it was a pretty clever story.

When you compare that to The Last Airbender, it stops being a competition.

Nolan wins this round and as a result…

I have a new favorite director!

Christopher Nolan Director Inception

The Aftermath

The race was actually closer than you might think. I have a deep respect for both of these directors.  They have each created films that have inspired the writer I wish to become someday.

We all owe a small measure of our success to those who inspired us to go down an unknown road.  A road that may not lead to success at all but thanks to films like Inception and Signs, I’m determined to find out where it goes.

The Last Airbender Wasn’t That Bad Was It?

July 6, 2010 at 3:31 pm


The Athletic Nerd Movie Reviews

I decided to find out for myself and I can honestly say that The Last Airbender is not a good movie. M. Night Shyamalan has missed again.

But is it THIS bad?

“M. Night Shyamalan’s THE LAST AIRBENDER is a hate crime against film lovers.”

“Battlefield Earth has a new rival for the title of worst-film-of-the-last-20-years.” Cole Smithey

“The Last Airbender represents Shyamalan’s final and ultimate failure as a filmmaker – and a human being.” Mike Ward

“…a supposed fantasy adventure that has all the magic and mystery of a bologna sandwich.” Scene Stealers

“…an early candidate for the worst film of the decade.”

Yikes. That is just a few reviews I’ve read over the last few days.

I caught a matinee today. I wonder what the other 4 people in the theater thought…

The Last Airbender Fire Nation Shyamalan

Now I definitely agree that the movie is bad. Really bad. But this bad?

Admittedly, I know nothing about the animated series so I went in with a clean slate with high hopes for the once celebrated director.

Overall, the film presents a pretty cool concept but slow pacing, bad acting, poor writing and terrible 3D conversion killed it.

“I’m the Avatar… I ran away but I’m back now.”

There are cheesy lines like this throughout the movie and the acting doesn’t make things easier.

The Last Airbender is a mess.

How many times do you have to repeat that the Prince needs the Avatar to regain his honor? The answer is every 6-8 minutes.

Does he do it? Nope.

Towards the end a ‘fire bender’ creates his own fire. You know this for two reasons:

  1. You can see it on screen.
  2. People run around saying things like “He’s creating his own fire out of nothing!”

Does it mean anything? Nope. People just run away and he stops. Ooooooo.

In fact, in the final scene setting up an unlikely sequel, the Fire Nation leader says a comet is coming that will allow all fire benders to create their own fire.

I wanted to stand up in the theater and scream:

“Someone already did that!”

A lot of the criticism the film received is directed at the cast. Some believe it’s due to Night’s bad direction. Others blame the actor’s themselves. The acting was bad. Everyone is to blame but was it really so bad that people would call Night a failed human being? Ouch. I read one review that said the film would ‘end careers’. Ouch again.

Oh and don’t bother seeing this movie in 3D. I’m shocked the people at Paramount aren’t being sued for false advertising. It’s terrible 3D.

The one ‘element’ I actually found entertaining were the action sequences. They aren’t going to blow your mind but it’s still cool to see something different every now and then.

M. Night Shyamalan used to make brilliant movies. He has now directed 3 (or arguably 4) stinkers in a row. I think everyone is angry because they miss the old Night.

It’s true that The Last Airbender isn’t worth the trip to the theater. Yet people are visciously attacking Night personally. I don’t understand this.

Love him or hate him, he has still created at least a few phenomenal movies. You can never take that away from him. A lot of the reviews I read seem to be angry about his latest disaster.

I believe this anger is a cloak masking the genuine disappointment underneath.

People want the old M. Night Shyamalan back.

I miss the old M. Night Shyamalan too but I still think he’s brilliant.

Hopefully he returns to form someday.

M. Night Shyamalan is still brilliant

It’s my hope that people will read this review and understand that I thought The Last Airbender was terrible.

That doesn’t mean I’m giving up on M. Night Shyamalan.

I’ll be watching The Sixth Sense this week to remind myself what he is capable of. When his next movie comes out, I’ll go in with the same high hopes that everyone else has for his work.

I just won’t lash out at him if he doesn’t deliver.

PS: It really was a bad movie though. Too bad.

Director Wars: Nolan vs Shyamalan

March 11, 2010 at 12:57 am

Christopher Nolan M. Night Shyamala

M. Night Shyamalan has been my favorite director for years.  Signs is by far my favorite movie of all time and The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable and to a lesser extent The Village are all solid and original movies.

That’s why he became my favorite director.

However, few would argue that he has been stumbling lately.

Christopher Nolan is a genius. The man behind The Dark Knight (My second favorite movie) deserves all the credit he has received over the years.  Memento, The Prestige to the Batman films are some of the most well made and entertaining films of all time.

With Inception, Batman 3 and even mentoring the new Superman movie on the horizon, he’s showing no signs of slowing down.

So the title of Favorite Director is officially up for grabs.

The Battle Begins This Summer

Nolan’s Inception is my most anticipated movie of 2010 for about 2 million reasons. (Click here to read a few of them)  The movie just looks cool.  There aren’t many stylized action films with this level of originality, mystery and hype.  The last one I can think that had me this excited was The Matrix.

I can’t wait to see Inception.

M. Night Shyamalan also has a new movie coming out this summer.  The Last Airbender looks decent but it can’t claim half the hype that Inception has.  However, it does look like an incredibly fun ride.  I honestly think this movie will be a return to form for the director.

Both filmmakers are basically tied at this point but as the summer approaches, I’ll be allowing the film fanatic within to determine which film inspires me the most.

When the dust settles, Mr. Shyamalan may remain my favorite director. He’ll always be the director who truly inspired me to pursue screenwriting as more than just a hobby.

On the other hand, Mr. Nolan has created some of the most memorable film moments in recent history.

Who will win?

Movies inspire me. I’m loyal to directors who fuel my passion for films so this is definitely a difficult call.

I’ll be a fan of them both for the rest of my life no matter who comes out on top.  Having said that, there must be a winner of this epic battle.  I’ll let there movies do the talking this summer!

In the mean time, check out these slightly related articles:

Click here for part 2.