Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Year in Review Part 2: Burn the Negatives!

The title of this post is indefensible, exclamatory (!) and puerile. But these movies piss me off and if they can be super obnoxious, so can I. Now, in truth, I probably never see the absolute "worst" of the movies that play in theaters since I can pick and choose my own film menu. My New Year's Resolution is to be more constructive when I criticize (I'm not giving up criticism. That's mother's milk). I'd also like to be more positive in 2010.

Thus, I retract the titular command: No negatives of the following movies and performances should be incinerated ... instead let them live on as cautionary tales to actors and filmmakers. People are watching. Try harder.

Worst Supporting Actor
I've already expressed my concerned about the "too much!" of Stanley Tucci's continually nominated performance in The Lovely Bones. I don't know what the hell Richard Gere was doing in Amelia, do you? And I don't want Alan Arkin to do what he was doing in Sunshine Cleaning one more time. You won an Oscar for that performance already. Move on! Other than his suddenly legal elfin beauty, I can't see what Colin Firth could have possibly seen in Nicholas Hoult in A Single Man. In the end though it was clear that this would have to be a group "honor". I considered giving it to Everyone in G.I. Joe, none of whom seem to nail the cartoonishly one-note style that the movie desperately needs (not that they're playing whole octaves either, mind). I wasn't entirely crazy about what Stephen Lang was doing in Avatar but it's exactly what everyone in G.I. Joe needed to be doing. But in the end I have no choice but to hand this to the Muggy McMuggerson twins Jae Head and Ray McKinnon in The Blind Side. I partially blame them for Sandra Bullock's sudden Oscar contention. Standing next to them (and the unfortunately blank Quinton Aaron as "Michael Oher") she looks like some kind of genius dramatist. I guess that's a new way to be a "supporting" actor.

Worst Supporting Actress
Rachel McAdams seems completely lost in Sherlock Holmes, doesn't she? I love Jenny Beavan's costumes in the movie but Rachel seems lost inside of them. I got nothing from that performance. Nothing! I can barely remember her in the movie and I saw it one week ago. It breaks my hard to express my dismay about Betty White in The Proposal ("too much!") because she's practically our collective grandmother and she's absolutely my favorite Golden Girl. But this dishonor goes no contest to Rose Byrne an actress I have never warmed too. That said, she's not usually flat out awful the way she is in her shrill performance in Knowing. [spoiler] I wasn't so sad when the world ended because at least that meant I was rid of Rose Byrne and Nicolas Cage.

Worst Actor
I dedicate this award to Nicolas Cage but I'm not actually giving him the prize for Knowing (in which he is typically terrible) because, he's won too many of these already. Plus I hear he's lunatic inspired in Bad Lieutenant Port of Call New Orleans and I'm willing to give him the benefit of the doubt since Werner Herzog is directing him. Herzog is, as you know, quite good with certifiable movie stars (See also: Klaus Kinski). Larry David made me bonkers in Whatever Works because he doesn't modify his schtick at all to suit a different writer's voice and he's even less believeable as a romantic lead to young beautiful women than Woody Allen ever was. I wish Hugh Jackman had remembered to have fun as Wolverine in that X-Men Origins dirge. He was better the other three times he played the role. But the loser here is Channing Tatum as "Duke" in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra because I think he thinks that the movie was a drama. Oops. He is stupid hot. And I mean both adjectives emphatically.

Worst Actress
I seem to be in the distinct minority that would rather watch almost anything other than Kristen Stewart's mopey twitching ... even in Adventureland but I've already talked about that. It's too obvious to tell you that I thought Hilary Swank was embarrassing in Amelia but, so what, I did. She was stiff, stilted and sexless in a movie that needed an actress with spontaneity and fire. But this one is no contest: Hayden Panetierre plays the title role in I Love You Beth Cooper. Beth is a standard spoiled beauty who discovers that a less attractive 'loser' has real soul (funny how that's always happening in movies. I wonder who the movies are made for?) Panetierre can't even manage this stock character that thousands of actresses have explained how to play for the past century of film.

