The Worst of the Worst – Are They Really That Bad?

May 7, 2018

Glitter (2001)

Starring Mariah Carey, “Glitter” was supposed to be a breakthrough to acting for the prominent singer. Set in 1982, the film revolves around Billie Frank (Carey) who aspires to be a famous singer after overcoming a rough childhood. Billie rises to stardom, but quickly discovers that it is not what it was made out to be.

Boasting a 7% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, “Glitter” was panned upon release. Critics commonly rank the movie among some of the worst ever made. Many cite Carey as the main problem for the movie, calling out her acting and seeing it as a vanity project for the singer.

After watching the movie I agree with the rating. To start, for a movie set in 1982, there was no effort made to show the period. I only learned of the setting when looking up the rating. While all the acting was poor, the standout worst performance was Carey. Her performance was stiff, with Carey struggling to be a fictionalized version of herself. Beyond the acting, “Glitter” made very little sense. The plot was painfully hard to follow. It wasn’t because the movie was complex, but because there were so many gaps in the story. Also, big events would happen that would make little to no sense based on what you knew. They kept cutting from part to part with little transitions. An example of this is when she met a guy once, and then in the next scene they knew everything about each other and were completely in love. Five minutes later, they guy was shot and Billie (Carey) goes on stage telling everyone to never take anyone for granted. This would have been okay enough for a plot, but there was so little explanation for anything going on, which left me to question what I was watching.

The movie would have blended in among the movies that follow the overused rags-to-riches storyline, but it goes very wrong. Most movies that follow this vague plot aren’t meant to be taken too seriously…“Glitterwas meant to be a serious dramatic movie that would merge Carey’s successful singing career into acting. Because of this, it didn’t even have the cheesy enjoyability factor that many bad movies have. In summary, it was very easy to see why “Glitter” is ranked among some of the worst movies ever made because it was bad, but not in the way that you could appreciate it.

Battlefield Earth (2000)

“Battlefield Earth” was a film based on scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard’s novel of the same name. The film was largely produced by and stars famous actor and scientologist John Travolta. “Battlefield Earth” is set in the year 3000, starring John Travolta and Forest Whitaker. It follows aliens called psychlos who have ruled earth for 1,000 years. After trying to use the remaining humans for labor, the humans stage a rebellion.

“Battlefield Earth” was doomed from the start. It had a large budget of $73 million dollars, much of which was contributed by Travolta himself, and didn’t even make back half its original budget. With a Rotten Tomatoes score of 3%, almost every part of the film was criticized. However, the movie has gained somewhat of a cult following, falling under the category of “it’s so bad, it’s good.”

There was something sort of enjoyable about “Battlefield Earth.” Not because it was a quality film, but because it was that horrible. The plot made very little sense, with much of it just being people mining for gold and the aliens talking about dogs and other common human things. Every aspect of the film was off. The camera angles didn’t make any sense and I was constantly tilting my head to get a clear view. The acting was stiff to the point that it was laughable. The costumes were so over-the-top I couldn’t tell what I was looking at. Finally, there was always loud, overdramatic sound effects that never quite synced up to what was actually happening.

Even though there was something funny about how cringe-inducing “Battlefield Earthwas, it more than deserves its low rating. The film would have received bad, but not appalling reviews if it was meant to be a comedy. But the film was meant to be taken seriously, which was its downfall. It is easy to see why “Battlefield Earth” got such bad reviews.

The Wicker Man (2006)

A remake of the 1973 movie of the same name, which had received generally positive critical response. However, the 2006 remake stayed true and far exceeded the idea that the remake is never as good as the original. The remake stars Nicolas Cage, who is infamous for overacting. The general plot follows policeman Edward Malus (Cage) who goes to a secluded island to investigate the disappearance of a girl. There, he observes the odd and evil rituals among the people, including a harvest with a possible human sacrifice.

Because “The Wicker Man” is a remake, it wasn’t the general plot of the movie that was criticized. It was everything else. Among those things, the screenplay was called out for being poorly written. At one point Cage’s character says to a woman holding a bloody bag, “What’s in the bag? A shark or something?” According to critics, the worst part of the film was Cage’s acting. He overacted so much that a couple scenes from the movie have become Internet memes.

“The Wicker Manwas pretty awful. However, it could also be pretty funny. There were many scenes that were so over-the-top that you can’t help but laugh. For example, at one point Cage’s character holds a woman at gunpoint- for her bike. The rest of the movie however, was boring. If you just focus on the over the top acting and background music, it isn’t a terrible watch.

From a critic’s point of view, it doesn’t take a lot to realize that “The Wicker Man” is bad. The whole thing is excessive. I think there was some intention for it to be a critical success, but I think the creators and everyone involved in the process knew that it was not good. It’s obvious that “The Wicker Man” is bad, but if you appreciate how over the top it is, it’s not awful.


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