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Thursday, January 3, 2008

Bunsnip Worst Movies of 2007

Yay, it's time for some movie bashing!

While I had 10 selections for the Bunsnip Best Movies of 2007, I only have 6 selections for the Bunsnip Worst Movies of 2007. This is not because there weren't many bad movies this year. On the contrary, in reading over Wikipedia's comprehensive list of movies released in 2007, I noticed an abundance of movies that must have been awful (Norbit and Fred Claus come to mind). Luckily, I only saw 6 of 2007's bad movies. Here they are, in no particular order of badness:


1) National Treasure: Book of Secrets (2007)
When an evil history buff (Ed Harris) attempts to smear Nicholas Cage's great-grandaddy's name by revealing evidence that suggests his involvement in the Lincoln assassination, Cage embarks on a mission to clear his granddad's name and solidify his reputation. Forget about the fact that these allegations deal with the relatively distant past and are therefore not really worth getting so worked up about -- Cage will stop at nothing. He even kidnaps the U.S. President and breaks into Buckingham Palace to clear granddad's name. The whole hunt leads the crew to Mount Rushmore, where, remarkably, the City of Gold is believed to be hidden. If I were a native person from the Conquistador era, I'd personally put my City of Gold somewhere warmer than South Dakota.

I knew not to expect too much from this movie, but I thought it would at least be fun and entertaining, without making me want to bang my head into the seat in front of me. There were so many things wrong with this movie that I could write a single blog post about it. But that would be a bigger waste of time than watching the movie in the first place. The first wretched thing was Nicholas Cage's hair and makeup. His sideburns were trimmed all the way up to the top of his ears and the rest of his hair was long and combed back over the top in a failed attempt at sex-symbol-dom. And all his pretty eyeliner and lipstick wasn't fooling anyone about his age. I mean just look at his mug in the movie poster over there!

But bad hair and makeup aside, the most glaring issues with this film deal with plot and continuity. Most egregious: Ed Harris (who behaves alternatively like a bad guy or a good guy, depending on what is convenient for the plot of the film) eavesdrops on a phone conversation between Cage and his father (Jon Voight) wherein Cage tells Voight that he is currently snooping around Buckingham Palace. Harris, who was in America when he overheard this phone conversation, manages to appear right outside Buckingham Palace after only about an hour of snooping time. I wish I could get a flight to Europe that fast! Do the movie producers actually think that the audience is stupid enough not to notice that continuity issue and forgiving enough not to care?

As for plot, a good film of this nature provides clues sufficient enough for the audience to solve the mystery themselves, but the "revelations" in National Treasure leave no actual clues that the audience may use to solve the story themselves, and the result of this is a general sense of apathy about the characters, plot, and film in general.

Finally, neither the reconciliation between Cage and his ex-girlfriend, nor that between Voight and his ex-wife is believable. The movie producers just wanted to throw in a little beginning-of-relationship love to try to compensate for the poor writing and execution of this movie.



2) Transformers (2007)
Shia LaBeouf stars as an awkward high school boy who buys a new car that is actually a Robot in Disguise. Actually, the car sort of chooses LaBeouf, but nobody seems to notice. When LaBeouf and the girl whose pants he's trying to get in come across an evil robot in a junkyard, the car thoughtfully protects them. Then Optimus Prime and some other Transformers show up and explain to LaBeouf who the evil and good Transformers are. And there's some business about a cube.

The story is actually rather convoluted, and I'm not sure I grasp what is supposed to be going on, but I think you're not supposed to think about that. I think you're just supposed to be impressed with the cool robots and action, which in my opinion are only sort of cool, and definitely not cool enough to save the bad writing and hokey love story in this film.

I think even the target audience of 13-year old boys (and men who still behave like 13-year old boys) ought to be disappointed in this movie. I understand the nostalgia for the good old Transformers -- my brother and I enjoyed watching the show and playing with our Transformer action figures when we were young. But nostalgia is no reason to qualify a bad movie as good.



3) Pathfinder (2007)
A Viking boy is rescued from boat wreckage by some Indians, who raise him as one of their own. When Viking marauders return to the land and ravage the village while he's away, the young man seeks vengeance against the Vikings, joining forces with Indians from a neighboring village, and ultimately, against all odds, the Vikings are overcome. Pathfinder is the title of the tribe leader position. After the former leader is killed in the marauding and the young Viking man destroys all the other Vikings, you would think the role of Pathfinder would fall on the Viking man. Everything in the movie alludes to such an end. But inexplicably, the Viking man passes the role on to some random woman. It has nothing to do with the rest of the story, but it's like the filmmakers decided it would be cool to show how progressive this tribe is in adopting a female leader. Oh Kay.... Don't bother with this film.



