Thursday, February 14, 2008

A musing on movies

Is this man a criminal?
If you see his latest movie, National Treasure:Book of Secrets, you will probably think so. Any money spent seeing it is definitely daylight robbery.

I went to the cinema the other day with a friend and due to the vagaries of half-term cinema times we were stuck with a choice of National Treasure or a 3 hour wait till Cloverfield. So we took a deep breath, set our expectations to sub Men in Black 2 levels and took the plunge.

As the trailers rolled I reflected on the cast. As Nicholas Cage has been frankly dreadful in just about everything since Raising Arizona I didn't hope for much from him. However, there are some quality actors here - Helen Mirren, Ed Harris, Harvey Keitel & Jon Voight. This gave me hope for gleaning some enjoyment out of the film.

These hopes were rapidly dashed. I don't believe I have EVER seen a film as bad as National Treasure: Book of Secrets at the cinema. It was so bad that it has replaced Men in Black 2 as officially the worst film I've ever paid to see at the cinema. Admittedly, you don't expect gritty realism in a popcorn-muncher like this, but still this film stretched the boundaries. On three occasions Cage and his moronic sidekicks were required to get themselves out of plot dead ends by doing the most ridiculous things. Firstly, breaking into Buckingham Palace to get a look at the Queen's Resolute Desk(which incidentally appeared to be an 18th century Rubiks cube). Then they had to break into the Oval Office to sneak a look at the President's desk and finally and most inconceivably they had to kidnap the President to get a look at his 'Secret President's Book' (I'm really not kidding).

I have rarely seen a film that treats its viewers with such brazen contempt. It wasn't even 'so bad its good'. I suppose that none of this should come as a surprise when you look at the names of the screenwriters.The Wibberleys? No wonder its awful. It appears to have been written by Australian children's TV presenter rejects. Anyhoo, have a trailer for the upcoming Hellboy 2. Its a film which I'm very much looking forward to, particularly as director Guillermo del Toro has brought his Pan's Labyrinth box of monster tricks to the party..



Movies
National Treasure: Book of Secrets (no stars) first film to ever receive no stars.
Hitman ***
Charlie Wilson's War ****
Tom Hanks really should be Oscar nominated for his role in this...
Curse of the Broken Flower ****

11 comments:

patroclus said...

The Wibberleys! Hahahahahaa!

I have indeed heard terrible things about this film, which unfortunately makes me really want to see it.

How does it compare with The Ninth Gate, which I think is the worst film I've ever seen?

9/10ths Full of Penguins said...

Infinitely worse than the Ninth Gate - and that is a horrifically bad movie....

patroclus said...

They should put that on the film posters:

'Infinitely Worse Than The Ninth Gate' - Nine-Tenths Full of Penguins

Perhaps they'll save it for the DVD.

LauraHD said...

No stars? That's not a star-rating, it's a non-review. M and I argued hard over this one when we set up Reel Review. To us, no stars means you haven't seen it, didn't make it to the end, etc. And we have a "no half stars" rule, so that means that if you've seen it and want to rate it, however bad, it has to get one star. Discuss.

Fat Roland said...

LauraHotDog's right, you have to give it one star.

And anyhoo, National Treasure Book Of Secrets, or Natreboocrets as proper film buffs call it, is the best film that's ever been released ever. It's possibly better than the modern-day Shawshank, I Now Pronounce You Chuck And Larry.

9/10ths Full of Penguins said...

Thank you all.

Patroclus: Hopefully you can use your new-media influence to swing that for me.

LauraHD: I do see your point but if I gave it 1 star, I would be saying that it was as good as Resident Evil:Extinction and Alien vs Predator (both of which I rated as 1 star films). Now admittedly, they were rubbish but they still had one or two redeeming features. National Treasure is SOOO much worse than them that it would be unfair to rate them the same. So I'm afraid we'll have to agree to differ. The no-star verdict will have to stay...

Fat: Hmmmm. I think I won't dignify that comment with a response except to say that clearly you are wrong. The Princess Diaries is the modern-day Shawshank.

Tim Footman said...

I have a friend who's a filmmaker, who thinks The Ninth Gate is one of Polanski's best films, but not as good as Bitter Moon. When I suggest Rosemary's Baby he gives me a funny look.

And I must admit to being rather fond of N Cage towards the end of Wild At Heart. "I apologise for referring to you gentlemen as homosexuals", etc, etc...

Roswell2themax said...

Well, I have not seen the movie in question and after your rating definitely don't want to.

I feel that no stars shows that it is Pants. Maybe you could have a pair of pants as the symbol for no stars so that it really has a rating. (Yep I think this could catch on!!!)

Daniel said...

Lee, I hate to say it but you are wrong. NT:BOS is fantastic. Better spending your money on Cloverfield which is even more enjoyable in a Blair Witch vs Independence Day mash up!

9/10ths Full of Penguins said...

I think I may have given the impression that I dislike Nicholas Cage. This is not the case, I have found some of his films to be quite enjoyable. But for every film that is enjoyable (Con Air, Lord of War) there are several shockers (Next, The Weather Man, The Wicker Man and the excreble World Trade Center).

Tim: Polanski's best film?!! Really? I'd quite like to meet that friend of yours....
I will concede Wild at Heart actually. He is watchable in that.

Roswell: Hmmmmmm. let me get back to you on that one.

Daniel: With the greatest of respect, in no universe could National Treasure 2 be described as fantastic. Although, I really do want to see Cloverfield.

Roswell2themax said...

Yes I agree the Weather Man was a shocker - well no it was just very dull - time I will never get back!

As for the lack of support for my pants I am hurt haha!