Just like in the real world, there is always that one job that we are not proud of or will want to keep off of our resumes. It is a sad fact of life, sometimes you need money, sometimes you think it is a good idea that turns into a horrific mistake, and sometimes you just do not care. Even in Hollywood, the best in the business are not free from churning out mind numbing schlock. This may be for any number of reasons like the ones listed above, but make no mistake… Just about everyone had done something they are not proud of and Hollywood’s best directors are no exception to this. So today I want to bring these illustrious directors into the infamous spotlight, by showcasing the Top 5 Bad Movies… By Otherwise Great Directors!
Now a couple of things to keep in mind on this list. First off, as always this is my list and my opinion, if you disagree leave it in the comments and we will debate. Second this is a list to commemorate bad movies by great directors! This means that you will not see movies on here by the likes of Uwe Boll, Michael Bay, Ed Wood, Rob Zombie, and so forth. They are typically labeled as either ‘bad directors’, ‘infamously bad directors’, or ‘mediocre directors’. This list isn’t for them. This is for the people whose oeuvres are overwhelmingly good. Second, you will not see George Lucas on this list. That poor man has been given so much shit by so many people who it is time to stop beating the dead horse and let the man enjoy life for a change. Finally make no mistake about it, these are amazing directors and their horrific gutter spawn of bad movies.
Rollerball by John McTiernan: While this may be objectively the worst movie on this list, it just misses the cut due to the fact that McTiernan, while a great director does not hold the power as some of these bigger names have.
Robin Hood by Ridley Scott: While this movie was complete trash as well as being something that absolutely nobody wanted, the gritty reboot of Robin Hood misses this list due to the fact that it just can’t conjure enough emotions to warrant talking about it for too long.
I Heart Huckabees by David O. Russell: As much as I dislike this movie and now love the director David O. Russell, there just happens to be bigger directors to grill and worse movies to talk about. So it gets an honorable mention.
Hey does anyone else remember that Ang Lee directed an Incredible Hulk movie before the whole Avengers franchise even showed up? For the three of you that said yes, I applaud you. Talk about absolutely forgettable films. This 2003 version of the Hulk flopped onto theaters and then almost immediately flopped into the $5 Bin at Wal-Mart. This was in no way made easier by the fact that the Avenger version of The Incredible Hulk came out a mere five years later!
This wouldn’t be so terrible if it wasn’t for the fact that Lee was behind the camera on this one. This is the guy who brought us Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Sense and Sensibility, Brokeback Mountain, and Life of Pi. The fact that there is a forgettable superhero movie mixed in with the rest of those is like tossing a ghost pepper into a fruit salad.
As I have said before, John Carpenter is one of my favorite directors of all time. I love his work, I really do. But it feels like every time I talk about the guy, it is to bring up one of his movies that is best left hidden in the desolate movie graveyard of trash. First with Ghosts of Mars and now with his recent 2010 film The Ward which is just so appalling that I wonder if they simply paid Carpenter to sit on his couch and collect a paycheck while they let a college sophomore direct the thing.
This movie feels like it is a direct to SciFi Channel original feature. It attempts to give all the psychological horror elements but has none of the tact to pull any of it off. Instead of being a shining ray of light in what was at the time a very dismal and predictable genre… It finds itself sitting alongside the cinematic train wreck that was 2000-2010 horror scene.
Oh Coppola… What in God’s name were you thinking? Francis Ford Coppola for any uncultured heathen who live under a rock and does not recognize this name, is the man who brought us the The Godfather! Not to mention other little films like Apocalypse Now!, Patton, and The Outsiders. This guy is often considered to be the greatest filmmaker of all time and he created a 1990’s Robin Williams comedy about a boy who ages rapidly.
Do not get me wrong, I love me some Robin Williams. I love a lot of his work. But this is a little beneath someone like Coppola. I can understand that you would want to create a more child friendly movie but man you couldn’t pick a better one than Jack? No matter how many ways you look at it, Jack was destined to be a stinker. It just makes it even worse when you have someone like Coppola behind the camera to add a black dot to his distinguished career.
I take back what I said about Rollerball… THIS is the worst movie on this list, hell probably one of the worst films ever made. Say what you will about Rob Reiner, whether you love the guy or hate the guy he is a fantastic director. With a list of films that includes This is Spinal Tap, When Harry Met Sally, The Princess Bride, and Misery to say that the man has made his mark on the industry would be an understatement… Which makes North all the more puzzling.
North is an absolutely horrendous movie, one of the worst movies ever made and is considered by the author of the book that it was based off of, Alan Zweibel as a complete bastardization of his work. This movie has been picked apart by so many people, is infamous for Siskel and Eberts hatred of it, and is just all around considered to be one of the worst. Which begs the questions, what was Reiner thinking? Was he too busy with his activist work to care about this movie? What happened that made him think this would actually work? I have no idea because of all the interviews I found on the internet, none of them mention North! They mention everything else about this man’s life but not North. Well I guess we may never know what was going through the man’s mind. But without a doubt, this film deserves to be on here.
I have talked about Crystal Skull on here before with episodes of The Nerdiest Talk Show on Earth. It was the only movie that made it on both mine and Brandon’s list of the Top Ten Most Hated Movies of All Time. I struggled on whether or not I wanted to put it at the top of this list. North is a worse movie than Crystal Skull. But at the end of the day I had to put this one at the top because of the fact that Steven Spielberg was behind the camera and the Indiana Jones series is Spielberg’s baby.
I can understand if this was a Spielberg production and he passed the bar to a new up and coming director. If that were the case, then I probably would not hate it as much as I do. Because I would understand. I was not expecting to see the cinematic gold that the original three movies brought. My expectations were low, until I learned that Spielberg was at the helm. AT that point I thought, well if Spielberg is the one leading this brigade then I can expect something at least on par with Legion of Doom. But no… What we got was an absolutely horrendous movie and a HUGE black stain on what was a rather flawless trilogy of movies. Spielberg has released a few other stinkers to be certain. AI: Artificial Intelligence and The Lost World: Jurassic Park can top those lists. But this was the one movie where he undoubtedly let everyone down and because of that, it tops my list.
Thank you for reading and as always if you enjoyed this review then please like and subscribe for more from me. Please return Sunday for my review of the latest incarnation of the Tokyo destroying monster, Godzilla.