Mamo and the Substream on the Worst Films of 2012

Team Mamo and Team Substream combine, Avengers-style, to lay out our picks for the worst flicks of the year, and offer Watch This Instead suggestions for each one. Plus, a lot of poop humour. Happy new year!





36 comments

  1. Matt Brown = Troller of movie bloggers.

    Dude does this every year. Picks one of everyone’s favorite films and trashes it just to get a response.

    • Really? What are your other examples?

      2011 – when I named Pirates 4 the worst film of the year? You’re right, that was on everyone’s Top Ten list.

      2010 – Film Socialisme? The movie Godard sent to the Toronto Film Festival without subtitles, but didn’t warn anyone, including the festival?

      2009 – Twilight – another one that gets trotted out around here as a high water mark for the craft of film. You’ve skewered me.

      2008 – Indy 4? Another bullseye for you, to this day I have people coming up to me and telling me how incredible they think that film is.

      How far back would you like me to go?

      I call bullshit on you, “John.” Get a real name.

    • John, wrong Matt, you are thinking Gamble

    • John I think your the one that is trolling.

      My pick for worst film of the year is Total Recall. It’s the most forgettable movie I’ve seen in a while, and the first movie i ever fell asleep during.

      Also, can we please put Len Wiseman in movie jail and throw away the key. Dude makes Stephen Sommers look like Stanley Kubrick.

  2. Kurt Halfyard

    With a rare few exceptions, both the Mamo! Matts are way more ‘lovers’ than ‘haters.’

  3. I tried to think of what I thought was the worst of 2012 and came up blank. The Dark Knight Rises was a HUGE disappointment but there are still things about it that I liked. Prometheus failed in certain ways, but was still incredibly interesting movie. I didn’t like The Bay at Midnight Madness, but still didn’t dislike it enough to put it on say the worst of the year of 2012. Overall, I liked most movies that I went out to see and thankful that I’m not a movie critic where I might have to force myself to see a movie that I’m not interested in just to put together a review.

  4. Worst film of the year for me is tie between Twixt and Lay the Favorite.

    • Kurt Halfyard

      Bo-urns. TWIXT is too much damn fun to hate.

      My worst film of 2012 is Nick Cassavetes’ YELLOW. Now that is how NOT to make a Todd Solondz film.

  5. Robert Reineke

    I was so turned off by the blatant, lowest common denominator pandering of Battleship that I wrote that movie off at the first trailer and never looked back. Judging from reviews, a smart choice on my part.

  6. Matt P is absolutely correct about worst of the year – it’s no contest that AT ANY PRICE tops the list (and I’ve seen The Devil Inside and A Thousand Words). we were indeed all looking at each other in stunned amazement – especially since it came from Ramin Bahrani. Shockingly bad.

    I liked Holy Motors, but nowhere near to the level that many are praising it. As Matt B said, I certainly felt removed from it, but did manage to get some enjoyment out of several of the episodes as stand-alones. And the accordion interlude is brilliant.

    • Kurt Halfyard

      I’m also a liker (not a lover) of Holy Motors. Too much good stuff in there to hate the structure or the ‘fails to completely soar’ final verdict of the film.

      I tend to skip the more atrocious multiplex fare during the year, hence I’m never qualified to make a ‘worst of’ list.

      Even films I get angry with (Cloud Atlas, Cabin in the Woods) are hardly ‘terrible’, merely to my liking.

      YELLOW on the other hand is truly, utterly OBJECTIVELY AWFUL.

  7. Agh! Price, I wanted to see Robot and Frank so bad and just never got to it. It played her forever too. Lame.

  8. Oh, and so far the worst movie I saw was “RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION”.

    Terrible.

  9. Oh, never mind, that is not the correct answer. I forgot that I watched Paranormal Activity 4. Now that is a truly piece of shit. Fuck that film!

  10. Rick Vance

    Mine would be Cabin in the Woods, I was bored the entire run time and then annoyed and then a little bored again.

  11. I’ve decided not to do a worst list this year but if I did…..

    I really didn’t like “Cloud Atlas” and am in Kurt’s boat with “Cabin in the Woods” (you didn’t’t care for it, right, Kurt?)

    • Kurt Halfyard

      Yes, and Yes. My reaction to CinW was a mirror to Rick Vance’s reaction (Summed up excellently in a single sentence.)

      • Robert Reineke

        I enjoyed Cabin in the Woods, but some of the “game changer” praise baffled and annoyed me to no end. Maybe if it had been released in 1995 when Evil Dead and Friday the 13th were still relevant, but the horror film commentary of CitW is pretty old stuff.

        I still had plenty of fun, but if we’re looking at recent horror comedies, Shaun of the Dead is vastly superior, precisely because it manages to write interesting, rounded characters (instead of making excuses for writing caricatures) and it’s actually scary.

        • Matt Gamble

          A gore-filled horror comedy that appeals to women. I think a legitimate argument could be made that it is potentially a game changer. The genre really has never given women a second thought, and they are the largest demographic that goes to the movies. They could be what resurrects the genre as a whole, especially is anyone besides Whedon and Gaiman could figure out how to write for them without pandering.

          • Perhaps not quite horror, but damnit, someone needs to give Neil Gaiman his $15 to $10 million to make is small little Death: The High Cost of Living movie with Guillermo del Toro!

            Gaiman is writing the script to the pilot of American Gods for HBO. If that gets some good press, perhaps that might help give him the weight for some studio to fund his Death movie.

            In the meantime there is a new Neil Gaiman penned Doctor Who episode coming up next Spring.

