Unforgivable (AKA 1/1/11, Part 1+1)
Now, for the part I like best…berating the real pieces of shit that came out this year.
It’s an essential part of any filmgoer’s repertoire. If you find yourself able to rank (or even list) the movies you liked best, Shirley you’re able to pick out the worst. Don’t leave out the yang if you’ve got the ying. If you’re gonna heap praise on something, you might as well sling shit as well. Balance out the universe.
Because I watch so many movies, I find it’s not worth it to beat up a bad film for no reason. There are too many of them. Films are bad all the time. We know this. We expect this. So, just because Marmaduke exists doesn’t mean I’m automatically putting it on a “Worst of” list. As Roger Ebert said, “There is a sense in which attacking this movie is like kicking a dog for not being better at calculus.” On the other hand, I take glee in bashing things that deserve it. So, here’s the alteration I’ve made to the standard “Worst of” list:
I won’t attack all of the bad movies that came out this year, because some have excuses. We all knew Yogi Bear was going to suck. Same for Furry Vengeance. I can’t berate them past a certain point because ultimately they were meant to be dumb, throwaway kids movies (well, Furry Vengeance…let’s just not get into that one). The Last Song? It’s based on a Nicholas Sparks book and stars Miley Cyrus, what did you think you were getting? The Spy Next Door? Leap Year? Sure they’re not good, but ultimately they’re not trying to be Federico Fellini movies. Same goes for Killers and The Bounty Hunter – you knew what you were getting into with those. When has Katherine Heigl made a good movie? (On her own. Don’t give me that Apatow bullshit.) Ditto Jennifer Aniston (more on her later). And Sex and the City 2 – I’d rather just let that fade from our memories without talking about it. Sure it was racist and offensive on every possible level, but it is what it is. (Though I will say, didn’t Liza Minnelli look better than all of the stars of the movie?) Menopause and the City and Little Fockers are the two movies that did challenge my resolution of giving sequels a pass (Fockers more-so. What a focking terrible movie that was. Fucking really.), but ultimately I did not give into temptation. So now to deliver unto you the evil. Eh, man?
The way this is going to work is, I’m only going to attack those movies that are not only bad, but are unforgivably so. What makes a movie unforgivable is the fact that it made me physically angry as I watched it. These five steaming piles of festering turds are the only movies this year that provoked me to the point of verbal violence. Different degrees of such, but still…degrees. So, every movie on this list is one that I couldn’t abide.
You’ll be interested to note that the newest abortion from Friedberg and Seltzer did not make this list. Was it awful? Absolutely. It was a spoof of Twilight from the guys who gave you Disaster Movie. It’s like getting herpes from the same rapist who gave you AIDS. Sure it’s bad, but it’s not worse than what was previously given. So they also (barely) avoid this list.
We’re going to count down from 5-1. There’s a treat when we get to #1.
(I feel like Nixon.)
This movie should be here for the poster alone. Its only selling point is Jennifer Lopez’s ass. And even that wasn’t enough to plump this barren womb full of life (pun ridiculously intended). And its tagline wants me to hook up the male lead’s testicles to a lithium car battery. It’s basically supporting wedlock and the Knocked Up romantic comedy fantasy that falling in love conveniently happens after conceiving a child by accident. That alone means this movie was better off an abortion. I want my two dollars back.
