Worst Film

After the Credits: Why would you want to see trash?

Jul 21 // Alec Kubas-Meyer
Flixist Originals Ten films that should be in the Criterion Collection Ten more films that should be in the Criterion Collection Should works be held accountable for creators' views? - The (Movie) Question Flixistentialism 23 - Sleepy Dre and His Noise Hole FlixList: Best of the Criterion Collection (Part 2) NRH's Weekly Analysis: Die Hard with a Vengeance's NYC Interviews Lee Won-Suk - Director of How to Use Guys with Secret Tips Dada Chan - Actress in Tales from the Dark and Hardcore Comedy Joshua Oppenheimer - Director of The Act of Killing Jung Ji-Woo - Director of Eungyo (A Muse) Reviews The Act of Killing The Conjuring Only God Forgives Turbo Iceberg Slim: Portrait of a Pimp NYAFF/Japan Cuts Reviews Rurouni Kenshin Hentai Kamen: Forbidden Super Hero Lesson of the Evil The Complex A Woman and War Secretly Greatly Weekly Releases Netflix Now: Worst Ever Edition New Releases, week of 7/20/13: Evil Edition Box Office Numbers: Rock 'Em Sock 'Em News Audience votes Hentai Kamen as best film of NYAFF 2013 Mel Gibson confirmed as Expendable 3 villian The Conjuring is already getting a sequel Wan approaching Fast & Furious 7 as 70's revenge film Fantasia International Film Festival This Way Comes   Previously on After the Credits... The Korean Romantic Comedies of NYAFF 2013
Who Wants to See Trash? photo
Look how sad this is making me
Earlier this week, I finally posted my review of A Woman and War, a film that I saw several weeks ago and have been stewing over ever since. Here on Flixist, it got the reaction I was hoping for: "Nope." Even Matty Shoestrin...

Japan Cuts Review: A Woman and War

Jul 15 // Alec Kubas-Meyer
[embed]215948:40386:0[/embed] A Woman and War (Senso to Hitori no Onna |  戦争と一人の女)Director: Junichi InoueRating: NRCountry: Japan  About two-thirds of the way through A Woman and War, I felt a sort of serenity wash over me. I realized that I was bearing witness to one of the worst things ever created. I knew that it was a complete failure on every level, and that nothing would change. It could have been the first time I ever walked out of a theater. But I didn't, because I wanted to write this review. Our review policy states that we can only write about things we've seen all the way through. I can't walk out halfway and then claim that it's terrible. I need to endure through the whole thing if I want to warn everyone else not to do the same. So I sat back in my seat, put my feet up, and suffered. I died so that you may live.  Have you heard of the Bechdel Test? It's a list of three criteria that something must follow if it wants to claim that it's got some measure of gender equality. The criteria are: There are two (named) female characters... Who talk to each other... About something other than men. Seems pretty straightforward, right? I don't know why, but I expected that something with a title like A Woman and War to maybe possibly pass that test. Because it's about a woman, right? And war. Usually war is portrayed as such a macho manly thing, so I think I thought that maybe they were going to subvert that. Maybe there would be two women who talked about it or something. But as we've already concluded: this isn't a movie; it's trash, and I don't really know what I expected anymore. A Woman and War fails the Bechdel Test so hard it hurts. And maybe I should have realized "A Woman" is not "Women," so there might not be more than one with any sort of character, but I didn't. But even then, there are no named female characters. I didn't realize it until looking at the cast list just now, but the protagonist, the one whose character is part of the title, does not have a name. And even if she did, it wouldn't mean much, because it's not like there are any other female characters to talk to. The other females show up on screen, say two lines, and then get raped.  Seriously. Pretty much every single woman who says one word gets raped at some point. Sometimes their only word is "No." or "Stop." Sometimes they have a few lines leading up to it, like "I would like to have rice." The only woman I can think of who doesn't get raped is the woman who unhappily offers herself to feed her children. Because, you know, semi-consensual sex would be disgusting. Let's back up. So A Woman and War follows three characters: Woman (Noriko Eguchi), a former prostitute who is now a wife I guess but is all about sex; Nomura (Masatoshi Nagase), a writer who I guess is married to Woman but mostly just has sex with her; and Ohira (Jun Murakami), a former soldier who lost an arm in battle and is now a serial rapist. What a ragtag bunch of fuckups, huh?  Let's talk about Ohira and his serial raping ways. Basically, it goes like this: he tells women that he can get cheap rice (rice is scarce and expensive; there's a war going on) and they follow him into the woods and then he hits them in the head with a rock and then rapes them and then strangles them. Also, he does this while only having one arm. It's so fucking stupid that I actually laughed at one point. I laughed at a woman being hit in the head with a rock so she could be raped. How fucked up is that? But I couldn't help it. She stood there and let him walk over to her, rock in hand, lift it up, and then hit her once in the head. That was it. I was in disbelief (a common theme, you'll notice). It was actually with each successive rape (he does this at least four times) that I could practically see the number you'll see below dropping. Subpar, bad, terrible, atrocious... repulsive. Truly fucking repulsive. But the thing that really gets me about it is that one of the earlier scenes featuring Ohira has him attempting to stop several men from raping a woman in an abandoned building. He is tied up and forced to watch (he gets an erection, of course). Then he goes and rapes people. One would think that maybe the trauma of being forced to see that would somehow have PTSD'd him (he is a veteran, after all) into raping other women. That would have been disgusting, but I would have seen some point to that. But no, he explains that he has been raping people in the military for a long time, because this is a film with a message: war is bad. So why did he try to stop the rape earlier on? Probably so the onscreen rape count could be higher.  Nomura isn't a bad character so much as he is a worthless character. He is just obsessed with sex and wants to constantly have sex with his war wife, Woman, who is basically willing to comply with whatever, because she wants to be a good war wife. Also because she likes sex, I guess, except she doesn't like sex. When she was a prostitute, apparently, she taught herself how to not enjoy sex so she could have sex with lots of men in a row without getting exhausted or whatever. Even though she stopped her prostituting ways, she never regained feeling. Nomura wants her to enjoy it and gives her plenty of opportunities to work through those issues. He fails, and in fact, it's Ohira raping her that finally pushes her over the edge into orgasm. That moment, by the way, was the one that dropped this score into the single digits, for what I believe is the first time in Flixist history. So he's just useless. And Woman? Yeah, let's talk about Woman. I feel bad even mentioning Perfect Blue in the same breath as A Woman and War, but I couldn't help thinking about the scene where Mima plays a character who gets raped in a nightclub. There's the very legitimate question of, "Why would she do that to herself?" At every single moment, I was asking that question about all of the women in A Woman and War, and Noriko Eguchi especially. Who could even hear the basic premise of A Woman and War and think that it was a project worth pursuing? All of the women are sex objects, which is bad enough for the random characters who exist only to get raped, but the fucking protagonist? The protagonist of the goddamn thing is just a sex object? She never talks about anything other than sex. There are maybe two paragraphs where she talks about her childhood or something, but it almost immediately returns to sex, because there's a war going on, and sex. And while these conversations are happening? Sex. He's either kissing her, licking her, or actually having sex with her.  And that is the entire fucking thing. It's just sex. Terrible, disgusting sex. Some of it consensual, most of it not. It's just rape rape rape sex rape sex sex rape rape rape rape. And in between, there are people talking about these things, and how war is bad and makes them be rapists because raping civilians while in the military is the best thing ever. Like Birdemic (the only thing I've seen that is worse than A Woman and War), it's trying to beat you over the head with a stupidly blunt political message. Like Birdemic, it's lost amidst the incredible incompetence that's on display. Even if it wasn't so godawful, it's not like the message would have made up for it. It's not original or even interesting. It's just a thing. A stupid fucking thing. When A Woman and War cut to black on the stupidest possible note, I started laughing again. I called up a friend and just laughed. I was in shock. I wasn't even angry. I was (and still am, two weeks later) in utter disbelief that this thing exists.  What these fifteen hundred words are in service of is this simple message: Do not, under any circumstances, see A Woman and War.  Seriously. Fuck that thing and everyone involved.
Second Worst
Stay classy, Japan
It's hard to offend me. Really hard. For a while, I thought it might be almost impossible. Not even A Serbian Film offended me (though it greatly disturbed me). At last year's Japan Cuts, I found out I was wrong: I ...

