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Pajiba's 10 Most Scathing Reviews of 2010

By Dustin Rowles | Guides | January 3, 2011 |

By Dustin Rowles | Guides | January 3, 2011 |

jennifer-love-hewitt_20.jpg10. The Client List: Uh oh — the Lo-Ho family is in financial straits — hubby has a bum knee (I know because they’ve already it said three times), and the bank manager is a jerk. J-Lo-Ho flashes cleavage to try and convince him to help. I’m not sure how people are going to end up shocked when she ends up hooking. She’s complaining about sub-prime loans — gosh, Lifetime is so topical! My God, this movie is chock full of sexist stereotypes. Mrs. TK has described it as “some of the most fantastically one-dimensional stereotypes I’ve ever seen in my television-watching life.” She’s not incorrect. J-Lo-Ho and her friends (the Skinny Friend, the Blond Friend, and the Black Friend) just spent five minutes complaining about how men only want sex. I’ve never wanted to Human Centipede three people more. — TK

skyline.jpg9. Skyline: Skyline is perhaps the worst movie I have seen in the last few years. I mean, I’ve seen some seriously flawed films, but this one sets its own standard. When in Rome? Terrible. She’s Out of Your League? Abysmal. Even restricting the comparison to science fiction, it’s no contest. Even Gamer and Fourth Kind had moments of creativity while disappointing overall. But Skyline? This is the big budget version of the movies that SyFy makes for a buck fifty and shows late on Saturday night, except the filmmakers managed to strip away all of the hilarious badness and bizarre originality that makes those films so-bad-they’re-good. Skyline is not so bad that it’s good. It’s so bad that you start playing the game where you count down and try to check the time on your cell phone precisely when it flips minutes. Only time has stopped and the minute never flips.—Steven Lloyd Wilson

1278609758-90.jpg8. The Movie That’s Never To Be Mentioned: Is it bad? Of course it’s bad. And I’m sorry. Because of the nature of our site, we have to pay for every film we see. And I put money in the pockets of Aaron Seltzer and Jason Freidberg. Which means they’ll be able to crap out more Movie Movies. I didn’t need to see this film to know it was going to be fucking terrible. Why wouldn’t it be fucking terrible? Someone pointed a camera at this, and those someones were Seltzer and Freidberg. I thought about not going to see it: just cutting and pasting completely random lines from the reviews of Eclipse, New Moon, and Twilight from our site and from other sites and calling it a review. But then, I realized, I wouldn’t be doing my job. So I went. And that was my mistake. Because as a film reviewer, I’m supposed to review films. And this — this isn’t a fucking film. It’s the script for Twilight, read out loud by a ten year-old with Tourette’s who only ever watches the TV Guide channel and doesn’t know swear words. There aren’t jokes. Jokes would imply punch lines. There are loudly shouted references. Each riff happens once, like instead of a contract, they were given a checklist. Fart joke, belch joke, punch in the face joke, puppy joke, bling, Jersey Shore, Kardashians. Did we do all that? Next scene. The Movie That’s Never To Be Mentioned is the cinematic equivalent of building a demolition company at ground zero. Only there’s not enough room, so they have to tear down more buildings. With people still in them. By crashing an airplane full of toddlers into them. Only if you videotaped the people plummeting to their deaths from those buildings, it’d still be funnier than this. — Brian Prisco

when_in_rome_p1.jpg7. When In Rome: Their entire relationship is based on a dance and about half a date. They have literally never had a conversation about anything more than small talk. But they looooooove each other. Romantic comedies are pornography of the short cut. They drool over the dramatic entrance and the grand gesture and don’t linger any longer. But love is not a dozen roses given on bended knee in the moonlight, any more than it’s a pelvis cracking orgasm on the kitchen floor. Spectacular moments are nothing in and of themselves, they’re nothing without the context of the years and years of accumulated small moments. Waking up every morning side by side, the way she rubs his shoulders, the way he makes her eggs for breakfast. It can’t just be small moments or it’s a merciless grind, but they’re the thing that makes the big moments big in the first place. You don’t get the moments without the years and you don’t get the years without the moments. —Steven Lloyd Wilson

