And so passes another year of countless trashy movies that never need to be mentioned again -- your twi-lit, expendable-y, resident-ly evil movies -- but once again I find myself more in awe of the sheer number of mainstream "quality" films that failed to engage me enough to go see them.
Sometimes they just looked outright horrible.
For the positivity record, this being the year of The Avengers and Cabin In the Woods, my low-brow side had plenty of opportunities to do the happy-dance. But I’m having trouble remembering anything from the artier side of the spectrum that did it for me. I fully expect to catch up with The Master, Moonrise Kingdom, Monsieur Lazhar, Argo and others in the due course of time, which is to say at home. Which is to say, as television.
It would’ve been unthinkable back in the eighties to miss a Spielberg films. Even in the nineties there was usually an almost-even-money chance I'd want to see them. Sadly, there have been just too many ponderous alien/911 parables, window-lit African slavery trials, and elegized war horses.
I now picture Steve-o sitting hunched in a darkened Oscar trophy room, eyeing past successes and swigging a Jeckyllian potion of Kubrick tears and Eastwood sweat.
9. Acts Of Valor / Zero Dark Thirty
The existence of these films makes me want to curl up into a ball.
8. Sinister/The Possession
Now that we're at the end of the torture porn cycle, it seems like all the horror filmmakers got a stern talking to by their mothers and decided to make an endless procession of these possession-y, ghost-y type movies. At least with the crappy torture porn, there were occassional bare naughty bits to go along with they're much more bare spleen. But these ghosts and possessed folked never get past the dirty flannel nightgowns.
7. The Raven
“Edgar Allen Poe’s stories inspire a serial killer, and only Poe can stop him.” Comment withheld.
6. MIB III/Total Recall
I'd had enough of the nineties about three years into that misbegotten hillbilly’s scrotum of a decade. I have no reason to revisit it, albeit with more lens flare and improved CGI.
5. Life Of Pi
Empty, sumptuous visuals forced me to sit through The Fifth Element’s shrill assault on the concept of character and story. Empty, sumptuous visuals forced me to sit through 300’s fascist horse-crap parading as virtue.
Not this time, empty, sumptuous visuals! Take your treacly, Oprah-esque sermon and hit the bricks.
This film really should be included in the “Acts of Valor/Zero Dark Thirty” entry, because apparently it wants to make out with the military in a closet (maybe include some over-the-sweater stuff).
This is a film based on a game that bored teenagers in an age when there were only three TV channels, and two of them at any given time were running Bonanza.
3. John Carter
Remember the ads for this?
Well, it was an Edgar Rice Burroughs adaptation with a six gazillion dollar budget, so I’m sure you can at least conjure a visual... one visual, surely... Something a about a flying... thing... and somebody was in a diaper, I think... And now Disney has the Star Wars license, so the same kind of smudgy, vision-killing executive fingerprints can obscure our favourite galaxy far, far away...
2. The Amazing Spider-Man
Well, I have to admit that just like John Carter above, at the time of writing, I’ve seen this movie on cable. As a lifelong Spidey-lover, how could I not? Truth be told, I was actually not as repulsed by it as I thought I’d be, but I did right by snubbing it in the theater and saving it for a sloppy, shameful one night stand. As I suspected from the endlessly leaked footage, it’s a dreary and over-worked, audience-sampled insult to 1) the literary identity of Peter Parker, 2) to the bright, fun Marvel comics of yore, and 3) to integrity-driven, fad-free genre moviemaking.
1. Dark Shadows
Tim Burton’s films have now pass Madonna’s boobs as the most stale things on the planet that nobody wants to see at all and that weren’t even that impressive thirty years ago.