Archive for the ‘Awfulness’ Category

The Internship (2012)


Normally I do a comedic run-up on these posts, but I don’t want to have to think about this particular movie any more than I’ve already been forced to. So first have a look at the stars in question, and then the other stars who they so strongly resemble:


glenn gozer

“Aim for the flat-top!”

Come at me on Twitter bro: @jonnyabomb

Pacific Rim Elysium (2013) Anchorman 2

There are some potentially great movies coming out this year. Go anywhere else on the internet and you will read about movies like PACIFIC RIM and ANCHORMAN 2 and THE WORLD’S END and ELYSIUM. I’m excited about those too. There’s also all the obvious nerd bait like STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS and HUNGER GAMES 2 and THOR THE DARK WORLD. Not really my thing, but it’s certainly understandable if those are the kind of titles that make your heart do a happy dance.

But step off the beaten path with me. Let’s take a moment to give some attention to the real weirdos out there. Let’s look at some of the movies of 2013 which no one in their right mind is looking forward to. I’m not talking about intentional cult items like MACHETE KILLS or ESCAPE PLAN. Those movies are that guy or girl at the party who’s trying too hard to be sexy and therefore failing big for exactly that reason. I’m talking about the ugly guys or girls who just don’t give a fuck what you think they look like. They just wandered in off the street because they got a whiff of the guacamole dip.

This isn’t about schadenfreude.  Well, not really. I mean, I’m no saint. There are a couple movies I wouldn’t mind watching crash and burn. In that category are ENDER’S GAME — written by a bigot, directed by the guy who made X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE; sure, no way that pairing could go wrong — and a pair of Vince Vaughn movies, one where he hangs out at Google for an entire movie and another movie where he plays a sperm donor, because no one learned anything from THE SWITCH and holy Lord do I ever not want to see or ever be asked to think about Vince Vaughn donating sperm.

But generally, my natural good nature wins out and I am a sweetheart who only wishes the best for everyone. Still, there are some movies coming up in 2013 whose very existence perplexes me. And that in turn makes me curious. Call me a a jerk, a creep, a kook, a contrarian, a nihilist, an anarchist — I’ve been called all of those things before and that was only this morning at the nunnery — but I like really bizarre movies that make no rational sense, and I like it even better when those movies turn out to be entertaining.  So the following bunch is a group I’ve got my eye on in 2013 (some are getting real close now!):


Assault on Wall Street (2013)


Why It Could Be Cool:


Why It Probably Won’t Be:



Java Heat (2013)

JAVA HEAT (May 10)

Why It Could Be Cool:

It’s the caveman version of HEAT!

Why It Probably Won’t Be:

Mickey Rourke may actually be an Al Pacino, but Kellan Lutz is no Robert De Niro. I mean, maybe he is. I’ve only seen him in ARENA. He did not come off too brightly there. Also, his name is Kellan Lutz.




Why It Could Be Cool: “From the producer of SPIDER-MAN, X-MEN, and IRON MAN…”

Why It Probably Won’t Be: …And the director of SOUL SURFER!


Sinbad The Fifth Voyage (2010)


Why It Could Be Cool:

Pseudo-stop-motion-animated skeletons!

Why It Probably Won’t Be:

Skeletons aside, this looks impressively bad. Like ten dollars worth of stolen garbage. I bet you Sinbad doesn’t even do his MacDonald’s milkshake routine!


After Earth (2013)


Why It Could Be Cool:  Will Smith! A clone of Will Smith! Space! Volcanoes! Monkeys!

Why It Probably Won’t Be: M. Night Shyamalan.

But that also means it could be as funny as THE HAPPENING. At this point, Shammy is probably done for as a serious director. But as a director of hilariously-solemn unintentional-comedies, he’s got a better shot than most.


Axe Giant


Why It Could Be Cool:  Well, it’s a horror movie about the legendary giant lumberjack Paul Bunyan.  Ain’t a thing I can say I’ve ever seen before, and brother, I’ve seen plenty.  Also, while there are no signs from the trailer or the official site, there’s still a better-than-average chance of a cameo from Babe The Blue Ox.

Why It Probably Won’t Be: Actually, I have no reason to expect it won’t be amazing.


Hammer of the Gods (2013)


Why It Could Be Cool: It’s a movie about Vikings!

Why It Probably Won’t Be: Vikings that say “Kiss my axe.”


R.I.P.D. (2013)

R.I.P.D. (July 31)

Why It Could Be Cool: I’ll never not have hope for a movie that has Jeff Bridges and James Hong in it, and unlike most of the huge movies this summer, this one seems to have a sense of humor about itself.

Why It Probably Won’t Be: It’s trying way, way hard to be both GHOSTBUSTERS and MEN IN BLACK at the same time. See if you can spot the big, gaping difference.


The Frozen Ground (2013)


(No trailer yet.)

Why It Could Be Cool:  Cage versus Cusack. Hate to paraphrase myself so quickly, but: It’s like HEAT for weirdos.

Why It Probably Won’t Be:  This comes to us from 50 Cent’s production company, Cheetah Vision, and yes, 50 Cent co-stars in the film.  50 Cent’s movies are becoming an obsession of mine — not because they’re particularly awful, but because they aren’t particularly good, despite often tremendous casts.  Also, NOBODY KNOWS ABOUT THEM.  He’s so famous yet his movies are so under-the-radar.  But that’s a much longer conversation.  THE FROZEN GROUND is based on a true story.  John Cusack plays Robert Hansen, the notorious serial killer, and Nicolas Cage plays the Alaskan cop who hunts him down.  It’s no secret that Cage, once (and still) a tremendously gifted and unconventional actor, took a severe detour into mostly silly movies.  It’s less commented-upon that John Cusack has kind of done the same thing.  There’s an outside chance that a movie teaming the two of them could end up being great, but even if it doesn’t, it can still be colossally entertaining.


