3x3: movies for which there is no forgiveness

Spoilers May Exist, Here.

  1. Snakes on a Plane. There could have been forgiveness for this movie if it wasn’t so terrible to begin with. We all came in with expectations of Samuel L. Jackson tossing off one-liners as easily as he tossed snakes off a plane. We did not get that movie. Instead we got some long story about some FBI witness who saw something he shouldn’t have and now I’m asleep long before a plane appears, never mind snakes. It felt like a spiritual sequel to the Brandon Lee/Ernest Borgnine vehicle Laser Mission. In the end it was an object lesson in how marketers summon audiences for a strong opening week.

  2. Repo! The Genetic Opera. Some people enjoyed this movie. They liked that its music was so lousy it was instantly forgettable. They liked how its redundant storytelling snuffed out any possible life from its ridiculous scenarios. They liked its good actors and their phoned-in performances, and its rather more numerous terrible actors and their hamfisted performances. Some people enjoyed this movie. I emphatically did not.

  3. Riding in Cars with Boys. Oh sweet Jesus, I don’t even want to remember why I hate this movie so much. Wait, I remember a scene where Drew Barrymore is trying to get her boyfriend off heroin in what was supposed to be a whimsical, even hilarious montage. Oh, he pukes on the bed before she could bring the bucket over to him, how precious! And at the end, when she realizes that she’s riding in a car, with a boy (like the title!) except the boy is her father, and that her father is the boy who will always care about her, forever. Nice sentiment, horribly sentimental.

Ugh. Thanks Bahimiron. I guess.

Firelight God it was awful. It was an early date with my (now) wife, so neither of us felt confident enough to walk out. I still bring it up now and again - that she made me watch this still requires recompense to this day.

Pretty Woman Hmm. A romcom about a prostitute who are is made happy with a credit card shopping spree. Let’s all celebrate transactional sex and rampant consumerism!

Ghost No, even Whoopi Goldberg’s cameo isn’t forgivable.

I could only think of two (for which I feel very guilty) but I’ll steal one from Christien.

I am Legend

The entire reason to make an I am Legend movie is for the ending of I am Legend (which I’ll avoid spoiling here). It’s the reason the book is called “I AM LEGEND” and it’s also the reason the book is not simply a generic zombie/vampire apocalpyse tale.

The movie makes MANY changes to the book, all of which I found perfectly acceptable, provided the ending was retained. I even liked the movie up until the ending, which I thought was being set up right up until it didn’t happen.

I’d imagine that some version of the book’s ending was actually filmed since all the puzzle pieces are there in the movie to allow it. If not then the director was deliberately setting out to make it SEEM like he was going to go with the original ending, simply to stick to fans of the book when he rolled out the wretched, flaccid limp home he had decided to go with instead.

UNFORGIVABLE. One of the greatest books of all time ruined and made completely irrelevant at the post.

Star Wars Episode 2: Attack of the Clones

Don’t get me wrong, Phantom Menace is a piece of shit, but atleast it was Lucas’ piece of shit. It was his own messed up vision of what he felt Star Wars should be. On that level I can actually appreciate it, I can see where he was coming from, I even think it has a bit of heart.

But by the time we get to Attack of the Clones Lucas has completely retreated. He’s desperately scrambling to alter the trajectory he established with the first film and we’re no longer watching anyone’s vision. Instead it’s just a series of compromises and fumbles.

Passion of the Christ

I agree with pretty much everything Christien said and I’m not going to be able to say it better than he did. So I wont, but essentially I thought the point of the movie was for everyone in the audience to feel absolutely horrible and ultimately guilty that we are not believers (if that’s the case). If we are believers than we’re supposed to feel vindicated since everyone who doesn’t believe in Jesus is so obviously a horrible piece of shit as presented in this movie. How can you not root for the guy who’s viciously destroyed on camera for 2 hours?

My feeling would be that there should be far better, less offensive, ways to sell Christianity than this.

They did film an ending that at least aligned with the book’s message (albeit didn’t fully capture it). Totally agree with your take on this – I was rolling along with the missteps until that horrific and needless ending, which misses the point of the brilliant book.

