Crocodile Dundee

1986 romantic comedy

Rating: 12/20 (Mark: 10/20; Amy: 12/20)

Plot: A thonged reporter heads to Australia to meet a crocodile--usually, I can't tell the difference between crocodiles and alligators and have always suspected that they're the same animal, but this movie gives that away in the title--hunter and later drags the poor guy to New York.

I wanted to watch this for the first time since 1986 because I'd heard it was nominated for best screenplay, likely on the strength of the "That's not a knife" line. That, a scene where a kangaroo shoots a gun, and what I believe was my first exposure to a thong were the only things I remembered about this movie. Well, all that and the end where the titular lovebird walks on top of New Yorkers to make his way to his babe. This isn't a funny movie, and you know exactly how it's all going to turn out pretty early on. Except for Paul Hogan walking on people. If you saw that one coming, maybe you should also be nominated for an Academy Award for best picture. Hogan's got nearly enough personality to pull this whole thing off, but the first half seems like nothing more than a way for him to showcase his toughness while the second, croc-out-of-water part just wasn't clever or funny.

Bad Movie Club: Robowar

1988 Predator rip-off

Rating: 5/20 (Josh: 4/20; Johnny: 5/20; Libby: 2/20; Ryan: no rating; Fred: 3/20)

Plot: A robotic machine stalks some soldiers.

With tits. The robot fighting machine's got tits. This movie is full of walking and explosions, and it somehow comes across as a less-intelligent version of Predator. That's right--I said less intelligent. If Beaks: The Movie had a few too many scenes in slow motion, Robowar's got excessive walking montages. A lot of the movie is seen from the robot's perspective, and we get to hear his garbled and warbled voice a lot. None of us could figure out why the robot kept calling the studs chasing him around "greasy." If you like jungles, there are plenty of shots of people walking around in a jungle. If you like really cool robots and great action scenes, find a different movie to watch that has both of those.

Bad Movie Club: Beaks: The Movie

1987 Italian Birds rip-off

Rating: 6/20 (Josh: 3/20; Libby: 6/20; Ryan: couldn't finish; Jeremy: no rating; Fred: no rating)

Plot: Actually, I think it's supposed to be a sequel to The Birds. Essentially, it's about birds going nuts and killing off human beings with their titular weapons.

The orgasmic terror of a flamingo attack turned out to be a false promise. Director Rene Cardona Jr. liberally borrows ideas from Hitchcock's film, and one could argue that the special effects are actually better. Of course, Hitchcock's movie didn't have anything as great as this:

A beak did that. Hitchcock also wasn't guilty of going completely crazy with slow motion effects. I'm pretty sure that if every slow-motion scene in this movie was in normal speed, this entire movie would have been about 18 minutes long. There's almost no characterization in this which, I suppose, makes it really easy to kill off these people. I believe there was some sort of environmental theme in this like in Birdemic: Shock and Terror, but I couldn't pay attention to any of that because I was distracted by all the birds.

Far and Away

1992 snooze fest

Rating: 10/20 (Emma: 14/20)

Plot: Immigrants dream of owning land in Oklahoma because they've never been to Oklahoma.

Emma had to watch a movie that had to do with American history, ignored my recommendations, and settled on this. Apparently, she didn't realize that this is one of the few Nicole Kidman movies where she doesn't get naked, and that's unfortunate because I've always liked seeing Nicole Kidman naked. I imagine this movie is about as historically accurate as something this plush and glossy, and like Titanic with its boiling down of a tragic event to a single love story with a bunch of special effects, this takes the immigrants' struggle to live the American dream and boils it down to a love story between a tiny gay man and the star of BMX Bandits, a weird and plastic goddess. There's such a lack of substance to this thing, just two hours and twenty minutes of bloated banality. You aren't really given any reason to care about the characters you're supposed to root for, and you barely remember that the other characters are in the movie, even when they're on the screen. This might not be bad enough for me to be able to use a clever "Stay far and away from this one, people," but it's definitely forgettable. I can't believe I've seen this twice.

Bad Movie Club: Eegah

1962 caveman movie

Rating: 2/20 (Fred: 6/20; Josh: 5/20; Libby: fell asleep)

Plot: Caveman!

I already wrote about this movie right here but love it enough as a bad movie to watch it a second time. That, and we just had to do something in honor of Richard Kiel after his death. Arch Hall Sr., the guy who was responsible for both Arch Hall Jr. and The Nasty Rabbit (another movie we enjoyed), was the man behind this madness. It's got that certain something special that makes it the type of bad movie that stands out from the others. A highly-recommended classic!

New York Movie Fest: The Daytrippers

1996 independent comedy

Rating: 14/20

Plot: A woman finds a love letter from her husband to an unknown woman and drags her family from Long Island to the city to find out what's going on.

This is from Greg Mottola, the guy behind Superbad and three Arrested Development episodes. I'd say more about it, but I don't remember it.


2014 Biblical epic

Rating: 14/20

Plot: It's exactly like the story of Noah according to the book of Genesis except with a lot more rock giants and a surlier titular Bible hero.

As a spiritual guy who doesn't quite believe in a literal interpretation of the Good Book, I had no problems with the storytelling. Well, except that it was all a little boring. The Watchers? Sure, I thought, "What the fuck are these giant rock things?" just like every Christian who saw this movie, maybe minus the fuck. Glowing snake skins, a scaly fox thing, a flower growing magically-quickly, Eden seeds, Ray Winstone sneaking onto the ark. Those things were all more annoying than the giant rock creatures. I didn't mind them at all except for the too-obvious computer effects. But Noah building that giant boat by himself? Come on. These rock dudes are a perfectly reasonable representation of divine intervention, aren't they? The performers' inflections made this seem like something made for the Lord of the Rings or 300 crowd. I hate those sort-of humorless voices, but I have no idea how I'd rather hear these characters talk. Russell Crowe is just the sort of burly distraction you'd expect him to be in something like this. He's great when he's just staring and definitely pulls off surliness. There's one great scene where the camera pulls back from a shot of Crowe's face half in darkness while screams from outside the ark are audible. I liked how this was a story of man's obsession with saving the world but not necessarily with saving humanity. It added an intense edge that makes this character and his story different than you'd expect. Some of this looks really good, especially the creation storytelling scene with computer effects gone awry. Of course, if I had to see Cain killing Abel one more time, I was going to club somebody to death myself. I also liked a cool dream sequence and any scene where there were sudden splashes of color in the mostly-spare and ground-colored world. Some time-lapse stuff that made the ark-building I was really looking forward to go by really quickly was also pretty cool. Of course, there's the whole Ray Winstone subplot and a superfluous Methuselah that drag this down a little, and it does get a little boring. And I don't know about you, but I really was disappointed in the lack of a giant animal orgy at the end of this. I kept hanging in there, knowing that this would end in an explosion of animal jism and a naked Russell Crowe, but it never happened. If you were planning on watching this only to see CGI-animals doing it, go ahead and pass.