Welcome to the next CHUD List.

We’ve tackled our essentials list and the continued revelation of our Kills List from 2003, and now that we’ve begun the beguine, we must continue. Behold:

The CHUD.com Top 50 Disappointments.

A quick word on the criteria. We could very easily have spent this whole article discussing sequels and prequels and adaptations of television shows and called it a day. Instead, we tried to go a different route. Also, from a master list of over 100, the involved parties (Devin, Jeremy, Micah, Russ, and myself) all killed off a choice for each one we claimed. As a result, we’ll run a big list at the end of this of the ‘ones that got away’. So, here is day one of many where we chronicle the 50 Biggest Disappointments. Two a day, every week day for five weeks. In no particular order:

http://chud.com/nextraimages/ladykillers.jpg#50 – The Ladykillers (2004. dir. Joel Coen, Ethan Coen)

For three decades the Ealing Studios slate of films ranged from forgettable to classic, but it was a beautiful thirty years and the idea of one of today’s most centered and talented filmmakers on the case with arguably the world’s most bankable star handling a remake of one of the more fun Ealing films was as ironclad a deal as one could hope for in the world of dreaded remakes.

It didn’t work. Though the brothers Coen had followed up the legendary The Big Lebowski with the sublime O’ Brother, Where Art Thou? the subsequent efforts left a little to be desired. This should have been a madcap return to form and though it is madcap and certainly has its moments it’s far from the material that it should have been and among the upper echelon of Coen output. Or Hanks output. Or J.K. Simmons output.

That said, it’s top shelf Marlon Wayans output, for what that’s worth. A good remake should make you want to see the original to compare the virtues of each and to see if both films stand alone as worthy entries. With this I wanted to see the original again just to see if I got it wrong the first time. – Nick

Travesty Scale (1-10): 3 out of 10

 #49 – Once Upon A Time In Mexico (2003. dir. Robert Rodriguez)

Take the Robert Rodriguez formula (fast, cheap and out of
control), add his best cast to date and the classic ‘end of a
trilogy’ mandate to blow everything up to Galactus proportions, and there’s the
chance that Austin’s second finest might have actually delivered the movie we’d
been waiting for since El Mariachi.

But with a name like this, cribbed on Tarantino’s suggestion
from two of the most enduring cinematic epics out there, this movie had baggage
from the beginning. Still, who expected Rodriguez to empty two six shooters in
our face that turned out to be filled with eleven blanks?

The first bad signs came when Mexico
was shelved for several months after Rodriguez completed editing. Soon enough
it was easy to see why: the movie is a total mess. Rarely funny, nearly incomprehensible in
places, held together only by the (admittedly great) charm of Johnny Depp. The
talents of the cast are largely wasted or left untapped: Dafoe, Rourke, Blades and Hayek all should have pushed this through the roof, but Rodriguez’s
trademark shooting style left little room for them to work or for the movie to sit still long enough to expand into an epic
befitting the title. Depp’s material is fodder for a fast-paced short, but the rest is barely above the level of the crap that Rodriguez set out to make a fast buck emulating all those years ago. – Russ

Travesty Scale (1-10): 4 out of 10

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