On movies that suck

Glitter Carrazzie

You did it Mariah! (NOTE: The Carrazzie is simply a trophy with former Hollywood director Edward Wood’s likeness on it. He has a cult following of fans who love him for being the worst director of all time.

 

It’s been a while… time for some top 10 lists:

MY BIGGEST MOVIE DISAPPOINTMENTS

10. Godzilla (1998)
9. No Holds Barred (1989) – Hulk, you forgot your vitamins, prayers, training, and any sense of discernment at all when you made this one.
8. Jaws 3D (1983) and Jaws: the Revenge (1987)
7. The Seventh Seal (1957)
6. All of the following superhero movies: Spider-man 3 (2007), Catwoman (2004), Hulk (2003), Batman Returns (1992) — and all other Batman movies following until Batman Begins came out
5. Pearl Harbour (2001)
4. Planet of the Apes (2001)
3. The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997)
2. Robin Hood (2010)
1. The Matrix Reloaded and Revolutions (2003)

Yes, Star Wars: Episode I should be on the list, but for me all of the movies listed above were bigger disappointments.


MOVIES I’VE AVOIDED WATCHING FOR FEAR OF THEM SUCKING

10. The Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007)
9. Miami Vice (2006)
8. Alien Vs Predator (1993)
7. Bruno (2009)
6. Alexander (2004)
5. Mars Attacks (1996)
4. Blues Brothers 2000 (1998)
3. Aliens 3 (1992)
2. The Godfather, Part III (1990)
1. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)

MOVIES THAT I LOVE BUT THAT DISAPPOINT MOST OTHERS

10. The Lone Ranger (2013)
9. Avatar (2009)
8. The Lady in the Water (2006)
7. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003)
6. Mickey Blue Eyes (1999)
5. Chicken Little (2005)
4. The Men Who Stare at Goats (2009)
3. Superman Returns (2006)
2. The Man Who Knew Too Little (1997)
1. Nacho Libre (2006)

Congratulations Glitter. Be it ever so reluctantly, this is your week.

And the Oscar goes to…

Best Actress – Why Mariah Carey, of course. Mariah, you may have redeemed yourself in Precious, but only partially. We’ll never forget that you not only made this movie, but also released it to the public. Then there’s your music…

Best Actor – I haven’t seen these movies and I don’t recognize any names other than Mariah. So this week’s best actor will be the birds that attack the village.

Best Quote – “I hear a mountain lion! I gotta get back to my house and you better get to your car!” – Birdemic: Shock and Terror

And finally, the following are the worst movies ever made, in my humble opinion:

10. Who’s That Girl (1987) — Thank God for A League of Their Own, eh Madonna?
9. Left Behind (2000)
8. The Land Before Time 2 through 13 (1994-infinity)
7. The Evening Star: The Continuing Story of Terms of Endearment (1996)
6. Space Chimps (2008)
5. Smokey and the Bandit II (1980) — I only like Burt Reynolds when he’s Norm MacDonald
4. The Pacifier (2005)
3. Maid in Manhattan (2002) — Don’t you love it when movies make you cry? Depends on the reason you’re crying
2. God’s Not Dead (2014)
1. Movers and Shakers (1985) — Rented this one with my cousin from a gas station in Fredericton. Never been so bored in all my life.

 

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Theme: CARRazzies; Week: Feb 27-Mar 5/15

Razzies 2015

It’s finally here folks! Today Hollywood, yea the world, is celebrating the great movies of 2014. But what about the reeking pile of rancid celluloid that gets overlooked year after year? Why can’t terrible movies get their recognition?

Well this is your chance! It’s the CARRAZZIES 2015!*

Here’s how to vote: I pray to God that none of you have been subjected to this week’s nominees, so simply 1) read the plot description for each nominee below, 2) decide which one would be the most effective use of torture on you if held captive at Guantanamo Bay, and 3) give that bad boy a vote!

Carrazzies 2015

 

 

*There is an already established website that gives such awards. So I guess they DO get their recognition, but this is my version and it’s based on the IMDb bottom 100. And it’s a much better award, don’t you think?

