|by Ryan Arthur
A year-end retrospective? At the end of January? Well, yes. This is a look back at the year in quotes. Our quotes. Most HBS/eFC users come to our sites looking for reviews to specific films. When you have twenty to thirty reviews (usually more) posted every week, 52 weeks a year, a lot of them will simply slip through the cracks. Everyone wants to post a comment for Lord Of The Rings, but how many people have actually sat through all of Dracula 3000? And lived to tell about it? Besides Scott and David? The point is: our writers run the gamut from teenagers in high school finding their voice to veteran, published writers and reviewers. I wanted you to get a sampling of what they have to offer. Our most prolific writers are well-represented here, but there are also some new voices, some writers that you may not be familiar with. By being exposed to them, maybe you'll see something you like, and that'll bring you back. Most of the reviews themselves are negative, although there are a few quotes that are taken from positive reviews, including the very first one, oddly enough. The basis for being included here was simple: get a good cross-section of what our writers were talking about over the last year, and to make me - and you, hopefully - laugh.
"Our hero is not struck from the same mold as Paul 'Who?' Walker, Heath '15 minutes almost up' Ledger, Vin 'Bouncer with Throat Cancer' Diesel, or even that Ur-Twit Freddie Prinze Jr. Nope, none of that- you Ally Mc Beal fans (that's right, take the bags off your heads) just might recognize Peter MacNicol, the bag of neuroses from that David E. Kelly lawyers-for-idiots series, if you look hard enough (man, he's young in this one). Galen is not a capable, commanding presence. He is barely more masculine than the female lead and probably a few octaves higher. He struggles to pull off the most amateurish rabbit-out-the-hat tricks much less work effective, powerful magic. The kid fights like old people fuck. And it all works."
Grandma Dynamite on "Dragonslayer" 1.2.04
"I feel I can use the street vernacular by now, despite the fact that I'm white and Jewish and haven't listened to rap music since NWA broke up. If there's one earth-crackingly horrific trend in modern-day comedies, it's that mouth-breathing screenwriters think it's hilarious when Asian people or elderly people (or OMG...elderly Asian people! Write that down!) break into some urban street slang with mumble-mouthed results. That gag has been funny precisely ONE time in the history of cinema, and that was way back in 1980. Having Chinese Granny mumble 'fo shizzle mah nozzle' (or whatever) is the surest indication of a screenwriter with more cocaine than talent."
Scott Weinberg on "My Baby's Daddy" 1.9.04
"See, Keanu Reeves is in the mix, as a young doctor who has fallen in love with Keaton. Now, perhaps there's just a glitch in the Matrix, or maybe Keanu has some sort of Oedipus thing going on that relates to an unspoken foot-rubbing incident with Weird Aunt Mabel at the age of three, but we'd never know, because in Something's Gotta Give World (turn left at Bizarro World), a woman who is nearly 60 can be shagging Keanu Reeves and everyone's just fine with that. How do they pass the time? By grabbing a Sharpie and playing 'connect the skin cancer dots' on her forehead? Maybe they share a passion for Bingo - who knows? Either way, it's creepy to watch."
Chris Parry on "Something's Gotta Give" 1.10.04
"I keep getting Mandy Moore confused with Hilary Duff. Is that normal? Does that automatically disqualify me from reviewing either of their films? I WISH!"
EricDSnider on "Chasing Liberty" 1.11.04
"This kid's got it so good he can afford to fuck and dismiss Cameron Diaz (a regimen I would prescribe on a daily basis if not for some repeatedly good turns in film when she's not vapidly wiggling around in Charlie's Angels Full Throttle)."
"Too bad Dave's disfigurement appears to creep back at random moments in both dreams and waking life and Sophia has an annoying habit of suddenly transforming into a jeering, taunting, very much alive and nutso Julie Gianni- particularly during coitus. That's right folks- this man switches from Penelope Cruz to Cameron Diaz in the blink of an eye mid-fornication- a trick I would dearly love to enjoy and abuse."
Grandma Dynamite on "Vanilla Sky" 1.20.04
"Unfortunately, the imagination of Bless and Gruber don't know from subtle, and so they load his life and those of the people around him with enough BIG HONKIN' TRAUMA to fill up five or six movies.
Kutcher has so many awful things happen to him you keep thinking they should have just had a black cloud following him around, like Joe Bfstplk, the perpetual jinx from the old "Li'l Abner" comic strip. Encounters with a pedophile, his criminally insane father trying to kill him, a psychotic bully setting fire to his dog--dudes, dial it back a bit!"
dionwr on "The Butterfly Effect" 1.29.04
"Owen Wilson, bless his heart, wrings a few laughs out of Sebastian Gutierrez' lifeless script, and Morgan Freeman is a joy to watch in anything. But as an actress, former model Sara Foster is a good former model. Nice to look at, but man, she's boring."