This movie makes this list for two reasons. One, the script was originally on Hollywood’s Black List. That means it was one of the most liked unproduced scripts of that year. Now, the Black List is so rigged at this point that it’s possible a studio voted it on to raise awareness (since it almost definitely was in production at the time, thereby going completely against the original intent of the list), but still, it’s on the list, and has to live up to its title. It’s like a first round draft pick. It doesn’t matter if they weren’t supposed to go that high, they did, so now they have to play like it. The second reason this is on here is because of this:
Riddle me this, Batmen and women. Jennifer Lopez gets into a cab. It’s raining. She believes she’s hailed it down. Bland Leading Man #45 also gets into the cab, believing he hailed it. They wonder what the hell the other is doing there. They proceed to get into an argument over who stole the cab from whom. Not once does it cross their minds that they can possibly be traveling in the same direction, and can share the cab, and neither really thinks to ask either. They just argue, claiming the other stole the cab from them and telling each other why they are correct and the other is wrong. Listening does not occur in this exchange. To settle the dispute, they ask the cab driver which one of them he reacted to when they flagged him down. Like all cab drivers, he’s a mute who doesn’t give a shit and picks up a newspaper, because clearly time does not equal money in this universe and he’s willing to wait it out until they decide who wants the cab more. Perhaps he’s a Darwinist, invoking the process of natural selection. In which case, they should listen to him and stop arguing like bad actors. Also, J-Lo’s just been artificially inseminated. I feel I should divulge this crucial piece of information now. It’s like the bomb under the table. Now it’s a suspense and not a surprise. She’s in a good mood because she’s just had the product of the zoom-a-zoom-zoom stuffed all up in her boom-boom. So, not wanting to ruin her good mood (because, you know, that shit is 100% guaranteed), she agrees to leave the cab and let him have it. Now, Bland, yet indignant, Leading Man #45, who’s just spent the last minute berating this ornery bitch for attempting to take the cab from him, decides he’s going to cede the cab to her. Why? Because he feels bad. In one second, he goes from, “Bitch, get the fuck out of my cab,” to, “Okay, you can have it.” Now, normally, the only things that could cause this reaction would be – tears, violence, fake tears, compromise, a democratic vote after a series of negotiations based on trip length, cab need and/or rock, paper, scissors, or, a gun. Here, she says, “I’m having a good day, and I don’t want this to ruin it,” not looking for sympathy, merely stating fact. And suddenly he feels bad. When, dear reader, under these circumstances of two main characters meeting, has the result been a good movie? Also, they fuck.
I rest my case.
(Dishonorable mention to When in Rome. This year was a Kristen Bell double-header of awful.)
There is a special place in hell for movies that are not only bad and unfunny, but aren’t trying to be good or funny. They just, are. They’re so bad you wonder how they even got made. They don’t even look like movies. It looks like people standing in front of a camera, reading lines. And then, they throw in these awful scenes that are so inexcusably bad, they make you wish you had a second nearby so you could commit seppuku. Here is a movie founded on a premise not good enough to sustain a Saturday Night Live sketch. A present-day Saturday Night Live sketch. The bad ones. So naturally, it needs to be stretched further than Cher’s face, because what else does the American public want?
Not only that, the filmmakers (and I use this term loosely, because by definition, I have to) seem to be devoid of any kind of storytelling abilities as well as any connection to human existence, because they seem to believe bullying involves an entire school all laughing and railroading a person outside, locking them out (because schools only have one door that locks from the inside), while singing “We Are the Champions,” and making a special point to add inflection to the lyric, “No time for losers,” just in case the Cro-Magnons in the audience don’t get it. As for the film’s premise — a woman comes home to find her brother is engaged to the girl who used to bully her in high school (which, wouldn’t you be at least privy to such information before he gets engaged?) — nothing ever happens from it. The comedy here is broader than a porn star’s vagina or an offensive lineman’s shoulders (No gender bias here). There’s one random ass scene where they take dancing lessons, because, “Oh, wait, we signed up for these months ago, so let’s all go, because why not? We’ve got movie time to kill.” Yes these people deserve to die and I hope they burn in hell. The amount of stupid situations added to this movie outnumber the amount of plot developments. Not only that, they’re all so obvious and contrived, you just stare at them, incredulous, wondering if you are actually seeing what you’re seeing. Surely a movie can’t fall into every pit. Oh, but it can. This movie is to pitfalls as Sideshow Bob is to rakes.
Let’s talk about one of them. In one scene (I use the word “scene” because I have to), Jamie Lee Curtis is in the bathroom of Sigourney Weaver’s hotel room (Why she doesn’t just slit her wrists and end it all is beyond me), and accidentally knocks the “priceless wedding ring that Grandma kept in her sphincter during the holocaust, which she had to kill sixteen gestapo guards, twelve guard dogs and one infant child to protect,” or some such shit, down the drain of the sink. Okay, we’ll go with it. I won’t buy that situation, but I’ll lease it for the moment. Just to make my point. Who would leave a quote priceless family heirloom unquote sitting on a sink like that? Right there shows you how much effort went into this movie. When movie characters do not learn from other movies, they don’t deserve to live.