Don Jon

DON JON (October 18)

Why It Could Be Cool:  Joseph Gordon-Levitt is one of the smartest actors around and this is the first movie he wrote and directed.  He seems to have brought his old accent from LOOPER along, and that was surely a fine movie.  Scarlett Johannsson, who is also great, is his co-star, and she looks particularly phenomenal in this trailer.

Why It Probably Won’t Be:  Well it still could be.  There’s a ton of major talent involved. But I have to admit, and you probably should also, that if it were anyone other than Joseph Gordon-Levitt making this movie, there’d be plenty of cause for agita.  It’s hard to escape the suspicion that JGL came up with this movie back when Jersey Shore was hot.  It’s tough not to notice that Scarlett is using one of her SNL accents.  It impossible not to consider that porn addiction is pretty difficult to make charming on film. And on top of all that, Tony Danza.


The Butler (2013) The Butler (2013)

THE BUTLER (October 18)

Why It Could Be Cool: There are a lot of good actors in this movie.

Why It Probably Won’t Be: Watch the trailer. Listen to and look at all the shit those good actors are made to do, say, and wear. Listen to that music. Have you done all three? Great! Now your incontinence is cured!



GALLOWWALKER(S) (release date unknown, may actually have already been out for two years)

Why It Could Be Cool:

It’s exactly BLADE, but then also a Western!

Why It Probably Won’t Be:

I mean let’s be reasonable with our expectations here.


Bookmark this page because I will be updating it as I discover more beautiful treasures!


X-Men Origins: Wolverine (2009)

Sometimes movies like X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE make me sad, because they give me time to reflect on how all the money going into these huge-budget movies could have been spent on important and worthwhile things like medical research, or wildlife conservation, or food for the needy, or reimbursing me for the allotment of my meager salary I used to purchase a ticket.

Let me back up:

X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE (which I am now going to refer to only as WOLVERINE, in order to keep my word count down), is the supposed origin story of the previously-mysterious, eternally-popular mutton-chopped mutant from the Marvel comic books and the three previous X-MEN feature films.  It’s meant as a prequel to that trio of movies, explaining how Wolverine got to the point in which we initially meet him at the beginning of 2000’s X-MEN.  As usual, Wolverine is played by Hugh Jackman, in a performance that has very little to do with the source material, but with an Eastwood-esque charisma that, for a while at least, had effectively anchored this increasingly unwieldy film series.

I had some hopes going into this movie because its initial screenplay credit goes to David Benioff, the novelist who wrote the books The 25th Hour andCity of Thieves, and the short story collection When The Nines Roll Over (all highly recommended).  On the other side of seeing this thing, I can’t believe that a single word of Benioff’s draft was used.  Or maybe he did write it after all, but only after being hit in the brain with one of those ‘amnesia bullets’ that wipes Wolverine’s mind clean in the penultimate scene.  (Sorry, I ruined the ending.)  Wolverine is lucky to have the amnesia though.  If this was my origin, I wouldn’t want to remember it either.

Look, I’m not by nature a negative guy; I know from first-hand experience how much effort goes into making any movie, no matter how it turns out, and I have no interest in denigrating the hard work of anyone involved.  However, in the interest of honesty, and in the hopes that something can be learned from the experience, here are some quick [amnesia] bullet points to explain why X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE is – an understatement here – no classic:

Will Ferrell proved that this doesn't work.

Will Ferrell proved that this doesn’t work.

*  Shockingly clichéd dialogue.  If the humor was intentional, they would have called it AIRPLANE.

“You look like a man fixin’ to do a bad thing.”

“Colonel, this is turning into a disaster.”

“All of their strengths, none of their weaknesses.”

(Actually, I know exactly where they took that last line from – an earlier Marvel movie called BLADE!)


*  Incoherent action geography and by-the-numbers plotting.

But toothy yelling? We got that on lock.

But toothy yelling? We got that on lock.

*  A charismatic performance from Ryan Reynolds, who dominates every early scene and, naturally, is punished for it by being removed from the movie for an hour, only to return at the end with his mouth sewn shut.

Ryan Reynolds

*  Dominick Monaghan and Kevin Durand, both so good on Lost, also unnecessarily wasted.

"I've got a bright idea: Get me the fuck out of this movie ASAP!"

“I’ve got a bright idea: Get me the fuck out of this movie ASAP!”

*  An atrocious debut performance from Will.I.Am, who also has an atrocious number-one hit right now.  He’s a double-threat!

"Look on my silly cowboy hat, ye mighty, and despair!"

“Look on my silly cowboy hat, ye mighty, and despair!”

*  A complete lack of continuity with the X-MEN movies goes without saying, but I was still hoping that they’d at least TRY to explain how the great actor Liev Schreiber would one day become a pro-wrestler.


*  Unintentional laughter abounds in this movie.  I listed the times when I laughed out loud:

1.  Opening credits freeze-frame on Liev Schrieber as Sabretooth, bounding like a bunny rabbit though a SAVING PRIVATE RYAN homage/ D-Day flashback.  Really, any time he jumps around the movie is almost worth the cost.  Hysterical.  Not meant to be.  But hysterical.


2.  Naked CGI Wolverine jumping into a waterfall.  (Hard to explain and we don’t have the time. None of us here are immortal.)


3.  Aunt May and Uncle Ben, from the SPIDER-MAN movies, cameo as the kindly old couple who take Wolverine into their home.

