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The Bride Wars Challenge Divorce

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Mark Kermode | 17:31 UK time, Wednesday, 30 December 2009

It is done--I said early in the year that if there were ten films worse than Bride Wars in 2009 I would resign my commission and the world would be one film critic down. This is how the Bride Wars Challenge played out its final hand.

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  • Comment number 1.

    One problem is that often a film has one good element amongst all the dross. Had Harry Brown not starred Michael Caine it a) probably would never have been made, and b) wouldn't have been half as good, which is not saying much as it was a very bad movie. In 2009 why are we still remaking Death Wish?

  • Comment number 2.

    If I didn't love my MacBook, I'd punch the screen so hard it'd smash the living smuglights out of him.

    And a Happy New Year, sir.

  • Comment number 3.

    Aw now Mark. Glad you're staying about. You're one of the few people I agree with, for the vast majority of the time.

    However, 2012 was painful rubbish. Great effects then rubbish green screen stuff for some reason. Dialogue so clunky it rattled and a pitiful plot. Worse than Bride Wars, oh yes. yes indeed.

    Doing it again next year then Doc?


  • Comment number 4.

    Remakes.....? In 2010, The 'Clash Of The Titans' remake will be released. The tag line in the teaser is 'Titans will Clash!' I bet it took them a while to come up with that one.

    Still, I'm glad Terminator Salvation was on Mark's list. Please...for the love of the audience, don't make another one.

  • Comment number 5.

    Good points, all well made. Thanks for all the Blogs, recommendations and 'steer clear' warnings. Looking forward to a good 2010. Thanks Mark

    Now, for 2010...if you can wear 10 jumpers/cardigans worse than that one my aunt will give up knitting.

  • Comment number 6.

    @JohnGammon revenge movies keep getting made because people are still frightened of being attacked by thugs. Also, because they are ever so much fun. I personally never tire of them.

    Well done Mark, glad we get you for another year.

  • Comment number 7.

    Mark looks so happy in that clip, you can almost see the pure happiness oozing out of his ears... In a good way, of course. :D

    We're glad you're still here.

  • Comment number 8.

    Relief all around, I think. Actually, it should be said that Bride Wars was back in January; the first film Dr K saw this year.

    But what are the odds that come January 8th we're going to be on a "Ten Films Worse Than Did You Hear About The Morgans?" challenge?

  • Comment number 9.

    Ten worse movies than Bride Wars can easily be found, without even looking too hard really. It was silly of Mark to play it so seriously, he was never going to quit because of it and no one would have expected or wanted him to.

  • Comment number 10.

    Careful, Herr Doctor. Hubris is not a sin to commit lightly.

    And, let's by honest, you were never really going to give up a lucrative livelihood over a silly bet.

    All that aside, I hope you're enjoying the holiday period and I look forward to more of your reviews in 2010.

  • Comment number 11.

    A strong sigh of relief is breathed by all film fans. Friday afternoons would not be the same without you doctor, and we'd all have to sit through a lot more terrible films without prior warning. HAPPY NEW YEAR!

  • Comment number 12.

    What about Seven Pounds, Mark? Wasn't that a terrible film?

    Moving into the forthcoming new year, I can't wait for rants on:

    Legion - check out Spider Gran in the trailer!
    Clash of the Titans
    Robin Hood
    The Book of Eli
    How to Train Your Dragon
    Alice in Wonderland

    Looks like Happy New Year, indeed!

  • Comment number 13.

    3D aside, I think Kermode will like Alice in Wonderland. Burton's on a roll at the moment and the trailer looks great

  • Comment number 14.

    great news today, great news hooray!
    hooray hooray. dr kermode is here to stay.
    so grab your pudding and nest by the fire,
    cause the docs got transformers 3,4,5,6 and 7 to slate!

    So, what about the KERMODIANS? Please Doc could you do a podcast of the winners and nominees!

  • Comment number 15.

    Quell surprise Dr K.

    I won't push the point but Wolverine was way worse than Terminator Salvation, and that is saying something.

    2010 does look like it could throw a whole slew of cr@p at us (Nicholas Cage is in at least two - but also Bad Lieutenant which may turn out to be OK); sequels and remakes galore.

    So go easy on the "If I see ten films worse than..." in 2010 Dr K.

