Superman IV: The Quest for Peace

Up, up, and crash and burn!

Up, up, and crash and burn!

After the critical failure of Superman III, no one wanted to do another Superman movie and the father/son production team of Alexander and Ilya Salkind went on to do the spinoff movie Supergirl. Remember, Supergirl was originally supposed to appear in the original story of Superman III but was dropped because well… Richard Pryor. But anyway, Supergirl ended up bombing horribly and it pretty much sucked anyways. No need for me to review that one.

After the failure of Supergirl, the Salkinds decided to relinquish their hold on the Superman franchise. Enter the Cannon Group. Remember all those schlocky 80’s action movies you saw as a kid? Chances are a good chunk of them were distributed by this organization. You may also recall that not many of those movies were box office hits and they were going bankrupt. So they decided that maybe producing a Superman movie would save their studio. And so they attempt to bring back the late Christopher Reeve, who by then had decided to move on from Superman to other things. So the Cannon Group offered Reeve an offer he could not refuse: If he returned as Superman in Superman IV then the Cannon Group would produce a pet project that Reeve was doing at the time: A movie called Street Smart, which in the end fared much better with the critics than Superman IV. That’s what happens when you have Morgan Freeman as your co-star in that movie. But getting ahead of myself. We’re supposed to be talking about Superman.

Well Reeve agreed to the deal with an added bonus: The producers gave him creative control over the movie. And so Reeve decided that the Man of Steel should tackle a real-world issue and what better issue for him to tackle than the Cold War, even though by 1987 the Cold War was pretty much over. The main dilemma is should Superman play God and disarm the world as far as nuclear weapons go. And this should result in a better movie than the last Superman movie, right? Nope. This one was much, much worse. It grossed a disgraceful 15 million dollars at the box office which is not even a third of what the last movie did and it currently holds a 9 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes which means it’s the lowest of the low. And Rotten Tomatoes is never wrong… apart from that 56 percent approval rating they gave Man of Steel. What the hell?

Well, I’ve said enough because I have a whole lot of territory to cover with this one. So let’s rip into the movie that not only killed the Superman franchise but slaughtered it: Superman IV: The Quest for Peace.

The movie begins with the opening credits back to flying at the screen except that the credits take place against the backdrop of the earth and it looks like it was edited by an amateur using Windows Movie Maker. Ah, the joy of budget cuts. Next we see a Russian spacecraft getting struck by a wayward satellite therefore causing it to careen out of control and sends one of its astronauts floating off into space… well at least until Superman shows up in a really bad visual effect shot of him flying at the screen. Get used to that image, people, you will be seeing that same crappy shot of Superman flying at the screen over and over and over again throughout the remainder of this movie. Again, budget cuts.

Time for backstory!

As I mentioned before, the Cannon Group had been in bankruptcy for years prior to the time of this movie and they have had a reputation for stealing budgets from other movies for other projects they were developing at the time. At the time, the Cannon Group had the rights to Marvel’s superhero line and they were planning to produce a Spider-Man movie and they needed a lot of money to make that film work. So they cut the budgets from two major summer blockbusters that were planned for the summer of 1987: This movie and the He-Man movie, Masters of the Universe. The original budget for Superman IV was 36 million dollars, which would have put it on par with the other three movies which were made for close to 40 million dollars apiece, which in those days were the equivalent to the 150-200 million dollar “blockbusters” that you see nowadays. However the budget for Superman IV was slashed down to a pathetic 17 million dollars which meant that a majority of the visual effects crews that worked on the other three films had to quit in protest, hence the bad visual effects.

But the visual effects weren’t the only thing in this movie that suffered from budget cuts. The story itself had to be trimmed down repeatedly. In fact the original running time for this movie was 2 hours and 15 minutes. As a result of the budget cuts, 45 minutes was cut from this movie bringing its final running time down to an hour and a half exactly. And from what I was told, none of those scenes really went anywhere anyway so whether or not any of the cut scenes would have helped improve the movie remains a debate to this day.

