2010 Calvin Awards: Worst Performance

February 10, 2010

Leaning over like this is the highlight of her performance.

Is it bad films that make for bad actors, or is it bad actors that make films bad? In most cases it's probably the former, but this year's Worst Performances would have sucked in any film.

2009 was the year that Megan Fox hype went plaid. It was hard to turn around and not see her face preening from a magazine cover, TV screen or billboard with that fake sexy- pouty face, bragging about how much she likes sex, just in case you didn't get it. And hey, let's face it, she's rather (generically) hot. But not so much more than any random Victoria's Secret model, and they aren't given roles in major motion pictures.

When not being a fame whore over the past two years, Fox found the time to reprise her role as, uh... wait a second... it'll come to me... Hot Chick in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, displaying all the range of a snail nailed to the floor. Michael Bay put out a fake behind-the-scenes clip positing that she was just another of the many CGI creations in the film, which while funny, does a great disservice to the fine performance given by Optimus Prime.

Second place goes to another performer doing his best impression of an aspen tree, Taylor Lautner in New Moon. While it's maybe a little unfair to pick on an 18-year-old's performance, it's also not our fault a major motion picture hinged its romantic triangle on the acting chops of a dude whose qualifications for the job were his hair and his abs. Dear Taylor, welcome to Hayden Christensen-land.

Third place goes to a more established actor, one who's been allowed to be the dead, empty center of too many movies to count now, thanks to family connections. Danny Huston's latest crime was stinking up the joint with the main villain role in X-Men Origins: Wolverine, displaying all the subtlety of Snidely Whiplash, sucking the life out of every moment by chewing the scenery. Please, please, please keep this guy away from comic book films.

While Shia LaBeouf has taken over the mantle of "most punchable face in Hollywood" from Ryan Phillippe, he has shown that he doesn't have to be the worst part of a film. That's barely the case in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen as he tries and fails yet again to establish his "tough guy" presence, instead achieving more of the effect if you'd cast Woody Allen but stripped the talent. Seriously, we're not buying this guy, so stop trying to sell him to us.


Sometimes it's the smaller roles that can really destroy a film. While you likely don't know Julie White's name, her performance as Shia's mother in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen was a black hole of anti-comedy, as she gave the worst "high" performance since Reefer Madness. Then for bad measure, they brought her smothering character back into the final battle so she could get in the way and say unfunny things all over again. Carol Burnett you ain't.

Sixth place finds us dishonouring Michael Cera's one-note performance in Year One, wherein he took his now-standard simpering wimp to Biblical times. While the idea of Superbad in ancient times could provide for some theoretical comedy, Cera simply looked lost, with his trademark mumbly line deliveries wildly out of place. To quote a legend: "My dear boy, why don't you try acting?"

It's rare when one of our favorite films features a performance bad enough to make the list, but Eli Roth's "Bear Jew" in Inglourious Basterds was foul enough to crack our top ten. Here, the most prominent "gorno" director proved to be just as subtle in front of the camera as behind it, with his mugging bringing each scene he's in to, if not a screeching halt, at least slamming on the brakes of Tarantino's runaway Toyota of a movie.

In eighth spot ... oh, hey! Nic Cage! It's so good to see you again. We had four potential ridiculous performances to nominate him for this year (two "just" voice performances), this year picking his role in Knowing. While crazy Nic Cage roles often come in both "comatose" and "monkey on crack" varieties, Knowing featured both types of Cage insanity. It's no The Wicker Man, but it'll do until Season of the Witch comes along.

Ninth place goes to Ray Liotta in Observe and Report as a lewd and licentious detective investigating a streaker at a shopping mall. Liotta stopped acting about ten years ago so his lack of performance in this role isn't anything surprising, but it's certainly notable for how you can stand out as a bad actor even in a horrible movie.

Lastly, we have yet another one of the Twilight performers, Robert Pattinson, another actor hired on the strength of his hair and ability to stare into space blankly. While he's to be forgiven somewhat for not-so-secretly considering the material crap, it's also not a great idea to have your emotional center of your big romantic movie be about as interesting or emotive as boiled celery.

Not quite receiving enough of our wrath to make this list were Allison Janney's painfully irritating harpy in Away We Go, wrestler John Cena (‘nuff said?) in 12 Rounds, rank amateur Micah Sloat in the runaway horror hit Paranormal Activity, Sacha Baron Cohen in Bruno and Ryan Reynolds in The Proposal. (Reagen Sulewski/BOP)

Best Actor
Best Actress
Best Album
Best Breakthrough Performance
Best Cast
Best Director
Best DVD
Best Overlooked Film
Best Picture
Best Scene
Best Screenplay
Best Supporting Actor
Best Supporting Actress
Best TV Show
Best Use of Music
Best Videogame
Worst Performance
Worst Picture

Top 10
Position Person Film Total Points
1 Megan Fox Transfomers: Revenge of the Fallen 58
2 Taylor Lautner The Twilight Saga: New Moon 47
3 Danny Huston X-Men Origins: Wolverine 30
4 Shia LaBeouf Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen 26
5 Michael Cera Year One 25
6 Julie White Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen 24
7 Eli Roth Inglourious Basterds 22
8 Nic Cage Knowing 21
9 Robert Pattinson The Twilight Saga: New Moon 20
10 Ray Liotta Observe and Report 19



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