End of an Era

Groan. Yawn. Sigh. It's that time of the year again. Coming through at the end like twelve bloody months. A girl's period. And I don't know how I'm going to make this sh*t fly. This has been the single most boring stretch for film in quite some time. I can't think of one single movie that even got my ire up. Sure, there were things I enjoyed. But nothing I worshipped. Things I looked forward too, but nothing I wrote home to mom about. Except maybe the Kid & I. And that was a goof.

At the beginning of this year, I'd never stood by the title of this column more firmly. Hell, I basically quit my review job because it was eating at my insides. I personally felt that I'd seen every movie I needed to see. For ever. I barely watched more than a handful of this year's offerings. So I'm hardly qualified to make a top 10 anything list. But Movieweb wants one. So I'm going to give it too them. And then some.

Let's start with the sh*t. There was a lot of it. Seriously. I can't believe that some of this crap even came out. And the fact that it appeared in the number one spot on a weekend top ten list blows my mind. Looking over Box Office Mojo, I realized that I hadn't paid much attention to the number crunching since January.

Top 10 Movies I didn't know came out, or forgot about completely

10) Must Love Dogs: You're sh*tting me. This came out in 2005? Didn't this come out, like, six or seven years ago? Is this a re-issue? No. Oh, it just looks like every other romantic comedy that's come out in the last six or seven years. I like that my friend and associate Mantooth used this as his header for the Romantic Ad he placed on Craig's List. Only he changed the title too, "Must Love Beers." It worked. He found a bitch.

9) The Island: This looked boring anyway. I was supposed to see it at Comic-Con with Mushy and Webmaster B2, but passed to hang out with Bruce Campbell and John Landis. The movie completely slipped my mind until the other day, when I saw a commercial for the DVD. Funny, I still don't want to see it.

8) The Jacket: I totally forgot about this one. I remember it had Adrian Brody in it, and a pretty sh*tty looking Keira Knightly. Thing is, it seems like this came out a million years ago. Did they ever release it on DVD? God only knows.

7) Mindhunters: Come on, give me a break. I saw this movie two years ago. And they kept telling me not to review it. I didn't even know they actually released it until I was looking at Box Office MoJo earlier tonight. Basically LL Cool J does what he did in Deep Blue Sea and Halloween H2O. He defies the odds and stays alive even though the forces of nature do everything in their power to kill him. It was like I'd seen it before. No wonder it disappeared from my collective consciousness. It's the only film I saw in this Top 10 list. And I remember most of the other films on here better.

6) Derailed: Maybe it's about a train? Or a relationship that's gone horribly wrong? It has to be one of the two. Doesn't really matter though. It's a horrible title for a movie. And it probably sucked. I'm never going to see it, so I don't really care.

5) Two For the Money: Don't ask me. I don't know. Never heard of it.

4) Valiant: Who? What?

3) Man of the House: Um? I'm scratching my head here. So many movies. So many uninteresting titles. Something like this just fades away. Did the movie have Sinbad in it? Sounds like something that Sinbad would have been in. Or maybe Cedric the Entertainer. It took me exactly eight days to remember that it was a movie with Tommy Lee Jones protecting a bunch of hot cheerleaders. That says everything you need to know about it right there.

2) The Perfect Man: Blah. Don't know. Don't care. I'm not going to even look it up.

1) Boogeyman: Despite the fact that this opened (#1) at the box office, I have no idea what it is. I don't remember ever seeing a trailer or commercial spot for this sucker. Sounds pretty generic. I guess a few people saw it. I wonder if they liked it.

Top 10 Most Mediocre Films of 2005

10) The Ice Harvest: Blah.

9) Sky High: Blah, blah.

8) House of Wax: Blah, blah, blah.

7) The Ice Princess: Blah, blah, blah, Blah.

6) Bewitched: Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

5) The Longest Yard: Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

4) Fever Pitch: Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

3) A Lot Like Love: Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

2) Hostage: Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

1) The Wedding Date: Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah!

