Saturday, May 12, 2012

Sight and Sound Epic List of the Awesomely Bad: The Hicks

55 days at Peking (1963, Nicholas Ray): In this 'historical' epic,
Charlton Heston fights a land war in Asia single highhanded.

Jurassic Park  (1993, Steven Spielberg): The only good performance by a human is from Samuel L. Jackson--the chain-smoking IT geek.

They Died with Their Boots On (1941, Raoul Walsh): The epic story of George Custer: humanitarian, heartthrob, and all around good guy.

Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan (1982 Nicholas Meyer): Kirk's eulogy of Spock is one of the great cornball speeches of all time.

Planet of the Apes (1968, Franklin J. Schaffner): People loved it. The cast and crew hated it so much that they only agreed to do a sequel if they could blow-up the earth once and for all...they made three more (not counting the two remakes).

The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938, Michael Curtiz, William Keighley): Errol Flynn, like Charlton Heston, features twice on this list. The melodrama and disguises that wouldn't fool a Shakespearean character aside, the fight scenes are some of the best on film.

The Alamo (1960, John Wayne): John Wayne mortgaged his house to make this film and was paying for it 20 years later when he died. Wayne directs and stars (along side his son Patrick). It is rumored that he and Richard Widmark came to blows and never spoke again.

Die Hard 4 (2007, Len Wiseman): Aside from being a liberal plot to make people think that there was a Social Security Trust Fund worth robbing this is just a great action film with a pretty great cast (though no one knew it at the time) including Mary Elizabeth Winstead,Timothy Olyphant, and Zeljko Ivanek. The best part may be that this is the same 1980's action hero who clearly knows that he has been transplanted into a bizzaro 2000's action film.

Kelley's Heroes (1970, Brian G. Hutton): Clint Eastwood leads a bunch of disaffected and dysfunctional G.I.s (including a squad hippies in tanks commanded by Donald Sutherland) on a mission to rob a bank full of Nazi gold.

Zulu (1964, Cy Endfield): Michael Caine's first staring film role (after 14 years of trying) is a bravo salute to the British Empire and the drunken, slovenly, ill-disciplined Tommy.

Honorable mention: Event Horizon (1997, Paul W.S. Anderson). Evil Naked Sam Neil! Honestly, I would love to put this on the list. It is more epic and more watchable than many of the others, but Paul Anderson only makes this sort of film and as a professional is ineligible to compete with film makers that are honestly trying.

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