Top Ten Worst Films of 2013

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Mike Mike has a degree in Film from The University of Texas at Austin. He has worked in the entertainment industry for the past 25 years and sees two to four new movies in the theatre a week. Mike has a weekly movie blog where he reviews films both present and past at:

lastonetoleavethetheatre.blogspot.com

He can be followed on Twitter @lastonetoleave

I did not see the following films that are making several bottom tens lists: “Girl Most Likely”, “Planes”, “Battle of the Year”, “The Big Wedding”, “The Canyons”, “A Haunted House”, “Movie 43.”      

Here are my Top Ten Worst Films of 2013:

Grown Ups 2

Photo courtesy of Columbia Pictures

1). “Grown Ups 2″ (2013)

Three years after reuniting with his old high school friends, Lenny (Adam Sandler) has relocated his family back to his hometown. Things are not quite working out as well as Lenny had hoped as the past is not easily escaped, especially if your friends are some of the root of your problems. This was a film that was only 91 minutes in length but felt like it was three hours long. The movie starts out with a deer peeing on Sandler’s character in his bedroom. The film just goes downhill from there. The plot is non-existent, making the movie just a handful of poorly done skits by Sandler and his friends.

After Earth

Photo courtesy of Columbia Pictures

2). “After Earth” (2013)

Due to some cataclysmic events, Earth was abandoned over 1000 years ago. Cypher Raige (Will Smith) leads a peacekeeping mission to explore Earth when he and his son, Kitai (Jaden Smith) are the sole survivors of a crash landing. Now father and son must team up to survive a world populated by dangerous, wild animals. The special effects in this film were so bad it made me think I was watching the 1970’s show “Land of the Lost.” Will Smith’s character gets his leg broken in the crash, so it’s really Jaden’s film and we get to see Jaden’s idea of good acting, freaking out in almost every scene. It’s a film with plot holes so large an asteroid could fly through them.

R.I.P.D.

Photo courtesy of Universal Pictures

3). “R.I.P.D.” (2013)

Detective Nick Walker (Ryan Reynolds) is killed in a shootout and discovers that there is a whole other dimension out there inhabited by the spirit world. Now Nick works for the R.I.P.D – the Rest in Peace Department, the police force of the undead. Partnered with Roy Pulsipher (Jeff Bridges), Nick has to stop evil spirits from taking over the living world. This film went downhill almost from the start as a chase scene goes on with some of the worst CGI special effects that I have ever seen. Every one of the characters in this film seemed be inspired by 1950’s cartoons, and bad ones at that. Bridges performance is especially disappointing as he has decided to go over the top with his cowboy accent and bigger than life facial expressions. Reynolds looks as if he wishes he was in another movie and the usually reliable Kevin Bacon, playing Nick’s best friend, just never connects with his character or the audience. Thirty minutes into this film, I was looking at my watch, hoping that this film was almost done. Unfortunately, it wasn’t.

21 & Over

Photo courtesy of Relativity Media

4). “21 & Over” (2013)

Jeff (Justin Chon) is a straight A college student with a very promising life ahead of him. It’s the night before an important interview with a prestigious medical school, and Jeff just wants to stay at home and sleep. But, his two buddies (Skylar Astin and Miles Teller) convince Jeff to go out to celebrate his birthday. It’s a birthday he will never forget, but only if he survives it. If you think a scene where a person throws up in slow motion while on a spinning mechanical bull is funny, then this film is for you. For most of us, the film will seem long and tedious as the funny scenes are few and far between. The main characters are claim that they love each other like brothers but are willing to sell each other out at a moment’s notice. I just wish the script to this film had never been sold.

Identity Thief

Photo Courtesy of Universal Pictures

5). “Identity Thief” (2013)

Sandy Patterson (Jason Bateman) discovers that his identity has been stolen, and it’s causing him a world of problems. Sandy finds out that the identity thief is a woman named Diana (Melissa McCarthy) and that she is living large in another state. So, Sandy goes on a road trip to hunt down Diana and bring her back to clear his name. This was an incredibly unfunny film filled with unlikable characters. The first twenty minutes – and yes it takes that long to set up the premise – feel more like a drama or a horror film as it is really scary how quickly Sandy’s identity is stolen and how quickly his life gets torn to shreds. The plot is full of holes the size of Montana, and there are “comedy” bits that are so obvious, they might as well be put on a billboard. It seems that at no point in the film did the director let McCarthy loose and improvise her part, something that she has done so well in “Bridesmaids”, and “This is 40.” And my advice to Melissa McCarthy, get a new agent, because you are far better actress than this and one who doesn’t need to be constantly put down by an array of fat jokes/situations.

