Falcone's Crossroads

Where This Meets That

Friday Five – Very Bad Movies

Someone recently accused me of being too easy on films I review.  The reality is that I generally don’t review films that I don’t want to waste further precious moments on.

Oh, but they are out there.  To knock out as many as possible in an easily digestible format, here are five categories, each covering five films I didn’t enjoy.

Feel free to agree with me or toss your rotten fruits my way in the Comments section!

Comedy
Very Bad ThingsVery Bad Things – 1998, Peter Berg  We made it through perhaps twenty minutes of this and turned it off, utterly disturbed that anyone could find anything funny about graphic murder and dismemberment.

Napolean Dynamite – 2004, Jared Hess  You know those movies you go into with such low expectations that you can’t help but enjoy it more than you expected?  That’s what I hoped for from this, but it didn’t take long to realize it was even worse than I previously thought any movie could be.

The Campaign – 2012, Jay Roach  I personally think that if you could bottle up the talent of guys like Will Ferrell and Seth Rogen, you might be able to fill an ink pen. There are people who are funny because they are clever, then there are those who are funny because of a blatant disregard for personal dignity.  I consider Ferrell in the latter camp.  I see no talent in the guy apart from an ability to shortcut wit, yet I still thought I’d give The Campaign a go.  It covered our screen for no more than fifteen minutes.

Okay, I’m noticing a trend here: three movies in, and I haven’t finished watching a single one.  When it comes to some movies, life’s just too short to finish watching, much less spending extra time reviewing.  Moving on . . .

Superbad – 2007, Greg Mottola  Written by Seth Rogen, so yeah, didn’t finish this one either (though I must confess that “McLovin” would be a pretty great single-word name to have).

Failure to Launch – 2006, Tom Dey  It took five movies, but I finally finished one!  Ugggh, why did I finish this one?

Drama
Lost in Translation
Any Given Sunday – 1999, Oliver Stone
  As a huge football fan and a formerly pretty big Stone fan, I was amazed at how pathetic this movie was.  Pacino was utterly unconvincing as a football coach, and I’ve never understood the passing inclusion of a plucked-out eyeball on the field. Just a terrible, terrible film.

John Q – 2002, Nick Cassavetes  A good example of a movie trying too hard to preach, and doing so badly.  The screenplay must have been drafted with about an eighth grade audience in mind.  Just silly.

Lost in Translation – 2003, Sofia Coppola  This actually won the Oscar for Most Boring Film in 2003.  Well acted film about totally normal people living totally normal lives.

The English Patient – 1996, Anthony Minghella  For a film that took away nine Oscars, all I took away from it was that it was booooring.

The Terminal – 2004, Steven Spielberg  Hollywood legends Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks team up to make the most utterly dull and pointless movie ever made?  What gives?  Seriously.

Action/Thriller
The Adjustment BureauThe Adjustment Bureau – 2011, George Nolfi  Dumb, dumb, dumb. I like Matt Damon, but when I’m halfway through a movie and can’t tell if it takes itself seriously, how can I?

Training Day – 2001, Antoine Fuqua  Ethan Hawke gets initiated as a narcotics officer under the tutelage of a rogue Denzel Washington in the single most ridiculous work shift in history.  And that’s only before lunch!

Planet of the Apes – 2001, Tim Burton  I’ll say this about Tim Burton: he directs great thirty-second commercials.  Sadly, those commercials are tied to generally pathetic films.

Superman Returns – 2006, Bryan Singer  Just one more film in this week’s Friday Five that I couldn’t finish.

Shutter Island – 2010, Martin Scorsese  This promising and highly anticipated film started out thoroughly engrossing before sputtering into something terrible. The second half of the film was abysmal.

Art-House
EraserheadBrazil – 1985, Terry Gilliam  I wanted to like this, I really did.  I don’t always fully appreciate Gilliam’s work, but I appreciate the spirit of his film-making.  Nevertheless, here’s another film I couldn’t finish.

Eraserhead – 1977, David Lynch  After hearing this called a classic one too many times, I had to see it.  Having seen plenty of Lynch’s subsequent films, I went into Eraserhead with both eyes open.  If I could only erase it from my head now, I would.

The Fountain – 2006, Darren Aronofsky  Aside from perhaps David Lynch and Tim Burton, few filmmakers are as self-indulgent as Aronofsky.  The Fountain is a train wreck.

Edward Scissorhands – 1990, Tim Burton  Another entry by Tim Burton.  This was like scissorhands on a chalkboard to me.

Eyes Wide Shut – 1999, Stanley Kubrick  What a shame that this was the final entry in Kubrick’s legendary catalog.  I fell asleep, but I still remember that blasted piano haunting my dreams the rest of the movie.

