You’re Tearing Me Apart Lisa: Our So Bad They’re Still Bad Wrap-Up

Posted in Screening Room by - January 01, 2016

December was a rough month for us over at Kulture Shocked, but it’s finally over! Come join us for a recap of the month as we recuperate from all of us eating a shit sandwich. 

Best Movie

Chris: Toys

This month was filled with all sorts of wacky films but hands down the one that is going to stick with me the most of Barry Levinson’s Toys. It’s such a strange over-the-top film that features some of the most breathtaking set design of any movie I’ve ever seen. No, I wasn’t the biggest fan of Robin Williams’ performance, but the film has so much more going on that it needs to be watched at least once to be believed. Plus, it has the Sea Swine. 

John: The Super

While the pickings were slim yet again this month, at least there was one film I legitimately enjoyed. The film was The Super, starring Joe Pesci. It’s a comedy that follows Joe Pesci as he is forced by the courts to live in a tenement building that he was criminally ignoring as it’s slum lord. Pesci’s character is classic Pesci, but he’s only a bad guy early on because his dad taught him to be that way. Throughout the film, which is admittedly far from perfect, he grows, learns, and finally realizes that just because people are less rich or less white than he is, doesn’t mean they’re animals. It’s also got some pretty astoundingly hilarious bits where a black kid tells people to go fuck themselves.

Oscar: Xanadu

Although not a good movie by any means, it was the most tolerable. Imaginative, with a surprisingly good soundtrack, this one comes closest to fulfilling its potential, even if it misses by more than a mile.

Ben: End of Days

Honestly, the best movie on my list this month was the one I didn’t end up reviewing, She-Devil, but as the latest Star Wars took precedence that week, you’ll just have to take my word that it’s actually better than you probably think. From the movies I actually had time for a full-length review, Schwarzenegger hamming it up in an overall “eh” action flick against the devil just wins by default. It’s not amazing by any stretch, but at least it’s worth watching.

Sean: Howard The Duck

Honestly it’s misplaced on the naughty list and I think it totally deserves some credit for it’s strong commitment to a crazy idea, a few duck boobies, and some seriously fun character work by some pretty underrated actors! The movie is a little disjointed about halfway through, but at least it gave me enough reasons to keep watching. There is enough nostalgia in it to make it an easy cult classic, with solid little gems like Crystal the Waittress! My little bonus shout out for best movie goes to Poultrygeist. I never thought I would enjoy watching this movie but I laughed!

Ash: Masters of the Universe

It was a really great time. Maybe it just seemed a little less crap than than the other two crap movies I had to review this month so I may be a little biased, but in all honesty the movie is the epitome of stupid 80’s sci-fi fun. Give me corny one liner Dolph Lundgren and flashy effects over a cliched B-lister horror flick any day.

Worst Movie

Chris: Jingle All The Way 2

This movie is such garbage and that’s mostly because it is so unbelievably boring and unfunny. Larry the Cable Guy is not funny, at least not to me, and his presence in the film doesn’t even lead to any comedy of note. He’s unfunny, the writing is unfunny, and the toy that all of the parents in the film are chasing after, the Harrison bear, doesn’t even seem like it should be such a great item. Fuck this movie. 

John: I’ll be Home for Christmas

This one was no contest. Holy hell that movie is terrible. The plot is contrived, the characters are either poorly fleshed out or just plain obnoxious, there’s no growth despite the fact that it’s a christmas movie ostensibly about the true meaning of the holiday, and Jonathan Taylor Thomas feels like Justin Beiber starred in his own movie that wasn’t a concert on tape.

Oscar: Saving Christmas

An attack on intelligence and anything non-Kirk Cameron, this movie was disgustingly offensive and poorly made from start to finish. It forces itself to run for an hour and a half, and every single minute is torturously felt.

Ben: Showgirls

But, seriously, this movie sucks. And not in the good way you’d hope.

Sean: The Oogieloves in The Big Balloon Adventure

I know it seems too obvious, but here’s the thing… ever since I was a kid, I have despised children’s television. So when The Big Balloon Adventure ended up being an 88 minute, formulaic children’s TV show, it was kind of like someone throwing a bucket of spiders in the room and then locking the door:  I don’t know why it happened, it feels like an act of betrayal, everyone is hurt in the process. Seriously, it ain’t easy acting in kids’ shows, there’s a much higher level of reality that you have to commit to. Unfortunately the reality here is that most of these were once beloved actors who got stuck in a pit of sticky, artless garbage and it’s a little bit sad to watch. The reason this belongs at the top of my hate list though, has nothing to do with the performance of any of the actors, it’s the fact that this brainless nonsense isn’t educational even though it tries to pretend like it is, and it isn’t even a real attempt at storytelling. Instead, it’s just garbagey mush that was made so that you can plop your kids in front of it for an hour so you can finally get to the rest of those dishes!

Ash: Mixed Nuts

Oh god, this movie is bad. Yes it’s bold worthily bad. My review for this movie was fairly short but that wasn’t due to laziness, I just couldn’t bear to think about this movie anymore. If you’ve ever seen the Siskel & Ebert episode on this movie you know I’m not the only one to have this feeling. Mixed Nuts is one of the more extreme examples of a movie that’s filled to the brim with comic stars and fails spectacularly nonetheless.

