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The Bride Wars Challenge

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Mark Kermode | 11:48 UK time, Tuesday, 1 September 2009

If there are ten films released in 2009 that are worse than Bride Wars, I said, rather boldly, in January this year, then I will give it all up. No more screening rooms for me. Not if so many of them are to be polluted with films of that quality. And looking at how many terrifyingly bad candidates we've already been subjected to this year, frankly I'm beginning to get a bit concerned about my future.  

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Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Although I've never seen Bride Wars (and I hope to keep it that way) Terminator Salvation was probably the worse film I've seen this year. I've avoided the others on your list so far...

  • Comment number 2.

    Dear Doctor,

    Not that I want you to go, but here are a couple of suggestions;

    Dragonball: Evolution, which was demonstrably dull.

    and

    Terminator Salvation, which was a headache of a film.

    It may be just me, but as much as there have been some good films this year, I am starting to worry about next year. Also, here's some discouraging news, Michael Bay is lined up to make another Bad Boys film. I do hope you stay on because I do not want to be the only one who thinks The Hangover is "The best comedy of the year".

  • Comment number 3.

    surely Uwe Boll’s Stoic will be a candidate..

    ''Stoic centers on a true event where three German inmates gambled on a poker game and the loser was forced to eat, regurgitate, and eat his own vomit. The tale escalates into much more when the inmates rape the man for 10 hours before forcing him to commit suicide.''

    thats sounds like fun!! Uwe boll doing torture porn.. doesnt get any worse..

    (oh and i enjoyed Dragonball.. it was what it was..didnt insult my intelligence because i had low expectations)

  • Comment number 4.

    forgot one.. did you ever see Ace Ventura: Pet Detective Jr.?

    that might be a number one contender.

  • Comment number 5.

    Mark, I know keeping your word is important to you and that can only be a good thing but I certainly won't think less of you if there are 10 films worse than Bride Wars and you keep your job anyway. Some things are more important than pride. Also, you made it clear in your review of Charles Dickens's England that it wasn't a film to begin with so surely that should go on a separate list of 10 TV Shows Worse Than Bride Wars?

  • Comment number 6.

    10: Ice Age 3D was worse than Bride Wars
    9: Terminator Salvation was worse
    8: Transformers 2
    7: Angels and Demons
    6: The Pink Panther 2
    5: Dance Flick
    4: Drag Me TO Hell (literally dragged me to hell - cant believe any Evil Dead fan could possibly like that)
    3: G. I. Joe
    2: Hannah Montana
    And finally. the worst, most hilariously awful film of the year
    1: Knowing, staring Nick Cage...painfully terrible with the most terrible "twist" of all time!!!

    Sorry Mark, but it looks like you have to go - i hope i bump into you at the dole office on January 1st 2010.

    With hindsight you should have made it a douzen films worse than bride wars - silly boy.

  • Comment number 7.

    Mark, give it up, you're sounding about as convincing as Kerry Katona when she says she's a good mother.

  • Comment number 8.

    Drag Me To Hell was probably one of the funniest films I've seen this year.

  • Comment number 9.

    I can't help wondering if this is why Mark has been putting off seeing The Ugly Truth... To be fair though, in that list of righteousGerryC's, I know Mark did like Knowing - it was Colin Murray who thought it was the worst film he'd ever seen.

  • Comment number 10.

    I think in the spirit of this challenge there should be 10 films worse than BrideWars you see at a screening. Also, I don't want you to leave even though you're wrong about Tarantino, so why should I suggest Crank 2?

  • Comment number 11.

    What about Mega Shark Vs Giant Octopus, obviously as soon as you see the title you know its gonna be bad but this got a theatrical release on the basis of people watching the trailer on you tube.

  • Comment number 12.

    You're over the hump now. As long as the festive season is free of Vince Vaughn disasters, you should be in the clear.

  • Comment number 13.

    My concern is that Mark will encounter a movie that is in the same badness ballpark as Bride Wars, so to make the call he will have to watch Bride Wars again to refresh his memory and make sure that he gets the new movie in the right category.

  • Comment number 14.

    I liked Drag Me To Hell!
    Doc Mark, if I can list 10, can I HAVE your job?
    I probably couldnt do as well as you, but given the chance, and given that your giving it away (as there are 10 worse movies that Bride Wars, and there certainly will be 10 at the end of the year) I'd give it a go.
    Instead, I could list a few of the most overated films I've seen that have been overhyped. It seems to be a part of the film industry these days that some films are hideously overhyped;

    1)G.I. Joe
    Looked good on paper (if you take out the association with a doll) but is terrible in practice. See this youtube vid of Tarantino having the nerve to say he's proud of his (unoriginal) scripts in front of an actress that starred in G.I.Joe;
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qmKEJ2iovRg

    2)INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS (get a bloody spellcheck Tarantino and stop trying to distance your 'masterpiece' from the original exploitation flick!)
    - In chapters ,as is Tarantino's 'style', however these chapters don't fit together, and chapters 1 and 5 are classic Tarantino - up there with his best, such as Pulp Fiction, True Romance, Jackie Brown, and elements of Reservoir Dogs, Kill Bill Vol 2 - with the rest taken from other films therefore if I get it on DVD, I'll be watching chapters 1 and 5 again and not teh other chapters. The acting was also an issue with me; Waltz was great, as was Menochet (overlooked role as the father at the start), Fassbender, Laurent and Schweiger - but Pitt and Kruger were inconsistent(ly slipping out of character) and Roth was terrible!