EricDSnider on "The Big Bounce" 1.30.04
"Kyle, especially, wants to avoid the fate of his older, useless brother, played by the older, useless Matthew Lillard."
EricDSnider on "The Perfect Score" 1.30.04
"I have two rather obscure guidelines about movies: 1. A movie can never use the word "dopest" more than once, and that one time must be easily construed as satiric in nature. 2. Any movie that features the line "Hey, they stole our moves!" is a bad film. 'You Got Served' breaks both of these rules. More than once, too."
Scott Weinberg on "You Got Served" 2.2.04
"50 First Dates takes itself so seriously at times that its attempts at comedy liken one trying to propose to their girlfriend and continually having their best friend coming over to fart in their mouth."
Erik Childress on "50 First Dates" 2.13.04
"It's rare to find an eight-letter movie title that's capable of describing the film's entire plot, but Eurotrip accomplishes just that; it's about four teenagers who wander through Europe."
"You write the screenplay for The Cat in the Hat and your reward is getting to direct Eurotrip? Is this Bizzaro World?"
Scott Weinberg on "Eurotrip" 2.21.04
"When you buy a ticket for the travelogue that is Eurotrip, you'll be treated to blowjobs for geeks, Xena: Warrior Princess as a German dominatrix, incestual smooching, anal intrusion, the most exposed penises since the wideshot in Braveheart and if you stick around for the credits, a five-year old girl projectile peeing under her dress. No doubt about it, Eurotrip is the first theatrical adaptation of a pop-up fetish ad on the internet and there's no spam filter to block it out."
Erik Childress on "Eurotrip" 2.20.04
"I hate to keep harping on Meg Ryan, but seriously, Meg Ryan, when are you going to be in a good movie?
I feel bad for you, getting pigeonholed into the cute-and-perky roles and thereby having your obsolescence assured when you turned 40. You had to do something different after that, so you played a conflicted, extremely naked woman in "In the Cut," a movie that was just pretentious and icky enough to make some people think it was brilliant. (They were wrong, by the way.)"
EricDSnider on "Against The Ropes" 2.20.04
"The racial slur in question belongs to Xavier Perez (Diego Luna, the other half of Y Tu Mama Tambien), a kinda-revolutionary who believes in dancing rather than guns. Well, he likes to dance. I don't know if he actually believes in it. His moves intrigue Katey and hack off James who in turn aggressively puts the moves on her. Don't worry, there are no rusty hanger abortions in this film. It's about the dancing!"
Erik Childress on "Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights" 2.27.04
"Why then is Mel Gibson being singled out for this movie? Did nobody out there witness the face-slappingly vile examples of racism in last month's My Baby's Daddy? No, because that's some stupid-ass comedy, and those movies are apparently allowed to be mean-spirited and hateful. (Bet this is the first Passion review EVER that references Willy Wonka and My Baby's Daddy.)"
Scott Weinberg on "The Passion Of The Christ" 2.27.04
"Trouble begins when a body washes ashore, and the body is that of a man Jessica had a one-night stand with. That's not reason for alarm in and of itself, of course, given that Jessica has slept with most of the straight men in San Francisco (and maybe some of the gay ones, too, with that haircut)."
EricDSnider on "Twisted" 2.28.04
"Patrick Swayze has a cameo as a dance instructor, and it's alarming to realize he still wears those tight leather pants. (No, I do not believe a costume designer asked him to wear them for the film. I believe he wears them constantly, in his daily life, and has done so since 1987.)"
EricDSnider on "Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights" 2.28.04
"Who will reach Corvin first? Who will win the fight? Will Selene ever find out the truth behind not only the great feud itself, but her own origins? Can Kate Beckinsale do more than stick her lower lip out and transmit her lines in bromidic monotone? With an ass like hers, will anyone really give a shit if she does? I leave you, the viewer, to find the answers to these questions. But for God's sake, just rent it- don't get bamboozled by all the flashy lights and hot chicks and go out and buy this swill. Your money is better spent on the classics- you can even get a better werewolf/vampire fight from 'Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein.'"
Grandma Dynamite on "Underworld" 3.10.04
"And Kelly's gang even rob banks with a bit of blarney and a charming smile. As they hold banks up they crack jokes to the hostages, read poems, probably even dance. Bloom even seduces the bank managers wife within two minutes of holding her up as she can't resist those twinkling eyes of his. It's as if Justin Trousersnake reformed N'Sync to embark on a tour of crime and robbery. But hey let's remember they only took money from the rich folk at the banks. Yeah right. It's this kind of one-sided, gooey-eyed romanticism that really infruriates here. Wouldn't it be nice for a change if films portrayed criminals as...well, criminals?"
