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Crash: Worst Movie of the Decade?
December 31, 2009 8:42 AM   Subscribe

Sara Libby started it. A blogger for True/Slant, she wrote a column detailing why she thought Crash was the worst film of the decade. GD at PostBourgie agreed and added his own two cents. That got Ta-Nehisi Coates intrigued, who in turn wrote a post about Crash being a horrible movie and threatening to ban posters who liked it. His colleague at the Atlantic, Jeffrey Goldberg, piles on as well. The Chicago Sun-Times notices this blossoming meme and writes a recap.
posted by billysumday (191 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite

 
Well, it is a terrible movie.
posted by Artw at 8:46 AM on December 31, 2009 [2 favorites]


Yeah, is it really a meme if it's just everyone acknowledging what everybody already knows, which is that movie sucks on ice?
posted by Rangeboy at 8:47 AM on December 31, 2009


To be fair to TNC, I don't think he was serious about banning commenters who disagreed with him.

"And I swear if any of you defend the film, I'm going to ban you. Not just from this site, not just from the Internet, but from all public life. Don't test me. My armies are legion."
posted by ghharr at 8:48 AM on December 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yes, it sucked. Probably not the worst movie of the decade though. For Christ's sake, LADY IN THE WATER was made in the 00s.
posted by synaesthetichaze at 8:49 AM on December 31, 2009 [7 favorites]


Traffic accident sex is ten times more fun than the silly 2005 melodrama.
posted by porn in the woods at 8:49 AM on December 31, 2009 [9 favorites]


The other Crash was terrible as well.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:49 AM on December 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


Hah, he actually clarified that just a little while ago.
posted by ghharr at 8:50 AM on December 31, 2009


Oh ho! I owe someone a Coke.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:50 AM on December 31, 2009


Is the movie really that bad, or are people just mad that a movie which was merely decent was singled out for so much praise? I saw it in the theater, and while I didn't adore it, I appreciated it for what it was.
posted by hermitosis at 8:50 AM on December 31, 2009 [6 favorites]


2004 best picture winner “Crash.”

nitpick: 2005
posted by porn in the woods at 8:50 AM on December 31, 2009


Yeah, I hadn't seen a movie that obvious in it's cliches and attempts to be sincere and profound since The Trial of Billy Jack. I've always thought you can tell whether or not a caucasian person has ever actually spent any time with non-caucasians by whether or not they like that movie.

Disclaimer: I am caucasian.
posted by fairywench at 8:51 AM on December 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


Lady in the Water would definately be in the running too. It shares the sense of earnestness which makes for a truly terrible movie experience.
posted by Artw at 8:52 AM on December 31, 2009 [2 favorites]


It's not so much that the film stunk (it surely did, a lot, but there were many far worse films); the problem is that so many people who really ought to know better really, really liked it for some reason.

Let's just say the makers of Sesame Street got it right with regards to the rightful location of Oscar.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:54 AM on December 31, 2009 [5 favorites]


hermitosis: "Is the movie really that bad, or are people just mad that a movie which was merely decent was singled out for so much praise? I saw it in the theater, and while I didn't adore it, I appreciated it for what it was."

It's pure manipulative pap, with a "profound" message.

Look at this Indian guy, he's a racist!
Look at this black guy, him too!
Check out this hispanic lady! Racist!
Here's a white guy! Racist!
But let's show them doing good things too!

Now think about that for a second. Fuckin' deep, man.
posted by graventy at 8:56 AM on December 31, 2009 [17 favorites]


When I heard a film named Crash was coming out in 2004, less than 10 years after the last film named Crash came out, I had a few thoughts:

1. Did someone else do an adaptation of the J.G. Ballard novel? This soon? When the last one sucked so much?
2. Couldn't they have come up with, you know, a new title?
3. And so this movie's about what, exactly?

Never did see it. Still don't want to.
posted by limeonaire at 9:00 AM on December 31, 2009 [2 favorites]


I've not seen every one by a long way... but of the ones I've seen it is bar far the worst film to win Best Picture Oscar
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 9:00 AM on December 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


The worst movies of the decade, in my estimation:

House of the Dead
House of 1000 Corpses
Daredevil
View from the Top
The Matrix Reloaded


I have not seen Crash, but I would watch it before a second screening of any of the above.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 9:02 AM on December 31, 2009


kfb: no Battlefield Earth? A curious omission. That, and Revolutions is waaay worse than Reloaded.
posted by lumensimus at 9:04 AM on December 31, 2009


What the hell? It was a great movie! It looks great, it's acted great, the characters are neither fully sympathetic nor fully antagonistic, it contains an incredibly acted scene between Thandie Newton and Matt Dillon that was so good that when film accidentally ran out during its performance, they included the film end WITH VISIBLE SPROCKET HOLES in the final film because it was such outstanding acting. All this was executed on a six million dollar budget. You might argue that it was not the best film that year, but it certainly didn't suck, and lots of ranting by people who'd like to believe they're "post-racist" won't change the fact that it's well-executed filmmaking.
posted by scrowdid at 9:05 AM on December 31, 2009 [10 favorites]


I hated HATED this movie. So manipulative. These articles just re-ignited the smoldering fire of anger.
posted by Rudy Gerner at 9:05 AM on December 31, 2009 [2 favorites]


I've not seen every one by a long way... but of the ones I've seen it is bar far the worst film to win Best Picture Oscar

Watch Gladiator.
posted by scrowdid at 9:06 AM on December 31, 2009 [5 favorites]


I'd just like to say that I love you all for hating this movie.
posted by fairywench at 9:08 AM on December 31, 2009 [12 favorites]


If you've ever referred to "knapsacks" or "white guilt" without irony, you probably liked Crash.

I actually did almost like it, specifically for its tightly-wound, ridiculously contrived plot. Unfortunately it ended thirty minutes too late. No one has the balls to make their morality plays tragedies anymore.
posted by 0xdeadc0de at 9:09 AM on December 31, 2009 [2 favorites]


It teaches us about ourselves (quiet at the back.)

My worst movie of the decade is Gran Torino, I could not understand the praise it received. Rehashed, heavy handed, boring, portentous guff with terrible acting and the most laughably caricatured gang of bandana wearing Korean "punks" cinema has seen since they heyday of Ralph Macchio.
posted by fire&wings at 9:10 AM on December 31, 2009 [8 favorites]


and lots of ranting by people who'd like to believe they're "post-racist"

I don’t think the criticism for this movie comes from people who deny that racism still exists. It’s the way that this film treats racism – as an overbearing, totally unsubtle part of everybody that we just accept. That’s really not how a lot of racism plays out these days – it’s hidden, systematic, totally evil, and is not forgivable just because a cop did his fucking job.
posted by Think_Long at 9:11 AM on December 31, 2009 [5 favorites]


Look at this Indian guy, he's a racist!
Look at this black guy, him too!
Check out this hispanic lady! Racist!
Here's a white guy! Racist!
But let's show them doing good things too!


I basically disagree with this line of criticism. If Haggis really failed at anything here, it was in his attempt to be Altman-esque, introducing a wide range of seemingly unrelated characters, some of whom end up intersecting "meaningfully". The message of the movie wasn't in the "depth" of its racial dialogue, it was in the way urban environments jostle all different kinds of people together and force them to interact, for better or worse.

Personally, I like movies where you get to sort of bump around voyeuristically through an entire city, and as someone who has spent a fair amount of time in L.A. I enjoyed that ride-along feeling. Most of the storylines weren't that interesting to me, but I'm an admirer of Thandie Newton's acting (not that she gets many chances to show off her real talents) and the crash scene where she has to make a split-second decision about whether to trust her rescuer transcended issues of race, in my opinion, because of her performance. It was not about making you "think about that for a second," it was about observing a human being face (and barely escape from) an intolerable dilemma.

I'm not really a defender of this movie -- I just don't understand the point of singling it out for derision when there are so many worse movies out there. A filmmaker tried to do something meaningful and failed. Is that worse than setting out to do something moronic or mean and succeeding? Because many filmmakers do that all the time.

And personally I get really irritated when people criticize films and filmmakers as being "manipulative". Maybe you don't like their movie and maybe you don't like them personally, but manipulation is pretty much what filmmaking is all about, from directing to editing to acting. It's an empty criticism that usually means you haven't thought very hard about why you don't like something.
posted by hermitosis at 9:12 AM on December 31, 2009 [24 favorites]


bandana wearing Korean "punks"

I think they were Hmong
posted by Think_Long at 9:13 AM on December 31, 2009 [4 favorites]


Watch Gladiator.

Yes, I agree this is a much worse Best Picture winner.
posted by hermitosis at 9:13 AM on December 31, 2009


To clarify: Though the above are not ranked, I believe that House of 1000 Corpses is the worst movie in all ten of the last ten years. Just as a brilliant work about depressing subject matter is ultimately uplifting because of the joy you receive from great art for its own sake, House of 1000 Corpses is a film devoid any detectable subject matter at all -- a film that shouldn't affect me, due to its sheer meaninglessness on every level -- but is, as a film, so relentlessly terrible that the knowledge that you share a world with it fills you with a despair so profound that it may be mistaken for near-suicidal depression. I am getting depressed right now.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 9:15 AM on December 31, 2009 [7 favorites]


Yeah, it's easily NOT the worst film of the decade for the simple reason you could watch it beginning to end. It's the most overrated film of the decade, maybe, though I'd give that to Dark Knight. There were plenty of films made this decade that were unwatchable, the most recent being The Limits of Control. I fell asleep three times! In the first 8 minutes of the movie! Holy fuck it was boring. I shut it off at 40 minutes. And one of my favorite movies is L'Avventura, so I don't think it's my need for fast-paced plotting.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 9:15 AM on December 31, 2009 [2 favorites]


Every interaction that takes place becomes racially tinged, whether it’s a simple business transaction, an auto mishap or even just a conversation with your own mom. I make my living in Los Angeles, writing about race, and even I don’t find race coming in to play when I order a cup of coffee, get money from the ATM, get my mail and go running.

