There was a magical time around 1991 when you could take a Hannibal Lecter movie seriously; The Silence of the Lambs won 5 Academy Awards, after all. Then, things went downhill, fast.
We're not completely sure who to blame for what is arguably the most ridiculous scene ever to feature three award-winning actors, be it author Thomas Harris for writing it, or Ridley Scott for filming it. All we know is that it happened:
The tone seems to suggest this is frightening and gruesome and horrible. Unfortunately, what we're actually seeing is a sleepy Ray Liotta say his brain smells delicious then having a taste of it, making this pretty much what we'd expect to see in a live action version of The Itchy & Scratchy Show.
It turns out there's a fine line between looking cool and looking utterly ridiculous, and in Mission: Impossible 2, Tom Cruise jumped over that line on a motorcycle.
This movie came out right around the time when Hollywood passed a law saying every single action scene in every single movie had to look like The Matrix. This included several movies that didn't bother with the whole "computer simulation" plot point that explained why in that movie humans were able to jump for huge distances without breaking their ankles when they landed.
Thus, in 2000 we wound up with laugh-out-loud bullshit like this:
Indeed, those were two grown men simply leaping from moving motorcycles into one another in mid air. You may want to question why they didn't meld into a blob of Versace and flesh upon impact, or just how many ribs wouldn't have gotten crushed when they both fell off that cliff. We're afraid that in doing so, you would only find that some questions just don't have non-retarded answers.
James Cameron, before he directed Aliens or Terminator, taught the world a lesson in fear back in 1981 with the intensely awesome Piranha 2. How intensely awesome was it? The piranhas could fly. They fuckin' fly!
Working on the premise that a stupid movie needs an exponentially more stupid sequel, also know as the Deuce Bigalow Principle, the original horror movie about piranhas had to be followed by a movie about mutant piranhas with some kind of special ability, specifically the ability to soar through the air without the benefit of tiny motorcycles.
The government's Asinine Animal Experiment Division apparently had a breach in security. Something like this was bound to happen:
By far the saddest part of that clip is the very last shot of the bored-looking crowd behind the glass. It's like they waited there all day to see the new bitey-fish things, and at the sight of them devouring a screaming man were like, "Well ... that's pretty scary I guess. Hey, does anybody know if Lost is a rerun tonight?"
The original Star Trek TV show didn't have all the geek hype to live up to that modern franchise has. While we can assume JJ Abrams' new movie is going to have nothing but kick-ass fights between Syler and Klingons and probably some scenes of a young Captain Kirk engaging in intergalactic threesomes with blue-skinned women, the TV show had to make due with Shatner grappling with extras in rubber suits.
Unfortunately, rubber suit technology didn't actually allow the actor he was fighting to move in any way, so you had awkward, laughably slow fight scenes that actually inspired pity:
Seriously, that first part looks like they were fighting underwater. To make things worse, it appears that the actor in the rubber suit can barely see out of his mask. Thus we get the lowest point of the whole affair 1:19 in, when a Styrofoam rock is thrown at his midsection, and he is completely unaware of the impact until he hears it.
There is then a moment when he realizes he should have reacted to the rock in some way, but that the moment has now passed and that he might as well press on with the scene and think about how his career went so terribly wrong.
Nicolas Cage seems to be conducting some kind of experiment, wherein he intentionally takes only the best and worst projects offered to him, and absolutely nothing in between. For every Ghost Rider there's a Leaving Las Vegas, for every Con Air there's an Adaptation.
Well, there was. Until The Wicker Man, a movie so jaw-droppingly ridiculous that it has destroyed the delicate Yin-Yang balance Cage so carefully had maintained.
How many Oscars will Cage have to line up to make up for what we've just seen there? How does this even happen? We're picturing the director huddled with Cage, already in bear costume, saying, "OK, Nic, in this next scene, you're going to run up this hill in your bear costume, and punch that librarian lady in the face. Any questions?"
That of course seems like the point when most of us would say, "Yes, Mr. Director, I now have many, many questions." Not Cage.
"Great work, Nic. OK, let's head over to the house set, where you'll be spin-kicking Leelee Sobieksi across the room."
We know that many of you have seen the above highlights, as they've been quite a sensation on YouTube. We also know that most of you haven't actually seen the rest of the film, judging by its box office. So here's a fun project for you: Sit down and try to write the rest of the movie so that those scenes make perfect sense in context.
Keep a bottle of aspirin handy.
If you enjoyed that, check out our rundown of The 5 Biggest Mismatches in Movie Fight History. Then, find out who our favorite purveyor of film violence is supporting in the upcoming election in Samuel L Jackson Endorses a Candidate. Or find out why Madonna's husband is using ridiculous excuses to not have sex with her.