My 10-year-old son, Calvyn, is just about the coolest person I know (it's actually a tie, Jaybird). He has a great sense of humor, he's polite, thoughtful, and genuinely cares about other people. He somehow defied his genetic code to become an awesome human being. Lord knows how it happened.
But every once in awhile, either out of boredom or sheer stupidity, I allow the little guy to talk me into going to a REALLY bad kid's movie. And there are LOTS of really bad kid's movies. I feel like he's Lucy and I'm Charlie Brown. He's going to pull away that football at the last second and send me sprawling, but I keep going for it again and again, determined that it will be DIFFERENT this time. It never is.
If you don't have kids, chances are you aren't aware of the rancid garbage that is constantly fed to the young people of the world, packaged as "ENTERTAINMENT". Heaven forbid Disney ever put out a film that challenged a kid to actually THINK, as opposed to 90 minutes of fuzzy animals and fart jokes.
But I digress.
Here's a list of what I consider the Top 5 worst kid's movies I've ever sat through. I present them here as a service to the public, a cautionary rant to protect the sanity of others. If you encounter any of these flicks at the video store, on Netflix, or ANYWHERE else, for God's sake run screaming in the other direction, for the sake of your child's mind and society in general. DO NOT, under ANY circumstances, watch ANY of these movies if you can help it. I risked my life to do this research. Don't make the same mistakes that I did.
Left: Calvyn prepares to kick your sorry ass. You have disgraced his dojo.
5) THE POLAR EXPRESS
An awful, awful, film that me and Calvyn saw on IMAX in San Jose a couple Christmases ago. What baffled me about this movie was that it was completely computer animated (very poorly, I might add), but didn't have many special effects, and all the characters just looked like normal people. It seems this movie didn't rally NEED to be CGI. Tom Hanks, confusingly, plays several different (animated) characters in the film, all of whom (get this) LOOK LIKE TOM HANKS. What the Hell? Hanksy pulled a real Eddie Murphy here, playing WAY too many characters in one movie, causing me to leave the theater on major Hanks Overload. I felt like I was going to crap miniature Tom Hankses all week afterward.
I'm pretty sure at some point I woke up and there was a Christmas elf version of Aerosmith performing a song toward the end of the movie. But it might have been a terrible nightmare. A creepy, disturbing Holiday film that missed every mark it aimed for, "The Polar Express" made me feel hollow inside, a dark, sinister hollowness that no CGI manifestation of Tom Hanks could ever repair.
Below: Through decades of research, billions of dollars in expenses, and scores of technological breakthroughs, computer animators are finally able to give Tom Hanks a moustache.
4) FRED CLAUS
What could I have possibly been thinking?
Me and Calvyn sat through this steaming pile of moose turd last Christmas, at an AMC Theater somewhere just outside of Pasadena. I hate Vince Vaughn. I hate Christmas movies. I know, I'll go see a Christmas movie starring Vince Vaughn! Awesome! As a side note, is he doing Holiday comedies EXCLUSIVELY now? Is that, like, his thing?
Anyhow, this movie just flat out SUCKED, Vaughn doing his usual "total asshole with a heart of gold" shtick and Paul Giamatti forever tarnishing an otherwise respectable acting career with his portrayal of Santa Claus. A total rip-off of "Elf", with many of the same "hey, I'm too big for all this Christmas elf-sized stuff!" jokes. Lame, man. So lame.
I was surprised to find a shotgun in my mouth at the end of this one, with my own finger trembling at the trigger. Close call.
Above: At least someone finally figured out how to get Vince Vaughn to shut the fuck up for a minute.
3) YU-GI-OH: THE MOVIE
I'm not sure what the appeal is for Yu-Gi-Oh, nor its nefarious cousin, Pokemon. Both series seem to consist of kids throwing cards or balls at each other, then some really poorly drawn animals come out and fight each other (and by "fight", I mean "not really fight"). That's about it.
I guess I can't really give "Yu-Gi-Oh: The Movie" a completely fair and balanced review, since I slept through at least half of it. But from what I saw, the movie consisted of poorly animated kids, um, throwing cards at each other. Then some lightning bolts or flashing lights come out or some shit for a minute. I don't know. Like I said, I was napping.
I awoke with a razor crossing my wrist. Luckily, I cut accross the vein, not with it, and I lived to tell my tale.
Below: It SHOULD be called Yu-Gi-Oh My God I Can't Believe I Just Sat Through That Shit.
2) SUPERBABIES: BABY GENIUSES 2
I really just don't know where to start with this one. I guess the target audience here was "babies", but it seems like anyone over the age of 6 months would be appalled by this movie. The title implies that this is a sequel, which causes one to ask, "for God's sake, WHY?". Was "Baby Geniuses" such a powerful blockbuster that it warranted franchise status? The whole thing just kind of hurts my feelings.
Oh hey, did I mention Scott Biao is in this movie? And Jon Voight (you know, Angelina Jolie's dad)? Because they are. This film is a study of all things sad and depressing, the perfect movie to put on right before you swallow that final Valium/Xanax cocktail and drift off into sweet, sweet nothingness.
Below: This movie made me HATE babies.
1) BEDTIME STORIES
Just last weekend, Sweet Baby Jay, C-Man and I slogged off to the local AMC Van Ness to swallow this stinking, vulgar pile of sickening trash. At first I was confused. Were we at the right movie? This IS Disney's big budget special effects extravaganza "Bedtime Stories", right? Then why is it so bland and boring? When did Adam Sandler turn into my unemployed, overweight uncle? Where's the flash? The Zazz?
Apparently, this movie takes place in some sort of dull, humorless parallel universe where everyone looks like they're trapped in the mid 90's and rollerblades are still a viable form of transportation (see example at right). I couldn't even find a movie poster for this chunk of feces anywhere on the internet, almost as if Disney has already decided to purge it from their collective memory.
This terrible, terrible movie was my initial inspiration to write this post, a flick so horribly written, acted, and filmed that any 5-year-old with a pulse should see right through its awkward attempts at "adventure" and "cuteness". Jesus, this movie was foul.
The scary part is that "Bedtime Stories" came in #2 at the box office last weekend.
And Calvyn enjoyed it.
So I guess it ain't ALL bad.