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(Onion AV Club)   A famously bad movie that...isn't actually bad?   (avclub.com) divider line
    More: Interesting, Warren Beatty, Dustin Hoffman, Elaine May, death of Elaine May, mercurial movie star, film history, great movie, Gene Siskel  
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4349 clicks; posted to Entertainment » on 21 May 2022 at 6:17 PM (6 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



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2022-05-21 1:40:10 PM  
I saw it on opening day. There were maybe a dozen people in the theater.  Halfway through the film broke. I was the only one who cared enough to go out to the lobby to tell someone. Everyone else was happy looking at the blank screen instead of Ishtar.
 
2022-05-21 2:04:28 PM  
It's not too bad, it's just the mega-budget made people expect something more. And all the money they spent filming in the desert made them think they should include a lot of that footage. The movie would be better if they cut that part by about 20 minutes.
 
2022-05-21 3:36:21 PM  

bingethinker: It's not too bad, it's just the mega-budget made people expect something more. And all the money they spent filming in the desert made them think they should include a lot of that footage. The movie would be better if they cut that part by about 20 minutes.


Snyder Cut?
 
2022-05-21 4:25:20 PM  
My god I nearly took a first date to that movie
 
2022-05-21 4:52:16 PM  
Doomed. Doomed.
 
2022-05-21 6:24:59 PM  
It's an interesting idea for an article, but what's it got to do with that suckfest Ishtar?
 
2022-05-21 6:27:10 PM  

syrynxx: My god I nearly took a first date to that movie


Here's one for you.  Finally asked my high school crush out with some friends to see Fear and Loathing.  She was quite petite so they wouldn't let her in.  We went to swap tickets and it was between Godzilla or Sliding Doors.  I picked lizard movie.  To this day the irony still makes me laugh.
 
2022-05-21 6:30:38 PM  
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA,...*siiiiiiigh*

No.
 
2022-05-21 6:33:53 PM  
We're trying to rehabilitate Ishtar? Really?!

What, did someone decide a reboot was economically viable & wanted to prepare the way, as if the Shadout Mapes became a movie critic?
 
2022-05-21 6:35:01 PM  
The article can tap dance all it wants to with its revisionist two-step, but it identified the problem with Ishtar early on and never revisited it:  Yes, it's a Hope and Crosby road picture.
However, the "Road" pictures were deliberately shot quickly and cheaply, looked it, and never took themselves remotely seriously. Plus, not one of them ran longer that a few minutes over an hour-and-a-half.
Also, Hope and Crosby were funny performers and had great chemistry together.  Beatty and Hoffman are great actors, but neither one is remotely funny.  it was obvious both wanted to find the "truth" behind their characters, and neither one could just let go and be a goof.
 
2022-05-21 6:46:29 PM  
I've never seen Ishtar, but as this is fark, let me regale you with my opinion of it...
 
2022-05-21 6:47:03 PM  
It's not horrible. It's just with the cast, it should have been better.
Just an average screenplay.

If you like the old road movies, this is on oar with them.
 
2022-05-21 6:48:37 PM  
It's Warren Beatty and Dustin Hoffman giving some of their worst performances.  I don't see any way to redeem it, it's not so bad it's good.
 
2022-05-21 6:49:30 PM  
I'll happily go to bad for a lot of movies that people generally regard as terrible- Superman 4, Hook, Star Trek 5, Masters of the Universe, etc. But Ishtar? Watching Warren Beatty and Dustin Hoffman intentionally sing badly and fumble around a desert is torture. At least when David Lynch blew $50 million on Dune we got some completely insane and disgusting visuals to go with the desert shiatshow.
 
2022-05-21 6:56:29 PM  

kryptoknightmare: I'll happily go to bad for a lot of movies that people generally regard as terrible- Superman 4, Hook, Star Trek 5, Masters of the Universe, etc. But Ishtar? Watching Warren Beatty and Dustin Hoffman intentionally sing badly and fumble around a desert is torture. At least when David Lynch blew $50 million on Dune we got some completely insane and disgusting visuals to go with the desert shiatshow.


Don't forget the shaved cat-milk antidote...
 