This. And Allen Ginsberg sucks because at no point in everyday life do you ever hear someone saying sentences like "I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed my madness, starving hysterical naked". What the hell. That never happens.
posted by scrowdid at 9:15 AM on December 31, 2009 [2 favorites]


I'm not really a defender of this movie -- I just don't understand the point of singling it out for derision when there are so many worse movies out there. A filmmaker tried to do something meaningful and failed. Is that worse than setting out to do something moronic or mean and succeeding? Because many filmmakers do that all the time.

I feel like most of the hate (at least from me) comes from the response to the film. Also the fact that it was shown in many class rooms as some form of required viewing; as if it could teach us anything about race and America. I don’t claim to be an expert on racism or anything, but this movie’s treatment of the subject stinks
posted by Think_Long at 9:16 AM on December 31, 2009


Never saw the end of this movie. Just as the car crash happened we started smelling smoke in the Norwegian cinema we were in. For a short while we thought it was an exciting new foray into Smell-O-Vision until the alarm went off and we all evacuated the burning cinema. Oh well.
posted by arcticseal at 9:19 AM on December 31, 2009 [6 favorites]


I don't think it needs to be nuked from orbit, but I DEFINITELY don't think it was worth the best-Oscar nomination. I'm convinced that the only reason it won was because too many people were too spooked at the prospect of giving it to BROKEBACK, but the only other options were CAPOTE (which had a great title performance, but the rest was meh), GOOD NIGHT AND GOOD LUCK (which would have been political suicide) and MUNICH (which would have made everyone say, "oh, of course, give it to Spielberg AGAIN, what a surprise").

...It did have a pretty song nomination, if memory serves. Although it was beaten out by a song about pimps.

...Huh, that really was a lousy year for movies, wasn't it?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:19 AM on December 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


I just don't understand the point of singling it out for derision when there are so many worse movies out there.

Because it beat Brokeback Mountain for the Oscar?
posted by philip-random at 9:20 AM on December 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


Look at this Indian guy, he's a racist!

My memory may be a bit hazy, but I'm pretty sure that story line featured an Iranian family.

Apart from the shitty portrayal of racism (and I remember an Asian American friend of mine bitching about the Asian characters), it was one of those lazy "hey everyone in Los Angeles is related" plots.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 9:22 AM on December 31, 2009


Curb Your Crash.
posted by unsupervised at 9:23 AM on December 31, 2009 [2 favorites]


I'm convinced that the only reason it won was because too many people were too spooked at the prospect of giving it to BROKEBACK, but the only other options were CAPOTE (which had a great title performance, but the rest was meh), GOOD NIGHT AND GOOD LUCK (which would have been political suicide) and MUNICH (which would have made everyone say, "oh, of course, give it to Spielberg AGAIN, what a surprise").

I remember feeling exactly this way. And looking back, I still think that's probably exactly why it won.
posted by hermitosis at 9:25 AM on December 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


The worst movies of the decade, in my estimation:

Actually, I'm pretty sure that Dungeons & Dragons (2000) should be on that list. At the top. With a big space underneath before anything else is listed. A very, very big space.

Followed, in no particular order, by Alone in the Dark (2005), Battlefield Earth (2000), Freddy Got Fingered (2001), Roberto Benigni's version of Pinocchio (2002); Deck the Halls (2006), The Love Guru (2008), The Brown Bunny (2004), Gigli (2003), Glitter (2001), and From Justin to Kelly (2003).

I, also, have not seen Crash but would watch it TWICE before watching any of the above.
posted by anastasiav at 9:27 AM on December 31, 2009 [5 favorites]


SigAlert on the cloud.
posted by effluvia at 9:28 AM on December 31, 2009


It’s the way that this film treats racism – as an overbearing, totally unsubtle part of everybody that we just accept. That’s really not how a lot of racism plays out these days – it’s hidden, systematic, totally evil, and is not forgivable just because a cop did his fucking job.

The fact that the film explores that aspect of racism does not mean it claims that all aspects of racism are like this, any more than Gone With The Wind claims all humans all are self-centered tarts who survive the burning of Atlanta. It's a visual essay on racist mentalities that play themselves out every day, even if you don't see them when you "order a cup of coffee or get money from the ATM". It never happens in such an unrealistic tightly-woven package, and often isn't that blatantly obvious, but then again, in real life, Matt Dillon often isn't a cop. Fiction tends to makes enhancements like that to be able to tell stories within its literary construct.
posted by scrowdid at 9:28 AM on December 31, 2009 [2 favorites]


I don't really get all of the hate for Crash. I don't think that it was even close to being the best picture of the year but if you're actually expecting the best picture of a year to win that Oscar, you're not paying attention. It was an OK entry into the Nashville/Grand Canyon/Magnolia/Babel "lots of random characters connected for non-obvious reasons" genre. The inherent problem with that genre is that characters and situations tend to slide into cliche/cartoon territory because you don't have much time to develop them until you're off to the next one.
posted by octothorpe at 9:28 AM on December 31, 2009 [4 favorites]


kfb: no Battlefield Earth? A curious omission. That, and Revolutions is waaay worse than Reloaded.

You know, I've never made it all the way through Battlefield Earth, but the stuff I watched just seemed conventionally (very) bad to me, not EPIC bad in the way a worst-ever movie really should be. (Come to think of it, 300 was probably worse.) My guess is that it would have been just another forgotten bomb if not for, uh, a rather undesirable pedigree that made people wanna pile on it.

I never watched Revolutions, but if it's really worse than its predecessor -- fuck.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 9:28 AM on December 31, 2009


I have one word for you: CATWOMAN
posted by hermitosis at 9:31 AM on December 31, 2009


Crash was my no means the worst movie of the decade. There are many other contenders, not one of which I have seen, because I read reviews before going to the movies.

The arguments against the movie are really with the way it is perceived. (Basically, unironic people seeing it as a serious and meaningful movie about race.) I would have to agree with this. Our principal. made us watch it as a faculty. This is the same woman who, unfortunately, read a passage from Jonathan Livingston Seagull at at least one commencement ceremony. Oh, yes: she also made us spend a whole morning going over the Who Moved the Cheese "insights." I've had worse principals...but, like most bosses, they all seem to lack any sense of irony. OK, I'm wandering away from the topic. But, like the movie, I could wander back to it at any moment, if y'all would care to sit down for a couple more hours...
posted by kozad at 9:31 AM on December 31, 2009


Ebert, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

(At least he kept it out of his top ten, but ouch.)
posted by Sys Rq at 9:31 AM on December 31, 2009 [2 favorites]


This was the decade that brought us Epic Movie and its kin. I think its pure prejudice against comedies that prevents people from considering them for either "best" or worst" categories. For God's sake, in terms of "worst movie," Crash can't hold a candle to Norbit.

Now, if this were a "worst movie that pissed people off because Conservative Hollywood chose it over Brokeback Mountain" category, I'm all ready to get behind it. I mean, seriously, Crash isn't even the worst movie made by Scientologists in the naughts.
posted by Joey Michaels at 9:32 AM on December 31, 2009


Of course it's not the worst. Much of its derision comes from the fact that it won the Oscar (most of the winners have at least something redeeming about them, even if they're not universally praised or good overall) and the fact that many people who should know better (like Ebert) defended it.

But it is really awful. Most of the acting is poor, and the dialogue is dreadful. Contrived plot isn't necessarily damning (Altman did the same L.A. thing in Short Cuts as people mentioned), but the very purpose of this contrivance was the ultimate theme of the movie (basically, a fourth-grader's approach to race's role in our society). And that theme was reprehensible. It was a movie designed in every respect to end with audiences walking out saying "that really made me think." Except only people who never actually do think would be stirred to do so by that movie. Only people who've never devoted a second's thought to one of the overwhelming problems in our society would find some novel message in that horrible film.
posted by aswego at 9:33 AM on December 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


My problem with Crash was that the writing and editing and directing were all so bad. This on top of the whole 'Here's what racism is: This guy did a racist thing! But then over here he's a victim of racism! This guy did a racist thing! But then he saved a woman! RACISM IS NOT BLACK AND WHITE, GET IT?!?!' angle.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:34 AM on December 31, 2009


My worst movie of the decade is Gran Torino

The UNBELIEVABLY SUBTLE ending made me want to poke out my own eyes with a shrimp fork, but it's not even the worst Eastwood movie of the decade: Million Dollar Baby takes that prize. MDB and Crash are at about the same level of awful. Which is pretty darn awful.

What makes my disgust for junk like this especially vehement is that it doesn't just settle for being shallow offensive manipulative dime-novel trash that insults your intelligence (which has its place and can be quite entertaining). No, it has all these smug, gaggy pretensions to being a profound life-changing meditation on thus-and-such, which is really just another arm-twisting manipulation tactic.
posted by FelliniBlank at 9:36 AM on December 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


Good Night and Good Luck was the best picture that year.
posted by asockpuppet at 9:36 AM on December 31, 2009 [6 favorites]


mandymanwasregistered: "My memory may be a bit hazy, but I'm pretty sure that story line featured an Iranian family. "

Hey look, I'm racist!

