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Which Actress Delivered the Worst On-Screen Performances Since Tom Brady Hosted “Saturday Night Live”?

By Dustin Rowles | DVD Releases | May 18, 2010 |

By Dustin Rowles | DVD Releases | May 18, 2010 |

Extraordinary Measures: Extraordinary Measures falls on its ass in every conceivable manner. If you can’t even pounce on your vulnerable target audience with some lousy heart-string tugging contrivance, then you fail at life. Adoring parents are suckers for this crap, and Tom Vaughan (What Happens in Vegas?) can’t even get the cheap shots right. It’s like mowing down a jaywalking geriatric old blue hair with an SUV and missing. How fucking incompetent do you have to be to completely miss a point blank kill-shot when you’re standing six-inches away from a coma patient? Tom Vaughan incompetent, apparently. (— Dustin Rowles

Invictus: Hollywood has an irrepressible penchant for the heavily dramatized sports story, the tales of how it’s not just a sport, sometimes a game is more than a game, hard work and love for one another can lead to a triumph of the human spirit. Sometimes those inspirational stories aren’t all that inspirational. On screen, Invictus is very much so. The film is a slow burn, a steady, methodical road towards that final dramatic match against the juggernaut New Zealand team in the championship. Mandela is impossibly noble, while Damon’s Pienaar is something of a valiant everyman who is simultaneously overwhelmed by the challenge and the responsibility, but also dedicated and determined. The country is united in their adoration of the team, and it brings people together through the common cause and love of sport. It’s a tremendous finale, even if it does seem a bit too long. Even those who know next to nothing about rugby won’t be able to help being swept up in it, and it’s helped by Eastwood wisely avoiding too many lengthy, shmatlz-ridden inspirational speeches. Eastwood does what he frequently does so well — he makes his characters real and human. As such, the film succeeds in getting the viewer to buy into it, and the climax is handled with surprising subtlety. Blacks and whites aren’t suddenly running through the streets hand-in-hand, but for a moment, they are united. — TK

The Messenger: Director Oren Moverman gets plenty of plates spinning by the middle of the film, but they come crashing down by the end. He spends most of the movie building up these wonderful and lush plot threads, only to quickly and dreadfully snip them at the end. I almost wish things hadn’t been resolved instead of the shoddy slapdash treatment they are given. The man pretty much wrote himself a blank check after penning I’m Not There, but all I could think was “This is what you bought?” The Messenger isn’t the kind of film that will stay with you long enough to bother you. Like a really impassioned political speech or particularly well-written snippet on “The Daily Show,” it’ll get you nodding your head and pondering the implications and complexities of the situation. And then when “South Park” comes on possibly riffing on tampons as Twilight teabags, you’ll pretty much forget everything about it. — Brian Prisco

The Spy Next Door: I don’t mind reviewing relentlessly awful movies — it’s part of the job description — but it’s a little frustrating when it’s as pointless as telling you that Jackie Chan’s family film, The Spy Next Door, isn’t worth the effort it takes you to pick up your car keys to go see it. It’s True Lies by way of The Pacifier and Daddy Day Care. Does anyone who would read this site even care? Even those of us with kids have to have more sense than to run out and see what is essentially a Nickelodeon flick featuring a broken-down Jackie Chan — you can find more entertainment value in watching a leaky faucet drip for an hour and a half. In fact, the only people I’d recommend The Spy Next Door to are those with children who actually enjoy the peace and solitude of a time-out — The Spy Next Door is a $5 punishment, but it’s bound to be more effective than a good switch spanking, and twice as traumatic. — DR

Valentine’s Day: New Line’s latest assembly-line romantic ensemble creation is every bit as bad as you’d expect it to be — maybe worse. The 16 percent it’s currently rating over on Rotten Tomatoes is more generous than a bashful virgin leaving a tip at Hooters. It’s a lot of very pretty faces haphazardly glued together with aged Elmers, lit with a sun lamp, and scored by a drunk who couldn’t keep his finger off the SWELL button. It’s as commercially crass as Valentine’s Day itself; it’s cheap; ineffectively manipulative; and emptier than a single man’s nightstand Kleenex box the morning after binging on microwave pizza and pay-per-porn. It’s slathered in processed American cheese, melted into a wet gooey marshmallow-y mess, and then strained, leaving only a wine glass of grease. It’s emptier than Taylor Swift’s head, who — along with Taylor Lautner — turn in what has to be the worst on-screen performances since Tom Brady hosted “Saturday Night Live.” Taylor Swift looked like a blind special-ed kid hopped up on pixie stix trying to shake off flies, while Lautner looked like a brain-dead Bambi dumb enough to get caught in a fog light. —DR

My Favorite Ginger | Pajiba After Dark 5/18/10

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.