    3)WATCHMEN
    Ridiculously boring and badly directed - like 300, it had style but dealt poorly with the content. Frankly many directers could have done a much better job, as the whole film is storyboarded cinematically by geniuses (in the graphic novel) to begin with! So to muck it up like Snyder did is ridiculous. Desperate to have a box office hit, the film seems to curtail and the vital elements of the graphic novel's source material are edited out. Haley is the only good actor in the mediocre cast, and the true ages of the comic book heroes are never really realised. Overhyped, and bored the public probably coming away saying 'that looked great, but the content was boring' infuriatingly, it is not the graphic novel to blame but teh film makers who adapted it!

    4)THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON
    Another overrated Pitt vehicle. Once you get past how good the effects are you wonder why they've remade Forrest Gump, and how Pitt was cast, and why it's so god damn long!

    5)THE READER
    I think Winslett won the Oscar for this film didn't she? Why? When her Oscar winning performance was in Revolutionary Road.

    Here are just five.

  • Comment number 15.

    you wont have to quit, you get to decide what goes on the list after all.

    please dont quit.

  • Comment number 16.

    I would hate to see you go, but this may be my only chance of hearing your verdict on GI Joe. Seems you were on holidays that week and "Mark Lite" (no offense to the replacement himself but he's no you) gave it a not altogether terrible review.

    Personally, it was one of my top movies of the year. It was sheer entertainment, and if nothing else, at least the cast looked like they were having a blast on set! Plus, as a Joe fan since childhood, I loved all the gags and in-jokes.

    Finally, Terminator Salvation, as mentioned by several above must be on your list! No idea what Bride Wars was like, but Salvation is a damn sight worse than Transformers 2, in my opinion.

  • Comment number 17.

    I am also surprised that Transformers 2 is up there and Terminator Salvation isn't, as if McG has the godly power over his film as Damien did, then there is an great possibility that it would of been of an equal magnitude in film prostitution. I'd say both films are generally equally as evil, plus Terminator has a brilliant few films behind it, imagine if Transformers had some great films as predecessors to it, how much more blasphemous would you see the film, and the director, then?

  • Comment number 18.

    Oh yeah;
    Max Payne was more boring than Terminator 4 in my opinion, and outside of this year id obviously say SWEENEY TODD, and every Pirate of the Caribbean film there is... both films only a Depp fanboy could enjoy, or drool over, or however those strange beings enjoy films?

  • Comment number 19.

    It's pointless suggesting films as worse than Bride Wars that he actually likes. He has given rave reviews about Drag Me to Hell, so why on earth are you lot suggesting Raimi's horror flick?

    If you listen to his reviews, then you'll get the idea of what he likes and dislikes, and even though he doesn't really like a movie, he always finds something vaguely positive about it. You need to go back and listen to the movies he absolutely hated, which has no redeeming features, and films that are really really shit.

    And by the way, he did state on Radio Five that he has higher respect for Uwe Boll than he does for Guy Ritchie. So Boll movies don’t count either.

    Face it, he’s going to keep his job as film critic by the end of the year.

  • Comment number 20.

    I think people are missing the point, its film worse than bride wars not just bad films.

  • Comment number 21.

    Dr As a woman of her words too I will be quitting internet surfing if you leave this precious place and no that's not a threat although the side effects may masquerade it so. Anyway A lot of critics have sold out ( say the previous quietly) and we want you to remain reviewing, better would be if you did it with your own money and went to see what you wish. Excuse my broken English made worse by the possibility of a broken heart.

  • Comment number 22.

    A question for the doctor.

    Okay, you've told us the films you've already seen which you think are worse.

    But do you have an idea of which films coming up, but which you haven't yet seen, might be worse?

    Steve W

  • Comment number 23.

    A good list I'd also add Terminator Salvation, Wolverine, Benjamin Button, Pink Panther 2 & Inglorious Basterds to complete the Top Ten Turkeys of the year four months early!

    However, nothing not even Tarantino's latest bore can beat the true horror of Bride Wars. Mark your job is safe.

  • Comment number 24.

    For me personally the worst film I have seen this year, and for quite some time, has to be the Seth Rogan 'comedy' Observe & Report.
    Not only did it fail to elicit a single laugh, it actually genuinely depressed me.
    I felt as if my soul had died a little by the end of this film, and this is coming from someone who has sat through countless torture porn flicks, werner herzog documentaries and the collected works of Hubert Selby Jnr.

    Here's hoping Dr. Kermode doesn't have to watch too much garbage this year, as though I don't always agree with everything he says (Hellboy 2 being good for example!), my mp3 player would sorely miss him and mayo bickering like an old married couple.

  • Comment number 25.

    it doesn't matter how many bad films there are as long as 'there will be bloods', 'jesse jameses' and 'of time a cities' are coming along every year, its when they dry up that you should loose hope

  • Comment number 26.

    I would watch ten Uwe Boll movies to make sure you don't quit. After watching his latest (or should that be lamest?) offering "Far Cry", I think I'm man enough to handle it. I've watched "Transmorphers", a movie so bad that it'll make you cry for Michael Bay.

    You are the last line of defence against the scum of the universe. Therefore, I have no suggestions.

  • Comment number 27.

