Top 10 Worst Films of 2007
As with any year, 2007 delivered a fair few stinkers – such as blockbuster hit Shrek The Third, Catherine Zeta-Jones in the kitchen in No Reservations and supposed ping pong comedy Balls Of Fury.
And despite having two attempts at delivering a follow-up movie to rival Donnie Darko, Richard Kelly still managed to make a complete mess of Southland Tales. But which of the above, if any, made it into our top 10 worst films of the year?
Starring: Rob Hoffman, Maya Hazen, Lindsey Haun.
What’s the story? When five American college students arrive in Ireland to go on a camping trip and smoke some ‘shrooms with their old college buddy Jake, they quickly find themselves being hunted by an unseen terror. But as they try to discover whether it’s the legacy of an abusive monk or the work of the local forest inbreds, the body count quickly mounts.
What we said: Shrooms very much feels like a low-budget affair but fails to rise above such limitations in the same way as The Blair Witch or The Texas Chainsaw Massacre did. Rather, it’s content to rely on formulaic horror devices and ropey actors…The “surprise” ending merely confirms what you’ve been suspecting all along and only serves to underline the pointlessness of the film as a whole.
9) No Reservations
Starring: Catherine Zeta-Jones, Aaron Eckhart, Abigail Breslin.
What’s the story? Uptight Manhattan chef Kate finds her fussy, ordered life plunged into chaos when she’s forced to become the guardian of her recently orphaned niece. To make matters worse, her work routine is undermined by the arrival of charismatic new sous chef Nick, who promptly impresses everyone with his easygoing style.
What we said: On the surface, No Reservations would seem to offer an appetising blend of good food, lightweight romance and touching family melodrama. But the ensuing feast leaves a thoroughly unpleasant taste… The whole thing makes a mockery of the upper class food and setting that hints at a more sophisticated audience, but which actually delivers a much less appetising, fast food style experience.
8) Southland Tales
Starring: Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Seann William Scott, Mandy Moore, Justin Timberlake
What’s it about? It’s 2008 and America is recovering from the effects of a nuclear strike in Texas. Missing Hollywood action star Boxer Santaros (Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson) suddenly re-emerges from the desert with amnesia to shack up with a porn star (Sarah Michelle Gellar) with political ambitions. As the authorities attempt to make sense of Boxer’s condition and to actually pin down his location, a different chain of events are set into play involving Roland Taverner (Seann William Scott), a Hermosa Beach police officer, and his twin brother (also Scott), who may hold the key to a vast conspiracy. Watching over them all is a mystery narrator (Justin Timberlake) whose own story seems linked to everything, including the impending apocalypse.
What we said: When it first appeared at Cannes in May 2006 Southland Tales, the keenly anticipated second feature from Donnie Darko visionary Richard Kelly, was universally derided. Critics couldn’t believe how this apocalyptic tale could have emerged as such a flabby, incoherent mess. Almost 18 months later, the film has returned in a leaner and supposedly more coherent form – but if this is the best that Kelly can muster from a second attempt, one only has to wonder just how bad it was before. Southland Tales is still a flabby, incoherent mess that’s only made remotely watchable by its own absurdity.
7) Hannibal Rising
What’s the story? Gaspard Ulliel, Rhys Ifans, Gong Li
What’s the story? In Second World War-ravaged Lithuania, as a young Hannibal Lecter loses his mother and father as they attempt to flee to safety and then his young sister to a ruthless group of mercenaries. Come the end of the fighting, Hannibal heads to France to live with his last living relative, a Japanese aunt, and to study medicine, all the while determined to track down and kill the men responsible for his sister’s slaying.
What we said: Do we really need to understand what made Hannibal Lecter evil? That’s the question posed by this blockbuster adaptation of Thomas Harris’s latest novel, to which the answer is firmly no. Peter Webber’s movie is, from the start, a pointless cash-in that’s slickly produced, frequently nasty but which ultimately fails to offer anything new or worthwhile about the character.
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6) The Hills Have Eyes 2
Starring: Michael McMillian, Jessica Stroup, Jacob Vargas, Flex Alexander
What’s the story? A National Guard unit gets sent to a New Mexico outpost to deliver equipment to a group of atomic scientists. When they arrive, they find the place deserted and deploy themselves into the distant mountain range to carry out a search and rescue mission; unaware that they’re walking into a trap set by the family patriarch of the mutants, Papa Hades.
