As the year winds down to a close and with award season is already underway, everyone is looking back on all the fine performances in cinema over 2009. But to truly recall all the great performances, we have to slag through some pretty awful ones. In an attempt to remember each fascinating portrayal of our noble actors, we wish we could forget some of the less-than-noble actors. And here are the ten that we wish we could forget… forever.
Dylan Walsh, The Stepfather
Hollywood loves the remakes, even if these remakes are giant cinematic turds. One of the biggest remake turds of the year was the lackluster Stepfather. Nip/Tuck’s Dylan Walsh never seemed menacing or normal, which failed on both fronts. The only thing in danger of being murdered by Walsh in this film was his career, and any hope of a decent PG-13 horror movie remake.
Sigh… at least Amber Heard spent most of the movie in a bikini.
Vern Troyer, The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus
After all the buzz The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus following Heath Ledger’s death, I was terribly excited for this film. It was a fizzle in my opinion, but nothing was more fizzly than Vern Troyer’s pathetic attempt at acting. I respect the guy for making the most of out his situation, and the dude was hilarious as Mini-Me. But he can’t deliver a line to save his life. Sure, he’s short and can play the role of circus freak fine. But why didn’t Terry Gilliam choose a little person who can act… like Peter Dinklage. ’Cause that guy is amazing.
Sigh… at least Mike Myers wasn’t along for the ride.
Katherine Heigl, The Ugly Truth
Does this former model turned chubby actress with bad teeth turned TV diva think she is the latest rom com queen? How can she after being upstaged by your male co-star three times over (by Seth Rogen in Knocked Up, then by James Marsden in 27 Dresses and now by Gerard Butler in The Ugly Truth). The ugly truth for Heigl is that she is a mediocre actress who just can’t carry a movie by herself, and her performance this year was cringe-worthy. She can’t even do a convincing restaurant orgasm like Meg Ryan, and who really believed that her character didn’t understand it looked like she was giving a guy a tug job on a jumbotron?
Sigh… at least her teeth looked good in this movie.
Megan Fox, Jennifer’s Body
Okay, I will admit it. Megan Fox is sizzling hot. You want a saucy brunette to stand around and look pretty, and you’ll have a hard time finding someone to match Megan Fox in this department. But acting? Well, that’s a different story. Anything beyond a half-naked spread in Maxim, and you have a truly terrible performance. Some say that Fox was perfect to deliver Diablo Cody’s Juno-speak in this film, but every time Fox opened her mouth, it sounded like a wombat was caught in a net of piano wire. Seriously, she was less scary when she opened her mouth to devour her latest victim.
Sigh… at least this part led to her almost naked pictures that leaked online earlier in the year.
Hugh Hefner, Miss March
This movie was so forgettable that I almost didn’t include it in the list. But a quick recollection of Hugh Hefner playing Hugh Hefner reminded me that this guy is best left behind the scenes at Playboy. The film’s directors confided in me during an interview that they originally had Robert Wagner playing the role of Hef but changed it when the skin mag icon decided it would be fun. I would have rather had Robert Wagner myself.
Sigh… at least the movie had boobs in it.
Neal McDonough, Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li
I know this is an easy target. After all, when the pinnacle of your career is as the bad guy in the remake of Walking Tall and last year on Desperate Housewives, you aren’t exactly award season material. But who could forget this man’s god-awful turn as the villain in this latest Street Fighter fiasco. There were so many things wrong with this movie, but it was the cheeky villain with the genetic Irish brogue that stands out in my mind.
Sigh… at least no one actually saw this movie.
Michael Moore, Capitalism: A Love Story
You might call me on the carpet for this one because Capitalism: A Love Story is a documentary (well, pseudo-documentary, at least). But you will also have to admit that any appearance Michael Moore makes is a performance, and his presence in this movie was one that many people would like to forget. After all, here’s one of the biggest, greediest capitalists on the planet bemoaning the evil of corporations in which he has personally invested. Does anyone think this multi-millionaire still looks out of the little guy?
Sigh… at least this isn’t in the running for an Oscar.
Michael Cera & Jack Black, Year One
Here is a one-two punch for a film that needs to be taken together. Both Michael Cera and Jack Black can be funny in their own rights, even if they pretty much retread the same performance in every film they do. But put them together, and its oil-and-water chemistry. Hollywood has a long history of pairing successful actors together with disastrous results, and Year One was a perfect storm of zero chemistry between all of its stars, the writers and an otherwise decent director.
Sigh… at least it was so bad there won’t be a Year Two.
Eddie Murphy, Imagine That
Yeah, I know. Here’s another easy target. Remember when Eddie Murphy was box office gold? Those of you under the age of 25 probably don’t, but I’m sure you’ve heard your parents talk about this magical time known as the 80s. Well, the 80s are over, and that means that Murphy is box office stench now. His movie Imagine That was held up as an example of non-franchise films ruining Paramount, and for good reason. Here was a film that should have been about the kids in the movie, and it was all about Eddie Murphy and his awkwardly unfunny nature in modern times.
Sigh… at least it wasn’t Norbit.
Hilary Swank, Amelia
With all of these mainstream films mentioned above, let’s not forget a moldy slice of Oscar-bait that came out not too long ago. Hilary Swank gave us what is probably a pretty spot-on portrayal of the legendary aviatrix. The problem is that Amelia Earhart wasn’t really that compelling or charismatic of a person. Swank is a good actress, but this was an empty performance, not seen since her role in The Black Dahlia.
Sigh… at least we had Amy Adams in Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian.
Read More: 2009 Year in Review