    To be completely fair to Mark (and his employment prospects) can I suggest we use IMDb ratings as an independent scoring system?
    Bride Wars gets a whopping 5.1 in the IMDb public vote; the question is, are there 10 films this year with a lower score?
    On some of them, Dr K, you are surprisingly safe!!
    Transformers II – 6.3
    Terminator Salvation – 7.0
    Paul Blart: Mall Cop – 5.4
    Marley & Me – 7.1
    Outlander – 6.5
    Lesbian Vampire Killers – 5.4
    Night at the Museum 2 – 6.1
    Blood: the Last Vampire – 5.7
    I Love You, Man – 7.5
    The Uninvited – 6.3
    Ghosts of Girlfriends Past – 5.6
    12 Rounds – 5.4
    Land of the Lost – 5.4
    The Ugly Truth – 6.5

    HOWEVER….........
    Dance Flick – 3.0
    Charles Dickens’ England – 4.7
    Dragonball Evolution – 3.3
    Jonas Brothers: 3D Concert Experience – 1.3
    Year One – 5.0
    Aliens in the Attic – 4.6
    Imagine That – 4.6
    I Love You Beth Cooper – 4.7
    Not Easily Broken – 4.8
    I make that NINE; to be absolutely fair, some of these ratings need more time to shake down a little; so, Dr K, name the day – how about a Boxing Day re-assessment, giving you a few days to draft your letter?!

  • Comment number 28.

    Oh, and not to sound nitpicky, but I noticed "then" instead of "than" as the list scrolled by.

  • Comment number 29.

    I'm afraid IMDb isn't as much of a guide being an industry marketing tool. Sadly Rotten Tomatoes isn't much better these days bumping up percentages with barely illiterate Youtube wannabies.

  • Comment number 30.

    Guess I better watch my own illiteracy

  • Comment number 31.

    Dr K, I normally place a lot by your reviews and I have to thank you for introducing me to some of my favorite films of all time, especially Pans Labyrinth & Let The Right One In, neither of which I'm sure I would have heard about without your podcasts. That said, I have to agree with a couple of other comments on this thread. How ahyone who can normally recommend such great films as There Will Be Blood, Eastern Promises, The Diving Bell And The Butterfly etc etc can also give good reviews to a film as diabolical as Drag Me To Hell absolutely baffles me. You're still on a warning in my book for that one. Definitely the worst film I've seen this year.

  • Comment number 32.

    Observe and Report was painfully not funny by the end of it you kind of just feel bad for them.
    Off subject Apocalypse Now is the best Vietnam war film right or just the best war film?

  • Comment number 33.

    The Spirit

    I dozed off briefly.

  • Comment number 34.

    Dr. Doctor K,
    Please don't quit, the worlds needs you more than it needs James King.

    There's loads of great films coming out in the next four months which will surely put the spring back into your step. Think of District 9, Ponyo, Where The Wild Things Are, A Christmas Carol, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, the new Terrence Malick film, and maybe even Avatar if the actual film is better than the previews.

    In fact, I propose an alternative ultimatum - if your favourite film of the year falls within the next four months, will you sign on to do film reviewing for another 10 years, regardless of what comes along?

    If I had to anticipate the worst, I'd predict that Jennifer's Body would be in there. Perhaps you should just 'forget' to see the new Guy Ritchie film when it opens on Christmas Day...

  • Comment number 35.

    re: danield1000

    I know the good doctor won't agree because he hates Kubrick, but I think Full Metal Jacket knocks Apocalypse Now into a cocked hat. AN is still a good film, but it's a bit too ponderous and Coppola should have really been harder on Brando. FMJ is one of Kubrick's very best, a war film which also deals with philosophy without ever coming unstuck

  • Comment number 36.

    I've noticed something Bride Wars has in common with the other films on the list: blatantly, condescendingly targeting an audience and delivering the bare minimum in effort and innovation. At first, Terminator seems a shoo-in for the list, but in this light, I think it should stay off. It wasn't a bad idea: the future war from T2 with a little added Dark Knangst. It was just ineptly executed, but you can't quarrel with the intent.

    I think the only film that deserves a spot on here is Observe and Report, a film so arrogant and odious, it makes me wonder how Satan got a copy of Final Draft in the first place.

    p.s. speaking of odious intent, just realised that may technically include every 3D film released this year. Er... which kind of messes the list up...

  • Comment number 37.

    I would just like to say, don't quit Mark, go back on your word.

  • Comment number 38.

    I want to ask you, Mark Kermode, a bonafide QUESTION. Is the bad film list limited only to cinema releases, specifically to big budget fare? If not, you could quit this very second, because I assure you, look hard enough, ten and more will be found. Perhaps this is an out: the conditions of the challenge were not formally established, therefore null and void! No? There are critics of various professions that have to endure larger quantities than a mere ten a year of insufferable wrack, and yet they continue. Why would a film critic offer to throw in the towel, especially one both passionate and comfortable in their role? What a dumb challenge.

  • Comment number 39.

    Not that I want you to retire as you are my favourite reviewer but I do have to say that X-Men Origins: Wolverine is shockingly awful

    Worst and most plot hole ridden plot I have ever seen in a short but film filled life span
    Worst script I have heard for years
    Worst special effects I have seen in years
    Worst wire work I have seen in years
    Bad cinematography
    Wolverine tries to do everything bigger (as most sequals do) but fails to even achieve that.

    Wolverine has no real positive features it is a wast of time and space, comparible only to Van Helsing in its awfulness.

  • Comment number 40.

    Dear Dr. K,

    Assuming that (despite some of the evidence above) you make it through to enlighten and entertain us for another year...will you be repeating the challenge again next year?

    If so, I have an early contender for worst film of the year 2010...your'e gonna love this: Rambo 5 has just gone into production.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2009/sep/01/rambo-5-sylvester-stallone

    Do you have the fortitude to go on, bravely soldiering against Michael Bay and Kate Hudson, or does it kinda make you want to give up now?

    Please Mark....DON'T GIVE UP! The news of a fifth Rambo just underscrores the need to have you out there, enduring this sh*te so we don't have to! The fight must go on....maybe someone should start the 'keep Mark criticising' campaing? The KMC, I like that!