Also, the final straw that makes this movie so unforgivable, is the fact that it uses Betty White purely for the fact that she’s Betty White, and gives her nothing to do but stand there and be like, “I’m Betty White. Watch me make jokes about sex that will be funny because I’m old and I’m not supposed to say things like that.” Betty White sounds a lot like Tracy Morgan in this situation. I know it’s high treason to say ill of Betty White, but I’m doing it. I don’t think what they’re doing to her is right. You think she should host the Oscars? Bitch can barely walk! Stop putting her in bad movies thinking her presence will do something. She is not Christopher Walken, and she’s no Eli Wallach or Ernest Borgnine. She’s just an old woman who is only relevant because they want her to be! If we try hard enough, we can make Sue Johanson the next big old woman celebrity. At least she’s an expert in all the shit they make Betty White talk about. Fuck this movie right in its asshole. And it’s stupid, so it’ll let you go ass to mouth.
This movie is unspeakable for several reasons. One, because it was called a “comedy.” This must have been the loosest possible definition of the word comedy I have ever witnessed. I could get more humor out of the holocaust and rape put together (And I have. Those who know me have probably already snickered because they know so). There was not one funny (Anne Frank.) moment in this movie whatsoever, and on top of it, every single character was unlikable. Even the people they tried to make likable aren’t. I’d rather hang out with the homeless man who lives in the train station and makes predictions for the future by massaging his balls and masturbating into a glove while asking his sock puppet, Gershon, whether or not the snakes will return tonight, than with the people in this movie. Steve Carell collects dead mice for dioramas. You know who else does that? Serial killers. Children like this should be sterilized and put into comas. This movie made me want to commit violence. Not specifically against the persons who made it, but random acts of violence. Hate crimes. This is a movie so bad that if I found out that someone I know liked it, I would lose all respect for that person. Seriously, you can get more out of Beverly Hills Chihuahua than you can get out of this. And I like Paul Rudd. I just wish this movie would go by the way of smallpox.
Where to begin with this fucking tumor. Let’s start by saying, I had high hopes for this movie. Back in ’09, after Downey finished his Oscar season with Tropic Thunder, and had Sherlock Holmes coming out, and Iron Man 2, they announced he was going to do a road movie with Zack Galifianakis (whom I despise. I do not find this man funny at all. He is slightly above Dane Cook and Carlos Mencia in my book. I know, I have a book. It surprises me too. We all seem to have one. What an idiom I am.), to be directed by Tod Phillips. The Hangover remains one of the best comedies of the past decade, and Downey is known to make dialogue funnier by simply talking (few people have the ability to just talk and create humor. Vince Vaughn is another). I was sold when I heard the idea. Then I read the script. It was on the 2009 Black List, and it was hysterical. Absolutely hysterical. I actually laughed (out loud) at it, which is something that rarely happens. That made me even more excited. Six to midnight. The script also managed to make Galifianakis’s character funny. I figured he couldn’t possibly screw it up. And then Downey could make the slow parts funnier by just being Downey. This was shaping up to be a great movie. And then it came out.
Let me tell you, whoever the fuck decided to rewrite the entire script should be killed. Even if it is Downey. I’m sorry, but that was one of the worst decisions I’ve been unfortunate to discover. What was left from the original script in the finished film is like the boneyard where the hyenas live in The Lion King. And the bones aren’t even the good bones. They’re like, toe bones and pinky fingers. The literally removed everything about it that made it good, and instead just put in unfunny dialogue. And they rehashed jokes from the Hangover! (Replacing a masturbating baby with masturbating dog — I never thought it was possible to actually descend from low humor.) From a script that had me laughing constantly, this movie only made me chuckle, once. It was when Downey punched a child in the stomach. When that’s your high water mark of comedy, there is a huge problem. And that chuckle wasn’t really a chuckle. It was like when you have to fart, but you’re in the company of other people, so you hold it in because you’re unable to judge how loud or smelly it’ll be. And then someone makes you laugh when you’re not expecting to, and you end up farting accidentally because you lose control of your anus for a half a second. The chuckle came because of all the laughs that were pent up inside, doing 90-100 minutes because of how bad this movie was.