But anyway back to the movie. After Superman saves the Russian astronauts, he returns to the farm he grew up on in Smallville, Kansas where he finds a crystal hidden in the ship that brought him to Earth as a baby in the first movie that will play a key role later on. However the rest of the Smallville scenes were pointless. Next cut to Lex Luthor (played once again by Gene Hackman) who wound up on a chain gang after we last saw him in Superman II. Anyway he escapes with the help of his dim-witted nephew Lenny (played by Jon Cryer who at the time was capitalizing off his success in the teen comedy Pretty in Pink) and together they hatch another plot to destroy Superman and you guessed it, take over the world.

Meanwhile Clark returns to Metropolis to find out that the Daily Planet had been taken over by a Rupert Murdoch-wannabe who proceeds to turn the paper into a standard tabloid Fox News-type paper and makes his hot daughter Lacy the editor-in-chief. Lacy is played by Mariel Hemingway, the granddaughter of legendary author Ernest Hemingway and had a string of successful movies prior to this. Personality-wise, Lacy is the prototype of Kim Kardashian, Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan and basically every bad society girl that have been in the media in today’s society. And surprise, surprise: She’s got the hots for Clark, the “oldest living boy scout” as Lois Lane refers to him. Clark is obviously not interested but then again who could blame him? After all, he’s only been serious with one woman (the fling with the blonde bimbo in Superman III doesn’t count because he was in his Superdouche mode at the time) so it’s understandable that he doesn’t really want to go to a place where practically everyone’s been before, if you catch my meaning.

However, before the whole Clark/Lacy thing can play out, the main story starts to kick in therefore giving Clark his dilemma about disarming the world because of the whole arms race where both the US and Russia (back when it was known as the Soviet Union) each pledged to strive to be second to none. Now when he landed on Earth, Superman was forced to adhere to a non-interference policy in terms of the natural order of things here on Earth, an act that he boldly went against in the first movie where he reverses the orbit of the Earth to undo the earthquake damage and resuscitate Lois after she dies. So what does Supes do, after a bit of soul searching that includes a pointless and visual effects-challenged flight around the world with Lois that sort of rips off the first movie? He goes to the United Nations and makes a little speech where he says, “Even though I am not of your world, the Earth is my home too and I can’t stand by and watch it get destroyed. So I’m gonna get rid of all your nukes.” And the weird thing is that everyone applauds, which is very unrealistic.

Meantime, cut back to Lex Luthor because like it or not, he’s in this movie too. After getting out of jail and hearing about Superman’s goodwill mission to destroy all nukes, he breaks into a museum and steals a lock of Superman’s hair that he had on display propping up a thousand-pound weight using a pair of garden shears. Logic: This movie sucks at it. The reason why ol’ Lex is stealing a lock of Superman’s hair is because he wants to create a clone that is even more powerful than the Man of Steel himself.

"Um, excuse me, sir. The He-Man auditions are down the hall to your left."

“Um, excuse me, sir. The He-Man auditions are down the hall to your left.”

Another interlude: When this story was first conceived, Lex created two versions of the being that would come to be known as Nuclear Man. The Nuclear Man that made it into the final cut of the movie was actually the second Nuclear Man. Scenes featuring the first Nuclear Man were among the 45 minutes that were cut from the movie. And it was probably a good thing that they did that. Because the first Nuclear Man looked like a horribly deformed giant baby who fought Superman while making bell and whistle sound effects. I’m serious. Not that the Nuclear Man they ended up with was any better. The film’s Nuclear Man kinda looks like he got lost on his way to the He-Man auditions. In fact, they actually wanted Reeve to play Nuclear Man (being that he is a clone of Superman) but Reeve declined because, well… Superdouche in the last movie.

So Lex gets his genetic stew made and plops it on a nuclear warhead which Superman throws into the sun along with the rest of the world’s nukes. The explosion causes Nuclear Man to be born and that sequence is absolutely silly.

