Tag Archives: fail

Oscars 1993 – Ghastly Musical Numbers

So many things make for a terrible musical number. Get ready to see all of them.

There were five production numbers in the 1993 Oscars, mostly for the best original song nominees, and ranging from “Eh” to “My eyes are melting! And so is my brain!” Charming Disney songs are ruined! Icons are embarrassed! Sailors prance! Keep reading to see the insanity realized!
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Bad Movie Sunday: ‘The Three Musketeers’ (2011)

There have been about 30 film adaptations of “The Three Musketeers” since film was invented. But you know what all of them, as well as Dumas’ beloved novel were all missing? Airships. Finally, this film has rectified this horrible oversight.

This movie is a damn mess, but the kind of unbelievably wacky mess that I have to encourage people to see it. You will sit confused and boggled people spent money to make it.

They stick to the bare basics of the classic story for the most part, but despite those 30 other adaptations, figure it still needed jazzing up with even more action that is all ridiculously modern and piled with bad CGI. For instance, there’s a scene where Milady DeWinter (Milla Jovovich) strips off her hoop skirts to do a “Mission: Impossible”-style wire stunt into the palace, and finds a hidden vault strung with invisible razor wire that look like freakin’ lasers that she has to jump and shimmy through. How are these wires de-activated when a non-thief needs to get to the jewels inside? I’m guessing Ye Olde Retinal Scan.

I’m not even going to bother talking about the four heroes, because the three musketeers all suffer from total lack of character. Athos and Aramis look and act identical – I often couldn’t tell them apart. (You can tell which one’s Porthos because he talks about eating and drinking more.) D’Artagnan (the kid from ‘Percy Jackson’) is beyond annoying. He’s not so much a brash young man as Shia LeBeouf with PMS. It’s been a long time since I rooted more for the bad guys, which isn’t a shock considering they’re Mads Mikkelsen and Christoph Goddamn Waltz. They’re also the two who retain their dignity.

Then there’s the airships. The film opens with the musketeers breaking into a vault in Venice housing the works of, duh, Leonardo Da Vinci, because he’s the only person who ever invented anything. Despite the room being filled with thousands of priceless manuscripts, they steal just the airship one and flood the place. Jerks. Then the evil Buckingham (Orlando Bloom) steals it from them, and we fast forward to a year later and the regular ol’ story starts.

I don’t know how to feel about Orlando Bloom’s performance, because it is bizarre. On the one hand, I feel like he gets that this movie’s a joke and dials the foppishness to 11, prancing and preening with Gary Glitter hair. On the other hand, he’s not a convincing villain in a movie already brimming with them.

So there’s the usual musketeering and such and Christoph Waltz makes some speeches about his evil plans that never make much sense, until finally the heroes have to steal some jewels back from Buckingham, because if they don’t, it’ll start a war between France and England. To accomplish this, they steal the airship Buckingham’s now built – which looks like a galleon attached to a blimp – and use its onboard flamethrower(!) and Gattling gun(!!) to attack the Tower of London. Yep, that’ll stop that war alright.

Then there’s an airship battle, with cannons and guns and that rips of “Wrath of Khan” of all things. The stupid escalates at a furious pace as we see the airships are so precise and maneuverable four people can crew them just fine, and they can come up alongside each other at 10,000 feet up and push a gang-plank between them and people can walk across it without much wind or swaying or whatever. Then they crash them into Notre Dame.

I really want to know who exactly the filmmakers thought they were making this movie for, because I can’t think of the market segment that was crying out for this except fans of the ridiculous.

A definite pick for a fun night of jeering with your friends.

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Bad Movie Sunday: ‘Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1’

Every Sunday, my buddy Toby and I get together and watch a terrible movie. It’s about time for me to share the suffering, so I’m going to start posting brief reviews of the crap we’ve watched. I know I should have done this years ago, but it wasn’t until last night’s movie – “Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1” – that I found myself bubbling with so much anger and so much confusion I felt like if I didn’t get it out of me I’d die a gruesome death (Hey! Just like in the movie! I can relate to Bella after all!)

