BY KEVIN CARR
Each year, some films try so hard to win awards that they become mockeries of themselves. “Conviction” was such a movie, featuring a woman trying to exonerate her brother for murder. Like last year’s “Amelia,” no amount of good acting from Hillary Swank could save this film from the wash of award movie cliches that were thrown at the screen.
9. EXTRAORDINARY MEASURES
As the flagship film for CBS Films, this movie about a father going to “extraordinary measures” to find a cure for his kids’ disease was as schmaltzy as they come. Harrison Ford managed to step out of his wheelhouse (by making an utter bomb of a film) and stay right inside of it (by playing a crotchety old man). This movie just tried too hard. And then tried even harder.
8. THE LAST AIRBENDER
As a fan of M. Night Shyamalan, this is one of the biggest disappointments for me in 2010. The maligned director has never been good with actors, but often he can save a film with atmosphere and genre writing. Sadly, in this case, he took a thoroughly charming television series and turned it into a stilted, uninspired, visually boring and plodding film… in 3D.
7. FURRY VENGEANCE
Brendan Fraser leapt from “Extraordinary Measures” and right into a pair of Juicy sweatpants to find another terrible movie. This film tried to emulate other successful talking animal movies and instead made a mind-numbingly awful family comedy with farting skunks and godawful effects.
6. MY SOUL TO TAKE
Wes Craven was supposed to give us a return to teen horror movies before the next “Scream” film with this utterly forgettable and loosely plotted serial killer story. Not only does Craven steal from his previous films (like “Shocker” and the “Nightmare on Elm Street” movies), he cranked this movie through one of the worst post-conversion 3D processes I’ve seen all year.
Like “Conviction,” “Hereafter” was a blatant attempt for awards that just had no idea what it was doing. Directed by Clint Eastwood, who is generally a fine filmmaker, “Hereafter” missed every mark it was trying to hit. Instead of being a gripping drama or a psychological thriller, it showed that Eastwood might in fact be slowing down. A worthy follow-up to last year’s snoozefest “Invictus,” “Hereafter” was a bore.
4. I’M STILL HERE
Joaquin Phoenix took a couple years off to continue acting by desperately trying and pull the wool over the public’s eyes with a fake stab at a rapping career. However, the film plays so insincere that I didn’t buy it from frame one. Yet Phoenix insists throughout the film that it’s 100% real, giving him the desperate quality of an ugly stripper begging a customer for a $10 lap dance.
3. THE BACK-UP PLAN
Jennifer Lopez returns to the romantic comedy with an attempt to make a worse film than “Gigli.” I’m not sure if that was achieved, but it was in fact one of the worst films of this year at least. Starring as a woman trying to get pregnant, her massive ego cobbled any comedy, and the film tried to be a raunchy send-up like “Knocked Up,” but it just ended up feeling like a 90-minute episiotomy.
2. THE TOURIST
Few films in 2010 failed on all levels the way “The Tourist” did. But with poor writing, a complete lack of chemistry, terrible acting, failed action and boring direction, this film managed to do so. Even basic filmmaking elements like ADR and foley were terrible. This film getting a handful of Golden Globe nominations is a testament to how easily the Hollywood Foreign Press can be bought.
1. REMEMBER ME
Summit Entertainment tried to give “Twilight” zombie actor Robert Pattinson a shot outside of the vampire stories. But without the appeal to 13-year-old girls, Pattinson struggled as an actor, giving his best (or worst) James Dean impression. This film was as boring as a box of hair, and it featured one of the worst endings committed to film in 2010 and possibly the century.