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Worst films saved for last

This week, movie critic David Ryland presents his choices for the worst movies of the year.

But first, let’s recap his selections for 2006’s best movies.

• 1. United 93

• 2. The Queen

• 3. Cars / Monster House

• 4. Tristram Shandy

• 5. Casino Royale

• 6. Half Nelson /

Akeela and The Bee

• 7. The Departed

• 8. Prairie Home Companion

• 9. An Inconvenient Truth

• 10. A Scanner Darkly

Now for the worst movies of ’06:

LADY IN THE WATER

M. Night Shyamalan blew off his old studio partners when they balked at his draft of this modern-day pseudo fairy story. With the off-putting, confused and pretentious final product hailed as an utter disaster, Shyamalan may have blown off his future as well.

DOOGAL

For every good animated film this year, there were at least two dogs, and this was the doggiest of them all. Visually the film looked like a pre-production rough cut and included the shoddiest dialogue dubbing this side of a 1960s Godzilla movie.

SUPERMAN RETURNS /

X-MEN: THE LAST STAND

After the heights reached by 2005’s Batman Begins, this year’s big comic book epics were decidedly puny in comparison. Bryan Singer’s Superman redux was overlong and derivative, while the third X-Men instalment (which Singer opted out of to make Superman) fizzled in the wake of the excellent X2. Looks like it’s up to Spider-Man in 2007 to save the day.

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN –

DEAD MAN’S CHEST

I was only mildly interested in the original, but this headache-inducing sequel, like the contents of Davy Jones’ locker, should have been buried at the bottom of the sea.

SANTA CLAUS 3

Hmm, let me see, if I had to choose between seeing this movie again and having white hot candy canes pushed into my eyes, I’d choose – can I have some more time to think about it?

RUNNING SCARED

Stupid, vile Pulp Fiction knock-off made by people who are under the impression that Tarantino’s masterwork is awesome because all the awesome characters are all so awesomely, like violent and stuff.

BASIC INSTINCT 2

Concerning this belated Sharon Stone sequel, I have a suspicion there was a terrible mix-up at the factory where movies either go into theatres or straight to video.

ASK THE DUST

If you screened this film and Chinatown without credits and were then told they were written by the same person, you would have to assume either 1) the person is lying about writing Chinatown, or 2) the person suffered a horrible head injury after writing Chinatown. Either way, Robert Towne has some explaining to do.

PULSE

The latest and worst of the recent spate of Japan-to-Hollywood horror adaptations. This one, about the dead and wireless devices, looks like the prints were soaked in dirty bath water before being shipped to theatres. The story was equally murky.

WICKER MAN

It’s not so surprising that this remake of the 1971 cult classic stinks, but that a respected filmmaker like Neil LaBute (Company of Men) could manage such a reek-fest. When star Nick Cage is immolated at the conclusion, one actually feels envious of him.

dryland@telus.net

SilverScreen

Reviewer bids adieu

On a very final note, I would like to announce that this will be the last review I will be posting for this column.

I have been reviewing movies for the Black Press papers (in one form or another) in Greater Victoria for 20 years. All in all, it’s been a very rewarding experience for someone who has always valued the art of cinema.

I would like to thank the staff at Black Press, the staff and management at the various theatres and the readers for their time and courtesy.

Below you will find a list of the 20 top movies from the years that make up my history as a film reviewer. It’s a reminder to me that year in and year out, movies really do attain the level of true art, and I will continue to hope that’s just what I’m going to experience each time I step into a theatre (just not quite as often).

See you in the dark.

– David Ryland

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