Sunday, May 1, 2011

9 Worst Movies 2005

            Okay, Maybe 2005 wasn't that bad a year, most of the movies that I am putting in the bad category wouldn't make it on the list of some other years, and one of them I really should have known better than to try and digest it at all.  Regardless I got together 9 movies for 2005 because I couldn't totally parse it down to 5, and I didn't want to go hunting for a tenth to round it out.  Call me either diligent in finding this many, or lazy for not taking a step further, but here you go.

            #9 is a movie about which way too much has already been said, so with 2 out of 5 this is "Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith".  So many other internet reviewers have written diatribes about this one I have nothing else to contribute.  It is shit, don't watch it.  Here are some people who decided to go the extra mile and give 30+ minute reviews of the movie:
Plinkett (this is the last of a series and altogether is only 10 minutes shorter than the film itself)
Confused Matthew (whose is also in a series about 30 minutes each)

Was this a story that needed telling?
            #8 is a horror movie remake staring an actor whom I don't mind, Ryan Reynolds, who is doing his best not to be likable or funny and turns in an okay performance in "The Amityville Horror" which gets 2 out of 5.  The movie is mostly just boring, and when the super likable and funny Reynolds is being a jerk it takes away a lot of why anyone would want to watch the movie at all.  It is still better than similar modern movies like "The Haunting in Connecticut" which was my second worst movie of 09', but either way the movie itself is just very forgettable.  It is also a bit silly, for instance they flee a house in a speed boat... it is a chase scene in which the pursuer is a stationary object.

If you can't read that line at the top of the poster, I'll give you hint of what is says by saying, "Michael Bay is mentioned"
            #7 is one of two super hero movies on this years list, "Fantastic Four" with 2 out of 5.  This movie apparently did poorly in theaters, seeing as it was rushed out, poorly cast (mostly), and had a lot of clunky dialogue which fit in a lot of exposition that could have been done to much greater effect.  The movie only got a sequel because the DVD sales were beyond all expectation.  Unfortunately the second movie, while strictly better, was still not very good, so they will be rebooting this franchise shortly.  It is a shame because the Fantastic Four has one of the largest mythologies in comics being one of the first silver age comics and having a large amount of both Stan Lee and Jack Kirby input in its original run (as it held the world record for longest collaborative effort between an artist and writer for more than 40 years till Bendis and Bagley took the record with "Ultimate Spiderman").  Maybe the Skrulls, Kree, Annihilus, Blastar, the Wizard, or any number of other goofy bad guys will make an appearance in the reboot... Who am I kidding, they'll just go with more Doctor Doom.
How uneven was the casting for this?  Seriously.
            #6 is the first of three movies I consider to be in the growing genre of 'despicable people'.  "The Squid and the Whale" has 2 out of 5.  It has really good acting in it, sadly it is a plodding, unpleasant affair about characters that made me hate them.  A teenage plagiarist, a literature professor that is shockingly a prima donna about his 'talent' in spite of his lack of success, an adulteress, a troubled child who masturbates in public and drinks, and one of the lesser known Baldwin brothers (the sole likable member of the cast).

The worst part is, I think this was an intentionally bad movie.
            #5 is another 'despicable people' film with Nicolas Cage playing his most pathetic performance in years... well, maybe "Adaptation" has it beat, but I kind of put that movie out of my mind whenever I can, instead we have "The Weatherman" with 2 out of 5.  Slow, unfunny, and sad.  Does it have good parts and good acting?  Yes.  Do those things off set the grim unpleasantness of the whole thing?  Not really.  And the movie has a happy ending, it just comes at the end of such a bleak mess that I didn't care.

I can't actually remember the last time you were in a good movie Nic
            #4 is "Hard Candy" and I am being generous with 2 out of 5.  This film... I like it less every time I think about it.  A sociopathic (murderer?) teenager and a statutory (murderer?) rapist attack each other throughout the movie.  The acting is fine, but the subject matter, the pacing, the plot all of those things made me hate the movie.  Oh hey, here is a hypothetical, if the teenager is smart enough and of the social maturity to pull off this kidnapping and vigilantism, and you as the audience find her to be sympathetic and empowered, wouldn't she by definition by of a high enough maturity level to be able to consent to an adult relationship?  See, the movie is self defeating, either the heroin is smart enough to be an adult, in which case age is a number and the concept of statutory rape is undermined.  Or she isn't of a mature mindset, in which case the justice she seeks to dole out is immature and unjust.  You can't have justice delivered by a child, they lack the emotional depth to deliver, that is why we don't let them vote.