It is a massive understatement to say I am not a Twilight fan. The story is perfectly crafted to feed into the worst instincts of adolescent girls, and I worry about what they’re taking away from it. I probably won’t review the first three movies, which we watched on Bad Movie Sundays past, because I have so little to say about 1 and 3, and so much burning feminist rage at 2. Plus, I think I cover a lot of what  I’d say below. This movie baffles me. I can’t remember the last time so little happening raised so many questions.

100 or so Questions about Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1

  • Why doesn’t anyone have a problem with teens getting married?
  • Why doesn’t Bella’s mom think anything’s weird about the Cullens going through high school 50 times?
  • I still don’t get why they’d go to school at all. Why bother? It just attracts unwanted attention to them and puts them in contact with non-vampires who they promptly get into trouble.
  • Doesn’t Mom have a problem with her daughter marrying a guy Mom’s never met? My mom would go ballistic, call the cops, say I’d been brainwashed, and get arrested for abusing 911 if I married someone she never met and I’m 35.
  • Wait, did they send her dad an invitation, even though he lives in the same house as her?
  • Did she even graduate high school?
  • Does college not exist in their universe? No one has said a single thing about it EVER. Marrying Edward and going to college aren’t mutually exclusive. I guess “wife” is her job now. Forever.
  • What denomination was the minister who married them? Do the vampires go to church regularly? Do they know that minister? Does the minister know they’re blood-sucking demons outside God’s natural order?
  • Isn’t her dad worried about this considering he has been privy to hinky stuff Edward is apparently involved in? Like stalking his daughter?
  • Why does no one notice his family are vampires? Or at least “different”?
  • Doesn’t anyone find adopted siblings dating really creepy? Do the Cullens turn mortals they’ve fallen in love with into vampires, or are these vampire-arranged-marriages?
  • Why don’t the vampires sparkle anymore?
  • Why do vampires hold a wedding in the daytime?
  • Once Bella’s a vampire, is she going to have to go back to high school too? Because fuck that.
  • What’s a vampire bachelor party like?

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The TV Bit-Players of Tomorrow!

Obviously, since they’d wasted so much time on the opening number, the Oscar 1988 producers were going to keep the rest of the show lean and mean, right? Hell no! Who wants to find out the winners when we can spend 12 long minutes on the up-and-comers of today vainly trying to sing and dance?

Two Hollywood legends tell us we’ll be seeing a lot of these faces, but how right were they?

Bob Hope    Age (in ’89): 85
Then: Seriously?
Since: A couple more TV specials. Passed away in 2003, age 100.

Lucille Ball Age (in ’89): 77
Then: Seriously?!
Since:This was her last public appearance. She died less than a month later, April 26, 1989

Blair Underwood    Age (in ’89): 24
Famous Parents: none
Then: “LA Law”
Since: Pretty consistent TV work, including “Sex and the City” and “In Treatment.”
Awards: none (2 Golden Globe nominations)

Holly Robinson    Age (in ’89): 24
Famous Parents: Gordon from “Sesame Street”!
Then: “21 Jump Street”
Since: Author of a girl’s guide to football (Her husband is former NFL QB Rodney Peete). Just popped up in a commercial for celebrating black women as part of African American History Month. So she wants us to celebrate herself.
Awards: none

Joely Fisher   Age (in ’89): 21
Famous Parents: Eddie Fisher & Connie Stevens
Then: Bob Hope’s USO special from the previous year. Not much else besides her mom’s Vegas show.
Since: Small TV parts, finally got to be a series regular on “Ellen”. Now the wife on “‘Til Death.”
Awards: none (1 Golden Globe nod, Miss Golden Globe 1992)

Keith Coogan    Age (in ’89): 19
Famous Parents: Grandson of Jackie Coogan
Then: More well-known as a young child on “The Waltons.” Had decent hit the year before with “Adventures in Babysitting.”
Since: Small parts in a few movies into the early ’90s, then rare TV work. According to his Wikipedia page, which he totally wrote himself, he then bummed around South America and Alaska, where he met Werner Herzog. They may do a project together.
Awards: none

