THE “M” MOVIES- A CELEBRATION OF MEDIOCRITY, Part 2 THE “M” MOVIES- A CELEBRATION OF MEDIOCRITY, Part 2
This is Part 2 of an article written by Detective Dee and I am Better, celebrating and dissecting the most famous mediocre movies of... THE “M” MOVIES- A CELEBRATION OF MEDIOCRITY, Part 2

This is Part 2 of an article written by Detective Dee and I am Better, celebrating and dissecting the most famous mediocre movies of the last decades. Part 1 can be found here.

These are the positions #6- #1 in the countdown for the

Most Mediocre Movie”.

IAB’s choice #6

Carrie (the 2013 remake)

Carrie 2013 or “Carrie meets the Mean Girls”, as I now picture it. Well – first thing: all that needed to be said about this subject, was said in Brian DePalma’s original 1976 film.

Jeez – was it that long ago? I was born that year. That means, if the film is that old, then I’m…. Never mind. This film gets some things VERY right and some things wrong.

Let’s start with what’s right: the addition of cyber-bullying was a good idea. It’s a real problem in the world, and this film addresses the subject very effectively. So that’s one “Kenny G” off the full scale right there. Secondly, casting Julianne Moore as Carrie’s mother was absolutely spot on. She delivers a genuinely creepy performance. Chloe Grace Moretz is a great actress, and as filmmakers have stated, she’s the same age as Carrie was in the books.

This segues into what’s wrong with this picture: the other teenagers all seem to ONCE AGAIN be played by 20-25-year old actors. Moretz looks like a middle schooler when she’s in scenes with other students. And this kinda adds a MASSIVE pervy undertone to Sue asking her boyfriend Tommy to take Carrie to the prom…eugh. The scene where he approaches her in the school diner feels like the host of “To catch a predator” will walk in at any given minute. “Tommy, would you like to explain exactly what you’re doing here?” Also – the other school kids are pretty much from the “CW”/”Glee”/anyothergenericteen TV-show posse, and as such, bland as the snow. So we have a dualism at work here – good creepy supernatural family drama against the massive Glee-level bore. And as a final note: the whole Prom scene seems to fly by in extraordinary haste, when compared to the MASSIVE slow-burn from the original film. Really good effects though, all around.

Rating: G2

Antidote: The original Carrie, of course. Duh.

I preferred her performance as "Clickbait Girl".

I preferred her performance as “Clickbait Girl”.

DEE’s choice #6

The Saint (1997)

After the huge success that was Mission Impossible, Hollywood got in a hurry to churn out another potential hit movie based on the same receipt, as the standard Tinseltown procedure demands.

Begun the clone war has.

The Saint sounds like a good idea on paper: Take another legendary, stylish and star studded TV- series from the 60s -this time The Saint aka Simon Templar with Roger Moore- that involves masquerading, swap Maverick with Iceman and cast Elisabeth Shue who once acted beside “Thetan grade 007” (in Cocktail) to keep up the chain of associations.

Too bad the execution is more than lacking. In the end The Saint could only match with M:I when it came to the reported craziness of their lead actors. Despite it’s title, it’s an unforgivable sin. Simon Templar is known as a “master of disguise”, but the dilettantism of the masquerades on display would make Inspector Clouseau blush with shame. Val Kilmer looks absent-minded and is ostensibly wishing he could return to better times when he could wear more dignified costumes, like rubber suits with ears and nipples attached.

Because Hollywood was still missing the Cold War in the middle of the 90s, a temperamental Russian was chosen as the villain. “Ludicrous” is the only appropriate way to describe the meandering plot and even the “best” action moments are still topped by Tom Cruise’s legendary “couch jumping” stunt regarding excitement. Well, the cover of the title melody by Orbital was not too bad.

This movie is for: People who bought the “Robert Cop” action figure as a birthday present for their kid and people who are big Bill Paxton- fans because they loved his turns in Aliens and Independence Day.

Rating: Like playing an unnerving round of the “Cluedo” board game with your parents, who still don’t fully get the rules.

It’s like listening to: How deep is your love by Take That, another boring remake from the nineties. At least the video has some kinky bondage going on.

The Antidote: The recent classic Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang (2005), in which Kilmer shows more presence, both in terms of charisma and pounds.

Masters of Mediocrity: Chris Martin, making mediocre music since 1996. Attaboy!

Masters of Mediocrity: Chris Martin, making mediocre music since 1996. Attaboy!

