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            Showing posts with label Good Casts Bad Movies.
            Showing posts with label Good Casts Bad Movies.

            Sunday, April 1, 2012

            The Worst Movie I've Evar Seen... Evar!!!

            It was a $1 rental from RedBox. I was on the road. I was bored. Don't point fingers at me if you've ever paid to see a Tyler Perry movie. You don't know me, you don't know my situation.

            But yeah, this "movie"[1] really, really, really sucked. Then again, I guess Angel Lola Luv "acting" >>>>> Angel Lola Luv "Gangsta B*tch" rapper.

            Question: What's the worst ghetto straight-to-DVD film you've ever seen?!? [1] It's more like "hey, we rented this cool HD cam for the weekend, let's buy a case of brews and do something stoopid" than an actual "movie".

            Monday, March 8, 2010

            When Bad Movies Happen To Good Casts - Kingdom Come.

            Black ensemble comedies were a staple in decades past (think Coming To America and Uptown Saturday Night), but the Tyler Perrification of Negro Cinema has pretty much killed the genre. The concept of putting a whole bunch of either big name or merely recognizable actors in one movie and praying for the best result is always a dicey proposition anyway. Chemistry is usually a problem in these movies, and with no definitive "star", the end result can look hella jumbled. Perhaps no urban movie displays the Good Casts/Bad Movies concept better than 2001's godawful Kingdom Come.

            The premise of the movie is pretty simple. The hated patriarch of a large Southern family suddenly dies, and a large gaggle of disjointed and non-trusting relatives descend on a small rural town to pay last respects. Hilarity, and a whole bunch of bad Gospel sangin' ensure. The only think missing was the obligatory Bokeem Woodbine cameo.

            The cast of this movie was pretty ridiculous when you think about it. You had all sorts of B-Listers from LL Cool J, to Whoopie Goldberg, to a pre-plastic faced Vivica Fox, to the eternally annoying Jada Pinkett. Of course, no Negro movie is complete without Loretta Devine, Cedric the Entertainer, and the eternally underrated Tamala Jones. TV faces like Darius McCrary and Kellita Smith were minor characters. Even a pre-plastic faced Toni Braxton was in this, playing a snooty extended family member. That's a whole lotta black folks on the screen at once.

            Predictably, this movie sucked, mainly because it's impossible to have that many people occupy the screen at one time. LL's straight guy and Anderson's n'er-do-well brothers routine lacked any zip. Goldberg was wholly unbelievable as the scorned matriarch. Fox and Braxton were underused. Pinkett, of course, was just as annoying as always. I'm just shocked she went a whole 90 minutes without using the word "Will" a single time.

            Despite good intentions, this church themed family comedy was just bad, bad, bad. There were few laughs, the ending was too predictable, and of course, there was all that damn sangin'. Lord, Jesus, can black folks ever make a movie without sangin'?!?

            Question: Did you see Kingdom Come?!?

            Sunday, November 8, 2009

            And The Academy Award For Best Picture Goes To...

            Thursday, June 18, 2009

            When Bad Movies Happen To Good Casts : Honey.

            Jessica Alba is proof positive that if you're a reasonably hot chick you don't really need talent to make it in Hollywood, just a few lucky breaks. Her big break was Fox's shortlived sci-fi drama Dark Angel, a show I don't remember for much other than her occasionally tight black stretch pants. Apparently occasionally tight black stretch pants are enough to launch a career, or so some Hollywood exec thought, which resulted in Alba's disastrous 2003 star vehicle, Honey.

            For those of you without basic cable who have somehow managed to not already see this movie, it's a cross between Fame, FlashDance, and every other "artist with big dreams who overcomes the odds to succeed" PG-13 flick you've ever seen. And yeah, it sucks. Royally. And yes, I've seen it, many times. Need I remind ya'll, I'm married.

            [Editor's Note: For those unaware, this movie was originally cooked up by producer Andre Harrell as a star vehicle for Aaliyah (R.I.P.).]

            The premise of the film centers around an ethnically ambiguous classically trained dancer named Honey Daniels (Alba) whose mother (the lovely Lonette McKee, whom I'm just happy to see working) wants her to join the ballet. But Honey has dreams of bigger things: Namely becoming a video vixen. (WTH?) She teaches "hip hop dancing classes" to "wayward teens" at a "community center" in an "unsafe part of town" to bide her time before she "gets a big break". That break finally comes when a seedy producer spots her at a club and gives her a series of high profile gigs for rappers like Missy Elliott and Jadakiss. But no favor comes without strings attached, and of course the seedy producer wants something in return for his hookup. Will Honey lay down on the proverbial casting couch to advance her career, or stick to her morals and stay in the hood'? Inquiring minds don't really give a shit. The whole thing culminates with a talent showcase to raise $20k to save a community center for poor wayward young Negroes. This climax is greatest act of fiction in a movie full of stretches.

