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commentary by Noel Wood

As you all may be aware, the early months of the year tend to be a dumping ground of sorts for the Hollywood studios. The most critically promising movies are naturally going to be saved for the end of the year, while the big dollar releases are aimed at the Summer and specific holidays. The months of January, February, March, and most of April, other than some wide releases of previous years' stuff and the odd indie film here or there, generally reflect a dearth of any kind of worthwhile entertainment in theatrical release. Now that we're reaching the end of this black period for the year 2003, I've come to a conclusion that this may very well be the worst year in film history thusfar.

Why, you say?

Because I just took a gander at this week's top ten. And folks, I'm flabbergasted. This is horseshit. Let's look at what we've got here, and let me know whether or not you agree with me:

1. Head of State (2003)
2. Bringing Down the House (2003)
3. Core, The (2003)
4. Basic (2003)
5. Chicago (2002)
6. Dreamcatcher (2003)
7. Agent Cody Banks (2003)
8. Piglet's Big Movie (2003)
9. View from the Top (2003)
10. Hunted, The (2003)

Okay, granted, I've only seen one of the films listed here. It happens to be a big-money musical that just so happened to win a bunch of Oscars. Of course, it's also the one film here disqualified by my earlier statement about wide releases of last year's critical successes.

Yeah, CHICAGO was good. But Let's look at the rest of the stuff here:



When I saw these two trailers being run a couple months ago, I knew we had a new battle for supremacy on our hands. Much like when the PLUTO NASH and MASTER OF DISGUISE previews got started up last summer, I knew we were in a battle to see what would be the absolute biggest waste of celluloid for the season. In this case, you've got the wasted potential of the once semi-redeeming Chris Rock, resorting once again to "White folks are different than black folks" jokes that I got tired of fifteen years ago, going head to head with the once-brilliant Steve Martin, who will always be remembered for THE JERK and THE MAN WITH TWO BRAINS, as much as he'd like for us to forget it by producing crap like this.

Now, some reviewers have actually given HOUSE positive reviews, and ROGER FUCKING EBERT gave STATE three stars. And there might be a funny joke or two to come out of one of the other or maybe even both. But you know what? I still ain't paying to see either. I'm going to go by my prediction that both movies will suck rhino nad, and I'm sticking to it. The fact that they're the top two movies in the country right now makes me want to cry. And puke. And then cry again.


THE CORE, or as I like to refer to it as, "The Bore", looks like ass. I don't even know where to start. First off, you go in advertising your movie as "What ARMAGEDDON should have been" and you're not winning me over. Then you go off and grab a bunch of folks I once had respect for, like Aaron Eckhart and Hilary Swank and Stanley Tucci, and put them in a natural disaster movie, and you just plain piss me off. Much like THE ROCK squandered the talent of Sean Connery, Nic Cage, and Ed Harris, THE CORE is the latest party guilty of raping of three great talents. And the title is so goddamn generic it's like this was created by a piece of movie-by-numbers software. Basically, this looks like it could easily qualify as one of the worst movies ever, and I'm in a good mood today.



Sam Jackson is good, but John Travolta is not. Travolta was good in a little movie with Sam Jackson nine years ago, but there ain't no Quentin Tarantino in the house here. John McTiernan did PREDATOR and DIE HARD which were cool and all but that was two decades ago and he hasn't really done shit since. In one preview for this movie there's some quote about Travolta proving that he is one of the greatest actors of his generation, which pretty well ensures that reviewer to be a jackass. This movie looks about as interesting as watching poop harden.


As you may know, the general predilection toward Stephen King by the contributors of this website involve him performing oral sex on one of us. Granted, this adaptation of one of his biggest novels has Lawrence "If Lucas had let me, I could have made the prequels as good as Empire" Kasdan at the helm, and also has a pretty decent cast going for it. But the terrible reviews of this thing, combined with the all-too-convenient dumping of it in the studio's grey months adds up to my own inclination to avoid. More than likely, if you were to hold a gun up to my head and force me to go see one of the non-CHICAGO movies in the top ten, this would be the one I'd choose, but with the rest of this shit, could that really be considered a compliment?



It might not be fair to lump kids' stuff into this mess, but I never said anything about fair, did I? CODY BANKS looks like ass anyway. I like that "Malcolm in the Middle" kid as much as the next guy, but Robert Rodriguez already has the market cornered with the SPY KIDS franchise, so I don't need to see any more prepubescent James Bond clones running around. PIGLET'S BIG MOVIE, on the other hand, is further proof that The Walt Disney company ran out of ideas years ago and keeps looking for excuses to pump out spinoffs of the stuff that kids hold sacred thereby lessening the value of the source material. Next.


Uhm. Yeah. "You put the wrong emPHAsis on the wrong sylLAble." What the fuck did I do in life to deserve having to put up with Mike Myers saying that on my television 140 times a day? What the fuck did the world do to deserve having this movie not only get made, but to get a high-profie release with a big-name cast? Shoot me now. Shoot me before I have to look at Myers' lazy eye again.



Here's another case of wasted potential, this time with two great actors, both with Oscars under their belts (and the marketing team for this movie won't let you forget it, either,) under the direction of the man responsible for THE EXORCIST and THE FRENCH CONNECTION (and not a whole lot of note since) with a plot straight out of a made-for-USA-Network Sunday Night Thriller (I think I saw this movie get unfortunately released theatrically with Rutger Hauer and Ice-T once.) It really just looks awful. And that's my take. And it's preformed pretty poorly at the box office and the reviews have been mixed at best. Again, I'll stray.

All this suckitude leads to me renting more movies than seeing on the big screen, a rarity for me. And even if I look beyond the top ten, look what else I get from a list of recent releases:

BOAT TRIP: Cuba Gooding Jr. plays gay on a cruise ship.
CRADLE 2 THE GRAVE: DMX proves again he is a master Thespian.
THE LIFE OF DAVID GALE: Heavily panned propaganda film.
HOW TO LOSE A GUY IN TEN DAYS: Answer - take him to see this movie.
FINAL DESTINATION 2: A franchise about death that won't die.
KANGAROO JACK: The fat kid from STAND BY ME makes it big time.
DELIVER US FROM EVA: Because LL Cool J is gold, baby!
BIKER BOYZ: I remember when Laurence Fishburne had Dignity.
THE GURU: I remember when Heather Graham had a career.
JUST MARRIED: A.K.A. Dude, Where's my Wife?
NATIONAL SECURITY: I take it back. This is the worst looking movie of the season.
DARKNESS FALLS: I guess now that Santa and the Tooth Fairy are out of the way, the next horror fanchise will be about the Easter Bunny.

And, if I can just hold out a few more weeks, I'll be fresh and ready for such exciting fare as BULLETPROOF MONK (A.K.A. Dude, where's my Zen?), CHASING PAPI (If Kevin Smith were a latino...), MALIBU'S MOST WANTED (The Jamie Kennedy Experiment goes horribly wrong!), and WHAT A GIRL WANTS (Remember kids, you can never truly be happy unless your daddy is rich!).

You see, this is what we get every winter. The cesspool of cinema. The film dumping ground. The sewer of celluloid. In fact, I think this may very well be the worst movie winter in history.

I guess bears have the right idea. Maybe I should just do what they do and hibernate.


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