Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Sneerfest: John Travolta.


...ergh, fuggin' Oprah...

So, the idea for this came to me awhile ago, but more fun things kept taking precedence.

It was back in April, just after "That's IT?!!?!?", and I threw "Pulp Fiction", in there as an overrated overhyped film, and I felt obliged to go into further detail outside the main review in comments with my nitpickery of that film.
And, one of the elements that gave me consternation...was John Travolta.
I was, and still am, mystified as to why his "comeback", was seen as a good thing for our culture.

Then, on a curiosity driven impulse, I went to Wikipedia, to see if he EVER made anything I liked.
Because, I really wondered what the fucking deal was with him even being "a movie star", in the first place.

That investigation just lead to further head scratching.
So, here's that research in post form, with movie poster illustration.
Think of the evil James Lipton.

The 10th Level, The Devil's Rain, 
The Boy In The Plastic Bubble.

Two Shatner flicks in cameos, and one starring role.

I've seen "The Boy In The Plastic Bubble", wasn't impressed.
At all.
Typical Lifetime Network drek.
But, somebody somewhere was impressed.
Somebody saw that, and said "that's a star!!".

My thoughts on that go back to here, with my rant in "having 'it'".

Welcome Back Kotter (1975-1979)

All right, fine, so he was a low rent Fonzie in this, and it's a cute show, and Travolta is pretty inoffensive here, and the show sold boardgames, and lunch boxes.
Whippidy doo.

But, y'know, where the hell is the cast of "Friends", besides Jennifer Aniston?
Travolta was pretty much the Joey, where's Joey?
You telling me Travolta had more magic than Joey?

Something just ain't right....

Carrie (1976)
Saturday Night Fever (1977)

So, I've traced it backwards, it pretty much hinges here.
He was just a villain in "Carrie", and not on the screen much, but it built his resume, and then, bam, "Saturday Night fucking Fever".

I have seen "Carrie", and it's fucking great, but not because of Travolta.
I have seen "Saturday Night Fever", and it's a piece of ridiculous fucking slop.

The only thing I can think for that latter one, is it hit at the right time.
All the assholes were going to disco clubs, and all the sheeple wanted to get in to be amongst the assholes, and this dopey fucking flick took you inside that world.
Gawd, people are fucking stupid.

So, he plays virtually the same doofus as in "Welcome Back Kotter", but even more shallow, and this shallowness is paraded as depth, and if any serious critic ooh-ed and ah-ed over this twittery for that reason, screw them.
This is just a goofy fucking movie.
Throwing in the Lifetime Network-esque movie scene where the guy who's gay for Travolta jumps off the bridge doesn't lift it up.
It's trite manipulation that comes from nowhere.

Y'know what I think it is?
The BeeGees music.
Strip off the soundtrack, and see if you think this stinkbomb is so fucking great.
Watch it with "mute", on.
I challenge you.
Go on.

You know what you get without BeeGees?
"Staying Alive".

"Oh, but Travolta's dancing!".
You'd better be a woman, or gay.
Travolta being an overnight success because of lecherous ogling, I can handle, that makes logical sense, straight men looking at a guy gyrating, and thinking that's art, that's confusing as hell.
And DISCO dancing to boot! Jesus!

So, this star-making hit was followed by....

Moment By Moment (1978)


I did not know this even existed until I did the research!
Holy shit!!

A love story between Travolta and Lily Tomlin?!?!

Holy shit!
I've seen extensive clips of this, it's the most horrible thing I've seen!!
And I've seen "A Serbian Film"!!
Every little clip is awful, there are no good parts.
Punishingly awful.
I shudder to imagine being one of the people that saw this at a theater.
This would have ended any other career.
Why didn't it?
Why is Travolta indestructible?

He's a pretty face?
He dances good?
Big fucking deal.
There are hundreds of pretty-boys who can hoof it trying to break in who are never going to make it.
Something is amiss here.
Something is wrong.

Did no one at the time ask this to themselves?
Was everyone just wandering around like zombies with a puff of cotton candy around their brains?
What was going on?
Was every single critic coked up?
Who was minding the store?

And more to the point, who do you have to fuck to get OUT of showbiz?

Grease (1978)
Urban Cowboy (1980)
Blow Out (1981)

So, here we go; with "Grease", we were pretty much stuck with him.

Thanks a lot, stupid boomers.
Thanks a lot.

Well, I said it best here.

Fuck "Grease".
Fuck "Grease", with a red rubber dick.

That's white people Americana, it's a distorted fucking lens, it's pablum, it's treacle, and after "Romeo And Juliet", it's the fucking play that's made more high school drama classes miserable than can be fucking counted.