Hell's Multiplex
The Worst Pictures of the Year

10 Fighting
I still giggle when I think of Joe Reid's brilliant take on this Channing Tatum is a streetfighter drama. Is it really a comedy about retarded men having hardcore gay sex? If that's what the filmmakers intended maybe it's a masterpiece and it belongs on next week's Top Ten list?

Hugh gives Channing the beat down

09 X-Men Origins: Wolverine
Greedily hordes all the well known pitfalls of inferior superhero movies like they're actually merit badges: operatically self important, humorless, needlessly complicated backstories, the introduction of so many characters that none resonate, battles for battles sake, invulnerable characters that rob fight scenes of any actual drama... Note to filmmakers: if people cannot be killed or even injured it is SUPER boring to watch them fight. Unless the set pieces are insanely creative or well choreographed and these aren't. I will always love the X-Men. I grew up reading them. But the past two pictures have unfortunately cured me of all desire to see them on the silver screen.

08 The Lovely Bones
Peter Jackson's nadir. Garishly colorful when it needs the beauty of a simpler palette, entirely negligent about tracking the true heart of its drama (a family torn asunder), weirdly repetitive about its most obvious plot points, lazy with emotional shortcuts and telegraphed character details. In short, a disaster. Most hated moment: [Spoiler] Did we really have to equate Susie Salmon's cathartic posthumous first kiss (which she's happy about by the way) with the extended coundtown scene of her mutilated dead body being rolled towards a garbage dump? It's the worst and ickiest cross cutting I've seen in a movie since Eric Bana's orgasm in Munich but at least the latter made a solid narrative point.

04 Push (Not Based on the Novel by Sapphire)
I don't often watch movies and think 'this would be way better as a TV series' but...yeah. Push spends a lot of time (a lot) setting up the mythology of an evil corporation that experiments and tries to control people with psychic powers. The prologue itself felt like it should have been extended by a half hour and function as a "pilot". But even accepting that they decided to make this convoluted premise into a stand alone movie, it's a huge inept mess. It rarely goes for laughs but I couldn't help laughing at one recurring gaffe. Every single time someone used one of their powers in a crowded room the extras mysteriously disappeared. I suspect they couldn't afford the extras for more complex special effects shots but you can't really show them in a scene and then make a quick edit to the same set with special effects occuring and remove the extras and not have the audience noticing the mass vanishing, you know? Worse yet this occurs in the climactic battle. A "pusher" is controlling a small group of armed men. It's actually a cool effect as she turns them like synchronized soldiers to attack any opponent. Then the emotional climax occurs. They're surrounding her like bodyguards in the medium shot, there's some close up drama and suddenly they're not in the scene any more. What... the... hell?

The third stupidest thing I saw in a movie this year: The recurring visual of a "bleeder", whose power is screaming really loud until people die from internal bleeding, removing his sunglasses so that he can scream (f/x magic makes his eyes crazy). Apparently you can't scream while you're wearing glasses. Who knew?

03 G.I. Joe The Rise of Cobra
The stupidest thing I saw in any movie this year: constant fiery explosions UNDER WATER.
The second stupidest thing I saw this year (regarding movies):
abundant people trying to make thumbs up excuses for this movie. Thank god that James Cameron finally came back to the cinema to remind people that action films can be thrilling and fun ... especially when you can actually follow what's happening and there's some beauty and style to the big booms.

02 The Ugly Truth
Over the past few weeks I've been trying to catch up with films I'd missed during the year. I've rediscovered something I knew already: it can be easier to watch mediocre or outright bad movies than quality films. I suspect this is why the box office charts are so often littered with disposable junk. Bad and/or unambitious movies require almost nothing from their audience. But if you're not in the right frame of mind, a quality movie's best attributes may slip right by you. I suspect this is why more complicated movies often get the dread "boring" tag from the general public. Junk is easy to engage with on superficial levels if you're feeling tired, stressed, distracted or not completely on top of your game... and who doesn't feel those things regularly? But when a movie is reallllllllly bad and offensive, none of this applies. It can prove very difficult to watch. I actually briefly hated the cinema (my great love!) when the credits rolled on this one.

