The Bombs: Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever (2002)

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It's Febuary 27th, and I feel like I'm on a bit of a movie-watching roll. Almost a movie every other day. Unfortunately the only Netflix movie on hand is Breaking Away, which I'm saving to rewatch with my wife, who is away for the evening. So I head down to the local video store looking for a movie my wife doesn't want to see and that's on DVD but NOT presented in Yokelvision (my new term for pan-and-scan - please help me spread the meme). The choices are limited. I narrow it down to the new Count of Monte Cristo movie and this one, the jaw-breakingly titled Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever. I like Lucy Liu, I like Antonio Banderas, what's the worst that could happen? I almost put it down when I notice it's directed by a guy Princeishly named "Kaos". Kaos? I'm going to assume that's pronounced "chaos", but I must remember to ask my linguist friend if a case could be made for pronouncing it "cows". Anyway, I pick up the movie by the Director-Soon-To-Be-Known-As-The-Director-Formerly-Known-As-Kaos and go home with a slight limp, undoubtedly brought on by my subconscious knowledge that I've shot myself in the cinematic foot.

My subconscious was right. At least there was one stunt where I wondered "wow, I wonder how they did that!?" But that's the only good thing I can say about the movie.

Terrific prologue to a disaster! I'm a laughing!

Well, if I had any doubt about this film before...

Better luck next time!

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

Nice work Jim, I humbly submit my Damn list is having some influence on you. Of course since I am not writing that list these days it is good to seem someone following in the same vein.

I loved your comments about your daughters trip to the movies. That is one reason I do not watch too many kids movies because I want to enjoy them with my child when he or she gets old enough to enjoy them....

Thanks! You're definitely an influence. In fact I mentally noted that myself as I was writing it. I'm a poor substitute for the real thing though, so I hope you'll be returning to your Damn list soon!

I can't wait to read about your own movie adventures with your child. Heck, maybe years from now our kids will be creating lists here. :-)

I am really surprised that "Ballistic" didn't get nominated for any Razzies. I don't know how familiar everyone is with the Razzie Awards, but for those of you who don't know, the Razzies DIShonor the worst achievements of the year in cinema. The award is a golden raspberry atop a mangled reel of Super 8 film, spray-painted gold, which the web site says has an estimated street value of $4.89.

As for this year's wins, if you can call them "wins", "Swept Away" swept the Razzies, as you can see:

Worst Picture - "Swept Away"

Worst Actor - Roberto Benigni for "Pinocchio"

Worst Actress - TIE! Britney Spears for "Crossroads" and Madonna for "Swept Away"

Worst Supporting Actor - Hayden Christensen for "Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones"

Worst Supporting Actress - Madonna for "Die Another Day"

Worst Director - Guy Ritchie for "Swept Away"

Worst Screen Couple - Adriano Giannini and Madonna in "Swept Away"

Worst Remake or Sequel - "Swept Away"

Most Flatulent Teen-Targeted Movie - Jackass

Worst Screenplay - "Star Wars: Episode II: Yada-Yada-Yoda"

Worst Original Song - "I'm Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman" from "Crossroads"

The current queen of the Razzies is Madonna, and the current king is Sylvester Stallone. Each has had 3 wins; Madonna has had 15 nominations, whereas Stallone has had a whopping 29 nominations. They each won a "Worst Actor / Actress of the Century" award in 2000. This was indeed a bad year for Madonna. She only had 6 Razzies before this year, but her "wins" this year pushed her up to 9 Razzies to tie Stallone.

In case you were wondering, a couple runners up are Kevin Costner (16 nominations, 6 wins) and Bo Derek (11 nominations, 6 awards). And the worst films were "Showgirls" (13 nominations, 7 awards) and "Battlefield Earth" (8 nominations, 7 awards). "Showgirls" was also deemed the worst movie of the 1990's and also had the honor of being the only movie to have more nominations than there were categories for that year, which came about because two supporting actors and two supporting actresses from the movie were nominated.

BTW, the only people ever to show up to the Razzies ceremony to accept their award was Paul Verhoeven for his Worst Director Razzie for "Showgirls" and Tom Green for his Worst Picture Razzie for "Freddie Got Fingered" (although he did not actually produce the movie).

Wow. Now that is a long-winded post. But hey, now you know everything you ever wanted to know about the Razzies and then some. What was my point? Oh yeah, I don't know how "Ballistic" escaped nomination. But I think you'll be happy to see "Yada-Yada-Yoda" won two Razzies, which it certainly deserved.

I've heard of The Razzies, and now that you mention it Ballistic not getting even a nomination is a bit of a surprise. But I haven't seen Swept Away so perhaps it was a particularly good year for bad movies. I am kinda surprised that Guy Ritchie made such a universally panned movie, considering his preceding movies. Anybody out there seen Swept Away and can confirm its awfulness?

Thanks for posting these! They're always fun to read, but alas, always about as accurate as the Oscars, as they pick on high-profile stuff and not truly the worst stuff (Worst song? Sure, I don't like it, but trust me, there were much worse songs in the films last year. The Clones screenplay was hardly great, but I definitely saw worse screenplays last year. Plus, wasn't Madonna more like a cameo in Die Another Die? Me thinks they're just teaming up.)

I seem to recall one year they ganged up on A Life Less Ordinary, and that film was actually pretty good. It was just a high-profile flop.

I won't defend Hayden Christensen for a moment, however... :)

Shalom, y'all!

L. Bangs

Yeah, they're pretty loose with the supporting category. Another nominee for Worst Supporting Actress this year was Bo Derek for "Master of Disguise." Bo Derek may have won a LOT of Razzies in the past, but she really wasn't in the movie enough to suck in it.

BTW, I think your memory deceives you about "Life Less Ordinary." According to the IMDB, that didn't win any Razzies. And in 1997, "The Postman" swept the Razzies anyway.

I've never seen this movie, and I strongly suspect your write-up here is quite a bit more entertaining.

In case you're curious (I was), "Kaos" is an oh-so-cool shortening of the Thai director's last name: Kaosayananda. And according to IMDB, he hasn't directed a thing since our masterpiece here...

Johnny Waco

JohnnyW! It's always a treat to see your name pop up on one of my lists!

Thanks for the trivia, and man, I'm relieved to hear Ballistic was the end of the line for Mr. K. That is as it should be.

Thanks jim! Supposedly, the esteemed Mr. Kaos directed the biggest hit in Thai film history when he was imported to Hollywood for this disaster. Of course, saying you're the biggest director in Thailand perhaps isn't all that impressive;)

Johnny Waco