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A Film Geek Bitches About the Movies of 2010

From trash humping to butt-munching, the year's worst movie crimes



Worst movie a frustrated filmmaker could ever watch.
If you have a frustrated filmmaker in your life and take a particular glee in watching them shift through emotions like sadness and anger, give them a copy of the latest work from Harmony Korine, the director of Gummo and Julien Donkey-Boy. Korine's Trash Humpers is basically a lo-fi, shot-on-VHS affair with a trio of miscreants wearing hideous geriatric masks breaking shit, slapping fat stripper ass, and humping random garbage cans for some reason. While some will be in awe of the movie's audacity, others will be amazed that it was even funded.

Worst time to ever throw a Girls Gone Wild-esque party in 3-D
This year's Piranha 3-D, a trashy remake of the trashy 1978 Joe Dante original, goofily appealed to the 12-year-old boy within many fanboys. With piranhas rising from the ocean floor to chew up drunken d-bags and half-naked dingbats, the movie serves up a gruesome combination of over-the-top acting from the likes of Jerry O'Connell and Christopher Lloyd, rampant nudity thanks to Kelly Brook and a slew of other women, and tons and tons of pointless gore from hundreds of CGI piranhas. The greatest worst moment? A piranha, fresh from a feeding frenzy, belching up a newly severed wiener — in 3-D!

Worst executive decision made by a studio
When it was filmed in 2008, filmmakers Glenn Ficarra and John Requa had no idea that their movie I Love You Phillip Morris would be the victim of a studio's indifference. The film has been shorthandedly described as a gay Catch Me If You Can with Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor as the central characters. When the film wasn't being bounced from one opening date to another, it was being passed from studio to studio like a flaming hot potato. The upbeat film's dark humor and gay themes surpass typical art-house trappings to fit in well among other successful mainstream fare thanks to some terrific performances and a quirky, briskly-paced storyline, no thanks to Tinsel Town's stupidity.

Worst example of Hollwood's distaste for its audience
As a fan of lowbrow exploitation movies and stuffy art films, one thing many of these movies have in common is that they are original in their vision. In the '80s, Hollywood was hit with the sequel virus, while the '90s had a bit of a golden era thanks to the rise of indie film gods like Quentin Tarantino, Kevin Smith, and Richard Linklater. Now as we reach the end of 2010, it's become increasingly apparent that the studios don't like the idea of originality. It's one thing to put an original spin on an old movie (i.e. Piranha), but it's another to remake a two-year-old movie because that two-year-old movie had subtitles (i.e. Let The Right One In). The end result of Let Me In was a perfect example of how Hollywood views us as slow-witted cro-mags who must have things spelled out for them in order to derive any enjoyment from a flick.

Worst reason to buy an iPhone, Blackberry, iTouch, or iPad
Avatar sucks. It just sucks. Yes, the movie looked pretty at the theater, but strip away the 3-D glasses and the big screen and the emperor's clothes are nonexistent. Much like Pootie Tang and Freddy Got Fingered before it, Avatar is a movie that loses its power once it leaves the big screen. The small screen reveals how shallow and boring the film is when it has to rely on acting, story, coherence — you know, little things like that. Cameron said it's "dumb" to watch Avatar on tiny devices like iPods. You know why? Because Avatar sucks.

Worst case of forcible butt-munching
While The Human Centipede's premise — a mad scientist sews three victims together from mouth to anus — was definitely original, it's ultimately a pretty boring film. How do you do that? When you think terror, one would think that it should be an easy task to communicate the horror of finding your mouth sewn to a random guy's butt. Somehow director Tom Six, like Cameron, leans on his premise and not his characters for a good story. Shouldn't I care about the people who are attached to each other (rather than hoping that the first head of the human centipede breaks wind for a cheap giggle)? Who am I kidding? That would be pretty funny.

Worst time to be an author of a series of books
When you're dead like Stieg Larsson. While I've never read Larsson's Millenium Trilogy, I can say I have seen the films based on the trilogy. And man, they were not good. These movies intrigued enough folks to regenerate interest in Larsson's books? I love sexist crap as much as the next person (i.e. Piranha 3-D), but don't disguise it under the pseudo-intellectual umbrella of a smart thriller.

Worst trailer for a good movie
Never Let Me Go became a continuous joke for me and a friend every time we'd see the trailer at the Terrace. The trailer acts as if the film is Love Story-style Oscar-bait complete with melodramatic music and slow-motion crying, while in reality, the movie is actually a drama with a sci-fi bent.

Worst travelogue for Austin, Texas
Simon Rumley's Red White & Blue showcased the hipster beauty of Austin while following the sad lives of three characters whose paths intersect in a most horrifying way. Disaffected bed-hopper Erica (Amanda Fuller) sleeps with Frankie (Marc Senter) and his bandmates. At the same time, she meets Nate (Noah Taylor), a nice guy with a bit of a violent streak. These chance meetings go horribly wrong and culminate in a tragic third act. The film's melancholy tone elevates it above the typical trappings of indie film and establishes itself as ... well, just awesome.

Worst reason to use your cellphone during a movie
There are no good reasons. Go outside and text or call. You distract those of us who are anal about the $10 they spent on a ticket and the $9.25 they spent on a medium Coke, a medium popcorn, and a box of Sugar Babies. Some movies (namely horror films and teen comedies) invite audience participation, but why the hell are you texting during Black Swan? A lot of people don't want to see that glowing light in the corner of their eye while they're trying to pay attention to the screen. It irritates those of us who watch movies like others watch sports. Just wanted to get that out there.

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