Worst Movies I’ve Ever Seen

People have asked me so here goes- the worst movies I’ve ever seen.  You may enjoy these movies.  That’s awesome.  I’m sincerely glad someone got something out of them.  This is just me and my reaction, so please don’t be offended.

1. Drop Dead Gorgeous-

drop dead gorgeousThere are 2 movies I have walked out of in my life. Drop Dead Gorgeous was the first.  It was so hateful and mean spirited all in the guise of a comedy I couldn’t take it any more and with about 20 minutes left I went into the lobby of the theater (on a date no less) and cried my eyes out.

It’s a mockumentary about beauty pageants that has one girl after another blown up, shot, murdered, burned and attacked.  A character mimics the crucifixion, a girl becomes deaf for laughs, a near dead anorexic girl is wheeled out in a wheelchair with an IV, the mentally ill are mocked, all the girls get food poisoning with its accompanying effects.  It’s gross, dark, cold and hateful so much so that 15 years after I saw it I still remember it far too vividly.

2. Superstar-

Superstarmovieposter

Meet the second movie I’ve walked out on.  One of the horrible Saturday Night Live skits turned into a feature length movie with some of the most annoying characters ever put on screen.  But what made this movie especially upsetting was a scene where Mary Catherine prays and see’s Jesus who is then mocked and made to look silly as part of an extended joke.  I’m sorry but NO! You do not go there.  Clearly nothing is sacred in the movies and that crossed a big line for me and I was done. This is the movie that convinced me I couldn’t just wing it at the movies but had to research content, quality and everything else before going to the theater (even the dollar theater!).

3.  Last Airbender-

last airbender

When people claim Fantasia is boring I want to ask them if they have ever seen The Last Airbender? It’s Shyamalan at his Shyamalanalist and holy cow is it BORING!  I’m told the series is amazing and I mean to watch it someday but this movie is nothing but long segments of exposition followed by pan shots and the most boring fights ever filmed accompanied with terrible CG and special effects.  It looks like a toddler yoga class and the slow motion and the story and acting and all the contemplative pauses when nothing interesting has been said makes you want to will yourself to sleep because your dreams will be much better than this movie.  Kill me now.

4. Pearl Harbor-

pearl harbor

Picking the worst Michael Bay movie is tough but Pearl Harbor will always get the edge because it is about real people, real heroes who deserved better.  The historical details are lazy, dialogue awful, women dopey, romance worse than a bad soap opera, and explosions that dehumanize war more than the actual war. Everything is a caricature.  Every line is predictable and stupid and been said in a million other movies.  It feels like it was written by a Middle School drama club and the acting isn’t any better.  It sucks.

For the debate of who is worse Michael Bay or M Night Shyamalan.  Go to https://54disneyreviews.wordpress.com/2014/12/22/michael-bay-or-shyamalan/

5. Brothers Grimm-

brothers grimm

This movie has the potential to be great.  You have artistic filmmaker Terry Gilliam, cool visual look, interesting premise and 2 solid leading men in Heath Ledger and Matt Damon.  Unfortunately that potential was never met.  The story can’t decide whether it is a comedy or horror movie and the tone switches all over the place. The female character doesn’t make sense and the story is muddled.  Are they swindlers? Where does the magic come from?  Only bad magic is shown and why aren’t more of the Grimm characters shown? It doesn’t make any sense and my brain hurts thinking about it.

Let’s just say there is a scene in this movie where a  horse swallows a little girl and you can see said girl wiggling around the extended bowels of the horse.  That scene alone makes this on my list.  It’s just so unpleasant and confusing.

6. Contact-

Contact_ver2This may be my most controversial choice but Contact was the first movie I saw in the theaters that I walked away hating. It’s about a woman who finds a portal that will lead to aliens if she can build a satellite type machine.   Sounds like an interesting premise but at 2.5 hours it drags and becomes very preachy.

I despise the way religious characters are treated in this film.  Matthew McConaughey plays a minister who is painted as condescending and foolish.  But it doesn’t stop there.  That could actually be subtle.  Religion is the villain that literally tries to destroy science and its progress.  And another movie where the religious characters are the most judgmental and uncharitable.  What a cliché.

