Worst Film Ever
Our guest bloggers this week include Matt Jordan from You Ain’t No Picasso, Ethan Axelrod, Denver editor of the Huffington Post, Lawrence Dai from the Lawrence/Julie & Julia Project, and Alice Hubley from The Shins Will Change Your Life – not to mention Angora, Fritz, and Professor Honeydew from Donnybrook. Let the voting commence!
Professor Honeydew’s Pick
“What are you listening to?”
“The Shins. You know ‘em?”
“You gotta hear this one song–it’ll change your life, I swear.”
OMG! <3 x 1,000,000!!!
It’s a shame there aren’t Academy Award categories for feats such as Laziest Attempt at a Screenplay or Most Pretentious Failure at Being an Auteur, because Zach Braff would’ve needed a wheelbarrow to cart off his Oscars in 2005.
There are some movies you walk out of feeling like an idiot for having wasted two hours of your life (Charlie Bartlett, anyone?). However, Garden State tops them all: you can actually feel yourself growing appreciably less intelligent with each flickering frame that passes before your eyes.
The most impressive performance in this film is delivered by a restaurant–Sea, Williamsburg’s haute Thai emporium–and, go figure, even that it isn’t in the real Garden State.
Like a grotesque car accident that leaves you with a paralyzed arm and shitting yourself uncontrollably, Garden State will change your life. I swear.
Matt’s Pick (from You Ain’t No Picasso)
I’ve hated this movie from about 30 minutes into my first and only viewing of it in a theater in Elizabethtown, KY in 2004. In fact, this movie is probably why I don’t care for Angelina Jolie to this day. I get very, very angry about obvious plot oversights in films and this movie is full of ‘em. Since I’m limited to a paragraph, I’ll just share my favorite: at one point the cops have one suspect and one witness (the killer’s mom) who can positively identify the man they’re looking for. While in holding, the suspect draws a picture of the person he says is the murderer. So naturally the cops take that drawing to the witness and upon receiving word that this drawing looks nothing like her son, they let the only suspect (who the witness never met) go free. Gee, I wonder who the killer is? Avoid this one unless you’re looking for a movie to make you yell at the screen for an hour and a half.
Lawrence’s Pick (from The Lawrence/Julie & Julia Project)
I’ve got a bone to pick with you, Citizen Kane. Sure, you may have everyone else on your side—The American Film Institute, Roger Ebert, general consensus—but you don’t have me fooled. Not one bit. People love to say that you’re the greatest film of all time, but to be honest? I think you’re the worst.
First of all, I’d like to point out that there’s this thing called color. Ever heard of it? Sorry to break it to you, but most movies these days are made in color. You know, because that’s how most people see the world—in color. So take your pretentious black & white photography and shove it up your ass, because your dull, colorless world bores me to tears. And speaking of boring, can you really justify this two-hour running time? You seriously expect me to sit still for two whole hours? It only takes two minutes to watch a hilarious Youtube video of a cat licking itself, not to mention that cat movies are way more entertaining/in color. At least give me a chance to take a breather here and there. Have you thought about adding in some commercial breaks? You’d probably make more money that way too, considering I don’t know how the hell you’re going to sell tickets to this snoozefest in the first place.
And the content—yeesh. Movies aren’t supposed to be about important things. Duh. Do I really want to see the rise and fall of an American business mogul? No, I want to see Jessica Alba in a bikini. I think that’s pretty obvious. And even if I wanted to watch bullshit political drama, I’d just turn on CSPAN, which is probably more exciting anyways. Where are the car chases, the gunfights, the explosions, the space lasers? I mean, the only person who dies in the entire movie is Charles Foster Kane—and he dies in his sleep. How lame is that? Would it really be that hard to have someone stab or shoot him? Or what about a passionate love scene, where Susan Alexander sexes him to death? Now that would’ve been cool. But noooo, you insisted on drawing out his death in the least interesting way possible. And then you threw that whole “Rosebud” thing in there, thinking it would be this big “twist” and we’d all get suckered into your stupid story. Well, I’ve got news for you, chief—revealing that “Rosebud” is the sled from Kane’s childhood isn’t a twist—it’s a huge fucking copout.
I don’t care that you basically invented deep focus shots. I don’t care that you revolutionized the flashback narrative form. I don’t care that you gave Orson Welles the performance of a lifetime. I care that you refuse to hold my hand as a viewer and fail to provide instant gratification for each and every second. Dammit, I deserve better. The American people deserve better.
Citizen Kane, you are the worst movie ever.
I Heart Huckabees
Ethan Axelrod’s pick (from Huffington Post)
OK, so maybe I Heart Huckabees isn’t the ‘worst movie of all time.’ I’ll even concede that it has its mildly amusing moments.
But, personally, I’ve listened to people fawn over this film for way too long, and—presented with opportunity to publicly rip a movie—it’s a natural choice. I’m tired of people acting as if this movie represents some transcendent fusion of philosophy and comedy. The conflict between interconectedeness and nihilism that comprises—on some level, I guess—the central dilemma of the whole movie is poorly-defined throughout. Plus, all of these themes about ambitiousness and idealism are fine to frame a movie, but there’s nothing particularly profound about the way they’re conveyed in this movie.
