Once upon a time, back when I started out this line of work, it was my aim to see every movie ever made. Then came the VHS player. Once the direct-to-video market began, numerous filmmakers stopped thinking of the pleasures and rigors of making films for the big screen. Instead, they started thinking of a quick payoff. VHS financed the rise of the indie movie for good (or often, ill). It all added up to a huge increase in the number of films released. Eventually, I realized if I wanted to do some ordinary things--hoisting an ale, listening to music, reading a book--I was going to have to let a few films slide. Coming attractions have been a huge help in picking which ones to avoid, particularly the ones that reveal every single plot point and the most likely resolution of the problem. So how can I really do a worst of 2007 list? I ducked a lot of contenders. Underdog, for instance.
I missed P.U., I Hate You, as those slashing wits at Cracked magazine will be calling it, but I really felt James Rocchi's personal agony at witnessing the last of Hilary Swank's trio of evil movies this year. Though some would call it a duo; some people fell for Freedom Writers. Maybe this kind of story can be told without Room 222-levels of obviousness and manipulation...perhaps from the POV of one of the students, instead of the earnest white teacher? I'm not going to get any prizes for prescience by saying Swank's agent needs to be renditioned to some country with deep dark dungeons. Swank's Lost Year has already been celebrated elsewhere.
But The Reaping (#1) was the worst of the three; no one wants to see this actress's career reaped anymore. The low-water mark of this swamps-of-blood Christian thriller was the scene where Swank is told by a yokel, "Some people just don't want to go to heaven." Meaning her, and the atheists, agnostics, and Odin-worshippers in the audience.