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Editor's Note 01.11.10: The Top 10 Pet Peeves of 2009
Posted by Chad Webb on 01.11.2010

The Top 10 Pet Peeves of 2009

For the fifth year in a row, I am presenting my Top 10 Pet Peeves, which is fun for me because I enjoy bitching about certain aspects of pop-culture, and this being a pop-culture website allows me to do that. This year should be particularly intriguing since you all can leave comments, and I am sure you will waste no time in telling me how stupid some of my choices are. Oh well. These things annoy the hell out of me, but they might not strike the same chord for you.

It is important to note that many people or things will not show up because they have made so many appearances in the past, and I hate to reiterate myself too many times. To view my lists from previous years, and to see how odd some of my selections look now, click on any of the links below:

The Pet Peeves of 2008

The Pet Peeves of 2007

The Pet Peeves of 2006

The Pet Peeves of 2005

10. Swine Flu - I debated on whether or not to include this because no, I have not had the swine flu, so I cannot tell you what it feels like. I hope I never can. However, I am not complaining about the people who had it. Why would anyone do that? My complaint rests with the way the media displayed it to the world. On one hand, it is a pet peeve just because it exists. No one wants to get sick, and it sucks. I have known a few people that have had the swine flu, and for them at least, it was similar to the regular flu. What annoys me is when I turn on the TV and see a "death toll", and constant updates on how many people have it, followed by ominous warnings by the newscasters. Putting fear into the people for what is commonly a case of the flu is really stupid. We should take it seriously, even though the regular flu kills people every year too, but we do not need reminders that we could get the swine flu and die at any minute. Coverage on the boy who started the whole thing, and the fact that he is fine, came and went like a flash of lightning, proving what the media cares about.

9. Megan Fox - Ok, she is attractive. I'm not obsessing over her, but she is pretty. However, I for one was sick to death of hearing about her every single day of 2009. We were bludgeoned with incessant quotes that made her look like a conceited airhead, and endless pictures that were not nearly as sexy or worth the clicking. And how could we forget that little fan offering her a rose that she ignored? Give it a break. We also had the comments about Michael Bay, and man, it seriously got on my nerves. Hopefully 2010 will mean a lot less of Ms. Fox.

8. The "Saved by the Bell" Reunion - I am, admittedly, a fan of this show, so the possibility of a reunion seemed like a terrific idea. That is, until it never really happened. People Magazine never even invited Dustin "Screech" Diamond because the rest of the cast apparently didn't like him anymore. On top of that, Jimmy Fallon's show never had the planned reunion, and Dustin Diamond was acting like a jerk because of his "tell-all" book Behind the Bell, which incidentally did not set book stores on fire. The People reunion (minus 1) was reduced to a puny 2 page article that was the definition of disappointment.

7. Family Stick Figure Car Decals - I've been waiting to bitch about pointless car decals for a long time. Ok, it's not my car so why should I care? I don't, but I can still be annoyed, so deal with it. Do these families actually think anyone gives a shit about these stickers? Do we really need detailed pictures of strangers' family life via stick figure decals? I don't, and I'd be surprised if anyone admitted to enjoying a daily drive and admiring other families' cute stickers. If that isn't irritating enough, many are voicing worries that these stickers give away too much information about a family, and the children more importantly, which attracts predators and makes the family more vulnerable. I'm not a fan of the vacation abbreviation stickers either. No one needs to see your family flaunted on your mini-van, and no one but you cares where you went on vacation. Thank you.

6. The "Twilight" Franchise - Do I really need to elaborate? The vampire craze does not bother me. True Blood is good, and Thirst was on my top 10. It is the public obsession with Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, and Kristen Stewart that gets under my skin. I'm tired of people talking about the books, and sick of hearing updates about the lives of the stars. The best thing about Twilight and its sequels is how quickly the films are being made. They will be gone before we know it. Let's cross our fingers!

5. The Joaquin Phoenix "Meltdown" - Joaquin Phoenix is a superb performer, but not superb enough to pull the wool over everyone's eyes. After growing a full beard and sporting glasses, Joaquin decided to start a rap career, and also said Casey Affleck would film a documentary about this. He went on David Letterman, acted crazy, and everyone speculated on what was going on. Then we stopped playing along, and got on with our lives because it was obviously a stunt, one that was funny and interesting for a day or two. 2009 is now over, and Joaquin is still "retired" from acting until he realizes these shenanigans were moronic. When will the alleged documentary be released? Sometime in 2010 according to IMDB, but does anyone still give a hoot? I don't. We know Joaquin is a little cuckoo for Coco-Puffs, but someone needs to advise him that this idea, staged or not, is dumb.

