Over on his blog at the Chicago Tribune, critic Michael Phillips (a very nice and knowledgable guy who James Rocchi and I chatted with at Sundance earlier this year) has a fun piece up on movies that he's walked out on. Then he asked a bunch of Tribune staffers to share what films they've walked out on.

Some of the picks are predictable -- Evita, Reservoir Dogs (one of my own least favorite movies of all time, though I actually sat through the entire violent mess), and Forrest Gump (blech) are on there, along with a few I wouldn't have thought of, like Prince's Under the Cherry Moon and Cat People, which I remember watching with a certain fondness as a midnight movie on TV in my youth (it wasn't that bad, was it?)

I'm one of those sadistic movie fans who will generally force myself to sit through anything, even at a film fest, when a lot of folks will slip out with the excuse that they need to catch something else that's overlapping a film they really just want to walk out on anyhow. I generally try to avoid up front seeing a film I know I'm really going to hate, but sometimes I'm assigned to review something, and it can't be helped -- I just have to suffer through it so I can write the damn review. Here are a few movies, though, that I suffered through but wish I hadn't. If only I'd known then that even print folks at a place like the Tribune walk out on films, I might have saved myself some misery ...

Deck the Halls
-- "When you're starting to think that maybe sneaking out and going to see The Santa Clause 3 would be a better use of your time, you know you've stumbled upon a truly wretched film."

The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl in 3-D -- "Let me be perfectly clear: The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl in 3-D is a bad, bad, movie. Terribly bad. Unrelentingly bad. It was so bad, in fact, that I spent a good deal of the movie thinking of all the synonyms for "bad" I could think of, just so I could list them for you in this review. I should get combat pay for having to sit through a film this bad."

American Dreamz -- "Trying to turn these discrete pieces into a unified whole is a bit like throwing appetizer, main dish and dessert into a blender -- it may save time, but the end result is an unappetizing mess."

Last House on the Left -- One of the most senselessly violent films I've ever seen, this film has absolutely no redemptive value whatsoever.

The Lizzie McGuire Movie -- I didn't review this movie, but I have sat through it -- more than once -- at the behest of my 10-year-old daughter. I don't know what's worse, the horribly contrived storyline, or watching Hilary Duff attempt an Italian accent as she plays a pop star who's her double, but this film has none of the charm of the television show that birthed it. To be fair, I did like Duff marginally better in A Cinderella Story a year later, but this one was real stinker.

Happily N'Ever After -- "There was, quite honestly, nothing good about this film, from the cheesy opening voiceover to the predictable ending, so all I can really do for you is enumerate the ways in which this film is utterly wretched, in the hopes that you will stay away from it in droves, thus saving yourselves money and the desire to have the memory of its 73 minutes burned physically from your brain (actually, I suppose you could say its brevity is the one good thing the film has going for it)."

Premonition -- "The sad thing is, Bullock tries really hard to make this film work, and to be fair, and there are moments here that are among the best I've seen from her as an actress. It doesn't really matter, though, because the script is just so poorly constructed, the logic so convoluted and the execution so confusing, that she never has a chance."

Now it's your turn to share with the group ... what are some films you've walked out on -- or wish you had?

[via Movie City News ]