June 8, 2016

"This baffling legal thriller could be shown in film schools as a textbook example of how not to make a movie."

"Every decision, be it plot, casting, photography, sound, and probably even catering, is a bad one. Performances, particularly those of Hopkins (corrupt billionaire), Pacino (corrupt lawyer) and Malin Akerman (corrupt billionaire’s unhinged girlfriend), reach world-class levels of set-munching dreadfulness. Director Shimosawa is fond of ominous, slow camera pans that finally come to rest on something innocuous like a fridge. The score is thunderously stupid. And the plot is so tangled that you start to wonder if anyone actually read it before greenlighting the project."

Just one of the many bad reviews for "Misconduct," which I looked up after Drudge sent me to "Al Pacino-Anthony Hopkins Movie Has 16 Executive Producers, Cost $11 Mil, Made $0."



Most up-voted comment on the trailer at YouTube: "Thumbs up for Al Pacino's hair at 0:25."

30 comments:

mikee said...

Still a better romance than Twilight.

rhhardin said...

I should have made a list of stinkers in my DVD survey. Some are spectacularly bad, at least in the couple of minutes before bailing out.

A list of stinker endings might be in order as well, where the movie is okay but the ending is random weird, as if an imaginary avant garde focus group was suddenly imported.

The narrative arc builds, climaxes, descends, and then leaps into a pile of shit.

Will Cate said...

"Just one" << bad link

coupe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ignorance is Bliss said...

$11 Million? After paying Pacino and Hopkins, how much was left over for everything else? All the other actors? Costumes, sets, cameramen, sound, editors? That sounds absurdly low-budget.

rhhardin said...

Lawyers "Laws of Attraction" with Pierce Brosnan and Julianne Moore is a favorite, but I judge romcoms by their best moment, ("No, I can do it"). Moore ought have to been scripted a little wittier and less flat-footed against Brosnan's Bondish raffishnes, to balance it.

Mike Sylwester said...

TCM broadcast Michael Cimino's movie Heaven's Gate a couple of years ago. That film lost more than $40 million. I recorded the movie, and then fast-forwarded through all of it. I still think that's worth doing, because many of the scenes are visually remarkable. (The theater version was about three hours and 40 minutes.)

Here's my favorite story about Cimino's extravagant self-indulgence in making that movie:

-----
As an example of Cimino's fanatical attention to detail, a street built to his precise specifications had to be torn down and rebuilt because it reportedly "didn't look right". The street in question needed to be six feet wider; the set construction boss said it would be cheaper to tear down one side and move it back six feet, but Cimino insisted that both sides be dismantled and moved back three feet, then reassembled.
-----

I read this after I watched the movie, but I remembered that street scene. Except for Cimino, nobody in the world ever would have noticed anything about the street's location. All those camera shots were long shots.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heaven%27s_Gate_(film)

robother said...

"Better to go too far, than not far enough." When any Hollywood big timer (Al Pacino, Michael Cimino, Gore Verbinski or Francis Ford Coppola) approach your studio with that as the tagline for their next movie, run.

Ann Althouse said...

Thanks for the heads up about the bad link, Will. Fixed.

Roy Lofquist said...

Look on the bright side. Somebody blew $11 million on a ham handed attempt at hagiography that might have been used more effectively elsewhere.

shiloh said...

"after Drudge sent me to"

Do you go wherever Drudge sends you?

HoodlumDoodlum said...

A classic "terrible Pacino" legal thriller is 88 Minutes. I watched it on HBO and thought something had gone wrong with the playback--I assumed some part must have been missing. Watched most of it again, and nope, it's just that bad. Pacino's hair is insane for most of that movie, too, and it actually changes appreciably in one of many massive continuity errors the movie has (it's supposed to occur all in one day).

The How Did This Get Made - 88 Minutes episode is one of their best (Pete Holmes is a little overwhelming but the whole episode is terrifically funny).


Interstingly Malin Ackerman plays the wife of a shady billionaire on Showtime's show Billions; I wonder if that's a new stock character now!

I Callahan said...

A list of stinker endings might be in order as well, where the movie is okay but the ending is random weird, as if an imaginary avant garde focus group was suddenly imported.

The narrative arc builds, climaxes, descends, and then leaps into a pile of shit.


First on my list would be "The Pledge", with Jack Nicholson.

Beach Brutus said...

What sort of business plan was presented to all those producers to induce them to invest when the story says they made the movie but did not market it?

Joe said...

I suspect it was a scam, tax dodge and/or contract fulfillment vehicle. (I'll wager that they were also gaming the Louisiana Film Office.)

Almost all of the above-above-the-line crew are unbelievably inexperienced, which means that the budget went almost entirely to a very limited number of people, including the stars.

Ultimately, this meant nobody gave a shit and it showed up in theaters only to satisfy legal and accounting issues.

