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Even reviewing this film leaves a bad taste in my mouth.
Every now and again, a film so wretched and so pointless will come along that it makes you question the art form you profess to love so deeply. In 1998, "Very Bad Things" was that picture. To understand all the reasons why this film is awful, you have to watch. I hope you will take my word for it. If not, rent it and see for yourself, but only so you can see what to avoid in the future. This is one of the worst films ever made.
The premise -- a group of friends head to Las Vegas to celebrate the wedding of one of them. The bachelor's party gets out of hand when a prostitute arrives and turns up dead. The friends then have to get rid of the body and try to cover up the entire incident -- slapstick comedy and tension ensues. Then, the friends start turning on one another as some don't want to keep it a secret, while others will do anything to make sure it stays one.
If you read reviews on IMDB, some users try to examine the deep rooted psychological and philosophical meaning behind the film. Bull shit. This film has no meaning. It has no purpose. It's a film about terrible people doing terrible things and having no remorse about them. It's an ugly, dirty and unflattering film that relies on over-the-top performances from its actors and only hopes that people can watch long enough to understand what in the hell is going on. "Very Bad Things" basically takes a dog turd and rubs it all over the audience from start to finish and never really relents. It knows how disgusting it is, but can't really do anything about it.
What's unfortunate is the cast is impressive: Jon Favreau, Leland Orser, Cameron Diaz, Christian Slater, Jeremy Piven, Daniel Stern, Jeanne Tripplehorn. These actors have so little with which to work, it's insane. Daniel Stern seems to have the most fun with his role, and it seems to be the highlight of the film, but it's difficult to tell. Jeremy Piven is atrocious, Jon Favreau is wasted and Cameron Diaz looks like she wants out as soon as possible. And considering this film is directed by the usually talent-free director Peter Berg, you can understand why. He has little talent for directing and should stick with acting...occasionally...when no one else wants the role.
There are probably those out there who loves this film, who think it's a work of comedic genius. You are wrong. Berg is ripping off Tarantino and "The Usual Suspects" and John Waters and every other trashy, disgusting, overly stylized brand of filmmaking he can find. The difference -- they did it better than he can. "Very Bad Things" is one of those films where the title says it all. It's a film that doesn't just stink -- it downright sucks. It's one of the worst films I've ever had the displeasure of sitting through. Very...bad...film.
- added 08/17/2007, 10:44 AM
Are you serious? I LOVE this movie. I picked it
up in a bargain bin a few years back, and it was a
great find. I just love how ruthless everyone is,
and people just drop out of the movie like flies.
- added 08/17/2007, 11:11 AM
Serious as a heart attack. The film is horrible.
The humor is so negative and nasty and never
really works. They should have stuck with a genre
instead of jumping around, back and forth, from
comedy to drama, from drama to comedy. Most of
the characters, if not all, are horribly written,
the acting is over the top and not believable, and
the way in which they solve their problems is
completely ridiculous and not affecting at all.
There is no one to root for in this film, and no
one to foster any kind of emotional connection.
The movie sucks.
- added 08/17/2007, 11:38 AM
Of course the acting is over the top, it's a
comedy. Like when Cameron Diaz kills Slater?
That's ridiculous. And it's supposed to be.
- added 08/17/2007, 11:51 AM
So, all acting in comedies is over the top?
Hmmmmm. I would beg to differ there. In fact,
the acting in most comedies is NOT over the top.
But, that's the problem. It's not a comedy. It's
a comedy...and a drama...and a Tarantino wannabe.
It doesn't know what it wants to be. Nothing that
Cameron Diaz' character does in that film EVER
even remotely leads up to what she does to Slater.
Nothing. It comes out of nowhere. Why? Beats
me. Because they wanted more violence and more
- added 08/17/2007, 12:55 PM
Who cares if they needed more violence and
ridiculousness? It's a movie. It doesn't have to
make sense, or follow some guidelines for the
typical drama or comedy. And I don't see the
Tarantino reference. Tarantino himself is kind of
a ripoff from exploitation and revenge movies, but
nobody calls him on it. So someone else makes a
picture that's violent and funny, and suddenly
they're a Tarantino wannabe? Fuck that. He's not
the only person to do what he's done. He's just
the most highly praised.
