Episode 202

(29 Jul, 2011)

Worst of 2011 So Far: Roger Ebert

Transcript for Worst of 2011 So Far: Roger Ebert

Well, what are Roger’s picks for the worst movies of the year so far you’re probably wondering? Well, let’s go to his office to find out.

The fifth title on my Worst Movies list is "Film Socialism," by Jean-Luc Godard, who is an important director and has made many great films, but seems to have gone off the deep end here.  This is Rick Kogan speaking for Roger Ebert
This film is an affront. It is incoherent, maddening, deliberately opaque, and heedless of the ways in which people watch movies. 
We get snatches of material from a bewildering variety of sources, subtitled in what he calls Navaho English. ''
The only way to make sense of it is to do all the heavy lifting yourself. And even then, how can you be confident that your reading of the film is what Godard had in mind?
My fourth worst movie of the year so far is Thor, a 3D comic book movie that begins with a basic problem: Thor, based on ancient Norse legends about the gods, is not very interesting, and his magic hammer has limited appeal.
Superhero movies live and die on the quality of their villains. "Thor" has a shabby crew of Frost Giants,  who spend most of their time being frosty in their subzero world, speaking portentous dialogue, and occasionally freezing their enemies. Compared to a Batman villain, they have a severe personality deficiency. The third film on my list is the unhappy Jim Carrey comedy, "Mr. Popper's Penguins," a stupefying dumb family film proving penguins have limited charisma. 
Penguins look cute in their little tuxedos, and maybe kids can imagine having one as a pet. One problem with the  movie is that they get old real fast. The second worst film on my list is "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,"
which extended this Johnny Depp franchise far beyond its life span. 
After a lively opening sequence, it descends into action sequences which seem to exist outside time and space.
Johnny Depp is said to earn untold millions of dollars for every episode. Maybe that's not enough. There's no doubt in my mind which title is the worst film so far in 2011. And the winning--or losing--film is "Transformers: Dark of the Moon." It's a visually noisy and ugly film with an incoherent plot, wooden characters and inane dialog. 
The series exists to show gigantic and hideous robots hammering one another. So it does. 
The human characters are so out of scale with the robots that they hardly seem to be working in the same movie.
I have nothing against special effects movies. But I have a lot against bad ones. 
So. "Transformers: Dark of the Moon." "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides." "Mr. Popper's Penguins." "Thor." And "Film Socialisme." The best thing about this list is its wide variety. And it means  no single moviegoer is likely to pay to see all five.
Thanks, Roger, for including three movies I gave thumbs up to on your worst-of list including one that is on my top five best of the year so far, but I guess everyone is entitled to being wrong, and today it’s Roger’s turn.
Wow, daring.  Ha ha. Roger is on my side on Film Socialisme, but he had to go and trash the penguins.  I did not hate Mr. Popper’s Penguins.  And we both liked Thor.  
And Thor. We both liked Thor.  
Yeah, poor little penguins.