            #3 is "Elektra" with 1 out of 5.  Up till this point the rankings didn't mean much move one here or there whatever, but this movie was definitely worse than the others.  Poor characters, poor explanations for events, poorly adapted mythology, weird choice for focus concerning a character's actions.  This is one of the worst Super hero movies ever, and good god did it take a franchise ("Daredevil") and just blow its brains out (and that franchise wasn't doing that well already).  Honestly I hate it more because of how it chose to use the characters from the source material, one of the bad guy henchmen in the movie is a hero in the books, that like if they made a Batman movie with Nightwing as the villain.  I don't mind if that happened for a reason, but that is how he is introduced, it is a disservice to the character's creators to use property as such.

I can forgive changes to the character so long as the movie is good.
            #2 is "Are We There Yet".  Which I suppose fits really well into the 'despicable people' genre too.  Bratty kids, an oblivious mother, and an asshole played by Ice Cube.  Unfunny mean spirited attempts at jokes are just shoved onto the screen without rhythm.  Cube wants to fuck the oblivious mother, the mother has him take her kids on a road trip across country to meet her after a business trip (a set up so contrived it made me angry), the kids dislike the guy so they attempt to ditch him (cause who needs adult supervision or respect for authority am I right?) and then proceed to destroy his car through hijinks, and Cube is such an asshole to the kids and just in general that it is hard to identify with anyone.  It is just a bunch of awful people.  Another movie I hate the more I think about it.

Who thought this was a movie that should be made?
            #1 is something I did to myself, I said "Saw" had some stuff going for it, maybe they'll spend some more time thinking things thru on this one and it will have the grit and unpleasantness working with better dialogue and fewer plot holes, well I couldn't sit through "Saw II" so it gets .5 out of 5.  Everyone in this movie sucks, the traps are preposterous, and the bullshit that Jigsaw, who I guess is the film's protagonist now as they have dropped all pretense of having likable people suffering due to his actions like there was in the last film.  Jigsaw just sputters bullshit about appreciating life, you know what movie delivered that message in 2 minutes?  "Fight Club" did it in one scene with a gun and a guy who never became a Veterinarian, and in the context of "Fight Club" that message actually made sense, in "Saw II" it comes off as rambling nonsense.

A reenactment of the "Fight Club" Scene.

In "Saw II" a bunch of idiots are poisoned and left in a house full of death traps, one of them has the good sense to beat down a door only to discover metal shutters blocking the hole, so they give up on that idea; here is an idea, go through the wall, some dry wall, insulation and the plywood shutters of a condemned building will give way when you have a dozen people smashing through it with pieces of furniture, and that would help with the poison to as the adrenaline would act like an epinephrine shot.  Nothing causes adrenaline quite like escaping a death trap by beating down a wall with a piece of Swedish assembly furniture.
Whose fingers are those anyway?

Worst Actor/Actress: No competition here, Ice Cube for playing a douche milf chaser who treats children like an obstacle to getting laid.  And you might retort with, "it was written that way" and I will retort with "bullshit, he could have least tried not to act like an ass while delivering the dialogue".  If the character was an asshole he could at least pretend not to be.  You know, act like someone who occasionally gets women by making their kids like him, sly and charming rather than thuggish and bullying.

Worst Special Effects: Ooh, tough one.  "Elektra" might have had poorly explained special effects (I am a comic fan an I didn't know that Hand ninjas turn to smoke when they die, when that happened on screen I had no idea what was happening) but they looked alright.  "Fantastic Four" has some effects that are bad, but they don't over use those, and instead try to use some practical effects to at least offer some visual variety to the mix.  And then there is the extreme overuse of special effects in "Star Wars", and if you watched the Plinket review where he shows how characters have to stop and turn because they ran out of blue screen track to walk on you know how poorly they integrated their over the moon levels of CGI.  So, I guess I'll give it to "Revenge of the Sith" because there was just so much that by default it had the most to get wrong.

Biggest Waste of Talent: These movies are laundry lists of talented likable actors who are wasting their time.  There is no real wrong answer here.  Hell, Ice Cube is a rapper, why is he even in a movie when he could be doing a guest spot in someone's album?  But I'll go with the last winner of best actress, Natalie Portman.  She is probably the best actress of the last decade and she wasted the start of it with bad "Star Wars" movies.
When she could have been doing comedy raps:

Or masturbating (How awkward it must have been for all the teen girls in the audience interested in Ballet to watch this movie with their moms sitting next to them):

I love you Nat.

Worst Premise: "Are We There Yet", god the lazy nature of it.  'Hello guy who is trying to get into my pants, can you take care of my kids for a couple days?  That isn't weird right?"  None of the others had as big a problem in this regard just overall execution.

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