Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

2009 Movies, the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

with 7 comments

I rented and watched a movie that was so bad, I can’t get the taste out of my mind.  (And no, I’m not talking about Gran Torino.) It was so bad that I kept watching it in morbid fascination, surely it can’t get worse? It did. By the end I had decided there must have been some terrible mistake in the editing room, and all the good scenes got thrown out by mistake, so they cobbled the movie together out of the rejects laying on the floor. And upon further reflection, I’ve seen a number of movies this year that, well, sucked. So in the spirit of making the world a better place,  here are five movies to avoid. I mean if even one person is spared spending a few bucks renting a godawful movie, that’s a good deed? Right. Santa take note.

Terminator Salvation. I waited years for this? When I said there was no way they could make a worse movie than Terminator 3, it wasn’t meant as a challenge! Well, they did. The plot was muddy, the terminators were muddy, and just in general the whole thing lacked any of the edginess of the original two movies. Or originality for that matter, what the hell is it with all these movies that are filled with “tributes” to older better movies? Remaking a scene isn’t a tribute, it’s boring and says “We couldn’t think of anything better.” Why Arnold allowed the producers to use his image in this movie is beyond me.

Doomsday. Never heard of this movie? Good. This movie is made entirely of tributes. Basically it’s “Escape from New York” crossed with “The Road Warrior.” Without the originality,  charm, and dialogue of either. This movie was such a dog that even though it’s one of the biggest films to be made in Scotland in living memory, the Scots took great pains not to invite them to the BAFTA Scotland Awards, let alone consider them for an award. Ouch.

Transformers II. Yes, there is a theme here. So I should have titled the blog post “bad Sci-Fi movies of 2009.” It was  bad year for Sci-Fi, what can I say. The non Sci-Fi movies I saw were all at least passable. Moving right along, if you’re a rabid Transformers fan … that can be cured now: Watch this movie. OK, it’s not quite that bad, but the first movie was fun without being painful and awkward and stupid. On the plus side, if you fast forward through all scenes with the protagonist’s family and girlfriend, what remains is good Transformers fun. If, you know, watching giant CGI robots beat each other up is your idea of entertainment.

9. I got tricked into seeing this movie, how else can I explain paying to see two hours of CGI animated socks whining as a giant robot sucks the starch out of them? The giant robot red eye from Hal in 2001 plays himself in the strongest supporting role of the film. On the other hand, if you’re someone who thinks a movie is only a platform for stringing together a series of oh-so-really-cool CGI fight scenes with a different monster each time, this movie was made for you!

Land of the Lost. OK, this is it, one of the worst movies I have ever seen. Yes, this is the movie that inspired this post.  I don’t watch very many contemporary comedies, they aren’t really my style. When I do though, I usually enjoy myself and even get a few laughs. And I expected no different this time, I even brought the movie to a Thanksgiving Dinner. Fortunately we didn’t get around to watching it, so I will be invited back next year. What can I say, if you think that dinosaur bodily fluids are the ultimate humour prop, this movie was made for you. Who wouldn’t pay to see Will Ferrel pour dinosaur piss on his head? Yes, 4 year olds will find this movie terribly funny, but don’t bring them unless you want to explain the weird pointless gay themed adult “jokes,” like where one guy was trying to get two other guys to kiss? What the hell was that about? I rest my case. Shudder.

Last but not least, Gran Torino. I really enjoyed this movie and highly recommend it. I’ve seen it three times already, which for me is almost unprecedented. At some point I will be discussing it at length because it makes a number of points about racism , assimilation, and what it means to be an American that are worth going over. I only mention it here because I needed a pic to illustrate the post, and decided that using an image from a  movie that I’m panning wouldn’t be appreciated. I may stretch the limits of Fair Use at times, but obviously using a movie image to discourage people from going to a movie clearly is outside the scope of Fair Use.

So have a great weekend everyone. Rent and watch Gran Torino if you haven’t already done so. You will be tested on this. Next week, climategate  … brace yourselves.

(The above image is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. It’s a low resolution copy of a movie poster, it’s not being used for profit, and it’s use here in no way interferes with the copyright holder’s commercial use of the image. Credit and copyright: Warner Brothers. And yes, I am a big Clint Eastwood fan, and no, this isn’t is typical Dirty Harry shoot-em-up movie. He gets off one shot in the movie, int0 the ceiling of his garage. Enjoy.)

Written by unitedcats

December 4, 2009 at 8:00 am

Posted in Movies

7 Responses

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  1. Upon reflection I realize that back in the old days, when special effects limited filmmakers to one monster per movie, they kinda had to have a plot and storyline and characters to make it more interesting. Now with CGI making it possible to have a movie with an infinite number of monsters, the plot and such can be dispensed with. With different monsters every fight scene, no matter how boring a monster is or how inane the scene, by next scene it’s a whole new monster! This tendency has ruined so many movies the past decade it almost makes me want to cry, especially now that they can’t even bother with halfway witty dialogue. Or maybe I’m just getting old and jaded and most movies have always been almost total crap. I’ll have to think about this.

    —Doug

    unitedcats

    December 4, 2009 at 8:13 am

  2. I was positively surprised by Push http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0465580/ no crazy CGI and a decent plot.

    Rob

    December 4, 2009 at 9:10 am

  3. “maybe I’m just getting old and jaded”
    Nah, I get ticked with most movies today an I’m only 26.
    They are so….. thoughtless, if thats the right word. No cleaver ideas and well thought plans or interconnecting parts.
    You can predict most movie plots in the first ten minutes, not even trying! I think the masses are just getting more and more braindead and movies cater to them. There’s more money in making a pretty shiny movie instead of a good one. The same for music too!
    The older movies tap into your imagination, make you think or teach a lesson, now days they leave nothing to the imagination, and most people don’t really want to think or learn at all.
    “makes me want to cry” too

    Peace

    Pyrodin123321

    December 4, 2009 at 3:17 pm

  4. Push was definitely an under rated movie, I fully agree. Much better than bouncers or boingers or whatever the other one was. Star Trek was good as well, the year wasn’t a total loss for Sci-Fi. District Nine as well.

    And I agree, so many movies today have all the parts, yet somehow it just comes across as lifeless. You can basically tell it was simply a “factory made” product with no art of life in it at all. We live in decadent times, no way around. I mean, rock bands from the sixties are still touring, name another era in American history where music was so fossilized that bands toured for DECADES playing the same music?

    Gonna be interesting when the reset button gets hit, cause these sorts of lifeless ages don’t last forever.

    unitedcats

    December 4, 2009 at 7:49 pm

  5. Gran Torino was excelent and thought provoking, looking forward to a post on it. You are a brave man to admit in a public forum you actually watched Land of the Lost.

    Josh V

    December 5, 2009 at 12:33 pm

  6. Have you seen District 9? I think you might like it.

    Chris

    December 7, 2009 at 1:43 am

  7. Yes, I enjoyed District 9. It was different, that alone makes a movie bearable. In this case it wasn’t bad Sci-Fi either. I just saw Zombieland and I recommend that too, though it’s really just a road movie, it’s not your typical road movie. Most successful zombie movie to date as well, that alone says something … I’m not sure what though. — Doug

    unitedcats

    December 7, 2009 at 11:47 am


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