You're probably right, I was just throwing out the simple stereotypes I could remember that were featured in the film, but I haven't seen it since it was in theaters, so my memory sucks.
posted by graventy at 9:37 AM on December 31, 2009


I feel like most of the hate (at least from me) comes from the response to the film.

Kind of how I felt about Juno.

I remember reading a comment once in a slashdot thread about how Hollywood always gets hi-tech culture WRONG: "Dude, it's not just hi-tech culture. It's everything Hollywood touches." In general, we don't mind a movie's verisimilitudinal (sorry, had to use that word) WRONGNESS as long as it's not about a world we know well.

The problem with CRASH, I think, is that it purports to be about the down and dirty racial TRUTH of LA in particular, big city USA in general. And a few too many folks know otherwise. Not enough to stop it winning the f***ing Oscar, but enough to not let that transgression be forgotten.

Myself, a Canadian in a multiracial, multicultural city whose big social problems seem to be way more to do with raw poverty than race, I remember seeing CRASH early in its run and finding it mostly engrossing while I was watching it but afterward just felt it was a little too earnest, a little too self-important, a little too ... meh. But don't get me started on JUNO.
posted by philip-random at 9:37 AM on December 31, 2009 [3 favorites]


basically, a fourth-grader's approach to race's role in our society

I don't know if you noticed, but much of our society has a fourth-grader's approach to race.
posted by scrowdid at 9:39 AM on December 31, 2009 [2 favorites]


Southland Tales was hands-down the worst movie I saw in the past decade. What a mess!
posted by porn in the woods at 9:39 AM on December 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


SNAKES. ON. A. FRICKING. PLANE.
posted by wheelieman at 9:40 AM on December 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


I don't know if you noticed, but much of our society has a fourth-grader's approach to race.

And yet most of our society hasn't won Best Picture. It really makes you think.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:41 AM on December 31, 2009 [4 favorites]


Another vote for Gran Torino and Million Dollar Baby for worst films of the year. WTF happened to Eastwood? He used to make really good movies. Lately it's like he has developed alzheimer's with regard to the concept of subtlety.
posted by nushustu at 9:41 AM on December 31, 2009


"Highlights" from Crash! (1977).
posted by xod at 9:41 AM on December 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


hermitosis: "
I'm not really a defender of this movie -- I just don't understand the point of singling it out for derision when there are so many worse movies out there."


It is by no means the worst movie of the decade, it's just apparently in vogue now to dislike it. Man, I was cool before it was cool to be cool.

And personally I get really irritated when people criticize films and filmmakers as being "manipulative". Maybe you don't like their movie and maybe you don't like them personally, but manipulation is pretty much what filmmaking is all about, from directing to editing to acting. It's an empty criticism that usually means you haven't thought very hard about why you don't like something."

I really don't mind being manipulated by film when it's done well, and you're right, all films do this to some extent. Everything about Crash just felt so hamhanded and unsubtle and crass that it bothered me.
posted by graventy at 9:43 AM on December 31, 2009


it purports to be about the down and dirty racial TRUTH of LA in particular

Again, I don't get that. It's about some made-up characters who embody some bad behaviors, and then examines what it's like when these archetypes rub up against each other. This complaint about Crash is like complaining that All In The Family didn't represent the true American household.
posted by scrowdid at 9:44 AM on December 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


I think it is funny that in this thread Hmong have been confused for Koreans and Persians for Indians. If I make a film out of that, will I win the Oscar (or at least be one of the 144 nominees for Best Picture)?
posted by Falconetti at 9:44 AM on December 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


Now I feel bad for liking both Crash and Gladiator.
posted by Evilspork at 9:45 AM on December 31, 2009 [2 favorites]


And yet most of our society hasn't won Best Picture. It really makes you think.

Neither have gangs on the West Side, adorable little orphans asking for food, people who journey around the world in under three months, T. S. Lawrence, or Gandhi. I guess you have a point there.
posted by scrowdid at 9:49 AM on December 31, 2009


SNAKES. ON. A. FRICKING. PLANE. WAS AWESOME!
posted by The Hamms Bear at 9:49 AM on December 31, 2009 [2 favorites]


Claiming Crash was the worst movie of the decade is the new claiming Crash was the best movie of 2005.
posted by decoherence at 9:49 AM on December 31, 2009 [11 favorites]


Another vote for Gran Torino and Million Dollar Baby for worst films of the year.

Also, thank you for mentioning Million Dollar Baby which was so terrible I almost walked out of the film (it was at the moment where her trashy family showed up at the hospital bedside). I was flabbergasted when so many people I respect thought it was wonderful. Of course, despite having tastes that generally coincide with mainstream critical consensus, I think The Big Lebowski is unwatchable and the worst film the Coen brothers ever made (I never bring this up in conversation because people get personally offended if you say it was a bad movie).
posted by Falconetti at 9:49 AM on December 31, 2009 [2 favorites]


I think it is funny that in this thread Hmong have been confused for Koreans and Persians for Indians. If I make a film out of that, will I win the Oscar (or at least be one of the 144 nominees for Best Picture)?

Maybe if it's a laugh-out-loud comedy about self-important hipsters; no if it's down a dirty drama about race relations.
posted by philip-random at 9:49 AM on December 31, 2009


Southland Tales was hands-down the worst movie I saw in the past decade. What a mess!

This movie is a mess, but you have to sort of love it. Justin Timberlake's musical number, for instance!
posted by hermitosis at 9:50 AM on December 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


crap... t.e. lawrence
posted by scrowdid at 9:50 AM on December 31, 2009


There are worse movies. But there are few bad movies that were as overhyped and overrewarded as Crash. It sucked, and should have slid off into "let's all agree to forget about this" land.

Instead, it won prizes and I had dozens of (100% caucasian) people telling me how deep and meaningful it was.
posted by Forktine at 9:50 AM on December 31, 2009


[CRASHIST]
posted by zoinks at 9:50 AM on December 31, 2009


Again, I don't get that. It's about some made-up characters who embody some bad behaviors, and then examines what it's like when these archetypes rub up against each other. This complaint about Crash is like complaining that All In The Family didn't represent the true American household.

Disagree. The characters in Crash do not behave the way real people behave. It's a cartoon that attempts to teach us about real life. Its purported message is that you should look inside yourself to see how you're like the characters as well as attempt to see these characters in other people so that you will be more forgiving and have a more complex, nuanced view on human interaction, particularly with regard to interracial interaction, but this can not occur because the view the film takes of human interaction is so unnuanced and non-complex as to be meaningless. It's one thing to make a dumb movie about dumb shit; that can be fun. But to make a dumb movie about smart shit is insulting.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:52 AM on December 31, 2009 [6 favorites]


What a mess!

Nah, Southland Tales is probably in my top 10 of the decade! I start from the assumption that the messiness is intentional. There are more fascinating insights into the post-9/11 traumatic, ridiculous, fucked-up landscape we're living in than any other political movie I've seen in the past 10 years.

Agreed that Crash is just awful. And while we're on the subject of movies that try to be insightful about race and fail in an epic way - Avatar!
posted by naju at 9:57 AM on December 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


Much of its derision comes from the fact that it won the Oscar...

To be fair, there was a sizeable percentage of people who saw it and hated it at the time, prior to the Oscar win.

SNAKES. ON. A. FRICKING. PLANE.

Sure, but no one expected that to be good. Even Samuel L. Jackson said the only reason he took that job was the title.
posted by zarq at 9:58 AM on December 31, 2009 [2 favorites]


(Oops, Avatar!)
posted by naju at 10:00 AM on December 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


I think everyone would get the message (and have a lot better time doing so) if we replaced every copy of Crash with a recording of this.
posted by anthom at 10:03 AM on December 31, 2009


I refuse to watch a movie called Crash unless it features James Spader humping a scar in Rosanna Arquette's leg. Suck it, haters. I love the Cronenberg film.
posted by brundlefly at 10:04 AM on December 31, 2009 [8 favorites]


Much of its derision comes from the fact that it won the Oscar...

To be fair, there was a sizeable percentage of people who saw it and hated it at the time, prior to the Oscar win.


Yeah. I was (obviously by my ranting) among them. But it would have had a better chance of being forgotten had it not won an Oscar. Now it's going to pop up in lots of lists and retrospectives that it wouldn't have popped up in otherwise. It also helped validate Paul Haggis. Bad stuff.
posted by aswego at 10:04 AM on December 31, 2009


My first thought also was about the car sex movie -- and though I haven't seen the American melodrama, I have trouble imagining that it could be anywhere near as bad as the Cronenberg Crash.
posted by jb at 10:06 AM on December 31, 2009


The characters in Crash do not behave the way real people behave. It's a cartoon that attempts to teach us about real life.

Okay, that's exactly what I was saying. They don't behave the way real people behave. Neither did Archie Bunker... or, did he? I think what might be going on here is, if you are used to seeing racist behaviors like those presented in Crash, in yourself or in others, the movie will make sense to you. Or, maybe the movie will make sense to you if you're used to seeing behavior that's unnuanced on non-complex. I grew up in rural northern Michigan, so I've seen a lot of unnuanced and non-complex behaviors. You, on the other hand, may have a different viewpoint, and the movie feels below you. I guess that makes sense. Like with All in the Family, they throw a bunch of stereotypes on the screen and make them interact in predictable ways, and then invite the audience to come to their own conclusions.
posted by scrowdid at 10:06 AM on December 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


Marisa Stole the Precious Thing: "The other Crash was terrible as well."

