The Unforgivable Films of 2012
This list is getting harder for me to create every year.
I’m more positive about movies now than I’ve ever been. I don’t gather deep-seeded dislikings of movies before I even see them, and I generally stay away from all the trailers and stuff for movies before they come out and the online reaction about movies after they come out. It just makes me a happier person to stay away from all that shit. And I’m more about looking at the positive in every movie, rather than looking for shit to attack. So it makes it harder, after trying for a whole year to be like, “Well, no, it wasn’t good, but let’s not be too harsh on it,” to go, “Fuck that movie, it made me want to beat up harmless animals.”
That said… I have developed a soft spot for this list. So of course I was gonna do it. And honestly, the more I started honing in on ten movies I didn’t like the most, it made it real easy to say bad things about them. Since the movies on this list — they’re not good. They either aren’t trying, were made only for the money, or are just so unspeakably executed that they do a disservice to the art form that is cinema. Why shouldn’t I shit all over them when they’re that bad? I know how hard it is to make a movie, and I know nobody tries to make a bad movie — but the people on this list made bad movies. So let’s make fun of those movies.
The primary goal of this list is entertainment, of course. But also, I feel like these movies show what’s wrong with film today. It’s always the same things, every year, that make the list. Always. And I say, I only make a movie Unforgivable if it makes me angry as I watch it. And these movies legitimately made me angry when I watched them. Here they are:
10. Rock of Ages
Yeesh. I was gonna leave this off this list, but the more I thought about it, the more the thought of this movie offended me. So what better way to start a list of Unforgivable movies than one that didn’t need to be made in the first place, was made, was terrible, and was so offensive you have to tell people about it.
And don’t give me any of that “guilty pleasure” bullshit — this movie was terrible. I tried to let this be a guilty pleasure. But that implies I got any kind of pleasure out of watching this movie. Personally, shoving a dildo down my throat and trying to sing Whitney Houston songs would have been more pleasurable for me than watching this movie.
First — 80s songs. Great in theory. Not when you do them like in Glee. Second — what the fuck is this movie actually about? This movie actually has a flimsier story than an actual Glee episode. Third — that love story bullshit with the two kids… who the fuck cares? Didn’t we all sign up for this expecting to see Tom Cruise? He’s basically a glorified cameo in this movie. Fourth — when the high point of a movie (especially a musical) is the comic relief (Russell Brand and Alec Baldwin. Who aren’t even that great. Comparatively, though, the best part of the movie), there’s a problem. Fifth — how can you butcher songs that badly? Sixth — now that I’ve heard the original ending of the musical, I think it would have made the movie a lot better. (Cruise’s character is charged with statutory rape and he flees the country. He’s actually not a good guy. But Tom Cruise is playing the character, so they had to change it. And now it’s a cookie cutter piece of shit ending.)
I can’t think of anything redeemable about this movie. The musical was basically an excuse to throw a bunch of 80s songs together, and I imagine they play the songs a lot harder and more rock and roll (though I also imagine it sounds more like a karaoke version of the actual songs, which would still be better than the garbage they had in this movie). By the time Catherine Zeta-Jones started singing “Hit Me with Your Best Shot,” I was audibly laughing at this movie. How can anyone think this is a good movie when that sequence exists? Watch the choreography in that scene. I mean, really.
This film is fucking ridiculous. I can’t take it seriously at all. It’s so bad, it didn’t need to be made, and the thing that could have been its one saving grace went right out the fucking window the second they Glee-ified the music. (P.S. Mashups — you missed the boat. Bad idea.)
By all accounts this shouldn’t be an Unforgivable movie, but it’s so embarrassing I had to put it here. I’m embarrassed for everyone in this movie.
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9. Project X
This was going to be a double entry, with this and Chronicle and me saying “Fuck this documentary handheld bullshit” and that being what was Unforgivable, but that felt like a cop out. One film per spot. So I put this here and left Chronicle as a bottom 25-er.
The reason I despised this movie, aside from the style, since that’s a given — the characters are so fucking unlikable it’s disgusting. All the people who like this movie are people I wouldn’t like. Everyone in the movie is a horrible stereotype, the writing is awful, and I spent the vast majority of this movie angry at the characters and wanting them all to get AIDS. The message is fucking terrible, if there even is one. There’s no reason for this movie to be made, and it offends me.
I honestly have nothing more to say about this one, because it actually made me so angry that anything more I say would be hate speech. I hate every single thing about this movie. Everything. It should have been way higher on this list but that would mean I had to say more about it, which I refuse to do. I hope I never have to talk about this movie ever again in my entire life.
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8. The Bourne Legacy
Was this just one big “Fuck you” to Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass or something? Was it because they didn’t want to rush a sequel into production? I gave this film a pass the first time I saw it, but the second time — nun uh. This movie was fucking terrible.
The real problem is — first off — we’re all in agreement that this movie should have been called “The Bourne Addiction,” right? It’s about a fucking drug addict. There’s actually a scene in the middle of this movie where Jeremy Renner has just killed a bunch of agents in Rachel Weisz’s house and starts grabbing her and shaking her and demanding to know where the green and blue pills are because he “needs” them. This is a movie that’s actually about a dude who needs his fix. “Where do you keep the chems?” He says this line. They actually argue about where the fucking drugs are. It’s like an interrogation. “I know you know where they are.” “I don’t know anything. I swear I don’t know.” “Yes you do.” It was fucking awe-inspiringly awful. Awe-ful.
That aside — think about what this movie does to the Bourne franchise as we know it. First, let’s talk about that first act. I thought it was kind of interesting, how we see this story in parallel to the events of The Bourne Ultimatum. I thought it was a nice way to spin the franchise off when Damon wasn’t in it without disrupting those events. Which — ehh… let’s leave that alone. I don’t want to get into that on top of what I’m about to get into. This movie posits that all agents, including Jason Bourne, are only exceptional agents because their genes are heavily modified and they’re given these meds that make them super soldiers. Which — no. The reason the Bourne movies worked was because, here’s a highly trained assassin who can’t remember who he is. Everyone wants to kill him because they think he’s gone rogue. That’s it. He survives because he’s good. And when we do find out about Treadstone, all it is is behavior modification, training people to turn their feelings off and making them killing machines. No pills, no chemistry bullshit. This movie is essentially The Phantom Menace. “Hey, remember all that stuff you loved about those original three movies? Well guess what… Midicholorians!”
Actually those comparisons are stronger than I intended.
This movie completely fucks up the Bourne franchise, to the point where it’s gonna be difficult — and insanely easy at the same time, which I’ll get to in a second — for them to even go back to this franchise. This movie fucked things up so bad that Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass might just say “fuck it,” and not even attempt to make another Bourne movie. How can that not make this movie Unforgivable?
And on the business side — it’s so blatant a cash grab, it’s scary. I remember when Damon came out and said that they had such trouble with Ultimatum because Tony Gilroy turned in a script that was “unreadable.” Now that I’ve seen this movie, I buy that. This movie is so badly written and so completely misunderstands the point of this franchise that it’s staggering. The didn’t make back their ($125 million!) budget domestically, and didn’t hit $300 million worldwide ($276 million), which might sound like nothing, but at this point, if a movie released between May and September makes less than $300 million worldwide, it’s actually considered a flop so I’m actually happy this movie didn’t go over.
I can’t think of one good reason for this movie to have been made. There was no worthwhile story to tell, and the only reason it was done was for the money. Damon and Greengrass were interested in doing another one only if it was of a certain quality, and the studio said, “Fuck that, we’re doing one now. We don’t have time for it to be good.” And I don’t know what the fuck Tony Gilroy was doing with this script. Either he was actually saying “Fuck you” to Damon and Greengrass or he just decided to do whatever the fuck he wanted with it. Whichever it is, he fucked up.
I thought that even if it did suck, they’d stray enough away from the Bourne stuff so as not to step on its toes so there wouldn’t be any lingering continuity issues. But this movie doesn’t step on Bourne’s toes the way a rhinoceros doesn’t break anything in a fucking glass museum. They’re gonna be picking glass out of this franchise for years now. It’s so bad and so unnecessary that at this point, the only way for them to continue this franchise is to do what I’d like to do and forget this movie exists as soon as humanly possible.
