By Andrew Blumetti
“Hooray for Hollywood!”
Yeah, yeah, yeah, that saying is very sweet in theory and it makes for a most-likely terrible tramp stamp tattoo, but in actuality, movies are a business, and to quote Lieutenant Aldo Raine of Inglourious Basterds fame, “…cousin, business is a-boomin’”.
God, that point is almost shocking when you really think about it.
Why? Because twelve dollars.
- Twelve George Washingtons
- Two Abe Lincolns and two George Washingtons
- An Alexander Hamilton and two Georgies
Think about all the late, great, famous green presidents and historical figures who need to be sadly plunked down at the box office window for you just to simply step foot into a movie theater. Add in the second third mortgage it takes to add in a garbage can of popcorn, a swimming pool-sized soda, and a sleeping bag of Twizzlers, and a simple trip to the cinema eventually turns into, “Sorry kids, Mommy and Daddy can’t send you to college because we just had to see Shark Night 3D back in 2011.”
SYNOPSIS: Talk about laying an egg!
Uncle Jesse-ish Rooster grows killer pompadour, dons bedazzled jumpsuit, does his worst impression of fatter late-era Elvis.
It actually was pretty accurate as Rock-a-Doodle basically died on the toilet too. Throw in a storyline about a flood, some cats and add Charles Nelson Rielly’s voice into the mix for good measure. Shockingly, this didn’t connect with kids.
BOX OFFICE: $11 million
SPOIL TIME!: Missing Elvis bird comes back, sings, sun comes up, which can’t be a major surprise, as it’s exactly what Little Orphan Annie said would happen years ago. The protagonist cat turns back into a person, worlds of humans and talking animals merge.
They would’ve done a sequel, but the animators’ and writers’ hands were too cramped from issuing apology letters to every human on planet Earth.
♪ “Love me (chicken) tender” ♪
BLANK CHECK (1994)
SYNOPSIS: Blonde kid in the 90’s who wasn’t Macaulay Culkin mistakenly receives a blank check, fills it in for a million bucks, spends it on junk like slap bracelets, Reebok Pump sneakers, and those CD’s that came in long, cardboard cases. Mobsters want it back, which correct me if I’m wrong, was the exact same plot to The Godfather Part II, right?
Karen Duffy, Tone Lōc, and the little spaghetti-haired runt from Family Ties (who I wrote about in this article) helped this simple snoozer work its way up to a snoozer of epic proportions. Trust me, I saw it in theaters.
BOX OFFICE: $30 million (…but to be fair, $29, 999, 994 of that wasn’t from my wallet.)
SPOIL TIME!: FBI traces marked bills being spent by Family Ties kid. Bumbling mob has a showdown with a 5th grader, and you can take a big fat guess who wins. With the threatening mob single-handedly toppled by a prepubescent zit-faced tween, the ragamuffin goes home and his family throws him a birthday party. Kid still isn’t Macaulay Culkin at film’s end.
“Andy wrote a check THIS BIG! …and he voted Democratic!”
WELCOME HOME, ROXY CARMICHAEL (1990)
SYNOPSIS: Winona Ryder has a wardrobe of 1990’s clothes, career.
She portrays an antisocial ‘lil scamp named “Dinky” who believes former film star, Roxy Carmichael, is her estranged mother. Jeff Daniels has less messier hair than usual.
BOX OFFICE: $4 million
SPOIL TIME!: Break out the Kleenex, cause unfortunately, Dinky is not Roxy’s daughter, they just both have unusual names. Actually, by the film’s end, we never even see Roxy. No biggie, it would’ve just been Jeff Daniels in drag anyway.
Disappointed by this news, Dinky ends up with a popular guy from school who never realizes he’s dating a girl named Dinky. Thanks to Mermaids, this is actually not the worst film she releases in 1990.
“Roxy, you’re a sweet gal, but I requested Breyer’s ice cream, not Dreyer’s. Learn to listen.”
DR. GIGGLES (1992)
SYNOPSIS: Son of a wacky doctor returns to seek revenge for Obamacare. Or something…
There’s a girl with a heart condition, hacked-up simple townsfolk, and a spooky house of mirrors. Pretty much standard fare for a slasher flick… but with Doug E. Doug in it, so… win/win. (Of course if they changed the definition of “win”.)
For a more competent doctor, I’d suggest either Pepper or Dre.
BOX OFFICE: $8 million
SPOIL TIME!: Giggles, who has slashed up the stupid town, is killed by a teenager with a heart condition with defibrillators and surgery tools because movies.
He then lifts his scrubbed-leg and pees all over the fourth wall, making the cardinal sin of looking straight into the camera, addressing the already-annoyed viewer, and puking out the cringe-worthy line, “Is there a doctor in the house?” before finally croaking. Ruin your day and experience it for yourself.
Here’s the real spoiler- no one answers cause they fell asleep ten minutes into this diaper-filler.
LOOK WHO’S TALKING NOW! (1993)
SYNOPSIS: Remember when John Travolta had a most-welcomed comeback as a strung-out, $5 milkshake-drinking hitman in 1994’s smash, Pulp Fiction? Well, this dud one of those things he had to come back from.
The babies have grown up, so of course the dogs talk. PETA actually considered being in this film akin to animal cruelity. Kirstie Alley was splashed with cans of red paint which she quickly learned the hard way was definitely not delicious ketchup.
And last, but certainly not least, a prolific appearance by the “Round Mound of Rebound” himself, Mr. Charles Barkley.
Jordan may have been the star of Space Jam, but on set, portly Chuck was known as “Space Ham”.
BOX OFFICE: $10 million
SPOIL TIME!: Dog voiced by Danny DeVito (yet slightly taller) saves lives! Wolves are scared by beeper sounds, dating this film in a way that only freakin’ beeper sounds could. By the end, I could’ve sworn the dog voiced by Diane Keaton was wearing a frumpy hat and clunky shoes.
A happy ending reunites the whole clan, as opposed to Happy Endings the show, who’s cancellation separated their whole clan. I kick myself for seeing this one before the first two Look Who’s Talking movies.
CUTTHROAT ISLAND (1995)
SYNOPSIS: (From IMDB) A female pirate and her companion race against their rivals to find a hidden island that contains a fabulous treasure.
At the time, the film’s star, Geena Davis, was married to Renny Harlin, the film’s director. They divorced three years later.
Yes, this film was so bad, it literally broke up a marriage.
BOX OFFICE: $10 million
SPOIL TIME!: Surprise! The audience is treated to a walk off the plank into shark infested waters. Which is much less painful than sitting through the rest of the film.
Cutthroat Island, the video game? More like video lame. Wokka wokka.
HUDSON HAWK (1991)
SYNOPSIS: Finally, one of the most notorious box office bombs of the 90’s. Oddly this might actually might have the distinction of being the best film mentioned here today.
Action hero, Bruce Willis, plays Hudson Hawk, a cat burglar who is blackmailed by the mob (likely the same mob from Blank Check) to steal pieces of valuable art. To ruin any chance of audience enjoyability, he and Danny Aiello sing as well.
Why this didn’t break $100 million at the box office is beyond me.
BOX OFFICE: $17 million
SPOIL TIME!: Hudson Hawk kills bad guy, drinks cappuccino. Sorry Hawk, you were twenty years too early for Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte.
Starbucks’ new slogan: “Officially NOT featured in Hudson Hawk!”
Blumes note: I’ve actually passed by Danny Aiello a couple times at the supermarket, and I’ve been too intimidated to bring this movie up to him for fear of being viciously beaten up.
…Next time Andrew, next time.
“Don’t you interrupt me when I’m picking out Chips Ahoy, punk!”