Saturday, December 29, 2007

Overappreciated. Unseen. Unfortunate. Obnoxious

Don't hate me because I'm (film) bitchy. Before we get to the best of the year it's time to take a two page tour of the less laudable sort. I'm sure there were worse films and performances but I can't see everything and these were my personal cinematic trials


Overappreciated and Unseen
Movies I Can't Love Like You Do. Movies I Skipped and Why

Unfortunate and Obnoxious
The Worst Performances and a 10 Screen Multiplex From Hell

Read and discuss. Throw your own tomatoes in the comments. Share the movies and moments that made you cringe @ the movies in 2007
*

51 comments:

Nick Davis said...

YAYYYYY!!!!!!!!! I'm already excited to go read. The great work has begun!

adam k. said...

Yay! Worst of the year... this is always very fun and amusing.

"They actually paid someone for this Elizabeth poster?"

Haha, I laughed out loud at that one, cause I felt exactly the same way when I first saw it. Very much foreshadowed the disappointing nature of the movie itself.

I do think your hatred of Waitress is a tad irrational, though. I myself thought it was just okay/mildly good... I did recognize the problems, but I still enjoyed it. Why the extreme hate? It's like it flips a switch of hatred inside you.

And while I'm sure Next is atrocious (and let's not forget he went all bad blockbuster on us AGAIN with National Treasure 2), I do have to take issue with everyone always blaming everything that's wrong with Nic Cage on the hair.

Yes, he does seem to have lost all trace of talent/class/sanity. But it's not all the hair's fault, and the fact that he has a transplant or a rug or whatever doesn't inherently make him shitty. I mean, lots of actors have fake or otherwise unnatural hair and you just can't tell, cause it's well done. Patrick Wilson and Jude Law I'm sure have tinkered a bit themselves, for example.

But yeah, why does he pay all this money to give himself fake hair and then get filmed with the worst haircuts in the world? It's the ridiculous mullets (and bad acting) that are distracting, it's not the hair itself. Come on, Nic Cage. Seriously.

Brooke Cloudbuster said...

Totally agree with most of your comments, except for the Huffman hate. I'm a fan of her and I thought she was pretty good in Georgia; but that's just me.

And word on the Quentin Tarantino acting hate. It might be out of style, but does anybody remember him on those few episodes of Alias he was in? Shudder.

Can't wait to read more!

i am shiva said...

Abbie Cornish might be a runner up for the Bad Luck Charm post... I laughed out loud when I read she turned down the role of 18 YO Briony in Atonement in favor of the part she had in Elizabeth TGA. Joe Wright dodged a bullet there!

J.D. said...

I love the poster for Elizabeth: The Golden Age.

I love Elizabeth: The Golden Age.

I'm EDGY that way!

Brodie said...

Um when you said bad things of Wayan Bros, I hope Scary Movie 1 was exempt.... and 28 Weeks Later mentioned in the worst of the year?... *cries* Abbie Cornish? *cries*

Oh well, thanks for keeping me entertained.

Jason said...

Shiva -- considering Wright got Romola Deadeye instead, I'm not so sure he dodged any such bullet...

Andy Scott said...

Oh my God, I just watched Next tonight and you are soooo right about Nicolas and (especially) Julianne Moore. I will be tearing them both apart in a few weeks.

Kamikaze Camel said...

Shiva, I believe she didn't turn Atonement down instead of, but merely because she was already filming Elizabeth.

Some thoughts:

1. YAY! Film Bitch time is the best!

2. My god, Jessica Alba looks so much like Nomi Malone in the still you have used.

3. Hilary Swank actually had three movies this year. You forgot the "nice white lady" film Freedom Writers. I've seen that and The Reaping and I gave them both C-. I'm always tempted to see PS I Love You just to see if it too is C- worthy.

4. Agreed on the pies in Waitress. Australia isn't as big on pies as America seems to be but my god they looked revolting. The film wasn't much cop, but I didn't mind it. But, yikes... those pies!