I really hate the world.
Yeah, it was kind of inevitable. With the release of the Oldboy remake coming ever closer and the announcement of a remake of Lady Vengeance, it was only a matter of time before the first film in Park Chan-Wook's in...

Worst of 2012 photo
Worst of 2012

Flixist Awards 2012: Worst Film

When things went wrong, they went really wrong
Feb 26
// Matthew Razak
As we award the best of 2012 with shiny golden dino statues it's important to note that sometimes movies aren't good. Sometimes movies are really, really, really, really, really, ridiculously bad. And we don't mean bad simply...

Sympathy for Lady Vengeance getting remake because awful

Nov 29 // Alec Kubas-Meyer
The film is set to star Charlize Theron, who conceived the project back in 2009, as the Lady Vengeance herself, which is whatever. As good as it was, Lee Yeong-Ae's performance in the original wasn't what made it so great, so I really have no qualms with that as a choice. I have a problem with everything surrounding her though. For those of you who haven't seen Sympathy for Lady Vengeance, just know that it is a gorgeous movie, especially in the "Fade to Black-and-White" version. The direction and cinematography and general technical skill on display is just breathtaking, and I do not believe for a second that William Monahan will do the source material justice. I am merely unhappy about the remake of Oldboy, but I am absolutely furious about this.
I hate the world.
I love Park Chan-Wook's Vengeance Trilogy. I love it so much that I'm marathoning it tomorrow. Literally. It's going to be a massively depressing day, but it is all okay because they're just so goddamn good. What's not okay i...


Worst Movie Ever has Worst Opening Ever

Aug 26
// Xander Markham
With the internet allowing viewers to spread word faster and wider than ever before, the cult of the bad movie has become ever more popular in recent years - from Tommy Wiseau's barmy epic The Room ('Hi doggy!') to anything b...

Leon Kennedy to appear in Resident Evil: Retribution

Aug 10
// Xander Markham
Correction: As correctly pointed out by SirCacophony in the comments, George A. Romero was the director first attached to the original Resident Evil, not Wes Craven. Thanks for pointing it out, the article has been amended. T...

The Onion thinks Green Lantern looks stupid. I agree.

Jun 16
// Tom Fronczak
It's fun to laugh at how hard Hollywood pushes their films with over the top advertising, but then movies like Green Lantern come along and show why it's often necessary or you run the risk of your film being dead on arrival...

Flixist Awards 2010: Worst Film

Jan 31
// Geoff Henao
The film industry can be fickle sometimes. The greatest films don’t always make for the most profitable or popular films. In the same manner, terrible movies tend to make a buttload of cash, giving the film’s creators so...

Movies That Changed Us: Street Fighter

Oct 18
// Andres Bolivar
It was December of 1994, right around Christmas.  I was nine years old at the time, and that weekend I was extra excited.  Not because school was closed or Santa would bring me my next batch of video games, but beca...

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