  • Comment number 41.

    Being someone who doesn't normally like comedies or horror films that much I feel I must defend Drag Me to Hell and say that not only is it one of the best films of the year but also that without you I may not have bothered seeing it. Ignore the haters because it was an extremely entertaining horror comedy that had me smiling all the way through and features one of the best fight scenes to ever involve a grandma and a stapler.

    Now on to this quitting nonsense - it is precisely that, nonsense. Seriously, don't do it. I disagree with you quite a bit (Synecdoche, NY was my favourite film last year and The New World was incredible) but hey, no critic is perfect and you are also right on the mark a lot more often than most critics and, unlike most critics, you get really energetic and passionate about film. When I went down to Harbour Lights to see Let the Right One In the screen was packed and I can't help but feel that was your doing (as was Synecdoche's screening having only 3 others there...) so please, stop threatening to leave just because for every Pan's Labyrinth you have to endure a Tramsmorphers.

  • Comment number 42.

    Bugger. I feel responsible for this, asking about your bottom ten back in April or so. All I wanted was a mention on your blog replies section. The whole thing might have blown over, but I wanted to feel special. What have I done?

    Interesting font choice, by the way. Props to whoever edits the videos.

  • Comment number 43.

    Inglourious Basterds was by far the worse movie of the year. I am tired of fan boys and gormless critics excusing this movie. If it were EXACTLY the same but directed by somebody else it would have been panned. By all means it can be enjoyable for most but what actual value or meat does this movie have? The first fifteen minutes was amazing but after that the movie descends into something pathetic and juvenile. A child could literally come up with a plot more elaborate than it. Transformers 2 as terrible as it was actually had character development. Inglourious Basterds fails on every level other than style and “oh he can create tension”. That’s it (after the first 15 minutes it becomes apparent that Tarantino actually has a predictable formula for creating tension). I mean what was the ‘theme’ of Inglourious Basterds? Oh it didn’t need one? Narrative? No. Non one-dimensional characters? No. Interesting, thought provoking dialogue? No. The one good character is the Jew Hunter and his character isn’t even congruent: killing a German traitor for his or her terrible betrayal with his bare hands at one point and then betraying Germany two minutes later.

    For those of you who consider GI:JOE bad I hope you realise the target audience were kids before slating if for having a “childish plot”. What’s Tarantino’s excuse?

  • Comment number 44.

    This is a ridiculous situation.

  • Comment number 45.

    Mark, you must remember that we, your flock, all look forward to the bad films - if only for the entertainment it provides us when you review them!

    Judging from the podcasts you should include Lebian Vampire Killers and you should at least watch The Ugly Truth. These films are not just bad, they offend! (And if you have to wiggle out of including Charles Dickins' England because "Its not a real film but a TV show" then we'll forgive you to keep your job.

    Maybe you shouldn't despair too much. How is this year compared to last year? Remember "Little Man?"

  • Comment number 46.

    The good doctor and his people might want to have a look at the font they've used for the list of bad films..

    Dance Flick looks like a different type of film altogether..

  • Comment number 47.

    Three words (1 of them isn't even a word). Terminator - Salvation - McG!

    Many have already mentioned this film, one more person wont hurt. But a few more may kill us. Let's skip all the constructive criticism. Terminator Salvation was Pants, the worst kind. Worse than Bride wars?...Hmmmm..Possibly. Dr K your Job is safe. And while we're on the subject of bad films. What is your Favourite Michael Bay Film? if there is such a thing....

  • Comment number 48.

    As it is your list and you are the sole arbiter of what is good and bad, all you have to do is declare certain films as being equally as bad as Bride Wars, but not worse, thereby keeping yourself in a job. After all, we wouldn't like to see your family starve, would we?

  • Comment number 49.

    i rarely watch a film that i might think it's really bad but there have been a number of films which have been disapointing- drag me to hell, the reader and milk(it was like watching a tv movie)

    mark - you'll be doing one too won't you when simon leaves 5live?

  • Comment number 50.

    Transformers 2 was awful but worse was Terminator Salvation, which made Trannys 2 look like the stuff of Kubrick.

  • Comment number 51.

    I shouldn’t ask if there have been any Will Farrell, Will Smith, Steve Martin, Cuba Gooding or Eddie Murphy movies out this year? Usually all good for a stinker or two in recent years.
    Then there’s GI Joe, the upcoming 3 Stooges movie and an Emmerich effects pic – 2012 - that looks like it could suck big time.

    But why inflict them on yourself? Just see the good stuff and look forward to next year.

  • Comment number 52.

    British Airways had "Bride Wars" on their in-flight entertainment systems, on flights to the UK during August, and should thus be thoroughly ashamed of themselves. On the flight I took last Friday, however, it had no soundtrack, which no-one seemed even slightly interested in fixing. I wonder if there's a BA flight attendant, up there, registering a protest at the death of narrative cinema ..?

  • Comment number 53.

    I give "G.I Joe: Rise of the Cobra" a ten out of ten on the poo scale. Infact, is there any film with a colon in the title that is actually worth watching?

  • Comment number 54.

    I don't get this "seeing bad movies so we don't have to" malarkey. Dr K sees them because that's in the contract. We mere plebs have the option to NOT see Dance Flick, and stay at home doing something more interesting like beating ourselves round the head with a spoon.

    I didn't see Bride Wars so I can't say whether a particular movie is better or worse, but GI Joe is absolutely not on the Ten Worst. It's a stupid, dumb, CGI-laden action spectacular that knows exactly what it is and plays on that level. Transformers 2 doesn't work because it's a stupid, dumb, CGI-laden action spectacular that thinks it's a proper, serious, important movie. Michael Bay takes himself and the material far too seriously and the film is a pompous, bloated bore; Stephen Sommers recognises the fact that he's basically doing a reimagining of Van Damme's Streetfighter.

