The Crappies 2006 – By David Stephenson

 Ladies and gentlemen, the time is upon us – as the awards season grows evermore towards its dramatic anticlimax, we humble souls here at Rogue Cinema have deemed it time to throw some light upon the worst films of 2006, rather than the best. For every noteworthy Oscar winner, there are a thousand cinematic stools just floating lifelessly in the putrid sewers of the movie industry. These are the most inept lumpen vomitings the film world has had the misfortune to spew out unto society. These truly are the festering boils on the anus of Hollywood. It is here, boys and girls, that these cinematic monstrosities get the ridicule and humiliation they deserve.

Were this a real award ceremony, it would take place in Hollywood’s sleaziest, least classy bar. There’d be free beer for everyone. Nominees would be strictly barred from the building. Our hosts would be Gary Coleman and Pee Wee Herman (you know it makes sense), and at The Crappies, everyone looks 21 to us…

Unlike many posh awards ceremonies such as those smelly Oscars, we allow you to pick the winner of the most important prize of them all: The Crappies Lifetime Achievement Award 2006! All you have to do is click here to cast your vote. Who do you think has done the most damage to the film industry? Who should be named and shamed here? The results will be announced in next month’s issue of Rogue Cinema!

On with the proceedings!

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Crappiest chick flick rom-com: My Super Ex-Girlfriend.

Having left the world breathless with the massively popular Kill Bill epics, Uma Thurman was left with a difficult choice regarding what to do next. Perhaps follow that tour-de-force with a real masterpiece, aimed squarely at Oscar gold? Nope. How about working with the new crop of young directors in films that challenge the institution, bringing a whole new aura of critical respect? God no. Instead Uma lets it all ride on what is without a doubt the year’s most tired, by-the-numbers, painfully inept romantic comedy of the year. The silly cow.

Having been dragged kicking, screaming and biting into the cinema by my own mentally deranged ex-girlfriend to see this disasterpiece, I feel somehow mentally scarred. It’s not because this movie was so bad that liquid poop actually bled from the cinema speakers (although it’s true.) It’s because I could tell that during conception, this film had enough potential to be inventive, imaginative, and really really funny. And then, somewhere in the threshing machine of Hollywood, the magic and charm were lost, replaced by the blandest, most retarded love flick I’ve seen in a very long time.

Perhaps most tragic of all is that the normally fabulous Eddie Izzard and Luke Wilson are in this – two talents who can turn even the most mundane of scripts into something hilarious and memorable – the crappy outcome obviously hints at what a crappy script they had to work with, as they sleepwalk through comedic set pieces, clearly praying to God for answers as to what the hell they signed up for. The potential for geeky in-jokes into comic book humour could have been pure money, given the national frenzy for comic book remakes. But even on this they fail, as if seeing comedy as a necessary evil they decided to throw in afterwards as an unimportant b-note. This award is dedicated to the producers who got this film oh-so-wrong. The silly buggers. Have this award, and be gone from our lives, you villainous bastards.

Crappiest muscle-clad macho schlock-fest: The Guardian.

Long gone are those illustrious days in the mid 90’s where Kevin Costner walked on water, helped the lame to walk and the blind to see. Long gone are the glory boy days when Costner was a clean-cut poster boy for truth, justice, integrity and the American Way. All was going well for Hollywood’s favourite wooden carving, until the shitfest Waterworld drowned under the weight of its own budget. From then Costner was spun into a downward spiral of increasingly crappy movies, each more purile and painfully hard to watch than the last. The climax of this suicide dive, it seems, was The Guardian.

Costner plays that most pungent of clichés; a troubled, broken veteran with the tragic past (his fellow jocks died in a rather unlucky helicopter accident.) Having wiped out most of his peers in this accident, Costner now spends his time teaching others to do the same. This is, of course, until cocky young trainee Ashton Kutcher comes along to shake things up and generally show the world what a rebel (dickhead) he truly is.

