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Ten Films That Made You Say “WTF?”

It had to be done. Because it has to be channeled somewhere, you know? Disappointment is a hard thing to swallow. Some of these were simply doomed because of some very high expectations. Others will sit on this list forever. FOR-EV-ER. FOR-EV-ER. Sorry, I couldn’t resist. Ahem. Anyway. Making movies is hard work, so hopefully, I have refrained from being overly harsh.

10. Indiana Jones 4: Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)

I feel pain. Because I love Harrison Ford. And we all love Indie. This film isn’t exactly bad. It had a few moments in its first half. Preps vs. Bikers-turned-chase-through-the-library was pretty cool. Then it got weird. And then it got really weird… and confusing… and— I’m sorry, what? Aliens? What in the huh? Aaaaaaaand, I’m out.

9. Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005)

Ugh. More pain. I shouldn’t have been surprised. I went back and forth between this and Episode II: Attack of the Clones (2002). This won out in the end, for one reason and one reason only: “I have the high ground.”

W. T. F.

That’s it? That’s f-ing IT? HE’S A JEDI FOR CRYING OUT LOUD. I’m getting angry all over again. There are other reasons this movie makes my head explode. Most notably, the fact that anyone who’s only ever seen Ewan McGreggor in this movie would be convinced that he is the worst actor alive. And I blame the green screen entirely. So there.

8. Crash (2004)

Um, I saw this movie in 1995, it’s called Higher Learning (and it’s better). This film just tries entirely too hard to make us feel with its oh-so-inventive-interweaving-characters-but-you-don’t-know-it’s-coming-only-you-totally-do-because-it’s-so-freaking-obvious narrative. In no way do I consider this film a stain on Haggis’ talents, but I’m willing to bet that even he knows this movie has problems. Serious. Problems.*

*I may have just opened the floodgates, but I stand by it, damn it!

7. Pearl Harbor (2001)

Do I really have to write anything else?

6. Troy (2004)

It all seemed like kismet. Epic story. Tragic heroes. Chariots. Brad Pitt as Achilles?!?!?! Sadly, it was all just a big movie-Trojan horse.

Oh, my! What a giant movie-shaped package. That’s the most movie-looking movie-shaped gift EVER. Let’s crack it open and watch the glorious movie-essence pour out like liquid gold. Oh shit. That’s not sweet movie-nectar at all. That’s… awfulness. Horrid, laughable awfulness. Getitoffmegetitoffme!

5. The Da Vinci Code (2006)

Not every bestselling book should be made into a film. In fact, a friend of mine made a very keen observation/critique about said bestselling book that is entirely transferable to its motion picture adaptation:

It’s a book… for people… who have never read a book in their lives.

It also happened to yield a screenplay in which 98% of all spoken dialogue is exposition. And that’s not a movie, that’s a book on tape with visual aides. In short, YOU CAN’T MAKE AN ENTIRE FILM BUILT AROUND TOM HANKS STARING AT STUFF AND LOOKING WORRIED. OKAY?? YOU. JUST. CAN’T.

4. Vanilla Sky (2001)

Yeah, TOM, I’d be pissed if I made this movie too. Suffice to say, the one not completely hateable thing about this film is the hilarity that ensues when anyone quotes Cameron Diaz/Julie Gianni:

When you SLEEP with someone, your body makes a promise, whether YOU do or NOT!

3. Southland Tales (2006)

The picture above kind of sums up my feelings about this movie. In short… No. No, to its utterly pretentious esoteric narrative about fame and exploitation and love and life and sex and death and politics and the conscious mind and SHUT UP. Listen. You can’t just site David Lynch as a professional hero and then expect the world to lose their shit over whatever mindless, unfocused, annoying non-story you decide to make into a film. Lynch is weird. He’s not a hack.

2. The Passion of the Christ (2004)

This film is an abuse of power. It’s an abuse of religious imagery that exploits the ignorance of fanatics who are largely part of what’s wrong with America today. It’s an abuse of cinematic language, which is totally perverted to shock the audience into believing they are watching something profound. And lastly, it’s self-abuse of Gibson’s talent as a storyteller (and Jim Caviezel, who I actually like). Mel has demons to deal with. Fine. Get it off MY movie screen.

1. The Happening (2008)

I momentarily considered renaming this post: The Collected Works of M. Night Shyamalan. For a man who seems so determined to blow our minds with every film, his execution has been flailing increasingly for the last ten years. From Signs (2001), to this most recent exercise in the absurd. The trailer for this movie is one of the most unintentionally hilarious things I’ve ever seen. WTF is this M. Night? ‘The bees, the bees!’??? Seriously, you have to stop.

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