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The Ten Worst Movies of 2010 (that I saw)

Another year is coming to a close, which means I have once again seen a lot of movies.  This year, unlike last year, I made an attempt to avoid awful movies (for example I did not see or rent Grown Ups because Adam Sandler and Kevin James are the closest thing to crack-cocaine in terms of brain cell destruction, nor did I see Saw VI because I believe it is wrong for a film franchise to have three consecutive films that claim to be “the final one”).

Sidenote- seriously does Kevin James ever wake up and think, “Man if I sucked di*k for drug money on live television I would be less of a disgrace to my family. I have made three of the worst films ever recorded – Chuck and Larry, Paul Blart and Grown Ups.  And I know it.  And I have tons of money, but I don’t care.  I want to make dumb Americans even dumber and profit off of them mercilessly.”  And can we stop treating Adam Sandler like he is some beloved entertainer?  I know he reminds you of that moderately cute and cool kid in your Hebrew School class, but the dude is done.  Mr Deeds, Chuck and Larry, Grown Ups, Little Nicky, Big Daddy, etc.  The guy has done everything he can to kill good taste.  Enough – please collect your cash and go away.   

So naturally, despite moderate efforts I was unable to avoid bad movies for several reasons.  Travelling to comedy clubs around the country and having spare time, Oprah Winfrey and wanting to see if Samantha Jones finally gets AIDS were all contributing factors to the several terrible films I saw this year.  Before I get to the Bottom 10 I want to share a special note of two movies that were not worthy of the “worst,” but based on critical praise and box office success, are the two most overrated films of the year:

Box Office Overrated Film of the Year

ALICE IN WONDERLAND

Over $300 million is what this film pulled in.  Weird is the best way to describe it.  Boring is a very accurate way to describe it.  Johnny Depp – you were cool and talented the first eight times you played a weird character, but now it feels redundant.  For a change, try playing a male with genitals who does not talk like a pretentious college student who has returned from a study abroad semester and now pronounces Barcelona as Barthelona. 

Overrated Movie of the Year – Critics

THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT

For me, the reason to give gay people all the rights they deserve is selfish: I am tired of Hollywood patting itself on the back for showing gays as regular people and then acting like they re-invented the wheel.  But that was ok for me with Brokeback Mountain, which I thought was pretty damn good, but what really gets me is when a mediocre movie that is lathering itself in every indi-film cliche is praised as a great film.  Enter The Kids Are All Right.  Granted there were other movies that will be nominated for best picture like The King’s Speech (will be this year’s “we have to nominate at least one movie with British people and one movie related to the Holocaust, so why not nominate this one which has both?) and Black Swan (dark artsy-fartsy, but interesting in parts), which were interesting, but incredibly overrated, but the Kids Are All Right really stands out.  It just is not that good.  The movie is a B- at best, but critics have treated it like The Godfather fu*ked Amadeus while Goodfellas watched.  If you have not seen this or have and thought it pretentious enjoy this brief cinematic interlude:

But none of those movies were worthy of being on:

J-L CAUVIN’S TEN WORST FILMS OF 2010

10. The Deuce – (tie)

Sex and The City 2 and Iron Man 2

Two sequels – two bowel movements.  Iron Man 2 is shameless in what is becoming a Hollywood trend – we have a hit, we want at least three films and everyone will pay for the second so we can make it a huge bag of sh*t and make half of the movie about setting up and establishing things for the third film.  It is literally the middle child before there is a third child.  The movie was just mediocre, but because of how shameless it was and how much worse than the first it was – it earned a spot on the list.

Sex and the City 2: It was good to see these old bags who have influenced a generation of emotionally and spiritually lost women go out like Brett Favre – with a cinematic equivalent of an interception.  Here is the summary of the Carrie Bradshaw saga: she finally gets her man (women will give a good guy one chance, good penis a few chances and a super wealthy guy almost infinite chances – see “Mr. Big”).  And what does she do when she gets her better looking Trump?  She complains about the monotony of married life, makes out with an ex boyfriend in a foreign country and complains to her hubby when they eat dinner in for…wait for it… two consecutive nights!  The lesson for all the women who wanted to be Carrie, thought Carrie was fabulous, came to NYC to have a “Sex ad the City experience:”  Carrie was a bitch.

Ugggh, what's the point of being married to a billionaire if I cannot be constantly spending money and travelling so I can forget how empty my own life is?

