Superman IV: The Quest for Peace

Superman 4 Moon Fight
Look at them fighting on the Moon.

Remember when they used to make Superman movies all the time, and none of them were reboots?  It was a golden age, of sorts.  Like Batman and Robin, which is also a 4th movie (and the last one we would see for a while), Superman IV: The Quest for Peace shits all over whatever dignity the previous films had.  Unlike Batman and Robin, though, this movie does not drag on forever, and the ridiculousness of it all makes it fairly enjoyable.  This probably has a lot to do with the fact that Golan-Globus produced it.  Hooray for Golan-Globus.  Some of their other movies are already on my list, if you are just now tuning in.

Superman 4 Mariel in Space
Ridding the Earth of Mariel Hemingway once and for all.

Needless to say, Golan-Globus Golan-Globused the hell out of this movie.  This is apparent even in the opening credits, which take up about 20 minutes of the film’s run time and look really cheap.  The special effects are outstanding(ly bad), Superman suffers from radiation sickness (but gets a 1-Up), he moves the Moon without any consequences here on Earth, and Gene Hackman is Lex Luthor.  He is also the voice of NUCLEAR MAN.  Where to even begin…  Superman gets called out by a little boy for not doing something about all of the nuclear weapons in the world, so to save face, he mans-up and catches all nuclear missiles in a giant space net and hurls them into the sun.  Meanwhile, Lex Luthor breaks out of jail thanks to Jon Cryer, steals some of Superman’s hair, jerks off on it, and launches it into the sun, thus creating a fully formed, fully conscious, fully COSTUMED Nuclear Man.  Thanks to the hair, he has all of Superman’s power, and thanks to the semen, he has Lex Luthor’s voice.  Lex also made it so that if Nuclear Man does not have a SINGLE ray of sunlight touching him, he powers down into hibernation mode.  Sure, why not.

Check out this deleted scene:

Incredible, right?  They may as well have just left this in the movie, who cares?  This clip features the Nuclear Man prototype, which they took out of the movie entirely, but the final cut really isn’t much better than this scene.  Superman repairs the Great Wall of China with his Great Wall Fixo Vision, and Nuclear Man is able to make people float around in the air for no reason, plus both of their capes flap around in space like fabric would do in space (it wouldn’t), and this is on top of Mariel Hemingway in space, lazy fight scenes, and Superman getting rid of Lois Lane’s amnesia and then giving it back to her.

Superman 4 Vasedick
Supes shows off his new cod-piece.

Superman IV: The Quest for Peace gets wrong enough to be amusing, and is mercifully short thanks to 45 minutes of god-knows-what being cut from it.  This probably saved it from ending up like our next movie…

Get it on Amazon.

Batman and Robin

Batman and Robin Mr. Freeze gets a diamond
One for the money, two for the SNOW.

Ugh.  Surely you have seen Batman  & Robin by now.  It is famously bad, and I have seen it more than a few times.  I think that this time, though, may have proved to be one too many.  While the movie is awful in many ways that I love, it makes 2 hours seem like an eternity.  How much bad can you cram into a single movie before it becomes totally awful?  Batman & Robin tries its hardest to find out.  This movie is like the imagination of a couple of kids with an armload of action figures and play sets turned into an actual reality, with living, breathing people.  Living, breathing people you do not care about, except for maybe Alfred, who is dying of MacGreggor’s Syndrome, just like Mr. Freeze’s wife- I bet you can’t guess where that plot point is headed.

Batman and Robin BAIN
Enjoy Bain Cereal. It’s got toxins children crave.

People usually focus on the fact that Batman and Robin’s suits feature nipples, but this should be the least of your concerns.  Batman has ice skates is his boots, Mr. Freeze has a rocket ship, and Bain communicates in slightly varying intonations of his own name, just like a Pokemon.  It’s like the makers of this movie had been dared to out-camp the old Adam West Batman, and out-camped the shit out of it.  They out-camped it so hard that the guy who dared them to do it imploded.  This is out-and-out buffoonery.  I just used the word “buffoonery,” and I feel bad about it, but there are not too many other words I can throw at this movie to drive my point to you.  Goddamn buffoonery.

