One year ago, on my 25th birthday, I wrote about bad movies. It was a fun post to write, and so I decided to make it a birthday tradition to write about bad movies every year. There were seven really bad movies on that first list, and today, on my 26th birthday, here are seven more.
The Avengers (the other one)
Before you get angry, I am not referring to the movie with Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and the Hulk. No, no. That movie was awesome. I am referring to this one:
This movie was bad. Really, really bad. I am unable to recount many details about this one, since the memory of it has (mercifully) faded over the years, but it always stands out in my memory as one of the absolute worst films I have ever seen. Bad acting, bad special effects, bad plot, bad directing, bad everything. It’s made even worse by the fact that I watched the original British TV show of the Avengers from the 60’s on VHS with my family when I was a kid. And the show was great, sure it was goofy and campy in that very 60’s kind of way, but it was a lot of fun.
And those of you who know Diana Rigg as Olenna Tyrell from Game of Thrones might be surprised to learn that she used to look like this…
She’s also the only woman to ever marry James Bond. So yeah, she’s awesome, and The Avengers in the 60’s were awesome, but the 1998 Avengers movie was not.
Diamonds are Forever
Despite how great that poster is, this movie sucked. I love James Bond, but fortunately I am still able to recognize a bad movie when I see one, and this one is in my opinion the worst Bond film ever made. The plot is incomprehensible, the acting is bad, the special effects are crappy, it just sucks. If it weren’t part of one of the longest-running and most successful film franchises of all time, it would have been instantly forgotten. Sure, Roger Moore made some stinkers (A View to a Kill, anyone?), but this one beats them all. Just utter crap.
xXx: State of the Union
I’ll admit: I liked the original movie xXx, starring Vin Diesel. Sure it’s dumb, but I always kind of enjoyed it. Call it a guilty pleasure. This sequel, however, is just plain bad. They replaced Diesel with rapper Ice Cube, who has all the charisma of his namesake. And speaking of bad James Bond movies, this movie was directed by Lee Tamahori, who, as the above poster reminds us, directed another really bad Bond movie, Die Another Day, which you will recall was the Bond movie with the invisible car and the sun laser and the ice palace, among other nonsense.
State of the Union is chock-full of nonsense as well, and not even Samuel L. Jackson and Willem Dafoe as the villain could save this one from crashing and burning. The producers wanted to make kind of an American James Bond series, with different stars taking the role of xXx, but this movie was so bad it stopped the franchise dead in its tracks.
For the record, Lee Tamahori may have made two really bad action movies, but he has made at least one genuinely good film called The Devil’s Double, about Saddam Hussein’s son Uday. Watch that instead of this.
Made Of Honor
I think this might be a first for my blog: a romantic comedy! Unfortunately, it is also not a first for my blog, because it’s awful. I watched this with my mom (or at least we attempted to) and we were both shocked at how bad it was. The premise is contrived (guy and gal are best friends, she gets engaged to someone else and asks him to be her maid of honor, he has to contend with jealous bridesmaids and of course it takes an excruciatingly long time for guy and gal to realize they’re made for each other) and the movie wastes the chemistry of Patrick Dempsey and Michelle Monaghan as the leads.
I forget if I’ve mentioned this before, but I really like Michelle Monaghan as an actress (go watch Kiss Kiss Bang Bang if you haven’t already, I’m pretty sure I’ve recommended it before; Monaghan was also really good in HBO’s True Detective) but this movie utterly wasted her. The jokes aren’t funny, the appealing leads are wasted in a terrible script that doesn’t know what to do with them, and the whole movie just feels like it goes on forever. I can’t really recommend any good romantic comedies, but at least I can recommend that you don’t watch this one.
Pride and Glory
I saw this one in the theater, and it was so bad I almost walked out, which is something I never do. I sat through all 165 minutes of Transformers: Age of Extinction (IN 3D, no less) but even that was a more pleasant viewing experience that this clichéd mess. Unpleasant, overlong, and just plain bad. The plot was hard to follow, all of the characters were jerks, and the language was horrendous (nearly 300 f-bombs). And it contains one of the most atrociously misguided and upsetting scenes I have ever had the misfortune of witnessing, in which Colin Farrell’s character threatens a clearly-upset infant with a hot laundry iron. It’s an appalling scene, and it would be enough to sink the whole movie by itself, but it doesn’t have to because everything else about the movie sucks too.
I watched this movie for free on Hulu one night and it was so awful I wanted to ask someone for my money back. Frank Miller has written and drawn some great graphic novels, and he co-directed two Sin City movies (I haven’t seen the new one but the original is really good), but as a solo director…yikes. The Spirit is a mess. The acting is terrible (Samuel L. Jackson’s scenery-chewing is particularly cringe-worthy), the plot is absolute nonsense, and Miller’s attempts to emulate the visual style of the Sin City movies (black and white with splashes of color) fall utterly flat. For example, when a guy gets shot and falls to the ground, his chest is covered with white splotches that are meant to be bloody gunshot wounds, but you can’t help thinking that the poor sod just got divebombed by a flock of incontinent seagulls. There are plenty of beautiful women in the movie, but Miller has absolutely no idea what to do with them aside from simply offering them up as eye candy. The Spirit is one of the worst comic-book adaptations of all time, which is really saying something in a world where Joel Schumacher’s Batman and Robin exists.
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End
The second Pirates of the Caribbean movie gets a lot of flack, much of it deserved, but I still find some things to like about it (mostly the Kraken. I do love me a good sea monster). The third Pirates movie, however, has almost nothing to recommend it. None of the cliffhangers from the second movie are resolved satisfyingly, the plot is impossible to keep track of, and the whole damn thing is nearly three hours long. How did a movie series based on an amusement-park ride get to be so freaking complicated? I love the first Pirates movie as much as the next person, but the franchise just went completely downhill after the first one. I never saw the fourth one (aside from bits and pieces on TV here and there) and I never felt like I was missing anything.
So there you have it, seven more really bad movies. Join me next September 23 for seven more! My birthday present to myself is once again that I don’t have to watch any of these.