Crash! Landen’s Worst 10 Movies of 2004

 (Bumped) Van Helsing (I like Jackman. I LOVE Kate Beckinsale. Josie Moran, too. BUT… it’s one of the ‘cheap looking crap cgi’ movies that I absolutely hate made by the guy that specializes in this. I once like Stephen Sommers movies. Earlier in his career he made movies like the Jungle Book live action remake… liked it… a Huck Finn movie that was okay… Deep Rising was an absolute ‘diamond in the rough’… So I have no idea what wrong… The CGI FX in Deep Rising were done rather well. Once he got to ‘The Mummy’, his movies started to resemble those of Roland Emmerich. The Mummy trilogy… The Scorpion King… GI:JOE!… I WILL admit Van Helsing is a big dumb watchable onslaught. The fact that I put this at #10 says either I was pretty good with selecting movies that year and avoiding most of the disappointments or the level of quality in movies was higher than normal. I’m betting on the former.)
#10 The Village (I remember standing in the lobby of the Rave theater… might’ve been when I saw Ang Lee’s Hulk… and seeing this poster.  From this poster, I correctly predicted the entire film. I had never done that before and was extremely disappointed by The Village. That being said, the movie was NOT as bad as it has been portrayed. I thought the main actors, Bryce Howard, Joaquin Pheonix,and Adrian Brody did a good job. I liked the ‘monster’ and there were a few very suspenseful scenes. M Night Shamalamadingdong does suspense very well. The end result was just too predictable and the audiences were expecting the gimmick or twist ending of the ‘M. Night Shyamalan movie’ by this point.I think doing the Last Airbender will be good for him since it really won’t have that twist ending expectation that his other movies have had since it’s a cartoon franchise movie.)
#9 Enduring Love (A film that starts with an incredible setup and then proceeds to get more illogical by the minute.)
#8 Suspect Zero (Muddled, hokey and amazing in the regard that it’s a bad film DESPITE featuring Ben Kingsley, Aaron Eckhart and Carrie-Anne Moss. Its director E. Elias Mirhige also directed the slightly better ‘Shadow Of The Vampire’.)
#7 Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (This was the first movie I saw after Hurricane Ivan hit Pensacola. Didn’t have power. The city was a wreck. MOVIE THEATERS WERE ALL SHUT DOWN!!!!  It’s the important things, right? Anyway… I saw this about 2 weeks after it opened and was disappointed at how bad the story was. Loved the FX, the look, the idea… but the story and dialogue was SO bad that it completely ruined the cooler aspects of the movie for me. I have never liked the idea of movies that do the ‘bad dialogue on purpose’ thing because it’s supposed to an homage to a different era or film genre in the case of Rodrguez and Tarantino’s ‘Grindhouse’ movie. It’s nostalgia or  an interest in that era that draws people to those movies, not the bad dialogue and terrible stories.
#6 I, Robot (I like Will Smith. I LOVE Bridget Moynihan. And the source material is classic. Too bad they strayed too far from it and used the cheap looking crap cgi’ that I absolutely hate. See also: ‘Van Helsing’.
#5 The Ladykillers (The Coen Brothers worst movie, bar none*… Boring and  predictable, features some really bad acting and an overall sup-par effort by the Coens.)
#4 Taking Lives (Another predictable stinker that got hokier as it went. SPOILER ALERT: Also ‘crossed the line’ showing a pregnant Jolie being stabbed in the belly onscreen. Again, the movie was so predictable that I knew the pregnant belly was going to be just a ruse to lure the killer in close and it was — she was really just wearing padding— but for me that image  is one that has no business being in a movie, especially a ‘mainstream’ cop film like this one where you know the heroine is not going to die under any cirumstances and the villain will be brought to justice. I don’t think they fooled anyone. And  Ethan Hawke further emasculated himself as the movie’s villain.)
#3 The Final Cut  (One of the most boring movies I’ve ever seen. Robin Williams is in ‘serious actor’ mode in this one and it’s a shame the movie is so bad, because he occasionally proves that he’s a decent actor. Williams’ downfall is that he has the same script selection sense that Nicolas Cage has. And maybe Sam Jackson. And John Travolta.)
#2 November (A dog of a movie. Boring. Stupidly written, Pointless. Saying that it’s anti-climactic would be wrongly implying that it ever built up to anything in the first place.)
#1 Million Dollar Baby  SPOILER ALERT: This is a movie designed entirely to make a political point about euthanasia and quite frankly is  one of the most ridiculously melodramatic movies that I’ve ever seen. It’s also kind of disgusting in its message given the fact that Christopher Reeve was out there at the time doing so many good things after his similar injury to the lead character’s injury in the film. The relatives of the Swank character were written as cartoon characters (as were all of the characters) and they, along with Swank, had terrible Hollywood southern accents. SWANK WON FOR BEST ACTRESS WITH THAT AWFUL ACCENT!!!! SHE HAD THE SAME DIALECT COACH AS ROBERT DENIRO IN CAPE FEAR WHICH IS THE ONLY SOUTHERN ACCENT I”VE HEARD IN A MOVIE THAT WAS WORSE THAN SWANK’S.
The fact that Swank was built up to have this incredible ‘fighting against all odds’ spirit and immediately giving up after suffering a broken neck was completely contradictory to the personality that we had seen the entire movie. And please don’t think that I’m SHOCKED and OUTRAGED and that they successfully ‘punched my buttons. I saw what they were doing long before it happened in the film. All of  Swank’s boxing scenes up to the point where she has her neck broken (in LUDICROUS fashion) are shot and edited like scenes in a Rocky movie training/fighting his way back to the top music montage. When the movie gets to the women’s boxing champion ‘villainess’, there is an obvious change in tone from character expressions to music to the overusage of the super slo-mo. Supporting characters around Swank start telegraphing that there is ‘big trouble ‘ ahead. The women’s boxing champ is so powerful that one punch could kill adult elephants. Of course, Swank is sounly beaten and collapses at the end of a round, but not before trainer Eastwood can get the corner stool out of her way. This is done entirely in super slo-mo with Eastwood screaming “Nooooooooooooooooooo”. I remember laughing midway through the fall knowing that she was going to break her neck and realizing that I had been suckered by this one. After that, it’s the cartoon relatives trying to swoop in to get their inheritance, Swank trying to commit suicide in disgusting fashion, and Eastwood puttin’ her down only because he cares. To me it’s like this movie is  ‘boldly’ stating, in Nazi fashion I might add, that if you’re paralyzed you no longer have any value. Yet another reason to hate the movie.
This is just the tip of the iceberg for me. I seem to also remember a lot of other really obnoxious things that I hated about this one like a gratuitous use of the ‘n’ word. I can’t remember for sure, though, since it’s been so long since I saw this one (and have tried to expunge all memories of it from my mind), it’s hard to remember everything that turned me off about it, yet, my reaction to the idea of watching this one again is much like Eastwood in the turning point gimmick in the movie:”N0000000000000000000! (in super slo-mo, no less). This will probably be on my Worst 10 of the Decade if not my Worst 10 Ever List.
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* Not to be confused with ‘Bar None’, FSU’s William Floyd.
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4 Responses to “Crash! Landen’s Worst 10 Movies of 2004”

