Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Top Ten Awesomely Bad Movies I Reviewed of 2013

2013 is being put in the ground while 2014 is ready to…um…I’m not sure how to complete this metaphor. 2014 is going to rise from the grave? Like a zombie?  Is 2014 a baby about to be born?  But what year would act as the mother?  Is it 2013?  But then it would have to give birth to 2014 before dying-- Alright, forget I said that…let’s try again.

2013 is being put to bed while 2014 is on the verge of waking up and ready to face the day with wide-eyed idealism! (Even this metaphor is weird because is 2014 in a room with a bunch of other years sleeping in a bunch of beds waiting to wake up?) Anyway, before I can pull the covers up on 2013, I’m going to read it a story and that story will be one where I look back at the year and go over the top ten awesomely bad movies I watched and reviewed.

What’s an awesomely bad movie, you ask? It’s not a great movie but it’s certainly a bad one--but it’s bad on the level that makes it awesome. Get it? It’s one of those movies that are terrible on all accounts but you can’t hate it because you find them entertaining to watch on some level…even though that level is making fun of it.

Bad movies are hard to sit through but if you can pretend you’re trapped on the Satellite of Love and make fun of those bad movies then all is right in the world, from my perspective. So, let’s get to it! Here it is... 

The Top 10 Awesomely Bad Movies I Reviewed of 2013.

Let’s start with the usual Honorable Mentions

Honorable Mentions

Zombiez

It’s the zombie movie that white Conservatives fear. The real magic of this movie is not the fact that paranoid, Caucasian-filled zombie movies cross the street when this movie walks by but the truly awful production of the film. The acting is shitty, the story is sloppy and is pretty much just about a girl running away from guys who kinda/sort of look like zombies and are carrying plastic weapons purchased on wholesale from a Halloween Express, and contains a antagonist who, foolishly, believes that by constantly raising his arms out to his sides means he is being intimidating. I guess he watched too many animal documentaries and thought that if he made himself look larger than his predators would think twice.  All these elements come together that makes something truly hilarious.

                                                                                                                         Purgatory Blues
Get used to the view.  Her ass is what you see most of the movie.


Shark Hunter

I love shark-based horror films and this is the first of three to appear in this entry. Jaws is pretty much the only film to master the horror of the underwater predator and all films since have been cheesy…but that’s why they are awesome! Shark Hunter not only gives us Antonio Sabato Jr. but the special effects are terrible and many of the underwater sequences were filmed on a dry set with some “snow” falling from the ceiling to try and create a failed illusion of water. 

                                                                                                          Shark Hunter Productions
And, of course, this one is about Megalodon.


Tintorera: Killer Shark

Bet you didn’t think another shark film would show up so soon on the list, did ya? Tintorera is a shark movie that came out very quickly after Jaws (in an effort to capitalize) and is supposedly based on real life events of a marine biologist. What makes this movie mock-worthy? The fact that there pretty much isn’t a shark throughout the running length and all the accidental homoeroticism between the two male leads. The film is less about a shark terrorizing a resort and more about the forbidden love that two men willfully try to ignore.

                          United Film Distribution Company
Yep, the poster is very misleading.


Alright, the Honorable Mentions are out of the way, so let’s get to the heart of the matter.

LET THE LIST BEGIN!!!!

10. The Old Marvel Movies

After, I don’t know, my thirtieth viewing of The Avengers, I decided to go back to a dark, dark time in the world of comic book adaptations. Back when movie industries said, “Fuck the fans,” to the comic properties they purchased and when the comic industry said, “Yes, we’ll take your money and allow you to rape our characters into a shell of what they were.”

Captain America and Captain America II: Death Too Soon took the beloved patriot shield-tossing hero and made him an unlikable pile of personality-devoid mush wrapped up in the form of a surfer. Things didn’t go better for him in the 90s either, thanks to a really ill-fitting suit and cheesy atmosphere.

                                                                                                                             Universal TV
"Hello?  Yes, my helmet does make me look stupid."


Then there’s the time when they took the Sorcerer Supreme and made him look like an out-of-work bass player in a 70s band who is moonlighting as a porn star…

                                                                                                                               Universal TV
"My hands don't know whether to groove out a bass line or groove out a lucky lady."