Flagged as wrong.
posted by idiopath at 10:07 AM on December 31, 2009 [5 favorites]


If you've ever referred to "knapsacks" or "white guilt" without irony, you probably liked Crash.
posted by 0xdeadc0de at 9:09 AM on December 31

I honestly don't get this remark. Is there something wrong with "Unpacking the Invisible Backpack" that I'm to naive to notice?

Because that essay is not about white guilt, it's about becoming aware of institutionalized racism. They're not the same thing.
posted by Toothless Willy at 10:07 AM on December 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


Archie Bunker behaves in an exaggerated fashion, and is clearly meant to be satirical. The characters in Crash behave in ridiculous and bizarre fashion, and are clearly meant to be dramatic.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:09 AM on December 31, 2009 [3 favorites]


Worst movie of the decade? How can you people not be talking about Twilight?

I wouldn't care, but fuck it's made a lot of money, which legitimatizes it in the eyes of producers, meaning that it will spawn imitators. Horrible, horrible, imitators.

I don't want to overstate this or devolve into hyperbole, but Twilight is is so bad, it going to be directly responsible for the destruction of all life on the planet through tectonic instability as the world literally twists itself trying to purge the awfulness of that film from it's skin.

I'm just saying.
posted by quin at 10:09 AM on December 31, 2009 [7 favorites]


I wouldn't care, but fuck it's made a lot of money, which legitimatizes it in the eyes of producers, meaning that it will spawn imitators.

The twilight series was a guaranteed fuckton of money; once the film rights were purchased there was absolutely no way the produces wouldn't release the complete series and all of the associated merch*


*Why is pop-culture ephemera so lame when it's current, but in 20 or 30 years I'll look on it as vintage and pay a lot of money for it? That's weird.
posted by Think_Long at 10:12 AM on December 31, 2009


This complaint about Crash is like complaining that All In The Family didn't represent the true American household.

Except that All in the Family was a satire, while Crash was deadly serious and completely unsubtle. All in the Family was deliberately intended as a funhouse mirror -- how could you possibly like Archie Bunker? Yet somehow you did, and used that to reflect your own values -- while Crash was deliberately intended as "we'll show you how things really are."
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:15 AM on December 31, 2009 [2 favorites]


I can easily understand why everyone has forgotten The Happening. I only wish I was so lucky.
posted by malocchio at 10:16 AM on December 31, 2009 [2 favorites]


I honestly don't get this remark. Is there something wrong with "Unpacking the Invisible Backpack" that I'm to naive to notice?

Well, for one thing, the concept of a "knapsack" is itself ironic. The knapsack in question isn't a real thing. So if you're talking about a knapsack "without irony," you're performing some kind of double irony backflip with a twist.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:18 AM on December 31, 2009


the concept of a "knapsack" is itself ironic. The knapsack in question isn't a real thing.

It's like ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:20 AM on December 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


Suck it, haters. I love the Cronenberg film.
posted by brundlefly


Yep, I done see what you done did thar.

(and I really enjoyed the Cronenberg film as well. I saw it two weeks after getting out of the hospital for a severe car wreck- how's that for timing)
posted by Dr-Baa at 10:21 AM on December 31, 2009


Basic Instinct 2! Holy moly. I didn't think it was possible, but I'm pretty sure that movie made me stupider.

IMDB: Robert Downey Jr. was set to star but had to drop out when he was charged with drug possession. Kurt Russell was attached at some point but bailed out because he felt uncomfortable with the nudity. Pierce Brosnan refused to play the male lead role because of distasteful elements. Bruce Greenwood was set to star but dropped out because he hadn't been signed on yet and feared the actors strike. Benjamin Bratt was banned by Sharon Stone for not being a good actor.

This is by no means a comprehensive list of the people who fleed this movie.
posted by Skot at 10:21 AM on December 31, 2009 [3 favorites]


malocchio: "I can easily understand why everyone has forgotten The Happening. I only wish I was so lucky."

Man, M. Night is just so good at filming suspense and tension, but it's so hard to take seriously with the dopey high school teacher and menacingly (!) waving grass.
posted by graventy at 10:22 AM on December 31, 2009


For God's sake, in terms of "worst movie," Crash can't hold a candle to Norbit.

Oh god, that thing. I was tricked into watching part of it by my old roommate, and it was like a paralytic neurotoxin destroyed my ability to move for the first half, until a temporary interruption allowed me to flee the room screaming. If he ever tried to ask me to watch the second half, I'd probably react the same way as if he had said "Hey, want to try a test run on this machine I built to stuff angry lampreys up your asshole?"

At least it wasn't 'Soul Plane'. That movie gave me cancer of the soul.
posted by FatherDagon at 10:25 AM on December 31, 2009 [4 favorites]


Mansquito.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:28 AM on December 31, 2009 [2 favorites]


The Hottie and the Nottie.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:32 AM on December 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


I didn't think Crash was the greatest film ever, but I was entertained. I thought the characters all being exaggerated caricatures to make a point was intentional. Sure the point was simple: everyone is capable of doing evil, but everyone is also capable of doing good as well, which in this day and age seems to be a revelation to many people, sadly.

Frankly, any hate I might have for "Crash" I'd reserve for "Babel" which was pretty much the same movie, except retooled to have the message go from "Jerks come in all shapes, sizes and colors" to "Watch a whole lot of dumb foreigners work together to inconvenience a rich white couple!"
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 10:32 AM on December 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


and I really enjoyed the Cronenberg film as well. I saw it two weeks after getting out of the hospital for a severe car wreck- how's that for timing

Reminds me of a DJ I used to know who'd been an ambulance attendant in his previous life. "Wow," I said when he told me, "What the hell was that like?"

"Read this," he said and he gave me beat-up copy of JG Ballard's CRASH.

Ouch.
posted by philip-random at 10:32 AM on December 31, 2009 [2 favorites]


it's well-executed filmmaking.

That still doesn't mean it's a good film.

I've had worse principals...but, like most bosses, they all seem to lack any sense of irony.

I have to ask if you have any good answer to a question that's been bothering me: where do these people come from?
posted by deanc at 10:36 AM on December 31, 2009


Wait, yes Crash is a terrible movie, at best a bad movie made worse by it's awards. But Dungeons and Dragons, Battlefield Earth and Gladiator as nominations for worsts?

No freaking way. D&D was fun, cheesy fantasy just like it was supposed to be. Tho it did need way more self-referencing in jokes about the game. Battlefield Earth was pulpy cheesy Sci-Fi just like I would expect from L. Ron, and it looked like something produced by the Sci-Fi channel. It was exactly what I expected it to be.

And Gladiator was pretty frigging sweet.
posted by MrBobaFett at 10:46 AM on December 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


I liked Gladiator, but I haven't seen it since it first came out, so that means approximately nothing. I know it's largely hated upon. Could someone spell out the reasons for me?
posted by shakespeherian at 10:54 AM on December 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


and it looked like something produced by the Sci-Fi channel

but it had the budget of something produced by NASA
posted by Think_Long at 10:55 AM on December 31, 2009


I think both All in the Family and Crash are trying to show you how things really are, or sometimes may be, through exaggeration. One does it with a laugh track, so it's more easily excused.

If you like, imagine Crash as showing a dystopian parallel present day, where the subtly held racism of some Americans is instead displayed full-force, and the tendency of people to behave in unnuanced and non-complex fashion is even more at the forefront than it is in our current world. If that was the case, what might our interactions look like?

You could argue that the movie isn't that smart, but I got that right away. I could tell Matt Dillon wasn't every cop in the world. I could see Marina Sirtis wasn't every immigrant store owner. I could see that not everyone would think Persians are Arabs. But I have enough experience with people who have that kind of thinking latently inside them to think it's not too much of a stretch that these people might exist. Maybe they don't yet, and only in some parallel dystopian world, but maybe some do now. What sort of world are we creating if they *do* come to exist? Let's play it out on screen and find out.
posted by scrowdid at 10:55 AM on December 31, 2009


"[CRASHIST]"

Hey now, that's not cool.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 10:58 AM on December 31, 2009


scrowdid, But I don't think many of these people do exist. i.e. Matt Dillon's character does not exist. Because he is not internally consistent, which is largely what made many of these characters crap.
posted by MrBobaFett at 10:59 AM on December 31, 2009


I didn't see Crash for two reasons: one, I originally thought that it was a re-release of the Cronenberg film, and although I've had worse times at the movies, I don't think that I've ever seen any of Cronenberg's films more than once; they're usually just too squicky at some level to really want to do that. When I realized what this Crash was about, I wondered, making Grand Canyon once was enough, if not more than, why'd they do it again?
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:00 AM on December 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


I disliked Crash. But I also disliked Magnolia. And Traffic. I can't stand such contrived profundity.
posted by jabberjaw at 11:03 AM on December 31, 2009


>Reminds me of a DJ I used to know who'd been an ambulance attendant in his previous life. "Wow," I said when he told me, "What the hell was that like?"

"Read this," he said and he gave me beat-up copy of JG Ballard's CRASH.

Ouch.


