Robert Duvall was smart to stay out of this one.
19. THE RETURN OF JAFAR Do you hate the Direct-to-Video/DVD Disney sequels? They started with this steaming pile, folks. This movie disappointed me to no end. The animation was terrible... and I'm not expecting feature animation here, but this wasn't as well animated as the better episodes of the series were. The songs were painful to listen to. The characters all acted like idiots, and, ugh... I would pay good money to go back and not have to hear Gilbert Gotfried sing.
18. SUPERMAN RETURNS I know that "Superman 3" and "Superman 4" were worse, but since I don't have much memory of them (haven't seen them since I was a kid), this one is earning the spot on the list. It was a pathetic attempt by Warner Bros to recapture magic that had long been lost. Did Christopher Nolan go back and pick up where Tim Burton left off? No. He started over, and for the best. What did we get? A bland and boring Superman who was trying to be Christopher Reeve, and failing miserably. Kate Bosworth as the most inept and stupid Lois Lane... this is a Pulitzer winning journalist? I think not. What did Superman see in her anyway? Oh, and I hated the story around the kid also... the movie succeeded in making me want to see that little bastard die a horrible death. But, perhaps the biggest crime in piece. You have one of the creepiest actors in Hollywood portraying Lex Luthor, and what do they do? They turned him into a parody of Gene Hackman's out of date interpretation of the character. It'd be like having Heath Ledger play Cesar Romero's Joker. I have no doubt that Kevin Spacey would make a great Lex Luthor, he just had the misfortune to be in a terrible production.
17. INDEPENDENCE DAY God, I really don't want to relive this one. But, this was one of the most nonsensical things I have ever seen. There is suspension of disbelief, and then there is nuking disbelief. This movie was made by Roland Emmerich, who is basically a left wing Michael Bay (and believe me, I'll get to him). Jeff Goldblum and the Fresh Prince of Bel Air save the world from the stupidest invading aliens ever. Bill Pullman plays a President so unrealistic that Barack Obama snapping his fingers and fixing the world instantly with complete bi-partisan support is believable in comparison.
And why is a mac compatible with an alien computer network? Why can Will Smith pilot an alien spacecraft that aliens with tentacles are operating? Why did this movie make so much money at the box office? Why is Roland Emmerich dignifying the 2012 retards with his latest piece of bile?
16. RETURN OF THE JEDI Hey, kids. Remember how awesome "Star Wars" was? Remember how much cooler "The Empire Strikes Back" was? Yeah, that second one grew up with you and went to some pretty dark places. Now, it's time for the muppets to take over, and watch as the Empire gets their collective ass kicked by a bunch of teddy bear people in the woods. The story with the second Death Star was pretty lame too, and turned into a rehash of the first movie without any iota of why the first one worked. But, we all knew, this was the movie that forever transformed "Star Wars" into a toy commercial.
It doesn't go forward, if anything it feels like a botched "greatest hits" album. The central plot with the second Death Star is dull as well as an inferior rehashing of "Star Wars." I understand regretting the destruction of the ultimate weapon in Act One, and how hard it is to top that. But, "Empire Strikes Back" managed to top it. "Jedi" did not learn the lessons of "Empire."
I never bought the revelation that Leia was Luke's sister, and I still don't. It comes off as a plot development that was slapped together at the eleventh hour to quickly end the Luke-Han-Leia triangle with minimal drama. Because it was.
But, Gary Kurtz has spoken about this at length, and confirmed ages ago that it was never supposed to be Leia. If you never read one of his interviews, this is a good one:
And now, Darth Vader. Okay, I think we all know that in the first movie, Vader was never meant to be Luke's father. The two of them were unrelated. Making Vader the father in "Empire" was, I always felt, a brilliant move. What I did not think was so brilliant was the verbal back-flipping that we got from Obi-Wan Kenobi about this. "A certain point of view," is a sentence anyone with respect for storytelling would despise.
