As film critics we watch our share of bad movies. Sometimes, though, we watch bad movies intentionally, especially if they have a certain someone we love. This week the Dames are getting real, revealing the worst movies they’ve watched (or, in some cases, own) for their celebrity loves. These are the film equivalents of Jaime Lannister pushing Bran Stark out that window. “The things we do for love!”
KRISTEN’S TOP 5
I watch A LOT of terrible movies for people I love. In some cases you might hear me use the term “full Bernthal,” the process by which I’ll watch an entire filmography, regardless of quality. This has led to a lot of pain and turmoil. In the grand scheme of things the four films below probably wouldn’t hit your common definition of terrible, but every one of these movies has a story associated with it and my own brand of what makes it awful. Note, these are not ranked in order of preference, just how quickly they came into my head. (Also, and this might be cheating, I went with titles I knew people had at least heard of, as opposed to the truly obscure.)
I know quite a few people who enjoy Zach Snyder’s bizarre fever dream. I am not one of these people. I saw this when it came to theaters and it’s one of two movies with my beloved Oscar Isaac that are just terrible. How do I justify watching it, let alone owning the director’s cut Blu-ray? Well, you can absolve yourself of a lot of sins with me by wearing guyliner and singing. And it’ll probably be the closest we’ll get to seeing Oscar Isaac rock a Gomez Addams-like in live-action.
I get criticized often for my adoration of Jack Huston. (Come on, the guy’s Hollywood royalty! How can I NOT love him?) Not only did I watch this terrible combination of big-budget action reboot and faith based drama, I took time out of my life to watch the 3 and a 1/2 hour Charlton Heston version, just so say I got a full overview! And this remake didn’t even have the good sense to give me some homoeroticism between our leads!
Where else can a person indulge their simultaneous love for both Michael Fassbender AND Henry Cavill than in this terribly made “horror” film about a Nazi demon? ghost? directed by “legendary” director Joel Schumacher. I have very little memory of this movie short of it came out post-Phantom of the Opera and it had Fassy and a post-Tudors Charles Brandon. If memory serves though Fassy is only in this for about 10 minutes and the rest of the film is made with a dude rocking a mask that can only be called Red Skull if he had the stomach flu.
The Lone ranger
The Lone Ranger is low-hanging fruit, I know. In fact it seems there are many people who love this movie (including Quentin Tarantino). When I saw it back in 2013 I remember despising it. It was long. It was boring. It was Pirates of the Caribbean with cowboy hats. And the main dude was never going to do anything again! Cut to 2017 where I would sell my soul for Armie Hammer. (Note, be sure to listen to the latest episode where I discuss the worst Armie Hammer movie I had to sit through…twice.)
The Mod squad
Remember that time, post-Austin Powers, when Hollywood thought it’d be a great idea to reboot every old television show? Released one year after the notorious flop that was The Avengers – not the MCU version – was this reimagined take on the Peggy Lipton-led drama. It’s a movie the term “high octane” was invented for because so much of this movie thinks it’s so cool. Claire Danes makes pouty faces the whole time. Giovanni Ribisi does his…..Giovanni Ribis thing. And poor Omar Epps is the token man of color. So why did I watch this garbage that can’t justify its own existence? I love Josh Brolin….a lot. And because this is a ’90s movie he has to play the adorable villain. If anything Josh Brolin in this movie got me started on charting how high men’s hair can get because his hair is so tall and tower-like I think birds are perpetually circling around it.
KAREN’S TOP 5
It’s about 95% likely the term “boy crazy” was coined just for me. (True story: at age 4, I liked a boy in my preschool class. He ate crayons. I ate crayons to impress him. He was not impressed. The end.) From an early age, I found much to enjoy in the faces of the actors onscreen. At 9, it was Tom Cruise. At 10, It was Ethan Hawke, River Phoenix, Kirk Cameron. Many more have come and gone, and I have seen many a terrible film for their sakes. Or for mine? Here are just five of many, in alphabetical order.
The Boss (2014)
I saw this movie for three very specific reasons: Melissa McCarthy, Peter Dinklage, and Kristen Bell. In that order. I believe with all my heart that the only reason Melissa and I aren’t best frends is because of that pesky detail where we haven’t met yet. While this movie is definitely terrible, there are still moments that make me giggle a lot more than they should. Peter Dinklage really does make everything better.
Sometimes I see films not for who is on the screen, but for who is behind the camera. As a devotee of the filmography of Christopher Nolan, how could I resist his first feature? Sadly, it’s weird and boring. And mostly weird. At 62 minutes, it manages to feel like the longest film in his filmography.
Kingdom of Heaven (2005)
While I did harbor a few pleasant feelings for Legolas from Lord of the Rings, Orlando Bloom was actually not the reason I saw this. It was because of Liam Neeson, in fact. And I was sorely disappointed. After the success of Gladiator, Ridley Scott apparently thought he could take on the Crusades. It’s little surprise that Orlando’s career took a slide in the ensuing years. Thankfully, Liam didn’t suffer the same fate. Good thing he has that particular set of skills.
