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Archive for December, 2008

Man, I’m at a loss for words, in a way.

bmx-bandits

BMX Bandits is very clearly dated; made in 1982, it features an extremely young Nicole Kidman way before the specter of Tom Cruise fell upon her life. For god’s sake, it’s about BMX riders before BMX became this uber-cool, very fancy kind of sport full of tricks and such.

The entire plot revolves around a team of BMX riding friends who thwart some bank robbers’ best laid plans, so you know, it’s not incredibly entertaining. There’s a lot of people doing intense-but-yet-not-that-intense things on “bush bikes”, as they’re called. There’s some weird masks and some very weird things going on, but I suppose after viewing the dregs of cinema that I have seen previous to this, it’s really not all that bad.

It reminds me, really, of a Disney made for TV movie. For little kids, you know? All the authority figures are stupid and bumbling, the bank robbers are evil, evil folks, the kids are awesome and spot on and save the day. It really isn’t all that awful, just dated.

And the problem with that is that it’s just there. It’s neither good nor bad, just brief cinematic filler, filler that has survived due to the fact that Nicole Kidman became famous and there was money to be made off of shilling the film. It’s not entirely entertaining, but it has its random moments, but… it’s kind of like a piece of furniture or a car. It…just…exists.

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Paging Paul W.S. Anderson for a shellacking…

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Gimme a break.   Look, I don’t expect any sort of greatness from Alien vs. Predator.   It’s popcorn entertainment and money grubbery at it’s finest, sure, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get a few minutes of cheap thrills from it.   Unless…of course, you’re assuming someone with an attention span longer than ten seconds made it.

We begin with a group being assembled by Charles Weyland (yes, that Weyland of The Company) for purposes of an exploration in the Antarctic.

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Alexa is some sort of lady who likes to scale ice.   There’s an archaeologist in there too, somewhere.  The rest of them seem to be people who show up and do people-y things while looking grim.  Valuable assets, one and all.

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I feel so sorry for Ewan Bremner being in this movie.   I feel oddly affectionate toward him and have ever since seeing Trainspotting for the first time, but the acting well must really be dry, Ewan, or I hope you’re using that money to put your children through private school or something.

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Weyland assembles his crack team of the best and the brightest in the Antarctic because his satellite has found a mysterious pyramid where only the walls are hot.   He wants to explore this!   Most everyone else is totally on board with this plan, too!   A pyramid?  In the Antarctic!   Jeez, you just can’t make this stuff up.  I bet Paul W.S. Anderson slapped himself heartily on the back for that one.   How very clever, Paul.

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Cue Sad Fiddle Music

The internet hates me and doesn’t want me to be online with all the cool kids, so I’m laying in bed – RIGHT NOW! – watching Patriot Games for the umpteen millionth time, when the thought occurred to do an informal study, if you will.

Out of all the Jack Ryan movies, which is the best one and who was the best Jack Ryan, Baldwin or Ford?

Consider me curious, since I believe I’m in the minority on this one.

I’m not counting Affleck and that piece of shit The Sum of All Fears and neither should you. I am a strong person, but even I have to live under the artifice that The Sum of All Fears was never made just to get on with daily life.

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Guys, it’s going to take a lot to beat this one for the worst.

I want you to imagine in your head a couple of things, first. Let the sweet sounds of nature – the trees blowing in the breeze, a couple of happy crickets chirping away in the background – and I want you to remember that and overlay those sounds with this image:

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Yeah, yeah, keep those happy nature sounds in your head. I’m creating a visual and auditory picture in your head not unlike Bob Ross – we’re getting to the happy little trees part of this painting soon enough.

Now I want you to imagine the sounds of coffee being percolated with someone vomiting overlayed with what I had earlier, and then the striking image of someone cutting themselves open with a straight razor.

It was at that point that I thought to myself, “I have reached some point of no return. This is…I don’t even know how to describe this.”

That is the first ten minutes of Begotten. There’s no dialogue, only ambient noise and percolating vomit sounds; there’s no plot (Scott e-mailed me an explanation, but I feel this “movie” is better without one). And the whole movie looks like this:

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There are three characters that run around with bags on their heads or strangely grabbing themselves in odd places. The entire movie should be turned into one of those LOLCAT macros with “WTF” running at the bottom of every cell.

To put it into perspective: Watching Begotten feels like at any moment you are going to receive a phone call or an e-mail warning you that you now have a week to live before some sopping wet spider lady comes out of your television to feast upon your soul. It really does. It’s kind of soul-crushing in a sense, because I suppose if you really put some thought into it (and believe me, people, I did not want to really put anything into this one) someone intended this to be lofty, avant-garde kind of film that made a statement.

Obviously, this person had no clue that this film telegraphs the message: “AWFUL, STOP. MAKES NO SENSE, STOP. I HAVE LOST ALL MY INNOCENCE AND WISH TO BE PUT OUT OF MY MISERY, STOP. PLEASE MAKE IT STOP, STOP.”

