5. Ghost Rider
I really wish I had started this blog a year ago because Neil Labute's remake of Wicker Man would have easily made the top spot on this list. If you haven't seen it yet, I advise you to do so immediately. It's the perfect bad movie. Nicholas Cage gives a performance for the ages that truly MUST be seen by everyone. If you look up "unintentional comedy" in the dictionary, you will see a picture of Cage as Edward Malus (the character brilliantly originated by Edward Woodward in the 1973 original).
The following is ACTUAL dialogue Cage gets to say in that one:
"Killing me won't bring back your fucking honey!. " (Cage is referring to bee honey. Not some vengeance-seeker's honey that Cage drunkenly ran over in Leaving Las Vegas, or something)
"Oh no! Not the bees! Ahhhhhh.....they're in my eyes! my eyes!" (while being forced to wear a Bee helmet.)
"Arrgghhhhh...My legs! My legs!" (while having his legs broken)
Trust me. This was the perfect storm for bad movies.
And so, I'm saddened to let you know that Ghost Rider was unable to attain such heights. It left me feeling merely "blah". Oh sure, Cage is awful (what ever happened to the Cage of Raising Arizona, Wild at Heart, Peggy Sue Got Married?). For the most part, the special effects are a little TOO cartoonish. I dug Peter Fonda as Mephistopheles, but then Wes Bentley had to show up as his son and ruin things. Sam Elliot was moderately interesting as the Caretaker who showed Johnny Blaze (Cage) the ropes. By the way, Cage is much too old to be playing a character named Johnny Blaze. Still, the movie pissed me off and struggled to keep my attention. It was ALL special effects, signifying NOTHING. I hardly laughed at all either. It's no Wicker Man (2007), that's for sure.
Do you see that shot directly above? The one of Megan Fox's cleavage? By far, the best shot of the picture. I'm being completely serious. I should really stop trying to expect anything halfway decent from Michael Bay. This movie was too fucking busy and besides that, I just didn't care. Aside from the cleavage above, the other part I liked was hearing Peter Cullen's voice as Optimus Prime. That was enough to give me a minor geek-gasm. John Turturro hams it up (out of nowhere) as the men-in-blackish Agent Simmons. He was awful. After watching Shia LeBeouf in this, I'm now worried that he is going to ruin Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. I'm pretty sure Bernie Mac shows up in a hysterical cameo that elicited some forced laughter out of the crowd. Really, Michael Bay? What was up with all the attempts at humor? The scene where Prime and his auto-bots have to hide (in plain view!) in Shia's backyard from his parents (including "comedian" Kevin Dunn) was, I guess, funny. The intent was there anyway. I didn't laugh, but I heard a chuckle a few rows over. I have several more complaints, but I'll just leave it at this. I couldn't tell several of the transformers apart. I mean, I thought Megatron was supposed to be a gun? So, why is he a fucking plane in this? Just like Starscream. To my eyes, they looked identical. Ok, another complaint. When a certain auto-bot dies, and the audience was supposed to feel sad, I didn't even notice.
In lighter news, Josh Duhamel, who plays a U.S. soldier, just got engaged to Fergie (Black Eyed Peas). So, I guess it's not all bad.
One of the two characters above dies in this film. Can you guess which one? If not, then you just haven't seen too many horror pictures, my friend.
This movie sucks. Sucks real bad. Remember those trailers? The ones that billed this thing as a "serial killer" film. A killer that has claimed over 300 lives in the African bush? I was initially intrigued. The bush has its very own Jack the Ripper? By definition, a serial killer ("a PERSON who attacks and kills victims one by one in a series of incidents") has to be human, right? Well, this fucking trailer was an ignominious bait and switch. It's about a fucking CROCODILE. Unless it was an enormous bush man, dressed in a crocodile suit all the while somehow evading his own demise at the maws of various other river monsters, this whole fucking tag was a god damn sham! So, I hated this picture almost instantly. After the opening credits rolled, I hated it even more.
