Nightman’s Least Favourite Movies Of 1988!

The Apt Guinness Book Of World Records Honor Rambo 3 Earned In 1990

Greetings, Glancers! Like a Manchester Utd fan/player, we’re back once again to wallow in a hovel of mediocrity and shit. Actually, there are not too many films this year I didn’t enjoy – those listed below each have their moments but I wouldn’t be keen to see any of them again. They’re either movies that were on a lot when I was young and therefore pissed me off, or were disappointing after I was hyped for them.


This is a movie which a family member had on VHS, and any time I was taken to their house for some sort of party and the kids were stuck in a room with a TV, this was the tape we were given. Luckily, they also had a VHS of The Running Man/Pumping Iron, so we would watch that instead if we could find it. If not, we were subjected to Phil Collins prancing about in a twee retelling of The Great Train Robbery.

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

This felt like such an old man’s Comedy when I was young, I’ve never been a fan of Caine doing comedy, and I’ve never been a fan of Martin at all. It has…. some swimming pools.

A Fish Called Wanda

One I should enjoy, but outside of a couple of scenes it’s a chore for me to get through this. I put that down to not being a fan of Kevin Kline, it being British, and it not being the Python spin-off I hoped it would be. Has none of the anarchy I wanted, and precious few laughs.

Rambo III

I loved the poster for Rambo III when I was young, and there was an arcade machine of the movie permanently placed where I spent my summer holidays. It wasn’t until years later that I actually saw a Rambo movie, having grown up with more access to Arnie movies than Stallone. Rambo III was always the movie I was most hyped for – it seemed to have the biggest guns, the most bad guys, the best action – but sadly I’d imagined most of that. I loved the first two movies and by the time I got to part 3, my hype levels were off the charts. Part 3 ends up being bland and uneventful, even with it somehow being rated as ‘the most violent movie ever’ for a while. You wouldn’t guess it. It lacks the intensity of the first two parts, and dare I say it, the smarts. Plus there’s the whole working with The Taliban thing, but sure. I think I need to go back and watch it again and see if the action feels better in today’s CG world.

Working Girl

This year’s Rom Com – though most of the movies on my list are Rom Com-ish. At least this one has Harrison Ford and Sigourney Weaver which makes it tolerable, and it has more of a cynical edge than most. However, it also has Melanie Griffith and Joan Cusack who negate the qualities of the others. I’ve no idea how this was so successful or so well received by critics and Awards types, but it’s worth a one off watch.

That’s it, short list today. Do you enjoy any of these? Which films of 1988 would you class as your least favourites? Let us know in the comments!

Nightman’s Least Favourite Movies Of 1989!

Jean-Claude Van Damme battles cannibals in a post-apocalyptic future in  CYBORG on Blu-ray Apr. 24 | Confessions of a Cinephiliac

Greetings, Glancers! I’m back again to present another click-bait list sure to cause fits of rage in the weak. In other words, a list some films released in 1989 that I either didn’t like, was disappointed by, or which I actively hate. Here they are.


Van Damme was still hitting his stride and trying to branch out into the territory which had brought Arnie and others more success. So he jumps into this utterly bizarre, nonsensical thing. I don’t know how many times I’ve watched this now, hoping it will make sense, but it never does. It’s one of the finest examples of a film’s history and context being more interesting than the film itself – a film about Cyborg would be better than Cyborg itself. I can’t even describe the plot beyond something about Van Damme killing bad guys in a post apocalyptic wasteland, because those bad guys killed his family and have currently kidnapped some people on a quest for a computer cure to a virus? It looks like it was made for less money than I have currently in my pockets (in my pockets I currently only have a face mask resting snuggly against my nuts), but it’s the surrounding stuff that keeps me coming back. Why is everyone named after a guitar or guitar part/accessory? Why are there two separate, unrelated sequel series to this single film (Cyborg 2 and both have almost nothing to do with Cyborg or each other, and Knights and Omega Doom both made by Cyborg’s writer and director but again bearing no relation to each other, or the original, or the other sequels)? How was Cyborg almost a Masters Of The Universe sequel and almost a Spiderman movie? How do these things happen?

Driving Miss Daisy

Not my cop of tea; I don’t even like tea. Hits a lot of the no-nos – Oscar bait, period piece in a period I’m not interested in, but it’s fine. I don’t understand its success, but I can see why people liked it at the time. Watch it because of the cast and the success and the awards, yeah, but not for me.

Meet The Feebles

I could also have had this on my Favourites Of 1989 list. I still enjoy it, as much as one can enjoy a gross-out movie about puppets into porn and drugs and… other stuff. It’s incredibly inventive and funny if you’re in the right mood… but ultimately I put it here because it was a disappointment for me after falling head over heels for Jackson’s other early movies.

My Left Foot

Jim Sheridan might hold a record for having every single one of his movies appearing in my Least Favourite movies lists. That’s probably not true, and I don’t care enough to check, but it seems plausible. He makes decent movies but there’s such a TV movie of the week feel about them that I can’t take them seriously. I doubt anyone would take them, or this, seriously if it weren’t for Daniel Day Lewis. No doubt he gives a great performance, but I just can’t care about any of it when the subject matter is absolutely something I should easily be emotionally invested in.

Shirley Valentine

You know the score by now, right? English? Romantic Comedy? Quirky? Fuck off? Correct. This was consistently a movie watched and referenced by mums and aunts and the mums and aunts of my mates when I was young. It’s expectedly terrible.


Even my favourite filmmakers can make duds. As much as I love Wes, he made his fair share of not very good films. Shocker isn’t great and it another case of a potentially much better film being buried under budget constraints and poor quality control. It’s not that it’s bad, but that it’s disappointing. It starts well and gets sillier as it goes on – Pileggi makes for an interesting villain and the setup is cool; a serial killer targets the family of the cop trying to bring him down, seems to have a weird physic connection to one of the cop’s sons, and when he is executed he returns as, wait for it, electricity. The effects are ropey now, and they could easily have just stretched the first half into a movie without all of the electricity stuff. It’s a fun party movie… but so is Elm Street and I’d much rather watch it for the hundredth time again.

A short list this year – there were a bunch of other films I could have added – Steel Magnolias, Wilt, When Harry Met Sally, but I don’t care about those enough to talk about them. Let us know your least favourite movies of 1989 in the comments!

Nightman’s Least Favourite Movies Of 1991!

Disney May Re-Ignite The Rocketeer | Movies | Empire

Greeting, Glancers! 1991 is great. Terminator 2? Beauty And The Beast? Those two alone made an indelible impact on my life. As with any other year, there’s a bunch of stinkers stanking up the place. Here are some of those.

The Addams Family

I’ve always sorely wanted to enjoy this film. It looks great, if a little cheap, features some of my favourite performers, and from a story and character perspective it’s right up my street. But… it’s a bit shit, right? It also features some of my least favourite performances, the story is not what I would place these characters in, and most of the humour falls flat. It’s also incredibly dull. I’ve seen this as a child, a teenager, and now I’ve watched it with my kids but it’s the same result every time – I just stare through the screen and try to put my finger on why it’s so naff.

The Commitments

I’ve never really grown out of my dislike for Irish movies and my dislike for movies which revolve around crap music. I mean, it could have been worse; it could have been about Irish music which… well I never would have watched it then. Not my thing.

Doc Hollywood

Lets me honest – Michael J Fox should have been huge. He went on and became a TV star, but outside of Back To The Future he didn’t make anything I’d want to see more than once. Yes, I’m including The Frighteners in there. Doc Hollywood is a 1984 movie which somehow ended up in 1991. It didn’t work then, it doesn’t work now, and my only thought while watching it is ‘why didn’t they just keep making Back To The Future movies’.

Father Of The Bride

There has to be at least one Diane Keaton movie on my list every year. It’s a romantic comedy. It’s neither romantic nor funny. It has Steve Martin as a dad who grimaces at things deemed unsavoury. It somehow made more money than double the combined box office of The Thing, Escape From New York, and Big Trouble In Little China. It’s…

For The Boys

I have to have a musical in there too. Musical biopics – we had The Doors this year – but almost without exception I don’t enjoy these movies, whether they are based on a fictional nobody, or an actual real life nobody. Bette Middler is loud… that’s about it.

Freddy’s Dead

It was between this and Fried Green Tomatoes. You already probably assume (correctly) that I don’t like FGT, so I’ll go with the more interesting choice. I don’t hate Freddy’s Dead. I have a soft spot for it given it was the first Elm Street movie I ever saw in full. It’s the weakest in the series (at least on par with part 2), and is basically a Loony Toons cartoon with a 3D sequence. Interesting cast and some cool ideas, and I enjoy it more than anything else on this list, but the series was a literal joke by this point.

Hudson Hawk

You know how Bruce Willis only makes straight to streaming crap now? Those films which probably have names like Deadly Vengeance, or Gunshot, or I Am Bruce Willis Give me Money While I Show Up For A Single Day’s Filming And Stand On An Empty Set To Read Lines Into The Camera (Part 2). Hudson Hawk is the equivalent of those movies, except it was released at the height of his powers and I think he’s actually trying. Good cast, it’s him leaning more into comedy than his more straight action roles – he did come from a comedy background after all, but seriously, what the hell is this?

The Rocketeer

What I usually refer to as a Sunday movie. For context, I hated Sundays when I was young and any TV shows and movies they typically showed on TV on Sundays. Ironic, because when I was old enough to go to the Cinema by myself I would choose to go on Sunday as there was nowt else to do and I was usually the only person there – perfect! But The Rocketeer is one of those movies – always seemed to be on when I was already in a mood, and all it did was further dampen my mood. It wasn’t want I wanted from a superhero movie – it’s too light and fluffy, there’s a crap villain, the hero doesn’t have any particular skills, and it’s set in 1930s USA – a time period which always seems to get on my tits. Plus it’s made by perennial Least Favourite Movies Appearance Maker Joe Johnston, whose excellent Jumanji seems like an incredible fluke.

Let us know your least favourite movies of 1991 in the comments!

Nightman’s Least Favourite Movies Of 1992!

Strictly Ballroom - Rotten Tomatoes

1992 is interesting in that most of the movies I saw – even the bad ones – were still enjoyable. There are not too many movies this year I wouldn’t actively avoid and even the ones below have something (however small) I can appreciate.

Far And Away

It’s Tom & Nicole! They are married in real life! They are a HOLLYWOOD POWER COUPLE! Their movie is shit!

Howard’s End

Merchant Ivory – no. British Period Drama – no. Romance – no.

Strictly Ballroom

Why do I do it to myself? Dancing. Romance. ‘Comedy’. Three things I don’t enjoy, three things which almost never go well together. The result? Tripe.



Told you I didn’t have man strong negative feelings about this year. Let us know your least favourite movies of 1992 in the comments!

Nightman’s Least Favourite Movies Of 1993!

Sinful Cinema: Super Mario Bros. - Slant Magazine

Greetings, Glancers! While 1993 ain’t no 1994 in terms of overall quality or quantity, it’s not far off. It was a great year for movies, but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t a steaming pile of unacceptable bum squirtings too. Squirtings like these:

Addams Family Values

I know there’s a lot of nostalgia over this and the first movie, but they’re junk. It’s perfectly cast like the first movie, but whatever slight humour to be found in part 1 is somehow even more reduced here. I know I’m saying this as an adult who had no affinity for the movies when they were release, but I watched both recently with my kids and they were bored stiff. I need more than good casting, costumes, and sets.


It’s the sort of campy comedy which Britain would begin pumping out later in the decade, albeit with a political, satirical slant. As much as I have enjoyed certain movies, I don’t think Kevin Kline has ever made a film I’ve loved, or made a film better by being in it. The Ice House would be the exception. Nothing against him, he’s a good actor, just does nothing for me and most of his movies don’t do much for me. It’s another version of, well, Kagemusha, where a lookalike in thrust into a position of power, and it plays with US politics but it floats by me with a story, characters, and arena I could never care for.

Heaven & Earth

First we had the exceptional Platoon, then the equally brilliant Born On The 4th Of July, but then we had this story of a woman’s experience before, during, and after The Vietnam War. It should work – looks stunning, good cast, Oliver Stone – but it’s dull. The emotion it strives for, the potency of the violence and how lives and families can be shattered by the after effects of violence, doesn’t come across very well while also being readily apparent.  While his two previous Vietnam movies are immediately unforgettable, Heaven & Earth dribbles from your memory minutes after watching.

Indecent Proposal

It’s another Basic Instinct so we’ll get to see more boobs! Lyne was hot off other salacious hits like Fatal Attraction and 9 1/2 Weeks, and the film made a tonne of money based on the premise and the promise of wife-borrowing boobs. However, we get no boobs, no violence, no interesting characters, and a plot straight out of a Soap Opera pilot which wasn’t picked up.


I should love this. In fact, I should have loved this when I first saw it given the quartet of Joe Dante, John Goodman, Omri Katz, and Kellie Martin (each who I loved as a kid) and the fact that it’s about the love of Cinema. But when I did first see this it was another painfully dull, lifeless, and boring experience. In all honesty I haven’t seen it since and I’m curious that if I were to return to it now – decades later – if I would get more out of it, or maybe even love it. The memory of how much I didn’t like it has stopped me from ever revisiting.

The Piano

Boredom is a recurring theme this year. As much as I love Anna Paquin, I’m still not sure she needed an Oscar for this. A fairly good-looking film, at times, it’s another complete slog where I am given no encouragement to care about anything that is happening or anyone it’s happening to. And if I want to see Harvey Keitel’s sack, I’ll watch Bad Lieutenant. 

The Remains Of The Day

See above, but without Keitel’s balls.

Robocop 3

Robocop is an all time Top Ten for me. Robocop 2 is a vastly inferior sequel which is still entertaining in its own way. Robocop 3 is an unwatchable abomination and one of the most disappointing movies ever made, replacing cast members, killing off others, with zero violence or satire, with terrible effects, and somehow making samurai sword wielding robots yawn inducing. Were they even robots? Who knows? Who cares?


I actually like the premise behind Sommersby, and the setting, but once again it’s a painfully slow burn. It would be dishonest of me to even use the word ‘burn’, it’s more like a slow breath of some tramp’s cigarette smoke into your eyes when you’re waiting for the last train home; Pointless, annoying, and if they do it again you’ll mruder them.

Super Mario Bros

You knew it was coming, right. I guess we’ll see what the Animated Mario movie will look like when it gets released next year, but it can’t be much worse than this. But seriously, how do you turn that game series into a live action movie? Decent cast – I like everyone involved and I like the Roxette song. That’s about where the enjoyment ends because they try to make it a semi-serious movie instead of an all out comedy or action movie, and they try to set it in the real world. It just doesn’t work, and it probably never could.

Let us know your least favourite movies of 1993 in the comments!

Nightman’s Least Favourite Movies Of 1994!

Greetings, Glancers! As you’ll have seen in my other 1994 post, this was one of my favourite years for Cinema with maybe more personal favourites than any other year. That doesn’t mean there wasn’t a steaming pile of turds as well. Hold your nose, and dive in below.

Ashes Of Time

Wong Kar Wai is a director of phenomenal visual talent. Nevertheless, I do find his movies can be hit and miss in terms of character and storytelling – but sometimes his films use characters and story as a mere backdrop for metaphor and suggestion. Ashes Of Time is a mesmerising and bewildering affair – frequently gorgeous, but ultimately dull. The Redux version is a little more fluid, but the shorter running time still feels like a slog. It’s not surprising that Wong Kar Wai would make a Wuxia film with very little action, so if you’re coming to this expecting Crouching Tiger you’re likely to be disappointed and more than a little confused when instead you get Solaris with swords. The story follows a nomadic swordsman who interacts with various characters in separate yet intertwining chapters, as he works through love, loss, and longing. I think.

Baby’s Day Out

It is what it is. I’m sure kids at the time got a kick out of the antics of a baby being chased around New York by hapless criminals, and I’ve no doubt this would work well as an animation with a decent script, but as it stands it’s a bit of a mess.

Beverly Hills Cop III

I was never the biggest Beverly Hills Cop fan in the world, but the first two movies are classic 80s Action comedies. It’s rare that the third entry in a franchise is good, and it’s even more rare when there has been a significant gap between the second and third. It’s disappointing because there’s a good cast with (some) returning faces, it’s directed by John Landis, and it’s set in an amusement park – all things I approve of. Each of these normally positive attributes is spun into a negative – Murphy seems disinterested, Judge Reinhold is too old to be pulling the same shtick, Landis was on a major downturn in quality, and the setting isn’t used in any sort of interesting way. It’s simply not as funny or energetic as the others and the low stakes of the story mean we don’t care about any of it.

The Flintstones

I was never a huge fan of the show, but it was one of those ‘well there’s nothing else on TV on Sunday morning and I refuse to get out of bed yet’ cartoons so I still watched it. To the film’s credit, it kind of nails the look and the cast, but it also looks very cheap and some of the casting choices are miserable. I could see a bigger budget remake of this doing well now, just make sure the cast are all good fits rather than the 80% on show here. Obviously the story needs to be interesting and there needs to be jokes – both lacking in the 90s version.

Four Weddings And A Funeral

The bastard which started it all. After this the world was crying out for soppy British Rom Coms and Hugh Grants. It fares better than much of what followed in its wake and it does have a collection of British stars who deserve recognition for performances elsewhere. But it’s very dull, very foppish, hits all the quirky notes which nauseate my mind, body, and soul, and like all Rom Coms no matter how you dress it up they all end up in the same spot. I’d like just for once for the Rom Com to end in a shocking, completely random tragedy with no resolution or happy ending – just boom – wtf – end credits.


Another one of Arnie’s experiments at branching out from just punching heads off and exploding shit. Which is fine, some of those were good. Increasingly though you now look back at Arnie’s mid 90s output and think ‘man, you were still in peak physical condition, why didn’t you make another action movie’. Lets not forget – T2, Total Recall, True Lies, Last Action Hero, even End Of Days were all ostensibly action movies but which elevated the genre and did something different. Eraser and The Sixth Day tried but were not very good. An average Arnie action movie is still better than whatever bollocks this is, a diluted comedy free from the laughs of Kindergarten Cop and the charm of Twins, with added romance. It’s watchable, as Arnie always is, and there’s great cast support, but there’s nothing memorable, no laughs, no one-liners, nothing exciting or funny – the one joke (man gets pregnant) could have worked with any actor. Arnie could have made one more great action movie in that period – a true Expendables, King Conan, his version of I Am Legend. Sigh.

Muriel’s Wedding

It’s Australian Four Weddings. But somehow even more for women.

Mission To Moscow

I’ll defend the Police Academy series to the death. Even number 5 which didn’t know how to recover from Guttenberg leaving the series, and 6 which wasn’t very good. Mission To Moscow is basically unforgivable. There’s another fake Mahoney, most of the cast has buggered off, and it’s extremely cartoonish. Rather than being a series of loosely connected vignettes highlighting the ridiculous characters, this one somehow tries to focus more on plot, but forgets to make the plot interesting or coherent. There aren’t really any laughs – I mean, I’ll laugh watching Lassard do anything, even if that is him trying to communicate with Russian jugglers or whatever he’s doing here – and there’s a bit where fake Mahoney’s moustache goes ‘woop’…. you can see I’m struggling here. The most interesting thing is that we have Ron Perlman doing his finest Zangief impression, Christopher Lee as a Russian Cop, and Claire Forlani looking effing gorgeous. It’s best to forget this exists.

Renaissance Man

Danny DeVito – what were you thinking?


It’s more Hugh Grant. Lets be honest, there’s only one reason anyone would watch this, and if anyone does foolishly watch this for that one reason, they’re going to be sorely disappointed. It’s about an English Church dude who goes to Australia and is shocked to see boobs. It’s somehow less interesting than that sounds.

Let us know in the comments if you enjoyed any of the films listed above, and feel free to share the movies of 1994 which you couldn’t stand!

Nightman’s Least Favourite Movies Of 1995!

12 Monkeys' Speaks to Our Current Crisis - Hollywood in Toto

12 Monkeys

We’re coming in hot today, with the beloved by most 12 Monkeys, Terry Gilliam’s crazed tale of time travelling, airports, disease, and Brad Pitt’s hilarious attempts at acting. I have an amount of admiration for 12 Monkeys but a deeper look unravels what a shambles the plot is, and the twists are of the usual sort you find in time-travel movies. I came to the film late, spurred on by heaps of praise by people whose opinions usually mesh with my own. It’s good, but it’s not movie of the year good. If there’s any lesson here, it’s probably that your friends are dicks and you can’t trust their recommendations. BECAUSE THEY’RE A FUTURE VERSION OF YOU. But yeah, one of Brad Pitt’s early attempts at ‘big, real, acting’ following the much more interesting Kalifornia and Interview With The Vampire, are hilarious and I will never understand how he was nominated for any Award, never mind an Oscar.

When Nature Calls

I love the first Ace Ventura. I don’t love the second. Less interesting story, a re-tread of jokes and one-liners which were already over-stated by the time the second film was announced, but beyond that it’s simply more of the same. Normally I would say ‘bring it on’, but I would have much preferred more of the same of The Mask or Dumb And Dumber, or more of the same of Ace Ventura, but with some effort.


I’m still not sure how you bring together 1995 Antonio Banderas, Sly Stallone, and give a Wachowski’s story about guns and killings and hitmen to Richard Donner, and make it a dull slog. It’s such a nothing story – the Wachowskis had clearly been watching a lot of John Woo movies and thought they could make their own take on homoerotic machismo (plus guns), but forgot to make it interesting, then everyone else involved didn’t bother giving it any style or attempt to flesh out the characters or assign any sense to whatever the hell was going on.

Get Shorty

Another one of the post Pulp Fiction movies which every studio was pumping out between 1995 and 2000, but this one comes with some genuine cred, based on a story by Elmore Leonard. Cool cast too. I don’t know why ‘cool’ is equated to jazz in movies, when any music fan knows that jazz actually equates to ‘shit’, so we’re subjected to a shitty score, people in sunglasses, dialogue which feels as if the characters are ripping pages from a bad book of poetry and passing them to one another instead of speaking. It’s a hideous bore too, though every time I’ve seen it has been late at night when I’ve already been tired.


Haunted may be the most boring, sleep inducing movie of all time. There was a lot of it this year – it’s as if they knew Desperado and Goldeneye were coming out this year and thought ‘why bother’.

Moonlight And Valentino

I get there’s a market for this sort of thing – lonely, middle aged housewives for example – and because I’m not one of those, Moonlight And Valentino was never going to do anything for me. It’s not even good enough for any awkward ‘look, it’s John Bon Jovi’ laughs. As with any other year, there were a number of equally unacceptable shitty rom coms/dramas/costume nonsese that I could have added in this spot – The Englishman Who Climbed A Hill, The Scarlet Letter, Sabrina, Miami Rhapsody etc, but this one commits the cardinal crime of being such an up itself story of unrealistic soap opera relationships that you can neither take it seriously, not laugh at it. Plus it has Gwyneth Paltrow.

Nine Months

I’m surprised this didn’t have Gwyneth Paltrow, but it does have Hugh Grant which is essentially the same thing. It’s a remake of a French film where the comedy simply doesn’t translate. The story is basically about your typical bloke, drifting along, happy with his life, career, relationship who knocks up his girlfriend and begins freaking out. The Simpsons did it better in a single episode. Not only does the humour not translate, there is no attempt to attune the humour in any way, Hugh Grant will never be funny (unless he’s attacking snake people), and like every movie of its ilk you know precisely how it’s going to end from the moment the opening credits run. It’s a shame, as this year had a few decent movies in this genre – While You Were Sleeping, Waiting To Exile….. and Showgirls.

Rob Roy

What a load. Of. SHITE.

To Wong Foo, Thanks For Everything Julie Newmar!

Another film where we have to whip out the checklist of things I don’t like; ridiculous name. Quirky camp comedy. Drag. Stockard Channing. Being tame. The only thing going for it are a few interesting cast choices and the fact that it’s a road movie, but those aren’t enough to save it.

Village Of The Damned

Carpenter was on the verge of checking out by this point. I feel like if he had achieved a hit with this, regardless of quality, he would have been more prolific throughout the rest of the decade and into the 2000s. To be fair, it had a lot of positives going in – unusual cast, the genre is precisely in Carpenter’s wheelhouse, and Carpenter has a track record of making good remakes. I would have loved Carpenter to have tackled a Bodysnatchers story, but Abel Ferrera got there first. Instead, he updates the 1960 British classic of the same name. Sadly it’s clear that Carpenter doesn’t give a shit – there’s none of his usual style or flair, the characters don’t feel like real people or even caricatures, and it’s dull. Even the Soundtrack doesn’t help. It does provide some darker twists which set it apart from the original, but it’s a disappoint on all fronts. It was a failure at the Box Office too, and so Carpenter stopped caring about movies.

Let us know in the comments what your least favourite movies of 1995 are!

Nightman’s Least Favourite Movies Of 1996!

Arnold Schwarzenegger brings Christmas cheer and gratuitous violence in Jingle  All The Way / The Dissolve

Brassed Off

1996 is a year I love, so my picks this year are less on the ‘I hated this side’ and more on the ‘meh’ side. Brassed Off is a shining example of this – there’s nothing wrong with the movie, and it’s certainly a damn sight better than the usual 90s English comedy fare I despise. But still, it is a quirky English comedy so it’s never going to be more than ‘meh’ for me.

Down Periscope

Everybody loved Fraiser, right? Sure, it wasn’t as laugh out loud as Friends, and it lacked any emotional connection, and it presented a world of high class intellectualism that few of us could relate or aspire to, but it was still a good show. Kelsey ‘that’s not a real name, and neither is my surname’ Grammer attempts to cash in on his flagship show’s fame by making this Police Academy/Airplane knock-off. It’s funny in places, but it feels out of place in the 90s.


Lets get out the checklist again, shall we? English? Costume Drama? Quirky rom com? Gwyneth Paltrow. Oscar Bait? This was a cert for my bottom films of the year as soon as it was announced. I like Jane Austin as much as the next English Literature University Graduate, but I much prefer these texts on page than on screen. It’s the story and characters I care about – not the costumes or the setting which are admittedly… pretty? Don’t care. But you ruin it by throwing Paltrow in there who, by her third starring role, I’d long since given up on ever making something I’d be remotely interested in. 

The English Patient

This is more of the same, but at least they dispense with any quirky comedy, replace Paltrow with Binoche, and have the film set in a period I’m actually interested in, but they hike up the sentimentality and the Oscar bait to ridiculous levels. You knew this was down for Best Picture as soon as it was announced, regardless of quality. It’s fine, but not my thing. 

Escape From LA

John Carpenter didn’t have the best of decades in the 90s – he made a batch of interesting films and relative flops, some less interesting material too. Escape From LA feels like a last gasp attempt to win his fans over again, a sequel to one of his most culty cult favourites and featuring one of his most beloved characters. But it’s horrible, mostly a rehash of what was done better in the original, with the added slap in the tits of some shocking special effects. There’s some interesting stuff here – the casting, the score, the nihilism, but there’s also all of this silly misplaced humour… I’m not sure what went wrong but another go over the script, and update of the effects, and a few tonal shifts and I’m sure it would have been a much stronger film.

The First Wives Club

I’m not sure why I even put myself through this in the first place as a glance as the synopsis was enough to make me vomit through every pore in my body. It must have been because Hugh Wilson helmed, and he gets a pass for me every time thanks to Police Academy. But Bette Midler, Goldie Hawn, Diane Keaton – actresses I’ve never cared for – and even worse they have Maggie Smith and Stockard Channing in supporting roles. Silly comedy and a silly story, annoying characters, and the whole thing is aimed squarely at the middle aged woman market who lapped it up like a discount Yoga DVD. All together now – not. for. me.

Jingle All The Way

This should have been for me – Christmas movie and Arnie? What could go wrong? Well, nothing in the entire movie goes right. Brian Levant has never made a good movie – Beethoven is about as close as he came – and what’s more, he’s been attached to a Police Academy reboot for a while, so God help us all. I know it was successful, and I know it was a festive release, but who the hell was this for? It’s an utter mess from top to bottom with not even an Arnie one-liner to redeem a single second.

Michael Collins

I’ve probably mentioned it before, but as much as I dislike quirky English comedies, I equally can’t stand Irish drama. There’s so much potential here, but they end up being so dour, so divisive, and so Award-baity. Michael Collins is each of those things, with the added bonus of featuring a character and story I’m never going to be interested in. It’s mostly well acted, and Neil Jordan knows his way about a movie, but it’s yet another example of the sordid history of a group of island nations whose greatest heroes are also war-mongering murderers.


How exactly do you have a movie called Striptease and not show any boobs? At least Showgirls had the dignity to, you know, show girls. Sadly, the film is so boring and uneventful that there probably were boobs all over the place but I was too bored to notice. Look, it was a good year so I’m struggling with what movies to pick – this one is legitimately bad.

There you go – any favourites above? What other terrible movies were unleashed in 1996? Let us know in the comments!

Nightman’s Least Favourite Movies Of 1997!

Alien 3 and Alien Resurrection

Alien Resurrection

One of the big criticisms against Alien 3 was the lack of action. And horror. I mean, there was also a lack of direction, no memorable characters, and the overall story wasn’t very interesting – but it’s still a damn sight better than Resurrection. Resurrection should work – you have Joss Whedon writing – an upcoming star with a love for the genre and strong female characters, you have Jean Pierre Jeunet directing – a director with a distinct visual flair, you have a return to action, a great cast, and Ripley’s back! And swimming Aliens! But somehow everything that could go wrong, does. The story is a mess – the bad guys have somehow brought Ripley back from a lava-based death because that was the only way they could find and clone the Xenomorph, but there’s space pirates or something and Ripley is essentially de-humanized. Jeunet doesn’t do horror often, and his voice and eye and humour simply don’t work in this world with this script. He brings his usual pals who make up the bulk of the cast, leading to a mish mash of accents and faces who should be more memorable than the shaved-bald nobodies of part 3, but zero time is spent defining any of them. Similarly, the action feels like it was directed by someone more comfortable with corsets and wigs than plasma rifles and grenades. There’s precious little horror or threat or suspense, and the overall vibe feels more like Delicatessen. Swimming aliens are cool though.

Batman And Robin

Legitimately one of the worst films ever made. It’s basically Carry On Comic Book Heroes (or if the name of the film appeared in the film itself, it would be called Carry On Cum Ick Boob Herpes) such are the truly awful one liners. I mean, it’s clearly aping the 60s series, and possibly the original comics – but who has the time to read that shite – but that in no way makes a thing good. I’m here to see this product, and the product is vomit inducing. I don’t think I’ve cringed more in any other movie – I don’t think I cringed more watching this than this time I accidentally gave the tip of my shlong a paper cut. Clooney is… fine.. but why make the change from Val? Chris O Donnell is as suitably bland and forgettable as he was in the previous movie. The worst moments, sadly, come from Arnie and Uma – both dial their performances up to 69 – but there’s only so much they could do with material written by a 6 year old future sociopath. Does anyone even remember Alicia Silverstone being in this? It doesn’t look like any other Batman movie, which some see as cause for praise, but it’s hardly unique in that respect – the only thing unique about this movie is that it holds the spot for worst Batman movie.

Double Team

For those of you who, back in 1997, were wondering ‘wait, hasn’t Mr Don’t Give A Van Damme already made a film called Double Team?’ then I’m right there with you. But no, that was the vastly superior Double Impact, which featured Bolo Yeung and an eye-opening sex scene (not literally). No, Double Team is the one with Dennis Rodman, back when he had yellow hair, and back when Mickey Rourke was still a mess. The film is something to do with an ex-dude returning to shooty killy work when his old nemesis starts shooty killing, but the dude is married now and doesn’t want to deal with flambouyant NBA stars-turned actor-turned arms dealer-turned friend of North Korea – Dennis Rodman. There’s shooting and killing and babies and a tiger…. it’s not Tsui Hark’s finest hour, and that guy has some of the finest hours ever committed to action cinema.


Maybe it’s me, but I prefer my sci-fi movies to be more on the shooty, killy side of the moon. Sci movies which tend towards the thought-provoking or introspective or intellectual tend to not be my jam, unless they are singularly brilliant. This is singularly bland. I’m sure I’d probably enjoy it if I saw it again now, or enjoy it more than what I remember from my first and only viewing decades ago, but I have no desire to return to it.


Re-read my entry for Gattaca.

In & Out

In the VHS player once, then out and into the bin never to be mentioned again.

Mortal Kombat Annihilation

I was a big fan of the first Mortal Kombat movie. Not because it was amazing or anything, but because I was an obsessive fan of the games at the time, and because it made a decent fist at converting a videogame about muscle-bound freaks tearing each others’ arms off and ‘getting over here’, into a wholly entertaining 90 mins. The sequel, which I waited and waited for, comes with all the annoying cast changes you would expect and an even more overblown and silly plot. Worse, it takes its script from the Batman & Robin school of writing, with dialogue last seen scrawled in the bathroom stall of an Eastern European drug den. Even the fighting and introductions of fan favourite fighters is a complete let down. Lets hope the new movie lives up to the hype of the ridiculous trailer.

Mrs Brown

Maybe I now have an innate dislike of anything with ‘Mrs Brown’ in the title thanks to that awful sitcom, but this came first and is equally unwatchable. Lets go through the list of things Nightman cannot abide – Costume Drama? English? Quirky humour? The monarchy? This was going to be on my list before it was even released.


In a year of personal let downs, this was probably the most heinous. Mr Bean is one of my favourite TV shows of all time. I still watch every episode every year. Rowan Atkinson’s creation is comedy perfection. But like almost every attempt to bring a British comedy show to the big screen, the movie loses everything which made (makes) the show so wonderful. Gone are the set pieces, the humour is changed to cater to a more American audience – a bizarre change when the show is both Universal and timeless – and having Bean following a larger form plot, such as it is, simply isn’t as interesting as seeing him ramble aimlessly from scene to scene and mishap to mishap. Luckliy, the sequel is much better, but I think the day I saw this was the day my childhood died.

The Full Monty

Once again…. lets just go through the list. English? Quirky comedy? Basically a musical? As interesting as (some of) Britpop was in the 90s, the same cannot be said for the films of the era. An unbelievable success, in that I cannot believe anyone paid to see this.

Let us know in the comments what steamers I missed, or if you think I should re-evaluate any of my picks above!

Nightman’s Least Favourite Movies Of 1998!

Shakespeare In Love Review | Movie - Empire

It feels like a long time since I’ve posting one of these. I think that’s because my last batch of favourite/least favourite movie posts were written months ago, then posted sporadically in the weeks afterwards, but I haven’t actually written any new ones in 6 months. Time to get back into these now.

I had a tough time with this one – I had to resort to scanning down all the movies released according to Wikipedia, and it wasn’t until the letter H that I found one that I was even remotely inclined to include here. Quite a few of the movies I’ve listed – I don’t think they’re bad, I don’t even dislike them much. It’s just that out of the movies I’ve seen from 1998, these ones I liked least or had some personal issues with. There are, of course, a few stinkers.

Hard Rain

The letter ‘H’. It’s a film I don’t have anything against, it’s just a little meh. Underwhelming. It was one of Christian Slater’s last shots at the big time before he sadly fell into straight to DVD fare. He’s one of my favourite actors, he’s in some of my favourite movies, and he’s capable of so much more. Here he rejoins Morgan Freeman in a sort of action, sort of thriller, though both the thrills and action leave plenty to be desired. It’s a decent idea, coming around the same time as all of those 90s era disaster special effects blockbusters, but it lacks the entertainment or the scope of those.

The film looks good – it just lacks that spectacle. Danish Cinematographer Mikael Salomon directs – famed for his work on The Abyss – but the story doesn’t deliver the thrills which the setup promises. It’s basically a heist movie inside of a disaster movie, which sounds great on paper, and the disaster is the flooding of a small US town. Slater is the everyman good guy, while Freeman plays against type as the villain. It’s worth seeing, it probably didn’t deserve to flop as badly as it did, but it’s hardly the most memorable movie of the year.

Knock Off

In the 1980s, Jean Claude Van Damme made his name for himself as a respectable action movie star. Then again, in the 1980s you could get away with a lot of nonsense which simply wouldn’t work in any other era. When we entered the 90s, much of the cheese went away and the surviving successful action stars had to adapt – bigger budget movies, higher concepts – with Van Damme doing well in the first half of the decade thanks to Universal Soldier and Timecop. Those less inclined to follow every movie such stars release would have though JCVD dropped off the map, but he was still there pushing out a mixture of cult classics, lesser known fun times, and shite like this.

It seemed good on the surface – Tsui Hark is a man renowned for his flamboyant, amusing, action packed Hong Kong movies, with the Once Upon A Time In China series being one of the greatest Martial Arts franchises. But then Rob Schneider appears in the cast. And Paul Sorvino. And the plot is about… stolen pairs of jeans? It doesn’t matter. It all circles on Knock Off clothing and Van Damme and Schneider are the cops tasked with sorting all this shit out and making sure only wholesome American brands are worn on ever thickening American asses.

The movie is camp as get out, something I’m usually resolutely against in my humour, but there are a few amusing moments. Mostly because the whole thing is ridiculous. It tries to follow the straight man/weirdo buddy cop formula… but the mixture of Hong Kong algorithms into the mix really throws things off meaning it becomes a bizarre, unwieldy mish mash which isn’t really suited to anyone. The most egregious crime is that it lacks the kinetic and visual flare of the HK side, or the brutality and coherence of the US side. If you like JCVD, it’s certainly one of many curios in his career, but it’s not worth the time for anyone else.

Little Voice

1998 was one of those years where the influence of Britpop and Cool Britannia spilled over into British Cinema – on the surface all of these new British voices – writers, directors, actors, were hitting the mainstream. The worldwide mainstream. British Cinema was firmly on the map again. Four Wedding And A Funeral kind of kicked it off, and Trainspotting blazed the trail in a different direction, but it wasn’t until the latter half of the decade that all of these British (English) movies made an impact beyond our shores. People suddenly loved British Cinema again. The stupid thing is, the whole era resulted in a grand total of fuck all good movies. There are a few of them on my list this year, and each in their own way signifies everything I hate about English film in the populist sense. From the sickeningly desperate leg-humping attempts to be notice by the big boys in Hollywood (rather than having the self respect to be their own thing), to the inevitable cutesy twee humour which, again, is something which exists only because it’s what the big boys in US expect. These movies are always, always comedies, with slightly offbeat characters – the types of people you cross the street to avoid, then wait until they’re out of sight before following them home and shitting on their doorstep – but they completely avoid the truest, best trappings of British humour. Look at any number of British sitcoms of comedy TV shows from this same era, which were made primarily for British audiences; there’s simply no comparison. TV writers were pumping out some of the finest characters and sketches ever committed to screen, while movie makers were shoving this shite down everyone’s gaping holes.

You know exactly what this film is before seeing it – it hits all of the same character, comedy, and story beats of every other film of its ilk. Shy woman from working class background hides from the world and impersonates her favourite singers (read – has zero personality of her own). Her mum, who is a shit, thinks she is shit. She is encouraged to sing in public, and after some misfires becomes a success. The end. The amount of awards this was nominated for is ridiculous.

There was any number of other British films this year that I could also have included here (further down the list I have) but the likes of The Land Girls, Waking Ned, Titanic Town almost made the cut but were just redeemable enough to avoid such embarrassment.

Lock Stock And Two Smoking Barrels

With its poster adorning the walls of idiots around the globe, Lock…. was a sensation and launched the career of Guy Ritchie – a man who has yet to make a single film I have even tolerated, never mind enjoyed. His success is truly bewildering to me. I get that people love his early work, but I just don’t understand any of it. It’s cut rate Tarantino at its worst, and even more unforgivably it centres on a bunch of Cockney twats who I wanted out of my life within seconds of seeing. A bunch of people I don’t like arsing about in a convoluted yet empty crime plot with a soundtrack by artists I can’t stand – the only good thing about this was that I generated a nickname for one of my English teachers at the time – Mr Blackstock And Two Smoking Armpits. Because he was a sweater. And because I am a genius.


There’s a silly argument which goes on about remakes of foreign movies – that the US version must somehow be superior, or that the original is somehow inferior or overhyped simply because it is foreign. Because it is subtitled. Pushers of this argument double down on the remakes which are essentially scene for scene. Ignoring the casual racism inherent in such a statement, it’s a very silly argument to make. I could make the argument that if the US remake isn’t very good but the foreign original was lauded and lavished with praise – simply that the critics and reviewers were wrong or that the wrong films are being remade. The whole thing is rendered pointless when we think of US shot for shot remakes of US films. Gus Van Sant’s remake of Hitchcock’s masterpiece is as close to a shot for shot remake as you’ll ever get. Yet it somehow lacks the chills and the shocks and the atmosphere and the intelligence of the original. Which highlights the simple fact that, no matter how similar you make your remake it’s still an entirely separate entity. Different director (probably), different cast, different filming period, different everything. Before comparing remake to original or blindly assuming the original must somehow be a product of reviewer bias if the remake is poor, maybe go watch the fucking thing yourself.


Ringu is one of the greatest horror movies of all time. It’s also one of my personal Top Ten movies of all time. Rasen is the forgotten… side sequel? Honestly, the whole Ring book and movie series is quite complicated, but basically both Ringu and Rasen are based on the original books by Koji Suzuki – Ringu is the first novel and Spiral is the second, with Rasen based on Spiral. Both movies share some cast members – namely Hiroyuki Sanada and Miki Nakatani, and exist in the same universe. That’s about where the similarities end. The book series is loosely horror, and as it proceeds begins to deal with artificial intelligence and the link between the supernatural and technology, and that’s kind of the tone which Rasen follows. Ringu is all terror, all the time. Ringu was a massive hit, singlehandedly kicking off the J-Horror movement, while no-one remembers Rasen exists. It’s hardly surprising, because Rasen is a slog to get through, isn’t scary, and doesn’t really know what it’s supposed to be.

It doesn’t make an ounce of sense. The books are incredibly well written and in dealing with complex theories they actually drive an engaging narrative and convince the reader of what is being proposed. Rasen jumps from scene to scene and twist to twist with little explanation, and what explanation there is ends up bewildering further. The film was such a flop that those in charge demanded a new sequel – the vastly superior Ring 2 more closely following the events of Ringu insteaf of the books.

Shakespeare In Love

Here we go again. Another British Rom come. This ticks a tonne of my no go boxes – English (kind of)? Rom Com? Period Piece? When I first heard about it… I thought it was a good idea. As an English Literature Degree holding guy this should have been up at least one of my alleys. But a combination of irritating casting and misguided humour, along with the aforementioned no go boxes meant this was at best an annoyance best forgotten. The fact that the film was such a monumental success was salt, ketchup, and garlic and chives into the wound. We’ll get to the whole Oscars debacle at some point in the future, but it’s neither here nor there – the film is utter balls.

Sliding Doors

Two Gwyneth Paltrow movies in one list in one year? I’m not surprised, given how garbage an actress (human?) she appears to be. Existing in this space entirely on the backs of famous parents, her entire career is a mess. If I look down her entire filmography, there isn’t a single performance that I’ve seen that I’ve enjoyed, and her appearance in films I have more or less liked – The Talented Mr Ripley…. actually, that’s probably the only one – her appearance has brought those films down. Why is she a thing?

Sliding Doors… another quirky English Rom Com which panders to the big boys. It’s actually an okay premise – how something as uneventful as getting on or not getting on a train could be on your life. In reality, such things don’t actually make a difference to anyone’s existence – few things do, but that’s the Hollywood lie to keep us poor folks hoping and dreaming and giving over money to our betters. The idea is used only to serve the ‘romance’ which is what really matters, but the horrible dialogue, the cutesy twee crap, the awful casting, the production line beats of the script… it all adds up to yet another wholly unnecessary entry in a genre which has produced more shite than almost any other.

The Thin Red Line

Terence Malik, I love ya but… this increasingly feels like a meandering misstep. With every new Malik film released it feels like the dude is only good at one thing, and thing stopped being interesting in the 70s. Still, The Thin Red Line is a beautifully shot experience and should be seen by anyone with even a passing interest in Cinema as an art form. It’ll certainly pick up plenty of nominations in my personal Oscars lists when I get around to those. I only wish I cared about any of what was happening. By no means a bad film… it just passed me by like yet another exhibit in a gallery I didn’t have to pay to enter.

You’ve Got Mail

Gwyneth Paltrow and Meg Ryan may well be the same person. Have you seen them in the same room at the same time? In any case, they both select the same sort of material and play the same sort of characters regardless of the film or the genre. Of course, that genre is usually RomCom, but you get the idea. Ryan, to her credit, is a better performer and has sometimes chosen more edgy and exciting material, but it’s movies like this that she is known for. Films for hopeless romantics (read – hopeless people), movies which have these people in ridiculous situations and somehow come out of them with a diamond ring and a nice pretty husband. You’ve Got Mail is one of the most notable of these sorts of movies – it’s equally illogical and annoying as the others, it’s a void of ideas, it’s shot with the flare of a housewife filming her baby’s first birthday, and… well, it’s just for me. I think we’ve established that repeatedly by now. If people enjoy this, more power to them. For me, it’s just another inane entry and the garbage spewing canon.

What are your thoughts on 1998? Have I treated any of these films unfairly? Which films from my list, or from 1998 would you include as your least favourite? Let us know in the comments!