(Not actually them.)

(But maybe.)

(If not, it’s Ma & Pa Kent for sure.)

Old Folks

4.  Adamantium bullets, Wolverine’s only weakness.  He’s a werewolf now.


5.  The Blob gets his name from mis-hearing Wolverine when he addresses him as “Bub.”

(So how come Wolverine calls Gambit “Blob”?)


6.  Ryan Reynolds’ sad eyes when he reappears as Deadpool with his mouth sewn shut.

Sad Eyes

7.  Patrick Stewart cameos as a weird old guy who invites a group of kids into his helicopter.  Creepy!  (Imagine if I hadn’t seen the other movies yet and I didn’t know why this was happening, seeing as how the movie doesn’t really explain it.)

Patrick Stewart

Again, apologies for the spoilers, but not really.  If you’re an emotionally mature adult and you haven’t yet seen this movie, I’m actually helping you.  I’m saving you time and money.  This is a bad movie, not that it brings me any joy to say so.

I recognize that this movie wasn’t made for me.  Clearly.  It was made to swallow up the allowances of thirteen-year-old boys and to sell overseas to foreign audiences that will hopefully get better dialogue on their subtitles.  A movie like WOLVERINE only has to be just good enough to meet those standards, and not any better than that – that’s just how business works.  It also should be acknowledged that the movie isn’t made for girls either (let alone women) – the only female character in the entire movie exists solely to get killed (twice!) so that the title character has his excuse to wreak bloody vengeance all over the place (but not too bloody, since it has to come in under a PG-13 rating so all the kids can get in.)  The movie’s not sophisticated.

Still, it could’ve been.  I’m a comic book guy.  At least, I was, for my formative years.  I appreciate the artistry and energy of superhero comics, and for some time I was wrapped up in the compulsive appeal of them also.  I read all the X-Men comics throughout the 1990s, although that wasn’t necessarily a golden era for comic books.  That decade was dominated by flashy yet hollow characters such as Gambit and Deadpool, who coincidentally have been crammed into this WOLVERINE movie.  Comic book fans know what I mean when I say that X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE is like a shoddily-drawn issue of a spinoff X-Men comic – it has some of the characters you like in it, and it’s got explosions, so you’re gonna get your fix.  But you will not remember it as fondly as you do the better issues.

It would be a copout, though, to suggest that this is the best we can expect.  Look at SPIDER-MAN 2.  Look at THE DARK KNIGHT.  Look at the LORD OF THE RINGS movies.  There is a precedent for huge-budget movies of this sort that still manage to engage a large audience emotionally and tell a coherent story cinematically.  It takes a monumental amount of hard work and good luck, but it can be done.

In fact, one just opened.

Star Trek (2009)

Given the choice, absolutely go see the new STAR TREK movie.  You don’t need to be a fan of the series from before.  I’m not, never was.  Although I guess I am now!  JJ Abrams’ STAR TREK is that good.  I have a minor conflict of interest here, in that I know, have met, and very much like some people behind the scenes, but that will only hinder me so far as to stop me from writing a full-length rave review.  I admit that I want to see this movie storm the box office so that nice people get paid and the rest of us frequent a quality movie, but if I didn’t truly think it was good enough to recommend, I wouldn’t.  It’s a really fun time at the movies, and a much better way to forget your troubles than an amnesia bullet.



Lindsay Lohan almost ran me over once.  It’s not my greatest Hollywood anecdote, but it happened.  At the time, I was working as a production assistant on the set of a TV show in Los Angeles.  My job was to corral all the background extras for the scene into a break area in an alleyway behind this jewelry store where we were shooting.  It was a wide alley, leading out to the street — big enough for cars to drive through though narrow enough that they’d need to do so cautiously.  I stepped out in the alley to address the group, back to the street.

Suddenly, a car sped right past my left shoulder, not more than six inches from me, fast enough to be dangerous but slow enough for me to spin around and spot the familiar face in the drivers’ seat.  It was like that scene in JAWS where Brody is shoveling chum and grumbling to Quint and while his back is turned, the great white zooms right past him – only instead of a shark it was the cute redhead from MEAN GIRLS.


I should say “allegedly” regarding all of the above, since there were no cameras recording the incident.  Easily deniable.  As it happened, I doubt she even noticed.  So you’re free to doubt me.  But please know that character assassination is not my thing.  That’s not the goal.  Near-accidents happen.  No big deal to me, really.  I don’t hold any personal grudges against Ms. Lohan.  I’ve been almost-killed by all sorts of people, many of whom are my greatest friends. 

I only brought this up in the interest of full disclosure, because I wrote about Lindsay Lohan and the Lifetime TV movie LIZ & DICK for Daily Grindhouse and my unvarnished opinion may read to some like an act of vengeance. I can only hope that you take my word for it when I say that it was done entirely without malice.

Well, not entirely.  I mean, I hated the movie.  But I gave it my best shot.  And I don’t hate anyone who made it.  I just wish they wouldn’t have. 

Click on the picture or on this link for >>>LIZ & DICK<<< !!!

Go here for me on Twitter:  @jonnyabomb


In the realm of faceless people writing about movies from the safety of the internet, I like to think I’m one of the more reasonable you’ll find. But I could be wrong. (See?) It’s a point that’s come up before, but it bears repeating: Unlike most people who write about movies online, I’ve spent A LOT of time working in all corners of the film and television industries in virtually every position there is. I know well how hard people work, around the clock, to bring every show to an audience. I try not to take that hard-earned knowledge lightly. Besides, I have friends who still work in film and TV, and I’m not even all the way out myself. I try mighty hard not to put anything on a computer screen that I don’t feel ready to say to someone’s face. On top of all of that, I grew up with movies. I love this stuff as much now as I did when I was young — if not more. It doesn’t make me happy to be unkind. I’m in this to share my enthusiasm, plain and simple.