Here's an idea. Vader used the Dark Side to seduce Anakin Skywalker's wife, and fathered Luke and his unknown sister on her, then murdered Anakin Skywalker. It fits in with what Obi Wan told Luke in the first movie, "he betrayed and murdered your father." ... and really, seducing your friend's spouse is the oldest betrayal in the book.
Now, Lucas will tell the whole world that he had this huge Master Plan from the conception of this whole thing and take it to his grave. But that's not the creative process. Sometimes a better idea comes along, and you adapt. Or, a better idea is suggested by your collaborators. Film is very much a collaborative medium.
Greg Weisman didn't know Owen was Puck from Day One. He may have known Demona was immortal, but he didn't know she was linked to Macbeth from Day One. Sure, he has his Master Plan, but he's not afraid to adapt it when something better comes along. Look at Duval and Peredur, they were originally going to be the same character. Not to mention the input and contributions of his collaborators.
J. Michael Straczynski of "Babylon 5" created his space opera with a five year plan and a grand timeline, but even he adapted and things changed along the way. Sometimes for the better, sometimes not. But he has said "let's not focus on what was, because what is is better."
There are many other examples. But a writer's job is to create a myth. Not to create a myth about the myth.
While I'm on the subject, why was Vader so loyal to the Emperor in this one? In "Empire" he wants Luke to join him, help overthrow the Emperor so they can rule the galaxy as father and son. When the Emperor is obviously trying to bait Luke, taunting him with the death of his friends, why doesn't Vader make another move right then and there? "Join me, slay the Emperor, let's take control. Embrace your friends. It is the only to slay your friends." Why was he so resigned? He had no real loyalty to the Emperor? He had an opportunity there.
And finally, I thought it was a cheat to have the entire main cast come out of this thing unscathed. The only people who died were Imperials, and Yoda. The latter passing away because of old age. When you are telling an epic story about a war between good and evil, good cannot come out unscathed. What was "Star Wars?" It was a war. War has to have cost. That cost has to be painful. Even in a galaxy far, far away. If it doesn't, it's not real. Even in fiction, you need to have that reality. What is the price of confronting evil and defeating it?
15. TROY Ever read "The Illiad" and wasn't it great? Don't expect that here. Except for Sean Bean as Odysseus and Brian Cox as Aggammenon, the casting here was atrocious. So, blond haired, blue eyed Brad Pitt is a Mediterranean warrior? Oh, and he needs to take off his clothes to wash his face? Orlando Bloom is Paris? I would be very happy if Orlando Bloom never makes another movie again. And I am supposed to believe that no talent dog they cast as Helen could launch a thousand ships? And why was the King of Sparta such a wimp!?
I took my mother to see this for her birthday, since she is a real enthusiast of Greek mythology. She hated this movie more than I did, and I'll never forget when Paris came on screen, she said "Oh no, not that elf."
14. KRAMER vs. KRAMER I'll be fair, I had prejudice towards this one going in. How was this better than "Apocalypse Now?" No one knows. Plenty of people still talk about "Apocalypse Now" but no one talks about "Kramer vs. Kramer." So, when I finally saw it, I was biased against it, and it pissed me off.
13. BATMAN FOREVER Want to know how to kill a franchise? Here it is, people! Now, it's been many years since I've seen this, but I remember my heart sinking as dark and gothic was replaced by bright flashing neon and Bat Nipples. Not that "Batman Returns" was any good, but it didn't piss me off... although seeing the Penguin soaking wet in his underwear did make me lose my lunch. But this... do you know what this was? This was a vehicle for Jim Carey. That's all it was. It was the Jim Carrey show. And director, Joel Schumacher was so blatant about it, that I can sum the entire movie up in one moment. The Riddler, played by Carrey, blows up the Batcave, and when he is done, he walks towards the camera, and in the last moment, before it cuts, we see him adjust his penis. They could have cut away before that, but nope, right there, on the screen is the Riddler adjusting his penis!
