Monday, January 02, 2006

Happy New Year Inanity-ers! How's About Some Year End Movie Lists?

Hello, everyone! Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a good and restful holiday season. Mine was good. I hung out with Peggy a lot, saw a bunch of movies, helped my folks pack up their house so they could make their big move to the country, read graphic novels, finished a big chunk of rewriting, and played Splinter Cell on my aging XBox (I say aging because in recent months it's stopped recognizing discs I put into it -- even brand new ones). Anyway, I've had good times.

Because it's the beginning of a new year, and this is generally the time for year-end lists, I thought I'd put up my own list of best and worst films of 2005. Not a top ten list but rather a list of The Best Movies I Saw in 2005 (in order of viewing). I saw 45 movies in the theater this year (Batman Begins and Sin City twice) and a whole passel on DVD, but I haven't seen all the "important" movies of 2005 yet. Movies like Match Point, Junebug, You, Me, And Everyone I Know, The Squid and the Whale, or The New World, for example, and I likely won't get to these for a few weeks or, possibly, at all. So if I do a traditional top ten list, it'll have to be after I've seen some of those. So, without further preamble:

The Best Movies I Saw in 2005 (in order of viewing, not goodness):
1) Constantine
2) Sin City
3) Kingdom of Heaven
4) Batman Begins
5) War of the Worlds
6) 40-Year Old Virgin
7) Capote
8) Walk the Line
9) King Kong
10) Brokeback Mountain
11) Syriana
12) Munich

And now for...
The Worst Movies I saw in 2005 (in order of awfulness)
1) Bewitched
2) Robots
3) Madagascar
4) Bad News Bears
5) Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
6) Brothers Grimm
7) Corpse Bride
8) Hitchhiker's Guide to the Universe

Bewitched was actually the worst movie I've seen since The Stepford Wives. That these two milestones of filmic terribleness came just one year apart is probably one of the best clues our Lord Jesus will give us that the End Times are coming. These two films together represent a one-two punch of awfulness that might inspire some deranged nut to round up Frank Oz, Nora Ephron, and Nicole Kidman and burn them at the stake. I usually avoid the truly awful movies because the critics are pretty good at clueing me in to their badness, but we rented this one because I was curious what people hated about it. It didn't seem so awful. From the trailers it seemed an innocuous adaptation of an old TV show -- maybe it was just boring, I thought.

It was not just boring -- it was as bad as you've heard. Nicole Kidman is physically incapable of doing comedy. No matter how she contorts her face or tilts her head, she can't make comedy work. The people she decides to make comedies with cannot make comedy work with her. There are scenes between Will Farrell and Nicole Kidman in this film that were as deeply embarrassing as the animal cracker scene in Armageddon. Scenes that made me feel sorry for these movie stars because these excruciating moments, imprinted on millions of DVDs, will exist forever in order to embarrass future generations of hapless DVD renters. These moments will outlive them.

Also a big disappointment for me was Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. This movie was going really great right up until the moment Johnny Depp showed up as the Michael Jackson version of Willy Wonka to ruin the entire movie. I can't think of the last time an actor made such bad foundational choices in a performance. A lot of the other films on my Worst list aren't spectacularly awful movies like Bewitched, just sad disappointments (Hitchhiker's Guide, Charlie), or crushingly boring (Bad News Bears, Corpse Bride, Brothers Grimm).

Anyway. Totally unrelated to movies, I wanted to leave you with a cool photo I found on the internet. This is a picture of the space shuttle at the very moment it creates a sonic boom. I can't guarantee its veracity, it could be awesome Photoshop, but it looks pretty real. Think of it what you will.


Peggy said...

Honey --

You put WAR OF THE WORLDS on the wrong list. That was definitely one of the WORST films of the year. Also, you forgot CHRONIC(WHAT)LES OF NARINA, which should definitely be on the worst list as well.

It's ok, we forgive, you don't let it happen again....

Anonymous said...

movies suck.

blankfist said...