All of that said, and try as I might, it’s way harder to find new ways to be nice. It’s certainly harder to be funny that way. And sometimes, a movie is put in front of me about which I just can’t find much nice to say and still remain honest.

These are the movies that forced me to be unkind.


This is from August 5th, 2010:

It’s true.  I’ve seen Cats & Dogs: The Revenge Of Kitty Galore.  It really happened.  I was on a pretty good streak of seeing really solid movies there for a while, and such streaks are inevitably made to be broken.  The real reason why this occurred is that I am uncle to an adorable niece and I am bound by my will to honor her every request, within reason.  Hopefully the rest of you love the children in your lives significantly less.  Just this once, love is not the answer.

This Cats & Dogs movie is nominally a sequel to the previous movie called Cats & Dogs, but I’m not sure that there’s any kind of story to follow.  The first movie came out in 2001, which makes the gap between movies comparable to the time James Cameron took between Titanic and Avatar.  But whereas Cameron spent all that time working on new technologies and designing a movie that would appeal to the widest audience possible, Cats & Dogs does the opposite.  If anything, it seems like the makers of Cats & Dogs spent nine years accumulating all the crappy dog and cat puns in the world.  Seriously, I haven’t seen a movie with this many crappy puns since Batman & Robin, and we all know how that one went.

I’m not even going to bother recapping the plot for you, because… who cares?  The dogs and the cats are in some secret war, where this one police dog (voice of James Marsden) gets recruited by the dog side to stop this one evil cat (voice of Bette Midler), but it’s really all just an endless, crappy, James Bond riff.  Now there’s an original fount of comedy; no one’s ever spoofed James Bond before.  (Besides only Our Man Flint, In Like Flint, Fathom, the original Casino Royale, The Pink Panther, Get Smart, For Your Height Only, The Cannonball Run, Austin Powers, just about every cartoon ever made, and probably every third episode of Family Guy… just for starts.)  Can you possibly feel good about yourself as a creative person if you’re doing sustained James Bond spoofs in the year 2010?  Do you realize that kids, your target audience, don’t get the joke?  Do you realize that kids don’t actually find animal puns all that funny?  No, they don’t!  But more on that in a second.

Some of the voice cast is done by actors who I actually like (usually), such as Christina Applegate, Nick Nolte, Neil Patrick Harris, Michael Clarke Duncan, and comedian Katt Williams, but let’s face it, they’re all just cashing paychecks here.  And those people who complain about cartoons being aimed too much towards adults these days might be reassured by this movie.  There was nothing for me here.  There is nothing here for any fan of these performers.  Having Christina Applegate in a movie doesn’t do any good if I can’t look at her.  Having Nick Nolte in a movie doesn’t do any good if he doesn’t growl, “Damnit Reggie!” every once in a while.  Having Katt Williams in a movie will surely disappoint his many fans if he’s not allowed to use the N-word.  I mean, you see the name Katt Williams in the credits, and it’s fair to expect that the N-Word is going to happen.  I’m not saying that it’s right, or that anyone should feel good about it, but devil’s advocate:  Would this movie be any better if the pigeon voiced by Katt Williams was running around saying the N-word?  Well no, but it couldn’t have been any worse either.

So grown-ups will be miserable; that’s a given.  Then again, this movie isn’t not really for kids either.  It leans heavily on butt-sniffing humor, which seems to be leaning dangerously close to gay-panic humor at moments.  (The Bette Midler fans in the audience won’t dig it.)  The movie comes close to insinuating an interspecies romance. There’s a scene with stoner cats.  Good luck explaining that one to your kids.  The human performances are wincingly bad, particularly Jack McBrayer, who really better hope, employment-wise, that 30 Rock stays on the air for as long as possible.  But I’d rather cringe at human behavior than have to ponder the questionable morality of putting words in animals’ mouths.  It’s one thing if we humans decide to act like dickheads – at least that’s a choice – but these dogs and cats are not being given the option over how they’re portrayed.  I know it’s a big-philosophy question, but if this movie doesn’t have a brain in its head, that doesn’t mean I have to turn mine off.

Besides all that, here’s the only review you need.  On the way into the theater, my niece tugged at my hand and smiled, “This is going to be the greatest movie I ever seened!”

After twenty minutes or so, the fidgeting started.  Then it turned into full-blown roaming.  Somehow we made it through the whole thing.  But.

On the way out, she turned to me and said, “I don’t want to see Cats & Dogs again!”

This is a kid who can tolerate more hours of Dora The Explorer than even the toughest guy in the county (her uncle) can handle, and this one she couldn’t stand.  I think I just inadvertently told you that we’d both rather watch Dora The Explorer.  There can be no more dire condemnation of a supposed kids’ movie than that.

Happier news, usually, at: @jonnyabomb


Wanted to clue everyone in to a guest post I did for the terrific movie blog Rupert Pupkin Speaks, which has been inviting all kinds of well-travelled movie writers to contribute their lists of favorite quote-unquote “bad” movies.  (It’s all subjective, right?) 

I think you’ll enjoy this one.  I had a lot of fun putting it together.  I’m very proud to be featured on another site I enjoy, amongst some fun people.  You’ll have to click through to get to the meat of what I wrote, but I wanted to share some posters, still frames, and YouTube clips also, so scroll down for those.