Cut back to the Clark/Lacy relationship. There were other scenes involving them going out to a nightclub that is interrupted by the first Nuclear Man. Unfortunately you won’t find the nightclub scene in the deleted scenes section of the DVD because it doesn’t exist anymore even though the scene with Clark and Lacy at the night club was featured in the film’s promotional campaign and in the comic adaptation. In the meantime, the scene with the two that the producers kept was the scene with them working out, primarily because they needed to have some comedy in this movie, not to mention a little sex appeal courtesy of Ms. Hemingway in sexy workout clothes. Boy, all that yoga must have paid off. To this day, she still looks the same as she did when she did this movie. And it’s also funny to see Clark get a little payback against one of Lacy’s douchebag ex-hookups (who made fun of him) by throwing a heavy barbell on him and saying “No pain, no gain.”

And this leads to a humorous double date between her, Clark, Lois and Superman. All this does is provide more comedy that is humorous enough to avoid duplicating the mistakes that Superman III made with the slapstick humor. After all, the movie’s already bad enough on its own. Thankfully, Lex interrupts the goofiness by inviting Superman over to meet Nuclear Man, leading to a really stupid round-the-world brawl that involves the destruction of the Great Wall of China and Superman rebuilding it with his rebuilding vision? The hell? There were also scenes where Nuclear Man causes a tornado in Smallville and an attempt to nuke the Russian government heads with a nuclear missile inserted into the mix but like everything else, it was cut from the movie even though producers wanted to save the latter scene in case they made a fifth Superman movie. However it all ends in Metropolis when Nuclear Man threatens to drop the Statue of Liberty on innocent bystanders. (How very 9/11 of you.) But of course Superman prevents this from happening but Nuclear Man breaks out his radioactive manicure and scratches our hero in the back of his neck and then is kicked into space while his cape comes off and lands on top of the Statue of Liberty’s torch.

So anyway, Superman has been defeated by Nuclear Man and is presumed dead by everyone. Lois finds out that he actually is home sick with the flu or what could be cancer brought on by that radioactive scratch and it also ages him rapidly until he digs out that crystal that we saw earlier in the Smallville scene which restores him for some pointless romping and stomping with Nuclear Man which climaxes on the Moon. And how Supes defeats Nuclear Man here you will have to see to believe and yes it is extremely stupid.

Oh, yeah and there is one more thing I forgot to mention here. Nuclear Man also has a weakness. While Superman’s primary weakness is Kryptonite, Nuclear Man’s is total darkness. You put him in a room away from direct contact with sunlight and he drops dead where he is. Kinda stupid but makes sense unlike a lot of stuff in this movie.

So will Superman triumph in the end? Well, you know the answer to that one.

Admit it, this scene was the only reason you plunked down money on this thing, didn't you?

Admit it, this scene was the only reason you plunked down money on this thing, didn’t you?

As far as the acting goes, Christopher Reeve gave his all as can be expected but not even he could save this movie. And I feel really bad for him because the Cannon Group really screwed him over with this movie both creatively, professionally and practically everything else under the sun. Gene Hackman plays Lex for laughs and is still not menacing enough to be taken seriously. We’ll have to wait until Unforgiven for that. The rest of the supporting cast has next to nothing to do here, probably to give Mariel Hemingway more screen time. Margot Kidder’s Lois Lane got a more expanded role from the last movie but her being in the movie was kinda pointless. At least Mariel is actually trying to give a decent performance and to her credit actually plays the Kim Kardashian-ditzy rich girl role pretty well. Not to mention looks good doing it.

As far as everything else goes, I’ve already covered the really bad visual effects so no need to go back to that. A lot of the story doesn’t make sense. Its heart is in the right place but even that is hampered by the corporate greed of the company that produced it. And it was made to end the Cold War even though another fictional character did a much better job ending it than Superman did. That fictional character’s name was Rocky Balboa and the movie was Rocky IV.  Yes folks. Rocky Balboa ended the Cold War. So that makes the morals and the purpose of this movie completely null and void.

"Look, Ma! I'm breathing in space!"

“Look, Ma! I’m breathing in space!”

