Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Worst of the Year Awards

After yesterday's Worst of the Year List, I thought I could continue my negativity for one more day. Thus, here are my worst of the year awards (on Sunday we'll get to the positive stuff. I promise.)

MOST OVERRATED FILM: INTO THE WILD
I realize that I'll get plenty of "what the hell are you talking about?!?!?!?!?!?" comments for saying this, but this would be #11 on my worst of the year list. The movie could have easily been cut by 45 minutes, and I really don't think that Emile Hirsch's performance was all that great. The Academy was absolutely right in shutting this out in everywhere but Supporting Actor. But the main problem I had with the movie was that the character of Christopher McCandless was a spoiled, incredibly self-absorbed young man. And yet, we're supposed to think he's Superman. While he did, of course, have some positive traits, I felt like the film was totally neglecting the fact that he had serous emotional and psychological problems due to his harsh upbringing. The movie didn't have the courage to have a three-dimensional protagonist; just a totally flawed guy that the filmmakers assumed (correctly, apparently) would be adored by everyone. While I realize that in the end he learns that "happiness only real when shared", I never felt like learned anything from his experiences. While in actuality I'm sure that he did, I don't believe the movie did a good job in showing that.

MOST OVERRATED PERFORMANCE: CATE BLANCHETT - I'M NOT THERE
I'm sure that this will cause just as much outrage as selecting Into the Wild as Most Overrated Film, however, my feelings about her are not as strong as mine about Into the Wild. I cannot, for the life of me, decipher what was so special about this performance. Sure, I applaud Ms. Blanchett for taking such a big risk. I just think that everyone is rewarding her for taking on such a leap; not necessarily because she gave a great performance. For every one of her scenes, I felt like I was watching some actress doing a student film where she pretends to be Bob Dylan. I did not, for one second, forget that it was a woman underneath the wig, makeup and cigarette. But, then again, what can you expect from a film as incomprehensively self-indulgent as "I'm Not There."

WORST SCREENPLAY: EPIC MOVIE
Kickin' it Old Skool, Norbit, Things We Lost in the Fire and Spider-Man 3 came very close here, but at the end of the day, screenplays don't get much worse than Epic Movie. As with most comedies--especially parodies--a good screenplay is essential for its success. Epic Movie, however, seemed like an 85 minute movie that took 15 minutes to write. Just make remarks on every movie you can think of that an unintelligent teenager will be familiar with, and you're done. They never bothered to actually make insights on the films they were spoofing or even an homage to them. Just get through the references as fast as possible. I don't know why I paid $8 to see this piece of trash when I could have just said "The Chronicles of Narnia, Superman Returns, The Pirates of the Caribbean, Borat..." to myself and gotten the same experience.

WORST SUPPORTING ACTRESS: JESSICA BIEL - I NOW PRONOUNCE YOU CHUCK AND LARRY
I came VERY close to giving this award to Penelope Ann Miller for her laughable performance in The Messengers, but the scene where Adam Sandler feels up her "real" breasts was enough to give it to Biel. But seriously, why is this woman working? I honestly think that the only reason she's on the A-list is because she's being confused with Jessica Alba.

WORST SUPPORTING ACTOR: CUBA GOODING, JR. - NORBIT
John Travolta in Hairspray, who seemed to think that a brilliant script wasn't worth actually trying for, was a close second, but Cuba has got to be the biggest sell-out in Hollywood. In 1997, his Oscar winning turn in "As Good as it Gets", and his delightful work in the previous year's "Jerry Maguire", made him a national treasure (and deservedly so). Fast forward ten years and he's starring in a movie a 90-minute fat joke and a sorry excuse for a family comedy. Seriously, what happened? He's a great actor. Hopefully he'll stop giving sleepwalk performances like he did here, but, sadly, I doubt that will happen.

WORST ACTRESS: EVA MENDES - GHOST RIDER
Okay, so I don't understand why Jessica Biel is a star, but Mendes...wow. She's essentially botox on wheels, and one HELL of a bad actress. Oh, who can forget her delivery of such provocative lines as "You don't know me, but I love him" or "The way I see it, here are my options. You truly believe this story, in which case I should take you to a shrink. Or, you'd rather invent ridiculous stories rather than tell me the truth. " The fact that she, out of so many thousands of other more talented actresses who are struggling to pay the rent, is famous, infuriates me.

WORST ACTOR: TOBEY MAGUIRE - SPIDER-MAN 3
In the summer of three-quels, this would *have* to be the worst. And a lot of that is because of Maguire. First off, he has no idea what kind of actor he is. He's the nerd. He's not super suave (just look at him). He could have played up his talents when he became emo, black-costume Spidey, but instead he just decided to slouch and complain for his 45 minutes of evil. God, talk about not taking advantage of an opportunity!

WORST PICTURE: KICKIN' IT OLD SKOOL
I'd basically be repeating what I said in the Top 10 post...read that. I'd rather not live through this nightmare again.

Well, it was nice to get that off my chest. And now, I am totally ready to start revealing my favorites of 07, rather than the opposite.

But what were your picks for the worst of the year? Discuss on the forum.

1 comment:

Alex said...

Nice piece, except the bit about Blanchett. Dislike the hype as much as you want, but Cate is the most consistent actress in Holllywood and she is also one of the only actresses who continues to take risks. You're not supposed to be so convinced by her performance that you forget she's a woman, in the same sense that you're not supposed to forget that Marcus Carl Franklin is a black boy, but she does a damn fine job at invoking the spirit of Dylan through every moment of her characterization.

She deserves the Oscar just as a message to other actresses that they need to take risks and get out of the stock characters that we see every year.