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7. The Campaign
I talk a lot about how bad I think comedy is nowadays. And a lot of that is because comedy now is essentially made up of about three or four different factions, who keep pumping out the same exact movies over and over and over. The first is the Apatow faction: all these movies with dick jokes and scenes of projectile vomiting and bawdy humor and all that — they’re all the same, and it’s basically puerile humor, most of which just isn’t funny at all. Then there’s the Sandler faction — which is whatever the fuck it is nowadays. Just garbage all around. Humor for twelve-year old boys, made by twelve-year old boys. The same exact formula every time, and it’s become a revolving door of celebrity cameos and small parts for Sandler’s friends. And then there’s the Ferrell faction, which is just stupid humor. It’s supposed to be silly, but mostly it’s over the top and dumb. (And I guess the lesser, fourth faction is the Todd Phillips faction, with his Hangover shit and all that stuff.) And these factions basically are all the comedies that come out in Hollywood. And they just pump these things out every year, the same six people are in all the movies, and all of them are terrible and awful and they make shitloads of money. And that offends me.
I’m gonna go through this movie and write down everything that’s supposed to be funny and wonder why the fuck anyone thought it would be.
Will Ferrell is a southern governor (basically one step away from his Bush impression). He’s out on the campaign trail, running unopposed. He makes the same speech every time. In one of them, at a school, he messes up his grammar. This makes no sense, since his grammar is correct in every other speech. So this is a joke made with deliberate awareness of itself. Not only that, how many people are even gonna catch it, the way they cut this montage together?
His three things are, “America, Jesus, family.” Which automatically makes me hate him. And after introducing his family at a rally, we then see him fucking a college student in a porta-potty. That’s funny?
Then we find out Ferrell’s approval rating has gone down after a drunken phone call that was supposed to be to his mistress but was instead to a random family. First off, since when do answering machines play the message while it’s being recorded? Movies don’t ever seem to pay attention to this. All my answering machines record, then tell you there’s a message, and then you listen to it. I never get why people are willing to suspend disbelief for this. Not only that, on the message, he says, “Hey, it’s me, Congressman Cam Brady.” Which — if this is a chick you were fucking, wouldn’t she know who it was? And wouldn’t your number come up on the caller ID? Then he says he stepped away from a family dinner because he wished he wasn’t at it and was instead eating her out. Which — again, horrible writing. Why is this funny? Who would talk like that? It seems like they want people laugh at the fact that he said the word pussy and nothing more. You’d actually have to not have the capacity to think in order to enjoy that. I can’t listen to this and not go, “Well why is he saying his name and where he is? And why isn’t he just texting her? But even so, wouldn’t you just be like, ‘Hey, baby, I really wish I could be with you right now,’ like a normal person?” How is this funny? Plus he keeps talking. I guess the point is, “Oh my god, he keeps going! This is hilarious! He keeps saying bad words!”
Then the film apparently tries to be topical, by casting Dan Aykroyd and John Lithgow as essentially the Koch brothers, who give millions of dollars to candidates and buy their way into office so they can be puppets and get their policies enacted. So they get Zach Galifianakis to run against Ferrell.
Galifianakis is basically a gay man. And that’s supposed to be funny.
Oh, and his father lives on a plantation and pays his asian maid (who dresses as a maid) to talk like a black mammy. Why? Because it “reminds him of the ‘good old days’.” Because racism is hilarious.
Brian Cox is Galifianakis’s father. Why does he do these things? All of his shots are reaction shots, since clearly Galifianakis went off on ten-minute improvisations.
Then we cut to a sweatshop in China, where children make dolls.
Here’s a great example of why these movies suck. Will Ferrell is about to win another term simply by registering for the ballot. The point of the scene is that he’s about to do this, but then Galifianakis shows up and that sets everything in motion. And what happens? The first thing that happens in the scene is Will Ferrell pulling out an iPhone, showing it to his campaign manager and going, “Check it out. It’s a picture of my dick.” Now… they’re in a courthouse, with TV cameras shooting. Why would you do this? What kind of Asberger’s behavioral disorder do you have that requires you to do this? And not only that — he keeps going. He says he shaved his public hair to look like a 19th century handlebar moustache. Another dick joke, unnecessary. Then the scene happens. So why did we need that first part? Why is that funny? Why do we have to resort to dick jokes for humor?
And there’s one in the next scene, too. Galifianakis’s kid says he let a goat lick his penis. Again — who finds this funny? And again, like all comedies nowadays… THEY KEEP GOING. All sexual-based humor. Which says a lot about this country that they don’t like sex in movies but (apparently) love when people make jokes about it. Because it’s totally funny that ten year olds are drinking and gluing hair to their testicles. HILARIOUS!
Will Ferrell also punches a baby in the face. In theory, this is hilarious. In practice, no. They did it totally wrong. It’s in slow motion and shown a bunch of times. You have to band-aid that shit. Just one swift shot. Like, “Oh shit, he just punched that baby in the face!” You can’t see it coming for ten seconds. That’s not funny. You fucked up one moment that could have made everyone laugh, except the fucks that got offended by it, which… fuck them. But instead, no, you fucked that up too.
Then they do stupid shit like release ads with a woman thrusting her crotch in front of the screen and calling Galifianakis a taliban because he has facial hair. And the whole thing plays like an SNL sketch, where people with reason are like, “This is stupid, why are you doing this?” and nobody else listens, and then it works, because everyone in this universe is stupid.
Then later on, they actually have a character scene where there’s no dumb humor and the characters actually have a heart to heart for a minute. And it works. The downfall to this movie is the stupid dick humor. Which is fucked up, because they could have done good things with Galifianakis’s performance. And Dylan McDermott was good too.
But they constantly go back to stupid shit all the time. It’s fucking annoying, and this movie is Unforgivable because it doesn’t try to tell a story and just wants to throw a series of stupid jokes together. This could have been a really funny dark comedy (and may have been at one point, knowing what Hollywood does to scripts). Ferrell sleeping with Galifianakis’s wife… this could have been a fucked up dark comedy. But then it became a Will Ferrell movie.
That’s the tagline for this entry: “This could have been a good movie, but then it became a Will Ferrell movie.”
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A lot of people were and are giving this movie a pass because they do what they do in the third act with the old people. I’m not that forgiving. Fuck that. They spent $210 million on this. You can still do that on a third of that budget. There was really no way this wasn’t going to be Unforgivable. You can’t spend $200 million on a movie and provide nothing of value. This movie is based on a board game, where you randomly shoot torpedoes into the water and hope to find the enemy’s position by hitting something. So, naturally, aliens.
What I did for this movie was make it Unforgivable automatically. So I’m gonna give it a chance to work its way off this list. Or rather, decide its own fate and where it ends up on the list. I’m gonna watch this movie and try to find anything in it that justifies even 2/3 of this budget. The more stuff it has, the lower on this list it’ll be. The less, the higher it’ll be. (At this point, you already know where this ended up, so, that’ll tell you what I found.) I’m already discounting the old guys on the boat moment (since that works in concept. In practice, who gives a shit?) and them playing Battleship. Because that had to happen otherwise I wouldn’t have to say a word about why this movie is Unforgivable. So here’s what I came up with while watching it:
This movie starts like a bad Michael Bay movie. (Spare me the oxymoron remarks.) Aliens. The staple of the board game. Then we cut to a bar scene, the staple of bad movies. Then a meet cute over a fucking burrito. I hope I have another staple left for my fucking eyes. Then a bastardization of The Pink Panther theme with that fucking 7-11 scene. Then Taylor Kitsch is tased for stealing a fucking burrito. Like all American heroes. Then he joins the Navy. Because that’s what you do, I guess. He ain’t got no place else to go. Then they cut to a soccer game between the U.S. and Japan in Hawaii. Just like 1941. Rihanna is in the game. She’s wearing a shirt that says “Hoods” (which I guess is the gangsta version of “shirts vs. skins”) and slaps a dude on the ass. Because they needed to tell you that they could have gotten Michelle Rodriguez for this part but made a conscious effort to cast someone else. Because even Michelle Rodriguez was above this. Then there’s some awful character shit that leads to Japan winning the game. 2-0 for them. Ironic that both cases end with bombs being dropped. Then Taylor Kitsch has a sappy bullshit love scene with Brooklyn Decker, who you may remember as the walking pair of tits from last year’s Unforgivable champion, Just Go With It. Then we cut to space, because we need to bring it back to the board game. Not much happens in space, and apparently no one can hear me screaming.