MP Bartley on "Ned Kelly" 3.11.04
"The only thing shocking about Twisted is how such a piteous movie could come with the name Philip Kaufman attached to it. You've seen better mysteries on Murder, She Wrote, you'll hear more convincing dialogue in an Ed Wood flick, and you'll experience better sex scenes on a hot day at your local zoo."
Scott Weinberg on "Twisted" 3.18.04
"Philip Glass' score picks up at this point to introduce us to Angelina Jolie's character, FBI Profiler Illeana Scott, who is lying down at a crime scene, trying to put the crime in the dead's perspective. She's sent to Montreal because the Canadian RCMP seems to be littered with a bunch of actors from France stuck in Quebec drinking lots of coffee out of styrofoam cups."
Jason Whyte on "Taking Lives" 3.20.04
"You get the feeling that these films he's making aren't aberrations, they're as good as he gets, and it was Jerry Maguire that was the mistake. He's woeful here, with as much subtlety as Martin Lawrence on speed and as much of a character arc as the third orc from the left in the battle of Helms Deep in The Two Towers. He jumps and screeches across the screen practically crying 'Look at me! I'm being funny! Look at meeeeeeee!' But here, he begins the film as an uncharming, deceitful prick and ends the film as an uncharming, deceitful prick."
MP Bartley on "The Fighting Temptations" 4.7.04
"Matthew Perry is actually the highlight of this film, which is admittedly nine words that have never been spoken before in the history of mankind. As an actor, he sure bumps into things well. In fact, that's all he does here. The film should have been called The Whole Ten Stitches, because there isn't a scene where Perry's forehead doesn't get smacked. If Matt Perry can watch this film and not squirm in his seat, as he watches himself be beaten, shot at, thrown around the room, and repeatedly floored by doors, light fittings, potted plants, trees, I'll be damned. He's essentially Joe Pesci in Home Alone."
Chris Parry on "The Whole Ten Yards" 4.8.04
"Ludicrous cartoon characters are funny, but whacking the legs of a cripple with bamboo in return for oral sex isn't."
Kevin Thomas on "Freddy Got Fingered" 4.21.04
"After a round of 'Seven Minutes In Heaven' goes awry...oh wait...not familiar with that game? Innocently it's that blindfolded closet kissing game. As described by the 'six chicks' leader, you place someone in the dark and the boy gets 'to do whatever they want to you.' A character later humorously refers to the game as 'spin the rapist,' which is not only the most disturbing of encapsulations but also the film's best joke.
Anyway, the six chicks ditch Jenna in the closet to go get beer, things go wrong (thankfully not in the date rape variety) and soon she is sprayed with wishing dust, pulling a Rip Van Winkle and wakes up 17 years later in the body of Jennifer Garner. Many Alias fans I'm sure have had that same wish. My apologies for recirculating jokes, but if a film you have to pay $9 for can do it, two jokes for free (even of the same concept) is a better average than you'll receive with this."
Erik Childress on "13 Going On 30" 4.23.04
"It's a movie that hopes to get you into the theater with promises of 'Dracula, Frankenstein and The Wolf Man!!!' But once you sit down and watch the thing, you realize that Sommers has as much respect for the classic monsters as Michael Moore has for President Bush. It's like being invited to a barbecue that turns out to be a two-hour vegan presentation on the evils of red meat.
In a recent interview with MSNBC, writer/director Sommers offered the following admission: 'I'm a PG-13 guy. I don't like scary movies.' Folks, that is absolutely all you need to know about Van Helsing. Having Stephen Sommers direct a movie about vampires and werewolves and undead behemoths is akin to having Donald Trump direct a movie about how tough it is to be a welfare mom."
Scott Weinberg on "Van Helsing" 5.7.04
"I've heard people say how you just can't help but like Jennifer Garner in this film... well maybe that's true if you hold some deep-seeded man-fantasies, or like your women with cheekbones that could kill pedestrians on both sides of the street if they were allowed to hang out the window in city traffic. Seriously, were Garner's shoulders used as the model for Ang Lee's Hulk? That chick has the sort of guns that could rip the bark off a hardwood tree."
Chris Parry on "13 Going On 30" 5.13.04
"'If we turn a blind face, the four winds will spread our cowardice to every corner of Greece.'
That's a centuries-old epic I can buy, not 'I want to see my son grow old and have girls chasing him.' The film needs 'my eyes want to look upon my son, bathing in all the flavor that life has to offer,' not 'May the Gods be with you.' That last line is not made up and one which even George Lucas would admit sucked."
