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Deck the Halls

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When it comes to the Christmas Flop, there's not too many floppier than 2006's Deck the Halls. I could be the groan-inducing jokes, the two one-time (and future) A-listers with their careers on the skids, or the really cliche and played plot. But mostly it's just that you hate the characters and want them to explode in a ball of fire.

Both of these men are horrible people. Which works great in a forum like Always Sunny but not so much in the yearly family outing at the movie theater with the cousins from Des Moines. Both Steve and Buddy are completely unlikable from the start - frame 1. You can't do that. When you have this plot (Dads take things too far!) you need at least your protagonist to be both likable and identifiable so that when the dads shake hands and treat each other with respect at the end, you have a location to return your character to with the viewer. This doesn't have it. Steve's a dick at the beginning and middle and end.

Aside from your disgust with the two people you have to watch for the next hour and half, the gags are awful and the jokes are poorly presented and delivered. Nothing is funny (aside from one unintentional laugh brought to you by a different movie playing in one scene). So there's nothing good here guys. Steer clear.

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Batman Returns

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Well if Die Hard is an Xmas Movie well so is this turd. Batman makes his debut on the show, yet manages to avoid being in the Batman movie. Catwoman is the un-sexy. Walkan doesn't Walkan out and Danny Devito gets thrown under the bus. Everything people think about this film is wrong.

First off, and here's you breaking point - BATMAN ISN'T IN THE BATMAN MOVIE!!! At the 1 hour mark, Batman has only been in the "Batman" movie for 123 seconds. 

Second off, Catwoman is sold hard to be sexy. But she's really really not. I mean there's a certain level of crazy that people will put up with if it's hot stuff but her nuttiness is over-the-top. She's boner-reducing. (see the "sexy" cat bath scene and then really analyze your definition of sexy)

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The Happening

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The film that puts you directly into the mind of the characters and the writer/director at the same time - you'll feel confusion and without direction. By the end you'll be giving the same answer as the movie - "I don't know!"

Not even M. Knight can say what this movie is directly about. Ask him 6 different times and you'll get 6 different answers. One could put this into the sub-genre of disaster movies, but please, someone tell us definitively what the disaster is. The best that can be done is "The trees take revenge on man for invading their environment" but that just opens up more questions that can only be answered with "I don't know!" The on-screen scientists can only say "I don't know". Wahlburg never figures out what's going on and repeatedly says "I don't know". We don't know!

Despite a few glimmers of ridiculousness, the film is pretty damn boring and consists mostly of people walking while no one has a clue what is going on. There's dialogue piled upon other dialogue just there to tell us "See! These are real Earth people." There's nothing happening that moves the story forward, only reinforcing that Shyamalyan had no clue what to do with this pile of crap.

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Howard the Duck

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It's been a long time coming and it's now finally time to delve into the complexities of the dark comedy/action thriller about a duck, man. George Lucas puts on his producer hat and then proceeds to lose all the money.

Howard the Duck is one of the hardest films we've ever had to review. Not because its that hard to watch (although it's chock full of groan worthy moments), but just because it's so hard to determine what the heck it is. Is it a kids movie? Is it a comedy? What's the moral or the point, really? It's just very hard to define and that makes ones expectations pretty hard to narrow down. I've tried to use our blog tag system to give some single words as to what it is - yet the only thing I can come up with is that it's an 80's movie.

The effects, the audio, Tim Robbins, and the animatronics are all top-tier performances but they disappear behind Munchie-levels of hyjinx. Once again the word comes to haunt a film and put it into the realms of the bottom 100 films. Just when you're finally about to relax and stop screaming at the idiocy before you, Howard gets into yet another series of buffoonery that make you want to break your remote between your teeth.

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Howling II: Your Sister's a Werewolf

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Buckle up for banana business as were-monkey-wolves try to throw a killer birthday party. Every body is invited. Leave your head at the door. It'll be a bloody good time. Ok..well unless Christopher Lee and some townies are party-crashers. Then you'll get shot up pretty good.