 

Interpreting movies, the Bible, and someone staring at you.

HAL

A lot is revealed when you interpret. A lot can be lost too. I remember when I was a teenager serving as a dishwasher at a Christian family camp I inadvertently communicated to a girl that I was in love with her. I’m serious! It really was inadvertent! It was all in her interpretation… Here’s how it went:

Every evening there was a church service that we were required as staff to attend. I was sleep deprived seeing as every night my friends and I stayed up all hours talking, laughing, and horsing around. No word of a lie here: I averaged two hours of sleep per night for the entire week. So while the preacher droned on I was in a semi-vegetative state. My mind drifted off into outer space—unfortunately my body was not in space but my mind didn’t realize it. I was staring at a girl. A girl my age. Just staring at her. I didn’t know I was. As far as I knew I was in that wonderful place known as “my own little world.” All my life I’ve been told that’s where I am, but in reality I just visit there. Often. She and her friend giggled and whispered as several minutes went by with my glassy eyes aiming right at her like Chewie’s crossbow on a stormtrooper. When I “came to” I was embarrassed, to say the least. After the service I couldn’t convince her, nor her friend, that I “didn’t mean to” stare at her. They both interpreted my actions as a boy forlornly in love.

Usually when I hear the word interpretation being used, it’s in regards to either a movie or the Bible I’m sure it would be different if I worked in the criminal justice system or literature department of a university. 2001: A Space Odyssey is perhaps the king of all movies subject to multiple interpretations. Legendary director Stanley Kubrick purposely made it ambiguous, which is one of many reasons film critics and movie goers love it so much. Many are just plain confused, like Rock Hudson who walked out of the premiere exclaiming, “Would someone tell me what the #@$% this is about?” Good question Rock. That’s usually the question on our mind when we see something we don’t understand, especially when we were hoping to be fed something we do.

I would like to shift the metaphoric gears here (be it ever so slightly) and address a recent headline I’d read about interpretation. Perhaps you saw it too. It said that Rob Bell, a controversial Christian pastor, was “not faring well.” The subtitle was “Rob Bell believes the Bible is irrelevant.” I was shocked. I’d always admired Rob Bell, but maybe he’d turned a corner I was unaware of. A corner I wasn’t willing to turn myself. So I read the article. Turns out Bell didn’t claim that at all. The author of the write-up was R.C. Sproul Jr. And he was ticked! Bell had appeared on Oprah supported gay marriage and, consequently, pissed all over his chips. His intensity rose considerably as he not only accused Bell of intentionally trying to lead other Christians astray, but also of being on his way to… you know… the firey pit that our loving Father plans to send all of us who support gay marriage. It’s what any loving father would do.

Well, Mr. Sproul’s subtitle lives up to the tone of his article, but evidently not to the direct quote to which he is writing about. He quotes Bell: “We’re moments away (from the Church accepting gay marriage). I think the culture is already there. And the church will continue to be more irrelevant when it quotes letters from 2000 years ago as their best defense.”

Bell didn’t say the Bible was irrelevant. He said that the church would be if it relied on only the certain passages in the Bible as its best defense. We Christians are chronically guilty of only discussing controversial topics with each other, and not engaging with people who don’t agree with us. We also like put up walls and claim the Bible as our foundation for doing so. To take a stand against any group of people getting married one must not simply “blame” his/her Bible, Quran, or other religious holy writing. At both of my Christian alma maters I was taught that in order to believe something the Bible must be the primary consideration as well as reason, experience and tradition/history. Sounds like good advice to me.

I believe in the Bible. Always have. It should be read. It should be talked about. It should be shared. It’s meaning should be discussed with everyone, not just with those who we think will agree with us. And our interpretation of it should be challenged often.

Congratulations 2001: A Space Odyssey. This is your week. Though I do apologize to you. I paid more attention to Rob Bell and RC Sproul Jr. than to you. To make it up to you, I will go to my back yard tomorrow and crush a pile of bones with one larger bone. Then I will try and figure out what that means.