As far as I can tell, in the Worst Movies Ever derby, everyone else is eating Begotten’s dust. And if you really don’t believe me, well, you can mentally scar yourself for free here on Google Video.

I may never be the same, guys.

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It’s really cold outside tonight for Texas (25 degrees, brrrrr) and with no Worst Movies Ever to do, I was looking forward to coming home and getting under the covers. This was mostly due to the fact that I spent an hour gridlocked in traffic, watching ambulance after ambulance come to rescue Texas drivers who freak at the mere thought of inclement weather.

My natural instinct was to come home, have peppermint hot chocolate, and cross stitch. Yes, I know. I’m two caftans and a lanai short of being a Golden Girl, but I do enjoy the needlework. On nights when I’m out of movies to review, I flick on TCM or pop in a movie for background noise while I put stitches in whatever I may be working on at the moment.

In retrospect, it was probably a mistake to put on Ghostbusters tonight. I should have known my attention would be drawn so much to the movie that I would keep stabbing myself in the thumb and index finger with a needle. Luckily for me, tapestry needles are extremely dull or my pricked fingers would be singing a far different tune. I really should have known much better and not been shocked at all when I looked down at my work and saw that I had miscounted everything I had done from paying too MUCH attention to Ghostbusters, thus leaving me the only option of ripping out everything I had just sat there and stitched. If you’ve never ripped out stitches before, and I am assuming quite a few of you have not, it is about as much fun as a root canal.

So here’s all those parts that I adore so much, even if they cause me bodily injury and/or cause me to swear a blue streak because they drive me to distraction…

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“My uncle thought he was Saint Jerome.”

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I got tagged by Scott over at He Shot Cyrus for this one and I have to tell you, I really had to think hard on this one.   No, Scott couldn’t tag me for something a little less easy on my poor convoluted brain, like perhaps Top 20 Hot Old British Dudes or something.

I’m too lazy to collage all these photos, though, so you have to deal with full size.  Okay?   Okay.

angela-lansbury

I’m such a softie for Angela Lansbury not only because of Murder, She Wrote but because of her role as Elvis’ mom (!) in Blue Hawaii.   CHADWICK!

bette-davis

I don’t really think Bette Davis requires an explanation, but damn, that woman was fierce.   Also, Whatever Happened To Baby Jane? is really one of my all time favorite movies.

cate-blanchett

ALL SHALL LOVE CATE BLANCHETT AND DESPAIR!

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Poor Catherine Deneuve.  “People only die of love in the movies.”

colbert

CLAUDETTE EFFING COLBERT. After I compiled my list, I took a gander around the movie blogosphere to see what people had listed and I was shocked – really shocked – that Colbert was nowhere to be found.   The Egg and I is a movie my mother and I will watch and love over and over and over again forever.

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It took me FOUR TRIES to get through this testament to stupidity.

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Dear God.

You know what?   I’m pulling a Letterman and just chucking my notecards at the proverbial camera, here.   Plot?   Plot doesn’t matter here!   All that matters is sex.   Sex, sex and more sex.   And given the people talking about sex and having sex, you may never want to have sex again.   You may never want to THINK about sex again.  I certainly contemplated checking myself into a convent.  And if I have to see one more horror movie that involves teens traveling to the woods to have sex and drink, I refuse to be held responsible for my actions.   Say it with me now:  played out.

Sex and death, that’s pretty much it.  Never mind the funny witticisms that the characters spout at every turn which sound like they were written by a mescaline tripping monkey with a frontal lobe injury; never mind the embarrassing “special effects” and actors who look like they could go on to star in an infomercial after the raging success of Adam and Evil.   Don’t bother attempting to figure out what’s going on, since half the movie’s too dark to see in the first damn place.

Isn’t there some point when we can intervene?   Isn’t there some point when we can reach out to people who supply the folks who made this movie with film, cameras, lights, etc. to say, “Dude.   Take one for the team, and just don’t sell them shit anymore.”   Can’t we blacklist these people?   These are people who thought this was a GOOD IDEA.   These are people who thought what they made was awesome; I’m sure they celebrated with a high-five and a “Cool, dude!”.   This is WRONG.   You’re telling me that some people can’t get movies made – awesome, deserving movies – and this piece of crap EVEN EXISTS?

I feel bitter.   I feel wronged.   I feel like we should go get everyone who starred and had a “creative” role in this project and make them wear scarlet letters forever.   Or perhaps scarlet movie posters.   This…thing…they have foisted upon the public is a crime.

I’m not sure if it’s the parade of terrible, horrifying atrocities that are running through my mailbox at the moment or if Adam & Evil is wholly deserving of my wrath but GOD.  PEOPLE.   I AM SO TIRED OF WATCHING PEOPLE GO OUT IN THE WOODS AND GET KILLED.

Come up with a better idea.   Execute that idea much better than you’re intending to make it in the first place.   And if you can’t do that, execute the damn project like Marie Antoinette.

Jesus, I need a lie-down and an aspirin.

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