When you put Reb Brown next to Sir Christopher Lee, and then have a bunch of guys in Planet of the Apes costumes pretend (or not?) be werewolves, you're destined to have a mind-boggling mess on your hands. This thing is bafflingly bad. The events that transpire are sorta clear, but why they happen is absolutely nonsense. Best we can determine is that a lady's birthday orgy gets interrupted because he brother shows up.

It's gory as hell, hilarious from the opening frames, chock full of nudity, awful one-liners (from the forever wooden Reb), 80's new wave, insanely uncomfortable costumes and plenty of terrible acting and dialogue. Howling II is exactly what one signs up for in enjoying bad movies.

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The Exorcist II: The Heretic

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Six (count them - SIX!) Oscar nominated actors took a look at this garbage script and STILL signed up to do it. It's absolutely nonsensical. It's painfully boring. And it ALL sucks butt. Blech.

It's like they tried to say something in this film but had no idea what that was before they reached the end of the writing, so they just crammed in a bunch of nonsense to try to make a statement. If anyone can decipher what that statement is....

The acting stinks but not in a fun way. It looks like garbage but not in a fun way. In fact, I'm over this POS. I don't want to talk about it any more.

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The Midnight Man

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A couple ding-dongs find a box with some stuff in it, so their only choice is to summon a crappy version of Slender Man and have him chase them around until 3:33am. Meanwhile you've got Grandma upstairs complaining about the trouble-makers in Selma, absolutely no reward if you beat the game, and a villain with dubious intentions. Hope you all like lengthy rules!

Soooo many rules! The length of the rules of summoning Midnight Man need to have a team of professional editors go through them. You might run out of ink in your printer. BUT there's a myriad of holes within them. For instance, Midnight Man will leave you alone after 3:33am. Is that GST? What time measurement system is he going by? Will a sundial work? Or can you just use your cell-phone? What about time-zones? What happens if someone else summons Midnight Man in Italy and Chicago? What's he do when he's NOT summoned?

I mean the level of bullcrap is seriously leaps and bounds past Slender Man (which is about a 9 on the bullcrap scale).

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The Return of Swamp Thing

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How do you follow up Wes Craven's directing? You call Jim Wynorski? And he totally shows Wes how its done? Wow. Fan-Fave Jim showcases how you have fun with a failed superhero property. Replace Zach Snyder right now, DC!

The polarization between the two versions of Swamp Thing is night and day. It's known within the first 15 seconds as shown by the opening scroll:

"Once upon a time....in the swamp!"

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Swamp Thing

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Nothing says the follow-up to Superman like a budget movie, right? It's that weird mix of camp, bad costumes, a busty lady, and villians of dubious intent. Oh, and it's also a fairy-tale love story. WTF is Swamp Thing?

It's surprisingly bad. Nothing can prepare you for how crummy this film is. You've got all the pieces that should make for an OK movie - the established Wes Craven only 2 years before his masterpiece. Adrienne Barbeau hot off her run of John Carpenter films, Ray Wise on his way to Leland nuttiness, Harry Manfredini ready to give the hot licks, Alan Moore's material, the backing of DC loaded up on cash after Superman. How did this go wrong?!?!

The makeup is awful, the costumes are atrocious, the writing is beyond nonsense, the story is a big question mark and then the way the whole thing ends is just nuts. This truly is one of the worst comic-book movies of all time.

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Collision Course

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Nothing says comedy team-up like when a street-wise cop has to be the American ambassador to a martial-arts packing fellow officer from the East to take down an international crime syndicate. Boy that sounds familiar. Unfortunately for everyone involved, this is NOT Rush Hour.

All uncanny resemblance to Rush Hour aside, there's not a lot here folks. It's very unfunny (groan-worthy) and pretty uneventful until the last 1/4 (when the movie shifts into a totally dark tone). Its a very slow and rough experience with just a sprinkle of fun, here and there.

