Copyright © 2006 Ed Bagley Here are five movies that try hard but to no avail and so are rated terrible for the effort. Napoleon Dynamite ? 1 Star (Terrible) Napoleon Dynamite is a nerd in high school who tries to make sense of his life amid a cast of almost totally dysfunctional people. As near as I could tell, there was exactly one normal person in the film.
This film relies on some corny humor to carry it along, but it lacks a central writing flaw in order to gain any shred of competence: the central character in the movie (Napoleon Dynamite, played by Jon Heder) is a nerd that is simply not likeable. The only honest psychological reaction in the movie is the standing ovation at the end, after Napoleon's dance skit. I would not pay to see this movie again, and am not a better person for having seen it.
Incredibly, Napoleon Dynamite actually won some lightweight honors, like Best Comedy by the Golden Trailer Awards, Best Movie by the MTV Movie Awards, and three nods for Movie Dance Scene, Movie Hissy Fit, and Comedy by the Teen Choice Awards (I mean, does anyone else have a hissy fit award?). The Academy and its Oscars (which actually matter) ignored this film like they would a moral code (in other words, as if it was never made). Napoleon Dynamite is a "cult" film and remains very popular with the younger set; seniors like myself are hardly impressed.
I believe the chief problem with this film is we find Jared Hess, the director, also shares the writing credits (if you can call them that) with Jerusha Hess (I assume a relation). When directors become writers and writers become directors the results are seldom good, as evidenced here. Once Upon a Time in Mexico ? 1 Star (Terrible) An All Star cast of Antonio Banderas, Johnny Depp and Salma Hayek fails to deliver in Once Upon a Time in Mexico. Only one word can describe this pitiful attempt at a movie: terrible, just terrible. These stars were suckered into this one, as it has a bad script, bad directing, bad production, bad make-up and nonsense fight scenes. I grow ill just thinking about how disappointing it was.
Oh, did I mention that the director of this fiasco, Robert Rodriguez, also pulled down the writing credits in this film, and pulled down the film in the process (perhaps he thought he was on track to win Oscars for both efforts; the Academy thought otherwise). Awards for this effort: nada. Notebook, The ? 1 Star (Terrible) The Notebook is a classic drama about relationships. A wealthy girl has a youthful fling with a poor boy. Her parents try to break up her relationship, and she must decide to follow her heart or follow her family and its wealth.
Later, she makes the right choice, and when she is much older, suffers dementia. The focus of the story is here, at her worst, with her husband reading to her from a notebook, hoping for a miracle that will bring her faculties back to normal. This movie has a beautiful, peaceful, gorgeous opening sunset scene that is gripping, and remains in my mind as the best part of the film.
Notebook never really has a chance to become a good film because of terrible sound management; there are too many key moments in the film where you simply cannot hear the sound, and this is inexcusable in such emotional turmoil. Normally, when my remote sound key is on 7, it is loud at my house. There are parts in this film where I had to click it up to 23 to hear, and even then it was muffled as the actors had poor diction. A competent movie production team would never have released this film without fixing the volume and quality of the movie's soundtrack. It is a shame, the movie had potential but will never see the light of day.
Notebook did come with a credible cast of James Garner, Gena Rowlands and Rachel McAdams, and did earn no less than 8 Teen Choice Awards (not Oscars), which was hardly enough to push it to a better result. Of Human Bondage ? 1 Star (Terrible) Based on W. Somerset Maugham's novel about a well bred professional's obsession with a common slut with pretend morals. This film, made in 1934, stars Leslie Howard and Bette Davis, and we are certainly thankful that moviemaking has come such a long way since then. The Prince and the Showgirl ? 1 Star (Terrible) A showgirl (Marilyn Monroe) and a stuffy prince (Laurence Olivier) work through an unlikely romance. The Prince and the Showgirl, made in 1957, is best left in 1957; it was too easy to tell that some of the background scenes were paintings.
The most interesting thing in the film was Marilyn Monroe cast with long blonde hair (it was early in her career). Her famous pictures as a glamour girl never showed her with long hair. I only bring these five movies to your attention so you are not smitten with mediocrity when you sit down to enjoy your movie rental choice.
My forewarning is useless, of course, should you invest in any of these films.
Ed Bagley is the Author of Ed Bagley's Blog, which he Publishes Daily with Fresh, Original Articles on Internet Marketing, Jobs and Careers, Movie Reviews, Sports and Recreation, or Lessons in Life intended to Delight, Inform, Educate and Motivate Readers. Visit Ed at . . . http://www.edbagleyblog.com/MovieReviewArticles.html http://www.edbagleyblog.com/LessonsinLifeArticles.html http://www.edbagleyblog.com/InternetMarketingArticles.html