My annual list of Dishonorable mentions is upon us again. This year Trevor and I have a high number of similar picks, albeit in varying positions on our individual chart of cinematic awfulness. (more…)
Uwe Boll is a well known and prolific movie director, writer and producer. Dr. Boll is best known for directing many feature films based on video games such as Alone In The Dark, BloodRayne, In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale, Postal and Far Cry. He recently took a short break from his busy schedule for his second chat with MovieMavericks.com
Jason: I recently viewed In the Name of the King 2, and I was pleasantly suprised at the much lighter tone. The first film was more of a straight forward fantasy and the sequel featured a smirking anti-hero as the lead character.
This most over-rated best picture winners movie list features the top most over-rated Oscar films of all time, including only titles that have already released. In order to be included in this top 5 most over-rated best picture winners list each film has to have won the Academy Award for best picture of the year sometime between present and 1978. Author discretion is the final criteria used to distinguish these most over-rated best picture winners.
Box Office Gross: $44,671,682 Adjusted for 2015: $46,823,700
Michel Hazanavicius’ stylistically daring, dialogue-free comedy-drama The Artist stars Jean Dujardin as George Valentin, a matinee idol in Hollywood before the dawn of talkies. His marriage is far from perfect, and one day he meets ambitious chorus girl Peppy Miller (Bérénice Bejo) and is smitten. Very quickly thereafter, sound comes to movies, and George sinks all his money into one last epic silent film, while Peppy becomes a star in the new era. John Goodman co-stars as the head of the film studio working with Valentin.
This most under-appreciated best picture winners movie list features the top most-underappreciated Oscar films of all time, including only titles that have already released. In order to be included in this top 5 most under-appreciated best picture winners list each film has to have won the Academy Award for best picture of the year sometime between present and 1978. Author discretion is the final criteria used to distinguish these most under-appreciated best picture winners.
Box Office Gross: $170,687,518 Adjusted for 2015: $229,847,900
A starry-eyed would-be star discovers just how far the notion that “there’s no such thing as bad publicity” can go in this screen adaptation of the hit Broadway musical Chicago, originally directed and choreographed by Bob Fosse. In the mid-’20s, Roxie Hart (Renee Zellweger) is a small-time chorus dancer married to a well-meaning dunderhead named Amos (John C. Reilly). Roxie is having an affair on the side with Fred Casley (Dominic West), a smooth talker who insists he can make her a star. However, Fred strings Roxie along a bit too far for his own good, and when she realizes that his promises are empty, she becomes enraged and murders Fred in cold blood. Roxie soon finds herself behind bars alongside Velma Kelly (Catherine Zeta-Jones), a sexy vaudeville star who used to perform with her sister until Velma discovered that her sister had been sleeping with her husband. Velma shot them both dead, and, after scheming prison matron “Mama” Morton hooks Velma up with hotshot lawyer Billy Flynn (Richard Gere), Velma becomes the new Queen of the scandal sheets. Roxie is just shrewd enough to realize that her poor fortune could also bring her fame, so she convinces Amos to also hire Flynn. Soon Flynn is splashing Roxie’s story — or, more accurately, a highly melodramatic revision of Roxie’s story — all over the gutter press, and Roxy and Velma are soon battling neck-to-neck over who can win greater fame through the headlines. A project that had been moving from studio to studio since the musical opened on Broadway in 1973.
This is my list of the top ten best Sylvester Stallone movies. Stallone is my all-time favorite screen-hero, his films have been a seminal part of my movie-going life for nearly three decades. In a career spanning 40 years Sly has been involved with some of the biggest films in the action genre. Lately Stallone has garnered a new generation of fans with the highly prolific and profitable franchise The Expendables. So much attention is paid to his hulking physique that it is often forgotten the man is an accomplished writer, director, and artist. The one-time Oscar winner and nominee for Best Actor has never achieved that level of critical success again, but his films have been solid box-office performer for decades. Stallone also holds the distinction for opening a movie at #1 in each of the last 5 decades.
Box Office Gross: $20,388,920 Adjusted: $0
Coming off the massive critical and commercial success of Rocky, Stallone attempted to push audience’s expectations of his screen persona with this low-key but memorable drama. Sly is a dock worker turned union organizer and eventual figurehead of the entire movement. The title acronym F.I.S.T. has no connection to do with pugilism, but rather stands for Federation of Interstate Truckers. That may have hindered the film’s box-office take due to potential audience members looking for a Rocky-esue fair-tale and getting a Jimmy Hoffa-like bio-pic. The direction by Norman Jewison and screenplay written by Joe Esterhazs and Stallone are all outstanding.
This is my list of the top five best Alien Invasion movies. This has been an incredibly popular sub-genre dating back to the Orson Wells broadcast of 1938. Since 1977 there have been 35 Alien Invasion themed films released culminating in $4,171,019,251 at the global box-office. Many of the silver-screens biggest stars and directors have crafted or appeared in an Alien Invasion film at some point in their respective careers. The average Alien Invasion movie grosses $119,000.000 at the domestic box-office.
