There’s a certain kind of movie that, for whatever reason, seems to appeal only to jerks. Or to put it more bluntly: A-holes. These are the movies that totally alienate huge segments of the movie-going population because of their subject matter, or their supposed political message or even their assumed impropriety or inappropriateness. And no, I’m not just talking about movies that Mel Gibson directed. Although, come to think of it, that would make an awesomely terrible list now, wouldn’t it?
In fact, there are actually quite a few movies out there that only an ass-clown would like, for whatever reason. For many of us, any movie that the republican in the next cubicle over raves about, like Atlas Shrugged, are so awful, so clearly designed to attract idiots, that we become frothing mad at the mere thought of the existence of said movie. For others like us, it’s the liberal pap that fancy-schmancy Hollywood puts out that glorifies lifestyle choices that goes against our all-American values and breaks apart the nuclear family (or something like that, anyway). For even others, it’s the art school-style indie films and their pretentious, beret-wearing fans that drive us normal people nuts. Nobody but nobody wants to hear a first-year film student tell us how bad Die Hard is and how great Fritz Lang’s Metropolis was. We just don’t.
The movies on this list are some of my personal favorites when it comes to films only ass-hats could love. Want to know why I chose these ones? Because I could, that’s why. I never said I wasn’t an ass as well.
15. Battlefield Earth
If you’re a fan of Scientology then you probably don’t want to read any further. Why? Because you’re an idiot. Battlefield Earth is a terrible movie starring John Travolta (a psycho Scientologist himself) and Barry Pepper, who probably spent most of the shoot wondering what he had gotten himself into. It’s based upon the book written by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. Scientology, in case you’ve been living in a commune for the last 30 years with another cult, is a pseudo-religion that attract A-holes like Tom Cruise– one of its avowed goals is to “recruit” celebrities, because, you know, people like Kirstie Alley and Juliette Lewis are important. Whatever. You know what’s important? Avoiding fake religions invented by guys who believe the only way they can survive is by filling up the pews with celebs. Especially when members of the so-called religion also have a history of practicing medicine without a license, infiltrating the US government (!), and subjecting converts to dangerous detox “spa” treatments.
14. The Interview
This one got a lot of play when it came out because of its “controversial” subject matter. But let’s face it, only North Korea would actually have the idiocy to be offended by a Seth Rogen movie that made fun of them. If Rogen had decided to point his ever-so-sharp satire stick in the direction of say, Spain or Sri Lanka, they would have just shrugged and said “yeah, but it’s Seth Rogen we’re talking about here- who cares?” The real question here, other than the way James Franco is so utterly awful in this film, is whether Rogen, North Korea or people who actually find the flick funny are the biggest asses. On the one hand, funny-man Rogen is sometimes quite adept at making infantile, sophomoric (yeah, I decided to combine my derogations) movies nobody wants to see. On the second hand, North Korea is quite adept at running an infantile, sophomoric police-state no one wants to live in. And on the third hand, anyone who liked this movie has an infantile, sophomoric sense of humor no one else thinks is funny. So the true asses from this movie are multi-fold.
13. Atlas Shrugged
It may be that supporters of this awful movie (and the book that it was based upon) will have the last laugh in post-Obama America. It certainly is a movie custom-made for asshats to appreciate. The ethos that surrounds Atlas Shrugged is pretty simple, as set forth by Ayn Rand, the author of the original book. Basically Rand believed that the only way people could thrive was through an “every man for himself” sort of laissez faire capitalism and a total rejection of any altruistic impulses. In other words, act like a pr*ck toward everyone else and climb over their dead bodies (literally or metaphorically- whatever it takes) to make it to the top. This philosophy, called Objectivism for you scholars out there, should fit right in in Washington these days. This is a movie for angry Libertarians, otherwise known as asses.
OK, this one mostly applies to all of those self-appointed, holier than thou movie critics out there- in print, online, on the tube, or even in the cubicle next to you at work; you know the type, the guy who thinks he’s smarter than you because he “studies” film. You know why he studies film? Because he has no friends. Boyhood is a mediocre movie at best, a one-trick pony. At its heart, it’s just a gimmick, perpetuated by Richard Linklater, the same director who brought us the great Slacker and the even greater Dazed & Confused. But this piece of dreck can only appeal to arty intellectuals who are too lazy to do more than genuflect at Linklater’s altar just because he had the idea to make a movie over the course of twelve years and watch a kid grow up on film. I don’t know if Linklater himself is an ass for foisting this upon us but those who worship this movie certainly are.