9. Black People Besides Tyler Perry Can Make Bad Movies (tie) –

Lottery Ticket & Copout

When I saw Lottery Ticket I was hoping for something in the vein of Barber Shop and when I saw Copout I was hoping that Tina Fey was writing Tracy Morgan’s material.  I was wrong on both.  Lottery Ticket, starring fully grown Bow Wow produced the unthinkable – it offered a movie where Mike Epps, an incredibly unfunny human being, was the funniest thing in the movie.

Copout, combined with his deplorable HBO comedy special, proved that Tracy Morgan is completely unfunny when Tina Fey is not writing his words.  I was harsh on Fey when she was the head writer of SNL, but this chick has apparently worked miracles to make Tracy Morgan appear funny every week on 30 Rock.

Probably the least funny person of 2010.

8. The Worst Thing Clooney Has Ever Done –

The American

Even George Clooney can go to far.  Here is how I think this boring movie was made: George Clooney spends time in Italy fu*king models so he said, what if you filmed me driving and looking thoughtful while I was on vacation in Italy?  And maybe throwin a few conversations, some guns that we barely use but just show me putting them together?  And what if this was all so boring and self-indulgent that when I do a sex scene with a woman who is off the charts hot, it still cannot save the movie?  What, Hollywood – you love me so much, like a quarterback who is also in an A Capella group, that you are afraid to tell me no?  Let’s do it! 

The review for this film can be summed up by the young black woman who was siting in front of me while watching it.  With about 15 minutes left in the movie she just, “Damn, this movie SUCKS.”  Sometimes talking at movies is OK and this was one of those times.

7. They lost me when Adrien Brody fu*ked a lab creature –

Splice

I thought this was going to be a tense sci-fi thriller.  Instead about one hour in to a relatively mediocre movie Adrien Brody fu*ks a creature he created in a laboratory.  From then on it became one of the worst films of the year and the most awkward moment I saw in a movie since Willem Dafoe ejaculated blood in Antichrist (last years #3 worst movie on my blog).

6. I think it is time to admit that The Rundown was accidentally entertaining –

Faster

The Rock was the most entertaining WWF/WWE star of all time.   Then his first starring movie not associated with a Brendan Fraser franchise was the very enjoyable The Rundown.  Seemed like he was destined to do great things – maybe not Oscar great, but legitimately solid entertainment.  Faster is the death of that optimism for me.  When I saw previews for Faster I thought – “Man, that looks like Taken, but on steroids!”  What it was was Taken on creatine with a lobotomy.  How they managed to make a movie about a dude travelling the country murdering people for revenge somewhat boring is beyond my intellectual capacity.

5. Even low expectations could not save these bad westerns (tie) –

Jonah Hex and The Warrior’s Way

Jonah Hex I saw while on the road.  I would have been better off lying in the middle of a road.  I think it was written in about 14 hours because it felt like it had potential if someone had just written a story.

The Warrior’s Way I saw with a buddy because I had already seen everything that he had not promised to see with his girlfriend.  The Warrior’s Way is honestly one of the 20 worst films I have ever seen, but since I had no interest in it and my expectations were zero I did not think it deserved a higher spot on the list.

4. I really hated this fu*king movie and its awful 3-D –

Clash of the Titans

I am sort of shocked that this was not the worst film of the year but it is close.  Between Avatar, Clash of the Titans and Terminator Salvation it is obvious that Sam Worthington is unable to act with actual people.  And after Clash of the Titans, maybe he shouldn’t be allowed to.  A giant bag of crap (shame on you Ralph Fiennes and Liam Neeson) and the poster child for the other cinema scam – 3-D.  I actually was able to watch half of the movie clearly without 3-D glasses and the 3-D was terrible (James Cameron rightly criticized the filmmakers for scamming people for extra ticket money, but not providing legitimate upgrade in quality).  I hate 3-D and I hate how it is becoming an automatic surcharge on every other movie now.  No one likes watching movie with special glasses.  It is annoying and when it is accompanied by a giant piece of crap like Clash of the Titans it really sucks.  And yes, a sequel is being made.

How did Liam Neeson look at this and say, "Get my agent on the phone - I LOVE IT!"