So as far as what happened after this movie. Well we all know what happened to Christopher Reeve. Margot Kidder ended up getting a little cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs back in the late 90’s, and the guy that played Nuclear Man never acted in Hollywood again. So apparently the ones who get out of this train wreck unscathed are Gene Hackman, who again went on to win an Oscar for Unforgiven, Jon Cryer… well, we all know what happened to him because of Two and a Half Men and Mariel Hemingway is still doing well with her yoga DVD’s. But still, I’m sure they’re still haunted by this movie. And last but not least, when Superman tells Lex Luthor that he’ll see him in twenty, he wasn’t that far off because this movie was so bad that there would not be another Superman movie for another 19 years! And last but not least, the Cannon Group is now an extinct production company, even though Golan and Globus are still in the business.

Congratulations, Cannon Group. You did the one thing that Lex Luthor, General Zod, and Richard Pryor could not do: You killed Superman. You delivered a movie that is so horrible that no one, not Superman, hell not even Mariel Hemingway in sexy workout gear could save this movie. THIS MOVIE SUCKS!

That is all.

Superman III

Richard Pryor's ruining my franchise?! This is a job for Superman!

Richard Pryor’s ruining my franchise?! This is a job for Superman!

As you know, this week the movie Man of Steel flies into theaters and fans as well as moviegoers are hoping that this Superman movie will be the movie that the iconic character deserves. And yes I am reviewing it. In the meantime we’re going to take a look at a Superman movie from the existing franchise which starred Christopher Reeve (god rest his soul) as the Man of Steel. And many people are convinced that he was the one and only Superman, especially in the later years of his life after his tragic horse riding accident which left him a quadriplegic and as a result, he became the real-life Superman and a symbol of courage and hope to the world.

However, I don’t want to start this review on a downer, especially since today I am reviewing one of his bad Superman movies. And surprisingly this one isn’t as bad as people make it out to be. And no, I am not talking about Superman IV, that’s next week. Today we are going to talk about Superman III.

To this day, this movie remains the only Superman movie I have seen in theaters. I saw it at the Hyde Park Drive-In when I was a kid back in 1983. And if you don’t know where Hyde Park is, well. I am originally from downstate New York, Dutchess County and Hyde Park is about five minutes up from the road from Poughkeepsie. And I think to this day, the Hyde Park Drive-In is still in operation as part of the few drive-ins that are left in the world.

But enough of my personal nostalgia. Let’s get into the backstory of the movie.

As everyone knows, the first two Superman movies are among the best comic-book movies ever made. Both films received critical praise and have performed really well at the box office. So it was inevitable that there would be a third Superman movie. In the commentary on the Superman III DVD, producer Ilya Salkind revealed that the original plot of Superman III was supposed to take place in space where Superman was supposed to battle Brainiac and another villain from the comics named Mxyzptlk (I’m serious. That’s how it’s spelled.) And it was also supposed to introduce Supergirl into the mix. Unfortunately that plan was abandoned presumably for budgetary reasons but the main reason why the original story idea was abandoned was because of an appearance by Richard Pryor on the Tonight Show which was hosted by Johnny Carson at the time. On the show he made a remark that he wanted to be in a Superman movie. The producers apparently saw the show and said to themselves, “Why not?”

So the writers came up with a story idea involving computers which were slowly starting to dominate every aspect of society at that time and make the movie more about the character Richard Pryor would be playing. As a result, the writers gave Richard Pryor more screen time than Superman. And that is the first major problem with the movie. The end result was this movie grossed only half of what Superman II made and critics had a field day with all the negative reviews, especially on the casting of Pryor and the overly comedic tone of the movie.

So how much worse can this movie get? Let’s get started.

"How dare you have more screen time than me."

“How dare you have more screen time than me.”

The movie opens with Gus Gorman (Pryor’s character) a chronically unemployed welfare-abusing loser who finally gets his welfare cut off. However, he does get a job with a computer programming firm that is run by humanitarian tycoon Ross Webster (played by Robert Vaughn and I’ll get to him in a little while because he’s another problem this movie has.) And there is where Gus learns about his hidden talent as a computer genius.

However before that, we have our next big problem with the movie: The opening credits. In the first two, we had the credits flying at you on the screen. Here, the credits are hardly noticeable because they are intermixed with a slapstick sequence where everything in Metropolis gets all screwy. Are you sure we’re watching Superman here or are we watching a parody of Superman?

