Hops and Box Office Flops

Hops and Box Office Flops

A film podcast dedicated to the underdogs — the disasters, the bombs, the much maligned! So sit back, grab a beer, and enjoy!

Episodes

May 14, 2021 90 min

Big Trouble in Little China is a seminal 80s movie, and it may just be John Carpenter's best work.

Starring Kurt Russell—a frequent Carpenter collaborator—as the braggadocios Jack Burton, it takes a familiar formula (the action/comedy team up) and escorts it into a superbly crafted world of ancient Chinese mysticism and mayhem.

It subverts audience expectations in other ways, as well. Burton—for all his witticisms—is not you...

Share
Mark as Played

The Chronicles of Riddick is the big budget sequel to 2000's more reasonably priced and plotted Pitch Black. Both feature Richard B. Riddick (Vin Diesel), a wanted ex-con and master of navigating the dark.

He's an anti-hero—a man who has done bad things, but who we root for because of his devil may care attitude. It was an archetype that worked perfectly in Pitch Black, as well as the third film in the series Riddick. The ...

Share
Mark as Played

Mortal Kombat marks the return of the legendary video game franchise to the big screen for the first time in 24 years. Considering its wild success on consoles, the gap is hard to fathom.

Certainly Annihilation sort of poisoned the well, but the 1995 original remains popular, as does its techno theme song. The one thing most would agree on, though, is that 95's lack of an R-rating kept it from truly being a Mortal Kombat film.

...

Share
Mark as Played
April 23, 2021 105 min

Fight Club hasn't aged well. And that's putting it mildly. It wasn't that David Fincher and company didn't have something to say. Certainly, they did. It's more that the message is muddled and often lost amidst the overpowering stardom of Brad Pitt.

You cast a movie star, you get a virtuoso performance. That's generally not an issue, but when the character is meant to represent the reprehensible, a conundru...

Share
Mark as Played
April 16, 2021 90 min

Pacific Rim is Guillermo del Toro's homage to the Kaiju movies that fascinated him in his youth. To that end, it is a lovingly crafted and often beautiful film that delivers on the promise of its premise.

What is the conceit? Well, in short, Jaegers—giant Earth-protecting mechs—fight invading Kaiju who emerge from a rift within the Pacific Ocean. And for all the movie's foibles—the plot has many—it does nail it's most ...

Share
Mark as Played

Godzilla vs Kong is a historic rivalry, yet it has been 59 years since these two giants of cinema last traded blows. That seems far too long, but fortunately for the "Monsterverse," the timing couldn't have been better.

In our King of the Monsters (KotM) episode, Chumpzilla and I were bullish about the future of this series. We knew this movie would at least be made, but short of a miraculous run, KotM had sullied the ...

Share
Mark as Played
April 2, 2021 111 min

Ang Lee's Hulk is ponderous—absurdly so—and mostly revolves around the gruesome father/son relationship between Bruce (Eric Bana) and David Banner (Nick Nolte). Reportedly, Lee wanted the film to evoke the weighty emotions of a Greek tragedy.

It certainly does generate a palpable response, but it's apathy. For a movie whose title character is a big, green, rage monster, the Hulk is seldom seen for the first hour. When he d...

Share
Mark as Played

Zack Snyder's Justice League is a cinematic anomaly. When Snyder had to step away due to a family tragedy, Warner Bros. (WB) essentially hacked the material he left them to bits. Under the guidance of Joss Whedon, Snyder's originally footage was morphed into a soulless attempt to capture the magic of the MCU.

It didn't work—a topic we explored in-depth on our Joss-Stache League episode. That film appealed to no one, bu...

Share
Mark as Played

Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance, which is a sequel to the 2007 original, is so insane it almost works. Nicolas Cage, the Rider or Johnny Blaze, goes full Cage. It's equal parts glorious and dumbfounding.

That is the movie in a nutshell. For everything that works—such as the Rider possessing humongous construction equipment—there are far too many other elements that do not.

From the dude from Empire Records overacting litera...

Share
Mark as Played
March 12, 2021 135 min

Joss-stache League (Justice League) is a cobbled together mess. It's the Frankenstein's monster of movies. I wish that were an understatement, but, sadly, it is not; and though it bears Zack Snyder's name in the credits, it is not his movie.

According to Fabian Wagner, the original cut's cinematographer, up to 90% of what they shot is not in it. That's right, folks: In under two months, Joss Whedon basically re...

Share
Mark as Played
March 5, 2021 103 min

Green Lantern is a mess—an expensive one, at that. Its horrid CGI suit tells all the tales one needs to know about how misguided the project was. And it was a misfire that had serious ramifications.

In 2011, Green Lantern was meant to serve as the kickoff to a new DC movie universe. That notion was immediately squashed. On a budget over $200 million, it grossed just $219.9 million worldwide.