Then Liam Neeson.
Then bullshit Navy stuff. Stuff that only military people would give a shit about. Naval wargames. Oh boy. Generic character shit you only see in bad movies. Then Rihanna gets a bullshit scene, and I pause to think how now she’s the person whose shots are all clearly done in close up because she can’t act worth a fuck, just like Brooklyn Decker in Just Go With It. How far we’ve come in a year. Then we find out Taylor Kitsch is gonna get thrown out of the army for fighting a Jap in the bathroom. Sixty years ago, that would have gotten him a promotion. Shit, thirty years ago. Then Brooklyn Decker has a boring subplot, because we need tits. Bad exposition scene, but at least the amputee is a black guy. (If I had a nickel…) Then aliens. Somebody’s been watching Transfomers. They even blatantly stole the building falling over shot. But it’s China being destroyed, so I guess that is something that could justify a little bit of a budget. But you can do that in a $30 million movie, so while you are trying to bribe me, I cannot abide. I also love how when they cut to the Pentagon, they had the one guy tell everyone they could sit down. I’m pretty sure the Pentagon works that way. The first chord means get ready to sit down, and the second chord means sit down.
Then Liam Neeson.
Then they go out and try to talk to the aliens. Isn’t it great how the aliens always show up and then chill for a while? I’d love to do that. Randomly go into someone’s house and just sit in the corner for a day and wait for them to approach me and then freak the fuck out.
Then Liam Neeson.
Then like three giant alien ships pop out of the water to beat up on three small American ships. They must really have not liked “Good Girl Gone Bad.” I don’t blame them. More of this movie is CG than not CG. Are we even sure that Alexander Skarsgard even exists? He might actually be a hologram. This script must have been hilarious to read. One line scenes. “Int. Submarine. “GET DOWN!” Int. Other Submarine. “Mayday mayday. We’ve been hit.” Int. Submarine. “What do we do, captain?” Int. Other Submarine “Prepare to return fire.” Int. Submarine “Let’s go!” I should have written down every line of dialogue in this movie. It would have made Hemingway seem like Dickens. Then Taylor Kitsch becomes captain and decides to attack the vastly superior alien ships. Because that’s smart. Wonder why the rest of the world hates us. “Nah… we got this.” His attitude in making this decision is about as sound as mine when I’m drunk and am told, “You can’t fit one of your testicles into a shot glass and walk ten steps without the glass falling.” I’d actually rather watch them try that than the aliens attacking. Looks like Skarsgard got a reprieve from this movie. You think Paramount can sue for all the Transformers sound effects they stole? They should have taken all the dialogue from this movie and recreated it from stock footage of other military movies. Actually just walked downstairs to throw out the garbage and the alien attack was still happening. We haven’t even seen aliens yet.
Then Liam Neeson.
Then the greatest scene in the movie. Brooklyn Decker and Mo-rice with the gimpy leg are walking up the mountain and an alien craft flies by. She says, “What was that?” and he says, “I’m not sure.” End of scene. There’s your Oscar clip, folks. How can a guy with no legs be that fat? Lot of messing up the who/whom distinction in this movie. How come the aliens look like Master Chief? This is kind of like the Friedberg and Seltzer of action movies. They just sort of show you shit that’s meant to be a recreation of stuff you recognize and figure that’s enough. Then the alien autopsy scene, one of the most unique scenes in all of cinema. I wonder when they’re gonna sit around the fire and talk about what they’re gonna do when they get out of this. Then Rihanna tells them what her father said to her. Is “Getting back together with the dude who beat the half-living shit out of you” on that list? Also just went and took a shit and they were still fighting. “Mahalo, motherfucker.” Doesn’t that mean thank you? Oh, wait, Rihanna said that. She would say that. “Thank you sir, may I have another?” You think she pulled from real life experiences for this role, or was it just pure acting? More fighting. Bullshit “the idiot knows how to defeat the aliens” scene. We seriously just figured out how to defeat aliens from a pet iguana. “Well, I have an iguana. He hates sunlight. The aliens must hate sunlight.” I can make generalizations about Filipino people the same way. It doesn’t mean I should. They should have cast M. Night Shyamalan in that part.
Then Liam Neeson.
Then they play Battleship. 80 minutes into the movie. Would have been entertaining if I hadn’t already gouged my eyes out. The problem with the “Battleship” scene is that it was a given it was going to happen. So this doesn’t make the price tag of this film and the other 120 minutes (have I mentioned that it’s 130 minutes long? It’s longer than Argo) okay. You know what this movie is missing? Dr. Christmas Jones. The “Battleship” scene happens and there’s still 45 minutes left in the movie. How come his fiancée only calls him by his last name? What’s gonna happen when that’s her last name too? If I were in the Navy, every coordinate would be Whiskey and I’d just be wasted all the time. These aliens seriously can’t deal with sunlight. Makes you wonder why they came to this planet. And how they can live on one that’s almost exactly like it in their solar system. This thing that cuts through ships is almost exactly a cross between Transformers and Tomorrow Never Dies. Did they try anything original here? Probably the biggest leap of faith I had to take was that Rihanna would get with a pasty white boy like that. Especially Philip Seymour Hoffman’s son. Aww… Taylor Kitsch and the Jap are arm in arm. Someone’s overcompensating for the past. And then they Spider-Man up the side of the Titanic. Because gravity works like that. Should a movie make you think, “Why was this made?” every ten seconds? It’s funny to think that they paid computers all that money to make this movie. Slow motion military shots with trumpets playing softly in the background. Speech. Do all those old guys live on that ship? You don’t get to use “Thunderstruck.” “Thunderstruck” is for closers. At least this will give me something to do. Since I’ve already been drinking for the past fifty-seven minutes. Now I can get blackout before fade to black. Did they ever explain why the aliens showed up? Of course not. It’s just assumed we have to destroy them. Right there, I can’t get behind this movie. Even with all the old dudes. I mean, sure, they put a bunch of old sailors on a boat that they said wouldn’t sail again, and it’s nice and all, but doing a good deed while everybody’s standing in shit doesn’t change much. Ever notice how all the films that reference “Art of War” suck? I guess the aliens didn’t read that book. Why are they cutting out all uses of the word “motherfucker”? At least make the count of times you use it your movie and the count I use it while watching your movie somewhat competitive. It also eliminates the possibility of the phrase, “You sunk my battleship, motherfucker,” being said, which completely eliminates the point.
Then Liam Neeson.
Then Brooklyn Decker stops the rest of the aliens with a jeep. Because life is that easy. And Legs fights one of the aliens. Apparently they have teeth. These things look remarkably like a cross between the aliens in John Carter and my penis, if it had a face and was pissed off all the time. Or maybe that was redundant. Then they fight more, whatever, I was making a taco and affixing the noose to the ceiling while this was happening. Apparently they win.
Then Liam Neeson.
Comedy scene. With Liam Neeson. Letting you know what you could have gotten more of but didn’t. The final “Fuck you” of a bad movie.
There’s nothing redeemable about this movie. At all. And they spent $210 million on it. Before advertising. You know what that could have gotten you? A Zero Dark Thirty, an Argo, a Moonrise Kingdom, a Silver Linings Playbook, a Looper, a Seven Psychopaths and The Master, with just under $10 million to spare. Before advertising.
I rest my case.
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5. This Means War
Well who didn’t see this one coming?
Chris Pine and Tom Hardy are two badass CIA agents. Apparently all CIA missions involve the firing of automatic weapons at swanky parties in the middle of Hollywood while wearing perfectly tailored suits. They fuck up said mission — which was supposed to be covert (good job with the machine guns, assholes. This is how you know a movie sucks. The characters are that stupid and don’t care) and are “grounded.” Which means they’re put at desks and do nothing all day. Apparently this is how the CIA works. Either you’re shooting machine guns or sitting at a desk, doing nothing of value for your country. The scene of them doing this is so over the top it’s beyond words. Then we meet Reese Witherspoon, a product testing executive. Her only personality traits are that she’s dedicated to her job and has no life, and she’s Reese Witherspoon. She’s supposed to be really nerdy and awkward. We know this because she thinks it’s weird that one of her workers wants to go away for the weekend (a holiday weekend) and not work, and because she sings off-key. It’s not believable because everything she does is only on the surface — it’s all carefully practiced and performed so that you realize this is Reese Witherspoon, and she’s not nerdy, she’s perfect. She’s just doing this because it’s funny. She’s playing a character. And everything she does and says is carefully constructed to make you like her and nothing more. You’re supposed to find everything she does cute and charming, which undermines everything in the movie including the story. It’s like Julia Roberts. These actresses have these vehicles that are so structured around them that it’s all about making them look good and nothing else matters. There’s a reason they’re all Unforgivable.