Then, in the late 80s, Dolph proved to us that just dying your hair black can’t make you The Punisher and that shooting henchmen that are currently rushing down children's slides will never make an action hero look tough.

                                                                                                                   New World Pictures
Still, it's hard to hate on the man who was Ivan Drago.


Finally, I watched David Hasselhoff proved that his career knows no depths for hacky acting when I finally watched him in Nick Fury: Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D. I actually should probably go back and watch that again because it will make the first half of Season 1 of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. watchable.

                                                                                                                      20th Century Fox
"Help, the leather is doing little to keep my moobs from sagging!"


These movies are all awful and I had to incorporate them into one entry because it would take up too much of the list to put them in individually but also due to the absolutely ridiculous look and nature of each and every single one of them. Each one is so stupendously shitty that they practically riff and make fun of themselves.

9. Singham

I know I gave this movie an average score and that denotes that it isn’t necessarily bad but the reason it has a place on this list is…well…I didn’t actually watch many awesomely bad films this year and I didn’t want the whole list to be bad shark films and old Marvel movies. Plus, the movie is just fucking crazy! Like a lot of Bollywood action films, the action is just plain insane and when you add in a protagonist who is kind of an asshole and likes to slap people, along with the numerous song and dance numbers, you have yourself an awesomely bad flick that is fun to watch.  Just watch this...




8. Red Dawn

If the original wasn’t ridiculous enough (WOLVERINES!!!), the remake that sat depressingly on a shelf for a great deal of time tries to show it can do better—and by better, I mean far more ridiculousness. I don’t know what’s easier to make fun of? Seeing Josh Peck cry a lot or the fact that the production changed the film’s antagonists from Chinese to North Korean and probably did so under the totally believable idea that most Americans are too deep down racist to even notice.

                                                                                                                               FilmDistrict
"Everybody, squint your eyes and we'll blend in...because America!"


7. Helldriver

It’s Japanese and that should be all I need to say there. But I’ll feed you some more, baby birds. A chainsaw sword and zombies of all sorts that no one whose mind wasn’t negatively impacted by hallucinogenics could create is what makes this film awesome in a bad way. The story is sloppy and is about space zombies but the magic comes in the usual “What the fuck?” territory that Japan is known for with their entertainment. 

                                                                                                                   Something Creation
But seriously, a chainsaw sword is fucking awesome!


6. Movie 43

This movie is completely hit or miss. There are skits within this anthology film that are genuinely funny but there are points where…um…they just aren’t. However, the appeal of seeing A-list celebrities wallow in a thick pool of dick and fart jokes makes the film something to behold and when the film didn't get me with its sophomoric humor, making fun of the sophomoric humor did!

                                                                                                                        Relativity Media
Seeing Gerard Butler as a leprechaun is enough reason to see this movie.


5. Howard the Duck

I should have included this one in the Marvel entry but Howard is so bad, it had to get its own entry. Also, the fact that there’s duck boobs in it certainly helped my case to give it its own spot. Anyway, the comic book is some fantastic satire that poked fun at more innocent comic books but the film is just a mess of bad gags that seems to work completely against the spirit of the pages. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that it’s amusing that people actually love this movie and think it’s the Citizen Kane of comic book adaptations…yeah, they’re out there.

                                                                                                                      Universal Pictures
This movie is kinda due for a second coming.  Seeing a human and a duck enter
into a physical relationship has the modern day internet written all over it.


4. FDR: American Badass

One thing that makes a bad movie become awesomely bad is the very apparent idea that the filmmakers were trying to make something amazing. It’s even better when the film is a comedy and the production has actually fooled themselves into thinking they actually know what funny is. I’m not saying I’m an expert and only I can declare with certainty what is funny and what is not but FDR: American Badass is exactly like that friend everyone has that thinks he’s really funny but doesn’t understand that swearing isn’t an actual punch line. That’s basically this movie…guys who think that saying “Fuck” is the perfect stand in for actual humor. The best laughs that come from this is from the jokes you write yourself while making fun of this one.

                                                                                                                     Screen Media Films
Our nation's history will never stop being bastardized for entertainment...
just wait till the day we get a 9/11 comedy.  It's going to happen.  Give it ten years.