2022-05-21 7:03:23 PM  

kryptoknightmare: I'll happily go to bad for a lot of movies that people generally regard as terrible- Superman 4, Hook, Star Trek 5, Masters of the Universe, etc. But Ishtar? Watching Warren Beatty and Dustin Hoffman intentionally sing badly and fumble around a desert is torture. At least when David Lynch blew $50 million on Dune we got some completely insane and disgusting visuals to go with the desert shiatshow.


I'll go one further. At least with Hoffman there's some attached goodwill from his accumulated body of work, but Beatty? Haven't seen one single film of his that merits any of the status he enjoyed in the industry. He comes across as a cheap Ryan O'Neal.
 
2022-05-21 7:11:58 PM  
It's fine. Beatty is terrible in it, but I'd argue he's been overrated since day 1. It never deserved the ridicule it received, but when tens of millions of dollars immediately go to two overhyped leads it's hard for a film to recover in the eyes of the public.
 
2022-05-21 7:14:41 PM  

Bslim: kryptoknightmare: I'll happily go to bad for a lot of movies that people generally regard as terrible- Superman 4, Hook, Star Trek 5, Masters of the Universe, etc. But Ishtar? Watching Warren Beatty and Dustin Hoffman intentionally sing badly and fumble around a desert is torture. At least when David Lynch blew $50 million on Dune we got some completely insane and disgusting visuals to go with the desert shiatshow.

I'll go one further. At least with Hoffman there's some attached goodwill from his accumulated body of work, but Beatty? Haven't seen one single film of his that merits any of the status he enjoyed in the industry. He comes across as a cheap Ryan O'Neal.


I would nominate Bonnie and Clyde, The Parallax View, McCabe & Mrs. Miller, and Shampoo here.
 
2022-05-21 7:18:59 PM  

kryptoknightmare: I'll happily go to bad for a lot of movies that people generally regard as terrible- Superman 4, Hook, Star Trek 5, Masters of the Universe, etc. But Ishtar? Watching Warren Beatty and Dustin Hoffman intentionally sing badly and fumble around a desert is torture. At least when David Lynch blew $50 million on Dune we got some completely insane and disgusting visuals to go with the desert shiatshow.


Wait, people think Hook is bad?
 
2022-05-21 7:23:11 PM  

Abe Vigoda's Ghost: It's not horrible. It's just with the cast, it should have been better.
Just an average screenplay.

If you like the old road movies, this is on oar with them.


That comment may cause quite a row.
 
2022-05-21 7:24:37 PM  

Abe Vigoda's Ghost: It's not horrible. It's just with the cast, it should have been better.
Just an average screenplay.

If you like the old road movies, this is on oar with them.


Only if you hate the old Bob and Bing road movies. Ishtar is more accurately on par with a throwaway final sketch on SNL, where the celebrity guest gets to sing and indulge themselves in a character that only they find amusing. It isn't the worst movie ever, but it's not worth anyone's time to sit through.
 
2022-05-21 7:25:20 PM  
I saw it twice in the theatres because I wasn't sure what I'd seen the first time, but I do know that Isabelle Adjani flashed her knockers.  They were simpler times.
 
2022-05-21 7:25:44 PM  

LrdPhoenix: kryptoknightmare: I'll happily go to bad for a lot of movies that people generally regard as terrible- Superman 4, Hook, Star Trek 5, Masters of the Universe, etc. But Ishtar? Watching Warren Beatty and Dustin Hoffman intentionally sing badly and fumble around a desert is torture. At least when David Lynch blew $50 million on Dune we got some completely insane and disgusting visuals to go with the desert shiatshow.

Wait, people think Hook is bad?


*Raises hand*
 
2022-05-21 7:27:18 PM  
kirkhamamovieaday.files.wordpress.comView Full Size
 
2022-05-21 7:31:03 PM  

jake_lex: I would nominate


+Heaven Can Wait...mentioned in the article.

Bslim: He comes across as a cheap Ryan O'Neal.


Line them up on IMdB and show your work; A 3 year gap is consistent.
(I had known O'Neal didn't make a jump into feature films as solidly because I'd read Biskind on Bonnie&Clyde and was a Paper Moon fan when a child, BUT I didn't know they'd both worked on Dobie Gillis.)
 
