AnnieI'm calling it now - Sony's superficial, screeching remake of Annie will go down in history as one of the most trite and terrible kiddie films of the '10s.
I pity the foolish parent who, without other options, got dragged along by their kiddies to this terrible and tone-deaf affair during the Christmas season. It's just beyond awful, from the shrill musical numbers to the bland acting and flat script.
Fair warning: less demanding kiddies may pick up some of the catchier, Autotuned-to-death songs and sing them for weeks afterward. Rest assured, their renditions will be better than the movie's, but any film that could turn "Moonquake Lake" into an earworm needs to come with a warning label.
The Last AirbenderFirst, a distinction. Avatar: The Last Airbender, the Nickelodeon series, is one of the finest television series of the 21st century, a stirring and beautiful epic that successfully tackled stories far trickier than its audience demanded. However, The Last Airbender, M. Night Shyamalan's butchering of it, is one of the worst films ever made.
Your kids may feel a strong urge to watch it out of some misplaced reverence for the series, but don't let them convince you. The acting is atrocious, the story muddled, the effects third-rate and the tone so bizarrely grave that you may question whether The Last Airbender was intended as the most self-effacing comedy ever.
Alvin and the ChipmunksConstructed for as many cheap laughs as possible, Alvin and the Chipmunks is one of those movies in which solid actors are routinely humiliated, forced to endure mountains of potty humor while surrendering the screen to shoddily animated CGI creatures. Parents should stay far away, for the sake of both their ear drums (I'd prefer listening to subway trains careen around corners over this soundtrack) and eyeballs (the titular rodents may haunt your dreams). It's just a miserable experience, through and through.
The Cat in the HatThe fact that this candy-colored trainwreck is officially titled "Dr. Suess' The Cat in the Hat" is a savage slap in the face to the imaginative author whose work is utterly misrepresented here.
Mike Myers' Cat is the stuff of nightmares, tossing in uncomfortably adult jokes as he mentors (read: menaces) two young children.
How terrible is it? Dr. Suess' widow threatened to take anyone who tried to adapt another one of her husband's books with legal action.
Furry VengeanceFurry Vengeance is insulting to anyone who watches it. The script's idea of a good time is having a skunk spray Brendan Fraser repeatedly, or having "cutesy" woodland creatures build ridiculous contraptions in order to wreak havoc on the humans in their neighborhood.
There's absolutely nothing original or funny about Furry Vengeance, but that aside, it doesn't even successfully cater to the most undemanding of toddlers. The slapstick sucks, the acting is worse and the only emotion it evokes is ire at your having wasted time on it.
What was the target audience for this film? No one will truly enjoy it - though your most immature kids may chuckle at enough of the gag-worthy gags to make you reconsider military school.
DoogalIs Doogal the worst animated film of all time? It may have a claim. Lazy, charm-deficient, ugly and narratively incoherent, it's one long, uncomfortable train-wreck of a movie, bad in ways that we didn't even realize a film could be bad.
From its horribly unlikable protagonist to its slog of a story, absolutely nothing works, and one has to wonder whether anyone behind the scenes could have possibly thought that they were making anything less than a steaming pile of crap.
If your kid likes this, you should revisit your approach to parenting.
The Polar ExpressI still get shivers thinking about the creepy, dead-eyed puppets who populate this holiday pic. Was the point to scare children so badly that they'd stop looking forward to Christmas altogether? T
That aside, The Polar Express is utterly inert. It just lies there on the screen, stiff as a corpse, never revealing even the slightest of dramatic stakes. Parents will sit in abject agony, wondering how 90 minutes could feel like such a lifetime, then despair over how to correct the confusing messages of blind faith that the movie recklessly perpetuates.
Paul Blart: Mall CopHitting yourself repeatedly in the face has more comedic value than this waste of celluloid, in which Kevin James plays a bumbling mall security guard whose character development begins and ends at "fat."
There are so few successful jokes in the pic that it works best as an unintentional comedy, one in which James' overacting and the overwhelming stupidity of the Die Hard-aping plot get more laughs than the potty humor.
Paul Blart: Mall Cop appeals to kids who think that making fun of fat people is a terrific leisure activity - any parents trapped in front of it would surely prefer to be run over by a portly mall cop on a Segway than endure any more.
Spy Kids 3-D: Game OverAny residual goodwill Robert Rodriguez had left over from the first two Spy Kids was utterly undone by this gimmicky, pointless rehash, which doesn't even have the dignity to bring back Alexa Vega (aka the only Spy Kid who could actually act) outside of a cameo.
Following Juni (Daryl Sabara) as he infiltrates a loud, annoying video game in hopes of doing something or other, Game Over is about as entertaining as watching someone play the same level of a lame video game without success for 90 minutes. Parents will especially despise the 3D, which is ugly and poorly implemented, and seeing Sylvester Stallone laid so low.
SuperBabies: Baby Geniuses 2Widely hailed as one of the worst movies ever made, SuperBabies: Baby Geniuses 2 is the golden standard by which all other terrible movies are judged. Its script is so roundly atrocious, its acting so wooden, its visual effects so insultingly bad that it would be more beneficial for your kids to watch The Human Centipede: Full Sequence.
That alternative would certainly lead to less nightmares for the parents. SuperBabies: Baby Geniuses 2 is so confusing, generic and unspeakably disfigured that there may be some who argue it doesn't even qualify as a film. "But the babies talk, Dad, it's going to be great!" Your kids may protest. But trust me - if a copy of this trainwreck ever makes it within 20 feet of your television, just punch a hole through the screen. It's safer that way.