Yes, Robots was a huge disappointment. At times I remember looking to Heather asking if it stopped making sense or if I was just being slow. She assurred me that it just stopped making sense. Truly a bad film. And, I refuse to watch Bewitched, because I know a little piece of my soul will dwindle and die. Although, I can never believe there will ever be a film as bad as Practical Magic. Horrific.

Haven't seen Chronicles. By Peggy's 'ringing endoresment' I fear it will suck. Oh well, at least King Kong was good.

Fried Pepperoni said...

I think you also got KINGDOM OF HEAVEN in the wrong place...

Anonymous said...

So your the guy keeping hollywood barely alive.


moran said...

Nicole Kidman was great in "To Die For." She just needs to skip the mainstream cutesy PG-rated girly comedies. That's what Sandra Bullock, Kate Hudson, Meg Ryan, Drew Barrymore and Jennifer Aniston are around for.

I tried to watch "Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy" last night. What a mess.

"Narnia" is "Lord of the Rings" for wimpy kids.

BOC said...


How many times do I have to say it? Nicole Kidman sucks! She can't act. Every movie she is in is terrible. And everyone always brings up "To Die For".

Well, let me tell you about a little story that involves sunshine and a dog's ass. Name me any other movie she has done that wasn't average or worse. What movie did she carry on her shoulders and deliver the type of performance that we idolize Streep or DeNiro or hell, her fellow Aussie Russell Crowe? Zero.

My god, she was in a movie directed by the master, Kubrick, playing a wife to her real life husband, and I didn't believe it for a second. And she may be the only person in history, filmed or otherwise, who lit up a joint and got mean and cruel. She didn't even know how to hold it.

She. cannot. act. period. She got an Oscar for the fake nose, "ooooh, look, pretty girl make ugly". So what else you got?

Dogville? The Others? Cold Mountain? Days of Thunder? The Interpreter?

Still waiting to hear what makes her so great. Being the face of Chanel? Marrying some country dude? Being made out of candy? What is it?

I try to not be negative anymore as it is a poor quality to have but, jeez. Nicole Kidman can't do comedy AND drama.

I really think she would turn in the shittiest performance in a documentary.

JudgeHolden said...

Nice dis, BOC. I think I agree with you. I think part of why she's so often used in movies is she's so beautiful -- Grace Kelly beautiful, but also because she's not a terrible actress for drama. Not a great one, but she does all right. She's the actress you can plug in for any female lead in just about any thriller, and she does fine. She doesn't have many shades as an actor, but the one's she does have do fine for most mainstream movies. I think Naomi Watts, her best friend, is a much better actress. I don't know if she's Streep-good yet (Meryl can do comedy), but she's damn good. It's amazing that Watts could be such a well-kept secret while Kidman was getting all the attention. Maybe that's why Katie Holmes married Cruise -- the publicity that comes with it has never hurt an actress's career. Anyway. That's my rant on this post that no one will ever read.

BOC said...

I read it. Thanks for the agreement and I think I have to go with your explanation as it is the only one that makes sense to me.

I only get infuriated when people insist to me that she's a great actrees and I lose it when they fall back on the old "Why is she in so many big movies then? HUH?"

Like that counts. Nicole Kidman (and more recently Jennifer Gardner) reminds me constantly of the love affair that people have in this country with "accepted mediocrity" (my own term). I'll give you an example:

I once worked with a 16 year old girl at a Starbucks back in the NCSA days. To try and make the time pass, I engaged in a conversation with her about music. Everyone can talk about music right? She liked hip-hop. So do I. I mentioned Public Enemy. Never heard of them. Seminal group. She didn't know them from Adam. here's how the convo ended.

ME: I bet your the kind of person who only listens to the radio.

HER: (Incredulous) What else are you going to listen to?

ME: ....


That's what I'm talking about. No creative thinking. No angles. Nothing. Just accept what is fed to you as good because if it wasn't good it wouldn't be fed to you.

I'm not saying be a snob but, I can like Andrei Rubelev and really, really, really, look forward to Snakes on a Plane at the same time. Why are Americans so afraid of variety?

And better yet, as I look around, why aren't they demanding it?

Crazy, huh?

BOC out.