f9d94989435e83eeab4825e36d38.jpeg 6. Burlesque: There are much, much better ways to spend $10.
Here’s 50: Buy a Jane Austen action figure. … Buy cake ingredients. Bake a cake. Throw it in the trash uneaten. … Buy a books of stamps. Affix them all to one postcard with the message, “I bought you 19 stamps. Wish you were here!”… Buy 10 Post-It Notepads. Write, “Do not see Burlesque” on every post it. Post them in the lobby of the movie theater. … Buy a set of wash cloths at Target, use them as toilet paper. Pretend to be rich! … Buy an axe. Sit in a lawn chair in your front yard. Hold the axe. Look menacing. … Buy some bath beads. Swallow them. … Buy $10 worth of bus tokens. See how lost you can get on public transportation. … nvest the $10 in a high yield stock. Wait 40 years. Buy a used car with the profits. Use it to run over the director of Burlesque. — Dustin Rowles

o-first-clip-from-sofia-coppola-s-somewhere.jpg 5. Somewhere: Sofia Coppola needs to grow the fuck up. She’s on her fourth feature film and she’s still working out daddy issues with all the aplomb of a molested film student. Gee, it’s a real goddamn shame your father handed you a career and opportunities on a silver platter to the detriment of his own fucking career. She’s made 1 1/2 decent films, and the rest are nestled like Lady Gaga in a smug bundle of self-entitlement and dresses made of feathers and T-bones. If Marie Antoinette was all show and no substance, Somewhere doesn’t even have the show. It’s a nothing of a film, a whiny pity-party without the benefit of a party. A famous Hollywood actor explores the emptiness and meaningless of his life and regrets not spending enough time with his young and talented and sweet daughter. It’s like Lost in Translation choked on TMZ and vomited up hunks of the disillusionment of celebrities. Coppola not only expects us to feel empathy for a man who has everything — food brought up at a whim, constant sex with anyone he makes extended eye contact with, million dollar paydays, junkets to Italy, and a daughter who adores him — but to feel bad for Coppola herself, since the daughter character represents her. It’s bad enough it’s elitist, but it’s also incredibly boring and bursting at the seams with overblown metaphors and generic indie music. Somewhere would make a terrible first feature, and yet it’s Coppola’s fourth fucking film. It lacks any maturity, and mopes around the stage like open mic night at a teen goth poetry slam. Some films you want to take out back of the middle school and get pregnant, but this one you want to take to a turnpike toll booth and machine gun it until it can’t give birth to any more abominations unto cinema. —Brian Prisco

twilight_eclipse-535x552.jpg 4. Twilight Saga: Eclipse: The real terror of Eclipse is in the script of Melissa Rosenberg, who managed to take the unintelligible and horny scribblings of a housewife intoxicated by the fumes of the Hershey swits in her husband’s Mormon undergarments and make them more lifeless and even less coherent. I’ve seen more inspired marriage proposals on a baseball scoreboard in between innings. There’s better writing on the pee-stained walls of a bathroom stall in a Pennsyltucky honky tonk. And to demonstrate to what lengths the story goes to breathe new life into a love triangle that’s already been straight-lined, at one point in Eclipse, a shirtless Jacob is left with no choice but to spoon Bella overnight in full view of her fiancé because Edward’s body heat is not enough to keep Bella warm, a situation that could’ve otherwise been remedied by another goddamn layer of clothing (or perhaps, Jacob could’ve loaned Bella that shirt he so obviously never intends to wear). But the cinematography is gorgeous, people. You’re a star. Awesome. You managed not to wet yourself.— Dustin Rowles

