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Entries in bad movies (51)

Wednesday
Sep142016

TIFF: Michelle Rodriguez & Sigourney Weaver in (re)Assignment

Nathaniel R reporting from the Toronto International Film Festival

We must ban the use of the word "problematic" so that it may be deployed to describe pop culture offerings which are PROBLEMATIC in all caps. (re)Assignment is one of those, even if its too dumb to capitalize on its sophomoric provocations.

A hired hitman named Frank (Michelle Rodriguez...with prosthetic dick because her figurative big one wasn't enough) is drugged and operated on by an amoral vengeful doctor (Sigourney Weaver) and wakes up with breasts, vagina and a smoother more beautiful face...

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Saturday
Sep032016

Summer Movie Season Surveyed

This article originally appeared in Nathaniel's column at Towleroad. It is reprinted here in a revised TFE specific but abridged version...

While summer didn’t technically begin until June 20th and isn’t technically over yet, “Summer Movie Season” is not beholden to the solstice and equinox but to The Blockbuster. Summer has long been the most lucrative season for Hollywood and so they’ve stretched it out to start earlier each year. It now tends to begin sometime in April with the release of the first movie that feels like a Summer Blockbuster proper (this year that would’ve arguably been The Jungle Book on April 15th) and ends on Labor Day, aka Any Second Now. It’s no secret that it’s been a rough summer for the quality of blockbusters. But if you’re lucky enough to live in a big city or smart enough to seek out films without gargantuan ad budgets, there was still plenty of cinema to get excited about. So herewith the Best & Worst of 2016’s Summer movie season…

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Monday
Jun202016

Swing, Tarzan, Swing! Ch.6: Two Horny Simpletons Walk Into the Jungle...

As we approach the release of The Legend of Tarzan (2016) we're ogling past screen incarnations of the ape man...

While there's plentiful competition for "Worst" Tarzan movie in the first 90 years of ape-man cinema, there's no competition whatsoever in the annals of Official Tarzan movies for "Least Tarzany" of all Tarzan Movies. That dubious honor belongs to the infamous 1981 Bo Derek film. Despite sharing a name with the original Weismuller film, Tarzan is, for the first time in history, a 100% bonafide Supporting Character. That's reflected in the credits where Miles O'Keeffe is third-billed and has not a single line of dialogue and in the poster, in which he doesn't appear at all! 

For younger readers explanation is definitely necessary this time. Some stars maintain name recognition after their heyday even if younger generations aren't exactly sure why they're so famous. Other names provoke blank stares. Bo Derek, still very much alive at 59, was once very famous but is surely the latter kind of star. Who?

[More, but mostly NSFW, after the jump...]

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Tuesday
Mar152016

Mercedes McCambridge in "The Concorde... Airport '79"

Tim here. Now we come to the sad part of our centennial tribute to Mercedes McCambridge. For like so many movie stars, her career ended with a damp fizzle, not with any last triumphs. Worse yet, her career started rolling to a close in the 1970s, when Hollywood hit upon its most degrading scheme ever for what to do with its old legends and workhorses: stuff them into the enormous ensembles of tacky disaster films. At its most prestigious, this phenomenon resulted in Fred Astaire getting his solitary career Oscar nomination for The Towering Inferno. At its least prestigious, you have living legends Henry Fonda, Olivia de Havilland, and Fred MacMurray in a death race to see who can embarrass themselves the worst in The Swarm.

Or, for that matter, you have McCambridge herself, grossly misused and discarded in The Concorde... Airport '79. It's the fourth and final film in the rather dimwitted Airport franchise, which had once upon a time been kinder to its storied old troupers: 1970's Best Picture nominee Airport, the film that essentially got the disaster movie cycle rolling, netted Helen Hayes her second Oscar. But those days were long gone by the time McCambridge was called up to squander her talents along with the rest of a distressingly high-quality cast, including Alain Delon, Cicely Tyson, and David Warner. [More...]

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Saturday
Mar052016

Is "Gods of Egypt" a Bad Movie People Will Eventually Love?

The cast sees the reviews! The Horror. The Horror.The ill begotten would be blockbuster Gods of Egypt, directed by Alex Proyas (I Robot, The Crow), is currently enjoying a 13% rating on Rotten Tomatoes; you could call that score bad luck but for the fact that the movie fully earns it.

Still... There's something enjoyable about tallying up the ways it goes wrong. It continually charges toward its own spectacular idiocy with gusto. Despite heaps of exposition it never makes a lick of sense, explaining rules only to break them. It mounts each action sequence with zero artistry in disguising its shameful lust to earn extra $ as a video game (you half expect congratulatory text and bonus points on screen a la Scott Pilgrim vs The World). It builds its own crazy as high as its in-movie Tower of Babel. It wants to play with surreal Egyptian imagery but is so 2016 that it mistakes human gods with animal heads for organic derivatives of Michael Bay's Transformers

Each actor, freed from mundane concerns of "direction" or even other actors (green screens abound so half the time it's clear they're not together), does his/her own thing. The result is a hilarious hodgepodge of styles, accents, and wildly varying degrees of success at self-amusement: Egyptians with Australian accents? why not, Gerard Butler!; You once saw Pirates of the Caribbean and want to do something affected but can't quite commit to your mincing gay idea? Then do it half ass, Chadwick Boseman; You only want to entertain yourself? Thank you thank you Geoffrey Rush & Nikolaj Coster-Waldau. You are both having so much fun which is the only way to do a bad movie.

Maybe it's the time of year, the garbage dump month between serious adult films vying for metaphoric gold (it's just gold plating) and studio four-quadrant product vying for audience gold (the green stuff) but I found its monotonous/cheap aesthetic weirdly endearing; the sets and costumes are gold, the lighting is golden, some of the superpowers are fiery gold, and these Gods even bleed gold! This is not a recommendation so much as a "if you're in the mood for it" which I, surprisingly, was. It's a blockbuster dumb as Brenton Thwaites is twink pretty, but it just can't help itself.

Grade: C-/D+
Oscar Chances: Teehee. not even if 2016 ended today with only 40ish movies to choose from. 

Thursday
Feb252016

Bad Movies on Oscar Weekend

This weekend's release of Gods of Egypt got me thinking about the fact that we never get great movies opening on Oscar weekend. Studios must be betting that those of us watching the show are too busy prepping movie-themed party snacks to sneak in something special at the movies. Instead, they usually cater to an audience who'll likely be avoiding the big show. Hardly a new standard for release schedules, this weekend has been a dumping ground for forgettable cinema for some time.

Like the notorious poor quality of early months of the year, this weekend rarely gifts us with cult classics or enduring pleasures either. You have to go back 1997's Oscar weekend to find releases that still have vocal fans: TNT staple Selena (remember good Jennifer Lopez?) and Liar Liar (remember good Jim Carrey?). The previous year had David O. Russell's underappreciated sophmore film Flirting with Disaster, which did get some precursor love.

However, for something timeless and Oscar recognized, this weekend's biggest standout in modern memory is Pretty Woman. Julia Roberts performance as What Do You Want It To Be Vivian wasn't the most recent Oscar nominee debuting the weekend of the ceremony.

Let's see how far back we have to go to get an Oscar nominated film released on Oscar weekend!*

*full disclosure: I cheated, but you will totally agree why after the jump...

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