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The 20 Worst DVDs of 2009
Some of the a-hole anti-heroes of "Watchmen".
My year-end round-up of all those mediocre movie nights- the spoiled cream of the crop! I try to keep it positive here but we all have transgressions..I also try to rent selectively, avoiding the endless inventory of B-Movies, direct-to-DVDs, third-rate sci-fi and horror and such that come out each month. Yet, as you know, no matter how cautious a home viewer you are, sometimes you will find yourself watching a film that should work or one that was loved by others, and it just sucks! Here's my second (first is here) annual list of flicks that had me looking at my watch a lot:
(Note these are only new releases, no re-releases)
1. Baby Mama- I love Tina Fey and Amy Poehler but this one is like one of those very padded SNL skits that stops being funny one minute in. It just doesn't deliver! (I love movie critic puns!)
2. Blindness " A virus makes everyone (except Julianne Moore) blind and they are then locked into a hospital and pitted against each other. Kind of like "Lord of the Flies" meets "The Miracle Worker" without the laughs.
3. The Day the Earth Stood Still " The classic original had benevolent aliens trying to save us; this unnecessary remake has them on an extermination mission led by Neo no less! So not excellent dude!
4. The Haunting in Connecticut - Quick cuts, soundtrack blasts and excessive CGI " it's like lipstick on a demon pig. The original 2002 TV documentary was much scarier on no budget.
5. JCVD - Jean-Claude Van Damme mocks his own image playing a version of himself having a middle-age crises only to then be taken hostage by bank robbers. Funny premise but that's basically it.
6. Medicine for Melancholy " Proves that African American indie filmmakers can be just as boring, pretentious and mumblecore as their dull white counterparts. The two leads try hard with bad material and slack direction.
7. Of Time and the City - Filmmaker Terence Davies presents his "visual poem" (mostly stock footage) dedicated to Liverpool. This would have been more effective with a little less bombastic poetry recitation and venom (He hates the Queen, the church and the Beatles). Like an English Ken Burns dissing people over mushroom tea.
8. Paper Heart " Hipsters Charlyne Yi and Michael Cera try not to fall in love, because that's so funny right? (Take swig of PBR here)
9. Rachel Getting Married - Anne Hathaway is the black sheep who wrecks the wedding of her sister through her neurosis and addiction. I would have done the same; this wedding weekend is lame and overlong.
10. Righteous Kill " Although they had a brief scene in "Heat", screen legends Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro never made a film together outside of "Godfather II". (Genuflect) This unoriginal police drama proves that maybe that ship has sailed. . . ("Attica!" "You talkin' to me?")
11. RocknRolla " Wants so desperately to be cool as a dozen-or-so stock characters are paraded through this backlit piece of shite. All of them speak quickly and strive to be clever; none are developed or believable in the least.
12. Semi-Pro " All the seventies fashions in the world can't save one of Will Ferrell's 'off' projects. A sports comedy /satire shouldn't need to bring in a bear to get laughs.
13. Street Kings " Keanu Reeves (second appearance on this list "sorry!) is a hardened LA cop gone bad- and I'm just stopping there.
14. Synecdoche, New York - If nothing is real and the characters playing characters playing characters are neither really living nor really acting; why does anything matter? This is morose and confusing.
15. The Taking of Pelham 123 " Another unnecessary remake that is all loud and flashy without the street cred.
16. Tulpan " The critics loved it, but this Kazakhstan "comedy" left me as dry as a camel.
17. War, Inc. - Poor John and Joan Cusack who mug their way through a film that tries too hard to satire everything and ends up just a noisy mess. It wants to be "Dr. Strangelove" but instead it's another "Southland Tales".
18. Watchmen - A sadistic abomination proving that torture porn and fanboys are still ruling Hollywood.
19. Whatever Works - A creepy old neurotic, a self-described genius, finds himself cohabitating with a very young girl who he ends up sleeping with to the shock and amazement of his pals. Where does Woody come up with these ideas?
20. Zack and Miri Make a Porno - Kevin Smith tries to mix gross-out comedy with a date movie and fails both audiences. Judd Apatow has already delivered that money shot son.