BOTTOM TEN 2005
the overpriced repression therapy I’m currently undergoing fails
like I expect it to and I actually remember anything from the Year
of Our Lord 2005, it’s safe to say the memories I have will not
be fond ones. But I can’t think of any reason in the world why they
should be unpleasant.
for myself, I’m the kind of person who’s honed his ability to insulate
himself for the most part from the big, bad world. If the world
as I know it has turned into a dipshit convention, I can easily
check out by turning off my phone and tuning out in front of the
idiot box with a few of many remedies in my DVD catalog. It’s truly
amazing what watching the entire first season of “Scrubs” can do.
If the overwhelming urge to hammer some nails from that pair of
nickel-plated .45s overcomes me, I go to the movies.
in 2005, the latter solution no longer proved viable. The 1-in-2
odds of an enjoyable trip to the multiplex were void. 2005 at the
theaters was like playing Russian roulette with a fully-loaded,
double-barreled shotgun. Don’t get me wrong, there were a few shining
moments: Sin City, Syriana, Batman Begins, The 40 Year-Old Virgin,
King Kong and... and...Well, it wasn’t all bad, but more trips
to the movies than not were as relentlessly punishing as a Wal-Mart
stampede on Black Friday. I felt like I was watching a series of
infomercials for get-rich-quick pyramid schemes that were scripted
out of a Mad Libs book. Let’s review:
living hell that is the holidays was certainly compounded by the
sight of Sarah Jessica Parker’s foot-like face in a neurotic Meet
the Parents-esque comedy. In fact, it was enough to drive even
the best-adjusted of us to an overdose of painkillers on Christmas
night. The horsey Parker plays a pretentious, uptight Manhattanite
who goes with her fiancée to his family’s Christmas gathering.
And you’ll never guess what happens next: THEY DON’T LIKE HER. And
if that’s not a recipe for nonstop belly laughs, I’ll go and punch
out your mother on Martin Luther King Day.
Family Stone turns into a sewage whirlpool of jokes that are
worse than a combination of rush hour traffic on Elmwood, all your
limbs falling asleep simultaneously, bad tribal tattoos, The
Tyra Banks Show, NASCAR enthusiasts, Genny Cream Ale, yellow
toenails, menthol cigarettes, stepping in dogshit, Windows
NT, lurkers in Allentown, people who exclusively talk about The
Grateful Dead, marshmallow circus peanuts, black licorice, Dean
Nottis’s farts, James Blunt, rectal bleachings, titty beads on rearview
mirrors, missing car keys, waking up five minutes before you have
to leave for work, vegan flatulence, parking tickets, weak deodorant,
armchair psychology, people who tell you you’ve just got to read
The Da Vinci Code, Jimmy Fallon laughing at his own jokes,
self-important people, the full-frame no-frills version of Lost
Highway on DVD and the soccer moms who will undoubtedly be cackling
throughout The Family Stone like an army of demented harpies.
(Of course, they’re loaded on boxed wine from the local Friday’s,
which will make things even more fun.)
on Diane Keaton, Luke Wilson, and...Well, frankly I’ve come to expect
poor choices from the rest of The Family Stone’s cast, so
to hell with them all. And maybe, just maybe, the filmmakers
could’ve put in just one Sly and the Family Stone song, but
vu. We’ve all gotten it before and you’re about to get hit with
a heaping helping of it again—unless you already did by seeing The
Family Stone, or stepped in the same road apple twice by seeing
Rumor Has It.
both pretty much the same movie, interchanging Jennifer Aniston
with Sarah Jessica Parker. The insane family element is still there,
and it tries to borrow from the Mike Nichols classic The Graduate,
but is shouted at to fuck off before it even gets to the door. Rumor
Has It is based around a wedding, which always instills that
feel-good bowel movement and does nothing to discourage you from
slashing at the seats before the first act is over.
an experience at the tail end of my senior year of high school that
still rattles me somewhat to this very day. There was this girl
I kind of had my eye on in the hallways for a few months. We’d give
each other “the eye.” Eventually we exchanged numbers and she came
over to the homestead. She shows up and we’re pretty much sexing
each other up with our eyes, when she remembers that she’s got to
call her mom to let her know what time to get picked up. Her mom
pulls the whole “What’s his name?” interrogation and it turns
out this girl’s mom and my father are cousins. Yeah, pretty creepy.