The Ledge (2011)
Patrick Wilson is one of the most likeable people you could meet. Which is why he just didn’t work as a Christian fundamentalist villain and abusive husband. His casting was all wrong, the script was not great. Nothing about this film really worked, which is just such a frustrating use of a talented cast.
The Midnight Meat Train (2008)
You let me down, Bradley Cooper. You let us all down.
KIMBERLY’S TOP 5
So, my list of celebrity husbands is long and varied. Some are still acting today, and some are long dead. Below is the rather embarrassing list of the “Top 5 Worst Films I’ve Watched for Love”. These films are all tied together by one thing… I watched them because of a shameless crush.
Stonehenge Apocalypse (2010)
Anytime a SyFy original movie makes the list, you know it must be for love. So, when Misha Collins starred as a conspiracy theorist radio host convinced there’s more to Stonehenge, I was so in! And then…yeah, SyFy original movie. Anyhow, the things we do for love.
The Hobbit Trilogy (2012, 2013, 2014)
Yes, I’m cheating to combine three movies in one. The appeal of this movie is simple: Benedict Cumberbatch, Lee Pace, Martin Freeman, Luke Evans, dare I go on? However, once you dive into these films, the nerd rage begins. Peter Jackson should have not pulled a Lucas and filmed his own prequels. That didn’t stop me from seeing each of these movies in theaters. Yikes.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)
By this point, Spider-Man had already graced movie screens four times. Did we really need a fifth? However, as soon as they cast Dane DeHaan (yup…sorry not sorry) as the Green Goblin, as well as the return of my girl crush Emma Stone, I too came back. And, if you haven’t seen the film, the fact that it killed yet another Spider-Man franchise tells you everything you need to know. It was baaaaaad.
A Million Ways to Die in the West (2014)
Another embarrassing crush confession coming up. I saw this film for one reason: Seth flipping MacFarlane. He crafts Broadway musical recreations, indulges his inner 1940s style crooner and he references old movies. What is there not to love? To make things even better, he was onscreen this time!
Terminator Genisys (2015)
Terminator Genishit. I was there in theaters for one reason. Confession alert: Jai Courtney (despite all my better judgement) has bounced around my celebrity husbands list since his Spartacus days. So, this film stood as an opportunity for the Australian heartthrob to finally get the franchise breakout he deserved. Then it premiered…and another franchise bit the dust.
LAUREN’S TOP 5
The notoriously awful 1979 film that was transformed into a pornographic film by producer/Penthouse founder Bob Guccione is not only a shockingly offensive work of schlock, but just a generally bad film. I watched it for the (mercifully) brief appearance of Peter O’Toole as the Emperor Tiberius, Caligula’s (Malcolm McDowell) syphilitic uncle. According to O’Toole, most of the main cast had no idea Caligula would turn out quite so badly as it did, though he and John Gielgud were alerted to some potential problems when they came on set and found young men walking around with gigantic blue phalluses. Said Gielgud, “Dear boy, I do believe we are in a blue film.” And that was even before Guccione added a whole bunch of random sex scenes. Fun.
Incense for the Damned (1970)
I’m generally a sucker for B-horror films, but Incense for the Damned is one of the more lurid, inept of its genre. I watched it for my one true love Patrick Macnee – best known as TV’s John Steed – who made quite a post-Avengers career elevating schlocky films. But even he seems bored in Incense for the Damned, in which he plays a diplomat (or something) leading a group of friends on their search for a young man who may or may not have been kidnapped by a vampiric S&M cult in Greece. That tells you everything you need to know. Pat is gorgeous, though.
The Return of Doctor X (1939)
Pick any star from Hollywood’s Golden Age and you’re bound to find some truly bad films lingering somewhere in their early work. My obsession with Humphrey Bogart led me to some strange places. The Return of Doctor X is certainly the worst of his pre-stardom films, in which he plays a doctor kept alive by hunting down victims possessed of a rare blood type. Best part? Bogie’s slinky entrance, complete with rabbit.
Born to be Bad (1934)
As with Bogie, my baby Cary Grant did some terrible B-pictures during his rise to stardom. Case in point, Born to be Bad, a pre-Code morality play with Loretta Young as an unfit mother raising her illegitimate child to be a villain. When the boy gets hit by a truck, Young’s bad mother decides to take the driver (Grant) to the cleaners. Grant basically plays a moral, upstanding dude who totally deserves to be a parent more than Loretta Young. Not particularly a bad film – the performances are decent – but it does leave a nasty taste in the mouth.
Three Cases of Murder (1955)
OK, so this isn’t necessarily a bad movie, but the reason why I watched it – to see a young Patrick Macnee in a small role as a subaltern – merits an inclusion on the list. Why? Because I sat through the whole damned film to discover the only part of Macnee you get to see is one shoulder in one scene. Yes, I know that he’s there. I’d recognize that shoulder anywhere.