(Following the Adam Sandler model of scam movie making, once you get the headliners, it's easy to get cameos and roles for your friends.)

Fernandinande said...

HoodlumDoodlum said...
Pacino's hair is insane for most of that movie, too, and it actually changes appreciably in one of many massive continuity errors the movie has (it's supposed to occur all in one day).


Barney Fife The Preamble To The Constitution - his hair changes a few times in mid-sentence.

dwick said...

Pacino looks like the late Peter Falk's Lt Columbo character in a 3-piece suit...

Rick said...

Joe said...
I suspect it was a scam, tax dodge and/or contract fulfillment vehicle. (I'll wager that they were also gaming the Louisiana Film Office.)


Contract fulfillment makes a certain amount of sense. But it's likely they greenlit it thinking it would be good and only after filming realized it was a dud. So they cut their losses by eliminating the marketing budget.

Joe said...

Did some more looking. It clearly became a scam.

I suspect they originally had a promising script. They signed up three stars with that, promises that the script would be doctored, and promises of cash the producers didn't have. Then, with the big stars in line, they sign up secondary stars.

The next step is to pre-sell all distribution rights, leverage all the tax advantages they can, including convincing Louisiana into giving you huge breaks (which isn't hard), and hiring the cheapest crew possible.

The distributors see the final product, know it's a turkey and that they've been had, but are contractually obligated to put the film in some theaters, so they do, but don't bother doing any marketing.

I'll all but guarantee that during filming, all the stars knew the movie was crap. The inexperience of the crew alone would make this blindingly obvious. But, they gave their word and got paid.

The real question is: who was behind the scam? Likely nobody listed in the credits.

Fernandinande said...

"Every decision, be it plot, casting, photography, sound, and probably even catering, is a bad one."

I bet they even decided to not have any talking animals or giant monkeys.

holdfast said...

Pacino is no stranger to stinkers- I submit for your consideration "Righteous Kill" a movie with a very promising cast, and an absolutely shite script.

Mid-Life Lawyer said...

I just looked at this movie on Rotten Tomatoes a few days ago. Spectacularly bad reviews. As poor a set of reviews as I have ever seen and I look at reviews several times a week. And only about 20% of those who watched it liked it.

EDH said...

A metaphor for the Hillary Clinton campaign?

Static Ping said...

RiffTrax material! Thank you, Hollywood, for keeping the crap coming!

Bill Peschel said...

I'll bet Pacino's thrilled "Ghostbusters" is coming out soon to take the heat of this.

EMD said...

"The How Did This Get Made - 88 Minutes episode is one of their best (Pete Holmes is a little overwhelming but the whole episode is terrifically funny)."

Thank you for this link. I just listened to the Maximum Overdrive episode. And Maximum Overdrive is my guiltiest pleasure.

Chris N said...

Me and mine watched in about a year ago. Pretty shitty.

Laslo Spatula said...

Al Pacino's Agent says...

"So you want Al to star in your movie?"

"Yes! We'd think he'd be perfect for the role! He's --"

"How many moments does he got?"

"Moments?"

"Yeah. When he gets to make loud declamatory statements while running his hand through his hair. People love when Al does that."

"Uh. One, maybe?"

"It's three or we're walking."

"I'm sure we can massage the script..."

"Al's hair."

"Uh -- yeah?"

"You need to pay for his own personal hair styling professional. Of his choosing, of course."

"Of course..."

"Let's talk trailers..."

"Oh, he'll be featured in the trailers!"

"No, I mean 'trailers': the trailer he has on set. It will be the biggest, right?"

"Sure, yes: the biggest."

"By how much?"

"By how much? At least a couple of feet?"

"Al's trailer is twice the size of anyone else's trailer. That's standard."

"Twice the size. Got it."

"I said that was standard. You're not gonna give Al above-standard, you cheap fuck?"

"Oh yes! It will definitely be above standard."

"Good, good. And Al needs to see the script."

"Of course Al will see the script!"

"No, I mean Al will see the script, and his personal writer will edit the script to make sure Al has his moments."

"The moments, yes. We will accommodate all of Al's moments."

"Al is an Oscar-winner, you know."

"Of course he is! He is a Legend!"

"So you understand that he gets final approval of the film."

"Uh...okay, I guess..."

"How old is his love interest?"

"Well, he doesn't actually have a love interest in this role..."

"Actually he does. And she has to be under thirty."

"Under thirty. Got it."

"And Al gets to approve her tits."

"There's really no nudity in this film..."

"Doesn't matter. Al gets to approve the naked tits of any woman on-screen with him."

"Tit approval: Al's got it."

"I think we just might be making a movie together..."


I am Laslo.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Glad you liked it, EMD.
Their Lake Placid, Howard the Duck, and Winter's Tale episodes are also great.

jr565 said...

It had 16 producers starred Al Pacino and ONLY cost 11 million dollars?