Monday, October 24, 2011

A candidate for Worst Movie Ever?

If you've watched the NFL or the baseball playoffs lately, you've seen the trailer for this new Adam Sandler movie called "Jack and Jill." If you haven't, stop for a second and watch. You really need to see this.



Let's start with the possibility that any movie could be a five-star movie, but various aspects of the movie could cause it to lose stars. So, based on the trailer:

-- It's an Adam Sandler movie. (Minus 1 star.)

-- It's an Adam Sandler movie where he dresses in drag to play his own twin sister. (Minus 3 stars.)

-- It's an Adam Sandler movie where he dresses in drag to play his own twin sister, and Al Pacino (playing himself) has the hots for the twin sister. (Minus 37 stars, and Pacino has to give back his Oscar.)

Somehow poor sweet Katie Holmes ends up in the middle of it all. We can only assume that Tom Cruise was at home jumping around on the couches, and she said yes just to get away for a few weeks.

Now... it's possible that the rest of the movie could be full of uproarious gags and tender reflections on the duality of the human spirit. But you'd think that if they had any of that, they would have put some in the trailer. Maybe in place of the "Twister with your sister" line.

The truth is, this trailer leaves me a little giddy. Because we might have a new candidate for Worst Movie of All Time.

There are lots of bad movies out there, of course. But to make a run at Worst Movie of All Time, you have to be special. B-movies don't count. Some of them are good, some are terrible*, but they're playing under different rules -- you can't count Arena League records in the NFL.

*I worked at a drive-in theater in high school and a couple of summers in college... we specialized in three types of movies: first-run movies after the indoor theaters got tired of them; X-rated movies with all the X-rated parts cut out; and random B-movies. Having seen hundreds of B-movies, I can state without a doubt that the best bad movie of all time is "Gymkata." A spy is sent to a distant country to run through the woods in a game to the death. His special survival skill? Gymnastics. Which comes in handy when he arrives in a village of crazed killers -- and there, in the middle of the town square, is a pommel horse. All I can say about this clip is, well, you're welcome.



So, to have a shot at Worst Movie of All Time, you have to have the money and stars to make a good movie; you have to be trying to make a good movie; and you have to fail totally, utterly, miserably.

About 20 years ago, my friend Matt Brunson had a couple of extra passes for a screening. So I went with Matt and our buddy Joe Posnanski to see a comedy called "Hudson Hawk." It starred Bruce Willis (coming off the first two "Die Hard" movies), Danny Aiello (so good in "Moonstruck" and "Do the Right Thing") and Andie MacDowell (not long after "Sex, Lies & Videotape"). Willis and Aiello were master burglars, MacDowell the love interest... we figured it had a chance to be good.

Instead, for the next two hours, we watched a trainwreck on the screen. What was this movie not? Let me count the ways: Not funny, not smart, not clever, not well-acted, not interesting, not compelling, did I mention not funny? The main thing I remember, 20 years down the road, is that the villainous mobsters were called the Mario Brothers. Like the video games. I had forgotten, until I read the Wikipedia entry, that the other bad guys (there were lots of bad guys) were named for candy bars. Here's part of the plot synopsis:

Kit Kat and Butterfinger take Anna to the castle. Tommy trips Snickers, causing his bomb launcher to shoot a bomb onto his head. Hudson and Tommy escape while Snickers and Almond Joy are killed when the bomb goes off.

Sorry for the spoilers.

Afterward we stood outside in the parking lot, and we could barely talk about it -- it was like trying to review somebody belching the national anthem. To this day no bad movie I've seen has topped it, by which I mean, bottomed it.

But "Jack and Jill" has real potential. There's a moment in the trailer when you see Adam Sandler, in drag, wearing a trenchcoat. I'm guessing, at some point, the trenchcoat comes off. And when it does, Worst Movie of All Time might be in play.

48 comments:

Anonymous said...

Al Pacino has become a swarthy parody of himself. I used to be a fan but am now embarrassed for him whenever he's on screen.

Scott Baughman said...

You forgot that Gymkata also starred Olympic Gymnast Kurt Thomas as the main character, making the gymnastics fighting all that more...ummm...realistic. LOL!

Anonymous said...