    (Oh, and The Descent: Part 2 has a colon in the title and is a perfectly acceptable, entertaining romp with blood and squashed heads and monsters, and it got half a dozen rounds of applause from the FrightFest audience the other night.)

  • Comment number 55.

    Mark, Mark! What the hell are you doing?! I was very alarmed when you made that silly jape/promise in the first place but now you're actually throwing oil into the fire?! Listen, we DON'T WANT you to go, plain and simple.

    There are extremely crappy films made everywhere all the time; you know that, we all know that. But if you were to give up the good fight, there would be even more of them made every year. You are part of the force that keeps total stupidity from engulfing the world. Please consider that before you turn your back on us permanently.

  • Comment number 56.

    I hope you do not find another six films for your list Mark, but if it did all go bum over boob, you could always review movies in your skiffle band, or even start a movie-reviewing skiffle band.

    Having said that, you might need to get a rhyming dictionary(or thesaurus?) to think of words that rhyme with "rubbish".

    To the Colon comment, after a few minutes of pondering, I came up with two. (Not sure if the Godfather numbering counts, so I'll exclude those.)
    2001: A Space Odyssey
    Terminator 2: Judgement Day

  • Comment number 57.

    you guys are just listing bad films, isn't the whole point that bride wars was SO bad that very few films could possibly be worse.

  • Comment number 58.

    Re the colon issue:

    Both Mesrine films
    The Three Colours trilogy
    Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me
    Any of the Mission: Impossible films
    The first Austin Powers film
    etc. etc. etc.

  • Comment number 59.

    Thanks to your goodself Dr. Kermode and you critical powers, I've been able to skip these cinemtic atrocities. On the whole I must say of the 25 or so films I've seen so far in the cinema this year, most of them have been very good if not great. However I still had the misfortune of sitting through Watchmen and some dour Danish film called the Candidate this year.

    You provide a valuable service to society; your cinematic martydom means the likes of me are free from such punishment as Bride Wars!

  • Comment number 60.

    Mark, if its any solace, and if it proves your validity as a critic, I sat down to watch my first Oshima flick - The Sun's Burial - last night and loved every second!

    Talking about bad films what's your take on Mr Solomons recent article on the state of British cinema?

  • Comment number 61.

    I, for one, absolutely believe Mark when he says he will go if he sees 10 films worse than Bride Wars this year. Therefore, I am relieved to see the list is not too long.

    Personally, I think Mark should be promoted to 'Head film guy' at the BBC, hosting Film 2009 (change date as applicable) and more... Additions to the excellent documentaries he made for Channel Four in the 90s would be very welcome.

    Kermode, the BBC needs you!

  • Comment number 62.

    The get out is simple.

    10 films worse than Bride Wars is the challenge, yes?

    Simple - what is the definition of worse than?

    This is surely an individual thing, no more, no less. For all the arguing, debate etc in the world, surely you all have your own opinions? Therefore, it is a matter for Mark to consider the level of worse.

    Or, the other get out is, he hasn't seen every movie released this year, and therefore cannot accurately & honestly review the year as a whole, and thus it would be inappropriate to pass comment on the year as a whole.

    I assume he's seen The Lair Of The White Worm? Alligator 2? The Cell? THESE are atrocious films, and I've seen nowt this year worse than those. That's MY benchmark

  • Comment number 63.

    PS: Yes, I know those films aren't from this year, but those are the yardsticks by which I measure cackness by

  • Comment number 64.

    I was trying to remember the worst, most tryly atrocious film I have ever seen and then Roadblaster goes and mentions 'lair of the white worm'. Jeeze louise, I had actually blotted it out of my memory.

    If anyone ever makes a film worse than that, I'll give up watching films altogether.

  • Comment number 65.

    Does the Doc Regenerate if someone finds 10? In his defence most of the films not on the list like, G.I Joe and Terminator can be viewed as subjectively better than (or not as bad as) Bride Wars. Although it's clearly the most bored I’ve been for 2 hours for a long time terminator simply doesn’t compare to the sheer horrific, hellish-ness of Bride Wars. I think the majority of posters are forgetting how truly awful Bride Wars was.

  • Comment number 66.

    Mark, when making your proclamation against 'Bride Wars' all those months ago, saying you would quit if there were 10 worse films this year, you should have made it with your fingers crossed behind your back. That way your pledge would have been null and void, and you wouldn't be in this moral dilemma now. Alternatively, you can just say nuts to that, and keep your job regardless. I favour the latter.

  • Comment number 67.

    Cmon, you cant really be telling me you dont see way more films that are worse than Bride wars. Having access to the films you do, you must see so many poor films. Hell, even *I* see a lot of crap films and I pay for the privaledge!

    Bad films are there to show you how good the good ones actually are.

    Anyone can take a camera and point it at someone and make a film. Look at the crap on youtube to prove that point. Even the worst of commercially released films is better than youtube dross.

    So what if there ARE 10 films worse than Bride Wars? There are likely to be 10 *good* films released this year too. Well, ok I hope there are. Moon was pretty good.

    Actually, could you put up a tally of films that were good vs bad so we can see the ratio? :)

  • Comment number 68.

    Dr. K, I understand why you made the comment back in January, and I understand why you will stick to it - at the end of the day, if in your job as critic, you have to sit through that many films via preview screenings from the studios that are worse than Bride Wars, I can only presume you could not enjoy your work any longer.

