Ricochet Movie Fight Club: Question 18

 

Last week Brian Watt came out of his corner raging for a Page One knockout. Philo’s Page Three uppercut sent him reeling and Brian ended up clinging to the ropes, eying the clock but still upright when the final bell sounded. His jaw may be a little sore today, but not too sore to ask: What is the worst movie (not a made-for-TV movie) ever made?

From Brian:

It should be a movie shown in a movie theater produced or distributed by a major studio (MGM, Universal, United Artists, 20th Century Fox, Columbia, RKO, Warner Brothers, Disney, etc.); a movie that others may have raved about which prompted you to see it; that was so bad, you may have walked out or griped about it and felt cheated for wasting your money on it; so bad that you may have even heckled it or made catcalls at the screen in the theater while watching it; and so bad that you may actually think less of others’ taste in movies – whether critics, celebrities, or friends — who actually hold this awful film in high regard.

Of course, the more comprehensive your answer on why the movie is so awful, the more persuasive your answer will be.

The Rules:

  • Post your answer as a comment. Make it clear that this is your official answer, one per member.
  • Defend your answer in the comments and fight it out with other Ricochet member answers for the rest of the week.
  • Whoever gets the most likes on their official answer comment (and only that comment) by Friday night wins the fight.
  • The winner gets the honor of posting the next question on Saturday.
  • In the case of a tie, the member who posted the question will decide the winner.

Notes:

  • Only movies will qualify (no TV shows) however films that air on television (BBC films, a stand-alone mini-series) will qualify.
  • Your answer can be as off-the-wall or controversial as you’d like. It will be up to you to defend it and win people to your side.
  • Fight it out.

Special thanks to Arahant for compiling a list of previous questions.

Movie Fight Club Questions by Week:

  1. What is the best film portrayal of a book character? Winner: Charlotte with 18 likes for Alan Rickman’s portrayal of Professor Severus Snape in the Harry Potter movies.
  2. What is the best motion picture comedy of the 21st century? Winner: split decision. In an exemplary display of genuine sportsmanship, Randy Webster conceded the fight to Marjorie Reynolds’ pick Team America: World Police.
  3. What film provides the most evocative use of location? Winner: Taras with 21 likes for Lawrence of Arabia. Wasn’t even close.
  4. What is the best film that utilizes or is inspired by a work of William Shakespeare? Winner: Dr. Bastiat with five likes for The Lion King, a film inspired by Hamlet
  5. Which movie has the best surprise ending, or unexpected plot twist? Winner: Repmodad with 18 likes for The Sixth Sense
  6. What pre-1970s black-and-white movie would be most enjoyed by a modern 18-to 25-year-old audience? Winner: E J Hill with 9 likes for a Casablanca. (He didn’t exactly designate it his official answer, and most of the likes may have been for the modern Casablanca trailer rather than for it as an answer to the question, but nobody seemed to dispute it on those grounds, so that’s how the cookie crumbles.)
  7. What movie did you go to based on the trailer, only to have felt cheated? (i.e., the trailer was 10x better than the movie?) Winner: Back to back wins by E J Hill with 9 likes for Something to Talk About.
  8. Name the worst movie portrayal of your profession (where applicable.) Winner: LC with 8 likes for Denise Richards’ Dr. Christmas Jones in The World is Not Enough.
  9. What is the worst movie that claims to be based or inspired by a true story? Winner: Tex929rr with 16 likes for the, “…terrible acting, and countless deviations from history,” in Pearl Harbor.
  10. What is your favorite little known movie? Winner: A last-minute rally for Tremors made the difference as Songwriter took the week 10 win! 
  11. What is the best movie that you never want to watch again? Winner: Hitler Charlotte with 15 likes for Schindler’s List. Sorry, Richard Oshea but Jesus won the real fight. 

