Wednesday, February 01, 2006

The Worst Films of 2005

1. WAITING... (Rob McKittrick, 2005)

For the second time Ryan Reynolds has the starring role in my pick for the worst film of the year. (His previous "winner" was NATIONAL LAMPOON'S VAN WILDER.) As the obnoxious server Monty in WAITING..., Reynolds takes us through a day at a casual dining chain restaurant. You'll never want to eat out again or at least at a place without an open kitchen. This excessively crude comedy focuses on all of the disgusting things the cooks and wait staff do to customers' food. If that isn't enough, there's a curious obsession with flashing male genitalia while trading homophobic insults. Something this gross and smug shouldn't be on the menu when ordering a comedy.

2. THE WEDDING DATE (Clare Kilner, 2005)

THE WEDDING DATE answers that age-old question about what to do when a single person must go to a matrimonial ceremony at which their ex-fiancĂ© will be in attendance. Why, pay an escort to be your companion, of course! The scenario is a screenwriter’s invention combining PRETTY WOMAN, with a gender reversal of the main characters, and a splash of the BRIDGET JONES movies thrown in for some British flavor. Things occur because someone saw it once in another romantic comedy, not because people are this way. THE WEDDING DATE reveals no trace of recognizable human behavior in it.

3. THE MAN (Les Mayfield, 2005)

There's nothing wrong about working for a paycheck. That had to be the only attraction for Samuel L. Jackson and Eugene Levy to pair up in the stale, mismatched buddy comedy THE MAN. Their gain was moviegoers' loss of 83 minutes that could have been better spent licking the theater's floor. The film's lowlight is not one but two scenes about Levy’s noxious flatulence, one with an elevator full of nuns, a joke so shopworn that it’s amazing it made the cut, so to speak.


DEUCE BIGALOW: EUROPEAN GIGOLO is essentially a repeat of its unfunny predecessor, with a new setting and stupid murder mystery added. The lowest common denominator dirty joke wasn't that good the first time. The same goes for the recycling of Rob Schneider's "man-whore" routine and Eddie Griffin's pimp schtick.

5. KING'S RANSOM (Jeff Byrd, 2005)

Perennial worst of the year fave Anthony Anderson (MY BABY'S DADDY, SEE SPOT RUN) is back in the toxic comedy KING'S RANSOM. Anderson plays a wealthy man who plans his own kidnapping to avoid surrendering his fortune to his future ex-wife. What passes for "humor" is forced and heavily reliant on ethnic stereotyping.

6. VENOM (Jim Gillespie, 2005)

Budget horror movies are a dime a dozen. VENOM happens to be the worst of the lot. There's isn't anything particularly notable about it other than the ill-timed Miramax title dump that put this Louisiana swampland pic in theaters too soon after Hurricane Katrina for some.

7. BOOGEYMAN (Stephen T. Kay, 2005)

By spending a night in the home where he was raised, BOOGEYMAN'S main character hopes to conquer his childhood fear of the malevolent creature. If only it made any sense or was, imagine this, scary.

8. DOOM (Andrzej Bartkowiak, 2005)

The Rock leads a tactical fighting unit to a research base on Mars in DOOM, and all we get is this lousy movie. DOOM originated as a first person shooter video game, but what makes such games fun to play does not translate into compelling viewing. Considering that first person shooter games thrive on constant ammunition firing, there’s surprisingly little action for much of the film’s running time. Gamers would be better off playing DOOM or sitting in front of a blank screen than wasting time with this incredibly dull ALIENS rip-off.

9. ALONE IN THE DARK (Uwe Boll, 2005)

There may not be a more incompetent filmmaker working today than Uwe Boll, but somehow the guy keeps rounding up money to finance one video game adaptation after another. ALONE IN THE DARK is surely the most poorly assembled film among my picks for the worst of 2005, but it gains some points because Boll has a knack for churning out howlingly funny hack work. Not since Ed Wood has a director made movies as deadly serious and unintentionally funny as Boll does. Of any of the films on this list that I'd watch again, this would be the hands-down winner.

10. DIARY OF A MAD BLACK WOMAN (Darren Grant, 2005)

Writer and star Tyler Perry's DIARY OF A MAD BLACK WOMAN wants to be equal parts inspiration and zaniness, but it comes off as preachy hypocrisy and amateur hour comedy. For a movie espousing supposedly Christian ideals, it's surprisingly tolerant of vengeance instead of forgiveness.

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