Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Pseudonyms Are For Pussies. And Oliver Stone.

Since no one was very forthcoming with my question regarding films that should be directed by Alan Smithee, I’ve come up with my own list. Rest assured, this is my attempt to vary this site and spice things up a bit, and has nothing to do with the fact that I crushed one of my fingers yesterday and it sort of hurts to type. So, here’s my list of films that the director should be ashamed of, but bizarrely go out into the world with names attached, like a kid with a cleft palate handing out strip club fliers.

1) xXx: State of the Union. I saw this movie for forty five cents, and I still felt ripped off. Not so much for the money, but for the 120 minutes I spent watching Ice Cube convey emotion by varying the intensity of his scowl. I don’t expect much from action films, other than at least one sexy-but-deadly female assassin, but I don’t see why they don’t have to follow the same laws of physics I do. If Ice Cube can fall faster than burning train wreckage by grimacing really hard, then I get to warp the space-time continuum and get my two hours back.

2) You Got Served. I understand the plot of this movie less than I do its title. People think dancing is cool? Who? Why? Who exactly thinks that getting a bunch of guys together and popping on a CD of some bejeweled black man crooning like a castrati with bad grammar is cool, all the while shaking their hips like the sailor from the Village People? I need names, people. Because they need to die before they breed more boy bands.

3) The Entire Oliver Stone Collection. Seriously? He takes credit for his films? Then why do they all look like Easy Rider’s home movies? Every Oliver Stone picture is like a car crash on an acid trip. The guy’s like a walking billboard advertising art therapy for mental patients. Regardless of how vapid his movies are, they still take at least three hours to end. And should he have a point to make with his film, like the relationship of violence and the media, or the corruption of power, strap yourself in for three solid days of After Effects trying to mimic synesthesia.

4) C.S.I Miami. It's like going to science class, except the only thing your teacher knows is how to match Humvee tire treads and how fast maggots breed. Plus you got stoned between periods, and so did your teacher, so all you really to is try to makes stuff in a test tube glow under a black light. I can’t believe people put their names on episodes of this stupid, stupid show. That means that these people, like Judge Dredd’s Danny Cannon, are willing to admit that they directed David Caruso to deliver his lines like he’s learned them phonetically and has no comprehension of proper inflection. It’s quite possible they get paid a bonus for every time Caruso takes his sunglasses off and then puts them back on, but I don’t believe it’s worth it.

5) The News. Whoever directs American TV news should be ashamed of themselves, but not half as ashamed as whoever writes it. And I don’t for a second believe that the news isn’t scripted weeks ahead of time by unemployed sitcom writers. Otherwise I’d have to believe that the entire country has gone insane, because no one airs a story about stranded dolphins in the middle of a massive natural disaster unless they’re joking, and have a bad sense of humor to boot. And that whole Kansas allowing Intelligent Design in schools thing? Not buying it either. I keep waiting for the punchline where they punish truants by having them carve the Ten Commandments into a chalkboard, or start advancing the ‘magic pixie’ law of thermodynamics.

Alright, the floor is open, and while my finger heals, hit me with your picks for worst movie of all time.


Blogger Fatman said...

Nadja: It's a vampire flick. It's Black & White. It's got David Lynch, Peter Fonda and Martin Donovan. Did I mention lesbian vampires? It's still dull as shit.

Robin Hood: Men in Tights: I try to rent out several different genres of film from the video store in one sitting. If I'm going to get a bunch of dramas about a family torn apart by alcohol and betrayal or an elderly gent reminiscing about life on the day he's going to die I'd like to break it up with films where characters spend the majority of the time trying to score with chicks or winning some sports tournament despite their rag-tag group of losers. I'd seen the shorts for Robin Hood: Men in Tights and thought it looked like dumb fun. I asked the video guy what it was like. He said so-so. I walked home, put it on and returned to the store ten minutes later to get another video. I couldn't even sit through the opening credits.

Mission to Mars: I have never cared less about the main characters in a film before this one. This is ridiculous. It is trite. I cannot believe it was directed by Brian De Palma. This is the guy who directed Scarface for f-ck's sake! As bad as his Snake Eyes was you cannot fault the first fifteen minutes of that film gave it a certain amount of credibility. But this film had zip.

