Just a quick note to mention that today marks the one year anniversary of my little bitch site. Happy Birthday to me!
•My wife and I wanted to go to see a movie today, we still had one free guest pass and it expires at the end of January. The movie that we wanted to go see was Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, which is currently only at 69% positive at rottentomatoes.com. Not that we really cared what the critics thought of it, we both wanted to see it regardless. Unfortunately, due to arriving at the theatre only fifteen minutes early, and an enormously long line, the show sold out before we were able to get tickets. That is where things started to spiral out of control. Let this be a lesson to all of us that we should buy the tickets online and pick them up inside the theatre, it would have saved us fifteen minutes -thus getting us into the movie we were hoping to see (which wasn’t an option for us anyway, since we had a free pass we had to go to the ticket window).
I did have a plan b, which sucked as it turns out. I had seen a trailer for Sideways recently and it looked pretty good. Not to mention that it won 2 Golden Globes and is nominated for 5 Academy Awards. All of that and it is currently at 96% positive at rottentomatoes.com. It also had a showing at the theatre we went to at the same time as the movie that we wanted to see, it seemed like such a good idea at the time…
This is the first movie, that I have seen recently, that the critics at rotten tomatoes got this wrong. Sideways is quite possibly the worst piece of cinematic shit that has ever hit the big screen. No, I am not exaggerating. Movies of this caliber are rarely ever made, and the few that are are always direct to video. This level of trash has probably never been seen on a big screen. This film makes Amazon Women on the Moon (which I loved, BTW) look like cinematic gold, and believe me it would take a real stinker to do that. Unlike Amzon Women on the Moon, Sideways won’t even attract a cult following; It is simply too horrible, in too many ways -yet, not in a campy or funny manner. Simply put, Shit is the best single word that could be used to describe it. To use more than one word; the Shit the day after binge drinking and a lot of Mexican food.
There is a possibility that my unbridled hatred opinion about this movie is based a lot on expectation. The trailer that I saw for it, which is vastly different than the trailer at the official website, made it look like it was going to be a comedy romp. I went into the theatre expecting to see a couple of guys getting wild in the days before a wedding. Like an extended Bachelor party where awkward and zany things happen, but, in the end it all works out for the best. That is certainly not this movie at all, in fact it is almost the polar opposite.
I hesitate to call it a drama since that would imply a plot, something that was very sparse in this flick. As a matter of fact, the official trailer shows the entire plot of the movie in about thirty seconds, yet the movie is over two hours long! Two very long hours of mostly stunned silence, with an occasional laugh that is mostly forced since you had to pay for the ticket. I would highly recommend the trailer for Sideways, but, for the love of random fluctuations of time and space god, do not watch the film. Not now, not on video, not on pay per view, not on cable, just never watch it. It is that bad. Not that I am bitter or anything.
Now for a plot spoiler. Stop reading right now if you plan to watch the movie. Two guys go to Napa Valley a week before one of them is to marry. The groom to be wants to get laid. He does. Then he gets married. The other guy doesn’t want to get laid since he still loves his ex-wife. He gets laid. Then is the best man at the other guy’s wedding. His ex-wife is now pregnant with her new husband’s child. His book doesn’t get published. He knocks on a door. The end. I am sure something else happens; I vaguely remember a game of golf at some point. But that is the plot in a nutshell.
I have been trying to understand the critical acclaim for this film ever since I left the theatre. The only thing that I can come up with is that maybe the first guy that reviewed it gave it glowing praise, then other reviewers saw it and thought it sucked -yet, they saw the first review and were worried that maybe they just weren’t intelligent enough to understand it, so they gave it praise as well. The problem with that logic is that Sideways is certainly not some high brow humor that only someone with an IQ of 170 can understand, it is just a really lame movie. I suppose it really is like the Channing Pollock quote says, “A critic is a legless man who teaches running.” Which might not even accurately describe it since the critic gets paid to watch the film and then give his/her opinion about it; That would be more like paying Bill Gates to critique Microsoft’s performance, there may be a bias there.
I know that I am basically the lone gun here, hell, Ebert practically gave the movie a blow-job. I hated it, my wife hated it, and I might be the only one in the entire world that actually puts that hatred out there to be seen. This movie sucked! It is not a ‘guilty pleasure’, it is not a love story, it is not a comedy, it doesn’t have an actual plot (most of the time the only thing that holds it all together is the fact that they display every new day in type, on a black screen, to let you know that the movie is still happening), it is that bad. Critics be damned! I would rather put Tiger Balm on my nuts (again, and a long story of accidental encounter) than to watch this garbage again!
So, by the standard of the critic, I guess that would be 4 out of 5 stars?