I mean, really.
Black people invented rock and roll, where are the fucking black people??
Fuck you, "Grease".

Fuck you racist honkeys, and your fairy tale version of history.
"Grease", may as well be "Springtime For Hitler".

Then he rode a mechanical bull, and then he did one the critics liked.

And then....


Look at that.

Ten of 'em.
Ten fucking stinkbombs.
Undisputed stinkbombs.
Ho-ly shit.

"Moment By Moment", alone should have ended him.
Any single one of these would have ended anyone else.

But TEN of them!!!
TEN of them!!!

"Saturday Night Fever", and "Grease", do NOT fucking offset this.
If they were "Avengers", meet "2001: A Space Odyssey", good, they wouldn't offset this.
Even tossing in "Blow Out", to be charitable doesn't do it.

Linda Hamilton didn't get ten fucking chances after T2.
One of the biggest hits of all time, and then she was rewarded with NO work!!
Christopher Reeve made one shitty Superman (4), and he wasn't given 10 more chances.
George fucking Lucas ruined Star Wars, and only got 4 chances (2 more prequels, Indy 4, and Red Tails), before having to retire in absolute disgrace.

Add it up, count it out on your fingers, whip out the calculator app on your PC/phone/tablet, mathematically, this equals a FAILED career!!
At this point, he's fucking ruined!
He should be box office poison!

And hey! And hey! Did dancing help "Staying Alive"??
Did dancing help "Shout"???

So what exactly was the "magic", behind "Saturday Night Fever"?

The directing maybe???
Ohhh, the director of "Saturday Night Fever", did "Moment By fucking Moment"!!
Try again!!!

Come on, boomers!
Come on, boomers!
Explain the "magic", to me.
Try hard!
I'm all ears!

*Holds hand to ear*

So, absent "Saturday Night fucking Fever", being shat out by Jesus, why was Travolta indestructible?
He's a master thespian??
Are you fucking kidding me??
Are you fucking SHITTING me???

There are so many better actors not getting his breaks.
It's not right on it's face, and it's eerily mysterious when you try to dig into it.
It's fucking bamboozling!!

And then....

The alleged "comeback".

He never stopped fucking working!

The comeback of "the good Travolta"??
Fuck you!

He's the same doofus in these as he was in all the others.
What are you people smoking?

Absent boomer nostalgia for his...what...5 passable flicks (being charitable for the sake of argument), pretend this is his first role, pretend he fell from the sky.
Are you still impressed?
What the hell did he even really do in "Pulp Fiction", that was so fucking great?

"Get Shorty"?
Best bits are with Danny Devito.
And it's all style, no substance, just like "Saturday Night fucking Fever".

Oh, oh, but this is where it gets good, this bit is priceless....


Back to the turd-bombs!!
Right fucking back to 'em!!

Thanks Tarantino!!

Okay, those latter two made good bank, so that justified more of the misery, I guess.
Thanks, ticket buyers.
Your taste has always been so fucking great.
Just beyond reproach.
Pat yourselves on the back.
Good job.

I'm sorry, even pretending these dogturds were good, ANYONE could have played these shitty characters.
There are people at the local theater groups who could have been the guy in "Phenomenon".
Flicks like that are all "star draw", and "name power".

But where did that fucking "name", come from!?!?
It didn't come from fucking Tinkerbelle.
Magic doesn't exist.
It's only in fucking movies, kids.
Help me out here.

Y'know what?
Rewind history back to "Grease", I think Jeff Conaway could have had Travolta's exact same career if the winds had blown differently.
They were the same type, they played the same goofus-y dudes.
And Jeff wasn't a creepy Scientology closet case.
Why is Jeff Conaway dead, and John Travolta alive making bad movies?
There isn't a God to tell me this shit, so I'm asking the humans responsible.
Whatever the decision path was, it was wrong.
History has shown this.
And I'm not even fucking done.

Broken Arrow (1996)
Mad City (1997)
Face Off (1997)

Two hand-wavey at best ones, surrounding an absolute stinkbomb.
A shit sandwich.

Frankly, I think they're all shit, but I'm trying to be charitable.
Don't ask me why.

Critics hyped up "Broken Arrow", and "Face Off".
Shame on them.
More and more, I think they're bought off by studios.

They're merely watchable rentals at best.
IMHO, forgettable turds.
You forget 'em as soon as you watch 'em.
Go on, quote "Face Off", without Google.
You can't fucking do it.

"Mad City", undisputed turd.
There is no debate.

Again, thaaaanks, Tarantino, thaaaanks!!

