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What went wrong: terrible movies of 2012

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No 'year in review' is complete without addressing the worst of the worst. While Hollywood certainly churned out some bad movies in 2012 more than could possibly fit on this sort of list there's a special kind of bad that needs to be brought to the forefront.

Here are some films (and one category of films) released in the past year that I have deemed worthy of scorn and derision. It's all a matter of taste; there are more 'deserving' films than there are available spaces. Still, I think you'll agree these movies are terrible.

In no particular order:

Alex Cross'

Here we have Tyler Perry's attempt at making the leap into the mainstream, leaving the warmly obese embrace of his 'Madea' franchise in an attempt to spread his wings. Well he certainly spread something. 'Alex Cross' is a poorly constructed mishmash of a film, an attempt to retcon the James Patterson character made famous by Morgan Freeman in a pair of films. Perry is laughable as a tough-guy cop and Matthew Fox is seven shades of bizarre as the main bad guy. A woeful misfire.

That's My Boy'

Speaking of woeful misfires, here's a big one. As someone who was in his late teens during Adam Sandler's heyday, I can forgive the guy a lot. But with this crapfest, we can safely say that all his accumulated goodwill is officially spent. Sandler Sandlers all over the place opposite a befuddled Andy Samberg, leaving us with a pair of completely unlikable whining weirdos as protagonists. Throw in a script that's equal parts ludicrous and lazy and you have a legitimate candidate for year's worst.

A Thousand Words'

Remember at the beginning of the year when it looked like we might be getting some sort of comeback from Eddie Murphy? This stinkbomb effectively torpedoed what slim chance there was of that ever happening. Murphy plays a publishing agent who finds himself with a finite number of words that he can speak before he dies. What makes this idea even stupider is the idea of taking Eddie Murphy a man whose primary comedic weapon is his mouth and muting him. Sad, schticky crap.

The Lucky One'

It was a close race for this spot. The blandly melodramatic 'The Vow' saw some consideration. However, when you're doing any kind of compilation of awfulness, anything involving Zac Efron is clearly going to win out. It's contrived Nicholas Sparks tear-jerking at its worst, with a wooden cast that is actually made better by the presence of its anti-talented leading man. It is both derivative and condescending; any real love story worth its salt would be insulted to be lumped in with this dreck.

Found Footage' (Paranormal Activity 4;' Chernobyl Diaries;' Project X')

With the notable exception of the excellent 'Chronicle,' 2012 was not a good year for the faux-documentary stylings of found footage films. You had the ridiculously inane party movie in 'Project X,' the formulaic rehash in 'Paranormal Activity 4' and the out-and-out stinker in 'Chernobyl Diaries.' We've reached the point that unless you can bring a new angle to the table, we'll all be better off if found footage stays lost.

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance'

This is more of an honorable mention, because I firmly believe that this was the best bad movie of 2012. One hundred percent of the credit for that achievement goes to Nicolas Cage. There is little of redeeming value in this movie; the story is thin, the cast is weak and the choices run the gamut from confusing to outright ludicrous. But there amongst it all is Cage, turning in what has to be the most grandiosely over-the-top batst crazy performance of the year. Every bad habit, weird tic and inexplicable grimace that he has ever brought to the table is on display here in one lunatic package. This is a terrible movie, but you should watch it anyway: Cage must be seen to be believed.


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