30-Day Film Challenge: A Film By Your Least Favorite Director

Day 12
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Night Shift (1982) by El Bicho

Had to think about this a bit, but taking the words "least" and "favorite" into account as opposed to "most despised," I decided to go with Ron Howard. Though I haven't seen all of his directorial efforts, I've enjoyed quite a number of his films (such as Splash, Parenthood, and Apollo 13) and intensely disliked a couple others (The Grinch Who Stole Christmas and A Beautiful Mind).

Yet in all of them I don't get any sense of a personal style while watching his work. He's not an auteur whose imprint on a film is noticable. Other than the appearance of his brother Clint, not sure how anyone could tell a film was Ron's by watching it. I give him credit for not overdirecting, which can ruin a film, but I most enjoy directors being creative with all the tools at their disposal. He barely registers in that regard, appearing to do just enough to shoot a scene, which means that as a director he doesn't draw me to see a film.

For an example of Howard's light touch, Night Shift is a very funny film starring Henry Winkler (Chuck) and Michael Keaton (Bill), in his breakout role, as two NYC morgue workers who become pimps to help out Chuck's prostitute neighbor Belinda (Shelley Long).

The Rock (1996) by Shawn Bourdo

Why is Michael Bay my least favorite director? There are plenty of terrible directors. But there might not be any other director dead or alive that has ruined so many great concepts. I could list out all the disappointment of Armageddon, Bad Boys, and the useless horror remakes that don't push the genre. And I can't even stress how that making a good film of Pearl Harbor should have been a slam dunk and what a huge failure the film ended up as compared to the size of the subject.

The best of the bad bunch is The Rock. As it plays - not a terrible film. Connery and Cage make a good duo. And Bay loves these types of pairings. He succeeds with this because he let's Connery play against his Bond image. You put him in the role of the bad guy initially and then let him change into a Bond-type. Throw in the Ed Harris character and the best of both things happen - Cage becomes just an afterthought.

The film has some great scenes around San Francisco. And the action is Bay-riffically over the top. But his track record of ruining what should be great projects almost overwhelms this good picture by a least favorite director.

Home Alone 3 (1997) by Dusty Somers

Up until 2005, I had seen every film in the Raja Gosnell oeuvre. Maybe that doesn't sound shameful. Trust me, it is. At that point, he'd directed Home Alone 3, Never Been Kissed, Big Momma's House, Scooby Doo and Scooby Doo 2.

Has it gotten better since then? I don't know from personal experience, but I'm going to say Yours, Mine and Ours, Beverly Hills Chihuahua, and the upcoming Smurfs movie haven't really turned the guy around.  

Imagine my shock when my visit to Gosnell's iMDb page revealed that he actually began his career working as an assistant editor on several Robert Altman films (my pick for yesterday's favorite director category). How times change.

I guess I should say a little about the abomination that is Home Alone 3, which ditched a too-old Macaulay Culkin in favor of Alex D. Linz, who has to defend his home from thieves while stuck in bed with the chicken pox or something of that nature. It's a crass recycling of all the bits from the first two movies without the charm of Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern to smooth over the inherent stupidity. And still -- I think I'd rather pop it in before Big Momma's House again. John Whitesell, director of both Big Mommas sequels: You're lucky I didn't see either one of those, because that would have probably been enough to land you here instead.

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009) by Amanda Salazar

I still wish that I could block out the memory of seeing this movie as it still haunts me today. Now that there is another installment coming out this summer this memory that I so badly want to repress keeps coming up. The film that I am referring to by my least favorite director, Michael Bay, is the second Transformers film, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.

I didn't really have that much of a problem with Bay before I saw this film but it took a lot of patience and energy to remain seated in the theater when I saw it a few summers ago. I was offended; I felt like I was being talked down to and scolded for enjoying popcorn-friendly entertainment. I love a good action film and with today's CGI effects my mind continues to be blown away with what filmmakers are capable of doing. Bay decided to take all the cool tricks, all the money that he could muster up and create a schlocky, low-brow film; like he was the bully that stole everyones candy, ate it, and ended up throwing it up in front of us just out of spite.

I don't really feel like explaining the plot because I don't want to give this film any credit for anything but some of its most offensive parts were in the post-production room with questionable stereotypes and very questionable body parts associated with the robots. Megan Fox is a sex toy dangled in front of the camera the entire film, always in center frame and always with her mouth half open. Thanks for giving women any redeemable qualities in the film, Bay. Basically, a director that I might have continued to support for their summer blockbusters reached through the film screen and bitch-slapped me and I am not one to easily forgive and forget.

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