7. The Smurfs-

smurfs

You could say I am being too hard on poor kids movie The Smurfs.  I disagree.  I think I should be HARDER on The Smurfs because it is a kids movie.  Kids have a limited time period to mold their intellect, creativity and personality and lazy crap like The Smurfs is wrong.  Yep, it pisses me off.

The thing that makes Smurfs so particularly disgraceful is the constant product placement.  I am aware all movies have product placement these days but most of the time it is a car being driven or a phone being used.  That’s more subtle.  Not here.  We have many scenes of Smurfs using Sony products, next to Sony billboards, on top of Sony laptops.  I would bet no longer than a minute goes by without a Sony advertisement somewhere in the shot.  They should be ashamed of themselves.

And even worse the story is stupid.  The laughs are moronic and only for kids and it looks awful.  It’s the worst in awful Hollywood cynical, make a buck, film-making.

8. Film Socialisme-

film socialismeAll right artsy film lovers challenge me on your Godard fandom.  I love artsy movies.  I love Tree of Life.  I love Where the Wild Things Are.  I love Fantasia.  I could go on but this is just mind numbingly awful.

It isn’t even a movie.  It is clips of people on a cruise, children playing, and a llama at a gas station.  How deep and profound.  Groan.  There are confusing title cards and subtitles that aren’t translations but words in ‘pigeon English’ and sometimes it will just say 1 word.  Certain shots are taken with an amateur camera and edited poorly and I guess this is supposed to be all deep but I didn’t get it and I think I’m a pretty smart person?

Well, Roger Ebert didn’t get it either and he won a Pulitzer Prize:

“This film is an affront. It is incoherent, maddening, deliberately opaque and heedless of the ways in which people watch movies. All of that is part of the Godardian method, I am aware, but I feel a bargain of some sort must be struck. We enter the cinema with open minds and goodwill, expecting Godard to engage us in at least a vaguely penetrable way. But in “Film Socialisme,” he expects us to do all the heavy lifting”

It is unwatchable.

9.  All Dr Seuss Movies-

Pictures7I realize this is a bit of a cheat for a top 10 list but I hate all the Dr Seuss movies so much I couldn’t pick one.  Horton Hears a Who is definitely the least awful but the live action Grinch and Cat in the Hat are jaw droppingly bad. They take the whimsey of Seuss and turn it into garishness.  They take the magic and make it mean-spirited and ugly.

The Lorax perhaps annoys me the most and it is probably my least favorite animated film I’ve ever seen.  Why? Well, it takes a subtle story about conservation and only using what we need and turns it into a greedy capitalist condemnation bore.  Any reader can walk away from Seuss’ book and feel like they can and should do something to help the environment.  Even something small will make a big difference.  People walk away from the Lorax movie thinking ‘those greedy CEO’s.  Boy, I’m glad I’m not like them’.

Plus, it looks like neon threw up all over it and the songs are awful.  The voicecast is Ok but kind of shouty and annoying.  I also have to hold it accountable for being an anti-greed and capitalist story and yet when the movie came out it was pimped out to everything from IHOP to Mazda.  What a joke. Again Hollywood thinking we are all stupid and showing they will do anything to make an extra buck even stomping on Seuss’ genius.

10. What Women Want-

what women wantI would like to remind you that I am actually a defender of the romantic comedy.  I made a whole video about it on youtube.

That said, there are a lot of terrible romcom’s I could have put on the list.  I could have gone with Failure to Launch, What Happens in Vegas, Ghost of Girlfriends Past, Fools Gold, etc.

What Women Want is especially putrid because of what it claims to say about women.  The gimmick in the film is that Mel Gibson can hear what women are thinking after an accident.  Could be cute right? Well, according to this movie all women think about is being with men, lusting after men, being dumped by men and how well endowed men are.

Even Gibson’s daughter is preoccupied with sex and wondering if she should sleep with her boyfriend at prom and if she will be pretty enough for him.

