Combustible Celluloid

2005: The Year in Film

The Worst

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

2005 gave us several overrated films (The Constant Gardener, Brokeback Mountain, Crash, Syriana), many disasters that didn't quite happen (The Dukes of Hazzard, The Island, Aeon Flux, Fantastic Four) and films that just made you feel sorry for the filmmakers (House of D, The Thing About My Folks), but there were only a few true abominations. In alphabetical order:

Alone in the Dark
With Tara Reid playing an anthropologist, this was the year's flat-out most entertaining bad movie, an old-fashioned sci-fi stinker of Ed Woodian proportions. Director Uwe Boll has another one, BloodRayne, coming out next week, so watch out!

The Amityville Horror
This year was running over with horror remakes, but the saddest part is that the grandmasters of old (John Carpenter, Tobe Hooper, etc.) are simply receiving checks while untalented upstarts actually get to make the films. This one, with a cocky Ryan Reynolds, was the worst.

Be Cool
This one looked so promising: a sequel to Get Shorty, directed by F. Gary Gray (The Italian Job) and based on an Elmore Leonard story. But instead we got a hugely disturbing monstrosity: a multi-million dollar package to promote the so-called singing and acting talents of one Christina Milian. Unlike the blazing satire of the original, this one simply had big stars walking around Hollywood telling each other how brilliant she is. It was a huge brainwashing experiment that, blessedly, didn't work.

Bride and Prejudice
Not to be confused with the new Keira Knightley production, this was the quasi-Bollywood version, with bad Westernized music, the most boring leading man imaginable and an interminable, unforgivable running time. (Director Gurinder Chadha reportedly wanted an even longer version.)

Going Shopping
Veteran filmmaker Henry Jaglom has lots of friends in Hollywood and gets to keep making these self-indulgent horror shows about people living in tiny, insulated pockets with no connections to the real world.

Green Street Hooligans
Along with The Constant Gardener, this one had the year's worst cinematography, with fight scenes that look like they'd been filmed atop an outboard motor. Not to mention its pandering attitude toward dumb Americans and its gaping, stupid plot holes.

It's All Gone Pete Tong
The year's worst disease-of-the-week film, though there were many to choose from. This fake docudrama about a deaf deejay pretended to be real, yet completely sidestepped the satire that made something like This Is Spinal Tap funny.

Kingdom of Heaven
Ridley Scott copied his Gladiator template exactly and turned out another epic just as bad, but this time people somehow saw through it.

The Legend of Zorro
There are always so many contenders for this award, but here we have the winner for worst, most pointless, most interminable and most lethargic sequel.

The Man
Nearly 20 years later, Hollywood is still trying to reproduce the Lethal Weapon formula, and we wind up with two actors in their 50s (Samuel L. Jackson and Eugene Levy) making utter and complete fools of themselves for no reason.

Nick Cannon, once an up-and-comer after Drumline, stars in the year's stupidest film, with a chase scene literally inserted after every talking scene.

Yours, Mine and Ours
The most shudder-inducing conservative fantasy in a year packed full of them (The Chronicles of Narnia, Cheaper by the Dozen 2, The Exorcism of Emily Rose, etc.), this banal story of a family with 18 children takes place in a world with no abortions and no birth control. And no logic, it seems.

And the ones that didn't get away: Aeon Flux, Appleseed, Chicken Little, Derailed, Doom, Elektra, Fun with Dick and Jane, Happy Endings, Innocent Voices, The Island, Kicking and Screaming, Madagascar, Memoirs of a Geisha, Palindromes, The President's Last Bang, Pretty Persuasion, The Producers, The Ringer, Sahara, Saving Face, Stay, Venom

December 30, 2005

Movies Unlimtied