Here’s a scene that happens. You tell me how original or funny it is: Reese Witherspoon is coming from the gym, singing badly to her music, when she runs into an ex-boyfriend. And his fiancée. She lies and says she’s meeting her boyfriend, who is better than this guy (she hints at this, but this is clearly the implication). She goes to her sushi place, where the stereotypical Asian chefs know her. Surprise, the ex-boyfriend and the fiancée are eating there too! And he mentions she’s meeting her boyfriend, and the Asian chef says, “No! She never eats with anyone else. She’s always here alone!”
Also, Chelsea Handler is Reese Witherspoon’s friend and the comic relief. I should rest my case there.
Oh, and did I mention — Chris Pine is a womanizer and Tom Hardy is a guy that wants to be in a relationship. So basically he’s a huge pussy. Remember this later on. Because she’s gonna end up with Pine anyway, and it’s not gonna make any fucking sense, because his character is actually a dick.
So Tom Hardy signs up for an online dating site, which Reese Witherspoon also signs up for because Chelsea Handler does it for her, because that’s not illegal or anything. Also somehow everyone at her job finds out about it. This is never explained, but it never is in the bad movies, is it? So they end up going out.
And then Chris Pine ends up stalking their date and falling for Reese, and then the two men end up fighting over her.
The problem with this is that the rest of the movie involves these two men misusing millions of dollars of government funds and surveillance equipment to watch and sabotage each other’s dates with Reese. Not to mention — SHE DATES THEM BOTH AT THE SAME TIME.
This is a movie about a woman dating two men at the same time, who happen to be CIA agents, who waste time, money and equipment to bug the woman’s apartment, follow her and each other, and find out what she likes to manipulate her and get her to like them better. Which is wrong on every conceivable level. Not to mention, every single scene in the movie is pretty much a cliche on top of a cliche. And they pander so hard to please everyone that I wish this movie didn’t exist, and that the people who liked it could be sterilized.
Seriously… sterilized. Go ahead and watch this movie. Find me one redeeming part of it. I dare you. Just watching this movie should convince you it’s one of the worst films of the year. It actually speaks for itself. And if you actually liked this movie, I actually think less of you as a person and a movie watcher.
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4. The Watch
The film starts like a bad comedy. With fucking voiceover. Slit my fucking wrists right now. “What’s out there? Out in the great beyond.” I don’t know, and why do you give a fuck? You’re the general manager at a fucking Costco. “And what’s beyond that? What’s beyond ‘beyond’?” Are you fucking high right now? Did you get high for this movie and I didn’t because I had to do this fucking bullshit? You’re testing me, Stiller. You’re really testing me. “The answer is, “I don’t know.” And quite frankly, I don’t want to know. Because what I do know is that they don’t hold a candle to the greatest town, in the greatest country, in the greatest planet, in the whole universe. Glenview, Ohio, USA, Earth.” Okay, first – we start with an unnecessary voiceover. Stiller has all the animation of a heroin addict. (What’s with that? Everyone doing voiceover sounds so Padme Amidala* (*monotone).) And that voiceover, all it actually says, “What’s actually going on out in space? Some weird shit we don’t know about, right? Well, I don’t give a fuck. Because I’m the general manager of a Costco in a piece of shit small town in Ohio, and I don’t give a fuck about nothing except living in this existence for the rest of my life.”
This is why we hate the flyover states.
Ben Stiller sounds like the most miserable man. He sounds like he’s a huge dick, and he makes horrible choices that seem entirely about success and not quality. He’s never the best thing about a movie. What I don’t get is how they think this opening segment is either interesting or character-building. Ben Stiller is basically like, “I’m awesome, even though I’m secretly a douchebag.” (Sound familiar?) He teaches English to Spanish people, he starts clubs, he promotes yuppie values like diversity – all that shit annoying people do and promote that they do. And then he says, “I’m also in the market for a black friend,” which we see him trying to accomplish while picking up trash with a presumed convicted felon on work release. I’m not sure what the point here is. Are we supposed to like him because he’s such a boring human being or are we supposed to laugh at how he has no black friends? Also, did they not get the hidden imagery in a shot of Ben Stiller saying “I’m in the market for a black friend,” and trying to do so WHILE PICKING UP TRASH?!
Jesus fucking christ, you people didn’t try at all here, did you?
Then we cut to Vince Vaughn. He says the word “bullshit,” so we know he’s supposed to be the funny one. This is like the fourth movie in the past decade where I’ve seen Vince Vaughn introduced the exact same way he was introduced in Old School – in a retail store, saying inappropriate things. Hardly William Powell being poured a cocktail, is it?
Then we see Ben Stiller meeting the night security guard at Costco, who spouts off by-the-book facts about America and says he’s now a citizen. Inspired writing. Presumably Stiller helped him study for this test. (Is that seriously what the citizenship test is still like? Most AMERICANS don’t know that shit.) Then he shows off a giant tattoo of an American flag, since apparently all illegals are that excited to be Americans. The joke is that it’s still fresh and will probably get infected. Jesus. Does this article count as a suicide note?
Then the guard goes around drinking and doing all the shit you’d think a Costco security guard does at night. Because it’s not like they’re on camera or anything and nobody will check that.
Oh, and then he gets killed by aliens, which seems to be the theme of this list, “the unnecessary inclusion of aliens.” I guess they were like, “We thought you were on our side, motherfucker!”
Side note: Can someone make a hood movie about aliens? Real gangland shit? MerphMerph and Big Flurjjt doing drive bys in Ribjyll territory. That would be awesome.
Then Stiller shows up at the store the next morning, and the police are there. You’d think as store manager, someone would have called him and let him know one of his employees was brutally murdered. You’d think. Also, the policemen are drinking multiple cups of coffee each and are eating out of a giant box of donuts. GET IT?! BECAUSE THEY’RE POLICEMAN! OH MY GOD, TAKE OUT SOME FIREWOOD, THIS COMEDY TRAIN’S GETTING TOO FAST FOR THE TRACK!
The policemen also clearly don’t give a fuck. Stiller asks if they have any leads or fingerprints, and the cop says to slow down, they’ve only been there for two hours. They spent a lot of time putting up the yellow tape. Is the inability of a municipal employee to do their job correctly supposed to be funny? Why should I be laughing when a cop basically says, “Dude was killed and had his skin torn off. No need to investigate”?
Why do all small towns have perfectly landscaped, state of the art football stadiums? Anyway, Stiller starts a neighborhood watch designed to watch things and solve the murder of the dude. So essentially he’s taking the law into his own hands and announcing it to the entire town. (Remember, this is a film whose title was changed because a guy from a neighborhood watch killed Trayvon Martin by doing this exact same thing.)
So they have the meeting for the neighborhood watch, and the only people who have shown up are Vince Vaughn and Jonah Hill. Then a dude named Jamarcus shows up and Stiller is happy because he thinks he’s about to make a black friend. He actually says, “You’re the best type of person it could be.” I never get why this is funny, people saying shit like that out loud. What ever happened to subtlety?
Apparently Vince Vaughn’s schtick in this movie is being excited and surprised like everything, like the stoner version of Will Ferrell in Elf. We actually watch for a full minute as he finds a Russian nesting doll and marvels at the fact that there are smaller dolls inside the bigger ones. Is this what comedy has become?
And then the joke between the three guys is that Vaughn thinks they’re doing it to have a guy’s night, to hang out away from their families for a while, Hill is crazy into it because he wanted to be a cop but couldn’t pass the mental health tests involved and thinks it’s a vigilante squad (which it is), and Jamarcus is a divorcée who thinks this is gonna allow him to screw lonely housewives. And then when Stiller tries to go over the actual neighborhood watch stuff, the rest say, “Fuck this, let’s go to Vince Vaughn’s house and drink and hang out.” Which is what I should be saying instead of watching this fucking movie.
