The Bottom 3: The Worst Movies of 2012

January 10, 2013 at 12:14 am

The Worst Movies of 2012

I don’t get to see every movie that gets released theatrically.  I don’t have much time to rent them all either.  There aren’t many who can.  Like many, I have to be selective when it comes to what I see in theaters, what I see On Demand and what I skip entirely.

This year, I’m proud of my selection process.  I only saw two movies in theaters I didn’t like.  Both of them are on this list.  One could argue that I didn’t take too many risks on smaller movies and films that fit into the category of ‘different’.  I would argue that I’m still willing to give many of the films I missed a chance…

I’m just saying I wish I didn’t see these 3 frustrating films.  The Bottom 3.

Click here to see last year’s Bottom 3.

3. THE CAMPAIGN

Click here to read my review of The Campaign.

I saw The Campaign late in the year as a rental while on vacation.  I should have rented something else but the idea of Zach Galifianakis teaming up with Will Ferrell was too good to pass up…  Wait…  Yes it was.

2. JOHN CARTER

Click here to read my review of John Carter.

I should have known better.  The production was plagued with problems and the trailers did nothing to sell the film.  It was one of the biggest blockbuster disasters of the year but they got my money.

1. DARK SHADOWS

Click here to read my review of Dark Shadows.

I lost the popular vote that day.  A couple friends of mine are huge Tim Burton fans so I figured I’d give it a shot.  (I’m a so-so Tim Burton fan.)  It looked exactly like a Tim Burton movie except it was a complete mess.  I did NOT enjoy this movie and neither did my friends.   By far the worst movie I saw in 2012.

XTRA | A Conversation With Tim Burton

Until next year!

The Bottom 3: 2012's Worst Movies

Dark Shadows Cursed My Wallet

May 14, 2012 at 10:00 am

Dark Shadows Cursed My Wallet

QUICK COME HERE, NO OVER HERE, NOW BACK HERE, THEN HERE, NOW HERE…

Let’s get the obvious out of the way…  I did not care for Dark Shadows.  It’s unfortunate because I was really hoping it would end up being a fun little vampire tale.  The latest Tim Burton/Johnny Depp collaboration is a complete mess.  It seemed like they examined the story arcs of the TV series and crammed every single one of them into a movie that suffers from ADD.

XTRA | A Conversation With Tim Burton

The opening was fantastic, it set up Depp’s Barnabas well.  But then we spend 30 minutes with a governess charged with the care of a supposedly looney child.  But then we completely forget about that for an hour because Barnabas returns and decides to fix the family fishing business.  He’s a vampire by the way…

Dark Shadows Cursed My Wallet | Dark Shadows 2012 Review

Somewhere in there they shimmy in a thieving father who is on screen for 5 minutes, a blow job, Alice Cooper, a werewolf and a bunch of ghosts.  Then right in the middle of the movie, our vampire hero decides to have sex with the witch who cursed him only to leave her again.  (Did he learn nothing?)

At one point the police show up hunting the vampire responsible for some pretty gruesome murders.  Suddenly they realize what he is, witness him fight a witch…  And then leave like nothing happened.

What else…

Oh the important love story.  Vicky, the governess, happens to fall madly in love with Barnabas.  Something he wished for.  This was just as rushed as all the other story lines they tried to cram into the film.  I understand that it’s a long running soap opera but they clearly tried to set up a sequel.  Wouldn’t it be easier to leave a couple things for that?

PS: That’s my ghost mom and she is a ghost more powerful than the witch.

PS: I’m a werewolf, deal with it.

…  If you’ve made it this far in my review, I hope you realized I structured it like the film on purpose.  It’s basically a small paragraph for each important plot point and you really don’t get a chance to develop anything.

1225 episodes doesn’t fit into 113 minutes.

Dark Shadows Review Tim Burton

NOTE: Having not seen a single episode, I’m willing to concede that there may be things I’m missing.

Allow me to illustrate my point.

I have never seen an episode of Star Trek either.  I was never really a fan but I’m sure it’s a great show.  I haven’t seen any of the films either.  So when I walked into J.J Abrams’ reboot a few years ago, I had the same expectations as Dark Shadows.  Show me the world, introduce me to the people and entertain.

Star Trek was an awesome introduction to the Enterprise and it’s crew.

Dark Shadows was not because toomanythingshappenedinrandomorderandsomefeltoutofplacebutatleast…

TimBurtongottoputdarkeyeshadowonjohnnydeppandmakeanotherdarktalewithvariousshadesofgrey.

I feel the following Family Guy video illustrates my point:

Don’t get me wrong, I think Tim Burton is a fine filmmaker.  But Dark Shadows made me sad.  Looks like I have my first nominee for 2012’s Bottom 3.

Click here for more reviews.

Dark Shadows Cursed My Wallet | Dark Shadows 2012 Review

Dark Shadows Cursed My Wallet | Dark Shadows 2012 Review

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!

A Conversation With Tim Burton

November 24, 2010 at 12:45 pm

A Conversation With Tim Burton Toronto Tiff Bell Lightbox RBC

Thanks to @michelsavoie and @rbc I was lucky enough to be invited to an amazing event held last night at the TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto.

A Conversation With Tim Burton.

The event is part of a pretty impressive tribute to Burton’s work including workshops, movie marathons and an impressive art gallery which I wasn’t fortunate enough to see but looked amazing.

