17 items from 2014
John Travolta is as fascinating and complex a member of the Hollywood fraternity as you could wish for. Iconic performer, experienced pilot, vocal Scientologist and mangler of pronunciation of Idina Menzel.
He has managed to appear in not just some of the best known, but also some of the best-full-stop films of the past forty years – Saturday Night Fever, Carrie, Grease, Pulp Fiction, Get Shorty, Face/Off, The Thin Red Line, Hairspray and the upcoming Gummy Bear The Movie – whatever one might think of the consistency of his output (and there have been some horrendous misfires), it is hard to imagine too many actors playing Danny Zuko, Vincent Vega, Castor Troy, Sean Archer, Chili Palmer and Edna Turnblad with equal conviction.
After the temporary resuscitation of Look Who’s Talking turned out to be a false dawn, Tarantino did Travolta a favour of inestimable proportions by casting him in Pulp Fiction, »
- Dave Roper
This piece originally ran in July 2013. We are republishing it as a new season of Franklin & Bash kicks off. There are three kinds of pop-culture punch lines — by which I mean an actor, band, movie, or TV show that is regularly used as an all-purpose kicker to jokes. Type 1: The very successful person or piece of art that is deemed ridiculous by those who consider themselves to have "good taste." Examples: Two and a Half Men, Dane Cook, Paul Blart: Mall Cop, Nickelback, Twilight, reality television. Type 2: The huge, high-profile bomb, often synonymous with the Hollywood’s hubris: Gigli, Ishtar, Battlefield Earth. And then there is the third type, the rarest type of punch line. Something in this category is neither wildly popular nor a huge disaster. It’s not so good it’s bad or so bad it’s good. It’s something in which every element, »
- Jesse David Fox
It suffered a 63% box office drop in its second week of cinematic release. It was nominated for eleven Golden Raspberry Awards, winning one. It has been singled out as a source of massive regret for much of its cast. It effectively ended two A-list film careers, signaled the decline of Hollywood’s most celebrated guilty pleasure strongman, and doomed its helmsman to a pantheon of lingering disgrace. It torpedoed a multimillion dollar franchise, wiped out two green-lit blockbusters and put one of pop culture’s biggest names into the dark for eight years. It is often cited as one of the worst movies ever made, and was crowned number one by Empire. Years later, its director would be compelled to actually apologize for it. When you collect your wits at last and begin to look at the mess with something approaching rationalization, you will be hard pressed to find a »
- Scott Patterson
If the franchise’s lifespan at all mirrors that of its reptilian real world counterpart, then we’re probably just exiting the throes of puberty for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series. 30 years since the heroes on the half shell first surfaced, the comic turned merchandising fixture has seen many iterations over the years, surviving off the endlessly reproducible chemistry and attitude of its hyperactive stars. Like many pop culture touchstones, each “Turtles” outing provides something of a bellwether for the filmmaking environment it’s born into. When it was announced that Michael Bay’s Platinum Dunes would be responsible for this latest reboot, with Bay producing, many felt justified to fear the worst.
Unsurprisingly, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is not a very good movie, or even a half good one. Its dedication to nostalgia necessitates a story that plays like a big budget TV pilot, coasting by on the »
- Sam Woolf
What are some films that you would consider to be the worst of all time? Tommy Wiseau’s The Room? John Travolta’s Battlefield Earth? Mariah Carey’s Glitter? Well, according to film review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, there are films that are much worse out there. While the movies just mentioned are bad, they still have their fair share of positive reviews on the popular website.
Today we are going to be looking at ten films that have the dishonorable distinction of having a zero percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. These are films that apparently no reviewer can find any merit in whatsoever. We’d like to argue that these next films don’t necessarily deserve that distinction. Now, these movies are far from masterpieces (heck, they’re not even all that good) but they deserve at least a 1% rating for goodness sake!
