Archive for terrible

Any Given Sunday (1999)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on December 14, 2012 by Parker Connell


      Any Given Sunday is a god damn mess. Think of every sports movie cliche, now pump those with human growth hormone and mountain dew, if you make that take too much crank you’ve got Any Given Sunday. Oliver Stone’s attempt to tell the story of the wild world of pro-football is an over-the-top, badly edited, poorly written cluster-fuck of a film.
    Stone has never been known for making subtle films but Any Given Sunday is as unsubtle as film gets, at least Natural Born Killers has the semi-excuse of being an attack on subtlety. The movie starts in the middle of a game and in the opening 10 minutes alone we are assaulted with rapid-fire edits, cartoon sound effects, weird fades, pointless blur effects, also Matthew Modine being underutilized as usual. It was stressful and incredibly difficult to watch, it felt almost like having a panic attack except I’ve never had Pacino yell at me during a panic attack, and it never lets up for the rest of the movie.
    Speaking of Mr. Pacino I actually do like him in this. He is in full blown Shouting Pacino mode but Any Given Sunday is one of the few instances where this method of acting works because the rest of the film is in full on shouting overdrive, any kind of acting subtlety doesn’t even read which is probably why Cameron Diaz isn’t completely awful and why Aaron Eckhart is totally forgettable.
    Stone also continues his trend of giving James Woods one scene where he gets to just totally put everyone else to shame. Good for you Mr. Woods I hope you live forever.
    The closest thing to a theme this movie has is the always boring ‘old versus new’. Al Pacino is an old school coach, a thirty year veteran of the game and he’s being pushed around by the new school, Cameron Diaz is the owner of the team and she wants to run the team based on money and stats and all the other things that aren’t “Heart and Gumption and Wanting It The Most” and Jamie Foxx is the hot shot new guy who has his own ideas about football, and also racial issues but those speeches are badly written. Part of me thinks Stone is siding with Pacino in this regard, in ’99 Stone had already been making movies for almost 30 years and he probably had a lot to say about young guys edging in on his territory. However, Any Given Sunday is like a bad interpretation of what young people want, maybe that’s the point and Stone purposefully made a bad movie to prove that what young people is shitty… but I doubt it.

    Schizophrenic editing that is akin to a panic attack, blunt, boring, cliche writing (probably the worst writing Stone has done since Scarface), it features the only recurring puke gag in film history that I don’t like, oh and it’s two and a half hours long, there is very little to like about Any Given Sunday.


Gentleman Broncos

Posted in movies with tags , , , , , , , on December 1, 2011 by Parker Connell

It was around the time that Sam Rockwell sporting a pink unitard and speaking in an offensively cliché gay lisp, picked up a flat cow turd and ate it that I realized that Gentleman Broncos wasn’t really intended to entertain anyone. If anyone is entertained it is purely incidental. The writing in Gentleman Broncos feels like a five year old heard his first fart joke and immediately wrote a movie. Everything is unnecessarily gross and mildly hateful.

I don’t want to say that Gentleman Broncos is the ugliest film I’ve ever seen, but if Trashhumpers didn’t exist Gentleman Broncos would be the ugliest film I’ve ever seen, but at least Trashhumpers had the benefit of being ugly on purpose.

Michael Angarano plays the main character of this movie and that is just too bad. Mr. Angarano has in his short career made been in some pretty great movies, Snow Angels, Sky High, that one movie where Jet Li and Jackie Chan fight each other or some bullshit, Red State, and in this he is totally wasted, as is Sam Rockwell. The only person that comes out of this not appearing bad at there job is Jemaine Clement, who completely buys into the role of Ronald Chevalier and crafts the only character worth watching. In a different, more perfect world, I different writing/directing team would have created Chevalier and made a decent send-up of the notoriously absurd and conceited world of sci-fi novelists. Instead we are stuck with a movie that revels in unearned testicle jokes and unfunny homophobia.

This movie is funny like reminiscing with your elementary school friends about all the poop jokes and girls you used to like, not very funny for anyone else to watch and even the people who experienced it should realize that “One of the lasers hit my boob” screamed by a man in drag isn’t very funny. The whole stupid affair reeks of kids swearing in the cafeteria, none of them really knows what it means and aren’t really committing to the vulgarity just in case adults are listening.

On the topic of puke jokes: I love puke jokes, and in my naïveté I thought all puke jokes were funny, my ignorance was brought to light by Gentleman Broncos, and I hate it for this reason.

There is quite a bit of unhappiness at the filmmakers Hess. After Napoleon Dynamite became the Juno of that year (what was the pre 2008 version of “This years Juno”? “This years Scent of A Woman” maybe?) people started getting down on the husband and wife Mormon moviemaking team, I didn’t bye into it, sure Napoleon Dynamite got old pretty quick and doesn’t hold up, but I still hold Nacho Libre (the couples second film) as one of the funnier movies around. I say all this in order to offset any claims that I was predetermined to hate Gentleman Broncos, which is the very opposite of the truth, the makers of this movie failed in their own right with no help from bias.

