Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Cinematic Shame: Worst of the Year

Kris Tapley of In Contention and myself rarely agree. But I will give him this: He's probably right to focus less and less attention on "worst of the year" columns each year. I should do the same. But alas, I'm still baring my fangs. Next year, maybe. Don't write me hate mail if you like these films. I just vent so that I can move on.

The Worst of the Year
Before dessert, one must eat vegetables --wait, that's a horrible analogy. Because good movies taste sweet and are healthy too. (Like chocolate flavored broccoli perhaps?) But before we can munch down on the banquet of year-end goodies, let's toss out the rotten cinematic entries before their stench settles in. Read the Cinematic Shame Dishonors.


Anonymous said...

Nathaniel, I have to ask, was there ever a chance you would enjoy Felicity Huffman/Transamerica?


My general preference is not "pro" on stunt / gimmick type of work but everyone has their preferences, don't they?

that said I do try to keep an open mind. I just never felt anything other than "look at me ACT !" during this particular performance. kinda like that 'master thespian' thing on the old SNL. remember that?

but just for point of reference. Charlize Theron in Monster. Also a stunt performance. It was my sixth favorite of that year for Best Actress. I didn't want her to win the Oscar but I had no objection to her nomination.

Felicity doesn't get anywhere near my top ten this year. And it's a weak year.

Glenn Dunks said...

So, even though TransAmerica got a D+ is STILL wasn't in your bottom 10? yikes.

I'm not gonna argue with any of them except:

"Please Note
Domestic abuse: Still not funny. Still not sexy. Even when it stars Brangelina. Even in Mr & Mrs Smith."

aww, that scene where they demolish the house and then root like rabbits was funny. But then, I liked the movie.

I definitely laughed out loud at your comments on Tom Cruise's son in WotW, Christina Ricci (poor her), 9 Songs, 'You are to become geisha' and No ASPCA? Chan Wook Park, or whatever that sadistic no-hopers name is, actually thanked the multiple octupi that gave their lives for his film when he was awarded at Cannes. Poor octupi.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, but how long have you been complaining about Huffman's performance? I'm speaking as a hardcore fan of Huffman from her Sports Night days, so I can't deny my own bias. When commenting on her awards chances, you only focused on the gimmick - not the raves the performance has received (I think only Emmanuelle Devos got better reviews, and yes, I'm including Joan Allen's triplet turn), nor the fact that she managed to sustain buzz for over half a year (since Tribeca).

I guess I just wonder why you bothered to see it since it really conformed to your early view (see also City of God, though I didn't like that one very much).

Or maybe I'm just bristling to see my fifth favourite film of the year (The Dying Gaul) so low, along with 9 Songs and Transamerica, two others that I really enjoyed.

Javier Aldabalde said...

I'm still waiting to see if Fernando Meirelles is a genius too. I mean, "City of God" was brilliant but both his films were shot by the very brilliant César Charlone so I'm not sure how much credit Meirelles gets for his apparently uneven "Gardener".

Great rundown but really... "Revenge of the Sith" is so much better than the crappy 70s flicks. Perhaps it's that I'm from a newer generation but really... Some of that stuff was truly pathetic.

Anonymous said...

THANK YOU for recognizing the unbelievable miscasting of the daughters in The Upside of Anger. They are not believable as an actual family for one SECOND.

A hilarious roundup as usual.

adam k. said...

Wait, where is the bit about the daughters? I didn't see that anywhere. Still don't.

Anyway, Nathaniel, please don't stop doing "worst of the year" stuff, cause this was REALLY funny. I laughed a lot.

And yeah, the bit about Bana thrusting to images of death and violence kind of scarred me just by my reading about it. Although I'd kind of like to see it anyway, cause Eric Bana's really hot. Actually, same goes for the alleged sex scene between Saarsgard and Scott in the Dying Gaul, cause, um... they're both really hot.

Wow, I'm terrible.

Anyway, shouldn't you see Elizabethtown, if only for Sarandon and Dunst? I bet they'd make the cut in some category or other in the FB awards, best diva or some such. I remember you never seeing Vanity Fair either, even though by all accounts, it was decent enough, just not oscar worthy. Doesn't it deserve at least a look?

And lastly, I'm going to pretend I didn't hear that bit about ROTS being better than the 70's films. That's all I'll say.

Joe R. said...

Actually, you're both right: Bana is crazy hot, but that scene is also crazy unsettling. Not sure Spielberg wanted to draw quite that clear a line between the Black September treatment of their victims and what ol' Eric was doing to his wife.

adam k. said...

Well, I do see how it'd be a good filmmaking choice. I haven't seen the film, but I'd assume he's trying to show that Bana was so haunted by the violent images that he couldn't even relax and enjoy the thrusting. Horiffic images will do that.

OhMyTrill said...

put this here since the actual entry was getting a bit full...sorry...(I am still trying to catch up on my is pitiful how few I have seen...shame...shame...)