But failure make a profound philosophical/social statement is not a reason to hate a movie. What really sucks about I Heart Huckabees its self-awareness. The whole point of deadpan, dry comedy is to act unaware that what you’re saying could possibly be funny. Somehow this movie manages to take the opposite approach. Every line is delivered tongue-in-cheek as if it were going to be funny by default, or because it’s being spoken by a famous actor. There are exceptions (mostly involving Mark Wahlberg), but generally the movie undermines almost all of its own humor with this self-righteous assumption of its own cleverness.
It’s as if the writers of I Heart Huckabees did a focus group to determine exactly the type of dry, quirky comedy that white, college-educated Americans would eat up, then proceeded without even considering why people might like this.
The Godfather Part III
Fritz Godard’s Pick
What makes a great terrible movie is in the re-telling. When you tell people that Heaven’s Gate is a movie about a labor strike in the old west that just happens to have a scene devoted to fiddling and . . . wait for it . . . roller skating, these nonsensical scenes let the legend of terribleness spread.
My favorite scene like this comes in the epically terrible The Godfather Part III. The scene is when Jason Schwartzman’s mom decides that the family needs to kill Tuco from The Good, The Bad and the Ugly, and the best way to kill this sworn enemy of the Corleone’s? Why of course, a poison doughnut at the opera. The best part of the scene is Tuco dancing along to the opera while holding a doughnut. Now, we here at the DWA are not strangers to opera. Besides having an at-home opera theatre, we have board members on every opera house in the greater United States, but even with all the opera power, we still haven’t been able to get a Krispy Kreme vendor to walk from box to box selling his wares. Coppola, congrats on making a brilliantly crappy scene in a genuinely crappy movie.
The Wicker Man
Alice’s Pick (from The Shins Will Change Your Life)
Now I have to confess, I’m not really one to like “good movies.” My idea of a good movie is something with Andrew McCarthy, or teenage SJP. There will be a robot, a wise-cracking underdog who steals the jock’s girlfriend, and if we’re lucky, a dog wearing sunglasses and a hat. To make me smile, the nerds will get their revenge, there will be a shy awkward Michael Cera/Jason Gordon Levitt-type quoting Smiths lyrics – and to top it off, a cameo from some unlikely celebrity. Now I think these are good movies, but my movie taste does get scoffed by many a film snob as being teenage, dumb and delusional. It’s all right, I can live with that.
One movie that I do like is The Wicker Man (the original). I remember the first time I saw it as a teenager, and I was gripped; you really felt for Edward Woodward’s character, and the end was a shock, the music is awesome, Christopher Lee was amazing etc etc. Basically you can’t argue with it, The Wicker Man is a bonafide “good movie” liked by movie snobs and ignoramuses like myself. Why the devil did Hollywood think it was a good idea to remake it?
One of the great things about the original Wicker Man is that it isn’t Hollywood – the Scottish accents and countryside kind of make it more believable, chilling and moving. The 2006 remake is set in middle America, instead of Scotland; Woodward’s character is played by Nicholas (Face Off!) Cage; and Lee is played by a woman, which I guess is pretty cool, though I guess they did that because no one could play the part as well as Lee. The remake changes the story so it doesn’t really make sense: they thought Nicholas Cage can’t be a virgin in this modern day (just look at that face! He looks just like John Travolta!) so they made up the storyline that the pagans must sacrifice someone who is connected to them, but not one of them, so ladies from the village go to bars in the local town pick up guys, get pregnant, and then months/years later reel them in to sacrifice them. The whole innocence of the Policeman character is lost, and instead replaced by this idiosyncratic love story where Cage is trying to convince the mother of his child to run away with him. You spent the whole of the original thinking, “oh come on just sleep with Britt Eckland and you could be saved,” but you spend the whole of the remaking thinking “at least I get to watch Nicholas Cage die” (though I was worried they’d change that too…).
At the end of the original, you do feel for the Policeman, and the despair and hopelessness of his character. At the end of the remake, I was more confused about why the film was dedicated to Johnny (the worst) Ramone, and also why I spent two hours watching that nonsense rather than feeling any emotion. I’m just glad that the storyline of Harold and Maude is so questionable that they wont remake that, oh god what bastardized creation could Hollywood come up with for that?
Angora Holly Polo’s Pick
There are nuanced reasons why the above films are horrible, but everyone unanimously agrees The Room is horrible. Let’s just get right into a top ten list of why it’s so bad:
10.) Johnny always ends scenes by putting his arm around someone and saying “Let’s go home” when they are already home.
9.) They reuse sex scene footage. That’s like reusing sex toys. Wait…these roses and silk bed curtains seem familiar…that’s because we saw them five minutes ago! Also, Johnny cackles while having sex. He actually cackles.
8.) An unattractive vixen is always humorous. It’s really funny to watch men fall over themselves for someone who is totally uggo.
7.) The men always toss a football back and forth when talking to other men. And they’re always like, two feet away from each other!
6.) How hysterical do you think Lisa gets when she finds out little Danny owes some dude drug money? Really hysterical. Hilariously hysterical. Why was that scene in there again?
5.) The gratuitous San Francisco skyline shots
4.) The mother dropping the “I’m Dying of Cancer” bomb casually in conversation, then moving on
3.) The scene where they’re all wearing tuxedos, then they go run around outside playing football, rough-house, and then it cuts away and you have no idea why they were wearing tuxedos
2.) Oh HIIII MARK!
1.) You are tearing me apart, Lisa!
WATCH THIS NOW, DO YOU HEAR ME?? THE WHOLE THING!