          • Robert Reineke

            I don’t know if I’d agree that horror has never given women a second thought. There are probably more haunted house movies where the female lead is the protagonist than the male. I find Cat People and I Walked With a Zombie female centric. Rosemary’s Baby, The Exorcist, Carrie, and Alien are all pretty iconic. Heck, The Ring and Scream as well. Compared to some other genres, women certainly have a wider range of roles than just the girlfriend.

            Which isn’t to say that horror doesn’t have its issues with women, but I don’t think CitW necessarily shows the way out either. They may have an excuse why the “whore” is acting like a whore, but it’s an excuse, not a three dimensional characterization. I think that’s an important distinction.

            Which isn’t to say that I think CitW is a bad movie, only that some of the praise was over the top. Especially since it comments on movies that are 20 to 30 years old mostly, rather than found footage and torture porn. Human Centipede 2 probably has more to say about modern horror than CitW. To me calling CitW more than a witty, funny, horror comedy with a meta twist is putting more on it than it can really bear. After all, nobody was calling The Fearless Vampire Killers or Young Frankenstein game changers when they came out, and history shows that was the correct call.

            Although, really, this is fairly off-topic. Maybe it would be better to discuss CitW elsewhere.

          • Kurt Halfyard

            Switchblade Romance (aka Haute Tension) is the ultimate in Girl power. As a villain and a heroine.

            See also, A L’interieur. The French have a thing for Girl Empowerment.

          • Matt Gamble

            I’m not talking horror films that have female protagonists, I’m talking horror films that appeal to women. It tends to be a misogynistic genre and as such it struggles to draw in many female viewers. I mean, honestly, can you name all that many horror films with large female audiences?

            Whedon writes with a voice that resonates with women, and because of it has a huge female following. For horror, where the audiences are something like 70% male (and the vast majority of those are under the age of 25) a writer/director with huge horror cred and massive pop culture appeal, anything he puts out in the genre has the possibility of being a huge game changer. What’s the last big name horror director that had the kind of wide appeal that Whedon does? James Cameron for T2? That might be it.

            It’s a genre viewed by the mainstream as childish and without merit and thus a waste of their time. That is a problem, and that Whedon is able to bring in a huge swath of new blood who discovered they actually can enjoy a horror film is a huge win for the genre. CitW also does a nice job of showing that hey, horror can be fun and doesn’t need to be “scary” to be enjoyable.

            And why didn’t Shaun of the Dead get this kind of acclaim? I don’t know, maybe because it was released on only 600 screens and never topped 700? It never had the penetration to be a huge influence on mainstream audiences. CitW was released on 2800 screens and then Whedon went out and dumped Avengers in everyone’s laps thus propelling even more people to check out some of his other stuff. Game changers actually need to be seen by people to influence them.

            One interesting note, Lionsgate has got to be absolutely kicking themselves for releasing CitW before Avengers. At the time it looked like a smart move to kind of ride the marketing wave and help with their own little film, but man, if they dropped CitW in say August or October it could have been a fucking monster.

          • Robert Reineke

            I won’t argue that there’s plenty of misogyny running through the horror genre. That said, Rosemary’s Baby and Carrie don’t work at all with a male protagonist. Compared to the superhero genre, or heck, even the western, there are some prominent female leaning examples high in the canon. Heck, I Walked With a Zombie is clearly inspired by a classic of women’s literature.

            I’d argue that CitW really only gets it’s feminist cred from Whedon’s past works. If anything, the plot turns on the stoner, more than anyone else. In a classic sense, he drives the action and the ultimate decision is taken away from “survivor girl” via that werewolf attack.

            I fully agree that a film has to be popular to be a game changer. And CitW is kind of on the cusp of popularity. But, I also would argue that a film has to point forward towards something new. Being meta towards past horror tropes, doesn’t change the game. The Blair Witch Project was a game changer because it pointed forwards and threw out a way of presenting a horror film that was truly different than the norm.

            But, that’s my only real objection, and I think I’m reviewing the reviewers more than the film. I had a lot of fun with CitW. It’s something I’ll watch again and have a great time with. I’m just not ever going to call it a “game changer” and think that those who do are going to be disappointed when it has little to no effect on the genre.

          • Matt Gamble

            Following Kurt’s recommendation that Inside is a horror film for women, I had Angela watch it.

            Podcast review will be forth coming shortly.

          • Angela watched INSIDE!? And got all the way through it? That podcast should be interesting.

          • NICE. Gamble. I look forward to that one. All Women, an element of horror (Pregnancy) that is particular to women’s fears. Should be a good one.

            Great film, too.

          • Oh it has a lot on ins and outs and what-have-you’s. Everything from how different mediums write and treat women differently, to repressed sexuality and its expression in horror films.

          • Robert Reineke

            Looking forward to that one.

            Women in horror is certainly an interesting subject, since there are examples all over the map for the genre. It’s also a genre where the protagonist being decidedly weaker than the villain is a feature, not a bug. And you don’t necessarily be high brow to explore a concept, for example, I Married a Monster From Outer Space.

            I also think it’s to the genre’s credit that you certainly can find female-centric movies as among the best of the decade going back to the 60s. The Descent made quite a few of the “best horror films of the ’00s” lists.

          • antho42

            Hostel 4– In his first trip to Minnesota, a middle-age Canadian gets kidnapped and ends up being tortured by a woman looking for payback…

          • Matt Gamble

            The Descent is a movie brought up where the film might not necessarily have been made for women, but certainly treats women with respect.

          • antho42

            Although maybe not known as a traditional horror filmmaker, Pedro Almadovar is good at making horror films aimed at women, especially with his two films Atame! and The Skin I Live In.

          • antho42

            Shit… Atame! is also a better at comedy than Cabin in the Woods.

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