(Why wasn’t the tagline of this movie “Coming Soon”?)
I made the color of the title as close as the color of jizz as possible, because this movie really is nothing more than a nocturnal emission on the bedsheets of life. This movie so soiled my year that, upon watching it, I got so angry that I could not even wait for the movie to end before berating it. I started writing an angry letter to my friends only 2/3 of the way through the movie, warning them never to see the movie for fear it would bring back Mussolini from the grave. I’m surprised I got that far. Before we talk some more about that letter, riddle me this, Bateman:
Jennifer Aniston is terrible. I don’t care about that whole, “Brad left her, she’s a victim, she’s so likable,” women feeling bad for other women bullshit. Fuck that. She’s bland, she’s boring, and she makes some of the worst movies of all time. Of all time. If I make you strike Office Space, Bruce Almighty (I’m being so lenient on that one I might fall over.) and The Iron Giant from her filmography, there is not one film on there that you can defend to me as being a legitimately good movie. Not one. (Those of you even thinking of saying Marley & Me are going to wake up with a shiv sticking out of your gallbladder.)
So, that said (It was necessary, America. Fuck her.), we’re now going to move onto the treat I promised you earlier. The angry message I wrote while still watching the movie, back on August 26th, a mere 6 days after this plague was descended upon the human race. (God was never this cruel in the Old Testament.) Keep in mind, this is (essentially) a word-for-word reprinting of the message. The only changes made were grammatical edits — adding punctuation and capital letters, turning long chunks into paragraphs, making the transitions more fluent (as in, eliminating all the times where sentences end with streams of profanity and hate speech that would make Hitler blush). I also added a note or two. Mostly referencing other movies on this list. Other than that, the message is exactly as it was. Believe me. I have witnesses.
This is an emergency response. I’m literally only about two-thirds of the way through The Switch, and I am appalled…appalled, at what I am watching.
This is going to be a very long rant about this movie. I don’t care if I spoil it for you, because you shouldn’t be wasting time or money on this garbage for any reason whatsoever. Even if you say to me, “The person I’m sleeping with/trying to sleep with wants to go see this,” I will say, “Dump this person immediately,” because if they want to see this movie and evolution exists, they should be killed and eaten immediately. I will personally call this person and call them an idiot for wanting to see this movie, as well as tell them I forbid you from going to see it. I don’t even want you to watch it for free, it’s that bad.
Okay, premise – we all know. The fucking poster is Jennifer Aniston looking shocked as Jason Bateman holds a cup of jizz like, “Yeah, I fucking ran train on that fuckin’ sperm sample cup.” Now, let me just say, here is a film that, if there were a 90-minute embodiment of the phrase “yuppie cocksucker,” this would be that film. Every single character is either boring or annoying. That is, the leads = boring; Every single supporting character = annoying.
The film begins with voiceover. And whenever that happens, I immediately tune out, and the film is required to win me back. My thoughts on voiceover are the same as my thoughts on excess pubic hair: it’s unnecessary and gets in the way of a good thing. Plus it’s not the 70s anymore. See what I did there? I’m actually much more stringent on the voiceover thing than the pubic hair. The pubic hair is a case by case basis.
Also, whenever a film has a moment the entire plot hinges upon that could just not happen simply by one person hearing something or saying something, the film is automatically a piece of shit in my eyes.* For instance: Jennifer Aniston decides she wants “fresh sperm.” I see where she’s coming from, because when I eat broccoli, I don’t want the stuff from the freezer, I want the stuff straight from the produce aisle. I assume the same rules apply for artificial insemination. For this, she has a “Getting Pregnant” party – see where the yuppie cocksucker part comes in? – where everyone drinks and does stupid middle-aged movie-people shit (including Juliette Lewis streaming confetti shaped like little pieces of semen – I shit you not. This is not the tube or the circle). Then the donor goes into a bathroom, jerks off into a cup and comes back. And later on, the donee (yes, that is a word) goes in and inseminates herself. You should all be familiar. We do that shit in my house like every weekend. Why she wouldn’t immediately go inside and not give Jason Bateman enough time to go in and fuck with the sample is beyond me. Personally, if I made the movie, I’d have had the donor take the sperm cup out into the party when he was done and then had all the partiers dance around it like it was a Namibian war god. Then they’d start praying to the sperm sample and chanting in tongues. Because, honestly, if we’re going to get pro-life, let’s get some fucking animal sacrifices up in this wigwam.
