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Hollywood's 2002 Mid-Year Report Card

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Scott Weinberg, Jul 1, 2002.

  1. Scott Weinberg

    Scott Weinberg Lead Actor

    Oct 3, 2000
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    Since it's now July First, it dawned on me that the year is almost precisely half finished with, and that in turn inspired me to take a look back to see what Hollywood has offered us over the past six months. Surprisingly, it's not as disgusting as you might think! OK, maybe it is...
    I'll do this in month order, since that's how most calendars do it.
    Orange County
    Brotherhood of the Wolf
    The Count of Monte Cristo
    Snow Dogs
    The Mothman Prophecies
    Kung Pow: Enter the Fist
    A Walk to Remember
    Well, Impostor was a pathetic mess, as was Snow Dogs and Kung Pow. Orange County is certainly nothing to hoot about, The Mothman Prophecies is mostly snooze material, and A Walk to Remember is a teen-idol vehicle. Brotherhood of the Wolf is an entertaining French b-movie, and The Count of Monte Cristo was much better than it could have been - but not enough to save January from being a washout. Monthly Grade: F
    Birthday Girl
    Collateral Damage
    Hart's War
    Super Troopers
    John Q
    Queen of the Damned
    Big Fat Liar
    Return to NeverLand
    A veritable salad bar of crap this month, with the biblically awful Rollerball leading the pack...with disposable garbage like Slackers, Dragonfly, Collateral Damage, and Queen of the Damned following close behind. Super Troopers a few solid (stupid) gags, but doesn't come close to being a "good movie", while familiar potboilers like war-drama Hart's War and the socio-political shallowness of John Q popped into the cineplexes for a few weeks. Families could choose between Big Fat Liar, Return to NeverLand, or just staying home to watch their Toy Story DVD, and pop idolators were once again treated to another junker of a star vehicle in Crossroads. On the upside, I quite enjoyed Birthday Girl, but apparently I'm the only one... Monthly Grade: F
    We Were Soldiers
    40 Days and 40 Nights
    The Time Machine
    Ice Age
    Resident Evil
    Blade 2
    Death to Smoochy
    Panic Room
    The Rookie
    All About the Benjamins
    Sorority Boys
    March was littered with some real crap, a few quality efforts, and some more crap that I enjoyed despite them being crap. The nastier turkeys included the wisely-ignored All About the Benjamins, the overly-derivative kid flick Clockstoppers, the unneeded and now-unwanted remake of The Time Machine, the sap-happy wartime machinations of We Were Soldiers, and the absolutely moronic Sorority Boys, while a lot of "guilty pleasures" popped up in the form of Death to Smoochy, Resident Evil and the fitfully amusing Showtime. 40 Days and 40 Nights and Ice Age managed to be amusing, if not all that memorable, while Panic Room and The Rookie ended the month with a welcome whiff of quality. Monthly Grade: B-
    Big Trouble
    Changing Lanes
    The Sweetest Thing
    The Scorpion King
    Jason X
    Van Wilder
    High Crimes
    Murder By Numbers
    Life or Something Like It
    April veered from brilliant indie output (Frailty) to generally awful studio flotsam (the obnoxious The Sweetest Thing, the horrific Van Wilder, the stupid The Scorpion King, the vanity affair Life or Something Like It) to interesting belly flop - Sonnenfeld's Big Trouble or New Line's wacko Jason X. There was also a damn good movie almost buried by its trailers (Changing Lanes) and two movies barely distuingishable from one another - the uninspired Murder by Numbers and the painfully familiar High Crimes. Monthly Grade: C
    Deuces Wild
    Star Wars Episode 2: Attack of the Clones
    About a Boy
    The Sum of All Fears
    Undercover Brother
    Hollywood Ending
    The New Guy
    Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron
    First the bad news: The near-dead 'teen flick revival' offers a final death rattle in The New Guy and goes back in time for the retarded Deuces Wild, while women cheer to the low-minded big-butt-kickin' of the awful J. Lo flick Enough and Woody Allen adheres to his Dreamworks contract by offering the sadly uninspired Hollywood Ending. For the most part, kids are not tickled by Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron. But the summer movie season kicks off with a breath of fresh air when Spider-Man swings through the cineplexes, followed closely behind by a veritable parade of quality movies. Attack of the Clones tickled this Star Wars freak quite a lot, while About a Boy offers some damn delicious emotional roughage. Adults are treated to a crackerjack thriller in Insomnia, a well-told tale of infidelity in Unfaithful, and a meaty espionage adventure in The Sum of All Fears. Audiences don't may much attention to Undercover Brother, a clever satire that deserved a heftier payday. All in all, May 2002 was a damn nice month to visit the movie theaters. Monthly Grade: A-
    The Bourne Identity
    Lilo & Stitch
    Minority Report
    Mr. Deeds
    Bad Company
    Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood
    Juwanna Mann
    Hey Arnold! The Movie
    With the most profitable movie season now in full swing, we have every demographic appropriately catered to. Kids ate up the stupidity of Scooby-Doo, the shallow pool of nothing that is Sandler's Mr. Deeds, and Disney's Lilo & Stitch (which I didn't like but seemingly everyone else in the universe did), while ignoring the television-borne antics of Hey Arnold!. Adult males were offered the better-than-average spy flick The Bourne Identity , the addictively entertaining Minority Report, and the much-worse-than-expcted WWII silliness that was Windtalkers. Urban audiences wisely turned their noses up at Juwanna Mann, while most ladies didn't embrace chick-flick Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood. Unfit for anyone was the oft-delayed and ultimately pointless pairing of Chris Rock and Anthony Hopkins in the awful Bad Company. Monthly Grade: C+ - and it would be a lot lower without Minority Report in there!
    Bottom Line:
    January - F
    February - F
    March - B-
    April - C
    May - A-
    June - C+
    Now, you may disagree with a few (or even a lot) of my assessments on each movie's quality, but even if you replaced an F from me with a C from you, and another B from me with an F from you...we're still talking about basically the same thing. For every one movie released that's either "pretty good" or "DAMN good", we're subjected to at least four flicks that are either "Eh, wait for the video" or "Dude, that sucked".
    Simply put, the shit outweighs the gold by a long shot. Based on the first half of 2002's cinematic offerings, July through December better be chock full of movie goodness. But who am I kidding? Best to take the infrequent moments of excellence and focus on those, while ignoring the rest of the filth. If only the American public could somehow use their ticket-buying power for good instead of evil, we'd be spared another half-year of lazy remakes, cartoon adaptations, and unecessary genre-saturating. Based on what I've seen of 2002's second half (Men in Black 2 and Road to Perdition), the ratio so far is 1:1 on a crap-to-quality scale. Let's hope we can keep the scale on that even keel...but I'm not holding my breath.
    (This is an article I wrote for www.hollywoodbitchslap.com / www.efilmcritic.com . Whether or not you agree with my opinionated ramblings, I certainly hope you enjoyed it!)
  2. Lou Sytsma