    PS. Alice in Wonderland should turn out OK. It's hard to tell that story badly, providing the casting's right - and Burton's attracted some good actors to his version.
    How to Train Your Dragon? Undemanding kid's film, I'm sure the target audience will enjoy it.
    Book of Eli? There's a lot of anticipation about this one on the sci-fi movie blogs; at least it has Gary Oldman in it too.
    Be interesting to see if it turns out to be a 'Postman' or a 'Mad Max'. (I just hope Eli's book doesn't turn out to be the Bible, US Constitution - or something mundane like a Haynes manual!)

  • Comment number 16.

    I'd be interested to know what two films make up the rest of the top 10...

  • Comment number 17.

    I'm definitely glad you're not going away, who else would compare a cartoon favorably to Eraserhead? I only want to say that I had actually guessed you would give a good review to the Sherlock Holmes movie long before you did so. Why? Over the two years I've been listening to you I've slowly come to realize that you are, like most interesting critics, a contrarian. Over time you even go contrary to yourself. Therefore, at some point, you had to like a Guy Ritchie film, just as you eventually came around to Miss Knightly. Plus you had been anticipating disliking it for so long that the effect was surely anti-hype. Just as no movie can be as good as one's best hopes when too long anticipated, no despised filmmaker can be as bad as one fears he will be with a year to dread the experience in advance. Merry Christmas from Oklahoma.

  • Comment number 18.

    Yea! More Dr K for 2010.

    There will be good and bad films: we need our Dr K (and Dr M) to guide us so we do not misspend our Hollywood stimulus funds on useless films. (“The Last Airbender”, July 2010 anyone?)

    Here’s wishing for Dr K/Dr M *video* podcasts starting in 2010 and watching many more rants in years to come.

    Denver, Colorado.
    B.A., Penn State, M.B.A., University of Colorado. (with a little Bath and Hull Uni thrown in for good measure).

  • Comment number 19.

    Fair enough on the 'Bride Wars' front but, I must admit, I am green with envy. In my normal-person life I have to choose very carefully which film to watch - cinema is generally a once, maybe twice (if its a good week) a week thing - while at home, there are SOOOO many films that I am desperate to see from the history of cinema that I have yet to see. The fact that you are quite happy to sit through Bride Wars AND Couples Retreat AGAIN shows how lucky and priveledged you are. To apparently threaten to give up a job that I am sure every comment-er on this site would die (or at least sell relatives) for is a threat that ... seems, if you were honest, you wouldn't really follow through with ... (but if you make a similar challenge, maybe you could offer your job to someone else in the process).

    Website details at the bottom.


  • Comment number 20.

    I'd rather watch Terminator Salvation than Bride Wars. I even brought the DVD.

  • Comment number 21.


  • Comment number 22.

    This was not a great year by any means and I haven't seen Bride Wars so I can't compare it to the stinkers I have seen. But surely it can't have been worse than Nicholas Cage's "Knowing"??

  • Comment number 23.

    I love the smugness at the end of the video as you sit there in your smug sweater drinking your smug mulled wine? All snug and smug with festive smuggery. The only people who are ineffably more smug at this moment in time is all of us who look forward to another year - and hopefully many more (please don't ever issue such a dangerous challenge again) - of your wittertaining enthusiasm and critical opinion. I think I speak for most of the people here when I say HAPPY NEW YEAR MARK! And if you read this too Mr. Mayo; HAPPY NEW YEAR! I look forward to listening to the New Year special.

  • Comment number 24.

    I understand Dr. Kermode's reasons for setting up the bet and I believe he would have kept his promise. I believe Dr. Kermode truly loves film and cinema, but he had become disillusioned with the slow rotting of hollywood cinema over the last few years. He reached the point where he just felt like he couldn't take it any more; 'enough is enough, if there truly is ten films worse than Bride Wars then cinema and everything I believe in is dead. It cannot be saved. It is too late.'

    To Dr. Kermode's relief there are only seven and not only is he happy to keep his job, but he is more happy about the fact that the state of cinema at the moment is not as bad as he feared nine months ago. With this knowledge safe in his heart, I am sure he will continue to critique films with a new found enthusiasm and belief for many years to come.

    Congratulations Dr. Kermode!

    p.s. still want to smack that smug face at the end of that video though
    p.s.s. and to be honest, even if he quit his radio 5 job, im sure he would have voiced his opinion somewhere else, like he could live keeping his opinions to himself~

  • Comment number 25.