To put this in context, »
- Jesse Gumbarge
Over a month ago, perhaps feeling daunted by the seemingly endless summer season stretching out in front of us and the sheer volume of popcorn we were going to have to eat, we brought you our list of The 20 Worst Summer Blockbusters Of All Time. But now that we’re in the thick of it, and we’ve had a few more decent big titles open (“22 Jump Street,” “Edge of Tomorrow” and “X-Men: Days of Future Past” all had their charms) we’re turning that frown upside down, and bringing you our rundown of the 20 Best Summer Blockbusters of all time. But that “hooray for everything!” vibe is a little misleading. As we’ve proven to ourselves so many times before, stable, long-term professional relationships of mutual respect and admiration tend not to be shaken by debates over whether “Jonah Hex” is empirically worse than “Battlefield Earth,” but are much »
- The Playlist Staff
Twenty years ago today, Quentin Tarantino and Harvey Weinstein unveiled the filmmaker’s sophomore movie — an ambitious anthology of crime stories, all interconnected and metatextualized — at a late Saturday night screening at the Cannes Film Festival. A little over three hours later, as the crowd staggered out of the Palais des Festivals, they knew they had an audience favorite on their hands. Soon, they would be able to add Palme d’Or winner, Best Picture Oscar nominee, the first indie film to break the $100 million mark, a gamechanger and a modern classic to the list. »
When you create something for public consumption, you’re putting yourself in a very fragile position. For example, creating a popular television show means handing your beloved characters over to the world for weekly scrutinizing. Then again, it also means handing them over for weekly adoration. But no matter how beloved a show, movie, album, or book might be, no creator is perfect. And by default, no creator’s work is perfect.
That being said, there are few times in the world of pop culture where a creator has come forth and apologized for a large piece of work. Do »
- Samantha Highfill
April Fools! I needed an infamous 'bad movie we love' for today's edition of Hit Me With Your Best Shot a crowd source visual party, where anyone with a love for movies can watch the pre-assigned film and chime in on the one moment that makes it or defines it or reflects it. In other words, whatever "best" means to you.
The Village People musical Can't Stop the Music (1980) starring Valerie Perrine (of Lenny & Superman fame), Olympian Bruce Jenner (long before the Kardashian days) and Steve Guttenberg early on in his career, came through. And how. You can barely believe this movie while you're watching it but you can't exactly look away either. (Credit where it's due, the lightbulb for this week's selection came to mia via an e-mail from Awards Watch, about their new series pairing Razzie winners with Oscar winners.)
This musical, the very first Razzie Worst Picture winner is awful, »
- NATHANIEL R
Filmmaking is an innately collaborative process: the director is normally the creative face the public get to see, but behind that you have producers keeping studios happy, writers trying to give something meaning and catering staff dealing with obnoxious actors. Everyone’s important.
Until the film is a success, at least.
If the critics adore it or audiences just can’t enough, the director is immediately ascended to the level of genius, maybe bringing a heavily-involved actor along for the ride. Awards notice occasionally give the smaller players a chance to shine, but for the most part it’s an individual heaped with praise for the group’s work.
Likewise, when a film fails, you can guarantee it’ll all be made out to be the fault of one person. More often than not the director’s the unlucky one, but the honour can realistically fall on anyone »
- Alex Leadbeater
Poor John Travolta. Poor, poor John Travolta. Idina Menzel, whom the "Battlefield Earth" star inadvertently rechristened at the Oscars on Sunday, has decided to have a little fun at Travolta's expense by reprinting the official Playbill for her new Broadway musical "If/Then" with the name "Adele Dazeem" listed on her official bio. To further reflect the alternate universe in which John Travolta clearly resides, "Rent" is now "Nert," "Wicked" is now "Wicked-ly" and "Frozen" is now "Farfignugen." Final analysis? Idina Menzel wins everything. At this performance... #idinamenzel #adeledazeem pic.twitter.com/rpgi4BYaLa — Janet Krupin (@janetkrupin) March 4, 2014 »
- Chris Eggertsen
Feature Ryan Lambie 21 Feb 2014 - 06:10
Last June, we were lucky enough to visit the set of X-Men Days Of Future Past and chat to some of the cast and crew. Here's what happened...
Nb: This article contains very mild spoilers for X-Men: Days Of Future Past.
Opposite and a little way to my left, Richard Nixon sits happily eating his lunch. Well, not the real Richard Nixon, obviously, but Mark Camacho, an actor so cunningly made up to look like the infamous Us President circa 1973 - complete with architectural nose and hairline - that it’s impossible not to stare. We’re sitting in the canteen tent of X-Men: Days Of Future Past, where tables have been arranged in long rows, one after the other, so the place looks like Da Vinci’s The Last Supper multiplied in a hall of mirrors.
