the-help_movie_web.pngFor every good film Hollywood produces, there are stinkers. But good and bad depend on the beholder. Here are this observer’s picks for Worst of 2011.

1. Immortals
Henry Cavill and Luke Evans, who play Theseus and Zeus respectively, are two actors to watch: Cavill in the upcoming Man of Steel and Evans in a slew of films such as The Raven and The Hobbit. Both are stellar actors. Unfortunately, they signed on for the worst film to grace theater screens in 2011, replete with such gory themes as dismemberment, ashy men and Mickey Rourke as a human demon — all magnified in 3D.


2. The Heart Specialist
A successful physician, Sidney Zachary, has the dying wish to become a comedian. Unfortunately for his audience, he’s a horrible comedian. To make matters worse, Dr. Zachary is forced to trudge along this movie’s weak plotline and even weaker comedy. It’s always good to support black films — that is, good black films. Despite its African-American cast, The Heart Specialist is not one of them. There have been doctor’s visits that were funnier.

3. The Three Musketeers
Evans and Ray Stevenson steal the show. Alas, it is an exercise in idiotic, cockeyed nincompoopery. Despite a talented cast also featuring Milla Jovovich, Christoph Waltz and Orlando Bloom, this film managed to stink up movie screens across America and beyond. It’s also a classic example of why classic films should not be remade. New special effects technology is not enough reason to redo a great film.

4. Something Borrowed
Ginnifer Goodwin’s Rachel steals the fiancé of Kate Hudson’s Darcy — because she saw him first. It ruins their friendship, as well as 103 minutes for the people who paid to see this movie. This bastard child of Bridesmaids is doubly offensive: to the sisterhood bonds of women, and to the romantic comedy genre.

5. The Double
Not to be confused with the Dominic Cooper hit The Devil’s Double, this Double stars Topher Grace and Richard Gere as Ben and Paul, respectively. Paul is a former CIA agent and Russian assassin. Grace is an analyst and a Russian assassin. It’s not altogether clear what the situation is in this film. The only clarity that can be gleaned is that it’s a poor use of Gere’s talent, and Grace is doing his movie career no favors by being in it.

6. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
The only strange tide this latest in the franchise sails is how boring it is. No wonder Bloom and Keira Knightley opted out of this one. Even the addition of Penelope Cruz doesn’t help its appeal. The only good thing about this film is Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp). Jack stays true to form,
but isn’t enough to make this film interesting.

7. The Help
The major players of this cast have been nominated for Golden Globes and no doubt will be nominated for Academy Awards. Why is it that a black experience story written by a white woman (Kathryn Stockett) becomes a phenomenon, but the same type of black experience story written by a black woman who lived it (Alice Childress’ Like One of the Family: Conversations from a Domestic’s Life) gets no love?

Every year there is hope that filmmakers will get it right — and every year hopes are dashed, as grating and appalling  garbage demeans movie screens
across America. With the latest in technology, that garbage can be experienced in all of its HD, IMAX and 3D infamy. Here’s wishing moviegoers a happier 2012.

Photo: The Help