2004: The Year's Worst Films
Suffering in the Dark
By Jeffrey M. Anderson
While I tried hard to see all of the year's best films, I couldn't help but avoid many of the year's
worst. Nevertheless, circumstance and bad luck led me to the following turkeys.
1. Van Helsing
most putrid and vulgar instincts made solid. Hugh Jackman and Kate
Beckinsale hunt noisy, ugly, computer animated monsters, while Richard
Roxburgh plays the very worst screen Dracula ever filmed. Bela Lugosi
must be spinning in his grave. Not even Ed Wood could have conceived of
something this bad.
2. Surviving Christmas
did not see Christmas with the Kranks, but let's not forget the year's
other holiday bludgeoning, starring Ben Affleck as a creepy, abrasive
corporate stooge who pays a family to let him stay with them. It's
enough to turn even Santa into Scrooge.
3. White Chicks
brothers' dress up not as anonymous white girls, but specific white
girls, and mingle among their friends and family. This was the only 2004
movie in which the characters are dumber than anyone could possibly be
in real life. The lead actors' plastic blue eyes gave a new meaning to
the word "soulless."
4. Connie and Carla
Wouldn't it be funny if two girl singers pursued by criminals disguised
themselves as lesbians, taught the gay community how to love itself and
learned important life lessons in the process? Um, no.
5. Ben Stiller
Sucking the life
out of six movies this year alone, notably Along Came Polly,
Dodgeball, Envy and Meet the Fockers, (he didn't completely ruin Anchorman
or Starsky & Hutch) this actor uses the same shtick over and over
again: a combination of arrogance and ineptitude, with too much emphasis
on the former and not enough on the latter.
6. Shrek 2
collection of aging pop culture references and toilet jokes charmed $400
million from the public's wallets is a mystery for the ages. Can anyone
explain why Mike Myers' CGI troll has a Scottish accent, or why Eddie
Murphy plays his donkey as obnoxious instead of funny?
7. (tie) Alexander, King Arthur and
Why do characters in epics have to talk
in monotone drones, and for so many hours? These stale movies
desperately needed Tony Curtis and his campy Spartacus Brooklyn
8. Welcome to Mooseport
The perpetually unfunny Ray Romano runs for mayor of a small town
against an ex-United States President. Depending on which ex-president,
I think I would decline to vote.
9. Blade: Trinity
Matrix Revolutions gets a run for its money for the worst final
third of a trilogy. Blade I and II were dark, energetic and fun, but
this one didn't even try. Even Wesley Snipes' stoicism can't mask his
10. House of Flying
The antithesis of Hero, Zhang
Yimou took everything he once did right, turned around and made it wrong
with this awkward, murky, over-the-top love triangle.
The Chronicles of Riddick,
The Motorcycle Diaries,
The Phantom of the Opera,
The Polar Express,
and She Hate Me
See also the year's ten best films.
December 30, 2004