The Nexus of Pop-Culture Fandom

The CC2k pre-Oscar round-up

Written by: Robert Wambold, special to CC2k



CAPOTE – Have nothing really pithy to say here. Good movie, not great. Still a frickin’ biopic. I love that Catherine Keener got nominated for an Oscar for doing basically nothing in this movie. (I’m not trying to pick on her, I just like to.)

THE CONSTANT GARDENER – Loses steam when it’s revealed that Rachel Weisz is not a lying, cheating whore. Oh yeah, everyone dies in this one too.

CONSTANTINE – Some good action sequences. And a wet Rachel Weisz. Not in that way. Also, glad to see that Peter Stormare is showing up in movies again.

THE FAMILY STONE – How many mid-range actors can you fit into a movie? Sarah Jessica Parker, Dermot Mulroney, Luke Wilson, Rachel McAdams, Claire Danes. Diane Keaton offsets Craig T. Nelson (COACH!). So, five.

GRIZZLY MAN – Wouldn’t it be great if Werner Herzog narrated your wedding video? I highly recommend watching a documentary he did about his relationship with Klaus Kinski called MY BEST FIEND. In that documentary, you have Herzog speaking German on camera, but then you have Herzog translating in English in voice-over. It’s great.

HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE – A little disappointing. Some of the best action scenes in the series, but didn’t quite flow as a movie like the third one did.

MARCH OF THE PENGUINS – It really sucks to be a penguin. Someone had to say it.

MILLIONS – The ending shot where the boys are giving water to Africans in Africa was one of the funniest scenes of 2005. Not intended to be funny, mind you.
PRIDE & PREJUDICE – Bag of Bones plays Elizabeth Bennet. But who was the
older sister? Is she the blonde Rachel Weisz? This movie is one of the best directed of the year. For serious.

RED EYE – This movie had the worst trailer I’ve ever seen (the rest of the screen wipes to black as we hone in on Cillian Murphy’s eye which turns red!), which lowered my expectations for the movie and thus I quite enjoyed it. Also, while at the urinal after seeing this movie, I overheard two strangers talk about how they really liked the movie to each other. If you know urinal etiquette, you don’t talk to strangers. These guys really started breaking it down. And they weren’t gay. I have no idea why I brought this up either.

REVENGE OF THE SITH – It says a lot about a movie when the only effective part of the movie involves characters from a movie that was released almost thirty years ago. That said, me likey.

SIN CITY – I hate Robert Rodriguez. But when you have seven dudes castrated over the course of a movie and one of the dudes is completely yellow, you get a thumbs up in my book.

THUMBSUCKER – An aimless plot prevented this movie from being an all-timer. Loved the characters, loved what the filmmakers were trying to do. Didn’t add up though.

WALK THE LINE – So Johnny Cash wrote those songs because he was a drunk with lady problems? Again, he was the Man in Black because he was a drunk with lady problems. Oh wait, his brother died when he was young. That’s the ticket! Enjoyable movie but I hate biopics, unless the movie’s name is AMERICAN SPLENDOR.


BATMAN BEGINS – Christian Bale: great Bruce Wayne, awful Batman. He channeled Randy “The Macho Man” Savage when he was Batman. And said lines like, “It’s not who I am underneath, but what I do that defines me.” Say that line with the Macho Man voice and try not to laugh. That for a quarter of the movie.

CHARLIE & THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY – In case you didn’t know, the Oompa-Loompahs are a bunch of dancing Pakistanis in this movie. I hated the first Oompa-Loompah scene. Liked the next one. Loved the one after that. By the end, I couldn’t wait to see the dancing Pakistanis again. It’s the only good thing about this movie.

HITCH – I hate romantic comedies in which the female lead is a conniving bitch-face and the guy still wants her (see FOUR WEDDINGS…, NOTTING HILL for other examples). Kevin James is the only saving grace in this movie. I never thought I’d write that sentence in my lifetime.

HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE TO THE GALAXY – Still like the low-grade BBC miniseries better.

THE INTERPRETER – The bus sequence is outstanding. Everything else is junkypoopy.

THE MATADOR – Good first half, bad second half.

MR. AND MRS. SMITH – I was drunk when I saw this movie and still noticed that it had no ending whatsoever.

MUNICH – This movie was set in a post-9/11 world thirty years before 9/11. Talk to me about the sex scene near the very end. Was that sweat or KY jelly that flew off Bana’s face when he had his screaming orgasm? We now know what a sex scene directed by Steven Spielberg looks like. I feel bad for Amy Irving.

