There’s a place, an audience, and a time for every movie; it’s true even for the ten films listed below. These repugnant, unendurable spit bowls of russet mull-juice infused with creepy-crawly sewage are ready to be screened via telescopic projector on the white wall of your favourite horrible high school teacher – smack-bang in the middle of a dinner party for her snooty colleagues.
Time to give something back to the woman who taught us the significance of the letter F.
1. The Watch
The incongruously titled ”The Watch” – because, erm, it’s inadvisable to do so – was having delusions of competence from the get-go. Why the likes of Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn and Jonah Hill thought a comedy about Neighbourhood Watch residents fighting aliens was a good idea, I do not know. Whatever the case, I betcha there’s a few Fox execs not walking too straight now. If only there was a vaccine for stupidity.
Jonah Hill had a very mixed year, actually. While he scored with “21 Jump Street” and “Django Unchained”, he also had “The Watch” and also “The Sitter” (technically released December 2011). The latter was the film that forced a change in Jonah Hill, encouraging the newly-thin funnyman to change gears and start chasing meatier, more dramatic fare (and start hanging around with Brad Pitt, instead of bags of green straw). And it’s just as well he did, a couple more of these and he’d have found himself sharing a DVD sleeve with Pauly Shore in no time.
“Adventures in Babysitting” was never going to be funnier with stoner jokes and crudity, but seems Fox wanted proof. They now have it.
2. Total Recall
I won’t my fucking memory erased. I won’t to forget this ever existed. I want Jessica Biel to hold me down as I expunge it from my noggin.
You may recall the pre-production PR dribble informing us that Sony’s new ”Total Recall” wouldn’t be a remake of an Arnold Schwarzenegger movie, but a feature film based on the original short story that formed the basis of the latter.
“Here Me Now”, the studio chief begun following his twice-tap on the podium’s microphone, “I Can Remember it for you Wholesale is our blueprint, not the ’90s movie with the three-breasted woman. I assure you… get ready for a surprissssse!”
Cut to a year later and that “loyal” reimagining of Dick’s story is in theaters…complete with a woman donning a prosthetic third boob… and playing to near exactly the same beat as the Paul Verhoeven movie that precedes it. Oh, and it’s all neatly packaged under the title of Total Recall – first used by the cats behind the Schwarzenegger version of Dick’s yarn. Hilarious.
Here’s a remake that’s not only atypically lazy, it’s full of shit.
Still hoping it was all a dream.
3. Red Dawn
One of the funnest, most thrilling and rather topical action-thrillers of the mid-80’s gets a toothy rim-job by insolvent studio livestock.
It was always about as necessary as a gaping hole in the back of silk undies, but there was still potential to do a nice update here – what with the time that’s passed between the original and the remake, and the capable cast that had been hired to play the town protectors. Instead, MGM pissed away their remaining funds to open up an airport, directing it’s recognizable cast to simply fly around like idiots, hitting and firing upon anything hard.
Nobody screws with Swayze.
4. Kath & Kimderella
Look at moi, look at moi!… if you want to be immediately blinded by our eye-damaging strength of merciless mundane muck!
Like the freckle-faced band girl who asked me out to the Year 6 dance, I so wanted to like this. Guess I just found it hard to get past the alarming blemishes.
I’m still not sure how one of the funnest, most wonderfully performed sitcoms on television transitioned so fluently into a high school pantomime, crammed with the kind of atrociously unfunny dialogue that even Gary Busey would be eye-rolling in his seat, and a plot that’s seemingly been scrawled on the back of a Tampax box, but they did it! Another win for Aussie Cinema! Chuck us as a beer Les Patterson! Let’s do a jig, Dundee!
Thanks to “Kath & Kimderella”, the bogan’s true-turd triple-feature – also including the likes of “You and Your Stupid Mate” and “A Few Best Men” (See below) – is a reality.
5. The Cold Light of Day
This is what happens when you catch Superman and John McClane in an uncompromising position.
6. A Few Best Men
A place, where nobody dared to go.
“Xanadu” is no longer your worst film Olivia Newton-John. This ghastly unfunny how-to-screw-a-sheep instructional video skates all over the 1980 classic’s supposed badness, leaving bursts of luminous linage in its wake.
Might have to dig up the old VHS videos of my cousins splashing about in a pool, making fart noises and singing bad Cold Chisel, as they attempt to entice the dog into eating their stale, soggy Twisties from their palms. Seems that’s the kind of great, good-old Australian comedy that the local industry body will happily throw money at!
Red Dog cocked his leg, and took an venerable leak all over this one. Good boy. Love you Red.
A caper involving young drug dealers, crooked law-enforcers and trigger-happy drug kingpins? Now that, combined with ”Savages”’ great cast (John Travolta, Benicio Del Toro, Salma Hayek) and one-time terrific director (Oliver Stone) at the helm, could’ve resulted in a cinematic squeal of ecstasy… alas, it doesn’t.
No offense to the girl, but the first indication that Stone didn’t much care how this thing turned out, so long as he got his cheque, was the hiring of Blake Lively (”Gossip Girl”) as the female lead. She’s way out of her depth here, and Stone – a man renowned for his remarkable casting choices – would’ve known that. Instead of hiring someone with the chops, he’s cast a pretty young TV star in a part that could’ve essentially pushed the movie towards being that something special, if audiences had given a damn or been able to relate to her. Sadly, Lively’s weak turn here doesn’t cut it. Her blouse deserves the cheque, not her.
“Get Shorty”, “Broken Arrow”, “Face Off”, “Blow Out”, “Grease”, “Wild Hogs”, “Old Dogs”, “Swordfish”, “The Shaggy Dog”, “The Punisher”, “Be Cool”, “Shout”, “White Man’s Burden”…. yep, John Travolta has finally done it – he’s made a film with a title that doesn’t lend itself too easily to a 140 character tweet gag encompassed of sordid massage innuendo!
That’s Savages main accomplishment.
8. The Dictator
Had a friend that emailed me about a month after this come out and asked, “Have you seen The Dictator? I think it’s quite possibly the funniest movie I have ever seen. It’s just brilliant.”
I don’t intend on talking to him ever again.
I think I’ve had a better time waiting in-line at Bras N’ Things, ready to purchase something truly embarrassing, while forced to talk to the smelly, over-sized gym teacher-type in front of me.
9. The Raven
Not even a shot of Poe carrying a boom-box above his shoulders, playing Peter Gabriel, could wake up this sleepy mystery-sans mystery movie.
John Cusack’s one of my favourite actors but really needs remove a couple of numbers from his speed-dial, starting with Nicolas Cage’s.
Just because an Asian shop-owner is throwing out once edible lukewarm noodles on the footpath, doesn’t mean you have to pick up every one of them, ya know!?
10. Alex Cross
Alex isn’t the only one feeling that way, I’m cross too. I enjoyed the heck out of the Morgan Freeman incarnation of the James Patterson character, and the two efforts his kindly detective headlined (“Kiss the Girls” and “Along Came a Spider”), but the Tyler Perry (!) headlined reboot served only to remind us that you don’t replace a tool box with one that’s cheaper, and equipped with less bits and pieces, than the one you had before. Back to your cross-dressing Madea movies, Perry.