4. Octomom - Her real name is Nadya Suleman, and she must be one of the most perplexingly popular stories I have ever witnessed since I was born. She had 8 kids. Great. She got plastic surgery to look like Angelina Jolie. Ok, so…she's nutty. So why was the media following her all year long? Oh wait, they still are. Mrs. Octomom, I simply do not care about your similarities to Angelina Jolie, and I sincerely wish I could stop hearing about your humdrum life in the news. Our continuing fascination with you proves how supremely idiotic we can be as a culture. Oh, and she has a crush on Jon Gosselin. Priceless.

3. 2012 - Oh boy, how fed up I am with 2012 warnings, predictions, and reminders. This is not a tirade about the film, although that was irritating too. This goes out to all the nerds who are trying to scare people with the theory that the world will end in 2012 because that's when the Mayan calendar ends. "Oh, this one has more truth to it" was a statement I heard constantly. These predictions occur every once in awhile, but this one has received more publicity because of the film, and because it involves the Mayan calendar. Please stop. Even the Mayans got tired of the hype surrounding this theory, and if that doesn't tell us that we need to give it a rest, I don't know what will. If the world does end in 2012, we cannot stop it, so I would prefer not to have reminders about this every day.

2. Sex Scandal Coverage - Wow, 2009 was a year where the world once again decided to be infatuated with sex scandals. The genuinely annoying part of this was how exaggerated they both got. We became judge, jury, and executioner of Tiger Woods and David Letterman. They are celebrities. They are men. They have women falling for them all the time. They have money in order to get any woman they want. Why was the news that they cheated on their wives so shocking? But we refuse to let it die. It is amazing that we act so surprised every time a wholesome celebrity is not the epitome of family values and perfection. Now, I feel that one of the consequences of being a celebrity is that their personal lives might become public, but by now, I am not shocked about anything, yet everyone else always is. If they can't keep it hidden, oh well. I don't care about Tiger Woods, his top 10 list of mistresses, and I really could care less about who Letterman bangs at his studio. Let them do what they want, and move on.

1. Jon & Kate Plus 8 - This was not a difficult #1 choice. It kind of goes along with #2, but honestly, they deserve their own rant. Oh my God, Jon is cheating, and now they will split up! How will I go on with my life?! Again, why this received so much news is beyond me. Why does the public feed on this? It felt like every time I glanced at a newspaper, turned on the TV, or spoke to someone at work, they would be discussing these two morons, and how appalling it was that he was cheating. WHO CARES?

Hall of Shame

Britney Spears/Paris Hilton/Lindsay Lohan – Class of 2007
High School Musical – Class of 2008
Kanye West – Class of 2009

The Best and Worst of 2009
The Best and Worst of 2008
The Best and Worst of 2007
The Best and Worst of 2006
The Best and Worst of 2005

The Top 10 Worst Posters of 2009

Anyone who has met me knows that I love everything about the movie experience. The trailers are a part of that, as well as the posters hanging around a city or inside a theater. Strolling through the crowded lobby getting a peek at a future film you have been waiting for is an irreplaceable feeling. Furthermore, I love hanging posters in frames around my house. The thing is, some of my favorite movies have some of the worst posters, and vice versa. Every year, I like to salute the highs and lows of movie artwork. Keep in mind, the rating of the film itself means nothing.

Granted, I'm not sure how I would have constructed poster artwork for this, but I would not have told Larry David to make this gesture as a means of luring people to see it. It's too odd, and doesn't really yell "See Me! I'm Funny."

We all should have learned from this warning. This poster has stupid expressions from Michael Cera and Jack Black, yet we went to see it and suffered anyhow. Is this really the best they could do with a stone age comedy poster? Shame on them. Somebody had to have a better idea.

#8 - NINE
Ladies and gentleman, here is the example of worst use of photoshopping in 2009. I'm sure we all believed that all those stars were in the picture together. More than anything else, this poster is just plain hideous to look at for more than 5 seconds. Cringe.