Best Line Reading:
how's aboutmy two favorites from Kong: 1)And lo, the beast looked upon the face of beauty, and it stayed its hand. And from that day, it was as one dead. and 2)It wasn't the airplanes; beauty killed the beast.

Best Beginning+ending:
How can you resist the opening shots of the Kansas fields in Caopte? And the final tears flowing from Perry's eyes at the end of Caopte?

Best Character Introduction:
Mr. Darcy enters the dance "But poor he most certianly is not..."

Scene of the Year:
When Anne Darrow walks up to Kong on the Streets of Manhattan and they stare into each other's eyes...he picks her up and carries her...yadda yadda

OhMyTrill said...

Couldn't agree more with your picks for most over-rated...Star Wars=better than the previous two, BUT STILL NOT A GOOD MOVIE (and I love the original 3)...Constant Gardener=my friends all practically left the theater in tears...I could hardly stand the the hell was that movie a huge critical was supposedly a thriller, but they told you everything in the first 15 minutes...whatever...

Anonymous said...

I can't bealive you didn't watch Monster-in-Law!!!!! I mean Jane Fonda deserved it, hahaha... it's not a supermovie but has really good moments and also could be a great candideta for the FB awards in Diva of the year (Fonda) or Individual Line Reading (Sykes). At least that's my humble opinion.

P.S. Yay!!!! J. Alba worst actress!!! Great choice!

Javier Aldabalde said...

Have you actually watched the original trilogy with a critical eye? Those *things* are NOT charming.

Anonymous said...

well there was a quite long time no "Far From Heaven" or "The Hours" or "Magnolia" and that's sad, I know, but she had box-office-success one year ago with "The Forgotten" and was nominated for the People's Choice Award, and well "Prize Winner of Defiance Ohio" wasn't her big comeback but she earned critical honours:

„Julianne Moore is perfect in this defiantly upbeat drama.“
US Weekly
„Huge credit is due Moore, in a fascinating performance that again show's she's among the best American actresses onscreen.“
„Moores is an impressively layered performance...
Smiling through adversity, Moore is the heart and soul of "Prizewinner" and worthy of prize consideration come Oscar time.“
San Francisco Chronicle

AND she earned a Golden Satellite Award Nomination... well I know not a big prize-rain as it was in "FFH"-Time but let's wait until "Freedomland" comes out... and 2006 there'll come out another todd haynes film starring Julianne... so she WILL BE BACK!!!

Glenn Dunks said...

"2)It wasn't the airplanes; beauty killed the beast."

that was in the original... and Jack Black screwed it up in the remake.

I wouldn't exactly be calling The Forgotten a great return for Moore, there. That was... not pretty.

Monster-in-Law... wasn't great. But there are some decent laughs to be had. But then I am one of those few who can actually stand the sight of Jennifer Lopez and don't wish fire and brimstone to rain down upon her.

Me = Fernando Meirelles (and Constant Gardener for that matter) devotee. I think he's definitely one of THE most important new filmmakers since 2000 alongside Sofia Coppola and Jonathan Glazer.

...but that's just me.

Anonymous said...

Definitely with the camel on the Constant Gardener loving. One of my Top 5 for the year thus far, and I LOVED City of God too. Plus the way that Rachel Weisz has moved from "longshot" to "probable" has been a joy to behold.


Kris said...

Your loss on Lord of War and The Weather Man, two of the best films of the year, regardless of unnecessary and frankly beside-the-point actor biases. Whatever happened to letting the film speak for itself?

Kris said...

Oh, and not to be unthankful, gracias for the shout out.

John T said...

While we disagree on a couple (I loved the action scenes in Kong), for the most part we were in utter agreement. My personal end of the year list:

Worst Movie: Kingdom of Heaven (Runners-up: Revenge of the Sith and North Country)
Worst Actor: Orlando Bloom (Kingdom of Heaven)
Worst Actress: Jennifer Lopez (Monster-in-Law)
Worst Supporting Actor: Woody Harrelson (North Country)
Worst Supporting Actress: Natalie Portman (Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith)
Biggest Disappointment-Film: The Island (Ewan and Scarlett-come on!)
Biggest Disappointment-Actor: Johnny Depp (Charlie-why?)
Worst Performance in a Movie I Liked: Aslan in Chronicles of Narnia (I know it's animated, but still, it was so blah)
Actor Most in Need of a New Agent: Nicole Kidman (you never should have made Bewitched)
Best Performance in a Bad Movie: Gena Rowlands (The Skeleton Key)
Worst Continuing Acting Trend: Bland Pretty Boys (Orlando Bloom, Hayden Christensen, Bryan Greenberg)
Worst Comeback: Jane Fonda (Monster-in-Law)
Please Leave Me Alone: Jimmy Fallon, Kate Hudson, Kevin Costner, Mark Wahlberg, Phillip Seymour Hoffman
Best Reason to Raise Children Off Classic Disney: Madagascar
Worst Ending: War of the Worlds
Worst Waste of Talents: The Island, Jarhead, and Prime
The Romantic Comedy is Dead: Prime, Must Love Dogs, and Bewitched