    Week 11.5 Exhibition Match (as a make-up of sorts, since Songwriter didn’t get the week 11 question submitted in time)
    Name the best movie theme song ever? No winner declared but I’m pretty sure it was I.M. Fine with “Moon River.”
  12. Name the best animated feature-length movie of all time. Winner: I.M. Fine with 10 likes for Pinocchio, and justice for I.M. Fine prevailed.
  13. What is the worst acting performance in an otherwise good film? Winner: In one of the most brutal fights we’ve seen yet Repmodad fended off a furious 12th-round onslaught by Gary McVey to give Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves the win with 20 likes.
  14. What is the quintessential American movie? Winner: Miffed White Male pulled off the comeback with 20 likes for The Right Stuff.  There was a two-way tie at 19 for second place as well. 
  15. What’s the most entertaining movie set during WWII? Winner: Arahant clearly won with Casablanca’s walloping 30 likes despite the withering onslaught by Sisyphus on the final day.
  16. What is the best movie love story? Winner: Songwriter with 20 likes for The Princess Bride with 20 likes. Up managed to make a strong showing and Dr. Bastiat is still conducting recounts trying to “find” some uncounted votes. 
  17. What’s the best’ buddy’ movie? Winner: Brian Watt wins with 12 likes for The Man Who Would be King.

 

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  1. KirkianWanderer Coolidge
    KirkianWanderer
    @KirkianWanderer

    I was tempted to go with a Jerry Lewis movie, because I find almost all of them unwatchable (his style of comedy triggers a fight or flight mode in me, and it makes me physically uncomfortable to watch him do his shtick; he even ruins Dean Martin for me, which is saying a lot).

    Instead, my official answer is: The Notebook. 

    I know the book was a best seller, and the movie has a huge fan base, but I simply don’t care, I think it’s awful in an almost creative variety of ways. Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams have precious little compelling chemistry, and the ‘sexiest’ moments of the movie are those which are meant to be born out of anger, which gets old fast. The relationship between the two leads is borderline abusive, built mostly on the aforementioned anger and the excitement of the taboo that bridging social classes brings to each of them. Almost every plot twist and device in the movie is predictable, from the hidden letters to Allie’s vastly less spicy relationship with her second beau and the death of Noah’s best friend in WWII. Even the fact that they managed to get through so many years of marriage without killing each other as to be portrayed together in a nursing home feels unbelievable. The finale of the movie is just the cherry on the sundae of predictable, grossly over romanticized plot ice cream; Noah and Allie dying together holding hands in bed reads as saccharine, cliche, and trope-y rather than a tear jerking end to one of the world’s great romances (which it quite obviously was not). There are a thousand better written, more subtly portrayed, and truthful feeling movies about romantic relationships, and it’s a sin that The Notebook gets the love it does in that genre.

    • #61
  2. KirkianWanderer Coolidge
    KirkianWanderer
    @KirkianWanderer

    Brian Watt (View Comment):

    And after all of the comments thus far, no one has mentioned Barbarella.

    Despite my long-term disgust with Jane Fonda and her traitorous actions with the North Vietnamese, this awful film would still rank, as it were, as my top worst film. It seems to me that French director, Roger Vadim intended this piece of soft-porn schlock to be funny and a satire of 1950s sci-fi films and particularly the Flash Gordon serials but also a way to show off his then-wife’s, Fonda’s nipples. Since the French have difficulty understanding comedy or executing satire, I remind you that this is the country that awarded Jerry Lewis The Legion of Honor for his film work not his humanitarian work, Barbarella stands as a testament to just how horrible and unfunny a supposed comedy film can be.

    Sometimes you see a film that some producer or group of wealthy investors have decided to fund, and you think to yourself, “Hey, give me that money and I’ll spend it on a much better story to film.” Of course, there are thousands of films like this but Barbarella easily floats to the top of the bowl every time.

    I love France, I speak French, it is one of my goals to live there full time at least for a bit one day…but the affection for Jerry Lewis makes me wonder about the sanity of that society. The French pride themselves on having such a sophisticated culture, one which celebrates all of the best parts of life (good sex, food, philosophy, etc), and then Jerry Lewis, who made a career out of acting like a mentally stunned orangoutang on speed, becomes their favorite foreign comedy icon. Pourquoi?

    • #62
  3. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    Brian Watt (View Comment):
    And after all of the comments thus far, no one has mentioned Barbarella.

    I saw that my freshman year at an all men’s college.  We especially appreciated the opening scene.

