Jan. 24th, 2010

books

Jan. 24th, 2010 11:28 am
clauditorium: (Default)
I have an unusual amount of books waiting to be read:

The Etched City by K.J. Bishop (fantasy)
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (non fiction)
The Poet by Michael Connelly (thriller)
Camp Concentration by Thomas M. Disch (science fiction)
Our Dumb World by the editors of The Onion (humour)
Cold Skin by Albert Sanchez Pinol (horror)
The World Without Us by Alan Wiseman (non fiction)

I'm not the most well-read person, but this still feels like I have seven treats in store.
clauditorium: (Default)
I don't watch bad movies on purpose unless they're supposed to be entertainingly bad. As a result, I barely had enough for a top ten, the bottom half of which is more mediocre than bad.


1. Battlefield Earth (2000)
The legends are true. The only things wrong with this movie are the script, the directing, the costumes, the sets, the acting, the cinematography (first, everything is brown; then it's green; then it's blue; what does it all mean?!!), and the editing. Everything else is brilliant.

2. Dungeons and Dragons (2000)
A puke-inducingly inept fantasy, featuring comic relief that will make you cry.

3. Glitter (2001)
I rented this because I'd read it was destined to become a 'so bad it's good' classic, but I was disappointed. This is no Showgirls. What makes Glitter a bad movie is that it's a bland, soulless procession of clichés, exactly like Mariah Carey's songs. And though Mariah is plenty vacuous in the starring role, she doesn't reach the heights of strenuously bad acting that Elizabeth Berkeley does in Showgirls.

4. The Cat in the Hat (2003)
Defeated by an astoundingly dumb, juvenile script. The unfunniness is rendered grating by the fact that Mike Myers punctuates every joke with a wheezing laugh and a loud "Oh YEAH!"

5. Ordinary Decent Criminal (2000)
Obviously, Kevin Spacey owed someone a BIG favour to agree to star in this utterly dull, unoriginal film trying to cash in on the "cool crime movie" fad.

6. Hearts in Atlantis (2001)
Stiff, forced, and fake drama, mostly due to the clumsy script. Anton Yelchin can’t act, and this is definitely a paycheck performance by Anthony Hopkins. Gratuitous use of period music as a lazy mood cue doesn't help.

7. Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story (2004)
I've stayed away from the recent low-IQ school of comedies starring the likes of Chris Farley, Will Ferrell, Adam Sandler, David Spade, Ben Stiller, Vince Vaughn, and Owen Wilson, so I don't know how this one compares. I only watched it because my brother's family was watching it when I visited them. The sad thing is that some of the aforementioned actors have proven they can do good work (in movies like Swingers, The Royal Tennenbaums, Punch-Drunk Love). This reminded me of the idiotic comedies I used to watch as an undiscriminating pre-teen in the early eighties. Who greenlights this shit? To add insult to injury, Dodgeball steals jokes from actually funny sources (The Simpsons and Best In Show), and drains all the humour out of them.

8. Dreamcatcher (2003)
First I read the book, which was definitely not one of Stephen King's best. When I found out a movie was in the works, I thought the novel could possibly be pared down into something good. Unfortunately, this remains faithful to the convoluted mess of a book it’s based on.

9. Friday the 13th (2009)
Despite what some misguided revisionists might have you believe, the Friday the 13th movies have always been mostly crap, even though there is material there to make a movie that’s actually scary. This sequel does nothing to change the trend. There is no suspense; in fact, the director seems to have no idea how to make a scary movie. He just assembles the shots indifferently and artlessly. The exposition-laden dialogue doesn't help. Also, Jason is too smart in this installment; he’s supposed to be a crude killing machine.

10. Mission to Mars (2000)
Or, as I like to call it, "Mission to Cheese". This is one of the bad Brian DePalma rip-off movies (the main victims here: 2001: A Space Odyssey and Apollo 13), not one of the good ones.


Other movie lists:
most disappointing
most pleasant surprises
most overrated
most underrated

Best of the decade lists:
movies
television
music from 60 to 46
music from 45 to 31
music from 30 to 16
music top 15
clauditorium: (Default)
Surveillance (2008)




A couple of FBI agents investigate some serial killers, who recently left behind three witnesses.

Intriguing thriller is packed with unsavoury characters. I saw the ending coming, which is rare for me, but that didn't impede my enjoyment.

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