17 May 2009

The Decade List: (Some of) The Worst Films (2002)

Though containing 29 titles, my 'Worst of 2002' feels a little slim. Should I have includes Gangs of New York? I'm not sure. In fact I think I was rather skeptical about including any film that didn't completely repulse me; however, my repulsion can't solely be directed at self-declared, pretend American "indies" (that word!) like the utterly deplorable Igby Goes Down, Pumpkin (which may have redeemed its otherwise terrible-ness with its final shot), The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys, Spun (someone once yelled at me for disliking this, explaining that I just didn't understand meth-heads) and Secretary (whose admirers I will never understand, other than the posse of female co-workers I knew who got weak in the knees for James Spader and his spankings). I think I've actually gotten myself into a rhythm in which I don't have to see bad films through occupying my time with films I know are worthy or I'm told are (by reputable individuals).

For additional reading, check out my post on Larry Clark's Ken Park, still without official US distribution, which was part of an abruptly aborted series on Films I Hate (it's paired with a piece on Boxing Helena where my youthful brashness is on high). I'm not sure that I've written about any of the others in any detail, other than Luster, which was a big focus in my undergrad thesis on the death of New Queer Cinema.

- Better Luck Tomorrow - d. Justin Lin - USA
- The Child I Never Was [Ein Leben lang kurze Hosen tragen] - d. Kai S. Peck - Germany
- The Country Bears - d. Peter Hastings - USA
- The Crime of Padre Amaro [El crimen del padre Amaro] - d. Carlos Carrera - Mexico/Spain/Argentina/France
- The Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys - d. Peter Care - USA
- Food of Love - d. Ventura Pons - Spain/Germany
- Garage Days - d. Alex Proyas - Australia
- Hero - d. Zhang Yimou - Hong Kong/China
- Ibiza Dream [El sueño de Ibiza] - d. Igor Fioravanti - Spain
- Igby Goes Down - d. Burr Steers - USA
- Juwanna Mann - d. Jesse Vaughan - USA
- Ken Park - d. Larry Clark, Edward Lachman - USA/Netherlands/France
- Life or Something Like It - d. Stephen Herek - USA
- Luster - d. Everett Lewis - USA
- Merci Docteur Ray! - d. Andrew Litvack - France/USA
- Mr. Deeds - d. Steven Brill - USA
- New Best Friend - d. Zoe Clarke-Williams - USA
- Panic Room - d. David Fincher - USA
- Pumpkin - d. Anthony Abrams, Adam Larson Broder - USA
- Queen of the Damned - d. Michael Rymer - USA/Australia
- Secretary - d. Steven Shainberg - USA
- Signs - d. M. Night Shyamalan - USA
- Spun - d. Jonas Åkerlund - USA
- Star Wars: Episode 2 - Attack of the Clones - d. George Lucas - USA
- Swept Away - d. Guy Ritchie - UK/Italy
- Teenage Caveman - d. Larry Clark - USA
- La vie promise - d. Olivier Dahan - France
- When Boys Fly - d. Stewart Halpern-Fingerhut, Lenid Rolov - USA
- XXX - d. Rob Cohen - USA


Samuel Wilson said...

Joe, I think you forgot one. Here's a hint: it won the Oscar.

Joe said...

Ah, you're right Samuel. I actually was mildly entertained by it the first time 'round, on the big screen. But I tried to watch it again and saw all the cracks beneath its "splendor." It's truly awful aside from Catherine Zeta-Jones, and yet I dunno why I felt the need to leave it off. I don't want to ever go "safe." I may need to amend this soon.

Matthew Coniam said...

Good to see Signs and Panic Room making your list: both continue to receive revisionist praise in other quarters. Yes - Signs even!

Joe said...

Revisionist praise for Signs and Panic Room. Oh brother. I'd watch Benjamin Button thrice over than have to see Jodie Foster sweating one more time.

-M said...

First, Juwanna Man is a masterpiece. How dare you. And I'll go for everything else on here, however I think Panic Room is nearly great, and I'd not put Hero on a worst films list. As said above, Traffic was missing, and Hero is harmless by comparrison. Also, Zeta-Jones-Douglas sucks.

Joe said...

By Traffic do you mean Chicago?