01 June 2009

The Decade List: (Some of) The Worst Films (2003)

I figure that the further along I go on the Decade List, the more populated the Worst Films list will be. Some annotations to the list: I didn't place Gigli on the list out of some obligation; I think it's really tedious, though not the complete Thanksgiving dinner everyone else did, most of which I think came from wanting the film to fail because of the media's tiresome coverage of Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez (or Bennifer, as they were once called). But I'd probably watch that junk again over the three turds respected filmmakers Alain Resnais, Jim Jarmusch and André Téchiné threw out that year (I refuse to include Tim Burton and his strangely admired, schmaltz fest Big Fish on the 'respected' list).

In terms of the international films on the list, most fell into three deplorable categories. The first rocked the Paul Haggis structure before he even got a chance to (Liberated Zone, Free Radicals and, to a lesser extent, Slim Sussie). The second includes start-to-finish embarassments from people who should have never been handed a camera in the first place (Insatiability, Testosterone). And the third, which may be the most criminal, concerned showboat directors and their artistic garbage, which fully earns the dismissive label "pretentious," though I typically try avoiding that word (Reconstruction, A Thousand Clouds of Peace).

Teensploitation was also a recurring trend, from 15: The Movie, Thirteen, The Real Cancun, Party Monster and Young Gods dishing out as much young flesh and salaciousness it could handle (and, for four of them, while pretending to disapprove of it and, for the other, disguising itself as something else). A special mention should be given to Tommy Wiseau's The Room, which made it's Los Angeles premiere in 2003, which is so terrible I couldn't leave it off the list, but unlike all the other films below, transforms its awfulness into something of beauty.

I've included links to what I wrote about Coffee and Cigarettes and Love Actually below. As I neglected to mention it when writing about Love Actually, I think the entire film can be summed up in the opening scene, when the aging rock star, played by Bill Nighy, who is "selling out" to record a Christmas rendition of one of his old songs, says to his producer, "This is shit, isn't it?" The producer responds, just as I imagine the producers of the film did, "Yep, solid gold shit."

- 15: The Movie - d. Royston Tan - Singapore
- 200 American - d. Richard LeMay - USA
- Adored: Diary of a Porn Star [Poco più di un anno fa] - d. Marco Filiberti - Italy
- Alex and Emma - d. Rob Reiner - USA
- Big Fish - d. Tim Burton - USA
- Bon voyage - d. Jean-Paul Rappeneau - France
- Bringing Down the House - d. Adam Shankman - USA
- The Cat in the Hat - d. Bo Welch - USA
- Coffee and Cigarettes - d. Jim Jarmusch - USA/Japan/Italy
- Daredevil - d. Mark Steven Johnson - USA
- Die, Mommie, Die! - d. Mark Rucker - USA
- Le divorce - d. James Ivory - France/USA
- The Event - d. Thom Fitzgerald - Canada/USA
- Free Radicals [Böse Zellen] - d. Barbara Albert - Austria/Germany/Switzerland
- Gigli - d. Martin Brest - USA
- The Human Stain - d. Robert Benton - USA/Germany/France
- Insatiability [Nienasycenie] - d. Wiktor Grodecki - Poland/Lithuania
- The Last Samurai
- d. Edward Zwick - USA
- Latter Days - d. C. Jay Cox - USA
- Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde - d. Charles Herman-Wurmfeld - USA
- Liberated Zone [Befreite Zone] - d. Norbert Baumgarten - Germany
- Love Actually - d. Richard Curtis - UK/USA
- Nathalie... - d. Anne Fontaine - France/Spain
- Not on the Lips [Pas sur la bouche] - d. Alain Resnais - France/Switzerland
- The Pact of Silence [Le pacte du silence] - d. Graham Guit - France
- Party Monster - d. Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato - USA/Netherlands
- The Praying Mantis [Le festin de la mante] - d. Marc Levie - Belgium
- Prey for Rock & Roll - d. Alex Steyermark - USA
- The Real Cancun - d. Rick de Oliveira - USA
- Reconstruction - d. Christoffer Boe - Denmark
- The Room - d. Tommy Wiseau - USA*
- Shattered Glass - d. Billy Ray - USA/Canada
- Slim Susie [Smala Sussie] - d. Ulf Malmros - Sweden
- Strayed [Les égarés] - d. André Techiné - France/UK
- Testosterone - d. David Moreton - Argentina/USA
- Thirteen - d. Catherine Hardwicke - USA
- A Thousand Clouds of Peace [Mil nubes de paz cercan el cielo, amor, jamás acabarás de ser amor] - d. Julián Hernández - Mexico
- The Trouble with Men and Women - d. Tony Fisher - UK
- Wrong Turn - d. Rob Schmidt - USA/Canada/Germany
- Young Gods [Hymypoika] - d. Jukka-Pekka Siili - Finland
- Zatôichi - d. Takeshi Kitano - Japan


-M said...


But more importantly, take The Room off of that list. Something of such beauty should never grace a worst list.

Joe said...

I guess you're right, Mike.

But something of such dreadfulness shouldn't go unpunished either.

-M said...

Its punishment is its fame, Joe.

Anonymous said...