I’ll be honest, I checked out for about fifteen minutes here. It was kind of like when you stare at the professor as they’re lecturing so it looks like you’re paying attention even though you’re totally gone and are pretty much sleeping. I got through college that way.
I checked back in when they hit an alien with their car. And R. Lee Ermey showed up. And I felt bad that he had to be in this. He does seem to be the smartest person in this movie, though. He chases them off with a shotgun and his last words are, “Neighborhood Watch… what a fucking joke.” Amen.
They naturally find an alien laser device and use it to blow shit up. Because that’s not dangerous.
Then there’s some boring character shit with Vaughn stalking his daughter’s Facebook page and Stiller being sterile (thank god ONE of these characters is). Anyway, I started drinking heavily by this point. I’m gonna do a shot every time something in this movie annoys me. Or is stupid. Or poorly written. Or when I feel like it.
The aliens look like a cross between the Creature from the Black Lagoon and the thing from Alien. And they kill it and take pictures with its corpse, because that’s normal. Then it wakes up and attacks them. So I guess this was essentially a date rape situation, then.
Oh, then we find out a bunch of the people in the town are aliens. Not that it matters. I just made a fucking PERFECT drink. With the foam and shit on top. That’s one of things that you do so perfectly you wish life just unlocked a free blowjob or something for you. It’s like when you go to parallel park and just fucking annihilate it in one try without even really putting much effort into it. Things like that should get you free blowjobs.
Though, have you ever seen someone fuck up a parallel park so badly they have to circle around the block before they can try again? You know what I mean? They take a bad angle and hit the curb, so they have to try to fix it mid-park, and that doesn’t work, and it’s just clearly not working, so they have to pull back in front and try again from square one. But then they fuck it up again, and by now, people have probably seen them, and even if no one really has, they still feel like they’ve fucked up, because you shouldn’t miss on a parallel park the second time. The first time is a mulligan, and the second time is just bad. And it’s just an instinctual thing. They just know, “I’ve fucked this up so badly I’ve lost my rights to this spot, and I have to circle all the way around the block before I have another shot at trying it again.” Sort of like when ticketing sites give you a certain amount of time to make your purchase, and if you don’t do it, you have to go back and do it again and give someone else a chance to take those tickets in the meanwhile. By all means, try again, but you need to give someone those few seconds to succeed where you failed. It’s one of those things no one ever mentions but everyone does. People always have that moment of, “I fucked this up, I need to circle around again.” Or they just give up the spot entirely, like it’s the spot’s fault for your inability to park there.
Oh, yeah, the movie’s still going on, by the way. Billy Crudup is having orgies at his house, and Vince Vaughn gets bet up by a high-schooler. I still don’t understand why aliens needed to be in this movie. You could have made this halfway decent without the aliens.
Apparently the black guy was an alien. Hooray diversity.
Oh nowt heyre gonna go fight alens. They shuld have m night shyamaln have a cameo in every mige with aliens. And he can be all like rmemeber when you were born and tell long stories and beat people p wtiht bats.
Aliens don’t react well to bullets.
What if all my friends wraliens and they didn’t drinka locol. Then id be all alike fuck you guys youre aliens and no my friends because you suck now watch me drink this fifth of bourobon.
Atually id probably do that anyway.
It seems like there was only one person in the town pretend-=ing to be a nalien. That hadly makes it seem worth a major plot point.
Oh boy the aliens die when their dicks get ripped off. Of course this is Unforgivable.
This movie isn’t heven tolderable with alcohol. I wish I cold rip its dick off.
– – – – –
This is the study of a movie that does nothing right. Every single decision it makes is just wrong, and if you want to learn how NOT to make a movie, this is the one to pay attention to.
It starts with a awful-sounding indie song, the kind you hear at the end of a shitty teen TV show, and Miley Cyrus’s “I’ve been smoking since I was 12” voiceover. “Every year, it’s weird going back to school.” NO IT ISN’T. YOU DO IT EVERY YEAR. And we see her and two people she clearly doesn’t know and doesn’t give a shit about outside of this shot walking outside, her arms around the two of them… in slow motion. “Seeing each other face to face again, but…”, by the way, she actually does pause between “school” and “seeing.” They’re two separate thoughts in the voiceover when they should be one sentence. Anyway, back to the suck. “…at least I have my best friends, Janice and Emily.” In case you didn’t know who they were, Miley looks from left to right as the voiceover says their names. But wait… it gets better.
“We’re in slo-mo, ’cause that’s how the hot girls always show up…. just kidding.”
What exactly is she kidding about?
“We just wanna look like we don’t care.”
Oh don’t worry, the movie is doing the job for you.
“Especially in front of the guys.”
Yeah, because everyone is watching you, you conceited cunt.
Then she runs over and starts kissing a guy in slow motion. Just fucking kill me. Right now, I am Matt Damon in the elevator.
Then more boring voiceover shit, before this fucking gem: “But, when it comes to friendship, and I mean real friendship, like with me and Kyle, you can officially care and just be yourself.”
Don’t you just want to see her get crushed by a steamroller?
Fuck the voiceover, let’s move on. We may never start the fucking movie at this rate. Essentially we see that she’s best friends with this kid, who she probably thinks is gay, who clearly has a thing for her, who she’ll clearly end up with at the end. And we know this because it’s a shitty movie, and if there’s one thing you can count on in a shitty movie, it’s that it’ll follow conventions to the letter and pretend like it’s about to find a way to reslice bread.
“Anyway, here we are, just going with the flow. Trying to love, live, and laugh out loud.”
One little, two little, three little sleeping pills… where the fuck did I put that whiskey bottle…
“Which is nice, because my name is Lola.”
WHY DOES THAT MAKE IT NICE YOU FUCKING WHORE?
NO BUTS SHUT THE FUCK UP ALREADY.
“Everyone calls me LOL.”
I hate everyone.
We then see the loser kid nobody cares about, who of course has to hit on the hot girls. You know one of them’s gonna be sleeping with him by the end of the movie. And then the girls shoo him away and talk about how hot one of their teachers is. This includes the line, “I can’t believe you’re taking trig class just for him.” How many high schools actually let you choose your classes? Public high schools, mind you. This is what I mean by NOTHING right. It fucks up the big things, and the little things.
Then Miley is with her boyfriend, and he says he hooked up with somebody else over the summer. Then she says she hooked up with somebody too. And he says, “I really hoped you kept his number,” because apparently only he can fuck somebody else. Then she storms off and passes her friends, who say, “Hey, Lola, everything okay?” DO YOU FUCKING HAVE EYES? Even the hills have eyes. You should get the hills’ eyes, because you’re both fucking retarded.
And what does Miley do next? She goes to the bathroom where she sees a heart with her and her boyfriend’s name on it from when they first starting dating. It said “4 ever.” But now it’s not. So she crosses it out. Now THERE’S a statement.
Then we cut to Demi Moore and a small child naked in the bathtub together. Then Miley walks in and strips naked. I don’t know why this is happening either. I guess we’re just meant to assume they’re all family. Then Demi says, “So what happened with volleyball?” I guess because Miley wasn’t supposed to catch them naked in the tub together or something and is home early. Then Miley walks into the shower, and Demi Moore — I shit you not — says this:
“Lola, is that a Brazilian?”
We’re just gonna leave that right there.
She then, while naked in the tub, asks Miley, “You haven’t done anything with like, boys… I mean, you would tell me, right?”
What’s funny is that this reeks of Demi Moore trying to be young again. Trying to hear the juicy details. Because you know that’s why she did this movie. Hanging out with Miley Cyrus, trying to go out partying, fuck some 21 year-olds… this was made around the time she got hospitalized for whatever the fuck party drug those things were. So watching this shit is hilarious to me.
Then we cut to Miley writing in her diary. Oh no. She says her mother doesn’t understand her and that’s it’s “so not a perfect day.” Jesus. Then in the next scene, Miley and Demi spoon in bed together. So was the previous scene supposed to be a big fight or something? Are we supposed to be feeling anything for these characters? It’s one thing to make a movie unengaging, but to just ignore emotion entirely is a real feat.
