5 Film Turkeys I’m Thankful For

This being Thanksgiving weekend and all, I’m devoting today’s List to some film turkeys I actually like. Some were critical flops, some were financial flops, some were both – but all of them were worth the price of admission to me.

1941 (1979)


Here’s the plot: Pearl Harbor has been attacked, and folks in California are convinced that an invasion is imminent. Naturally, comedic mayhem ensues. For my friends and I, this was an all-star cast to die for. You had the great John Belushi, and Dan Aykroyd, and John Candy, and Joe Flaherty, and Tim Matheson, and about a hundred others. It made no sense, of course. It was just good, boisterous fun.

SOLARIS (2002)


This George Clooney sci-fi flick absolutely bored the hell out of many viewers. For long stretches, it was as cold and meditative as watching a snowstorm from a a drafty window. But I found it engrossing. And the space setting, to me, was a perfect choice for a drama about grief, memory, delusion and perception.



Even after seeing the movie poster, you may not believe this film was actually made. It is – hang tight, now – a cute love story involving the winsome Claire Danes; it features Michelle Pfeiffer as a sexy, sarcastic witch; Robert DeNiro plays a gay pirate captain whose ship floats in the air; and it has a unicorn. Holy cinematic train wreck! Yet … silly as it is, its sheer energy and audacity won me over. Go figure.



I don’t care what anyone says. I think the late-period Stallone has an aura of weariness and regret that seeps nicely into his work. In this case, a violent remake of a Michael Caine revenge flick, Stallone gives and gets quite a beating. The cast, meanwhile, is excellent, including Mickey Rourke, John C. McGinley, Alan Cumming and Caine himself.



Of COURSE it’s ridiculous. It’s FAMOUSLY ridiculous. But so what? Crazy mermaid-guy Kevin Costner tools around his waterlogged world in the coolest piece of transportation outside of the Batmobile. There’s one scene in particular where he catapults himself out of danger, slides down the length of his boat’s mainsail and makes a getaway. Come on, that’s just awesome. Plus, Dennis Hopper’s psycho villain makes me laugh.

Another thing I’m thankful for? Anyone who takes the time to read these little Lists. Happy Thanksgiving weekend to one and all!