3. Big Tits Zombie

No, I didn’t add a porn to the list. This is just another Japanese film—and once again, I could stop there but I’ll keep going. First off, the film is based on some Manga but that doesn’t make it easier to watch as you never get to see a single zombie with a large chest (although, it could be debated you do); also, you get to see zombie sushi and you get to witness a woman shoot fire from her vagina. If you can’t make fun of that, then there is no hope for you, my friend.

                                                                                     Big Tits Dragon Production Committee
I already put a pic of the fire-belching vagina twice in my actual review.  Did you
really think I was going to put it here, too?


2. Gymkata

Gymkata is a movie that I’ve heard about over and over again over the years but have never taken the time to actually watch it for various reasons (most of them involved trying to stop evil scientists from taking over the world. You’re welcome, Planet Earth.); however, this year I decided to rectify that and finally watch the film about a gymnast who becomes a secret agent and ends up fighting evil in a small town that was engineered by a city planner who thought random parallel bars and pommel horses needed to be placed around the area for some reason. The movie is clearly engineered to be made fun of (well, actually it isn’t but wouldn’t it be great if it was?). My favorite part is where you can clearly see some extras nearly killed by some actors on horses. This movie just didn’t give a fuck.

                                                                                                                                          MGM
And the inclusion of this picture is my way of ruining your day.


1. Sharknado

Everything about this movie is a gigantic turd. The acting is the shittiest that coupons from Subway can buy (no doubt in my mind that THAT is how the actors were paid for this one), the special effects are so bad that NOT having them in general would have look better and appeared more convincing, the story was created by looking at the doodles of a small, ADHD-addled child, there’s absolutely no plot to speak of, there’s continuity errors up the Ying-Yang (a painful place to put those errors), The Asylum produced it (that fact should really be all you need to know on this one) and Ian Ziering’s character has a massive murder boner for killing sharks and it’s clear his character can’t find any happiness without shark blood always being on his hands. However, as shitty as this film is (and it is really, super shitty), it’s a blast to watch because it’s a non-stop ride of hilarity. While clearly meant to be tongue-in-cheek, the humor never comes from anything the film is intentionally trying to do but rather because of how badly the production failed at trying to create something even remotely looking like a movie.

                                                                                                                               The Asylum
This movie will be written in our history books...under the subject of how
we have too much money to spend on stupid movies.


 

Well, there ya have it! Those were the Top Ten Awesomely Bad Movies I Reviewed in 2013. Thanks for reading and I hope you have a fun, and most of all, safe New Year’s and I can’t wait to see what hilariously awful films await me in the year 2014!

The Top Ten Best Movies I Reviewed of 2013

The year that we commonly refer to as 2013 is coming to a close and 2014 is ready to jump up and tickle us with the potential of new adventures, new friendships and Amazon drones ready to malfunction and kill innocent civilians. Being the end of the year, it’s time for my yearly round up of the best, worst and “seriously, what the hell did I just watch?” movies I reviews of 2013.

We’re talking about the best movies I saw this year and, since I’m not one of those jaded movie viewers who thinks only good movies were made in the past, I have to say there were some great ones that a geek like me dug tremendously and it was hard to pick ten. So, needless to say, there are numerous Honorable Mentions this time.

And speaking of Honorable Mentions… (Eh? See what I did there?)

Let’s kick things off!

Honorable Mentions

Cloud Atlas

A very polarizing movie that will either bore a person to tears and make them lash out in epic anger at the film or will either amaze the viewer with its winding narrative, dazzling visuals and tremendous cast. Guess which camp I’m in?

                                                                                                                Warner Bros. Pictures
I'm in their camp.


Cloud Atlas is a very ambitious film and man did I enjoy it. Not only did I find it awesome to see a cast of already established players play various, and complete different, roles but I got to see a film that had a narrative that was unlike anything else I’ve seen in movies.

World War Z

Yes, citizens of the internet, I am aware of how the film is absolutely nothing like the book and I was okay with that. Don’t get me wrong, the book is incredible but I also loved the film. Not only did I get Brad Pitt showing that, even surrounded by zombies, nothing can stop him from looking ruggedly handsome but I also got to see a zombie apocalypse film that actually felt like a global epidemic for once and not just something that is happening outside of Philadelphia among a small group of individuals.