Then Demi drives Miley to school, and she talks to Miley, who is blasting music from her iPod, oblivious to everything her mother is saying. And then Demi finally gets Miley’s attention and Miley is like, “Oh god, here…” and puts one of the earbuds in her ear. And then they start singing “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” together. There is no point to this scene whatsoever. This is like, complete suppression of anything interesting. You know how they say the key to drama is conflict? Well, every time conflict comes creeping around the corner in this movie, the movie goes, “Whoa now, not gonna have any of that,” and safely suppresses that idea and forgets about everything that was just happening. Like, “Oh look, listen to the song, forget we were just about to have a real moment here a second ago.”
Also, listening to Miley and Demi sing together is hilarious. What octave do you think that one’s in?
Then there’s a scene with one of Miley’s friends blatantly staring at her teacher while standing next to him at the board and brazenly eyefucking him in front of her classmates. We then cut to a slo-mo moment where she stares at him and a female-lead cover of Barry White begins playing. If there was anyone not laughing by this point, they should be now.
She then goes up to the teacher after the class and asks if he does any home tutoring. This offends me.
Let’s fast-forward a bit. Nothing happens for a while. Demi continues fucking her ex-husband, Miley’s father, then talks to her shrink about it. Then there’s some boring battle of the bands shit. The music sucks. Then Demi is at the courthouse because of a random ticket she got out of nowhere (I hope it’s for “badly singing along to the Rolling Stones while driving”) and meets some random dude and gets picked up. Because that’s the kind of guy you meet outside a courthouse. Uh huh. She only finds out later he’s a detective. You know… after she gets picked up.
Then there’s a scene of Demi and other parents smoking pot in the kitchen while Miley and a guy smoke pot upstairs. Get it? Juxtaposition! This scene also includes the worst three words that can exist in any movie and almost exclusively exist in the bad ones: “What about you?” Those words make me cringe, every time. Fuck this movie for that alone.
Miley then tells the guy she needs him to sleep with her. He says no, because he “respects her too much.”
Shoot this motherfucker between the eyes right now and hide the body.
We also hear the groan-ups talking (never gets old), and the conversation is so fucking horribly written it sounds like a Nancy Meyers movie. (Nothing against her movies, but listen to the scenes of a bunch of people sitting around a table, talking. It makes me want to kill endangered species.)
We’ll skip the next little bit, because it’s fucking awful. Mostly a montage of Miley and her BFF — who’ll eventually be the BF she’s F’ing — doing stupid shit together. Then some boring shit with a party and whatever, and Miley fucks the dude. Then some more shit with Demi and Thomas Jane, who is her ex-husband. Then that detective guy shows up at Miley’s school, for a drug talk for teachers and parents, which completely happens all the time. He talks about some of the problems of “long term drug abuse.” Which is cool, since short-term drug use is totally okay and without consequences.
Then Miley catches the best friend she fucked fucking some other chick. Drama! Only he didn’t actually fuck her. Turns out the friend who wanted to fuck the teacher fucked the nerd guy nobody cares about.
Oh, and by the way — there are still 50 minutes left in this movie.
That’s right, motherfuckers, there really is no end in sight. All hope is lost. LOL.
Anyway, Miley then starts making out with other guys to fuck with the borderline gay dude. And — wait for it — she unfriends him on Facebook!
Just like in Annie Hall.
But wait… the BFF dude’s father destroys his guitar and he stands Miley up! It’s the end of the world!
And people thought The Hobbit ran long. There’s still 40 minutes left in this fucking thing.
Miley found out the guy wasn’t fucking the chick. But he can’t answer because his father took his phone away. Man, all the parents in this movie are DICKS.
35 minutes left. I haven’t had a movie test my patience as much as this one has in a long time.
Then they go to France. And guess what, it’s RURAL France! And of course the people eat snails, because everyone in France eats snails. That’s just how shit works.
Also, annoying trend this movie perpetuates that’s not orignal anymore — using a foreign language cover of a recognizable song when you’re in another country. When I say this movie does EVERYTHING wrong, I wasn’t kidding.
Also, they just montage the France scenes, because they feel some sort of mercy for the viewer.
Oh fuck, the parents are back. About to start carving “Brooks Was Here” into my ceiling.
Oh good, they’re leaving France. 20 minutes left. Thank fucking christ.
Oh god she said “What about you?” again please remember me kindly.
Then Demi reads Miley’s diary and is pissed. Huge fight all that bullshit, you know. We’re on autopilot now. Hopefully Denzel isn’t at the controls.
Then there’s all that reconciliation bullshit and there’s the battle of the bands bullshit, and mercifully, it ends. But not before the title, “The end… lol.”
Now I have another reason to hate that fucking acronym.
The big punchline here is that this is a remake of a French film.
If you can make it through this piece of shit in one sitting, you deserve a fucking medal.
– – – – –
2. That’s My Boy
And, we have Adam Sandler.
Adam Sandler is one of the few people who has a spot reserved for him on the Unforgivables list every year.
If you notice, every single Adam Sandler movie follows exactly the same pattern. It’s beyond formula at this point. It’s fucking sickening. It’s like the assembly line, but if the assembly line only churned out shitty movies.
The film begins with a flashback. Big fucking surprise. A young Adam Sandler has a crush on his teacher, who is Susan Sarandon’s daughter. Her name is Mary McGarricle, because all Adam Sandler women have to have alliterative names. He starts fucking her.
I repeat. A thirteen year old boy has sex with his 26 year-old teacher. Apparently that’s supposed to be funny.
Then they get caught fucking at a school assembly. And the entire school starts cheering him on. Even the teachers. Because that’s how life works.
Oh, and she gets pregnant and sentenced to 30 years in prison. And Adam Sandler then becomes a tabloid celebrity and rich because of it.
So to pause – the set up for this movie is – Adam Sandler had sex with his teacher in middle school, became famous for it, and fathered a kid. Credits.
After the credits, we cut to Sandler, doing the worst accent he’s ever done in a movie (it’s Little Nicky with a Boston accent and a mini-stroke), going to see his accountant, played by New York Jets head coach Rex Ryan. The joke is that he’s a Patriots fan. Apparently that’s funny.
Then we see Andy Samberg, Sandler’s son, and his fiancée, Leighton Meester. This would be the boring part of the movie, but the next scene involves Sandler having breakfast at a strip club, watching a fat black stripper who eats her breakfast while on the pole. Apparently it’s funny trying to watch her drink orange juice and cut sausage while upside down. Do people just laugh at this shit and not think, “Why wouldn’t you just stay right side up to eat?”
Please tell me who finds this funny. Please tell me why they gave them money to make this money. Please tell me who wrote this and thought it was funny. Please tell me why people agreed to be in this outside of Adam Sandler’s friends.
Oh boy, a dirty talking old lady. Not straying too far from the formula at all, Adam Sandler, are you? Oh, then Leighton Meester’s brother is a huge asshole for like, no reason. Every single moment in this movie is pieced together from the same shit every bad movie is pieced together from.
Now Adam Sandler is talking to Vanilla Ice. And fighting him. And now he’s talking to Dan Patrick. Honestly it seems like the only reason they made this was for this reason. “Oh, it’ll be funny if I fight Vanilla Ice. And if Dan Patrick starts cursing a lot. And if Rex Ryan plays a Patriots fan. Oh, a story? Whatever. Who cares? People don’t pay for a story.”
Fuck you, Adam Sandler. Fuck you for not trying anymore.
Oh, the weird looking woman they can make fun of. The random sporting event challenge that happens midway through the movie. Here’s Adam Sandler fucking an old woman. I can’t.
You know what? I’m done. I’m done with this movie. I’m not going on anymore. It’s an Adam Sandler movie. That alone makes it Unforgivable. At this point, it would be a shocker if an Adam Sandler movie wasn’t Unforgivable.
This movie is so bad it doesn’t even deserve to be made fun of. Nobody should see this movie ever. We should all forget this exists as soon as possible and hope that these movies stop being made as soon as fucking humanly possible.
– – – – –
1. Big Miracle
I know what you’re thinking – “Wait, not Battleship? Not Adam Sandler? Not The Campaign or The Watch?” The whale movie?
Yes. The fucking whale movie.
You know why this is Unforgivable #1 for me this year? Because this movie is so miscalculated that it’s offensive and makes me angry. Let me show you:
The film begins in Alaska, as a bunch of Eskimos row in a canoe. Then – fucking voiceover:
“For thousands of years, my people have lived at the edge of the world. Unknown, alone. Until one brief moment, when the world found us.”