    I'd be devasted to see you quit, and I'm pleased (but in some ways slightly saddened!) that there are only 5 films currently on the list. Thank you for updating the list, I think fans wanted to know how far we are from losing you! Keep up the good work with the reviews, I'll certainly be listening :-) Oh, and thank you for saving me having to watch all those dire movies!!

  • Comment number 69.

    I know a couple of people have said similar things already, but what will quitting prove? Hollywood will come back with more, perhaps worse films exactly like Bride Wars next year, resigning won't change that. The people in charge won't even care, they might even be happy. All we'll have left is one less person to tell the people who make this crap the truth about what they're doing, and all we'll get in return is another sycophant to say how wonderful the rich idiots are. At least if we have to put up with this garbage we might at least have someone who is prepared to stand up and be honest about it.

  • Comment number 70.

    I was wondering if there could be the possiblility of a film being so good that it cancels out one of the films already on the list of "worse than Bride Wars". For example a film could be so good that its goodness would equate to the badness of one of the listed films, or a film could be so good that it restores the amount of faith you had in cinema that was lost when you saw one of the listed films.

    That was perhaps articulated rather poorly, but I think the jist of my proposal has been put across. I'd really rather you didn't leave film critism.

  • Comment number 71.

    Come on, The Spirit was an absolute riot, Sam Jackson as a drag queen nazi was genius,

  • Comment number 72.

    this argument is badly framed. I think Mayo was trying to make this point but Kermode had driven his gigantic intellect down a side street; he is a ferrari among datsuns, who sometimes drives into a paddock and gets bogged.

    the point is this: when people talk about the "worst movies", they are almost invariably talking about a quantity something like fame divided by quality. in fact, the true worst movie is something made by stoned film students or bulgarians etc.

    now people have an intuitive grasp of this without actually putting their finger on the point: they only consider films of reasonable notoriety, then consider which one is literally the worst. however there is a slippery slope here; when someone throws out a challenge like Kermode's, people start conconsidering more films near the cut-off boundary, and the category slowly expands ... what about that icelandic canine love story? what about Baz Lurhman's singing sphinctre short shown at the Scunthorpe art festival? by this process Kermode is slowly doomed unless he admits that he ignored reason in framing the debate

  • Comment number 73.

    I know I've put one on the list. Happy to contribute.

  • Comment number 74.

    Terminator: Salvation?

  • Comment number 75.

    There has been some total tripe this year but I suspect that now we have cleared the summer blockbuster season then you will be in the clear. However, there is always 2010, looks to be a high calibre of garbage especially with the procession away from a good script in family movies to 3D.

    Can't believe some peoples suggestions, why are they incapable of differentiating between a truly terrible film (Bride Wars) and just a film they did not like (Watchmen). That said, Inglorious Basterds should be on your list, utter tripe in every way; even worse than Death Proof (is that even possible).

    Also, I know that straight to DVD movies do not count but Resident Evil Degeneration would have been a sure hit on the list if it had a cinema berth.

    Will the Doctor be giving us a list of the best of the summer, a pretty rubbish movie summer this year (Crank 2 would probably be a top 5 film) but I would like to hear about if there is anything I missed that I should look to on DVD.

  • Comment number 76.

    Hi, Mark

    Just joined your blog tonight, and what a thoroughly entertaining blogspot it is proving to be! I particularly enjoyed Flying Angels and Racing Demons! On the subject of Bride Wars, I would have to agree, it is truly one of the worst films of the year. However, I think it has a close rival in Race to Witch Mountain, a movie that calls into question the state of modern cinema. Having watched that piece of trash with my little sister, and shortly afterwards watched Shane Meadows' brilliant Dead Man's Shoes, it occurred to me that there actually is some light at the end of the cinematic tunnel - just nothing starring the bland Kate Hudson or the insufferable Dwayne Johnson.

  • Comment number 77.

    I think this year for whatever reason has been a particularly bad year for film. A torrent of dross from Holywood, which can only be bad for the studios in the long run. I like to go to the cinema but because so many films are bad I really don't want to go any more cause it is such a disapointment finding out that what should be a good film is actually awful.

    The studios complain about download and DVD piricy but I find it hard to sympathise when I go to the cinema and have to pay to watch complete and utter shit. It is not hard to tell when a film is bad but the ammount of films which are released and are either have terrible unfinished effects (X Men Origines: Wolverine) Incoherent scripts (Babylon A.D). Any other industry you would take back these items because they are not up to merchantable quality and demand your money back but you can't do that with films.

    Studios will may more money when they realise that making quality films and more people will want to see them.

    After such a negative and awful summer, I must that that I was rather happy to find that District 9 is a exceptionally good action film. Now I have to wait until December and that Avitar is good, otherwise my well heeled spirit might be crushed.

  • Comment number 78.

    MCGEE MCGEEEE MCGEEEEEE!!!!

    better out than in, a phrase that works on so many levels.

  • Comment number 79.

    dance flick
    GI Joe
    hotel for dogs
    I love you beth cooper
    Inglorious Basterds
    Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian
    Terminator Salvation
    Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
    (500) Days of Summer
    Angels & Demons

    afraid to announce it's quittin' time mr. Kermode.

  • Comment number 80.

    1. "GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra" features one of the worst payoffs in film history, the part where Cobra rises, and also plays fast and loose with a property that, in proper hands, could have a great deal of potential.

    2. "Halloween 2" is quite possibly the worst film I've ever seen, hands down. That said, it does have to be seen to believed. Fortunately for all of us, they've already announced "Halloween 3D," and Rob Zombie seems to have been completely cut out of the picture, replaced by the director of "My Bloody Valentine 3D." Speaking of which...

