2007 Bellview Awards, Part II
Letís keep ridiní it!
Biggest Fucking Piece of Shit--"Southland
It would be hard to imagine a film directed
by the guy that did "Donnie Darko" being this much worse than that
film; also, a film featuring a cast that includes The Rock, Justin
Timberlake, Seann William Scott, Miranda Richardson, Janeane
Garofalo, Sarah Michelle Gellar, and many others; and, a tale of the
apocalypse with an action/comedy/sci-fi hybrid slant. But,
"Southland Tales" has all of that and not only was it awful, it was
almost 150 minutes long. (Apparently, the version that was
shown at Cannes was ten minutes longer...I can't imagine what was
left on the cutting room floor!) For the few people that saw
this movie--it grossed less than $1 million in its four-week
theatrical run, shockingly low--they know what I know: this is maybe
the most disappointing film of the year.
Most Overrated Flick (tie)--"The
"Zodiac" was also a contender here (as evidenced by the shocking
number of critics who named it to their respective top ten lists of
2007), but it made almost no money, so it's hard to really call this
overrated in that respect. However, two other films really fit
the bill for me in this category. First, "The Lookout" was
really getting solid pub from folks prior to its release, and after
watching it, I couldn't help but be surprised by the number of
critics who cited the film's gritty script and edgy
performances...SO not the case. In fact, if you are thinking
about going to see this one, just go rent
"Brick" instead; it
also stars Joseph Gordon-Hewitt and the script is incredibly strong
and "edgy." "Atonement" fits into that tough spot for me that
many book-to-film conversions fit into: I shoulda read the book
instead, because the second half of "Atonement" is exactly what
Mountain", over an hour of nothing-goin'-on. And, its
ending is really weak.
Most Disappointing Flick--"Evening"
Here's how disappointing "Evening" was: it
was a chick flick that actually made me say "I could see that", it
had a great trailer, it had a great cast (Meryl Streep, Toni
Collette, Vanessa Redgrave, Patrick Wilson, Natasha Richardson,
Claire Danes AND Glenn Close), it had great writers (one of whom
co-wrote "The Hours")...and, it was only so-so. In fact, you
have probably noticed that NO ONE is talking about it as a film that
has any chance of winning any Oscars. That's because the cast
has almost no on-screen chemistry and because the story of "Evening"
is just not very well told. Films that have great female-lead
roles just aren't there right now, and in the case of this film, it
only piles more evidence onto the Hollywood pile-on that is shutting
women out of well-written creative roles in major films.
Biggest Surprise Flick--"Live
Free or Die Hard"
Action films generally did not do well this
year; some made money, but critically, most of them did not do well
at all. And, while
surprised me because of how faithful Michael Bay was to both the toy
line and his own blow-up-the-whole-screen experience, it was a new
theatrical experience...and, John McClane isn't. The guy who
directed the shitty "Underworld" films, Len Wiseman, and the
ridiculously-unfazed performance by Bruce Willis made this summer's
fourth "Die Hard" film surprisingly good, mainly because it went
back to the premise of the first film: give us an
incredibly-preposterous idea (hacker shuts down Washington, DC and
must face an off-duty, 50-year-old cop working with only another
hacker as a partner) and take a fantasy approach to an action film.
A lot of people told me after watching this summer's "Die Hard" that
it was just a great time at the movies, and despite its PG-13
rating, it was still adult, violent, and accessible...a big surprise
despite my low expectations.
Ahh, just one more leg to go!
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