A wise man once said, "Nobody sets out to make a bad movie." And, while I fully believe this and would love to believe in the sanctity of cinema, I have seen Moonfall, so do have serious doubts.
For every Oscar winner there has to be a flip side – so there are plenty of real stinkers out there. In some rare occasions though, a film that is objectively terrible can turn out to have a loyal and unwavering fan base who without hesitation will tell that you are wrong. They'll also believe the critics are wrong, the box office is wrong, and there is simply a huge conspiracy against them and their beloved, yet terrible movie.
Here are three guilty pleasures of ours that you can stream right now on the best streaming services. We won't have a bad word said against them.
- Where: Netflix
- Directed by: David Ayer
- Stars: Will Smith, Joel Edgerton, Noomi Rapace
Bright is a film that was so highly anticipated when the story was sold to Netflix by Max Landis for $3.5 million, a sequel was already signed off before one second of the first had been made. It was even heralded as the flagship of Netflix’s new raft of original titles.
Netflix reportedly splurged $90 million on it too, securing a Hollywood "A-List" celebrity at the helm in Will Smith. However, on release, it was unceremoniously ripped apart by the critics, ignored by viewers and then instantly forgotten about.
Bright tells the story of a modern day LA where humans live in relative harmony with fantasy creatures, such as orcs, elves and fairies. It follows Smith’s experienced and jaded police officer, Daryl Ward, and his new orc partner, Nick Jakoby, as they are dragged into a conspiracy that threatens to destroy the balance between humans and the other races.
Sadly, it flopped. It was pretty much cast aside by Netflix, the proposed sequel never surfaced, and everyone involved stopped talking about the film very soon after release.
The sad thing is, it was never that bad and its exile was undeserved. If you go into Bright with an open mind, ignore the bad press, ignore the reviews and just allow yourself to see it for what it is, you get an enjoyable adult fantasy film with strong central performances. It tells a good story too, based on solid lore with some nice action and effect sequences.
Yes it's a bit corny, pointless and rambling, but it's a decent Sunday afternoon watch.
Hercules in New York
- Where: Amazon Prime Video
- Directed by: Arthur Allen Seidelman
- Stars: Arnold "Strong" Schwarzenegger, Arnold Stang, Deborah Loomis
I love Arnold Strong. Loved him in Predator, loved him in Terminator, even in Kindergarten Cop. Honestly, I have no idea why he went and changed his name to something complicated like Arnold Schwarzezegger.
Hercules In New York was released in 1970 and marked the movie debut of a very young and very large Arnold Schwarzenegger. With his name changed to suit the American cinema-going public and his voice dubbed over by an American actor (much to his disappointment), the film is absolute trash from start to finish. But, in all the right ways.
The story is largely hokum – the god Hercules becomes bored of doing god-like stuff so travels to New York to see what life among mortals is like, with "hilarious" results. Indeed, the entire film is just a thinly-veiled excuse for Arnie to lift things up and down, throw bad guys around and take his top off every time women pop-up. And in this it succeeds perfectly.
It is a terrible film no doubt, but there is a certain kind of joy in watching an actor we all grew up with at the start of his career, bumbling around, being terrible but also strangely charming.
On a side note, Hercules In New York is the movie Arnie regrets doing the most and, even now in 2023, he has a clause in every interview contract that if it is brought up he gets to end the interview instantly.
Arnold Strong wouldn't be so hung up over it, I'm sure.
Jingle All The Way
- Where: Disney+
- Directed by: Brian Levant
- Stars: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sinbad, Phil Hartman
There are many who claim Die Hard is the greatest Christmas movie of all time. Others drop names like Home Alone, Santa Claus The Movie, or Miracle On 34th Street into the conversation... they are all wrong.
In fact, the greatest Christmas movie of all time was released in 1996, also starred the Austrian Oak himself, post Arnold Strong, and was centred around the true meaning of Christmas, aggressive capitalism, consumerism and neglectful parenting.
Schwarzenegger plays Howard Langston, a workaholic dad who discovers on Christmas Eve that he has completely forgotten to get his son the one gift he truly wants, threatening to ruin Christmas for everyone. What follows is 90 minutes of repeated assaults, acts of terrorism, implied marital infidelity, destruction of public property, theft, and a final scene where he threatens to completely ruin a planned community parade through his own selfish actions... all just before Christmas.
Jingle All The Way is a terrible film in pretty much every way. The script is hilariously bad, the story is at best morally ambiguous, and the implied message seems to be "destroy everybody who stands in your way in getting what you want".
But the thing is.... it's also absolutely brilliant in all the ways you need it to be. It's stupid, bold, brash, loud, funny and has Schwarzenegger at his comedy best playing a man who, despite working full time in a shop and "never having time for anything else" is absolutely huge and obviously still spends hours per day in a gym. We just don't mention this.
It is, in fact, my all time favourite Christmas film – partly because of its faults. It has a beautiful spirit and reminds me of when movies used to be content with being stupid and poorly made.