It’s almost as if the movie industry swallowed Top Gun and every other macho douche-fest movie that has sucked since the 80’s, washed it down with a dose of Perfect Storm, and shat it all out again into this, the most predictable franchise piece since Mighty Ducks. Expect plenty of near-naked, muscle-clad, freshly oiled tossrags running about in sand. Expect a lot of wet, glistening flesh. Expect nauseating spandex. Expect… the most homo-erotic thing to hit our screens since the demise of Baywatch. It’s all about blokes saving each other from waves, being manly, and showing the world what it is to vomit in unison once again. Truly deserving of this year’s award.

Crappiest holiday movie: The Santa Clause 3

Perhaps it’s ironic that this movie is called The Escape Clause. Most award shows overlook seasonal holiday movies. Possibly because there has only ever been one good example of this genre – Planes, Trains and Automobiles. The days of films like that are now a warm, nostalgic memory. John Candy is long gone. Steve Martin’s latest works have become the absolute drizzling shit. What we’re left with instead in the very bottom of the barrel in terms of imagination and effort on the part of the movie-makers. Jingle All The Way. Hannah And Her Sisters. Surviving Christmas. You get the drift. All of these are movies designed simply to lure the kids and their parents into the cinema. Asses on seats. Money changing hands. The very opposite of what film is meant to be about. The kids leave giggling, yet dead inside. The parents leave in a state of mortal fear, weeping openly for the hard-earned cash they’ll never see again. The poor fuckers. The latest in this long line of Hollywood crap? The Santa Clause 3. May it forever burn.

Perhaps what pisses me off most is that (Lord please forgive me) I actually enjoyed the first instalment. I remember fondly the cold Christmas day I sat back in my comfy chair, half trashed on Newcastle Brown (note to Americans: that’s what’s know as a REAL beer) watching Tim Allen ham up yet another easy performance. I remember with fondness and guilt how I actually laughed at the jokes, warmed to the farting reindeer, screaming “holy crap, Judge Reinhold is still alive!” – and for once, not wanting to brutally murder the bumbling child actor they threw up on screen. Life was good.

So naturally, expectations were high for the third in the trilogy, which this time sees Santa battling it out with Jack Frost for control of Christmas. Yes, you read that right. Not only that, but this one is a giant metaphor for the fight of traditional values versus commercialization. Yes, you read that right too – Walt Disney, perhaps the world’s most heavily commercialised film company ever, is lecturing us on the corrupting value of Capitalism. The silly sods. The acting is appalling. The plot is non-existent. Judge Reinhold’s sweaters still blow. The reindeer still fart. Tim Allen still looks like a dick in that big, white beard. But all the magic is gone – any spark of inspiration that once existed is now deader than Elvis on the toilet in ’77. The only redeeming feature is Martin Short (of 3 Amigos fame) who takes up Jack Frost’s role. His hair looks kickass in this film.

The magic is dead. You’ve made Santa into a prick. The fun is gone. Let’s all cancel Christmas. Thanks Walt Disney – you made me cry! Have this award and shove it up your money-grabbing, cryogenically frozen, anti-Semitic ass! Bastard.

Crappiest actor / actress of 2006: Adam Sandler.

I remember when I briefly became a fan of this man. I remember a film called Happy Gillmore where a former hockey player took up golf, turned the institution on its head, killed off Carl Weathers, yelled a lot, and made pretty much everyone laugh. He played this unconventional angry young man, who seemed to have more balls than brains – and we loved him for it. Unfortunately, we saw exactly the same angry young man in every single one of his subsequent movies. The range of this man is unequivocal – he can do angry. He can do retarded. He can do confused. He can do angry and confused. He can do angry and retarded. And, every once in a while – on those ultra-special occasions – we’re treated to the Adam Sandler’s piece-de-resistance… the angry, confused retard. Truly an actor for the ages, this man makes mere amateurs like Marlon Brando, Robert DeNiro and the like shit bricks in fear.

Rumour has it than when being cast for his Oscar-winning role in Capote, Phillip Seymour Hoffman actually shat his pants in fear and ran away like a sissy girl upon hearing threats of casting Sandler in his place. I even heard that Al Pacino almost didn’t complete the filming of the legendary Carlito’s Way, as he’d locked himself in his trailer, weeping hysterically in shame of his acting in comparison to The Great Adam Sandler. Okay, I’m being a prick, but you get the point.