Erik Childress on "Troy" 5.14.04
"He also has no idea how to treat these characters he 'loves' so much. Apparently vampires can walk around in daylight. As long as it's a bit cloudy. The monster wasn't built out of human parts but out of pistons and glass bowls. The only thing that can kill Dracula is a werewolf (so why does Dracula keep one chained up?). But other vampires can be killed in the normal ways. Sometimes being punctured with fifteen stakes won't kill a vampire, but one hypodermic needle will. If you're bitten by a werewolf you've until the 12th stroke of midnight on the first full moon before you change for good. Unless you cross your fingers, stand on one leg and chant 'Na na na I'm not listening la la la la!' in which case you probably won't either. Dracula has lots of little dwarves running around after him. Vampires can swirl around at the speed of light and create a mini-whirlwind."
MP Bartley on "Van Helsing" 5.18.04
"I tell ya' I shoulda' brought a notebook for this one. I can't possibly remember every time I sat there and just said, 'Wait, WHAT!?!' The movie doesn't make a lick of sense. Like when Mark drives Dori to his parents' house and back while he has a broken leg, only when he parks the car for the fourth time does she ask, 'Are you okay to drive?' Yeah, okay, that's hardly worth noting, but how about this? At the height of their love for one another, Mark declares to Dori, 'I have a nickname for you.' I'm sorry, he doesn't say it. He BEAMS it. He truly, madly, deeply means what he's about to say. I, as an audience member, hid beneath my jacket. 'No. No. Don't say what you're going to say. Please, don't. No...'
'I have a nickname for you. Globah!'
That's Globah, ladies and gentlemen. Glow...Buh... Globah. Never once is this explained. Never once is it ever brought up again. It's just Globah. It gets mentioned once, than tossed aside like a, well, like an explanation, really. I'm sorry, did you need one? Did you also need an explanation as to why Dori magically finds a guitar in a bar she and Mark go to? Did you need an explanation as to why Rachel Leigh Cook lip- syncs the song even though she sang perfectly fine in 'Jossee and the Pussy Cats'? Did you need an explanation as to why Penny Marshall, Carrie Fisher and Joe Mantegna decided to even show up for these cameos? Well, you don't get an explanation. Globah."
Collin Souter on "Stateside" 5.22.04
"Finally, Jared Paladecki of "Gilmore Girls" as one of the Twins' love interest. I sure hope Amy Sherman Palladino gave him a swift kick in the nuts for this."
Collin Souter on "New York Minute" 5.22.04
"If you took all the words and looked each one up in the dictionary, only half would have actual definitions, and the rest would consist of two syllables a pop. That is, unless you're talking about car parts, in which case the cast can suddenly sound like uber-machano-scientists merged with auto racing brand name marketers.
'Gee, I would have been nowhere without my NOS. Once the hydrodefibrillator on the halfcrank hoobastank started hitting max RPMs, I was wacked by G forces and internal combustovibrationism from the poonani. Bro.'
Seriously, the parts of this film that weren't written by product placement lawyers must have been written by 12-year-olds. It's as if the screenplay was written like this:
Paul Walker: Sup, G! Y0Ur so M0n3y! 1'd lik3 to t@p th@t b0Oty, yo."
Chris Parry on "2 Fast 2 Furious" 5.25.04
"As is the case with many of these kinds of movies (and many episodes of 'Full House' have taught me growing up), these kinds of parties where the characters are dancing to Devo's 'Whip It' and they're wearing red buckets on their head early on in the film, somebody's going to die before the next reel."
Jason Whyte on "Raising Helen" 5.28.04
"We spend a lot of time walking along beaches and talking about our feelings. Funny, I don't much like to "talk about the relationship" at home, so why would I want to hear other people complain and cajole onscreen?"
Natasha Theobald on "Something's Gotta Give" 6.7.04
"But that's all ancient history, right? Who among us would still be considered the target audience for Garfield: The Movie? I'm betting a whole lot of us would, because if there's one thing that Americans are loyal to, it's a chintzy pop-culture icon from two decades past. Make Garfield a smash hit and you're paving the way for Alf: The Movie. I'll leave it to you to decide if that's a good thing."
Scott Weinberg on "Garfield" 6.13.04
"I hope 'White Chicks' proves to be the worst movie of the year, simply because I don't want to imagine a movie worse than it."
EricDSnider on "White Chicks" 6.23.04
"Imagine a movie in which Matthew Lillard and Freddie Prinze are required to dress up like big-bootied, jive-talkin', neck-shakin' Ghetto Girlz. They'd get into all sorts of inner-city escapades as they avoid crack dealers and liquor store bandits, all while muttering lines like 'NUH - UH, SUGA!' and 'You GO, Soul Sista!' The happy ending would arrive when the Ghetto Girlz finally make it to the welfare office, get their checks, and go on a shopping binge for fake fingernails and 40s of Colt 45!! What's that? That's shamelessly racist and not at all funny?? I couldn't agree more."
Scott Weinberg on "White Chicks" 6.23.04
"Frank Oz's 'Stepford Wives' remake would have been no less significant, yet far more entertaining, if he had used his beloved Muppets in the feature roles with Miss Piggy as Joanna Eberhard and Kermit as the spineless Walter Kresby."