3. Like Mexican sex shows – only the horse was entertaining –

Secretariat

If the horse in Secretariat only had two film credits – sex with Mexican prostitutes and Secretariat, he should leave Secretariat off of his resume.  Schmaltzy to the point that the entire dialogue could have consisted of Jon Favreau screaming “who’s the wild man now?!” from Rudy and it would not have been as corny and embarrassing.  The only thing that was good in the movie were the 15 minutes of horse racing.  Everything else was awful.  I wanted Seabiscuit (but about the greatest horse of all time), but instead got a terrible ABC Family made-for-TV movie.

2. Even when he tries, Tyler Perry sucks –

For Colored Girls

This year Tyler Perry finally got to show off his diversity as a filmmaker.  For so long he was known as the creator of shi*ty comedies.  Now we all know he can make a shi*ty drama.  This movie actually has several good performances, but it is a TERRIBLE movie.  One dude kills his own kids, one guy gives his wife HIV, one guy rapes his date, one (unseen character) abused his daughters.  The one good guy is a cop, but his wife cannot have kids because… wait for it… a man gave her an STD when she was younger.  I think the movie is for colored girls by default because it is definitely not for colored men.  It is also a lazy movie, because rather than adapt the original text to w workable film script he just has the character inexplicably delivering long, poetic monologues which do not work in a movie.  Tyler – just stick to your day job of making shi*ty “comedies.”

For the emotional scenes, Tyler Perry showed the cast footage they had already shot for the movie. So those tears are real.

1. When steroid abuse doesn’t kill who it’s supposed to (and your 2010 champion) –

The Expendables

A tremendously awful film.  Just like when white women feel like they need some fulfillment they open a cupcake store with family money and pretend to be serious entrepreneurs; when old white men feel unfulfilled they make movies like this.  An absolute embarrassment for even half-decent action movies, men and decent taste this is your champion for 2010.

The steroids should have killed Stallone before he made The Expendables.

I could not say it any better than I did in August on my blog – so enjoy:

https://jlcauvin.com/?p=1798

Tomorrow – Top 10 movies of 2010.

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Rich, Religious or Racist & Why Obama Needs The…

I did not want to hammer away on the health care reform aftermath, or the afterbirth known as the Tea Party movement, but I feel it is a little necessary.

At least they're being polite.

I have always believed there to be three large constituent groups within the Republican Party: the Rich, the Religious and the Racist (and no, I do not want to turn this into some gimmicky, phrase-coining post like it’s a Thomas Friedman column, but here we go). Sometimes all three can be present in one Republican, but often many fit into one of the three groups, with desire for economic security and prosperity being the most common. 

The Rich

First, the rich.  This means more than people of means, because there are plenty of wealthy Democrats and plenty of poor Republicans who believe (or say they believe) that lower taxes is important because it stimulates business and means less intrusion into their lives.  I genuinely believe this is phony.  Economic Republicans, whether poor or rich believe in one thing, holding on to their money or dreaming that when they get lots of money that they can keep all of it.  Perfectly entitled to that desire, but I hate when it’s discussed in macroeconomic terms by individuals concerned with their individual circumstances.

A great way to hide this is to call yourself libertarian, which allows the rich Republicans to say that marijuana should be legal or that they are pro-choice, which for these two issues I think amounts to, “I don’t really give a sh*t about those issues, but I can seem less of a frightening Republican if I concede those issues.”  If you were so pro-Choice or so pro-liberty than why would you vote for a Republican in this political climate, at least the ones offered nationally?  (And maybe you don’t/didn’t and then this does not apply to you and I say welcome to the Democratic party either now or down the road, even if you won’t admit it because you come from a family tradition of Republicans.)  One reason: lower taxes.

The Religious

The religious Republicans seem to scare my NYC friends the most, but I do not have a problem with some of them because I consider one of the defining issues of this group, being pro-life (or anti-choice if I must), a legitimate philosophical and moral belief.  Do I think some political people use it as a wedge issue? Absolutely.  But I found the bashing of Bart Stupak (a Democrat I know, but aligned with Republicans on one of this signature divisive issues) by a lot of liberals quite terrible.  Some would say the increasingly arbitrary line of viability (thanks ironically to scientific advancement) is more absurd than a bright line pro or anti abortion stance.  Other issues like prayer in school I understand Republicans views (at least the ones sincerely held), even if I agree with the current law.  But at the end of the day, many of the things that Republicans tell their religious base (we’ll ban gay marriage in The Constitution, we’ll end abortion, John Boehner is naturally tan and his name is pronounced Bay-nor) are just not possible in this country, politically or socially.  But they placate this segment of their base to keep them at fever pitch so that they can be relied on for votes.  And then in all fairness, not to give a large swath of this group a pass, many of them are fu-king crazy.  If you are an atheist you probably think everyone with religious beliefs are crazy, but you know what I mean.