Who knew that Tom Cruise's 'sperm receptacle' nastiness in Magnolia could actually be played straight for romantic comedy. And that audiences were expected to sign on and swoon? I'd name this the worst movie of the year but for the saving grace/problem of Katherine Heigl. She is actually a natural at romantic comedy but she's totally using her powers for evil. She called Knocked Up out on its sexism and then made this...?

01 I Love You I Hate You Beth Cooper.
I've already said my piece on Hayden earlier. But I would like to add that after the Home Alone franchise's elaborate pain-making slapstick and this movie's insanely violent "funny" moments (people wouldn't live through these things in real life) I do worry about writer/director Chris Columbus's sadistic streak. Maybe he should make a horror movie instead of all these sentimental pictures. He definitely likes to inflict pain.


Whew. Got that out of my system. I'm nice from here on out as I pass out the FB Awards starting next week.

But before we get to the top ten movies of 2009 which movies made you crazy hateful this past year... which prompted your own berzerker rage? And if you love any of the movies I just barked at ... what's wrong with you? (Joking! Don't freak out) If you love any of these movies... teach us how to love them more.


Amir said...

i hated that movie.
i wasn't so big on borat at the time either but bruno was just awful. awful. awful.
i did not laugh at all throughout the entire movie. i only smiled once (at the mel gibson joke)
definitely the worst movie experience of the year.

Nate said...

Carey Mulligan in An Education. I don't think she was the worst no, but Superb, Unforgettable, astonishing. WTF, if Carey Mulligan wasn't cute and young people wouldn't give a rat's ass about that performance. She was charming sure, but amazing hell no. I agree with that guy who wrote that article, Michelle was better in Cheri than Carey was in An Education. Hell, I thought Knightley was better in Pride and Prejudice than Mulligan in An Education.

Katey said...

I guess I once again have to chime in
and hate Transformers 2 since you never subjected yourself to it! It may or may not be actually worse than ILYBC, but it cost a billion times as much, and that is
sooooo hateful.

Joe Reid said...

I've actually grown to really love Rose Byrne after seeing her growth through two seasons of Damages. But I could not agree with you more, she is shockingly bad in Knowing.

D said...

Of course "Wolverine" was atrocious, but although I haven't seen "Fighting" yet, I have to believe that "Wolverine" is still the front-runner for most homoerotic movie of the year. That's worth something.

par3182 said...

i nominate the julie half of julie and julia - not only was the character of julie whiny, self-involved and endlessly irritating her vapid quest to be noticed bore no resemblance to the self starting and groundbreaking achievements of julia child - thereby serving no purpose except to deprive us of the much more fascinating story of julia (i actually groaned out loud at one point when it cut back to amy adams). think how much more meryl, stanley and jane lynch we could have enjoyed if the stupid film didn't make suffer through julie's duck phobia for so damn long

Unknown said...

tough but fair, nathaniel.

Anonymous said...

if there's one thing i hate its not watching a whole movie. stopping in the middle of the movie or walking out of the theatre are things i find myself unable to do. however, i love you beth cooper was just so painfully bad that i couldnt keep watching, it was wounding my soul.
that being said, i also really hated precious. the more i think about it the more it pisses me off.

Chris Na Taraja said...

I guess you didn't even see 2012!!!

I had just finished seeing THE FANTASTIC MR FOX, and was smiling ear to ear, when I thought, "I'm never gonna see 2012, not even on DVD, so why don' t I pop in there and take a look see."

It was even worse than I could imagine. SPOILER (if that's even possible!) The government making giant cruise ships for rich people and pairs of animals. Come on!

Brian Owens said...

I could only make it past about 20 minutes of BRIDE WARS.


And it saddens me to say that ANTICHRIST was just boring. I love to the point of lurving von Trier (and Charlotte was pretty dandy); but the movie was just boring. There was nothing "challenging" in it at all. It was just film school crap tossed on the screen as "brilliance". I'm hoping he needed to get this out of his system, because after MANDALAY and ANTICHRIST I'm starting to lose my patience with him.

Sam Brooks said...

