A new year brings many “best of” lists, and there were indeed many noteworthy movies in 2002. But there were some bad ones too, so I sit at the keyboard to point out what I consider the 10 worst. So here it goes, in no particular order …
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Having made one of the best movies of the year (“Punch-Drunk Love”), Adam Sandler returned to his old ways of making bad movies with a cartoon that will hopefully not live much longer. Here is a Hanukkah movie about as funny as Santa Claus vs. the Martians.
“Star Wars: Attack of the Clones”
You may wonder why I placed this movie on the list. I am making a plea to George Lucas to stop directing and let someone take his story, write a screenplay and then hire a top-flight director to film it. This movie insulted those who have followed the story since the first movie in 1977. George, please, just produce and leave the rest to someone else.
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This is a one-two punch in the stomach to those of us who grew up in the South and have learned to be proud of who we are. Both movies convinced me that Hollywood still sees much of the South as a cross between “The Beverly Hillbillies,” “Hee Haw,” “The Dukes of Hazzard” and “Deliverance.”
A totally unwatchable movie. It lacked in almost every category and wasted the talent of Rowan Atkinson, one of the funniest actors working. I said it before and I’ll say it again: Scooby Don’t!
“The Adventures of Pluto Nash”
This is one of those movies that sat on a shelf for a number of years and then got released. These sorts of movies are not like wine: They don’t get better with age. It should have gone straight to video. I almost gave Eddie Murphy the trifecta for this movie, “Showtime” and “I Spy.” Murphy should stick to being a donkey’s voice or a fat professor.
Madonna acts, and does it badly. The sad thing is that her husband, Guy Ritchie, who directs this one, is a good director. This one is not going to be good even on cable.
Roberto Benigni made a wonderful movie entitled “Life is Beautiful.” This movie is far from wonderful; it is downright awful. The Disney classic cartoon is superior and did not need to be retold.
“Eight Legged Freaks”
This seemed to be a homage to those ’50s horror classics, such as “Them.” But it wasn’t funny (which it tried to be), and it wasn’t good (which it couldn’t be). David Arquette starred and was about as funny as he was in those collect call commercials.
The James Caan version wasn’t that great, so why remake it? Sometimes movies need to be left alone to die on TNT or USA. This one didn’t need to be resurrected. It will be one of those classic bad movies that becomes unintentionally funny.
And now, a few dishonorable mentions:
“Snow Dogs,” “The Country Bears,” “Simone,” “Return to Never Land,” “The Master of Disguise,” “Crossroads,” “Analyze That” and anything that starred Jennifer Lopez.
Mike Parnell is pastor of Burgaw Baptist Church in Burgaw, N.C.