    • #63
  4. Matt Bartle Member
    Matt Bartle
    @MattBartle

    KirkianWanderer (View Comment):
    it’s a sin that The Notebook gets the love it does in that genre.

    I only made it about 15 minutes into that movie and I had to stop.

    • #64
  5. Bishop Wash Member
    Bishop Wash
    @BishopWash

    One of the worst I’ve seen is The Cider House Rules. Not sure how I ended up seeing it in the theater but a horrible story from what bit I remember and I’ve suppressed most of my memory of it.

    I didn’t see it but the trailers looked horrible and critics panned it, Jack and Jill. Adam Sandler plays both of the twins Jack and Jill and Al Pacino, playing himself, falls for Jill. Official answer: Jack and Jill.

    • #65
  6. Sisyphus Member
    Sisyphus
    @Sisyphus

    KirkianWanderer (View Comment):
    I love France, I speak French, it is one of my goals to live there full time at least for a bit one day…but the affection for Jerry Lewis makes me wonder about the sanity of that society. The French pride themselves on having such a sophisticated culture, one which celebrates all of the best parts of life (good sex, food, philosophy, etc), and then Jerry Lewis, who made a career out of acting like a mentally stunned orangoutang on speed, becomes their favorite foreign comedy icon. Pourquoi?

    He’s an icon of the French view of Americans.

    • #66
  7. KirkianWanderer Coolidge
    KirkianWanderer
    @KirkianWanderer

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    Brian Watt (View Comment):
    And after all of the comments thus far, no one has mentioned Barbarella.

    I saw that my freshman year at an all men’s college. We especially appreciated the opening scene.

    I remember reading a think piece or a memoir some time ago and the author mentioning that, at his all boys private boarding school, many of the students tried to get their kicks by reading Lolita, because they knew it had a reputation for being very dirty. It’s certainly an interesting indirect root into starting to gain an appreciation for high culture and sophisticated writing, I’ll give it that.

    • #67
  8. KirkianWanderer Coolidge
    KirkianWanderer
    @KirkianWanderer

    Matt Bartle (View Comment):

    KirkianWanderer (View Comment):
    it’s a sin that The Notebook gets the love it does in that genre.

    I only made it about 15 minutes into that movie and I had to stop.

    Lucky, I had to watch it at school in AP English. We had a sub that day (my very elderly and crotchety 4th grade CCD teacher), who was reading by the window, and he got annoyed at the boys who were clearly not watching and just making fun of it (I was sitting with them), and yelled “Put your eyes on the screen and be quiet right now!” or something to that effect. It was a sex scene. I hated the movie even to begin with, but the added traumatic memories made it even worse.

    • #68
  9. KirkianWanderer Coolidge
    KirkianWanderer
    @KirkianWanderer

    Sisyphus (View Comment):

    KirkianWanderer (View Comment):
    I love France, I speak French, it is one of my goals to live there full time at least for a bit one day…but the affection for Jerry Lewis makes me wonder about the sanity of that society. The French pride themselves on having such a sophisticated culture, one which celebrates all of the best parts of life (good sex, food, philosophy, etc), and then Jerry Lewis, who made a career out of acting like a mentally stunned orangoutang on speed, becomes their favorite foreign comedy icon. Pourquoi?

    He’s an icon of the French view of Americans.

    That actually makes a lot of sense. Suddenly I understand the French affection for Jerry Lewis. I don’t understand why anyone else likes Jerry Lewis, but I’ll take the other new knowledge as good enough.

    • #69
  10. Addiction Is A Choice Member
    Addiction Is A Choice
    @AddictionIsAChoice

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):
    I don’t have a nominee yet off the top of my head, but my wife says whatever it is, it will star Jennifer Aniston.

    Mr. & Mrs. Miffed, I beg to differ: Jennifer Anniston was great in Office Space; perfect for the role in The Good Girl; delightful in The Break Up; and look at those legs!

    • #70
  11. Samuel Block Support
    Samuel Block
    @SamuelBlock

    Bishop Wash (View Comment):

    One of the worst I’ve seen is The Cider House Rules. Not sure how I ended up seeing it in the theater but a horrible story from what bit I remember and I’ve suppressed most of my memory of it.