I tend to think in another movie, Tommy Lee Jones could have made a great Two-Face. But, what they did here was a crime against the character. Does anyone remember a comic book or episode of the series where Two-Face kept repeatedly flipping his coin to get the result he wanted? I don't.
So, there it is... the Riddler adjusting his penis was the moment Batman was ruined until Christopher Nolan came along to fix things. I hear there was another Batman movie between this and Begins, but I had the common sense to stay away.
12. JACKIE BROWN I don't have as much to say here. This was Quentin Tarantino's worst movie, hands down. It was just unremarkable... I expected so much better from him.
11. STAR WARS EPISODE III: REVENGE OF THE SITH This one pissed me off because it was so close to not sucking, and yet... it was ass. Okay, no Jar Jar, a dark story... fine. But your story still has to be decent. Christopher Lee is killed off early and replaced by an asthmatic special effect with a bad Russian accent. Natalie Portman is still months away from being redeemed by a terrorist in a Guy Fawkes mask. You can almost see the disappointment in Ewan McGreggor's face, not at Anakin, but that he knew these prequels sucked and wanted desperately to recapture what made the first two movies great.
Oh yes, and the biggest problem with the entire movie? Hayden Christensen talks.
10. GODZILLA'S REVENGE It was the 1980s. I was still but a lad. I had just seen "Godzilla 1985" and, at the time, it was the coolest movie I had ever seen. We rented "Godzilla's Revenge." And, with a title like that, I was expecting ninety minutes of Godzilla destroying Tokyo, and fighting a badass evil monster. What did I get? What did I get? I got an annoying little kid who is beaten up by bullies who, at home, imagines he is on Monster Island, and friends with Godzilla's talking son, Minya (Minya sporting a voice far more annoying than Barney). Annoying kid then gets kidnapped by two stupid bank robbers, and by imagining Godzilla, he is able to beat them up, and beat up the bullies.
And to this day, I wonder... who did Godzilla get revenge on?
09. ALIEN 3 "Alien" is one of the creepiest, most atmospheric movies ever made. Every frame of this movie is genius. It is just perfect. "Aliens" is one of the greatest sequels ever made. It doesn't top the first movie, but it comes within a hair of doing it... that's an admirable achievement. So, you have two of the greatest genre movies of all time, what do you follow it up with? One of the worst third movies ever conceived. Remember Hicks and Newt? Two very well done, enjoyable characters? Yeah, forget about them, they died between movies... which in and of itself is an obscenity. We're back down to one Alien, which after the last movie, you just can't do. I have a feeling that they were trying to re-create the first movie. Well, you can't do that when you demonstrate that you have no idea why the first movie worked. After disowning this turd, director David Fincher would go on to make some great films.
This movie was later followed up by "Alien Resurrection" which was also ass, but didn't piss me off as much as this one did. But I swore off the series after that, and to this day, I have never watched a frame of the "Alien vs Predator" movies.
On that last note, I just want to say this: If Ellen Ripley is not in it, it's not an Alien movie.
08. ARMAGEDDON After that shitty movie, "The Rock" put him on the map, shitty "director", Michael Bay gave us this cinematic monstrosity, and boy was it ass. Bruce Willis spent the entire movie looking like he'd rather be anywhere else. He has publicly said he will never work with Bay again, but he didn't need to, it's all over his performance. Liv Tyler sucks in it, but she's never wowed me. She was okay as Arwen, but she didn't wow me. Steve Buscemi, an actor I love, was so out of place here, I guess he needed the money. The story and characters sucked, the cinematography was an abortion, and the more movies he makes, the worse Bay gets. But I'll save the rest of my Bay rant for later.
07. X-MEN 3 So, after lots of build up, and three years of waiting for it, we get to the Dark Phoenix Saga. Okay, so the Shi'Ar are being cut out? Fine, they're out of place. Wait... Wolverine is again the main character? Well, he's the cash cow, that's what we expect, but still, this isn't his story. It's Cyclops and Jean's story. Well, even with Logan as the star, that's still possible right? ....... oh. Kill Cyclops off for no reason at all. I'm no fan of Cyclops either, but... fuck you, movie! Halle Berry is throwing a fit, let's expand this useless incarnation of Storm into an even more annoying character in a bad wig. Hey, let's kill off Professor Xavier for no reason, and then undercut it by bringing him back.
