This week, we’d like to introduce a new recurring feature here at The Bonus View. For the Weekend Roundtable, all of our resident bloggers have been asked to weigh in with a few sentences on a given topic. Then we turn it over to you, our readers, to discuss in the comments over the weekend. Sound like a good idea? We think so. Our topic for this inaugural entry: What are your most hated movies?
Before we get started, let’s define what we mean by “most hated movies.” These aren’t necessarily the worst movies we’ve ever seen. If that were the case, any random SyFy Channel piece of crap would qualify. No, these are the movies that, for whatever reason, we really hate. We hate them to the core of our beings. We hate that these movies exist at all, and wish that we could erase all evidence that they ever did. We hate that anyone else out there might actually like them. If they’re really popular movies and major award winners, all the better.
Got it? Here are the staff picks:
- ‘S.W.A.T.‘ – I absolutely abhor movies that sit in that range between wonderful and awful. Back in 2003, I was a big fan of Samuel L. Jackson, and I had high hopes for Colin Farrell after ‘Minority Report.’ It’s not that ‘S.W.A.T’ was particularly bad. It’s just that no one making the movie seemed to put any effort to it. I came out of that movie steaming mad.
- ‘Catwoman‘ – I thought ‘Catwoman’ would be a really fun movie to rip on. Thirty minutes in, it stopped being funny. Bad movies are funny by default. But no, not ‘Catwoman.’ The thing about Catwoman, you see, is that she doesn’t have magic “cat vision” or nine lives or anything like that. Like Batman, she’s just a person in a suit. Also, can we take back Halle Berry’s Oscar? She makes me sad when she tries to act.
- ‘There’s Something About Mary‘ – Well, I had to have something on here that we could disagree about, didn’t I? I just plain don’t like the Farrelly brothers. ‘There’s Something About Mary’ gets my ire particularly because of the amount of praise it got. It’s the most base level of comedy and it stars Cameron Diaz and Ben Stiller, both of whom could benefit Hollywood greatly by retiring today.
- The Films of Ed Zwick – Ed Zwick holds a special place in my hate chamber because his focus is so specialized and infuriating: he’s built a career of making movies about minorities where a white guy is the hero. Only Ed Zwick would make a movie called ‘The Last Samurai‘ and cast Tom Fucking Cruise in the title role. (Admittedly, the samurai vs. ninja fight was cool, though.) Oh, and the Civil War (in ‘Glory‘)? Why not make the hero Ferris Bueller? And who better to speak for the crime-ravaged nation states of Africa than one-time Romeo, Leonardo DiCaprio (in ‘Blood Diamond‘)? The movies would be more annoying if anyone took them seriously. Instead, they’re the worst kind of escapist trash: the kind that actually thinks it’s saying something.
- ‘A Beautiful Mind‘ – Yes, I know there’s a swimming pool in Ron Howard’s backyard full of the Awards this thing won, including more Oscars than I’m comfortable mentioning. But peee-hew, what a stinker! It’s overly convoluted (and sentimental), so far-fetched that there’s no way a third of the movie COULDN’T be imaginary, and shot with cloying period detail. I’d rather watch the Robert Langdon movies back-to-back than sit through this sickly mess.
- ‘Police, Adjective‘ – I’m not really sure what the Romanian New Wave is, but I know this much: it’s incredibly boring.
- ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button‘ – A film that seemed almost as long as the life of its freakishly odd main character, this interminable, preciously filmed saga with a premise as gimmicky and off-putting as another of my least favorite films (the strikingly similar and equally awful ‘Forrest Gump‘) somehow earned a slew of Oscar nominations. (Now that’s a curious case if there ever was one!) I’m all for suspending my disbelief, but this bizarre tale required a leap of faith I just wasn’t willing to make. No wonder it’s one of the few works from F. Scott Fitzgerald that nobody ever heard of…
- ‘10,000 B.C.‘ – Roland Emmerich just makes bad movies. Period. So how I got hoodwinked into seeing this bit of deadly dull, prehistoric dreck after suffering through such epicly horrific pieces of schlock like ‘Independence Day‘ and ‘The Day After Tomorrow’‘ escapes me. The preview looked kind of cool, but I should have known better. After all, there’s only about two or three minutes of worthy footage in any Emmerich film, and he was sure to cram all of it into the trailer.
- Almost any second installment of a trilogy – ‘Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones,’ featuring the lyrically poetic dialogue of George Lucas and stellar acting of Hayden Christensen. (I’m being facetious, folks!); ‘Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest,’ with that silly Ferris wheel contraption; and ‘The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers,’ which was really just one loooooong battle sequence, all give trilogies a bad name…
- ‘Forrest Gump‘ – David and I are on the same page with this one. There’s no movie on Earth that has ever infuriated me more than ‘Forrest Gump’. I could rant for hours about its cloying sentimentality, its latent misogyny (why should poor Jenny be punished so horridly throughout the movie just because she didn’t want to settle for marrying the town moron?), its racism (that’s no coincidence that all of the black characters are either mentally retarded or abusive thugs), and its frightening reactionary politics. But what really pisses me off most is how the movie celebrates and idolizes ignorance as some sort of ideal state of being, and villainizes anyone who “thinks too much” as the cause of all the world’s problems. The fact that this piece of shit made a trillion dollars at the box office and won 87 Oscars just makes me hate humanity. Stupid is as stupid does, indeed. Shame on the Academy for rewarding this movie over ‘Pulp Fiction’, shame on everyone who made this movie, and shame on anyone who likes this movie.
- ‘A Time To Kill‘ – John Grisham thought he was writing the next ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ when he penned the novel that this is based on. John Grisham is a moron. The story purports to tell the tale of poor black people in the South overcoming white oppression… with the help of a white savior, of course. Meanwhile, it’s filled with shockingly racist caricatures and ridiculously ham-fisted symbolism. (The black characters literally live on the other side of the tracks. There are actually train tracks right in front of the house. It’s hilarious.) The legal-thriller plot makes no sense at all, and ultimately endorses vigilante justice over law and order. To top it off, hackmeister Joel Schumacher shoots the film in his typical over-the-top fetishistic style (I’ve never seen any other movie with so many close-ups of characters sweating), and directs the one-dimensional villain characters to deliver performances more cartoonish than anything in his lousy ‘Batman’ movies. Awful, awful, awful.
- ‘Gladiator‘ – Sorry, David, this is where we part company. You gave Ridley Scott’s dopey revival of the sword & sandal genre 5 stars in your review. That’s at least 4 ½ more than I’d ever give it. I found this movie tedious, shoddily made (some of those flyover VFX shots of the Roman Coliseum look like they were animated on a Commodore 64), and dead stupid. As the swishy villain, Joaquin Phoenix gives one of the worst performances by a professional actor that I’ve ever seen. When I saw this thing opening weekend, I was certain that it would bomb. I still can’t believe that it was such a big hit, or that it won the Oscar for Best Picture. (Seriously, did that really happen?) “Are you not entertained?,” Maximus asks. No, not even for one second.
Well, that’s it for our picks. So, tell us, what movies do you hate? And more importantly, why?