*Note: Try to reason your way out of this all you want, but there is no good film in which the entire movie hinges on this instance. They’re all bad. For example, see #5.)
Now, to the point the film hinges upon. Jason Bateman spills the fresh seed into the sink. As has happened to all of us so many times. (Note: As referenced before, a situation almost exactly like this one happens in You Again. Perhaps an experiment should be done on repeated situations in bad movies. Maybe they should have put Grandma Weaver’s holocaust ring up in her cooter instead. Maybe it’ll sprout love.) You’d think he could just go to the donor and be like, “Hey, buddy, your shit spilled. You mind tugging one more?” Of course, the harvest won’t be as plentiful the second time around, but still, seeds are seeds. But no, Bateman decides to provide the movie with a title. They sort of get over this by saying he’s drunk, but still…seriously? It’s like that moment in a film where the two characters end up having an argument because the dude’s like, “I ran into my ex on the train today,” and his girlfriend, who had, all day, been worried about him cheating and had spied some secret text messages between the two, is like, “You cheating cocksucker!” and flips the fuck out. And then they have a huge argument which leads to him storming off, going to ex-girlfriend, winding up having sex with her, which then leads to whatever wacky hijinks would normally ensue in this situation. However, had he stopped in the middle of the argument and said, “I just helped her pick out an engagement ring for her and her fiancé. That’s why I saw her,” then the whole next thirty fucking minutes wouldn’t happen. This is what’s known as the Idiot Plot, where all difficulties can be resolved with the uttering of one or two words. This entire movie is one giant Idiot Plot. When your whole film hinges on one coincidence, you have no plot. Or you’re a Bollywood film, where its acceptable to do that, and hey, at least then there’s dancing. So, my point is, where’s the dancing, Bateman? Get steppin’.
On to Jennifer Aniston. I don’t like her. Everyone thinks you can’t dislike her because she got fucked over and all, but fuck that. I don’t like her. I think she can’t act, has no personality, and is just a boring human being. Apparently Brad Pitt thought the same. And Jason Bateman is basically a straight man. (In a Rom Com, that counts as a pun. Fuck you, I’m taking it.) He’s not a lead. Which isn’t his fault. He has his notes and to see him try to hit other ones just doesn’t work. (See him in State of Play to see it not work.) He’s just not cut out for this sort of thing because he’s just not all that funny. So, leads…boring.
There’s also the matter of Jeff Goldblum, who I anticipate seeing in movies like I anticipate Christopher Walken. He’s just awesome. There’s a list to these things. Walken, Goldblum, Sam Jackson, Malkovich, Chris Cooper, Stanley Tucci, Malcolm McDowell, Danny Trejo, Christopher Lloyd, Richard Dreyfuss, Sam Elliot, Anthony Hopkins, Liam Neeson, Kevin Kline, Liev Schreiber, Michael Keaton – there are certain people you get a rush for whenever they pop up in random movies for a few minutes. You know that when they show up that even if the movie sucks, they’re going to deliver the goods.
In this movie, Goldblum is the guy who gives Bateman advice and acts as the friend who’s all like, “Dude you’re in the friend zone,” and, “You have to do something because you have feelings for her and haven’t done anything about it for ten years.” That kind of friend. Whoever thought it would be a good idea to have Jeff Goldblum explain the concept of the “friend zone” in a movie probably deserves a raise for the concept. This is a man who convincingly delivered a monologue about giving an alien spaceship a “cold.” Whoever took that suggestion and matched it with this script, however, deserves to be shot, quartered and then eighthed just to make sure they can’t come back and make a mistake like this again. Goldblum’s whole purpose in this movie is for reaction shots (A lot of “Oh, God, that’s just awful. Bad, bad news,” shots — you know, like he does in every other movie. Except there, you know, it works).