The absolute worst part is Marisa Tomei who is a conquest of Gibson’s but in hearing her thoughts he realizes he needs to be extra good in the sack for her because she deserves it.  Groan.  Women in this movie have all their ‘wants’ met if they are satisfied sexually.  That sounds like what men want to believe women want.  That’s how shallow a movie it is.

It’s just distasteful, uncomfortable, embarrassing, and awful and I don’t know what usually reliable Nancy Meyers (that’s right it is directed by a woman) was thinking. Not one realization he has is anything that I want. I must be some kind of mutant because here all women are exactly the same.  Shame, shame, shame.

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Honorable Mention-

return to oz

The movie I hated the most as a little girl was Return to Oz.  I recognize this movie has a certain visual style but it was my most unpleasant experience at the movies and I don’t know how I ended up seeing it.

We take our lovely story of Dorothy and her journey home and add electroshock therapy, restraints, mean family members, wheelies, a hallway of heads, and an overall look and feel that is ugly and mean.  I see why some who like that aesthetic like it but I hate it.

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So there you go.  You asked for it and I delivered.  Now let’s get back to positive happy movie reviews!

Maleficent: A Review

maleficent-posterLet’s just start this review by saying I was incredibly skeptical going into Maleficent.  The recent fairytale adaptations have been so bad.  In recent years we’ve gotten Tim Burton’s awful Alice in Wonderland, Snow White and Huntsman, Mirror Mirror, Red Riding Hood, Return to Oz have all been dark, gloomy, boring, ponderous pieces of junk.  Yep, that’s what I think.

So I was not excited about Maleficent but I always try to go into a movie with an open mind hoping to be dazzled.  And…

Here’s the trailer

It’s more of the same I’m afraid.  Maleficent basically does to Sleeping Beauty what Phantom Menace did to Star Wars.  It waters down it’s iconic villain to the point beyond recognition making her the hero of the story.  I get that people are complicated and rarely all bad but a fairytale traditionally is a battle of good vs evil.  If it is kind of good vs kind of bad than it ends up being very boring.  Imagine if Voldermort had been really a nice guy after all?  Would that have captured our interest for 8 films and 7 books?  No! Imagine if the Ring of Power was really the ring of goodness and lollipops would Frodo have sacrificed all to destroy it?  No!  In this kind of story we need evil and we need good and then the story builds around that.

So Maleficent starts out with our backstory and we find out that she is a unique fairy, a fully-sized human where the fairies from the original movie are tiny, strange looking creatures (if you thought the old fairies were annoying get ready…). Plus, they change all the personalities of the fairies.  Flora is supposd to be the leader, Fauna is silly and Merryweather is the realist.  In this they are all the same.  If you look at the original the fairies actually are the brains and heart behind defeating Maleficent.  Now they are stupid, negligent and annoying.

fairies

So Maleficent is a joyous happy girl who meets a boy named Stefan who is a human boy that she befriends.

They of course end up  falling in love in a montage and then Stefan returns to the land of the humans.

There is a battle with the king  with the tree people and Maleficent and snoozefest another battle in this type of movie.  I’m so sick of the warrior scenes.  The tree creatures felt like a copy of tree people we’ve seen in a thousand other movies.  I felt that way about most of Maleficent. Seen it all before.

The CGI throughout the movie looks dirty and incredibly fake.  When you think of the stunning artistry of Sleeping Beauty, a movie that took almost a decade to make because the layering of the backdrops and the literary quality to the characters this cheesy seen it all before CGI is an embarrassment.  It’s like with Return to Oz.  Don’t take the brightness and joy of the original and give me a cloudy, murky, CGI ridden world.

So, SPOILER)#$)#@()($)#($)#@($)#($- Don’t read any further if you don’t want to know a few things in the story)

 

So the king wants revenge on Maleficent for the battle and he tells Stefan if he can kill her and bring him her wings than he will be made King.  So we get a pretty good scene where Maleficent and Stefan reunite, cuddle (maybe more?) and then he drugs her and instead of killing her cuts off her wings.