5. LOVE the comment about La Vie en Rose. So funny and true.

My worst of the year (so far, I'm sure to see some more that are awful) are The Hills Have Eyes 2 and West, which I gave Fs too. Terrible. La Vie en Rose has sunk even further in my mind. And two festival flicks I saw called The Man From London and The Untouchable were just painful. They're actually the only films I'd rate D+ or lower.

Anonymous said...

Worst of the Year Spiderman 3. This actually got decent reviews???

Most overrated performance George Clooney playing George Clooney.

Most overrated movie I'll have to agree with Knocked up.

Jessica Alba-Should never act again

Campfest: Elizabeth the Golden Age.

Buffy Seasons 6 & 7 ( I know I 'm late, but I watched them this year). I lost all faith in Joss he ruined another great show ( along with Angel). Spike was so played out by season 5 talk about oversaturation. GAWD.


Worst trainwreck tie between Britney Overrated Spears & Amy Winehouse

Y Kant Goran Rite said...

I've barely seen any of the movies you mention, but that was a fun read. The only bit that stuck out to me was Susan Sarandon as Worst Supp Actress - I thought she was excellent.

However, I did notice you missed the truly worst film of the decade (I don't need to have seen Next to argue this) - winner of the Toronto Film Festival People's Choice Award 2006 (i.e. the cast and crew's extended families made up the audience): Bella. It mixed the scope and insight of a student film with the earnest whininess of mock-edgy Oscarbait. Revolting.

JS said...

Yay! The FB entries are in progress! :)

Looks like it's what I've been saying: Julianne Moore is in that Fay Dunaway/Laurence Olivier "I'm having fun! Can't you let me have fun?!" stage of her cinematic career.

One thing I noticed about the Elizabeth poster and during the movie: She even has a battle wig!

I really can't see how you gathered all this hate for Waitress though. I can't seem to see what you see.

And no mention of Philip Seymour Hoffman's recent career? What happened to him. He used to take these "quirky loser" roles but then jumped to "total douche" mode. It's like his Academy Award took him aside and made a deal with him: okay you can keep looking like a bum in a tux during awards season but you're a "lead actor now."

WickedScorp said...

You watch Star Trek : TNG?

I am so friggin' behind. January is going to be busy for me movie-wise. Spiderman 3 is still the most painful thing I sat through this year (physically painful, I swear) but I somehow managed to get to Death at a Funeral which was not quite but almost as miserable. I still think you are off, and a bad gay, for not enjoying 300 at least a little.

Anonymous said...

LOVE the Sally Field meltdown!

Rob

Tejas said...

Nathaniel, you are the film bitch. This is the funniest thing I have read all week!

If I could toss some of my own ideas. These are only movies that I have seen, because I skipped a whole bunch this year.

Worst of the Year: Fantastic Four - Rise of the Silver Surfer. I'm sure Next would take this spot, but I had the sense not to watch it.

Worst Performance: Nicholas Cage in National Treasure. I wish he would at least try to act. We know you can, but we hate that you don't.

Most Over-rated Movie: American Gangster.

Actor Most in Need of Turn-Around: Terrence Howard. After a fantastic turn in Hustle & Flow and a good turn in Crash, we've seen some absolutely crappy movies by this guy. Awake? Seriously, anything with Jessica Alba is headed towards disaster. What were you thinking?

Worst Recent Movie Trend: TIE!
1) The sappy, let's try to understand the Iraq situation by making Hollywood movies on Iraq

2) Let's have B-list movie directors re-make horror classics.

Anonymous said...

"The Great Debaters" was a stirring and worthwhile film, and Denzel was better here than he was in "American Gangster". You should have given it a proper chance and watched it instead of casually dismissing it or comparing it to "Bobby" (which it doesn't deserve, random GG nod or not). "Once" was an excellent film, and so was "La Vie En Rose". Meh. Same ole', same ole'.

filmfan said...

