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Mateo Mathieu
Dec 26th, 2004, 02:02 AM
The 10 worst films of the year

Audiences were punished with this dishonorable group of films

COMMENTARY
By Michael Ventre

MSNBC contributor

Updated: 12:13 p.m. ET Dec. 21, 2004

Awards season is upon us. Hollywood will soon begin handing out nominations and trophies to some of the finest movies released in 2004. Lavish praise will be dispensed. Acceptance speeches will drone on. Many will be thanked. Champagne will be consumed by the vat.

But bad movies matter, too. They cost just as much money to make, sometimes more. They often star some of the biggest names in the business. They open with great fanfare, although they usually close quietly and without fuss.

They deserve our respect. Well, maybe not respect exactly, but certainly they deserve some sort of recognition. After all, it isn’t easy to make movies as bad as these. It takes a special knack.

Here is a list of the 10 worst pictures from 2004. This was compiled after taking a highly unscientific survey of academics, cinema historians, casual movie-goers, fast-food cashiers, bus drivers, mental patients and slobbering morons. The margin of error in the poll was plus or minus a lot:

1. “The Chronicles of Riddick.” Vin Diesel plays an escaped convict who is the last hope for the human race before it is annihilated. Why bother? If a picture like this can get made, humanity doesn’t stand a chance. “Riddick” is one of those projects whereby the producers figure if they can just create a lot of cool special-effects it will make up for a lame-brained story and lifeless characters. This isn’t a movie, it’s a video game, and they would have been better off opening the script with “Game Over” rather than “Fade In.”

2. “Catwoman.” It’s hard not to like a movie in which Halle Berry struts around in a black, skin-tight latex cat suit. But these producers managed to pull it off. Disappointed comic book enthusiasts were cat-atonic afterward and practically clawed their way out of the theater. Perhaps the biggest victim of this cat-astrophe was Sharon Stone, who plays a dastardly evil-doer. “Catwoman” is far less than purr-fect. In fact, it’s more akin to something that one would scoop out of kitty litter.

3. “The Stepford Wives.” There was an old “Saturday Night Live” character named Leonard Pinth-Garnell, played by Dan Aykroyd, who hosted a show about bad theater, and I couldn’t help but think of him while watching this. Leonard would clap his hands together and in a snooty voice say something like, “Terrible. Awful. Couldn’t be worse.” This remake of the 1975 thriller would get Leonard’s highest, er, lowest praise. It’s completely uninvolving and fails on every level. As Leonard might have put it, this is staggeringly atrocious.

4. “The Whole Ten Yards.” Bruce Willis was really good in “Die Hard.” Matthew Perry wasn’t bad in “Friends.” But then there’s this. A sequel to the blisteringly unfunny, “The Whole Nine Yards,” this is the latest entry in a new genre known as the disaster comedy. It’s not a disaster movie like “The Poseidon Adventure” with laughs. Rather, the disaster part refers to the utter destruction of comedy as we know it via an unrelenting stream of anemic gags and pratfalls. The joke is on anyone who paid money to see it.

5. “Resident Evil: Apocalypse.” Milla Jovovich stars in this stupefyingly dreadful zombie sequel that is based on — you guessed it — video games. Jeepers, how could they mess this up given the highbrow source material? Well, they managed. The original had a little humor. This has no redeeming value whatsoever. To think of all the celluloid that died so that this overproduced nonsense could be created. If you really want to get scared out of your wits by zombie terror, you should have hung around theater lobbies while audiences filed out.

6. “Paparazzi.” All you need to know is that Mel Gibson’s former hair stylist, Paul Abascal, directed it. He should have taken his scissors to this film. “Paparazzi” is a cheesy revenge yarn about a movie star who tries to do great bodily harm to some celebrity photographers who have put his family in peril. You just know that Mel, one of the producers on the film, got sick and tired of photographers and decided to lash back. If he still wants to make them pay, he should make them sit through this.

7. “Taxi.” Don’t be confused. This is not the crack thriller with Tom Cruise playing the hired killer in the back of Jamie Foxx’s cab. This is a “buddy” “comedy” starring SNL’s Jimmy Fallon and Queen Latifah. He plays a cop, she plays a cabbie, they clash, then they drive through the city at high speeds. If you got into a cab yourself, did not put on a seat belt, had a maniac for a driver, and you both crashed head first into the side of a building, the experience would still be funnier than this movie.

8. “Surviving Christmas.” It pains me to include this, because I like James Gandolfini and I like Christmas. But the rotting corpse of Big Pussy Bompensiero is a gigglefest compared to this. I couldn’t put it much better than Jessica Winter of the Village Voice: “This ghastly comedy emits the subliminal whine of a sucking chest wound.” Ben Affleck did not have a good year, but forget “Gigli” and the whole J-Lo circus: this was his career nadir. It can only go skyward from here. Unless, of course, they sign him to make “Surviving Christmas 2.”

9. “Envy.” This really had all the earmarks of a winner. It starred Jack Black and Ben Stiller, two comic heavyweights. The director was Barry Levinson, an Oscar winner. It had strong supporting players like Christopher Walken and Rachel Weisz. But the story was about two friends, one of whom becomes rich with an invention that causes feces to vanish into thin air while the other becomes jealous. I know what you’re thinking, but as far as I know, they haven’t invented something that eliminates the smell from stinker comedies. After seeing “Envy,” you’ll agree that scientists should accelerate their efforts.

