The 2011 FMR MAJOR Awards: Worst Director Nominees

Enclosed for your consideration are my list of Worst Directors of 2011. A word of note on this category. This, to me, was not an exercise in finding the Worst Pictures, and then selecting their directors. A lot of times, those crappy pics are helmed by directors taking a job because they’re looking for a break, or trying to pay their bills. They may get saddled with dogshit scripts and hack actors, but they take the gig anyways… And they almost certainly don’t have complete creative control.

The list compiled here are all name directors who had resources, clout and opportunity. These people had a shot to turn out a better pic, and they failed.



Michael Bay – “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” An enormous budget, plus the high concept of fighting, transforming robots. There’s a LOT of directors that could make a “Cool” Transformers movie. Bay failed to provide even a remotely acceptable framework. Back the power of the spectacle out of TF3 and it’s egregiously bad.


Clint Eastwood – “J. Edgar” Hoover is certainly someone worthy of a biopic. Aside from the historical value, he had sexual compulsions that should have been a recipe to add some sensationalism into the mix. But portraying an uptight, repressed, dry man with a slow, dull, ponderous film makes for an excruciating movie experience. ______________________________________________________________________

Jim Sheridan – “Dream House” Mr. Sheridan has been nominated for two Oscars (“My Left Foot” and “In the Name of the Father”) No danger of that here, this flick stank so bad he tried to have his name taken off of it. Nice try Jim. Own it. Put a better film in the can and you won’t have to worry about not having final cut. ______________________________________________________________________

Tarsem Singh- “Immortals” Singh had a $75 million budget, Mickey Rourke, and the ability to piggyback off of the goodwill leftover from “300”. He turned that into this testosterone addled fetishistic farce of a movie. Keep an eye out for his flourishes (BIRD!) or the phenomenal acting he gets out of his performers!______________________________________________________________________

Zack Snyder – “Sucker Punch” The promotional material made this look like a potentially awesome flick. It certainly had imaginative visuals. What I didn’t know was that it would have a thinner narrative than a music video. Coupled with bad acting. And a terrible script. Way to go Zack. Don’t $#@& up Superman like this or I’ll punch you in the eye.


So there you have it folks. These guys had the resources and seeds of a decent movie, but they churned out a bunch of poop. So which of these guys was the main offender? Who pulled defeat from the jaws of victory in the biggest way? I need to know your opinions so I can ignore them and go with my own carefully weigh them before making my decision!!


33 thoughts on “The 2011 FMR MAJOR Awards: Worst Director Nominees

  1. I’ve said my piece on Snyder before, you don’t need to read it again. Unfamiliar with Singh, and it turns out there’s a reason for that. And of course, Eastwood and Sheridan almost deserve a “most disappointing” award for simply showing up on the list — these guys are accomplished, even great, directors, so what happened?

    But I’m here to talk about Bay. You will get no argument from me on this one. Even though I liked TF3 on the balance, it’s definitely a case of liking it in spite of its mountain of flaws, and virtually all of those can be put at the feet of Michael Bay. The spectacle, I have to say, is absolutely brilliant. He really knows his stuff when it comes to that. But he doesn’t know how to adapt a script into a good film; every TF movie has been in need of some serious editing, in my opinion. He doesn’t understand dialogue, and his sense of humor is atrocious. He doesn’t know how to pick an actress for the female lead, nor does it seem he knows what a female lead is. He doesn’t know how to get good performances out of his actors — I know a lot of people throw stones at Shia LeBeouf for his role in these films, but I can’t blame him here because he’s far from the only one. Even veteran actors who usually turn in good performances are mediocre at best in the TF series in general and TF3 in particular. When Frances McDormand and John Malkovich are just “OK” in a film, I’m blaming the director.

    As far as I’m concerned, Michael Bay should be bumped down to assistant director on any future film of his. Let him handle things going boom, and leave the rest to somebody competent.

    • He’d be one of the greatest second unit diirectors ever.

      On the “spectacle” – I agree, it was awesome, and I had to leave with this flick in the plus column too, just based on that. I should revise with a note that now that people are seeiing it on home video, without the “bombast”, it drops three grades. LOL

      The thing is, how much credit should the director even get for all that CGI stuff. Isnt it mainly the animators anyways? I mean, I’m sure he’s not the person storyboarding it…

      • You make a valid point about the CGI and the animators, but I know he’s at least something of an influence on it. I remember when the first movie was made, he stated in an interview that he was really insistent that the transformation sequences had to be complete — that there was nothing in the robot that wasn’t in the car, or vice-versa (as opposed to the “vanish into thin air” aspects the cartoon sometimes had). And he certainly has a visual “style” (KA-BOOM!) that pervades his films. So while he may not be directly responsible for all of it, I think he’s at least a driving force behind a lot of it.

        You also make a good point about the film losing a few points without the spectacle. If you don’t have a large widescreen TV, don’t bother with the home release!

  2. I’ve seen three of the five nominees:

    Clint Eastwood- I know we disagree on this one, but there are far, FAR worse directors this year (namely Dennis Dugan for “Jack and Jill”)

    Michael Bay- Agreed.

    Zack Snyder- Agreed.

  3. Bay or Snyder. Or, and I know I keep harping on this film, Kevin Smith. Red State is almost anarchic in how it moves as a film. I’d also throw in for Max Winkler and Ceremony; hated that one, and I’m actually surprised at myself for not talking about it more considering just how strongly I reacted in the negative to that thing.