HOWEVER, there is two show stealing scenes that ALMOST redeem the whole thing and definitely put it up in the fine-line between "do and don't". It still is incredibly close and depending upon the viewer is either going to give it a 50% (a do not) or a 51% (a do). It's that close.

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Rent-A-Cop

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We setup our tribute to the dearly missed Burt Reynolds with an examination of his first Razzie nomination as "bored actor who doesn't want to be in the same film as Liza Minnelli". It's like Sharky's Machine meets A Star is Born. Does that work for a bad movie "do"?

Let's get straight to the bad - the big bad is Liza. She's insufferable. It's not completely her fault as the script calls for the most annoying person ever as the "love interest" for hunky Burt - because that's how all cop movies should work right? So she is supposed to play an annoying person and she does that in spades or jazz hands or sea-urchin hair cuts. Whatever. It's awful and you can't put someone who is like nails on the chalkboard into a movie even if the role calls for it. You can't annoy your audience for 2 hours. Ugh.

Then there's Burt. Sweet, sweet Burt. He stinks. And it's his fault. It's a clinic on how to shoot an actor that in no way wants to be in your movie. Sadly this is the beginning of the end for Burt (until Boogie Nights) where he would take whatever role he could get. So he'd rather be in Cleveland than starring next to the most annoying character ever. It's a little tough to watch.

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Predator 2

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In what appears to be a Predator version of a bar-mitzvah, Captain Murtaugh has to scratch his head and whisper to himself about things he sees in front of him to stop a bunch of gang-members with mega-guns and voodoo powers from getting their spines ripped out. Oh! AND Bill Paxton!

A movie with a 8 foot tall alien who rips people's spines out, Danny Glover, Bill Paxton and Gary Busey sounds like about the hottest thing that's ever existed. Sign me the hell up and lets get stupid!

Well hold on, kiddies. You've got the most destructive group in film you still have to account for. No, not The Asylum. The MFing MPAA. After extensive recuts (20 of them) to appease a group of soccer-moms with no knowledge of film study, Predator 2 is both lacking in imagination and luster. Its far too tame to work. Its like watching Volcano but with a Predator who's had his wings clipped by the MPAA. Its kinda just disappointingly boring.

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Slender Man

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A faceless board-room guy (probably the one that fired James Gunn) is also a tree-man, octopus, tarantula with very dubious motivations, but likely he's actually the ghost of Chalton Heston, arboriculturist.

Slender Man the movie was doomed before it came out the gate. There is no way to pay this much fan service to the original creepy-pasta while trying to make a sensical story. Once you put Slender Man into an environment that must have some sort of back-story and character motivations and that old bummer, the Protagonist/Antagonist diatribe you've got no choice but to make your new horror icon look about as clever as the bird in the desk of The Wicker Man.

The lighting is atrocious, the acting is middling, the writing is gadawful, and even the cat-stings are failed. It's like if someone hired the Asylum to helm their franchise hopeful. Yet beyond all that, there is some truly hilarious parts. There's a handful of lines that are so horrendously out-of-reality and out of place that you can be "that one guy" in the theater. Mash that up with two of the most hilarious "horror editing" (think The Ring) decisions and you have a great bad-movie.....almost.

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St. Elmo's Fire

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When you look up pretentious, self-obsessed, socially awful, and completely uninterested in benefiting mankind in anyway in the dictionary (you can look those terms up, right?) then you see a picture of the "brat pack" from this clinic in deplorability.

I hate these people. Not one can be redeemed. Its horrifying how awful they are and how their awfulness is not the focus of the movie. This is one of those jobbers where people (who are just as awful) will say, "This is it. This shows the challenges of live after becoming a full adult and the struggle with transitioning between having no responsibilities and then suddenly thrust into the real world." No, this is just you being completely blind to how morally bankrupt these people are. ARRHSHSHGHGGH!!!!!