See the original ending here. Definitely an improvement.

Nutty Professor
wasn’t awful. The sequel[s?] and similar Dr. Doolittle movies were, though.

The ending of the book was kind of dumb. But so was the movie’s so I guess you aren’t wrong. But yay, happy ending, right?

Recent memory:

  1. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen - I admit I enjoyed the first film well enough, but even 25 years of fandom couldn’t get me past the absolute trash that is the second. I enjoy a good number of brainless summer blockbusters, but I was floored at how truly awful this was. Even the very few cool scenes are rife with problems and missteps, such as the great opening action scene that features Autobots hunting down and murdering inert Decepticons in the middle of densely populated urban areas. A muddled, apparently scriptless mess that never once considers its audience’s ability or desire to follow a story or be engaged in any way other than through digital effects. Truly insulting to anyone with a functioning brain.

  2. The Spirit - I was looking forward to this, and was not prepared for how flat-out horrid it was. I remember about 15 minutes in realizing that I was stuck there watching it for another hour and fifteen or so and I honestly didn’t know if I could make it. I may have had a mild panic attack, even. Barely coherent even in its best moments, mostly just a towering testament to how far Frank Miller has fallen as a storyteller since Dark Knight and Ronin. Or perhaps evidence that he got real lucky back then.

  3. X-Men: The Last Stand - I don’t know quite how much of this film’s failings can be pinned on Ratner, because clearly it was a trouble production overall, but it doesn’t really matter when you end up with something this bad. Somehow they managed to take one of the greatest superhero stories in comics history (Dark Phoenix) and absolutely gut it of any substance or resonance, clumsily pasting it in as a subplot in an attempt to support a ridiculous “Magneto has a stupid idea” plotline. I don’t think the franchise will ever recover from this film.

This was exactly my experience. I just watched it a week or so ago by accident–one of the perils of having a long Netflix queue and not checking it because I like surprises. Nice surprise.

  1. X-Men: The Last Stand - I don’t know quite how much of this film’s failings can be pinned on Ratner, because clearly it was a trouble production overall, but it doesn’t really matter when you end up with something this bad.

This made my short list. This film is not only bad, it is sickening. Seriously. This is tough for me to explain, but the way mutant life was thrown away as so much fodder drove me crazy in this film. I found it offensive. You see, I’m no comic book guy, but I grew to love these characters in the first films. This film totally threw that away. It made me sick.

I’m happy to blame Ratner. As I walked out of this film I recall saying, “Superman better be fucking amazing, or you’ve got some explaining to do, Mr. Singer.”


“The cat. She is all the reason I need. I will kill you.”

I’m still not quite settled on three, but I’m pretty sure one of them will be Guess Who, the Ashton Kutcher/Bernie Mac comic remake of Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.

Also, the forthcoming remake of Death at a Funeral will probably be on the short list.

There’s a good chance all three of mine will be remakes.

Fahrenheit 9/11: I’ll try to keep this apolitical as possible. Fahrenheit came out in 2004 during the Bush/Kerry campaign, when the debate about war was at its peak. Rather than offering fresh perspective or insight, the movie was pure polemic and divisive. There were a lot of arguments to be made against the war, and it made none of them. Irresponsible.

Speed 2: Action movie sequels typically follow a hero from adventure to adventure, not the unwitting victim. Unless the movie is a comedy featuring the likes of Mr. Bean, Jerry Lewis, or the Three Stooges, there’s no good reason to milk a franchise by repeatedly featuring the lead victim (or damsel in distress) jet-setting around the world as they blunder into one caper after another, requiring rescue. This movie was a disaster.

Although it was unlikely much more could have been done with the franchise given the nature of the film, that never stopped gimmicky films like Crank/Crank 2 and The Fast and the Furious from producing digestible sequels.

Blues Brothers 2000: Good God, ya’ll. Aside from the fact that 50% of the leading men in the original film are dead, they took two timeless and utterly cool characters and bastardized the image to the point where I can’t even watch the original film without being reminded of how thoroughly balls were chopped off in the sequel. It’s rare that a sequel is so bad it even ruins my viewing of the original, but this is what happens when I’m seeing the coolness of Elwood in 1980, while remembering the eventual limpdickedness of Elwood in 1998.

