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The University of Utah's Independent Student Voice

The Daily Utah Chronicle

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The Daily Utah Chronicle

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Lights… camera… trashcan! Aaron Allen and Chris Bellamy cringe at the worst movies of the year

Chris Bellamy

1. “War

of the Worlds”

Directed by Steven Spielberg


“9 Songs”

Directed by Michael


The biggest artistic failure of the year was Steven Spielberg’s “War of the Worlds.” Just a disaster.

This is a movie with no payoff, no real characters, no story, no sense of logic…and did I mention there is no payoff whatsoever? And so, even if other movies are technically worse, “War” is by far the worse failure. (PG-13)

But the absolute, balls-out (literally) worst movie of the year is Michael Winterbottom’s “9 Songs,” one of the most pointless films I’ve ever seen. Nine concert scenes and nine sex scenes…and that’s it. That’s all there is. It doesn’t say anything or do anything, but instead masquerades as a film rather than admit what it really is: bad porn. (NR)

2. “Diary of a Mad Black Woman”

Directed by Darren Grant

Ugh. A cartoonish, condescending, phony piece of crappy melodrama that talks down to its audience from the very first frame, and which features the most annoying character in movie history. Her name is Madea, writer Tyler Perry dressed up in drag to look like an obese, loudmouthed grandmother….except “she” looks suspiciously like a 30-something man dressed in drag. (PG-13)

3. “The Man”

Directed by Les Mayfield

A white guy and a black guy accidentally become a hackneyed buddy movie comic team. High-jinks are involved. Actual exchange between Samuel L. Jackson and Eugene Levy:

Eugene: Am I free to go now?

Samuel: No. They’re making a s*** sandwich upstairs, and you’re the mayonaisse.”

Just?wow. (PG-13)

4. “The Ring Two”

Directed by Hideo Nakata

If the horse scene in the original wasn’t funny enough for you, check out the scene in this atrocious sequel in which bad CGI deer attack Naomi Watts in her car.

This spot now applies to all the other lousy horror movies that came out this year: “Venom,” “The Fog,” “Cursed,” “Saw II,” “Hide and Seek,” “Dark Water,” etc. (PG-13)

5. “Separate Lies”

Directed by Julian Fellowes

A shockingly bad effort from “Gosford Park” scribe Julian Fellowes. Mind-numbingly awful dialogue, a contrived plot that is impossible to believe and cardboard characters motivated not by any real emotion, but by?well, nothing at all. I need to spit. (R)

6. “Be Cool”

Directed by F. Gary Gray

Hey look, John Travolta and Uma Thurman! Good thing I haven’t seen that before in an infinitely superior 1994 movie! (PG-13)

7. “Bewitched”

Directed by Nora Ephron

In the words of Stewie Griffin, “NOT FUNNY!” (PG-13)

8. “Pretty


Directed by Marcos Siega

An “edgy” indie high-school flick with no structure and two hours of poor attempts at social satire. (R)

9. “House of D”

Directed by David Duchovny

Take every good coming-of-age movie you’ve ever seen…now think of the opposite of those movies, and you’ve got “House of D.” (PG-13)

10. “In the Mix”

Directed by Ron Underwood

Another vanity project, this time mixing Usher with the mob. Ooh, I’m getting chills! (PG-13)

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Aaron Allen

Sometimes movies go bad. Very bad. So bad they kick down your door, point their machine guns and riddle you with bleeding holes of badness.

Never fear!

As a movie critic, it’s my duty to leap to your rescue and take those bullets in the chest. Damn right, you’re thankful!

1. “Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo”

Directed by Mike Bigelow

To the pantheon of memorable movie images-E.T.’s moonlit flight, Kane’s gothic Xanadu, a knight playing chess with Death-I add Rob Schneider in a giant diaper. It’s an image that will haunt me forever. Where are the Ghostbusters when I need them? (R)

2. “Diary of a Mad Black Woman”

Directed by Darren Grant

That chugging roar you hear is a chainsaw, held by man-in-drag Tyler Perry, slicing into the serious movie you thought you were watching. (PG-13)

3. “Domino”

Directed by Tony Scott

Keira Knightley sneers as real-life bounty hunter Domino Harvey in this relentless kaleidoscope of supposed cleverness. The disorienting script by Richard Kelly argues that reality is what we make of it. Here’s the reality: This movie is empty and annoying. (R)

4. “First Descent”

Directed by Kemp Curly and Kevin Harrison

Mountain Dew Films produced this dull documentary about the rise of snowboarding.

It’s as though the filmmakers rounded up a bunch of snowboarders for a collective high-five to their own awesomeness-and to drink plenty of Mountain Dew. (PG-13)

5. “Hide and Seek”

Directed by John Polson

For two-thirds of its running time, this thriller about a spooked-out girl and her demented imaginary friend is classy and full of dread. The final third is simply dreadful. At least “Drop Dead Fred” had Phoebe Cates. (R)

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