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Gobble Up These Netflix Turkeys…

It’s the holiday weekend, and you’re stuck at home, possibly after traveling over the river and through the woods with the assistance of Google Maps.
While most of your family is passed out in a food coma around the living room, what better time could there be to binge on some Netflix.

You could catch up on the new season of Hemlock Grove or twist the minds of your younger cousins with Sense 8, or of course there’s Jennifer Jones getting all the buzz this week.

OR you could truly go down a dark hole with these turkeys that I’ve hand picked for you.

These are some seriously bad titles, but watching them is more guilty pleasure fun than that gelatinous can-shaped cranberry sauce.

This over-hyped CBS drama adaptation of “James Patterson’s” novel is a hoot.  If you don’t laugh in the first 5 minutes of the first episode, and I mean hysterically doubled-over with laughter laughing, then we can’t be friends.  I’m a sucker for a good animals-attack movie, but 13 episodes of animals with a grudge against humanity is like a gift from the heavens.  Plus, the series has been picked up for a second season.  BTW, favorite episode title by a long-shot: The Silence of the Cicadas
10 years after the success of Jurassic Park at the box office, hollywood continued to churn out adaptations of Michael Crichton novels.  That’s not so surprising considering even this year’s Jurassic World and next year’s Westworld keep the late author honored.  What is surprising, however, is just how bad other the big-screen adaptations of Crichton’s work turned out to be.  Congo, SphereThe 13th Warrior, Rising Sun, Disclosure, and this time-traveling stinker of a movie Timeline.  Directed by Richard freakin’ Donner, on a budget north of $80 million, it was so bad that it put a nail in the coffin of additional Crichton adaptations.  Naturally, the new artwork on Netflix positions it as a Paul Walker vehicle.  Don’t expect anything faster or more furious than pure time-suck.
It ain’t easy being a movie based on an early PC space combat simulator, but if you’re going to build a credible adaptation of a beloved game franchise, you could do a lot better than commanders Freddie Prinze Jr and Matthew Lillard.  I mean, it was the late 90s, and all, but Earth’s fate against the Kilrathi depended on it.  Obviously the two had enough chemistry to cast them together again in the equally dreadful, yet far more profitable, adaptation of Scooby-Doo.  Zoinks!
In case you missed it, this dramedy stars Adam Sandler, Ellen Barkin, Dustin Hoffman and Method Man in a story about a guy who gets a new perspective when he magically steps into the lives of the shoes he cobbles.  And, really, they could have just kept it at being a Dramedy that stars Adam Sandler, Ellen Barkin, Dustin Hoffman and Method Man.  Because, you know what, that’s about as bad an idea as one could concoct without even having to come up with a plot.  Adding to this already bizarre make-up is that it was directed by Tom McCarthy (The Station Agent, Win Win).  Luckily for McCarthy, Spotlight has put him in the Oscar race again, and unluckily for us, Netflix has signed a production deal for direct-to-the-service movies.
The opening credits, and advertisements, for The Hateful 8 would have you believing it’s the eighth film from director Quentin Tarantino, but only to make you forget that he contributed to this Miramax pay-check cashing exercise from 1995.  Tarantino directed the Man from Hollywood segment of this quadrilogy of short films, and really the only thing that should be remembered about it is the incredible vintage lounge music score by Combustible Edison and Esquivel.  
I realize this lost Disney adventure from 2001 has its audience, but to me it will always serve as an example of the over-ambitious attempts at grandeur the studio dives into, only to find small audiences and lukewarm critical reception.  I point this out as The Good Dinosaur is about to hit screens this weekend with equal misguided intentions.  Disney’s animated output is always best when less reliant on the clichés of their previous productions, and Atlantis finds itself sunk deep in the depths of tacky Jules Verne tropes.  So much so, that the company planned to replace out their 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Tomorrowland attraction with one based on this film, only to scrap the idea after poor box-office returns.
You know you want to watch it.  Totally awesome Nicolas Cage leads this science fiction, apocalyptic Rapture-set PG-13 remake of the earlier film staring hate-mongering actor Kirk Cameron and based on the hate-mongering author Tim LaHaye’s novels.  What’s not to love?  AND you can even watch the Kirk Cameron original film and its sequels.  God help you.  Or not.  Whatever.  
I still can’t get over this one.  Brilliant auteur Robert Altman followed up his films The Player and Short Cuts with this inexcusably misguided mess.  Aimed to be a satire at a subject needing no satire, the fashion industry, the movie is painfully unfunny and distractingly incoherent.  But it did give us one of the best songs of the 90s – Ini Kamoze’s Here Comes the Hotstepper, which you can’t get out of your head now that I’ve pointed that out.  You’re welcome.

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