Monday, May 13, 2019

Today's Blind Items - The Hapless Movie - A Back In The Day Blind

Nothing real scandalous here, but maybe you sleuths will have a bit of fun guessing this one. Having said that, the consequences of this movie did do some damage to at least one career.

Let’s go back a little while shall we, we have a director who I’d consider permanent A list  (academy award winner/nominee) but would probably not be on many peoples usual suspect list. He had just released his latest movie. At the time of the movie’s release he had already been around for a long time and directed some much acclaimed movies that were in the running for the top award. One movie in particular is still a beloved classic with a terrific ensemble cast and it essentially put the director on the map. Not to mention his involvement in those movies that you all know and know well.

Anyway, our director had fallen off the radar for a number of years until he jumped at the opportunity to direct this movie which was based on a book. He still had a bit of clout in the industry and his production company managed to secure the rights to this novel and get a pretty big budget from a major studio. Perhaps this could be his comeback into the mainstream after a long absence. Along the way a permanent A+ list writer got involved in the project and partnered with the director to bring the story to the big screen. After watching the movie it’s boggles the mind wondering what they actually saw in the material. It was hardly the kind of material that both the director and the writer had much, if anything, to do with in the past. 

All things aside, shooting of the movie got under way with a number of good actors signing on for rolls, probably just to work under the A list director with a script written by the A+ list writer, based on a novel by an acclaimed author, how could they go wrong? They all did their best with the script and direction they were given but playing it serious was arguably not the way to go about the material. The director was treating the movie like he would have normally done in the past and it just didn’t weave together this time round. 

The permanent A+ list actor (academy award winner/nominee) played against type in the movie and even he couldn’t save it or bring it any credibility, but hey, he was still responsible for delivering the best line so I guess that counts for something. The B+ actor who was on a recently axed almost network show seemed to recognize the silliness of what they were doing, but he made his scenes count and chewed through the scenery like no tomorrow. His scenes were some of the more “intentionally” humorous ones and at least he seemed to enjoy himself filming them.

Eventually the movie was released and quickly became a laughing stock. I doubt that anyone in the audience was prepared for how ludicrous this film would be. It was jaw dropping how bad it was considering the caliber of the people involved. You’d be forgiven for not expecting this type of movie to come from the A list director. Looking at the credits there a number of award winning cast and crew members across the board and somehow they caught up in the net. It’s not like they did a bad job, far from it, the film is actually pretty well made on a technical level, but the story and plot make no sense what so ever. 

For those who have seen the movie I’m sure they would only remember the one aspect that when spoken out loud, would either deter people, or encourage them to watch it just to see how ridiculous it plays out. And this is coming from a movie that has one ridiculous and awkward scene
after another. Suffice to say the movie was a bomb, and it wasn’t hard to see why. It quickly fell into obscurity and was forgotten. The timing of its release was probably not going to do it any favors either, considering a major world event had just taken place that everyone knew was a bad idea, but was powerless to stop from happening. This movie channeled a few things that were going on at the time. 

Surprisingly it doesn’t appear on many “worst of all time lists” which maybe a good thing for the multiple A list talent involved. As for the director, well, he will probably always be A list considering his track record & prior achievements, but even he admitted that this film screwed his career a bunch. He had other projects that he wanted to work on but because this movie was a disaster he never got the chance to do them. It was another decade before he got a chance to direct again and he went back to his comfort zone, albeit without any major studio backing this time. That film also bombed and after that he didn’t have anything to go on, at least until not until he got another chance to be involved in the movies that made his name

75 comments:

Moose said...

Lawrence Kasdan for the director

Moose said...

Stephen King's Dreamcatcher for the book/project

Morgan Freeman for the actor.

Do Tell said...

Francis Ford Coppola for director. I don't know why.

sandybrook said...

The Shining, Stephen King, Stanley Kubrick, Jack Nicholsen famous line: Here's Johnny?
Missing the B list actor though.

Alf Landon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alf Landon said...

Jack was not playing against character in the Shining

wine girl said...

Mentions a major world event that the movie channels some things related to it. Makes me think of a movie maybe released in 2001.

Moose said...

If it is Dreamcatcher, the A+ writer associated with the project could be William Goldman ("The Princess Bride"), and the B+ actor could be Timothy Oliphant, who was on the just cancelled "Santa Clarita Diet".

Farmgirl said...

Moose got it. Worked backwards from the Big Chill

Moose said...

@Farmgirl - as soon as I saw "beloved ensemble film", my very first thought was Big Chill - and of course, Kasdan had "Body Heat" before that, and "Silverado", "The Accidental Tourist" and "Wyatt Earp" after. He was a major player, whose career seemed to fall apart for some reason.