>>>Read my list HERE!!!<<<

If you know me or have stopped by my site before, you know that this is hardly the end of my voyage into tremendous cinematic badness.  It’s only the beginning.

The journey continues! 

Find me on Twitter:  @jonnyabomb.































That’s The INtouchables, not The UntouchablesThe Untouchables is a good movie which I’d have no problem watching again anytime.  Let’s have one excellent moment together before the darkness descends.

That was nice.  Now back to The Intouchables.

Here’s how IMDb describes The Intouchables:

After he becomes a quadriplegic from a paragliding accident, an aristocrat hires a young man from the projects to be his caretaker.

Here’s how the otherwise terrific IFC Center described The Intouchables when it played there this spring:

A phenomenon in France, where it shattered box-office records to become the second most successful film of all time, The Intouchables tells the true story of the unlikely friendship between a handicapped white millionaire (François Cluzet) and his unconventional Senegalese caretaker (breakout star Omar Sy). A Weinstein Company release.

And here are trailers:


Now I’m going to make fun of this, and I don’t think I care who it offends.

The reason I say that is because the only people who I care about offending are the same exact ones who would be offended by the very idea of this movie.  Maybe it’s not my place to advocate for the groups who are diminished by a movie like this one, but remember what Edmund Burke said — “all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”  In other words, if I’m not able to make fun of a movie released in 2012 where a rich white guy hires a poor black guy to be his manservant and we’re expected to see it as uplifting just because he’s in a wheelchair, then we all lose.

How patronizing, facile, clumsy, calculated, shallow, insincere, maudlin, ignorant, superficial, saccharine, simplistic, etc., etc., infinity, can one trailer be?  You might be able to get away with this shit in Europe, but don’t go bringing it to my country and expect me to receive it with a gentle kiss on both cheeks.  To be fair to the filmmakers, I’ve not seen the entire movie.  But to be fair to myself, I ain’t never gonna.

I saw the trailer at the front of a DVD I watched recently, and my hatred immediately ignited as soon as the following exchange transpired:

“These street guys have no pity.”

“That’s what I want… no pity.”

Holy shit, dude.  Not “Hey, you’re wrong about those ‘street guys’, and you shouldn’t generalize, my privileged racist friend”, but “You’re totally right about those black guys — I mean, street guys — and that’s the kind of cruelty I need!”

It’d be a lot easier to take if there weren’t an adorable lil’ Hitler joke a minute later.

Or how about the way that the white guy becomes a quadriplegic from a hang-gliding accident, and instead of learning his lesson from it, just straps himself to the black guy so he can go hang-gliding again, with cruddy Snow Patrol or whatever that song is soaring on the soundtrack with the wings of a moronic eagle.

I hope there’s a scene where the “street guy” reintroduces the wheelchair guy to the pleasures of the flesh and the herb:

I thought so.

How sweet. Hey, I didn’t know this was a bittersweet comedy about how a lowly thug teaches a self-defeating rich man how to love life again by helping him to smoke weed with Asian hookers. If I had known that, I wouldn’t have been so nasty.

Let’s take a look at some production stills and see if we can’t predict exactly what happens in this movie…

“This is the guy behind the guy behind the guy.”

“Well, Wheelchair Guy, I guess what I’m trying to say is, if I can change, and you can change, everybody can change.”

Youre the man now, dog!”

And of couse there’s a scene where the Senegalese guy helps the wheelchair guy win a race against two people on Segways.  The fucking French.

“You’re gonna eat lightnin’ and you’re gonna crap thunder, Wheelchair Guy!”

Nineteen-million French people can’t be wrong, huh?

Honestly it’s not as much the French who are annoying me here.  They don’t know any better.  They don’t have the history with racism, both onscreen and off, that our country has.  Even beyond the repulsiveness of this premise (it’s Finding Forrester meets Awakenings! The Blind Side meets The Christopher Reeve Story!) in the context of everything that has happened in real life in America from slavery to Rush Limbaugh, the lame conventions of modern cinema are strong with this one.  We should be beyond this shit by now.  It’s just as offensive to have a magical minority character who brings joy to the wealthy whiteys as it would be to have a stereotypically villainous minority character.  It’s a bad joke if you’re awake, but I’m sure it could appear sweet and affecting if you’re not keyed into this stuff.  That’s why I’m disappointed in Harvey Weinstein, a savvy businessman who should have more of a social conscience — The Weinstein Company picked up The Intouchables for distribution in the States and bought the rights to a remake.  With any luck, Meryl Streep and Tyler Perry can star in a Garry Marshall film and everyone involved can make a bundle off everybody in America who never actually met anyone of another ethnicity.  See, if you actually have a diverse social circle than you know that we’re all just people.  Nobody has mystical abilities, and no one’s problems are solved by anything so easy as a kite ride.  It’s either ignorant or consciously exploitative to sell a movie like this — now which kind of wrong do you want to be?

Maybe I’m the asshole, but I don’t take The Intouchables any more seriously than I take this:


According to the Wikipedia entry on The Intouchables, a Nina Simone song was appropriated for the movie’s soundtrack.  That’s a bit of blasphemy.  Nina Simone would have fucking HATED this movie on sight.  I super-promise it.


If I’m wrong, enlighten me.  But if I’ve got a point, then please hate thoughtfully.  I’m findable on Twitter: @jonnyabomb

The following is what happened when I had to watch Wild Hogs, the movie where four middle-aged movie stars start a motorcycle gang in the interest of wacky slapstick comedy. This one ain’t headed for the Criterion Collection, amigos.


Okay guys, here goes: WILD HOGS. Somebody teamed up Tim Allen, John Travolta, and Martin Lawrence, and somebody else is making me watch it.