In the end The Saint could only match with M:I when it came to the reported craziness of their lead actors.

IAB’s choice #5

The Da Vinci Code (2006)

A book about people talking pseudo-history meshed into some actual events, gets turned into a…well, movie about people talking pseudo-history meshed into some actual events. But even more boring and long -winded. Dan Browns “Robert Langdon”-series actually becomes worse by each book. “Angels and Demons” was the best book (Brown writes Big Macs – not books, his second book “Terminal Freeze” is actually the only good thing he’s written). Pity they adapted “Angels & Demons” only AFTER this one – it’s actually a better movie.

Tom Hanks’ mullet stars as Robert Langdon, the most boring action hero of the modern age, who solves things by interpreting symbols and having endless soliloquies. Now it that doesn’t spell x-citement, I don’t know what does. Has there ever been a hero that solves situations by soliloquies? Gosh darn it, imagine if Indiana Jones started to have a long-winded monologue against the arab swordsman in Raiders of the lost Ark – oh, wait; wasn’t there nothing BUT long-winded monologues in the six-hour middle act of Crystal Skull? Damn. Maybe it could’ve used some mullets.

Anyways – feel the excitement, as Tom Hanks’ mullet travels all over Europe in impossibly fast transports and slow soliloquies. Oh – and he’s followed around by Audrey Tautou, whose cute buttony eyes are one saving grace of this solilo… I mean: film. Jean Reno plays Jean Reno who may/may not be a bad guy. Jurgen Prochnow and Ian McKellen stop by for MORE talking. And for the Home Video, they added almost 25 minutes of boredom to a film, that already feels ten hours long…

I guess this film also cured Audrey Tautou of any aspirations of Hollywood stardom. Their loss. And I don’t wanna use the word “soliloquy” again for a looooong time. At least as long as this film is.

Rating:G5

Antidote: National Treas– …oh. Scratch that – it’s fucking boring too. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) for adventure, or just read some exciting book.

davincigallery

Anyways – feel the excitement, as Tom Hanks’ mullet travels all over Europe in impossibly fast transports and slow soliloquies.

DEE’s choice #5

The Hand that Rocks the Cradle (1992)

There was a time in the late 80s, early 90s a new thriller- subgenre emerged, namely the “home invasion” movie. Truth be told, that subgenre wasn’t exactly new, but it got a general overhaul including an injection of an extra dose “middle class fears”. The USSR wasn’t around anymore so the evil had to come from within and it assumed such inconspicuous shapes like that of our babysitters, nannies, spouses, gardeners, milkmen… In the case at hand, Rebecca DeMornay plays the widow of gynecologist John DeLancie, who was driven into suicide by his patient Annabella Sciorra who sued him because Q showed a little too much passion for his work. Having suffered a miscarriage from the shock about his death, DeMornay applies for a job as nanny in Sciorra’s household to wreck her family and steal her baby, just like a bad bad Dingo. So far, so stupid.

Director Curtis Hanson goes the “cinema verite” route and  abstains from ornamental gimmicks like a distinctive visual style, metaphorical layers or anything else that could distract from the woodcut-like characters and the lobotomy-inducing plot. Any suspense and subtlety is effectively sucked from The hand… by this fresh, minimalistic approach and it soon turns out to be a heavy-handed, gender-swapped “Lifetime-movie”-version of Stepfather.

At one point, a scene that is ought to portray the fake nanny’s increasing craziness shows a screaming DeMornay swinging a plunger in a public toilet. That’s some in-depth psychology on display right there, I am still pondering what the plunger could symbolize.

Naturally the film ends with the tried-and-tested “People scream and run into each other in a house”-showdown. Thrillers like this, that solely rely on the “This could happen to you”-effect are the laziest  thus the most beloved among the most overrated demographic ever, that is the narrow-minded, manipulable and unimaginative group of self-proclaimed “worried parents”of the middle class. If there only was a plunger to get the sh*t out of their brains.

This movie is for: Your mom and her friends who are damning the violent video games that turns the youth of today into mindless Zombies while indulging in the gruesome details of the newspaper article about the car accident/homicide that happened just a few blocks away the other day.

Rating: Like listening to the endless rant of that lady on your doorstep who just rang you out of your deserved Sunday morning sleep because she wants to convince you to sign that petition for a neighborhood watch, because think of the children. Won’t somebody please think of the children!

