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Archive for December 27th, 2008

As far as the “big name” Hollywood films on the Worst Movies Ever slate, I do have to say that this festering pile of puke is the worst.   BY FAR.

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Larry Gigli (Affleck) is a rank and file mob guy who is entrusted with a task by his boss:   to babysit the mentally handicapped brother of a federal prosecutor while the mob boss puts the screws to the prosecutor.   Gigli does as he’s told, only to have a beautiful cohort show up, enlisted to keep the buffoonish Gigli on task and out of trouble.  The fact that she’s a lesbian only complicates things for the two.

It’s not fair to call Gigli a trainwreck, because that would imply that a proverbial train had left the station.   No, this one is doomed from the beginning.   Affleck and Lopez, for all their real-life relationship drama, have no chemistry whatsoever.   The puppet sex scenes in Team America had more spark than these two.

The idea and themes of the movie aren’t difficult, but Affleck’s character is a complete and total idiot.   He’s without charm or any sort of affable quality; instead he meanders through life, a greasy, ill-mannered slob who is unsympathetic at the least.   Lopez’s character of Ricki, the lesbian mob gal, is equally unappetizing.   She’s meant to be an articulate, educated person who attempts to smarten Gigli up a bit, but Lopez never, ever appears to seemingly grasp the philosophy spouting forth from her lips.    When she does, it comes across as pandering and vaguely coherent; in fact, pandering is the best way to describe her in this film, as she only seems fully comfortable in the scenes where she has to utilize her body or show off her distinctly ample ass.    An ass is a difficult thing on which to center a role.

Even with Affleck and Lopez stinking up the joint, you could hope to find passable sustenance in the supporting cast, but Justin Bartha’s turn as the mentally challenged person smacks less of honesty and more of a bad Saturday Night Live impression of Rain Man.   Christopher Walken and Al Pacino turn in boring performances that only run a few minutes long.

All in all, that’s not enough to justify it as a Worst Movie Ever; what finally lumps it into that category are several things, most importantly being the ending premise of the movie that has two separate prongs.   The first is the mild, anti-climactic resolution at the end.  Every story has conflict, and Gigli’s quiet questioning of his life and his career isn’t enough to satisfy the payoff at the end, where he and Ricki walk off into the sunset, scot-free.    Most of the movie is a rough mess of the two babysitting a parody of a brain-damaged person, so there’s no satisfying end to the movie.  Secondly, the premise that a lesbian can fall in love with a man and suddenly have a “change of heart” is offensive at best – what furthers that from offensive into eye-rolling territory is that Ricki would ever even find something to find attractive about the obnoxious Gigli.   I have to say, I vaguely remember lesbian and gay alliances being wound up something wicked about Ricki’s sudden move into a heterosexual relationship and I can now say for good cause; it’s blatantly stupid, completely off-base and pretty ignorant.   What is the real slap in the face is that the supposed educated Ricki would find anything attractive about the schlubby Gigli, who only experiences a minutiae of growth due to severe, serious pushing by Ricki, and even then only wants to experience a carefree life free of hassles, as long as he gets the pretty lesbian.

It’s a shallowly unsympathetic movie that is boring, not entertaining and absurdly vacuous.   Out of all of the big-name, box office bombs that I’ve watched, it really is the worst of the worst, mainly because it is just all over the place, really.   If there’s any good parts to it, I was too distracted by the bad to notice the good.

Then again, I still have I Know Who Killed Me to watch, so that could easily dethrone Gigli. Maybe.

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I didn’t really know how to review this one. I walked around a lot, thinking to myself out loud. I puzzled, I brainstormed, I concentrated. “Self,” I said, “How in the world do you do justice to Armageddon? I mean, it would be helpful if ‘Michael Bay’ were an adjective, because all the unholy suckitude contained in his movies could be summed up in the world michaelbay, thereby cutting this to the quick. I don’t know, I feel as though it’s cheating to just say: MICHAELBAY.”

And then I nodded with myself, as I am bananas, and went to go look at the IMDB page for Armageddon, where lo and behold, it was a Christmas miracle as inspiration struck. I felt like a Who down in Whoville!

I came upon the trivia pages where this little factoid stuck out at me:

Regarding the film’s premise, Ben Affleck asked director Michael Bay, “Wouldn’t it be easier for NASA to train astronauts how to drill rather than training drillers to be astronauts?” Bay told Affleck to shut up.

You know me. I have the condition known as “overactive imagination” and this sentence immediately made that condition go into overdrive. I imagined Bay screaming profanity at Affleck, tiny dribbles of spittle forming at the corners of his mouth, before he began to claw at his hair and convulse. I could see Bay topping his tantrum off by flinging himself into the craft services table, where he began to spasm angrily and flail his limbs aggressively while screaming, “FUCK YOU, AFFLECK!” amongst half-stale donuts, coffee stirrers and powdered creamer.

So, thus, a review of Armageddon in conversations with Michael Bay.

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Charlton Heston:  Look, Michael, as flattered as I am to be narrating a thirty second spot of dialogue for the beginning of the movie, doesn’t this feel unnecessary?   And perhaps baiting the audience, a bit?

Michael Bay: Shut the fuck up, Moses, and add more gravitas.

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Editor: Michael, are you sure you want that on there?   “A Michael Bay Film”?

Michael Bay: Keep your trap shut, moron.   Everyone will know that this work of epic genius is mine, all mine!   My words, my thoughts…my fireballs exploding awesomely!

Editor: Good point.  I think we should keep this on the shitty…er, I mean, completely amazing film.

(more…)

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