Box Office Gross: $227,966,634 Adjusted: $0
Following the smash hit The Sixth Sense and the under-performing follow-up Unbreakable, directing phenom M. Night Shyamalan returns to the summer box office landscape that served as the backdrop for his cinematic breakthrough. In Signs, another paranormal outing for the writer-director, Shyamalan explores the eerie implications of a 500-foot crop circle that mysteriously appears on the Bucks County, PA farm of reverend Graham Hess (Mel Gibson). As Hess and his family (Joaquin Phoenix, Rory Culkin, Abigail Breslin) try to take stock of what the sign means, and how its message incorporates into their faith, they start to get the feeling they are not alone in the fields behind their house.
Over the last decade each of the actors/actresses on this list have won an Oscar for a major role, in a theatrically released film. Then followed it up with a direct-to-DVD stinker. This list should more accurately be titled, ‘When bad movies happen to good actors’. Here is a comprehensive list of just a few stars and titles that may have slipped your attention.
After becoming the first African American actress to win the best actress Oscar in 2001, Barry’s career choices have been eclectic. Ranging from the brilliant (Cloud Atlas) to the unwatchable (Catwoman, Perfect Stranger). She finally hit the direct to DVD low with Dark Tide in 2012. Directed by the usually dependable big screen helmer John Stockwell and costarring Oliver Martinez. Hey, the movie may have been a dud but Berry got a fiancée out of the deal.
This is my list of the top five best action movies that take place during the Christmas season. The Holiday season is typically a period that lends itself to romantic comedies or heartwarming dramas, not violent shoot ’em up pictures. There is not an abundance of Christmas-timed action films, but listed below are the top five best.
Box Office Gross: $8,125,592 Adjusted: $0
A police officer is shot down on Christmas Eve when he stumbles upon a robbery-homicide at a convenience store. A down-on-his-luck L.A. County Sheriff’s Dept. homicide detective, Jerry Beck (Johnson), is assigned to the case. As with every case, he takes this one very emotionally, because “the job” is the last thing left in his life, and vows to get the perpetrator no matter what. The slain officer’s widow further complicates the issue when she entices Beck into a one-night stand, in the hope that Beck will not only find but kill her husband’s murderer. During the investigation Beck learns that the murder of a policeman was just the tip of the iceberg, as he finds the roots of the suspect are in a White Supremacist, Neo-Nazi group.
This is my list of the top five best Matthew McConaughey movies. McConaughey has been a proven draw at the box office since the mid-90s and continues to be one of the few actors that has been able to transition from action hero to romantic lead and into heavy drama. Lately McConaughey has garnered Oscar buzz for his supporting turns in both Magic Mike and Killer Joe. While he has yet to headline a blockbuster or win an Academy Award McConaughey has complied a solid list of films. The one-time Sexiest Man Alive has recently taken on serious roles in an attempt to distance himself from his clean-cut image.
Box Office Gross: $77,122,415 Adjusted: $0
In this World War II action thriller, American reconnaissance agents learn that a German submarine is sinking. The doomed ship carries an Enigma Machine, a special coding device that allows high-level Axis forces to send messages that can’t be read without a similar encryption mechanism. Obtaining a working Enigma device would be invaluable for the Allied war effort, so a U.S. sub is sent out to rescue the machine. However, German forces have already picked up the sub’s distress signal and are en route to rescue their comrades. U-571 features a distinguished cast, including Matthew McConaughey, Bill Paxton, Harvey Keitel, and Jon Bon Jovi.
This is my list of the top five best Clint Eastwood movies you’ve never seen. Eastwood has been a proven draw at the box office since the late 1960s and continues to be one of the few action stars that has been able to transition from Oscar winning actor into an Oscar winning director. For a time period in the 1970’s Eastwood was considered to be the biggest box office draw in the world. Even today at age 82, Clint is headlining a new film, Trouble with the Curve. While most lists debate the man’s ‘great’ films, I have complied a list of Eastwood flicks you may have overlooked. In the course of a career spanning 45 years, Clint Eastwood has appeared in 46 films.
Box Office Gross: $1,100,000 Adjusted: $0
Close to the end of the American Civil War, injured Yankee soldier John McBurney is rescued from the verge of death by a twelve year old girl from an all-girl boarding school in Louisiana. At first the all-female staff and pupils are scared, but as John starts to recover, he charms them one by one and the sexually repressed atmosphere becomes filled with jealousy and deceit. A few of the girls go after him as well.
After rejecting the headmistress for a younger girl, McBurney gets his comeuppance in the form of some painful Freudian symbolism — he falls down the stairs. Eventually his leg is amputated by the headmistress, so as to avoid gangrene. After going on a rampage that scares all of the women, he reforms and announces his intention to marry one of the teachers, but it is too late; he has alienated the youngest girl, the one who first found him, by killing her pet turtle after throwing it aside in a drunken rage. In response, she is coached to pick mushrooms that the headmistress and girls use to poison him.
