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2008 Bellview Awards, Part II



Letís keep ridiní it!

Biggest Fucking Piece of Shit--"The Happening"

Actual quote by me, after Meg asked me where "The Spirit" ranked amongst this year's movies:

"'The Spirit' was awful...but, 'The Happening' was ten times worse."

Friends, "The Happening" made other films look halfway decent, in a year that was one of the worst film years on record.  Just glancing at the other movies that were Rentals or Hard Vices this year, it's not even close.  M. Night Shyamalan is a complete and total fraud.  Fact:  "The Sixth Sense" was nominated for Best Picture in 2000.  This, I thought at the time, was VERY deserving.  Even if you thought "Unbreakable" and "Signs" were good, the numbers don't lie about his last three films.  "The Village", "Lady in the Water", and "The Happening" are collectively atrocious (according to Rotten Tomatoes, the average of those three films is a 28%...yikes) and did not gross well at the box office (average of $75 million, okay but not against the budgets of the films).  Included in all of this?  The stories of those three films have been terrible and the performances of his actors in his last two movies is nothing short of embarrassing.  You almost need to see "The Happening" to know what I am talking


Most Overrated Flick--"Burn After Reading"

"Overrated" is tough this year.  Why?  Because movies sucked.  Fact:  "Iron Man" was named as one of the top ten films of the year by the American Film Institute.  "Iron Man" is a good movie, but like "The Dark Knight" (another AFI top 10), it is in the running for Best Picture, which is a testament to the body of films available, not necessarily to these two action/drama films.  But, despite this, I am surprised that as a complete film, "Burn After Reading" is receiving a decent number of accolades.  Meg and I thought the movie was okay, but certainly not, say, a top-10 film like the National Board of Review thought.  The Coen Brothers are always somewhere between okay and phenomenal, but this is not nearly as good as "No Country for Old Men", so what am I missing here?


Most Disappointing Flick--"Quantum of Solace"

This was maybe the toughest thing to consider in 2008, a year packed with tears of sadness.  I was shocked at how bad Spike Lee's "Miracle at St. Anna" turned out.  Jet Li and Jackie Chan combined to make an uneven, flat action film.  Don't even get me started on how terrible the Pacino/De Niro collaboration "Righteous Kill" was.  "Speed Racer" bombed, "Appaloosa" had no shootouts, "Cloverfield" made me sick and "Persepolis" took a genius animated commentary on life in Tehran and ruined it in a shitastic film adaptation done by the comic's author.  Even a bad franchise like "Transporter 3" failed to deliver on bad action scenes by featuring ALMOST NO ACTION.  (Did I mention that the "Max Payne" video games are actually really good?)  But, the edge here goes to the latest Bond adventure, which was disappointing on a number of fronts for me.  The movie's title?  Garbage.  The Bond women?  Garbage.  No gadgets or a Q sighting?  Garbage.  A move back to 75% action, 25% drama (after a reversal in "Casino Royale")?  Garbage.  A Bond movie that only lasts about 100 minutes?  Garbage.  If this was the first Daniel Craig Bond movie, I probably would have liked it it was, I still clamor to the hope that director Martin Campbell gets to direct all of the Bond movies moving forward.


Best Flick Nobody Saw--"In Bruges"

I saw this all the way back in January, and I'm still surprised that basically no one saw this movie.  Funny, well shot, well plotted, and featuring well-played midget humor, "In Bruges" has three great stars and is set in a random town in Belgium.  That ought to be enough for you to run out and see it!


Biggest Surprise Flick--"Punisher: War Zone"

I still can't believe that this "franchise reboot" was even halfway decent...but, it delivers on the promise that people will get violently punished in a virtual war zone, and it delivers the kills in spades.  Shockingly violent, but otherwise, a must-see.


Ahh, just one more leg to go!  Part III


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The "fine print":
All material by Justin Elliot Bell for SMR/Bellview/ except where noted
© 1999-2009 Justin Elliot Bell This site was last updated 01/08/09