I thought Julianne Moore was quite good in this rather average sci-fi-action thriller "Next". Of course Nicolas Cage gave an over-the-top-performance, he was NOT good, and Jessica Biel was just hot and nothing more. But Julianne hadn't much possibilities! What the heck should she have done with that role else? She wasn't this clichéd "action-power-girl", she was - as one very acclaimed reviewer here in Germany correctly said - "pleasantly tough and 'chiseled' " as the FBI-agent. Of course it is bad compared to her genius work in "Far From Heaven" or "Boogie Nights" or "Magnolia" but it is the role!! It is the film!! It isn't her performance.
And she is FOR SURE not worse than Jessica Alba, Lindsay Lohan or Hilary Swank!

And Julianne knew exactly what she did (hello? she has 2 children and a husband who is an independent film maker. she can't earn the money only with risky indie-movies.), read this interview, she was quite humorous about it: http://uk.movies.ign.com/articles/782/782775p1.html

And for everyone (me included) who is desperately waiting for a complex, layered, rich, dramatic performance and role from Julianne: there is hope.
"Savage Grace" will play at the Sundance Film Festival in January, and EVERY REVIEW so far raved her and singled her performance as Barbara Daly Baekeland out. And then there will be "Blindness" - the film adaptation of José Saramago's famous novel by "City of God" and "Constant Gardener" director Fernando Meirelles in which Julianne stars in the lead as the doctor's wife: She will receive her fifth Oscar nomination for this movie and probably (hopefully!) her for a long time overdue Oscar FINALLY.

adam k. said...

Julianne will not win the oscar next year for either film. Kate and Meryl both trump her.

Next year's best actress race is gonna be RIDICULOUS.

Anonymous said...

no julia roberts mention among worst supporting actress for charlie wilson's war? she was just awful.

NATHANIEL R said...

i respectfully disagree that it's the role and not Julianne. It's true that the role is bad but if actors try hard enough they can usually at least not go down with the ship... when you're watching an actor you love do something miserably beneath them you're supposed to feel sympathy for them rather than anger that they're just letting this happen to them ;)

anyway.

anonymous --again-- i admitted that those were assumptions about the films I didn't see. I really and truly hated ANTWONE FISHER so I'm scared of The Great Debaters. maybe it is stirring but I can't see everything ---particular not in the last two weeks of the year when they release so many while I'm trying to have a life and celebrate the holidays with friends.

anonymous recent --yeah, Julia was bad in that. I sorta forgot while I was typing this because I also thought Amy Adams (sorry she's adorable so I say this with love) was vacant in it. in that she just wasnt' doing anything in the background. Just staring at Tom Hanks waiting for her next line. I was like DO SOMETHING. it was distracting. I like actors to act the entire time they're onscreen. not just when they have a line.

marla said...

Oh, there's a new pic of nick davis.

isn't he cute ?

adam k. said...

Julia wins by "worst supporting actress" award from that trailer alone.

I thought Sarandon didn't know what she was doing in Enchanted but it was still a hoot to watch her try, kind of a Jodie Foster in Inside Man situation, so I'd feel bad giving her "worst" citations. I mean, it's not like the movie around her deserved anything more.

adam k. said...

*by = my

What bugs me most is that Julia looks, sounds and acts NOTHING like the real woman she's playing, and she ends up looks like something out of a drag act. She was just such a ridiculous casting choice for this. It's like they were literally thinking "we just need someone incredibly famous who will sell tickets" without any regard for actually being right for the role. So it's no surprise she was bad. They deserved what they got.

I always wish I could think of Mike Nichols of one of my favorite directors, but then every so often he gives us something like this or Working Girl and just... ugh. I just can't.

Kurtis11 said...