What’s funny is, you can kind of see where there once was, maybe, a script in here that might have even been halfway decent. Maybe. And then you can see where that script went totally, totally wrong. They do avoid a lot of pitfalls during it, while simultaneously PROVIDING NOTHING OF VALUE! It’s like avoiding the small rocks in favor of the GIANT BED OF ASPHALT AT THE BOTTOM OF THE WATERFALL! It’s like they said, “Let’s make a new food no one’s ever seen before, but instead of infusing it with cool flavors, let’s make it the blandest tasting thing this side of the fucking Catholic Communion wafer.” How bland is this movie, you may ask? THE FACT THAT THE CHILD IS HIS BEARS NO EMOTIONAL WEIGHT WHATSOEVER! The dude figures it out, almost tells her, doesn’t, then moves on. That’s it. He bonds with the kid, who is clearly his son, because the son has all the one-dimensional characteristics he has, yet none of the bonding has to do with the fact that he’s his father! I could have bonded with the kid in those scenes and nothing would have changed.
Anyway, I’m done trying to explain, let’s just keep watching and try to keep the gun out of my mouth…
We’ve now reached our end-of-second-act low point. Aniston is now talking about the benefits of the sperm donor (whom she’s now dating and moving in with…don’t ask why), who, SHE HAS ALREADY SEEN BE AN ASSHOLE TO HER CHILD! (They actually show her witnessing this and then, ten minutes later, pretend like it was a fucking anomaly like one of those TVs in the Architect’s office with Keanu’s face on it — you know, the one with an animated expression.) So, Bateman ends up telling her the child is his (this is about oh, 85-88 minutes into the full 96). This is our climax. The third of the movie, if we’re counting climaxes. This one is the least satisfying of the three. Too bad this one didn’t get flushed down the sink too.
That’s my review for this movie in a nutshell: “Why couldn’t it be aborted down the sink?”
So Bateman tells her he loves her, and she says, “Get out of my life,” like, naturally, we all do. Then he goes off, gets drunk, talks to someone, which I didn’t listen to, because, what the fuck is he going to get out of it? He has no character to change. This is all literally with six minutes to go. So, he gets drunk, walks up the street…he’s sober at this point…it guess it’s like two days later. And Aniston comes up to him and says, “Okay, you’re his father, and you kind of have to see him, but it has to be on my terms.” and he says, “Marry me,” which is of course the natural response to such a statement. And she says “I think I might,” or something else that fits with the vapid cunt that she is. In the span of literally about a minute and a half, they have resolved everything. This movie, fittingly, is like when you start masturbating, get a good rhythm going, and then for one reason or another, decide you have to get done sooner, and then very quickly get it done. And it’s not satisfying at all (aside from the fact that it’s over), but you got release. And that’s what this movie is. It gives you blue balls, and then the only satisfaction is the fact that you’re done with it. Plus it’s about sperm. But I figured that goes without saying.
My second mini-review of this movie: “Say it, don’t spray it.”
And it’s a shame, because the kid they cast as the son is so fuckin’ adorable. Seriously, everything he says is the cutest thing any child actor has ever said since the 70s.
I’ve now decided, that to spite this movie, I’m going to masturbate, and just as I reach the moment of ejaculation, I’m going to think very strongly, “Fuck you, Jason Bateman.” I’m using him as synecdoche for the movie. I’m also not going to say it out loud, because that’ll just be weird. This is what this movie deserves. ejaculation with emotion. Whereas instead, the movie was ejaculation with boring.
I think this should be the trend for movies we don’t like, spite them by actually doing what they themselves refuse to do. I take no responsibility for what some choose to do with this (because honestly, if I were really into it, I’d shoot Jennifer Aniston in the head and be like, “She lived at the end of the movie…that shouldn’t have happened.” Though, seriously, I’d have given the movie five stars if Bateman literally popped her in the head like Denzel did that one guy in American Gangster. Right on the street. Five stars. And I’d go and buy each of you tickets to go and see it).
So, I propose to all of you, instead of watching The Switch, masturbate instead. I guarantee you’ll end up with a lot more to show for it.
(This is what’s known as a cold ending.)