And Morgan Freeman plays a crazed military man, which is against type.

The individual elements add up, the one thing that doesn't is the link to a "major event".

sandybrook said...

So the director is Lawrence Kasden if it's Dreamcatcher

Guesser said...

Bonfire of the Vanities? Brian DePalma director, Tom Hanks,A+ actor, written by Tom Wolfe.

HushHush said...

Heaven's Gate. Director Michael Cimeo (Deer Hunter).
Kris Kristofferson, Christoper Walken, Jeff Bridges, John Hurt.
Huge bomb. Bankrupted United Artists.

E said...

Moose, well done! Just wiki'd "Dreamcatcher" and everything fits

C’est Vrai said...

I met Morgan Freeman at a wrap party and had no idea who he was, (I’m very bad at recognizing celebrities in person which drove my ex nuts because he’s in the business and some of these people if you don’t recognize them they get very insulted) well Morgan was one of those people. He pulled the whole “do you know who I am” crap with me and was rude as all phuck. Finally I just looked at him and said well if you said you were the guy in Shawshank with Tim Robbins I would have figured it out... lol that went over like a lead balloon. So if you ever meet Morgan Freeman just pretend you know who he is even if you don’t, otherwise he acts like a whiny little turd.

HushHush said...

@Guesser Vanity Fair sounds more like it. Tom Wolfe wrote it- great book. Huge bomb, didn't translate to film. And there was a huge lead up to it's filming because of the all star cast.

C’est Vrai said...

That’s a good guess.

Jeff Leiboff said...

Jason Lee for the comedic actor.

C’est Vrai said...

Also a good guess.

Moose said...

Can't be "Bonfires", DePalma directed another movie two years later "Raising Cain".

Kasden did not direct again until 9 years after "Dreamcatcher"...and the movie, "Darling Companion" was his first indie project.

Alf Landon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alf Landon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alf Landon said...

The world event was the war in Iraq started 2 days before Dreamcatchers was released.

E said...

Aka Shock and Awe

gauloise said...

This blind was so confusing with the verb tenses, It took a while to understand if the bomb movie was releasing now or in the past..

Moose said...

Thanks, Alf Landon. That's the event.

Here's something else that locks it up for Kasden -
the final sentence of the blind references the subject returning to work in the movies that made his name.

Kasden's last few projects have been as a writer only on the most recent "Star Wars" projects. That's where Kasden got his start in the early 80s, which gave him the ability to write and direct "Body Heat", his first film.

Rosie riveter said...

Wow Great job!

Spider Rico said...

Dreamcatcher for sure. Kasdan did not direct for another ten years after. Should have kept him away from Star Wars Franchise as well.

BODOM said...

So what is the "best line" that Morgan Freeman got to deliver?

C’est Vrai said...

Just to be different I’m going with The Royal Tenembaums released 3 weeks after 9/11.

gauloise said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gauloise said...

@Moose Good job!

Out of curiosity what is " I’m sure they would only remember the one aspect that when spoken out loud, would either deter people, or encourage them to watch it just to see how ridiculous it plays out."

I can't figure it out from IMDB

Heather said...

I need an adderal to read this one. Thank you all for the summaries

Village Guru said...

All these years I thought "Children of the Corn" with Bette Davis was the cheesiest most ridiculous movie ever made, and a real come-down for Davis. Hollywood never disappoints, always outdoing itself.

Sara, Making It Work said...

It's been years since I've seen this pile of dreck, but I think the ridiculous element is that the monster comes up through the plumbing and the guys in the movie had to avoid using the toilet? Spoiler: it doesn't work out too well.
And then later the monster turns into a giant spider like in "It".

JL said...

Not this movie, but the most unintentially hilarious movie I’ve ever laughed my way through was The Island of Dr Moreau with Marlon Brando and Val Kilmer. Brando knew it was pure schlock and shamelessly camped it up the whole film. An anti-tour de force performance.

HushHush said...

@JL I remember that movie. I was on a date, can picture the conversation after, so bad.

ArmchairEngineer666 said...

I was starting to think of Popeye directed by Robert Altman. Starring Robin Williams

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Wahoowifey said...
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Farmgirl said...

Me too! The Big Chill was a phenomenon for those of us in a particular age range

Andrea said...

I was convinced this was Beyond the Poseidon Adventure until that last paragraph.


Brayson87 said...

Dreamcatcher kind of fits, it was a shockingly bad movie despite all the great actors. The dialogue really sucked, even the great actors couldn't make it work. After Dreamcatcher Lawrence Kasdan didn't direct for years after that. His next movie, more contemporary, Darling Companion, also bombed despite a great cast. There are some parts of the blind that don't fit exactly though.

https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0001410/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darling_Companion

squirrelmistress said...

was it kaiser rolls? bulkie maybe?