Top 10 Movies I Can't Believe Opened #1 at the Box Office

10) Coach Carter – Opened #1 the weekend of January 14th: "Huh?"

9) Are We There Yet? – Opened #1 the weekend of January 21st: "What?"

8) Monster in Law – Opened #1 the weekend of May 13th: "What the Fuck?"

7) Diary of a Mad Black Woman – Opened #1 the weekend of February 25th: "You've got to be kidding me!"

6) Flightplan – Opened #1 the weekend of September 23rd: "No way."

5) Hitch – Opened #1 the weekend of February 11th: "Someone miscounted."

4) The Pacifier – Opened #1 the weekend of March 4th: "Vin Diesel, an ear biting duck, and a baby. That's what America wants to see? That's horrible."

3) The Fog – Opened #1 the weekend of October 14th: "This aint possible."

2) Doom – Opened #1 the weekend of October 21st: "Hollywood is dead. People will watch anything."

1) Boogeyman - Opened #1 the weekend of February 4th: "How did this happen? I quit!"

Top 10 Pieces of Dog Sh*t

10) Bigger than the Sky: This was just an excuse for a gay director to give his gay lover an acting job. Too bad neither one of them has any talent in their listless cocks. I had to watch a screener of this at home. My TV set nearly melted. There's only one thing worse than watching live community theater. And that's watching a movie about live community theater. I wanted to shoot my eyeballs through the back of my head. And Sean Astin does the worst job of over acting I've ever seen. Then there's the whole Patty Duke twin thing. The only thing that could have made this interesting is if they would have dug John Astin out of his grave and dressed him up like Gomez for a rousing stage-side family reunion. I hate MGM for making me sit through this on my valued off-time.

9) Cursed: Kevin Williamson and Wes Craven. This should have been a no brainer. Well, actually, I guess it was. Watching Christina Ricci engage in a love affair with Pacey Witter was like watching two retarded twin brothers fuck each other in a tent. This movie went through so many re-shoots, its almost impossible not to laugh at Ricci's weight fluctuation from one scene to the next. She's fat. She's skinny. She's fat. I guess turning into a werewolf will bloat you worse than PMS.

8) March of the Penguins: I hate being cold. I hate watching anything that's cold. I only made it half way through this torturous journey before turning it off. I can't believe so many people flocked to the theater to see it. I mean, it's just a bunch of stupid penguins walking around for two hours. Am I supposed to enjoy that? Who convinced all those people otherwise? I think they only like it because they think they're supposed to like it. Well, hey, you can be honest. You can admit it. This isn't filled with any kind of joy what-so-ever.

7) Down & Derby: When I was in Scouts, my Dad was obsessed with the Pine Wood Derby. And he acted a lot like the fathers in this wretch of a film. I though I might gleam a little bit of nostalgia off the proceedings. All I gleamed was a numb ass. I wanted to get up and leave the screening room. But my dead legs wouldn't let me. Yes, this thing was so horrible it turned me into a paraplegic.

6) Eros: Three prestigious directors puke an artsy-fartsy Episodic vomit slick, and then expect me to sit still through the whole thing without squirming around. What a joke. Eros is very cocky, yet weak. It struts around like a rooster without a foot to stand on. God, it was boring. At least it had a handful of hot Italian titties on display. And a mean, twenty-five minute handjob that came on stronger than the one I had to pay $100 for in The City of Industry. It's conceited, man. Stay away.

5) Be Cool: Horrible. Horrible. Horrible. An evil attempt at cashing in on fond memories. It whores both Get Shorty and Pulp Fiction at the same time, making you not want to watch either of those films ever again. In one word: "Gay!"

