THE FILM YAP » The 52 Worst Films of the 2000s We Never Shut Up About Movies Thu, 16 Oct 2014 20:30:16 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Movies You Aught Not Watch: Year One Wed, 29 Dec 2010 05:01:09 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Movies You Aught Not Watch is Nick Rogers’ weekly, alphabetical look back at the 52 worst films of 2000-2009. “Year One” is the final entry in the series. In reverse alphabetical order, every entry can be found starting at this page.

“Year One”
Rated PG-13

Hearing a Cracker song at the conclusion of 2009’s “Year One” was nice, but Harold Ramis should’ve forgone “I See the Light” given its refrain: “I see the light at the end of the tunnel now / Someone please tell me it’s not a train.”

Playing chicken with Ramis’s latest unendurably dreary excuse for comedy proved more hazardous to health than chancing it on the tracks. Although perhaps it’s appropriate that this look back at lame movies concludes with a film ostensibly about the first losers.

Had “Year One” — a Bible-times romp with Jack Black and Michael Cera — arrived on the heels of Ramis’s “National Lampoon’s Vacation” or “Groundhog Day,” he might have attempted something existential or a takedown of organized religion’s more lurid, violent aspects.

Instead, this dreck was Ramis’s feature-length follow-up to “The Ice Harvest,” with which this list has already been acquainted.

In an era when such satire would be welcomed, Ramis was too busy interrupting biblical incidents like Cain & Abel and Abraham & Isaac in a vapid vaudevillian style.

And when in doubt, the man who once gave us “Ghostbusters” and “Caddyshack” resorts to making Jack Black eat feces and Michael Cera pee in his own mouth. Yes, this is Harold Ramis. Yes, this is comedy at the level of a monkey on YouTube.

You get the sense all involved hoped to offer some sort of ribald spin on a Bing Crosby-Bob Hope movie. In that sense, consider “Year One” the road to hell.

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Movies You Aught Not Watch: Whiteout Wed, 22 Dec 2010 14:09:49 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Movies You Aught Not Watch is Nick Rogers’ weekly, alphabetical look back at the 52 worst films of 2000-2009.

Rated R

It took slightly longer than three minutes for diminished mental capacity to set in during 2009’s “Whiteout” — an Antarctica-set murder mystery with a fatally low body temperature.

It somehow required four writers to adapt the story from Greg Rucka’s graphic novel about Carrie Stetko (Kate Beckinsale), a U.S. Marshal investigating the first-ever murder in Antarctica.

Lest she be covered in a burly parka for 96 minutes, Beckinsale teases by stripping to her sports bra and tight white panties before strategically placed steam kicks in. Mind you, this almost-nudity is pretty much as exciting as “Whiteout” gets.

The U.S. Marshal Service might have a defamation case against “Whiteout,” given that its portrayal of said officers ranges from corrupt to moronic to the point of lunacy. Essentially, “Whiteout” suggests that if you can figure it out, you’ll probably qualify for duty. Expect an influx of applications, then.

Beckinsale doesn’t seem particularly tough, authoritative or knowledgeable, and her performance is unrepentantly lazy.

So electrifying in “Nothing But the Truth,” Beckinsale clearly can elevate for a good director. Here, she’s a pathetically blank slate, wispy even when her frostbitten fingers affix to freezing metal. Morose and disengaged, Beckinsale musters up all the expressiveness of a coma patient — a vacant cross between Nicole Kidman and Mary Louise Parker.

Director Dominic Sena (“Swordfish”) does little to visually distract from rampant idiocy. How many shots of freeze-burned bodies or planes skimming mountains can one movie contain? Walk-in beer coolers induce more shivers than “Whiteout.”

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Movies You Aught Not Watch: White Chicks Wed, 15 Dec 2010 05:10:43 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Movies You Aught Not Watch is Nick Rogers’ weekly, alphabetical look back at the 52 worst films of 2000-2009.

“White Chicks”
Rated PG-13

Assuming 2004’s “White Chicks” had to be made, would it have been too much to ask for it to have been a mediocre 75-minute piffle rather than 105 minutes of torture padded with overwrought messaging, dance-offs and yo-mama jokes?

All it proves is, contrary to popular belief, comedic talent in the Wayans family does not lessen as you go down the sibling chain. It stinks at the top, too, given eldest brother Keenen Ivory Wayans’ direction and co-writing of this mess.