I nominate The Lovely Bones for a one-time only award:

Worst Use Of Susan Sarandon in a Montage.

What was that!?

Chris Na Taraja said...

OMG Par3182! You are so right. I usually love Amy Adams work, but Julie was annoying and contrite. I actually got a kick out of hearing that the actual Julia Childs didn't like her either! Weren't Tucci and Streep just divine.

Chris Na Taraja said...

Granted Amy Adams and Chris Messina did the best they could with not so great material.

Jake D said...

My worst of the year:

6. Drag Me To Hell (I suspect I might be kinder to this one on a second viewing, but I thought it was ridiculous)
5. The Proposal (Nate, thank you for calling out Betty White here. Sheesh.)
4. G.I. Joe
3. The Stepfather (no idea why I bothered with this one...)
2. The Ugly Truth (so offensive towards anything that breathes)
1. Transformers 2 (dear God this was painful)

Ryan T. said...

Transformers 2 was bad. I only saw it because I actually liked the first one. So again I saw this movie WANTING to like it and it just gave me nothing.

But that wasn't even the worst movie I saw all year. For some reason, I ended up seeing Ghost of Girlfriends Past. True, it was on a plane, and truthfully I would've never seen it if it played anywhere else, but there it was. And just thinking about it makes me angry.

Other dishonorable mentions not mentioned by you: Bride Wars and He's Just Not That Into You.

VT said...

Awww. Give Rose Byrne another shot. She's awesome on "Damages", if that means anything to ya.

Glenn Dunks said...

Nicely done, Nathaniel. I agree for all the movies I've seen, but that's not that many.

The worst of the year for me was Salvation from Paul Cox. Mean-spirited (even on easy targets like organised religion) and ugly, dreadful performances (even from Wendy Hughes! gah!) and just depressing in every way.

The Ugly Truth was another one. Despicable. Under a Red Moon wasn't even amateurish, it was pre-amateur. Amelia was almost funny it was so bad, Crush needed to be MORE funny to be better, Closed for Winter was ridiculous and Natalie Imbruglia's performance is so silly. She has the supernatural power to cut to a flashback by merely starring out of a window. Dance Flick and Did You Hear About the Morgans? were going to be bad and I knew it, yet I watched anyway. Paris 36 was the worst kind of musical. Knowing was just absurd and I weep for Alex Proyas and The Young Victoria was autopilot filmmaking at its laziest.

Prime Mover, Van Diemen's Land, Beautiful and Last Ride capped of a list of dreadful Aussie films that thankfully got sunk by the much better ones released this year.

Worst Actress? Hilary Swank probably, but Wendy Hughes was terrible but I'd have to go in the end with Natalie Imbruglia. She had the best album of 2009 and the worst female performance!

Worst Actor? Definitely Hugh Grant or Gerard Butler. I'm gonna go with the latter purely because when you can see an actors mouth contorting to make a really bad American accent and they look like they've had a mild stroke? Not good!

Jay said...

Rose Byrne is actually an incredible actress. Check out "Goddess of 1967" Her performance is utter brillance.

With "Knowing" however, she definitely could've been better.

RTM said...

Definitely Transformers 2 and Bruno (even from the trailer/clips it looks AWFUL) for Worst Pics. And yeah, totally agree about The Ugly Truth, the title definitely says it all. It's just rude, crude and criminally banal... and this is from a girl who adore Gerry Butler!! He REALLY should get off from the rom-com train.

Glad I haven't seen a lot of the flicks mentioned here. Thanks for the warnings, guys :)

Michael C. said...

Worst Movie I Saw in 2009 - The Men Who Stare at Goats. Just awful. As Steve Martin once told John Candy, "Here's an idea. Have a point. It makes it so much more interesting for the listener."

Worst Performance - Malin Akerman in Watchmen.
No contest. I can't recall ever having seen such an amateurish performance in a major motion picture.

Anonymous said...

I've not seen it, and hopefully never will, but based on the trailer alone I'm voting for Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel.

adam k. said...

I really hated The Hangover. But I've made that clear on this blog already.