4) Daltry Calhoun: I wanted to watch this. I wanted to like this. I think Johnny Knoxville has a very charismatic screen presence. Tarantino produced it. And David Koechner was in a supporting role. What went wrong? Let me tell you. The direction is hack. The music is awful. And the story is about a seed salesman. There are awkward moments aplenty. And Koechner's retarded man-boy performance creeped me the f*ck out. I thought this was going to be a funny movie about golf. Maybe in the vein of Caddyshack. Nope. It was neither a comedy nor about golf. It was about planting grass. What the Hell was Quentin thinking? Why did he greenlit this dooket? This movie gives bad a bad name.

3) The Man: Unwatchable. Both Eugene Levy and Sam Jackson should be shot in the face. And I saw it for free. So you know those are some pretty strong words.

2) Wedding Crashers: The first movie I've walked out of in my life. I think. It was

that part where Owen Wilson's new found love interest goes to read her speech at the podium. And she bombs out. That one scene threw a spear through my chest. I had to get up and leave the theater. This was supposed to be a comedy. It did nothing but depress me. I hated the goddamn thing.

1) George A. Romero's Land of the Dead: I'm not really a George A. Romero fan. I've never seen any of his movies, except for the Living Dead series. Of course I've seen those. I love zombie movies more than anything else. And I was pretty excited to see this. Until after it was over. The man waits twenty years to make another walking corpse picture and this is the one he makes? It sucks with a capital S. The story goes nowhere. It's about nothing but a souped-up A-Team van. The characters are faceless. The dialogue is wack. And the plotting is abhorrent. I thought maybe I was just in an off mood the first time I watched it. So I watched it again. And hated it even more. A pointless sequel. That's hard to stomach. It's kind of like that scene in Empire Strikes Back, where Han, Leah, Chewie, and C3P0 are in that asteroid. I had to think to myself, "This is the most exciting thing that ever happened in their lives? It must be, because it's what the director has chosen to show me as an example of their existence." In other words, "Wasn't there something more challenging and worthwhile to wrap this premise around?" If not, the man should have just quit while he was ahead.

The Movie I had to avoid like a brain-chomping zombie every inch of the way

RACING STRIPES. A Talking Zebra movie that David Berkowitz claimed was causing him seizures. It accounted for his removal from solitary confinement into the psych ward. The commercials featuring two sh*t-eating flies was enough to send any normal kid into a comma. I was supposed to see this at three different screenings and bucked each one of them. David Yates, while watching a commercial for it upstairs on the TV, told me I would inevitably see it. I couldn't out run my fate. A few months later I was at somebody's house and they'd rented it for their kids. They wanted me to sit there at watch it. I ran so far away. Just the other day, Andy Bartlett dialed it up on his In Demand. I watched the first four minutes, and then he screamed, "Jesus, I hope I don't have to pay for this crap!" Before turning it off it a quick hurry. The year is over, and I managed to escape the terror. But I can hear it breathing. Racing Stripes is standing right outside my door ready to Hoover my guts through a straw.

The B. Alan Orange Turd of the Year

Easy. No doubt about it. Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith. Let me explain it this way. My dog once ate a whole box of crayons. The 64 count box with all the cool colors in it. He also ate this cheap stuffed animal that I'd stolen from the Nickel Arcade in Salem, Oregon. Well, when he took a shit, it came out speckled like a rainbow. And the plastic eyes that used to be sewn onto that stuffed animal's face were now sticking out the top of this fecal matter. It looked like a Negro worm covered in glitter. It had a popping personality. The thing was interesting to look at. For awhile. But it was still just a fucking turd. Nothing more than something that had dropped out of a dog's butthole. That's how I feel about Star Wars Episode III. I've watched it a number of times, hoping it will get better. But it never does. And I hate it a little bit more each time I sit through its horrible weight. This movie sucks. There's no getting around that fact. I think the first two Star Wars prequels are far superior. All I have to say is, "Ooba-Ooba!" Yeah, the baby-scooper robot. That sh*t was retarded.

(Now comes the good stuff. You'll recognize all of it. The titles speak for themselves. I don't think I really need to explain or extrapolate.)

