I’m still hoping to catch a couple more movies before I’m ready to do my year end best movies list, but I figure I’ll be optimistic and do a worst movies list now (optimistic because doing so contains the hope that none of the movies I’m waiting to catch will be on this list).
First off, I have no pretensions that this is the defining list of bad 2006 movies. In fact, movies on this list have appeared on Best of 2006 lists elsewhere. The truth is, I go out of my way to avoid bad movies, so if I happen to catch one, it’s a movie that looked like it would be good. A reason for this is that I’m not a fan of genres that often produce really bad movies, be it mindless action movies, teen comedies, slasher flicks, or fantasy/sci-fi (before you write your angry responses, I’m not saying those genres suck, I’m saying that they produce some really sucky movies from people just trying to make a buck off of genre fans. They can also produce good movies).
So this is my list of movies that looked good when I went to see them, and ended up sucking. I’m not avoiding controversy here, so feel free to bring the anger if you wish (or, even better, telling me when I’m right). Also, I reviewed each of these movies, so if you want to read my review, click on the hypertext accompanying each write-up.
5. A Praire Home Companion– When I said I wasn’t avoiding controversy, I wasn’t kidding. Who but me would put a highly regarded movie by a recently deceased film legend on his worst list? This is at the top of many critics’ best of lists this year, critics I respect. But, they all have something I don’t: reverential respect of Robert Altman, and nostalgic musings for the radio programs of Garrison Keillor. Instead, I found the movie to tiresome and shallow, with annoying anachronisms and clumsy existentialism that just plain bored the hell out of me.
Review pull quote: “When the stars aren’t gabbing backstage about little of consequence, they’re on stage singing their folksy country songs and plugging local products in live commercials. If that sounds fascinating to you, then you’re in for a treat. If it sounds about as exciting as watching a bunch of actors pretend to be singers on a radio show for 105 minutes, then you’ll be about as bored as I was.”
4. Miami Vice– In retrospect, of course this movie sucked. TV remakes generally do, and this is a remake of an overly-earnest, cheesetastic 80s staple. But it had the makings of something better, with Michael Mann at the helm, and some decent reviews. I’ll give it this: it wasn’t cheesy. Nope, instead it was painfully dull, with a couple inspired scenes that still couldn’t keep it off this list.
Review pull quote: “Which brings me to the movie’s ultimate failing: for the first two-thirds of the movie, it was unforgivably boring. I was looking around the blackened theatre, tapping my non-existent fingernails, yawning, and apologising to my wife for having taken her to this useless exercise in style.”
3. The Last Kiss– I think this movie is the one that convinced me that going to a movie cause it has good music in the trailers is a really stupid reason to go see a movie. You’d think I would’ve learned that lesson with Wicker Park. Also not a good idea? Seeing movies cause they have someone from The O.C. in them, especially when I was unsure whether or not I even wanted to watch them in The O.C. anymore.
Review pull quote: “If I were the late-twenty-year-old male archetype as portrayed by this movie and others like it, I’d probably spend the rest of my month staring off into the middle distance, wondering what I did to deserve such a waste of time.”
2. Lady in the Water– Alright, there was one movie I saw this year against my better judgement, and this was it. I saw it long enough after it bombed out both critically and commercially to know better, but I figured it probably wasn’t that bad, even if it wasn’t that good. M. Night Shyamalan tends to inspire a lot of antipathy in people that I’ve never understood, leading them to trash movies I’ve really liked. Too often, it seems like people judge his movies not for what they deliver, but rather what they were expecting him to deliver (i.e., the big twist). Well, this time out, I was expecting him to deliver a movie that wasn’t a total piece of crap, and he didn’t.
Review pull quote: “When I was done watching it, I was compelled to exclaim “that might be the dumbest movie I’ve ever seen”, so I guess my expectations couldn’t be lowered enough.”
1. X-Men: The Last Stand– Fuck this fucking movie. I hate it with all I hold dear, and if you like it, I hate you too. Okay, not really, cause that would be incredibly childish and stupid to hate somebody over a movie they like, but writing it gives you a sense of the righteous anger this steaming pile of dung inspires in me. I had come to terms with this movie’s existence, and put it behind me, then I started thinking about this list and read this take on it, and now my white-hot hatred has been lit anew.
Review pull quote: “Cause I HATED this movie. HATED. HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAATED. It enraged me. It insulted me. It affected my mood afterward, and my ability to sleep.”