It’s like listening to: Hello, the ultimate mood-killer by Lionel Ritchie, which has the best music video about stalking. Hello, is it me you’re looking for? No, can’t be, because you’re blind.

The Antidote: The Anime Perfect Blue (1997). This is how you do a psychologically effective movie about the invasion into privacy.

    Misleading title! Nothing about this movie "ROCKS"!

Misleading title! Nothing about this movie “ROCKS”!

IAB’s choice #4

American Gangster (2007)

An epic true story of the rise and fall of a 70’s drug lord Frank Lucas. All the makings of a classic. How could this possibly fail? Well – by focusing a HUGE part of this true story about the drug lord on the marital crisis of the man who catches him. The thing is: that marriage crisis NEVER happened.

So…the true story is made completely blah by adding completely made-up boring stuff. Literally: it feels like another movie altogether. So what we have is a balancing act.

Let’s meet our plot contestants – in the red corner we have another powerhouse performance by Denzel Washington, and a gritty crime story with great supporting cast – including a great slimeball dirty cop played by Josh Brolin (the start of his current renaissance) and Ruby Dee(who got nominated for an Academy Award for her part). But then, in the blue corner we have Ridley Scott giving his BFF Russell Crowe a collection of Serpico script lifts, because the real life story of this character was apparently too normal for filmmakers.

So we have The-Only-Clean-Cop-in-the-Force, who has a boring divorce battle in his boring character arc. This was originally Antoine Fuqua’s dream project, but “creative differences” got him replaced. Scott makes pretty pictures, but they don’t help much, if, for great big chunks of the movie, nothing interesting fucking happens (case in point: A Good Year, Body of Lies, The Counselor…).

I’d have just taken the story that was on the red corner – cause that half kicks ass. Part good, part boring, missed opportunity.

Rating: G2

Antidote: Scarface (1983) of Blow (2001) for a proper “Rise and Fall of a Drug Kingpin”.

Damn it feels BLAND to be a gangstah...

Damn it feels BLAND to be a gangstah…

 

DEE’s choice #4

SWAT (2003)

The action cinema of the early Oughties was filled to the brim with CGI-enhanced sequences like “bullet time” and cringe-worthy pseudo-John Woo choreographies. SWAT, the adaptation of a 70s’ TV-series that was mainly known for its catchy theme, was meant as a grounded answer to the digital excesses of that period.

Sadly  though this noble intention becomes a victim of its own overachieving execution. Just like the villain’s private jet in the showdown, the movie never takes off (Spoiler?), that’s how grounded it turned out to be.

Its plot employs the old trope of the two buddies that split because the ill-tempered one of them is turning to the dark side. Pug-faced Jeremy Renner is cast as the bad guy “Brian Gamble”, while the good guy is played by Colin Farrell whose character name seriously is “Jim Street”. It doesn’t get more street than this. Their split, that happens in a in a locker room, like a bitchy argument between two cheerleaders in a teen comedy, has all the emotional weight of a quarrel between two meatheaded fratboy bros.

Like in every cliched cop movie, Farrell is thereupon shown down on his luck when the salvation comes in the shape of “S.W.A.T”-officer “Hondo” (this movie certainly has its share of ridiculous character names) aka Sam L. Jackson, all wild-eyed but surprisingly restrained, who wants to recruit him for his new team. Among the other members are mediocre-rapper-turned-mediocre-actor LL Cool J and Michelle Rodriguez, in a stunt-casting as a tough, streetwise lady with a penchant for wearing tank-tops.

Of course she has to prove herself in that testosterone-laden macho world but hey, in the end she surely will show everyone that she is a worthy member of the team, despite her XX-chromosomes impediment. Actually she doesn’t, as she gets wounded in the showdown and is taken out of the game, making even the simplest of all “strong woman”-character arcs burst like a bubble.

Like in a TV-pilot for a (fortunately never realized) series, a good chunk of the movie is wasted with the introduction of its paper-thin characters and endless training sequences. “Boom, boom, boom” goes the soundtrack. “Bland, bland, bland” goes Farrell’s face. The main villain is oddly enough a captured French drug lord (Olivier Martinez), as 2003 was the year when France objected the Iraq war. You stay classy, Hollywood.

The SWAT team has to escort him to prison and probably protect him from Halle Berry’s ex, leading to a few less than spectacular action scenes. Then there is a twist, except that it isn’t one. Suddenly, blink and you miss it, the movie is (finally) over.