Sugar Hill: Dull.

The Man Who Wasn't There:
As I was walking up the stair.
I saw a man who wasn't there.
I saw that man again today.
Oh, how I wish I hadn't wasted my time or money seeing this pointless film. Coen brothers' at an all-time low ( It was just slightly more boring than their re-make of The Ladykillers.)

1:04 a.m.  
Anonymous Je Suis said...

The all time worst? Event Horizon really pissed me off—it started out so good and then the creepy burning demon man and all! Yes! And then it crapped out. No, no, I'll go with either the entire first season of Remington Steele or Just Married, that Ashton Kutcher flick - wait a second. Wait - AK? Ash Karreau? AK! Ashton Kutcher! My God, I take it back. "Ash", you're a truly inspired actor, and I know you'll get that Oscar one day, laying in all your groundwork with My Boss' Daughter and Dude, Where's My Car? I think you're really brave and mature to stick it out on this season of That 70's Show - genius title, btw, I'm assuming it was your idea - and I want to be there when you make it with Julia Roberts. Just let me be your friend, and I'll keep your secret identity to myself. Friend, Ashton. Friend. I'm serious, buddy, In Touch is just a phonecall away, don't mess with me.

1:16 a.m.  
Anonymous Rin said...

I liked The Man Who Wasn't There. But that might be more to do with my Billy Bob obsession than the film itself.


3:04 a.m.  
Blogger Sam Kahn said...

The Butterfly Effect is awful. I can't stress how awful it is.

Club Dread is up there, too.

4:13 a.m.  
Anonymous BReed said...

The worst movie that I've seen - and not just because it's bad, but because it was so unbelievably hyped - is Lost In Translation. There is nothing good about this movie. It's a vacuum. I am asked to feel sympathy, empathy, something for a Yale philosophy major who's (a) apparently so rich she doesn't have to work, (b) is married to a reasonably nice but superficial guy in an incredibly superficial business and is dragged down by, I don't know, his lack of depth, (c) doing the typical American chick I-want-to-close-the-deal-no-I-can't-close-the-deal with Bill Murray, who - I mean, this is Carl from fucking Caddyshack! I love films that make fun of the Japanese as much as the next guy, but this just sucks. The soundtrack is good in that it doesn't distract me when my girlfriend watches it in the next room, but that's the only non-negative thing I can say about this piece of shit.

4:49 a.m.  
Anonymous Rin said...

Bredd, if you thought Lost in Translation was lacking, don't see Broken Flowers.

For the record, the former was okay and the latter was terrible.

4:54 a.m.  
Anonymous Rin said...

Sorry for spelling your name wrong, I'm using a retarded keyboard.

4:56 a.m.  
Anonymous broadzilla said...

1. Vanilla Sky. I spent the first half-hour of the movie willing the entire cast to die, and the rest of the movie wishing I could. And Jason Lee always looks as though he has something unpleasant stuffed up one, or possibly both, of his nostrils.

2. Highlander III. Yes, it's my own fault for thinking it was a good idea to see this movie in the first place.

3. Get Carter(The remake). Stupid and dull... Stallone was much better in Deathrace 2000.

4. Beneath the Valley of the Ultra-Vixens I don't have anything against big-breasted women. Honestly. And I do like at least one other Meyer movie, I just found this sloppy, boring and shouty. Maybe I wasn't drunk enough.

5. Anything featuring a 'Musketeer', Tom Hanks or Lou Diamond Phillips. Remakes in general.

6:51 a.m.  
Blogger Swedish Girl said...

Oh you know me. It's just not in my sweet nature to rant about things. But if you insist...

Good on you, Breed, for tackling art-house Lost in Translation, which I just didn't get either. Come on people, are we really laughing out loud at "Loger Moole"?

But me, I'll go for "Swept Away". Sure, it's an easy target - those are the only ones I ever pick. There is no explanation for this movie, other than that it's all an elaborate joke that I'm too thick to get.

7:11 a.m.  
Blogger Ash Karreau said...

