Web Exclusive: Anti-Oscars Continued

    Concept Best Left in the ’80s:

    “”Miami Vice””

    I had only one question as I walked out of Michael Mann’s pseudo-summer blockbuster “”Miami Vice,”” and it was a simple one: Why?

    Maybe in the early ’80s, there was something novel about a completely ridiculous plot, present merely to showcase fast cars, cool boat tricks and cringe-worthy dialogue. Twenty-odd years later, it wouldn’t seem unreasonable to expect a little more, would it? Mann seems to disagree, however, giving us the same buddy-cop movie we’ve seen Mel Gibson and Danny Glover do better ad nauseam.

    Jamie Foxx and Colin Farrell use the fact that no one’s taking them seriously to their advantage, skipping between gratuitous sex scenes and ever-convenient plot twists to cover the script’s deficiencies. Scenes dragging on a little long? Here, an explosion will do the trick.

    The film is directed in Mann’s signature gritty, dark style – the same style that helped dig the show’s grave in 1989, if memory serves me correctly. In this case, the dead should have stayed in the grave.

    – Matt L’Heureux, Senior Staff Writer

    Biggest Waste of DNA and T’n’A:

    “”Ultraviolet””

    When “”The Fifth Element”” hit American theaters in 1998, Milla Jovovich – and that strappy, boob-squishing bodysuit – was ingrained into the brains of 14-year-old boys everywhere. Our parents wondered if it was absolutely necessary for the costumes to be so revealing, and we assured them: It was.

    In 2006, the promises of “”Ultraviolet”” reawakened the awkward, drooling 14-year-old boy inside: Vampire ninjas! Biochemistry! Milla Jovovich in a brand-new bodysuit! What’s could go wrong?

    Well, for starters, everything. The vampires in “”Ultraviolet”” walk in the sun, don’t drink blood and seem to have the organization and financial resources of the CIA. Though the CGI-drenched flick is visually impressive, the storyline is ridiculous – and the acting is worse. Jovovich shines as an ass-kicking assassin-vampire, but once the bullets are spent and the swords are sheathed (with some imaginative computer artistry), she fails dismally at creating a coherent, empathetic persona.

    Even the spectacular fight scenes – which do sufficiently close-pan the athletically curved diva – can’t save the confused plot and unconvincing emo-existentialist dialogue, and see Jovovich continuously dispatching her enemies into uncomfortably symmetrical corpse piles.

    Oh yeah – and vampirism is a virus that can be transmitted through a falling tear. Don’t even get me started.

    – Nathan Miklos, Senior Staff Writer

    Worst Movie Everyone Saw:

    “”V for Vendetta””

    It’s the near future and the world has somehow been overtaken by a ruthless totalitarian government that has stripped its citizens of civil liberties. But it’s OK, because a bald, boring Natalie Portman is here to save everyone and a mysterious masked man, named simply V, produces – and ships – a massive quantity of masks and capes for the oppressed townspeople, unbeknownst to the government. Gays are killed off. There are also some explosions. Yawn. The main question here is, “”Why?”” The motives and background information underlying the storyline’s development are unattached and convoluted.

    Unintentional bonus: At least Britney picked up a message from the film.

    – Matthew McArdle, Senior Staff Writer

    Biggest Waste of Celebrity:

    “”For Your Consideration””

    With his typical cast of comedians – Catherine O’Hara, John Michael Higgins, Jennifer Coolidge, Harry Shearer, Parker Posey and, of course, “”American Pie”” king of the nerds Eugene Levy – Christopher Guest’s latest indie-comedy installment should have been a breeze. Unfortunately, the high bar Guest set with laugh-out-loud mockumentaries like “”Waiting for Guffman,”” “”Best in Show”” and “”A Mighty Wind”” makes “”Consideration”” all the more drab and disappointing. Using film-within-a-film satire, Guest pokes fun at the superficial awards frenzy that is Hollywood by setting a sufficiently hysterical scene of narcissistic actors making fun of narcissistic actors. Sadly, its mere 88 minutes are overcrowded with over a dozen unmemorable main characters, wasting a stellar lineup on shabby character development and lack of fluidity – not to mention hilarity.