10. “Christmas with the Kranks.” Starring Tim Allen, Jamie Lee Curtis and Dan Aykroyd, this is achingly horrid and bereft of even the slightest reason to chuckle. Allen and Curtis are the Kranks, who are harassed by their neighbors into conforming when it comes to Christmas decorations. Allen and Curtis are over-the-top and highly irritating, the neighborhood posse is creepy, and flimsy attempts at sentimentality are insulting. A lot of people get depressed over the holidays. I believe one of the major causes is movies like “Christmas with the Kranks.”

Dishonorable mentions: “Van Helsing,” “Dodgeball,” “Napoleon Dynamite,” “The Village,” “Dogville,” “The Alamo,” “Saw,” “New York Minute,” “A Very Long Engagement,” “The Butterfly Effect” and “Garfield.”

© 2004 MSNBC Interactive

URL: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6739542/

geegables
Dec 26th, 2004, 03:07 AM
dodgeball was so funny!

Hachiko
Dec 26th, 2004, 03:08 AM
One of the worst I saw this year was Hero.

SpikeyAidanm
Dec 26th, 2004, 04:39 AM
One of the worst I saw this year was Hero.
same, lol I feel asleep literally :p

j_dementieva27
Dec 26th, 2004, 04:46 AM
i cant believe dogville was on the honorable mention... that movie waws absolutely incrediable, i have never seen a movie like that and it blew my mind... the acting, especially by kidman, was so strong... the only downfall was its length

i also thought the stepford wives was a good, clean fun and funny movie, def not #3 on worst of the year

saw was one of the best thrillers i have seen in a while...

this whole list is pretty much spot on, but the dishonoarable mention pisses me off a bit

jbone_0307
Dec 26th, 2004, 04:51 AM
GOD Christmas with the Kranks was horrible!!!! I just got through seeing it because "Meet the Fockers" was sold out. I fucking paid $10 for that damn ticket. It was just stupid. Jaimie Lee Curtis sounded and looked retarded the way she responded in the movie. Ugh I dont want to even explain it. Im sooo pissed right now, it was sooo over exagerrated.

jbone_0307
Dec 26th, 2004, 04:53 AM
Christmas with the Kranks should be atleast #3

Yonge
Dec 26th, 2004, 04:53 AM
I disagree about "A Very Long Engagement". How can that movie be on the dishonorable mention list when "I, Robot" missed the list completely? :confused:

XaDavK_Kapri
Dec 26th, 2004, 05:07 AM
Dogville is an amazing movie. I was completely stunned by it and it makes you think so much!

The Butterfly Effect was also a great movie! I LOVED it!

jbone_0307
Dec 26th, 2004, 05:13 AM
I could have used this list 2 hours ago.

Rocketta
Dec 26th, 2004, 05:20 AM
I've only seen stepford wives and the review is right it reeked....but I thought Butterfly effect was really good.

tennisIlove09
Dec 26th, 2004, 05:24 AM
I liked the Stepford Wives

Iroda_Fan
Dec 26th, 2004, 08:17 AM
WORST MOVIE FOR ME

VANITY FAIR can't believe i let my friend take me to see that movie.

Mrs. Peel
Dec 26th, 2004, 08:54 AM
Van Helsing :tape: To me this movie was a comedy because we laughed at its ridiculousness from beginning to end. Complete utter nonsense!

-Em-
Dec 26th, 2004, 09:34 AM
there were some far worse movies than 'the whole ten yards' :rolleyes:

greenfunkTHREE.
Dec 26th, 2004, 09:41 AM
shark tales was good. but not the best though. love actually was the best!

ghosts
Dec 26th, 2004, 09:42 AM
LMAO I didn't watch any of these :bounce:

Grohl
Dec 26th, 2004, 10:16 AM
stuck on you, was that this year? hated that movie, walked out at the half!
best on the other side... monster with charlize theron!

Ting
Dec 26th, 2004, 02:21 PM
The Stepford Wives were good I think

Dava
Dec 26th, 2004, 03:04 PM
Catwoman was god awful

I didnt think Resi Evil Apocoalypse was that TERRIBLE...

Ting
Dec 26th, 2004, 03:24 PM
No, it was very bad.

The only movie I like from the list is The Butterfly Effect, because the subject interests me in general.
lol I didn't understand that movie at first:o

harloo
Dec 26th, 2004, 03:27 PM
I agree with the list above, but Birth should be added also. It was awful.

Oh and The Cookout LOL

HPNOTIKA
Dec 26th, 2004, 06:11 PM
I didn't like Alfie too much. That would have been on my list.

Rocketta
Dec 26th, 2004, 07:00 PM
I agree with the list above, but Birth should be added also. It was awful.

Oh and The Cookout LOLhaha, I can't believe you went to see that Barbershop knockoff! :lol:

Dahveed
Dec 26th, 2004, 09:37 PM
The Butterfly Effect is actually the best film i saw this year IMO.

SM
Dec 27th, 2004, 12:22 AM
i liked saw and butterfllyeffect..alot :o, i didnt mind catwoman...i loved resi evil but probably cos ive played thru all the games

lol

rated_next
Dec 27th, 2004, 01:13 AM
OMG!!!!! A Very Long Engagement should not be in the list :rolleyes: - i already saw the movie and it was very good, plus the movie is nominated for the golden globe awards

Circe
Dec 27th, 2004, 05:36 AM
Catwoman reeked, as did Vanity Fair. but then in my opinion so did Troy and Alexander. Stepford Wives was boring. Riddick was terrible too but then i can't stand vin diesel so i might be biased.