Patrick O’Neal    Age (in ’89): 21
Famous Parents: Ryan O’Neal
Then: The name seems to be a misprint onscreen – Patrick O’Neal didn’t have a son named Patrick O’Neal Jr. But RYAN O’Neal has a son Patrick the same age who went into acting, so let’s assume it’s him. Anyway, in 1988, he’d done….nothing.
Since: Some small parts in “Die Hard 2” and “Wild Hogs.” Full-time broadcaster for Fox Sports Net in LA, covering local games.
Awards: none

Tyrone Power Jr.    Age (in ’89): 30
Famous Parents: Tyrone Power
Then: One of the aliens in “Cocoon.”
Since: Despite looking A LOT like his handsome father, very little. Some direct to video, some small parts overseas.
Awards: none
Carrie Hamilton    Age (in ’89): 25
Famous Parents: Carol Burnett
Then: Two seasons on “Fame”
Since: First touring company of “Rent.” Some episodes of various TV shows, often with her mother. Despite a long battle with addiction, it was cancer that got her – She died in 2002. A theater at the Pasadena Playhouse is named after her (mom’s on the board.)
Awards: none

Ricki Lake    Age (in ’89): 20
Famous Parents: none
Then: “Hairspray”
Since: Smaller parts in film, reoccurring TV roles until the early ’90s, when she lost over 100 pounds and landed her eponymous TV show. The show ran until 2004, and since then, it’s been some TV hosting gigs and Lifetime movies.
Awards: none (1 Daytime Emmy nom, 1 Independent Spirit Award nom.)

Tricia Leigh Fisher    Age (in ’89): 21
Famous Parents: Eddie Fisher & Connie Stevens
Then: A handful of bit TV parts, mom’s Vegas show
Since: Popping up on whatever show her sister’s a regular on.
Awards: none

Corey Feldman    Age (in ’89): 17
Famous Parents: none
Then: It was the Golden Age of The Coreys – he had racked up quality child parts in “The Goonies” and “Stand By Me,” and successfully moved into more teenaged fare like “The Lost Boys.”
Since: Where to start? A year later, it was pretty much over. As you can see from the video, he’s just in his Michael Jackson apprentice phase, and, not surprisingly, was on a lot of drugs. There were more drugs, then reality shows.
Awards: none

Patrick Dempsey    Age (in ’89): 23
Famous Parents: none
Then: “Can’t Buy Me Love.” The previous year, he married Corey Parker’s mom, who was 48 at the time.
Since: He’s on some doctor show, playing Dr. O’Kissable or something.
Awards: none (1 Emmy nom, 2 Golden Globe noms)

Corey Parker    Age (in ’89): 23
Famous Parents: Well, Patrick Dempsey was his step-dad. That counts, right?
Then: “Biloxi Blues,” some afterschool specials.
Since: Short-lived show in the early ’90s, not much since. Some acting coaching in the 2000s, moved to Memphis.
Awards: none

Chad Lowe    Age (in ’89): 21
Famous Parents: Rob Lowe’s parents
Then: Small TV roles – drag comedy “Nobody’s Perfect” was about to come out.
Since: TV guest roles, not being married to Hilary Swank anymore.
Awards: 1 Emmy for a guest spot on “Life Goes On.”

Tracy Nelson    Age (in ’89): 25
Famous Parents: Ricky Nelson
Then: “Down and Out in Beverly Hills,” just started on “Father Dowling Mysteries.”
Since: Beat Hodgkin’s, but has yet to beat a career of TV guest roles.
Awards: none

D.A. Pawley    Age (in ’89): ??
Famous Parents: Since his few credits can’t agree on how his name’s spelled, I’ll go with no.
Then: Anonymous Dirty Dancer
Since: Completely disappeared. Can’t find a single thing on him besides appearing in “Hocus Pocus” as “Fireman #1” in 1993.