11. Bruce Almighty
Guess what, a mere mortal can’t handle the heat when it comes to doing God’s job. Who knew? Apparently no one, as we needed this flick to tell us that. Bruce Almighty is a totally heavy-handed nightmare of a movie, a deeply conservative morality tale (how dare humans interfere with God’s plan for them!) that tried to disguise itself as a light-hearted comedy. It is not made better by Jim Carrey’s typical sort-of creepy, sort of snake-oil salesmen performance as the titular character. This is a movie that appeals to post-Reagan era “true believers” and the Christian Right. That’s enough for me to put it in the “only liked by Bushite hosers” category. Don’t like it? Go write your own article about liberal losers. Now its sequel, Evan Almighty? That’s some good stuff right there.
You either love Oliver Stone or you hate him. Well, actually, you either think he’s a total jerk who shouldn’t be allowed to make movies (about half of his audience) or you think he’s a total jerk who makes brilliant, controversial masterpieces (the other half of his audience). Alexander may be the only movie where everyone can agree that not only is Oliver Stone a total egomaniac but we are all complete asses for ever having believed the movie would be good (or even, you know, marginal). Alexander the Great, an epic historical a-hole in his own right, deserved better treatment than Stone and Colin Farrell gave him. We deserved better treatment from Stone. Instead, there are people out there who are still ponying up to get the umpteenth version of Stone’s “Director’s Cut” for this movie. Look, if you’re buying a copy of the Director’s cut of the Director’s cut of the Director’s cut, then you, my friend, are a total ass. Sorry, but the truth hurts.
Personally, I like Kevin Costner. I think he’s got a lot of very cool movies under his belt, from No Way Out way back when to all of his many baseball movies to his most recent appearances as Clark Kent’s dad in the Superman reboots. But I’ve got to admit, after he became a critical darling with Dances with Wolves, Costner kind of went nuts in the “I’m the man” department, making horrible movies like The Postman and Waterworld. Only total SOB’s could ever like Waterworld– I mean, the movie cost like a billion dollars (okay $175 million- in 1995 dollars!) to make and Costner had control over everything but still managed to make an unwatchable movie. That takes a certain special kind of talent that only an ass could appreciate. Un-ironically, of course. If you enjoy appreciating Waterworld ironically, then you’re a pretentious ass, which might be even worse. On second thought, that’s definitely worse- Waterworld isn’t even bad enough to be appreciated in that way.
8. A Christmas Story
Well, I’m sure I’ll be considered the asshat myself for even daring to mention this but if you like A Christmas Story, then you, my friend, are an ass. But guess what? As Robin Williams tells Matt Damon in Good Will Hunting (another pretentious pile that almost made this list): “Son, it’s not your fault.” Blame TBS for turning you into the annoying quote-machine you’ve become and for your aggressively bad impersonation of Ralphie’s dad. They’re the ones who turned you into a boring jerk when they started running marathons of a fairly mediocre holiday flick and pushing it off on you as some kind of masterpiece. It’s not but I suppose you really can’t be blamed for falling prey to their dastardly scheme for Christmas domination. So, you’re off the hook- Time Warner is the real ass.
James Cameron has done some things really well, like The Terminator, Aliens and even his weird IMAX documentaries. Some others of his films, however, are just a little hard to stomach. Take the unbelievably popular Avatar, still the highest-grossing movie of all time. Apparently there are a lot of jerks out there because this is a movie custom-made for them. Why, you ask? Because, in case you hadn’t noticed while trying to follow the unbelievably simplistic storyline, the bad guy in this flick is humanity. That’s right; we are supposed to be rooting against ourselves when we watch this pedestrian, recycled space opera. What kind of sh*t is that? Only a total as clown would root against his own species! Even the inclusion of the ever-awesome Zoe Saldana can’t hide the fact that Avatar may very well have been made by an arrogant ass who knew full well he could fool, a whole bunch of other idiots into liking it. It worked- there are four or five thousand sequels coming, starting in 2018.