90% of the reason to show up for this is to see how shitty these people are and wonder why in the hell this movie was made (it serves 0 purpose). The other 5% is the random crap that Schumacher stuffs in behind the focal point of the POV. Weird clowns, puppets, a naked fat guy butt...etc. and then 5% of Judd Nelson and Rob Lowe completely flubbing their lines. 

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Miami Connection

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We take one of the most beloved stinkers of the last decade and find a new reason to justify the entire plot - a rumble to the death over the most important theme of the 1980's - high fashion.

Miami Connection is at the top of the list for most fans of crummy films and this is no accident. It's truly one of the most accessible bad movies of all time. Where some may struggle to view The Room and Fateful Findings there is something for everyone in YK Kim's masterpiece, especially those from the 80's or have 80's nostalgia. While those two items are helpful, they are not required. You can show this to just about anyone, from all ages and all walks of life.

Then there's Dragon Sound. In the usual vein of films like this you might catch a glimpse of the amazing band playing in the background but Dragon Sound is front and center throughout with two entire songs played without break in music video format. With some of the worst lyrics ever put to film and "Against the Ninja" showcasing the plot verbatim, Dragon Sound is the most beautiful train wreck set to video.

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To Catch a Yeti

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We've got a monster-bud on our hands in the most notable work of Meatloaf's career. When the world's greatest hunter gets hired by a rich family to catch a yeti, he gets thwarted by a little girl whose clothes don't fit. Everyone is going to jail here.

One might go into this thinking that you're about to be tortured for an hour and a half, ala Mac and Me, or C.H.O.M.P.S., well you're sorta right. This movie is as expected godawful, but somehow it dodges being in the bottom of the barrel. It manages to stay on target throughout the whole thing. There's no scene where the little girl and the monster bud go to school and crummy hijinx ensue. There's no scene where the monster bud destroys the whole house while riding a vacuum and chasing the dog. It steers clear of all the usual pitfalls that monster-bud movies fall into.

Instead of where it typically could have gone, it is just a series of Meatloaf chasing a little girl holding the worst Furby prop for an hour and a half. There's a volley of crummy jokes here and there yet none are groin-worthy, they are just ignorable while you're riffing the film. It continually sets itself up throughout with some scattered big laugh moments (usually involving Meatloaf murdering a Francis (Pee Wee's Big Adventure) impersonator.

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American Hunter

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Robert Mitchum's kid freelances his way into a "get the ninja tape" situation and into Janet's heart all while being WAY above the law and murdering many innocent people. Expect some shenanigans in this super-budget movie out of Indonesia.

One of a kind in it's repetition and recurring themes, American Hunter (Lethal Hunter in Europe) is a classic super-budget action film with very poorly thought-out plot elements. Behold the final list of incredibly weird repeating onscreen events:

4 - The number of bad dives4 - The number of times Janet gets kidnapped3 - The number of times Jake survives after something that would kill anyone else4 - The number of times someone shouts "Asshole!" right before killing someone4 - The number of times a stunt car drives up and ramp and jumps2 - Houses owned by the villain that are exploded by the villain3 - Random species of critters the villain owns

Then there's sweet sweet Janet. Poor Janet has been put through unholy hell. She loses her job, gets someones brains all over her face, kidnapped four times, crashed into a gas truck, her car destroyed, dropped from a helicopter, shot in the shoulder, had her neck shaved (?), and then married to a man who clearly doesn't care about whether she lives or dies.

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The Hurricane Heist

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The US Dept of Treasury hires an ATF agent and some "Army guys" to protect $600 million on its way to a giant paper shredder. Then some baddies try to steal it. Set to the backdrop of a physically impossible hurricane. The only thing in their way? A weatherman and is mechanic brother. Too early to whisper SMABFA?