This movie is made for: The DVD- shelf of a fraternity basement, that smells of cold sweat, beer and self-delusion.

Rating: Like listening to a 17 year old jock listening to himself bragging about his exploits as ladies’ man, top athlete and GTA- badass.

It’s like listening to: Any song by Linkin Park, that can easily live up to SWAT in the departments of “wannabe-toughness” and “unoriginality”.

The Antidote: Hardboiled (1992) by John Woo. Who needs a special forces team when you have one-man army Chow Yun Fat?

This time, the tank top is white!

This time, the tank top is white!

“Boom, boom, boom” goes the soundtrack. “Bland, bland, bland” goes Farrell’s face.

IAB’s choice #3

Due Date (2010)

After the success of Hangover 1&2, Todd Phillips decided to make a road comedy in the spirit of Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987), about a mismatched pair stuck together on way across the US of A. Starring Mr.Box Office Robert Downey Jr. and Phillips’ own big star Zach Galifinakis. Sounds good, right? No. It’s a comedy with nearly no laughs. The main characters are just disgusting self-centred s.o.b’s. It’s like someone took the characters of Planes, trains… and replaced them with two “Epic Beard Men” (Google it, if you don’t get it).

Mucho dullness, meanness and some “surprising” cameo appearances (such as the usual Phillips-stalwart Mike Tyson and the Two and the half men) ensue. Total misfire. And the creative team kept their consistency by making the following third Hangover-film just as unfunny. And Todd Phillips has actually MADE funny comedies at one time(Road Trip, Old School). I guess he lost his sense of humour. Sigh.

Rating: G4

Antidote: Road Trip (2001), Planes, trains and automobiles for actually funny road comedies.

DEE’s choice #3

Crimson Tide (1995)

In 1995, Hollywood and particularly Jerry Bruckheimer were still mourning the demise of the big evil. No, not that evil, Don Simpson was (still) alive and snorting. I am talking about the hive of scum and villainy, the USSR, which had been reliably providing US-movies with so many villains for such a long time. It was the worst time possible for a Red October rip-off, but that did not stop Don & Jerry.

The script for Crimson Tide -according to rumours the original title Scarlet November was reportedly dismissed as it sounded like “one of these fucking Jane Austen movies” (Don Simpson)- concocted a wild fictitious situation in which “Ultra-Nationalists” take over the Russian Federation in a coup and get hold of a few nuclear weapons. Thus Captain Ramsey (Gene Hackman) and Lieutnant Commander Hunter (Denzel Washington) are assigned to a mission on a submarine equipped with nuclear missiles, to launch them in a preemptive strike if evil Ivan’s finger on the trigger gets too nervous.

The tensions between these  two very different men erupt when the communication system gets damaged during a hostile attack and a mangled decoded message about a nuclear missile launch leaves them room for interpretation if to push the red button or not. From this moment on, the movie goes down faster than a submarine in the ocean or a starlet on Michael Bay. Crimson Tide has a few serious problems.

  1. Red October had its share of absurd and over-the-top situations, but it worked as it was set against a realistic political background. It effectively toyed with the audience’s Cold War fears and yet retained a humanist tone- the crew of the Russian submarine was portrayed as a group of relatable people the viewer could identify with. The script writers of Crimson Tide on the contrary had to deal with the fact that they had to engage the audience in a story that took place in a fictitious scenario which already seemed far-fetched in the mid-90s, when the mindset of the Cold War years had vanished in the majority of the people’s heads. Furthermore was this kind of forced fear mongering the movie employed to create tension, highly cynical. To add insult to injury, Tide could never live up to the legendary “Red Oktoberfest” of spectacle, entertainment and suspense.
  2. It’s a well-known fact that Tony Scott was kind of a split personality. There was the movie-loving, talented and enthusiastic filmmaker Tony Scott of Hunger and True Romance -fame and there was Tony Scott, Jerry Bruckheimer’s willing partner in crime. We’re sadly dealing with the latter one here.
  3. Crimson Tide is basically a chamber play in shape and therefore needs an artist who is good at directing actors, has a sense of intimacy and a grasp of psychology. Qualities that Jerry Bruckheimer and his minions, including Michael Bay, were never capable of, which is also one reason why none of Platinum Dune’s horror films ever worked. Psychological developments that take place during the film are not subtly depicted through dialogue, atmosphere or acting, but mainly through actions. A mutiny is followed by a counter-mutiny, crew members change sides and change back, etc.