The other one, though, that I don't see anyone mentioning is Little Ashes. Now I don't hold any grudges against this film, since it did actually have some endearing qualities, and was more of the "so bad it's good" variety. Plus I didn't pay to see it. But wow. SO bad. There's a reason it was barely released anywhere.

People may have heard about Robert Pattinson attempting to channel Dali. He had absolutely no idea what he was doing - basically "playing crazy" and trying to sound Spanish" - and he's all but admitted as much in interviews.

But the film around him is equally inept. Totally pedestrian while attempting to be artsy, romantic and profound. Think "Frida" directed by a film student instead of Julie Taymor.

The actor who played Marquez was good, though. And the love story, though ineptly portrayed, was really trying to be moving. It was all kind of cute, just really inept and rather absurd, so I was mostly just embarrassed for everyone involved, and amused that the only reason it was released at all was because of the success of Twilight. HA.


Alex said...

How did Hilary Swank not win Worst Actress for AMELIA?

adam k. said...

And I actually didn't hate Wolverine nearly as much as I was expecting to. I found some of it quite gripping. I didn't mind the humorlessness. And I loved Gambit. But that whole fat guy boxing sequence or whatever it was really dragged it down. And Hugh did seem rather bored, which is a shame.

Anthony said...

I loved "The Hangover" and hope it's nominated in best picture. Watching it on DVD right now (on my new flatscreen TV for Christmas!). The gag reel is awesome BTW.

Cory Rivard said...

The best thing that I can say about X-Men Origins: Wolverine is that I liked it better than The Last Stand.

Runs Like A Gay said...

It's been a year for classically bad supporting turns, especially from the men. Stand outs include:

Michael Berresse as the worst hitman imaginable in State of Play - honestly I think I could be more subtle when killing off a Senators secretary.

Ewan MacGregor as the Carmelengo in Angels and Demons. Sample dialogue: "I was born in Ireland and raised in Italy." Which explains why he hasn't bothered learning one accept for the film.

Ruben Ochandiano as Ray X in Broken Embraces. OK in the modern day scenes but when we jump back to the past he starts channeling the worst of TV sketch show gay charicatures.

Anonymous said...

Uh, yeah, Malin Ackerman was dreadful in Watchmen. And I did like the movie.

Anonymous said...

i got a question: does this decade count from 2000 to 2009? it's just that everyone is making their best of the decade list, but I've read a lot of people who say "We still got one more year to go". So how is it?

Anonymous said...

Decade = 10 years

2000- 1yr

2001- 2yrs

2002- 3yrs

2003- 4yrs

2004- 5yrs

2005- 6yrs

2006- 7yrs

2007- 8yrs

2008- 9yrs

2009- 10yrs




adam k. said...

Cory Rivard: my thoughts exactly on Wolverine.

The Last Stand was totally worse.

Andrew K. said...

It's sad that Arkin annoyed you in Sunshine Cleaning, I actually thought he reined it in.

However, on Larry David spot on. Sure I liked the movie more than you but he was insufferable. Woody should have done this movie in 2002. Scarlett, Woody Allen, Patty still. It would have been golden...or almost. Larry David is just too abrasive to play an obvious Woody role.

Walter L. Hollmann said...

Oh, man, I love GI Joe. Genuinely. Come on, surely Dennis Quaid and Joseph Gordon-Levitt achieved exactly what you said they should have. And dammit, I liked Marlon Wayans in this.

Having not seen Knowing, I will pretend that Rose Byrne's award was for the abysmal Adam. How I hated that cloying, contrived mess of a movie.

Tim said...

You have at least one ally in finding Kristen Stewart to be faintly unendurable - goddammit girl, have an expression! Anything but that stoned, cloudy-eyed thing will be just fine!

Another vote for Transformers 2, which is probably the angriest and dirtiest I've ever felt walking out of a theater. Ever.

Beau said...

Disagree 100% on Nicholas Hoult. A BEAUTIFULLY subtle and intriguing performance. Captivated me throughout.

Rose Byrne in 'The Dead Girl' is the performance that stands out to me from her oeuvre.

Beau said...