Anyway on with the story. The story continues with Clark Kent (Christopher Reeve) being invited to his high school reunion in Smallville and he wants to do a story about it for the Daily Planet. In the meantime, the love of his life Lois Lane (Margot Kidder who winds up making cameo appearances to bookend the movie, partly as punishment for speaking out against the Salkinds for not allowing Richard Donner to finish directing Superman II) is off to Bermuda on vacation. Aside from a quick stop to put out a chemical plant fire as Superman, Clark arrives at his reunion and reconnects with his childhood sweetheart, Lana Lang (Annette O’Toole), who is now a divorced single mother trying to fend off the advances of the town drunk played by the same guy who played Chuck Cunningham on Happy Days.

Meanwhile after hacking the payroll and swindling the company out of the half-cents that are floating in the system (an act known as salami slicing that found its way into the movie Office Space by the way,) Gus’ talent with computers attracts the attention of Ross Webster, a humanitarian tycoon who secretly wants to, you guessed it, take over the world. OF COURSE! And as I said earlier, he’s another problem with the movie. He comes off as a kinder, gentler version of Lex Luthor. The producers initially wanted Frank Langella to play Webster but settled on Vaughn, who had already been widely known for roles in The Man from UNCLE and The Magnificent Seven. However, Langella would find his way into the Superman universe years later when he played Perry White in Superman Returns. I still haven’t decided yet if I’m going to review that one. Along with his ugly sister and his hot air-headed mistress, they plot to take over the world’s oil supply.

Lois is not gonna like this. lol

Lois is not gonna like this. lol

 

Realizing that Superman is still a threat to their plan, the trio have Gus try to acquire Kryptonite but not knowing what unknown element was in Kryptonite, Gus fills in the blank by adding an ingredient found in cigarettes. Smoke, smoke, smoke that Kryptonite. And when Gus lays it on Superman, it turns the Man of Steel from the overgrown Boy Scout he’s always been into a super douchebag who goes off and does such terrible things as straightening the Leaning Tower of Pisa, blowing out the Olympic torch, and causing a major oil spill all in the name of truth, justice, and to get laid with blond bimbos.

However, Superdouche’s antics catch up to him when he ends up splitting into two beings which leads to probably the best scene in the movie: The big fight between Superdouche and Clark Kent in a junkyard. The real Superman wins and flies to the big confrontation with Webster and his super computer in a stunning showdown that includes the Man of Steel becoming part of a live video game involving real missiles. Maybe that scene was the actual inspiration for Angry Birds. The missiles are the birds while Superman is the green pig.

So will Superman triumph? Will Webster reign supreme? What will happen to Gus? Do you even care what happens to Gus? A lot of people would have to say no.

For all its faults, people tend to forget that there are some good things in Superman III. For starters, Christopher Reeve is actually still in top form, even though he had less screen time than Richard Pryor, but with what screen time he had, he makes it count. In fact many would argue that this movie was actually one of his best roles because he’s playing not two roles, but four roles. In addition to his normal roles as Superman and Clark Kent, he plays Clark with a little more of a backbone when he goes back to Smallville and he is even more believable when Superman becomes Superdouche. Also what works is the subplot involving Lana Lang. Annette O’Toole is decent in the role and actually seems like a better fit for Clark than Lois does. It’s kind of ironic that years after this movie came out, O’Toole went on to play Superman’s mother on Smallville. Plus her presence helps bring out Clark/Superman’s humanity a lot better than Lois did. And of course I mentioned before the big fight between Superman and Superdouche was the best scene in the movie. Also the visual effects were still very good, most notably the flying effects including a scene where Superman freezes an entire lake and carries it to put out a fire. If you want bad visual effects, see next week’s review.

We feel your pain, Supes.

We feel your pain, Supes.

