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The 10 Most Scathing Reviews of 2011

By The Pajiba Staff | Guides | January 3, 2012 |

By The Pajiba Staff | Guides | January 3, 2012 |

Sarah-Palin-Undefeated.jpg10. The Undefeated: Holy fucking fuck me in the shit is Stephen K. Bannon’s The Undefeated the worst fucking thing to happen to American cinema since The Ku Klux Klan discovered D.W. Griffith. It’s not a documentary. It’s a fucking commercial for Sarah Palin. And not even a good one. Now, I’m not trashing the film because it’s one sided. I mean, hell, Michael Moore’s been sweatily doing that for years. It lacks a fundamental dimension to even have sides. It’s literally a chronicling of campaign promises spouted by members of her campaign staff and Republican pundits for a mindmelting two hours, intermingled with a soundtrack and imagery that’s so hilariously bad, I want to show it in every film class to send them all screaming for jobs doing manual labor. Because that’s what real Americans do. They eat three egg omelettes seasoned with pepper spray and true grit and then go to work micromanaging foreigners that shouldn’t even be in America anyway. — Brian Prisco

sarah-jessica-parker-bus.jpg9. I Don’t Know How She Does It: So what is I Don’t Know How She Does It about? Honestly, nothing. Nothing happens in this movie. So much nothing. The nothing never ends. It’s around the world in nothing days, sitting by the dock of the nothing, Saturday night is all right for nothing. This movie is Ethan Hawke singing in Reality Bites. The only time anything ever seems to actually happen in I Don’t Know How She Does It is during a musical montage, of which there are many, all of which Kate under-utilizes. Do you know how much you can accomplish in a musical montage? Jason Bateman learned an entire semester’s worth of biology in a musical montage in Teen Wolf Too. Daniel-san wiped out most of the members of Cobra-Kai in a music montage. Rocky trained for the heavy-weight championship of the world in a musical montage. What can Kate Reddy do in a musical montage? Attend a birthday party and look over some paperwork with a serious expression. Oh, la dee fucking da! Take better advantage of your musical montages, lady. And another thing: If you can stop time Zack Morris-style to break the fourth wall, then why don’t you stop time and bake a fucking cake for your kids? — Dustin Rowles

Green-Lantern-Movie-Costume.jpg8. The Green Lantern: Ryan Reynolds once suggested that his Green Lantern movie would be somewhere in the middle between Christopher Nolan’s Batman movies and Christopher Reeve’s Superman films, and even had the audacity to draw comparisons to the original Star Wars. A more apt comparison is a movie somewhere between Fantastic Four and the sticky floor of a strip club the morning after St. Patrick’s Day. The only thing in common with Star Wars that Green Lantern has are the CGI-cousins of Jar Jar Binks and the stool of Jabba the Hutt after a meal of Marvin the Martians. The Green Lantern is a pus-filled bedsore of a film, a wacky incoherent mess of Ryan Reynolds’ forehead, Blake Lively’s legs, and cheap CGI-creatures straight out of a Sid and Marty Krofft television show. — DR

Atlas-Shrugged-Movie.jpg7. Atlas Shrugged: For a movie that has been almost forty fucking years in the making, that at one point allegedly had a cast of luminaries attached that would make any studio salivate, that’s based on a novel that seen a renaissance thanks to the backassward ramblings of the Teabaggers and the Fox News ilk, it’s remarkable how bad it actually is. It’s like the dramatization of an SAT math problem, or a first year economics final essay. Only that might actually imply there was drama. No, this film could have been performed by artist’s mannequins, with projections of actor headshots on them and still given the same wooden and emotionless performances. Which is not to disparage the actors — character actors like Michael Lerner, Jon Polito, and Graham Beckel — we’ve seen most of them in quality pictures and know they are capable of being passionate and hilarious. It’s an impressive feat for first time director Paul Johansson, himself an actor (he played Bolt in Soapdish), to force his cast to stifle anything resembling feelings like a new boyfriend with a Sunday morning pew fart. But most of the credit goes to Ayn Rand, who didn’t write characters so much as one-note ciphers there to represent the A’s and B’s of her political ramblings. Still, in the year where Inside Job snagged the Oscar, it takes massive planet-sized balls to release a film where the heroes are corporate giants who just want the nasty government to leave them alone so they can make money. Because as we’ve seen, deregulation has worked so beautifully. Unless you actually wanted to live in that home. — BP