a-serbian-film-500x252.jpg 3. The Serbian Film: What’s grosser than gross? That seems to be the driving force behind most of the laughable direct-to-DVD horror films that plague Blockbuster. It’s a deluded effort to trump each other with the most vulgar, depraved shit they could possibly think of in their darkest hours when the pretty girls won’t even talk to them. Chaining her to a drainpipe and sandblasting off her boobies not good enough? Let’s fuck a wound! Not far enough? Does she even need to be alive? Let’s bone a corpse! Rock on, we’re rebels, let’s go get handjobs from suicide girls, yukka yukka yuk. Well, congratulations, sirs. The game is over. A Serbian Film has defeated you all by leaps and fucking bounds. There will never ever be a more vile and disturbing sequence of events than you will see in this film. It makes Human Centipede look like a “Charlie Brown Christmas Special.” It will fucking break you. In your darkest hours, in your sickest moments, you are like Ralph Wiggum to the minds behind this film. It takes any efforts to justify torture porn with flimsy psychological tripe and tears it like Edward Norton’s anus in American History X. This is it. This is the limit that a film can go. It will fucking break you. It takes torture porn to places it never, ever should go. It’s the ultimate torture porn — to the nth degree. It punts torture porn into Friday of next week. It eats Irish torture porn babies like cubesteak. And by pushing things that far, it completely and utterly eradicates the genre. Torture porn is dead, and A Serbian Film raped its corpse. — Brian Prisco

2823_12967143385-thumb-260x173-13152.jpg 2. Eat, Pray, Love: Thee people who will go to this movie, who read the book, they’re probably trying to find some answers. I get that. A lot of us are looking for answers. Some of us look at the bottom of whiskey bottle; some of us look to a higher power; and apparently, some of us look to selfish, well-educated narcissists, who don’t provide you with any answers as much as they try to convince you that they have the answers. They don’t. But let me tell you where you’re not going to find those answers: In a Hollywood movie directed by the asshole who created “Glee.” Sure, he can splice together a sexual-identity crisis with a soaring rendition of a Streisand showtune better than anyone, but he wouldn’t know sincerity if it were fucking him in the leg. He’s not a feature director; what he did to Running with Scissors was absolutely criminal, and if there was at some point something genuine in Gilbert’s memoir, it doesn’t exist here on the screen. Putting aside the movie’s themes, how does it hold up as entertainment? It stinks. It’s a travelogue hosted by a solipsist. It’s like being forced to look at someone else’s vacation photos for two-and-a-half insufferable hours while they narrate their empty little epiphanies. “This is the pizza place where I discovered that life is not about pleasing other people; it’s about pleasing myself.” Fuck you, and your Buddhist Ayn Rand bullshit philosophy. — Dustin Rowles

last_airbender_movie.jpg 1. Avatar: The Last Airbender: For a long time, I’ve been an M. Night Shyamalan apologist. It was mostly misplaced civic pride. He shoots his movies in Bucks County, PA, which is for all intents and purposes my old backyard. But no more. I’m done. We’re breaking up. He’s fucked with my heart for the last time. If you remember what it felt like when George Lucas raped your childhood, at least he had the common fucking decency to lube up first. Shyamalan takes the remarkable and groundbreaking Nickelodeon cartoon “Avatar: The Last Airbender” and doesn’t just violate all that was charming and amusing, but he castrates the characters and feeds them their own genitals. The dialogue is so laden and heavy with exposition and explanation, it’s like listening to an audio recording of someone reading the Wikipedia page. It’s as if Shyamalan left the cartoons on in the background while he made dinner and figured it counted as research. The character names are butchered, the film is grievously miscast, and the general storyline is chopped up and cobbled together until it’s fairly unrecognizable.

There was no need for this to be in 3D, as it lacks even a second dimension. If you were a fan of the cartoons, you’re going to be mortified. If you’re coming into this raw, you’re just going to be fucking bored and possibly confused, even though they practically repeat word for word every event as they are about to perform it. Instead of the lighthearted and energetic anime style romp we got for several years on Nickelodeon, Shyamalan delivers a listless, miserable, and dreary film that skims across everything wonderful in the source material like someone skipping stones over a sewage tank. But what do you really expect from a dude whose second to last film was about himself writing a children’s story in order to save the world? — Brian Prisco

Honorable Mention: TK’s real-time video review of Holiday in Handcuffs, where he expresses a sentiment we all felt about the above ten films.

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.

Pajiba After Dark 1/3/11 | And They're Off!