            The reasons why this movie was an epic fail are pretty obvious from the trailer. Namely, how can you be the star of a movie about dancing when your ass cannot actually dance? That's like a movie about a stripper who doesn't actually strip. Alba's knock kneed gyrating is so bad, she makes Brandy look like Debbie Allen. No amount of camera tricks, cutaways, and background dancers can hide this fatal flaw. Seriously, watch this.

            Yeah, that was pretty bad. So is Lil' Romeo, as a neighborhood tough kid that Honey hopes to reform through the power of interpretive dance. Did I mention that he can't dance either? Nor can his little brother (the same kid who plays his little brother on that Nickelodeon show). This all adds up to some extremely awkward dance scenes.

            Has there ever been a movie about something that the movie's main stars did so poorly? Could you imagine a movie about sangin' where all the stars lipsynched? Isn't some modicum of the associated talent actually required for the role? I'm just sayin'. And since I'm on a tangent, isn't this whole "Nice White Lady" genre of movies growing a bit stale by now? Originality, please.

            This movie made Bad Movies/Good Casts because some of the other folks in the cast actually are reputable thespians who clearly just needed to pay off some bills. Joy Bryant was so good in Antwone Fisher, but as Honey's mouthy, non-dancing sidekick, she's clearly just included to give the ethnically ambiguous classically trained dancer some street cred. Mekhi Phifer is all teeth and clumsy dialogue as Honey's barbering boyfriend, which I can't really fault him for. I would be too if I got to mail in a halfassed performance, oggle Alba, and get a check for my inconvenience. Hell, sign me up for that gig. Just don't ask me (or Alba) to dance.

            Question: Did you see Honey? Is it just me and AverageSis, or could Alba not cut a rug if you gave her a chainsaw?

            Friday, March 13, 2009

            When Bad Movies Happen To Good Casts: Panther

            is pinch-hitting. I gotta admit, this movie was pretty darn awful, but I only saw it once. CiCi just caught it last week.]

            Films about the martyrs in Black History rub me the wrong way repeatedly. I wasn’t really a fan of Angela Bassett’s portrayal of Rosa Parks and I can’t even remember who did the King movie. I even had gripes with Spike’s self-serving interpretation of Alex Haley’s Autobiography of Malcolm X. Most of the time, I find these films to be grossly exaggerated and frankly, terrible.

            So when I heard of Marvin Van Peebles film interpretation of his father’s, Melvin, novel Panther, I was willing to give a look. Not because I thought it carried some potential but rather that it hit close to 北京体彩网官方网站. My father was a college student in Philadelphia during the late sixties. He dealt with the Black Panther Party on a frequent basis and even coined himself a “revolutionary”. Coincidentally, I happen to be writing an essay on his college years and as fate would have it, this movie came on HBO the other night.

            A movie on the origins of the Panthers directed and written by the legendary Van Peebles clan should be pretty good, right? Oh, was I wrong. Way wrong.

            Mario Van Peebles straight ethered himself with this movie. This is the same man that directed New Jack City. He couldn’t do any better with this? This was the Black Panther Party for Self-Defense. Van Peebles did what Spike did with Malcolm X: he turned Bobby Seale and Huey P into caricatures. Yeah, the Panther Party carried assault rifles and yeah, they brandished that fist but what people fail to realize is that they saved neighborhoods across the country北京体彩网官方网站 with their free breakfast programs, health clinics, after-school programs and expansion into politics. I know they had beef with the “pigs”. I wanted something else.

            This movie had SO much potential but like many other Black movies, it failed when it came to acting.

            When I tell you that everyone was in the movie, I mean EVERYONE. It’s almost Roots-like how many Black actors played in Panther: Jenifer Lewis, Courtney B. Vance, Roger Guenveur Smith, Kadeem Hardison, , Chris Rock, Bokeem Woodbine (Jason’s Lyric), Tyrin Turner (Menace II Society), Kool Mo Dee, Bruhman from Martin, Bobby Brown (yes, Mr. Tenderoni), Chris Tucker. Even Angela reprises her role as Betty Shabazz for this. As random – and confusing – as this cast may appear to be, it had a good set of actors. Turner and Woodbine were up-and-comers in the game and you can’t go wrong with legends like Smith and Bassett. Still, the movie came up short. Good casts can’t escape horrible acting. It hasn’t too the best. I’m just mad that everybody took a hit with this.

            Maybe I’m taking this movie too seriously. It’s a dramatic depiction of the Black Panther Party, so maybe it wasn’t meant to be a docu-drama in the purest sense of the word. But for a group so misunderstood as the Black Panther Party, this film did more harm than good to their mystique.

            Question: Have you seen Panther? How do you feel about movies about historical Black figures and groups? Are they any good ones out there? Any bets on when the first Obama movie will come out?

            Thursday, January 15, 2009

            When Bad Movies Happen To Good Casts: Monster's Ball.

            If there's any such thing as an overrated theatrical talent, it's Halle Berry. We all know she's great to look at, but let's face it, the chick couldn't deliver a line if she drove a Verizon truck.