Mann attended a British all-boys high school, where he was active in community theatre as both an actor and a writer. After graduating, Byron moved to California to study and received a degree in philosophy at UCLA, even though acting remained important to him. After college, Byron attended USC Law School, but took a sabbatical after the first year. Back in Hong Kong, he received an acting role in the NBC Movie TV movie Last Flight Out. He returned to Los Angeles, California, graduated from USC Law, passed the California bar, and pursued acting full time.
Jason: When did you realize that you wanted to become a professional actor?
Byron Mann: I fell into acting. I was actually studying to be a lawyer, during the first semester I felt like it wasn’t what I wanted to do. I was clerking in a law firm, and at the end of the clerkship, the senior partner sat me down and said, “I don’t think you should be a lawyer,” in a very caring way. I asked him, “How do you know?” and he said, “Because you have trouble coming to work in the morning and at 5p.m. you’re looking at your watch.” At that point I had no idea what I wanted to do. He said, “Do something you enjoy.” the only thing I remembered that I enjoyed doing was acting, in high school. I had been attending school in L.A., but I came back home and one thing led to another. Fairly soon after that I did my first movie, Street Fighter, That was like baptism by fire.
Box Office Gross: $306,169,268 Adjusted: $0
Looking back on the mid-1990s its easy to forget how much a phenomenon ID4 (as it was dubbed in press materials) turned out to be. It spawned a wave of Roland Emmerich directed blockbusters like Godzilla, The Day After Tomorrow and 2012. It also confirmed the undeniably charismatic Smith was a big screen star and not just a Television actor. Durning the summer of 1996 this was he movie to see, it outgrossed heavy-hitters with established star in Mission Impossible, Eraser, and Twister. Time and the home video format haven’t been kind to this one. The Special effects hold up reasonably well but the cardboard characters and rudimentary storyline are huge detriments. Undoubtedly this film played much better in the theatrical experience. I saw it four times during that summer 16 years ago and I remember thinking ,”ID4 is so good the next Star Wars movies are going to be awesome!”. If only I knew what horrors and disappointment awaited me.
Production Cost: $325,000,000 Box Office Gross: $219,851,172
Adjusted Loss: $105,148,828
A test pilot embraces his destiny as a cosmic superhero in Casino Royale director Martin Campbell’s adaptation of the popular DC Comics series. Ever since he saw his fearless father perish in a tragic aviation mishap, all Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) could think about was flying Little did he realize he was destined for something much bigger. Somewhere out in space, a powerful force of evil known as Parallax is spreading fear and destruction; the only hope for defeating Parallax is the Green Lantern Corps, a group of intergalactic warriors powered by the force of will. This expensive Warner Bros. production was supposed to be one of summer 2011 big contenders for box office glory. After a solid $53 million dollar opening weekend, word of mouth quickly sunk this wannabe blockbuster. Having already spent big money to post convert the movie into 3D, the producers still felt the film was lacking. Shortly before the release date and additional $9 million was spent on visual effects work. Even though Green Lantern lost a ton of money during its theatrical run, Warner Bros. still has talked about sequel possibilities.
Box Office Gross: $90,418,342 Adjusted: $0
Michael Jordan agrees to help the Looney Toons play a basketball game vs. alien slavers to determine their freedom. Warner Bros. attempted to revitalize its animation division with this family adventure that blended live action and animation in the style of Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988), reportedly coming in with a price tag of $100 million. Basketball legend Michael Jordan stars as himself, a retired sports hero trying his hand at baseball and failing miserably. Meanwhile, the Looney Tunes gang, led by Bugs Bunny, are kidnapped by aliens called the Nerdlucks. It seems that the Nerdlucks’ theme park, Moron Mountain (a barely-veiled dig at Disney) is failing to attract customers. The space invaders are convinced that the appearance of Bugs and his pals Porky Pig and Speedy Gonzalez will beef up business. Bugs makes his captors a deal — they’ll play a game of basketball for their freedom. When the Nerdlucks stack the deck by pilfering the talent of NBA superstars Charles Barkley and Patrick Ewing, the Warner Bros. heroes enlist the aid of Jordan, who returns to the court to help the classic characters. While he prepares to play, Jordan is aided by fellow celebrity Bill Murray. Director Joe Pytka previously created many of the television commercials that featured Jordan as a paid endorser.
Box Office Gross: $118,703,275 Adjusted $0
Pushed to the breaking-up point after their latest “why can’t you do this one little thing for me?” argument, art dealer Brooke (Jennifer Aniston) calls it quits with her boyfriend, Gary (Vince Vaughn), who hosts bus tours of Chicago. What follows is a series of remedies, war tactics, overtures and underminings suggested by the former couple’s friends, confidantes and the occasional total stranger. When neither ex is willing to move out of the condo they share, the only solution is to continue living as hostile roommates until somebody caves.