Well, here’s another James Cameron flick, just in case you missed his arrogant mug. And guess what, it’s another movie filmed in a giant water tank, just like Waterworld. Maybe directors should stay out of the water. Titanic reminds me of the old Dennis Leary joke about Jim Morrison (of The Doors fame): “I’m drunk, I’m nobody; I’m drunk, I’m famous; I’m drunk I’m freaking dead.” That’s pretty much Titanic too- “we met, we screwed, the boat sank, he died, then I died.” Titanic is just interminable for no reason. Anyone who claims to love it is at least partway an asshat- c’mon people, it’s not that good! Even Billy Zane couldn’t save this clunker from sinking and Billy Zane is awesome. If a bit of an ass; I sense a theme here…
5. High School Musical I-III
OK, lots of people back in the day loved these movies. I’ll admit, a bunch of those songs were certainly catchy as hell. But as legitimate movies? Please. The High School Musical franchise is a total fail in that department. The people who actually like these probably loved them when they were tweens but guess what people? It’s time to move on. Grow up and stop singing those damn songs. Please- the rest of us don’t want to be reminded that we might have liked them once when we were young and dumb. Can’t you see these movies weren’t so much pieces of art (or even entertainment) as pieces of a massive Disney marketing campaign. If you can’t see that you’re an ass but maybe not too bright so I can forgive you. If you can see that and still like them then there’s just no hope for you.
4. Any Terrence Malick Movie
If you like Terence Malick movies then you need to move right along now. Malick is supposed to be some kind of genius auteur who makes brilliant films. Guess what? I call BS. Malick’s movies are inaccessible rubbish made by a pretentious former film student for equally pretentious current ass-clown film students to impress each other with their knowledge. Everybody talks about the “Malick effect” in film. You know what I think the Malick effect is? Making seemingly rational people discuss in great seriousness whether his 20-minute shot of some grass waving in the wind is better than his 30-minute shot of a tree and some clouds. Only an ass would consider that great art. Sorry James Lipton- you know I’m right.
I could have put a lot of other animated Disney movies on this list but I chose Frozen because…well, because, frankly, it sucks. Hard. I mean it really, really sucks. Everyone over the age of twelve who acts like this is the greatest movie of all time is a total ass. It’s not. It’s not even the greatest Disney princess movie of all time (that would be Beauty and the Beast, in case you didn’t know, you unbeliever you). But there are tons of actual adult-type people walking this earth who, for some reason, think this is a masterpiece. Why, pray tell? The animation is barely serviceable, the songs are recycled pap, the storyline has been done better a million times and the merchandising is completely out of control. Do I want to build a snowman? Not on your f*cking life.
2. The Brown Bunny
The only reason this movie isn’t number one on this list is because I would never give Vincent Gallo the satisfaction of coming in first in anything. This is the infamous movie that Gallo wrote, directed, and starred in a few years back. And we all know why he starred in this awful, overblown piece of crap about a motorcycle racer (ooh- original!) who meets a bunch of vulnerable chicks while going cross-country; so that he could have Chloe Sevigny perform actual fellatio on him. So let me set this straight for you, just in case you didn’t pick up on what I’m saying. Gallo, who is not a legitimate Hollywood star, somehow managed to mesmerize Sevigny, who is, into doing actual oral sex onscreen. I don’t care that this movie was Gallo’s own little passion project. He’s a jack-wagon and we are all too for being party to his awfulness. Don’t believe me? Google this movie, you pervert.
1. Spring Breakers
Just, ewww. I admit, I’m a normal guy- I like scantily clad chicks just as much as the next guy and I’ll sit through a lot of shite to catch an elusive glimpse of nudity. But seriously? This movie had to have been made by total arses who figured we were all dumb enough to buy it. And we did- it made like $40 million. Which means we are all losers who should put on our A-hats as well. This isn’t a movie, it’s an old perv’s wet dream and it doesn’t so much star Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens as use them as props for James Franco’s licentious loser character. Spring Breakers has no redeeming qualities at all, not a one, and it makes all of us worse people for having dropped even a single damn dollar or minute of our time on it.