jack-and-jill-2011-movie.jpg6. Jack and Jill: I’ve always been ambiguous about the existence of God. I’m more agnostic than I am atheist: It’s difficult for me to deny the existence of some almighty spiritual being once I witnessed the birth of a child, or if I take a moment to consider the complexities of man, of the animal world, of Earth, and the Universe. Even if you believe in the Big Bang Theory, there still remains nagging questions about what set the Big Bang in motion. How do the Chaos Theory and Evolution co-exist without a God? If you consider the trillions and trillions of things have to be coincide at the right moment, at the right time, and in the right place for life to exist, it’s difficult to completely rule out the idea of a grand deity, a maker, someone to pull the trigger on existence. If you believe in Occam’s Razor — the idea that the most reasonable explanation is the simplest one — God, in a way, almost feels like the simplest way to explain the miracle of existence. But now, even those doubts have been called into question. The idea that a God would allow war, famine, disease and Snooki to exist is not unfathomable: It’s the universe’s karmic balance, the yin to the yang of peace, prosperity, and good health. There’s a give and take to existence: Death cancels out life, starvation in Africa cancels out obesity in America, and “Two and a Half Men” cancels out “Community.” But the scales have tipped too far, calling my entire tenuous belief system into question. I’ve seen Adam Sandler’s Jack and Jill. — DR

arthur-movie.jpg5. Arthur: Arthur does something audacious. It goes for broke. This spirited little remake of an 80’s Dudley Moore film fearlessly endeavors to be the first comedy of 2011 without a shred of comedic value. It is completely humorless! There’s not a funny moment in the entire film. Arthur has the gritty audacity to entirely subvert the comedy genre by removing precisely what it is that makes a comedy a comedy, namely moments, scenes, lines, situations, or facial expressions that might elicit laughter. How daring! How bold! How adventurous! It’s not to say that Arthur doesn’t have a few sweet moments. But sweetness is so conventional. Russell Brand is a decidedly unconventional comedian. What Brand brings to the comedy is marvelously unexpected — he completely strips it of any enjoyment! He’s comedy repellent. He’s so perfectly cast here in the year’s first anti-comedy comedy that you just have to tip your hat to the guy — it’s such an achievement, to be able to carry an entire comedy on his back and yet bring no charm or humor to the table. Obnoxiousness? Of course, he has that in spades. Is he irritating? Absolutely! Does he say “cheeky” a lot? Naturally. But is he funny in Arthur? Not even a little bit. — DR

Country Strong_movie_stills_2.jpg4. Country Strong: Take all the preconceptions you have about how bad Gwyneth Paltrow’s Country Strong is and multiply them by 6. Now divide them by 4, multiply them by π, add 100, subtract 2 and divide by 4. Now, write that number down on a piece of glossy resume paper. Take that piece of paper, lift it up to your lips, and slice it deeply into the corners of your mouth. Now, take a bottle of Tabasco sauce and break it open by smashing it into your jaw. Afterwards, gnaw your arm off at the elbow with the jagged remains of your teeth. How bad did that hurt?That’s how bad Country Strong is. Gwyneth Paltrow’s performance is akin to a drunken Courtney Love doing an impersonation of Gwyneth Paltrow with a bad Southern accent. It’s hard to decide whether Paltrow deserves some sort of Lifetime Achievement Razzie for this performance, or whether the The Golden Rasberrys should just go ahead and change their name to The Golden Gwyneths. — DR

Sucker-Punch-Movie.jpg3. Sucker Punch: It’s as if Snyder spent a weekend dropping acid and playing every video game he could find, and developed a series of hallucination-based short films. Then, he came up with a sordid, melodramatic-as-fuck story about young girls trapped in a brothel/insane asylum/burlesque club/Dickensian shithole. Then, he decided he was gonna get all girl-powered and developed his own brand of lingerie-inspired pedophelia-themed feminism. Then he took all of those things, stuffed them into a bag three sizes to small, and then beat the fucking bag with hammers until he shit himself. He then topped off the bag with feces, and hit me in the face with it. In short, Zack Snyder is an asshole. — TK

abduction-movie-photos-03-550x365.jpg2. Abduction: Think of Abduction this way: There’s the Bourne Identity, then way below that is Mark Wahlberg’s Shooter. Then there’s 50,000 feet of crap. Underneath that is Liam Neeson’s Unknown. Dig another 100,000 feet until you hit a liquid-y orange-and-brown ooze and there you will find Abduction, a movie so bad it shouldn’t be allowed to call itself a movie. It should be called bad performance art for troglodytic, subhuman Caucasian bed-wetting females with a predisposition for shirtless, roundhouse-kicking dildos. There’s a reason Taylor Lautner was nearly replaced after the first Twilight movie: He’s not an actor. He’s a pair of abs attached to an inbred two by four. There are park statues with more range than Taylor Lautner. The kid is about as versatile as a blood clot and as charming as a yeast infection. — DR

footloose-2011-20110623041015569_640w.jpg1. Footloose: The main problem with Footloose isn’t that it’s a shitty remake (though it is); the main problem is that it’s simply an unbearably awful movie. It’s a staggeringly inept shitshow of a film that bears just enough resemblance to the original to be insulting, but also successfully finds new ways to suck. Remakes are often near-misses, films that might have brought something new to the original’s idea but for some unfortunate stumbles. Footloose doesn’t stumble — it careens off of a cliff with its dick out, screaming with a vulgar incompetence, shitting its pants on the way down. It’s an interminable 115 minutes filled with clichés, two leads who couldn’t act their way out of a wet sack if you gave them a knife and written directions, uninspired direction, and a determination to make its audience lose its faith in humanity. — TK

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.

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