SHOPGIRL – L.A. must be pretty sucky if your men choices are Steve Martin or Jason Schwartzman. It is better than Woody Allen though. (NOTE: I’m all for Steve Martin, not for young twentysomethings hooking up with him. Okay, mom?)
WAR OF THE WORLDS – Though the ending was true to the book, could there have been a worse ending than Tom Cruise showing up in Boston for what looked to be Christmas dinner?

WEDDING CRASHERS – The sequence at the parents’ country home is the funniest hour of 2005. Too bad there was fifteen minutes before and forty-five minutes after that hour.




BEWITCHED – Well, now we know. Nicole Kidman isn’t funny. Wait, we’re not talking about STEPFORD WIVES?

BROKEN FLOWERS – Smirking smugness smites smammy. Episodic pile of poo.

THE CHUMSCRUBBER – Things aren’t quite right with the suburbs? Are you shitting me? I’ve never heard that before. Ever.

GOOD NIGHT, AND GOOD LUCK – A black and white Dateline episode. There is probably 25 minutes of archival footage in this 93-minute movie. I love when mediocrity is championed! No story, no characters, just a lot o’ cigarettes! Is crap!

KUNG FU HUSTLE – I don’t want to get all Soundgarden on you, but they were doing these effects in the “Black Hole Sun” video in 1994.

THE JACKET – I think I’m the only person I know who has actually seen this movie. Bag of Bones plays angry single woman in this one.

THE RING TWO – It’s true, the Pacific Northwest is nothing but green, blue, water, and crazy demon girls.

WOLF CREEK – Ick. Poo.

XXX: STATE OF THE UNION – Like the first movie, was not bad enough to be an enjoyable bad movie.


FEVER PITCH – I can’t think of anything worse than a romantic comedy about the most annoying fans on the planet starring Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore. Maybe a movie about star-crossed Yankee and Cowboy fans played by Bag of Bones and Jonathan Rhys Meyers? My favorite parts of the movie involved every scene where Drew is at her busy job, furrowing her brow and moving papers around her desk. I know that this is just typical “business” to do while acting…in a high school play. Can we please stop talking about how Drew comes from an acting family? She is a no-talent with an apparent speech impediment.

CRASH – It’s true! In Los Angeles we always mention each other’s race when we talk to each other. For example, every conversation with Leah starts like this, “You are really efficient at making good food you Jesus-denying, Commie.” (She’s German/Italian/Jewish/Russian.) She replies, “Thank you, you efficient lout.” (I’m German/Scottish.) I’m amazed at how accurate this film is. It’s true that every woman who has been felt up by a cop is then saved by the same cop from a fiery inferno days later. It’s true that we regularly load guns with blanks on the off chance that a crazy Persian decides to shoot a Hispanic locksmith whose daughter gets in the way. It’s true that the other police officer, the one who didn’t feel up the woman, would then bump into the woman’s husband after a brief police chase. It’s all true. It’s not shitty screenwriting at all. I thank the filmmakers for being so brave.

CINDERELLA MAN – It’s a good thing those people in the Great Depression had sports, otherwise we’d be nowhere. Also, the entire third act focuses on whether or not Braddock will be killed in the ring. Guess what, fellas? Anytime a boxer gets in a ring, he could get killed. It happens more often than you think. Instead of focusing on the underdog story, they decided to up the tension by making Max Baer out to be a buzzsaw.

BAD NEWS BEARS – Tell me again why this movie was made.

FLIGHTPLAN – Manages to be more contrived than CRASH.

JARHEAD – I wonder whether veterans who have seen their best friends die in foxholes appreciate a movie about a bunch of kids (my generation) complaining about not seeing any action. That’s what this movie is. Here’s another reason to hate this movie: “Fundamentally, Jarhead disobeys all the laws of American movies, and not just the political laws of American movies right now which demand on some level to tell us which side they’re on. In Europe, there’s a sense this film comes from the tradition of absurdist war movies about the futility of conflict. It has more in common with Beckett, Sartre and Banuel than it does with Oliver Stone. In America, they assumed I was trying to make an Oliver Stone movie and that I’d failed.” – Sam Mendes. Um, Sam. You made a movie about a bunch of whiny brats. Oh and by the way, Americans love DR. STRANGELOVE, MASH, and CATCH-22. All absurdist military fare and not about whiny brats. I hate Oliver Stone, but I hate your movie more. Asshole.

SYRIANA – You mean America has a controlling stake in Middle East affairs? And big powerful law firms tell politicians what to do? And suicide bombers can be sympathetic? Everyone keeps talking about how this is the year of political movie. What they leave out is that it is the year of the MEDIOCRE political movie.

Author: Robert Wambold, special to CC2k

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