2008 was a great year movie wise. It was also a year that I started to ramp up my movie watching since I had just cut out cable (thus not as much Housewives of Orange County marathons…) and had access to an amazing library of movies at my university. I began to be much more deliberate in my movie watching and paid a lot more attention to what critics had to say about certain movies. None of this stopped me from seeing some terrible movies, I just was more aware that they were terrible. This list is evenly divided between movies my friends made me watch at one time or another, thinking that I would like it and movies I actively sought out to hate. There were very few that I expected to like and was severely disappointed in them.
Without further ado, here is the worst of 2008 in my amazing opinion.
10. Smart People (dir. Murro)
After watching Juno when it first came out, I was obsessed with everything Ellen Page put out. This led me to Hard Candy, but it also led me to this snooze fest. This movie filled with upper class privilege problems that no one can get a perspective on, even when the adopted brother who is from a lower class existence moves in. Their pretension is intentional but that doesn’t mean that it makes the movie any less annoying. Skip this movie just like everyone else did.
9. The Duchess (dir. Dibb)
This movie was nothing more than a long parade of beautiful dresses and horribly ornate hairstyles. It wasn’t even good enough to watch on an international flight. Boring.
8. Harold and Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay (dir. Hurwitz)
Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle was a mediocre stoner comedy that is watchable if it comes on cable and you have nothing better to do. The sequel however is atrocious. The terrible thing about stoners is that they will watch anything marketed to them and featuring pot as a motif. Thus I have been forced to sit through Half Baked, How High, and this piece of garbage. The only redeeming aspect of it is the George Bush impersonation at the end of the film, though how they got there is utterly ridiculous and not in a good way.
7. Religulous (dir. Charles)
I am a card-carrying atheist. This atheism was a result of years upon years of studying different religions and realizing that I didn’t need anybody to tell me what to do. Just because I found out that I am atheist doesn’t mean that I hate religious people. For Bill Maher that is what it means for him. This movie is a mean-spirited look at the folly of people who don’t know any better. It seems that Maher is so insecure about his atheism, he has to prove to the world that he is right by shooting a documentary where he makes fun of devoutly religious people. I no longer care what Maher has to say or do.
6. The Other Boleyn Girl (dir. Chadwick)
I love the story of King Henry VIII and his many wives. I even enjoyed reading the book that this movie was based on when I was a less sophisticated reader. But this movie is insufferable. Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johansson and Eric Bana are crushed underneath the weight of this story. They make compelling characters nothing of the sort. I guess the story is best played out in novel form.
5. Four Christmases (dir. Gordon)
Why do studios insist on releasing Christmas themed movies each year? None of them are good. None of them care about “what really matters about Christmas.” They are just designed to inflict pain on indulgent daughters of mothers who want to find the true meaning of Christmas through movies. Kill me now in anticipation for next Christmas.
4. 21 (dir. Luketic)
I am so happy that studios have stopped trying to make Jim Sturgess a star. He is nothing more than a stuffed paper bag forced to talk and move around. He is atrocious in Across the Universe, Upside Down and this terrible movie about broke MIT students recruited to break the odds of betting in Las Vegas. It is overwrought and telephoned in mess. I am so glad that I was forced to pay twelve dollars to watch this on the big screen in order to help make a sad friend happy. What I do for friendship.
3. The Women (dir. English)
Even half paying attention to this on an airplane was enough to make me absolutely hate this movie. Just watch the original. The stars are more glamorous, the melodrama is better situated for that time, and you won’t be distracted by the terrible plastic surgery of Meg Ryan.
2. Bloodline (dir. Burgess)
This documentary about the bloodline of Jesus is just plain garbage. I watched it because I thought it was going to be so laughably bad that I would actually enjoy it. Instead it was just bad. This is nothing more than a conspiracy theory with little to back it up other than implied research of some crazy people.
1. Expelled (dir. Frankowski)
Speaking of terrible, one-sided documentaries, this movie is offensive on so many levels. Ben Stein interviews the very few scientists that believe in intelligent design because of their religion and not because of their research and make them martyrs for his own cause. At least Religulous had some true facts in it. Absolutely one of the worst movies I have ever seen.