The Racist

But then there is the third group of Republicans, who have nicely and loudly proclaimed themselves Tea Party Republicans – the Racists.  Are there Democrats who are racists? Sure.  Republicans love to bring up Robert Byrd, former member of the KKK as an example.  But who is more racist, or at least enabling to racists: Robert Byrd whose record is marred by insensitive votes, and racist associations early in his career, but later marked by transformation through time and as recently as the middle of the last decade a 100% vote approval by the NAACP, or House Minority Leader John Boehner, who condemned the usage of bricks and racial slurs, not to mention death threats, by people upset over “Health Care Reform” (I put it in quotes because “health care reform” and “socialist” had become mere proxies for “Nig*er until the Tea Party decided to stop being polite), but suggested that they sublimate their “anger” into things that are useful for the party. 

When your party gives you racists, make lemonade!

This is incredible!  This is a party leader coming as close as anyone since Strom Thurmond to basically say, “we want your racism, your backwards thinking and your hostility in our party; just don’t embarrass us by acting upon it illegally. Vote Republican in 2010!”  A more meaningful and principled stand would be to say, “We don’t want you in the Republican party – we hope to be a party of ideas and solutions, and defiance if we have to be, but we don’t want you if this is how you act.  I remember former Wyoming Senator Alan Simpson (Republican) react almost violently when someone made a Republican-gay rights crack to him on a show concerning Matthew Sheppard.  He was so offended by the suggestion that those actions could be affiliated with his party or himself (he was actually a prominent spokesman for civil rights and gay rights).  The vitriol that Simpson responded with and the anger that Boehner showed towards the health care bill is the same broad-based anger Republican leaders should have responded with towards their Tea Party brethren (and let’s not forget that Nancy Pelosi has taken a lot of heat.  Like Hillary Clinton, Pelosi seems able to generate spontaneous hatred – a friend of mine who is Republican had proclaimed “hatred” for Clinton in high school, without any tangible reason, and the same for Pelosi). 

On race the Republicans have always been decades late and even then, a token, insulting response.  Clarence Thomas (whose early personal history is quite remarkable and could make anyone an angry reactionary) was, nonetheless, the very unqualified Republican replacement for Thurgood Marshall.  The Republican response to Barack Obama was clown prince Michael Steele.  These seem like responses born out of the spirit of the Spike Lee film Bamboozled, not choices actually made from a more inclusive and sensitive political party. 

And the issue of race, is also hidden beneath many of the economic arguments.  As Bill Maher said last week (I don’t always agree with him, but on this point I did), the health care reform reminds people of welfare.  And despite Chris Rock and Jerry Springer’s best efforts, many people in this country still view welfare as their hard earned dollars of whites going to a black mother with 9 black kids in a black neighborhood.

And saying liberals said hurtful and hateful things about George Bush is not a defense.  George Bush started two wars (botched a justified one and heartily engaged in an unjust one), helped facilitate the Great Recession, botched the response to Hurricane Katrina, sanctioned torture, put oil executives in charge of environmental policy, and ignored or at least was derelict in his attention to warnings of 9/11, to name a few things.  He was the Secretariat of bad presidents.  Obama gave 30 million more Americans health care.  Which angry reaction seemed more appropriate and which one seemed more like it should be condemned by the establishment of the respective party? 

When it comes to bad presidencies - George W. Bush leaves everyone far behind. So why all the hate for Obama?

It reminds me of the climactic scene in A Time To Kill where Matthew McConaughey (alright alright) describes the crime to the jury, but flips it on them at the end.  Well to this third group I would say, “Close your eyes. Now, imagine more of your friends and neighbors could have affordable health care, or that relative of yours that died because of rejection from health insurance companies was allowed to keep his or her insurance.  Now imagine that this was done, in large part, because your President made a promise to a dying Senator, and because this President’s mother had died of Cancer and because he believed it could help lots of people. Now imagine that that President is white.” 

The defensh reshtsh.