- added 08/17/2007, 03:25 PM
I am sorry, but as a movie goer, I want my movies
to have even the slightest amount of credibility.
It's fiction -- I get that. But when a director
thinks the audience a bunch of idiots, I cannot
tolerate that. And Tarantino borrows from a lot
of areas, but he is original. You don't watch a
Tarantino film and think throughout the whole
thing how muche stole from everyone else. He
tales different ideas and formulas and tones and
makes them his own. And there's a reason he's the
most praised and Peter Berg directs "The Kingdom".
"Very Bad Things" has Tarantino written all over
it, because it was released during a time when
EVERYONE was trying to re-capture that whole "Pulp
Fiction" feel. This film is a rip-off, and more
than that -- just really poorly made.
- added 08/17/2007, 03:37 PM
And, furthermore -- did you even listen to the
dialogue in this film? Were you in another room
during some of this shit -- trying to sound all
cool and retro and be the new "Pulp Fiction" meets
"Swingers"? There's a big difference between
dialogue that is cool, and dialogue that wants to
sound cool. Christian Slater was a fucking mess
here -- his Jack Nicholson was working in
overdrive, and unfortunately for him, he got the
worst of the script. Jeremy Piven does the same
thing he always does, but poorly written. Cameron
Diaz' character was horribly underwritten and
given nothing to do, except break all
pre-conceived notions of her character and commit
murder. The moral of the film: some people
deserve to die and murder is easily fixable. Even
the worst of films have some redeeming qualities
and are not all ugly and grime. This film has
- added 08/17/2007, 09:59 PM
dude, peter berg is awesome. friday night lights
was great, and the kingdom was surprisingly solid.
im assuming you haven't seen either of those or
are just basing that comment off the rundown.
grain of sand
- added 08/19/2007, 01:33 PM
eh, i liked this movie, i saw it when i was
younger with my parents and they hated it.. guess
i just have a soft spot for some shit hooker
killing movies ha :)
- added 08/19/2007, 02:37 PM
I have seen EVERY film Peter Berg has directed,
and with the exception of "Friday Night Lights",
they've been horrible. And when did you see "The
Kingdom", considering it has yet to be either seen
or pre-screened, and the release date has been
pushed back and pushed back to dump month,
September. And I love movies with dead hookers,
i.e. "Dirty Work" -- "That's the Saigon whore that
bit my nose off!"
- added 08/19/2007, 09:55 PM
Yeah, the Kingdom isn't out for like, a month or
so. And Dirty Work was fantastic. That's because
Bob Saget directed it. "Sometimes you have to show
the hen who the rooster is. DON'T TALK BACK TO ME
IN FRONT OF MY FRIENDS!"
Aaaah, so many
- added 08/20/2007, 02:12 AM
no dude, we got screenings here a week back. a
week or two. my media editor and i went, she's
reviewing it, ill even post the review when its up
man. but yeah, i just don't think a 2:1 ratio is
basis enough to say he's a talentless director. in
any case, good call on dirty work. now that is a
movie people need to see.
- added 08/20/2007, 02:26 AM
also, there's a review up here too...
3 . just saying, it was screened. i dunno what's
up with all the bumped release dates, though. it
really is a solid flick. it's not mindblowing or
anything, i was just thoroughly entertained. for
the most part. i dont really like jennifer garner
- added 08/20/2007, 01:11 PM
I just have low hopes because: (01) I don't like
Jamie Foxx; (02) Jason Bateman in an action film
will be a tough sell for me; and (03) I typically
don't enjoy Peter Berg films. Plus, I always get
weary when a film shuffles release dates into dump
month. We'll see. It's a $1.00 theatre trip in
the making. And now for more "Dirty Work" --
"Note to self: Making love to blow up doll is not
as good as advertised".
- added 08/20/2007, 01:15 PM
bateman is GREAT. he was my favourite part of the
movie. the whole thing revolves around them
getting him back, and he's great. i thought he was
gonna be like comic relief, which he is sort of in
the beginning, but he's great. "yeah, we kind of
lied on our resumes. we don't really know anything
about construction." "when is lunch?" "you're
- added 10/10/2007, 12:39 AM