Unknown said...

Dreamcatcher definitely fits. I remember watching that movie and thinking "huh?" after it was all said and done. Morgan Freeman's character is way out of left-field for him and then Donnie Wahlberg as Duddits, the mentally handicapped kid who turns out to be an alien too?

I think the B list actor who just got done with a show would be Damian Lewis who just finished up Band of Brothers or Heart and Bones in 2001 (or it could also be around the time he wrapped up the Forsyte Saga). Either way, he fits for having wrapped up a project and then hopping on the movie in 2003. But as for delivering the funny lines, that would be Jason Lee's character who said crap like "Fuck Me, Freddie," and other one-liners. I dunno what he would have been finishing up though as a series to make him work for the B lister. Meh. Who knows.

kiki71 said...

No only as Jack not playing against style. NO WAY WAS THE SHINING a joke or a bomb. Thing is a masterpiece. What a joke to guess that!

VikingSong said...

I was going to say the exact same thing, Kiki.

texasrose said...

I wonder if two studio executives might have made a bet about who could greenlight the worse movie and lose millions$$ and that's how this movie got made? I hear that happens now in hollywood.

Humor Me said...

What is the best line in DreamCatchers?

Sook said...

Howard the Duck. Because, well... that movie ranks high in the greatest piece of sh*t waste of cinema ever. Also, because I have no idea and am too tired to research on this blind :-)

Sagan said...

Wondering if "Ronin" could fit for the movie... came out around the time Princess Diana was killed.

Starred Robert DeNiro, Jean Reno (B+ actor) or Stellan Skarsgard; director John Frankenheimer (director: The Manchurian Candidate, Bird Man of Alcatraz, Island of Dr. Moreau) screenplay writers David Mamet (Wag The Dog, Glengarry Glen Ross, The Verdict - all Oscar noms) and JD Zeik..

Or IS it "The Island of Dr. Moreau" as the epic failure movie BASED ON A BOOK by HG Wells, B+ actor Val Kilmer, Academy Award megastar Marlon Brando, director John Frankenheimer, and screenplay writer Richard Stanley.

CarrieLee777 said...

Just for a different guess, "Men who stare at Goats" George Clooney, Ewan MacGregor, Jeff Bridges, Kevin Spacey...It was released when there was a shooting at a military base. 13 dead 43 injured Fort Hood

Puddy said...

@Moose

You are spot on all the way, this is 100% Dreamcatcher and all the clues fit in its favor. The Iraq war began on March 19th 2003 around the same time as Dreamcatcher came out. It's been a long time since I watched it but I think Morgan Freeman tried to instigate an airstrike on the alien ship and the aliens were disguising themselves as children to try and prevent them from doing it. So I guess that kind of channels the shock and awe campaign in some sense.

There was a fat guy in the movie who kept burping and farting until he shit the alien out on the toilet & had a great big hole in his ass. That's the one aspect that people remember. Morgan Freeman called them "shit weasels" in the movie, I can't remember the quote exactly but he was dead serious in his delivery.

Also, Lawrence Kasdan said that his career was "hurt" after Dreamcatcher and had lined up to do The Risk Pool with Tom Hanks but the studio backed out at the last second.

Puddy said...

And for the record...... the movie sucks.

tinydancer61 said...

I immediately thought of "Hook" directed by Stephen Spielberg with Julia Roberts, Gywneth Paltrow, Robin Williams, Dustin Williams. It probably wasn't technically a flop but it was pretty bad.

tinydancer61 said...

Oops-Hook was released in 1991. That doesn't fit...

rs said...

Next time, can you summarize these long ass gossip post? Post the summary as the first sentence. Thank you

Oldsguy65 said...

The Iraq war definitely qualifies as "a major world event that everyone knew was a bad idea, but was powerless to stop from happening."

OKay said...

Never saw the movie, but Dreamcatcher was a pretty good book. King's stuff gets so screwed up all the time.

.robert said...

@C’est Vrai - If you meet Morgan Freeman and want to get under his skin you call him Laurence Fishburne. He just loves that.

BRAD PITT said...

@ BODOM

So what is the "best line" that Morgan Freeman got to deliver?

----------------

I'm that dog. I'm that monster. As harmless as a fox in a hen house. And I'm here to kick some ass! Are you with me?

The men call the red stuff "Ripley", after the broad in the Alien movies

Come with me, Owen... I'll show you things you'll wish you'd never seen

Those poor schmucks... they drive Chevrolets, shop at Wal-Mart, never miss an episode of Friends. These are Americans. The idea of slaughtering Americans... it just turns my stomach

Bucko, I think we're on the same page - pissin' in the same latrine

Astra Worthington said...