Fatman - Hey, I liked Nadja. I pretty sure it was filmed on an Etchasketch, but it was sort of funny.

I hate The Man Who Wasn't There as well. I think the Coen brothers, as much indie film darlings as they are, are batting about .500 in my book. A couple of their films are great, a couple are boring and most are mediocre.

Je Suis - I've said it before and I'll say it again, Event Horizon is all about going frame by frame through the cannibal sex scenes. It's like a whole other movie. A whole other sexy movie.

Rin - I have never agreed with anybody more than I do with you about Jim Jarmusch. The man is a walking sleeping pill.

Sam, why would you watch Club Dread? Was it a bet?

BReed, while I don't hate Lost in Translation, it's only because I didn't care enough to form an opinion.

Broadzilla - How is it exactly that Highlander 3 makes the cut and not Highlander 2. You know, the one where the sword and sworcery epic is joined by outer space bounty hunters and the planet from Transformers?

And Vanilla Sky is awful. All Cameron Crowe is awful. But Lou Diamond Phillips? Come on, that guy's cool! He can play with a knife! Know how I know? Because he does it every single movie he's in.

Swedish Girl - Though Swept Away is an easy target, it's a deserving one. I did appreciate the rape humor in the film, but I will admit that it felt sorely out of place.

9:14 a.m.  
Anonymous Rin's brother Robert said...

I just watched Broken Flowers.


How did someone make High Fidelity but worse? That was quite a challenge. What was I supposed to take away from it? That you shouldn't assume people are your son because they dress like you?

It had some good jokes I suppose, though I'm not convinced they were intentional.

The whole thing was just so realistic, too, like it was made for those retards who think that somehow it makes stories better if they are true or based on truth. It was like a selection of bits cut out from a stupid fly-on-the-wall documentary. A random selection.

And, right, why do people think that comedians acting straight is amazing acting? Like it's not just a hell of a lot easier. GOD.

I think I'd really like to call it pretentious but fucking people have ruined that too, applying it as a criticism to anything remotely clever. Which this wasn't. Clever, I mean. It was just shit.

10:05 a.m.  
Anonymous Rin's brother Robert said...

Oh, and I like the Man Who Wasn't There. But that might be more to do with my Billy Bob obsession than the film itself.

10:08 a.m.  
Blogger Jerk Of All Trades 2.0 said...

Sorry man, I've been slacking off.
Didn't "Smithee" direct that god awful "Love Story"?
That would be my favorite/not really, I want to vomit when it's even mentioned "Smithee" flick.

10:31 a.m.  
Blogger Fatman said...

Gotta agree with Ash here Broadzilla. Highlander II sucked so much more than Highlander III: The Magician. III was plain boring. II took everything good about Highlander and killed it. Immortals? Oh, they're aliens who were mortals on another planet but have been exiled here to live forever as punishment. Makes no sense.

11:11 a.m.  
Anonymous Fred said...

Psychos in Love: Awful, but still endearing in some sick way.

Frankenhooker: Silly, but truly, truly bad. Any movie where "supercrack" is a plot device should be punished.

A Polish Vampire in Burbank: Terrible. Haven't seen it in about 16 years, but I still remember how bad it was.

2:19 p.m.  
Blogger Ash Karreau said...

What? You're dead wrong here, Fred! Frankenhooker is awesome! She's like Frankenstein, only a dirty prostitute! Or rather, like Frankenstein's Monster! Which makes the title idiotic, unless the hooker herself were to be making the monster! Which she isn't! On second thought, you might be right!

3:52 p.m.  
Anonymous Jaymis said...


I have an affliction which makes me unable to stop watching a movie, not matter how bad it is, before the end. Even Fear Dot Com (the website for this abortion being
The scariest thing about this is that - as I understand the industry - someone must have read the script before giving out the 42 million dollar budget.
It hurts my brain to think about an industry that lets things like this happen.

6:55 p.m.  
Blogger Valet Attendant said...

