Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Addicts: But First The Worst

It's a matter of days before I begin to reveal my jaunt through personal Awards, which some time ago I elected to call the 'Addicts'. When I'm deciding my Awards I find it quite difficult. Oh, it's always fairly easy making shortlists. But when you have to cut the shortlists suddenly you can be besieged with attachment you didn't even know you had (or at least to the extent that it hits you). That's why I won't be leaving anyone from my shortlists unmentioned, and why it's going to be so painful to cut my list of lead actresses from seven to five. I'm from the UK so I don't technically go by U.S. release, although I don't go by UK release either. Instead I count a release anywhere (excluding festivals), and primarily in the country that made the film, so for instance, I deem Lady Chatterley to be a 2006 film. I've found it works best this way.

But before we get to that, let me just tell you what I thought were the Worst things to take from the cinema in 2007. There were a few, although much less than last year, which I'm pleased to report. Maybe I just chose my films better in 2007. I guess these can't be 'Addicts'. Not severe enough. How about 'Junkies'? Anyway, here goes... (Winners are in red)

Worst Picture

My only comment on this film earlier in the year was that it was the 'death of production design'. Several months on and this is still the only morsel I've extracted from this tired film.

Across The Universe
A film that fails on every level, and unforgivably (for a musical) one that can't integrate its themes with the music, suffocating them (and the plot) beneath its desire to play every track The Beatles ever recorded. Has no more effect than a jukebox.

Ghost Rider
A thin, desperate representative of an already-tired comic book franchise. Can we please stop with these now? I can't take it!

Saw IV
Perhaps the worst thing about Saw IV is that it tries too hard. It so wants to make this one more shocking than the rest, not just in regard to blood and guts, but with its absurd plot devices. It introduces characters previously seen for less than five minutes in the franchise and gives them a pivotal role in a messy finale, and ends up twisting the film so that we have absoloutely no idea at which point in time we are.

The film says nothing about anything, or anyone in it, aside from that they're the hollow product of some godawful ventriloquist act.
(Taken from review)

Worst Director
Darren Lynn Bousman, Saw IV
Mark Steven Johnson, Ghost Rider
Shekhar Kapur, Elizabeth: The Golden Age
Sam Raimi, Spider-Man 3
Julie Taymor, Across The Universe

Worst Actor
Nicholas Cage, Ghost Rider
Jim Carrey, The Number 23
Nathan Fillion, Waitress
Anthony Hopkins, Fracture
Clive Owen, Elizabeth: The Golden Age

Worst Actress
Kirsten Dunst - Spider-Man 3
Virginia Madsen - The Number 23
Eva Mendes - Ghost Rider
Amelia Warner - Gone
Naomi Watts - Eastern Promises

Worst Screenplay
David Benioff, The Kite Runner
Dick Clement & Ian La Frenais, Across The Universe
Michael B. Gordon, Kurt Johnstad & Zack Snyder, 300
Mark Steven Johnson, Ghost Rider
Adrienne Shelly, Waitress


Dave said...

...why it's going to be so painful to cut my list of lead actresses from seven to five...

Tell me about it. I'm already having a conniption and I haven't even seen everything I wa- need to.

What was so bad about Naomi Watts? I haven't seen Eastern Promises yet so I'm not complaining, just curious.

And poor Kirsten. It's not her fault the script and role were so awful. But kudos on calling out Anthony Hopkins. To think they gave him a BAFTA Fellowship... *shudders*

goatdog said...

Oh, I nearly had a heart attack! Underneath the title "But First the Worst" I see pictures from We Own the Night and A Mighty Heart. You'll have readers dropping dead on you if you're not more careful.

I didn't find Watts "bad" so much as "completely unnecessary." After the first half-hour, why was her character still hanging around all the time, except that you have to keep Naomi Watts in as many scenes as possible?

Cal said...

I refrained from commenting on all the performances because they just depress me. I'll save that for the positive awards. Some of these actors are disillusioned with their films, which is understandable, but it was so awful to watch.

Watts... oh dear. Goatdog you're right, there's no need for her to be there after the half-hour mark, but when I think of her all I see is vacancy. She doesn't really feel intimidated by Mortensen and just generally seems pissed off that the film can't give her an active role.

Dave, it's similar with Dunst. The script is fairly dull and, compared with the other two in the Spider-Man series, pretty thoughtless. The film is kinda going in a different direction, or at least trying to, yet she doesn't really offer anything new. She really bored and disappointed me, when I'd previously thought of her as an almost Anne Darrow-esque iconic damsel figure.

Haha. Sorry about the title. The graphic was part of my lil' intro to the award thingys. A Mighty Heart will most certainly be among the best.


Anonymous said...

I'm not agree about your Worst Actress, Naomi Watts has a competente work beside the awful character for the script. She turns and delivers a fine performances a thousand times better taht, for me, the overracted Keira Knightley, the character is a sub passive but she has nothing to make in grace that character, same face like dumbass, actitudes and cold bitchy profile. For me, she's the most overracted performance of the year. example for that kind of character, Tang Wei gaves a better performance