Aww I liked Dreamcatcher. But I always like terrible movies. I LOVE Damian Lewis though, and I hate most celebs. He made that movie good.

Murph said...

I though get for sure this was Dick Tracy, directed by Warren Beatty

Jennacheryl said...

John Hughes baby day out

IndigoBlue said...

C'est Vrais ... that's funny re: Morgan Freeman. Back when I was in Jr. High (early 80's), my mom did advertising/promotions for a large radio station in IL. She made me go with her one night to an event that was a charity basketball game, Pros v. Locals. I didn't want to be there, and was being a bratty Tweener and sitting in the press room totally unaffected while all these people were trying to clamor for a seat/plug stuff in, etc. I was sitting next to one of the pros. I didn't follow basketball at the time and could not have cared less who he was. He kept knocking me with his knee until finally, I said, "Can I help you?" or something similarly teen girl annoying...and he just said, "You have no idea who I am, do you?" I said, "Nope". He laughed, like a real laugh...he just looked me right in the face and said, "That's okay. Don't worry. You will." I was not impressed. About a year later, I was watching tv, basketball, and saw the guy playing. It was Michael Jordan. True story. When I met him, it was his rookie year and he was playing on the Bulls Charity Team. He wasn't offended in the least, he thought it was hilarious that I didn't know him. Of course, he wasn't super famous yet at that moment, and I've heard plenty of stories through the years about him really being an ass.... but not that night. He was the big guy amused at the pissy pre-teener. You never know who famous people "really" are.

emeraldcity said...

@C’est Vrai...

For once in my life I thought of something to say lightening fast when someone demanded 'Do you know who I am' in a VIP airport lounge.....I said "I probably do , but I broke my glasses yesterday and can't see you properly , your very big (meaning fat) maybe Alan Bond?"

The A-hole was Kerry Packer (James' Father). Of course I did know who he was but he was being such a bast**d I didn't care. Alan Bond was his sworn enemy.

Sara L. said...

In what universe is The Shining considered a bomb or a laughing stock? It’s a masterpiece beloved by critics and audiences for decades.

iknowpeople said...

@IndigoBlue

I know MJ professionally and spent time in his orbit during his basketball and baseball-playing years and cannot remember one time he was anything but gracious to people. Even when confronted by obnoxious, rude fans he maintained a friendly demeanor.

The Disaffected Cynic said...

Probably Leonidas the leprechaun in 43.

Craig said...

I love it when actors sign up just for the rolls. Craft Services do one helluva job :D

Manuél Bun said...

@JL There's actually a good documentary about the production of Dr Moreau, and how the combination of studio interference, Val Kilmer's ego and Brando not giving a fuck drove the movie's first time, out of his element director out of his mind, and into disappearing on the island they were filming on for awhile. The parts about Brando are hilarious. I remember he enjoyed making Kilmer miserable, which endeared him to many on the set despite Brando's obvious other fuckery that hampered production. That's how big of a prick Kilmer was

mini_pixie said...

This made me think of the movie Big Trouble, based on the novel by newspaper humorist Dave Barry. Not surprising it hasn't come up yet, let me know if anyone else agrees!

I read the book when it came out and loved it, so was very excited about it being adapted into a movie. However the plot revolves around a suitcase sized bomb and an airplane, which was rough since the release was originally scheduled for September 2001. They pushed it about six months, but that didn't help and the movie totally bombed.

I didn't know the director off hand, but turns out it was Barry Sonnenfeld (Get Shorty - big ensemble movie, Big, Men in Black all well known). The script writers are a pair I don't know, so maybe that doesn't fit, Robert Ramsey and Matthew Stone.

A+ actor playing against type - Stanley Tucci, as the main antagonist
B+ actor, recently axed show - Tim Allen, who def chewed the scenery

Others in the cast include Jeanine Garofalo (who got a terrible sunburn at some point during filming and looked ridiculous) and Patrick Warburton as a pair of cops, Johnny Knoxville, Dennis Farina, Tom Sizemore, Ben Foster, Zoey Deschanel, and Renee Russo.

And the best line / most memorable moment is definitely when Stanley Tucci is tripping balls because of a hallucinogenic toad and thinks his dog has Martha Stewart's face and it's barking "arugula, arugula". They actually got her to do it and cg'd her in. You've gotta see it.

I actually like both the book and the movie (if you can't tell), maybe I'll have to watch it again this weekend.

ameliazc said...

You guys got it on the nosie! I worked at Castle Rock Entertainment from 1996-2001, and everyone in freaking town had a term deal with us. It was like a clubhouse of the gifted, and there were few constraints on anybody. Obvs, anything Mr. King involved had free reign xoxo

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