The Life & Times of an Auteur.

Commentary on Pop Culture, and maybe creating some of my own.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Five Worst of the Last Decade



So, to tide you over until my Year In Review comes out, here are my picks for the five worst movies of the last decade. I will also recommend something for you to watch instead.

Avatar - I summed the success of this movie once by saying that James Cameron had found the perfect formula for success. "Make your audience believe that you're making them think and they'll love you; but actually make them think, and they'll hate you." A true joke of a movie if there ever was one, and it changed cinema for the worse with the mainstreaming of 3D. If you want to watch something that successfully tackles the themes this movie failed spectacularly at, check out Hayao Miyazaki's "Princess Mononoke." "Princess Mononoke" is a movie that examines the story of nature vs progress in a three dimensional manner and makes no attempt to do the thinking for you. Unlike "Avatar," "Princess Mononoke" knows you're an intelligent person.

The Last Airbender - Adaptations of a beloved property can be tricky, but they should strive to be more competent than this. "The Last Airbender" was abysmal. It was so abysmal that I bet my Blu-ray set of "Casablanca" that it would win the Razzie for worst picture right after seeing it. Horrid acting, pacing, the worst narration in the history of film, and the infamous casting of white actors as the leads in an Asian world. Check out the animated series "Avatar: The Last Airbender" instead.

Man of Steel - "Eff you, Greg! You hate Superman anyway!" Well, yes, I do. But that doesn't make this movie any less of a disaster. I don't like to use this word, but if anything it underscores that Zack Snyder is the most pretentious prat in Hollywood. He's no different than Michael Bay (who we will get to, soon), except that Bay is at least honest about what he is, whereas Snyder believes he's making art. Superman is, in theory, supposed to inspire us to be better, to show us what heroism is and what we can be. "Man of Steel" fails at that. Watch "The Avengers" instead, there's a lot of heroic inspiration in that movie.

Star Trek Into Darkness - If you want to watch a conspiracy nut's ravings and rantings that the attacks on September 11th were an inside-job, but using the imagery of Star Trek, then "Into Darkness" is the movie for you. That's what the movie is. Screenwriter, Roberto Orci is a 9/11 truther. Not to mention the film glossing over the fact that they cured death. Portable transporters rendering star ships obsolete. Orci not understanding that cold fusion ISN'T ACTUALLY COLD!!!!! Like "The Last Airbender", taking a character that should be a person of color and casting the palest white dude imaginable in the role. I could keep going. If you want a superior alternative, check out "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan." Or, wait for "Star Trek Beyond" where Roberto Orci will use Star Trek to tell us that Sandy Hook was a false flag.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen - Well, we're back here. My old nemesis. Racist caricatures dressed up as transforming robots as we follow Shia LeBeauf along playing, well, we don't care who he's playing. But we're watching his movie, because it sure as hell isn't about the Transformers. Racism, sexism, dogs fucking, hash brownies turning suburban moms into lunatics, as Michael Bay does the backstroke in a pile of cash, surrounded by dozes of naked porn stars. Watch the animated "Transformers the Movie" from 1986 instead, only two human characters and neither are the main characters, beautiful animation, an all star cast (Orson Welles, Leonard Nimoy, Robert Stack, etc), and as dumb as it is, at least it has heart and actual character arcs to be found.

10 comments:

  1. Good entry. My thoughts:

    Avatar: Ashamed to admit I saw it in theaters just to see the 3D that all the hype was about. I have not rewatched it since then. It was so poorly written, so forgettable, and they offed all the best characters played by the best actors.

    The Last Airbender: This is still a guilty pleasure for me. I'm sorry but I find it hilarious and almost downright fascinating to see just how much got screwed up due to one single thing - the choice of director. Had a more competent director taken the helm, we'd have gotten better casting or at least better performances out of the actors who got cast, a better nerrative, and more than "decent" effects.

    Man Of Steel - I've still never seen this one in full and I honestly never intend to, it just seems so dishearteningly abysmal. Superman is hard to pull off, but this film is a new low even for Superman! That said, I might check out the sequel just to see how Ben Affleck fares as Batman and laugh at Jesse Eisenberg's ridiculousness as Lex Luthor Jr.

    Into Darkness - I was actually alright with this one in it's first half, but everything following the reveal that Cumberbach's character was Khan just sucked, with the climax and ending being downright unforgivably insulting. Now knowing about the 9/11 truther crap taints even the first half for me. It's just horrible.

    RoTF - I will forever be undecided about which film is worse between it and it's follow-up. The first Bayformers film is the only one I have any semblance of a liking for, and Age Of Consent just seems "meh" or "bleh" to me, but the second and third one are seriously atrocious on just about all levels.

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  2. I certainly didn't expect you to start talking about "worst of the decade." I'm curious to see what you'll end up having by the time we get to 2020.

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    1. I expect "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" to be a contender.

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  3. Concerning Avatar, let me guess: You read this already? ;)

    http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/box-office-star-wars-force-852274

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  4. Though to be fair with Star Trek Beyond, Orci is not involved with that (he was at first but he got the boot), thank god. Hell, Justin Lin and Simon Pegg confirmed they're ignoring Into Darkness. Works for me.

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  5. I understand your gripe with Into Darkness, but I wouldn't include in this list, imo.

    What should take it's place is any of the schlocky "Faith" based films that have swept the nation for the past few years, that are clearly used as ploys to proselytize people into fundamentalism.

    This includes:

    -Courageous
    -Left Behind
    -Saving Christmas
    -War Room
    -God's Not Dead

    Instead of utilizing universally Religious/Christian themes garnered for a mainstream audience (i.e. Loving Your Neighbor, The Beauty of God's Love, Forgiveness, Helping the Poor, etc.) just like how "The Prince of Egypt" did-- it panders to the Religious Right by promoting Religious Fundamentalism, using the similar "Adam Sandler Comedy Swindel" formula used to profit everyone involved in the production of these films (including televangelist-based networks like TBN/CBN).

    Because in the end, you realize these aren't Christian-based films that promote aforementioned themes-- they're scams used to make people money and to pin Christians against each other. And it makes me sad that films like "Saving Christmas" and God's Not Dead" could be used to advance such agendas.

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    1. These wouldn't make my list because that would require me to watch them. As I'm not a Christian of any kind, I don't buy Christian movies.

      The closest I have is "The Last Temptation of Christ" and that's because I'm a fan of Martin Scorsese.

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    2. I saw most of The Last Temptation of Christ not too long ago-- It was pretty good for the most part. I'll have to see it again to find out what I missed.

      Above all else, I'd recommend to really pay attention to what's going on in that line of "Christian" market. I don't mean you have to watch the movies, but if you really dig into in-depth analysis essays about these movies (either at RogerEbert.com, or at my friends website, Bible.Joshway.com), you can learn more about the film's bad morals and the market they stem from, effect mainstream audiences.

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    3. Those films are propaganda, they never intended to be otherwise. Just lump them in with "Birth of a Nation" and move on.

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    4. Last Temptation actually hits closer to the mark in regards to who Jesus was and what Christianity should be about than most films do, so films like that are sort of all you need.

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