I’m filling in for Josh K-sky today, as my negativity is better suited to the topic at hand: the worst movies ever. This weekend, The Girlfriend and I developed a three-fold taxonomy of bad movies:
- Irredeemable: movies that are so bad that a “better” version cannot be imagined; one would simply have to start over entirely.
- Disappointments: promising movies done in by poor execution.
- Baffling classics: movies that are widely revered, but you can’t understand why.
In the first category, The Girlfriend and I believe that Shadowboxing, the first feature film by the director of Precious: Based on the Novel “Push” by Sapphire, is something of the Platonic form. Starring Cuba Gooding, Jr., and Helen Mirren as an assassin duo who face a serious moral dilemma when their target goes into labor just as they’re carrying out the hit, this movie does literally everything wrong. I hesitate to even single any particular thing out! Another major candidate for us is the animated feature Wizards, which features an alternately wise and lascivious wizard fighting against the forces of evil in a post-apocalyptic landscape. As it turns out, the sole surviving cultural artifact from the “Age of Technology” is footage of the Nazis. You can do the math. And then of course there’s Godfather, Part III.
I don’t have as many obvious examples of the second category — The Girlfriend suggested Hugo, which could have been a decent children’s movie if the lead actors weren’t so appallingly bad. It’s probably hard to get worked up about these films. Similarly with category three, where one might feel insecure admitting to one’s bafflement. For me, though, Chinatown is definitely up there on the “why is it a big deal” list, along with Easy Rider.
But what do you think, my dear readers?