Best of, Worst of… screw ‘em!
It’s time to sink through the mire towards the stuff down there nestled
under the surface. Past the big hits, cult classics, and respected
middle-tier stuff where the filler lives. Maybe even a little closer to
the bottom than the top. Treacherously close to the bombs, the stinkers,
and the abominations. Films that not only don’t get love but don’t
really even deserve love.

here. So with that we bring you… Ten Mediocre Films We Can’t Help But

Note: Each of these films is
embraced by a single editor. These are not committee decisions, not are
they representative of one unified editorial focus. Each author
is on their own.

Day Five – Oscar
Embraced by Nick Nunziata (email address for hate mail)

Director: John Landis
Writers: Michael Barrie, Jim Mulholland. Claude Magnier (Source Play)
Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Tim Curry, Ornella Muti, Peter Riegert, Harry Shearer, Kirk Douglas, Marisa Tomei, Vincent Spano, Don Ameche, Chazz Palminteri, Marshall Bell, Art LaFleur, Kurtwood Smith, Martin Ferraro
U.S. Box Office: $23,600,000 (Budget: $35,000,000)
Rotten Rating: 14%

There’s a part of me that wants to tell the system to go fuck itself and that Oscar is not a mediocre movie but rather a classic comedy. There’s also a part of me that tells me the reason I like Oscar has almost nothing to do with the movie and everything to do with my powerful personal wish for Sly Stallone to succeed at everything he does.

The truth is probably somewhere between.

“Sure I’ll accept your offer to murder the whole of Burma.”

Even though it’s a remake of a French comedy that was the remake of a French play, Oscar is a throwback to the screwball comedies of old [as were the originals]. From an era when it was perfectly sublime to embrace the silly and big humor that worked so well. Unfortunately, Stallone’s movies came out in an era [the early 90’s] where that stuff didn’t play. It’s a movie out of time, one laden with very talented performers and directed by someone who is without a doubt a legend.

John Landis. It’s funny, if you think of this guy’s career loaded with amazing films over a variety of genres and styles [I was torn between Oscar and Into the Night for this slot], this film may not even enter the mind. To see how the man who made Trading Places, Animal House, The Blues Brothers, and Kentucky Fried Movie approaches this kind of broad comedy is very interesting. Not always successful, but very interesting.

Don Ameche reacts poorly to the information that he is dead.

It’s a simple story of a gangster trying to go clean even though he knows no other way. Even though everyone he’s surrounded himself with either didn’t get the memo, don’t care, or are just too lunkheaded to comply. It’s a romp. Many of the moments don’t work but when they do they really do and there’s a kitchen sink mentality at work that adds so much goodwill to the film that it doesn’t matter. There’s a lot of heart here. There’s a cynicism free environment, which is fresh. There’s amazing work by Peter Riegert, Tim Curry, and the tandem of Harry Shearer and Martin Ferraro as the Fanucci Brothers. There’s a young Mariso Tomei still being hot as hell. There’s a Kirk Douglas oozing grit and grumpiness.

And in the middle of it is Sly. He tries his damndest and sometimes feels like he’s hosting SNL, a little out of his depth at times but giving it the college try. He’s actually a really funny guy but most of the time he’s playing straight man to all the colorful supporting performers or coasting on the fact that he was in this kind of movie.

But I love it. It’s a mess at times (it starts weakly) but it’s got so much character and energy that it bludgeons its viewer into falling in love with it. Landis is a genius and though he’s probably not going to want to brag about this film it’s a really nice little movie. A minor work, but not without charms.

I embrace you, Snaps Provolone and friends!

Sometime bitches need more than just to be told to leave.

this movie despite common sense’s grasp on you

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