|1, 2, 3, 4, 5
The Ring Two
In a year that produced no new "Dogs" (at least, none that I've reviewed yet...) there have sure been a few that sucked, but managed to float above complete toilet fodder for some merit or other.
The Ring Two is one such weird gem. Featuring some very fine performances from Naomi Watts and Simon Baker, this film seemed to have everything going for it. Hideo Nakata, the director of the original Japanese Ringu and Ringu 2, signed on as did a whole slew of Cameo Actors to pad out the credits. Hell, Sissy Spacek even showed up in this one.
It's all the more surprising considering all of this that The Ring Two fell flatter than Major Dad's head and disappointed fans, critics and the box office. Rather than adapt Nakata's Ringu 2 (or even Kôji Suzuki's original novel) writer Ehren Kruger and the Suits at Dreamworks decided to make this a completely new and American work hoping for even greater gushes of green. All too often when a movie sacrifices story for money, it ends up with neither. That was the exact case here and all the elements that made the first film a breakout hit are quickly dispatched in favor of goofiness. Better luck next time, Naomi!
- The Amityville Horror
Although an improvement over the Michael Bay production of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Amityville Horror remake was yet another by-the-numbers rehash, hoping against hope that its "True Story" rumors would generate ticket sales by the pants load.
There's little doubt that The Amityville Horror made its money back (and probably sold a few copies of the novel it's based on and a number of DVDs of the other Amityville movies to boot). However it has the overall feel of a movie that no one but the actors (and them only sometimes) even cared about, like a mass-produced product you've bought and passed on a thousand times. Horror is sacrificed for occasional startles and textual accuracy is overcast by saleable casting and unflattering performances.
I feel horrifyingly guilty for putting any film with Keira Knightley in it on this list. The fact that Domino features Keira Knightley topless is another bonus for all the world to see.
However a biopic that has the talents of both Richard Kelly and Tony Scott to boast about really shouldn't suck this much. Shaky camera work, a storyline that not even the actors seem to believe and a series of plot twists that would have even the most avid action fans rolling their eyes make Domino less "documentary style" than "science fictory style" in its outcome. How this happened, I'll never know, but it did... and it kept happening and happening in an overlong, dull and increasingly uncanny mess. Folks, if you're curious, inquire elsewhere. For those of you who can't live without a glimpse of Kiera Knightley nude, may I recommend The Jacket. It's a much better film, she's naked for longer, more often and she looks better too.
Yes, someone's going to look at these lists and say "WHAT?", but I'm telling you, box office hit or not, Flightplan sucked like the Regina Steamer Carpet Cleaner! What possessed me to give it that half-a-star over two is beyond me.
Either because I've seen way too many movies, or because director Robert Schwentke made the set ups to the "surprises" way too obvious, I spent about zero seconds riveted, had the ending narrowed down to two possibilities within 30 minutes and had the correct answer after one hour. The most exciting thing about this one was trying to figure out how such a great actress as Jodie Foster could take this seriously. The insulting ending in which the Arabic dude who got so much flak on the flight apologetically hands her bag to her is enough to make any self-respecting critic laugh like Eddie Deezan!
Look, I'm all about the independent horror flick and I'm all about the Zombie flick and I'm all about horror movies that take place in Louisiana. I just don't get why the ones this year had to be so derivative and slow. Of the three Louisiana Horror flicks to splatter to the screen in 2005 Venom, The Skeleton Key and House of Wax all three deserve at least a dishonorable mention on this list. Strangely the most original among them is the one that made the cut.
Venom exists based on coincidences alone and makes about as much sense as an American Tourist ordering wine in a French Bistro. I spent a lot of the film wondering who this would make sense to and a good bit of it feeling sort of bad about the sarcastic review I was writing in my head (I felt almost like a bully). However, about the time the rubber-looking CGI snakes started popping out I figured "Screw This" and lambasted away. Replace "rubber-looking CGI snakes" with "head-dwelling roaches" or "creepy old ladies" and the same can be said for both House of Wax and The Skeleton Key!