The 20 Worst DVDs of 2009

Reply Sat 12 Dec, 2009 07:55 am
from seatle pi readers blogs http://blog.seattlepi.com/thedvdlounge/archives/187946.asp?from=blog_last3
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.
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Reply Sat 12 Dec, 2009 09:19 am
The only one of these I have seen is Day the Earth Stood Still. I wanted to like it, but Sad
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Reply Sat 12 Dec, 2009 09:24 am
I am pleased to announce that Ive not seen any of these and , although I remember reading a few reviews (through which the target movies were dumped upon). I like the way that REDBOX reviews movies in order to vend them out. They use plenty of cliche'd phrases so that you can have an avoidance alert and not waste yer buck renting it. I recall the Deniro/Pacino thing "Righteous Kill" and found it such a big time waster that I unloaded it from the machine before it was half done.
Reply Sat 12 Dec, 2009 10:04 am
why actors choose to make movies is an interesting study

i find it hard to believe that wither actor thought it was a great film, so why make it, we'll probably never know, remeber hearing michael madsen on opie and anthony explaining why he took certain rolls in less than stellar films, he was very honest, needed mortgage payment, tax bill due, insurance payments due etc.
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Reply Sat 12 Dec, 2009 10:39 am
Baby Mama: Seen that and mostly agree with the criticism.
Blindness : What a great book written in a simple allegorical format. I think his criticism is a tad harsh though I too was disappointed in the end product of the movie.

The Day the Earth Stood Still and The Haunting in Connecticut : Did not bother seeing these flicks, but I'd grab a copy of the former if I see a free copy of it at the library just for curiosity's sake.

JCVD : Turned off after 10 minutes of streaming it from Netflix.

Rachel Getting Married: I really loved this Greek tragedy of a film. The cast was stellar. A flawed film that deserved all of its critical success and should have gotten a handful more of Oscar nominations if not wins.

RocknRolla: I'm not a Guy Ritchie fetishist so I didn't bother with this film as it sounds exactly like his other British mob/crime films.

Synecdoche, New York: Confusing? Yes. Too long? Yes. Too ambitious for the director and screenwriter's good? Yes. Contains the best original song of the year that should have won an Oscar? A crying shame YES!

Zack and Miri Make a Porno: Cute for a Kevin Smith gross out film but only a bunt single as opposed to Clerks being a three run home run.
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Merry Andrew
Reply Sat 12 Dec, 2009 10:57 am
Like fm, I haven't seen a single one of the movies on this list. But, from your descriptions, dj, they all sound like true horror shows.
Reply Sat 12 Dec, 2009 11:12 am
@Merry Andrew,
not my descriptions, the link is at the top of the post, i've only seen watchman, and i loved the graphic novel and hated the film, a few of the others i've heard soundly trashed by people who's opinion i respect
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Reply Sat 12 Dec, 2009 01:49 pm
I haven't seen but "The Day the Earth Stood Still" and "Rachel Getting Married."

"The Day the Earth Stood Still" happened to be on HBO's premiere movie so I gave it a try to see if it could be that bad. It's like what Duchamp did to the Mona Lisa, adding the moustache and goatee. If one wanted a wooden alien, they got the right actor and it made Michael Rennie seem like Sir Lawrence Olivier.
The scene where Gort turns into robot "insectoids" was gut-wrenchingly corny. A classic B & W classic sci-fi film is turned into a basically B & W greenish filtered mess.

"Rachel Getting Married" -- I could appreciate what the script writer and director were trying to do and the acting was top drawer but I just found every character too annoying. I can't get into films where there are just aren't any characters you can like. Even the people I think you were suppose to like, I didn't like.

The rest I think it obvious I will continue to avoid.
Reply Sat 12 Dec, 2009 01:55 pm
Lightwizard? What did you think of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) , Adaptation (2002), and Being John Malkovich (1999)?
Synecdoche, New York (2008) is definitely in the vain of Charlie Kaufman other films.
Reply Sat 12 Dec, 2009 03:37 pm
Eternal Sunshine is one of my favorites of the decade, Adaptation I liked very much but found the last half-hour almost derailed. Being John Malkovich is an acid trip. I do have to see Synecdoche, New York -- don't even remember reading any reviews.
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Reply Sat 12 Dec, 2009 04:14 pm
I thought The Watchmen was pretty good. The story really wasn't about superheros, so perhaps the author of the original piece was confused about the meaning of the movie.
Reply Sat 12 Dec, 2009 04:25 pm
i kind of wondered about that too, the problem with making a movie about a cult comic book 20 years after it was first written

i read the comics when they came out, and have read the graphic novel about 10 times, i love the story, but was disappointed with the film, specifically how they basically cut out the major plot line of the comic book

Reply Sun 13 Dec, 2009 11:31 pm
I rewatched Watchmen last night as I stumbled onto a copy at the NYPL and I found it easier this time to ignore some of the acting flaws. But then again, I'm sure I'm missing out on the graphic novel as I still haven't read it yet.

How does the director's cut compare to the graphic novel (story wise)?
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Reply Sat 28 May, 2011 09:51 pm
Yes, Street Kings and Blindness really were waste of money.
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