None of 2005’s many terrible movies — and there were many — caused me more unintentional tittering than Million Dollar Baby scribe Paul Haggis’ pretentious, banal, and derivative Crash. That it received much critical acclaim isn’t surprising: racist stereotypes and laughably overblown scenarios cross paths, stupid Mr. Oscar come calling.
Not technically the worst of the year, but in exemplifying how indie hype is now grossly out of all proportion to the quality of films it gets carelessly lavished on, Me and You and Everyone We Know takes the cake. Some redeeming features aside, this is precious, self-satisfied pap for the Sundance crowd, from whose writers’ “lab” it sprang.
Michael Joshua Rowin
I walked into Derailed expecting, at worst, a trashy and silly thriller. Two hours I left in a daze, induced by a lurching pace, logic that lapses from illness to death, and a nasty moral code where vengeful murder is preferable to adultery.
Cinderella Man — the prestige pic that wouldn’t die. Hollywood often treats audiences like spectacle receptacles, but rarely had it come as close to calling them fools as in the re-release publicity campaigns for this Ron Howard special: Won’t you please see the Great Art you so stupidly and ungratefully ignored? Now get to it, or Sharon Waxman will write another Times piece about poor depressed movie moguls
Last Days: Disembodied themes float past and evaporate in the mist of opaque pretension. It’s a costume drama without dramatic interest. A period piece without a point. Less about the disintegration of a “rock star,” it’s the sad spectacle of a middle-aged director desperately trying to connect with a generation who no longer realizes they stopped being cool a decade ago. The colloquial term for this is nonsense.
The New Korean Cinema’s anointed hype magnet, Park Chan-wook saw the kind of overexposure this year that would have wrecked even someone who wasn’t a show-off sadist; we’ll always have Rex Reed’s hi-larious spasm of gastronomical racism re: Oldboy, but wouldn’t it have been funnier if he had used the kim-chi joke on, say, Save the Green Planet! instead? Park is just overseasonsed table scraps.