Here's 11 Reasons Why 'Cloud Atlas' is Not the Worst Movie of 2012
It's getting to be the end of the year, so lists of the best and worst films, performances and everything from 2012 are going to be trickling onto the internet. Yesterday, TIME magazine was the first to publish their list of the Worst Films of 2012 (here's their Best of 2012, too). And yes, it included some worthy terrible films from this year. But then I saw the top two films on Mary Pols' worst list, and my mouth hung wide open. John Carter was at #2 (that's a whole separate conversation that needs to be had), but Tom Tykwer and Andy & Lana Wachowski's ambitious and provoking film Cloud Atlas took the top spot. Obviously this just screams evidence of a magazine in a dying industry desperate for any attention, but still, what the hell?
And so, because I so vehemently disagree with this choice (and a glance at the list of Worst Films of 2012 at Flickchart doesn't even have Cloud Atlas show up until the 116th film on the list), here are 11 reasons that Cloud Atlas is probably not the worst film of the year, even if you didn't like it much yourself. A few of these appeared on Mary Pols' list as well, but below Cloud Atlas, and that's just not acceptable. So here we go:
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
No matter how much fun the action and blood might have made this adaptation of Seth Grahame-Smith's novel seem in the trailers, the film did not deliver. Terrible performances, make-up and writing made this an abysmal horror action film that taints American history. Maybe the book is more interesting, but the way the story of our 16th president as a vampire hunter unfolds is sloppy, boring, one of the worst of the year.
How could an adaptation of a board game that doesn't have aliens, but somehow has a film story that brings aliens into the mix work? Not that well apparently. Trying to fit the gameplay of Battleship itself into the film is one thing, but then the film goes and wastes Liam Neeson and doesn't even use the "You sunk my battleship!" line once? That's a failure on all counts. And as a sidenote, this is Taylor Kitsch's worst film of the year, despite John Carter flopping at the box office.
Wrath of the Titans
Let's make a sequel to the Clash of the Titans remake, up the number of video game monsters and give Sam Worthington curly hair. That will turn out amazing! This sequel is like watching my little cousin play Xbox for a couple hours (however long this movie was, it felt even longer). Watching this movie was as maddening as being stuck in the maze that Perseus finds himself navigating. Also, let's try to get some more practical effects on movies like this next time.
John Cusack decided he wanted to play detective in a period drama, but Lloyd Dobler is no Edgar Allen Poe and Edgar Allen Poe is not a detective. This was like watching a parody of a British soap opera, but it was even more dry and less thrilling. Remember when John Cusack used to make decent films? After making this and Ninja Assassin, I think director James McTeigue is going to be in movie jail for awhile.
This Means War
One might think that an action comedy pairing of Chris Pine and Tom Hardy would be fun, but then McG had to go and ruin it. The chemistry of the two actors is great, but the Spy vs. Spy tone and terrible comedy just make for a derivative and complete uninteresting film, which is almost a staple of McG's filmography. Plus, Pine tries to pick up Reese Witherspoon in video store. Who the hell goes to a video store anymore?
That's My Boy
Honestly, you could take almost any Adam Sandler comedy from the past decade and it's worse than Cloud Atlas, but That's My Boy was insulting. If the movie came out Happy Gilmore, it might have been mildly amusing, but the stupid voice Sandler's character puts on and the complete waste of Andy Samberg just infuriates me. Also, can we please get Nick Swardson away from Sandler? The guy is funny, but he needs to get some new friends. Speaking of which, Adam Sandler needs to get some new friends, too.
A Thousand Words
I refused to pay to see this film in theaters, but gave it a shot on HBO. It really tested my patience even as I sat on the couch with a comfortable blanket and delicious homemade meal. Eddie Murphy just recently got named as the most overpaid actor in Hollywood as he only makes $2.30 at the box office for every single dollar he was paid. This vague imitation of Liar Liar is evidence enough that Eddie Murphy needs to start paying us to see his movies, or he really, really needs to get back to his comedic glory from the 80s.
After more than 20 years in the making, this is the best producer George Lucas could come up with? This movie has no heart and almost seems disrespectful to the real life heroes who died fighting for America in the sky. It's riddled with cliches, endless "inspirational" monologues, and sorely underdeveloped characters. There are some talented actors at work here, but it's just too bad they didn't have a good script to help them.
The Three Stooges
In the age of Jackass, slapstick comedy does not work by the truckload if it's artificial. While brothers Bobby & Peter Farrelly did their best to capture the spirit of the original Three Stooges (and comedians like Larry David and Jane Lynch joined Sean Hayes, Will Sasso and Chris Diamantopoulos to pay them tribute), this comedy is dated and should've have stayed in development hell in the 90s. It doesn't help that terrible pop culture figures like the cast of MTV's "Jersey Shore" figure prominently either. If you're a fan of the stooges, you would have been better served to watch any of the classic shorts on DVD instead.
Yes, I understand this movie was made for kids. But films can be made for kids who like good stories (like the ones that come from Pixar and occasionally DreamWorks Animation and Sony Pictures Animation), and not be completely insufferable. The film tries to be candy sweet, but it just gives my brain a cavity. Not even the reliable Nathan Lane could bring any fun to this picture, and I don't know why half the cast has British accents and the others have American dialects or vague remnants of attempting to have a different accent. One poster for this film stated "One Bad Apple" and that's a perfect description for this movie.
First of all, this horror-comedy only runs 83 minutes. Second of all, the last 10 minutes of it are the credits which include what are likely deleted scenes that couldn't fit into the already choppy story. Basically, the movie was an excuse to put more boobs on the big screen and have piranha kill people in the most vulgar ways. However, Alexandre Aja already did this much better with Piranha 3D, which was a genuine horror parody with tongue in cheek elements like the original film, but just added a boatload of sexuality. This time it didn't feel like it was done for comedy though, just to get teenage boys to pay attention. It's garbage.
So there you have it. Eleven reason that Cloud Atlas is not the worst film of the year. In fact, in addition to the few films that this list and the list at TIME magazine have in common, all of the films with the exception of John Carter are worse that Cloud Atlas. There's even a couple that I haven't seen like What to Expect When You're Expecting and One for the Money that are almost guaranteed to be worse than Cloud Atlas. Sure, this is all subjective, but I'm almost certain that all of these films I've pointed out are objectively worse than Cloud Atlas, if only for their lack of intellectual stimulation and filmmaking effort. Your thoughts?