In the courtroom-drama-like end, Crimson Tide claims to have a message about responsibility in decision-making, but nothing that has lead to this moment makes it seem deserved.

This movie is made for: People who mistake grim-looking men in uniform spilling martial one-liners and barking dialogue for big drama. With all due respect, Sir!

Rating: Like watching a recruitment video for the US Navy, with the cheesy background music at full volume. Wait, I just described 40% of Bruckheimer’s back-catalog!

It’s like listening to: The song I come in peace an equally mediocre piece of art with an equally phony message, by the grand daddy of empty musical pathos, Joe Cocker.

The Antidote: Red October is again the most obvious choice, you can also check out Master and Commander (2003) to see how a conflict between men on a war ship is done properly.

They all float down here! Just look at their GIANT FLOATING HEADS!

They all float down here! Just look at their GIANT FLOATING HEADS!

IAB’s choice #2

Hollywood Homicide (2003)

From Ron Shelton, the director of White Men Can’t Jump (1992), comes another buddy movie, starring Harrison muthafuckin’ Ford and….Josh Hartnett? Wait. This can’t be good. Isn’t Ford that grumpy OLD guy…? And Josh Hartnett? Wasn’t he that one guy with a helmet in Black Hawk Down? Hmmmm. Anyways, Ford’s character is a cop, who moonlights as….a real estate salesman…? Wow, that’s exciting. Hartnett is a younger cop who wants to be a…..bad actor, I guess. Such exciting double lives. I can barely contain my excitement.

There’s a murder of some rappers and some crooked music mogul and also Ford trying to sell some houses AND being investigated by Internal Affairs, whose boss’ ex-wife Ford is dating and Hartnett wooing multiple girls (probably whoever ones didn’t get cast in 40 days and 40 nights)….some obligatory back-story about Hartnett’s dad being killed by zzzzzzzzzzzz. Sorry, fell asleep for a while. Too many plots, not enough development. Some little tiny blinks of chemistry between Ford & Hartnett and the inclusion of Lena Olin save this one from the full five “Kenny G”‘s.

Rating:

G3

Antidote: For a good buddy cop movie, Lethal Weapon (1987), for a good buddy comedy The Hard Way (1991).

harrisonfordguilty

Isn’t Ford that grumpy OLD guy…? And Josh Hartnett? Wasn’t he that one guy with a helmet in Black Hawk Down?

DEE’s choice #2

The Astronaut’s Wife (1999)

If something ain’t broken, don’t fix it. Hollywood’s producers surely take that slogan to their hearts like no other professional group. In 1999, Rosemary’s Baby (1968) had been released over 30 years ago, so it was high time for a shameless rip-off. Why not typecast Charlize Theron in the role of the pregnant wife who gets increasingly suspicious of her husband? She had already played a similar role in  The Devil’s Advocate (1997), that was also heavily based on Mia Farrow’s character in Rosemary’s Baby. To make it become full circle, Theron was given Farrow’s iconic Pixie-haircut from the horror classic.

At least the writers bothered to give the story a new Science-fiction spin and with “new spin” I mean they also remorselessly stole from Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956, remade in 1978 and 1993).

Let’s summarize: The Astronaut’s Wife is a ripoff of a classic that has been plagiarized before, with a lead that already played an identical role in a movie that stole from said classic among others and it furthermore takes inspiration from another classic that had already been remade twice and copied countless times. Got it? It’s like eating a dish that is made from last week’s leftovers, one of the leftovers being a dish that was already made from the leftovers from the week before that one, thawed up and reheated for the second time. Yummy.

Johnny Depp plays the astronaut husband who is hosting an alien, back then when putting him into the role of an asshole was still kind of a stunt-casting, but that’s all what is original about this movie. Theron was  the best thing about the somewhat equally overrated The Devil’s Advocate which was solely saved by her excelling acting job and Pacino’s primal scream therapy- sessions, but she looks like she is on auto-pilot here. A movie whose protagonist is condemned to be passive needs to create some really effective subtle psycho-terror to keep the audience engaged, but this one just goes for full-on banality.

A few times it’s almost entering “home invasion”-territory and you start to wonder if Johnny Depp will go berserk with a plunger at one point. In the end, Theron kills Depp with a radio (!). What’s the message? Video might have killed the radio star, but radio killed the movie star?

This movie is made for: Poor innocent people who choose the movies they watch by its cast.