    It is a big shame about Terminator: Salvation. I did think parts in the first ten minutes or so were suggesting a really good film ahead, the one shot in which John Connor is moving about the landscape then gets into that helicopter type thing, only for it to be hit and then turned on its side, for me personally, was a gut wrenching but powerful bit of cinematography.

    Alas, it did get a bit awful and predictable after that.

    I would like to make one point here about movie trailers: One of the original trailers for Terminator Salvation really did get my blood pumping due to its emotional impact; it was the one that featured a song by Nine Inch Nails. At the time it got me massively excited about the film as the images and music worked so well and of course, were purely poetic license to cover up the disappointing mundanity of the finished product. I point you again to the Pearl Harbour teaser trailer which contained a very moving piece by Hans Zimmer that was originally used in The Thin Red Line a couple of years previous (of which i did not realise at the time).

    My excitement led to disappointment. This is just a couple of many times I have been led to believe, purely from a movies trailer, that what I am going to get in the finished product is more of this amazingness, but in reality it is nowhere near as powerful as what I had encountered in the 2 minute preview. Has anyone else experienced this and been left rather annoyed?

  • Comment number 26.

    Have to say I enjoyed that blog, and the look of unrepentant glee on Mark's face immensely. Special mention also has to go to the timing of the 'victory sip'.


    I will be sure to toast your victory on New Year's, Doc. Cheers!

  • Comment number 27.

    I bet that's taught you a lesson in making rash statements in the future.

    I'm glad you're staying, I wouldn't want one of the Ross brothers taking over your job.

    Happy New Year :-)

  • Comment number 28.

    Overall it's been a pretty good year in all honesty. Slumdog Millionaire, The Wrestler, Gran Torino, Let the Right One In, Moon, Where the Wild Things Are, The Hurt Locker, District 9, Star Trek, Harry Potter, Thirst, Away We Go, Red Cliff, Che, Coraline, Up, Paranormal Activity and A Serious Man were all great films and more than make up for dross like Transformers, which I happily avoided.

    The year even ended on a very positive note with Avatar actually being a pretty decent film rather than the colossal failure it could have been and Guy Richie making something that was actually entertaining. Here's to 2010.

  • Comment number 29.

    Happy new Year all.

    Good luck trying to top 'Avatar' next year, Hollywood.

  • Comment number 30.

    Kudos Dr. K, glad your staying about.

    Just make sure you don't do the same list in 2010, some of the films due for release will definitely jeopardise your job!

    Happy New Year sir!

    When does your tour start? I'm going to the Brighton Duke of York's gig :)

  • Comment number 31.

    OK Mark, you can stay (we wouldn't have let you go anyway!), but whoever wrote "Your are invited" in the title card should definitely be reconsidering their position...

  • Comment number 32.

    I have to disagree about Terminator Salvation, it isn't perfect but it isn't in my mind a bad film apart from the silly ending. The film could have been the greatest film this century and fans of the original 2 films would still have said it was the worst film in the universe.

    It is also a 1000% better than X Men Origines: Wolverine which seems to have been over looked by everyone for some bizarre reason.

    Fingers crossed 2010 will be a bumper year for good films with interesting stories and cracking dialogue. Though for some reason I get the feeling that nothing will change next year.

  • Comment number 33.

    Terminator 4 was rubbish. The bit with the original style Arnie was amazing though. But, first Terminator film I've seen where the terminators weren't actually scary. The start was good. But the rest of it was dire. McG should be ashamed. And shot.

    Why didn't it look anything like the clips from the original films. They were ace.

    Worse than Bride Wars? Oh yes.


  • Comment number 34.

    I'm glad Mark is staying, although recently he's been too nice to some crap films.

    I'd like to add City Rats to the pile, possibly the worst film since 1895.


  • Comment number 35.

    I haven't been to the cinema since Men in Black; I won't go for many reasons but like Mark I don't see the point in seeing a film with other people and having to put up with their behaviour and general existence. For me watching a film should be a solo activity, allowing you to reflect on what you have seen without feeling the need to justify your liking or disliking of the film to others, or without the compulsion to make idle conversation just for the sake of it. But people aside, the general standard of film-making has been declining over the years, so I'm glad I haven't wasted my money. How people can't already predetermine whether or not a film will be good just by looking at the stable it comes from, who directs it, who produces it, who writes it, is beyond me. Or to put it another way, one doesn't have to have swam down a sewer to know it stinks.