Josh Gryniewicz on "The Stepford Wives" 6.26.04
"And yet, the early 2002 release of 'Crossroads' struck a wee bit of notiriety due to the fact this is the acting debut of Britney Spears. Spears, who is a hot commodity because her breasts are still firm, is everywhere. Around the release of this film, a new album streeted (is that a coincidence or what?), she appeared on thousands of magazine covers and even a few tabloids. She's a terrific role model, showing that it's okay for young teenagers to dress like whores to make it somewhere in life."
Jason Whyte on "Crossroads" 6.30.04
"Chucky converses with Andy and moves under his own power, and Andy -- being dim-witted, as I mentioned -- sees no cause for alarm in this. He is even slow to realize after the babysitter is killed that it must have been Chucky who did it. Andy is indeed the perfect patsy. Every killer-turned-toy should have him for a companion."
"Chucky's deal is he has to do some more voodoo stuff to transfer his soul back into the body of a human being before the temporary doll housing becomes permanent. But first, he has to get revenge on his old partner, and kill the cop who killed him, and stuff like that. Your standard psycho-becomes-doll-then-seeks-vengeance plot."
"I have issues with 3-foot Chucky's ability to tackle and fight with grown men. I doubt he would have the leverage or weight necessary to do any serious damage. Clearly this film was not based on a true story."
EricDSnider on "Child's Play" 7.6.04
"Now, downtown Chicago can be a big place. But at 125 mph, exactly how long is this tunneled stretch of road which can then be immediately spritzed up so no one can believe Spoonski and allowing the screenplay (by Jeff Vinter and Akiva Goldsman) to take the revolutionary turn of having him hand in his badge? And honestly, it could be 4 AM on the night of a nuclear holocaust and I guarantee there would still be traffic."
Erik Childress on "I, Robot" 7.16.04
"Pity Hilary Duff, less pretty and talented than Lindsay Lohan, and also less able to choose good movies to make. (Well, pity Amanda Bynes even more, as she seems to have disappeared altogether, but never mind.) In the race to become the most successful not-quite-legal teen-queen movie star, Lohan has won and Duff has landed under Mandy Moore and on top of the Olsen twins, crushing poor Mary-Kate. (That there should even be this many names to consider, while Hollywood has no work for Helen Mirren or Maggie Smith, is a sad thing to contemplate.)"
EricDSnider on "A Cinderella Story" 7.18.04
"Let's not forget that this is an actress who, just one year prior to her well-publicized Oscar Win, snarfed up a huge little bonus in exchange for baring her bouncing boobers...in a last-second 'nudity will make this movie better' reshoot! And since the Oscar Win, Ms. Berry has: A) been served as a side dish of jiggle in a truly terrible James Bond entry, B) reluctantly honored her contract to play a supporting role in X-Men 2 (while demanding that her part be expanded), C) portrayed a shrink-gone-psycho in a commandingly forgettable horror flick, and now...this: .The Ultimate Prize for the swollen ego: lead role in a superhero movie. And yet my relative distaste for Halle Berry's acting skills has no bearing on the assertion that Catwoman is easily one of the shoddiest, stupidest, and most vanity-inspired pieces of studio flotsam in many a moon."
Scott Weinberg on "Catwoman" 7.23.04
"This my cat can do: She can perform all the primary feline habits, such as eating, sleeping and crapping a tiny mudslide on the driveway on which the bugs can play. She can let out a whine of a meow when she needs nourishment from me, the Food Giver. She can hop up onto my bed and lay there for eight hours straight. She can run up a tree for no reason, realize she ran up a tree for no reason, observe her surroundings, and then climb down. She can play with her toy sheep that has been stuffed with catnip. She wrestles it, throws it around and licks it in areas that would land a human being in jail. And, yes, she can lick her own ass. So, when I see a movie titled 'Catwoman' about a woman who becomes a feline superhero, I expect to see more than a few of these tricks performed.
Aside from eating and sleeping, which also happens to be the audience activity during this movie, none of these tricks ever see the light of day in 'Catwoman.' Halle Berry does not crap in a litter box, molest a toy sheep or lick her own ass. Ha! Some cat!"
Collin Souter on "Catwoman" 7.26.04
"So fans of the old show won't like it, though they will probably enjoy the cool opening credits and nifty retro production design. So who will like the movie? Well, it's aimed at kids -- what with the PG rating and the crotch-kick jokes and the simple-minded plot -- and maybe they'll dig it. Who knows with kids? They like some crappy stuff sometimes.
It is sad to see someone as dignified and well-respected as Ben Kingsley doing this sort of demeaning work. It's like watching Julie Andrews snort cocaine off Adam Sandler's ass."
