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A film you've never heard of but really should see. (Trust me.)

Monday, February 26, 2007

"Ishtar" Movie Review

101. Ishtar.

What do you say about a movie everybody hates?
Hey, all you people are wrong!"

In this case, that is just what you must say. Most of those who call this an awful movie have never seen
it. They have just been told that it was a bomb and they accept that it must have been because it was so bad. They make jokes about the film and
it becomes something that no one is willing to sit through. Life is too short to waste with bad movies. This one is not a waste of anyone's time.

Now, there are provisos involved. If you do not like dry wit (and yes, I did say "wit" for that dry form of humor is rife within this film) you will get this film. If all you can understand is slapstick (and I love that form of humor as much as any one) this is not going to be your cup of beer.

It is the story of two men who are, simply, the worst song-writers of this or any other time. What makes
them different is their refusal to believe that they are anything but undiscovered geniuses.

"It takes a lot of nerve to have nothing at your age."
Dustin Hoffman and Warren Beatty are brilliant at bringing to life to lovable schmucks who get caught up in international intrigue and CIA plots in the Middle East. They thought that they had one last chance to get booked somewhere in Morocco, and instead, end up wandering through the desert with a blind camel, running afoul of arms dealers and being attacked by CIA gun ships. And all the time, they never stop writing bad songs about it. Elaine May deftly mixes slapstick and satire, and, along with Paul Williams, writes songs that are so cringingly awful that they alone make the film worth seeing.
See this much maligned gem.

Here is the cast:
Warren Beatty . . . .  Lyle Rogers
 Dustin Hoffman . . . .  Chuck Clarke
 Isabelle Adjani . . . .  Shirra Assel
 Charles Grodin . . . .  Jim Harrison
 Jack Weston . . . .  Marty Freed
 Tess Harper . . . .  Willa
 Carol Kane . . . .  Carol
 Aharon Ipalé . . . .  Emir Yousef
Matt Frewer . . . .  CIA Agent

After you have seen the film, if someone tells you that "Ishtar," though they've never seen it, is the worst movie of all time, you can call them a "smuck."
Don't worry, once you've seen the movie
you'll get the joke.

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The Pope of Pop said...

You are absolutely right about ishtar.

I hope that after people watch this excellent movie, they'll visit this page:

Kathleen said...

I have seen plenty of truly awful films, and believe me ... ISHTAR is not a bad film. In fact, I rather enjoyed it. For a few weeks after first seeing it, I found myself humming their "bad" songs, which were actually kind of catchy.

Perhaps you have to have a certain sense of humour to get it, and perhaps the first couple of critics to review it failed to "click" with it, but it was nowhere close to "worst film of all time" .... frankly, I'd have to lay that title upon the truly awful "Cop Out."

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