Excerpts from an ongoing email exchange between the deadly bored on film, TV, celebrity and beyond.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Most Overrated Films EVAR: The “Tom Hanks is a Suck Bag” Special

To: Nick
From: Keith
Sent: 22 May 2006
SUBJECT: Crap on a stick


The Da Vinci Code: The Film™ is doing huge box office, despite its inevitably overhwelming shiteness (not just my opinion, but that of many critics, some of whom may have actually seen most or all of the film). This makes me realise that Tom Hanks has been in some truly awful films (Terminal, Cast Away, Joe Versus the Volcano, Sleepless in Seattle, etc etc) that still make money and yet no-one really hates him.

That is all about to change. It’s time for Mr GoodyPants to have his comeuppance, so my next vote for most Overrated Film in the History of Film Evar is... The Da Vinci Code: The Film™.

In the interests of full disclosure, please note that I have not seen the film, and have changed the channel or averted mine eyes whenever the trailer has popped up, and never plan to see the film. I have read the shitty shite book though (forced at gunpoint, of course), so this review is not completely untainted by informed opinion.

Still, here’s why TDC is crap on a stick:

1. Tom Hanks is a suck bag: He’s done a lot of crap films and just because we all liked him in Big doesn’t make him (a) a good actor or (b) this a good film. He is a suck bag and we need to recognise that he may, in fact, be the purest form of evil ever to walk the earth. Plus, it was never supposed to be him – the stupid book even specifies that the main character looks like Harrison Ford. And if Ford was in the film, I might have enjoyed it. Especially if the climax involved Air Force One, Gary Oldman in the role of Jesus, and Samuel L Jackson fighting some snakes. Instead, we get get frumpy old Hanks in his frumpy old jumper looking lumpy and confused. Like he’s been asked a testing math problem. In French.

2. Plagarism part 1 – The Chevy Factor: No, not the whole “Dan Brown stole the idea from Holy Blood and the Holy Grail” debate – that was settled in court and besides, HBHG was equally shite, but in a pseud-odocumentarial kind of way. I’m talking about the obvious wholesale appropriation of an earlier classic: Foul Play., starring Chevy Chase and William Frankfather as the albino.

Here’s the plot of one the two films – guess which one: “A shy San Francisco librarian and a bumbling cop fall in love as they solve a crime involving albinos, dwarves, and the Catholic Church.” Not easy, is it. If it weren’t for the mention of a dwarf, you’d have no idea. And frankly, TDC could have used a few more dwarves for my liking. Even though I haven’t seen the film and it could be wall to wall dwarfs. Which would be great. But then it would have been another rip off of another Chevy Chase classic: Under the Rainbow.

I await the Tom Hanks remake of Fletch with bated breath and a small pool of vomit in the back of my throat.

3. Plagarism part 2: The Albino Factor: It’s not enough that Brown had to drop an albino bad boy into the piece, but he had to put him in a cowl. Everyone knows that The Omega Man is the only film that can pull that off. Hell, they even managed to include an albino brother in a cowl with a gigantic albino ‘fro. Which is impressive.

It’s especially impressive when you realise that that there only seems to be one albino brother making films these days. And he’s not happy.

In fact, most albinos are pretty miffed about their portrayal in movies.

4. Sir Ian McKellen: Love him to bits, but his character’s name is “Sir Leigh Teabing” and he not once does anyone “accidently” slip in a mention of teabagging. Not once.

5. Jesus freaks and other spiritual hypocrisy: Even the Church can’t decide whether or not it hates this film or wants to use it as a new marketing vehicle. They should go the whole hog and put on a “Jesus in Cinema” road show, featuring such classics in spirituality as The Exorcist, The Devils and Rosemary’s Baby, followed by a quick Q&A on why they were all wrong. Followed by the bloodbath that was The Passion of the Christ, just to cleanse the spiritual pallette. I’m sure conservative Christians would go for that.

6. Ron Howard: First he doesn’t want us to see the film – "My advice is not to see the film if you think it will upset you." Then he wants us to ask someone else if we should bother – “Wait and speak to someone who has seen it and then form an opinion.". Then he wants us to see it twice – "This sounds a little hucksterish, but people really respond to the movie better the second time than they do the first time." Presuambly, this is so we can get over the shock and disappointment of how bad it was the first time and let its soothing, mind-numbing script wash over us like cinematic laudenum..

Make up your frikkin mind, you big bald cornfed “aw shucks” little Opie.

7. Misleading advertising The UK’s classification board warns potential viewers that the film “contains flagellation”. But really, compared to Mel Gibson’s take on the word, how can anything else even compare?

8. The cult of Da Vinci: Get over it. It’s not a woman in The Last Supper. It’s just a young guy with long hair, no beard and a slightly baggy outfit. Like Rosie O’Donnell.

9. Opus Dei is a load of old bollocks: Instead of albino monks in cowls living among us, in a constant state of self-mortification, we get this: “Far from the two-fisted flogging of The Da Vinci Code's crazed monk, the real disciplines are made of woven cotton string and weigh less than two ounces. When members or former members see the monk go at it in the movie, they just burst out laughing, it’s so nutty.” Where’s the fun in that?

10. Jesus wasn’t married: Everyone knows he was gay. Claim he was never crucified but was in fact in the first ever common law gay marriage, and THEN I might bother seeing the film. Plus you could drop in the whole teabagging thing without any trouble.

Tom Hanks really is a suck bag. Your turn.



To: Keith
From: Nick
Sent: 22 May 2006
SUBJECT: Re: Crap on a stick


It's an easy target but here's why Saving Private Ryan (and indeed most Spielberg films, to say nothing of the Tom Hanks parade of mediocrity) makes it into the top 10 of most overrated films ever.

1. Death on a beach: The only bit any one ever praises is that interminable bloodbath at Normandy - but no one mentions that as an introduction to a film it's just idiotic. No characters, no story, no set-up, just a very well-filmed sequence of war, like one of those weekend reenactments. It's simply war porn. Oh and bullets don't go underwater

2. Tom Hanks: So great in Bachelor Party and Big, looks like the most terminally disinterested captain ever.

3. Cult-tastic rubbish: Features two scientologists in the forms of Giovanni Ribisi and Barry Pepper.

4. Bad irony cake:Has one of the stupidest plots ever, which really wants to have its fucking cake and eat it. Let's save Matt Damon and all die. Oh the futility of saving Matt Damon. Oh the pointless horror of war. Oh, the heroism. Oh the futility. Oh the horror. Oh have a point of fucking view, Spielberg.

5. Dullsville dudes: Packed with the least engaging characters to ever hit the big screen. From Hanks to Damon to Diesel to Ed Burns, no-one remembers a one of them.

6. Waste disposal: Managing to waste the combined talents of genius character actors like Dennis Farina, Tom Sizmore and Paul Giammati is some feat.

7. Dullsville dudes part 2: I hate to bang on about it but a film starring Ed Burns, Vin Diesel and Matt Damon is like a gigantic charisma sucking vacuum invented by Dyson to never stop sucking ever.

8. USA! USA!: The fluttering American flag at the beginning and end. Yet another case of Spielberg playing both ends against the fucking middle.

9. We will accept no substitutes: It overshadowed The Thin Red Line, which was an infinitely superior film.

10. It lasts longer than World War 2: It's flabby and flashy and gets nowhere near cinematically expressing the horror of war. And Tom Hanks doesn’t explode during the film, which everyone secretly wished he would.

Tom Hanks is a suck bag.



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