Sunday, April 13, 2008

Top 5 Worst Films Ever and Top 5 Best London Cinemas

As mentioned below, Funny Games has made it into my worst films ever list. So I thought I'd post a list of them. And for some positivity, I thought I'd do a list of my favourite cinemas. A list of my favourite films is too hard and probably not that interesting/ Worst cinemas doesn't matter as all bad cinemas tend to be bad for the same reasons and I've ranted about that before.

Top 5 Worst Films Ever

Hotel - Directed by Mike Figgis, I had the displeasure of seeing this at the London Film Festival a few years ago. I saw it for free and still felt cheated. It contains split screens, a film within a film, vampires, The Duchess of Malfi and a cast of upteen famous and some good actors, plus Saffron Burrowes who Figgis was dating at the time. It was a mess, it was pretenious, it was terrible. The comments on IMDB for once seem to universally agree on this. The last thing I saw directed by Figgis was those adverts about how to behave on public transport, which I doubt will improve anyone's manners on the bus, but a career high point after this nonsense.

Funny Games - see below for my opinion.

Disclosure - I went to see this with my mother., the only time just the two of us have been to the cinema together since I was a child. Our town had been without a cinema for about a decade, but a new arts centre had opened with a cinema screen and we went to see this at that newly opened venue. There were five people in the screening; us, a couple who sat in the back row kissing and a member of the local council who slept through it all. Unfortunately, we had no such distractions. It is apparently a sexual thriller (a genre sprung from Fatal Attraction and Bacic Instinct that my friend C refers to as "Lick My Gun" films) but it is neither sexy nor thrilling. It has a tacked on virtual reality sub-plot, which made no sense and confused my mother. Even her love of Michael Douglas didn't redeem the film for her and I recall her muttering afterwards about him not being as good as his father anyway.

Ghosts of Mars - Released in the USA as John Carpenter's Ghosts of Mars, which was actually an accurate title as he seemed to do pretty much everything on the films, writer, director and music. It was pretty obvious that no one else had stepped in and told him it was rubbish. It is a sci-fi, horror western in case you are interested, a mercifully small genre. It stars Jason Statham who if he isn't the world's worst actor, must have taken some lessons since this was made. Like Hotel, I saw this one back when I worked in a different sector and I sometimes got invited to free film screenings. It seems churlish to moan, but that is testament to how bad these films were.

The Horse Whisperer - I went to see this when I lived with a group of girls including a horse-mad Italian. It was her choice. She drove us there. The only reason I didn't get up and leave was because I'd have to get the bus home. It was so dull, even the horse-mad Italian didn't enjoy it. It may have looked good but it was boring, meladramatic, hackneyed and did I mention, it was dull?

Top Five London Cinemas

All of these cinemas show films that go beyond the latest blockbuster, but that is not all.

The Tricycle, Kilburn - you can become a member for a bargain price, it has a great bar/cafe area, comfortable seats sponsored by stars and patrons of the arts.
Screen on Baker Street - possibly the most comfortable cinema seats with plenty of legroom.
Cineworld Haymarket - The only major chain cinema in this list, included for its main screen, a beautiful old auditorium with high ornate ceilings, this is how film viewing was meant to be.
BFI Southbank - Formerly known as the NFT. Great seasons of films, lovely location in one of my favourite parts of London and their "no food or drink except a bottle of water" policy that many think is harsh, but I agree with wholeheartedly. I once watched four films in one day here.
Riverside Studios, Hammersmith - interesting seasons of films, most films are shown as themed double-bills for less than the cost of one ticket in most other cinemas. Another one with a good cafe.

The Electric would have been included before it started pushing itself as an exclusive member's cinema and racked up the prices for non-members (it isn't a members as in supporters club like at other cinemas, but you have to work in the media and/or live in Notting Hill and be approved by a committee).

So what are your worst ever films? And best cinemas in case I'm ever in your area?


Anonymous said...

I've never been but my colleague gushes about the Rex Cinema in Berkhamsted - an art deco theatre where you sit at tables...there's a website but I'm not techno savvy enough to put a link here - sorry!

Possibly cheating a bit as I saw it on DVD - I would have been gutted to have spent cash on it - my worst film is dogsoldiers.

Unbelieveably recommended to us by a friend with usually good taste, it's neither a horror, a thriller nor a fact it's not clear what genre they were aiming for as they seem to try for all 3 and fail miserably.

Poor story, crap acting and the world's worst costumes and special effects make it laughable except its not even funny...we watched in stupidified silence

M said...

As recently reported in my blog, one of the worst films I've seen (and fresh on my mind) is Vantage Point. I know there are many others, but I've done a pretty good job of blocking them out of my memory.

In case you are ever in 'my neighborhood' favorite cinemas here are the ones that serve a full dinner during the film. Forget the popcorn...there's a full bar and dinner menu. Waiters carry small flashlights and cater to your every whim while you watch. Dinner and a movie, all at the same time. Fabulous.

SandDancer said...

NM - I shall check out the Rex when I get a chance. I think things on DVD can still count - I think perhaps most of mine were at the cinema as they tend to stick in the mind more as I refuse to walk out a cinema, but I've no hesitation in just turning off a DVD.

M - your cinema sounds fantastic, so long as the other patrons don't chomp loudly.