                                                                                                                     Paramount Pictures
"There's ya problem.  Ya got blood-thirsty zombies infesting your wall."


Pacific Rim

Guillermo del Toro, Charlie from It’s Always Sunny, Ron Perlman, Idris Elba and giant fucking robots obliterating giant fucking aliens—stop drilling, movie, you had me at Gui. Sure, people complained about how the film had no character development and it was predictable but I didn’t pay to see art, I paid to see giant fucking robots kill some giant fucking aliens and it delivered it in a big, very entertaining way.

                                                                                                                     Legendary Pictures
Seriously, I wanted big fucking robots and del Toro gave me big fucking robots!


Moby-Dick

Yeah, some reading this probably didn’t see this one—and I’m not saying that to sound like a hipster. Moby-Dick is a puppet adaptation of the classic novel created as a labor of love from a Milwaukee comedian and buddy of mine Ryan Lowe. I’m not including this in the Honorable Mentions because of some sort of loyalty to the man like he made me in a lab and I am now forced to do my Master’s bidding—that would be silly. I include this one because it really was something magical and truly something worthy of a worldwide audience. Audiences and snobs like to complain that movies are vacuous and empty nowadays as they are just mad dashes for cash but Lowe made a film that was truly near and dear to his heart and you see it in every scene. It’s not only amazing to see the familiar source material take a drastic new direction but it’s also funny as all hell.

                                                                                                                     Lone Wolf Studios
Move over Muppets.


Okay, now it’s time to get to the list, my little buddies! Let’s get this train a-rollin’!


10. Flight

Films based on true stories are awesome (except when they put that stupid tag on supernatural films) and even if the representation on the screen is sexed up and stylized for our enjoyment, there’s still something cool about knowing that some minor portion of what we are seeing was inspired by real events. While Argo is great and filled with tension, it had too much fantasy to it to be on the list (I still really liked it though!) but Flight really soared (gawd damn…I’m sorry for that pun).

                                                                                                                    Paramount Pictures
"Check this shit out!!!"


The story is exciting and addicting as hell and the performances from Denzel and John Goodman are a cherry on top of an already flavorful bounty of excitement and storytelling.

9. Sinister

My scare receptors burned out of me a long time ago and finding something that gives me even the minor willies is almost impossible but 2013 actually accomplished something by giving me some scary movies that actually creeped me out. Insidious: Chapter 2 had some goosebump moments and The Conjuring was just incredible but the one movie that went above and beyond has to be Sinister.

The film already has a special place in my heart due to it being the film my girlfriend and I went on for our first official date when it was in the theaters but the movie also scared the hell out of me. By the way, yes I know it came out in 2012 but I didn’t end up reviewing it until it came out on DVD.

                                                                                                               Summit Entertainment
"Hey!  What are ya doing?  Wanna hang out?

Sorry, did I scare you?  I didn't mean to...I'm so lonely."


Aside from being scary, the film had a solid story with an excellent mythology built into it, some very chilling music that helped build atmosphere, terrific performances from the cast and an ending that just leaves you in shock.

8. Skyfall

I never was a James Bond fan until the day that the dude I have a mancrush on became the man in the tux and, I have to say, this is the best Bond I’ve seen. The action is exciting, Q was introduced, Daniel Craig has really embodied the character and Javier Bardem erases all existence of other Bond villains with his epic performance. It’s just pure excitement.

                                                                                                            MGM/Columbia Pictures
Only James Bond can't make adjusting your tie look like he's saying, "Fuck off."


7. Wreck-It Ralph

We are in a golden age of animated movies! No longer are cartoons engineered solely for children. They are now a family event and I have been loving every second of it. Wreck-It Ralph took an element of pop culture that is a heavy portion of my life and turned it into a very quaint, very touching and very funny animated movie (I’m talking about video games, in case you couldn’t guess). 

                                                                                                                   Walt Disney Studios
Can you dig it?


All the legendary video game characters and game references aside, the film is amazingly animated and the voice acting is top shelf stuff. John C. Reilly is amazing as Ralph and he makes the movie fun to watch but also very touching as this film can (and will) make you cry as you see Ralph grow from being a villain to becoming a hero.

