11. THE ACADEMY
When the MPAA threatened to ban award season screeners across the board, Oscar voters were as vocal as any organization. When a “compromise” was reached allowing distribution exclusively to Academy members, the cabal of largely out of touch, over the hill insiders suddenly had nothing to say, apparently more than happy to sell out its performing, writing, directing and reviewing brethren for the Tinstletown equivalent of 30 pieces of silver.
ANTI-FREEZE: Skip the screeners and go to the movies.
12. GUY RITCHIE
How does one recover from a bomb like Swept Away? Mr. Madonna has to stop allowing his “wife” to map out his movie career. That’s like letting Stevie Wonder drive you home from the Grammys.
13. DEMI MOORE & ASHTON KUTCHER
Demi Moore’s “comeback” got her a lot of press. Comeback. Comeback?!!! Huh? Isn’t she just the old bag that’s screwing Ashton Kutcher? At the risk of being cynical, we couldn’t help but appreciate the fortuitous timing of aging Demi’s well-promoted “romance” with the much younger (and prettier) Ashton Kutcher: the news of the affair coincided perfectly with the release of Demi’s comeback performance in Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle. While Demi may or may not be playing with her juvenile boytoy now, she should spread her legs in gratitude to the publicists who put her has-been a*s back on page one. Ashton Kutcher – he may be the boytoy of the year for squiring the significantly older Demi Moore in front of the cameras, but when it comes to being a movie star, Ashton keeps getting punk’d by starring in obnoxious flicks like Just Married and My Boss’s Daughter.
ANTI-FREEZE: The single life.
14. JASON LEE
With films like A Guy Thing,” Dreamcatcher,” Big Trouble, one thing is for certain: if Kevin Smith isn’t behind the camera, then Jason Lee doesn’t belong in front of the camera.
ANTI-FREEZE: Beg Kevin Smith to write something, anything for you to act in. And beg on your knees.
15. STAR VEHICLES
These high powered performers don’t have agents. They have APR financing. The movie’s built around them – from XXX to this year’s “Biker Boyz” and 2 Fast 2 Furious – these “sure things” come equipped with racing and chasing. Plot, character and original vision apparently aren’t part of the package.
ANTI-FREEZE: Note to executives who greenlight these projects – try buying scripts and not half-baked pitches.
16. ROB REINER
We remember when Spinal Tap was first released and it was hard to believe that Meathead could make such a great film. He has helmed some hits like “When Harry Met Sally,” “Misery” and “Stand By Me.” But this year, he vomited the eternally crappy Alex and Emma into our local cineplexes. Turns out he’s just a Meathead after all. He spent the last few years playing himself in cameos, and passing oppressive smoking laws. Now he decides to come back to directing with Alex and Emma. Bad decision. Californians shudder as they await his next societal crusade. ANTI-FREEZE: A post in the Schwarzanegger administration.
17. COMIC BOOK MOVIES
With the bad taste lingering in our mouths from Marvel’s summer flops Daredevil and The Hulk, it’s hard to believe X2 was also released earlier this year. Hey, at least they’re not Warner Brothers, who still can’t find anyone willing to helm “Superman.” The future doesn’t look very promising either: will “The Punisher” (which, admittedly, would have to be “Glitter 2” to be worse than the Dolph Lundgren version) and “Constantine” (let’s take Alan Moore’s surly, blond, British magus and turn him into Keanu Reeves…genius) reverse this trend?
ANTI-FREEZE: “The Amazing Spider-Man” will have Doctor Octopus, “Hellboy” looks good if it can find a wide audience, and “Blade: Trinity” may not suck (no pun intended).
18. MARK WAHLBERG
Nobody ever mistook Wahlberg for being a great actor, or even a good one, but his curious decision to star in insipid remakes of classic films draws cruel attention to his lack of talent when he tries and fails to fill the legendary shoes of Cary Grant (the “Charade” remake “The Truth About Charlie”), Michael Caine (The Italian Job) and Charlton Heston (Planet of the Apes). The one-time underwear model seems more comfortable showing off body parts, like his prosthetic p****r in Boogie Nights or his genuine six-pack abs, rather than doing something that requires a bit more work–like feigning emotions to match the dialogue he inevitably winds up mangling in film after film.
ANTI-FREEZE: Why not try a music career? Oh.
19. VINCENT GALLO
The indie film star built his own career-ending gallows and promptly hanged himself this spring with the debacle “Brown Bunny,” which Roger Ebert proclaimed as the single worst film ever screened in the history of the Cannes Film Festival. Gallo responded to Ebert’s commentary like a seventh-grade class clown, with crude jokes about the Chicago critic’s girth that further alienated the would-be filmmaker from whatever fans he may retain. Bright job, Vincent!
ANTI-FREEZE: A screenwriting class or two.
20. CHARLIE’S ANGELS FRANCHISE
When Charlie’s Angels 2 came out, was anyone really surprised that McG, the music-video scribe turned feature film auteur, was revealed to be a talentless hack with no ability to tell a story with decent characters and instead relied on visual rip-offs from other classic action films? Drew Barrymore comes from a great acting (but wildly screwed-up) family, and she charmed the pants off of America with her early works. A comeback in the 1990s put her back on the map. But with box office flops like Charlie’s Angels 2 and Duplex, Drew’s attachment to films is almost as much of a hindrance as her marriage to Tom Green.
ANTI-FREEZE: John Woo’s “Charlie’s Angels 3.” Or anyone but McDirector.
Get the rest of the list in the next part of FILM THREAT’S FRIGID 50: THE COLDEST PEOPLE IN HOLLYWOOD 2003>>>