The Internship

Photo courtesy of 20th Century Fox

6). “The Internship” (2013)

Billy (Vince Vaughn) and Nick (Owen Wilson) are salesmen who see the business they work for destroyed by the digital world. They decide, when you can’t beat them, join them; as they talk their way into an internship at the ultimate digital workplace, Google. Now, they must compete with fellow interns who are younger and much more tech savvy to land a job in the fast paced, high tech world. The film is one long, and I do mean long, infomercial for Google. The Google name is plastered across the screen so much that, at times I thought I was watching an instructional video on how to do a search on the web. The characters are all one dimensional, the scenes are all predictable, and the film rarely is funny. While Vaughn and Wilson do play off each other well, there just isn’t much to the script to make it interesting. If you are asked should you see this film, you don’t need to Google it – just say no.

The Lone Ranger

Photo courtesy of Walt Disney Studios

7). “The Lone Ranger” (2013)

Tonto (Johnny Depp) tells the story of a man who started out as lawyer John Reid (Armie Hammer), a man who favored the law over a gun. But the West is a tough place and to save his brother’s family, John had to turn into the man with the white hat and the black mask. He had to become The Lone Ranger. The film can never decide if it is a film for kids (it’s not, even though it’s being released under the Disney label) or adults, and it mixes things such as a violent shootout where numerous lives are lost, with a humorous scene involving the Lone Ranger’s horse, Silver. The film is too long, never captures the audience’s imagination, the best acting performance in the film is the horse, and the last big chase scene is entirely too confusing to make any sense. It’s a sad state of affairs when I enjoy the performance of a horse more than the actors.

A Good Day to Die Hard

Photo courtesy of 20th Century Fox

8). “A Good Day to Die Hard” (2013)

John McClane (Bruce Willis) travels to Russia to try get his son (Jai Courtney) back on track. What John doesn’t know is his son isn’t a kid bumming his way through Europe, he’s a CIA operative trying to stop the sale of nuclear weapons. Now John must team up with his son to keep the world safe. Yippee Ki yay bad! This is one of those films where the plot is so badly thought out that, at the end if the film, you have no idea how you got there. There are lots of daddy issue jokes/situations, and unlike some of the other Die Hard films, this one just isn’t fun. The film feels like it’s just one long explosion of a movie, and I have no idea who the villain of the film is, though it could possibly be the screenwriter.

Gangster Squad

Photo courtesy of Warner Brothers

9). “Gangster Squad” (2013)

The story of a group of police officers who form an elite squad with the intention of keeping 1950’s Los Angeles free of Mafia influence. This squad, though, will have to make tough decisions in their attempt to fight crime, and the Mafia plays dirty, so the squad may have to do the same. Be warned, this film contains a lot of violence. The first time we meet gangster Mickey Cohen (Sean Penn), he is having a man ripped apart by two cars. Overall, the film had an almost cartoon-like feel to it, Sean Penn’s makeup is campy, and it was as if I were watching a remake of the 1990 Warren Beatty film, “Dick Tracy”.

The Incredible Burt Wonderstone

Photo courtesy of Warner Brothers

10). “The Incredible Burt Wonderstone” (2013)

Magician Burt Wonderstone (Steve Carell) and his partner Anton Marvelton (Steve Buscemi) were once the toast of Las Vegas, wowing adoring crowds with their magic act. But times have changed, and now Vegas is ruled by street magician Steve Gray (Jim Carrey) whose stunts get more and more outrageous. Can Burt change his act in time to save his career? The best way to sum up this film is it is just boring. Jim Carrey, doing his a very bad Chris Angel impersonation is just horrible in the role. There isn’t any chemistry between Carell and Buscemi, and the ending of the film so predictable that we could have ended the film 30 minutes sooner. There wasn’t anything wonderful or incredible about Burt the magician.

Almost made the list: “The Counselor”, “Getaway”, “Spring Breakers”, “The Bling Ring”, “Oblivion”, “Only God Forgives”, “Paranoia.”

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