    I didn’t see it but the trailers looked horrible and critics panned it, Jack and Jill. Adam Sandler plays both of the twins Jack and Jill and Al Pacino, playing himself, falls for Jill. Official answer: Jack and Jill.

    I actually thought it was better than most of Sandler’s more popular movies from the 1990’s. It wasn’t especially good, but I’ve come to the conclusion that the reason critics hate Sandler’s more recent pictures is because he’s finally put heart into them. It had poignancy and some very funny moments. 

    • #71
  12. philo Member
    philo
    @philo

    Samuel Block (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    philo (View Comment):
    I guess there is a difference between “worst” and “most disappointing” so that some movies like Ghostbusters II, The Lost World, and (I imagine) Porky’s II from the latter category are going to suffer in games like this.

    It’s interesting how different people have different tastes. We liked Ghostbusters 2 and The Lost World . . .

    Both solid sequels. Especially The Lost World.

    To be clear, the book was great…the movie was pathetically poor.

    • #72
  13. Samuel Block Support
    Samuel Block
    @SamuelBlock

    Ed G. (View Comment):

    Samuel Block (View Comment):

    Ed G. (View Comment):

    Samuel Block (View Comment):

    Ed G. (View Comment):

    New official answer: Taxi Driver

    I did not finish watching it. Nothing grabbed me, and much annoyed me. I didn’t care about any of the characters; I didn’t deliberate about just who or what what was crazy and who or what was normal. I wasn’t shocked by it. I hated the style and the acting. What was the point? Little to nothing as far as I could tell. No thanks.

    Interesting. I think it gets too much attention, especially compared to Mean Streets, which I think is among Scorcese’s finest, but Taxi Driver is a good picture about the moral confusion of the 1970s.

    I understand that this is what people say about it, but I don’t see where it succeeded even assuming that its perspective on the “confusion” was coming from a solid moral place instead of the nihilistic relativistic instigator of the confusion.

    I’d assume a lot of people like it for the wrong reasons. Bickle is an honorably discharges Vietnam veteran, with no distinction or even attention, who has to witness all of the ugliness that comes out at night in a slimy New York. His reality is a world of corruption, he opts for fantasy instead – fantasies of his heroism and an inevitably bittersweet happy ending.

    I agree with you that nihilism is Scorsese’s great weakness, but I’ll take Taxi Driver over the incredibly stylish King of Comedy, Raging Bull, and Goodfellas.

    I never saw King of Comedy, I also didn’t like (and struggled to finish) Raging Bull, but I loved Goodfellas.

    Goodfellas could probably be a thread all its own. It had good writing, good acting, good directing, good casting, character, depth, and subject matter that has charm, appeal, and relatability despite all of the obvious evils and dangers. Both the story arc and character arc(s) were familiar and compelling. Although DeNiro had a leading role, he wasn’t the lead which is good for the rest of us.

    It was very well done, but Scorsese loves his joke’s-on-you endings. I’m unsure of a movie that’s had a more deleterious effect on morality. Taxi Driver gave us a tragic reject, Goodfellas a schnook

    • #73
  14. Muleskinner, Weasel Wrangler Member
    Muleskinner, Weasel Wrangler
    @Muleskinner

    KirkianWanderer (View Comment):

    Sisyphus (View Comment):

    KirkianWanderer (View Comment):
    I love France, I speak French, it is one of my goals to live there full time at least for a bit one day…but the affection for Jerry Lewis makes me wonder about the sanity of that society. The French pride themselves on having such a sophisticated culture, one which celebrates all of the best parts of life (good sex, food, philosophy, etc), and then Jerry Lewis, who made a career out of acting like a mentally stunned orangoutang on speed, becomes their favorite foreign comedy icon. Pourquoi?

    He’s an icon of the French view of Americans.

    That actually makes a lot of sense. Suddenly I understand the French affection for Jerry Lewis. I don’t understand why anyone else likes Jerry Lewis, but I’ll take the other new knowledge as good enough.