Days Of Future Past marks an important »
Top 10 Ryan Lambie 22 Jan 2014 - 05:51
Like any awards ceremony, the Razzies can sometimes make some bizarre decisions. Here's our pick of 10 mystifying nominations...
Established in 1981, the Golden Raspberry Awards have grown from a tiny ceremony hosted in founder John Jb Wilson's living room into their own Hollywood institution. Intended as an antidote to the self-congratulation and glitz of awards season fixtures like the Oscars or the Golden Globes, the Razzies aim to single out the worst films, screenplays and performances of the preceding year, serving up an irreverent parody of Hollywood's vanity and excess.
Sometimes, the Razzie choices aren't too far off the mark. Few would argue against Battlefield Earth's 2000 win for Worst Picture, or that the impenetrably murky The Last Airbender didn't deserve the amusingly-titled award for Worst Eye-Gouging Misuse of 3D.
There have been some really worthwhile categories on occasion, too, like Worst Movie Trends of the Year, »
A hodgepodge of Western, sci-fi and Greek tragedy, “Young Ones” is certainly one of the more unique films at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. But the sophomore effort from Jake Paltrow (“The Good Night”) gets so bogged down in its primal tale of murder and revenge that the most intriguing elements become little more than futuristic window dressing. Unfolding in three distinct chapters, each featuring a different protagonist, the visually rich and dramatically spare pic plays a bit like a cinematic graphic novel. A cult following could be in the offing, but commercial prospects otherwise appear limited.
Set in an unspecified area of the United States (though shot in South Africa) where water has become a precious commodity, “Young Ones” has the vibe of a post-apocalyptic drama but can’t technically be classified as such. The world is still functional; the film simply focuses on a group of characters »
- Geoff Berkshire
Adam Sandler has been a Razzie Awards darling for decades, but in the past three years he's incited unprecedented wrath. In 2011, he swept every category for "Jack and Jill" and he won Worst Actor again in 2012 for "That's My Boy." This year "Grown Ups 2" leads the Razzies with eight nominations, including Worst Picture, Actor, Director, and Screenplay. It's perhaps lucky for Sandler that 2013 was an auspicious year for bad movies. Unlike last year, when the "Twilight" finale became the best reviewed Worst Picture in Razzie history, voters have a wide selection of derided nominees to chose from for Worst Picture. -Break- It's up against the much-ridiculed "After Earth," which earned six total nominations. It follows in the footsteps of another Scientology-inspired sci-fi flop, "Battlefield Earth," which was Razzie's Worst Picture of 2000, Worst Picture of the Decade, and Worst Drama of Their »
It's been a vintage year for Hollywood – and the big studios are now lobbying hard in a tight and high-stakes race
A diet of bubblegum blockbusters and inane sequels has exposed Hollywood for years to accusations of undermining western civilisation, or at the very least dumbing it down. Who could emerge from the likes of Battlefield Earth, Showgirls and Basic Instinct 2 and not wonder at Tinseltown crassness? How could an industry with so much money and talent produce so much junk?
You don't hear such questions these days. A run of exceptional films has restored Hollywood's cultural credentials and fuelled some of the most intense awards campaigning in living memory.
Studios, actors and directors are slugging it out – and allegedly slinging mud – in what promises to be a vintage season for gongs, starting with the Golden Globes on Sunday and climaxing with the Oscars in March. "For a time, »
- Rory Carroll
Another year has come to an end, which means it's time for the Dread Central staff to weigh in with their picks of the best and worst of 2013's horror offerings. We're giving you a full dozen lists this time, and per usual they come in a variety of formats, each reflecting the unique styles of our writers.
We've also compiled them to come up with the year's overall winners and losers. We averaged out the top and bottom five vote getters on everyone's lists, and here are the results:
Worst: Texas Chainsaw 3D
Runners-up: The Purge, The Last Exorcism Part II
Check out the Dread Central staff's Best of and Worst of lists for 2013 by following the links below!
[Buz "Danger" Wallick]
[Debi "The Woman in Black" Moore]
[Gareth "Pestilence" Jones]
[Scott "Doctor Gash" Hallam]
[Staci Layne Wilson]
Andrew Kasch's Picks
- Uncle Creepy
17 items from 2014
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