The Year Project: 1988 part 2

This is the second installment of my year project. Last Friday, I counted down my top ten favorite movies of 1988. Today, I am going to count down the worst movies of 1988 in my humble opinion. So without further ado, here are some of the most terrible movies ever made.

9. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. Directed by Frank Oz. Starring Steve Martin and Michael Caine.

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Apparently I have only seen nineteen movies that have come out in 1988. (Probably something I should have looked at when I decided to do these posts.) So a movie that would otherwise be in the space between bottom and top lands on the lower end of the bottom mainly because I felt it was a forgetful movie with not very many jokes. It is so forgetful that I barely remember watching it. Take that Steve Martin and Michael Caine.

8. Killer Klowns from Outer Space. Directed by Stephen Chiodo.

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This is a so bad it’s good movie. I couldn’t in good conscience put it on my top ten list because there were actual good movies that came out this year, but I feel bad for sticking it here. I have a couple of really fun nights with friends watching this movie. Aliens that take the form of unintentionally creepy clowns invade a small town. Teenagers band together and try to save the town from ultimate destruction. The clown aliens’ ship is a circus tent. The main characters names Mike Tobacco and Debbie Stone. The acting is atrocious and the plot is downright silly. Despite this being on my bottom list, I recommend putting this on when you have a group of people over. It is the ultimate party movie.

7. Mississippi Burning. Directed by Alan Parker. Starring Willem Dafoe, Gene Hackman, and Frances Macdormand.

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Most of my resentment towards this movie is based on the fact I had to study it while in high school. I had a religion teacher that wasn’t too fond of teaching, but in good conscience (he was teaching an ethics class) couldn’t let us goof off and watch actually good movies. So he submitted us to this and the Roots saga. At least we didn’t have to hear him smack his lips for a whole hour. If I revisited this movie, I probably would like it more, but I do not want to mainly because I remember it being super depressing. It is about the disappearance of civil rights activists in the sixties, after all.

6. The Last Temptation of Christ. Directed by Martin Scorsese. Starring Willem Dafoe and Harvey Keitel.

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I am usually predisposed to like everything that Martin Scorsese creates, but this one missed the mark for me. Maybe it was Harvey Keitel’s garish red hair or the insane amount of suffering Willem Dafoe as Jesus was put through that wasn’t really in the source material. I think it was ultimately I couldn’t stay awake while watching this movie. I have heard this story told time and time again and this movie wasn’t different enough for me to really care. I think that Scorsese got wrapped up in his passion project too much to have any perspective on his choices. Almost every choice he made from casting to pacing was wrong. Willem Dafoe puts in an admirable effort, but he was not right for the role of Jesus.

5. Big. Directed by Penny Marshall. Starring Tom Hanks

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Just like Tom Hanks, this movie is pretty inoffensive. There are few great scenes (like the piano scene) and a few boring ones. There are a few laughs and a few groans. But mostly this movie is on here because it was pretty unimaginative despite it being about an imaginative man.

4. Rain Man. Directed by Barry Levinson. Starring Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise.

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This movie started the craze of earnest actor playing a mentally handicapped character for a guaranteed Oscar nomination. For that alone I resent this movie. I also resent it because it was too long, too uninteresting and too exploitative. Although those Lamborghini at the beginning of the film look pretty sweet.

3. The Land Before Time. Directed by Don Bluth

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This movie was the favorite of all the small children at the daycare center I went to. Because I grew up being pretentious, I resented these five-year old kids (when I was six and seven) for liking a movie about talking dinosaurs. Like all Don Bluth movies, the animation leaves much to be desired and the manipulation of the heart-strings is too obvious. Of course I would probably like this movie more if I revisited it today. But that is more than likely never going to happen.

2. Akira. Directed by Katsuhiro Otomo.

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If you know your Japanese anime history, you know this is a controversial choice. This movie is pointed to as one of the first movies to give Japanese anime culture some legitimacy. Many anime fans experience this movie very early on in their viewing exploration of this genre and is usually an indicator of whether or not it will become a hobby of theirs. Usually if a person hates this movie, they won’t pursue anime and if they love it, they will talk your head off about how amazing the new transfer is on BluRay. This does not stop me from hating this film with a passion. In fact most of Otomo’s work has left me violently angry. His characters terrible assheads, his animation does not hold up, and his story wonders too much to keep me engaged.

1. Twins. Directed by Ivan Reitman. Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny Devito.

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What list about 1988 would be complete without the mention of this pop culture monstrosity? Terrible from beginning to end, Arnold is not a good comedian and he proves it here. Danny Devito tries his best, but is also short-changed by the script and his foil, Arnnie. Ugh. This isn’t even this movie is so bad that its funny. It is just bad. And oh yeah did I tell you that Danny Devito has a pony tail? Gag me with a spoon already.

Let me know how wrong you think I am or if you have any suggestions to add to the worst of 1988 list in the comments.

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