EricDSnider on "Thunderbirds" 7.30.04
"The plot focuses on a late-19th century village full of weirdos. (It's tough to tell exactly how many people live in The Village, but my bet is that the issue of inbreeding will soon be of paramount concern.) The Village-rs live by an arcane code of laws: 1. Never leave The Village. Like, ever. Not for medicine or anything. Seriously, no leaving. 2. Red is evil. Nobody knows why, but if you see something that's red, just bury it immediately. 3. Don't talk about 'certain' things. You can tell what these things are because we'll refer to them as 'Those we shall not name' and 'The garden shed we shan't not enter.'"
Scott Weinberg on "The Village" 7.30.04
"Oh yeah, that plot synopsis - it literally said "When an ancient container is discovered in the basement of a church, a group of priests and scientists discover that it contains liquid Satan."
I'm not kidding. Liquid Satan. Can someone give me a job writing smart-ass one-line plot synopses, please? With a description like that, I figured it had to be worth checking out for an unintentional laugh or three.
As it turns out, the synopsis really wasn't far off. Indeed there is a container with ancient symbols on it in the basement of a church, and indeed ther container appears to hold a kind of evil embryonic fluid with something growing inside. Could it be . . . Satan?
Why yes . . . but not just any Satan. This time, it's NEW and IMPROVED LIQUID SATAN!!!"
Brian McKay on "Prince Of Darkness" 8.3.04
"Evil children is too high a price to pay for trying to cure diseases!"
Dennis Swennumson on "Godsend" 8.11.04
"In fact, this movie is so intent on going nowhere that it actually introduces NEW characters JUST to give them nothing to do!"
EricDSnider on "Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement" 8.11.04
"Aliens are not evil; they are a violent race of intelligent creatures who simply behave as their DNA commands. They're like sharks. Predators, on the other hand, are hyper-advanced and extremely intelligent super-killers who descend onto just any old planet they want, wiping out entire species with the flick of an intergalactic Deus Ex Machina bomb. They're like U.S. Presidents!"
Scott Weinberg on "Alien Vs. Predator" 8.13.04
"Frankly, I don't like it. In fact, I find it silly. Once the characters realize they must pick their own battle in this war between the slimy guys and the prickly guys, the movie achieves a level of silliness best suited to movies like 'Megaforce' or 'Yor: Hunter From The Future.' I swear, at one point I thought I heard the guy in the Predator mask say, 'I am...and will always be...your friend.' It's bad enough the gore content got castrated down to PG-13 standards, but now I have to sit through a variation of 'Mac & Me'? Where's the blood and guts? Where are the shredded bodies? Where's the love?"
Collin Souter on "Alien Vs. Predator" 8.13.04
"So our foolhardy exploration reaches the pyramid, only to discover that it's really just a big trap with constantly shifting walls, kind of like that ludicrous glass house in the only slightly more retarded remake of 13 Ghosts, serving as both a hatchery for aliens and a hunter's proving ground for some predator rite of manhood - kind of like a big indoor predator paintball ranch . . . only the paintballs have acid in them . . . and the other team bites chunks out of skulls."
Brian McKay on "Alien Vs. Predator" 8.15.04
"There's a lame encounter with a bear, who swallows their cell phone and later poops it out; run-ins with hillbillies and hunters; and a devastatingly tasteless scene with two gorgeous tree-hugger girls who keep their feces in brown lunch bags, which they subsequently drop on the heads of the redneck bad guys who are chasing the three friends.
Yes, this is the kind of movie where the centerpiece scene involves dropping poop on people's heads. If that doesn't discourage you from seeing it, I can't imagine anything else I can tell you will."
EricDSnider on "Without A Paddle" 8.20.04
"That happens when you're concentrating on dialogue like:
Father Francis: '...and then they all disappeared.'
Sarah: 'Where'd they all go?'
Thankfully Sarah is just a regular doctor and not a brain surgeon. She speaks of the area having nothing left to bleed, an odd statement from someone the recent victim of an impromptu Satanic menstruation."
Erik Childress on "Exorcist: The Beginning" 8.20.04
"Although it should have been called 'Only House in a Twenty Mile Radius', the incorrect title is easily the least disturbing thing about this movie. Well, other than the haircuts anyway, but this is 1972."
Kevin Thomas on "Last House On The Left" 8.24.04
"The dullest film about evil since 'Glitter.'"
EricDSnider on "Exorcist: The Beginning" 8.25.04
"It's like a dumb SPY KIDS."
Laura Kyle on "The Perfect Score" 8.27.04
"The aforementioned comic relief is Cole (Eugene Byrd) the technical whiz, whose job is to annoy you by talking fast and too much and basically being Steppin Fetchit. 'Are you tellin' me there are snakes out there?!' he sputters, just one of many 'Are you tellin' me' questions he shouts at random intervals. At several points, I honestly expected him to say, 'Feets, don't fail me now!,' run in place for a few seconds and then speed off into the jungle. But he didn't."
