Friday, April 27, 2012

the last 10 movies I didn't finish watching part deux

This feature was surprisingly popular the last time I did it, so here it is again. As the title states, this is a list of the last 10 movies I didn't finish watching (as culled from my Netflix account history) and why they didn't cut the mustard.

Disclaimer: Just because a movie shows up on here doesn't necessarily mean it's a bad movie. I always try to give a movie at least 20-30 minutes to hook me, but my attention span has gotten grievously short as I've gotten older, so some of these may have gotten shorter shrift than usual. If there's a movie you see on here that you enjoyed and think I gave up on too quickly, please feel free to argue a case for it.

1. Sweet Movie: You know how Netflix puts a bunch of recommendations on the front page with a sidebar that says something like "Because you enjoyed [x] and [y]"? This movie came up under the heading "Cult Classics". I'd never heard of it, so I went to the page and here's what it said:

Miss World Virginity (Carole Laure), who is nearly mute, endures a horrifically kinky honeymoon but soon escapes to a scatalogically inclined commune in Vienna. Meanwhile, a madwoman pilots a candy-stuffed boat down a river. Yugoslavian director Dusan Makavajev intercuts these two wild tales with shocking footage of Nazi medical experimentation. Roger Ebert declared the button-pushing cult favorite "an experience to defy criticism."

Okay, that went straight to the top of my queue. A candy-stuffed boat? A beauty pageant to find a virgin bride for a multimillionaire (complete with gynecological exam) because, as his mother sniffs, "We don't buy used"? Sold!

But reader, do not fall into the same trap into which I ignorantly tumbled. For one thing, while reading that description, my brain somehow skipped right over the whole "shocking footage of Nazi medical experimentation". Vomit. For another, it's fucking pretentious art school garbage written by somebody who probably takes a shit and then joyfully proclaims it as a masterpiece. At around the time the yeehawin' cowboy stripped down and revealed a gold-painted penis to his screaming bride, then proceeded to whiz on her, I reached for that remote so fucking fast I caused a sonic boom in the tricounty area. I fast fowarded through the rest of it, stopping occasionally when something looked marginally interesting, and then instantly hit the fast forward button again. I shudder to think of the infections that poor woman must have gotten from writhing around completely naked in a vat of chocolate, especially since I don't think Diflucan was around in the 1970's. Instead of watching this movie, read a book, take a long walk, take a nap, or hit yourself repeatedly in the taco with a mallet. Any of these things would be far preferable.

2. Conviction: This was based on the true story of a woman who went to law school to free her brother, who was wrongfully convicted of murder. The true story is fascinating; the Hollywood version is just one step above a Lifetime movie of the week.

3. The Sitter: Jonah Hill plays a slacker/stoner who reluctantly agrees to babysit three kids for an evening: a shrill little girl who wants to be a celebutante, a recently adopted kid with a taste for destruction, and a world-weary boy who's questioning his sexuality. If a comedy doesn't make me laugh once within the first 15 minutes? Off.

4. Apollo 18: Done in the found footage style that The Blair Witch Project pioneered, this is about monsters on the moon or someshit. I dunno, I got bored before anything of interest happened.

5. Straw Dogs: Not the original Dustin Hoffman movie, but the remake. James Marsden and his wife move to the rural Mississippi town where she grew up. But her old boyfriend's still there, and he wants her matter what it takes. I fast forwarded huge chunks of this, but watched the first half-hour and the last 20 minutes or so. When it was over, something pinged in my brain and I went to YouTube and watched the trailer again. It's basically the entire fucking movie in 3 minutes, minus the rape scene and a lot of the gore. So watch that instead and save yourself 107 minutes.

6. A Good Old-Fashioned Orgy: How do you make a comedy about an orgy boring? I dunno, ask the screenwriter of this cringeworthy flop.

7. The Skin I Live In: In this Pedro Almodovar movie, Antonio Banderas plays a plastic surgeon who is keeping a beautiful young woman prisoner. He's perfecting a type of artificial skin that cannot be burned or cut, using her as a guinea pig. I got pretty far into this one and then it just started to ook me out too much to continue. I was curious enough about the story to look up spoilers on Wikipedia, and if you know you're not going to see this movie (and I mean know with 100% certainty), you might want to take a gander too. If they'd showed a little more restraint, it could have been a really compelling movie; as it was, however, it ranks up there with Audition and Requiem for a Dream as far as movies that made me want to take a Silkwood shower.

8. Snow White: A Deadly Summer: I thought this modern retelling of Snow White, in which Snow's stepmother sends her off to a disciplinary camp, might be cheesy in the good kind of way. God in heaven, NO. It's just plain bad. Eric Roberts, come on, you're so much better than this.

9. Carnage: You certainly couldn't beat the casting for this one: Jodie Foster, John C. Reilly, Kate Winslet, AND Christophe Waltz? They share 4 Oscars among them and god knows how many nominations! But this was based on a play, and man does it show. That may not bother you as much as it bothered me, but I couldn't deal with it.

10. I Don't Know How She Does It: Sarah Jessica Parker plays a NYC mom trying to juggle her work life and her married life and zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. I read the book several years back and really enjoyed it, but on screen it was just excruciating. The only real bright spot was my girlcrush Christina Hendricks. I identify as straight, but given a chance I would sidle up to her, give her the ol' elevator eyes, and say "sexy CAN I?"