Transcript for Worst of 2011 So Far: Christy and Ignatiy
Christy and I just gave Crazy Stupid Love two thumbs down, but not all thumbs down are created equal. Some movies are flawed, and some are just outright bad and those are the ones that we’re going to be talking about.
Since we’re at the halfway point of the year, we chose the best movies of the year so far last week, now we’ll take a look at the worst movies of the year so far.
My pick for the fifth worst movie of the year so far is Catherine Hardwicke’s more or less atrocious RED RIDING HOOD, a medieval werewolf love story with more hair gel than sense.
/Clip 1 / “Don’t Come Near Me” (in the forest)
Set in a magical theme-park-like village where everyone wears short-sleeved shirts even in the winter, RED RIDING HOOD was a poorly thought-out mess of canted angles, plot holes, hammy acting and very, very, very ugly costumes.
My pick for fourth place is JUST GO WITH IT, a tone-deaf attempt at a farce in which Adam Sandler must pretend that Jennifer Anniston is his ex-wife in order to woo a younger woman.
/Clip 3 (discussion of erectile dysfunction using food metaphors)
But JUST GO WITH IT is embarrassingly unfunny is the least of its problems. It cost a reported $80 million to make, though it looks like only $50 bucks of that was spent on the actual production.
My pick for the fifth-worst movie of the year so far is the animated disaster "Mars Needs Moms." This is a prime example of the worst 3-D has to offer. And given that it's a family film, the subject matter is weirdly disturbing. A little boy named Milo watches as aliens abduct his mom.
/Clip -- Launched into Space. Milo runs after spaceship.
The idea that good mothers are ripped from their children, only to have all that useful-mom stuff extracted from their brains before being incinerated, is terrifying. Where is the fun in that? Plus "Mars Needs Moms," which cost an estimated 150 million dollars to make, just looks awful. It mainly takes place in gray corridors and trash chutes, and with the added murkiness of 3-D, it's impossible to tell what's going on. I kept lifting my glasses up because it was vaguely preferable to watch it blurry but bright. Not watching it, period, is the best choice of all.
My number four pick is "Hall Pass," a crass and painfully unfunny comedy from the Farrelly brothers. Owen Wilson and Jason Sudeikis star as a couple of middle-aged suburban husbands who can't help checking out every sexy woman they see. Jenna Fischer and Christina Applegate play their wives, who agree to give them the week off from being married.
/Clip 2 -- I got a hall pass.
"Hall Pass" perpetuates the worst stereotypes about women as controlling, jealous nags. It's a huge waste of the talents of Fischer and Applegate -- smart, likable actresses who are capable of thriving with raunchy comedy -- when it's well-written. "Hall Pass" drags from one failed hook-up attempt to the next, then wraps things up on an awkward, feel-good note. But if I recall, my friend Ignatiy, your thumb was up on this one ...
That’s because there’s nothing disengenuous about it. I, I think it’s a very earnest movie, and I don’t think the female characters are as negative as you claim they are.
Yes, the scatological jokes are very earnest, also I do like your pick of RED RIDING HOOD. We might come back to that later on at some point.
Hey, do you love dinner-theater-level acting? Do enjoy listening to people have really circular conversations about trains? Do you like sets that resemble a soap opera’s idea of a hotel lobby? If you answered yes to all three of those questions, then congratulations: you are the only person in the world who will enjoy my pick for the third worst movie of the year, ATLAS SHRUGGED, PART I. Just check out this riveting scene.
“Directed”--and I put that word in scare quotes—by actor Paul Johansson, ATLAS SHRUGGED PART I is the first part of a proposed trilogy adapting Ayn Rand’s novel. It’s also a film about transcontinental rail and business taxation that manages to be significantly more boring than either of those subjects.
If that sounded pretty bad, well, I’ve got news for you: it gets worse. My number two pick is BATTLE: LOS ANGELES, a joyless alien invasion movie that combines the style and tone of a military recruitment ad with the waypoint-and-power-up-based plotting of an exceptionally repetitive Play Station 2 game. The only thing missing is a crate-stacking puzzle.
/clip 1/ “We Cannot Lose Los Angeles”
Director Jonathan Liebesman and screenwriter Christopher Bertolini cram the movie with sci-fi and war movie cliches, from the shaky handheld camera to the cardboard-thin personalities of the characters. The result is a film without an ounce of humanity or even entertainment in it. Though, as a Pepsi Max billboard standing proudly amidst the ruins of Los Angeles attests, if one thing endures in a crisis, it’s product placement.
My poor hometown of L.A. always getting obliterated for sport and entertainment. Also, I would have loved to have done Atlas Shrugged on the show with you, but alas, they would not screen it for us for a review.
It was such a good movie; they wouldn’t show it to the critics.
I don’t know. I had to read the book in high school. I was kind of curious about it, but a they wouldn’t, wouldn’t show it to us.
Let’s wait for part two where they vanquish Voldemort.
