dir: Dan Mazer
This is a terrible fucking film.
Sorry about the language. This was just a horrible experience, and I’m lacking the sensitivity and eloquence necessary to hide that fact until later in the review. It's so bad it's robbed me of my precious mental faculties! The bastards.
Perhaps they had good intentions, like the Road to Hell Paving Company. See, I’m already making excuses for them. The people involved have been good in other stuff, haven’t they? Rafe Spall was great as Evil Shakespeare in Anonymous the year before. Australian actress Rose Byrne has probably been good in something at some point in her life. Stephen Merchant has definitely been funny in a handful of things. None of them, brought together in the service of this piece of shit, were able to justify more than a few seconds of the film's eternal running time, despite whatever talents they may possess.
As the flick started, and I saw the words Working Title Films come up before the credits, I immediately thought "oh shit, we could be in store for another Love, Actually kind of rogering. Working Title has made plenty of the flick's your mother and grandmother liked back in the day, like Four Weddings and a Funeral, and Bridget Jones' Perversely Continuing Diary. They've also made some half decent stuff as well. Love, Actually isn't part of the half decent basket, beginning and ending as it does with hugging montages. And there's always the last-minute 'running to tell someone you're meant to be with you love them just before they catch a plane/bus/gondola/spaceship' used 15 times in the one film.
Little did I know that the scenes at the beginning of this film, displaying as they do the brief and thrilling courtship of the two lead characters leading up to their marriage, are the best, most human bits of the film.
After the title itself drops, I Give It a Year, and we immediately understand that this refers to the fact that no-one around the lead couple think they're going to last at all, three minutes into the film, from which it's all going to be downhill.
Nat (Rose Byrne) and Josh (Rafe Spall) are horribly incompatible as a couple. Whenever they're around each other, the physical structure of the universe surrounding them seems to pulse and recoil the way our bodies try to expel our stomachs and intestines out of various orifices once we've got food poisoning. I'm not oblivious to the fact that the whole point of the story is that they're not compatible, and, in fact, hate each other and are pretty repugnant whenever they're around each other. That's obvious. I get that. It's hard to miss. As you're watching it, however, you're compelled to think "what exactly are we meant to be hoping for other than death?"
dir: Roland Emmerich
Oh my good gods, I think I’d rather have the world destroyed than ever watch another movie directed by Roland Emmerich.
Honestly, this has to be coming from a completely and utterly egomaniacal place, doesn’t it Roland? A director so focussed on destroying the world has to be taking himself very fucking seriously. What greater feeling of god-like power could he derive from that ruining the world twice in flicks so long, so implausible and so boring that they could themselves lead to the mass extinctions he creates stupid stories about?
Look, I’m not saying that the FBI and local police should be investigating this guy to see if he’s a serial killer or not, but someone with this kind of taste for death doesn’t restrict himself to the editing room. That desire for power over life and death over other people often results in a lot of dead hookers and hitchhikers. That’s all I’m saying.
That’s all I’m saying about that libellous topic, not about this monstrosity of a film.
I tried, lords almighty, I tried. I tried to approach this flick in the spirit of fun, of open-mindedness, of curiousity.
The fact is there is absolutely nothing redeemable about this bloated, boring monstrosity of a flick. There are possibly a few minutes where I maintained some mild non-absolute-apathy, but their ratio to the two and a half fucking dull hours is so negligible that it barely warrants calculating.
Of course that’s not going to stop me from ranting for around two thousand words as to why exactly our species deserves to die because of films like this.
dir: Chris Weitz
The problem, the problem with this is… let me just put my finger on the problem…
How do you make a good flick out of a terrible book? How do you get good performances out of terrible actors playing terrible characters? How do you achieve what alchemists have been trying and failing to do for centuries, being the transmutation of shit into gold?
I don’t know. Neither do the people making this flick.
No-one expects either Spanish Inquisitions or full scale refutations of the basics of physical chemistry in order to achieve the impossible, and I didn’t exactly go into this with an open mind. You cannot have read any of the despicable books by Stephanie Meyer in this series and have any hope either for a film version to be a decent film, or hope for humanity in general.
You just can’t. They’re bad, but they’re bad in the way that precludes being ironic about it, taking it as camp, as kitsch, as anything than what it is: a painfully earnest, unintentionally hilarious but soul deadening attack on human dignity.
That’s gilding the lily if I’ve ever gilded anything. Perhaps I’m exaggerating just a tad.
The thing is, though, watching this flick I can’t help but marvel at how demented its sexual politics are, and how unhealthy its depiction of ‘young’ love is. It doesn’t help that the running theme, lifted from Romeo and Juliet and pounded into our eyes and ears with multiple clumsy Romeo and Juliet references, is how cool it would be to die over obsessive love.
You know, I always thought what teenagers needed were more reasons to want to kill themselves. And here’s a bunch of books and flicks telling them just that.