    The reason we have so many crappy films out there is precisely because you idiots who go to the cinema actually like watching them; you actually think "This film has to be better than the last one" and guess what it isn't, and you've just wasted your cash and you've helped keep a live a film franchise that should be stone dead. Whatever happened to common sense? Maybe when you wake up and stop feeding them, they will die, and more 'Let the Right One In's will be made rather than another Epic Movie or Disaster Movie.

    So I'm glad you're staying, Mark. God we need you, now more than ever. As for me, I'm going back to my DVD collection to which I've just added 'District 9', a superb film that wipes the floor with any mainstream Hollywood drek any day, without even trying.

  • Comment number 36.

    Mark, have you watched An Education and re-watched The Big Lebowski yet? I'd like to hear your thoughts.

  • Comment number 37.

    That's a good point. What if "An Education" and one or more of those Bollywood movies that you never review because they never have a press preview turned out to be worse than Bride Wars? Would you do the decent thing and resign? Hmmm? Eh?

    And what about all those movies that come out when you are (frequently) off which apparently you never go to see in your own time? I cite "Push" as my worst film of the year by some distance and definitely worse than "Terminator Salvation". I am convinced you never bothered to see it as it should have made your list or at least received 'very dishonourable mention'.

    Of course I am happy you are continuing to review movies in 2010 and hopefully beyond but in view of the above remarks, perhaps not quite so smug, if you please.

    P.S. Was that an alcoholic drink nestling in your humungous hands? What is the BBC coming to?

  • Comment number 38.

    Looks like we'll have to smother you as originally planned.

  • Comment number 39.

    @ I am I

    I kind of agree, it seems a bit ironic that so many people (here and elsewhere) rail against some pretty obviously crappy films. Its quite important not to pay and go see them - if you do, mre just get made, quite clearly. Anyway that's kind of what critics are there for no?

    (I do like going to the cinema, largely for the big screen experience, though it helps having a local artsy non-chain which keeps the yoof out)

  • Comment number 40.

    I think G.I. JOE should have been in the list before Bride Wars.

  • Comment number 41.

    Mark, talk about misogyny...have you seen "I Hope They Serve Beer In Hell?" Worst film of the year?

  • Comment number 42.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 43.

    Why do you keep saying Let The Right One is named after a Smiths song but it's actually a solo Morrissey song?

  • Comment number 44.

    Dr K!

    Why don't you and Mr Mayo put together a 'top ten films of the decade' show for five live??

    You've both done the show for roughly about 10 years now. What better way to celebrate your new 2 hour slot and your latest string of awards?

    Or at the very least get such a debate going on this blog!

    My best film of the noughties is 'There Will Be Blood'. Anyone else??

  • Comment number 45.

    I agree with a best film of the decade list. I'd like to hear Dr Ks take. Here's my list:

  • Comment number 46.

    Dear Dr. K,

    As you have done with Jenifer Aniston and other Hollywood stars; could I make a request that we discuss the matter of: Sam Worthington?

    As you well know since Terminator Salvation he seems to be taking over Hollywood rapidly and HE CAN'T ACT!

    I'd be interested to see what others think...

  • Comment number 47.

    Oh how we tried....

    But I guess we're stuck with you for another year. Worst of all, is that you're stuck with us.

    Seriously though, you're a beacon amidst critical psychophants

    Happy new year to you and your family

  • Comment number 48.

    Ah...Good year, have managed to not see any one of those top/bottom 8 films.

  • Comment number 49.

    How did GI Joe avoid inclusion?

  • Comment number 50.

    Mark, you look genuinely pleased that you're staying on to entertain/ inform/ generally grouch at your adoring fanbase. Which is nice! Love the Christmas jumper, btw :)

  • Comment number 51.

    Has nobody seen Street fighter: the legend of Chun Li, truly one of the worst films i have ever seen.

  • Comment number 52.

    Was Megashark vs Giant Octopus considered for this? I just saw it the other night and it has to be up there.

  • Comment number 53.

    Jonathan Ross is off the beeb, where do we start pushing for Mark to be the host of Film 2010?

  • Comment number 54.

    did Uwe Boll not make a film this year?



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