There is still plenty of time for that, yes.
My pick for the third-worst movie of the year so far is Ignatiy’s number five pick, which is "Red Riding Hood,” reinvents the classic fairy tale with "Twilight"-style melodrama, shirtlessness and hair product. Amanda Seyfried stars as Valerie, who's torn between the hunky woodcutter she loves and the hunky blacksmith she's been arranged to marry. At the film's start, the village is on edge following the latest werewolf attack.
/Clip 2 -- I lost my sister, I can’t lose you too
The Big Bad Wolf himself, meanwhile, looks so distractingly fake and disconnected from the rest of the film, there's no way to fear this creature. All you can do is laugh.
My number two pick for the worst of the year so far is also a fairy tale of sorts -- because that's what Mandy Moore's character thinks romance should be like in the insipid "Love, Wedding, Marriage." The pop star plays a marriage counselor who's a newlywed herself. At the same time, her parents, played by James Brolin and Jane Seymour, announce they're divorcing. Madcap hilarity ensues.
/Clip -- all we have is the trailer
As the veteran of many romantic comedies himself, including "My Best Friend's Wedding" and "The Wedding Date," Dermot Mulroney should know better than to wallow in trite conventions; instead, he runs right toward them and piles them on in directing his first film. If you like drunken karaoke, climactic revelations and mad dashes to say some last-minute I-love-yous, then this is the movie for you. We didn't get to review "Love, Wedding Marriage" on the show, which is sort of a bummer cause I think you and I probably would have had more fun talking about the movie than actually seeing it.
Unfortunately, we did have to review Red Riding Hood.
We are so scarred by this clearly. We both have it on our lists.
Speaking of dark creatures that live in the night, my pick for the worst film of the year is an abyss of inky darkness. A deathly swamp where humor goes to die. A black hole that has so far managed to suck in over half a billion dollars around the world. That’s right, it’s THE HANGOVER, PART II.
/Clip 2/ “I think it happened again”
Yes, THE HANGOVER PART II is THE HANGOVER minus all the parts people enjoyed and plus some ante-upping action and raunchiness that pushes the whole thing further and further down a rabbit hole of bleak stupidity. It’s not a comedy, it’s a zombie. Unable to tell a joke, it instead shambles from place to place, hungry for its audience’s brains. I can’t think of a film I enjoyed less this year, and I’d love to go into further detail about my feelings towards this particular movie, but it would require a few words that I’m not allowed to say on public television.
What a coincidence, because my pick for the worst movie of the year so far is also "The Hangover Part II." Now, my number two pick, "Love, Wedding Marriage," is the only movie I've given zero stars to all year. But in retrospect, "The Hangover Part II" is an even bigger failure, because the potential was so much greater, and the expectations were so much higher. Todd Phillips has essentially remade the 2009 original, beat for beat, but moved the setting from Las Vegas to Bangkok and amped up the raunch factor.
Yes, the gang is all back -- Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms and Zach Galifinakis -- and they've woken up once again to find themselves in trouble in a sequence that's identical to the first film. There's also more of Ken Jeong's obnoxious, effeminate gangster character, Mr. Chow, who was the weakest part of the first film.
/Clip 1 -- Hold on. Car chase through the streets of Bangkok.
Making the highest-grossing R-rated comedy of all time would seem to give you some clout, and enough creative freedom to follow it up in the most wildly imaginative ways possible. "The Hangover Part II" suggests that all Phillips wanted to do was cash in again. Is that laziness? Arrogance? Maybe a combination of the two. I can’t decide, but it made me really angry.
I think it’s actually a piece of conceptual art exploring issues of consumerism and late capitalism by seeing whether an audience will pay to see the same film twice with the second time without any jokes.
But that suggests effort. That suggests planning and effort. Like they went to Bangkok, and they messed around so instead of having Ed Helms lose a tooth, he has a face tattoo.
He gets a face tattoo…
Instead of the baby, you get the chain-smoking monkey. I mean it’s frustrating.
I mean when Zach Galifianakis asking whether something is a P.F. Chang’s is your best joke, I think you’re in trouble as far as comedies are concerned.
And what, what’s a bummer is like he gets some of the best lines. The only couple lines I actually laughed at are some of the early stuff at the wedding party.
I cried through the whole thing. It was like I was…
Were you in the fetal position with your blankie?
My brain was being stabbed over and over that’s what I felt like. And this was like, I don’t know, created by evil wizards in a tower is how I feel about this film. It seems so, so bad it’s seems almost intentional. You know, it’s just a poorly structured, poorly made, and it’s not funny and it’s so incredibly bleak.
It’s bleak, but they also were sort of screwed from the out-set I think.
Because the thing that made the first one so fun was the element of surprise. And we didn’t know how the night went, and we’re finding out along with these guys. We now know what that structure is going to be this time and so that fun is gone immediately.
If you’re going to take away novelty, at least throw in some humor.