Now – you hear that, and what are your expectations? That this is a film about Eskimos. It’s not. Not even a little bit. They’re supporting characters at best. So, why is this there? Aside from the fact that this is a bad movie. It’s there because they want this movie to seem important. They want it to seem like it’s about something. They want it to seem more important than it really is. You start with the white people, and everybody checks out. But, you start with Eskimos, people go, “Oh, we’re gonna learn about this culture and it’s gonna be a good movie.” This is a movie that wants you to treat it as a classy movie, when it’s anything but that. They want you to start at that 3.5 star level and trend upward, when we’re really around 2.5 and trending downward.
Oh, by the way – then we watch the Eskimos kill a whale. Way to start a movie about SAVING whales.
Then we cut to John Krasinski, who, outside of a few supporting parts in good movies, has never starred in a legitimately good movie. (Until the one he just did with Matt Damon.) He’s usually a sign that a movie isn’t going to be good. He’s talking about avocados. Some bullshit local news story about avocados being imported.
There’s a great moment here that’s basically this film in a microcosm – Krasinski comes over to a Mexican family’s table and goes, “Hey guys, how’s the food?” and they all look at him without saying anything. And he reaches over, grabs one of their tortilla chips, dips it into some avocado and eats it. Then he turns to the camera and says, “Holy guacamole, that’s good,” as he ends his story. I’ll come back to this later, and why it’s a microcosm of the entire film.
Then we cut to Krasinski watching the news story on the TV with everyone else in the restaurant. When it’s over, they give him a standing ovation, because clearly this is the biggest thing to come through this town since Rasputin’s dick. And, of course, when they clap, they have to say, “Speech! Speech!” because Krasinski’s character then has to give a speech like the douchebag that he is.
His speech is this (I’m gonna do what I usually do with these things):
“Uhh – let me think – (like you don’t know exactly what you’re about to say you fucking putz) – I think it was Mark Twain who said (fuck you and die slowly. Anyone who quotes another person like that is a pretentious asshole) that the coldest winter he ever spent was a summer in San Francisco. (YOU’RE IN ALASKA ASSHOLE NOT SAN FRANCISCO THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH ANYTHING I HOPE YOU GET CHLAMYDIA) Let me tell you, this is the coldest summer I’ve spent anywhere. (I really think you misinterpreted that quote completely.) But with the warmest people. (Because they don’t actually live in igloos you cloaca.) And I really mean that. (Anyone who says they really mean something, doesn’t.) Thank you all for your hospitality.”
You know why I hate this moment? Because it’s hack writing. You make him give a speech to show that he’s a gracious, magnanimous guy. It’s supposed to get the audience to like him. You never see a good writer do something like this unless they’re really not trying. Plus, Krasinski is a fucking news guy for christ’s sake. His JOB is to be insincere with shit like this. Do you really think he gives a fuck about avocados? Why would you make an insincere prick give a speech? This is a stock scene that is a product of bad writing. The problem is, it’s undermined by everything else going on in this movie, which, like I said, I’ll get to in a bit. Remember that scene with the tortilla chip. It’ll come back around.
Then Krasinski sits down and everyone immediately forgets about him. He starts talking to the little Eskimo boy who did the voiceover at the beginning, because apparently he’s more likable when he has a small child as a sidekick. Because any man who is nice to children is automatically a good person. Like John Wayne Gacy.
Then, while doing the kid a favor and filming his cousin doing snowmobile tricks, Krasinski spots the whales. But, we don’t have time to think about this, because –
We cut to Drew Barrymore. Now, here’s sign #2 of a bad movie. Outside of about three or four movies, Drew Barrymore makes exclusively shitty, bad, awful movies. Leaving aside Whip It, Going the Distance (which I did enjoy), Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (which is basically a supporting part for her anyway) and Donnie Darko (which everyone else seems to like), here’s what she’s made the past decade… be ready for it: Freddy Got Fingered, Riding in Cars with Boys, Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle, Duplex, 50 First Dates, Fever Pitch, Music and Lyrics, Lucky You, Beverly Hills Chihuahua (only a voice role, but still…), He’s Just Not That Into You, Everybody’s Fine, and this. I’m just saying – not very good choices. Not only that, she just annoys me on screen. She’s just one of those actors I don’t like watching. She comes off as incredibly fake and insincere to me.
We then cut to Ted Danson as an oil man who wins a contract on something or other. It’s not really set up at all, since the point of the scene is that Drew Barrymore stands up in this pretty small conference room, with a MEGAPHONE, and says, “What about the Greenpeace bid?” Well you could have done that without the megaphone and you wouldn’t have come off as such a huge cunt. She says the law requires them to read all the bids, and Greenpeace bid the value of all the wildlife they’re putting at risk. “Three-quarters of the world’s salmon are being put at risk!”
And Ted Danson, my hero, turns around, with his arms up, and goes, “Get her the hell out of here.” Because he’s right. The demonstration is totally unnecessary and could have been handled in a much more diplomatic and mature fashion. It’s one of those things that make you dislike people with legitimate causes, because they go about them in the most asinine ways. I went to college with people like this. I support shit like this until I see how people go about it.
Then security comes and starts pulling her out of there, and she says, “But I’m not finished.” Which is the equivalent of a streaker at a sporting event going, “But I haven’t finished running across the field.” Fuck you. How are we supposed to like this person? You actually just made me side with a fucking oil company.
Then we cut back to Krasinski, who is filming the three whales trapped in a small area of ice. There’s no way they can get out, because they’re trapped among solid ice that goes for five miles. They’ll only survive for about three days before the hole freezes over and they die.
Not to sound like an asshole, but… all right. They got themselves in there. Survival of the fittest. You can’t claim Darwin for some shit and not others.
We then cut to Krasinski editing the story together, which clearly shows he’s more interested in the story than he is about the whales. He even calls up a dude like, “So I got a story for you that’ll get me the fuck out of here and up to the big time. Everybody loves whales.” Which is basically what the studio must have thought when they made this movie.
We then cut to Drew Barrymore, watching herself on the news. Talk about conceited. The news story also shows her being forcibly removed from the precedings. Pretty sure the news would never do that. Sometimes I can accept when the big things are fucked up, since not every movie can be well-written (I said can, not should), but when you fuck up the big things and little things like this – you’re just asking to be Unforgivable.
Then Krasinski shows up on the news and we cut to him watching it with the kid. His exact words: “Something like this would be very good for my reel.” And here’s why that tortilla chip scene was the film in a microcosm. As we’ll see over the course of this synopsis, all of the characters in the movie are motivated by selfish reasons, and nobody gives a fuck about the whales. It’s gonna pop up time and time again. Which – that’s exactly what you want in a feel-good movie, isn’t it? For nobody to give a fuck about what you’re supposed to feel good about?
Then Drew Barrymore calls Krasinski, since apparently you can just get people’s numbers just like that. We find out they dated, and broke up. She told him never to call or speak to her again, but asks why he didn’t call her about the whales. #Women
Then we get the setup for the rest of the movie – the whales will only live a couple more days, and the Eskimos want to kill the whales. Which – why the fuck shouldn’t they? Well, Barrymore then says they don’t eat that species of whale, they only eat another kind. Which – why the fuck would you know that? Who the fuck is she, Roger Moore? And then Krasinski says that the whaling captains are meeting in order to get the permit required to kill the whales. Which, in case you didn’t catch that – they’re doing it LEGALLY. And what does Barrymore say? “Not if I can help it.”
So she’s motivated by selfishness too. “We can’t let the whales die, I have to save them, even though these people can legally kill it.” Because it’s more important to waste resources to save three whales than to let a starving people kill and eat them LEGALLY.
She goes to the governor, asking him to mobilize the national guard in order to help three fucking whales and send them up there with a ship that can break the ice. And his response: “Are you serious?”
She then says, “Because whales can’t vote, right?” basically saying he only cares about what’ll get him reelected.
And he says, “Please. It’s fucking Alaska. I’m not wasting time and resources and putting the men’s LIVES in danger just to save three fucking whales in the arctic. When a whale dies, you don’t have to tell its wife and kids about it.”
Again I ask: should a movie that’s supposed to be about saving whales provide more of a reason not to save them than to save them? Because so far, I’m siding with everyone I’m not supposed to be siding with, based on what this movie has presented to me.
