Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Monday, June 10, 2019

This year's Bad Movie Month has quite the Marvel-ous line-up

One of the traditions here at LRG is that August is known as Bad Movie Month, where once a week during that time, we take a look at some of the saddest examples of cinematic story telling.

For our theme this time out, inspiration is drawn from one of the better displays of long term story and world building.

No matter if you're a fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe(MCU) or not, we can all agree that Avengers:Endgame was one of the major movie events of the year, rounding off over a decade of superhero films that successfully interconnected with each other as well as their respective audiences.

However, not all of the actors in those films have a solid stack of quality work on their resume. So, we then embark on what I'm calling Avengers:FilmFail. Since there are numerous characters in the MCU, our focus will be on four of the main Avengers-Iron Man(Robert Downey,Jr), Thor (Chris Hemsworth), Captain America (Chris Evans) and Black Widow(Scarlett Johannson). Each of chosen cinematic stinkers has one of them in a starring role with perhaps a co-star from the MCU who, one way or the other, joins in the dubious fun:

DUE DATE: For Robert Downey Jr., I chose this 2010 road trip comedy and I can hear some of you saying, "Hey, this movie was a box office hit! How can it be one of your bad movies?"

Well, for one thing, just because a movie is financially successful doesn't mean that it's good-keep in mind, that Transformers flick that had King Arthur's knights in the mix(that will be important later on in this post).

Critics were less than thrilled with this movie as RDJ teams up with a "look how weird I am!" Zach Galifianakis as two unlikely companions forced to take to the road together, thanks to a misunderstanding at the airport. Yes, a terrorist joke is the cause.

As Downey struggles to get home in time to witness the birth of his first child, Zach plans to scatter his recently deceased father's ashes but little things like a "Stage Name ID" and a run in with the Mexican police tend to slow them down. This attempt at combining The Hangover with Planes,Trains and Automobiles sounds more a barrel full of headaches than hearty laughs. Also, Jamie Foxx, who played a villain in the Amazing Spiderman sequel, shows up to make this pick a bit MCU adjacent:

RED DAWN(2012): This remake of the 1984 warhawk movie was awful enough to earn a Razzie nomination and while the original film has the distinction of being the first American release to get a  PG-13 rating, this version made headlines for changing it's invaders from Chinese to North Korean(insert your topical joke here).

Hemsworth takes on the role originated by Patrick Swayze, as returning Marine Jed, who goes home just in time to help the locals fight back against the invading army suddenly at their doorstep. Why any invading force would go after a small town instead of a major city is beyond me but hey, gotta follow that original formula!

For a MCU connection, we have Adrienne Palicki(who played Bobbi Morse on the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. made for TV series) on board. As for the other actors, this is probably not the worst item on their resume but certainly not one any of them will want to highlight in the future either:

PLAYING IT COOL: I must admit that Chris Evans's performance as Captain America is one of my favorites in the MCU and I thoroughly enjoyed his take on Johnny Storm in those earlier Fantastic Four films.

However, while one of his FF co-stars(Ioan Giffurd) is the cast of this barely released 2015 romcom, this movie certainly doesn't sound fantastic. Evans plays a frustrated screenwriter who has to write a script for a romance before getting to work on the action movies that he prefers.

Feeling sour on love, he meets up with what seems like the perfect woman for him(Michelle Monaghan, who plays RDJ's wife in Due Date-is that a wild coincidence or what?), only she's engaged to someone else. Hilarity is supposed to occur but given that this film was pushed into VOD as soon as possible, that's more of a threat than a promise.

For a direct MCU connection, Anthony Mackie,aka The Falcon, was cast as Evans' agent and while those two always have great chemistry on screen, this isn't supposed to be a bromance. Then again, maybe it should have been-might have made things a whole lot better!:

THE ISLAND: Just listen to the premise of this 2005 big budget film: Scarlett Johansson and Ewan McGregor are residents of a futuristic, isolated community where everyone dreams of winning a lottery that will take them to the title location for a chance at the good life.

But, surprise,surprise!-the two of them are clones, created as spare parts for rich folks, which was also the basis of a 1979 sci-fi flick called Parts: The Clonus Horror, which the studio had to play an out of court settlement for due to not getting those pesky rights to the previous material first.

What really sunk this movie at the box office and with critics,however, can be summed up in two words and one name-Michael Bay, who later on gave us that Transformers meets King Arthur film(see, I told you that was important to remember!). What could have been a decent sci-fi thriller turns into a big loud, blow-em-real-good type of movie that has an off kilter aftertaste, sort of like a peanut butter and sand paper sandwich.

The MCU link here is Djimon Hounsou, who appears in Guardians of the Galaxy and Captain Marvel and for a MCU adjacent, the late great Michael Clarke Duncan, who was the Kingpin in Daredevil. While Johansson has made eyebrow raising bad choices in her film career since then, hopefully she learned not to make the same mistake twice. Then again...:

I was happy to see Avengers:Endgame and look forward to the next batch of MCU films that will start a new set of adventures for all concerned. Even so, you can't help but tease the ones you love and Avengers:FilmFail is out to do just that this August, so with tongue in cheek I say Excelsior!:

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