Monday, January 09, 2006

Worst of 2005! Hooray!

Okay, so of course along side the Best Of 2005 list (see below) there necessitates a worst of 2005 list (as 2005, like no other recent year in memory, deserves one most)

For one thing, lets think about what "bad" really is. Many of my favorite movies, movies that extend far from the guilty pleasure trove, are considered to be "bad." Bad is a movie that has no redeeming qualities. One that does not lose itself into its badness (as we might consider The Skeleton Key top have done). Bad in my book, is a film that intentionally tricks you into thinking that it is "good." Unlike the Lifetime movie who tells you that it's emotional, it never claims "good"ness. These deceptive movies play with your emotions and or judgments to have you believe that they are decent, when in fact they belong in the government, with all the other tricksters.

There are many movies I did not see, as I expected them to be too bad. They could not be here today, represented on this list. Those films are as follows: Coach Carter, Elektra, Racing Stripes, Are We There Yet?, Hide and Seek, Hitch, Because of Winn-Dixie, Son of Mask, Be Cool, The Jacket, The Pacifier, The Passion REcut, The Upside of Anger, Miss Congeniality 2, Guess Who, Sin City, Sahara, A Lot Like Love, The hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, XXX: State of the Nation, Kingdom of Heaven, Kicking and Screaming (in fact anything with Will Farrell), Monster-In-Law, The Longest Yard, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Cinderella Man, The Honeymooners, Herbie: Fully Loaded, War of the Worlds, Rebound, Wedding Crashers, hustle & Flow, The Island, Must Love Dogs, Stealth, Dukes of Hazzard, Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo, Valiant, The Brothers Grimm, The Cave, The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Just Like Heaven, Lord of War, Roll Bounce (The name alone!), Into the Blue, serenity, The Gospel, Domino, Elizabethtown, The Fog, Doom, Dreamer, Stay, The Legend of Zorro, The Weather Man, Chicken Little, Get Rich or Die Trying, Derailed, Zathura, In the Mix, Just Friends, Rent, Memoirs of a Geisha (which would have assuredly been on this list), King kong, Family Stone, Cheaper by the Dozen 2, Fun With Dick and Jane and Rumor Has it...

And so, barring those, the Worst films of 2005 areL

10. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

I don't care what kind of cult still grasps to the lost talent of Tim Burton, this film was just terrible. Ruining all of the inventiveness of the original, it basked in gruesome CGI and racist Oompa Loompas. Johnny Depp was frighteningly awful, not knowing what he was doing his bipolar performance ran from hatred to love in the course of a minute. There was added plot to explain Wonka's back story. As I will discuss below, this is the current Hollywood trend destroying our childrens' imaginations. Wasn't Gene Wilder the oddest character because we had not idea why he was the way he was? What's worse, many of the people who saw it with whom I spoke thought it was good!

9. Transamerica

In my review not too far below, I cite this flop as a heterosexual daydream of what a transexual "really" is. It is something that resembles a cartoon, bestowed with no self-respect or honesty. She is a coward. If she had made the decision to go this far, do you really think she would be a coward?

8. The Ring 2

In the arena of unbelievably bad, we have The Ring Two an ode to Andrea Yateses everywhere. This is a flop of a film that actually tells you to kill your child if the voices in your head tell you too. These lines are delivered by someone wearing a Sissy Spacek mask. I like to think Sissy wouldn't be in something this bad. All reality is displaced here and you lose interest by the time the car is attacked by CGI dear about 15 minutes into the film.

7. Eating Out

This piece of filth was written by a graduate student of my alma matter, CalArts, so he could, "see two cute guys in my class kiss." The (queer) boxoffice success that ensued would have you believe that homosexuals speak another language than heteros. The language is all pop culture derivations like, "I am so NO sex in the city" or something like that. I just sat slack jawed as the homo self-hatred got worse and worse. There are no redeeming qualities to this horribly vapid and surface only movie that is being eaten up all over West Hollywood (hmmm... I wonder why?).

