Can you believe how much crap I see?
1. LITTLE BLACK BOOK (Nick Hurran, 2004)
With her cartoonish voice and ditzy blonde persona, Brittany Murphy has the potential to be a great screwball comedy actress. Until she gets those roles, she'll have to settle for parts that Melanie Griffith is too old to play. Actually, Griffith already played the role Murphy has in LITTLE BLACK BOOK, which ransacks WORKING GIRL--and admits as much, as though the theft is more forgivable when acknowledged outright--and adds a self-righteous message about the evils of reality television. This unpleasant romantic comedy flogs the genre's worst cliches, but it's most egregious offense is pretending to occupy the moral high ground.
2. YU-GI-OH!: THE MOVIE (Yûgiô: Gekijô-ban) (Hatsuki Tsuji, 2004)
The feature-length advertisement for a children's collectible card game, otherwise known as YU-GI-OH!: THE MOVIE, makes the POKEMON movies look like public service announcements directed by Steven Spielberg. Virtually unwatchable and totally incomprehensible, YU-GI-OH!'S ninety-minute running time felt interminable.
3. NATIONAL LAMPOON'S GOLD DIGGERS (Gary Preisler, 2003)
Pity the horny teenage boys who went to see NATIONAL LAMPOON'S GOLD DIGGERS in search of outrageous comedy and scantily-clad babes. The juvenile humor makes a feeble attempt to replicate recent raucous comedies. The main female characters consist of two grotesque elderly women that the penniless young studs marry and bed--blecch--in hopes of inheriting their wealth. Of course, what they don't know is that the old biddies are unable to get their hands on the family fortune and plan to off the dumbbells to collect their life insurance. If the National Lampoon brand had any value left, this disgusting, laughless film ought to wipe it out.
4. THE COOKOUT (Lance Rivera, 2004)
The dreadful comedy TAXI wasn't the worst movie Queen Latifah made last year. THE COOKOUT gets that distinction. A newly rich NBA draft pick invites a throng of stereotypes to a party at his swanky home to prove he is still able to keep it real. The usual hijinks inevitably send the family barbecue spinning out of control.
5. WHAT THE #$*! DO WE KNOW!? (William Arntz, Besty Chasse, and Mark Vicente, 2004)
The intellectually suspect documentary WHAT THE #$*! DO WE KNOW!? tries to make quantum physics accessible for the average joe. In floating many lofty theories, the filmmakers overload the viewer with mumbo jumbo in the hope that something will stick. Hard science is mingled with New Age cult teachings, with no distinction made between academics, at least one of which asserts the film quotes him out of context, and the woman who claims to channel the ancient warrior Ramtha. The wedding scene in which CGI-animated blobs lip sync to Robert Palmer's "Addicted to Love" rivals any other for the year's worst.
6. CHRISTMAS WITH THE KRANKS (Joe Roth, 2004)
CHRISTMAS WITH THE KRANKS sucks the joy out of the holiday season with its message in praise of excess consumerism and enforced Christmas cheer. Instead of spreading the festive spirit, this so-called comedy plays out like a nightmare.
7. SUPERBABIES: BABY GENIUSES 2 (Bob Clark, 2004)
An inessential sequel to one of 1999's worst films, SUPERBABIES: BABY GENIUSES 2 may be about the weirdest kids' film to come down the pike in some time. Jon Voight plays a former Nazi with "a soft spot for the laughter of babies". He's hellbent on world domination via subliminal messages through television programming but has his plans thwarted by an eternally seven-year-old superkid called The Kahuna. Seriously.
8. MY BABY'S DADDY (Cheryl Dunye, 2004)
The impotent urban comedy MY BABY'S DADDY might as well have been called THREE MEN AND THREE BABIES. Three buddies (Anthony Anderson, Eddie Griffin, and Michael Imperioli) have to become less like Dr. Dre and more like Dr. Spock. Hilarity does not ensue.
9. CELSIUS 41.11: THE TEMPERATURE AT WHICH THE BRAIN BEGINS TO DIE (Kevin Knoblock, 2004)
For the election year political documentaries were dumped by the bushel load into the film market. The worst by far was CELSIUS 41.11: THE TEMPERATURE AT WHICH THE BRAIN BEGINS TO DIE, a filmic response to Michael Moore's FAHRENHEIT 9/11. Structurally incoherent and philosophically muddled, CELSIUS 41.11 is for true believers only, and even they may fall alseep during this dull doc. Whether one loves or hates Moore's cinematic agitprop, he hopes to entertain while promoting his viewpoint. In fact, the most surprising aspect of director Kevin Knoblock's hastily assembled film is that it is as incendiary as a book of wet matches.
10. TAKING LIVES (D.J. Caruso, 2004)
The appropriately titled TAKING LIVES steals almost two hours better spent doing anything else. Angelina Jolie stars in yet another Hollywood serial killer movie that thrives on nonsense logic and predictable unpredictability.