Oh God, why does Malin still get work? I wanted to throw her out the window in '27 Dresses', I wanted to inject some life into her face in 'Watchmen'... and she still was in 'Couples Retreat'. Seriously?

At least Jacinda Barrett did decent work in her three year stint; Malin's is almost over and all she's given us is crap.

Pf_Iggy said...

First, I must say I feel bad hating movies, so that makes me hate these movies even more for making me feel bad. Crazy, I know. And also, I admit they maybe these are not the worst ever (mostly), but probably wrong choices on my part when going to the movies, even though I try to avoid most of those that scream bad.

Foreign movies: a tie between The Hangover and He´s Just Not That Into You. I went to the theatre to see the second one because of the cast (I thought that if they had agreed to be on this, it must be something). It was a painfully annoying experience. One would think that an alien from outer space seeing these two movies would think, what's wrong with those straight humans? Just kidding, sort of.

But the worst movie of the year and quite close to the worst movie I've ever seen is a Spanish one. There's more than Almodóvar, Amenábar, RECs, Orphanage, etc. Like anywhere else there are also terrible movies produced. One of them was "Mentiras y gordas" (Big fat lies?). The movie is purely commercial at its worst: cast made of TV stars with very little acting skills, plot (?) about partying, drugs, sex (some scenes at night clubs reminded me of the American Queers as Folk), and a final moral on the dangers of partying, drugs and sex which was a big WTF, because that was what the movie was marketed about. It's as if Basterds had had a final moral on how wrong is to take revenge.

Just a sample scene that made me cover my eyes, embarrased. A closeted gay guy in (secret) love with his best (straight) friend decides to let him know, by kissing him while they're engaged in a threesome with a girl. The gay guy eventually commits suicide by taking a handful of drugs at the same party.

Don't want to make it long, I'll just say that part of the cast publicly regrets having being part of it. It made lots of money, though.

John T said...

Like everyone else, I saw Transformers 2, and thought it was truly awful. In my defense, though, I had free tickets to it, and they weren't going to go toward Box Office totals (it was a sneak preview)-why did everyone else see it? Let's not subject the populace (or at least give them opportunity) next time around. Ignore Transformers 3 people!!!

adelutza said...

My top 5 of worst movies ( haven't seen most of the ones on your list)

5.Wolverine & The Hangover
4.The Limits Of Control
3.The Blind Side
2.My Sister's Keeper

And, ex equo , the worst movies of 2009 :

1.Trucker & Observe and Report

Anonymous said...

lovely bones is that bad?
was so looking forward to it.

FrenchGirl said...

The worst for me this year:
-GI Joe(not funny,boring,made badly)
-Salomon Kane(out yesterday in France)(why this movie?)
-Deception(with hugh Jackman ,Ewan McGregor and Michelle Williams)when Jackman produces,you can say "bad movie
-Wolverine(because of all you wrote) it again is produced by Jackman
-Transformer 2(idiot,idiot,idiot and long are words to describe every thing in the movie and it's even not funny)
-2012(awesome FX,idiot,bad acting,no storyline and long)
-Angels and demons(can someone explain me how the director can direct Frost/Nixon a year and make that the next year? it's not as ridiculious as
-The ugly truth
-The proposal(Ryan Reynold,Sandra Bullock , a unfunny and unromantic romcom)
-Saw 6(i'm ashamed but my boyfriend loves creepy movies)

i will give my "nothing" award to 2 movies every one love and i don't understand why:
-Drag me to hell(not really funny , not really scary)
-The hangover(except the credit end and the baby face,nothing is funny)

FrenchGirl said...

and i'm going to forget "knowing"(with nicolas cage) and "the day the earth stood still"(with keanu reeves)

Jim T said...

The Last House on the Left. Worst of the year for me. By far.

Unknown said...

You're a Rose fan on Golden Girls! I would have taken you for a Dorothy, like me!

Unknown said...

