Unwatchable #20: “From Justin to Kelly”

Your fearless – and quite possibly senseless – movie janitor is watching every movie on the IMDb Bottom 100 list. Join us now for another installment of Unwatchable.

I’ve only ever seen one episode of American Idol in my life. It happened when some friends threw a little viewing party for the first season finale ten years ago. As I recall, it was an impossibly bloated production, full of music I would never listen to on purpose, and seemingly hours worth of Seacrest-flavored filler. It’s hard to believe now that there was any suspense at all about the outcome. A decade later, winner Kelly Clarkson is a music superstar, while runner-up Justin Guarini is a Trivial Pursuit answer.
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Unwatchable #22: “Ghoulies IV”

Your fearless – and quite possibly senseless – movie janitor is watching every movie on the IMDb Bottom 100 list. Join us now for another installment of Unwatchable.

Ladies and gentlemen, the once-mighty Unwatchable project is in disarray. We’re so close to the top (or the bottom, I guess), and yet so far. I could give you excuses. I could say I was busy writing a book that is coming out very soon, which you should buy in large quantities and distribute to needy children in your area. The truth is, however, I watched the latest entry in this countdown of the crapulent, Ghoulies IV, several months ago. Since then I have managed to lose my meticulous notes, and now that I’ve given up on finding them, I’m just going to have to reconstruct my review from memory.
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Unwatchable #23: “Manos: The Hands of Fate”

Your fearless – and quite possibly senseless – movie janitor is watching every movie on the IMDb Bottom 100 list. Join us now for another installment of Unwatchable.

If you’ve been following the Unwatchable chronicles, lo these many years, you’re familiar with an issue I’ve encountered more than a few times in the course of my very important work. Many of the entries on the IMDb Bottom 100 list were also featured on the robots-chuckling-at-bad-movies show Mystery Science Theater 3000, which creates a sort of chicken-and-the-egg condundrum. Did people know these movies were terrible before they appeared on MST3K, or did the MST3K seal of disapproval convince IMDb users to vote films into the Bottom 100 that never would have made it otherwise? In most cases, I believe the latter to be true, and there’s no more open-and-shut case than Manos: The Hands of Fate, the long-forgotten 1966 horror movie that became the basis of perhaps the most famous Mystery Science Theater episode of all.
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Unwatchable #24: “Police Academy 7: Mission to Moscow”

Your fearless – and quite possibly senseless – movie janitor is watching every movie on the IMDb Bottom 100 list. Join us now for another installment of Unwatchable.

It’s been six months since the last installment of Unwatchable, and while I could try to come up with some legitimate excuse for my prolonged absence – say, that I’ve been busy negotiating with HBO over the television rights to this blog – the truth is, I just sort of forgot. When I finally did stop to think, “Gee, I haven’t done Unwatchable in a while,” it turned out I couldn’t find any trace of the movie that was ranked number 24 on the list when I started this project back in the halcyon days of the late, lamented Screengrab. That would be 1997’s Glam, described thusly by the IMDb: “Traveling from the backwoods to Los Angeles to visit his cousin, a writer discovers a world of sex, drugs, crime and violence revolving around a beautiful young woman and her mobster boyfriend.” It stars Frank Whaley, Natasha Gregson Warner and Tony Danza (!), was rated NC-17 for “a scene of explicit sexuality and some sexual dialogue,” and is truly a movie the ’90s forgot, as all existing copies appear to have been wiped from the face of the earth.
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Unwatchable #26: “Going Overboard”

Your fearless – and quite possibly senseless – movie janitor is watching every movie on the IMDb Bottom 100 list. Join us now for another installment of Unwatchable.

When Adam Sandler’s latest comedy Grown Ups was released earlier this summer, it was largely derided as an essentially plotless (and pointless) paid vacation for him and his comedian pals. What many pundits didn’t realize is that Sandler had actually come full circle. I don’t think he talks about it much in interviews, but Sandler’s feature debut was, to quote IMDb, “shot entirely on a cruise ship going from New Orleans to Cancun.” Not only that, but this love boat was crammed to the rafters with beauty queens en route to the Miss Universe pageant, many of whom make bikini-clad appearances in the film. Not a bad first gig if you can get it, but as Steven Soderbergh once noted, having fun making a movie does not necessarily translate into making a good movie. (Quoth Soderbergh: “That shouldn’t matter. If that meant anything then Cannonball Run would be a great movie, because I’m sure it was fun to make.” Ironic words coming from the man who went on to make Ocean’s 12 and 13.)
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Unwatchable #32: Car 54, Where Are You?

Your fearless – and quite possibly senseless – movie janitor is watching every movie on the IMDb Bottom 100 list. Join us now for another installment of Unwatchable.

Welcome to the semi-triumphant return of Unwatchable! I was going to say I wish we had a better movie to discuss…but then it wouldn’t be Unwatchable, would it?

Car 54, Where Are You? was not the first movie based on a sitcom and it was far from the last, but it just might be the most perplexing. It wasn’t adapted from a beloved childhood favorite like The Brady Bunch or a staple of syndication like The Beverly Hillbillies or The Addams Family, but from a fairly obscure early ’60s series that doesn’t even boast an easily marketable hook like My Favorite Martian. Whatever popularity it had was largely dependent on the comedic chemistry of its cast members, notably leads Fred Gwynn and Joe E. Ross as NYPD officers Francis Muldoon and Gunther Toody.

It would only seem logical, then, that a revival of Car 54, Where You Are You? would serve as a vehicle for the storied comedy duo of David Johansen and John C. McGinley. Read the rest of this entry »