Maleficent-king

Stefan is played by Sharlto Copley who oddly enough I thought looked like Michael Bay.  He’s terrible in the movie.  His accent comes in and out and it feels like bad neighborhood theater.   There is no chemistry between him and Maleficent at any time which is kind of crucial because it is the reason she is bad is because of her broken heart.

Then we get to the day of the christening and the blessings which are so powerfully done in the original.  Instead of a whole ballet like in the original we get a few seconds of Flora giving Aurora beauty and then Merryweather (they change their names here and  make them idiots)  gives her the wish ‘of never being blue’.

That’s not right!!!!  Fauna is supposed to give Aurora the gift of music and then when Maleficent gives the curse Merryweather gives her the gift of being asleep not dead.  In this version Maleficent is the one that curses her to sleep not death!!!

Are you kidding me?  What kind of a lame villain is this?  Cursing her greatest enemy that she will sleep until true love’s kiss?  That’s the lamest curse I’ve ever heard.  Certainly not worthy of Maleficent.

maleficent-fr

So Fauna never gives her blessing I’m not sure why.  I guess they didn’t want to have Aurora singing?  I don’t see why not when you’ve got such a great song from the original which they only use in the credits.

So the the king hides the baby with ‘the idiots’ and they leave her alone for long periods of time where Maleficent looks in on her and is by her side.  This makes no sense.  Even if you felt some guilt if you were angry enough to curse someone you wouldn’t immediately be by their side watching over them.  Grrr

Prince Phillip is in this but very briefly but they try to pull a Frozen twist on it and it is so ridiculous.  In the original the scene where Aurora is transfixed and pricks her finger it is eery and frightening.  Here it is completely boring.  And then we find out that it is the true love of Maleficent that breaks the spell!!!!

maleficent

Are you kidding me? This is the woman who has horns on her head.  She controls minions and locks the prince up in a dungeon and tells him ‘so much for true love!’.

Even if you want to make a more nuanced character you can’t completely change said character.  At least the Star Wars prequels as atrocious as they are didn’t negate the originals completely.  It’s not like Vader was the hero at the end.  No he was very bad and you could see why he would destroy entire planets in the next movies.   This completely changes everything about the original.

I’m amazed this didn’t tick more people off.  I thought it was outrageous.   Shame on you Disney!  Wicked, which started this whole trend, told the story how the wicked witch became wicked.  It didn’t try to change her so she wasn’t wicked at all.

Now that Aurora is awaken by her true love’s kiss (Maleficent) she rules the combined land s of fairies and men in peace with Maleficent by her side who gets her wings back. Groan, groan, groan.

maleficent_ellefanning2So good things about it? Jolie is okayish.  I’ve heard a lot of people excuse her performance.  (Her daughter Viviene is cute as baby Aurora).  But I actually thought she shouted most of her lines and they didn’t sound like a real person and since the point of this movie was to create a real person it was a failure.  I never felt connected to her or sorry for her.  Also her look which everyone loved always looked like a costume not her real body.  Basically Maleficent is supposed to be like Voldemort, the epitome of evil.  She is a she-devil, horns and all.  In this it seemed like someone in a Maleficent costume.  Kind of ready to go to a biker bar with leather all about her.

maleficent2.pngSorry guys. I know a lot of you liked it but I was not a fan of Maleficent.  You cannot go back and completely change the events of a story.  Show another side, fine (although still not a fan) but do not permanently change  the events of the plot.  In the end what they did was a remake of the original and a shoddy one at that.  I honestly thought this was worse than Phantom Menace… It also looks murky and dark, the CGI sucks and the acting is really bad.

Overall Grade- F

Unfortunately it made a lot of money so the trend of butchering my favorite childhood movies is going to continue.  Next up Cinderella which I am slightly more hopeful about because it has already been done so many times since the 1950 Disney.

PS there is no dancing or singing or once upon a dream and considering the original was based on a Tchaikovsky ballet that is another unfortunate change …No sleeping spell over the town and the dragon isn’t Maleficent after all who isn’t killed by the sword of truth but the crow hurt by the evil King Stefan.  Sigh…Yes, they even changed the crow around.