Monday, November 21, 2005

Ten Movies I HATE

Amy Konig, over on her blog, started a list called 10 Movies I HATE, and, well, it seems to have caught on here in the blogosphere. Atrios and Steve Gilliard chimed in, so I figured, hey, why not me?

Understand that this is not the "worst movies of all time" list...there are plenty of bad movies I enjoy watching just because they're so bad. Top Gun, for instance or Red Dawn. This list is for movies I have a poweful visceral aversion to, movies the very mention of which causes me to instinctively do the "finger down the throat and making gagging noises" gesture. They are, in order:

10. Pretty Woman: It’s hard to come up with new ways to describe why the whole concept of this movie (the hooker as Cinderella) is just wrong, wrong, wrong.

9. The Waterboy: Adam Sandler’s a retarded guy who talks funny. When he gets mad, he knocks people down. That’s it. That’s the joke. It's not funny to begin with, and it doesn't get any funnier.

8. Monster’s Ball: Billy Bob Thornton is a vile racist and an abusive father who drives his son to suicide. Halle Berry is an emotionally abusive mother who mocks her overweight son by calling him "Piggy." They make some feeble stabs at redemption, but at the end of the movie they've both done such horrible things that you despise everyone still left alive, and hate yourself for wasting the time and money on it. Plus, you're subjected to Billy Bob naked.

7. Unbreakable: Unbearable. A superhero film without action. Interesting concept but boringly executed. Even the usually incandescent Samuel L. Jackson seems muffled.

6. Wild Wild West: Wild Wild Waste. This film manages to squander every advantage it had going for it. It had likable and talented actors (Will Smith, Kevin Kline, Kenneth Branaagggh) and a great, campy concept—James Bond in the Old West—that a lot of people who watched the old show had a lot of affection for. And this is what they did with it? Shame. Shame.

5. Godfather III: this makes my list because of the crushing sense of disappointment I felt when first seeing it. It would have been a mediocre gangster film had it not followed Godfathers I and II, two of the greatest works of American film, but in comparison with its predecessors, it is a Foul Reek in the Nostrils of God.

4. Forrest Gump: A wonderfully filmed, technically stunning, well-acted, and heartwarming movie about what a good and noble thing it is to be a half-wit. I actually walked out at the end of this movie thinking it was wonderful. But the more I thought about it, the more pissed off I got.

3. Dune (David Lynch’s version): One of the greatest science fiction novels of all time, and Lynch manages to get just about everything wrong. To be fair, I understand Lynch really didn’t want to make it and only agreed to do so to get financing for Blue Velvet. The TV version is more faithful to the book, yet still somehow manages to reek, largely due to the flat acting and hilarious costume design.

2. Very Bad Things: an alleged comedy about a group of guys who go to a bachelor party in Vegas, accidentally kill the hooker they've hired, and spend the rest of the movie trying to dispose of the body and cover up the crime. I have no problem with dark, gruesome of my favorite movies of all time is Pulp Fiction and the woodchipper scene in Fargo leaves me howling every time. But this is just hideous, without a trace of wit or style.

And the number one movie I love to hate is…may I have the envelope please?

1. Star Wars: The Phantom Menace: Jar Jar Binks. Midochlorians. 'Nuff said.

Note: I considered Battlefield Earth, but I’ve never seen it all the way through. I literally cannot sit through more than fifteen minutes of it.

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