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What were they thinking?

Yahoo UK Movies Features
28 September 2011

Just because they've starred in your favourite films, and perhaps won a few Oscars, it doesn't mean that some of Hollywood's acting greats haven't made serious missteps in their careers. Whether due to on-set problems or an urgent need to pay bills, many of our big screen heroes have starred in films that threaten to undo all the good movie work they've done in the past.

Marlon Brando
One of the world's greatest actors, Brando has burned the screen with his performances in 'On The Waterfront' and 'The Godfather'. However, the late actor's final films left a lot to be desired, as anyone who's seen the ghastly 'The Island of Dr. Moreau' will surely agree.

The film, plagued by on-set problems (Val Kilmer and the film's second director John Frankenheimer regularly clashed), saw a bloated Brando, with bizarre head gear, playing the title character. A couple of rousing monologues aside, it's embarrassing viewing as you watch an acting great reduced to playing a piano with a weird animal/human hybrid. Not that Brando was taking it too seriously. Frustrated by the constant rewrites, he was wired up so the lines could be fed to him through an earpiece.

Dennis Hopper
How bad was 'Super Mario Bros.'?
We'll let the 'Apocalypse Now', 'Blue Velvet', 'Easy Rider' and 'Speed'
star explain it in his own words. He said in 2008, "I made a picture
called 'Super Mario Bros.', and my six-year-old son at the time - he's
now 18 - he said, 'Dad, I think you're probably a pretty good actor, but
why did you play that terrible guy King Koopa in 'Super Mario Bros.?'
and I said, 'Well Henry, I did that so you could have shoes,' and he
said, 'Dad, I don't need shoes that badly.'"


Sir Michael Caine

Sir Michael Caine made a flippant comment a few years ago, saying that he only picks films with great scripts now that he doesn't need the money any more. That probably explains the two Caine categories: Rich Caine — 'Batman Begins', 'The Dark Knight', 'Prestige', 'Is Anybody There?' and 'Inception'.

Poor Caine — the killer bee invasion movie 'The Swarm' ("And I never dreamed that it would turn out to be the bees. They've always been our friend.") and 'Jaws: The Revenge', AKA the one where a shark travels from Amity Island to the Bahamas to get revenge. Caine was famously asked if he had seen the movie, to which he replied, "I have never seen the film, but by all accounts it was terrible. However, I have seen the house that it built, and it is terrific."

Raul Julia
A hugely distinguished actor thanks to roles in 'Kiss of the Spider Woman' and 'The Addams Family', it's a crying shame that his final big screen movie was as M. Bison in the embarrassingly bad film adaptation of 'Streetfighter'. Despite his hammy best, there is something faintly sad about watching the gaunt Julia trying to fight Van Damme on screen.


Halle Berry

OK, she may have also starred in 'The Flintstones' and the risible 'Die Another Day', but Halle Berry has more than proved her acting chops in films like 'Monster's Ball' and 'Things We Lost in the Fire'.

However, thanks to 'Monster's Ball', for which she won an Oscar, and the success of the 'X-Men' movies, she landed the title role in 'Catwoman', which turned out to be a career low point. The movie was so bad that the awful CGI is actually welcomed as it means you don't have to hear any more of the dialogue. Still, she took all the flak in good nature. Collecting her Worst Actress Razzie award, she said, "First of all, I want to thank Warner Bros. Thank you for putting me in a piece of s**t, god-awful movie. It was just what my career needed."

Frank Langella
If we take your nostalgia-tinted glasses off for one minute, we can grudgingly admit that 'The Masters of the Universe' movie is a bad film. In fact, scratch that, it's a terrible movie. Nothing really to do with the cartoon, and it has a mullet — a huge mullet. But it did have 'Frost/Nixon' star Frank Langella as Skeletor. He's quite simply superb, and, at times, you seriously think he's been told he's taking part in a Jim Henson production of Shakespeare, such was the energy he brought to the film.


Nicholas Cage
'Kick Ass' and 'Bad Lieutenant' have proved that Nicolas Cage can still put in great performances amidst all the recent dross. However, not even those films can erase the memory of Neil LaBute's completely misjudged 'Wicker Man' remake. Take it as a comedy though, and the images of Cage in a bear suit aiming punches at women or screaming 'No, not the bees. My eyes, my eyes!' as they pour them into his mask are cinema gold.

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