I printed out your "I Skipped it Because..." and pinned it on my wall - every blurb felt like it was eminating from me. Awesome. My favorite, by far: "when you find yourself at the zoo and you have zero desire to see the penguins, you'll know: something inside you has died. Hollywood killed it."
I also giggled at the Misleading Marketing campaign tidbit. It's like when hordes of renters came storming back to Blockbuster because their "Pan's Labyrinth" movie wasn't in English.
But I second the confusion with the heavy "Waitress" hate. I liked that it was a little dark and different and surprisingly sweet, and Keri was fantastic.

mrripley said...

where has the old julia gone with sparkle zest and wattage,please someone give her a comedy role that is where her talent lies although i have said it once and say it again re watch her closer perf she is astonishing in her break up scene.

adam k. said...

Well, technically Charlie Wilson's was a comedy.

Anonymous said...

I loved "Charlie Wilson's War", and I thought that Julia Roberts was great in it. I wanted to see more of her actually, though it eventually became Tom Hanks and Philip Seymour Hoffman's show instead.

Sammy Jo said...

Abbie Cornish turned down Atonement because she had already committed to Bright Star which was supposed to film immediately after Atonement.

The role was then offered to Evan Rachel Wood who also turned down the role because she was already committed to In Bloom, and because she wanted to play the role from 13 to 18.

Romola Garai was the third choice for the role partly because Wright procrastinated until his top two choices were already booked.

I think Garai is just alright, but nothing to write home about. I am reserving judgement on Cornish as I liked her in Candy, but not in Elizabeth.

Wood is obviously multi-talented and actually read for Wright to prove she could handle the accent. She was subsequently cast in the Bronte movie so she must be able to handle accents.

c.p. iñor said...

Julianne Moore was reaaaaally bad in Next but since she has never been one of my ALL TIME FAVORITES, like she has been to you Nat, I'm not mad at her I mean I think she's only good if she's really well directed and you can tell because when she's good the film is good (exceot in The Hours, she's bad in it, the movie eis good)... so it's not like if because of her any film is better.

I do love her in Magnolia, Boogie Nights, Far from Heaven, The Big Lebowsky, Short Cuts, The End of the Affair and Vany on 42nd Street.
(all good movies to me).

and...

I know you haven't seen it but I think I can asure you thatn Lindsay Lohan wouldn't have make your nominees for worts actress for IKWKM, she's the only thing that makes that film watchable.

filmfan said...

Sorry, Julianne Moore is stunning "The Hours". She is haunting, heartbreaking, deeply moving as Laura Brown, it's one of her best performances. And which actor can really be good with a bad director? And Julianne is also good in "An Ideal Husband" or "The Forgotten" which were both really average movies.

Anyway, I'm really excited for next year's best actress race - not only that there will be Meryl in "Doubt" and Kate in "Revolutionary Road" but also Nicole in "Reader" or "Australia". And if you count Julianne for "Blindness" in - it is gonna be a "summit meeting". And yeah it could be that Meryl or Kate trump her but assuming that all three performances are really strong, especially Julianne's (she has to make up for some things) the Academy could also say: Meryl has already two, Kate is still young, so let's give it to Julianne. But we shall see.

And someone mentioned the Julia Roberts performance in "Closer", especially in the break up scene - I have to agree fully. It IS astonishing. It is such a strong, absolutely not Roberts-like, fantastic performance that I'm still angry why she wasn't even nominated for a Golden Globe or something else. Having not seen "Charlie Wilsons War" yet, I wonder how it could happen that her second collaboration with Mike Nichols can be so "bad". Maybe the HFPA gave her the nomination this year to apologize for the failure not nominating her for "Closer" (and then giving Hilary Swank the award in the same year!!).
You can watch this intensive, deeply honest scene here, it contains such brilliant acting from Clive Owen (who truly deserved is Oscar nomination and his Golden Globe) and Julia Roberts:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9RECn39jxNM&feature=related

filmfan said...

Sorry, Julianne Moore is stunning "The Hours". She is haunting, heartbreaking, deeply moving as Laura Brown, it's one of her best performances. And which actor can really be good with a bad director? And Julianne is also good in "An Ideal Husband" or "The Forgotten" which were both really average movies.