Oh, and the cure storyline? It led to the most offensive scene in the entire movie. Rogue goes and takes the cure, sending this message... hey girls, do you want a guy to like you? Change who you are! Change who you are or no guy will ever like you. Fuck you, movie!
Ugh, this movie should not have sucked, and it did. Fox just couldn't commit to Bryan Singer after he made them two hit movies. My opinion of this movie is also colored by all the guys beating off to Kitty Pryde all over the internet after this came out. SHE LOOKS LIKE A TWELVE YEAR OLD BOY!!!!!!!
06. DAREDEVIL You know who I blame this one on? Kevin Smith. His man crush on Ben Affleck led to Affleck being tragically miscast as Matt Murdock. Then, the rest of the movie was turned into a hip hop music video. I love the character of Daredevil. Loved what Frank Miller did with him, loved what Brian Michael Bendis did with him. Hated what Fox did with him. The movie collapses in two instances. That scene in the playground between Ben Affleck and Jennifer Garner... to this day, it remains one of the stupidest things I have ever seen in a movie. And, that scene where, when Matt Murdock hears someone being attacked, instead of putting on his Daredevil costume and going to save a life, he decides to go fuck Elektra instead....
... thankfully that last scene was fixed in the Directors Cut, and by fixed, I mean Murdock does the right thing and goes to save the life. The Directors Cut isn't bad. But I didn't see that first, I saw the theatrical version first, and it was ass. Not that the Director's Cut was good, it went from ass to mediocre. But Mediocre is preferable to ass.
05. DRACULA 2000 The good: it had Nathan Fillion in it. The bad: Everything else. I don't know why Wes Craven thought this was a good idea, I have no idea what he was smoking. Okay, Dracula comes back to life in New Orleans, and is chased by a descendant of Van Helsing who lives in New Orleans. New Orleans is also populated by super models. Even the homeless bums are supermodels.
Oh, and Dracula was Judas. Yes, that Judas. The Judas who betrayed Christ, and hung himself. Only Christ punished him by not allowing him to die. Instead, Christ unleashed him on the world to feast upon the blood of the living, and take hot super models as his mates. Who was Jesus punishing? Judas, or everyone else?
Funny thing is, I went to film school with director, Patrick Lussier's son. The phrase "held my tongue" is an understatement.
04. INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL Let me say this, I absolutely love "Raiders of the Lost Ark," it's one of the greatest adventure movies ever made. "The Last Crusade" while being a gigantic step down, is still an enjoyable ride. Even the worst of the three, "Temple of Doom" has it's moments in spite of Kate Capshaw and Short Round, it was bad but it didn't piss me off. And then this crap was made, and George Lucas' hands were all over it. From those CGI prairie dogs, to the stupid revelation of aliens. Spielberg didn't want aliens, Ford didn't want aliens. Lucas kicked and screamed until he got his aliens. And then, when the alien melts the communists' face! Where have I seen that before? Oh yes, in a better movie. Thank you for reminding me of the better movie to make this one look even worse.
I pretty much hate Shia LeBeuof as an actor, and I don't buy him as Indy's son. I don't think he's fit to take out Harrison Ford's trash. And I know that one day a sequel about Mutt Williams (what a name!) will come out. I'll be saving my money.
Oh, yes... and according to Indiana Jones, if you hide in a refrigerator, you can survive Ground Zero of a nuclear blast.
They should have left it alone.
03. STAR WARS EPISODE I: THE PHANTOM MENACE After all these years, there's nothing left to say. But it belongs on this list, and here it is. This is what happens when an ego is allowed to fester and grow unchecked. George Lucas clearly forgot why the original "Star Wars" and "The Empire Strikes Back" are beloved by millions of people the world over. And this still made hundreds of millions of dollars.
