The Readers Strike Back: Bad Movies Aplenty

Last week, I gave you my ten worst movies. This week, three top tens from the readers. And really, I wouldn't argue with most anything on these lists - some of these movies I haven't seen, and I don't want to, but those that I have... yick! There's only one I'd salvage, and the rest can be consigned without ceremony to the Dustbin of History. So, in the order in which they were sent me, here are some Lists from the Readers. Yes, I have readers! Maybe only three, but damn, that's readers, plural! (And come on - my site stats tell me I have plenty more readers than that, so send me your list!)

Picture of the Dustbin of History. Link to picture source.

Susan sends in the following:

Before I even read it, [she's on the update list]
here's my list:

Police Academy 4
Ghost Ship
w/Keanu Reeves
Ghostbusters 2
Debbie Does Dallas
Liar Liar
, or Mask 2 (tied)
The Parent Trap w/the Olson twins
Old Yeller
Jim Morrison

Ghostbusters 2 is the all-time loser, because it's the one movie that I've actually walked out of!

Upon seeing this list, I realized that Susan has clearly seen some bad movies. I mean, had I ever seen anything with the Olson twins in it, I probably would've clawed my eyes out afterward. Or during, really, since then it would actually be useful. As it turns out, though, she hasn't seen the Olson twins movie either. (Phew!) She figured the Olson twins ruined every movie they touched, so they probably ruined Parent Trap. That seems an utterly reasonable assumption on her part, I'd say. Susan also followed her list with an invitation to go for a pint, which I felt I needed after being reminded that the Olson twins exist, and plus the mention of alcohol means I'm uninclined to argue with anything in her e-mail.

After reading my post, she added the following,

I could not remember the correct name of the Star Wars I film, so I left it off, but it definitely goes on the list.

and Jar Jar Binks is the name of the character I most disliked in the film, probably my main reason to not like it at all!

It could even replace Old Yeller, I guess....

And admitted...

I started to list Breakin' II: Electric Boogaloo, but for some reason thought that it was considered a classic film of its genre, and caring so much what others think, I didn't want to embarass myself by either trashing a classic film, or by letting anyone know that I've actually seen it.

Hee! Thank you for embarassing yourself right here with the rest of us, Susan! (Given that I've seen it too, you're in good company!) And as long as you haven't actually seen that Olson twins movie, you really have nothing to be embarassed about. I mean, at least you didn't spend two days watching Children of the Corn sequels...

Amy, who just this week cooked some goulash stew with me and still considers me her friend, has this to say about her 10 worst movies, and her reasons.

10 Worst Movies, eh?

10. Dumb and Dumber - I only went into the theatre in the first place because my brother was the manager, which made all the movies free--and I'd already seen everything else that was playing. 20 minutes in, I realized that the rest of the audience had been laughing already, so we weren't waiting to get to 'the funny part'. This was it. So I left.

9. Anything With Costner - I actually used to think that Dances With Wolves was the only bearable Costner film, because it's structured in such a way that it's supposed to sound like he's reading from something (his journal) the entire time. As opposed to all of his other movies, where he still sounds like he's reading from something, but I guess that's what they call 'the script'.

8. Being John Malkovitch - Lots of people raved about this one, but to me, if just fell flat. It raised all these super-interesting questions about the nature of identity, and what it means to *be* someone...and then it ignored them. It might also be that I just don't like John Malkovitch.

7-1. Children of the Corn 1 thru 7. Acutally, these probably weren't all that bad, as the genre of
Horror-Movie-With-A-Gazillion-Sequels goes. Which is to say, they were pretty bad. But mainly I mention them because it allows me to brag (shamefully or shamelessly, you be the judge) about how I once watched every damn one of them over the course of two nights. Plus, I'm unimaginative and can't think of 6 other movies.

