Bottoms Up!

I see crap for a living.

I'm the Script Doctor.

Yes, while you scour the paper looking for a good movie, I scour for threadbare plots, two-dimensional characters and anything with Keanu Reeves–movies in need of my professional opinion. Yes, while you would rightfully run screaming from Summer Catch, I dutifully head inside. Does that make me a hero? No. This is my calling.

I'm the Script Doctor.

It's not the greatest job in the world, but it is my job. I was meant to eschew physical labor and meaningful toil to spend my days looking for the key to make Kevin Costner a more realistic homicidal Elvis impersonator. This is what I do.

I'm the Script Doctor.

Over the past year, I've seen a lot of crap. But even among crap there is going to be stuff that is crappier than most. The crme de le crap, if you will. And that is what I present here. This is who I am.

I'm fucked-up.

10. Sidewalks of New York. The only person ripping off Woody Allen more than Ed Burns these days is Woody Allen.

9. Charming English movies. Having sold off most of their castles and pride, Brits now pimp their national character–stiff upper lip, wacky villagers, befouled incisors–in movies such as Saving Grace, Billy Elliott, Waking Ned Devine and Greenfingers, which I treated. Evelyn Waugh warned that charm would be the death of Britain and Greenfingers' plot of flower-arranging double-murderers received by the Queen for their work with wildflowers pretty much qualifies as cinematic carnage.

8. Town and Country. The answer to the $120 million (reported cost of this mound) question: Did Warren Beatty learn anything from Ishtar?

7. Time-travel movies. I saw a bunch of these ranging from very good (Happy Accidents) to horrible (Black Knight). Yet, they all screwed up the ending: Happy Accidents ending too happy, Black Knight not exploding and killing everyone responsible for it. The worst, of course, was Planet of the Apes, which, in the last 15 minutes, fell apart like so much hurled feces.

6. Tired race-joke movies. Remember all those jokes by those lame, unfunny standup comics about “white people do this . . . black people do that . . . Chinamen can't drive” that you watched on some cable channel because there was nothing else on at 3 a.m., and you wanted to watch something while you noshed your breakfast burrito from Naugles? Ever wonder what happened to those guys? They now make movies called Rush Hour 2 and Black Knight. How things change. Well, except for the bit about them being lame and unfunny.

5. Attending by myself movies inappropriate for an adult male to attend by himself. It started with teen cheerleader flick Sugar and Spice. I asked the young woman for one ticket. She looked up and said, “Did you say one?” I hung my head, said yes and felt stupid. Then I saw that my fly was unzipped and felt dirty. This past year, I went solo to cheerleader flicks, lesbian coming-of-age flicks (Lost and Delirious) numerous date flicks (Serendipity, Sweet November) and Pokemon 3, which, if you think about the latter, is wrong on so many levels that I'm surprised I haven't been compelled by local law enforcement to inform my neighbors what they're living next to.

4. Hardball. A movie so hateful (what would black people do without the wise guiding hand of Keanu Reeves?), stereotypical (Birth of a Nation meets Starsky and Hutch) and contrived that when a young boy gets killed from a stray gang bullet, a kid close to me said, “Oh, that's original”–and people laughed. I still don't know if that was a good or bad thing.

3. Sweet November. Keanu Reeves and Charlize Theron. My bowels still clench. On the bright side, she dies, and he says, “I'm two Cleos ahead of the game, Ray!”

2. Megiddo: The Omega Code 2. TBN producer Matthew Crouch, unlike the amoral Hollywood establishment, refused to delay the release of this apocalyptic heap after the Sept. 11 attacks–it opened less than two weeks after the attack–and instead rationalized that God had “positioned this film to be the answer for a question we didn't even know would be asked.” To anyone who saw this steaming pile and then saw that it failed that first week to vanquish even Mariah Carey's abysmal Glitter at the box office–$1.5 million to $2.4 million–the answer was indeed clear: Satan rules!

1. Keanu Reeves. By my count, of the three worst movies I saw this year, he was the star of two. And it's not like the guy is failing valiantly in movies that attempt to stretch the art form. He sucks. And it's not that he sucks because he can't act–because he can't–but because he is the embodiment of everything that is wrong with our cynically packaged, celebrity-driven, “I'll buy that for a dollar” world. He and all the other pretty corporate tools who pose as outsiders–rebels!–but are just there to shill for The Man. Which wouldn't be so bad if he was selling anything you wanted or needed. But Reeves sells crap. Believe me. Crap I know.

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