The future of film is bleak, dear reader, at least if Star Trek is any indicator. If you believe that this version of the future is accurate then movies will one day cease to exist. In the future people go out to the theatre, read books, even experience fictional stories in the holodeck (which will most certainly malfunction during the escapade causing the holograms to become real and generally psychotic.) But never do you see the characters take a two hour sit down at the ship’s multiplex. In the future movies are dead.

Why does this happen?

Look no further then these five men: Their combined output amounts to the cinematic cholesterol which will, over time, build up and harden within Hollywood’s arteries and choke the life from the heart of film as we know it.

Couple notes before we get started: Adam Shankman, you’re on the bubble, mainly because of Bringing Down the House, but I really liked your version of Hairspray. Shawn Levy, if I cared about any of your movies I would most certainly hate them.

Dr. Uwe Boll

The Metaphor seems pretty clear. A director’s body of work tends to convey an underlying message. Dr. Boll’s canon is no exception.

No suprise here. Dr. Boll’s name is synonymous with crappy film making. Even someone who is not a bad movie connoisseur like myself is at least familiar with his name. Let’s get one thing straight, though Dr. Boll is quite the poor filmmaker, I do believe that there are worse out there. What’s more I find Boll to be one of the the most inventive shitty filmmakers working today. One cannot deny the hilarity of the choices he makes as director, whether that be to cast talking blocks of wood as his leads or to splice footage from a ten year old video game into his shoddily staged action sequences.

For years to come, friends will gather together at drunken parties (which Greg and I like to call a Uwe Balls) and rejoice at the ineptitude to be found within his canon. For this, I love Uwe Boll. However, I also feel that he deserves a pig sticker to the taint. Here’s why:

Boll made his name on video game movies. Any gamer, casual or avid, realizes that the story-telling aspect of video games has grown tremendously through the years. Some of the best games rival the best novels, television shows and movies in terms of great storytelling. Yet very few examples of great games translating into great movies exist. For a time this was also the case with comic books, but they have cleared that hurdle and we are now seeing truly great comic book movies. Someday, video games will have achieved this, but today the work of Uwe Boll serves as a constant barrier. Who is going to watch movies like House of the Dead or Alone in the Darkand take the artistic merit of video games seriously? I may be in the minority on this one, but I think that, given different creative forces, a game like Bloodrayne could have made an awesome movie. First step…no Meat Loaf.

Granted, people were making bad video game movies long before Boll began his reign of terror, but Boll’s movies are a special, memorable kind of bad. What’s more, his self-financing and distribution process leaves no light at the end of the tunnel for video game fans.

Brian Robbins

Go back to Nickelodeon you skank.
What could this discussion panel have been on? Goodburger?

Consider the strange case of the woman who lived in her bathroom for two years. She ate in the bathroom, slept in the bathroom and went to the bathroom in the bathroom. She never left the bathroom during that entire time span. Eventually she had to be transported to the hospital and surgically removed from her toilet seat. Horrifying. However, one cannot live in the bathroom for several years without help. Indeed, her boyfriend had spent the duration of this time bringing her food, water and clothing. The point is that behind a person’s consistently atrocious behavior is an enabler, a silent partner who some might say is even more responsible than the person committing the act.

Eddie Murphy’s career has spent the last decade or so in the bathroom, and Brian Robbins is his most recent enabler with the one-two punch to the anus of Norbit and Meet Dave. I hesitate slightly to trash these films, mainly because I haven’t seen them, but I do know two things for a fact. 1) Eddie Murphy used to be hilarious. 2) These movies suck ass.

Ok, so maybe the hesitation was momentary, but it was there.

To see someone as talented as Murphy languish in family comedy limbo is both painful and sad. Thanks for nothing Brian Robbins. You did it to Kenan and Kel, now you’re doing it to Metro. You BASTARD.

Len Wiseman

Damn she's gorgeous. And so's he actually, but still untalented.
Yes, we know you have a smokin’ hot wife. Now please go back to the Art Department.

It is a sign of the times that the phrase “So and so raped my childhood” is one of todays most overused laments. Indeed, a lot of the movies that we grew up with have been or are being sequel-ized, prequel-ized or re-imagined in some form. Results are generally poor across the board. A lot of people reserve deep-seeded ire for George Lucas’s continual butt-fucking of his own legacy. Who can seriously defend the Star Wars prequels as good films? And while I don’t hate the new Indiana Jones movie as much as my cohorts I can say that it was completely unnecessary. At least Star Wars and Indiana Jones were Lucas’ to destroy. Len Wiseman recently entered the franchise killing business with a property that wasn’t even his to begin with.

Twenty years ago, when a fifteen year old Lenny Wiseman came home from seeing the first Die Hard, he decided to make a version of it in with his friends in his backyard. I’ll bet that that version of the film was better than Live Free or Die Hard, a soulless, boring, loud, stupid, poorly made pile of regurgitated Michael Bay-ish bullshit.

I guess you could say I’m not a fan of his interpretation.

The tragedy of it all is that he’ll never know what it feels like to have something that he’s created ruined by someone else’s lousy interpretation. Is there someone out there who can make a shittier version of Underworld? This is a series so dreadfully boring that it ruins what could have been a fantastic concept.

Kate Beckinsale + Tight Clothing + Vampires + Werewolves = shit?

It’s true. Don’t believe me? How do you explain Van Helsing, then?

Aaron Seltzer/Jason Friderberg

What the hell are they laughing at? This picture proves that they can laugh…which means they understand what laughter is…one would suppose…

Piero Manzoni was responsible for an experimental art piece called Artist’s Shit. This consisted of thirty identical metal tins which supposedly contained a small portion of Mr Manzoni’s dried feces. I say supposedly because the tins were completely opaque and sealed. Opening them would destroy the value. Value? Why yes, the tins themselves were purchased for roughly $300.00 American per tin and today would auction for around $25,000.00. The art piece questions the definition of art, just like Duchamp’s readymades, the artistic merit comes not from the actual object but the questions, discussions and ideas that they inspire. It is fantastically brilliant.

Aaron Seltzer and Jason Friedberg just might be geniuses. Perhaps their collaborations which include Date Movie, Epic Movie, Meet the Spartans and the upcoming Disaster Movie represent a cinematic equivalent of Artist Shit. I cannot deny, having actually sat through the first three films mentioned, that they are shit in film form. If you could somehow take a crap into a camera, have it translate into moving pictures with people talking and doing things and project it onto a screen, also covered in crap, you would end up with a product fairly similar to Epic Movie. I can’t stress to you how poorly written, acted, shot, and directed this movie is.

The best parody films, and here I’m talking about the early work of people like Mel Brooks, Jim Abrams and the Zucker brothers, are fairy tales that feature characters that we can care about in completely ridiculous situations. For some reason Seltzer and Friedberg assume that the basic rules of good storytelling and film making don’t apply to their parodies. Characters should be three dimensional, narratives should be compelling, performances should be well rounded, time and care should be taken so that your film doesn’t look like ass. But more important than any of that, the jokes in your film should be funny.

The problem with the ‘Movie’ movies is that the jokes don’t consist of actual humor. Instead the audience’s face is shoved into one pop culture reference and c-list celebrity cameo after another. These things were not absent from movies like Blazing Saddles or Airplane, but they were simply small garnishes on a much wider plate filled with plenty of comedic steak and potatoes. A movie like Meet the Spartans is all parsley. And we all know what parsley tastes like.

But again, perhaps Seltzer and Friedberg are perpetrators of a greater artistic experiment. Perhaps Date Movie on dvd is their idea of shitting in a tin. Perhaps the joke is on us, because we continue to open the tin.