EricDSnider on "Anacondas: The Hunt For The Blood Orchid" 8.30.04
"This is a film so thunderingly unfunny that it makes 'White Chicks' look like 'Blazing Saddles.' It's like the time I saw 'Battlefield Earth' and thought, 'Surely this will be the worst film of the year' -- and then along came 'Blair Witch 2' to prove me wrong. Here I thought 'White Chicks' would be impossible to beat for sheer wrong-headed stupidity, but I see now I was only wishing it were so. 'Superbabies' couldn't be worse if it had been written and produced by actual babies, and I mean babies who are retarded and who hate movies."
EricDSnider on "Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2" 8.30.04
"Look over there. Go on, look. It's a brown bunny; Daisy's apparently. There's also a clock on the wall that doesn't seem to be moving. How prophetic. I see something on the stove over there. Wow, this movie is actually reading my thoughts. It's a carving that says 'Jesus.'"
Paris Hilton and half the cast of Baywatch have spent portions of their careers trying to hide footage like this from the public. And their's wasn't nearly as well lit. So I've been told."
Erik Childress on "The Brown Bunny" 9.2.04
"If I ever make a movie, I'm going to ask the folks at National Lampoon to put their name on it. Apparently, all they require is that your movie be excrementally bad and that you ask politely. I can meet both of those requirements."
EricDSnider on "National Lampoon's Gold Diggers" 9.20.04
"People of France: Please, please, please stop exporting bad sex movies disguised as serious artistic statements. You've already stuck us with RAPE ME, ROMANCE, IRREVERSIBLE, and now here we are with the latest entry in the porno-pretension genre, ANATOMY OF HELL, which absolutely stinks to high heaven."
The Ultimate Dancing Machine on "Anatomy Of Hell" 9.28.04
"Nobody does quirky ensemble comedy like Wes Anderson - which is why it's too bad that this isn't a Wes Anderson film."
Brian McKay on "I Heart Huckabees" 10.11.04
"But no, Terry will have none of that. She wants to abandon everything - parents, school, wealthy lifestyle - and do nothing more than BOOGIE! ... on skates."
Chris Parry on "Roller Boogie" 10.25.04
"And then for some reason Chloe Sevigny said yes. I have to assume her agent was not present."
"He convinces a gas station attendant to drive cross-country with him just by saying 'please' a couple times (he then leaves without her while she's packing), and at one point he stops at a rest area and makes out with a leathery woman who turns out to be Cheryl Tiegs, honest-to-goodness Cheryl Tiegs, who never says a word. Does he KNOW her? Or does he just walk up to strange women at rest stops and begin kissing them? You get the feeling Bud is the kind of man who could convince an attractive young actress to have sex with him in front of movie cameras. For example."
EricDSnider on "The Brown Bunny" 10.31.04
"Yes, that's right. Elizabeth Hurley throwing herself at Denis Leary. And wait until we get to the flying unicorns in act 3."
Brian McKay on "Double Whammy" 11.8.04
"Hands up who loves 'Seven'? Just what I thought, everyone. Caruso clearly does as everything here is styled after 'Seven'. Except less effectively. In fact, if I was David Fincher I would have my lawyers on the phone based on the title sequence alone. Because as everyone (apart from hack directors apparently) knows, 'Seven' like all true masterpieces, is a one-off and its unique atmosphere and visuals can never be repeated properly. Sure, Caruso can try (and try here he does) by laying on lashings of dark corridors and grimy bedrooms and queasy close-ups of decomposing bodies, but it never attains a strong identity of its own and just becomes another serial killer flick to file under 'rip-off of 'Seven'."
MP Bartley on "Taking Lives" 11.15.04
"I'm Nicolas Caaaaage! I'm gonna get the Treasure, baby!"
Jason Whyte on "National Treasure" 11.22.04
"Not since the day I read Meinkaupf and rented Shoah have I had an experience so joyless and laugh-free than the time I spent watching Christmas with the Kranks; a period that also has me looking forward to further wackiness with Vin Diesel (The Pacifier), Ice Cube (Are We There Yet?) and double-threat Tommy Lee Jones and Cedric the Entertainer (Man of the House)."
Erik Childress on "Christmas With The Kranks" 11.24.04
"They are harassed at every turn by the local Christmas-observers, shunned and scorned by everyone in town. I pity any Jewish folk who happen to move into this neighborhood. As doggedly persuasive as the locals are, the poor Jews would be hanging up mistletoe and eating pork inside of a week."