    Lou Sytsma Producer

    Nov 1, 1998
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    Lou Sytsma
    When you put in perspective like you did Scott - this year has been pretty bad.

    Funny because overall it seemed to me like things had improved this year - especially over last year.
  3. Edwin Pereyra

    Edwin Pereyra Producer

    Oct 26, 1998
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    Here's my midyear report card thus far: At The Halfway Point. So far, I've been pleased with this year's films.
  4. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Studio Mogul

    Jun 30, 1999
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    Hmm...I sort of liked Birthday Girl. But not a lot of memorable films for the past 6 months of 2002.
  5. Edwin Pereyra

    Edwin Pereyra Producer

    Oct 26, 1998
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  6. Scott Weinberg

    Scott Weinberg Lead Actor

    Oct 3, 2000
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    This article was meant to be about Hollywood's output. The Studios.

    I do agree with you, though.
  7. Justin_S

    Justin_S Producer

    Mar 4, 2001
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    Well, I have enjoyed basically all of the horror movies that have come out this year, but what do you expect, I'm a bloody horror fanatic. [​IMG] Anyhow, I think that FRAILTY is by far and away the best film to be released so far this year, and it is a new favorite of mine. The film is simply a disturbing horror masterpiece that pleased me in every way.
    Other films this year that I liked:
    BLADE 2
    JASON X [​IMG]
    Everything else has either sucked royally, or not looked good enough for me to justify seeing.
  8. Bill Harris

    Bill Harris Stunt Coordinator

    Apr 1, 2001
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    This isnt meant to be a flame...just a thought [​IMG]
    I think its pretty narrow minded to assume that because its studio it will automatically be bad. I love Foreign films and other non mainstream films to death , but i also love movies. Blocking out 75% or more of the movies that open just because it has a studio behind it is stupid seeing how most of the foreign/art movies are released by indie companies bankrolled by Studios. I will admit that most of the studio films have been crap this year , but i will not admit to not liking some of them.
  9. Paul Chi

    Paul Chi Stunt Coordinator

    Jun 23, 2001
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    The only movies that should receive an "A" is Frailty and Minority Report.

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