But this movie will be funny and make a boatload of $$$$ for Adam Sandler. Oscar worthy - NO, but sometimes we just want a funny comedy that doesnt require much thought to make us laugh.

WarrenE said...

Lost me with the line, "...from the producers of 'Grown-Ups.'"

To add more insult to injury, "Jack and Jill" comes out on the most sacred day of the millennium...11/11/11...aka "Nigel Tufnel Day."

Anonymous said...

Tommy, You must not have seen "Undefeatable"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uxkr4wS7XqY

Kristy said...

I enjoyed Hudson Hawk, but I went in knowing it would suck. It's one of those movies that plays on TBS and I get sucked into watching it.

Anonymous said...

"It's like trying to review someone belching the national anthem" - Great line Tommy!!!

Gray Newman said...

Cars That Eat People is my nominee for worst movie ever. My dad took me and my brother to go see it at the old Tryon Mall Cinema. Somehow we had free passes and it was still a rip off.

Anonymous said...

Sandler is a has been for sure. He's made some bad ones in the last 10 yrs for sure.

I'm still mad at sandler for funny people and punch drunk love....a few hrs of my life wasted.

Anonymous said...

Jack and Jill won't even be the worst Adam Sandler movie. It'll take a miracle to beat Little Nicky.

Even then, you'd have to try hard to beat "Disaster Movie" (rated 1.7/10 on IMDB) by producers of other junk such as Vampires Suck, Epic Movie and Meet the Spartans.

Anonymous said...

Adam Sandler turns 40 in a few months and the new father says he's ready to shift his focus. Sandler and his wife, Jackie, welcomed their first child, Sadie Madison, last month.
Sandler reports fatherhood is going well, but admits he is not sure if he will be able to answer all of the questions that inquisitive children will surely ask, such as "Why is the sky blue?", "Where do babies come from?", and "Why haven't you made a funny movie since Happy Gilmore?".

Anonymous said...

Sorry Tom. Adam, Al, & Katie are all on my 'never to watch without a gun stuck to my head' list. You go ahead and enjoy. As for Worst Movie Ever list... just flip on any "SciFy" made movie... each one is 'more-worse' than the next.

Rick Thames said...

Worst Movie EVER? This one is SOOO Easy....

Interiors (1978) directed by Woody Allen.

Three sisters find their lives spinning out of control in the wake of their parents' sudden, unexpected divorce. They just sit in a kitchen and stare out.

If you suffer from insomnia, this will cure it.

Anonymous said...

I know it's cliche to say so but I must stick with Plan 9 From Outer Space as worst movie ever, simply because it's so entertaining for all the wrong reasons. A movie that's just plain bad, you turn off after 15-20 minutes. I always watch Plan 9 beginning to end whenever I come across it.

Kristy, I agree, I also enjoyed Hudson Hawk. The humor is a bit New Yorkish, I guess you gotta be from NYC to get a lot of it. Which I am.

AnswerMan said...

South Park had a fantastic episode recently about how Stan starts to see the world through a cynical lens. There's a very profane, but hilarious clip of Stan watching the trailer for Jack and Jill - came out before I had even heard of the movie.

Anonymous said...

worst ever:

star
wars


FACT!

Anonymous said...

I will not watch this film, I want my lasting memory of Sandler to be that of his fantastic skit character Opera Man.

he should do an opera man movie.

Kevin M said...

This is the worst movie ever?

Could be - but then again let's withhold judgement until after we've been dragged to Don't Know How She Does It.

Brandon said...

Worst movie of all time: Battlefield Earth

But if you want to get technical and select IMDB's worst non-B rated movie of all time (which I consider the worst movie with a cast most people would recognize)...

Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2, starring Jon Voight and Scott Baio. 1.5 imdb rating, #3 on the Bottom 150 list (top 2 are no-big-namer movies).

Lynne Stevenson said...

Ishtar gets my vote for worst movie ever. Warren Beatty and Dustin Hoffman should have been ashamed of themselves for even making that clunker in the beginning. Both of them should have had their Screen Actors Guild memeberships revoked after that movie.

Anonymous said...

2nd the motion on Battlefield Earth. Can't imagine anything worse.

I loved Funny People - awesome movie.

Anonymous said...