Personally, I was extremely excited to hear the filmmaker talk about his career and inspirations and he didn’t disappoint.

Whether you love his films or not you can’t argue that they are easily recognizable.  His style is incredibly unique, strange and wonderful.

I couldn’t wait to get a sense of what he’s really like.

On stage, he was extremely humble and modest yet confident and surprisingly funny.  I’m not sure why I was surprised by his sense of humor given the fact that my personal favorite of his is Beetlejuice.   Ironically, it was one of the first films he talked about mentioning that the studios wanted to change the title to:  House Guests.  A title he relegated to the straight-to-dvd section of video stores.

I suppose I was expecting a quiet and weird auteur but instead we were all treated to an incredibly interesting mix of strangeness and honesty.

“I didn’t know I was weird until people told me I was”

That’s why we love Tim Burton. 

It’s that weirdness and unpredictability that makes him interesting. Within two minutes, I was hanging on every single word he said and it was absolutely fascinating.

A Conversation With Tim Burton Toronto Tiff Bell Lightbox RBC

The first portion of the evening was an hour long sit down interview where various clips of his films played in between his sincere comments about his film career.  It was followed by a short yet revealing question and answer period with the audience.

The format was a great way to introduce different aspects of his career.   You could feel the excitement in the room when people’s favorites were on the screen. I know I was giddy a few times. Especially when Batman made an appearance.

Tim mentioned several times that he never watches his own movies.  I wish I was able to see him during the clips to confirm whether or not that was true.  I like to think he was looking away.

It’s truly inspiring to get a window into a filmmakers creative process.

Tim spoke candidly about how he tries to find time every day to simply look out a window and let his mind wander.  I thought about that comment a lot.  It’s both strange and interesting.  On one hand, it’s good advice.  No matter what adult responsibilities (as he put it) you have, it’s always good to make time for yourself and let your imagination run wild.  On the other hand, I can totally see him sitting alone in a room with only a chair, a window and his thoughts.

Strange and interesting.

Listening to him speak about his background in animation and how he used to sit underneath his desk all day is a perfect example of an artist who isn’t afraid to be himself.  I had no idea he started as an animator for Disney.  I’ll never be able to picture him drawing The Fox and the Hound. I suppose he didn’t either.  He may not have considered himself a great animator but the man worked for Disney.  That’s saying something.

Eventually, he would bring his unique artistic style to millions of adoring fans but I still love the image of him drawing underneath his desk wishing he wasn’t sketching Todd and Copper.

You could tell Tim was proud of his body of work regardless of whether he watched his films or not.  He spoke honestly about his need to connect to a particular character or monster.  I think that deep connection is what makes his monsters and ghouls so sympathetic and endearing.  It allows us to connect to them just as deeply.  There’s a powerful relationship between a movie and a fan.

Sometimes we as fans have no idea why a director chooses a particular film.  I was happy someone asked him about Big Fish because it led to a personal story about how his own father had passed before he made the film.  He spoke about how he wouldn’t have made the film otherwise.  It was a touching moment as you could tell how much that film meant to him.

That level of care bleeds through the screen and into the hearts of the people who adore his movies.

A Conversation With Tim Burton Toronto Tiff Bell Lightbox RBC

It was also interesting to hear him compare Edward Scissorhands to himself.  He even called it his favorite movie because of how connected he felt to the titular character’s journey. 

A statement that drew a round of applause from the audience.

And yes…  People asked him about Johnny Depp as well and he had a pretty great answer for why he worked with him so often. He complemented the actor saying that if Mr. Depp wasn’t right for a part he wouldn’t cast him.  I really can’t argue with that as he is an amazing actor.

Tim spoke a lot about the people he works with often and how he likes to see them take on new challenges and succeed.  Yet it was also clear that the director liked bringing fresh eyes onto his projects.

I like to think about the different people who have interpreted his unique and original style over the years.  It isn’t limited to the people who work on his movies either.

Someone in the audience asked him about all the people who have tattoos based on his famous characters. Tim called it the best compliment he has ever received.

“I don’t even have that kind of dedication.” he joked.

People simply love his gloomy black and white style. The black and white stripes in particular have fascinated many over the years.  The subject of the stripes came up towards the end of the evening and Mr. Burton provided one of the strangest answers of the night.  I’m paraphrasing here but he essentially believed that wearing black and white socks made him feel more connected to the ground.  Nobody seemed to know what to make of that answer but we were all thinking about it in depth.


But why?

I would have been happy listening to him elaborate on that statement for the rest of the night. 

Sure he is a strange guy but we don’t love Tim Burton because he’s normal.  We love his work BECAUSE it’s weird.

Before I knew it the conversation was over and he thanked everyone graciously before leaving the stage.

All I wanted to do was hurry home and either edit my latest short film or work on my newest screenplay.  Listening to him speak so honestly about his career was truly inspiring and as an aspiring filmmaker myself, I’m happy I had the opportunity to be there.

I think my favorite moment of the entire evening was when he was asked about the all the different images of skeletons in his movies.  He said:

“There’s a skeleton in each and every one of us.”

It’s an old joke that caused many to giggle lightly in the theater including myself.

However, I also look at it as a perfect way to describe his connection to both his characters and his fans.

We all have monsters and ghosts inside.

I’m thankful for directors like Tim Burton for putting his on the screen.