    My sister, BF Skinner, taught English Lit at a French University for a year, on a program where she was paired with a British grad student. The class consisted of British and American authors, and they decided to find some humor that the class might enjoy. After many attempts, they concluded that French undergraduates (at least) have no sense of humor that is recognizable to the English-speaking world.

    • #74
  15. Franco Member
    Franco
    @Franco

    Of course we all have our definitions of ‘bad’ movie. For me it can’t be comedy or horror it’s so easy to make them badly. Anything low budget isn’t fair at all. The one that comes to mind for me is

    Twister

    Official answer

    Like,  or I’ll post the preview! I have it chambered…

    • #75
  16. Ed G. Inactive
    Ed G.
    @EdG

    Samuel Block (View Comment):

    Ed G. (View Comment):

    Samuel Block (View Comment):

    Ed G. (View Comment):

    Samuel Block (View Comment):

    Ed G. (View Comment):

    New official answer: Taxi Driver

    I did not finish watching it. Nothing grabbed me, and much annoyed me. I didn’t care about any of the characters; I didn’t deliberate about just who or what what was crazy and who or what was normal. I wasn’t shocked by it. I hated the style and the acting. What was the point? Little to nothing as far as I could tell. No thanks.

    Interesting. I think it gets too much attention, especially compared to Mean Streets, which I think is among Scorcese’s finest, but Taxi Driver is a good picture about the moral confusion of the 1970s.

    I understand that this is what people say about it, but I don’t see where it succeeded even assuming that its perspective on the “confusion” was coming from a solid moral place instead of the nihilistic relativistic instigator of the confusion.

    I’d assume a lot of people like it for the wrong reasons. Bickle is an honorably discharges Vietnam veteran, with no distinction or even attention, who has to witness all of the ugliness that comes out at night in a slimy New York. His reality is a world of corruption, he opts for fantasy instead – fantasies of his heroism and an inevitably bittersweet happy ending.

    I agree with you that nihilism is Scorsese’s great weakness, but I’ll take Taxi Driver over the incredibly stylish King of Comedy, Raging Bull, and Goodfellas.

    I never saw King of Comedy, I also didn’t like (and struggled to finish) Raging Bull, but I loved Goodfellas.

    Goodfellas could probably be a thread all its own. It had good writing, good acting, good directing, good casting, character, depth, and subject matter that has charm, appeal, and relatability despite all of the obvious evils and dangers. Both the story arc and character arc(s) were familiar and compelling. Although DeNiro had a leading role, he wasn’t the lead which is good for the rest of us.

    It was very well done, but Scorsese loves his joke’s-on-you endings. I’m unsure of a movie that’s had a more deleterious effect on morality. Taxi Driver gave us a tragic reject, Goodfellas a schnook.

    I don’t follow how it’s a joke’s-on-you ending. Henry and his way of life are essentially over; he’s wondering if the tradeoff he made was worth it, and the rest of us can wonder the same thing about the deal we gave to him.

    We can also lament a lost era, lost authenticity as we too experience the egg noodles with ketchup and our fake lawns in front of our prefab houses, living docile lives under the blanket of the herd, outside of a shared culture.

    • #76
  17. Ed G. Inactive
    Ed G.
    @EdG

    Franco (View Comment):

    Of course we all have our definitions of ‘bad’ movie. For me it can’t be comedy or horror it’s so easy to make them badly. Anything low budget isn’t fair at all. The one that comes to mind for me is

    Twister

    Official answer

    Like, or I’ll post the preview! I have it chambered…

    I liked Twister too. It wasn’t a “good” movie, but it was enjoyable schlock.

    • #77
  18. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    I’ve only seen clips, but Sharknado has to be pretty bad.

    • #78
  19. B. W. Wooster Member
    B. W. Wooster
    @HenryV

    Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit.   He took a simple adventure story that was beloved to millions and gave us an overblown, ridiculous revisioning that may have ruined the book for an entire generation.  Official answer.  

    • #79
  20. ShellGamer Member
    ShellGamer
    @ShellGamer

    Why has no one mentioned the pretentious David Lynch? There is so much to choose from.