Sorry, Anonymous, about the decade thing, but there is another answer. Do this, and you'll see why some of us say there's still a year to go in this decade:

Year 0 = the beginning of time
+ Year 1 = 1 yr
+ Year 2 = 2 yrs
+ Year 3 = 3 yrs
+ Year 4 = 4 yrs
+ Year 5 = 5 yrs
+ Year 6 = 6 yrs
+ Year 7 = 7 yrs
+ Year 8 = 8 yrs
+ Year 9 = 9 yrs
+ Year 10 = 10 years = 1 decade.

Now add 2000 years to the above and you have our current situation.

Of course a decade or a century can be just any 10 or 100 years beginning anywhere, such as "the century between the Civil War and the Vietnam War" (1865-1964), or "the decade after the release of 'Titantic' (1997-2006). It only gets dicey if you start naming them, as in the "20th century" (1901-2000 or 1900-1999?). Odd and silly, isn't it? I've enjoyed wasting your time.


Pfaffendon -- i read a GREAT article on this (i've already forgotten where -- who provided the link last week?) that explained why decades are actually 0-9 rather than 01-10 and they don't always align with the start of the century or what have you

so the Aughts are 00-09
the decade is over today.

Owen said...

The worst movie I've seen this year is Precious. I'm not trying to sound like a pretentious uppity asshole but the film was a complete mess and had no redeeming qualities. I still think of the Two Women "homage" and laugh my ass off. I hate a director who treats his audience like they're idiots.

Anonymous said...

Rose is really good on Damages.

Anonymous said...

@Pfaffendorn- so what about the year inbetween the year 0(the beginning of time) and year one? Are the first 12 months ever imaginary? So everyhing before yr 1 doesn't exist? That's pretty much saying year 1 is the beginning of time.

Bill_the_Bear said...

I haven't seen most of Nat's choices...I know better to go to those "fanboy favorites" or to most rom-coms.

However, I did see "The Ugly Truth," and I have to agree. Even Gerard Butler's stubble couldn't save that turkey.

Staying with rom-coms, nobody's mentioned the truly stinking "New in Town." See Renée Zellweger walk through Minnesota snow in Miami high heels! See Harry Connick Jr's acting run the gamut from A to B! See most of the supporting trying to sound like extras from "Fargo!" The best thing about this clunker was HCJ's beard...and in the last shot, where he and RZ are in the clinch, he's clean-shaven!

Thanks to those who mentioned "Adam"...I'd almost put that one out of my mind. Rose Byrne was pretty annoying...but so was Hugh Dancy. if the Asperger's Syndrome wasn't enough of a plot line, they threw in that "her father's a sort of Bernie Madoff who's going to trial and maybe to prison" subplot which made little sense.

I think, though, that "The Proposal" was worst of all. I hated Sandra Bullock's "Catwoman" look; I hated Ryan Reynolds' wimpiness; the Alaskan family were really tiresome. Then, I was sorry to find out that Betty White was living in the poorhouse...which she must have been, in order to take a role in this film. Her performance was the female equivalent of Alan Arkin in "Sunshine Cleaning"...and let's hope that she doesn't do it again.

NoNo said...

I saw "He's Just Not That Into You" on HBO. What a trainwreck that movie is. Someone give Scarlett Johansson a jump start.

Which is why I am partial to Rachel McAdams in Sherlock. There wasn't much depth to her character but I thought she worked with what she had and actually put in effort. Although, the role would've been better with someone like Emily Blunt. I WANT RACHEL TO MAKE MORE MOVIES!

Greg Boyd said...

"Paranormal Activity" was totally boring and a waste of 90 minutes of my life. Just awful.

Kurtis O said...

Good insights on Larry David in "Whatever Works," and I'm basically in word-for-word agreement with you "Wolverine" write-up.

I stayed the hell away from "The Ugly Truth," if only because Gerard Butler is about as appealing as Rush Limbaugh in a romantic leading role. Equally unappealing: Swank in "Amelia." What a tough-to-watch joke that was. (My movie nightmare? "P.S. I Love You," which combines the repulsion of Butler and Swank.)