6. Life of Pi

I went into this film not expecting much from it and thinking that most of the praise was just from the hype-machine (we’re all fucked when that thing gets connected to SkyNet); however, I was shocked to find a film that felt like a childhood fairytale but also dived deep into the human condition and spirituality. And this is coming from an atheist!

                                                                                                                      Fox 2000 Pictures
"Hey, Pi, what are you doing over there?  Wanna watch a movie or something?
I'm bored."


5. Elysium

I think Neil Blompkamp is amazing! District 9 will forever be one of the greatest things my eyeballs and brain and my entertainment sensory organ (they exist) has ever experienced. I was a little more than excited to see him offer up another Sci-Fi adventure filled with action, badass characters and social commentary and I got that with the epic Elysium.   While not scoring a perfect 5 out of 5 like some of the other films on this list (especially the ones behind this one), this film has so much working for it that it can rank higher than films from other genres on this list.

                                                                                                                          TriStar Pictures
Why hasn't anyone taken the time to make this costume for Comic-Con?


Matt Damon (who I can’t help but say his name like it is uttered in Team America) is awesome and, more importantly, Sharlto Copley is an animal in the film! Not only is his character one of those bad guys you just can’t hate because he is too cool, he was so intense and interesting that I really want to see a prequel that shows his back-story.

4. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey/The Desolation of Smaug

Fanboys got their underwear all in an uproar when Peter Jackson announced that the little book famously called The Hobbit was going to be a two-part film and then got furious on new levels when it was decided it was going to be a trilogy. Then add in the new frame rate announcement and the denizens of internet forums were ready to destroy the world with poorly spelled posts and calling other people “faggots.” While there is no doubt in my mind that stretching the book into three films was a way of making the most out of the investment, it was also a way to add in the Appendices and get to see all the background stuff that occurred during Bilbo’s adventure. Since I’m a fan of Middle-earth and I’ve made active strides towards not being one of those fanboys that find fault in all the things they claim to enjoy, I thought the first film in The Hobbit series was incredible. So, when the Blu-Ray came out and I was done watching it for the fifteenth time, I gave this one a glowing review.

                                                                                                                          WingNut Films
Bilbo, seen here running away from the fanboys of the internet and their complaining
about the franchise that they still willingly dish out their cash for.
Like the first venture into Bilbo's adventure, I went to see The Desolation of Smaug on the Ultra-screen at midnight and the continuing story was so epic and fun that I couldn't wait for it to arrive on Blu-Ray to review it!  While the first film is great and filled with awesome performances and fun times, the second was even better.  The film was touching, dramatic, action-packed and funny all at the same time...and it didn't hurt that Benedict Cumberbatch was addicting to hear as Smaug.



                                                                                                                          WingNut Films
"So...the dwarf women will arrive for the gang bang after we recapture the Lonely Mountain?"


3. Looper

Time travel movies are old hat now and it feels like they can’t do much new with them. I’m not knocking the sub-genre because I admit that I love the concept of time travel (I’m a Whovian, I better enjoy time travel) but Looper took the concept and brought with it an original and very exciting story. Just the idea that gunmen are hired to kill targets selected by the mob and those targets are sent back to take a bullet to the face was already a new direction in time travel mythology I could get behind. Add in a unique look for the future, great fights scenes, a child actor acting the hell out of his role, the fact a Sci-Fi movie takes place mostly on a farm and Joseph Gordon-Levitt looking very convincingly like a young Bruce Willis and I had a formula for a movie that blew me away and entertained the living shit out of me…and then the living shit traveled back in time to watch Looper all over again.

                                                                                                      FilmDistrict/TriStar Pictures
One of the few movies Bruce Willis looks like he actually gives a shit about being in.


2. Django Unchained


I saw it in the theater—on Christmas day—because Number 1) Quentin Tarantino is amazing and, more importantly, Number 2) it looked all kinds of awesome! And it was!

                                                                                                                            A Band Apart
Pictured:  All Kinds of Awesome!