Sandler’s burnt offering this year is Click, a film about a man who gets a remote control than can fast-forward time. Interesting, considering that’s what people have been doing with Adam’s movies for years. Once again we get exactly the same confused, slightly angry young man, never more so than the scene where he pauses time and punches his boss (David Hasselhoff) in the face over and over and over and over again. Wow… now there’s imagery I can live with. The Hoff and The Sand kicking the crap out of each other. Maybe there’s light at the end of the tunnel after all? For his continued rape of the movie industry’s reputation, Adam Sandler is clearly deserving of being the worst of 2006.

The crappiest film of 2006 award: Dead Or Alive.

About a decade or so ago, Hollywood came up with the idea of turning a computer game into a film. They devised a tale whereby the finest warriors from around the world would come together in an ultimate tournament to find out once and for all who the baddest of the badasses really is. This film was Mortal Kombat, quite possibly the worst thing ever to be committed to celluloid. Perhaps the worst thing to happen to a big company financially since the BSE crisis. Leasons should have been learned – yes, the majority of teenage moviegoers are tasteless retards – but even their limited intelligence can only be insulted to a point. Mortal Kombat was perhaps the biggest disaster (both financially and artistically) in Hollywood history. It sucked. It blew. It spat. It wiped. It’s about as popular in the movie world as Iran’s Nuclear Testing program.

So stop me if this sounds familiar… the world’s mightiest warriors are brought to one place to compete in a tournament to see which of the asskickers can kick the most ass. There’s more than just a substantial cash prize at stake – there’s also pride, honour, reputation on the line. That, and four totally inappropriate young supermodels tarted up to the eyeballs, stripped down and lotioned up, for pubescent teenagers the world over to wank off to until they see the face of Jesus. This is Dead Or Alive, based on the revolutionary computer game of the same name. Except this movie isn’t revolutionary at all. It sucks harder than a malfunctioning sex doll.

The individual aspects of the film aren’t that bad. While the acting is horrible beyond description, there’s worse out there (The Crow: Wicked Prayer, for instance.) While the plot is thinner than the waists of the talentless boob-racks on display, it’s at least comical in its ineptitude. While this movie is basically straight-to-DVD-destined soft-core smut (there’s even an all-female bikini-clad beach volleyball scene) it’s at least not attracted enough morons for it to be truly annoying. What makes this film truly special, however, is that when you put these elements together you have a film that’s about as enjoyable as drinking a pint of liquid shit. I’d rather crawl over broken glass with my fly open than ever waste my time on this cinematic abortion once again.

The annual ‘holy crap you’re still alive!’ award: Burt Young.

You’re probably expecting Judge Reinhold to scoop up this award, given my earlier comments. But you’re wrong. You are, however, probably wondering who the hell Burt Young is. He’s the poor bastard who played Drunk Uncle Paulie in all six Rocky movies, and Geriatric Mafioso Uncle in Mickey Blue Eyes. Oh, and he cameos as Sick Coughing Uncle in an episode of The Sopranos. He’s one of those acting heavyweights who’s been around for eternity but never hit the big time.

With the recent influx of media regarding the soon-to-be-forgotten Rocky Balboa (Rocky 6) this guy has resurfaced, once again being Rocky’s wingman for this final installment in this tired franchise. And the poor bastard looks as if he’s 150 years old. It really is a wonder, a miracle, a testament to the abilities of modern medicine that he’s still going. The world had forgotten about him, probably assuming him long-gone like Burgess Meredith (who is very dead) and Wings Hauser (who is still alive, but should be dead.)

So we award ye this most prestigious of awards, Burt Young – actor, performer, and possible cyborg. We thank your masters for removing you from cryogenic stasis to entertain us once more. Enjoy the fame that winning this award brings – you deserve it!

That’s all for 2006 folks – keep your eyes peeled for next year’s awards and any after-show fallout, exclusively here at Rogue Cinema!