The annals (that’s double n, you smut-merchants), as in the collective literature of nations, of romantic stories is, dependant on your nation and its psyche, either conformist in nature (ie. Snow White and Cinderella: where beautiful girls are hated by nasty older women but loved by handsome princes because, hell, they’re hot jailbait), or fatalistic (Indian, Turkish, Japanese or Shakespearean tales of true love perpetually thwarted, resulting in misery and death).
What the Twilight series serves up is essentially nothing new: a plain and unexceptional female protagonist who is a stand-in both for the author and the prime audience, falls in love with a brooding and cold older guy who will permanently look young, who seems to love her for some reason. He is controlling and bipolar, which only makes it hotter. He also is permanently on the verge of killing her, as are some members of his family, and, oh, he happens to be a vampire.
The only other guy that she could possibly love also is on the verge of killing her if he gets overexcited, and, oh yeah, he happens to be a werewolf who runs around in cut-off jeans and no shirt all the time, edging out the other two terrible actors for Worst Performance Ever in a Twilight flick.
dir: Yoji Shimomura
Easily the dumbest and most worthless flick I’ve seen in a Japanese donkey’s age. Run, don’t walk to not hire a copy from your local Blockburster. Be excited, be be excited.
A review like this is more of a warning for people to not make the mistake of hiring something or soiling their eyeballs by watching if they’re unlucky enough to be caught on a couch when the remote’s broken and they’re forced to watch it on television. Just keep your eyes closed, even when they start bleeding. It’ll be easier that way.
dir: Shane Abbess
It’s one thing to admire the scrappy, underdog determination it takes for someone with no track record as a filmmaker to pull together the financing for a flick and then film it, their way, making up for the paucity of their resources with innovation, creative thinking and inspired finagling and wangling.
That’s admirable. But it’s another thing entirely to actually enjoy the end product of such a scenario.
So I admire the best efforts of the people involved with this, but that didn’t make it any less painful to sit through.
Gabriel is an excruciatingly bad fantasy film within the subgenre of fantasy which has angels and demons as protagonists. There was a trilogy of low budget movies a while ago called The Prophecy with ascending numerals, no less, and they essentially told the same story.
One of the big differences is that those flicks had Christopher Walken in all three of them. Sure, they were crap films, but you can never underestimate the appeal of that lunatic in any film.
dir: James Wong
People, by and large, watch television. Whilst watching television, they will often see commercials, being as that is the nature of the medium. These aren't necessarily the World's Funniest or Sexiest commercials, either. Quite often, those commercials will be seriously truncated theatrical trailers shortened for the gnat-like attention spans of the tv viewing audience, promoting the imminent release of another work of art
to us, the presumed great unwashed masses.
Often, but not always, a viewer could be forgiven for thinking, "Who in their right mind, based on this appalling trailer, would want to go and see this pile of drek? Who sees these films?" If there's anyone out there that has seen the commercials for The One, or Highlander 5 as I prefer to think of it as, on telly, and
wondered the same thing, solace is at hand. I have the answer for you. When pondering who watches these Desert Vampire Mars Ghost C grade sci fi shlockfests, know now that it is me. I am the audience they're aiming for, apparently because I'm there on opening day.
Even reading a stack of bad reviews the quantity of which combined together would result in a mass exceeding that of Roger "Spiderbaby" Ebert wasn't enough to dissuade me from paying my hard earned cash in order to bask in the glory of Jet Li's exponential decline as he tranforms from martial arts God to the
next Van Damme. In fact, I am virtually certain this film would initially have been offered to the Musclehead from Brussels, it has that odour of cheap nastiness that you associate with the star of such masterpieces as The Quest, Wrong Bet, the very McBain-sounding Sudden Death, and of course Time Cop. Perhaps Van Damme was too busy beating up one of his girlfriends to make it. Instead the illustrious makers of this stinker, Glen Morgan and James Wong of previous X Files acclaim decided to hitch the film's success on the rapidly declining 'star' power of Li Lien Jie, better known as Jet Li.
dir: Jonathan Demme
Whilst cinemas around the world have been awash in the stench of remakes for as long as I can remember, it appears that recent years have been even more prone to the epidemic than ever. Almost as bad as the pernicious outbreak of sequelitis that afflicts contemporary moviemaking, not just Hollywood, is the self-pleasuring / self-consuming process of remaking decent films into crap contemporary movies. I’m not sure that’s the actual business model used, but it seems eerily accurate in terms of results.
The producers of the DVD for this here waste of polycarbonate and chrome make a fatal error in the packaging of the release, at least the Region 4 version that I got to see. The two disk set contains, as well, in the spirit of giving you more bang for your buck, the original film that The Truth About Charlie is based on; Charade. In doing so they make the film they’re actually trying to sell look even worse. The Truth About Charlie is a bad film in its own right. In comparison to Charade, which they helpfully provide as the ideal comparison point, it is downright dire. In truth the film stinks in comparison to just about anything.
dir: Clark Johnson
S.W.A.T. is a pointless film rendered more pointless by being a big screen version of a television series no-one needed to see again. If they’re going to remake this crap, then they need to do a remake of The A Team (which they are doing, I believe), Who’s the Boss and Touched By an Angel as well. Why the hell not? Where’s that Cheers movie everyone’s been dying for? What about Shatner making a comeback in T.J. Hooker? How about another version of Dragnet? Or Hart to Hart, with Robert Wagner and Stefanie Powers? The Love Boat; now that’s begging to be remade on the big screen. The list is endless. As is the amount of talentless people willing to hitch their wagon onto an unoriginal idea since they lack the ability to think up anything for themselves.