But what stays with me is not so much almost bumping fuzz with my
second cousin, but the fact that she gave me this “Should I stay
or should I go?” look. I mean, I used to be cute, but not
once in a while under circumstances such as extended sleep deprivation,
extremely high fever or unprecedented inebriation, I would wonder
what it would’ve been like to have given in. Rumor Has It didn’t
quite give me the big picture, but after leaving the theater,
I was clued in as to what would’ve undoubtedly been the post-coital
aftermath—a cocktail equal parts regret, disgust and shame. If nothing
else, that mystery was solved.
of the Mask
movies are just born bad, and some simply defy logic. When the twain
meet, you’re looking at a combination more lethal than bleach and
ammonia. We’ve got a ten-years-too-late sequel to a marginally entertaining,
comic book-based movie featuring then-attractive Cameron Diaz and
Jim Carrey in full grotesquerie mode. Everyone in the world was
ready to squeeze, wipe and flush without ever looking back. Then
of course, some dickless studio exec can’t leave ehhh enough
alone and insists on turning purgatory into hell.
Jim Carrey’s over-the-top, rubber-faced antics failed to kill what
little remained of your soul, Jamie Kennedy and his complete lack
of comic timing have arrived to finish the job. While the otherwise
cool Alan Cumming jumps the shark as the evil god (or something
moronic like that) villain.
have lived with the stupid plot—hell, I could have even dealt with
the decade-long gap which elapsed between the original and the sequel.
But what really set me off on a bender of hatred, MD 20/20 and destruction
was the nonstop assault of loud noises, rapid-fire imagery and blatant
obnoxiousness. Usually studio crumbums decide to market a movie
toward a specific audience. Son of the Mask must have been
going for tasteless, ADHD morons. If you saw it and have been filled
with nothing but regret, I feel your pain. If you saw it and liked
it, send me your bank account number—you can look forward to a special
have seriously dropped the ball when you’ve made a movie so bad
that not even Keira Knightly’s bare, wonderfully proportioned breasts
justify the price of admission. Domino was the mostly-true
story of a real life model turned bounty hunter. Director Tony Scott
decided to rehash all of the same techniques that got him somewhere
with Man on Fire, but the only thing ablaze in Domino
is your eyes. With the exception of said nudie shot and a brief
yet pointless cameo from Tom Waits, Domino is a dud on every
level. It jumps around so much that the only way to focus is by
overdosing on painkillers an hour before you walk into the theater.
was a disappointment of biblical proportions. It could easily spawn
the next evolutionary step to compensate for the setback, or undo
months of AA meetings. If you’re on the wagon, avoid this movie.
But if your gene pool was pissed in somewhere along the way and
you’re an avid risk taker, be my guest.
of a Geisha
you ever had someone talk to you about something as though they
just assumed you’re interested? They just yap and yap and yap; without
even the slightest inkling that you’re mentally preparing a grocery
list, or have the melody to “One Note Samba” running through your
head. Well, that’s the feeling I got with Memoirs of a Geisha.
I’ve never had (what I’m told is) the pleasure of being with
an Asian woman and this movie seems to see those of us who haven’t
as its bread and butter.
much as I’ve drooled over Ziyi Zhang since seeing Crouching Tiger,
Hidden Dragon and House of Flying Daggers, the attraction
is kind of lost behind the obviously phony blue contact lenses which
are supposed to be her sex slave character’s special appeal. Admittedly,
my teeth were sweating as I gawked at Zhang for the first twenty
minutes to half-hour of Memoirs of a Geisha. But after
that I thought to myself, who honestly gives a shit? Oh sure,
it’s not the typical cinematic slop that dripped off the edges of
the Hollywood crock-pot this year, but that doesn’t make it any
less crusty. If you decide to take the plunge against your (or is
that my?) better judgment, you’ll be surrounded by gay men and fag
hags, commenting in hushed tones on the costumes and disrupting
your mental list of several hundred better ways you could’ve spent
the money wasted seeing this movie.
the original X-Men movie gave birth to the modern day comic
book movie as we know it, the movie-going public has been subjected
to a virtual deluge of big screen adaptations, Some great (Spider-Man
parts 1 and 2, X-Men parts 1 and 2, Sin City),
some marginally entertaining (The Hulk, Constantine)
and some that just left you begging for mercy (Daredevil and
Elektra.) Despite the more than impressive rebirth of the
Batman franchise, 2005 was the year that should have made
us say, “enough’s enough” with comic book adaptations.
