Posts Tagged ‘I Am Legend’

I haven’t seen everything I want to see this year (which is why I’m holding off on the top ten films of 2007) but I can confidently say that these were the worst. I don’t mean worst in the Norbit sense either. These are the films that could have been great or interesting, but ultimately sucked.

Across the Universe: I’ve already expressed how much I hated this movie once on this blog, but here it is again. A collection of 60’s cliches, hammy dialogue and poor acting, Julie Taymor’s Across the Universe is an embarrassing piece of work in an otherwise solid career. Honestly, if hippie culture was anything like this, maybe Nixon was right.

The Brave One: This movie really should have been called Jodie Foster Kills New York. Not only is this film bizarrely inaccurate (apparently you can’t walk two blocks in Manhattan without being raped and killed) but it was also just poorly executed. By the end it has dissolved into such a shitty action movie that Jodie Foster literally looks at one of her victims and says “Now who’s the bitch?”

Death at a Funeral: It seems Frank Oz wrote this script, realized it didn’t have a personality, and then injected the personalities of other farces right into it. Between the tired “guy trips on acid by accident and does crazy things” bit and the ongoing panic joke that Peter Dinklage is a gay midget (he’s gay and small! Get it?), I was ready for this movie to end within ten minutes of sitting down.

Smokin’ Aces: My expectations weren’t particularly high for this film. I was a fan of Joe Carnahan’s Narc a few years ago, and while Smokin’ Aces looked like another Quentin Tarantino rip-off, I thought he might be able to bring something fun and original to the table. Instead of a fun shoot-em-up movie however, Carnahan actually asked us to give a shit about these characters. Oh yeah, and there’s a plot. Who the fuck does this guy think he is?

Zodiac: While director David Fincher deserves praise for this tireless research and accuracy, he seems to have forgotten that he was making a movie and not a recreation of a crime for Court TV. I saw this with several friends and I’m pretty sure we all fell asleep. Fine, maybe we were kind of drunk.

Worst Casting: John Travolta in Hairspray. Travolta looked terrifying and sounded like a drunk, southern drag-queen trying to do a Dr. Evil impersonation while swallowing marbles.

Worst use of CGI: I Am Legend. This film had me going until I got my first glimpse of the crazy zombie (not vampires like in the book) “infected” bad guys. It gave the film a cartoonish vibe that ruined all of the suspense that followed.

Worst Amount of Product Placement: Transformers and Disturbia. Shia LaBoeuf had a big year with two blockbuster films. He also managed to promote a shitload of products in these films. After watching Transformers and Disturbia I had this weird urge to drive my Ford truck to Bed Bath and Beyond while listening to music that I downloaded on iTunes.

Worst Advertising Campaign: Good Luck Chuck. I remember walking out of my apartment hungover one morning and almost vomiting at the sight of a half-naked Dane Cook with a shit-eating grin on his face.

Worst Movie Featuring a Good Performance: Alpha Dog. Justin Timberlake made Alpha Dog, Nick Cassavetes’ poorly written juvenile crime drama, almost worth watching. Almost. While Emile Hirsch did his best Fred Durst impersonation and Ben Foster pretty much let the throbbing veins in his head do the acting for him, Timberlake came through with a sincere and powerful performance. Call me crazy, but I think the kid’s going to be big.

Worst Historical Representation: 300. Did you know that Xerxes was a ten foot tall trans-gender alien who sounded like Mr. T? Or all Persians are freakish, scarred creatures who like to experiment with their sexuality? Thanks for the history lesson 300!

Worst Film Title: Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium. I don’t think a film title has ever made me want to strangle a puppy as much as this one.

Worst Looking Movie That I’m Still Weirdly Excited to See in the New Year: I Know Who Killed Me. Lindsay Lohan as a stripper? Okay. A weird double personality plot? I’m with you. Clones and robot arms??? Holy shit. It may not have been a good year for LiLo, but at least she can rest assured that stoned college kids will be watching this movie for years to come.

I’ll be back soon with the best of the best of 2007!

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The Dark Knight trailer was showing before I Am Legend this weekend, and now has been posted online. Any doubts that Heath Ledger is not the coolest villain in the history of bat-kind have been dismissed.

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Alvin and the Chipmunks: The ad campaign for this film started out with a chipmunk eating his friend’s shit. Now the film is giving us the opportunity to “Get Munked!” Surprisingly, by “get munked” they are trying to get the public excited about the film, not encouraging filmgoers to cover themselves in chipmunk semen and light themselves on fire as the phrase might imply. Still, I suggest the latter if it is the only alternative to seeing this film. Jason Lee, David Cross, Jane Lynch, Justin Long and other actors who are probably crying right now all star in this creepy adaptation of the classic children’s cartoon. This is playing at the Pavilion and the United Artists on Court Street.

I Am Legend: Will Smith stars in this adaptation of Richard Matheson’s incredible vampire novel. Apparently this film has been in development for a very long time, switching actors, screenplays and directors over and over again. Apparently at one point, it was set to star Arnold Schwarzanegger and was going to be directed by Ridley Scott. As a fan of the book I can happily say that I’m glad this did not happen. While the trailer is making this look like much more of an action movie than a meditation on the loneliness of the last living man on Earth, it looks like it could still be a relatively entertaining film. This is playing at the Pavilion and the United Artists on Court Street.

The Perfect Holiday: While I’m excited that Tim Allen didn’t make The Santa Clause 4 or Christmas With the Kranks 2, I still would like just one good holiday film to come out this year. I’ve watched all the classics a thousand times, and while I love them, I’d like a more recent film to replace Elf. This one will definitely not be it. Gabrielle Union, Queen Latifah, Morris Chestnut and Charlie Murphy star in this one. I’ve seen almost no advertising for it. Apparently the studio is relying on the fact that people will see movies featuring the words “holiday,” “christmas” and “season.” And they’re probably right. This is playing at the United Artists on Court Street.

The Kite Runner: I’ve never read this book, but judging by my morning subway commute, everyone else in the world has. Director Marc Forster has had a hit or miss career in my opinion. I hated Finding Neverland with a passion, liked Monster’s Ball (but will never see it again), and enjoyed Stranger Than Fiction. He is also slated to direct the next Bond film. Here, he directs a mostly unknown cast in a surprisingly low-key production of the international best-seller. This is playing at the Landmark Sunshine.

Look: A group of random people are filmed going about their private lives by security cameras, as this film tries to make a statement about privacy in a post-911 America. While this is a potentially interesting subject for a film, it was written by the same guy who wrote Zoom, Underdog and Small Soldiers. Also, there’s a pretty big spelling mistake on the poster. This is playing at the Angelika.

Nanking: This documentary about the Rape of Nanking was a surprise hit at Sundance and is being called one of the best documentaries of the year. The film also features actors reading eye witness accounts of the atrocities. You know, acclaimed film and theater actors like Mariel Hemingway, John Getz, Woody Harrelson and…uhhh…Stephen Dorff. This is playing at Film Forum.

Youth Without Youth: Francis Ford Coppola! Directing again! It’s been ten years! And it’s supposed to be…not very good! Whatever, I’m still going to see it, and so should you. It’s my pick of the week. The IMDB description of the film is: “A love story wrapped in a mystery. Set in Europe before WWII, a timid professor is changed by a cataclysmic event and explores the mysteries of life.” I don’t think they could be more vague if they tried. This is playing at the Landmark Sunshine. Also, the midnight movie at the Sunshine on Friday is Army of Darkness, and the IFC Center is playing the David Lynch classic Eraserhead.

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