From: Subject: Date: April 21, 2005 3:53:51 PM CDT Hankblog

Thursday, April 08, 2004

Movie Retrospectives: Bombs Away Week
The Defendant: Gigli

Description of the defendant:
Larry Gigli (Ben Affleck) is the wiseguy with the unpronounceable name. It rhymes with "really" he tells his boss Louis. Larry does various strong arm jobs for Louis. Louis is having Larry kidnap the Tourette's Syndrome afflicted brother (Justin Bartha) of a federal prosecutor who is trying to convict Louis' boss Starkman (played briefly by Al Pacino). The hope is to convince this prosecutor to drop the case. However, Louis doesn't trust Larry to do this without screwing the job up. One wonders how Louis got into a position with the mob telling others what to do when it's obvious he doesn't know jack about selecting personnel. Anyway, he doesn't trust Larry, so unknown to Larry, Louis hires another "contractor" to go to Larry's and assist on the job. That second contractor is Ricki (Jennifer Lopez). Ricki is a gorgeous woman (or so Larry says. Personally, I've never thought JLo was anywhere close to being all that). Larry is powerfully drawn to Ricki, but she has a secret he doesn't know about: she's gay.

Crimes against moviegoing humanity:
Helping to perpetuate the Bennifer/BLo media hype machine to inhumane levels - This movie cranked the Jen-Ben media machine into overdrive. The couple started dating after filming this film, and the press had a field day stuffing every sordid detail about their love life down our throats all the way up to the breakup last year. Every channel was Bennifer TV...all BLo all the time. I wouldn't be surprised if the suicide rate went up as people took their own lives to avoid hearing any more of that crap.
Lani Kazan in a thong - Not a full shot thankfully, but enough to say that this movie should constitute a WMR: Weapon of Mass Revulsion. If I wanted to see fat ass crack, I'd hire a plumber.
Really horrid depictions of mentally disabled individuals - I freely admit that I feel somewhat uncomfortable when portray individuals with some kind of mental disability. I can never tell whether they're doing a good job, or an insulting mockery of what people with the disability in question really have to deal with. That being aid, Justin Bartha I would think does ok with his role, but I am really turned off with the way he's played for laughs just about every which way. The idea of a gangsta rap reciting white man with Tourette's just seems like one long, really painfully unfunny joke.
Christopher Walken as....Christopher Walken - Not only did his cameo not make a damn bit of sense (with the dialogue, it was almost as if he'd stepped in from another movie), but how far down the rabbit hole does he have to slip before we just lock him up for good? He's starting to make Dennis Hopper look stable on screen.
Some of the most insipid dialogue about sexual relations ever - JLo has a good 5-10 minute scene doing yoga positions while speaking of the virtues of a woman's genital area. Why the hell she didn't just do a porno and get it out of her system, I don't know. Then, when she and Ben do finally hook up, as you knew they would, she invites Larry to perform oral sex on her, whispering those sweet nothings every man longs to hear from his woman. "It's turkey time."
"You know....gobble gobble."

Oy friggin vay!
And I have know both gay and bisexual men and women in my lifetime, and I have to figure that some of the dialogue in this movie set back gay rights about 50 years. I swear to god, it's like Chasing Amy written by some of those ultra-fundamentalist Christian nuts who think homosexuals can somehow be reprogrammed to be straight. All they need is the right person of the opposite sex. And for some reason, that person has now twice been Ben Affleck. I think I can safely say, of all the gay women I have known, not a one of them would have ever "gone straight" for Ben. I think seeing Ben in this movie might safely make some straight women gay.

Guilt/shame by association:
Al Pacino - I'd say Christopher Walken, but he's long been a caricature of himself in the worst ways. But did Pacino really owe Brest this appearance for getting him his long overdue Oscar with Scent of a Woman?
Martin Brest - The man who gave us Midnight Run, one of the best buddy movies ever, has slipped to THIS??!!

Best awful line:
The "Gobble gobble" line that JLo had, inviting Ben to perform oral sex on her got a lot of play with reviewers when this movie first hit the streets. However, there's a line much later on that has much greater significance.
Pacino during his cameo as the criminal Starkman has just killed Larry and Ricki's boss. He does this to illustrate that the man who has stopped caring is the most dangerous man of all. As he sits down, he recites the line that could best describe all the participants thoughts at the beginning of the project, and at the end:
"I have no...compunctions whatsoever. Absolutely none.
And I am very concerned about the way things are going here."
Truer words were never said.

Time served:
Nominated for 9 Razzies in 2004, winning 6: Worst picture, Actor (Affleck, for this and Daredevil), Actress (Lopez), Director (Brest), Screen Couple (Bennifer), and screenplay (Brest again).
Rated 1.9 stars out of 10 on, based on 7600+ votes.
7% Fresh rating on (10 positive reviews out of 147).

Best critical line on Rotten Tomatoes:
"Such an utter wreck of a movie you expect to see it lying on its side somewhere in rural Pennsylvania, with a small gang of engineers circling and a wisp of smoke rising from the caboose."
-- Stephen Whitty, NEWARK STAR-LEDGER

Any mitigating circumstances or good behavior?:
Only if this movie somehow ultimately contributed to Bennifer's breakup. If it helps insure we never see JLo in a movie again, even better, though that's too much to ask I think.

Sentence issued:
This movie was a record breaker in all the wrong ways. First to sweep all the "major" awards at the Razzies. Dropped by every cinema in the UK after one week. An 81.9% dropoff in box office revenues from opening week to the second week. 97% decline in number of screens from first week to third. 97%. The movie probably cost theaters money to run. A gross of just over $6 million for a budget of $54 million. And a lambasting in the press that probably cost both principals a ridiculous amount of money in future earnings. Doubt it? Take a look at how much of a bath Kevin Smith's Jersey Girl took after Hurricane Gigli. Gigli will now be synonymous with bad movie.

And even then, it's not the worst thing I've ever seen. It's probably worse than any of the films I've touched on prior to this. In my mind, Showgirls ranks ahead because of legitimate T&A (and better looking women than Lopez, for my money). Hudson Hawk and Wild Wild West are boring, but have a little more on screen stimulation than this train wreck. But in my mind, having seen the feature we'll be closing the week out with, I can safely say this: Myra Breckenridge will leave this movie in the dust.

Will be back on Saturday with that write up to close out the week.