Issue December 18, 2007

The Back Lot: Film news and ruminations

Four to Forget: The Worst of ’07

Good movies are sometimes hidden. Bad movies, you can see coming a mile away: Like brightly colored poison frogs, they are nice enough to advertise their noxiousness. Still, masochism and misfortune conspired to make me watch the following, all of which are easily among the worst of ’07:
    1) The Condemned — It’s a WWE-produced movie, so it’s not like I was expecting “Casablanca.” Still, I was shocked at its putrid, misogynist brutality. Even worse, after an hour and a half of rampant exploitation, it tries to end with a message about violence in the media. You can’t Smackdown your cake and eat it, too.
    2) Urban Justice — This one was straight-to-video, so I’m not sure it counts, but I feel obligated to sound a warning: Even within the not-exactly erudite oeuvre of Steven Seagal, this is a dumb movie.
    3) Bratz: The Movie — OK, I couldn’t finish the whole thing even though some friends and I watched it pretty much on a bet. However, I can say that if you let your daughter watch this vapid hooch-fest, you might as well skip the college applications.
    4) I Know Who Killed Me — My friends and I couldn’t manage to watch it AND stay sober, so this one is a bit of a blur. But let me assure you, this Lindsay Lohan supernatural thriller is the laziest movie I have ever seen. The plot: less than half-assed. The direction: without direction. The cast has the same range and work ethic as the star, who must have trained in the Phenobarbital School of Acting. Hell, even the art direction and sound design were bad. While other movies of the year set out to be crap and accomplished it (“Delta Farce”), what makes this movie special is that it tried to be good and fell way, way short.
    Stay tuned for the LEO critics’ best-of picks next week. —Alan Abbott