            Her filmography is pockmarked with a What's What of Bad Flicks. From The Program, to The Flinstones, from Bulworth, to Gothika, to the dreaded B.A.P.S. If it's criminally turrible, she probably was listed somewhere in the credits. No movie illustrates this point more than Berry's career climax (literally), 2001's Monster's Ball.

            Don't worry, this clip is the movie trailer and completely safe for work!!!

            I only watched this movie once, in the theaters, so my recollection of it is a bit hazy. Still, the cast was star studded. Billy Bob Thornton plays a racist correctional officer who along with his son (Heath Ledger) is slated to assist in the execution of Berry's baby daddy (played by a youthfully amateurish P. Diddy), a convicted murderer who's Stranded On Death Row.

            When Berry's morbidly obese child stumbles into the street and is killed by a passing car. Thornton just happens to be driving by, and takes Berry and her son to the hospital. A grief-stricken affair of convenience develops, until Berry and Thornton discover their collective link. Clocking in at 112 minutes, it was just as boring as my synopsis makes it sound.

            Let's cut to the chase: the only thing even remotely memorable about this poorly paced and overhyped film is Berry and Thornton's hot bucked nekkid love scene. The racial implications of this scene in an otherwise forgettable movie, and Berry's subsequent Best Actress award have been discussed ad nauseum, so I won't bother rehashing here.

            What's amazing is how such an amazing assembly of talent could add up to such a doddering, boring film. In addition to Berry, Thornton, and Ledger was Peter Boyle and Mos Def. But much like the 2003-4 Lakers, the whole is far less than the sum of its parts.

            Despite how truly crappy the flick was, the Oscar allowed Berry to cross over into realm of megastar, and now she's got the ability to get even worse films greenlit. We can thank Monster's Ball and it's inexplicable success for such cinematic crap as Catwoman, Perfect Stranger, and Things We Lost in the Fire.

            And the world was truly a better place.

            Question: Did you think Halle Berry deserved an Oscar for Monster's Ball? Did the "love scene" disturb you? Do you think she sold out?

            Thursday, July 17, 2008

            More of When Bad Movies Happen To Good Casts [AB.com]

            Friday, June 6, 2008

            When Bad Movies Happen To Good Casts - Why Do Fools Fall In Love?

            More of When Bad Movies Happen To Good Casts [AB.com]

            [1] Ahhh, $6 movies. Those were the days.

            [2] I mean, seriously. Talk about merckin' a guy's career. I bet this dude has nightmares about Robert Sylvester Kelly to this day.

            [3] Coming soon. Just gimme some time.

            Wednesday, May 28, 2008

            When Bad Movies Happen To Good Casts - Episode One : Anaconda

            , it's cause I am. And on that note, I present the first in a who-knows-how-often series called When Bad Movies Happen To Good Casts. It's pretty much exactly what it sounds like. Enjoy.]

            So, I'm flippin' channels the other night, and guess what movie's on TNT for the 193,239th time?

            That's right, Anaconda.

            For those without basic cable, this 1998 movie is about a documentary crew that travels down the Amazon searching for a long-lost Indian tribe, only to wind up in deep snake crap when they take in a stranded hunter who eventually hijacks the boat and leads them on a wild goose chase for a record-breaking 40-foot green anaconda.

            Here's the trailer.

            This movie, with the exception of the scene where Ice Cube got squeezed out by the snake was pretty lousy. The CGI effects were mad cheesy, the plot was predictable, it wasn't even intentionally campy. It pretty much just sucked.

            But one thing I caught on my 182th involuntary viewing of this movie was just how loaded the cast was. You had pre-J-Lo Jennifer Lopez doing her usual combo of poorly recited lines and gratuitous butt shots. Ice Cube played a tough talking, yet bumbling ex-con photographer, but all I could see was Doughboy Goes To The Rainforest. You also had the serially underrated John Voight as the greedy villain, Luke Wilson in his now-typical slacker role, Eric Stoltz as J-Lo's token white boyfriend, and even Skinemax All-Star Kari Wuhrer as token bimbette.

            I'm not sayin' all these folks are great actors, but when Owen Wilson is you're 5th stringer, it's fair the say the movie shouldn't suck as royally as it did.

            For such an amazingly sucky movie, this film incredibly spawned a non-straight-to-DVD sequel, the equally lecherous Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid. By the time the second installment rolled around in 2004, Lopez was at the height of her superstardom, Ice Cube had graduated to kiddie flicks, and Wilson was finally bigger than his brother. It goes without saying that all the aforementioned had better things to do than appear in this flop, which had arguably better CGI effects, but could do no better than chitlin' circuit leads like Salli Richardson and Morris Chesnut.

            Just when you thought it was safe to head back to Blockbuster, there's some news. The Anacondas saga continues with not one, but two more straight-to-DVD installments in 2008 and 09', starring none other than David Hasselhoff.

            I'm already loading up my Netflix queue.

            Question: Did you think Anaconda blew chunks as much as I did, or was it borderline campy genius? Do you have any future nominees for When Bad Movies Happen To Good Casts?