His brothers Shawn and Marlon are Kevin and Marcus Copeland, FBI agents who must — after incredibly convoluted circumstances — dress as a pair of preening WASP sisters in unconvincing latex get-ups to trap kidnappers.

Shawn and Marlon look like Dave Chappelle when he impersonated a white man on “Chappelle’s Show.” Even with jokes of collagen shots for their lips, there’s no way they’d pass for the real thing. And where do those real sisters go? None of the six co-writers thought to explain that away.

The only good chuckles come at the expense of Vanessa Carlton’s “A Thousand Miles.” And the only true energetic laugh comes when it’s sung by Terry Crews, a former Philadelphia Eagles linebacker who’s playing a basketball forward here.

His Latrell is a Lothario who falls for Marcus in drag, and his come-hither idiocy is amusing until he’s made to let loose a hateful epithet that’s out of character. Hey, somebody had to have fun in this movie. It certainly wasn’t anyone watching it.

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Movies You Aught Not Watch: Underworld Wed, 08 Dec 2010 13:39:30 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Movies You Aught Not Watch is Nick Rogers’ weekly, alphabetical look back at the 52 worst films of 2000-2009.

Rated R

“Underworld” is witless, unimpressive, uninvolving and plodding. And that’s just getting started.

It was as horrible as one would expect knowing it’s the brainchild of two stuntmen and a prop handler — doing nothing but ripping off far-superior films they’ve watched or worked on. They expected audiences to drool at the cool of token mythology about vampires and werewolves fighting for centuries.

Oh, sorry, that’s “vampyres” and “lycans,” because 2003’s “Underworld” is just too darn Eastern European and gothic to use the “conformist” spelling or common words.

It’s also too boring to call main vampiric character Selene (Kate Beckinsale) an assassin. No, no. She’s a “death dealer,” one whose narration says that while the weapons have evolved, the battle has waned because there are so few werewolves left. Well, those weapons didn’t evolve that much, given that Wesley Snipes wasted vampires with similar bullets in “Blade II.”

The plot follows a human (Scott Speedman) targeted by both vampires and werewolves to create a strong hybrid. By what we see, that “hybrid” would be a guy in desperate need of electrolysis that shops the Hot Topic clearance rack.

And when two insignificant secondary characters duke it out, you’ll wonder why … until you realize they’re the two stuntmen who concocted the story.

In June 2003, Beckinsale and director Len Wiseman were engaged. Who knows? Maybe this was just his $22-million excuse to get close. Let’s hope their heart remains in the marriage. It sure wasn’t in “Underworld,” its sequels or prequels.

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Movies You Aught Not Watch: The Tuxedo Wed, 01 Dec 2010 05:03:19 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Movies You Aught Not Watch is Nick Rogers’ weekly, alphabetical look back at the 52 worst films of 2000-2009.

“The Tuxedo”
Rated PG-13

It’s disgusting, yet fitting, that 2002’s “The Tuxedo” opened with a shot of a deer urinating into a mountain stream. This completely worthless action-comedy represented another American-made pollution of Jackie Chan’s career.

The original “Rush Hour” was inspired, its sequels disappointingly less so, and “Shanghai Noon” and “Shanghai Knights” watered down the high-flying martial arts fun that made Chan famous. Diluted, though, was better than non-existent. “The Tuxedo” took away the kicks, but also sapped Chan of all his endearing comic charisma.

Chan is cabbie Jimmy Tong, who abides by a British spy’s dying wish — that Jimmy wear his tuxedo, which turns whomever’s wearing it into an unstoppable fighting machine. Annoying, unfunny and clueless, Jennifer Love Hewitt is a rookie agent who finds herself working with Jimmy as he tries to stop an evil bottled-water magnate.

The tuxedo’s features are more stupid than state-of-the-art, as “booty-shaking mode” finds Chan hitting a nadir of embarrassment while wiggling his rear in the villain’s face.

A script that crumbles under a landslide of ridiculous sexual innuendo finds a way to ruin even a surprise cameo from James Brown. And “The Tuxedo” is uncharacteristically grotesque for what should be a lightweight Chan outing; its finale feels like something from an Indiana Jones film.

“The Tuxedo” could’ve been for Chan what “The Mask” was for Jim Carrey. Unfortunately it’s what “Leonard Part 6” was for Bill Cosby and the reason Chan is starring in even more unwatchable tripe like “The Spy Next Door.”