The most disturbing thing about that anecdote is that I'm interpreting "beat-up" as "well-thumbed". That reminds me of the time that I came across a female relative's copy of My Secret Garden, Nancy Friday's original book of sexual fantasies, and realized that, by letting the book fall open to the place where the spine was cracked, I could tell which fantasies she'd been most interested in. Think of it as the oldskool version of checking out someone else's browser history, with about the same result.
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:05 AM on December 31, 2009 [4 favorites]


But don't get me started on JUNO.

This probably plays right into your alluded to rant, philip-random, but now I'll only be able to picture you kicking puppies.
posted by Kimberly at 11:06 AM on December 31, 2009 [2 favorites]


Honest to blog, Juno was a decent movie
posted by Think_Long at 11:10 AM on December 31, 2009 [2 favorites]


Again: The characters in Crash are not exaggerations. They are props. Archie Bunker is a character with motivations and thought patterns, unrealistic though they may be. The characters in Crash veer wildly from one action to the next based on the message that Paul Haggis would like to use them to convey. They are, in fact, not characters at all.

In his novel The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Kundera has a lengthy discussion of the notion of kitsch and how it is inherently fascistic: Kitsch, unlike art, denies the possibility of messiness, of dissent, of unanswered questions. Art tries to examine questions; kitsch tries to dismiss them.

Crash, by merit of its inability to pursue the paths that would be followed by consistent characters, does not seriously attempt to address any questions of race or human interaction. It seeks only to lecture, and not to discuss. Crash is kitsch.

And this is not to mention that it is poorly acted, poorly written, poorly shot, poorly edited, and poorly conceived.
posted by shakespeherian at 11:12 AM on December 31, 2009 [14 favorites]


Think of it as the oldskool version of checking out someone else's browser history, with about the same result.

Taters?
posted by shakespeherian at 11:13 AM on December 31, 2009


Crash is kitsch.

I agree with this statement.
posted by Think_Long at 11:14 AM on December 31, 2009


Because he is not internally consistent, which is largely what made many of these characters crap.

I politely suggest that if you're judging a character's perceived realism by how internally consistent they are, maybe you should take a closer look at reality.

I had no problem accepting the major internal conflict of Dillon's behaviors, because I have seen many people with absurdly conflicted views like that - who go from sick, twisted, race-baiting powermad situations, like in that first traffic stop, straight to unconditionally compassionate behavior a few days later. Maybe I just grew up around a few more dysfunctional people than you, but I find Dillon's character's fundamental inconsistency to be perfectly consistent with a lot of asinine behavior I've witnessed.
posted by scrowdid at 11:14 AM on December 31, 2009


I have to ask: why are people jumping up and down about "post-racial society"? Other than Steven Colbert, who actually believes that there are literally no more racists in America? To me, post-racial society means yes, there are racists, but they don't belong in our society. This is not Kumbaya so much as it is "Get the f*** out".

A lot of people are responding with "How can you say that, racism is alive and well in America, we should continue to be vigilant, etc." without understanding that declaring a post-racial society is exactly the same as saying "This meeting is adjourned."

"But how can you say the meeting is adjourned! Can't you see everyone is still here?" The point is to let people know the rules have changed!
posted by AlsoMike at 11:14 AM on December 31, 2009


You people don't watch enough bad movies to know what the worst movie of the decade was. I mean -- Blood Gnome, for starters, and that's hardly scraping the bottom of the barrel.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:15 AM on December 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


This probably plays right into your alluded to rant, philip-random, but now I'll only be able to picture you kicking puppies.

Actually, I can be fairly level-headed about JUNO now. I quite liked maybe the first half, the set-up, the characters, the intriguing entry of hip and edgy Juno into the unhappy world of Jason Bateman and his wife. But then it just got soft, lame and the wrong kind of weird ... or as I noted in an AskMe a long time ago:

Add me to the slow-brewing JUNO hate list, mainly because it ceased being subversive and/or funny about half-way through, and just became quirky and/or cute. And yes, handing the baby off to the control-freak mother-wanna-be creeped me out. I would've loved it if she'd kept the baby, dumped the dweeb boyfriend and joined a kick ass punk band (maybe with the Jason Bateman character). Now that would've been subversive.

Finally, I love puppies. It's their business to be soft, cute, cuddly, nice. It's when movies that purport to be edgy and genuine try the same thing that I get political.
posted by philip-random at 11:17 AM on December 31, 2009 [2 favorites]


"But how can you say the meeting is adjourned! Can't you see everyone is still here?" The point is to let people know the rules have changed!

Explicit racism has been out of vogue for decades. On paper the "rules" have always shown a perfectly equally, non-racial society. Post-racial does not imply we've finally all come to the conclusion that "omigosh racism is bad". It means that we as a nation have excised all of our hangups about race and accepted that everyone and everything is equal - all because of one black man who one the majority of votes in one election. Post-racial means a clean slate - which is why it is a stupid thing to say.
posted by Think_Long at 11:18 AM on December 31, 2009


*perfectly equal*
posted by Think_Long at 11:19 AM on December 31, 2009


poorly edited

...and yet also won the Oscar for best editing. I was only beginning as a film editor the last time I saw Crash, so I don't know if I'd agree if I watched it again. It does seem to give it some merit, though, that the Academy's group of professional film editors gave it an award for its editing, above and beyond any nominations for best picture.
posted by scrowdid at 11:24 AM on December 31, 2009


Did we miss Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ on this list?
posted by ovvl at 11:25 AM on December 31, 2009 [2 favorites]


Incidentally, I don't know how anyone can be completely dismissive of "the acting" in any film that has Don Cheadle in it.
posted by scrowdid at 11:28 AM on December 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


Crash is kitsch.

I agree with this statement.
Me. Too. Also. I hadn't thought about it this particular way, but this is as good a summary as I've heard.

The movie is not awful - it's naive, flawed, and its reach exceeds its grasp - but there are far worse films. The accolades this movie received showed a giant collective moment of bad taste and perhaps that's where the animosity is coming from.

Sort of like looking back at a yearbook photo and seeing that haircut and shirt you thought were so cool and realizing now just how wrong you were.

mullets represent!
posted by device55 at 11:29 AM on December 31, 2009


JUNO hijacked the snarky tone from sites like Television Without Pity, which Diablo had read for years, and apparently nobody in Hollywood ever read, because they mistook it for a fresh new voice. This isn't just a theory, by the way -- Diablo and I have exactly the same peer group here in Minneapolis.

I thought the film had some nice qualities -- I especially feel that Jason Bateman's character was nicely developed. But the preciousness of the dialogue started to get to me, as well as the film's absolutely lack of understanding of subtext. Yes, Cody, I know that you, personally, are pro-choice. But you made a film in which an anti-choice activist tells a girl on her way to have an abortion that fetuses have fingernails, and then cut to a scene where everybody's fingernails are at the forefront, and then have Juno flee the clinic and tell her friend that everybody should support her because giving up a baby for adoption is a better and more mature choice than having an abortion. This is, subtextually, an anti-choice scene -- heck, it's barely subtext.

Many have complained about this. My biggest complaint, which I have yet to hear anybody else mention, is that Juno is the biggest Mary Sue in history. I mean, let's just go through a checklist of Mary Sue features. Juno isn't a character -- she's a projection of what Cody considered totally awesome, and the girl Cody wishes she could have been. I think the success of the film is predicated on the fact that Cody created a Mary Sue that a lot of other people would like to be, and there's a certain amount of kudos she deserves for tapping into the popular consciousness like that. But the script felt lazy and underwritten to me, which I have always felt about her work, and I hope I am at a point in my life where I can discuss this openly without people getting hostile and declaring that I am just jealous of hers, as was the case for quite a long time.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:36 AM on December 31, 2009 [11 favorites]


It means that we as a nation have excised all of our hangups about race and accepted that everyone and everything is equal

But... that's what I just said it didn't mean. I'm saying that coming from Obama, it's not an objective, social-scientist's description, it's a performative utterance.
posted by AlsoMike at 11:37 AM on December 31, 2009


Because that essay is not about white guilt, it's about becoming aware of institutionalized racism. They're not the same thing.

I know, I'm being bipartisan. One is a code that says you owe me because you have benefited by not being a victim of real and imagined racism, and the other is a code that says you should not feel ashamed of your nation's history of genocide and institutionalized racism.
posted by 0xdeadc0de at 11:45 AM on December 31, 2009


2004 best picture winner “Crash.”

nitpick: 2005


nitpick the nitpick: 2006

It beat Munich, Capote, Good Night and Good Luck, and for fuck's sake it beat Brokeback Mountain!
posted by Pollomacho at 11:52 AM on December 31, 2009


I'm saying that coming from Obama

Has Obama himself ever said we are in a 'post-racial' society? I'm asking, because honestly I always assumed it was something declared by the talking heads mostly.

I'm not really familiar with 'performative utterances' as you point to, but I was simply explaining (my interpretation) of the definition of the word and why it is a fallacy. It seems like a performative utterance requires a specific context, and as far as I know we are speaking in generals at this moment.
posted by Think_Long at 11:59 AM on December 31, 2009


My worst movie of the decade is Gran Torino, I could not understand the praise it received. Rehashed, heavy handed, boring, portentous guff with terrible acting and the most laughably caricatured gang of bandana wearing Korean "punks" cinema has seen since they heyday of Ralph Macchio.
They were Hmong, I haven't seen the movie but I did see a documentary about that group of people in an anthropology class. Basically after Vietnam the CIA took a bunch mountain people who had assisted them during the war and dumped them all in Minnesota. Unlike other Asian groups, these groups apparently didn't end up being high achievers. They ended up like native Americans or other aboriginal groups. Very interesting.