Best Performance

Chris: Carey Elwes as Bobby Wobbly in The Oogieloves in the Big Balloon Adventure

Just watch this video and you’ll see why he’s my best performance of the month. 

John: Paul Bettany as Jock in Mortdecai

 I feel truly sorry for Paul Bettany that he was stuck in the seethingly obnoxious flop of a film that was Mortdecai. However, he manages to be the best part about a movie that also stars Ewan McGregor, Johnny Depp, and Gwyneth Paltrow. bettany is Jock, the seemingly invincible manservant/bodyguard/rescuer of the titular character. Throughout most of the film he is a stoic sex fiend who is loyal to his master to a fault, but the character truly manages to shine when he nears the breaking point of patience. Times like when Mortdecai asks for the fourth time if “everything will be alright” and Bettany steams with anger, or when Jock is about to have his finger cut off and Mortdecai slinks away in cowardice. It’s a tough job being a supporting character in a pile of turd, but somebody’s got to do it, and Bettany does it brilliantly.

Oscar: Liam Neeson as Admiral Shane in Battleship

Having a one-dimensional yet dignified role in this movie or turning it into one shows how accomplished Neeson is as an actor. He comes away unscratched from this trainwreck of a movie, and one gives him all the more respect for it.

Ben: Michael Keaton as Jack Frost in Jack Frost

Again, the real winner here is Meryl Streep in She-Devil, because she’s a national treasure who makes everything she touches better just by vicinity, but, again, Star Wars. Instead, I’ll give a begrudging nod to Michael Keaton in Jack Frost. He does as well as he can with what he’s given, without any truly cringe-worthy moments because of his work (which can’t be said for anyone in End of Days). He’s nothing to write home about, but he at least didn’t make me suffer while watching him.

Sean: Jorli McLain as Crystal the Waitress (uncredited) in Howard The Duck

I didn’t have to think twice for this. WOW this could totally have been like Rebel Wilson who was the only reason I went to see Ghost Rider with Nicholas Cage, and look at where she is now!! Seriously, you have to give the girl massive props for killing it in a role that is only in one and a half scenes and her total screen time is less that ten minutes. She may not be on long, but I totally fell in love with Crystal the Waitress. The sad part is, her resume is pretty short, and like most of the actors in Howard The Duck, there wasn’t a lot on her IMDB page after this movie! Her work on this character stood out in a cast of talented actors, and I wanted to see more, she could have been the first Emma Stone! Ahh Jorli it was just the wrong time!

Ash: Frank Langella as Skeletor in Masters of the Universe

He is half the reason I think Masters of the Universe is a really great time. Part of his performance is the cheesy kind of funny you come to adore in these movies, the other part is actually a very convincing portrayal of a power hungry tyrant. I haven’t been exposed to much He-Man material outside of this movie, but Langella really showed how much Skeletor wants Castle Grayskull and wants to kill He-Man and his companions. Also, HE DARES ANYTHING.

Worst Performance

Chris: Everyone in The Garbage Pail Kids

This movie is, like the title, total unabashed garbage. It’s awful and everyone who was involved with the should feel bad about being involved in one of the worst films I’ve ever seen. Don’t ever watch this film, even as a joke. 

Oscar: Kirk Cameron as Kirk Cameron in Saving Christmas

Completely transparent and one-note, this is a poorly performed and poorly conceived role. He almost doesn’t do anything else but mug for the camera, and never sounds empathetic for others. It all comes off as Cameron playing himself and not in a good way.

Ben: Everyone in Showgirls (except for Kyle MacLachlan)

Sure, I’m cheating here. But literally everyone in this movie who isn’t Mr. MacLachlan just. Plain. Sucks. God, the delivery is bad, the lines are bad, the scenes are bad, their believability is nonexistent. I’m pretty sure if I had someone to be involved with, I would’ve had to swear off sex after watching this – this movie and its cast just ruin everything they touch. Just shame on everyone involved in this terrible, terrible film.

Sean: Tommy Wiseau in The Room

Judging worst performance from a list of movies where, for the most part, the problems with each film is way bigger than the performance of its cast is tricky. However, Tommy Wiseau is almost solely responsible for the movie, The Room, and though it was entertaining as hell to watch, it’s undeniably the worst performance that I have ever spent an hour and a half watching. The whole movie is a case study on this man, watching him play Johnny is like watching a miraculous train wreck, and don’t lie you know you want to see that—it’s horrific but it gives you everything you crave, like the half pound cheddar bacon tex-mex thickburger from Carls Jr.

Ash: Steve Martin in Mixed Nuts

The choice for which movie had the worst performance was easy, Mixed Nuts was a horrible film in every regard – especially acting. The worst actor was a much harder choice, all the comedy greats are insufferably annoying but perhaps the worst offender is Martin. He wasn’t given much to work with in terms of script, but his performance was whiny and irritating. He used the same tone of voice in just about every line and came off surprisingly obnoxious and insensitive for a suicide helpline worker. I honestly don’t know what happened, maybe Mixed Nuts was the first of many dominoes in Martin’s bad streak but something caused him to absolutely stop caring about giving a decent show for the viewers.

This post was written by
Chris Stachiw is the Editor-in-Chief and co-host of the Kulturecast. He's a native Californian with a penchant for sarcasm and a taste for the cinematic bizarre. You'll often find him wandering the wasteland of Nebraska searching for the meaning of life and possibly another rare Pokemon.
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