In case you were worried I was doing this voluntarily, be reassured (and empathetic) — this is a MST3K, prisoner-on-the-shuttle scenario.

Movie opens with “Gimme Some Lovin” by the Spencer Davis Group. You heard this tune in The Blues Brothers, the one time it was used well, and as a result it’s appeared in every mediocre movie trailer since.

When you hear “Gimme Some Lovin”, it’s standard movie code for “get ready for a real good time!” It rarely works out that way.

Here, watch the first scene along with me, if you’re up to it — but before we do, let’s have a friendly wager: Tim Allen, John Travolta, Martin Lawrence, and William H. Macy. Which one of these actors will be the first to fall off his motorcycle?

Got your pick? OK…


If you guessed it would be the one with the most respected acting career (and most likely the most gifted of the bunch), you were right: H. Macy is the one who eats street.

From Mamet to the Coens to P.T. Anderson to this…

Humble prediction: I will get to see the other three fall off motorcycles at some point in this motion picture.

L. to r.: Fuck you, fuck you, and fuck you the most.

Would you like to guess each character’s career (before they give them up to become bikers, of course)?

First up: Tim Allen.

Plays a dentist.


Martin Lawrence: Aspiring writer. Don’t laugh.

Well, not until the part when he gets a side gig as a plumber and the first poo joke happens.

Macy’s job: Something with computers. It doesn’t matter what, right? He’s a nerd! LOL!

Travolta does something with business. He’s rich but losing it all. Good time for a mid-life crisis purchase.

(Or for Scientology!)

((Or for movies about Scientology?))

In the meantime, Macy just took his second motorcycle-based pratfall in less than seven minutes.

Starting to get the sense that Macy’s primary character description is “the clumsy one.” #whydoesthismovieneedmartinthen

In Wild Hogs, Tichina Arnold plays Martin Lawrence’s wife. In other words, this movie takes place in an alternate reality where Martin married Pam, not Gina.

It should come as little surprise that the soundtrack features “Slow Ride” by Foghat. #predictable


And also, of course, “Who Do You Love” — but the George Thorogood version, naturally, not the Bo Diddley.


Actually, I can save time and tell you right now that this movie has exactly the generic old-white-guy road-movie soundtrack you entirely expect it will.

First gay-panic joke in what will no doubt be a string: Macy rides on back of Travolta’s bike, inexplicably sniffing his neck.

Travolta’s response: “If you ever lay your head on my back again when you’re riding bitch, I’ll throw you into traffic.” #dothprotesttoomuch

Travolta referenced The Wild Bunch and my heart leapt for a second — “Can I watch it? Can I? Can I?” — then crashed back to reality.

A better movie, by a degree of billions.

Second gay-panic joke: Travolta wants to take a manly trip, “like in Deliverance”, and the other guys think he’s crazy, because butt sex.

Travolta’s dream vacation (allegedly).


Soon enough, all four guys gather around the campfire, where Macy moderates a debate over which of the other three has made the worst movies.

“I made The Santa Clause 3!”

“I made Bad Boys 2!”

“I made Battlefield Earth!”

“Shit, you win.”

Advantage (by a hairpiece): Travolta.

“Kneel before Terl!”

Gay-panic joke number three: Macy burns down the camping tent so they all have to share a sleeping bag. Macy nuzzles up to Travolta again.

Gay-panic joke #4: This dialogue: “My ass is sore. Woody rode us so hard yesterday. The human body wasn’t made to straddle something so big for so long.”

John C. McGinley has been better in better.

Gay-panic joke #5: A highway cop (John C. McGinley) finds the guys in the sleeping bag. Looks at first like he’s disgusted but — suprise — in fact he’s turned on.

(What does this movie have against talented character actors who use middle initials?)

((Oh, and against gay people?))

(((And why is Travolta’s character the ringleader in the majority of the anti-gay jokes, huh?)))

Question: Does Tarantino ever look at what Travolta has primarily been up to since the resurrection and think, “What have I done?!?”

Actually, shit: Since Pulp Fiction, Travolta’s got Face/Off, Get Shorty, and a tiny part in The Thin Red Line. That’s all that’s been inarguably worthwhile. All else has been simply tragic.

If you were hoping fora scene where the guys strip down and go skinny-dipping, great luck! And look, here comes another gay-panic joke…

#6: Travolta, last to strip: “Fine. I will get naked with my gay friends, and if any of them look at my junk, I will kill them.”

#7: When Travolta gets a look at Macy’s naked butt, he yells “Ew!” Meanwhile, even Martin’s able to take it in stride. #strange

“That collection of man-tits you ordered, ma’am.”

#8 The guys are still naked when John C. McGinley returns, nude himself & ready to party. Way they react, you’d think he was Henry Lee Lucas.

When I started in on this movie, I figured it would be bad, and I was right, but I didn’t reckon on all the homophobia. #wildhogs

I’m getting depressed. How about a scene where the guys walk into a biker bar and the music stops?

Maybe even a good old-fashioned record scratch?

Oh, here’s one. Right on time! #predictable

What was the name of Barbarino’s gang in Welcome Back Kotter? The Sweathogs? #justsaying #regression

Tim Allen. John Travolta. Martin Lawrence. William H. Macy.

If the Wild Hogs are a gang, they’re a gang (Martin aside) heavily inspired by the look of “Little Steven” Van Zandt.

Hey, now here come Ray Liotta, Kevin Durand, and M.C. Gainey, in a vain attempt to energize the movie. A fool’s errand, but at least a few cool actors made a little money.