And the Oscar goes to…

Best Actress: Admittedly, Anne Bancroft’s role in The Graduate is iconic, but I have to give this one to Claudia Cardinale. One of the things I loved about Once Upon a Time in the West was the awesome characters and the perfectly selected cast for each one. Case in point: Claudia Cardinale.

Best Actor: Dustin Hoffman. The man. The myth. The legend.

Best Quote: MORTON: “Tell me, was it necessary that you kill all of them? I only told you to scare them.” FRANK: “People scare better when they’re dying.” (Once Upon a Time in the West)

As for the interpretation of 2001: A Space Odyssey, I have some suggestions but you’ll have to buy me a coffee or Coke sometime and I’ll share them with you. I will admit though, my initial reaction after watching it was pretty close to Rock Hudson’s.

 

Are you an idiot or something?

There is one word that I hate more than any other. The crazy thing is that I use the word. Maybe even daily. It’s not that I like to say it or anything, but sometimes it just seems to express my frustration, anger or confusion. The word is “stupid.” There is a reason I hate the word, but I’ll get into that later.

How can you not love the character Rocky? He’s my fourth favourite character of all time (And yes, I do have a list of my favourite movie characters. There are 35 on the list.). I love how he is so underestimated by everyone. It’s not just his opponent who underestimates him; his friends and loved ones appear to as well. It seems like he accepts that people do that, but doesn’t accept it himself. At least he doesn’t want to. He wants to prove to himself and to anyone who cares to take notice that he can “go the distance.” He will prove that he is not a bum. That he matters.

His overcoming this to me is spectacular considering how hard it is to step up to an insurmountable challenge when you know that people see you as “dumb,” let alone worthless. He even mocks it a bit with his memorable way of asking Adrian out: “I think we make a real sharp couple of coconuts — I’m dumb, you’re shy, whaddaya think, huh?”

The reason I hate the word stupid is simple, and you will likely relate to this. I have always hated being called stupid and been scared to death that others might think that I was. And the reason why I think you’d relate is because we all seem to be fearful of this. I don’t need to prove to anyone that I’m smart, but when I make a mistake I call myself an idiot in my head. When I trip over my feet I look around to see if anyone was looking. When someone tells me something I already know it’s almost unbearable to hold back the urge to report to them that I, indeed, did know that.

Sometimes I honestly do feel stupid. Sometimes I believe others think I am too. Sometimes I bring to memory the words I’ve heard others say as if it’s some kind of “exhibit A” for a case that must be made. But then I think of not only Rocky, but another beloved movie character. Forrest Gump. (He’s #16, in case you were wondering.) I was just watching this movie tonight and so many times I feel emotional watching Forrest deal with this same issue. His courage and centeredness inspire me. When he asks Jenny that question at the end of the movie (SPOILER ALERT: If you click on “that question” you will find out what it was) I can hardly contain myself. He knows he is different and even repeats “I’m not a smart man,” when talking with people because he knows they write him off this way.

People don’t think I’m as stupid as I think they do. As I’m sure you already know (See what I did there?) this is true for you too. I will prove myself in life, but I’ll do it for me and for those I love. I can’t, and must not, do it for who may or may not see me as a sharp coconut.

Congratulations Rocky. This is your week.

And the Oscar goes too…

Best Actress: Audrey Hepburn. So sweet and cute. The more I get to know my grandmother and the more I watch this actress the more I see their similarities.

Best Actor: WALL-E. I realize he’s not real, but I just love that guy! I seem to remember a comparison made between him and Rocky…

Best Quote: Other than the words above that Rocky uttered, the following is a pretty great one: “Stupid is as stupid does.” — Forrest Gump

I won’t bore you with the full 35-name list, but here is my top ten favourite movie characters of all time (so far anyway):

15. Kermit the Frog 7. Daniel Plainview (There Will Be Blood)
14. Austin Powers 6. Ron Burgundy (Anchorman)
13. Han Solo 5. Guido Orefice (Life is Beautiful)
12. Bill “the Butcher” Cutting (Gangs of New York) 4. Rocky
11. The Joker (The Dark Knight) 3. The Little Tramp (Charlie Chaplin character)
10. Nacho Libre 2. Dr. Evil
9. Cousin Eddie (NL Christmas Vacation) 1. Darth Vader
8. Lloyd Christmas (Dumb and Dumber)

Theme: Best Love Story (Week: Feb 13-19/15)

Feb 13-19-15

Last year several movies were voted on with Carl and Ellie from Up winning by a landslide. This time around I’m not sure who will get it. Which do you think should be this week’s movie/love story ?