The terrible, horrible, very bad day, I sat through the coen brothers remake of the Ladykillers. What the hell happened to these guys. For awhile they could do no wrong. I never thought I'd see the day I wanted to walk out of their movie and demand my money back. The original is so funny. Alec Guinness, and Peter Sellers and whoever else made this a gem. Marlon Wayans should have been shot, should still be shot, he made me hate him and this movie, not to mention the really bad writing. Why remake a classic. ADHD kids should be forced to watch black and white movies, and told that's the way the world looked before your damn drugs, no shut the fuck up and watch a classic.

11:30 p.m.  
Blogger Sam Kahn said...

I actually liked Broken Flowers. I like Jarmusch's sense of humor, and I found the character studies captivating.

Lost in Translation on the other hand... Way overrated.

2:14 a.m.  
Anonymous broadzilla said...

Fatman, I though I'd leave The Scotsman from Outer Space and its environmental agenda out of it, coz, let's face it, the ozone has taken enough of a beating already. *Boom, boom*. I dunno, I thought Highlander III made The Quickening seem almost tolerable in comparison - it was THAT execrable.

4:44 a.m.  
Blogger Ash Karreau said...

Jaymis - Sorry, but apparently, your knowledge of the film industry is not complete. With a film like feardotcom, clearly the studio greenlight the film based on the title alone, because god knows kids like horror and the internet, so there's no need to read/have a script.

Valet - Ladykillers is strange, but the Coens have done wrong before. The aforementioned Man Who Wasn't There, the one with George Clooney and Catherine Zeta Jones that no one remembers even though it's only three years old...

I would also like to nominate The Passion of the Christ and Fahrenheit 911.

8:48 a.m.  
Blogger gretchkal said...

what was that really bad movie with bill paxton in it? oh, wait, that would be any movie he's ever been in ...

and hello, did any of you see dracula, dead and loving it?

10:24 a.m.  
Anonymous Mugwump said...

Time Bandits. I get that all the evil in the universe stems from an over-microwaved meatloaf, but, Terry, I wish you wouldn't try to combine all your fetishes into one movie. My disgust with this one is nigh-Pavlovian; I go unconscious when it starts and wake up refreshed at the end credits.

And I like LIT and several of the Jarmusch flicks for the fact that they remind you why you shouldn't care about some people or events; they remind me of Romeo + Juliet -- once in a lifetime a movie dares to show just how bratty and myopic an 'epic' teenage love tragedy would truly be.

1:46 p.m.  
Blogger Valet Attendant said...

I may be in the minority, but I liked The Man Who Wasn't There, but then again I never had MTV growing up, so I don't mind slower paced movies. Anyone else think there's a connection between ADHD and MTV? Also I will admit I went to the theatre believing I would hate Intolerable Cruelty, but I found it slightly charming and nice. Granted Intolerable Cruelty and Ladykillers were written for other directors who dropped out and left the Coens to direct, that doesn't mean that they should have.

3:56 p.m.  
Blogger Valet Attendant said...

Fahrenheit 911 was an overindulgent piece of shit. I don't like Bush, but I also don't like stupidly obvious documentaries. Michael Moore needs to find a new gimmick, that goody good Socratic arguing thing drives me nuts.

3:59 p.m.  
Blogger Sam Kahn said...

I actually also really liked The Man Who Wasn't There. Besides the movie looking stunningly beautiful when I saw it projected, I found it very enjoyable.

As far as Intolerable Cruelty goes, it wasn't the Coen's best, but it still wasn't a terrible movie... I found it to be pretty funny. Ladykillers was bad, though.

5:10 p.m.  
Blogger Ash Karreau said...

Awful, awful Fahrenheit 911. The one thing worse than that movie is the Republican counter film Fahren-hype 911. As for Bush, the only thing I'll say about him is that I thought the anti-Christ would be smarter.

Sam, the Coen's films are always beautiful, due to the fine work of Roger Deacon. However, Intolerable Cruelty was sooo very forgetable I can't even remember what my complaints with it were.

6:56 p.m.  
Blogger Sam Kahn said...

Roger Deakins can't be given all the credit. Other movies he's worked on don't always have the visual flair of the Coens' work.

5:53 p.m.  

Post a Comment

<< Home