Bon Jovi on the soundtrack. Awful. Inevitable. #whitepeoplemadethismovie


Now “Highway To Hell”. Which I will link to, as it is at least a good song, if forever overused.


Actually, I think AC/DC belongs to Iron Man now. You want to take from Iron Man without asking? He’s got a Hulk, you know.

Gay panic joke #9…

Liotta: “Those bikers got BALLS.”

Durand: “I’m gonna put ’em in my mouth and chew on ’em.”

Liotta: “You’re gonna put WHAT in your mouth?”

Best part of the movie by far.

One thing I did not expect from this movie was a cowboy Kyle Gass singing Ginuwine:


FYI: KG returns again later on, to sing a Pussycat Dolls song and then this one, which I Googled and found to be amazing within or without context:


[Looks like all the Kyle Gass Wild Hogs clips are on YouTube. PLEASE stick to those. Stay on the path! Beware the moors!]

Kyle Gass is shouldering a lot of the comedic weight of this movie. It doesn’t seem fair, but it does make me miss Tenacious D.

Marisa Tomei is in this movie. The same year she was in Wild Hogs, she was in Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead. It must be weird to be an actor.

If anyone’s still reading, let me please recommend Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead — an insanely underrated movie and Sidney Lumet’s last.

Anyway, let’s stop talking about great movies and get back to Wild Hogs. Where were we? Oh, right, the fair.

Martin did not respect MC Gainey’s battle-rap skills.

Basically, if you need to see Martin Lawrence squirt mustard at M.C. Gainey then kick him in the nuts, know that there is a movie to serve that need.

Peter Fonda showed up at the very end of Wild Hogs for a cameo. You can almost literally watch him pick up the paycheck/ watch the dreams of hippies die.

I’d like to write more about how symbolic casting can be misappropriated until it means nothing, but I’m running out of time and energy.

Say something nice about Wild Hogs, Jonny:

At least H. Macy, not Travolta, is the one to end up with Tomei. Then again, there are weird reasons for it.


Anything nice to say, in conclusion?

When I got today’s assignment, I thought it was OLD DOGS. So at least it wasn’t that. #wildhogs

Could I personally improve Wild Hogs?

Easily. Add three words… “ALBERT NOBBS in: WILD HOGS.”

Then there is the revelation, at story’s end, that Peter Fonda is Ray Liotta’s character’s father. That is certainly a biker movie I might watch.

In the end, what is there to say about Wild Hogs?

Well in the end, there is a Bon Jovi song.

So fuck that movie.


Find me on Twitter, where this kind of thing happens all the time: @jonnyabomb


For all the shit that gets talked about Cleopatra, Heaven’s Gate, Ishtar, Howard The Duck, Gigli, Waterworld, and John Carter, 1980’s The Apple is one of the lesser-acknowledged costly debacles in cinematic history.  Coming from the legendary Golan-Globus production team, The Apple is a sci-fi disco musical/ Biblical allegory set in a future America (1994!) but filmed in Germany.

Wait, what? 

A couple Israelis take an inexperienced Canadian cast to Germany in order to tell a story about the religious collapse of a futuristic version of America, and the entire thing is set to song?  At the apex of the disco era? 

No way that could fail, right?

Now that you know what it is, here’s what happened when I watched The Apple at 2am one morning while signed in to Twitter:


Now watching The Apple, because I love weird disasters and torturing myself with movies.

Here’s the trailer to The Apple:




This movie is already hysterical.

Since one of the first sights we witness is that of a battalion of armored policemen synchronized in dance, I have no choice but to follow this movie wherever it leads.

From what I can tell thus far, The Apple is basically a nihilistic, dystopian Running Man/ American Idol fantasia.

The Apple presents us with the Golan-Globus team’s idea of the future, which in 1980 is how they referred to 1994.

Who are Golan-Globus?  The production team of Menahem Golan (The Apple‘s writer & director) and Yoram Globus, they also brought us Cobra, Over The Top, the Breakin‘ films, and a whole lot of ninja movies, among others.



And this is their musical.

Here’s the opening scene:


(Notice how this movie uses the word “bim” more often than my pals over on Tremont Avenue do.) #thebronx #theapple #urbandictionary

Choose any scene at random, and two things become clear:  A) This movie is an absolute disaster, and B) it’s hard to discard the notion that it’s still got more imagination in five frames than most movies do in fifty minutes.

Half an hour into the movie, and they’ve gone to Hell for a musical sequence with animal masks. There are no longer words.  There are, however, vampires.



But is there a reggae-aerobics musical number? Yes! There is that also.



The kaleidoscopic musical number “Coming” marks the first time I’ve ever seen a musical number that is explicitly about fucking.


A disco-porno-sci-fi musical featuring clowns, midgets, and Canadians? Yeah. There’s plenty here to chew on comedically.

You might have noticed “Mr. Boogalow.”  He’s this movie’s incarnation of the Devil, and he is mentioned by name very many times. 

There he is, the shit version of Roy Scheider in ALL THAT JAZZ.

Glad I’m not drinking while watching  because if I was, I’d drink every time someone said “Mr. Boogalow”, and if I did that, I’d be dead.

At one point in the story, the young hero seeks refuge in a colony of hippies “from the 1960s.”  Hippies from the 1960s still partying in 1994.  Do you know what that means?  GOLAN-GLOBUS PREDICTED WOODSTOCK ’94!!!

The movie’s heroine is played by Catherine Mary Stewart, who I loved in Night Of The Comet.  Me and every other horror nerd in the universe.

Catherine Mary Stewart in NIGHT OF THE HUNTER.

Catherine Mary Stewart in THE APPLE.