Now to sum up what doesn’t work: The main story which was written as a comedy to reflect the fact that Richard Pryor was going to be in it. And considering that the writers for this movie were David and Leslie Newman who also collaborated on the screenplay on the first two Supermans with Godfather creator Mario Puzo, this is inexcusable because these two should know better. The villains were too weak not to mention miscast; the returning cast members’ roles were too short; and did I mention Richard Pryor? And even worse, the person who thought putting him in a Superman movie would be a good idea. Instead, he singlehandedly turned the movie into a joke and not a funny one. If Richard Pryor wanted to be in a Superman movie so bad, give him a freaking cameo. Don’t give him more screen time than Superman. I go to a Superman movie to see Superman. I don’t go to a Superman movie to see Richard Pryor.

Just think. This same fate almost befell Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home when Eddie Murphy expressed interest in being in a Star Trek movie. At first it seemed like a good idea but thankfully, the producer of that movie must have had these five words in mind: “Richard Pryor in Superman III.”

However in all fairness, there are some Richard Pryor jokes that do work, such as the scene where he gets Chuck Cunningham so drunk he passes out and also when he disguises himself as an Army general and delivers a silly speech while trying to give Superman the Kryptonite that turns him into Superdouche. Otherwise, too much Richard Pryor comedy in a Superman movie is not always a good idea.

So is Superman III really as bad as people say it is? Well, it’s not as good as the first two, but it doesn’t completely suck. People tend to use the bad to overshadow the good. I guess you can say I kinda view this movie as a guilty pleasure. The movie’s not good but there are some redeemable qualities to this movie. It’s stupid but it’s enjoyable. And as far as enjoyable goes, you could do worse. And you’ll see worse next week. So take this movie for what it’s worth.

The Garbage Pail Kids Movie

Faces not even a mother would love.

Faces not even a mother would love.

It’s been a while since I did a review, primarily because of school reasons but I am officially back now and I am determined to start this New Year off with a bang. And start it with a bang I will. A really big bang.

That’s right, folks. What better way to kick off the New Year off than with a review of a really bad movie. But first, we’re gonna start off 2013 by taking a little trip to the magical world of the 80’s. The 80’s were the best decade for movies, best decade for TV, and of course the best decade for music. I am a huge 80’s buff. 80’s for the win. Specifically we are going back to the year 1987. From my understanding, 1987 was probably not a good year for movies, not that I’m saying that all movies that came out in 1987 were bad. There were good movies that came out in 1987, such as Lethal Weapon, The Untouchables, Predator, Robocop, Dirty Dancing… I could go on. But most of the movies that came out that year were bad, including the movie that we’re reviewing today.

The 80’s had its fair share of crappy movies but in contrast to movies that come out in today’s world, even the 80’s crap was better than most of today’s movies. But this particular movie goes beyond crap. This movie is so bad that every respectable critic that reviewed this movie from Siskel and Ebert all the way to the Nostalgia Critic have said unanimously that this movie sucks. That, accompanied by the fact that this movie has a 0% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and many people has called this movie “the worst movie ever made.”  And it’s also so bad that Doug Walker, the man behind the Nostalgia Critic devoted the last fifteen minutes of his Top 11 Worst Movies he’s ever had to review video ranting about this movie which was his top pick for the worst movie ever. So what is this movie? Well, it’s The Garbage Pail Kids Movie.

Before we begin, let’s talk a little bit about the director of this movie, a chap by the name of Rod Amateau, who started out during the days of Radio before branching out into movies and television and whose career spanned almost four decades prior to this movie. His name has been attached to many successful TV shows and movies over the years including being a supervising producer and has directed several episodes as well as the pilot episode of a TV show that was a big staple of my childhood as well as the childhoods of a lot of people in my generation: The Dukes of Hazzard. So with that body of work, why would a guy like Rod Amateau go from The Dukes of Hazzard to this piece of crap? Let’s find out.

The plot (what little there is anyway) focuses on a kid named Dodger (played by 80’s sitcom star Mackensie Astin) who is bullied by a group of bullies who actually look more like they could be in their twenties in which case they should be in jail for picking on a kid. In one of his run-ins with the bullies, a garbage can is accidentally opened and next thing you know, those little mean-spirited disgusting demons (played by actors in really badly-made animatronic suits) are released to cause mayhem in a variety of disgusting ways. I believe details are unnecessary, but I can tell you that in terms of the gross-out humor, they really push the envelope here, especially for a PG movie.