Top 10 Movies I liked, kinda, but only ever need to see one time

10) Assault on Precinct 13

9) Layer Cake

8) Batman Begins

7) Constantine

6) Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

5) Zathura

4) War of the Worlds

3) The 40 Year Old Virgin

2) A History of Violence

1) Walk the Line

Top 10 Funcore Flicks of 2005; the best of the enjoyable

10) Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang

9) Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

8) The Dukes of Hazzard

7) Sin City

6) Wallace & Gromit in Curse of the Were-Rabbit

5) Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

4) Four Brothers

3) King Kong

2) The Devil's Rejects

1) Kung Fu Hustle

(And here comes the one you've all been waiting for...)

The B. Alan Orange Movie of the Year

The Kid & I.

Tom Arnold is going to Heaven. And I'm going to Hell. It's all because of one movie. And that movie is The Kid & I. At least once a year I'll come across a film that stops me dead in my tracks. I'm caught like a deer in headlights, because the film in question is unexplainable. A miracle made up of "Oh, f*ck!" moments. Something I can't believe I'm actually watching. Something that is awesome for reasons beyond even the filmmaker's control. Last year, it was Moto-X-Kids. Gary Busey fighting a monkey and a bunch of underage bikers inside the Shack (home of the Shackburger; rated Los Angeles' #1 Burger for many years in a row) came as just one of many mind-blowing moments that elevated an at first seemingly unwatchable film into stratospheric cult status. True Cult Status. Not this Donnie Darko-Big Lebowski bullsh*t cult status everyone's always yammering on about. I mean; Moto-X-Kids hasn't yet been discovered by a wider "Hot Topic" t-shirt buying public. Moto-X-Kids is under-underground and most hipper-than-thou Warriors-Worshipping faux-Mohawk sporting thirty-year-olds have written it off as some low budget religious kid's movie. But oh, contraire! The fact that it was made by Clear Channel only adds to its subversive weirdness in a way you have to watch the film to understand.

This year, I'm in complete awe of a little Independent effort called The Kid & I. And most of the same people that decided Napoleon Dynamite (which made incredible bank at the box office) was the cult film of the decade will dismiss and ignore this new comedy. Most likely because of Tom Arnold. Even though he didn't direct it, it will be viewed as his film in a sense. A lot of people, understandably, don't like Tom Arnold. There's the whole Roseanne fiasco. The drugs. The stealing jokes from other comedians. The fact that sometimes he's not a very likable guy. He knows that a majority of people don't like him. Well, he does everything to amend for that here. He's crafted a lovely piece of pop-oddness that seems surprisingly from the heart. I don't get the sense that he made The Kid & I to earn the respect of others. It doesn't really feel that way. I think he made it to bring happiness into his co-star's life. The Kid & I comes across as a selfless act of talent. Too bad it's an immensely flawed B movie that plays like a train wreck most of the time.

Or maybe not too bad.

You see, that's its charm. Technically speaking, this is a horrible movie. Yet, I enjoyed it immensely. I sat for 90-some minutes in shocked wonder. There's so much going on in this tight little package, it's easy to see why a bigger budget wasn't thrown behind it. This is the kind of film Hollywood Executives wouldn't touch with a ten-foot pole. And it shows with a DIY spirit, every frame pushed up by the talent involved.

It's Tom Arnold and some kid with Cerebral Palsy making an action flick in the vein of True Lies. It's part documentary, part fantasy. It's like nothing I've ever seen before. And Ariel Keeble is f*cking hot. Yeah. The Kid & I. It's truly my pick for best movie of the year.

And with that...

The year is over! For the most part, it sucked. I'm going to go party now. Recharge my batteries. I haven't really looked into any of the films coming out next year. Maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised. Maybe not. I'm sure I'll still hate all of you. And your stupid Movies in 2006.

But enough of that...

"Take me to...THE VOLCANO!"

Cinemark Movie Club
Brian B.