Rating: Like listening to a friend with no storytelling skills who tries to recount a movie he has seen, yet has to start all over again all the time, because he is constantly confusing it with similar ones.

It’s like listening to: Phil Collins In the air tonight as it also describes a mood of unease between a man and his wife and does that in the most boring way. And every list about mediocrity would be incomplete without mentioning Phil Collins.

Antidote: Andrzeij Zulawski’s Possession (1981) with Sam Neill and Isabelle Adjani depicts a comparable story, yet this one keeps you on the edge of your seat.

 

Pictured:

Pictured:

Originality.

Originality.

And every list about mediocrity would be incomplete without mentioning Phil Collins.

IAB’s choice #1

Star Trek: Insurrection (1998)

One could blame the odd-numbered “Trek curse” on this, but after responding to the absolutely atrocious Generations (1994) with the brilliant First Contact (1996), the lameness of this installation hits very hard. I have seen all the episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation and grew to love this cast very dearly. And movie-wise, they damned well deserved a better run. Insurrection means well.

It tries to add some social commentary, as Trek so many times has, but trying to make a comment about the at-that-time happening Bosnian refugee-situation and the overall forced relocation of small populations away from natural resources (in the movie, basically The Fountain of Youth, how original…) falls incredibly flat. Because in the middle of some seriously dramatic scenes, we get some half-assed attempts at humor.

Like the planet’s rejuvenating effect on Worf, who begins to experience PUBERTY again. Really? Really? That’s the best you can give us? Okay, Riker does shave his beard off. Picard loses a few wrinkles, and his hair begins to grow again. And the women – Dr.Crusher and Troi – admire their perkier rejuvenated boobs (and that about covers their character moments in this film). Jeezus Harold Chai-rist! If you try to reflect current global events, what the fuck does this humor-written-by-12-year-olds do here? The baddies are played by Anthony Zerbe and F. Murray Abraham under massive face prosthetics and they are basically reduced to cartoon villains. One seeks financial gain – the other seeks youth and revenge from being cast out by his zzzzzzzzz.

Sorry, fell asleep again. The chemistry from the TNG cast and some nice effects keeps up some interest. But this was a TV-show episode(maybe a two-parter), with unneeded comic moments. Not a movie. And the next film, “Nemesis”, was a total mess again. It’s a shame, that the TNG cast didn’t get better movies…:(

Rating: G2

Antidote: Star Trek 2 – The Wrath of Khan (1982) or Star Trek: First Contact for proper Trekking.

Now they put a "floating head" right into the MOVIE! Where will this end?

Now they put a “floating head” right into the MOVIE! Where will this end?

DEE’s choice #2

A Knight’s Tale (2001)

What is it with Hollywood movies and knights? Did they learn nothing from First Knight? Why do they have to deprive the medieval ages of everything that was fun about them, i.e. oppression, violence and the plague?

Brian Helgeland, of all people, who once wrote a historically probably incorrect, yet highly compelling early middle ages drama (Braveheart), is responsible for the mediocrity that is A Knight’s Tale. If we are fair and file the fact that this is the Disney version of the middle ages under “artistic liberties”, it still does not work as a film. Heath Ledger is playing the squire of an old knight who suddenly dies during their way to a jousting tournament. Ledger assumes the identity of his master to prevent unemployment for him and his peers. Soon he is steadily climbing up the ranks in the jousting tournament and into the bed of Lady Shannyn Sossamon. The bad guy (Rufus Sewell), “Edward, the Black Prince” is characterized by a droopy eyelid, black clothing and a perm, I think he is one of those “New Wavers” from the maligned 1380s.

We will, we will rock you...NOT.

We will, we will rock you…NOT.

As the movie is directed at the young folks, it has to have a “modern spin”, which is outrageous the claim of being a “Medieval Rock Opera” in this case. Knight’s Tale could work well in a double feature with Coyote Ugly when it comes to uninspired song selection and use. There is a scene when our group of lovable outsiders ride into a town, accompanied by Thin Lizzy’s “The Boys are back in town”. Guys, don’t kill me with your overflowing creativity!

For dubious reasons, the movie is famed for a sequence that has Ledger, Sossamon and her court performing a medieval dance set to David Bowie’s “Golden Years”. Not only is the desecration of this great song nigh unforgivable, but the choreography of the dance is incredibly lame and does not correspond with the music to boot, making it an awkward affair.