    – Jenna Brogan, Staff Writer

    Most Unintentionally Funny:

    “”The Lake House””

    Finally reunited 12 years after “”Speed,”” Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock attempt to reignite their onscreen spark for “”The Lake House.”” Unfortunately, the romance-novel storyline – man and woman share same waterfront property two years apart, falling in love via magic mailbox – doesn’t exactly revive the chemistry. Instead, we watch a snail-paced funeral for two fading actors, as the film slowly sounds their career death knolls with a relationship-trying time-space continuum and other such sappy science-fiction drama. If it all weren’t so utterly pathetic, the whole thing might be kind of funny.

    – Jenna Brogan, Staff Writer

    Worst Hair:

    “”The Pursuit of Happyness””

    It’s a strict commandment in Hollywood: Thou shall symbolize male maturity with mean chin hair and/or pair of wicked sideburns. Let it be, so let it be done.

    2006 was true to form, and nowhere was a bad ‘do better practiced than in “”The Pursuit of Happyness”” – Will Smith, normally clean-shaven (or goateed at most), was forced to grow the thickest mustache this side of Geraldo Rivera to portray the rags-to-riches character of Christopher Gardner. As an added bonus, Smith grew out his hair and threw in some graying sideburns to match, no doubt to lock in that sympathy-worthy, homeless-man look.

    The follicle problems don’t end there. Smith’s real-life son Jaden (who plays Gardner’s son) soon sports a static electricity-inspired ‘fro that would have put Don King to shame (that is, if he ever had any to begin with). If you squint really hard, you might be lucky enough to mistake them for two walking, talking Chia Pets.

    – Quynh Nhu Nguyen, Staff Writer

    Most Over-Quoted: “”Borat””

    I didn’t pay a cent to see “”Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan.”” Actually, I never even went to see the movie – which was fine, because I got to watch it hundreds of times, and for free! Everywhere I went, I got to hear the highlights – “”HIGH FIVE!”” or “”Yez-ke-mesch!”” – and it wasn’t just because the commercial was on every seven minutes and news stations side-noted the war in Iraq to run stories about “”Borat’s”” “”political effects.””

    It’s like America was preparing as an understudy for the spring play. Suddenly, Sacha Baren Cohen was sick, and every last Yankee doodle had to frantically learn his lines two days before the show, practicing everywhere he went: under his breath, to his friends, to perfect strangers, even to his grandparents (who had no clue what was going on). Until finally, the director just had to step in and declare the play postponed until Sacha was better – because, news flash! – it’s just not as funny when anyone else says it.

    – Kathryn Berk, Staff Writer

    Best Geriatric Performance:

    Sylvester Stallone, “”Rocky Balboa””

    I’m torn when it comes to the closing chapter of this era’s underdog story. It’s nice to see Sly get his due, especially after “”The Contender”” flubbed in TV ratings. The underappreciated filmmaker proved his worth as a scribe for “”Rocky Balboa”” (yes, the ultimate muscle-head wrote “”Rambo: First Blood”” and “”Cliffhanger,”” and has been nominated for two Oscars in his career). The film was a heart-warmer, an earnest look at a man in life’s twilight, trying to scrap remnants of spirit and respect.

    Then again, respect isn’t very rewarding when you’re dead, and the 60-year-old Sly is only a short time away. It’s always nice seeing oldies try to deny the Grim Reaper. But this is a 10-count you can’t get back up from, Sly, so just take it.

    Even worse, “”Balboa””‘s success might have culled the fogy back into the working world. Stallone now wants to add a coda to the Rambo series, but his body can’t keep up – he was caught at an Australian airport with body-enhancing substances.

    If we let this behavior pass, we’ll be sending a positive message to stars we already put to pasture. Soon, Sharon Stone will think collagen is a career cure-all (a la “”Catwoman””), and Harrison Ford will think an earring can grab him an anorexic bitch. Oh wait …

    Honorable mentions: Sharon Stone, “”Basic Instinct 2″”; Harrison Ford, “”Firewall””

    – Charles Nguyen, Senior Staff Writer

    Flight We’re Most Glad We Missed:

    “”Snakes on a Plane””

    Yeah, so it kind of would have sucked to go down with the 9/11 terrorists on “”United 93,”” but at least those guys bowed out with dignity. The suckers on the “”Snakes”” plane had to get knawed on by a swarm of reptiles that – at the fault of lame filmmaking – weren’t even the poisonous kind. Plus, as awesome as the “”motherfucking snakes on this motherfucking plane”” line is in the movie, how crappy would it be if those were the last words you ever heard, Samuel L. Jackson’s curses bouncing around in your skull for the rest of eternity?

    – Simone Wilson, Hiatus Editor

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