This movie is crap. Whether its enjoyable crap is a topic for debate, which we'll get into, but it's absolute crap. Fans of bad movies MUST see this film. It's astounding that we are still making screenplays that are this terrible. At no point did anyone bother to open a book to check out how hurricanes work. So the science is impossibly bad - like Armageddon bad. Yet, the science is not as bad as the plot. You guessed it, we're facing another round of the idiot plot. Both sides (good and bad guys) go out of their way to ensure the plot exists against their own interests. Stuff that next to atrocious dialogue such as:

"I hate old money. Been up too many noses and down too many G-strings."

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Rampage

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Dwayne is back into being the charming, super-ripped, former Special Forces, who has more ability to punch a monster in the face than follow social norms. This time he's playing the role of 15th guy from the 4th level of the original video game. Plus 3 monsters destroy Chicago and Don Jr. makes his acting debut.

Thanks to the incredibly bad decisions of corporate scientist CEOs (whatever that is), we are treated to three genetically mutated former critters that eventually get to big and start smashing crap. You can imagine what that's like. So let's talk about everything else.

Dwayne is fantastic in his putting on a show. Ok, he's not exactly going to win any awards (probably ever) but he has pretty solid chemistry with something that doesn't exist. He's charming us while acting next to a not existent giant monster. Pretty solid stuff there.Monster design works. This walks that fine line between too much and too little creature design and showcasing them. They look great.Jake Lacy - wow. Absolutely steals the show away from Dwayne. His frat-boy, daddy paid my professors, CEO (see recent President's sons) performance is legit theater LOL worthy. He kills it.Too much exposition. Sadly the first half isn't a page turner. There's a sprinkle of good stuff here and there but to try to make some semblance of believability they thought they could cram in far too much backstory here and way to much science talk over here. None of it matters! We came to see monsters fighting The Rock. Just do that!

However, for the most part, this film gets 90% of its popcorn-eating film genre work done well. Unfortunately, the draggy-ness of the exposition keeps it from being a fully enjoyable experience. With that all said, it's still clearly the best-made video game movie in history - which isn't really saying much.

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Foodfight!`

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Some people have no business making movies. Some people who have no business making movies REALLY have no business making animated movies. Foodfight! is a travesty. The UN should have sent inspectors into the production and placed sanctions against it. The Canadian Army should have liberated the people working on it from their captors. It's that bad.

Ok, so we know it's really bad. The animation is atrocious and the jokes are cringe-worthy. That's all been said. Let's get into this a little deeper.

Bestiality is prevalent. There are human people living inside the imaginary (maybe?) grocery store city. Several characters who are animals (specifically a chocolate squirrel) wants to bone down with these human women.Nazi S&M - The head of the SS of brand icons (yes that'a thing here) enjoys both giving pain and receiving it IN A SEXUAL MANNER IN A CHILDREN'S MOVIE!German Schizer Films - The same head of the SS at one point pees his pants and again enjoys it IN A SEXUAL MANNER IN A CHILDREN'S MOVIE! Many other characters get poop on them. Large amounts of cartoon poop. Some like it. Some don't but either way the movie repeats people getting pooped on again and again.Agism - The villain is eventually revealed to be a "recalled" product line because the mascot was old and ugly, so no one bought it. Instead they bought the products of the young and pretty Japanese cat-lady thing. If this was presented as a problem in society (ie, Barber dolls) that would be fine but it's encouraged! This is a horrible lesson for children.Weinsteinism - The villain sleeps her way to the top because of item #4. She gets cartoon plastic surgery, becomes a "hot" 3 inch tall human lady, and then screws all the members of the board of directors so that she can be in charge. This is NOT told as a villainous move, but a totally acceptable method of career climbing. "Sleep your way to the top girls! Your body is the only tool you have in life!" Disgusting.

So it's horribly offensive for your eyeballs because of the animation but its more offensive and not for your children (unless you suck) than anything. Foodfight! is a human rights violation. Screw this movie. It should not be viewed by anyone.

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