Then we cut to a major news station. They go over their lineup and discover it leaves them a minute and forty seconds short. The producer asks what they can fill it with: “Chrysler laying off 5,000. A train off the tracks in India, 60 dead. And a bunch of whales stuck in the ice at the North Pole.”
Now… I don’t know about you, but what’s more important to hear about… that 5,000 people are losing their jobs, that 60 people died in a tragic crash, or that a couple of fucking whales are stuck in the ice in a place that’s ALL ICE? And the producer’s response:
“Whales? Brokaw’s a sucker for those stories.”
Kill all of these people.
By the way… this actually happened. This is based on a true story.
We then cut to Krasinski watching Kristen Bell on the news. She’s a Los Angeles newswoman. Oh, and by the way – sign #3 that the movie isn’t going to be good. Here’s another person who doesn’t make good movies. Here’s what she’s done in the last three years: Couples Retreat, When in Rome, You Again, Burlesque, this and Hit and Run.
Anyway, Krasinski’s got a crush on her, and right here, we know this movie’s gonna lead to him being in the position of getting her, but ending up with Drew Barrymore anyway. Isn’t it great when you know exactly what’s gonna happen for the next 90 minutes, 15 minutes into a movie?
Then we see his story on the news. And now comes the most offensive part of this movie. They use the actual news story that went on the air, and as it airs, all minute and forty seconds of it, we cut to a bunch of people around the country watching it.
First, this implies that everyone watches the news at the same time. Which, I guess… 80s… fair enough. But then we see everyone looking at the screen like, “Oh my god, that’s so sad.” There’s actually a family that STOPS WHAT THEY’RE DOING TO WATCH THE STORY.
One of the characters, who is working in the White House, writes a MEMO TO THE PRESIDENT ABOUT THE FUCKING WHALES.
Now, what does this tell me? That Americans, when confronted with the news, which, AS STATED BEFORE, included “the Bush/Dukakis debates, voter reaction due to budget deficit peace, the SNL indictments and the anti-drug bill,” ignored ALL OF IT to focus on WHALES. To the point where a GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE is about to get the president to ignore everything else he has going on, INCLUDING A RE-ELECTION, to save WHALES.
How off-base of a message is that? That would be like, if today, when Americans are confronted by all these issues on a daily basis, the economy, the debt and all that, if they decided to band together and stop everything else going on in the country because a cat got stuck in a tree. What the fuck?
Then we cut to Ted Danson’s wife calling Drew Barrymore and telling her that there’s a ship that was built to cut through the ice and it’ll work if she can get the National Guard to tow it from where it is to where the whales are. Which — all right. that’s better. Only one person is at risk instead of the rest of the National Guard. And then she manipulates her husband by being like, “Well, if you help the whales, then you won’t look so much like an evil prick, and maybe they’ll stop hassling you about all the places your company is drilling.” So he ends up agreeing to let them use the barge. Only problem — it’s for a SELFISH reason. Not one person actually gives a fuck about the whales here. Except Ted Danson’s wife. But who cares about her? She doesn’t do anything else in the movie anyway. She’s a plot point, and clearly wasn’t a part of the actual story.
Then we cut to all the vultures… I’m sorry, reporters… descending upon this small town, looking to capitalize on the story.
Then we see all the stories going around the entire country on the news, and we see people RIVETED to their televisions for this story. It’s fucking disgusting.
And now, let’s run down what the motivations are of everyone throughout this next section:
Barrymore is there to help the whales. She does this by making the Eskimos out to be monsters who only want to see the whales dead. She ignores all the issues and problems inherent in saving the whales, and doesn’t care about diverting millions of dollars of government resources and the potential risk of life in doing this.
Krasinski wants to further his career and get transferred out of Alaska and fuck Kristen Bell. So he spends his time ingratiating himself to her. He doesn’t really care about the whales until he reignites his feelings for Drew Barrymore. Then he cares. Though that’s is storyline. He has to choose the whales over his career. Still — selfish prick for far too much of the movie.
Ted Danson wants to get Greenpeace off his back about his oil drilling near animal sanctuaries. So he pays for the barge to be towed to break up the ice, which endangers the life of a National Guard helicopter pilot who has to tow the fucking thing. He’s only helping the whales so he can pollute the oceans in the future.
Kristen Bell is only interested in being a news reporter in Los Angeles. She wants to get good ratings, which, she says, are “what’s keeping the whales alive.” Which is totally true. She ends up not getting with Krasinski because she only cares about her career. At least she’s not actively endangering anyone else like most of the other characters are.
The Eskimos (who are the Inupiat, but it’s not like the movie ever really develops this at all, and since the Americans in the movie don’t give a shit about them, why should we?) want to kill the whales to survive, because they haven’t met their quota of whales for the year and need anything they can get. They don’t care that this behavior will make the rest of the world hate them because they don’t understand what they need to do to survive and they don’t care what everyone else thinks and don’t want to listen to anyone who isn’t part of their culture. Though they do end up helping to free the whales because of some bullshit. Not because of the whales.
Then the town, to its credit, jacks up prices like a motherfucker to get money from the stupid white people. So good for them.
The government chick wants the president to help in order to help chances at the election or some such shit. Either way, not about the whales.
Then there are the two guys who invented a de-icing machine, who want to go up there so their product will start selling. Profit is their motivation.
The only person with some sense is the military guy, who wants to make sure nobody dies doing this shit. But then the barge thing fucks up and he cries like a little bitch; “This is the worst day of my life!” I lost all respect for him right there. Also, he has a romance subplot with government chick. Awful stuff.
Nobody gives a fuck about the whales, and the film is about the fucking whales, and the worst part is the fact that the entire country stops to watch this fucking thing. WE ACTUALLY SEE THE GOVERNMENT STRATEGIZING HOW TO SAVE THE WHALES THE WAY BEN AFFLECK AND THE CIA STRATEGIZED ABOUT HOW TO SAVE THE FUCKING HOSTAGES!!!
Then they actually get the Russians to get their icebreaking ship and help the whales. And they don’t want to do it because of the Cold War. And Drew Barrymore says that if they don’t call the Russians, the whales will die, and she’s gonna say Ronald Reagan killed the whales, and he won’t get reelected because of it.
Oh, and the baby whale dies, and it’s supposed to be sad and shit. Nah, son, that’s nature.
Drew Barrymore cries over the baby whale. It’s fucking ridiculous.
Then they all band together and cut holes so the whales can get out. Then the Russians come and open up the hole and it’s supposed to be happy as shit.
Excuse me while I go jerk off.
This movie is fucking sickening. The fact that the entire country stopped because of fucking whales. The fact that they said whales were one of the reasons the Cold War ended. The fact that everyone who helped the whales was motivated by self-interest and greed.
And because John Krasinski and Drew Barrymore end up together. I mean — eucccch.
This movie offended me more than any other movie this year.
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So those are my ten Unforgivables. Here are the other pieces of shit I hated:
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11. Act of Valor — this was awful. They used the fact that they cast active duty marines in the movie to hide the fact that the movie fucking sucked. It was one of the worst-written movies I’ve seen this year. I really wanted to open my fucking wrists while watching this one. It was this close to making the top ten, until I said, “You know what — they spent money on Rock of Ages.”
12. A Thousand Words — it got delayed for two years, so I couldn’t be too harsh on it. But man, this blew.
13. The Words — It’s laughably bad. Just so laughably bad.
14. What to Expect When You’re Expecting — fucking really.
15. Playing for Keeps — Another one that’s just awful. From the dude who brought you the movie where Will Smith kills himself with a fucking jellyfish.
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And some more films I really didn’t like:
16-25: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, Casa de mi Padre, Chronicle, Joyful Noise, The Lucky One, One for the Money, The Three Stooges, The Woman in Black, Won’t Back Down, Wrath of the Titans
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So those are the films I liked least this year. All things considered — this year wasn’t so bad. As we’ve established yesterday, I watched (#) films this year, and of all those, only (#) of them got less than 3 stars. So about (70%) got an okay from me. Which I think is pretty good. And when you think about it, there were really only disliked about 25 of them or so.
Now, tomorrow, we wash the salt away with some sugar, and my Top Ten list of 2012, which will bring to a close this year in film (which was a pretty strong one, I’d say).