Worse, critics (26% on Rotten Tomatoes...

Share
Mark as Played
February 26, 2021 72 min

Top Secret! was the team of Jim Abrahams, David Zucker, and Jerry Zucker's follow up to their incredibly successful Airplane! It, like its predecessor, is an indescribably goofy movie—full of off the wall gags, jokes, and non-sequiturs.

If you have seen Airplane!, you will understand what kind of humor it is. These guys were the kings of this style of comedy, and Top Secret! certainly lives up to that pedigree. It also introdu...

Share
Mark as Played

Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever is bad. Like truly awful. Its plot is convoluted; its action is often nonsensical and unimaginative; and it does little to capitalize on its star power. Antonio Banderas literally has nothing to do. This guy was El Mariachi in Desperado, for Pete's sake. Let him do more than smoke cigarettes and drink.

Anyway, there is a boat load of slow motion, if you're into that. Most of it is wholly unnecessa...

Share
Mark as Played

If Looks Could Kill is a piece of vintage 90s cinema. It takes a young star—presumably on the rise—and tasks them with elevating a sub-par film. It's a challenge many budding leading men have been burdened with.

Richard Grieco—most famously Dennis Booker from the 21 Jump Street TV show and its spin-off Booker—is not quite up to the task. His big screen woes mirror that of his small screen ones. Like Booker, audiences did not f...

Share
Mark as Played

The Long Kiss Goodnight is obnoxious, loud, and dumb. In other words, most action movies of the 80s and 90s. It's also hopelessly convoluted and botches its central premise—that of an amnesic suburban housewife who has forgotten that she used to be an assassin.

Starring Geena Davis—in her second collaboration with former husband Renny Harlin—as Samantha Caine (the innocent)/Charly Baltimore (the no-so-innocent), The Long Kiss ...

Share
Mark as Played

Wayne's World 2 came hot off the heels of its smash hit predecessor. The first—which remains the most successful Saturday Night Live-inspired film—grossed over $180 million worldwide.

Suffice to say, Wayne's World 2 could not replicate that success. Earning just $48 million on double the budget ($40 million), its returns were a disappointment. Some would say they, "licked the cat's butt."

The dismal gross woul...

Share
Mark as Played

Stuart Saves His Family is a textbook example of how not all sketches are meant to be made into films. If it's not the worst Saturday Night Live adaptation, it's certainly close.

Based on Daily Affirmation with Stuart Smalley, as well as an in-character novel by Al Franken (the movie's star), the film never seems to understand what made Smalley work in the first place.

Worse, it's not at all funny. It wraps him i...

Share
Mark as Played
January 15, 2021 89 min

MacGruber, which is a riff on the old jack-of-all trades television character MacGyver, is one of the more perplexing Saturday Night Live adaptations. I don't say that in a bad way.

It's more because it takes a truncated skit (generally 30 seconds) and turns it into an unabashed, hard R, gross out gag, lowbrow yuck fest. That conceit can be a lot when stretched over 90 minutes.

If that sounds terrible, and some may certai...

Share
Mark as Played

Blues Brothers 2000 should have never happened. Period. It's an uninspired rehash of one of the great 80s comedies. There is nothing new here; thus, there was no reason for revisiting the titular brothers. Oh, and lest we forget that one of them—John Belushi—tragically passed away in 1982.

Without his oversized and all-consuming personality, there is an undeniable void that's never filled. The magic is gone. And no matter ...

Share
Mark as Played
January 1, 2021 87 min

New Year's Eve sucks. I'm sorry, but it's the truth. Like the holiday itself, it's an exercise in excess—boasting an A-list cast, yet giving them nothing to do.

It's mind-numbingly stupid and obscenely scripted. The fact that it expects you to like these characters is, in itself, anger-inducing. You will hate these people. All of them, but especially Bon Jovi—who inexplicably doesn't play himself. Instead, ...

Share
Mark as Played

Chat About Hops and Box Office Flops

Advertise With Us

Popular Podcasts

Crime Junkie
Camp Hell: Anneewakee

Camp Hell: Anneewakee

The Anneewakee Treatment Center for Emotionally Disturbed Youth operated in Douglasville, Georgia for over 25 years. Purportedly, it was a place that parents could send their troubled kids for help. But in reality, it was a breeding ground for abuse. This is the story of Anneewakee, as never told before.

The Daily

The Daily

This is what the news should sound like. The biggest stories of our time, told by the best journalists in the world. Hosted by Michael Barbaro. Twenty minutes a day, five days a week, ready by 6 a.m.

For You

    Music, radio and podcasts, all free. Listen online or download the iHeartRadio App.

    Connect

    © 2021 iHeartMedia, Inc.