    3. "My Bloody Valentine 3D" which is really only mediocre but the 3D is so bad it actually gave me a migraine. While the other films were at turns frustrating or dull, "Valentine" actually caused me physical pain.

  • Comment number 81.

    I'm going to have to stick myself in the "GI JOE" support camp.

    I think that it is much more competently directed then anything done by Michael Bay, for instance - the opening scene where the convoy is being attacked. Here it looked surprisingly like War of the Worlds and the battle scenes there and thats no bad thing.

    Most of all though it is knowingly camp and playfull and without pretention; perfectly exemplified by the cameo by Brenden Frasier.

    I think we need some clarification on the good Doctor's position.

    P.S. I think you've let yourself off by choosing such a low standard of film to quit over

  • Comment number 82.

    Can we try and keep some perspective here? It's not movies you didn't like, or movies that didn't meet your expectations, it's WORSE THAN BRIDE WARS.
    Now, I deliberately didn't watch it, but here's the criteria as I understand it.
    The movie must promote something morally offensive. Bride Wars' objectification and demeaning of successful women, for example.
    The movie must be hypocritical (the one thing in the defence of films like GIJoe is that they are NOT hypocritical. You get exactly what they promised) "Oh, see how I'm playing someone fat, but I'm not really fat, because I can't afford to get fat" Anorexia ahoy!
    The movie must be popular enough to be recognisable by the general populace. There's nothing appalling about a young and inexperienced director making a low-budget indie film that sucks. It's when millions of dollars flow through some unfunny romcom that it's annoying.
    The movie must misuse talent that could be used elsewhere. (e.g. Anne Hathaway, excellent in Princess Diaries, my little sister loves it)
    The movie must not be sporadically fun to watch by accident. Come on, the accents in GIJoe and Angels vs Demons are worth the admission fee.

    The only movie I've seen or heard of that I would class as WORSE than Bride Wars is "The Ugly Truth". Exactly like Bride Wars, but offensive to men AND women. Possibly Dance Flick, but frankly by now the Wayans just make me shrug listlessly.

    I mean, NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM, worse than Bride Wars? Really? A film for 6 to 8 year olds that's basically a series of bits is not worse than a romcom for 28 year olds that's actually nasty.
    And to the people saying "you're all just Tarantino fanboys, if it was anyone else..."; if any "auteur" made a movie in 4 different languages, and still found time to make me laugh out loud, I'd praise him to the rooftops.

    Mark, could we get your list to fight over?

  • Comment number 83.


    Should you stay or should you go now?
    Should you stay or should you go now?
    If you go there will be trouble
    An' if you stay it will be double
    So come on and let us know

    Is this any way to treat your public?

  • Comment number 84.

    Please do not see these movies. Really... I enjoy listening to Mayo and you too much.

    Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li
    Dragonball Evolution
    12 Rounds
    Miss March
    Or my least favorite of the year... The Unborn

    -----------------------------
    Crank: High Voltage may not be the year's best, but it must have been a lot of fun to work on. Bring on Crank 3D!!!!

  • Comment number 85.

    The only film on that list that I've had to sit through was Transformers...thankfully the truly fantastic District 9 (film of the year?!) has cured my summertime blockbuster blues. Could films like this and the superb Moon save you from leaving? My friday afternoons would not be complete without you sir!

  • Comment number 86.

    Transformers 2 was turgid but far from morally bankrupt or without any redeeming features.
    Although I did grow up with an Optimus Prime so seeing him clank and whir whilst parachuting out of a plane did have me grinning like a maniac. Perhaps I'm biased.
    Still-without Shia LeBoef they would be unbearable. I know its not a popular opinion with the big man, but LeBoef has both charm and charisma and, whilst diluted by a mistaken attempt at giving his character "depth" in the sequel, he manages to make a dull film vaguely bearable. But not much beyond that.
    Still- worth quitting over? Never.

  • Comment number 87.

    Oh, and GI Joe is laughably silly nonsense for kids. Perfectly fine.

  • Comment number 88.

    I have to say that any movie would struggle to compete for the prize title of 'worst silm of the year' against the following:

    Gamer
    The Unborn
    The Hangover
    My Sister's Keeper
    New In Town
    Obsessed
    Fast & Furious
    The Last House on the Left
    Pink Panther II
    Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
    Year One

    Oops! That's eleven right there. Still, I could never bring myself to watch Bride Wars, so maybe it's worse that the lot of them.

  • Comment number 89.

    I have to say that any movie would struggle to compete for the prize title of 'worst film of the year' against the following:

    Gamer
    The Unborn
    The Hangover
    My Sister's Keeper
    New In Town
    Obsessed
    Fast & Furious
    The Last House on the Left
    Pink Panther II
    Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen
    Year One

    Oops! That's eleven right there. Still, I could never bring myself to watch Bride Wars, so maybe it's worse that the lot of them.

  • Comment number 90.

    Oh, and throw in 'I Love You Beth Cooper' too.

  • Comment number 91.

    Dr. Kermode,

    You know better than anyone, I LOVE your hilarious impressions. But your ragging on my homebiatch Anne Hathaway, that's taking it too far, my bro.

    I love making babies in Anne Hathaway's big-teethed mouth. So lovely.
    And that tongue? Silk would be jealous, and so would velvet.

    (Speaking of velvet, Blue Velvet is the most hilarious movie ever, don't you agree, Dr. Kermode? Dennis Hopper thinks so, David Lynch thinks so, Dennis Hopper's agent at the time thought so and laughed out loud on the set during filming, as did Lynch himself off camera, and now after all these years, even Isabella Rossellini says she thinks the movie is one of the funniest ever made! Wow, that's funny in itself!)