This movie has been soundly picked apart, far better than I ever could, but a genius on YouTube has taken it upon himself to point out the flaws in the film in every single minute detail.
02. SPIDER-MAN 3 Unlike "X-Men 3" this should not have sucked. It had everything going for it. Good trailers, reports of a huge budget, two good movies leading into it, and it held on to the same director for the third movie... and then the movie came out. It came out and it completely fell apart. Harry Osborn's amnesia story left you rolling your eyes at best. I did not feel sorry for Sandman at all. He was a neat effect, but... the real killer of Uncle Ben? I spent the whole movie hoping it was a trick of some kind... but then we end it with Peter Parker tearfully forgiving him. Oh, yeah, everyone spends the entire movie crying, for no reason. Venom got forced into the movie, a movie he had no business in. Raimi hated the character, and it showed. But, I blame Avi Arad for that. The fans wanted Venom, and this is why fans tend to be stupid when their demands begin to dictate productions.
The first time I saw this movie, I saw it with a terrible audience, and I blamed the audience for the bad movie... then I saw it again. The audience wasn't the problem, the movie was.
01. TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN I had to think of a long time to pick the movie that pissed me off the most... about a tenth of a second. Because, loathe him or hate him, Michael Bay is the director for the A.D.D. generation.
This was the worst movie I have ever seen. It was, quite simply, an abomination. It was stupid, it was offensive, it was way too long. I hated every single character in it. I hate Shia. I hate Megan Fox. There was nothing about this movie that was, at all likable. I've well documented my hate of this movie before, so I will instead say this. This movie made $832,747,337. I'll repeat that: this movie made $832,747,337. If our movies reflect our culture, then we are in serious trouble.
Now, I am not PC at all. I tend to find when people complain about movies, they're usually full of it, and looking to be offended. This movie was blatantly racist. The twins... you may as well have had two WASPs in black face. When the screenwriters disown it, and refuse to work with Michael Bay again for future installments, you know there's a problem.
The movie was just bad. Very disappointing. Terrible story, and I just couldn't care about the characters one iota. Now, I know what some of you are thinking "It's Transformers, did you expect the Godfather?!" No, I did not. I won't compare a genre film to one of our epic classics. Comparing this to "Casablanca" is idiotic.
Hell, I won't even compare it to the best genre film of all time, "The Dark Knight"
But, I think genre movies like "Iron Man", "X-Men 2", "Batman Begins", "Spider-Man 2", "Watchmen", and... ugh. So many others.
Movies like "Iron Man," are what I will compare Bay's "Transformers" too. And I'm sorry, but Bay's movies come up short. "Iron Man" had tons of spectacle. Tons. But it also had substance. It had soul. You cared about the characters, and I was never a big Iron Man reader. Hell, I was hating him during "Civil War" and the movie made me love the character, and see another side to him in the current comic books.
Now, I know someone will say "it's Transformers, what do you expect?" BIG ROBOTS KICKING THE CRAP OUT OF EACH OTHER! YAY! Well, what do I expect? I expect "Beast Wars," I expect "Animated," I expect Simon Furman's original run. I expect a little substance with my spectacle. Michael Bay failed to provide it... but then, as I've seen his other movies, I know he has little interest in providing it.
Now, I am not going to say the people who loved it are suffering from a mental deficiency. Nor am I going to throw in insults about "the lowest common denominator" ... I understand others look for things in movies that I don't. They like that visceral kick. And I can understand it, I enjoy it too. But I enjoy it when it comes with a movie that doesn't insult my intelligence.
Rumor has it they want to use Unicron in the third movie. Well, you can't get much bigger and more over the top than Unicron... and he should provide the biggest explosion in movie history. So, it should be right up Bay's alley.
Michael Bay is essentially what you get when you take a porn director, give him $200 million, and tell him to film anything he wants, except actual sex. "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" is proof of this.