Star Trek Generations: Although I enjoyed the movie at the time I can’t get over how ridiculous the death of Captain Kirk was. I’ve seen Redshirts go out with more style. The movie hasn’t aged well at all, and that death scene just gets worse and worse every time I see it.

Captain Kirk is the James fucking Bond of the galactic frontier, could you imagine James fucking Bond going out like that? Fuck no, James fucking Bond would die nine inches deep in a sworn enemy… and she would be hot… and they would both be into it, right up until the end.

As someone else who has read the book, I also don’t understand the love for that ending. In fact, I see several logical problems with the way it plays out, and the very end is just a ridiculous attempt at a perspective flip. Everything leading up to that was beautiful, then this godawful ending comes along and spoils everything.

The movie ending was worse, and even up until then Will had it too easy with his unknown address.

Blues Brothers 2000: The WORST movie I have ever seen and the only movie I walked out of (but then back in to watch because I had no where to go while my wife was still watching it.). This movie starts with one great scene. Elwood leaves prison and waits for Jake, but he never shows-up. The movie should have ended right there. Instead, what follows is one of saddest train wrecks ever comitted to film. John Goodman, a kid, Voodoo. I thought I was watching a long-form advertisment for The House Of Blues.

CHiPs '99: OK, so I admit it, I was a huge fan of CHiPs. I even met Erik Estrada once at Catholic Marriage Encounter Weekend Retreat where he asked me if I wanted to “go down to the titty bar” with him. This was a TV movie, I know, but still. There was no sky-diving, no roller disco, no Bonnie to be captured by Bikers, no pocket-bike chases, no guys who hate compact cars so much they want to kill the drivers by making them crash with sparks emitted from a metal plate they lower on the the freeway asphault, no Pain punk bands, no Karate fights with 70s’ has-beens, and no Donny Most singing “Devil Take Me”, or anything else. Just a boring plot about car thieves and two new “young officers” that no one cared about. In fact, there was more CHP procedural in this one movie than most of the 6 seasons of the original show combined. A HUGE missed opportunity for the revival of the action cop shows of my youth.

Die Hard 2/Robocop 2/Ghost Busters 2/Big Top Pee Wee: I lumped all of these together because they are all sequels to 80’s movies that I loved that were simply terrible. Die Hard 2 had plot holes big enough to fly a 747 through. Robocop 2 just made me sad to watch. Ghost Busters 2 had a plot that would have been rejected from the cartoon show. Big Top Pee Wee was such a let-down from the brillance of Pee Wee’s Big Adventure, I can’t believe it was made. ANY other story would have been better.

For God’s sake, do not watch Time Machine.

The new Time Machine with Guy Pearce, right? The trailer was so cool, with that chilling shot looking up at the shattered Moon. Too bad the movie was so awful. Wasn’t there a rumor that the director had a nervous breakdown during shooting and had to be replaced? That has to be a bad sign.

The remake of The Manchurian Candidate. Why?

Because Hollywood felt the need to change the villain from evil Marxists to an evil Corporation.

Someone wanted a bad rom com?

Confessions of a Shopaholic-- main character’s only redeeming value is she wears low cut outfits, and her friends are no better. Other than that she is a horribly shallow person who lies, can’t keep a job, and can’t manage her money.

Step brothers – wow this film just kept going and going, it felt like it was a 3 hour film that made no sense and had random scenes that went nowhere.

ah crap, don’t want to violate the 3x3…
Superman returns, low hanging fruit i know, but turning superman into a creepy stalker and lex into a pathetic and laughable villian killed it for me.

Don’t know if I have 3, but Tom’s Spanglish riff reminded me of a similar reaction I had to Bee Season recently. It was a moral message movie that boiled down to this: It’s best for the little girl to not do her best at the spelling bee championship, because her family is coming apart at the seams over unrelated issues.

They’re all crazy and/or stupid. Personal effort is the only road that girl has to get out! I hated that movie!