The story is the ultimate revenge flick, the hyper-violence is just as exciting as would be expected from Tarantino, Christoph Waltz is just hypnotic and Jaime Foxx proves to be a badass beyond words. Add in Tarantino’s usual wit, humor, incredible dialogue and scene structure and throw that shit into a Western setting and you have a film that’ll give you the ability to lift cars over your head and fart fireworks.  That's another way of saying it was really cool.

1. All the Comic Book Movies!


I had some trouble coming up with the Number 1 spot this year because, being a huge geek and a big fan of comic books and their ensuing adaptations, I couldn’t pinpoint just one of the comic book films that I enjoyed the most. Last year, it was no contest with The Avengers and, while that year had some great adaptation, 2013 felt like it was trying to outdo itself.

                                                                                                                   Warner Home Video
"I'm telling you Kal-El, the suit just makes me look fat."

                                                                                     Warner Home Video
"Stop looking at the tubes on my head."
First off, the animated films were just as good as the live action ones (with a very notable exception). We saw the second half of Frank Miller’s epic The Dark Knight Returns brought out on Blu-Ray and DVD, Superman: Unbound showed me why I’m still a fan of the boy scout from Krypton and Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox took a great comic arc and made an amazing feature out of it and proved that The Flash has what it takes to keep a movie moving (and I swear that’s not a pun about how fast he moves).

                                                                                                                  Warner Home Video
The Flash, the only man to never be victimized by McDonald's rigid breakfast/lunch
serving times.

                                                                                                       Lionsgate
Karl Urban, seen here making me forget about the awful Dredd
movie with the guy who once made a movie about arm-
wrestling.
Then you had the ones that made me forget about their first failed adaptation and almost felt like an apology for how bad the last ones were. You had Dredd with Karl Urban taking the character from a sleepy eyed and incoherent ape to a true badass who NEVER ONCE TOOK OFF HIS HELMET LIKE HE’S SUPPOSE TO!!! Then there was The Wolverine which not only gave Wolvie some character and made me give a shit about Logan for the first time in over a decade but, more importantly, wasn’t X-Men: Origins.

                                                                                                                      20th Century Fox
I'm just going to throw this out there...I really want to touch those abs.


Also, there’s Man of Steel…it’s been too long since there’s been a live action Superman movie that felt like the Last Son of Krypton actually meant something. I know critics hated it and audiences were mad because Supes killed Zod in it but I loved every second of the film. The movie took a hero who was way too familiar in pop culture and made him slightly new while still true to what we know. The movie also had points working in its favor for tremendous action, Michael Shannon as Zod, Russell Crowe becoming the greatest man to every portray Jor-El (yeah, suck it Brando!), Costner as Papa Kent and, finally, a chance to see, in a live action film, just how powerful Superman really is! Not to mention, we get to see him fight Batman in the next movie! (And yes, for the record, I am all about seeing Ben Affleck as Batman)

                                                                                                                 Warner Bros. Pictures
I just want to get one thing straight...Superman takes away Zod's powers and tosses
him down a seemingly endless pit (forget about the delete scene that shows Zod getting
arrested) and that is totally fine.  Supes kills Zod to save the human race, that's bad?


Finally, we got to see Marvel kick off their Phase 2 films that will lead up to The Avengers 2: Age of Ultron. Right away in 2013, we got to see Iron Man 3 and see a new direction for the films. I loved the twist with The Mandarin (because it was unexpected, fresh, and shocking) and I really loved how the film was more of a journey of Tony Stark rather than Iron Man…and RDJ is still awesome!

                                                                  Marvel Studios/Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
The sad part of the relationship where they stop talking to each other.


Secondly, we got to see the next chapter in Thor’s story with Thor: The Dark World. I loved the first one but I felt this one was even better. Beyond the fact it got to set up the next project I’m really excited for with Marvel (hint: it was Guardians of the Galaxy) but we got to see more of the Nine Realms and see a story that was larger in focus AND very personal at the same time.

                                                                  Marvel Studios/Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
By the looks of the sky, I would say that Thor and Loki are in the pacific
northwest.


There ya have it, the Best Movies I Reviewed of 2013. I thank you for reading and hope you have a fun and, most of all, safe New Year’s and I hope you are looking forward to more great movies in 2014!