Oscar season is now officially over and we've basked in the glory of a great year for film for long enough, so now it's time to look at the not so great movies of 2007.
Actually "not so great" is being too kind - these were wretched evil slabs of celluloid sent from Hell to taint our collective unconscious and will make us all pay a higher psychic price than we can possibly imagine (as the late great comedian Bill Hicks would say). So let's warm our hands on the fire as we throw these movies back to from where they came one by one:
1. WILD HOGS (Dir. Walt Becker)
Hard to believe this was one of the biggest box office hits of the year. It's a CITY SLICKERS-ish mid-life crisis tale with motorcycles instead of horses padded out with bathroom humour, gay-panic jokes, and tired stupid sitcom plotting. We're used to seeing Tim Allen, Martin Lawrence, and even John Travolta slumming it in such unfunny cinematic crap but why did William H. Macy and Marissa Tomei have to be dragged down with them? Read my original review here.
2. REDACTED (Dir. Brian DePalma)
This has been a really bad year for films about the Iraq war with audiences staying away from both documentaries like NO END IN SIGHT and dramas like LIONS FOR LAMBS. Of course, it doesn't help the cause when the movie is actually really bad like DePalma's misguided, horribly named, unaffecting mess REDACTED.
Through the conceit that the fictional (though based on a real incident) tale of a troop in Samarra who are involved with the rape and murder of an innocent 14 year old Iraqi girl and the killing of her family is told by one of the soldier's hand held videocams, fake cable TV footage, and simulated YouTube clips we just get the same old bottom line: War Is Hell. Worse yet this obnoxious exercise comes across like it's more down on the troops than the war.
3. Tie: GHOST RIDER (Dir. Mark Steven Johnson) / NEXT (Dir. Lee Tamhori)
A Nicholas Cage double whammy! Actually if I had seen the sequel to the awful NATIONAL TREASURE that came out last December this may have been a triple whammy. In NEXT a clever Philip K. Dick short story is awfully adapted into a boring by-the-numbers action movie formula while GHOST RIDER takes its comic book source and well...also awfully adapts it into an equally lame action movie. Come on Cage! We all know you have another ADAPTATION or WILD AT HEART in you, so why do you have to keep giving us this pap? Read my original review of GHOST RIDER here.
4. THE NUMBER 23 (Dir. Joel Schumacher) This is the stupidest film in Jim Carrey's entire career and with a filmography that includes the ACE VENTURA movies and especially DUMB AND DUMBER that is really saying something. As a wise-cracking dogcatcher who starts seeing the number of the title everywhere and they start piling up as clues to a long unresolved murder. Wait! It gets stupider - read my original review here.
5. FACTORY GIRL (Dir. George Hickenlooper) A vicious disapointment in the department of biopics of C-List celebrities. Sure, model and 60's "It girl" Edie Sedgewick (played by Sienna Miller) was a wasted vapid Warhol groupie but she deserved better than this putrid portrait. My review is of course, right here.
6. 1408 (Mikael Håfström) John Cusack in a hotel room from Hell. That's pretty much it. Want more of a description of the Stephen King derived suckitude contained within? Click on this.
7. SHOOT ‘EM UP (Dir. Michael Davis) At one point Clive Owen says: "You know what I hate? I hate those lame action movies where the good guy calls just one person who ends up betraying him." Me? I hate lame action movies like this. Even one in which ace actor Paul Giamatti (talk about slumming it!) plays the bad guy. After CHILDREN OF MEN Owen must have hesitated to do another 'save an important baby from evil forces' movie but maybe he just decided that the price was right. I never reviewed this bombastic blockbuster wannabe for good reason.
8. YEAR OF THE DOG (Dir. Mike White) I like former SNL cast member turned film lead actress Molly Shannon. I like the supporting cast including Regina King, Peter Scaarsgard, John C. Reilly, and Laura Dern. I like screenwriter/director Mike White. Also I like dogs. But I really didn't like this awkward indie comedy, and by the end of it wanted to put it to sleep. Read about how it rubbed me the wrong way here.
9. BUG (Dir. William Friedkin)
A ridiculous conspiracy minded thriller with hammy overacting and silly twists. Normally I love ridiculous conspiracy minded thrillers with hammy overacting and silly twists but Friedkin really doesn't bring it here. Read my review of the DVD here.
10. THE TEN (Dir. David Wain)
A sketch comedy film without a single laugh. Paul Rudd, whose smug detachment helps him walk off unscathed from this dreck, is the presenter of 10 vignettes ostensibly based on the morals of the 10 commandments featuring the usually reliable members of comic ensembles from the TV cult favorites The State and Stella who have all done good funny work before. WET HOT AMERICAN SUMMER this ain't. My original review? Never wrote one - in fact this is the most I ever want to write about this mean minded offensive unfunny doggerel. Next time I won't mince words.