2022-05-21 7:39:24 PM  

WhippingBoi: I've never seen Ishtar, but as this is fark, let me regale you with my opinion of it...


Heartily agree. I've never seen it and it's terrible.

/lol
 
2022-05-21 7:40:50 PM  
I can't wait until they try to rehabilitate Gigli.
 
433 [TotalFark]
2022-05-21 7:41:58 PM  
Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2022-05-21 7:43:39 PM  

Sub Human: WhippingBoi: I've never seen Ishtar, but as this is fark, let me regale you with my opinion of it...

Heartily agree. I've never seen it and it's terrible.

/lol


Both can be true. I've never seen Transformers: The Last Knight, but everyone who did assures me it's awful. I can accept that as reliable data. It's not like a variation on Schrodinger's Cat where the awfulness isn't determined until I personally observe it.
 
2022-05-21 7:50:09 PM  
Give Steven Soderbergh the raw footage shot and access to all the music recorded as well

There is a decent enough movie in there.
 
2022-05-21 7:50:30 PM  

LrdPhoenix: kryptoknightmare: I'll happily go to bad for a lot of movies that people generally regard as terrible- Superman 4, Hook, Star Trek 5, Masters of the Universe, etc. But Ishtar? Watching Warren Beatty and Dustin Hoffman intentionally sing badly and fumble around a desert is torture. At least when David Lynch blew $50 million on Dune we got some completely insane and disgusting visuals to go with the desert shiatshow.

Wait, people think Hook is bad?


Ebert's review

I was Phantom Menace'd by it. Loved it because I was six when it came out and was the target audience, but Julia Roberts, Dustin Hoffman, and Bob Hoskins are the only ones in it that treat it as the campy fairytale it is.
 
2022-05-21 8:01:41 PM  

Plaster Lion: It's fine. Beatty is terrible in it, but I'd argue he's been overrated since day 1. It never deserved the ridicule it received, but when tens of millions of dollars immediately go to two overhyped leads it's hard for a film to recover in the eyes of the public.


He was great in Dick Tracy.
 
2022-05-21 8:07:17 PM  
I've always liked it and have been arguing that it was a decent film for years. Not a great film, but pretty good overall and the first 20 minutes are great, as is the arms auction scene. There are weak parts (when they arrive in Ishtar until they buy the camel) and the ending is badly rushed, but it's not terrible.

People hated the big price tag, and the studio wanted it to fail, but not everyone thought it was terrible. Clive Barnes of the New York Times gave it an honorable mention on his ten best movies that year, and Newsday gave it a good review.
 
2022-05-21 8:18:30 PM  
Yes it was. Come on now. Knock that off.
 
2022-05-21 8:34:21 PM  
Telling the truth can be dangerous business. Honest and popular don't go hand in hand. If you admit that you can play the accordion, no one will hire you for a rock n roll band. But we can siiiiiing....
/just as good as anything Simon & Garfunkel put out
 
2022-05-21 8:38:54 PM  

NathanAllen: I can't wait until they try to rehabilitate Gigli.


"gobble gobble"
 
2022-05-21 8:39:07 PM  

Exile On Beale Street: Telling the truth can be dangerous business. Honest and popular don't go hand in hand. If you admit that you can play the accordion, no one will hire you for a rock n roll band. But we can siiiiiing....
/just as good as anything Simon & Garfunkel put out


But not as good as the worst thing Weird Al's ever put out. And the accordian playing never held him back.
 
2022-05-21 8:41:07 PM  
Macgruber got awful reviews and bombed hard at the box office. But it might be the funniest movie if the '10s and is incredible. That'd be my choice
 
2022-05-21 8:53:42 PM  
It's about two horrendously bad singers, so it's easy to perceive their lack of talent as the movie being terrible. But between the cringe songs, the blind camel and the mixed up espionage, there's plenty of laughs throughout.
 
2022-05-21 8:54:58 PM  
There's Beatty movies I've enjoyed, but Beatty's performing style is an odd combination of squinting dumbly and not responding to questions when he's being asked them.
 