    • Haven’t seen “Ceremony”, and now I probably never will. LOL

      I know we’ve been trading back and forth on RS. I dont think I fully explained my “Escape Clause” I used. It never got into theatres as a wide release. So… boom. If i were to consider all direct to VOD movies, I’d never see an end of the “consideration” period.

      I know, its not your standard direct to DVD, Smith is a big name. But it spared me from having to watch it, and honestly, saved me time. I powered through SO many movies these last few weeks that I was happy to have an excuse to bail.

      I may swing back to it at some point after things settle, just so I can kick it around with you.

      I have a feeling I’ll be making it up to you though – The fact that I bailed on this recommendation of yours will be offset shortly. LOL. You vill see.

      • I tend to think that even bad movies have value, even if that value lies in blowing off steam by ripping them to shreds. I also think that release doesn’t define quality, though it’s certainly true that many (probably most) direct-to-DVD releases kind of suck.

  4. In Eastwood’s defense, it is very difficult to make biopics interesting. They are long and dull by nature, and there’s usually not much a director can do bout that. I don’t know why people keep making them.
    I haven
    ‘t seen Transformers 3 yet, but likely its just Michael Bay being Michael Bay. I can say that I personally would give Singh my vote. I don’t know what he hoped to accomplish with that movie.

    • Yeahhhhh… I…. I hear you.

      But man. J Edgar is really really a difficult movie to defend. Its so much DRAMA. It’s suffocating.

      On Singh? I dont know what he hoped to accomplish either? “Immortals” was ridiculous. Really, in my opinion, utterly laughable. 😀

      Thanks for joining in on this, man 😀

  5. Pingback: Lady Luck Productions » The 2011 FMR MAJOR Awards: Worst Director Nominees | Fogs …

  6. Michael Bay is clearly the worst lifetime director. His whole filmography contains one watchable film, and even that is a guilty pleasure (The Rock).

    Zack Snyder gets partial credit from me for making 2/3rds of a great movie, buried beneath a huge steaming pile of unimaginable dreck.

    From what I’ve read, “Dream House” was ruined by committee. Having been a part of a couple of “Alan Smithee” (look it up if your unfamiliar with the term. lol) productions I have enormous sympathy for Sheridan.

    Anyway, I’ve only seen one of these (Sucker Punch) and I’m not really willing to crucify Snyder for it, so I’ll happily vote for the old geek standby punching bag, Michael Bay… STRING ‘IM UP!

    • Bay has some stiff competition.

      And yeah, I’m familiar with the Alan Smithee pseudonym… my thing is, if he had had a better control over the project, it might not have winded up there. Its crazy, I know, I cant totally criticize without walking in his shoes, I just wonder if he made a crappy movie to begin with, and that started all the studio interference etc etc.

    • Thought I’d share this. Entertainment Weekly’s Lisa Schwarzbaum on Sucker Punch as one of her year’s worst:

      This is what happens when videogame aesthetics infect moviemaking like a virus: We get a repellent action-fantasy that glories in dull, pounding, monotonous violence; screeching music; fetishistic, soulless visuals; and oppressed, psycho-slut female characters who have been ”empowered” to avenge their sexual degradation by fighting in their underwear. We suckers have been punched. Game over.

      LOL 😀

  7. I have not seen J. Edgar, but I can pretty much agree with the rest. It’s sad though because there are some good names on this list (especially Sheridan and Eastwood) that I would have expected more from this year!

  8. Do you ever like a person so much that in your eyes he/she can’t do anything wrong (even if they did)? Well, that’s how I feel about Clint Eastwood.

    • Welllllllll….

      I hate to be Mr. Meany Pants then, but… LOL… have you seen J Edgat?

      Anyways, I dont like hammering on him, he’s given us a LOT of great things as a director through the years. And as an actor, too of course.

      • It’s okay to be mean when it’s the truth. I just can’t say it out loud. LOL. Why Eastwood! Why did you make this movie! LOL

  9. Snyder is absolutely atrocious, with Sucker Punch resembling a badly plotted shoot ’em up laced with outtakes from Fame, rather than anything approaching a film. Haven’t seen J. Edgar, but considering Eastwood is one of my favourite actors/directors I’m guessing we’ll probably disagree on that one. Jim Sheridan was pretty poor even when getting Oscar nominated and Dream House was easily one of the worst – and most disappointing – films of last year. I’d stick Lars von Trier up for a nod, as Melancholia was a truly awful film and far more worthy of some ire than many other films around.

    • Its so funny, Melancholia is SUCH a divise film. Lisa Schwarzbaum at EW called it her best film of the year LOL (no joke!,,20326356_20554508,00.html#21095184 )

      I’m not disagreeing with you, in fact I’ve seen a lot of people rip into it.

      As for Eastwood, circle back when you’ve seen J Edgar to discuss, because I had high hopes for it (well until I saw the trailers) based on him and Leo, as well.

  10. Michael Bay knows how to put on a spectacle and I did enjoy T3, to an extent. But he has the same old schtick and seems to be able to get away with pulling the same rabbit out of the hat time and again.

    • “Michael Bay knows how to put on a spectacle and I did enjoy T3, to an extent.”

      Me too. Especially in the theatres, in 3d! I think I gave it a B or a B+ even.

      But here’s the thing. I think almost any director could have done that (put the spectacle up there) given the concept, the budget and the team he has. All other elements he was responsible for were utter fails.

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