TEN MOVIES I NEVER WANT TO SEE ON CABLE AGAIN by Brian Roper

Posted: October 7, 2007 in The Roper Files

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# 1…THE WORLD ACCORDING TO GARP…I’ve always hated Robin Williams, possibly the worlds most over-rated comedian (until Jim Carrey came along anyway) and I think I could possibly pad this entire list with almost any film he’s ever been in. But this was on cable just a few minutes ago and I also chose this RW feature because it has that funny-as-a-red-light-camera-ticket John Lithgow (this generations Franklin Pangborn). When my parents first got cable in the early 80’s, I remember this movie being a staple. And for the life of me twenty-plus years later it’s still a mystery how this ever got produced. Excuse me while I reach for the thesaurus; it’s too early in the morning for me to think of enough adjectives to describe how stupid and pointless this film is. One of those movies that makes me feel guilty about not getting off my ass and going for a walk or something anything besides sitting in the house and wasting ninety minutes of my time with this dreck.

# 2…STRIPES…When ANIMAL HOUSE became a record-setting box-office hit, Hollywood looted the talent pool in one swoop from National Lampoon, SCTV, Saturday Night Live, and anyone even remotely connected with them. STRIPES pretty much represents the typical Hollywood attempt to Frankenstein another ANIMAL HOUSE-type success. How could it lose? John Candy AND Bill Murray? Harold Ramis? I loved John Candys work on SCTV, and Bill Murray had his moments on SNL, but Harold Ramis has about as much screen presence as the Maytag Repairman. Add a GOMER PYLE pilot plot-line that lasts 90 minutes and centers around something that looks like a Mexican RV and you’ve got the most forgettable 90 minute excuse for a movie you never wanted to sit through. 

# 3… MOMMY DEAREST… A two-hour Mr. Bill Show; we ALL love watching kids being abused, don’t we? Somebody thought so; how else did this get made? They ought to make terror suspects watch this instead of water-boarding them. I bet they’d talk, too.  

# 4…BODY HEAT…I actually groaned through this in a theater. Did anybody really need to see William Hurts ass spread across a fifty-foot screen? Kathleen Turners maybe, but there wasn’t enough of that to hold my interest. It would make more sense to me if it was dubbed into Italian. During the early days of cable this too was shown over and over, just like our next turkey…

# 5…MODERN PROBLEMS…”Iyyyyyy…like it!” temporarily became one of the movies most quoted lines over many a mirror in the early 80’s, but one funny line does not a classic comedy make. Another pathetic attempt at a ANIMAL HOUSE-type hit using a then-popular SNL cast member. 

# 6…THE BIG LEBOWSKI…I know I’m gonna get hate mail for including a modern-day cult film, but this should have been SO much better. I love the majority of the Coen brothers work, I really do. And LEBOWSKI has a cast any director could kill for. So HOW did they fuck it up so badly? I love the way the film starts and the ending with Sam Elliott is not without its charm. I just wish the middle part of the movie was that enjoyable. WHAT is the entertainment value in watching the films only likable character being beaten up over and over? Or watching his few possessions being destroyed? This is the kind of film that makes me look out the door and reminds me I need to be mowing the yard instead of watching TV. 

# 7…THE TERMINATOR…Dress up Tor Johnson in a black leather jacket and a pair of Elvis “Vegas-period” sunglasses and what do you have? The sleeper hit of the early 80’s, that’s what. This is on even today constantly. I like seeing Bill Paxton as a punk-rocker at the beginning, but I hate seeing one of my favorite character actors (Dick Miller) being shot in the first 10 minutes. As for the rest of it, once you’ve seen it, you’ve seen it. Quit showing this every day! 

# 8…PRIVATE BENJAMIN…Let’s lift the plot from STRIPES, substitute women for the male actors; how can it miss? Another cable staple from the 80’s. I once turned on the cable and this was on no less than four channels at the same time!

 # 9…SUMMER LOVERS… This too was on just a few minutes ago. Someones attempt at marketing soft-core porn to teenage girls; how ambitious! I remember when this was in theaters. I got so tired of that stupid trailer on tv they showed non-stop over and over with the couple in their swimsuits buying tickets to it and then the girl losing her bikini top (not that you saw anything, mind you) in front of the  box office . Yeah sure Daryl Hannah looked great back then but that alone didn’t make this a great movie by any stretch.

And here’s the one I’ve been biting my tongue for the entire time I typed this: 

#10…SEQUELS, RE-MAKES and MOVIES BASED ON VIDEOGAMES AND AMUSEMENT PARK RIDES or anything Steven King ever wrote, or the Eddie Murphy movie of your choice…Each of these could have made a separate list; there’s just too damn many of them to list: KING KONG, DAWN OF THE DEAD, HILLS HAVE EYES, TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, THE PRODUCERS etc. FUCK YOU cable companies! Show the originals once in a while ! They were BETTER!

DISHONORABLE MENTIONS (these got left off the list because for whatever reason they’ve quit showing these as frequently as they used to, thank God) RAGTIME, UNDER THE RAINBOW, 1941, NEIGHBORS, SPLASH, PROTOCOL, POLTERGEIST, DC CAB, HOOSIERS, SERIAL, RAMBO, WAR GAMES, RED DAWN (the REEFER MADNESS of the 80’s)  USED CARS,  9 to 5, THE BORDER, TOP GUN, DOCTOR DETROIT, DEAL OF THE CENTURY, ANNIE, GREASE, THE GAUNTLET, PORKYS, THE DEER HUNTER, GHOSTBUSTERS, MISSING IN ACTION

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