Updated: Nov 25, 2019
Occasionally I think we need to sit back, turn off the noise and actually observe something enjoyable. I rarely go to the movie theater anymore, as very few films seem to elicit my interest. I do, however, watch a lot of movies at home. I have previously discussed great road movies and American westerns. Maybe it's time to discuss some terrible movies. I always hate to criticize an artists work, as movie making is complicated. However, that does not mean some of them should be seen...if possible.
There are so many bad movies out there, but I will limit this list to five. Impossible maybe, so perhaps will make this a regular feature.
1. The Unsinkable Molly Brown (1964): I know you are probably thinking I am nuts as this movie was actually nominated for six Oscars, including Debbie Reynolds for best actress. Take my word for it. This movie is awful. It is also a musical. Debbie Reynolds plays Molly Brown, a Titanic survivor (why someone thought this was a good backstory I have no idea). She lives in some backwoods cabin and decides to leave and find a wealthy husband and better life. As of course that is what most woman strive for. She meets Johnny Brown (Harve Presnell) and they marry. By the way, Molly can't read. To many cringeworthy scenes to mention really. Molly learning to read. Molly hiding all the money in a wood burning stove (guess what happens?...yuck yuck). Molly singing and dancing in a saloon. A ballroom brawl. Godawful horrible.
2. It's Complicated (2009): To be quite honest I don't even know where to start with this one. Jane (Meryl Streep) has been divorced from Jake (Alec Baldwin) for ten years but apparently still has feelings for him (I guess this must happen all the time). Of course Jake is remarried to a much younger woman (Lake Bell). Cue Steve Martin as a potential suitor, and of course Jane's kids providing advice on her sex life. Since 20 somethings are so knowledgable in this area. Jake and Jane start an affair (you can't make this up). Then we have all the hijinks with the kids, spouses, Jane's friends, blah blah. It's complicated? How about it's unwatchable! A two hour parade of the most unrealistic and most unlikable people on the planet. Avoid this at all cost.
3. Blue Hawaii (1961): What you ask...this is an Elvis Presley movie...how could you disparage the King? Well, most of the King's movies sucked. This one in particular. Chad (Elvis Presley) is discharged from the army and heads home to Hawaii where his parents Sarah (Angela Lansbury) and Fred (Roland Winters) own The Great Southern Hawaiian Fruit company ( I guess United Fruit was already taken). Of course the old man wants Chad to work for the company, but Chad instead goes to work at his girlfriend Maile's (Joan Blackman) tour agency. That's the story pretty much. Huge family crisis here. So Chad hangs out all the time with his buddies, Hawaiian beach boys (of course). If there is a bad day, it's nothing a ukulele or surfing can't cure. Wow. This is a total train wreck. I don't care what anyone says. Avoid it. If you like Elvis listen to Spotify or something.
5. Why Him? (2016): An open letter to Bryan Cranston:
"Sir, would you please consider not making any more movies. Ever. We loved you in Breaking Bad, and we eagerly looked forward to your movies when that series ended, but enough. They have all been awful to be honest. In retrospect even that HBO movie on LBJ was tone deaf treacle. Yes, he did get the Civil Rights act passed, but it's too soon to positively acknowledge any portion of that befuddled dope's disastrous 5 years in office. Perhaps history will treat him more kindly someday, but not yet. So are you next going to make a movie on Nixon's "brave" opening of China? I'm just joking…please don't! And what the hell was that movie with you hiding in the garage from your family all about?"
Don't be fooled folks…Why Him? is terrible. 38 year old Laird (James Franco) and 24 year old Stephanie (Zoey Deutsch) are living together in California. Laird is (of course) a millionaire Silicon Valley whiz. Stephanie's parents Ned (Bryan Cranston) and Barb (Megan Mullally) get wind of the romance and jet off to visit them over the holidays. The hijinks soon start soon due to the supposed culture clash (I'm not sure if it's that or Ned is just a douchebag). Laird's high tech house befuddles the Michigan hayseeds. There are funny toilets. Crazy party guests. New age ceremonies. There is some backstory about Ned's failing printing business I don't care about. There is the odd younger brother. Oh, and there is a Kiss song involved. Congratulations BC, you managed to make a Kiss song look uncool. I did not think that was possible...but what do I know? Avoid this crapfest for your own good.
5. Look Who's Talking (1989): I like John Travolta. I like Kirstie Allie. I know JT was down on his luck in the late 1980's and making some bad movies (and is doing so again). This movie sucks….and the worst part is they actually made two sequels! I would not be surprised if we get a remake soon. The studio suits will sit around and surmise, "everyone loves babies…let's remake that cute talking one." Mollie (Allie) gets pregnant by an older married man Albert (George Segal), who then ignores her. She goes in to labor and is rushed to the hospital by cabdriver James (Travolta). The baby then makes observations on everything via a voiceover by Bruce Willis. Who will Mollie choose to be the father figure? The sleazy businessman Albert or the affable cab driver James? Who cares?! I suppose a baby making cute observations on adult trials and tribulations is amusing…to who exactly? I don't like to bash the 1980's…but I will anyway….so this was considered funny back then? Good God. The only saving grace is that it was only 90 minutes long, but who could last that long watching this swill.
That's all folks
You have been warned. To be fair I will also occasionally write about some great movies that you should see.