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Movies You Aught Not Watch: Tomcats Wed, 24 Nov 2010 05:03:46 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Movies You Aught Not Watch is Nick Rogers’ weekly, alphabetical look back at the 52 worst films of 2000-2009.

Rated R

Desperate was almost too kind a word for 2001’s “Tomcats,” not so much a movie as director Gregory Poirier’s failed application to the Farrelly Brothers Country Club.

Even those looking for gratuitous T&A walked away disappointed, unless Jerry O’Connell’s hairy tuchus floated their boat.

As bad as it is, don’t dare call it poorly researched. Sperm bank-ejaculate, massive-erection and testicular-cancer jokes speak volumes for Poirier’s viewership of “Road Trip” and “The Tom Green Show.” Calling out the Farrellys and the Wayanses for a gross-humor throwdown is his primary goal, not creating anything funny.

The movie takes its title from a group of commitment-fearing womanizers who are despondent after a buddy’s wedding. Their solution is to pool money into mutual funds and give it to the last single “tomcat.”

Seven years later, there are only two — Michael (O’Connell) and Kyle (Jake Busey). Facing a gambling debt, Michael tries to pair off the unctuous Kyle with Natalie (Shannon Elizabeth) — the only woman Kyle’s ever liked. But wouldn’t ya know it? Michael falls for Natalie, too!

Few films stray as far from such a “plot” as “Tomcats” does, incongruously parodying “Mission: Impossible 2” and “American Beauty.” A cancerous testicle sequence goes on forever sans laughs, and Poirier remembers his romance last-minute as if smacked upside the head.

A rapid-fire, take-no-prisoners brand of raunchy humor can work in the right hands, and did many times in the Zeroes. But, as evidenced by “Tomcats,” Poirier would rather have had his hands dirty than deft.

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Movies You Aught Not Watch: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning Wed, 17 Nov 2010 05:03:11 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Movies You Aught Not Watch is Nick Rogers’ weekly, alphabetical look back at the 52 worst films of 2000-2009.

“The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning”
Rated R

For some characters, development is regressive. Take Leatherface, skin-masked butcher of legend.

In 2006’s “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning,” the behemoth is introduced as a baby rescued from the trash after a slaughterhouse-floor birth — the operative idea being that devaluating Leatherface’s life breeds Leatherface’s devaluation of life, and he’s perpetually misinterpreted.

This is supposed to be the Texas chainsaw massacre, not the Texas chainsaw misunderstanding.

Nothing castrates a bogeyman like cheap-Freud explanations of bad childhood. “Beginning” vivisects and discards folk-legend frights of the original or even 2003’s remake (to which this is a prequel), and Leatherface possesses no greater power than a hulking professional-wrestling heel.

Then there’s the Vietnam metaphor: Four free spirits road-tripping in 1969 invade unfamiliar territory, forcing cannibal bumpkins to stand their ground.

That idea’s treated with all the subtlety “Beginning” gives roadkill scenes — a steer torn in two by a Jeep. (Before he’s strung up, one lamb’s about to dodge the draft, combat angst ruining his hotel-room hummer.)

The visuals are like rust stains that won’t go away. Jordana Brewster squirms around like an oil-covered pelican in hip-hugging bell-bottoms toward a teary reunion with her bisected beau. R. Lee Ermey descends to self-parody’s darkest bowels 20 years after “Full Metal Jacket” (although he interestingly transcends profanity’s traditional gender lines when calling Brewster “asshole”).

Irredeemably stupid and artlessly brutal, “Beginning” wasn’t simply the nadir of needless Zeroes prequel revisions and rewinds. It elbowed out tough competition for franchise-worst and represented the bottoming-out of American-made horror.

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Movies You Aught Not Watch: Strange Wilderness Wed, 10 Nov 2010 05:03:12 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Movies You Aught Not Watch is Nick Rogers’ weekly, alphabetical look back at the 52 worst films of 2000-2009.

“Strange Wilderness”
Rated R

2008’s “Strange Wilderness” is not really a film. It’s the Zeroes’ cruelest cinematic practical joke of which anyone unfortunate enough to watch becomes the raw, red, grossly violated butt.

It’s an affront to joy best chalked up to a dare by producer Adam Sandler — one gauging the limit on how putrid a product he got a studio to swallow, then push through its colon, based solely on his name.

“Wilderness” is rated R for non-stop language. It is, in fact, profane that no one stops talking for 84 agonizing minutes.