Batman and Robin Credit Card
Oooook, we’re done here.

Batman has a Batman credit card.

Batman and Robin and Coolio
Hey, there’s Coolio. Great.

Alicia Silverstone is here, too, as Batgirl.  She is an underground motorcycle racer and computer expert.  She exclaims “HI-YAH” while judo flipping what’s-his-face, the guy who played Robin.  Chris O’Donnell.  She tries to access Alfred’s encrypted files by guessing that his password is Alfred.  Robin gets FROZEN SOLID, but he is ok because Batman thaws him out with a vat of water that he heats with a laser.  Alfred designs a very form-fitting costume for his niece just in case she wants to be a super hero, too (hinting that there’s probably a reason he has encrypted files, and his password isn’t just “Alfred”).  Poison Ivy makes everyone want to have sex with her then gets eaten by a plant.   George Clooney plays himself.

Batman and Robin and Batgirl
Batman and Robin and also Batgirl, more like.

This is a big budget debacle.  I remembered it being good-bad, and to an extent, it is, but it is too long.  There are too many one-liners, too many stupid plot points, too… it’s just stupid.  It needs about 45 minutes shaved off of it to make it acceptable (incidentally, I wrote this before I learned that Superman IV was trimmed).  The magic wears off, and before you know it, you’re bored, and Mr. Freeze hasn’t even teamed up with Poison Ivy yet.  Forget about it.

Get it on Amazon.

Monster Brawl

Monster Brawl. Buh.
Nope. Keep scrolling.

Forget about it, this movie is not “so bad it’s good,” it is so bad it’s boring.  There is nothing redeeming about it.  Eight monsters fight in wresting-style matches to win some monster-fighting tournament.  Most of the movie is announcers commentating on the fights, and occasional moments of Lance Henriksen’s beautiful voice.  Dave Foley is here, as is Jimmy Hart, Kevin Nash, and Herb Dean, but who cares?  I couldn’t.  Look, I will give just about ANYTHING a chance.  I watched at least 4 episodes of Nick Swardson’s Pretend Time before I gave up on it, and I will somewhat defend Hellgate (1989), too, so my tolerance IS pretty high, but Monster Brawl…  The IDEA is there, but it makes 90 minutes feel like a thousand boring lifetimes.  Move along.

It’s on Amazon,  but don’t watch it.

Wishmaster

Wishmaster Genie Suicide
Genie’s got a gun.

Hey, great, a Wes Craven movie.  What could go wrong?  This time, we get an evil genie who sort of grants wishes, but in evil ways, and they don’t even have to be wishes.  You can just make comments sometimes, and the genie will grant them.  Other times, he does not even listen to what you are asking for, he just does his own thing.  At one point, the protagonist, Alexandra Amberson, wants to know what the genie is, or what he’s all about, so he teleports her inside the fire opal he lives in.  How does that grant her wish?  It doesn’t.

Wishmaster Cool Party
This party is made better by the fact that Candyman is the bouncer.

So, a genie is wandering around the city, killing people and granting wishes statements, while Alexandra hangs out with Robert Englund and tries to figure out how to stop a genie.  This movie is pretty lazy, the exposition is face-punchingly expositional, and everything follows the formula this sort of movie follows- there is nothing new here.  I bet you can’t figure out, within the first 5-10 minutes, HOW Alexandra will beat the genie in the end.

Wishmaster Fire Opal
If I weren’t a scientist, I’d say there’s a wishmaster living in this rock!

That said, I have seen this movie more times than I should have.  It’s not even very good!  It has some sort of appeal, though.  Somehow, Wishmaster spawned 3 sequels, although I’m pretty sure they were all direct-to-video.  That does not mean you should not watch them.  I saw bits and pieces once during a Wishmaster marathon, and I will probably watch them all in full, eventually.  At the same time, this does not mean you SHOULD watch them.  You could totally skip Wishmaster and be ok.

Get it on Amazon.