41. IFC ^ Who better to take over the Independent Film Channel than the former head of marketing for Court TV, Evan Shapiro?! (Oh, and it’s pronounced “Sha-PIE-ro.” Which isn’t pretentious at all. Nope. Not pretentious in the least.) IFC’s new chief boldly set out to compete with original series on HBO armed with about 1/1,000,000th the budget. The result? IFC took a nosedive with its new slate of programming which included mockumentary crap like The Festival paired with a weak cartoon and some long ago canceled puppet show. The new line-up failed to impress, uh, well, anyone. After the mass exodus of key creative personnel, the network adopted a new “punk” look and attitude that feels antiquated, out of touch and just a bit sad. Like watching faux-hawked mall kids hanging out at Hot Topic, it’s been done already. We’d say more, but Shapiro (remember, it’s “Sha-PIE-ro”) already does a great job embarrassing himself in his own blog postings cleverly titled “Captain’s Blog.” Oh boy. ^ Anti-Freeze: This idea is insane, but it just might work: Show Independent Films on the Independent Film Channel.
42. Paparazzi ^ Be it far from us to side with the rich and famous, but these paparazzi really are the scum of the Earth. On any given day this year in entertainment news, you stood an excellent chance of reading about yet another wild chase, car accident or lawsuit involving these photographers who really have become the bounty hunters of the stars. Both Lindsay Lohan and Scarlett Johansson wound up in car accidents due to being chased by photographers, while Nicole Kidman claims she is petrified that she will die some day in a paparazzi-related car chase. Celebs such as Reese Witherspoon and Cameron Diaz are calling for new laws to protect them from aggressive photographers and these cries have led California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to sign a bill which triples the damages people can claim from paparazzi if they are assaulted during a shoot. But then there are some stars who are worried that new, restrictive laws would endanger our freedom of speech, stars such as George Clooney, whose father is newsman Nick Clooney. Basically, it’s a whole load of trouble, and for what? Pictures of Brad Pitt curbing his dog? Ridiculous! The paparazzi are becoming more aggressive every year and if they don’t watch it, Mel Gibson is going to commission a Paparazzi sequel. Noooooooooooooo! ^ Anti-Freeze: Solid proof that Elvis is still alive.
43. Burt Reynolds ^ Ol’ Burt has been flying under the radar for so long that we forgot to put him on previous Frigid 50 lists. But with his tiresome stooging in The Longest Yard (an insipid remake of Burt’s 1974 mega-hit) and The Dukes of Hazzard (an insipid rip-off of Burt’s Dixie-fried car chase flicks of way-back-when), Reynolds was as lively and alert as a Romero zombie. And those toupees have got to go! Those follicle masquerades ain’t foolin’ us, Burt! ^ Anti-Freeze: “Smokey and the Bandit: The Golden Years.” You know you want to see it.
44. Daniel Craig ^ “My name is Blond… uh, Bond… uh, what am I doing here?” The long-in-the-tooth 007 series, which was showing signs of dry rot when Connery was still in the Astin-Martin, will hardly get a shot of relevance with this flyweight, arthouse Brit, who rose to popularity in Sundance hit Layer Cake, picking up the license to kill. C’mon, guys, it’s the 21st century – James Bond is as relevant as the hula-hoop, no matter who’s playing him. ^ Anti-Freeze: How about casting Connery as Blofeld? Or Roger Moore in drag as Moneypenny? Is George Lazenby still alive?
45. Hilary Duff ^ As if being in a movie with Heather Locklear and Mr. Big (er, Chris Noth) and dating a Good Charlotte boy wasn’t enough, Hilary Duff had to make herself over by dropping at least two or three dress sizes, likely inspired by Lindsay Lohan’s successfully speed-thinning act. Furthermore, clearly unable to look older than she really is without a certain cosmetic dental procedure, Ms. Formerly-Known-As-Lizzie Mcguire now actually bears a resemblance to her older sister. Where is the cute, bubbly, and not-always-obnoxious or eerily articulate girl some of us grew to adore a tiny amount? ^ Anti-Freeze: Stop making movies and giving us the impression you’re happy all the time. Go to college. Major in communications, journalism, or public relations. And bring back the babyfat. We liked it.
46. John Cusack ^ Instead of wearing Ramones shirts all the time, maybe he could choose to support a band that actually needs the money. Of course, given the target audience of the movies he’s been making in the last few years (Must Love Dogs, Serendipity, America’s Sweethearts) maybe he should just start sporting a Celine Dion t-shirt and be done with it. ^ Anti-Freeze: No more “paycheck” roles. Make a “Tapeheads” sequel.
47. Ryan Phillippe ^ Hey, who’s that with Reese Witherspoon? Oh yeah, we remember him! In the course of a few years, he went from being the “It Boy” with his own star power in such movies as Cruel Intentions and 54, to being little more than Reese’s piece. ^ Anti-Freeze: Just stand back and let the paparazzi snap Reese’s photos.
48. Cicely Tyson ^ The good news in 2005 was the return of brilliant actress Cicely Tyson (“Sounder,” “The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pitman”) to high profile roles. The bad news: her unfortunate decision to root her comeback in such garbage as the icky-sticky kiddie muck “Because of Winn-Dixie” and the strident incoherence of Diary of a Mad Black Woman. Having the talent of Cicely Tyson in films of that caliber is like hanging “The Mona Lisa” in a gas station washroom. ^ Anti-Freeze: Will someone please send Ms. Tyson scripts for intelligent movies? Please?
49. Dakota Fanning ^ Ewwww! Icky little girl! We don’t like icky little girls who cry and scream and flutter their eyelids in thoroughly synthetic impersonations of how Hollywood adults think kids behave (War of the Worlds, “Dreamer: Inspired by a True Story”). Get this icky little girl away from us! Ewwwww, cootie shot! ^ Anti-Freeze: Come back when you’re legal, kid, and we’ll talk business.
50. Chris Gore ^ Film Threat’s founder and editor (Editor? Really? Then who’s editing this right now?) hasn’t reviewed a film on this web site in years as he continues to pursue his dream to make films. But, like Michael Corleone in “Godfather III,” Film Threat keeps pulling him back in. (Where else will Gore get a job?) His feature writing and producing debut, “My Big Fat Independent Movie,” was welcomed by his former critical colleagues with a slew of mixed to negative reviews with Gore often singled out as the soul reason for the comedy’s supposed failure. The shameless self-promoter continues to stretch himself thin on TV (G4TV’s Attack of the Show), books (The Complete DVD Book), magazines, the web, radio, and film – so how many new ways and in how many mediums can Gore suck all at once? Only time will tell… ^ Anti-Freeze: Strive for a new goal like, we don’t know, make a “good” movie next time.
Brought to you by the Film Threat staff with contributions from Eric Campos, Stina Chyn, Blaine Fidler, Phil Hall, Don R. Lewis, Pete Vonder Haar and sources who prefer to remain anonymous.
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Posted on December 9, 2005 in Features by Film Threat Staff
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