What we said: Everything from the Alien franchise to The Descent is covered in some way – minus the panache with which those horror classics were delivered. Instead, The Hills Have Eyes 2 is a nasty piece of work that pretty much offends from the outset with its reprehensible first scene – that of a bound woman being forced to give birth to a mutant baby, relayed in graphic detail.
Starring: Elisha Cuthbert
What’s the story? Jennifer Tree is a successful model who finds herself drugged and abducted after attending a charity event in New York. Held captive in an undergound cell, she’s then subjected to a series of life-threatening tortures that have been elaborately conceived by a twisted mind and must team up with a co-captive being held in the room next door to stand any chance of survival.
What we said: What’s left is a horror film that seems intent on baiting the censor as far as it can go – one scene, in particular, finds Cuthbert’s hapless heroine being forced to drink the blended body parts of previous victims. The end result, as you can imagine, leaves an unpleasant taste and makes for torturous viewing.
Starring: Eddie Murphy, Thandie Newton, Cuba Gooding Jr
What’s the story? Norbit is a shy but kind-hearted soul who has never had it easy. As a baby, he was abandoned on the steps of a Chinese restaurant/orphanage and raised by Mr Wong. But things get worse when he’s forced to marry the mean, junk food-loving Rasputia, a horrifically over-weight woman with three equally thuggish brothers. When his childhood sweetheart Kate moves back to town, however, Norbit is offered an unlikely shot at happiness, so long as he can avoid the wrath of his wife and persuade Kate not to marry her gold-digging fiance.
What we said: Every time Eddie Murphy resorts to latex and assumes multiple characters in a film, the law of diminishing returns applies. What started out as funny in Coming To America got stale by the time the The Nutty Professor 2 arrived. Norbit, his latest, is simply a desperate attempt to find laughs that’s as hideous as one of its central characters. The main problem with Brian Robbins’ film is that it consistently scrapes the bottom of the barrel in search of laughs, emerging as offensive rather than inspired.
3) Good Luck Chuck
Starring: Dane Cook, Jessica Alba, Dan Fogler
What’s the story? Charlie Logan is a good-looking guy who learns that every girl he sleeps with subsequently meets her true love straight afterwards. At the behest of best friend Stu he subsequently shags every stunner in sight until he meets the woman of his dreams and has to find a way to break the curse before he misses out on true love forever.
What we said: FromM its objectionable premise alone, Good Luck Chuck is a truly excruciating experience that’s only really appealing to anyone who fancies seeing how low gross out comedy can stoop. Mark Helfrich’s movie attempts to balance sweet and gross in the same way that the Farrellys did in their heyday – but the director is defeated by a truly lame screenplay that offends at just about every turn.
2) The All Together
Starring: Danny Dyer, Martin Freeman, Velibor Topic, Corey Johnson.
What’s the story? Frustrated TV producer Chris leaves his unreliable flatmate Bob in charge of selling the property while he goes out to deal with another dispiriting day at work. Asked simply to let the estate agents come and go, Bob inadvertently lets in American gangster Mr Gaspardi and his trigger-happy English host Dennis and winds up in the middle of a hostage situation that steadily goes from bad to worse.
What we said: It’s difficult to know quite what appealed to the likes of Martin Freeman and Danny Dyer about The All Together given the appalling nature of this utterly lame comedy. For Dyer this provides another spectacular misstep to complete a hattrick of crap beginning with Outlaw earlier this year and followed by Straightheads.
Starring: Gillian Anderson, Danny Dyer
What’s the story? Confident businesswoman Alice entices Adam, a man she has just met, to accompany her to a lavish party in the country. The two strike up an instant chemistry and end up having sex in the woods outside the venue. But their joy is short-lived when they’re brutally attacked following a random encounter on the way home, leaving them emotionally and physically scarred. For Alice, however, the only way to get her life back in order is to seek bloody retribution and she enlists the help of the reluctant Adam to do so – only to find herself contemplating how far is too far…
What we said: Dan Reed’s desperate tale of rape and revenge is designed to offer a thoughtful insight into the corrosive effect of violence on its perpetrators – but its sensationalist, tacky approach makes it one of the worst films of the year. Very little about Straightheads works on the level it’s supposed to. What’s envisaged as hard-hitting ends up being abhorrent, while the gutsy performances of its leads are continually undermined by the ineptitude of its script.