Well, organizations around the world have made their picks for the cream of the crop for movies released in 2012. For me, the day the Academy announces the nominations is like Christmas Eve, with the actual date of the ceremony being better than opening presents under the tree in the early morning. I’ll be getting around to talking about the Oscars and the most prize-worthy selections the closer we get to the last Sunday of February, but for now, let’s focus on the dregs of the last year. The Razzies, which “honors” the worst films of the year, goes hand in hand with the Academy Awards, and even if I didn’t agree with every pick of theirs, I was glad to see some of my least favorite flicks get reamed, inspiring me to fire off a few choice thoughts. This list of the Bottom 10 of 2012 is mostly made up of movies that had the potential to be good and turned out to be anything but, and in my opinion, all of them deserve a good Bronx cheer, though I may be repeating myself on some list entries. Let me add, as a final bit of schadenfreude, I can’t stand when idiotic movies get recognized for excellence just because their makeup or visual effects are halfway decent, and thankfully none of these duds made it on Oscar’s radar.

10. Battleship Poor Taylor Kitsch. The past year was not good to the star of Friday Night Lights, with three huge releases tanking big time at the domestic box office. Neither John Carter or Savages were any great shakes, but no one could have made this Hasbro-sponsored monstrosity work. An overlong story jam-packed with horrendous action movie dialogue helped sink this account of an alien invasion amid Navy war games, but truthfully, it never should have made it out of port. Ker-plooey!

9. Rock of Ages — After viewing this, I wondered if I should try to incite a class action suit on behalf of Dee Snider, Bret Michaels, Jon Bon Jovi and all the other 1980s rock gods whose images were besmirched by this unappealing tribute to the decade’s best. You can’t say Tom Cruise didn’t do his part to make this memorable, but every other member of the cast gave us nothing, from Alec Baldwin and Russell Brand in one of the most awkward love scenes ever to Catherine Zeta-Jones as the no-nonsense protesting prude who’s actually a former groupie. The best back-and-forth are the two leads comparing how pathetic their lives are: “I’m a stripper at the Venus Club.” “I’m in a boy band.” “You win.”

8. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 2 — If you read Stephenie Meyer’s books, you already knew what to expect from the last in the Twilight series and probably still gladly bought a ticket to sit in the dark to giggle every time Robert Pattinson or Taylor Lautner came onscreen. Far be it from me to jump on the hater bandwagon, but those seats can be pretty comfortable. I admit, on its own, Part 2 was no worse than the rest of the bunch, yet as a finale, it only made the previous four movies look even frailer. Yes, Kristen Stewart’s acting as newborn vampire Bella was as weak as ever, and yes, the relationship between her daughter and Jacob Black defied description. Still, the worst offense was its fake-out ending that provided no catharsis for those of us who wanted something, anything to happen. Who else was ready to barf into their popcorn buckets with the quote, “And then we continued blissfully into this small but perfect piece of our forever?”

7. The Watch — Ben Stiller, Jonah Hill, Vince Vaughn, Richard Ayoade. Four men who are funny in everything, right? You wouldn’t know it watching a flat comedy like this, with the quartet portraying a group of guys on the lookout for extraterrestrial infiltration. What might have been a cross between Men in Black and Ghostbusters proved to be a snoozer in which laughs were completely alien.

6. Taken 2 — A man who’s kicking ass all over Paris to save the life of his kidnapped daughter? You have our attention. A man directing said daughter via phone in a different European city on the best way to save him and his ex-wife? You’ve lost our attention. The sequel to the thrill-a-minute actioner was a needless follow-up to a movie that struck gold on a fluke in the first place, proving Liam Neeson should try to go back to making quality cinema rather than the string of crap he’s done the past few years. This is how I imagine his agent’s pitch: Star in six movies every year, assign each one a number, then roll a die to determine which one will be watchable.

5. One for the Money — Call me crazy, but I like Katherine Heigl. Even so, it’s getting harder and harder to defend her movies, and her role as ditzy bounty hunter Stephanie Plum doesn’t help. No one would — or did — buy the Grey’s Anatomy role as the Jersey girl with a love for cupcakes and cheese balls. Even Debbie Reynolds as Stephanie’s daffy grandma couldn’t save this misfire, and hopefully that will save us from the possibility of having to suffer through 18 more adaptations of Janet Evanovich’s books.

4. Cloud Atlas — The 2012 film that reached higher than any other wound up enduring the greatest fall. Its overall message about love and harmony was admirable, but you know what they say about good intentions. With Tom Hanks, Halle Berry and the rest of the hapless performers playing multiple people across time of varying ethnicities and genders in a technique that hints at but never verifies reincarnation, it makes you wonder just what directors Tom Twyker and the Wachowskis had envisioned when they started. Maybe Larry — now Lana — Wachowski’s sex change was the driving force for a story that embraces the idea that we shouldn’t see each other in terms of skin color or other distinctions. If that were the case, they should have come up with more convincing makeup jobs.

3. The Raven — Following in the footsteps of movies like Sleepy Hollow and From Hell, this period piece about Edgar Allen Poe tracking a killer reenacting some of his greatest works might have been good, clean stupid fun. Instead it was just stupid, not to mention ugly. John Cusack looks a little bit like Poe and the similarity in style to director James McTeigue’s V for Vendetta is apparent, but neither seems to have put much effort into this dreary “thriller” that severely lacks Poe’s famed suspense.

2. House at the End of the Street — We all make mistakes, and Jennifer Lawrence’s one big blunder of the past year was letting her name get attached to this worse-than-average slasher flick. Sandwiched between the actress’ phenomenal showings in The Hunger Games and Silver Linings Playbook, hopefully a mistake as bad as this won’t prevent her from getting the accolades she deserves for her better movie. Still, Lawrence can’t be blamed for the awfulness of a story about a new girl in town drawn to a loner living in the house where his sister murdered his parents. Or did she? Mind-numbingly predictable in every way and unusually tame even for a PG-13 title, the acronym “HATES” used in the marketing sums it up perfectly.

1. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter — OK, I already denounced this horror/history movie, but after seeing another picture about the title figure, it makes me realize all the more how truly awful this was. Does Timur Bekmambetov have any concept of the phrase “tongue-in-cheek?” Apparently not, because he clearly wants us to take such a silly premise seriously and can’t even go without indulging his baser urges. You know the ones: the slow down/speed up/slow down action sequences, the unsightly desaturated cinematography and the lack of comic timing. And you thought Twilight would be the worst vampire movie of the year…

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