The worst of '09
You've seen the best, but what about the rest? Here are some of the biggest stinkers of the 2009 movie season:
10. All About Steve
Sandra Bullock had three movies in 2009, two of which have garnered award nominations. This is the other one. She plays a crossword puzzle writer who falls in "love" with a news cameraman and then stalks him from job to job. It's a non-traditional romantic comedy that fails because it ignores the formula... and the characters are just plain stupid.
9. My Sister's Keeper
Nick Cassavetes, who gave us the weepy drama "The Notebook," directs this adaptation of Jodi Picoult's novel about a family that creates a child to be an organ and tissue farm for their other daughter who is dying of leukemia. It's overly manipulative and has some of the cheesiest plot points and line deliveries ever.
8. The Last House On the Left
Decades ago, Wes Craven and Sean Cunningham made a video nasty that left people stunned. It worked back then, but updated into a mainstream film, this story of rape, murder and revenge was just overly gratuitous and completely unnecessary.
I tend to like horror movies and can forgive a lot of idiocy of the characters, but in "Orphan," the characters were just so stupid that I couldn't give them any sympathy. And when all was said and done, the final twist was more laughable than shocking.
6. My Life in Ruins
Nia Vardalos made it big once. Now, at age 47, she's trying to be the romantic comedy lead, and she's failing miserable. This love story about a woman finding the man of her dreams as a tour guide in Italy was short on the laughs but heavy on the contrived plot points. Can we say "one hit wonder"?
5. The Fourth Kind
I love a good story about UFOs, which is why I hated "The Fourth Kind." It tried to be cute and clever with viral marketing that was completely useless. Feigning a "based on a true story" background, this film was a house of cards that couldn't help but fall down.
4. Not Easily Broken
This Tyler Perry wannabe film tries to slather on the relationship drama to tell the story of a couple ready to divorce. However, unlike a good film, things just work out for no good reason, and the characters remain as wretched as they began.
3. Old Dogs
The writer and director of Wild Hogs tries to capture lightning in a bottle for a second time, and he fails miserably. John Travolta and Robin Williams are decent actors, but they have no chemistry and plod through this film of inexplicable situational non-comedy.
2. The Stepfather
Dylan Walsh can't even fit in Terry O'Quinn's shoes in this softball remake of the 80s thriller. None of the characters have any relatability of empathy, and I really didn't care whether the psychotic stepfather was going to kill them or not.
1. Observe and Report
I'm all for inappropriate comedy, but I like more funny in my comedy. "Observe and Report" couldn't decide whether it was going to be a dark comedy or a serious film, and the humor got completely lost in bad taste and misplaced violence. I love me some bad taste and violence, but at least have a sense of humor about it.
Movie and DVD reviewer Kevin Carr is an independent writer, journalist and filmmaker who lives in Columbus, Ohio.