4) Mr. Woodcock (2007)
An evil bastard of a gym teacher, Mr. Woodcock (Billy Bob Thornton), traumatizes a young fat lump of a student (Seann William Scott). Scott grows up to be a thin man who conquered his demons and wrote a self-help book about it. On his book tour, he returns home to find that his mother (Susan Sarandon, stooping WAAAAYYY below her level) is dating Mr. Woodcock. It's impossible to tell what redeeming qualities Mr. Woodcock might have that would endear him to Sarandon, but that's just one of those things that we the audience must accept in this mindless film.

The most mind-boggling thing is that, aside from Scott and a couple of his old high school buddies, the entire town is completely enamored of Mr. Woodcock, so much so that they award him some leadership/teacher award and defend him against Scott's attempt to point out Woodcock's evil character at the award ceremony. In the end, Scott does a complete 180 and accepts Woodcock into his family wholeheartedly. Yeah, I can't understand why either.

I thought this film might end up being stupid-funny, but instead it was just stupid-stupid.



5) The Number 23 (2007)
Jim Carrey plays your average Dog-Catcher who leads a rather boring Dog-Catcherish life. But one day, when he meets his wife in a bookstore, she happens to be holding a copy of a book that she once read and thought he would like. So she buys it for him. While reading the book, which is obsessed with coincidences dealing with the number 23, Carrey finds himself obsessed with the eerie way in which the book seems to coincide with his own memories. This piques Carrey's interest and fuels his own obsession in the number 23. Carrey begins to investigate the book and unearths a murder mystery. Fast forward to the end of the movie (spoiler alert!) and you find that Carrey actually wrote the book himself, did the murdering himself, and then somehow repressed or lost the memories.

When Carrey reads the book, he envisions himself as the main character of the stories -- a kinky tattooed detective. Seeing Jim Carrey trying to act in that role was very unbelievable in kind of a repulsing way. I actually think the story would have been a pretty good idea if you did away with all the 23 bullshit. You are supposed to be impressed with the coincidences -- dates, addresses, words that all can be related back to the number 23. But that's the stupid thing about numerology -- you can achieve the same "coincidental" results with any number you want -- you just have to look for it, and of course interpret your evidence so that it fits in with your agenda. Take out all that number crap, change the title, and the story might have been good, if only it had been better written and cast.




6) Reno 911!: Miami (2007)
The Reno 911 cops head to Miami for a police convention. When they are denied entrance for one reason or another, and when terrorists take over the convention center, the Feds come in to deal with the convention center and then send the Reno squad out onto the streets to handle the Miami crime scene. Stuff happens, people sleep with people and get tattoos, yada yada yada.

Alright, it was pretty clear from the get-go that this was going to be a bad movie. But I thought it might be at least as funny as the TV show, which is likewise stupid, but entertaining enough. Instead, I was mildly amused but ultimately bored. I think we ended up turning this one off before the end.



Tune in next time for the Bunsnip Most Overrated Movies of 2007!

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6 comments:

Sovknight said...

I love your reviews, and I love your blog. It's both thoughtful and entertaining. I hope that I can get to the same level of appeal with mine.

Sra said...

Thanks Sovknight! I really appreciate your approval.

Your blog is coming along nicely, and I look forward to reading all the interesting things I know you have to write.

Katie Peterson said...

Wow...I ignore most new movies that come out these days. So, I just had no idea. Mind you, I was not under the impression that Hollywood was in the business of making masterpieces, but shear crap?! I didn't realize so many horrible films came out last year. Speaking of which, I just saw Juno and I must say I was sorely disappointed. It certainly was not the worst film of the year, but maybe it could make your "Most Overrated" list. I know it makes mine.

Sra said...

Really? You didn't care for Juno? I'm a little surprised, but on the other hand, I find that you often actually don't like things that I think you would like. I actually thought it was delightful, and I included it on my Bunsnip Best Movies of 2007 post as an after thought.

Sometimes some people think movies are great that others think are crap, though. I know I've picked a few movies for my Overrated list that many people thought were great. I'll see if I can get that list finished up this week.

Katie Peterson said...

Wow...I ignore most new movies that come out these days. So, I just had no idea. Mind you, I was not under the impression that Hollywood was in the business of making masterpieces, but shear crap?! I didn't realize so many horrible films came out last year. Speaking of which, I just saw Juno and I must say I was sorely disappointed. It certainly was not the worst film of the year, but maybe it could make your "Most Overrated" list. I know it makes mine.

Sra said...

Really? You didn't care for Juno? I'm a little surprised, but on the other hand, I find that you often actually don't like things that I think you would like. I actually thought it was delightful, and I included it on my Bunsnip Best Movies of 2007 post as an after thought.

Sometimes some people think movies are great that others think are crap, though. I know I've picked a few movies for my Overrated list that many people thought were great. I'll see if I can get that list finished up this week.

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