Bob’s Bad Film Society

Years ago, way back before the kids were born, Bob and Chris, a couple of old friends, and I would convene a meeting of Bob’s Bad Film Society (BBFS).  As the name implies, the theme of this society was to pick some suitably bad film to go see.  In the early days we went to a movie theater to watch bad movies, but after we were all gifted with little children, the BBFS moved from first run movies to movies rented on VCR.  The girls joined our little society at this time, but unfortunately, they were not as enamored with the original spirit of the BBFS.  They wanted to see good movies.  In the spirit of compromise we tried to accommodate them, but something as pure in spirit as the BBFS was not able to survive that sort of compromise and faded into obscurity.

Partly as a tip of the hat to this once venerable institution, but mostly because my recent rental selections all have the look about them of BBFS candidates, I’m invoking the ghost of the BBFS and in this post offer these three promising candidates to its hall of shame:

  • Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief
  • Race to Witch Mountain
  • The Book of Eli

One thing that all three movies have in common, other than they are not that good, is that they all come from the genre of science fiction and fantasy.  Before I begin in earnest, I should touch upon the subject of movie spoilers.  I have no compunction about including spoilers in this post, so beware.  Since the whole idea of this post is to talk you out of seeing these movies, then “spoiling” them is actually a good thing.  Right?  😉

Starting with Percy, the synopsis is teenage boy finds out he is a god.  Well really only a demigod, but don’t tell Percy that.  It turns out that it is his dad, Poseidon that is the god.  Oh God!  Zeus is accusing Percy of shoplifting his favorite lightning bolt and threatens to destroy the world if he doesn’t get it back.  This will come as a horrible shock to the rest of the world, because where the hell has Zeus been for the last 2,500 or so years anyway?  Needless to say, Percy must clear his name, find the real culprit and then return the stolen bolt and since this movie is based upon the first of a popular five book children’s series, he probably has to do it four more times.  I can best describe this movie in three words, not Harry Potter, but it sure wants to be.

[Muse’s note: The Percy book are very popular with the younger generation.]

Witch Mountain is a waste of the Rock.  The Rock, Dwayne Johnson, is not a great actor, but at least he tries and that is more than I can say for this 2009 remake of this Disney classic.  In truth to call the original Witch Mountain a classic is a bit of a stretch too.  The synopsis is two towheaded aliens, space not illegal, well maybe both, land in Vegas for the weekend.  Being both space and illegal they attract the attention of the law.  The Rock plays a benighted cab driver that gets dragged into helping the little über kinder find their way home.  I thought about not including this movie, because I kind of liked it, but since the Rock hasn’t made a good movie yet, I didn’t want to ruin his perfect record.

I had high hopes for Eli, what with Denzel in it, but with high hopes also come high expectations.  Synopsis: Apocalypse is here, if you’re not dead yet, you will be soon.  In walks Eli, but I think that I will call him Denzel.  I mean he looks like Denzel, he talks like him and he even walks like him.  Who is this Eli character anyway?  The camera shoots looking up at Eli’s Denzel’s face.  “Cut, cut, cut. Makeup!  Mr. Washington has a nose hair showing.”  As per usual Gary Oldman tries to steal the show with his crazy madman, villain schtick.  Usually he succeeds, but in this film Oldman just looks old.  Mila Kunis did more to advance her career in the five minutes that she appeared in Date Night, than she did as the female lead in Eli.  Whippit!

Discerning readers might be asking themselves at this point, “Why does he watch this tripe?”  First off, I’m a sucker for both science fiction and fantasy.  Second, I watched most of these movies in the center seat at 40,000 feet.  Mindless dribble is much better than reality in such a situation.  Finally, bad movies make you appreciate good movies even more.  Maybe you don’t need to experiment as much as I have; maybe I’m just a slow learner.  Good movies are rare, bad movies make them even rarer and more valuable.  Maybe that is the undying truth of Bob’s Bad Film Society?

The photos with this post were taken by my brother, Chris.  They both show scenes around the Monterey Plaza Hotel.  Shot in high dynamic range, they lend an air of respectability to this poor little blog.  Thanks, Chris!

6 thoughts on “Bob’s Bad Film Society

  1. “Canadian Bacon” is absolutely the worst movie on earth. I don’t even remember what it was about, something about having a war with Canada. John Candy… He’s in “Cool Runnings” and I love that one, so go figger.

  2. This was John Candy’s last movie. He died the year before it came out. Also, Michael Moore was the director. This was his first and only non-documentary film.

  3. I think you missed your calling – no more the terrorist engineer – now film critic, and an amusing one at that. I’m going to start referring to you as a budding Rex Reed!

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