Thursday, March 10, 2011

The 30 Day Movie Challenge: Day #2

Day #2: Least Favorite Film

Unlike the first entry in this series, picking a "least favorite" film was surprisingly more difficult. The problem with bad movies is that some of them are so enjoyably awful. I consider The Room to be one of the worst films I've ever seen, not only for its supreme technical incompetence, but also for its horrendous directing/writing/acting/everything. That said, it's a movie that I will willing watch, because it's hysterically funny in its awfulness. The same goes for Showgirls, which is about 100 times more technically accomplished and structured, but so insanely dumb and ridiculous that it's a scream (and I refuse to believe that it's a misunderstood and brilliant satire; it's just bad). In making my choice for my least favorite, I had to pick a movie that I didn't just think was bad; it had to be un-enjoyably bad. Even to the point of making me angry. And that's exactly what this movie does: Clark Gregg's Choke (2008).I've only seen the film once, in theaters upon release, and there's a reason I've never gone back. I've certainly seen "worse" films, but none made me as angry as this one. Granted, there's a few funny spots here and there, and the cast tries, but overall? Garbage. The screenplay moves around haphazardly and does a hideous job of creating the main story: a sex addict pays for his mother's hospital bills by preying on the sympathies of people who save him from choking. It's a twisted set up for sure, but considering the source material was written by Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club), I remember being excited.

Unfortunately, Gregg's adaptation is a muddled, sleazy bore. The way the choking incidents are woven into the film is so unskilled, and that particular point of the story starts to feel like an afterthought. Worse are the scenes set in strip club, which made for two funny bits in the trailer, yet feel horribly out of place and even random in the context of the movie. And by the time it reaches its end, it's become so convinced that it's a sharp, subversive satire that the ending only becomes more infuriatingly juvenile. The worst film ever made? Probably not by a long shot, but it's easily the one that jumps to mind when I think of films that are absolutely worthless.

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