In a “script” by Peter Gaulke and Fred Wolf seemingly written on condensation-soaked cocktail napkins, Steve Zahn and Allen Covert are Peter Gaulke and Fred Wolf. It’s spot-on surrogacy: Talentless, humorless, delusional ass-clowns. They’re hunting Bigfoot to save their failing wilderness show.

Saying laughter proves as elusive as Bigfoot suggests that laughs aren’t altogether extinct.

Zahn jerks off the neck of a turkey attached to his hog. People vomit into a shark’s mouth. The name Dick — not last-name Harder or Smalls, just Dick — is guffawed at for two solid minutes. And those claiming “Miss March” boasts the Zeroes’ most horrifying close-up of scrotal trauma have mercifully scrubbed Robert Patrick’s cameo from their minds.

Any resemblance to comedy is purely coincidental and unintentional. The only reason to even chuckle is to prove you haven’t died while watching it. Its credits should be handed to a mercenary. Again, it’s not a film. Consider it, then, the Zeroes’ worst pop-culture excretion.

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Movies You Aught Not Watch: Space Cowboys Wed, 03 Nov 2010 04:03:33 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Movies You Aught Not Watch is Nick Rogers’ weekly, alphabetical look back at the 52 worst films of 2000-2009.

“Space Cowboys”
Rated PG-13

It’s hard for a man whose co-stars once were monkeys to hit a career low beyond that. But Clint Eastwood did it as an actor, director and producer with 2000’s “Space Cowboys.” As insult to injury, his character was, at one point, replaced by a chimp.

Eastwood, Tommy Lee Jones, Donald Sutherland and James Garner play aged Air Force vets who pioneered test flights for the space program but saw their dreams co-opted by NASA.

Problems are evident, and eminent, from the black-and-white flashback prologue in which four young performers speaks with the old actors’ voices. Yes, a man purportedly in peak physical condition sounds like a 70-year-old man who has eaten bags of gravel daily for 30 years.

A damaged telecommunications satellite threatens disaster by falling to Earth, but no one at NASA can work with its archaic circuitry. With no time to train anyone before impact, the quartet steps in … but not before appearing alongside Jay Leno first!

Eastwood exploits his tough-guy image to the point where he simply becomes an asshole about whom no one cares. The only actor faring well here is Jones, who sheds his typical abrasiveness for a more tender side. But just when you think Eastwood wouldn’t possibly end the film putting Jones where he does … well, there you have it.

After “Space Cowboys,” “Unforgiven” no longer was the name of Eastwood’s best film. Until redeeming himself with “Mystic River,” that word best described Eastwood’s cinematic status in a new decade.

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Movies You Aught Not Watch: Seven Pounds Wed, 27 Oct 2010 04:03:49 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Movies You Aught Not Watch is Nick Rogers’ weekly, alphabetical look back at the 52 worst films of 2000-2009.

“Seven Pounds”
Rated PG-13

What you are about to read will spoil this movie. Don’t get mad. This will spare you quite a bit of mental agony and brutally executed brain cells. You’re welcome.

Seven lessons from 2008’s “Seven Pounds.”

1)   Texting while driving is bad. You could kill someone or, in Will Smith’s case, career momentum with a terminal-illness romance as awful as “Autumn in New York.”

2)   No black actor, regardless of acclaim or popularity, can ever transcend the Mythical Black Man motif. By virtue of gentle blackness, Smith’s Ben:

Encourages an elderly woman to speak with him about her abuse.

Befriends a vegetarian Great Dane (the film’s only good actor).

Enters someone’s private hospital room in the dead of night.

Makes a superhuman recovery from a bone-marrow transplant.

Fixes overnight a printing press that’s been broken for five decades.

3) Congenital heart failure can’t be that bad. After all, Emily’s (Rosario Dawson) cosmetics-counter glow brightens as she approaches death.

4)  Said illness will not keep Ben from, quoting Rod Tidwell, shoplifting the pootie.

5)   Milquetoast dweebs don’t suit Smith. The insulting, shadowy-thriller secrecy surrounding Ben’s planned suicide robs Smith of his natural forcefulness.

6)   M. Night Shyamalan didn’t concoct the Zeroes’ worst ending. To atone for an accident in which he killed seven people (including his wife), Ben intends to donate his organs to those in need. Too bad the jellyfish — yes, the jellyfish — with which he kills himself would essentially render organs toxic.

7)   There are cruel people deemed unworthy of one of Ben’s gifts. You’ll wish Smith had found you unworthy of the “gift” of a two-hour kick to the stomach.

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