Generally Overrated
Glengarry Glen RossGlengarry Glenn Ross – 1992, James Foley  Let me just nod to the cast here. The ensemble of Al Pacino, Jack Lemmon, Ed Harris, Alan Arkin, and Kevin Spacey is pretty great, but I found the film itself rather empty.  It’s a character study on multiple characters and little more.  I was left asking, “So what?”

Gangs of New York – 2002, Martin Scorsese  Another overblown offspring of Scorsese and DiCaprio. That the film was nominated for 10 Oscars and carried away none seems fitting.  The lone bright spot was Daniel Day Lewis’s performance as Bill the Butcher.

The Godfather: Part II – 1974, Francis Ford Coppola  Overrated. There, I said it. It tops countless best movies lists, but it took me at least three attempts to make it through.  The original was much better but still not even among my top ten.

Slumdog Millionaire – 2008, Danny Boyle & Loveleen Tandan  I just didn’t care for it and find it grossly overrated.  It took eight Oscars in a subpar year for cinema that, frankly, should have been ruled by The Dark Knight.  I can’t help but wonder how the far more compelling 2007 film The Kite Runner would have cleaned up in 2008.

Crash – 2004, Paul Haggis  Whereas Slumdog Millionaire benefited from a weak field, Crash‘s acclaim is lost on me.  It’s generally praised for its ultimately redemptive elements, but I felt that it really sold society short.  For its first hundred minutes, it does its best to show the worst of society, painting everyone as fundamentally malevolent and racist. I didn’t agree with its premise, and thus, I couldn’t fully appreciate the message.  Add the fact that it topped films like Spielberg’s Munich and Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain, and my ire only grows.

So, how about you?  Agree? Disagree?  Leave a comment below.

Meanwhile, I hope you all have a great weekend!

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6 comments on “Friday Five – Very Bad Movies

  1. Shannon Kuerst
    June 28, 2013

    Totally agree about will Ferrell and Seth Rogan. Out of boredom we saw the campaign and too, turned it off. They mask talent with crudeness that I can only imagine uneducated college frat boys would like.

  2. Grande Falcone
    June 28, 2013

    Yup, totally. We turned it off during the scene where Zack’s character was probing his kids for things they’ve done that could harm his campaign. Poor kid actors to have parents who would let them have recite those lines for entertainment.

  3. Ben D.
    June 28, 2013

    I guess I have differing tastes in movies. I liked some on your list, some of the others I thought were amusing and mindless entertainment. I do agree with the assessment of Lost in Translation which I thought was like watching paint dry. Reminded me of the Nicholas Cage movie where he was in Las Vegas – can’t even remember the name it was so bad (but then again it was Nicholas Cage – what did I expect…). I’m not a Kubrick fan, so most of his movies are worthless in my mind. There are quite a few that are on your list that I have never seen, so maybe I’m not missing anything!

  4. Grande Falcone
    June 28, 2013

    Thanks Ben! Agree, some movies are “made to be bad”, and I think it’s sad that there is a whole industry based on those.

    “Leaving Las Vegas” is the Nicholas Cage movie you’re talking about. Hard to believe that he of all people ever took home an Oscar (even though most people don’t know that he, too, is a Coppola), but that’s the one performance I give him props for. Definitely a downer of a movie, though.

    I think 2001: a Space Odyssey is the greatest film of all time, so Kubrick has a special place for me.

    Thanks for chiming in!

  5. Angela
    June 28, 2013

    I can’t say that I saw any of your top 5 worst comedies and some of your drama’s I gave a miss too…but did you forget The Golden Child & Made in America? I agree w/any given Sunday & Terminal (Tom H has quite a few stinkers) but what about -Princess Amadela(?) doing that horrific Ballerina/Swan Lake movie with Mila Kunis (I STILL have nightmares about that) and here’s another one (though I can’t recall the name of it) “I wish I could quit you”. Then again I also hated the Wizard of Oz.

  6. Grande Falcone
    June 29, 2013

    Angela, there are just too many to list. And for the “Generally Overrated” films, I don’t think they are bad films; they just get way too much praise, in my opinion. So, this is not a list of the “worst” films ever, just the ones that came to mind, and I also tried to go for somewhat recent ones where possible.

    As for Black Swan, it was directed by Darren Aronofsky, the same guy who did “The Fountain”, which I did include. I thought Black Swan was grossly overrated, too, but it was probably his best.

    You mentioned Natalie Portman as Princess Amidala . . . I should have definitely included Star Wars Attack of the Clones, another unwatchable. Her line, “Hold me, like you did by the lake on Naboo” is one of the worst of all time. 🙂

    I think “I wish I could quit you” was from Brokeback Mountain, which I actually really enjoyed and thought it got robbed at the Oscars. Heath Ledger’s performance in that one is, I think, one of the best I’ve ever seen, especially if you watch his performance as the Joker right afterward. Great talent.

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This entry was posted on June 28, 2013 by in Friday Five and tagged , , , , , , , , , .
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