I haven't seen Gran Torino.
I don’t think the criticism for this movie comes from people who deny that racism still exists. It’s the way that this film treats racism – as an overbearing, totally unsubtle part of everybody that we just accept. That’s really not how a lot of racism plays out these days – it’s hidden, systematic, totally evil, and is not forgivable just because a cop did his fucking job.
Yeah.

But actually, I kind of liked the movie. I like that sort of 'interconnected story' narrative style. I really like Syriana, for example. But I thought "Crash"s message was ridiculous. And Million Dollar Baby also had a strong "anti-welfare moms" narrative, like crash. Both the Boxer and the cop in Crash had grown up on welfare and had mothers who were afraid of success because they were worried about their welfare checks. Which is nonsense because obviously you go off welfare when you're kids grow up and the long-term "welfare" program in the U.S. basically ended in 1995 or whatever
posted by delmoi at 12:01 PM on December 31, 2009


Having only seen the end of Crash, I had the impression that the subject matter was trying to point out the same fundamental truth that the television show Breaking Bad illuminates much more effectively: basically, that good people do bad things sometimes. But I'll refrain from saying anything else until I see the whole thing (probably, never!)

As for my own vote, the worst movie I remember seeing this decade was What the Bleep Do We Know!? Only time I've ever walked out of the theatre.
posted by mannequito at 12:04 PM on December 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


Has Obama himself ever said we are in a 'post-racial' society? I'm asking, because honestly I always assumed it was something declared by the talking heads mostly.

Lots of people have said that Obama's election signifies that we are in a "post-racial society." But I don't think he's ever said anything like that. I remember him saying something like "racism is still a powerful force in our society" during the campaign, for example.
posted by delmoi at 12:06 PM on December 31, 2009


I think both All in the Family and Crash are trying to show you how things really are, or sometimes may be, through exaggeration. One does it with a laugh track, so it's more easily excused.

This exactly, but. All in the Family was like a fun house mirror held up to real life. Some bits were made bigger and some smaller. We chuckle but have to consider those bits and the relationship between them.

Crash (and it's ilk) hang up their fun house mirror and tells us that us what a perfect mirror it is. When we tell them it isn't they tell us that it's optically flat to 1/20 wave. Again we disagree. Eventually the director is going on about it being "Lapped and polished in Switzerland and front silvered in the same lab where they did the mirror for the Hubble!", and going "La La La I can't hear you La La La" when you try to point out that your nose is not bigger than your torso.

It's not that they're manipulative. It's that they beat you into submission.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 12:08 PM on December 31, 2009 [2 favorites]


My vote is for the Ramen Girl... time to duck some popcorn.
posted by mek at 12:11 PM on December 31, 2009


...and yet also won the Oscar for best editing. I was only beginning as a film editor the last time I saw Crash, so I don't know if I'd agree if I watched it again. It does seem to give it some merit, though, that the Academy's group of professional film editors gave it an award for its editing, above and beyond any nominations for best picture.

Actually everyone in the Academy's voting block (which is majority actors) votes on every award, including editing. Winners tend to be those films with most noticeable editing (cf. The Matrix, Black Hawk Down, Chicago, etc.).
posted by shakespeherian at 12:13 PM on December 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


The way this is being approached is terrible, and a bit myopic. Films are like wines, they age and it changes our perception. Like in 2003 I bought this Australian wine and was like, wow this is great. Yellow Tail is pretty good for its price and doesn't leave that box wine hangover. It is a total staple, house wine. So for like 6 months it was a staple house wine and everyone who came over who wanted wine probably tasted and I gave them the cost/benefit analysis. Then I started to get bored of it, realized it probably wasn't really that good and moved on. Then I noticed something: EVERYONE had Yellow Tail. It was getting all sorts of praise. Suddenly it was like everyone's most cherished little treasure that they found and could totally be proud of spending a little on a great bottle of wine. And I was like, whoa, it is okay, but let's not make this out to be something it is not. That was the same thing with Crash. I watched it, was like okay it was trying to be a good film and fell short, but still good. Then it won Best Picture and you're like, whoa what?

Juno was the same way, you saw it and thought, oh that's cute and then suddenly everyone you know is into The Pogues and being snarky.

But truly the worst film of the decade was Requiem for a Dream. It was like Reefer Madness and I kept wanting to go "What the hell kind of drugs are these people taking?" If you want to do a realistic movie about drugs, be realistic. Don't show some arm that's gone gangrene (?!) or a mom going crazy off uppers. Be realistic, show a rich kid doing cocaine at a college party, and then starting to do it at every party, then buying it on his own, then miss a midterm because he got coked out on a bender then go, "Whoa not again," and then get off of it slowly stop using. Or maybe the single guy who goes home and drinks himself to sleep everynight.

Doesn't have the narrative flourish of a group of people yelling "ass-to-ass" on a bunch of bonked out prostitutes, but you know it at least is realistic.
posted by geoff. at 12:34 PM on December 31, 2009 [2 favorites]


Warm. Leatherette.
Warm. Leatherette.
Warm. Leatherette.
Join. The car crash set.
posted by Eideteker at 12:37 PM on December 31, 2009 [5 favorites]


Meh. I liked the movie when it came out, but not enough to rewatch. It certainly shouldn't have won Best Picture over Munich. I haven't seen Brokeback Mountain, but I hear most people thought that should have been the Best Picture.
posted by reenum at 12:40 PM on December 31, 2009


Crash was bad. Real bad. Liked Juno, though..
posted by marimeko at 12:55 PM on December 31, 2009


Gah. I always show up late to the party. But for what it's worth, Magnolia is an excellent antidote to Crash dummification. Also, it used to bother me that the Oscar Best Picture is almost never right, but then I realized that every year there is the "movie of the year" because of critical acclaim, groundbreaking-ness, or whatever -- say Brokeback Mountain or Pulp Fiction -- and then there is "Best Picture" -- say Crash or Forrest Gump -- and the two are almost never the same movie. It's just, as Rumsfeld would say, a different metric being applied.
posted by Toecutter at 1:11 PM on December 31, 2009


Brokeback Mountain itself was just a big capital-S Statement movie without any real deep thought. It just happens to be a statement I heartily agree with, but that doesn't mean it's better than Munich which was far more sophisticated, layered and compelling, IMO.
posted by naju at 1:16 PM on December 31, 2009


I was disappointed with "Strangers With Candy". Still, "Crash" was much, much worse.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:17 PM on December 31, 2009


But truly the worst film of the decade was Requiem for a Dream. It was like Reefer Madness and I kept wanting to go "What the hell kind of drugs are these people taking?"

Mom was taking uppers. Son and friends were into heroin. You are wrong.
posted by philip-random at 1:17 PM on December 31, 2009 [3 favorites]


Also, I just want to express how unbelievably happy I am that Ebert chose Synecdoche, New York as his film of the decade. The first time I saw it left me mostly just confused. The second viewing crushed me for weeks, and actually changed my life in some important ways.
posted by naju at 1:19 PM on December 31, 2009


Also, I just want to express how unbelievably happy I am that Ebert chose Synecdoche, New York as his film of the decade. The first time I saw it left me mostly just confused. The second viewing crushed me for weeks, and actually changed my life in some important ways.

That's interesting; I had an almost completely opposite reaction. The first time I saw it I was blown away and completely impressed. Knowing that it was a dense work, and knowing that I presumably missed something or many things the first time I watched it, I went back and watched it myself a few days later. And...nope. Nothing. Just the same movie I saw before. In fact, it actually made me think less of the film that I didn't get more out of it the second time. I could have just been in a funk that day, though. Maybe I need to see it a third time. Regardless, I think the film is absolutely fantastic and would highly recommend it. It takes awhile to get going and I wouldn't doubt a bunch of people give up on it after a half hour or so. But it really gets rolling in the second half and is a fantastic piece of work.
posted by billysumday at 1:28 PM on December 31, 2009


It's difficult to determining THE WORST of any category; it's far easier to make relative judgments as opposed to absolute ones. My film rule of thumb: Gummo. How does Crash compare ... with Gummo?
posted by Auden at 1:40 PM on December 31, 2009


Gummo is better than Crash.
Gummo is also probably better than Avatar, which I haven't seen yet.
posted by philip-random at 1:42 PM on December 31, 2009


It's difficult to determining THE WORST of any category; it's far easier to make relative judgments as opposed to absolute ones. My film rule of thumb: Gummo. How does Crash compare ... with Gummo?

Gummo kicks ass and Crash is nowhere near as awesome.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:43 PM on December 31, 2009


Mom was taking uppers. Son and friends were into heroin. You are wrong.

No, that was my exact feeling about Requiem for a Dream, too. What a ridiculous, embarrassing movie. I only wish it had been more popular, as the inevitable parodies would have made the whole venture worth it. "Go ass-to-ass!" should, by all rights, have been that year's "How'd it get burned? HOW'D IT GET BURNED?!!??"
posted by kittens for breakfast at 1:47 PM on December 31, 2009


I agree with everything said by fire&wings about Gran Torino. It was so bad, on so many levels (script, dialogue, acting, and so on) that I was embarrassed for Eastwood. I couldn't believe the praise it received (although I wouldn't say it was the worst of the decade - far from it.).
posted by Auden at 1:48 PM on December 31, 2009


But truly the worst film of the decade was Requiem for a Dream. It was like Reefer Madness and I kept wanting to go "What the hell kind of drugs are these people taking?" If you want to do a realistic movie about drugs, be realistic. Don't show some arm that's gone gangrene (?!) or a mom going crazy off uppers.

