::Literate Blather::
Monday, April 30, 2007
The One That Got Away: Part One
The Bombs of the Super Stars

Even A-List actors have bad days – or in this case – really sucky films. An actor can be on an enormous roll – hit after hit, blockbuster after blockbuster – and then WHAM!!!

They star in a flop. It’s one of those films that in a retrospective will completely befuddle everyone. The only question that really needs to be asked is: “Why?”

DaRK PaRTY has come up with our list of the worst movies made by Hollywood’s A-list movie stars. Here’s the first part of our two part series:

Six Days, Seven Nights (1998)

Harrison Ford usually packs a Hollywood wallop – although lately he’s had some sucker punches to the jaw. After a streak of mega-blockbusters – the Star Wars and Indiana Jones movies being the most prevalent – he’s been like a punch-drunk fighter. It all stemmed from the decision to team up with Anne Heche for “Six Days, Seven Nights.” No chemistry, no plot, and no character development. “Six Days, Seven Nights” is a disaster – “Survivor” before “Survivor” existed. Two unlikely and unlikable people stranded on a desert island. And then pirates show up. Yeah, it's that kind of movie.

Legends of the Fall (1994)

Brad Pitt stars as the only cowboy in Montana to have a blow drier in 1911. His hair should have been given its own acting credit. “Legends of the Fall” wants to be a macho cowboy movie, but ends up being sort of “Brokeback Mountain"-ish" (not that there’s anything wrong with that). This could have been the movie to derail Pitt, but the movie was embraced by the mallrats of America and actually made $66 million. The worst part of this movie is watching Anthony Hopkins act after his character has suffered a stroke. Wow, bad.

Batman & Robin (1997)

It’s amazing that George Clooney has a career after starring as Batman – with erect nipples on his costume. The movie is so terrible that it came close to destroying the Batman franchise. This movie may be one of the worst made in the decade of the 90s. Clooney stumbles through this film like a freshman pledge who just lost a five-hour quarters tournament. This movie should have imploded his career – yet amazingly he seemed to avoid getting most of the blame for it. In other words, he lucked out.

Hook (1991)

Julia Roberts survived this bloated blockbuster in much the same way – there was so much blame to throw around that not much stuck on her. This film must have sounded great on paper. Robin Williams as Peter Pan! Dustin Hoffman as Captain Hook! And Julia Roberts as Tinkerbell! This movie is a cheap stunt. A grotesque manipulation of J.M. Barrie’s classic and director Stephen Spielberg should hide his head in shame. One of the worst roles in it belongs to a joyless Julia Roberts pretending to be a fairy. Oh, what one would do for a fly swapper.

Battlefield Earth (2000)

Finding John Travolta’s bomb is difficult. The man has so many. But then “Battlefield Earth” plopped into theaters like a giant turd from space and it wasn’t so difficult anymore. That’s because “Battlefield Earth” makes getting a beaten with a shovel seem like a better option. We won’t bore you with the details – just miss this movie at all costs (even if it means stepping in front of a bus). Travolta should be called the “Zombie” because no bomb seems strong enough to kill him. He keeps coming back.

The Avengers (1998)

This was supposed to be a break-out movie for Uma Thurman (that had to wait until 2003 and the first “Kill Bill”). “Avengers” wants to be witty and urbane and instead it’s witless and suburban. While Thurman looks groovy in her leather outfits – her acting is as wooden as co-star Ralph Fiennes facial expressions. We have no chemistry here and a total plundering of the successful “Avengers” TV show. Is it any wonder that Uma only had one movie role in the following year? “Avengers” nearly killed her. Hell, it nearly killed everyone who watched it.

The Brothers Grimm (2005)

One or two “Brothers Grimm” in a row could have pushed Matt Damon into Ben Affleck territory (Ben can’t buy a good role). But Damon managed to survive this tiresome, irritating film that insults the collective intelligence of the audience and the filmmakers at the same time. How? Most of the blame landed on director Terry Gilliam (who usually hits it out of the park and should have known better). Matt plays Will Grimm and his usual charm gets beaten like a rug here. He comes across as crass and craven and that’s in first 15 minutes. He’s lucky this film sank fast and he followed it up with stunning roles in “Syriana” (2005) and “The Departed” (2006). Otherwise, he and Ben would be holed up writing "Good Will Hunting: The Second Coming."

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