Catherine Mary Stewart’s character in The Apple is named Bibi, which is also the name of the robot from Deadly Friend. #Iwatchbadmovies



Catherine Mary Stewart is lovely, but did you know The Apple also gives you a svelte young Miriam Margolyes (The Age Of Innocence, Romeo + Juliet, James & The Giant Peach, Magnolia)? 

Miriam Margolyes as you may know her today.

Miriam Margolyes in THE APPLE.


And as long as we’re looking up pictures of distinguished character actors who appeared in The Apple, let’s all take a moment to enjoy Joss Ackland’s IMDb headshot:



You know Joss Ackland as De Nomolos from Bill & Ted‘s Bogus Journey, or as the villain in Lethal Weapon 2

“Diplomatic immunity.”

True Hollywood Trivia!:  When director Richard Donner heard Joss Ackland’s …um… distinctive singing voice in The Apple, he considered adding a musical number to the climax of Lethal Weapon 2. #nottrue 

Revision to True Hollywood Trivia!:  If there had been a musical number in Lethal Weapon 2, it would have been called “Diplomatic Immunity.” #definitelytrue 

Just so you know: Near the end of The Apple, God comes down from the clouds in a space-Bentley and walks all the hippies up to heaven.

I was all doped up with cold medicine when I watched The Apple so it seems fair to consider the possibility that I hallucinated that last part. #butIdidnt

IMDb reports that: “Reportedly, during [the premiere of The Apple], audiences threw their free souvenir soundtracks at the screen, causing extensive damage.”  Yet the damage had already been done.

IMDb also reports, “Director Menahem Golan has said that he felt like committing suicide after the picture was booed at the 1980 Montreal Film Festival.” 

I know how Golan felt, or at least I have ever since I wrote up the phrase “a svelte young Miriam Margolyes.”

Seriously though, imagine having to watch this movie over and over again in the editing room.  The rest of us only have to watch The Apple one or none times.  How many times did Menahem Golan have to watch it?  And is it any wonder why he turned his attention primarily towards making violent revenge movies afterwards? 


If you want to learn more about The Apple, there’s this review of the DVD from Entertainment Weekly (they gave it an A!!!), or better still…

Please check out the epic episode of the great Projection Booth podcast which features interviews from many of the principals, including Catherine Mary Stewart.  It gives a thorough picture of the production and the reception of this uniquely bizarre movie, and features more than the usual amount of utterances of the word “Menahem”, which is also great.


And if you’re in need of more from me, follow me on Twitter: @jonnyabomb

Darling Companion, which opens today in limited release, has a trailer which had me laughing loudly and obnoxiously for its entire duration every time I saw it pop up in the theaters over the past month.  First watch it, then I’ll give just a few reasons why I think it warrants more ridicule than it’s gotten so far.

Obviously, this is so white it makes Grand Canyon look like Do The Right Thing.  But there are other reasons to make fun of it first:

1. Richard Jenkins yelling out “Shit!” and being blatantly, hysterically over-dubbed to say “Shoot!” (oo:35)

2. Sam Shepard, who only a couple years ago could have had the Kevin Kline role, is now playing the obligatory cantankerous coot. (00:37)

3.  All the old white people sadly screaming “Freeway!” with no apparent awareness that by now, no one under the age of 70 wants to see this movie.  (oo:40)

4.  One of these honky assholes pets the dog with her stinky bare feet.  No wonder he ran away.  (00:47)

5.  “You know more about your patients than you do about your own family.”  Yeah well, you married a doctor, sweetheart.  That country house ain’t gonna pay for itself.  (00:50)

6.  The heavily-accented woman starts a monologue about her certainty that the dog is alive.  “The women in my family have a gift. They see things.”  In white-people movies, many times the “racial other” has mystical powers that the more urbane honkies do not possess, so rooted in the material world are they.  (01:00)

7.  This film could use some hot sex appeal.  Cue the Richard Jenkins/ Dianne Wiest sex scene!  (01:15)  Who needs Eva Mendes?

8.  This film could use some quirky humor that all those Zooey Deschanel hipster kids love so well.  Cue Kevin Kline barking at rams!  (01:25)

9.  This film could use a reference to Lethal Weapon 2!  Cue the old dislocated-shoulder gag!  (01:37)

10.  I wonder if they find the dog by the end of the movie?  (02:08)


How does this happen?

Do you know who Lawrence Kasdan is?  You should!  He’s only the guy who wrote Raiders Of The Lost Ark and The Empire Strikes Back.  He almost literally wrote the book on what we want to see when we go to the movies.  Now he’s writing movies with his wife about rich people who lost a dog that wasn’t technically theirs in the first place.  I’m a huge fan of escapism, clearly, but for some reason movies like Darling Companion explicitly make me remember that our country is in a crippling recession and people are starving every day on the streets while genocide and ill-considered wars rage overseas.  Somehow, I don’t think I will have that problem watching The Avengers.

I think it’s because I know (with reasonable certainty) that Iron Man and Captain America don’t exist, so ironically I’m more willing to play make-believe and to get interested in their imaginary story.  Conversely, I know for a fact that people like the ones Diane Keaton and Kevin Kline are playing in this movie do exist, and I hate those people. I CANNOT BRING MYSELF TO GET INVESTED IN THE STORY OF WHINY RICH PEOPLE WHOSE BIGGEST PROBLEM IS GETTING A QUIRKY PSYCHIC TO CONVINCE THEIR RUNAWAY DOG TO COME HOME.

Who is this movie for?  And once you identify them, best to keep them apart from guys like me.  We’re clearly not on the same wavelength.