Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Shelved Life

As if this Saturday's announcement of the Razzies Worst Movie of 2004 isn't enough for bad-movie fans, today's IMdb drops a bombshell:

Bob Weinstein and Harvey Weinstein will be leaving Miramax Films with a flourish, releasing as many as 22 movies during the next seven months, including some troubled films that had been shelved or postponed, the New York Times reported today (Wednesday), citing unnamed executives at the studio. The strategy was described by one Miramax executive as an effort to "clean the pipeline" before new managers take over. The Times suggested that some of the films may not be released theatrically but instead will go straight to cable and/or DVD. One such film is Prozac Nation, starring Christina Ricci, which has been shelved for more than four years.

Dude, this is bad-movie manna from the heavens. Miramax has the best catalog of terrible, horrible, unwatchable movies. Many "sit on the shelves" until they have to be released, like the recent Anna Paquin scare-fest Darkness. Billy Bob Thornton is the poster boy for delayed Miramax releases. He starred in the shelf-warmer Waking Up in Reno, as well as Daddy and Them, which he also wrote and directed. Miramax kept bumping the release date of Nightwatch (Ole Bornedal's American remake of his Danish movie, Nattevagten). Despite an amazing performance from Nick Nolte, Nightwatch's butchered editing makes it hard to watch (plus that Saw-esque ending, oy vey).

Other delayed Miramax stinkers (in alphabetical order): Chump Change, Diamonds, Duplex, My Name Is Modesty: A Modesty Blaise Adventure, and View from the Top.

Is there one good film that Miramax held and quietly released on video? My vote goes to Buffalo Soldiers, a very cynical US military black comedy, which was held back post- 9/11. It's unwatchable, only because the satire cuts too close to the bone.

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