So from pointless origins we get a pointless film. The dialogue is surreal, in that not a single conversation occurring during the movie sounds like it could occur between any people apart from actors on the set of a crappy movie. None of the actors are believable, because the director has no idea what to do with them, or how to advise them to act. The story is so idiot simple that even a studio executive could understand it, which means the rest of us are incredulous as to why millions of dollars were devoted to telling such a nothing story. The last half of the film has no dialogue that doesn’t involve the purely functional “we are going here, they are going there, we must catch them" type crap.
dir: Bertrand Blier
This film is terrible even by the standards of French cinema. I’m no Gallophobe, disliking the French or their cinema by any stretch of the imagination, but this flick is appalling according to any criteria that I can think to apply.
Look, it’s not the acting. The actors are, I’m sure, doing the best they can with the material. And many a French film possesses a certain arch or pretentious sensibility that would be ridiculed in flicks from any other culture. But here, the scripting, the plotting and the editing combine to produce an absolutely shithouse result that knows no borders.
It’s not unpleasant to watch for most of the time, with the sound and subtitles turned off. Any film that has Monica Bellucci in it has at least two good reasons to watch it, whether lingerie clad or not. And the great advantage that this film has over, say, Irreversible, is that the audience isn’t subjected to watching her being subjected to the most horrendous assault imaginable over a prolonged period of time.
But this film is still appalling. Even with Bellucci, and Gerard Depardieu, that giant of French cinema in more ways than one, in this flick, it’s still unwatchably stupid.
dir: Takashi Shimizu
This Japanese director has gotten to make this same film six times. It’s not like he hasn’t been given adequate opportunity to get his groove on, and to work out whatever the hell he wants to get out of his system.
I’m sick of it. Stop now. Kudasai, domo arigato gozaimashita.
He made the first Ju-on (Grudge), remade it another three times in Japanese, then was hired to remake it in English (twice thus far) and to wedge Sarah Michelle Gellar into it. Big bucks apparently in remaking Japanese Horror for the American market.
Problem is, even as exponents of J-horror these flicks are excruciating.
dir: Steven Soderbergh
Experiments are cool, aren’t they? I used to look forward to The Curiousity Show on the telly when I was a wee tacker, as the weird guy with the moustache and the other weird guy with the beard performed all those experiments you get to see as a kid: adding this to that to make it gush out all over the place, toothpicks in potatoes, constructing working nuclear devices out of papier mache, paper clips and mum’s pantyhose.
dir: Steven Hopkins
Despite continuously implying the opposite, this crapulent movie is proof positive that there is no God, benevolent or otherwise. No God would subject his believers or even his deniers to a movie as poor as The Reaping with any intention past convincing people that He / She / Shmoopie doesn’t exist.
A town deep in the Southern swamps called Haven is having some strange events occur that seem like they’re out of the Old Testament. A patented disbeliever, who used to be a servant of the Christian God, spends all her time disproving phenomena that look like miracles. Katherine Winters (Hillary Swank) is the Doubting Thomasina required by such a setup, and the highly serious flick’s lead. She lost her faith when her husband and young daughter were killed by, I dunno, a machete-totting wildebeest, when they were performing God’s missionary position work in some nasty section of Africa.
dir: Tim Story
Are you fucking kidding me?
What mental incompetent approved such a script? Was the screenplay put together in any fashion other than having kindergarten kids stick cut-out bits of other scripts together in an amateurish collage fashion, which was then stuck in a blender and pureed until it achieved a truly shitty consistency?
Good goddamn, this makes other crappy comic book adaptations look positively Shakespearean by comparison. It makes Transformers look like something scripted by George Bernard Shaw.
dir: Scott Wiper
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to watch a movie celebrating rape, torture and other cruelties as entertainment, and then have the same movie lecture you that you should be ashamed of yourself for watching a flick that celebrates such violence? Curious about whether it would work or not to have a movie made by a scumbag of Vince McMahon’s proportions that tells you that YOU are the reason why he produces the crap that he does.
On that same track, has anyone ever slapped you in the face with a handful of wet shit and then told you to say “Thankyou?”
All these experiences and more were mine for the enjoyment when I dared to endure this terrible film. I sat there, mouth agape, muttering to myself, “I cannot believe the shit that I am seeing.”
Maybe this isn’t just a terrible film. Maybe it is the Bad Lieutenant of ‘transgressive” survival-of-the-fittest films, made with ex-wrestlers, C-list American actors and soap opera calibre Australian actors in supporting roles with terrible American accents. Maybe seeing a clearly Australian town and pub standing in for a Texan town and bar was meant to be funny. Maybe the subtext was meant to thrill the kinds of media academics and cinema studies students who would never ordinarily crap of this nature.