Pshaw on #8! Not Being John Malkovich! I like that movie!! But then, I like John Malkovich. I thought the Scene Of One Hundred Malkoviches was pretty damn hilarious. I also have one of those girlchild-of-the-eighties crushes left over on John Cusack, and I'm always happy when he gets good work. Something that's Being John Malkovich and that's not Serendipity. But I really can't disagree with any of those other choices (love the description of Costner...always reading, that guy), and I have to appreciate the succintness, on-target-ness, and laziness implicit in her choices 7 through 1. I've only seen the first one, but I imagine that any sequels would've... well, would've driven me to the brink of insanity over the course of two nights, certainly.

And Phil - my soon-to-be-famous friend Phil (go on, follow the link - he's a funny guy!), whom I met when he was just "also with" in the credits and who now has a book coming out soon, submits the following.

My Ten Worst Movies by Writers, Actors or Directors who should know better.

1. Bram Stoker's Dracula: Coppola should more accurately have called this "One quarter of Bram Stoker's Dracula and three quarters of wishy-washy shite". Add to this terrible adaptation, Keanu's dodgy accent, Anthony Hopkins's OTT performance and Gary Oldman's Mickey Mouse-ears hairdo and you have a really crap movie.

2. The Beach: Another terrible adaptation. Leonardo was obviously too cool to play Richard as the shy, slightly nerdy British backpacker who doesn't have the nerve to talk to the girl he is in love with [I think that would just require a coolness very few people have, really - Miriam], and the computer-game-run-through-the-jungle is just laughably bad.

3. Queen of the Damned: The follow up to the excellent Interview with the Vampire condenses two 500 page books - The Vampire Lestat & Queen of the Damned - into one 90 minute movie and obviously misses the point of everything.

4. Star Wars The Phantom Menace: Forget the epic themes of good & evil, love & hate and oppression & rebellion, this story is concerned with two blokes with a broken spaceship that go for a day at the races. And Jar-Jar Binks and his entire race are the best argument for genocide ever to be shown on screen.

5. Godzilla: You can imagine the pitch to the studio: "It's Godzilla done with CGI! Here's the script written on a bus ticket!" The man from Hollywood, he say yes.

6. Harvard Man: The most recent disappointment. I got this out purely because it had Sarah Michelle Gellar in it and it was rated R. The first half is about trying to fix a basketball game and the second half is a guy wandering about off his nut on acid. Confusing crap.

7. The Haunting: I'm talking about the Liam Neeson remake here, not the classic black & white version that I love! The newer version swaps scares for big, stupid cartoon-like effects. The original never showed anything and is still one of the scariest movies around.

8. Dungeons & Dragons: This was a big budget waste of money. All the action scenes were stolen from Indiana Jones movies, the story was crap and the characters were all unlikable. Why didn't they make it like the cartoon?!

9. The Time Machine: Not long enough! It had the potential to be good but since you never get to know any of the characters - it all happens in one day - you don't really care what happens to them. Even the final showdown is over in a few minutes.

10. Jackie Brown: Quentin Tarantino's only misfire to date. None of his trademark dialogue and a story that is just plain boring. The ending is shown a few times from different perspectives and after the first two I was just praying for it to end... please, END!

(Dis)honourable mention should go the desecration of Stephen King's IT, though it was only a TV mini-series it deserves to be berated at every opportunity.

Though I've never seen the remake of The Haunting (I try to avoid remakes, as a rule, as they mostly either suck or are pretty much exactly the same movie but with George Clooney this time, or both), I must agree that the original rocks. We discussed it once in a queer films class, and now when I see the scene where there's knocking on the door (and there's nothing out there doing the knocking - very scary), all I can think is, Oh my god, it's the knocking of the clitoris! which is what someone in that class called it. It kind of ruins the overall effect of the film to be thinking that, but it's still good! Also, I'm impressed by Phil's willingness to admit that he's actually seen Dungeons and Dragons. I don't know anyone else who has - or, rather, anyone else who'll cop to it. (And hey, Phil, someday that song's going to be worth money, and I know where my copy is!)

So there you have it. Three more lists of movies which - with one small exception, I'd say - really are unarguably, indubitably, execrably bad.

And now, if you'll excuse me, I have a dissertation to write. Thank you to those of you who wrote in with movie lists - my dissertation and I are grateful!!

4. December 2003


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