Don’t set too much hope on the jousting scenes either, it’s just “Ye Olde WWE”, means it’s the same scene repeated over and over and over again, with no variation at all. Fucketh me!

So why was this movie even successful? A Knight’s Tale is maybe a shoddy effort as a movie, but it succeeds at what it really set out to be: A showcase for the male hotness that is the chastity belt-busting Heath Ledger. Droppeth yer panties! Or to put it more bluntly: This is Heath Ledger-porn. It may act like a harmless and fluffy romantic comedy, but underneath it’s shameless Heathsploitation for the horny and willing audience.

WARNING: This movie could reinforce the delusional notion among the male audience that the guy gets the girl because he is a “nice fella”.

This movie is made for: Your sister, your mother, your girlfriend, your grandma, the lady working at the cafeteria of your workplace, etc. You cannot mess with Heath Ledger. Years after his untimely demise, they’re still lusting for this man. They just don’t know how to quit him.

Rating: Like watching a lame 3hr movie with “that girl” you know while suddenly realizing that you will never be more than “friends”, making you wish there was some alcohol in the house as the inner emptiness sets in.

It’s like listening to: Torn by Natalie Imbruglia, the perfectly boring song for girls who just acknowledged to themselves that  “The Ledge” will never, um, go medieval on them.

The Antidote: Flesh+Blood (1985) shows how to woo for a lady if you don’t look like “Mr. Medieval Europe 1391”.

Hint: It involves abducting her.

heathsploitation


 

 

# RUNNER UPS #

IAB’s choices:

#11: Along came a Spider (2001)

#12: 12 Rounds (2009)

#13: The Dead Pool (1988)

DEE’s choices:

#11: Fracture (2007)

#12: Ransom  (1996)

#13: The Mighty Ducks (1992)

demornayguilty

# SAVED BY THE BELL #

Movies that nearly made the list but were saved by a single virtue or two.

IAB pardons:

SWAT (2003): Saved by it’s Samuel L. Jackson-ness and a cool soundtrack.

Gone in 60 Seconds (2000): Saved by some pretty cars and some pretty Angelina Jolie.

Metro (1997): Saved by Michael Wincott’s awesomeness

DEE pardons:

Enemy of the State (1998): Saved by a surprising showdown.

Stargate (1995): Saved by some excellent FX and beautiful designs.

Species (1995): Saved by the unbeatable combination of gore, nudity and goofiness.

 

THE END.

This turned out to be more of an exorcism than a celebration, I guess. So did we miss something? (Well, of course we did…there is enough stuff for a weekly column!). Feel free to tell us about your most mediocre movie experiences in the comment section!

Guest author I-am-Better is regular member of the “Breakfast on Planet X” podcast and occasional internet amateur film reviewer like Dee. He also started his reviewing activities on the now defunct “talkbacker.com”.

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DetectiveDee

Detective Dee reviews movies and sometimes TV-series. He likes to indulge in the Asian cinema, exploitation flicks and the horror genre but is no stranger to Blockbuster culture either. He writes whatever he wants, but always aims to entertain.

  • Stalkeye

    This is an interesting premise Guys! i knew i had something great when i commissioned you two for CC and t shows with this article.
    I may have to devote an hour and 35 minutes to re-read the entire thing!!! 😛
    But seriously, great work and the use of Kenny G as a rating scale is genius.
    In my case, i would replace him with Taylor Swift, Kanye or any Glam Metal Artist.

    I never got a chance to see the Carrie remake since i’m a fan of the original but I liked American Gangster FTS! Denz delivered so did the late, great Ruby Dee and Idris elba. (i think that was my first time seeing this guy on screen ….oh wait, it was actually 28 weeks later! Now he’s one of my favorite actors. I heard No good deed sucked however.)

    I’ll keep an “eye” out for the next installment.

  • Stalkeye

    PS

    The hand that Rocks the Cradle?
    Hey, didn’t some hack of a writer review that awhile back? 😛

  • Yeah…who was that…

  • Stalkeye

    According to certain Douchebags, who mocked my Article, t’was me. LOL

    Truth be told, my Psychobtiches series for Puck’s Femme Fatale was nothing more than a satirical piece as the writing was on the wall and unfortunately, some just didnt get it.

    Anyone can write a piece about a Femme Fatale who uses her powers of seduction and cunning to get her way in the grand scheme of things, but I took that Shit three steps further. Hey, I’m a Satirist, that’s how I roll. (0:’