She's So Lovely (1997)

Sean (Madonna's wifebeater) Penn, and Travolta slobber over The Princess Bride.
Also, there's murder, and a loony bin.

Holy fuck, that's right, Princess Bride married Madonna's wifebeater.
What a sick fucking world.
John Travolta being a star is the least of our problems as a species.

Read reviews, and you can see critics TWISTING themselves into a wavey-hand review, just because the director's dad was John Cassavetes.

Go back to your foul smelling cheeses, you pretentious fuckwads.

A Civil Action (1998)
The Thin Red Line (1999)
Primary Colors  (1998)
The General's Daughter (1999)

Well, you know what I think of "The Thin Red Line", if not, click the link.
And Travolta's in it for all of a minute anyway.
It's a fucking cameo.

"Primary Colors",...come on, his Clinton is a Saturday Night Live character, are you fucking yanking me???

"The General's Daughter", fans of the book utterly despise it.
That tells me enough.

That leaves "A Civil Action".
Okay, let's be really charitable, and say it's good.
I haven't seen it, and after torturing myself with "The Thin Red Line", I really don't want to psychologically self-mutilate anymore for the sake of this one dumb post.

I just think Travolta is an unconvincing actor, and a creepy personality, with smarmy phony charm, and I don't want to subject myself to any more of his movies unless I absolutely have to.

But, okay, let's pretend "A Civil Action", is a good one.

Despite the abject suckitude of the others, these 4 together carried him aloft for awhile, and kind of constitute an unofficial "second comeback".

Because he fucking pissed away the first one.
But no, keep giving him chances, he's so worth it.
*Masturbation gesture*


Yeah, here's your reward, payed off critic assholes.

More miserable shit.

Keep hyping this asshole some more.
Put your reputations on the lines, fuckfaces.
Keep doing it.
You're brilliant.
It's all working so well.

I've covered "Battlefield Earth", before.
I barely even have to say it, I can just flash the poster.
We all know it's one of the worst turd-logs to ever punish the human race.
It's shorthand for cinematic disaster.

"Sword Fish", made good bank, stupid people loved it, it's a piece of shit.

"Lucky Numbers", "Domestic Disturbance", "Basic", more undisputed bombs going right back to 80's levels of suck.

Add up all these bombs, it's a bigger stretch than the 80's.
And "the comeback", unleashed this shit.
But no, go ahead, keep kissing Tarantino's ass too.

Austin Powers: Goldmember (2002)

See here.

Yeah, yeah, cameo, ho ho, hee hee.

Some more critic fodder.

Then he did the whole post-9/11 fireman thing, which was a bulletproof shield, and then some pretentious artsy fartsy shit making the south look like a garbage dump for snobs to bukakke on.

The Punisher (2004)

See here.

Said before, best part was when Travolta died.

Then, a couple more duds.

Ever notice he ruins all his hugest career defining hits with shitty sequels?
I actually kind of like that.
Maybe, just maybe, it wakes people out of their stupor a little.

Aw, gawd, then this shit.....

Well, at least "Hairspray", had black people existing in the 50's....

Bolt (2008)

See here.

*Sigh* speaking of we're stuck with him, there we go, immortalized in a Disney flick.

Then this shit....

I can't

Savages (2012)

Ehh...the critics are creamin' over this one....

Killing Season (2013)

....but not THIS one!
Haw haaww!!!

So, there, that's his whole fucking career.
Every one I've seen (besides "Carrie", and "Punisher") has been fucking miserable.

Being generous to the ones I haven't laid eyes on, and have been universally hailed, that only leaves fucking "Blow Out", "A Civil Action", "Ladder 49", and maybe "Savages".

And I'm betting a good half of them suck.

Out of a fucking career that's as old as me.

Where is this "good Travolta"?
He seems to exist in the collective imagination of the zeitgeist, next to Jesus, and "America, the greatest country on Earth", and the objective value of gold.

So, the Travolta formula for fame goes like this.
Dig in to showbiz on any level.
Scam your way into a hit.
Use that to scam a couple more.
Use those hits to hunker down, and hang onto showbiz like grim death.
In a couple decades, nostalgia of idiots will polish you up into something you never were, and you'll ride that gravy train.
Repeat every decade.
30 years later, you're famous for being famous, then coast.

Hey, sounds like a fucking plan.
Let's all fucking do it.
All it'll cost is making the cineplexes a fetid sewer.
Gosh, it's worth it to make Oprah scream, isn't it?
Jeez, it must be, history doesn't lie.

Just un-fucking-believable.

*Shakes head*

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