Christian Slater    Age (in ’89): 19
Famous Parents: Dad did some time on soap operas. Mom’s a casting exec, which is handy.
Then: “Heathers.” That year. So things were on the upswing.
Since: Back and forth between good movies and bad until the late-’90s. Then more bad parts, more TV, run-ins with the law. First crack at his own show just got canceled.
Awards: none (1 Independent Spirit Award nomination)

Savion Glover    Age (in ’89): 15
Famous Parents: none
Then: Broadway debut at age 12 in “The Tap Dance Kid.”
Since: Almost all stage, but big stuff – dancing/choreographing “Bring in ‘da Noise, Bring in ‘da Funk.” Did motion capture dancing for “Happy Feet.” Now in a show where he taps to classical music.
Awards: 2 Tony nods, 1 win

Melora Hardin    Age (in ’89): 21
Famous Parents: Jerry Hardin – lifelong TV character actor
Then: Mid-size parts in “Iron Eagle,” “Soul Man,” played Baby on the failed Dirty Dancing TV series.
Since: Hey! It’s Jan from “The Office”!
Awards: none

Matt Lattanzi    Age (in ’89): 30
Famous Parents: none
Then: Mr. Olivia Newton-John (who’s 11 years older), some bit parts.
Since: Very little. Then they divorced in ’95. After that he’s done nothing. It’s more than a little bit of a cheat including him and Powers Jr. here, since Michelle Pfeiffer (30) and Tom Hanks (32) were both up for awards that night.

Kenny Ortega, choreographer    Age (in ’89): 38
Then: Had just had hit choreographing “Dirty Dancing.”
Since: …but he really wanted to direct. So he made “Newsies.” And the “High School Musical” movies.

Marvin Hamlisch, composer    Age (in ’89): 44
Then: “Chorus Line,” “Sophie’s Choice,” “The Sting,” “Ordinary People.” He’s a busy guy.
Now: Pops conductor at 7 different symphony orchestras.

Fred Ebb, lyricist    Age (in ’89): 60
Then: You may have heard of some the musicals he wrote lyrics for: “Cabaret”? “Chicago”? “New York, New York” ring a bell?
Since: Died in 2004.


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There Will Be Coreys

Now that your eye bleach has had a nice time to soak in from the Snow White number, I figure you’re ready for the even more bewildering number from the Oscars 20 years ago.

Oscar Stars of Tomorrow!

Part 1 (optional):

Introduction with Bob Hope and Lucille Ball and 20-year-old topical humor (Steve Garvey! Dan Quayle!)


Part 2 (mandatory):

19 of tomorrow’s biggest award-winning stars sing and dance for, like, 17 hours straight. Featuring two Coreys, a TV doctor, a talk show host, and an actually talented person. Plus 14 other people. Grief counselors will be available if you make it through the whole thing.


Next: Where are they now?

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Hey! Who’s in the Audience!

Sure, the Rob Lowe/Snow White opening number is awful to watch on TV, but imagine having to sit through it in person! Let’s take a look at some of the brave celebrities who endured.

Jack Nicholson    Age (in ’89): 51
Then: Was on a roll. Followed up “Terms of Endearment” (for which he won an Oscar) with “Prizzi’s Honor” and “Witches of Eastwick.”
Has been alternating great and “eh” films pretty solidly since then. For every “The Departed,” there’s a “Man Trouble,” for every “A Few Good Men,” there’s a “Wolf.” Still has a better career than everyone on this list.

Anjelica Huston    Age: 37
Then: Won an Oscar a few years before for “Prizzi’s Honor.”
: Ended her 16-year relationship with Nicholson that year after he knocked up another woman. Then she really broke out, with “Enemies, A Love Story,” “The Grifters,” and “Addams Family.” Now she’s in everything Wes Anderson does.

Michael Douglas     Age: 44
Then: Right at the end of a string of great hits, “Romancing the Stone,” “Wall Street,” and “Fatal Attraction.”
Too busy staring at Catherine Zeta-Jones and thinking, “Boy, am I one lucky bastard” to make very good movies. Mostly misses since then, with some glaring exceptions (ie. “Wonder Boys.”)

Robin Williams    Age: 37
Then: Had just finished segueing to serious films with “Dead Poets Society.”
Now: He’s got six movies slated for 2009 release. God help us all.


Kevin Kline     Age: 41
Then: The guy about to get a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for “A Fish Called Wanda.”
A couple good movies (“Soapdish” – go rent it), a lot of bad ones, and theater. Let’s not talk about the Pink Panther remake, OK? It’s too upsetting.

Michelle Pfeiffer    Age: 30
Then: Was seriously in her golden age in ’89. She’d just done “Married to the Mob,” and “Dangerous Liaisons;” “Fabulous Baker Boys” was up next.
Now: Took some time off for her kids and got much more selective. Seems to have started to work more often.

