03 January 2010

EDITORIAL - Not So Favorites of the Decade

I actually found it harder to suss out the decade's unspectacular movies from the good ones. There were, of course, no brainers, but others were a little bit more difficult to classify. Also, I thought it worth noting, that horror remakes - like Black Christmas and Prom Night - are absent from the list, although they mightly deserve a spot here. I guess I just didn't think they were worth delving into, since more often than not, the very announcement of a studio 'remake' or 'reimagining' of a horror movie already solidifies its crappiness. Also absent from my list that were toppers on others: Dragonball Evolution and Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li, both 2009 releases and both adaptations of some kind. Evolution was, for me, a guilty pleasure; and Street Fighter was simply wasn't bad enough to makes it's mark. So, without further ado...

The Not-So-Much Favorites of the Decade

Syriana (2005) - The only movie where I seriously considered leaving the theater. Just getting up and going. Splitting. Skidaddle. Vamanos. I think it was my 15 year old brain and my desire to see a action movie that probably impeded my ability to get into Syriana, but I just hated every second of it. I will say that George Clooney, Matt Damon, and Amanda Peet gave wonderful performances, and they were undoubtedly very strong positives of the movie. But every other conceivable aspect of the movie just...sucked, I guess would be the term. I haven't watched it since that day, and I have no intention of re-watching it so see if my opinion will stick. But for right now, crappiest film of the decade. No other really, really, really bad movie made me want to leave the theater.

Miss March (2009) - Dreadful comedy. Time away hasn't done it a service. First time seeing it, I realized it's awfulness, but I enjoyed myself too much to let it fully impede my viewing pleasure. But seeing it for the second time just recently - ugh, is all I can say about it. Ugh. The much dissed Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li is 10x better than this, ladies and gents. Stay away. Stay far away. Watch some Fired Up! instead.

There Will Be Blood (2008) - I'm gonna be frank: I didn't like this movie. Praise after praise after praise for this Paul T. Anderson flick, and I still down to watch it, and I'm already bored eight minutes in. It was a literal chore to sit through. The only other boring flick I could remember that got this much praise was Brokeback Mountain. As a film to analyze, as a character study, as a film showcasing a outstanding performances, Blood works fine; but for me, it failed entirely in its presentation. It moved too slowly, focused on some aspects that needn't the attention (the brother thing), and the moments that were genuinely spectacular were far and in-between. There were two things There Will Be Blood had for it: the eerie, spine-tingling music, and Daniel Day-Lewis' tour de force performance. I guess, in simple black & white, Blood just didn't hit my interest because it failed to make me care. Sure, Daniel Plainview wasn't a guy you're supposed to invite for drinks, but one must at least be enthralled and grabbed by the lead in order to be persuaded to watch this harrowing story for nearly three hours. For me, that didn't happen. Obviously, a large population of critics disagree, which prompts me to consider a third viewing to finally cement my opinion.

The Spirit (2008) - I honestly don't know what to feel about this movie. As far as I can tell, it's not very faithful to the Eisner source material; and there's so many horrible, horrible 'performances' in this movie that make John Cena in The Marine look nearly Oscar worthy. The worst offender is that director Frank Miller took this vigilante series and turned it into his own Sin City installment, and for that I'm severely disappointed in this flick and respect it less. The idea of making a black & white-ish movie with color interwoven throughout is cool, indeed, but that was already done, and rightly so, with Miller's own Sin City, and didn't need to be reused here nor was it remotely necessary. The idea of The Spirit, being resurrected by some sort of Goddess, is really freakin' cool, but the execution is so terrible, one really must wonder what Miller was even thinking when he directed this flick. There's very few redeemable values. Well, on the brightside, Sam Jackson does go absolutely bonkers; he probably hadn't had this much fun making a movie since Snakes on a Plane. Oh, and another horrible offense: how do they manage to make Scarlett Johansson not look hot? At least Miller sorta made up for it with the sensual Eva Mendes (thank you, sir). But still, atrocious movie.