  1. Crash! Landen Says:

    LOL at the middle part.

    And the Happening was bad, but as I’ve said on other posts (and the ‘Shooter’ disagreement I had with you) I think Mark Wahlberg is one of those actors that even if the movie is HORRIBLE, he does a pretty decent job of being ‘believable’. And it took me a while to get past the fact that he was Marky Mark for a while.

  2. Bob Johnson Says:

    That stabbing scene was very good. But not once in that entire movie did I have any other emotion than anger. Not surprised or worried just pissed. I did love that scene and the use of color in the scenery was done very well.

    You know on second thought they should of just made this 6 min long with shots of the forest and then Brody stabbin somebody. They can call it “What You Eyes Would Feel Like If You Had To Watch This Entire Thing”. That’s a little long maybe: “WYEWFLIYHTWTET”. No I got it “उच्च तनाव” its just as bad*.

    Oh and the final cut had nothing to do with Phillip K. Dick surprisingly.

    That’s not true The Happening would be the equivalent.

  3. Crash! Landen Says:

    The reason I’m letting The Village off ‘easy’ is like I said, by that point everyone knew to expect the big twist in an M. Night Shamalamadingdong movie. I think Bryce Howard was great in the victim turned heroine role. I thought some of the scenes were creepy enough with the monsters… ANd I’ll say, yes the movie is not good, but the ‘stabbing scene’ was very well done. Adrian Brody did a helluva job in that scene and it was shocking without being ‘gratuitous’. But, yes, it was not great. It is in my Top 10. We just have a difference of opinion on the level of crappiness involved.

    The Final Cut: Robin Williams, scifi, and I might be wrong about this, but I think it was even based on Phillip K. Dick material. Sounded good. The word ‘disappointment’ isn’t strong enough for that one.

    You’ll be wise to forget that ‘November’ exists. It had one of those blurbs like ‘4 stars’ or ‘Movie of the Century!’ on it, so, yeah, I was suckered once again.

    Sky Captain had big hype beforehand, having been directed by a guy who had spent YEARS putting together a 5 minute ‘pitch reel’ of FX to show what he was aiming for. Being a fan of all of those old Black And White epics like Fritz Lang’s Metropolis and bad Flash Gordon serials, this was right up my alley. The FX really have a great look to them. The giant robots in the film look like they stepped right out of a Fleischer Superman cartoon! Jude Law’s a pretty good actor. Gwyneth Paltrow is serviceable. Angelina Jolie is… well, she’s hot anyway and she was playing a 40s style bad girl so that was okay. AND Sir Lawrence Olivier was in this, despite being dead. Sir frickin’ Lawrence Olivier!!! So on paper, this looked like it was going to be REVOLUTIONARY. Instead: it was crap.

  4. Bob Johnson Says:

    You’re letting The Village off to way to easy. That’s got to be in the top 5, maybe number 1, though I do agree with what a piece of politically influenced shit Million Dollar Baby was. I didn’t see that in theaters so I guess I don’t feel as screwed over as I do with the Village. But god damn was that awful. The first scene I turned to the person next to me and told them what was going to happen and they told me to shut up because they hadn’t seen it yet and I said neither have I. God it was stupid.

    Oh and I now know there is another person who has seen The Final Cut. I’m kinda surprised but then again you watch about 40 movies a day. And yeah WOOF. I was annoyed because I thought the basic premise was cool and interesting and put together with the proper story and actual script it would be great.

    So yeah, I guess this one isn’t that wrong.

    Also never seen nor heard of November but seriously you knew what you were getting I mean look at that. You had that one coming and same goes for Sky Captian, you knew that was going to be terrible.

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