    Back to topic of Annie Hathaway's amazing blowing skills:

    Please don't diss on my blowbang-biatch Anne Hathaway anymore, Dr. Kermode.

    As much as I love your reviews, I love Anne Hathaway's mouth and tongue massages even morseo.

    Please understand, Mr. Kermode. I don't want to have to choose.

    Thank you, Dr. Kermode.
    You will always be the Pimp, though. Nobody can take that from you.

    Peace,
    Your fan,
    Jeremy Ahn, Pimp Poet Supreme


    I have created an internet campaign for you:

    DR. KERMODE FOR THE BAFTA, BEST FILM CRITIC, 2012!!!!

    i am collecting signatures

  • Comment number 92.

    Do festival films count?
    I saw Miles Away by Brendan McNamee last night at the Raindance film festival and it was terrible in almost every way possible.

    It was obvious that the film had been shot with no plan then rushed through the editing process where they'd just thrown clips together in hopes no one would notice it has no plot.
    The cast and crew of this film admits at the end of the screening that they have no idea what the film is about. We were left with some fumbled explanation by it's writer/director/producer Brendan MacNamee which went something like "well originally the concept was mad cow disease hence all the milk, I decided to set it in 1987 but decided not to storyboard it"
    He went on to explain that each morning they would decide what they would film that day and often arranged location a day in advance.

    Why Raindance let this film in I have no idea, and at £12 a ticket I am pretty miffed at them for wasting my money. (by the way all the best bits are in the trailer, watch that NOT the film)

    One good thing about this film is the visual effects work. Though not always relevant to the story it was impressive. Sadly I expect this film was made to add to showreels and not made to be seen.

    Though I have not seen Bride wars I expect this film counts as worse.


    On a different point is anyone else worried that people might watch Bride wars just to see how bad it is and to name worse films. Has Mark inadvertently given this film a whole new audience. The knock on effect could be studios making more like it :s
    Eek Mark what have you done lol

  • Comment number 93.

    This evening I had the great displeasure of sitting through Rob Zombie's 'Halloween II' and would have to contest that it is a serious contender for a spot on the 'ten films worse than Bride Wars' list.

    As Dr. Kermode himself is a former horror film specialist (who even made 'The Night He Came Home' documentary) this has surely got be a serious consideration. This is a deeply depressing film that demonstrates that for every film like Carpenter's original classic there is an equal and opposite piece of artless crud.

    One needs to seriously consider the purpose of re-imagining the Halloween series. If one want's to move away from the original's character dynamics, general tone, basic narrative and unique idiosyncratic qualities (Carpenter's score) what then is left? Basically just a man in a (battered) William Shatner mask who according to this account has anger issues, an oedipus complex and looks like a homeless man. Well, that and character names (Apparently the avaricious, hateful, self-pitying brat that I had the misfortune of spending an hour and a half watching is in some strange tangential way related to Jamie Lee Curtis' Laurie Strode!)

    Sorry to labour the point but this film feels like it has been made by a talentless teenager, with a love for heavy metal, a fetishistic obsession with the aesthetic of 'grunge' and a disturbing fascination with Charles Manson. For someone so supposedly enamored with horror movies Rob Zombie seems to be either unintentionally (or indeed intentionally) ignorant that their chief concern is to invoke a sense of fear in the audience and that the reason Carpenter's film is so well renowned and loved is precisely because it does THIS so disturbingly, effectively and memorably.

    This film is ridiculous, infantile and an insult to a truly seminal work of horror cinema. Doctor, what's your prognosis?

  • Comment number 94.

    Yes, Halloween II should definitely be on the list. It's vile and tedious and doesn't have a single redeeming feature. I can't imagine Bride Wars being any more loathsome and despicable.

    But even if it does make the list, that would still leave five slots open and there's only 10 weeks to go. We, and Dr Kermode, should be safe. (Sex And The City 2 doesn't open till next year.)

  • Comment number 95.

    I am going to stick my neck out on this one -- gran torino struck me as a truly awful film. Once you look beyond the I-am-Clint-I-am-cool veneer, there's poor acting, a horrible script and the underlying message that white vigilantes are really a blessing. Oh please....

  • Comment number 96.

    Hey Mark, there have been some real duds this year, and I have seen Bride War mainly because of Anne Hathaway who I believe is a brilliant actress her best film also came out this year Rachel Getting Married, not seen Couples Retreat yet but it does look awful, I've got a few movie suggestions for you that may be worse than Bride Wars, firstly THE LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT, the remake of the cult horror classic by Wes Craven which wasn't that good anyway and secondly HORSEMEN OF THE APOLAPYSE a straight to DVD movie starring Dennis Quiad and Zhang Ziyi, hope that these two make your list, not that I have anything against you as a film critic if you do end up leaving.

  • Comment number 97.

    Mark, your job is safe. In order to list films worse than Bride Wars we would have to sit through Bride Wars to quantify is awfulness. Most people are just not prepared to do that. For all I know the Transfromers movie is worse but I haven't seen that either.

  • Comment number 98.

    I have seen Bride Wars. His Job is Safe Believe Me! If there were 10 worse films in 2009 I'll become his personal hairdresser.

  • Comment number 99.

    Why all the bad press for T4? I honestly liked it-alot.
    Transformers 2-even the heavenly Fox couldn't make it any good; GI Joe- in the bin after 20 mins-easily one of the worst films ever made.

  • Comment number 100.

    'The Ugly Truth' should really have some consideration here. It was painful, predictable and dreadfully unfunny. In fact, the writing is so terrible that it is genuinely insulting to the intelligence of the audience.

 

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