Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Rotten tomatoes

Halfway through 2005 my career as an Isthmus blurber of grade Z movies ended. (At least for the time being; I can still dare to dream.) But here are the worst of the stinkers I did review last year:

4. The Ring Two: A frightened, curiously unprincipled journalist (Naomi Watts) and her enigmatic young son are still pursued by a little girl's tenacious ghost. Other than a couple of really eerie moments, the film's not very scary, and its attempts at psychological depth are laughable.

3. Cursed: A Los Angeles woman (Christina Ricci) and her brother (Jesse Eisenberg) fight off the werewolves who, nowadays, seem largely to inhabit the lower rungs of the entertainment business. The film has potentially interesting things to say about the duality of man and the sleaziness of Hollywood, but even with the Scream team of Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson at the helm, it's a bore.

2. Dare to Dream: The Alan Kulwicki Story: Impaired biopic of Kulwicki (Brad Weber), the Wisconsinite who won NASCAR's Winston Cup in 1992 but died in a plane crash the following year. Clearly made with great affection for its subject, but that doesn't make up for weird pacing and wooden acting.

1. Hostage: A seasoned hostage negotiator (Bruce Willis) is unwillingly pulled out of retirement when inept thugs seize the family of a crooked accountant (Kevin Pollak). Watching Willis bark orders and run through burning ruins has a certain nostalgic appeal, but that can't save this overlong, chaotic mess.

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