6. The Amityville Horror

Not even stupid scares are to be had in this pointless remake. Much like the Texas Chainsaw remake, in which all of the creepiness of the original is nullified by the fact that leatherface has facial cancer, they attempt at an explanation involving some Quaker Satanist and some possessed Native Americans...or something like that. The drama goes from hot to cold from shot to shot, never allowing any tension to build but just squandering it by allowing it to erupt unexpectedly. Ryan Reynolds doesn't even gratuitously flash his pubes, as he is ever famous for in my mind.

5. Fantastic Four

I saw this on an airplane, and even through the codeine, I wanted my money back. I had mild hopes for this film, seeing as it was co-scripted by Mark Frost(who co-wrote the Twin Peaks series with David Lynch). The only thing I can think is PAYCHECK! Really, film is abysmal! Even including a blind tough black girl for the Thing to fall in love with after his white wife leaves him for the way he now looks. And if you think that's racist, just you wait for #1 on this list.

4. Happy Endings

Don Roos contemptible Altman wannabe comedy treats people (and the audience) like their the stupidest, shallowest paeans worthy of Roos comedic contempt. The usually bearable Kudro is PAINFULL here and Tom Arnold is insipid. And again, someone found a Laura Dern mask in the garbage, because really, Laura Dern adds something to remember to all of her films. That something is despicably absent here. Instead, all you have is self hatred and bad writing disguised as a comedy of wow-look-we're-all-connected manners that, if I may quote Variety in their review of Harold and Maude is about "as funny as a burning orphanage." No, scratch that. A burning orphanage is probably funnier. And less painful to watch.

3. Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith

I have very little to say about this movie. It is just that bad. I think by the time Yoda and Palpatine were hurling huge exploding metal platforms at each other and ducking them all Crouching Tiger-style it was over for me. Natalie Portman's acting was a perk to me. Now there's bad acting, only made better by the fact that I was informed, after the fact, that her performance was vastly improved from the previous one (which I must admitted I skipped out on). I wish I had made that a trend. This wasn't even fun and it was pretty gross once Vader got his LEGS CHOPPED OFF AND SLIPPED INTO MOLTEN LAVA ONLY TO REEMERGE AND GET STUCK WITH EVERY NEEDLE YOU COULD IMAGINE! Where's the incinerated Vader action figure?

2. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe

The clunky and sexist Narnia is the best argument against CGI since the American Godzilla. A friend of mine complained that the landscape stops with the edge of the frame in each shot, not creating a consistent world (which is what these films need in order to make them believable). Add in the fact that all the animals looked chrome and the message of the comlpletely unimaginative Christian propaganda machine is that blue-eyed, blond haired boys lead the men into war while the women stay home and tend to the sick. Unless of course they're evil. Because women who desire power are the root of all evil(as gloriously personified by the ever radiant Ms. Swinton). Constantine was left off of this list because of Swinton's portrayal of the angel Gabriel. She can justify most movies to me, but a movie this rancid, nothing can save, no matter how "just like the book," it was...

1. Crash

What did Crash do to garner this title, you might ask. And I shall tell you. This movie is the worst of the kinds described above because it masks its priviledged, racist methods with the guise of "transcendence" or good "intentions." For stupid people out there (including Roger Ebert, who named Crash best film of the year) the portrayal of racism is okay if they believe the film is documenting something. "That's the way it really is," you might hear them say as they leave the mall in their Escalade. THIS IS NOT THE WAY IT REALLY IS. It is just a racist film that lands blow after blow of offenses injecting just the right amount of reason for uppercrust white folk to find it witty or compelling. It is neither of these things. At one point, Ludacris steals a van (because he's black) from a chinaman (his words) and discovers that there are people being sold in the slave trade in the back. He releases them in downtown Los Angeles (after contemplating selling them himself) and hands the some money and says "go get some chop suey." And as the WHITE snow falls on all of the colorful people of Los Angeles, dusting everything with a thin layer of WHITE, we are meant to take this as a moment of transcendence. That everything will be okay BECAUSE IT'S WHITE NOW. I think not.


Blogger J said...

How soon you forget! That same person in the Sissy Spacek mask showed up in one of least favorite films of last year too -- 'A Home at the End of the World'!

4:22 AM  
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6:31 PM  

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