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Now, when you say "bad"...

Here's what I want to know: has anyone out there actually *seen* "Ishtar"? Because it occured to me that it is *so* axiomatic now of "a really, really bad film of the modern era (that thought it was going to be good, or was trying to be)" -- but I've never actually seen it. So I don't know how bad it *actually* is.

Whereas... okay, I'm watching VH-1's third "I Love the 80s" series, because I'm a sucker for these things, and a couple of episodes ago they actually showed many clips from "Jaws 3-D" (which has a special resonance for them, because this series is in fact called "I Love the 80s 3-D"), and I have to say -- I think that may actually be the worst film, like, ever. Certainly of the modern era. Although I don't think you can say that the makers thought it was good, or were trying to make it be good. But that's another film where, you know, I'd always *heard* it was *bad*... but OH MY GOD, I didn't realize it was *THAT* bad! And knowing that it was 3-D? Makes it indescribably worse. I mean... words fail me. It brings bad to new levels of badness. Lord, it wasn't good.

Also? Right at this precise moment in time -- I would date Wil Wheaton. In a heartbeat. (He's one of the regular commentators this time around.)

(Especially because I just watched the 1987 episode, in which they discuss TNG, right, and he was *hilarious*.)



( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 29th, 2005 06:33 pm (UTC)
I've seen "Ishtar." I may even have seen it in the theater. And the thing is, it isn't that it's *bad* so much - although it is bad in the sense that it's rather tedious, overlong, and unfunny, but there are much aesthetically worse movies out thre - "Ishtar" is legendary not so much for its badness as for the fact that it lost a STAGGERING amount of money when it was released. In the intervening years, I think the story has gotten confused to make it legendary for badness rather than unprofitability.
Oct. 29th, 2005 07:06 pm (UTC)
That makes sense, yeah. I'm vaguely curious to see it.
Oct. 29th, 2005 06:46 pm (UTC)
Will Wheaton has quietly been making himself cool for a while now. He does some good voiceover work, he has a well regarded blog, he's got some fairly unstupid opinions abot the intersection of technology and entertainment. So, if you were to start dating him, you'd have my support. I think he's married though.
Oct. 29th, 2005 07:06 pm (UTC)
Yes, one suspects so. Curses.
Oct. 29th, 2005 06:47 pm (UTC)
Never saw "Istar", but I'm giggling because I mainlined that damn show yesterday. Four eps in a row before I was able to pull myself up off the couch. It's irresistible, isn't it?

Plus Hal Sparks is just the cutest thing. I have such a weakness for funny men. And I hear you about Will Wheaton. He still looks so young, and he's a riot. Smart and funny. Who knew?
Oct. 29th, 2005 06:51 pm (UTC)
Well, those of us who've been reading his blog for the last few years knew. *g*

Although I admit I haven't caught up much lately. But he's a good writer, and a funny guy, very unpretentious and forthright about fame and geekery and family.
Oct. 29th, 2005 07:10 pm (UTC)
Yeah -- while I haven't actually been reading his blog myself, I had heard for several years now from various sources that he was cool. But this is the first time I've really *seen* him and heard him speak and all. *Dude*.

I have no doubt that he's been snapped up already. I'm just sayin'. Watching him wax rhapsodic about Voltron? Very seductive.
Oct. 29th, 2005 07:08 pm (UTC)
I know -- I've been TiVoing it and then snorking it up in large doses. I find it mesmerizing.

Hal Sparks is an absolute riot, and he has been since the first series. What I find really amusing this time out is the outright rivalry between him and Michael Ian Black -- at least from MIB's side.
Oct. 29th, 2005 07:57 pm (UTC)
I noticed Hal Sparks in the first series, too, and that was before I started renting "Queer as Folk" DVDs. Now that I've seen him in that, I'm really impressed. *g*

I thought that rivalry thing was pretty cute, too.
Oct. 29th, 2005 08:07 pm (UTC)
you intrigue me with your wil wheaton comment.

also, in a stunning example of synchronicity, i swear on a stack of bibles i was in the blockbuster last night looking very briefly at a copy of ishtar and thinking "but I've never actually SEEN it."

then i went and got other things.
Oct. 29th, 2005 11:17 pm (UTC)
I saw "Ishtar" when it first came out in the theatres. I was a Hoffmann fan, it'd gotten a great cover story in Time Magazine, what could possibly go wrong?

Ho ho.

It's not nearly as bad as some other movies I've seen--Dan Ackroyd alone has been in about 10 that were worse. I think what makes it stand out for people is a variant on the million monkeys with a million typewriters equation: given the quality of the director and actors, and the amount of money given to them, the chances of them turning out a product this craptastic were 1 in 1000. They could've filmed each other eating breakfast and had a much better movie.
Oct. 30th, 2005 04:44 am (UTC)
i saw about 20 minutes of it once....and seriously, "night of the lepus" is much much worse. in fact, ten minutes of night of the lepus is worse than 20 minutes of ishtar. i'm just sayin'. ;)

and the vh1 show is addictive. which is why i'm flipping the channels and hoping it's on this morning. *veg*
Oct. 31st, 2005 06:51 am (UTC)
I saw "Ishtar" when it came out and actually kinda liked it. Catching parts of it on cable more recently though had me aggreing with maxineofarc that it is actually tedious, overlong, and unfunny. There are some clever homages to the old Bing/Crosby road movies (which is what the film was aiming for) and some great casting, but it never quite clicks.

The part of the film that did click, and which I still like, is the whole interplay of Warren Beatty and Dustin Hoffman as a parody of Simon and Garfunkle. They play really bad NY folk-rockers who's agent sents them to perform in the middle east. The scenes of the two of them writing and "performing" their songs was really funny in a "Mighty Wind" sort of loving poke at bad folk singers.

If you want to see my post from September about worst films I've sat through, it's at http://www.livejournal.com/users/hungrytiger/26760.html and Ishtar didn't make the cut.
Oct. 31st, 2005 10:04 am (UTC)
I saw "Ishtar" in the theater, and I have to agree with hungrytiger. There were bits that struck me as funny back then, but I also remember it needed some serious editing and there were far more bits that weren't funny. But it did give me a line that comes back to me when the situation seems to warrant it: "We don't *need* a pencil!" (As a sad reflection on the amount of my life spent watching movies and TV, I have a collection of these sayings: "Plate of shrimp," "All grown up and back from college," "And then came the honeymoon," etc.)

There are worse movies than "Ishtar," although there's no doubt it cost way more than it should've, given what it was. But yeah, I don't think it would even make my top 10 of the worst movies I've ever seen.
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )