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.

Buster

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!

The Lowest Rated Movies I Like – IMDb Edition!

I warned you. I really did. It’s time for (probably) my final post on this topic, as I work through the lowest rated movies on IMDb in search of those movies I like, or even love. My last post on this was in 2019 and I wrote this one at the same time, but my backlog continues to grow and this got lot among everything else. I realise I haven’t been posting much about movies recently, so this was the easiest fix for that problem. I’ve already shown how Rotten Tomatoes has a tonne of movies I love categorized as some of the lowest rated movies ever, but that hasn’t taken away any of my love. Lets see what the good voters at IMDb consider to be the worst.

Battlefield Earth; Man I remember when this was released and the mauling it received. I ridicule Scientology as much as the next sane person and while there’s no doubting the movie is very silly and a huge waste of money… I still liked it. Maybe because I’d been so prepared to find it terrible, that I was surprised when it wasn’t as bad as people said it was. Or maybe I have a low threshold for crap. I’ve only seen it once, many years ago, but I thought it was okay. I don’t think it deserves the hate and ridicule it still gets, ignoring all of the background faff and simply taking it on its own ‘merits’. It’s not good, and while I’m not an advocate of films so bad they’re good, I will hold my hands up and say I enjoyed it more than a tonne of films I’m supposed to like more.

Everything I just said, aside from the Scientology stuff, could be applied to Barb Wire. I don’t know what it is, but I still enjoyed Barb Wire. Now, I know what you’re all thinking – it’s because Pamela Anderson frolics about half naked for most of it, and yes that’s part of its charm for whatever supporters the film may have. I’ve always though Pamela Anderson was an interesting actress and I’ve sort of enjoyed any number of her crappy softcore movies. She never got the more dramatic serious role she wanted. Maybe if she did, I could have seen how bad she is like everyone else says she is, but she never got the chance. Barb Wire is in no way a good film, but it remains kind of unique – a female led throw back to a lot of the male dominated action movies I loved in the 80s. It’s unfortunate they focused on the wrong assets of its star.

The original The Wicker Man is one of my favourite films. The remake is not. But it’s still wonderful because it’s an absolute state. You all know the quotes, you all know the memes, but watching the whole thing in a single sitting is a different experience. You’ll laugh at how silly it all is, and even if you’re the most devout fan of the original you’ll probably get some sort of odd and uncomfortable kick out of watching Cage beat the shit out of people in bear costumes. Interestingly, my wife saw this (with me) before she’d ever seen the original or knew anything about the story – she was horrified by it and the ending in something approximating the way most first time viewers feel upon watching the original.

Superman IV was the first Superman movie I ever saw, and is the first movie I remember seeing at the Cinema. Nuclear Man was pretty scary back then. This is an example of nostalgia completely completely overshadowing critical thought. I like it because I liked it, and I value nostalgia. It’s not good in any conventional sense or otherwise, and it’s a sour note to end the Reeves saga on, but I’d much rather watch this than some po-faced Zack Snyder bullshit.

Speed 2 is a film I’ve only seen once. I knew it was going to rubbish, or at least not as good as the original which I rate higher than most. It has a tonne of flaws, not least its setting and the fact that it’s entirely unnecessary. In truth I can’t remember much about it beyond the fact that I watched it going ‘yeah it’s a crappier Under Siege but it’s still silly fun’.

Prom Night is actually fine. I’m not a big fan of the original and I’m not a big fan of the remake, but I tend to care less when a crappy cult movie is remade rather than something genuinely good. Slasher moves were popular and overdone, then went away and came back to be subverted, then went away and came back to be remade with fresher faces but no purpose. Still, pretty people run around and get killed, you can enjoy it for what it is.

There are other movies here I’ve seen and… did not enjoy. Dungeons And Dragons I saw upon release, Jaws 3 and 4 I’ve put myself through numerous times. While those movies are bad, boring, laughable, I can’t say I hate any of them. They’re not offensive to me. They featured many cast and crew members just trying to do their jobs. They’re likely much better than any number of low budget, amateur indie movies, or even more soulless corporate cash-ins. Well, maybe not much better. Out of the bottom 100 movies there isn’t one I truly liked, let alone loved, and I can’t say how many people would feel differently. But maybe you do. Maybe one of of your favourites is in there? Let us know in the comments!

Nightman’s Least Favourite Movies Of 2007!

So 2007 saw me struggle to pick ten movies I genuinely loved – I wonder if I will also struggle to find ten films I was truly disappointed by or thoroughly disliked.

Spiderman 3

It’s not that I didn’t enjoy Spiderman 3 – it’s just that the previous Raimi movies were so much better that this always felt like a let down. We all know the memes, we all know the story which throws too many bad guys on the screen, and we all know that the film has been ridiculed ever since. It’s fine, it just loses the core heart from the previous films by having less focus on Kirsten and Tobey, and by making The Sandman a non-entity. In other words, this is a tough year for me to find 10 films worthy of appearing on this list.

Black Sheep

It’s New Zealand and comedy gore. It’s zombie sheep. There’s no reason on Earth why I shouldn’t love this. But for whatever reason, I sat there shaking my head throughout, wishing it had the magic of an early Peter Jackson monstrosity. I saw this in the Cinema while my wife was at a Rod Stewart concert – make of that what you will. It’s just a silly tale about zombie sheep killing a bunch of annoying New Zealanders, and it’s not as much fun as that sounds. Still, I’d pick that over seeing Rod Stewart.

Live Free And Die Hard

Another sequel, and another film which I didn’t dislike as much as others seemed to. It’s just that it became indistinguishable from any other action movie. Willis seems tired, kicking off this latter portion of his career where he doesn’t give a shit. The Die Hard movies were always great precisely because they stood out from other straight action movies – they had a wisecracking charm and they were inventive. This is just a perfectly serviceable action movie in need of an injection of what made the first (and third) movies so great.

The Invasion

I so dearly wanted to love this – the fact that I didn’t is probably why it’s on this list. Honestly, the original idea behind The Invasion Of The Body Snatchers should be the gift that keeps on giving. The first three movies adapted from the book – the 1950s, 70s, and 90s versions each appeared in my Top Ten movies of their respective years. I love them all. There’s just so much that can be done with the idea of a creature taking your face and slowly taking your town – in today’s political climate I shouldn’t need to spell out how powerful, and how good a Body Snatchers movie could be. The Invasion even has a great cast. It’s just so beige – there is no emotional connection, little tension, the stakes feel low. Watching it you feel like one of the clones – staring at a series of sounds and images which mean nothing to you. Hell, I even still sort of enjoyed it, but just kept wishing it was more.

Into The Wild

A movie which celebrates the life of an idiot. It’s certainly well made, it looks gorgeous, and it has a decent soundtrack. Decent cast do good work, but man it’s one of those movies you always find on people’s ‘most underrated lists’ or on those clickbait ‘most amazing movies we guarantee you’ve NEVER seen’ sites. It’s just an okay drama in which not a lot happens, and we get to watch a privileged asshole ruin his life and emotionally destroy his family, all because he wanted to ‘find himself’. It’s your standard white-boy gap year bullshit which takes a tragic turn because the dude believed he was untouchable.

Atonement

This film has a lot to answer for. It was one of the first to slap Keira Knightly into the typecast period drama mire she has found herself in ever since, it brought us Saiorse Ronan who has yet to make a film I’ve fully enjoyed, and it was so overrated to balloon proportions that people still hold it up as a masterpiece. It was never a masterpiece, it’s another film which focuses on people you would choke while simultaneously holding underwater, and is more generic than Stabby Joe Part VI: Stabby’s Back. The only thing going for it is that, admittedly breathtaking, landing one shot. Beyond that it’s just vapid, emotionless pap – an episode of Downton Abbey blown up for the big screen. It was Joe Wright’s breakout – he’s yet to make a film I’ve liked.

I Am Legend

We’ll get this out of the way – I liked I Am Legend. It’s not on the list because I think it’s a bad movie. Well, the CG is routinely awful but that’s to be expected. It’s on the list because I Am Legend is my favourite book of all time. It is legitimately one of the most important books ever written, not purely because without it there would be little to no of what we know as Horror Cinema and Fiction today, but because it’s an extraordinary piece of work which hasn’t aged a day since the 1950s, one which takes its subject matter seriously, and is both emotionally devastating and prescient. It deserves, not just a good film, but a great film. What we get instead is a Will Smith action vehicle, light on scares, on heart, and while it has been praised for it’s depiction of a post apocalyptic world, it really doesn’t come close to Matheson’s original vision. I’ve enjoyed every version of his book that I’ve seen on screen, but I suspect every one is going to disappoint me.

A bland year all round for me, with little to recommend or remember. 2007 is frequently heralded as one of the best years in Cinema history, but for me it is decidedly meh. Of course there’s still a bunch of movies I haven’t seen, from Critical darlings, commercial smashes, and little known potential gems so if I ever revisit this list in the future, it may look different. For now though, let me know in the comments if you agree about any of the films I’ve included, or if any of the above are your personal favourites!

The Lowest Rated Movies I Like – Rotten Tomatoes Edition

digitiser-screenshot-archive-1994-12-10-475-9
Spicing Up My Post With A Completely Inappropriate Picture

Greetings, Glancers! If you missed it last time, I walked through the Top 100 Highest Rated movies on Rotten Tomatoes and found a few films I either disliked or disagreed with their inclusion. It wasn’t very exciting, and this is going to be the even less interesting follow up. I’m looking at the dregs now, the films that are so bad they’re baaad, but wondering if among these there are films I love, or at the very least, enjoy. I’m using Rotten Tomatoes again, and if their Top Rated films are anything to go by, I can only assume that their Low Rated list will be mostly populist fare, not films which are little known or so low-budget and Indie and bad that only twelve people will ever see them. I rambled on a bit too much last time, so lets just jump straight in now.

There is a list of films rated with 0% on Rotten Tomatoes. I assume that means that out of all the critic and audience reviews there isn’t a single positive one. I’m probably assuming incorrectly, but if you think I’m going to spend time and effort actually looking into this you are sorely mistaken. Oh. Oh dear. Going by year, the first entry I see comes in at 1987, and it’s a film I enjoy. In fact, it’s a film I love. In fact, it’s a film I include on my Top 150 favoutite films of all time. It’s Police Academy 4. This is strange, not because I think it’s an amazing film (I don’t, but I love it thiiiiiiissss muuuuuuucccch) but because it is far from the worst film in the series. Part 5 is a watchable rehash of ideas, Part 6 falls too far from the formula and loses more favourite characters, while Part 7 is genuinely awful – that’s coming from me as a huge fan of the series. But Part 4 has some great stuff – most of the original cast is there, we get some new and recurring fan favourites, and it has some of my favourite moments from the franchise. I can’t believe that not a single person gave a favourable review on this, but did on later entries.

1988 sees the next entry, and it’s Mac And Me! I mentioned this last time as a film I enjoyed more than ET. It’s true. I know, okay, I know that ET is the vastly, vastly better film, but I like Mac And Me more. He’s such a little freak. 1991 takes me to another surprise – Highlander Part 2. I’m genuinely surprised this is rated as 0%. I know it’s not a patch on the first, but do people actually hate this and consider it one of the worst movies ever? I mean, I’m not such a huge fan of it to keep up with audience reviews of it, but a quick Google search tells me that apparently it is frequently called one of the worse films ever. I must go back and watch it now to see why. I remember it being messy, and trying to be too clever for its own good to the point that it became stupid, but I also remember liking it. There are other films here I saw and didn’t dislike – Redline, Derailed, One Missed Call, but I don’t remember them in as much detail so can’t comment further.

Lets see what else we have slightly further up the scale. With a score of under 60%, The Mummy by Stephen Sommers is seen in RT terms as an average movie. I assumed most critics were more positive and I would go so far as calling it the definitive version of the story. Sure, it’s just an Indiana Jones movie without Harrison Ford, but it’s good family fun, fast moving, and with a decent balance between thrills, laughs, action, and scares. Similarly, Die Hard With A Vengeance is a rip-roaring time, bypassing the droll sequel and getting it right with a blend of action and comedy which no recent action movies have emulated – it has a meagre 52% rating. Return To Oz is one of my favourite movies of all time, yet it sits with an inexplicable 53%. I can only assume this is due to a critical bias towards The Wizard Of Oz rather than seeing the film on its own merits – as a twisted, dark, fantasy which teaches kids that the world actually isn’t all that nice of a place. With great make-up, effects, and some fantastic performances, it deserves better than 53%.

Super, at 49%, is a film which was dismissed upon release and has since faded into oblivion. For me, it’s better than any MCU or DCU movie I’ve seen (yet), and more inventive, funny, and interesting than almost any recent comic book blockbuster you can name. Hot Rod has 39%… it’s not great, but I enjoyed it. High Tension has… wtf… only 40%, reminding us that most critics just don’t get horror and are idiots. Equally mysterious is Equilibrium’s 38% – sure most people see it as a Matrix knock-off, but it’s vastly superior in my eyes than whatever the hell The Matrix sequels were supposed to be. Drop Dead Fred has a painful 9% rating…. I get it’s not high art, and while I don’t know the countries of origin of the critics who gave such bad scores, I would take a stab at guessing most were American and therefore ‘didn’t get it’. Any time Rik Mayall appears in a film it is a blessing from the Gods, and this is probably his best movie role. Show this to any kid – they’ll love it.

Lets go through some of my favourite movies by year lists and see how some of those fare – I’m only picking those movies which I imagine critics didn’t love. The Watcher In The Woods is my 7th favourite movie of 1980, but RT gives it a 45%. The further into the 80s we go and the more Arnie movies we’ll see – traditionally Arnie movies got hammered by critics upon release only to be reevaluated as classics decades later. We already know that the Police Academy series never did well with critics – even the generally agreed upon best of the bunch (Part 1) gets only 54%. Brewster’s Millions is one of my favourites of 1985 but has a poor 36%, while The Hitcher from 1986 barely scrapes a Fresh Rating with 60%. Going further a field, my beloved Things To Do In Denver When You’re Dead, which is long overdue for a critical reevaluation, has a miserly 33%.

Once again, feel free to draw your own conclusions from any of this and check how your favourite movies stack up against the almighty critical consensus. Chances are they won’t, but that’s okay. Just keep liking what you like, because if you don’t the people in power will just keep rolling out the same five films each year with ever more beautiful effects, performers, and movies will become pointless. What a time to be alive.