Four was like that rotten little shit of a kid who shows up
at your house on Halloween without a costume. And the rat bastard
expects candy from you. The plot was weaker than the drinks at a
corporate off-site, the casting was less inspired than a Michael
Bay picture (let’s cast Jessica Alba as an invisible woman—GREAT
thinking there) and these presumptuous prick filmmakers had
the ass to set it up for a sequel. Between Michael Chiklis’ poorly
designed makeup and the walker-dependent pace, I was on the edge
of my seat—ready to leave.
Dukes of Hazzard
consider the source of Dukes. The show was about two guys
who did odd jobs around town and drove around in a hot orange car
with a Confederate flag painted on the roof. There was also this
weird incestuous thing going on with their hot cousin Daisy and
their pale yet leathery Uncle Jesse. There was always some fussin’
and a-feudin’ going on with Boss Hogg and the local retard cops,
and Daisy was always the one to figure out how to save the day.
movie is like a 90-minute infomercial for the current white trash
chic movement. It flaunts moonshine, bad fashion, and NASCAR, while
saying absolutely nothing.
latest in an ongoing series of dumpy-hot southern belle pop singers,
Jessica Simpson, plays Daisy. You know Daisy: the smart one. Jessica
Simpson as the smart one. Come on! Casting-wise, that’s on par with
Keanu Reeves as the guy with too much information in his head in
Johnny Mnemonic. Then there’s the matter of Willie Nelson
as Uncle Jesse and Burt Reynolds as Boss Hogg. I know the world’s
gone to hell since their heyday, but has it really gotten this bad?
Well, I just saw a commercial for Maxwell House with
Nascar guys singing the Madness song “Our House.” So I guess it
is so raunchily filmed in this movie that if you’re turned on by
even one of them, you’ll be passed out for days after perpetually
pleasuring yourself from memory. You’ll be dangerously dehydrated
and look years younger. So if you want to see a terrible movie or
try out a new beauty secret, go see The Dukes of Hazzard.
Dukes of Hazzard is not one of those movies which will be worth
revisiting a few years down the line, and I’ve got nothing to add
to my initial review. It’ll age badly like a high school yearbook,
but without any nostalgic value. And much like the outfits usually
sported in yearbook photos, we’ll cover our eyes and ask, “Why?”
Presuming we didn’t ask that question from the beginning. For the
record, I did.
I saw the preview for In Her Shoes, I thought I was having
a mild stroke. I did nothing to fight it and only hoped it would
all be over soon. But I snapped out of it when I realized what I
was dealing with here. So far, we’ve seen a fish-faced Cameron Diaz
being stupid. Add that to sloppy drunk, and Toni Collette in her
trademark role as the frump sister who undergoes some sort of dynamic
transformation before the couldn’t-get-here-soon-enough credits
roll. I also thought about how there was actually a point in my
life when I would’ve gone and willingly paid Cash American to see
this movie. Completely disgusting.
in general talking about their feelings set this country back 300
years. It turned us into a nation of fairies and bums. Did you know
there was a time in this country’s history when you could consume
a fifth of rye then literally beat your wife and punish your children
with a belt? The only condition was that you provided for them,
and all was forgiven. Products of my generation were also led to
believe women loved sensitive men. Now, women are bitching about
getting what they asked for, and no one’s happy.
if I even feel something resembling that kind of gibberish in my
mind, I push it down so far that it’s only recourse is to turn toxic
somewhere down in my bowels and eventually kill me one day. That’s
what a man’s supposed to do. He’s not meant to lie on a couch and
pay somebody 100 bucks an hour to listen to him wonder if his feelings
are valid. But we just had to get sloppy with the dope and VD back
in the sixties. It’s been downhill ever since.
is the mentality that In Her Shoes nurtures. Making this
movie at this stage in the game is like showing up with a case of
beer outside an AA meeting or asking a girl coming out of a women’s
services building if she wants to bang. Still, it’s easy to see
why Curtis Hanson, the man who directed LA Confidential and
Wonder Boys, would make a demoralizing chick flick. Martin
Scorsese made his chick flick with Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore.
