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The Master of Disguise (2002)
Maybe the Worst Big Studio Comedy Ever
I have just returned from taking my seven year old to see this movie, and I am still numb from the experience. The only thing worth saying about this pile of dreck is that it is the embodiment of everything that is wrong with big studio comedies today times two hundred.
After five minutes, I was stunned at how poorly paced, acted, written, directed, shot, and even lit this turkey was. After an hour, I was just sad. My mind started wandering to all the other things that could have been done with the money and effort wasted on this complete travesty.
To excuse the inanity of this movie by saying it's a kid's film is an insult to the intelligence and wit of children everywhere. To downplay the utter creative failure this movie represents by noting that it turned a profit is too cynical to fathom. This is, quite simply, one of the worst movies ever made. Period. Dana Carvey, Adam Sandler, I want you to give me back the ninety minutes of my life I wasted watching your movie.
Get Yourself a College Girl (1964)
Great Bad Movie
One of the most truly fabulous awful movies of all time. If you and your friends love good/bad film, forget about "Showgirls" or "Valley of the Dolls." Find this movie, get a group together, get drunk and have a blast. The title number alone will have you laughing till you cry. Chad Everett, Astrid, Nancy Sinatra, and a sexed-up Mary Ann Mobley - this movie is cheeseball heaven. This film really does deserve a place in the pantheon of classic 60's camp, but nobody seems to know about it. It could be shown as a midnight movie on campuses everywhere. How could you not love a movie that has Ms. Mobley singing lines like: "She knows all her A-B-C's/Regarding S-E-X!/S-E-X spells sex!"
The Badge (2002)
Straight to Video for a Reason
What a mess! This movie is a phenomenal waste of talent in some ways, and a glaring expose' of the limitations of overrated actors in other ways. Not that they're helped by the muddled direction in this pretentious noir-wannabe that values mood and message much more than story.
The smaller roles are obviously real local yokels, but without direction, what could have added the ring of authenticity to this Louisiana tale instead makes the whole enterprise look even more amateurish. After "The Man who Wasn't There," and "Monster's Ball," the producers really had to work hard to have a Billy Bob Thornton movie received this badly.
The Iron Giant (1999)
Maybe the best animated film ever. This movie manages to get right what Hollywood has been trying to do for the last forty years. I truly don't understand why it didn't cause more of a splash when it first came out. It's great to see it slowly achieve its rightful status as a classic, but why didn't the critics stand on the rooftops and shout about this one?
King of the Hill (1993)
Underrated Film with an Underrated Performance by the Underrated Joseph Chrest
This is a magnificent example of Soderbergh at his best. Not Soderbergh the deconstructionist or Soderbergh the hipster/geek auteur, but Soderbergh the storyteller. Definitely the best work of his career so far.
The film is full of stunningly poignant moments. From the father's conversation in the car to the little brother's fart joke that signifies that the children are free to be children again, this is the rare unsentimental movie that can nonetheless reduce grown men to tears.
The greatest thing about this film, though is the towering performance of Soderbergh regular Joseph Chrest as the demented Bellhop. Between this, "The Underneath," "Out of Sight," "Erin Brockovich," and his appearances in some of Chris Carter's more memorable television experiments, Chrest has proven himself to be a yeoman character actor along the lines of Philip Seymour Hoffman or John C. Reilly.
Would someone like P.T. Anderson, David Lynch, The Coen Brothers, or even you yourself, Mr. Soderbergh, please give this quirky genius more screen time and make him the star he deserves to be already? Please?
The Graduate (1967)
One of the greats
What more can be said about this film? I tend to go a year or two at a time without seeing it. Then, every time I see it again, I find something new or fresh or brilliant I hadn't noticed before. It is simply one of the greatest, most endlessly watchable movies ever made. It is a genre unto itself.