The main problem this movie has in terms of “integrity” (or whatever term you’d use for the category of thing sin the writer/director has control over) is that none of it is original. Each of its three acts have their own half assed story arc each stolen from better movies. The first act, taken from Hess’s own Napoleon Dynamite, is about an awkward teen’s romance with an awkward girl. Both movies main characters obviously have little or no experience talking to girls but where Napoleon was a begrudgingly sweet story of weirdoes finding each other Gentleman Broncos’ love story is a mean one where the girl takes advantage of the boy’s earnestness.

The second act is about Michael Angarano selling his book, The Yeast Lords (everything about this movie is off putting), to a local filmmaking group. It is at it’s heart a rip off of Michel Gondry’s Be Kind Rewind, and what a cold, dead heart it is. Be Kind Rewind is a flawed but entertaining film simply because of the creativity of it’s direction, and the simple sweet nature of it’s performances and script. The production of The Yeast Lords has all the surface appearance of a “sweded” movie from Be Kind Rewind (dolls standing in for special effects, using men to play women, bad line readings) but instead of the sense of community the view felt during Be Kind Rewind, Gentleman Broncos urges us to laugh at it’s would be filmmakers, Hess and his cohorts go out of there way to say “Look at these idiots, they think they can make a movie.” Which is ironic, I suppose, because the piss poor production of The Yeast Lords is only slightly more terrible than Gentleman Broncos.

The third act is stolen whole cloth from the Frankie Muniz/Paul Giamatti family vehicle Big Fat Liar, where a corporate bigwig steals a short story and attempts to make big money off it. In Gentleman Broncos, Jemaine Clement steals Michael Anganaro’s sci fi book The Yeast Lord and repurposes it only slightly to become Brutus and Balzaak (one of many really lame jokes about testicles featured in this movie). I have very little good to say in terms of Big Fat Liar except that Gentleman Broncos belongs in the small group of films categorically worse than Big Fat Liar.


Lost In Translation: Let’s watch Bill Murray mope for an hour and a half.

Posted in movies with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 8, 2010 by Parker Connell

Dear Sofia Coppola,

I get it. I get what you were going for and it’s clever, i guess. But why does it have to be so boring? You’ve got one of the funniest, smartest actors around, one of the most attractive women out there, and Giovanni Ribisi

I'll watch pretty much anything with this guy.

Hell your movie is set in Tokyo, one of the most interesting cities in the world, and yet I hate your movie. Don’t tell me Bill Murray is depressed and not supposed to be entertaining, I’ve seen entertaining/depressed Bill Murray in THe Life Aquatic and Steve Zissou is one of my favorite characters of all time in one my favorite movies of the same category.

I saw the movie you did after this one, Marie Antoinette when it came out on DVD and I dug that, although it almost got bogged down in how clever you were but in spite of that you pulled through and made a beautiful to look at, relatively intriguing period piece/ 80’s style teen drama. So it’s not like I’m predisposed to dislike your movies and I tried to like Lost in Translation, Sofia, I really did, I even laughed a couple times, once at the part when Bill Murray gets his pictures taken for the whiskey ads and another time when Scarlett Johansson was walking around in some snow or some such bullshit and I started thinking about Bill Murray’s character in The Royal Tenenbaums, you know the part where he lists the kid from Freaks and Geeks symptoms and he says it real quite but the kid still hears him. That parts funny, and Bill Murray is super depressed. See your movie could have been really good Sofia, but again, it wasn’t.

Lost in Translation is one of those movies that people get very obsessive and defensive over, sort of like I get over Freddy Got Fingered.

I will fight you over this flick.

Why though? Nothing really happens in Lost in Translation, it’s a series of boring scenes connected by shots of the Tokyo skyline, I guess it’s sort of the story of some guys mid-life crisis and some girl not being happy in her marriage and their like mini-love affair. But what should I give a shit? It’s not like this is a new story and luckily the story is so lazily followed that we don’t really have to put up with this boring cliché. So I guess it’s a good thing that you didn’t really care about the story Sofia because I really couldn’t stand that, but in your attempt to avoid clichés within this sort of story you made an equally boring movie.

I don’t know Sofia, your movie isn’t very interesting, you created two broad main characters and 3 or 4 even broader, even less interesting, characters , but whatever people seem to like it for whatever stupid reason, maybe people like being bored. So good for you for tapping into the “People who enjoy being bored” market, I’m sure they were tired of watching Jeremiah Johnson.

I wish you luck on your future works, but just know I’m watching you, don’t make another movie that is this terrible.




You should do a sequel to Lost in Translation where Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson get married and have a kid, but then they get murdered by the yakuza or something, and Bill has to go on a revenge killing spree through Tokyo, that would be really cool because all the Lost in Translation super fans (who I will now start referring to as Translationeirs) will freak out and throw hissy fits about how you changed the story so much. Anyway think about it.