Worst. Year. Ever.

Most Julys, Bob Grimm picks the 10 best and five worst movies of the year so far, but 2011 has been so bad, he’s flipped the script

So this is what my life has come to. (Mr. Popper’s Penguins)

So this is what my life has come to. (Mr. Popper’s Penguins)

This movie year is off to a terrible, unholy start. Here we are a little past the halfway point, and the bad movies far outweigh the good.

To put things in perspective, last year at this time, I had no problem picking 10 films rated “very good” or “excellent” on our RN&R popcorn scale. This year, in order to get to that magic number 10, I would’ve had to go to a few “good” popcorn movies. You know, the one where the little popcorn guy is barely smiling, as if to say, “All right, this one is just OK enough to give a pass.”

So I am reversing protocol this year. I am starting with the 10 worst films so far, and ending with five that I liked. Sure, one of them blew my mind out of the theater and into the parking lot, stunning a hobo, but that great movie doesn’t have many fellow movie friends this year. It’s hanging out among a load of underachievers.

The 10 Worst Movies of 2011 So Far

So here we go, 10 shitty movies followed by five good ones. Much of this trash is already available for home video. Do yourself a favor and avoid at all costs.

1. The Beaver: I sat watching this one, mouth agape, wondering how anybody could praise it (and quite a few have). Jodie Foster directs Mel Gibson in one of the most misguided, ridiculous and flat-out moronic movies I’ve ever seen. Gibson should do everybody a favor and shove that stupid beaver puppet right up his ass.

Well, I guess a beaver up Gibson’s ass wouldn’t really do anybody any favors, but it would be funny to hear about. Gibson walking around with a beaver puppet sticking out of his ass, cursing at his ex-girlfriends and pouring tequila over his head. They should’ve put that in the movie. That would’ve warranted at least the fair, “Oh I Didn’t Like It, But Parts of It Didn’t Suck That Much” popcorn carton from this critic.

2. Mr. Popper’s Penguins: Jim Carrey inherits a bunch of penguins and becomes a better person because the penguins defecate all over his apartment, and his kids think they are funny. Carrey must be heading into full-on worry mode when it comes to his career. I know I am.

3. Transformers: Dark of the Moon: A detailed explanation of why I don’t like this movie can be seen elsewhere in this very issue of the Reno News & Review (see Film, page 24). Yes, I just plugged myself. Please go read the article. It is very educational.

4. Cars 2: It turns out that Pixar is capable of making a movie as supremely bad as most of their movies are supremely good. Nothing but a big, glimmering piece of shit meant to hypnotize your kid into wanting a Mater truck for Christmas. One of the more shocking misfires of recent years. You know your movie year sucks when even these guys can’t deliver a solid picture.

5. Sucker Punch: Zack Snyder writes and directs, rather than just adapt and direct somebody else’s stuff, which he has a good, solid proven record of (Dawn of the Dead, Watchmen). Zack … do not write your own movies. Stick to the visual greatness, for which you have significant aptitude. And don’t ever cast that sourpuss Emily Browning in one of your movies again. She’s a total downer.

6. Battle Los Angeles: Goes hand-in-hand with Michael Bay’s above offering on how not to make an alien invasion movie. Aaron Eckhart must be really pulling for a Harvey Dent resurrection in the next Batman film after this travesty.

7. Red Riding Hood: Worst werewolf movie since Jason Bateman took over for Michael J. Fox in Teen Wolf Too. It still pisses me off that they used “Too” instead of “Two” or simply the number 2 in that film’s title. Bunch of jackoffs. Amanda Seyfried’s googly eyes give me bigger nightmares than the monsters in this movie.

8. Big Mommas: Like Father Like Son: Eleven years ago, Martin Lawrence first donned the fat suit and achieved cinematic box office glory. Even though he’s made some money, I’m thinking he curses that day vigorously while he cashes those huge paychecks. It’s a confusing, conflicted life that Martin Lawrence must lead.

9. No Strings Attached: Natalie Portman, hot off her Oscar glory, slums with Ashton Kutcher in a sex farce from director Ivan Reitman, who stopped being funny a billion years ago.

10. Season of the Witch: Nicolas Cage, in his 132nd movie in the last three years, mopes and mumbles while carrying a sword and wearing a wig. This is the man who played H.I. McDunnough. Let us raise a glass to the great man we once knew, and not this clown.

Let it be known, I am also supremely disappointed with the following titles: Super 8, Green Lantern, The Hangover: Part II, Pirates of the Caribbean: Johnny Depp is a Whore!, Madea’s Big Happy Family, Your Highness, The Roommate, Bad Teacher and Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Lots of Boogers and Poo.

With the fashion sense of Hunter S. Thompson and a voice like Johnny Depp’s, what’s not to like? (Rango)

Yes, the movie year is so bad Tyler Perry’s movie didn’t make the “Movie Suck-Ass Top 10 So Far” list. And, seriously, I was stoked out of my pants when going to see Super 8 and Your Highness. Their lack of goodness was a devastating blow to my movie psyche.

The 10 Best Movies of 2011 So Far

As for the good, I wholly appreciate the following five.

1. The Tree of Life: So far this year, no movie comes close to the brilliance and bravery of director Terrence Malick’s latest. A masterpiece.

2. Rango: OK, Johnny Depp did a good job voicing the lizard in this eye-popping CGI treat, but he’s still a whore!

3. Source Code: Duncan Jones—son of David Bowie … it’s true!—follows up his brilliant Moon with this nearly as brilliant sci-fi stunner. Jake Gyllenhaal is absolutely dreamy in this one. Just sayin’.

4. Bridesmaids: Were I to hand out the Oscars now—actually, that would never happen. I am not a sanctioned Oscar hander-outer—Kristen Wiig would get Best Actress for her hilarious and heartwarming work in this one. Half a year over, and hers is still the best work by an actress. Go Kristen.

5. Hanna: I’d give second place in the actress category to Saoirse Ronan as a psycho kid with ratty hair who is the perfect killing machine.

And you thought your childhood was twisted. (Hanna)

I also liked Thor, Super and Meek’s Cutoff. That’s it for good films worth a special mention at this place in time. I didn’t spend much time talking about the good ones because, quite frankly, I’m pissed off!

This 2011 sucker needs to rally, and rally fast.