Anyway, I'm really excited for next year's best actress race - not only that there will be Meryl in "Doubt" and Kate in "Revolutionary Road" but also Nicole in "Reader" or "Australia". And if you count Julianne for "Blindness" in - it is gonna be a "summit meeting". And yeah it could be that Meryl or Kate trump her but assuming that all three performances are really strong, especially Julianne's (she has to make up for some things) the Academy could also say: Meryl has already two, Kate is still young, so let's give it to Julianne. But we shall see.

And someone mentioned the Julia Roberts performance in "Closer", especially in the break up scene - I have to agree fully. It IS astonishing. It is such a strong, absolutely not Roberts-like, fantastic performance that I'm still angry why she wasn't even nominated for a Golden Globe or something else. Having not seen "Charlie Wilsons War" yet, I wonder how it could happen that her second collaboration with Mike Nichols can be so "bad". Maybe the HFPA gave her the nomination this year to apologize for the failure not nominating her for "Closer" (and then giving Hilary Swank the award in the same year!!).
You can watch this intensive, deeply honest scene here, it contains such brilliant acting from Clive Owen (who truly deserved is Oscar nomination and his Golden Globe) and Julia Roberts:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9RECn39jxNM&feature=related

Anonymous said...

Denzel has grown as a director from "Antwone Fisher" (which wasn't a bad film at all). The crowd I was with loved "The Great Debators" and clapped at the end. That wouldn't mean anything to you guys, but there it is.

adam k. said...

I really think/hope that Kate wins next year for Revolutionary Road. I find it hard to believe they'd give it to Julianne when she's been so bad in so much recently. Plus, the role and film sound less oscary than those of her competitors.

Wow, though... Kate vs. Meryl vs. Nicole vs. Julianne would really be something. I assume a never-nominated new starlet would be the 5th.

Why is every fantabulous best actress year followed by a subpar one? I wish they could even these things out. But in any case, '08 could give even '06 a run for its money.

NATHANIEL R said...

why are we discussing 2008. stay with me people ;)

what really sucked for you this year?

JS said...

"what really sucked for you this year?"

My Worst of the Year or to borrow from French & Saunders, "The 'effing 'effing List" consists of (so far):

that Aqua Teen movie
Death at a Funeral
and am I the only one who saw this: Ozon's "Angel"

Those three movies so far. I have until the Oscars before settling on my final offenders.

Ishmael said...

Not the worst film I saw this year, but my biggest disappointment was Sunshine.

Great visuals.
Great sound.
Horrible script. Laughably bad.

Anonymous said...

I'm not a fan of La vie en rose but i like the film and Marion Cotillard gives (For me9 the best performance by a female leading actor of the year. I hope she win the Oscar

Anonymous said...

What about Lindsay Lohan? She's the worst actress of the year... "I know who killed me" is a awful film and her performance is just pathetic... Right, Juliannne Moore's performance in Next is bad, but I think is the caracter, not her...

Brooke Cloudbuster said...

For me, the whole Apatow craze sucked. Get over it, people!

I'm also not down with the Lust, Caution Foreign Film controversy. Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon probably had just as much American input as Lust, Caution. It just gives the Academy a chance to not award 'edgy' filmmaking.

Catherine said...

I had thought the worst films I had seen this year were the poor, harmless threequels of Shrek and Spiderman. Both films were terrible and shouldn't have existed, but I didn't feel strongly about them enough to hate them. (And Spidey was a lot of fun; a MESS, but fun).

Then, tonight, I saw The. Worst. Film. Ever.

St. Trinians.

Bad. Bad. Baaad. An unfunny, morally questionable, poorly shot, self-indulgent cess-pool of a film. It was so ridiculously stupid and wanted to be offensive and edgy so badly, but failed on every level and I was so bored. Rupert Everett should give up acting for good and stick to writing books. For reals.

marla said...

adam k.

don't forget La Jolie in The Changeling next year. It is said that everyone wanted the role in HWood (AFter, all it's Eastwood.. duh !!) Her role is very oscarbait and she also has very oscars scenes.