Dodger soon enlists the kids to help make clothes because surprise, surprise he’s trying to impress a girl (who obviously looks like she is her twenties and is the stereotypical hot chick that every guy wants.) She’s obviously involved with the bullies but she appears to be interested in Dodger, if only to use him to get what she wants which is to be a big fashion designer even if it means being a shallow bitch in order to accomplish her goals.

Before I go any further, I was in such a rush to get this review over with as quickly as possible that I forgot the backstory of the Garbage Pail Kids themselves. For those of you who don’t know or care for that matter, the Garbage Pail Kids are basically a series of bubble-gum Baseball cards designed to parody the Cabbage Patch Kids dolls that were wildly popular at the time this movie came out. Each card had a kid with a bizarre name like “Messy Tessie,” “Valerie Vomit” and “Ali Gator,” to name a few along with their respective gross superpower, such as pissing their pants every five minutes like what is in the movie. Once is enough but to do it every five minutes is pushing it. And somewhere some big shot in Hollywood thought that they could do a movie around this popular card series. I would have to say that it was a bad idea. And it’s also a bad idea that is about to repeat itself. At press time, there are plans to remake this movie using CGI that is supposed to be out sometime soon. Be afraid, viewers. Be very afraid.

As far as the overall story goes, it seems like the story was put together by someone who had been dropped on their head repeatedly as a child. That’s how bad it is. Like Twilight, this movie is designed to kill the brain cells of anyone who watches this movie. In fact, I’m pretty much convinced that this movie is the harbinger of The Twilight Saga, which has recently been named the worst movie of all time, or movies I would say because I am guessing that all five movies are included in that aspect.

Is this movie for kids? Contrary to the fact that this movie carries a PG rating and is aimed at kids, I would have to say no fucking way!  No kids should see this movie. It’s too dark, mean-spirited, gross beyond what is acceptable, violent, and above all else, it’s stupid, stupid, STUPID! And the concept of a prison known as the State Home for the Ugly? Really? While I give that idea points for originality, I don’t agree with the fact that the writers made Abraham Lincoln, Santa Claus, and Gandhi inmates. Why don’t we trade them for Rasputia from Norbit, the cast of Honey Boo Boo, and Edward Cullen? At least putting the kids in there is the right idea. In fact, I might just change the name of the institution to the State Home for Crappy Entertainment. That would be more respectful.

Do I even need to continue this review any further? Summing this up, the acting sucks, the effects suck, the story sucks, the directing sucks… Now I have searched for a reason why I should not hate this movie and I have searched for a reason to prove all the critics wrong, and you know what? ALL THE CRITICS ARE RIGHT! THIS MOVIE SUCKS! Anyone associated with this movie deserve whatever bad karma they get!

See? I told you I would be starting this year off with a bang.

Norbit

Yeah, I did. Watching this movie!

For starters, this will actually be the first review in a while in which the movie is not based on a comic book. And as you may recall, so far in every movie I’ve reviewed I actually praised the movie. So I’m sure a lot of you may ask the question, “When are you going to review a bad movie?” Well, today.

I’m going to review a movie that’s so bad that it ought to be outlawed by the Geneva Convention and it makes Batman and Robin look like Titanic. So what is this monstrosity I’m supposed to review? Norbit!

Eddie Murphy, what the hell happened to you? You used to be so funny and your movies used to be awesome. I’m talking 48 Hrs., Beverly Hills Cop (the first 2 anyway), Trading Places, and Coming to America. All funny movies. all of them awesome. Then all of your movies started to suck. I mean, name one good movie Eddie Murphy has done in the last 20 years, besides the voice of Donkey in Shrek. Well, he did get an Oscar nomination for a supporting role in the 2006 movie Dreamgirls (which I have not seen yet.) And he seemed like the lock to win the Oscar.

So what happened?  THIS MOVIE HAPPENED! This movie cost him the Oscar. And that’s not the worst of it. The worst tragedy about this movie is THIS MOVIE MADE MONEY! This was a box office hit when it should have been DOA like the rest of Eddie’s movies in the last 10 years. This makes Nutty Professor II (another bad film where Eddie wore a fat suit) look good, even though the giant hamster turning Eddie’s boss into a soprano was a nice touch.