Freaks is pretty bad.

Anonymous said...

Gummo.

tommy tomlinson said...

So, so many bad movies in here... many of us have truly suffered over the years. We need a support group. Or maybe a film festival.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if this will be funnier than funny people.

funny people was an almost all jewish cast, but jack and jill combines jews with scientologists...this could be the recipe for comedic gold.

sanitizer said...

What is missing Mr. Tomlinson is Rob Schneider. Rob should have played the sister in drag. That would have been hilarious. Or Drew Barrymore. Like Abbot and Costello, when you have a good thing you keep it going.

jack said...

Dumb and Dumber has got to be the worst. Plus, you have to be dumb to have sat through it.

Anonymous said...

What about " to Wong Foo, thanks for everything, Julie Newmar" with Wesley Snipes, Patrick Swayze, and John Leguizamo all playing drag queens. Not even TBS plays this movie

Anonymous said...

Nothing could be as bad as "The English Patient."

Anonymous said...

4:01, Elaine is that you?

Anonymous said...

Nominee for worst movie ever: ANY Adam Sandler movie.

Anonymous said...

Let's find out. 4:01, can you spare a square?

JM said...

Worst Movie Ever = North. Plenty of big names in it: Elijah Wood, Jason Alexander, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Bruce Willis (at one point donning a rabbit suit), Alan Arkin, Kathy Bates, John Ritter, and even a 10 year-old Scarlett Johansson. It's been 17 years and I am still angry at the fact that I wasted an hour and a half of my life watching this movie in the theatre. Roger Ebert's review does a great job describing how utterly awful this movie is: http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/19940722/REVIEWS/407220302/1023

Anonymous said...

4:11, you made my day with that one. very nice reference.

signed,
4:03

Anonymous said...

Bringing out the dead was also a bad movie. As I told my friend's "That is two hours of my life I will never get back."

Garth Vader said...

Worst movie I've seen in a theater: The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen

Most boring movie I've seen in a theater: House Of Sand And Fog

Anonymous said...

Cool World was horrible too.

Anonymous said...

Worst was "Bolero" with Bo Derek. Worked in a theater, we put black construction paper over the entrance door windows. After seeing it I realized it was not to protect the public from soft porn, but from THE WORST MOVIE EVER!

Anonymous said...

THE NFL CONNECTION TO THE WORST MOVIE OF ALL TIME....

...DID YOU KNOW THE WORST MOVIE OF ALL TIME STARS HANK WILLIAMS,JR.

Yes, this dog from 1968 stars Hank Jr, Shelley Fabares and the ultimate old foggey Ed Begley Sr.

I rate it an empty stinking bottle of Ripple(the premier 1968 wine along with Boones Farm).

And for those who really want to know....Hollywood never asked him back to the big screen.

Bolyn McClung
Pineville

Anonymous said...

Just for fun I left you guessing the title of that Hank Jr. flick....

"A Time to Sing"

Anonymous said...

Zoolander is the worst ever. Terrible movie without even one good take-away line.

Anonymous said...

No one has mentioned "Showgirls", so I will. I always thought bare-breasted women could rescue any movie. How wrong I was.

Anonymous said...

The worst movie ever has yet to be made, it will star Adam Sandler, Pauly Shore and Tom Green. The combination of this unholy trinity will then spawn the apocalypse and be the end of us all!

Anonymous said...

I am surprised no one mentioned Waterworld with Kevin Costner. That was pretty bad. Oh, and what about Moulin Rouge with Nicole Kidman. I couldn't finish watching it.... to painful

aquarium supplies said...

"manos is the worst game I-ve ever seen in my whole life" theres no doubt about!

Zoni Jesus said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Zoni Jesus said...

The list is good. I have been searching on Hollywood
worst movie ever and this list helped me lot. Can you please do a favor by adding some worst movie you had ever watched?

Adam Frazier said...

Gymkata is a solid Best Worst Movie, but here are some personal favorites:

Ninja III: The Domination
Hell Comes to Frogtown
Samurai Cop
Hard Ticket to Hawaii
Howard the Duck
Death Spa
Troll 2
Miami Connection
Silent Night, Deadly Night 2

- and basically anything featured on the HOW DID THIS GET MADE? Podcast!