Movieline Predicts 10 Bad Movies We'll Love in 2010
"Looks good!" Those words, from my 4-year-old daughter, don't usually inspire horror, especially in this age of sublime children's movies, from Up! and Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs to Fantastic Mr. Fox and Coraline. But when they're uttered in response to The Rock sprouting wings in the name of kiddie comedy, my only recourse is a silent resolution: We'll catch the Tooth Fairy when Ava's much, much older; when she's 50 and I'm sucking food through a straw and no longer able to summon the mental energy to use the Neural Changer on my old Sony Holograph. And glancing further down the list of coming "attractions," there are 10 more titles in 2010 I plan on avoiding as long as I can until, bad-movies sucker that I am, my curiosity gets the better of me. (Find conveniently, refreshingly brief trailers where available.)
Sex And the City 2
I caught the first movie on a plane from Sydney to New York because it seemed a fitting way to distract myself at 35,000 feet. I wasn't expecting much because I a) wasn't a huge fan of the show and b) had been told by my other half, who's a die-hard Carrie-lover, that the flick was "disappointing." But I was still surprised it didn't work even as in-flight fluff. However, the $400m worldwide gross made a sequel as inevitable as a designer shoe reference in any given five minutes of a SATC ep. Carrie Bradshaw's cloying SATC 2 trailer voiceover promises "just when you think you've seen it all, it hits you: you haven't seen anything yet." Here's the real guarantee: You have seen it all -- a million times before. That the girls go to Egypt this time just means the shopping montage will feature harem wear, and someone will come down with a "hilarious" case of runny bottom. If they really wanted to show us something we hadn't seen before, how about pitting Carrie and Co. against a zombie horde... not that the undead would be able to strip much flesh of that femme foursome.
Perhaps appropriately, I think of Kevin Smith in awkward man-love terms. Back in the mid-1990s, I was enthralled by his DIY Clerks and Chasing Amy, and even had good feelings about Mallrats and Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back. As the New Jersey native might these days Twitter about his wife, he PWNED my taint. But then came the betrayals: the saccharine slop of Jersey Girl, the crass desperation of Clerks 2 and, even after I'd forgiven him for those, the squandering of Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks in Apatow-aping Zack & Miri Make A Porno. That slide is unlikely to be reversed by Cop Out. The hoo-ha over the title -- reminiscent of the Zack & Miri poster "controversy" -- presupposes anyone cares about a recycled interracial buddy-cop comedy starring the too-familiar shtick of Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan. The clunky clincher? Those hoping against hope for a return of the raunchy wit Smith used to wield should know he's only a hired directorial gun on this. And if there's one thing he's been candid about over the years -- apart from brown and pink things coming out of/going into his/her body -- it's that Smith is, at best, pedestrian behind the camera.
If only this were a parody 1970s porno featuring the sort of full bushes favored by Alec Baldwin in It's Complicated. Rather, this has Brendan Fraser returning to his doofus comfort zone as a developer beset by a bunch of animals who want to save their forest from destruction. How Fraser's sides must've split when he read the script! It's in the trailer: Our man cops a face full of scalding coffee, a noseful of skunk farts, a plasma screen to the head, a garden sprinkler to the crotch and the contents of a portable toilet to his whole person. Oh, for the Ernst Lubitsch-style sophistication of Encino Man and Dudley Do-Right. That said, director Roger Kumble would have to have worked pretty damn hard to make a motion picture worse than his The Sweetest Thing.