Pop Rocks: The Worst Movies of 2011
As 2011 draws to a close, the natural tendency is to reflect on events of the past 12 months. Did we accomplish everything we'd hoped? Did we end the year in a better place than we started? Did that terrifying rash all over our genitalia clear up on its own, or should we finally see a doctor?
For folks in the lucrative movie reviewing biz, this is the time of year when we find ourselves banging our collective heads against the wall in order to come up with our annual "best of" lists. It's an excruciating exercise, not just because ranking what we saw in cinemas in 2011 is often a chore slightly less enjoyable than a latter-period Nicolas Cage movie marathon, but because whatever we come up with is inevitably challenged by everyone who takes umbrage with your leaving their particular favorite off your ultimately meaningless list.
So more fun, for me anyway, is documenting the lesser lights of last year's offerings. Being older and feeling the hoary spectre of death hovering over my every step, I don't go out of my way to see every stinker out there, but I see enough. And like every other year, 2011 offered plenty to choose from.
In no particular order, because crap is crap.
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1
There's no greater testimony to the ineffectiveness of the critical community than Breaking Dawn - Part 1's $144 million opening weekend gross. The movie's runtime is just three minutes shy of two hours, and all but 15 of those minutes are a fat lot of nothing. There's a wedding, which you probably already knew about, and a honeymoon which ranks with your basic After School Special in terms of sexiness. To be fair, Bill Condon doesn't have the...strongest source material to work with. But come on.
Just Go With It/Jack and Jill
There was a time, back during the Clinton administration, when an Adam Sandler movie could be depended on to provide a few healthy laughs. As he's gotten more successful, however, Sandler's chucked his uneven, anarchic sensibility for fart and fat jokes (often in the same scene). Using a person's homosexuality as a punchline may -- may -- have passed muster when you were too young and stupid to know any better. I know, comedy's subjective and all, but if you're actually laughing the second time a guy gets hit in the groin in a movie, perhaps you should stick with pro wrestling.