Martin Landau    Age: 57
Then: Work horse character actor (he was in six movies in 1987, none very interesting.) Nominated that night for “Tucker: A Man and His Dream.” Appears absolutely delighted by Snow White singing at him.
Scored two more nominations in the next five years, winning for “Ed Wood.” Continues to be a work horse.

Tom Hanks    Age: 32
Then: Broke several years of floundering to get an Oscar nomination for “Big.”
After: More years of floundering followed, until “A League of Their Own.” The next two years, he won Oscars. Now he’s big fancy Hollywood actor/producer/director guy.

Sigourney Weaver    Age: 39
Then: Was having the best year ever. Scored the rare feat of two Oscar noms in a single year – one for “Working Girl,” one for “Gorillas in the Mist.”
After: Didn’t win either. Is now taking supporting or ensemble roles, usually in idiosyncratic stuff. Looks better at her age than you do at yours.

Sylvia Sidney, sitting right behind her, made one more movie (“Mars Attacks”) before passing on in 1999, age 88.

Dustin Hoffman    Age: 51
Then: Had made up for “Ishtar” the previous year by making “Rain Man.”
After: Won Oscar that night. Also taking more supporting and idiosyncratic roles, but just got a bunch of attention for “Last Chance Harvey.”

Glenn Close   Age: 42
Then: One-two punch of “Dangerous Liaisons” and “Fatal Attraction.”
Now: One-two punch of “The Shield” and “Damages.”


Ryan O’Neal    Age: 47
Then: Career was chugging along, but he was about to take a break from acting. “Tough Guys Don’t Dance” got slammed hard the previous year.
Now: Recently sentenced to rehab after he was arrested (with his son) for meth possession.
Farrah Fawcett    
Age: 42
Had tried on to critical acclaim she got for “The Burning Bed” with middling success.
Several brief TV shows, weird Letterman appearance, showing up here and there. Now battling anal cancer.

Cybill Shepherd    Age: 39
Then: Star of “Moonlighting,” which had jumped the shark a year before. Ratings were down after a long hiatus due to a Writer’s Strike, and Bruce Willis had just had a massive hit with “Die Hard.”
After: Moonlighting went off the air six episodes later (though the last one is pretty funny.) Her ’90s self-named TV show ran for three years, since then, TV movies and gig on “The L Word.”

Bob Hope
Oh, we’ll be getting to him. But that might be Norman Fell he’s sitting with. The former Mr. Roper died in 1999.

Robert Downey Jr.    Age: 23
Then: Break-out brat packer thanks to “Less Than Zero.” Sitting with girlfriend Sarah Jessica Parker – you know, that girl from “Flight of the Navigator.”
After:“Chaplin,” drugs, drugs, drugs, jail, drugs, drugs, drugs, “Ally McBeal,” drugs, drugs, rehab, “Iron Man.”

Gregory Hines    Age: 43
Dancer who broke out into actor/dancer roles in “White Nights,” and “Tap.”
Started choreographing and acting more, dancing less, showing up in “Waiting to Exhale” and “Will and Grace.” He passed away in 2003.

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Oscar’s Lowest Moment


So, you’ve watched the ’89 opening number. Good for you.You might wonder: What’s happened to these people in 20 years? Has Rob Lowe sung since? Are any of the Cocoanut Grove folks still with us? Want to know who behind the scenes is to blame for this catastrophe? Read on!

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Oscars 1988: 20 Years and Still No Explanation

The Oscar presentation in 1989 – 20 years ago! – was a watershed in bad taste. I usually like things that are tacky and overdone, but this just stretched all credulity. It takes something special to drive Julie Andrews to trash you to the press.

We’re going to be taking a look at the two god-awful numbers of the evening: The infamous opening number starring Snow White and Rob Lowe, and the lesser-known “Stars of Tomorrow” number which is somehow just as bad on a smaller budget.

Up first: The opening number!

Note: The videos and images are all taken from a second-generation copy of a 20-year-old VHS tape. I’m not apologizing, because all considering, they look good.


Up Next: Where Are They Now?

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