Brilliant Box Office Bombs

For a bit of a laugh and to pass some time during quarantine I’ve been watching movies that for whatever reason failed miserably at the box office and sank into obscurity. I thought I’d make a post in case anyone is interested in my journey through movie mediocrity :)

I’ve been using a mixture of different movie lists but this website in particular has been interesting and invaluable.

Warning: There may be some minor spoilers.

Seventh Son (2014)
imdb score: 5.5, my score: 0.5
Hoo-boy this one was a real doozie. On paper the cast looks pretty strong but Jeff Bridges is deep into his True Grit phase, playing the same grizzled cowboy but transported into a mediocre fantasy setting. Julianne Moore chews all kinds of scenery as the wicked witch and Alicia Vikander is wasted as the love interest. The special effects are actually pretty good but the story is all over the place. Watch out for the brief appearance of our very own Jon Snow - who bites the dust about 15 minutes in.

The Corruptor (1999)
imdb score: 6.1, my score: 5
Passable cop thriller. Chow Yun-Fat does some decent work here but Mark Whalberg who’s playing second banana seems to lack some of his usual charisma. The story is all pretty routine but the occasional high-paced action keeps things just spicy enough. Not a bad watch for a Friday night. Special mention to Kim Chan who sleezes his way through the entire movie as Uncle Benny.

Sinbad Legend of the Seven Seas (2003)
imdb score: 6.7, my score: 7
I’m a sucker for animation and I’m surprised I missed this one the first time around. I was shocked to discover Brad Pitt leads a pretty stellar cast. This was released right in the middle of the transition from hand drawn to computer generated and sank like a stone. A real shame because it’s actually pretty decent. Wonderfully animated and plenty of swashbuckling fun.

Repo Men (2010)
imdb score: 6.3, my score: 6
This is a weird little movie. A sci-fi thriller/dark comedy. Jude Law + Forest Whitaker play the aforementioned Repo Men who recover human organs. It’s ridiculously gory and descends into some pretty dark places yet it managed to keep me intrigued throughout. It also has one of the most bizarre and twisted sex scenes I’ve ever encountered. Sadly let down somewhat by an ill considered final few minutes. Still, worth a look as long as you’re not too squeamish.

Paycheck (2003)
imdb score: 6.3, my score: 2
Ben Affleck sleepwalks through this sci-fi snore fest. Directed by John Woo - I’m always surprised how he manages to make every movie he’s involved in look cheap. This time around even the action was lackluster. Verdict: yawn.

Total Recall (2012)
imdb score: 6.3, my score: 7
The ill-fated remake of the 1990 Schwarzenegger vehicle - this got pretty terrible reviews upon release. It starts off slow and only half-kept my interest at first but ramps up into some delicious high octane action. I’m not sure if it was because I watched the directors cut but I ended up enjoying the heck out of it. The special effects were excellent and the action was fun and well shot. Special mention to Kate Beckinsale who plays the psychotic wife with gleeful abandon.

Wait, what? I don’t even remember hearing about this movie.

Definitely recommend watching this one. It’s very dumb indeed.

And this is a stone cold classic.

I don’t have much to add other than that this is a delightful idea for a thread, so thanks!

Oh and is Paycheck ever a turd. Saw that with a buddy (we were teenagers all-in on Dick at the time) in the theater and it just suuuuuuuuuucked.

Me and my friends really enjoyed Paycheck. We ignored it at the theater but when it came out on video, we rented it along with other B-movies, all ready to make fun of it mercilessly. But we ended up only making fun of it kind of mildly, and we all enjoyed ourselves, so we were all surprised by that. I suppose maybe it was the super-low expectations that we went in with that had a lot to do with why.

I mean, it’s probably better than Affleck’s Daredevil?

It is. Definitely. Not to make fun of Daredevil too much though, I watched that one preview-free, going in completely blind into the theater, and the first half of that movie was delightful. Just the concept of a blind superhero was really neat, and I loved the way the movie visualized that concept.

But then they introduce all these characters, and then pretend that they all die, and by the end of the movie you find out that no one died at all. No one. The second half of Daredevil was just all comic book bullshit.

Yeah, it is. Didn’t realize it was a bomb, but definitely brilliant.

Woah. They remade Total Recall? And it’s actually decent you say? I vaguely remember hearing about it, but never saw any previews or anything, it feels like it was never marketed to me.

What’s especially depressing about this is when I read that story, I went “holy shit would this be great movie fodder” and yet they totally fucked it up. :/

It even has Bryan Cranston!

As a former teenager, let me say, tee-hee.

For theatrical box office bombs, we saw Pixar’s Onward. It was okay! The premise was that there was a fantasy land that industrialized because tech was easier and in some ways more powerful than magic, and somewhere between centuries and weeks later, one guy died because medical tech couldn’t save him and there wasn’t a high level cleric around to cast lesser restoration. So umpteen years after that, the guy’s nearly-grown kids find a spell that can raise dad for a day. But it fizzles and they go on a Quest through a quasi-modern world to cast it better. I thought the worldbuilding was okay. It leans on Generic Fantasy Role-Playing tropes, but only sometimes. For instance, were the main characters elves or gnomes or smurfs? Did the adventurers of long ago want to guide future adventures to Ye Olde Plot Reagent and that’s why they left clues all over the countryside leading to it, or did they want no one to have it and that’s why it was trapped and cursed? It was Marmite smeared across my iron rations. Still better than the worldbuilding in Monsters Inc. though.

Over: the (NSFW) Oglaf comic for fantasy tropes, Coco for Pixar films about meeting deceased relatives
Under: Netflix’s Disenchanted cartoon

Whalberg has charisma? Since when?

The Funky Bunch?


Aw dammit.


Fuck Discourse

I actually love Sinbad, and should watch it again - it’s probably been 15 years since I last watched it (or however long it was since it came out to rent).

Learn to love the <div/>, my brother.