    My official answer is Mulholland Drive. It is a mash-up of a TV pilot and a soft core porn film that is completely incoherent. I may be influenced by the fact that I watched it only a few months ago. You see, I’d read: “Mulholland Drive is widely regarded as one of Lynch’s finest works and one of the greatest films of the 21st century, ranking 28th in the 2012 Sight & Sound critics’ poll of the best films ever made, and topping a 2016 poll by BBC Culture of the best films since 2000.” Proving that the more obscure you make something, the more “sophisticated” people will claim to appreciate it.

    • #80
  21. Addiction Is A Choice Member
    Addiction Is A Choice
    @AddictionIsAChoice

    ShellGamer (View Comment):
    Why has no one mentioned the pretentious David Lynch? There is so much to choose from.

    “You can say that again!”

    • #81
  22. aardo vozz Member
    aardo vozz
    @aardovozz

    “Missouri Breaks”. Final answer. A bad Western with bad acting by otherwise good actors. Walked out of the theater after about 30 minutes. Dreck squared! 

    • #82
  23. Muleskinner, Weasel Wrangler Member
    Muleskinner, Weasel Wrangler
    @Muleskinner

    aardo vozz (View Comment):

    “Missouri Breaks”. Final answer. A bad Western with bad acting by otherwise good actors. Walked out of the theater after about 30 minutes. Dreck squared!

    That one was so bad as to make me think that Brando and Nicholson were overrated.

    • #83
  24. Jimmy Carter Member
    Jimmy Carter
    @JimmyCarter

    Greystoke

    My gawd, the boredom.

    Anytime I hear a kid say, “I’m bored.” I reply, “Here kid. Watch this.” 

    7 minutes into it the kid is just begging to do absolutely nothing instead.

    Oh, and “Razor… razor.” That there is some award winning writing right there.

    • #84
  25. Sisyphus Member
    Sisyphus
    @Sisyphus

    B. W. Wooster (View Comment):

    Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit. He took a simple adventure story that was beloved to millions and gave us an overblown, ridiculous revisioning that may have ruined the book for an entire generation. Official answer.

    Don’t forget the ridiculous scenes piloting theme park rides a la Pirates of the Caribbean. Nothing says artistic integrity like pilots for theme park rides.

    • #85
  26. Matt Bartle Member
    Matt Bartle
    @MattBartle

    Too easy to put down Plan 9 From Outer Space. How about a Best Picture winner?

    I thought American Beauty was just awful.  Not a recognizable human being among the characters. It’s been a long  time since I saw it, but these are some things I think I remember: a bad boy teenager who turns out to be a sensitive filmmaker. A guy who thinks that working a fast-food drivethrough is the easiest job there is. An anti-gay military type who turns out to be gay. (Gee, there’s something we’ve never seen before!)

    It had one chance to make an impact on Hollywood and it failed: it should have sent the message that if you want to win a Best Picture Oscar, you have topless cheerleaders. But no, it couldn’t even do that. So it’s irredeemable.

    Official answer.

    • #86
  27. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Jimmy Carter (View Comment):
    Anytime I hear a kid say, “I’m bored.” I reply, “Here kid. Watch this.” 

    That’ll teach ’em!

    • #87
  28. Matt Bartle Member
    Matt Bartle
    @MattBartle

    My wife’s vote is for The English Patient, so I’m glad someone listed it. It always bothered her that when Ralph Fiennes went back for two people, he took a plane that only had room for one other person. How was he going to do that??

    • #88
  29. tigerlily Member
    tigerlily
    @tigerlily

    So many to choose from. I’ll go with Zabriskie Point.

    • #89
  30. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Matt Bartle (View Comment):

    My wife’s vote is for The English Patient, so I’m glad someone listed it. It always bothered her that when Ralph Fiennes went back for two people, he took a plane that only had room for one other person. How was he going to do that??

    His character was too stupid to live. Just die already! Die! 

    Did he even die at the end? The whole thing was utterly forgettable. Except the part where I hated the characters and wished death upon them.

    But, I’m still pulling for Stella, even though hardly anyone here seems to have seen even a part of it. It was so bad, it didn’t even evoke wishes of death upon the characters. Just indifference mixed with occasional embarrassment for them and the whole sorry project.

    • #90
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