1. Forrest and Jenny from Forrest Gump (1994, #13)

2. WALL-E and EVE from WALL·E (2008, #62)

3. Rocky and Adrian from Rocky (1976, #224)

4. Joe Bradley and Princess Ann from Roman Holiday (1953, #241)

 

Respect, Responsibility, and the Rape of the Natural World

My favourite scene in this movie is a dead heat tie between two scenes. The first might be obvious. It’s the T-Rex scene. He does show up a few times in the movie, but anyone who’s watched Jurassic Park knows exactly which segment I’m referring to. The other is when the main characters are sitting with the park’s creator discussing their thoughts about the place. Ian Malcolm’s (Jeff Goldblum) words of caution are impassioned, grim, and excellently articulated:

Genetic power is the most awesome force the planet’s ever seen, but you wield it like a kid that’s found his dad’s gun… the problem with the scientific power you’re using here, it didn’t require any discipline to attain it… your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn’t stop to think if they should.

Recently a learned that this effect was made with a guitar string being plucked just underneath the cup of water. But I still like to believe it’s the T-Rex.

It’s no secret that this is a problem we humans have had for as long as we’ve existed. Manipulating and/or exploiting nature (including even our fellow human beings) has caused us more heartache and heartbreak than perhaps any natural disasters ever have. Of course, this doesn’t mean that the discovery and the use of nature is a thing to be avoided. Training a horse to carry a person and therefore be used as transportation is something we can all appreciate, not to mention wind surfing, indoor plumbing, petting zoos, and solar energy. But the questions Dr. Malcolm’s raises ought to be constantly on our minds with every interaction we have with each other and our surroundings. Even Dr. Malcolm admits in his challenge that he doesn’t even know what could go wrong. He just knows what happens when respect and responsibility are not in their proper place, which is standing between the discoverer and the discovered.

My siblings and I have a rich assortment of aunts and uncles. One particularly wise one is our beloved Uncle Bob. My brother tells a childhood story where the two of them saw a motorcycle go by. My uncle said to him, “I had one of those.”

“Really?” Jamie says.
“Yup. When I bought it, I was scared to death of it.”
There’s a pause and then he continues.
“Know how I knew it was time to sell it?”
“When?” answered Jamie.jp-jello
“When I wasn’t afraid of it anymore.”

Anything with power must be respected. I was just telling my daughter yesterday how amazing it is that we could never live without water, yet even a tablespoon of it can kill a person. Many issues come naturally to mind regarding this subject. Everything from cloning, environmental concerns, medical experiments, etc. But really it’s in our everyday lives that need to submit ourselves to this kind of thinking. How I raise my kids, treat a customer, communicate with my wife, do my business: all of it must be flavoured with respect and responsibility for all living things around me. Not for a desired outcome, but because it’s right.

Congratulations Jurassic Park. This is your week.

And the Oscar goes to:

And in case I don’t see ya: good afternoon, good evening and good night.


Best Actress:
I would definitely go with Laura Linney here. She’s so talented all around, though my favourites are her work in this movie and Mystic River.

Best Actor: Jim Carrey. One of a kind, and one of the very best.

Best Quote: “Hold on to your butts.” — Samuel L. Jackson as Ray Arnold in Jurassic Park.

Looking very much forward to seeing Jurassic World this year. I for one like to get scared in a movie. Not so much the overly bloody kind of scary, but the man vs nature and the eerie unknown—love it. It’s especially scary when Wayne Knight is involved. NEWMAN!