2014 Calvin Awards: Worst Picture
By Reagen Sulewski
February 12, 2014
Before we get to the good stuff in terms of the crop of movies in 2013, there's a little housekeeping to do, in terms of taking out the trash. While most of the films in any given year are at least watchable, passable entertainment, and some even good to great, there are always those horrific films that are released – nay, escape – to inflict their incompetence onto an unwitting audience. These are the films this year that made us reconsider what we do here.
The producers of Movie 43 would like to inform you that this effort from them, if that is indeed the accurate word, is a real and true movie. I mean, they put the word right there in the title, and they wouldn't be able to lie about that kind of thing, would they? On that basis then, that this technically is a movie, we feel justified in honoring it with the Calvin for the worst picture of 2013, in a runaway.
A collection of skits in the vein of Kentucky Fried Movie, this was the work of 12 different directors, all of whom collaborated to produce a completely unenjoyable experience that is more endured than viewed. Each of the vignettes delights in being as offensive as the imagination of their creators can make, but unfortunately for us, their imaginations were rather limited, and/or stuck in the mindset of a 12-year-old boy who just discovered his first Playboy. Just by accident, you would think this movie would be funnier, but instead we're left gobsmacked as (for example) Halle Berry makes guacamole with giant fake prosthetic breasts or Elizabeth Banks gets sprayed by gallons of cat pee (I mean, do I have to elaborate any on that?), and expected to find this hysterical. I laughed more during some Ingmar Bergman films.
Perhaps the most amazing thing about this film is the amount of really talented actors that agreed to appear in such dreadful material, including a number of Oscar winners and nominees, and genuinely funny people, who must have known better. It's a legendary film in Hollywood circles, as it took years to film due to the difficulty in arranging schedules. Supposedly most of the participants did so as favors, which I interpret to mean, “Yes, I burned the negatives”. Everyone involved in this film should probably be banned from even telling jokes for a couple of years, such is the residual psychic damage they've done to the concept of comedy.
While expectations for a fifth Die Hard movie would naturally be pretty low to begin with, A Good Day To Die Hard managed to fall well, well, well under those. The trajectory of these films has screamed towards the ground, leaving a crater the size of a downed helicopter. This sequel sent John McClane to Russia, but stripped the character of all its interesting parts, basically turning him into American Action Man and amping up the action to such cartoonish degrees that it was impossible to take this seriously. While the Die Hard series has always been on the extreme end of action, it's never asked us to believe that McClane was Bugs Bunny, like this film seems to do. Ridiculous reversals of fortune that require us to believe that the main villain meant to be put in mortal danger multiple times turn this once noble franchise into exactly the kind of film it was reacting to when the first one came out in 1988.