Tuesday, January 23, 2007
The Pink Panther
I like the original Pink Panther films. I like Steve Martin. I even like Beyonce. But the combination of all of them in the latest ill-advised studio remake is the worst idea and execution of the year. Remember when Steve Martin cared about his films? Remember when he was funny and sometimes even dramatic and wasn't just cashing a paycheck? Steve Martin couldn't successfully replace Peter Sellers under any circumstances, and he's not helped by the incredibly weak material patched together into a less-than-serviceable final product. The sight gags are obvious a mile away, the plot is completely common, and there's absolutely no chemistry between any of the stars. In short, it's a frustratingly mundane attempt to pander to the masses that fails miserably on all counts.
Cara de Pescado
Choosing a film to win the honors of being the worst film all year is sometimes as difficult as selecting the best, other years it is quite easy. Picking the worst of 2006 fell somewhere in between as I could pick three films I didn't like at all. Do I pick one that had some enjoyable moments but had jokes that went too far to the point of being old and unfunny, a dumb film that pissed me off more than it made me laugh, or do I pick one that was just uncomfortable? Since I at least liked the bear and chicken in Borat, and Material Girls did have a few moments where I at least smiled, I decided to go with The Break-Up. It was advertised as though it would be some cute Romantic Comedy, but there was nothing romantic nor comical about the movie.
It is uncomfortable when you're with friends who are bickering or siblings who fight a lot. The Break-Up is 105 minutes of that sort of uncomfortable squabbling. I don't need to waste over an hour and a half of my life watching people fight when there is no point to it. They don't resolve their problems, nor do they even seem to try. Vince Vaughn didn't even look attractive in it. No, the only two good things about The Break-Up were Jennifer Aniston's butt and the condo. I am looking to buy a home, maybe they could have sold it to me and quickly gotten out of my life.
When asked to choose my worst movie of 2006, many came to mind: The Break-Up, Accepted, How to Eat Fried Worms, and Nacho Libre. Oh Nacho Libre was bad, and so disappointing, but it was not the worst movie of the year. Now, granted, I did not see every movie this year, and I am sure there are some very deserving films out there, but for me; it rises and sinks with Poseidon, a horribly under-utilized all-star cast, underdeveloped story, poor special effects, and a complete failure in comparison to the original.
How it was possible to take the 1972 classic Irwin Allen production, and turn it into the shipwreck that it is I have no idea, but I must applaud the lack of effort put into this.
Irwin Allen knew that the key to the success of a disaster film is to give us characters that we care about, and that is done by developing the characters prior to the disaster. He did this brilliantly in The Poseidon Adventure. We got none of that in Poseidon.
I said it when I first reviewed it, and I’ll say it again: This film is a snooze fest from start to finish that generates little excitement or interest.
Recommendation: Wait for it to come out on DVD, and then rent the original.
The worst film I recall seeing was Silent Hill. The egregiously boring based-on-a-videogame turd. The plot, story, characters and sound were dreadful, other than that it was fine. I would recommend banning everyone but its cinematographer from any future work in the film industry. Although all he did was copy the video game's look exactly he did not manage screw that up. Can't really supply a synopsis as I have already deleted this abomination and sent all its links to my mental recycle bin.
When a drama is seriously awful, it can often turn amusing for all the wrong reasons. Sometimes, as is best illustrated with the infamous Plan 9 From Outer Space, the film can become all the more enjoyable for its laughable qualities.
But what happens when a deliberate comedy is downright awful, when not a chuckle is to be gained and there's certainly no serious or dramatic enjoyment to be had? Well then you have the worst kind of movie; one that offers no legitimate entertainment...a movie like RV.
Unlike other no-doubt laughless wonders that came out this year (Date Movie, Deck the Halls, etc.), RV is one movie I made the mistake of actually presuming might hold the promise of a few laughs and so subjected myself to watching. With the cancellation of the genius Arrested Development last year I was eager to see actors Will Arnett and Tony Hale show up in post-Bluth family roles, but in RV Hale has little more than a cameo and Arnett is utterly wasted in the “villain” role by the incompetent script and inept direction.
Egregiously ill-conceived in just about every way, RV offers painful, lengthy set-ups that lead to such comedic gems as Robin Williams getting soaked in liquid fecal matter. The ill-deserved egotism of director Barry Sonnenfeld shines through in every belabored camera turn that focuses on his mug which he has plastered larger that life on the side of the titicular recreational vehicle.
RV is utterly worthless; a laugh—or even smirk—free “comedy” that will remain the worst time I spent in all 2006 watching a movie. This RV is to be avoided as if it were barreling down the road toward you.
From the trailer, American Dreamz gathers subject matter from politics to pop culture in what could have been a brilliant, biting satire about the current state of America and its citizenry. Instead, what is delivered is a Saturday Night Live parody. Unfortunately for the audience, it’s the unfunny, last sketch of the night that begins at 12:51 A.M. as filler between commercials before the host says, “Good night.” I sat in a theatre where no one laughed and if I hadn’t been reviewing the film, I would have walked out after about 40 minutes from sheer boredom.
Writer/director Paul Weitz has obviously generated a great deal of money from the American Pie franchise because I don’t understand how this film got made. The “comedy” was non-existent. Only someone surrounded by yes-men and ass-kissers would think this script was ready to go. Put an unknown screenwriter’s name on the front page and it would hit the trashcan so fast a sonic boom would have been heard from miles around. Other than the people who need a paycheck and maybe Hugh Grant, who is given a chance to play off-type, I don’t believe anyone read this script before agreeing to make it.
American Dreamz has aspirations to be something grand but its ideas are so obvious they are rendered lame. American Idol purposely picks contestants that are bad so we can laugh at them. No. Who knew? Thanks for the revelation. Chaney controls the President and what he says. Really? Never heard that before. Now, I’m no fan of the President, but the film paints him as borderline retarded, distracted by shiny objects. I’m not sure if it was supposed to be funny or commentary since it accomplished neither. Weitz and his lackeys need to realize that just because you have an idea does not make it good, unique or funny. If he had reviewed this film, he would have thought it both brilliant and humorous to have the headline read: American Nightmarez.