Junkies get gangrene all the time. Stimulant Psychosis is a documented side effect of taking uppers. I don't know if you think people that take heroin or abuse prescription drugs don't exist IRL, but that movie was pretty realistic as far as those particular medical conditions being a risk associated with abuse of those drugs.
posted by oneirodynia at 1:48 PM on December 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


Also, Gummo came out in the '90s.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:48 PM on December 31, 2009


Crash isn't the worst movie of the decade. My definition of worst means a combination of not being pleasing to watch and depending on the movie, not being factually accurate or representative of reality.

octothrope - http://www.metafilter.com/87926/Crash-Worst-Movie-of-the-Decade#2884014 -
explained that in 2 hours, haggis couldn't show the subtlty of the relations betweens characters.
Looking back at the movie and commentary in this thread and in those articles [I haven't seen the movie since 2005-6], I don't believe that Haggis insinuated that every interaction between people have such profound racial components. I think he was doing it to remind viewers that people may act racist sometimes and not other times and in both instances, the people didn't realize how race influenced their actions.
posted by fizzix at 1:50 PM on December 31, 2009


Okay, I'm going to have to step in here. Gummo is hands down one of the worst movies ever made. It's clear that Korine knows nothing of Midwestern poverty yet he makes a mind-numbingly boring film that aims to please through pure exploitation. Anytime you do exploitation, you're walking a fine line - even if you get it right you're still an asshole; get it wrong and you're a fraudulent asshole. If you have an itch for watching films about mentally impaired poor people in the rural Midwest, Stevie will scratch it. Don't waste your money on some rich kid's art project about the great unwashed - tripe like that is dime a dozen.
posted by billysumday at 1:52 PM on December 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


billysumday, I think I encountered Gummo in a radically different way than you-- I didn't think it was intended to be any more of a realistic or honest portrayal of the midwest than Blue Velvet (in a different way, though). I don't expect to be able to convice anyone to love it, and I'm possibly the only person ever to buy the damn thing on DVD, and I'm fine with that, but I don't think calling it an exploitation film about mentally-impaired poor Midwesterns is very accurate.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:04 PM on December 31, 2009


Junkies get gangrene all the time. Stimulant Psychosis is a documented side effect of taking uppers. I don't know if you think people that take heroin or abuse prescription drugs don't exist IRL, but that movie was pretty realistic as far as those particular medical conditions being a risk associated with abuse of those drugs.

The problem with Requiem is not that none of these things can happen, but that every remotely possible bad thing that can happen does happen, in the most melodramatic way cinematically possible, to include our hapless junkies YES I AM SPOILERING THIS ending up (a) with a lobotomy via ECT (which no longer has anything like that effect on people, but whatever), (b) forced into prostitution, (c) maimed and/or (d) menaced by good ole boy cops. While any of these fates would alone be -- if not realistic, necessarily -- at least dramatically acceptable, when you put them all together, you have a production so over-the-top and preposterous there is just NO WAY to take it seriously. This is all leaving aside that the cops are southern stereotypes and the prostitution angle -- holy shit, dude, it's some crazy sex club out of a Skinimax feature, and the pretty young white girl (who, of course, is not visibly touched by her overpowering heroin addiction in any way) is pushed into it not just by a black man, not just by a menacing black man, but by the voice of Spawn. (I will say this: Keith David, who generally deserves better than any film he's in, did at least seem to be having a good time playing Requiem's supervillain.) I mean, come ON. Reefer Madness 2000, big time.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 2:05 PM on December 31, 2009 [6 favorites]


Sys Rq - Yes, Gummo came out in 1997. My point was that, for me, on the relative scale of movie badness, Gummo is at one absolute end of the spectrum. I wasn't saying it was the worst of the decade (...er, for the 90's, yes. Yes, it was).
posted by Auden at 2:09 PM on December 31, 2009


Finally Gummo comes up. What's next...The Brown Bunny?

Plus, from the beginning of this thread and the middle: what does irony have to do with a knapsack? I really want to know. All I know about the word and the thing is that they were common a half century ago, and uncommon now. Like "icebox," only not that out-of-date.
posted by kozad at 2:11 PM on December 31, 2009


The problem with Requiem

Well, to be fair, the plot comes from Selby's book, which has all of those endings (IIRC).
posted by shakespeherian at 2:16 PM on December 31, 2009


This made me LOL:

Korine originally intended to follow up Gummo with a short-lived project known as Fight Harm, filmed by illusionist David Blaine. It comprised footage of Korine engaging random people in actual street fights. In these he followed rules of always provoking the fight and continuing until threat of death. Korine, who often said he would die for the cinema, hoped to make a cross between a Buster Keaton vehicle and a snuff film, but after only six fights, he was hospitalized and forced to abandon the project.

Sorry, I'll stop derailing my own thread now. But man, that guy is such a wanker.
posted by billysumday at 2:18 PM on December 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


The major problem I have with crowd-sourced critiques like this is that everyone seems to be moving the goalposts, even when they agree.

I think it is important to allow naturally fluid value statements like "good" and "bad" to be fixed somehow -- the goal posts, if you will -- simply because this whole discussion loses all meaning if you compare a film like "Crash" with, say, "Leeches!" (This was one of the examples touted as worse than Crash in the linked discussion.)

Because it is ok to allow genres to give us cues for what good and bad is. For example, if you don't like romantic comedies, it is unlikely you will ever like any romantic comedy. And that's ok, because one's opinion on something is perfectly valid. However, for the purposes of critiques we should be able to say something like "Romantic comedies have a number of common tropes they touch on, and the history of the genre goes back to the roots of American and French filmmaking. Serendipity was a bad film because it is a bad example of the romantic comedy; Miss Congeniality is a much better example of a good film because it is a good romantic comedy."

This is why I can can enjoy terrible, shitty zombie films, and think John Carpenter is a great filmmaker when I know full well that both of these genres are allergens for most reasonable people. But, the question for me is how a particular film compares with others of its type.

Given, of course, that we can agree on some criteria for what makes a good romantic comedy (or musical, or action film, or drama &etc.) It also supposes that films can be placed, even obliquely, into a genre. Some filmmakers defy categorization, and demand you evaluate them on their own merit. Not surprising, I suspect these films are the ones where opinion is sharply divided. (I'm thinking here of anything by Lars von Trier.)

So, Crash may be a terrible drama because (I'm reading) it trivializes and apologizes racism as a given while simultaneously shaking it's finger at us for being prejudiced. I don't know, because I've only seen the weird Crash, not the Oscar Crash. But it is nearly a meaningless statement to say either one is the worst movie of some decade, because best/worst is never going to be a meaningful scale unless we adjust our critique in some manner.

Is Crash the worst drama of the decade? Does it worsen the already muddy dialogue around race and identity in the US? Does it pander to racist ideals while simultaneously taking a childishly moralistic approach to prejudice? Before some of these could be answered, I think we would have to at least /partially/ insert the film into some context or framework of similar works before we would be doing anything other than expressing a personal opinion (whether or not that opinion happens to match with other opinions.)

Unless Crash (the Oscar one, not the weird one from Canada) is one of those impossible to define films, in which case all bets are off.
posted by clvrmnky at 2:20 PM on December 31, 2009 [1 favorite]



Plus, from the beginning of this thread and the middle: what does irony have to do with a knapsack?

kozad, it's a reference to this (now relatively classic) article on white privilege by Peggy McIntosh.
posted by availablelight at 2:24 PM on December 31, 2009


suddenly everyone you know is into The Pogues and being snarky.

Maybe it's the crowd I hang around with, but snark was really a staple of the 1990s continuing into the present day. The Pogues found a revival because Celt-rock (Flogging Molly, Dropkick Murphys) got popular in the early 00s, and everyone wanted to look at their influences again (and were the Pogues even on the Juno soundtrack? And why does everyone call the movie "JUNO" in all caps?). Let's not over-attribute this to Juno. Just be thankful Crash didn't have the same influence (still somewhat small) on the popular culture that Juno did: Crash is a movie that everyone became somewhat embarrassed about soon after winning Best Picture.
posted by deanc at 2:25 PM on December 31, 2009


The worst movie of the aughts is definitely The Room.
posted by Lobster Garden at 2:39 PM on December 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


Worst Movie of the Decade?
I don't think so.
Most Overrated Movie of the Decade?
or
Most Undeserving of Best Picture?


Most definitely.
posted by kaiseki at 2:53 PM on December 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


Hey, so, as long as we're puncturing sacred cows, Heath Ledger was the worst Batman villain ever.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:57 PM on December 31, 2009


(and I'm counting Shame)
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:58 PM on December 31, 2009


Contrarian as ever, I liked the portrayal of the young black who likes Country Western music. The white cop giving him a ride is so infuriated that he kills him. Musical tastes usually aren't portrayed so acutely.
posted by telstar at 3:14 PM on December 31, 2009


Hey, so, as long as we're puncturing sacred cows, Heath Ledger was the worst Batman villain ever.

I can only assume you don't recognize Batman Forever as an actual Batman movie.
posted by graventy at 3:16 PM on December 31, 2009 [2 favorites]


The major problem I have with crowd-sourced critiques like this is that everyone seems to be moving the goalposts, even when they agree.


