17 July 2009

The Decade List: (Some of) The Worst Films (2004)

On the fourth year of the Aughts, I realize that the (Some of) The Worst Films chapter has become rather drab. The lists never really amount to anything of substance, except mildly pissing a few people off, and simply expose the lousy crop of films I had the misfortune of seeing in some form. Is there any need to mention that Christmas with the Kranks blew or that an incompetently-made coming-of-age tale of a young European that no one's seen like Shem was even less enthralling than Catwoman?

I speculate that I continue to make these lists for two reasons. 1.) They're easy to compile and don't require me to sit down and watch them again (unless you strongly suggest I reevaluate my thoughts); and 2.) I derive great pleasure in spitting (and re-spitting) venom onto films as contemptible as Paul Haggis' Crash as often as possible. Yes, though it would go on to become the hands-down worst Best Picture winner in Oscar history in 2006, Crash technically made its premiere at Toronto in 2004. Once guaranteed to emit an angry tirate out of me, the process of aging has caused me to forget many of my reserve of arguments against that garbage. Or maybe I spend less time dwelling on the bad than I used to.

As for the common themes outside of Ben Affleck, lousy "adapatations" of Georges Bataille make a dual showing in 2004. Christophe Honoré's "faithful" adaptation of Bataille's final book Ma mère finds little more than a naked Louis Garrel and Isabelle Huppert on auto-pilot, while The Story of the Eye suffices in merely quoting the writer and proceeding with an inspid "art" video "porno" which shares no commonality with the book other than a central ménage à trois.

And for general comments: Oliver Stone can cut Alexander any way he wants to, but it'll never be a good film; despite Tracey Ullman being a fair substitute for Divine, A Dirty Shame is not good (at all); without trying, The Notebook is funnier than Napoleon Dynamite, which tries... hard; as hard as it is to offend me, the tween comedy Sleepover managed to do so; and Palindromes is the ill-conceived and -realized film I'd always expected to come from Todd Solondz.

- Alexander - d. Oliver Stone - USA/Germany/Netherlands/France/UK
- Along Came Polly - d. John Hamburg - USA
- Catwoman - d. Pitof - USA/Australia
- Christmas with the Kranks - d. Joe Roth - USA
- Club Dread - d. Jay Chandrasekhar - USA
- Crash - d. Paul Haggis - Canada/UK
- Crutch - d. Rob Moretti - USA
- The Day After Tomorrow - d. Roland Emmerich - USA
- A Dirty Shame - d. John Waters - USA
- Eating Out - d. Q. Allen Brocka - USA
- Garden State - d. Zach Braff - USA
- George Bataille's Story of the Eye - d. Andrew Repasky McElhinney - USA
- House of Flying Daggers - d. Zhang Yimou - China/Hong Kong
- Jargo - d. María Sólrún Sigurðardóttir - Germany/Iceland
- Ma mère - d. Christophe Honoré - France/Portugal/Austria/Spain
- Melinda & Melinda - d. Woody Allen - USA
- Most High - d. Marty Sader - USA
- Napoleon Dynamite - d. Jared Hess - USA
- The Notebook - d. Nick Cassavetes - USA/Portugal
- Palindromes - d. Todd Solondz - USA
- People: Jet Set 2 - d. Fabien Onteniente - France/Spain
- Ray - d. Taylor Hackford - USA
- Saved! - d. Brian Dannelly - USA
- Shem - d. Caroline Roboh - UK/Israel
- Sleepover - d. Joe Nussbaum - USA
- Slutty Summer - d. Casper Andreas - USA
- Surviving Christmas - d. Mike Mitchell - USA
- Until the Night - d. Gregory Hatanaka - USA

1 comment:

FilmDr said...

An entertaining list. I can remember being stunned when Crash beat Brokeback Mountain for the Oscar Best Film that year. I also like your inclusion of Garden State, a film that some people will swear by. I don't fully agree with you about Napoleon Dynamite, however, mostly because the ending of that film is so satisfying.