Eragon (2006) - 'Creatively' and oh-so-originally birthed from the creative ingeniousness of 15-year old Christopher Paolini, his book Eragon got the big screen treatment thanks to FOX, hoping to cash-in on the success of Harry Potter and create their own lucrative franchise. Turns out, Eragon sucked hardcore, and equally sucked as far as box office gold is concerned, and thus, no more installments were filmed or are even in the development pipeline. There's so much bad in this movie, from John Malkovich to the really rushed and uninspired story/book/script. Surprisingly, the best aspects of the movie are the visual effects and Jeremy Irons as Brom, the Obi-Wan Kenobi character of the film. There's just something about that guy I just dig, and I completely forgive him for Dungeons & Dragons, which I'd actually call a superior film to this. Malkovich plays the baddie, Galbatorix, who sits in his chair all day long and hollers orders. Y'know, I've never really understood those times of baddies; once they accomplish what they set out to do, what then? At least Big Bads who want to obliterate the entire universe make a little bit more sense. What does Galby does all day other than pick his nose or shift uncomfortably in his big fancy throne? The other actors all feel like Twilight rejects, what with their oily hair that's meant to look 'cool'. However, gotta say one more big positive: the climatic battle was actually pretty spiffy. Simply said, Eragon has so many 'been there, done that' elements that doesn't offer anything unique to keep the viewer interested, and therefore isn't worth ones time.

Rush Hour 3 (2007) - The ultimate paycheck movie, Rush Hour 3 was such a huge, huge disappointment. The near epitome of unoriginality, not even Jackie Chan's martial arts were up to par and failed to elicit interest. I've had the opportunity to complete my Rush Hour collection with the 2-Disc release for less than $5 multiple occasions - and I passed it up every time. I just can't seem to muss up the ability to spend even more than the $10 I already did on this piece of garbage. For shame, New Line, Ratner, Chan, and Tucker - this was the poorest excuse of any filmmaker or writer to get a gang back together again for another movie. No effort went into this whatsoever.

Napoleon Dynamite (2004) - Oh, I hate this movie. I can't stand it. I don't enjoy it. I don't find it funny. I find it excruciatingly annoying, painfully acted, and loooooooooooooonnnngggg. I'm probably in the minority here with this one, but I just frakkin' hate this 'comedy.' Luckily, I saw it for free, so I didn't feel robbed of my money; but I'm pretty sure some brain cells and my oh-so-important time could have been spent elsewhere.

Walking Tall (2004) -Not sure what I expected, but given the theatrical poster, one would wisely expect a lot of ass kicking. Well, the movie sort of delivered on that one. Honestly, it's been awhile, and I catch a few snippets here and there on the tube. But there's just something extremely fake about this movie. It feels like it should have been re-witten and handled by different people entirely (and no, I have no intentions of watching the two direct-to-DVD installments starring Kevin Sorbo). Walking Tall falls into the category of not living up to my standards, but could very well be a really awesome, much-loved Dwayne Johnson flick for many.

The Dukes of Hazzard (2005) - "I love Sean William Scott. I love Sean William Scott. I love Sean William Scott," I said, gritting my teeth. All 106 minutes were painful and downright unbearable. Not even the sight of Jessica Simpson and scantly clad outfits could make this comedy worth my time. It was just bad, plain and simple.

Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem (2007) - How could they possibly frak up the concept TWICE? When it comes to a movie with "vs." in the title, I don't expect quality writing and acting, just some frakking awesome ass-kicking sequences between Aliens and Predator(s)! And the filmmakers couldn't even deliver on that - TWICE! Before Requiem's release, it got some buzz for being a improvement of the first one (I'll give it that, sorta), and far more edgier and violent. Sure, it may be, but it was filmed so ridiculously that I couldn't make out what the hell was going on 80% of the time! And let's not forget that it seemed they deliberately scouted the earth for some of the worst 'talent' out there right now. God, what were they thinking? And now thanks to this sucktacular film, the franchise is dead at Fox, and probably won't be revived for a third chance. Somebody, PLEASE make a good AVP movie, PLEASE!

1 comment:

jeremythecritic said...

I barely made it through Syriana also. Glad I'm not the only one.