This will be the first of several “Best of/Worst of” lists of 2006. Who knows how many I can come up with; they might last through Groundhog Day. Let’s just wait and see.
As you might have guessed, I’m a sucker for a paragraph full of hate, so I’d much rather do the “Worst of’s.” It’s so much easier to write derogatory comments then come up with a well-written analysis of something I sincerely appreciate. Therefore, let’s kick it off with…
BOTTOM 5 FILMS OF OUGHT SIX
5. THE BREAK UP
There are always a couple movies in my most hated that are only included because they were such major letdowns. Truly awful films, like Codename: The Cleaner are never viewed with lofty expectations, because they never aspire to be anything more than a mildy amusing waste of 80 minutes. But when something should be awesome, from start to finish, and ends up stinking up the joint worse than Dikembe Mutombo after some Thai food, it then ranks higher in the ass department than anything Cedric the Entertainer could imagine. I’d much rather see an average Rob Schneider movie than a bad Vince Vaughn movie, any day of the week. It’s just disheartening to see truly funny people bomb.
I chose the picture above to highlight a point. Why, for the love of Elliott Gould, would you stick three of the funniest people in the business in one movie, and then not squeeze as much funny from them as humanly possible? Hell, Jason Bateman is only in like three scenes, and I don’t think he has a single comedic line. Jason Bateman: Straight Man, is not something I ever cared to see. If I wanted unfunny Bateman, I’d rent Teen Wolf Too. Jon Favreau is also used sparingly, and with the exception of one classic back and forth with Vince at the bar, he is also barely seen.
Instead of the obvious path to success, the filmmakers chose to give us, the paying audience, 90 minutes of Vince and Jennifer doing terrible things to each other. Terrible things that aren’t remotely funny, just painful and mean. I never wanted them to stay together, since it was insanely obvious they didn’t deserve each other. I hate to bring up anything starring Michael Douglas, but if you want two ex-lovers hating on each other, then watch War of the Roses. This was actually funny, even with the presence of a sober Danny DeVito.
I didn’t want to hate this movie. Honestly, it’s far better than something like The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause, but it’s supreme failure needs to be recognized.
4. UNITED 93
Last year, I put Crash in bottom five. This was months before it won Best Picture at the Oscars. I don’t regret the decision, and I still say it’s a piece of manipulative trite. Well, this year, I may be doing the same thing with United 93. It’s getting some late buzz, just like Crash did last year, and it could be the underdog of the awards season. If you ask me, none of that makes sense.
What I saw was an increasingly dull, pointless movie that has no reason to exist, other than to show how boring an air traffic controller’s life can be, even during hectic moments. I felt nothing during this movie, other than a growing headache. All I learned is our government is thoroughly inept, and if we are ever attacked again, then we’re surely screwed ten times to Tuesday.
Sure, it was real time, but that was a real boring 90 minutes. It earned a spot at number four specifically because it was the most boring movie I saw all year. I couldn’t trust any of the events to be factually true, especially the scenes on the plane. I feel like I should have been moved by the efforts of the passengers, but instead, I kept saying, “Yeah, that didn’t happen.” I understand the thought process in why it was made, but this could have been an hour long special on CBS and been just as successful. A story in need of a full-length feature, it was not. But hey, what do I know? I hated last year’s best movie.
After this disaster (sadly, pun intended), Sweet Home Alabama, Stealth, and Glory Road, Josh Lucas has firmly established himself as one of the shittiest actors this side of the Atlantic. He’s one Joel Schumacher film away from turning into the King of Unitentional Comedy. But I can’t blame the awfulness of this movie just on him. It’s not bad in a waterlogged, Kevin Costner Drinking His Own Pee in Waterworld way, just bad in a Richard Dreyfuss Not Getting Killed in Jaws way. Seriously, how do you mess that up? You already stuck in Fergie and immediately drowned her, so you’re doing something right. But then, you bring in the co-star of Krippendorf’s Tribe that wasn’t Jenna Elfman, and you let him live?!? That’s just Filmmaking 101: kill off the annoying people.
There’s more to why this movie just didn’t work, but there’s nothing more to be said other than they killed Kurt Russell aka Captain Ron, Snake Plissken, and Jack Burton himself, and I didn’t give a damn. This man has epitomized “Awesome” in so many movies, and I didn’t give a floppy shit that he drowned. You could blame it on the sub-zero character development, or the paper thin dialogue, but mostly, you can just blame it on Jacinda Barrett, the star of The Real World: London, and her clingy dress. How can I pay attention to the ever so important dialogue when she’s soaking wet? That’s a distraction I’m not willing to overcome. And as for Josh Lucas, at least he can cling on to the slim hopes that he could get his ass kicked again in the next Incredible Hulk movie. I know I’d look forward to seeing that.
2. RUNNING SCARED
I should say upfront that Paul Walker is the worst “mainstream” actor of this generation. He has no business getting work, but for some strange reason, people keep paying him to be in their movies. Everytime I see him, or listen to him try and not sound halfway retarded, an hour of my life is taken away. Thanks to effing Paul Walker, I’m going to die in my early fifties. Seriously, his first “big break” was in Meet the Deedles. Shouldn’t that have told us something? You don’t see the other Deedle getting work, do you? He must have sold his empty soul to some demon, probably the God of Keanu Reeves. Or maybe just Keanu himself, he seems oddly inhuman.
But with all of that said, Paul Walker was not the reason why this movie is unwatchable. It’s unwatchable in every single way, INCLUDING our friend, Mr. Walker. Typically, I don’t have a problem turning off my capacity for rational thought when I watch action movies, but during this atrocity, I kept going, “Seriously? SERIOUSLY?? WTF!!” I can watch something outlandish, like Kill Bill, and not have a problem with what’s going on. Sure, it’s all ridiculous, but it’s all in the name of fun. But this go around, the screenwriter was really reaching for something insane to take place every five minutes, e.g., the random yuppie child pornographers. Straight out of left field and completely unnecessary. And this is coming from a guy that thinks Star Wars could really happen.
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: There is only one Quentin Tarentino, stop trying to be him. This is my current least favorite genre. I just get the feeling that once Tarentino’s Grindhouse comes out, I can finally wipe this mess out of my memory for good, and replace it with the aforementioned Kurt Russell killing people with a car. Ah, good times.
Are you looking at that picture? Seriously, just take a look, let it all sink in. I’ll give you a minute.
(Imagine gentle muzak)
(Maybe some Andrea Bocelli)
(Or Josh Groban)
(But no Manilow, that’s uncalled for)
Has it seeped in completely?If so, then I don’t think I really have to say anything.
Okay, maybe I’ll say a few things. I loved X-Men 2. Loved, loved, loved it. Once Jean Grey drowned in that flood, and the image of the phoenix floated across the water, I received a full-on chub that didn’t go away for three years. There was so much they could do with the the follow-up. The possibilities were limitless. So, I waited a few years with inflating hopes, and I plopped down in the theater next to all of the unbathed fanboys, and braced myself for greatness. And what did I receive in kind? An hour and a half of body odor and complete bullshit. I still get angry thinking about it. It was color by numbers filmmaking. Major characters were killed off willy nilly, others were rendered “human”, and the effing Golden Gate Bridge was used as a surfboard when they could have just taken a fuggin ferry. But really, all of this is moot anyhow, because of this phrase: Kelsey Grammar (F**KING FRASIER CRANE) as The Beast. THE END.