And let's not forget Charlize Theron in The Burning Plain : Arriaga is well-liked by the Academy (21 grams, Babel), and her role is also quite meaty according to people who've read the script

+ in the "never nom'd" category :
Rachel McAdams - The Time Traveller's Wife
Drew Barrymore - Grey Gardens

Lewis said...

The worst film this year by a mile was "300". I hated every second of that horrendous film.

Coming in after that was -

"American Gangster"
Brings absolutely NOTHING new to the table. Washington is incredibly mediocre, the script is a cliched mess. An embarrassment for all involved.

"Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World's End"
This film was nothing but 2 and 1/2 hours of people talking unintelligibly about how they were going to betray the other. And why exactly are we on the side of pirates?

"Catch & Release"
Two hours of montages set to slow acoustic guitar.

"The Number 23"
DON'T HIT THE DOG!

"The Brave One" and "Shooter"
Both of these films endings are so morally reprehensible that they completely destroy any of the quality that may have occurred prior.

Drew said...

These are bad:
Epic Movie, Ghost Rider, Number 23, FF4 part 2, Hills Have Eyes 2, Good Luck Chuck, Next, and AVP 2.

I can't believe I have to fast forward FF4, it is so boring. And Alba certainly doesn't help with her wooden "acting".

I have to agree with Nat regarding "La Vie En Rose" and "Waitress".

In the case of "Waitress", it's not because it's so goddamn awful but it's so mediocre. Keri Russell is ok but all the characters are so stereotypical Lifetime movies. It's so akwardly paced and it looks so cheap. I know it is a low budget movie but still.. And I still don't get why critics like this movie. And it's not like grade "B" like it's more like grade "A" type of like. What in the world??

The less to be said about "La Vie En Rose", the better. The director must have seen "21 Grams" too many times and decided that to make his biopic different from the regular boring biopic, he will just throw the scenes all over the place. I already found "21 Grams" annoying but "La Vie En Rose" took it to another level. At the very least, "21 Grams" is about 3 different story lines, which is still no excuse, but "La Vie En Rose" is about Edith Piaf and Edith Piaf alone. When I watch the movie, it just seems that I watch different montages jumbled together with each scenes showing Marion with different funny and strange faces. Seriously, there is no emotional impact from using this technique. And again, reading some critics already praising this biopic as one of the best made ever makes me scratch my head.

Vanwall said...

Other than your "Waitress" delusions, you hit the nail on the head with everything else. But that means if you reverse all your meanings, those will be likely Oscar noms. Sad. Thanks for your validations of taste, anyway!

Anonymous said...

What happened to the "Crash Award"? :-(

Anonymous said...

Worst performance: Travolta in Wild Hogs. (When Tim Allen looks like he's giving a subtle and subdued performance by contrast, you know you've got a Razzie winner.)

My sweetie rented it, not knowing what we'd be in for (I said to her "I hope you didn't pay money for this".) And thank you for mentioning the stupidity of the anti-gay theme in it. Can't we grow up, America? What really revolts me more than the film is the realization that it made a lot of money.

Oh, and the new banner looks great, Nate. Happy 2008! (Does that mean we'll have a 20:08 series this year?)

RedSatinDoll

Cagatay said...

I'm fairly surprised at the Clive Owen - The Golden Age snub. It was the worst of the year for me and I somehow thought everyone that's seen it agreed. Heh.

marla said...

You're so right about Wild Hogs RedSatinDoll.

Anonymous said...

Lindsay Lohan and IKWKM both absolutely Showgirls quality bad. If they can get a funny commentary going ala Showgirls, maybe it will be watchable for the
laugh factor. I don't understand all the "but LL has talent" sayers. I think she is a mediocre, obviously greedy little pig of a Narscissist. There are so few roles for women as it is. Let's give them to some more deserving actresses shall we?

daveylow said...

Did Abbie Cornish turn down a role in Atonement for Elizabeth so she could make out with Clive?

Ryan said...

yeah if you wanna look at it that way it's suddenly so sensible