Ugh, and freakin' Jae Head in "The Blind Side." A mutated, even more treacly version of your list-topper Hayden Panetierre's role in "Remember the Titans" (Remember that?). Regarding a scene that created the sensation of swallowing nails, I quote a line from Village Voice critic Melissa Anderson's scathing, spot-on review: "Life with benevolent white people gives Michael the golden opportunity to partake in one of the most patronizing, we-are-the-world scenes imaginable: dueting with S.J. on 'Bust a Move.'"

Paul Outlaw said...

so what about the year inbetween the year 0(the beginning of time) and year one? Are the first 12 months ever imaginary? So everyhing before yr 1 doesn't exist? That's pretty much saying year 1 is the beginning of time.

There was no "year zero." There was a zero point, followed by second one, minute one, hour one, day one, etc. etc.

"Year one" is exactly what its name implies, the first year. And if the Gregorian calendar had existed way back at the dawn of time, the end of year one would have been December 31st, 0001 (not 0000).

(Admittedly, in the grand scheme of things, this is a pretty ridiculous debate...)

FrenchGirl said...

my boyfriend want to add "halloween 2" ,"paranormal activity" and "twilight" movies.

Mike said...

I actually loved A Single Man, and Nicholas Hoult's performance.

...The abundance of butt shots certainly helped though. If only there was an Oscar for that.

Lucky said...

I just find stupid that in his "Best of the Decade list" Roger Ebert lists Almost Famous (2000) and ends the article saying "we still got 12 more months to go".

So now a decade has 11 years?

Notas Sobre Creación Cultural e Imaginarios Sociales said...

I could mention "Transformers 2" and "Paul Blart Mall Cop" but I think the movies that think they're all important and artsy and come out like giant piles of preachy trash are the worst.
So my vote goes to "Invictus" and I'm not one to defend Nicolas Cage, but I think he atoned with "Bad Lieutenant". Maybe someone should restrict his acting only to auteur movies. He did wonders with Spike Jonze.
As for Rose I've no excuses either, her award nominations are strictly leftovers from Glenn Close brilliance. Since she's in most scenes with her, voters assume she's just as good as Glenn. When Byrne got a Supporting Emmy nod over the deliciously oversexed Marcia Gay Harden I thought I would implode.

Ryan T. said...

For decades and stuff... I just think about it this way...

1960 is the beginning of "The 60s"... 1970 is the beginning of "The 70s"... 1960-1969 is the decade known as "The 60s" while 1970-1979 is the decade known as "The 70s."

I think it just got weird/confusing because The 00s didn't have an identifiable "name" such as "The Sixties" or "The Seventies."

Gob said...

I thought it was kind of funny how "Bust a Move" has figured prominently into two Oscar-bait films this year. Where is Young MC's Entertainer of the Year award? LOL. Couldn't stand that song in the 90s, but now I tolerate it at least.


Ryan ... that's exactly right. The 1980 can't be the end of the 70s because it doesn't have "7" anywhere in it.

and '10 can't be the end of the 00s cause it starts with a 1 so it's part of the Teens.



Mike... i wasn't complaining about the butt shots ;)

Rich Aunt Pennybags said...

You're a Rose fan on Golden Girls! I would have taken you for a Dorothy, like me!

I would have thought Nathaniel's favorite Golden Girl was Dorothy too.

I really can't pick a favorite though because they were all great.


it's not even close for me. Rose all the way! I hang on every story from St Olafs

Chris said...

I loathed everything about the pompous, self-serving, and annoying spectacle that was "Adventureland."

"The Hangover" clearly wins Worst Film of '09 for me. My experience seeing that film has actually made me avoid seeing films with crowds (with the exception of "Avatar," of course). The fact that I never once managed a small giggle, when my sold-out theatre laughed throughout the entire film (especially at those grossly anti-woman and anti-gay moments), made the film a more uncomfortable film-going experience than I've experienced all year. I mean, even if you disregard the outright offensive and socially dangerous moments, what in this film was actually funny?

Anonymous said...

What r u talking about? The Proposal was funny, Betty White was fantastic - she have to be a Oscar nominee!!!

You saw Brüno, Obsessed, Year One??? You this these movies are better than The Lovely Bones? Youre always funny Ntahaniel...