Wednesday, April 10, 2013

I if for Ishtar

* I'm in Dallas this week on business. Won't get much free time, as my days and evenings are already scheduled! I will catch up as best I can this week. Promise!

Parachute pants, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Growing Pains, L.A. Gear, Breakfast Club....what do all of these have in common? They all helped define the 80s. Come take a fun "Journey" with me as we revisit the totally radical decade.

Okay, I know you're thinking, "But this is supposed to be stuff from the 80s you LIKED!" True, but I'm also listing stuff that seem significant, looking back at that strange decade.

I did not like 1987's Ishtar. At all I didn't watch this turd of a film until the middle 90s, as I wanted to see just how bad it is. And damn, it's one helluva bad movie. Why I'm including it in my A-Z posts is because it's the first big budget blockbuster I can recall that really set the standard for big time film busts. To me, Ishtar gave birth to the modern Hollywood FLOP.

If you were to take the film's losses and adjust it for modern inflation, the movie lost over $83 MILLION. Not as up there as 2011's Green Lantern, clocking in at a whopping $108MM loss, but Ishtar does beat out some big duds like Hudson Hawk and Osmosis Jones (yuck).

There had been some big budget "Titanics" prior to Ishtar, but this was the first big movie to get so much press about how awful it was. Expectations were lofty because you had two big-time actors starring in it: Dustin Hoffman and Warren Beatty. 

I'm not going to talk about the plot of this stinker, as I feel I've probably already spent too much time writing about Ishtar. Regardless, it set the stage for other Hollywood stink bombs like John Carter, Battlefield Earth, The Postman, Waterworld, and The Adventure of Pluto Nash.

And seriously, I thought John Carter was fun. Not fantastic, but not a big hot stinky turd that many others believed.


Anonymous said...

I don't remember Ishtar. I know I saw it. I know it was bad, but I don't remember it. So I went to Wikipedia.

Holy cow.

Talk about a movie built around egos instead of talent (I mean come on! Beatty and Hoffman??? Together in a movie? Hot damn.) Mindboggling.

Anonymous said...

Great post about a dud movie... ;)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I do remember the buzz around that movie, before and after. And yes, it really sucked.
And I know I'm in the minority, but I really liked Hudson Hawk. I guess I just got the quirky humor.

Melanie Schulz said...

I've never heard of this one, but it sounds like that might not be a bad thing.

Laura Marcella said...

Hello, Jay! I'm not familiar with this film. I love '80s music and many of the films from that decade, though! Heehee, what an outrageous decade. Too fun!

Happy A to Z-ing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

Tony Laplume said...

I still intend to see Ishtar. I tend to like these movies that bomb. I'm thinking of starting a whole club around appreciation for them!

farawayeyes said...

I remember this move. It WAS bad. I really liked John Carter and personally thought that the movie itself wasn't really bad, but the marketing was what stunk.

nutschell said...

how have i never heard of ishtar? hmm. maybe i should count myself lucky.

Laura Eno said...

Never saw Ishtar. Now I'm glad! :)

MaryAnn Pope said...

I've never heard of this film. How is it possible that I completely missed this? I'm going to have to google it. :)

Anonymous said...

Ishtar rocked and still rocks. The only reason it bombed, after topping the box office for 2 weeks, is because the studio that produced it, discredited it to set an example for future productions. David Puttnam was the jackass who did that. He had a bone to pick with director Elaine May, and with both leads, Hoffman and Beatty. It's a great, intelligent, political satire.

Miranda Hardy said...

I didn't see it, believe it or not.

Sheena-kay Graham said...

I think I saw Ishtar before.

The Desert Rocks said...

Only you could get readers to actually read a post about Ishtar!

Rusty Webb said...

Ishtar had them riding a camel at some point. I know nothing else about the movie. Well, that and that it was a huge flop.

Samantha May said...

I guess there's a reason why I've never heard of Ishtar :)

You seriously did not like Osmosis Jones?! Maybe it's because I was like 8 when that movie came out, but I loved it!

Jay Noel said...

Osmosis Jones was okay at best. But then again, I was in my 20s!

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