Of course, the thing tried to get political on us (involving Warlord imposed Genocide (as if there is any other kind?) in Burundi). Actually, for a good chunk of time, the picture even forgets about the 25 foot Crocodile devouring residents as if they were popcorn. The crocodile (nicknamed Gustave, I think) doesn't really participate in any memorable kills. Orlando Jones (pictured above) provides some funny moments when he's running from certain death towards the end. In this case, death was absolutely certain (unlike most "certain death" in films these days). He lasted a lot longer than I thought he would though. Still, civil rights can only carry one so far.
2. The Hills Have Eyes 2 (Not a remake)
The funniest movie moment of the year occurred during my viewing of this "film". Unfortunately, it happened once the end credits appeared and the person sitting in the very back put his middle finger in front of the projecter, thereby projecting it on the big screen for all to see. Everyone got a good chuckle out of that one. The second funniest moment of the year came courtesy of the feature length commentary provided by the two teen-aged girls sitting in the back who at one point said "that bitch should get an abortion" during one of the mutant rape scenes. I wish their ongoing dialogue had been recorded because it really should be on the DVD.
Other than the environment in which I saw this thing ("the ghetto commons"), there really were no redeeming features. It begins like Aliens, only the fodder here are national guardsmen (and women) running routine training exercises in the Nevada desert. The first scene is pretty repulsive as a captive woman gives birth to a mutant child and then has her face smashed in. That's the high point of the film (middle finger and girlz commentary notwithstanding).
I was disappointed because the first remake is a terrific horror film, full of interesting characters, tense situations, and shocking brutality. Why didn't they just remake the first sequel and include the flash-backing dog and the reformed cannibal child? Wes Craven wrote this with his son Jonathan. I never thought I'd say this: Fuck you Wes! And, your son too.
1. Halloween remake
It pains me to write this because I really wanted to like this one. Rob Zombie has a good eye. Even if House of 1000 Corpses and The Devil's Rejects kinda suck, they're still visually interesting. Hell, The Devil's Rejects even manages to entertain for its entire running time. It's just too bad that Zombie had to pick an iconic horror film to remake because, guess what? He shit all over this one. If you don't believe me, check out my earlier review.
First of all, the casting is all wrong. From the behemoth, unstoppable WWE (or is it WCW) star Tyler Mane to the incredible overacting of William Forsythe. The actor playing young Michael Myers (Daeg Faerch) was pretty bad as well. I hope the kid didn't know what he was pretending to do when he tied up his sleeping step-dad and then slit his throat. If he had an inkling, poor Faerch might already be in Smith's Grove. It's pretty sad when Sheri Moon Zombie, playing Mrs. Myers, gives the best performance and it's not even really close. I hate, hate, hated the cartoonish white trash origins of Michael Myers depicted here. What the hell were they doing living in a nice, pleasant town like Haddonfield anyway? Far too much time was given to MM's early years, although I was moved slightly by Sheri Moon during the attempts of Dr. Loomis (Malcolm "You'd think he'd be good, wouldn't you?" McDowell) to rehabilitate Michael. And no, that slight movement was not in my pants.
So many plot holes. How did Michael go from small, unassuming Faerch to giant, steroid-infested Mane? I'm pretty sure they don't allow institutionalized homicidal maniacs to pound the weights? How does Michael know that Laurie Strode is his sister? All he has to go by is a picture of her as an infant. I mean, she was adopted into a nice, loving family. When did he find the time to do the research? If you remember correctly from the original, we don't really find out that Laurie is his sister until the 2nd film. Maybe Michael took a film history class at Smith's Grove? Who knows. Having said all that, the film lacks any kind of suspense, tension, etc. My favorite characters were Big Joe Grizzly (Ken Foree), who was almost a match for Michael, and the indispensible Danny Trejo (as Smith's Grove orderly, Ismael Cruz) who Michael dispatched like a little bitch (especially cruel considering Ismael was nice to "little Mikey" all those years). These two characters, the only ones I liked, had a combined screentime of two and a half minutes. Zombie? Stop writing your own shit.