2022-05-21 8:56:29 PM  

TDWCom29: Macgruber got awful reviews and bombed hard at the box office. But it might be the funniest movie if the '10s and is incredible. That'd be my choice


Oops, read the headline as "Name a famously bad movie that isn't actually that bad". So, uh, that's the reason for the seemingly random Macgruber praise
 
2022-05-21 9:03:41 PM  

jake_lex: Bslim: kryptoknightmare: I'll happily go to bad for a lot of movies that people generally regard as terrible- Superman 4, Hook, Star Trek 5, Masters of the Universe, etc. But Ishtar? Watching Warren Beatty and Dustin Hoffman intentionally sing badly and fumble around a desert is torture. At least when David Lynch blew $50 million on Dune we got some completely insane and disgusting visuals to go with the desert shiatshow.

I'll go one further. At least with Hoffman there's some attached goodwill from his accumulated body of work, but Beatty? Haven't seen one single film of his that merits any of the status he enjoyed in the industry. He comes across as a cheap Ryan O'Neal.

I would nominate Bonnie and Clyde, The Parallax View, McCabe & Mrs. Miller, and Shampoo here.


Throw in Heaven can Wait and the fact he produced a few of those. Bslim is not very informed.
 
2022-05-21 9:04:56 PM  

RandyJohnson: jake_lex: Bslim: kryptoknightmare: I'll happily go to bad for a lot of movies that people generally regard as terrible- Superman 4, Hook, Star Trek 5, Masters of the Universe, etc. But Ishtar? Watching Warren Beatty and Dustin Hoffman intentionally sing badly and fumble around a desert is torture. At least when David Lynch blew $50 million on Dune we got some completely insane and disgusting visuals to go with the desert shiatshow.

I'll go one further. At least with Hoffman there's some attached goodwill from his accumulated body of work, but Beatty? Haven't seen one single film of his that merits any of the status he enjoyed in the industry. He comes across as a cheap Ryan O'Neal.

I would nominate Bonnie and Clyde, The Parallax View, McCabe & Mrs. Miller, and Shampoo here.

Throw in Heaven can Wait and the fact he produced a few of those. Bslim is not very informed.


Reds
 
2022-05-21 9:32:07 PM  

scanman61: NathanAllen: I can't wait until they try to rehabilitate Gigli.

"gobble gobble"


The sex.

Fark user imageView Full Size
 
2022-05-21 9:50:33 PM  
Ok, let's run it through:
Reds, had Keaton, Nicholson, Hackman among others in a seriously talented cast.
Shampoo, another great ensemble with Beatty playing a cad and womanizer (basically himself) character. A real "tour-de-force" there.
Bonnie and Clyde, I'll give you that one (even if the real star is Faye Dunaway).
Parallax View, I sort of remember  but it has nothing that Osterman Weekend didn't pull off better  in '83 with a superior cast.

Heaven Can Wait, another awesome ensemble cast carried this very mediocre actor.

Bugsy, self-fellating, overproduced garbage. A vanity project and vehicle for his girlfriend Annette Benning whom he'd been trying to cast in every project in typical tacky 60's Hollywood scumbag fashion. The dude was  a f*cking dinosaur when that movie got made and it barely made back its budget. A boring gangster movie at the same time Scorsese released Goodfellas.
 
2022-05-21 9:53:43 PM  

Exile On Beale Street: Telling the truth can be dangerous business. Honest and popular don't go hand in hand. If you admit that you can play the accordion, no one will hire you for a rock n roll band. But we can siiiiiing....
/just as good as anything Simon & Garfunkel put out


I'm leaving some love in my will.
 
2022-05-21 9:56:37 PM  

Snatch Bandergrip: There's Beatty movies I've enjoyed, but Beatty's performing style is an odd combination of squinting dumbly and not responding to questions when he's being asked them.


I really didn't like Shampoo or Bonnie and Clyde, and for all intents and purposes they should be films I love. I will never understand Beatty's appeal.
 
2022-05-21 10:23:14 PM  
Elaine May famously said "If half the people complaining about Ishtar had actually gone to see it, it would have been a hit."
 
2022-05-21 10:37:40 PM  
Best of the Worst: The Star Wars Holiday Special
Youtube _CtUd0yuYN4


/actually relevant
 
2022-05-21 10:45:29 PM  
"spies like us" meets Ishtar
 
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