Thursday, July 27, 2006
2005 in review: the year's worst films
Edited to add: OK buds, help a brother out. I'm trying to add a picture but it won't work. Any suggestions? Because I'd like to include pics in my best-of-'05 countdown.
While I work through my approach to 2005's sweetest treats, here's the fuzzy end of the cinematic lollipop, complete with links to my earlier remarks.
1. The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl in 3D (Robert Rodriguez)
Aaaagh, my eyes! Without the bargain-basement-level 3D Rodriguez employs here, this would have been a failed but forgettable attempt by the director to meld moviemaking and family devotion (his 6-year-old son created the story). But with 3D added into the mix, this thing is pretty much unwatchable.
2. King’s Ransom (Jeff Byrd)
Like the #2 film on my worst-of-’04 list (THE COOKOUT), this film demonstrates how little Hollywood cares about presenting solid films to urban audiences. What’s disturbing isn’t simply how deeply unfunny KING’S RANSOM is, but how much it hates its characters, black and white.
3. The Perfect Man (Mark Rosman)
Hilary Duff’s latest starring vehicle practically defines the term “vanity project”- a story that’s all about the star, in which the characters never seem to talk about anything but her, and where even her most misguided actions are somehow interpreted as noble.
4. Memoirs of a Geisha (Rob Marshall)
What is a geisha, anyway? Don’t ask this movie. But hey- pretty!
5. Herbie: Fully Loaded (Angela Robinson)
I’m not sure which is worse for Lindsay Lohan’s career- her tabloid-ready lifestyle or crappy kiddie fare like this. But I’d wager the two aren’t mutually exclusive.
6. Dear Wendy (Thomas Vinterberg)
Between this and THE VILLAGE, the “failed allegory” has practically become a subgenre unto itself. Here Vinterberg and screenwriter Lars Von Trier stridently take America to task for its so called “love affair with guns,” but forget to shift the film out of harangue mode. Note to Vinterberg: maybe there’s a reason why Von Trier didn’t direct this one himself.
7. Elizabethtown (Cameron Crowe)
All of Crowe’s worst tendencies as a writer-director- up-with-people soliloquies, an overreliance on classic rock to bear the story’s emotional load- with almost none of his previous works’ better qualities. In place of engaging characterizations (Orlando Bloom is a pale shadow of Cusack or Cruise) the film feeds us an I’m-okay-you’re-okay theme that disastrously takes its hero to task for his ambitions.
8. Monster-in-Law (Robert Luketic)
Jane Fonda came out of retirement for THIS????
9. 9 Songs (Michael Winterbottom)
Hey look, it’s unsimulated sex. And concert footage. And wow, sex again. Too bad it focuses on perhaps the least compelling romantic couple in recent cinema history.
10. Palindromes (Todd Solondz)
In which the once-promising Solondz makes one last effort to prove his viability by taking a hot-button issue (the abortion debate) and attempting to trick it up by casting a mess of different actresses (and one actor) in the same lead role, Bunuel-style. CITIZEN RUTH attacked this issue much more successfully ten years ago, and didn’t engage in cheap geek-show tactics like dressing a 300-pound actress in a halter top.
Special mention: “The Dangerous Thread of Things” (Michelangelo Antonioni) from the anthology film EROS
While it’s nice to see the ninetysomething-year-old Antonioni still alive and working, this thing is pretty much a disaster. The presence of hot naked chicks can only distract from a movie that’s little more than a self-serious fragrance ad for so long.