Now the inherent risk of a list like this is that it is bound to offend. Someone somewhere is going to look at this and say, "But #6 is my FAVORITE movie! How dare you?" So before I get the hate mail, let me just apologize in advance. Go ahead and leave me a comment about why I'm so very wrong--I'm ready for it.
* I've only picked movies I've actually seen--at least in part (most of these I didn't finish). I'm sure there are plenty more that stink but I had to go with personal experience on this one. As a note, I have less tolerance for bad movies nowadays and I'm getting better at knowing which movies I would or wouldn't like so many of these on the list are from ages past.
* I've only picked movies that are fairly well-known. I mean it's EASY to be horrible when you start out with no expectations, it takes real talent to flop when you've got big-name stars and a huge budget--think Waterworld (which I haven't seen--neither have I seen Congo, Planet of the Apes or 2001 a Space Odyssey though I have a feeling they'd be on here if I had).
* Not just any junk will do. To make my list it has to not only be bereft of entertainment, it has to really irritate. There's no pain like paying $9 for a movie that is terrible. It's enough to make you want to organize a coup of Hollywood--or fire all the writers. Heh.
* Movies I've seen on T.V. don't count--maybe they're better in their uncut versions or at least I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. That's the only way Erin Brokovitch and The English Patient missed spots (I'm with Elaine on that one).
* Finally, sequels are disqualified because they're so likely to make the list it's just not fair. I mean who actually bought a ticket to Baby Geniuses II and thought, "I bet this is going to be a great movie!"
So without further ado . . .
1. Elizabethtown. I saw the preview for this one and was sucked in by the Quirky Banter. Yes, Quirky Banter is all the rage in Hollywood nowadays but it wasn't enough to compensate for this very odd movie. Started out with potential (I like the actors) and then I got stuck in Cameron Crowe's personal playlist that just wouldn't end. Even the Great Tom Petty couldn't compensate for this weak movie. What was with Susan Sarandon's diatribe?
2. The Fifth Element. This movie created what is now known as "The Shimeks Effect." In Anchorage if you want to buy quality electronics you go to Shimeks, a home-grown store that has all the state of the art gadgets and what do they play 24/7 on their giant-screen t.v.s? Yup, this is it. Men get sucked into buying a television based on all the surround-sound, wild colors and special effects this movie has to offer but when you actually sit down to watch the movie you're in a bad place. I feel rather sorry about including it, knowing that my it's my father's favorite movie--I apologize Dad.
3. Short Circuit. This is where Ally Sheedy's career ended. All that 80s fame and she ended up with a robot that makes E.T. look exciting. Don't watch it. Ever. (And side note: while I'm sounding so ornery I might as well mention I didn't care for E.T. either, but not enough for it to make the list).
4. Weekend at Bernie's. Another 80s disaster. It was just a freakishly odd movie--unless you're into dead bodies that dress up and act drunk. I still remember the shock at discovering they'd made a sequel. What what??
5. The Hunchback of Notre Dame. From the beginning I thought this was an odd story to make into a cartoon but I went to it anyway, trusting in the Disney talent but oh how wrong I was. That scene where the Bad Guy is singing about his burning desire for Esmerelda and the flames are leaping out of the fireplace toward him? Somehow I'm not feeling that that's your typical forest-animal-happy-song. Who was it who read this towering masterpiece and its last tragic scene where Quasimodo lays down on the pile of corpses, clutching Esmerelda's dead body to him and said, "Now THAT would make a great cartoon!" Could there be another story on the planet LESS appropriate for Disney than Hugo's classic? What next? Crime and Punishment: the Musical? Every theme of this amazing novel was destroyed once Eisner got his clutches on it. Not that I'm bitter.
6. Forrest Gump. I know I'm going to get hate mail for this one. It's EVERYONE'S favorite movie but I just didn't get it. I love movies where the underdog conquers all--I liked Rudy--but this one I couldn't get my head around. Was it supposed to be funny? Was it supposed to be sad? Because no one on the planet could do all the things that guy supposedly did and no one would love him the way everyone in the movie did. Although now that I think about it, that guy on American Idol that sang "She Bangs" might have proved me wrong. You gotta wonder at someone who puts Forrest Gump on the list of worst movies ever but fails to include Clash of the Titans but what are you going to do?
7. Ace Ventura Pet Detective. I dislike bathroom-style humor. Flatulence jokes, humor about body parts, etc.--it all seems rather juvenile and Jim Carrey's style is so out of control I don't find it funny. It's like being caught in a time warp at summer camp where you're trapped with a flock of 10 year-old boys that won't stop burping. Though I loved The Truman Show . . .
8. Cellular. Did you see this one where Kim Basinger was kidnapped and called some guy on a cell phone and he tries to rescue her? The guy has THE BEST COVERAGE on the planet. His battery is amazing, his luck is beyond amazing. I can suspend my disbelief for an hour or two but this one was just too much. They could have brought in killer sharks, flying ninjas, singing nuns and 32-foot M&Ms and it wouldn't have been less believable. I'm still a Handsome Rob fan though, despite this stinker.
9. Drowning Mona. I bet you haven't seen this one. It may be too obscure for the list but with Bette Middler, Danny DeVito, Neve Campbell and Jamie Lee Curtis you'd expect more. Isn't it funny how expectations make such a difference in how much you like a movie? I'd heard how funny this was so I was expecting more. I doubt Will Ferrell is including this one on his resume.
10. The Mask. Another Jim Carrey that was too weird for words so I'll not attempt any.
11. Happy Feet. I won't go into another review here, I saw this last fall on opening night and did a blistering post about it (I love the comments--I got chastised pretty thoroughly by a grandmother who took her grandchild to see it and loved it). The best thing about this movie? It was so bad, writing a review was really fun.
12. Paint Your Wagon. I'm a huge classic movie fan but if you think that classic movies are guaranteed to be good you'll want to avoid this one. Grace and I watched it with my grandmother last year and the farther we got into it the more we kept looking at each other and saying, "What in the world??" Take Clint Eastwood and Lee Marvin and add some singing and dancing then throw in some polygamy and Mormons and wife-sharing and you've got the general idea. And I saw very little painting going on.
13. ???? As fun as it is to list the worst of the worst I have a hard time coming up with movies I really hate. I love a good movie so help me out--finish this off with the movie that made you want to weep. And not in a good way.
Okay I'm editing to add a poll here:
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