If it isn't the cheesy grins on everyone's face, it is the fact that the camera is taking a picture of the picture, and we all know that is not Robert De Niro's hand holding the camera. No wonder this bombed. What are we supposed to learn from this dumb image?

I loved the film, but they failed miserably on the posters. The other one was bad too. Take the title, and then look at the picture, and try to think of what they were aiming for. It goes along with Apatow's previous posters, but the gimmick does not succeed this time.

What could they be racing towards? Could it be the spaceship in the air, the helicopters, or Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson's enormous floating head! Yes, the floating heads were popular this year, with The Box and Knowing posters as well, but none of them compare to Dwayne's huge skull.

I sadly admit I saw most of this while killing time before another film, and from what I have seen and read, the event displayed does not take place in the film. Not only is this poster bland and mystifying, but a total waste of space. If this didn't make the list, the other one featuring the stars' heads in the bushes would have.

Last year, What Happens in Vegas made my worst poster list for annoying the holy hell out of me just by looking at the stars' faces and stances. This year, Matthew McConaughey and Jennifer Garner get that honor. No wonder this film was seen by as little people as possible. Viewers don't want the poster as well as the trailer to tell them how dumb they will be if they pay for a ticket. I would like to hit McConaughey.

Welcome to the worst rip-off of another poster. For those who haven't heard of Sam Peckinpah's Straw Dogs starring Dustin Hoffman, that was the goal here, only the effect of the image is ruined when that face is Madea. Tyler Perry must be stopped. It makes no sense with this character.

#1 – FIRED UP!
I cannot think of a worse way to advertise a film than to prominently display "F U" to everyone that passes by to see it. I heard the film was abominable as well, but why would anyone want to see a movie that sent this message to audiences? Hopefully the person who chose this was just "Fired".

The Top 10 Best Posters of 2009

I love when live-action films use drawings for the poster, and this one was perfect for this acerbic satire because what you see explains the film wonderfully. They used this on the DVD as well. More people should give this one a shot.

The movie was a lot of fun, and the poster got our attention. Any poster that gives us a new version of the planet in black with the title "Zombieland" on top deserves some credit. This is a great one to have in your bedroom, or anywhere for that matter. It's just cool.

Even though I thought the film was merely average, not one other film from 2009 had a better series of posters. "Series" is the key word there. They way this movie was marketed got everyone's attention. It is memorable and creative.

This sophomore effort from Rian Johnson was not a huge hit, but this sophisticated hand-drawn artwork is outstanding. This is the type of poster I would buy for my house because anyone visiting will inevitably examine it. It's neat, has all the characters, and tells you it's "a con man movie." It also continues the idea to the bottom credits.

Not everyone might love the concept of Paul Giamatti's head in the forum of a Russian Babushka doll, but I thought it was a fabulously quirky image for the story. It's also creepy, but in a good way. I would hope that passing by this would have you intrigued as to the premise.

Here is a poster that was completely faithful to the films it was spoofing. The poster is as much fun as the movie itself. It's very retro, and does an awesome job of telling you what to expect.

I've never even heard of this movie, but the poster rocks, and it's impossible not to stare at. I found it to be quite inventive, and exactly the type of image that would push you to see the movie.

I suppose this poster is better if you have seen the movie, but even if you have the tiniest idea of some of the scenes in this, you'll understand why the image of scissors with the stars head is ballsy. I know if I had this, it would be the source of much conversation. Party with Antichrist!

Quentin Tarantino's Nazi film had a bunch of brilliant posters, but this one is the best. The bloody bat with the Jewish names etched into it, the Nazi helmet with bullet holes, and the "Once Upon a Time in Nazi Occupied France…" is just fantastic. It was one of those rare occasions where everything about a movie was competently handled.

This is obviously the foreign poster image, but seriously it should have been displayed everywhere. The other poster is quite bland and dull, but looking at this boy's angry face with tears coming down is incredibly powerful, and so perfectly explains the message the film is trying to convey.

Closing Thoughts

I thank you for perusing this article. I don't have many closing thoughts for this as I usually save the bulk of them for my Tuesday column, Nether Regions where I recently wrote about America, America. I would like to do a Best and Worst of the Decade article next week, but I'm not sure if that will happen. I guess you'll know if you see another "Editor's Note." Take care!

"The plural of Chad is Chad?"
--From the movie Recount


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