EricDSnider on "Christmas With The Kranks" 11.24.04
"Each scene and every bit of dialogue is ludicrous and insipid - do I really care about Nora's chaotic excursion to obtain the last item of Hickory Honey Ham? Is comparing someone without a tan to an 'uncooked chicken' as funny as it gets? Does it make any sense that Nora and Luther don't just tell their daughter they opted not to take part in the Christmas festivities this year? No, yes, and no."
Laura Kyle on "Christmas With The Kranks" 11.30.04
"I should mention right now, before I get to all the Vampire Coolio stuff, that Van Dien plays Captain Abraham Van Helsing, meaning that if you thought you've already seen the worst movie this year to have a Van Helsing in it, you are sadly mistaken.
But back to the plot. As you can guess, Coolio quickly turns into Vampire Coolio, who attacks the crew and then verbally assaults Eleniak with this were-they-trying-to-be-funny? line: 'Did I ever tell you how many times I'd see you and want to ejaculate all over your bazonkas?'
It's moments like these that remind you that no matter how truly gawdawful a movie gets, the inescapable fact is that hundreds of people worked on it, none of whom thought to mention that hey, maybe that 'bazonkas' line might be really, really bad. But then, the whole thing plays like this - at one point, Tiny Lister turns to Eleniak and says, 'if I've told you once, I've told you twice, always put out the Do Not Disturb sign,' in what I think was supposed to be a Swarzenegger-esque quip, only it makes zero sense. (And let's not even get into the film's last two minutes, in which logic and coherency get chucked out the airlock. It's as if they ran out of film two days early and had to go with what they had.)"
David Cornelius on "Dracula 3000" 12.4.04
"I watched the Orange-Man scene of 'Unbreakable' just to get a transfusion of real, moving street justice in me before going to bed. Some folks out there probably wonder why I would do that since they didn't like 'Unbreakable.' Well fuck them and their families."
Grandma Dynamite on "The Punisher" 12.8.04
"Since our crew consists of maybe five people, one of which is in a wheelchair (natch), you shouldn't go in expecting any sort of high-end body count. Some of the idiots get picked off early. Coolio, however, does not. Coolio becomes a vampire. And let me tell you folks something...
Ho-ly crap. I now have the #1 nomination for the universe's all-time single most absolutely seriously ImNotKiddinest ANNOYING bastard EVER included within the cast of an actual motion picture production (and I mean it).
COOLIO in Dracula 3000 is everything I just said times a million. On Mars. Attached to a trillion infinite infinities. Easily the most annoying thing ever conceived, created, portrayed, bought, processed, or sold. I went through four broken toes and eleven new televisions before I could watch his whole performance. He was so amazingly awful that I now think Martin Lawrence is Laurence Olivier."
Scott Weinberg on "Dracula 3000" 12.9.04
"The story is about a Philadelphia teen named Doris (Kyla Pratt) who is unpopular at school for reasons the movie declines to tell us. One day she is watching the 'Fat Albert' cartoon on TV -- wait, maybe that's why she's unpopular -- and crying about the fact that she has no friends, and her tears fall on the remote control and somehow that makes Fat Albert and his gang of problem-solving junkyard layabouts pop out of the TV and into Doris' living room. Good thing she wasn't watching 'Crocodile Hunter.'"
EricDSnider on "Fat Albert" 12.24.04
"The movie certainly wants to excite its audience, especially in its opening. It starts out looking like an old silent movie. The camera moves into the faded opera house where an auction is taking place. The Phantom gets mentioned in passing and suddenly, the story takes us back in time via a shift from black and white into color as stage lights come on one by one accompanied by a haunting organ score (I was in a band called Organ Score). I could easily see a fan of the show getting goosebumps from this opening.
Unfortunately, the movie stops right there. I remember it started at 7:05pm. Three hours later I looked at my watch and it was only 7:25. I needed a fat lady singing like I've never needed one before. Speaking of fat ladies, I started wondering about the stage performers. Were they really this hot back then? No, seriously. I'm wondering. Were they really built like this? I've seen pictures of women on vaudeville stages and they look like they have some meat on their bones. They look abundantly nourished. Not fat, just a little more real. The extras here look tan and well toned as though they just got out of an Abs of Steel workout at Bally's Total Fitness Center."
Collin Souter on "The Phantom Of The Opera" 12.22.04
"In the real world, high-school girl Doris (Kyla Pratt) is upset because, get this, she isn't as pretty or popular as foster sister Lauri (Dania Ramirez) and she doesn't get specifically invited to a big upcoming party. She reacts to this in the way that all contemporary high-schoolers would-she runs home in the middle of school to watch a rerun of 'Fat Albert'. (Okay, I suppose it is better than all that stuff we saw in 'Thirteen', but not very likely.)"
Peter Sobczynski on "Fat Albert" 12.24.04
link directly to this feature at http://www.efilmcritic.com/feature.php?feature=1327
originally posted: 02/01/05 06:27:50
last updated: 04/29/05 14:31:43