New Movies -
Old Movies -
I try not to see bad films... Unfortunately it sometimes
happens to the best of us... Here are the atrocities that I've suffered through,
hopefully to save you from the same.
The Worst Ten - 2001
10. Atlantis – Yikes,
this was a mess. I must not have the proper sensibility for kiddie flicks,
because they often tend to strike me as loud and obnoxious. (I don’t think I really
liked one since like… Babe 2?)
Atlantis, which was some sort of attempt by Disney to pull in those hep teens,
was even louder and more obnoxious than the average kid’s movie. Although
there might be something to be said about me not being the ideal target audience
for these films, tons of adults seem to dig them well enough… and who can
blame them. The way this stuff is sold, you’d think it was tailor made for
every man, woman, and child ever to walk the earth. It’s cast of ethnically
and sexually diverse cast was obvious attempt to make sure no one in the
audience felt their point of view was underrepresented. ‘cept me I guess…
9. The Price of Milk
– Proof that a low budget film that gains distribution is not automatically a
good one, The Price of Milk took
whimsy to levels that were absolutely nauseating. Thankfully ten months or so
dulls the edges off of a bad movie like this, so I only vaguely remember this
was about a woman who wanted to get a quilt from some midget Aborigines, or was
it about elves that come and steal people’s shoes, or was it about a dairy
farmer who grew too depressed to milk his cows… Actually, I think might have
tried to incorporate all of those… or something… Who cares?
– With its robotic non-performances and its eerily winsome tone, Jeunet’s
film was probably the year’s most overrated wreck. A French version of last
year’s miserable Pay it Forward, Amelie
didn’t even have that film’s courage (which backfired spectacularly there,
but at least they tried). A supposed treatise that preaches opening up to the
world, the film seems most likable at its most insular, and it’s portrayal of
an idealized fantasy of France seems at odds with its theme. That the heroine
ends up as disassociated from the world at the end of the film as at the start
seemed to bother no one. Even Jeunet’s filmmaking is lax here. Relying far too
heavily on voiceover narration, the film slides between overload and boredom,
never hitting a groove.
7. Spy Kids –
At least in most bad films I can doze off. Spy
Kids, with its own incessant loudness combined with the gaggle of noisy
children around me while I watched it, denied me that respite. As a huge fan of
Robert Rodriguez’s From Dusk ‘Till
Dawn, I actually had something resembling hope that this film wouldn’t
suck. Unfortunately, the film only had a garish and crude version of the energy
that made Rodriguez’s other films work. … and my God that boy Spy Kid was
6. Someone Like You –
Sorry Ms. Judd, but the good will I’ve been giving you since your beautiful
work in Ruby in Paradise has
officially worn off. This flimsy excuse for a movie trots out a handful of
cliches, hoping a few will stick, but they don’t. The movie suggests men are
as dumb as cows with a straight face, and the men it offers up (Greg Kinnear and
Hugh Jackman) don’t do much to refute it. Even Ellen Barkin feels castrated
here, her sexiness suppressed, which probably sets some sort of record for a
movie’s waste of resources.
5. A Knight’s Tale
– They promised Heath would rock me, but I felt decidedly un-rocked. Maybe
they meant he was as charismatic as a rock, which would make sense. In any case,
this film, with it’s dopey anachronistic music and its unending scene with
Paul Bettany’s ass (which will now apparently be gracing the next von Trier
film, Ugh!) caused me almost physical pain. As much as Gladiator winning a Best Picture Oscar irked me, I can thank Brian
Helgeland for showing me how much worse it could have been.
Son’s Room – Nanni Morietti’s Palm D’Or-winning trite-fest's
American release has been delayed to 2002, but its Cannes nod and its probable
Foreign Film Oscar nomination make it an affront to my sensibilities this year.
Its skewed perception of what supposedly makes a happy family life (it seems
here to be a blissful plainness), the intrusive score, and it’s need to make
us giggle at the problems of a group of psychiatric patients make the film’s
eventual begs for empathy feel incredibly wrong. Everything feet so damn phony
here that I had more sympathy for my fellow audience members, some who were
indeed in tears, than for anyone on screen.
Sweethearts - In a horrible year for romantic comedies, (notable exceptions Va
Savoir & Sidewalks of New York) this one hit the bottom of the barrel.
Completely lacking any substance, America’s
Sweethearts asked us to laugh at celebrities behaving badly. The film feels
like the work of a group of people who have grown completely detached from the
world that the rest of us live in. It’s attempts to make the masses laugh (a
dog chewing on crotches, Julia Roberts in a fat suit) feel embarrassing, and
John Cusack plays such an unlikable jerk that the suggestion that we’re
supposed to be happy when Julia snags him is revolting. A purported expose of
the movie industry, it’s neither romantic, nor funny since it’s too damn
busy showing us how self-aware it is. Hopelessly smug.
& Silent Bob Strike Back – So, in a bit of audience-hating worthy
of Woody Allen’s Stardust Memories,
Kevin Smith decides he’s going to tell all of us losers on the internet how
misguided we are because we care about movies, and think our opinions matter.
Since Smith is the same guy who runs a website that acts as a forum to these
opinions, one can only assume his playa hating is supposed to be ironic in some
way… Kinda like how Smith called P.T. Anderson a jerk for making a big-budget
studio film so personal when he made Magnolia,
then promptly turned around and turned out this piece of self-referential crud.
It all might be worth something if, like Smith’s best films, all of the
profanity, blow-jobaphobia, and idol worship actually meant something or managed
to be funny, but it doesn’t accomplish either. If this was to be the year’s
biggest masturbatory wank-off, at least it should have shown some tits. Worst.
1. Made – I
didn’t really hate Made all that
much. John Favreau is fairly likeable actor, and Famke Jansen is really decent
here, but due to a severe acting miscalculation by Vince Vaughn, this is the
closest thing to unwatchable that I’ve seen all year. Words cannot express the
revulsion that I felt toward his character here, so I won’t even try to
describe it. Consider yourself warned that this is no Swingers.
- Jeremy Heilman