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Volume 1 Issue 3 - So Much To Answer For, So Sick Of Talking About It

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We Watch Bad Movies So You Don't Have To
Cutthroat Island

2 QUESTIONS WE'VE BEEN ASKING OURSELVES: Do you have to actually rent Cutthroat Island to know that there is nothing redeemable about it? AND-If a movie bankrupts a company in the middle of the ocean, does it make a sound?

There are bad movies.

And then there are movies that carry such a stink that people who have not seen them will warn you away from seeing them.

Consider this a different kind of warning.

When I pop in the DVD of Cutthroat Island, I half expect a siren, or an alarm to go off, announcing the World's Largest Sucker is about to watch one dumb-ass movie. No luck.

The movie begins...

The OPENING CREDITS are transposed onto Da Vinci-style cartographer's papers. Reminds me of Hudson Hawk. A dark cloud casts a shadow across the room.

The movie begins in Jamaica, 1668-And the Anachronistic Olympics are underway.

At 00:01:15, there is a monkey at the end of the bed. This shows promise....

00:05:20-Harris Yulin enters the story as Geena Davis' pirate father, Black Harry. Oh, good. Harris Yulin is one of my favorite actors.

00:08:09-Fuck. Harris Yulin is dead.

The plot unfolds with some legend of the island with the titular name, mountains of treasure, and a map in three pieces (also reminiscent of Hudson Hawk). The race for high sea hi-jinks is led by the team of Geena Davis/Matthew Modine. (because you can't spell action without "M-O-D-I-N-E"). They are chased by the evil arched eyebrows of Frank Langella, who plays Geena's uncle, Dawg Brown.

Modine starts off as a 15th century pickpocket, albeit a bad one, and winds up in jail.

00:12:10-Another shot of the monkey!

00:18:45-Monkey attends Modine's thwarted hanging.

We learn that Geena Davis' name is Morgan Adams. More importantly, we learn the monkey's name is King Charles. Yes, I agree. He looks like a King Charles.

I start to wonder-When Geena and Renny Harlin separated, who got the custody rights to Cutthroat Island?

00:21:50-The first full-blown action-scene. I can hear the first wave of pink slips at Carolco being handed out.

00:23:10-Matthew and Geena leap from impossibly high cliff. Would be impressive if I hadn't seen Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid, Indiana Jones & The Temple of Doom, The Long Kiss Goodnight, or the wank trailer for Six Days, Seven Nights.

00:29:09-Monkey rides in a caravan. Modine makes a vagina joke. Then follows it up with a testicles joke. High-larious.

00:36:08-Bad Blue Screen Fx 101 Class being taught here.

00:38:20-Second explosion-riddled action sequence. At this point, Carolco employees are wondering who replaced the kitchen's complimentary soft drinks with a vending machine.

00:43:05-Frank "Dawg Brown" Langella walks through fire a la Bob Patrick in T2.

00:45:00-Monkey watches Davis booze it up.

00:47:57-Monkey gets queasy at sight of Davis' blood.

00:50:18-Monkey gets queasy at sight of Davis kissing Modine.

Maury Chaykin reveals his true traitorous nature and gets Davis/Modine thrown off the ship. Whether the monkey was thrown off is now the one million dollar question for me.

01:02:47-Davis/Modine find Cutthroat Island.

I can probably name 36 movies that are worse than Cutthroat Island, 3 of which are also directed by Renny Harlin. Where Cutthroat Island most miserably fails is in having the hubris to believe that THIS is what audiences want to see.

01:12:00-Davis/Modine search a cave and find the treasure.

There are still 45 minutes left. To pass time, I think of The Goonies and things are right with the world again.

01:22:00-In an act of solidarity, Davis/Modine jump off a cliff together. And live. Rats.

01:23:40-Modine captured by Langella and British Army.

01:28:00-Davis' "ass-kicking" rescue mission begins.

01:29:31-Revelation that monkey has been hiding in cabinet for the last 39 minutes. Whew.

01:30:00-Monkey assists in "ass-kicking" rescue mission by loading ammo into guns.

01:35:00-After all the preparation by Davis to rescue Modine, Modine escapes by himself.

01:35:15-Cannon fight between two ships at sea begins. Somewhere. Carolco employees are wondering who changed the building's security codes.

I will admit that Geena Davis holds her own as an Action Hero. She would be good as Modesty Blaise.

01:48:30-What appears to be the final showdown between Davis & Langella begins.

01:50:55-I can't even remember the last time anyone found it funny/ironic/apropos for an action star to spit out a laissez-faire catchphrase a la Die Hard's "Yippie Ki-Yay, Mother F-er". This doesn't stop Davis from scraping the bottom of the barrel with this howler-"Bad Dawg!". She then lights a cannon and blasts Frank "Dawg Brown" Langella through the side of the boat. I calm myself down by thinking, "Langella will be okay because John Neville survived the same cannonball trickery in The Adventures of Baron Munchausen".

01:53:24-Langella's ship is blown to kingdom come. It is now official-the word, "Carolco", is no longer recognized by English-speaking people.

01:56:23-Monkey pops out of treasure box wearing jewels.

01:57:31-Monkey makes painful comic double take at the allusion that Davis/Modine are going to get it on. I know exactly how the monkey feels.

01:57:34-The End.

I would have to rate my Cutthroat Island experience with low marks in Enjoyability, Plausibility, and Recommendability and high marks in Monkey Antics & *Wistfulness.

(*Wistfulness for the fact that Cutthroat Island is preserved for eternity on DVD while I am sure Jacques Tati's Playtime sits in a broken meat locker somewhere, disintegrating.)


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