Ridley Scott did Thelma and Louise. So these guys do this
kind of film to show their versatility and we have to take it.
what I’d initially said back in October when In Her Shoes
came out. I stand by my words. Good day...
Inspired by a True Story
movies are pretty much a tool for sedating or placating children
at this point. It’s a rare thing when studios can find that balance,
keeping both parents and children entertained. Dreamer pretty
much falls off the tightrope the second both feet are off the platform.
It’s a forgettable piece of trite, sappy dog shit that will make
tomorrow’s adults cringe at recalling today’s childhood. If you’ve
seen The Black Stallion or National Velvet, there’s
no point in even bothering with Dreamer.
nothing else, at least Dreamer helped expose local nutcase/pervert
Robert J. Parton’s inability to purge lewd imagery of the movie’s
child star, Dakota Fanning, from his memory. Parton’s favorite Fanning
quote from Dreamer, “Please don’t treat me like a little
kid!” must be right up there with any random line from Casablanca
or a David Mamet play for this guy. What? Barbara Walters shows
that specific clip on TV and that justifies emptying your yogurt
dispenser and ruining another pair of pants?
got their weird shit going on, Bob. I’ve got a female armpit fetish.
No axillism, mind you; just an appreciation. One of our contributors
can’t have an orgasm unless he’s defecating at the same time. One
of our former editors couldn’t have sex with a woman unless her
head was in a freezer, for crissakes—unsevered, of course. The point
here is that no one really talks about their little quirks and you
broke the cardinal rule, Bob.
sure, you didn’t come out and say that you wanted to violate the
poor child. But the fact that you wrote back and felt the need to
defend yourself left us at The BEAST with a couple of words running
through our admittedly overactive imaginations: guilty conscience.
back at the archives on our website or grab a handful of back issues,
Bob. Pay specific attention to the letters to the editor. We’re
smart asses even to the people who praise us. You sent us a piece
of correspondence that had nothing to do with the price of gas in
China. What did you think was going to happen? Christ, Bob. Even
Tom Cruise eventually got wise enough to realize he was getting
nowhere with us. I would say that February 23rd, 2012
is just around the corner, but I imagine that you’ll have lost interest
the bastard deny it”
viewing of a movie is often a good thing. It can offer clarity,
a different perspective. It can even give you the opportunity to
see things you may not have caught the first time around. When I
first saw Wedding Crashers, I pretty much dismissed it as
a somewhat entertaining comedy and left it at that. But after a
second viewing, something inside my head clicked and a key thought
entered my mind:
I said it. So what? What, am I supposed to get all happy because
Vince Vaughn and his famous “One-Trick Pony” show are
back in town? The guy can’t get through one movie without telling
someone he likes where their “head is at” and I’m supposed
to turn to Mecca to give thanks? This guy’s been playing the same
character since Swingers and I’m still supposed to be
laughing? The movie had a combined 6 and-a-half minutes of genuinely
funny parts in it and I’m supposed to smear myself in peanut butter
and dance around in my grandmother’s underwear? As for that sneeze
of humor, it consists of Will Ferrell carrying Vaughn and Owen Wilson
while the plot floundered like an epileptic Helen Keller. Laughs
were scarce for the last 45 minutes. Yeah, that’s supposed to make
me happy. Then they tack on another ten minutes of this crap for
the DVD release? F that, man!
who knows? Maybe in a perfect world, where you don’t have every
putz with a generic sense of humor telling you how great Wedding
Crashers is and blowing all the funny scenes for you, it’s a
good movie. Maybe I’m just bitter. If you’ve heard nothing whatsoever
about Wedding Crashers, hurry up and check it out before
some dickhead at the water cooler shits the bed for you. But if
you’ve heard nothing but how funny it is, spare yourself the disappointment.