I'd set the goal posts here: for a film to truly be the worst it has to be done just well enough for your to get involved with it, but be done ineptly or inarticulately enough that its ultimately frustrating, enraging or otherwise bitter-making. (I feel like there's a word in German for the exact emotional response I'm looking for, but I don't really know of the precise word in English.)

Most bad movies are just forgettable, or they are boring, or they are predictable, or just clumsy. A film cannot be truly the worst if you can't even remember it; how can one cliche or dull movie be worse than another cliche or dull movie; and how can you really bring up the bile for something that's just kind of poorly made? I mean, Uwe Boll's oeuvre might be the worst of the decade, but I just can't see any specific one of his films being the worst of the decade because how could you pick one as worse over the others? As much as I found the Will Ferrell remake of Bewitched to be totally unwatchable, there's no reason why it was particularly worse than any other bland waste of time (except for the fact that my friend just wouldn't shut up about how I made him watch it.)

In other words, the difference between something bad and something that's the worst is that the first provokes no real emotional response at all, while the second provokes you as art should - but the emotions it provokes are ones that you never want to get out of a work of art.

A film like Crash, then, is a valid pick for the worst. It clearly worked on some level: it definitely provokes responses. But the responses it provokes are ultimately counterproductive: I think the film was meant to start a dialogue on race, but everyone who talks about it seems to agree that race relations suck, and the real debate is about whether or not Crash sucks.

That said, I just can't give it the worst of the decade honors because I was consistently engaged by it both for the better and and for worse. Immediately after something happened that was sort of cool, something mindbogglingly dumb would happen; most often it would take something that was kind of subtle and then just make it as blatant as possible in the very next scene. I kept oscillating between being really annoyed and going "oh, well, that wasn't so bad." Whereas a film like Napoleon Dynamite I just hated all the way through, every scene.
posted by Kiablokirk at 3:35 PM on December 31, 2009 [2 favorites]


Hey, so, as long as we're puncturing sacred cows, Heath Ledger was the worst Batman villain ever.

How so?
posted by philip-random at 3:35 PM on December 31, 2009


Blonde Ambition
posted by a. at 3:39 PM on December 31, 2009


I liked the film much more after I read the essay, "At the (Infanticidal) Limits of First-Person Consciousness: Anger, Shame, and the Sacred in Paul Haggis's 'Crash'" by A. Samuel Kimball, in Soundings XCI.1-2 (spring/summer 2008).
posted by whatgorilla at 3:53 PM on December 31, 2009


You are wrong.

Nah. He's right. You're wrong.
posted by tkchrist at 5:41 PM on December 31, 2009


Worst Film of the decade: Last Samurai
Most over-rated film of the decade, tie Serious Man or District 9
Most under-rated: Moon
Best Film of the decade, tie: Synecdoche or Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind or Fight Club
Biggest surprise: UP
Most entertaining, tie: LOTR 1 & 2 or Oh Brother Where Art Thou
Spookiest: Let the Right One In
Funniest: 40 Year Old Virgin

YMMV
posted by tkchrist at 5:59 PM on December 31, 2009


You are wrong.

Nah. He's right. You're wrong.


No, you're right. Both of us are wrong.
posted by philip-random at 7:13 PM on December 31, 2009


And Million Dollar Baby also had a strong "anti-welfare moms" narrative, like crash. Both the Boxer and the cop in Crash had grown up on welfare and had mothers who were afraid of success because they were worried about their welfare checks. Which is nonsense because obviously you go off welfare when you're kids grow up and the long-term "welfare" program in the U.S. basically ended in 1995 or whatever
posted by delmoi

Not to mention, that for those of us who've had spinal cord injuries, that movie sucked major ass. No, if you get pressure sores the solution is not to have your fake dad kill you. Jesus.
posted by angrycat at 9:23 PM on December 31, 2009 [1 favorite]


Actually, I loved Heath Ledger as the Joker, but I also liked Crash, but thought Brokeback was the better movie.

Of course, I also liked Ang Lee's previous movie, so take my love of Brokeback with a grain of salt.
posted by Joey Michaels at 10:00 PM on December 31, 2009


FFS, when was Requiem for a Dream ever supposed to be some sort of notional review of the Average Drug Experience in America? Lemme 'splain it for you: it's about people who think they're on top of their habits and then find out that, whoops, not so much.

Oh, well. Happy New Decade, you gin-soaked bastards.
posted by Halloween Jack at 10:36 PM on December 31, 2009


I've always thought you can tell whether or not a caucasian person has ever actually spent any time with non-caucasians by whether or not they like that movie.

Having spent the last ten years surrounded by non-caucasians, I quite liked Crash. It is overblown, and cartoonish in a lot of ways, but it got to me in a very, very personal way. At the time, my then girlfriend and I were comtemplating staying in Japan or moving to the States. The scene with the Korean woman running through the hospital searching for her husband, screaming his name? Being confronted by someone telling her "I can't help you if you don't speak English" while she was just calling her husbands name? That made me realize that if we'd moved to the States, especially to the midwest, I can't imagine a day would go by where she wouldn't be confronted with a negative reaction based on her accent or less than perfect English.

In my own family I've gotten into shouting fights about whether or not there should be Spanish written on products sold in American stores, let alone having official documents available in more than just English. Of course, now that I've married someone who doesn't speak English well, suddenly she's okay, but Spanish isn't? That's not an example of casual racism by people who would insist that they're not racist?

When it came time to figure out where to live, I realized I'd already gotten used to life in Japan, and I can largely deal with the discrimination I face here. I wouldn't want to subject my wife to being made to feel stupid on a daily basis because she didn't speak perfect English.
posted by Ghidorah at 4:53 AM on January 1, 2010 [2 favorites]


The worst film of the decade was Gigli. Starting with the unpronouncable name everything about it is just awful. Also, has there ever been another movie that single handedly destroyed the careers of two major stars.
posted by afu at 7:45 AM on January 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


or a film to truly be the worst it has to be done just well enough for your to get involved with it, but be done ineptly or inarticulately enough that its ultimately frustrating, enraging or otherwise bitter-making. (I feel like there's a word in German for the exact emotional response I'm looking for, but I don't really know of the precise word in English.)
I don't know the word, either, but I recognize this as a the morning-after regret you feel when the first flush of a movie has worn off, and you are left wondering why you wasted $15 and 120 minutes of your life.

It sounds like the major complaint with Crash, for example, is that it is a shallow, manipulative film wrapped up in the trappings of an art film full of nuanced meaning. Fair enough.

Certainly, I've seen films that, after a night of reflection, did not stand up to even minor reflection, and become more and more of a cheat the more you think about it. These are eventually relegated to "waste of my time, wish I didn't bother to go see it or rent it." (As an aside, we have a rule around here that if a rented movie truly begins to suck for everyone, and we can't come up with a critical reason to continue, we eject it and return it for another.)

Good film, for me, mean that you re-experience aspects of the film in your dreams that night and wake up with more insight and more questions. Maybe that's just me.

But bad film, especially those Very Important Dramas that are bad, allow me to wake up only feeling cheated.

The problem here is that someone probably feels this way about "Magnolia", while I think it is a masterpiece. Ditto "Barry Lyndon" from another decade, which I think was quote deserving of its accolades.

These are the limits of critique, I suppose.
posted by clvrmnky at 8:36 AM on January 1, 2010


I found Crash to be a lot like the song "One Tin Soldier" only less subtle.
posted by Rarebit Fiend at 10:28 AM on January 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Southland Tales was hands-down the worst movie I saw in the past decade. What a mess!

This movie is a mess, but you have to sort of love it. Justin Timberlake's musical number, for instance!


If Southland Tales isn't a midnight movie classic in 15 years I will loose faith in our nation's stoners.
posted by The Whelk at 11:33 AM on January 1, 2010


I'm so happy to hear so many others express my thoughts on why this film is terrible. I agree though that it's mostly disturbing because of its popularity and the messages it communicates rather than due to technical faults. In that sense there are worse films of the decade, but then, there will always be badly made films. I think what makes it the worst film of the decade is that its self-righteous racism fooled hundreds of thousands and it has therefore helped encourage and perpetuate what many think is harmless, but what is in fact dangerous racist thinking in the 21st century.
posted by abundancecafe at 12:50 PM on January 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ludacris was the best part of Crash.

I think that says a lot.
posted by palomar at 9:45 PM on January 1, 2010


All movies suck.
posted by downing street memo at 12:25 AM on January 2, 2010


I see a couple people mentioned Grand Canyon. Thank you! I was wondering what Crash was reminding me of, and Grand Canyon is it. Man did that movie bother me, for most of the same reasons people gave for having a distaste for Crash. I actually have liked a couple movies that do that random-strangers-intersecting thing. Magnolia was pretty good, I felt. But Grand Canyon was two hours of getting slapped across the head repeatedly by a sock filled with Message Nickels.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:22 PM on January 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


Rerebit, you should pair "One Tin Soldier" with "Billy Jack" as it is the theme song for the movie and lower the bar for subtle even further.
posted by effluvia at 4:32 PM on January 2, 2010


Just got back from seeing Nine - I think it might be a late contender for worst film of the decade... It just about qualifies datewise doesn't it?
posted by Artw at 12:05 AM on January 3, 2010


and lower the bar for subtle even further.

Billy Jack in action.
posted by philip-random at 12:20 AM on January 3, 2010


Finally. What a shit movie that was.
posted by agregoli at 2:08 PM on January 4, 2010


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