But anyway, I’ve said enough. So grab your popcorn tin and your vomit pails (it would be best not to confuse them) and let’s get on with it.

The movie opens with Norbit as a kid being tossed out of a car in front of an orphanage run by an Asian man (played by NONE OTHER THAN EDDIE MURPHY!) Were they trying to offend every stereotype known to man in this movie? It’s almost like Mickey Rooney in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, but at least Mickey Rooney’s Asian character in that movie was funny! But to be fair, Eddie’s Asian character is the only good character in the movie. So anyway, Norbit grows up in the orphanage and there he became close with a girl named Kate, who’s a nice, cute sweet girl. So it basically starts out as a standard boy meets girl, boy falls for girl, boy loses girl (she gets adopted) story. Then some time, Norbit is saved from bullies by a girl named Rasputia (a female variation of Rasputin, one of the most evil men who ever lived) and she is a complete 180 from Kate. Instead of the nice sweet cute girl, we get an overweight, ugly, mean-spirited oversexed abomination of a human being who practically forces her way on Norbit because he’s too nice and weak-minded to know the meaning of the word no.

And if you think Rasputia was ugly as a kid… It gets worse.

Fast forward to them as adults and Norbit has grown up to become Eddie Murphy only now Norbit looks like a 40-year-old Steve Urkel with a really bad fro and a voice that’s reminiscent of his days playing the grown-up Buckwheat from The Little Rascals during his days on SNL. And Rasputia? Well, I’ll let this image speak for itself.

Would you date a chick who looked like this?

That is what Eddie Murphy looks like in a fat suit and in drag! Get used to that image, people. You will be seeing THAT for the rest of the movie!

So they unfortunately get married and Norbit is working for Rasputia’s brothers’ construction company which serves as a front for their extortionist activities where they bully practically the whole town. And speaking of the marriage, the sex scenes in this movie are painful to watch. Yes, I said it, painful. Their sex scenes are so bad that it could very well be considered torture. Sadly, this is the only time in the movie where we feel sorry for Norbit, primarily because he is a nice guy and this is a situation that nice guys find themselves in every day. And that is clearly not good.

And even worse the only one who actually finds that thing attractive is her aerobics instructor (Marlon Wayans.) Marlon, WHERE’S YOUR DIGNITY?!

However, there is a light at the end of Norbit’s tunnel. His old friend, Kate (played by Thandie Newton, the token hot chick who should be offered an apology for being in this movie) comes back into town because she wants to take over the orphanage and the two reconnect. However, she has a fiancé, played by Cuba Gooding, Jr. who is (surprise, surprise) a douchebag who is in league with Norbit’s evil brother-in-laws because they want to buy the orphanage so they can turn it into a nudie bar. So will they succeed? Will Norbit abandon his evil wife in favor of true love?

Despite the horrifying mess that this movie truly is, there are actually some good performances. In addition to Murphy’s performance as the Asian orphanage owner (only), Thandie Newton actually brings a ray of light to this film even though it doesn’t deserve it and it’s good to see the pimps (one of whom is played by Eddie Griffin) as the good guys.

However, none of these things can save this movie. There is absolutely no redeeming quality to this movie at all. And that, combined with the fact that this movie has only a 9% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, I cannot ignore that. So there is nothing else to say except… this movie is the biggest and most offensive, racist, stupid, disgusting, mean-spirited, irreverent, hopeless, shameless, pig-headed, vomit-inducing worm-headed piece of crap I’ve ever seen in my life!  But above all else, THIS MOVIE SUCKS! Avoid it like the plague! If you have this movie on DVD, destroy it! Kill it before it multiplies!

So anyway, that’s how I deal with bad movies. Oh, yeah, one more thing. Earlier this year, Eddie Murphy and the director of Norbit teamed up to direct a movie called “A Thousand Words.” Anyone remember that one? Neither do I.

Karma’s a bitch, Eddie. Karma’s a bitch.