Sunday, December 12, 2010

5 Best and Worst Movies of 2010: Part 1

Sadly, this isn't a post about Best Worst Movie, the hilarious documentary about the cult phenomenon that Troll 2 has become. Even sadder, I have not seen enough movies this year to make a Top Ten list, mostly because there just weren't that many movies that interested me enough to make the effort to go and spend the money to see them.

Still, the year isn't over and there are several films either playing now (Black Swan) or opening soon (The King's Speech) that are on my "must see" list. Ask me at the end of January and I may have a very different list (or at least larger) list of Best and Worst Movies of 2010. 

But for now, it's 5 of each.

Let's start with the 5 Worst Movies of 2010, shall we?

#5 - The Wolfman

Wow, what a cast! Benicio del Toro; Anthony Hopkins; Hugo Weaving; Emily Blunt and Geraldine Chaplin starred in the much-anticipated remake of the 1941 classic that starred Lon Chaney, Jr. Seriously - three Oscar winners, Agent Smith, an acting royal and the creator of the FX for An American Werewolf in London should have combined for a terrific update. Sadly, in the clumsy directorial hands of Joe Johnston (Jurassic Park 3), it's a silly and derivative bore filled with bad dialog and even worse CGI. P.U.

#4 - Alice in Wonderland

Can anyone tell me what happened to the wunderkind that was Tim Burton? Alice in Wonderland should have been a no-brainer, given its amazing source material.* Sadly, Linda Woolverton's feminist revision of Lewis Carroll's brilliant nonsense story only served to let Burton loose with a wild assortment of visuals that do absolutely nothing to serve Carroll's story. I may be one of a handful of people who actually liked Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but after this mess, I have to admit Burton needs some reigning in.

#3 - Death at a Funeral

In 2007, Frank Oz (Little Shop of Horrors) made a delightfully madcap British comedy about a funeral in which the decedent's family discovers all sorts of terrible secrets about him and themselves. The movie was decidedly British and delightfully hilarious. Just three years later, director Neil LaBute  (The Wicker Man) remade Death at a Funeral for the American black audience. Crass, unfunny and loaded with stereotypes, LaBute's movie is not only completely unnecessary, but insulting to the original.

Here's the trailer for the original:

#2 - A Nightmare on Elm Street
Jackie Earle Haley may be enjoying a career renaissance, but his reinterpretation of Wes Craven's most famous Horror icon Freddy Krueger, will not go down as one of his better performances. Music video director Samuel Bayer takes everything that made the 1984 original so scary and reduces it to a CGI-infused mess devoid of any real human emotion.

#1 - Splice

This was one movie Uncle P really wanted to like. Writer/Director Vincenzo Natali (Cube) got two of my favorite actors, Adrien Brody (King Kong; The Pianist) and Sarah Polley (The Adventures of Baron Munchausen; Dawn of the Dead) to star in this tale that had the potential to be a truly horrifying treatise on genetic engineering and manipulation. Instead, audiences were treated to a silly and sickening movie about which my movie-loving Dear D said: "I hate this movie so much, I never want to see it again." By far, the worst movie released in 2010.

Tomorrow, my picks for the 5 Best Movies of 2010 (so far).

More, anon.

*Uncle P is a rabid fan of Carroll's works and loves them like few others do, which led me to watch this mess of a movie in abject horror. I own every version of his works you can imagine, including 'The Annotated Alice." Carroll's skewering of Victorian society and language has inspired me to no end, and I consider myself somewhat of a devotee. That whirring sound you heard every time this movie screened was the poor Reverend Dodgeson spinning in his grave over the bastardization of his work.


Stephen said...

I own the Annotated Alice & I am huge Carroll fan also...
How could the Burton film have gotten things so very wrong? It seemed like a perferct mATCH OF SOURCE MATERIAL & writer & director...

Prospero said...

You would think so, but alas... I blame the writer mostly...