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!... Show More

Episodes

July 3, 2020 91 min

Con Air is the perfect example of mid- to late-90s action cinema. It's big, dumb, loud, boasts a script loaded with corny quips, and has a highly questionable sense of taste. Most important, though, it's a hell of a fun ride.

It's also part of the Nicolas Cage holy trinity of badass movies—The RockFace/Off, and this one—which were all mega hits, helping to cement his standing as the biggest star on the planet. His run...

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June 26, 2020 115 min

Howard the Duck is a mess. That's as simply as I can put it. And it was a high profile one for George Lucas, who shepherded it to the screen. What was originally envisioned as an animated project transitioned—becoming a live-action movie in service to a contractual obligation of Lucas'.

That term, as the pod has noted many times over, is a dreaded one. This duck wasn't roasted properly. Its script is not only unfunny—tr...

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June 19, 2020 88 min

Primal is emblematic of the current trajectory of the roller coaster career of Nicolas Cage. It's a low budget, limited release, born to be on late-night cable schlock fest that just happens to brandish some star power. Besides Cage—as big game hunter Frank Walsh—Famke Janssen, Kevin Durand, and Michael Imperioli also show up, hanging their heads in shame.

They are what make this thing at all watchable because when I say the bu...

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Drive Angry is an ode to grindhouse cinema. A dead man (Nicolas Cage) breaks out of Hell to save the newborn child of his slain daughter — a child who has been kidnapped by a troupe of Satanists. Though a noble action, it's not allowed; thus, it prompts the Devil's "accountant" (William Fichtner) to pursue him.

Yep. That is the story. It's 100%, Grade A schlock. And its absurdity is bolstered by a legit attempt ...

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June 5, 2020 90 min

Vampire's Kiss is a window into the frayed psyche of a man losing his grip. Publishing executive Peter Loew is mentally melting down as he struggles to discover a meaningful relationship. This occurs amid the backdrop of the wild, relatively lawless streets of 1980s New York.

At its core, Vampire's Kiss is relevant social commentary about the disproportionate treatment women receive compared to men and the dangers of unchec...

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Face/Off is bonkers. Plain and simple. It is two actors—in the relative prime of their careers—making the zaniest choices imaginable, and having a damn good time doing it.

For that reason—despite how dated its script and characters feel—it remains a tremendous watch. It's a literal game of actor's oneupmanship. Both Travolta and Cage, playing the same character, relish the freedom of Castor Troy. He has no rules; there are ...

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On this special edition of the show, we welcomed J-Man and Boss Ross from *The Double Turn podcast for a no holds barred look at Lethal Weapon 4.

Lethal Weapon 4 is the finale to a beloved action franchise that began over a decade earlier. What started with Danny Glover's Roger Murtaugh opining that he was "too old for this shit" ended—well—with both he and his partner in fact being too old for it.

This is not a terribl...

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The Ghost and the Darkness is an account of the Tsavo man-eaters—a pair of lions who terrorized a Kenyan-Ugandan railway construction camp from March to December of 1898. The history of the British presence in that region is complicated; and it is one, we will not touch on here. The movie barely does either.

Despite that, its issues lie elsewhere. From poor Irish accents to Michael Douglas hamming it up as big-game hunter Charles R...

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The Adventures of Pluto Nash is the epitome of how this podcast came to be. For starters, it is just a terrible film. Critics agreed. With 90 reviews, it sits at just 4% on Rotten Tomatoes; users responded slightly more favorably with 19%. It also stars Eddie Murphy, who at one time was one of the biggest stars on this planet or any other.

Despite the bad word of mouth, though, even awful movies inexplicably make money sometimes. N...

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Dante's Peak is paint-by-numbers disaster cinema. You take the everyman hero—in this case, vulcanologist Harry Dalton, whose played with a steely intensity by Pierce Brosnan—and you place him in a scenario where the odds of survival are long. Those odds aren't helped by those unwilling to believe that there is, in fact, trouble brewing. It's bubbling just beneath the surface at the base of the town's iconic landmark...

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April 18, 2020 93 min

Onward—Pixar's latest animated feature—is yet another fine example of the exemplary work done by the now legendary animation studio. It is a heartfelt tale of two brothers struggling to find themselves and all the while yearning for a relationship with the father taken from them too soon.

It is also, unfortunately, a flop. As is the theme of our past few episodes, Onward entered into the ruinous box office landscape of the COVI...

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Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn is a film that never should've ended up on this podcast. Centering on the immensely popular character at the end of its title, introducing a host of other DC characters to the big screen, and following up the box office hit that was Suicide Squad, it should've been a no-brainer. Somehow, it wasn't

Suicide Squad amassed over $746 million at the box offic...

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Bloodshot, which is based on a Valiant comic book of the same name, centers around Ray Garrison (Vin Diesel). Garrison is a deceased soldier whose body is donated to—or stolen for the purposes of—science. He is then augmented—infused with nanite technology that can heal him of injuries and empower him beyond natural limits.

Dr. Emil Harding (Guy Pearce), who saved him and equipped him with this hardware, is using Garrison, or Blood...

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Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer was released on the cusp of what would become the superhero movie boom. A sequel to 2005's Fantastic Four—which was even more critically panned than this one—Silver Surfer premiered just a year prior to 2008's The Dark Knight and Iron Man, the birth of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Even without the rising benchmarks or a more crowded field, Silver Surfer does little to distinguish...

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March 19, 2020 85 min

Speed 2: Cruise Control is an exemplar of an awful sequel. Is it bigger? Sure. Did it cost more? Most definitely. Is it more entertaining? Not even close.

The origins of its issues can be tracked back to two words: contractually obligated. Jan de Bont, renowned cinematographer and director of the original Speed, was tied to the sequel. He had no choice.

The stars of the first film—Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves—however, were not....

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The 1990s were not kind to the legendary John Carpenter. Case-in-point: 1996's Escape from L.A.—the long-gestating sequel to Carpenter's 1981 cult classic Escape from New YorkL.A., like its predecessor, paints a grisly picture of future America. Los Angeles, which had devolved into a wasteland rife with crime, has been separated from the rest of the United States because of a massive earthquake.

Marooned on its own, it wo...

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The course has been set; there is no turning back; prepare your weapons; and summon your courage for the cinematic adventure of a lifetime—Cutthroat Island!

The majority of the words above come from the trailer for the epic shipwreck that is Cutthroat Island. Yet they could also serve as a warning. Once you start watching it, there truly is no turning back; and it is a film that lives up to its infamous reputation.

Cutthroat Islan...

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UHF is every bit a reflection of its co-writer "Weird Al" Yankovic. It's an eccentric and peculiar film, driven by the scattershot musings of Yankovic's mind. Like his music, none of it is meant to be taken seriously. It is an amalgamation of goofy satire—some great, some not so—that's best served for repeat viewings. But again, like his music, its appeal is limited to a certain audience.

Which begs the question...

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D3: The Mighty Ducks is the culmination of the greatest youth sports trilogy in history. Now, I understand the competition for that title is thin, but for a group of plucky youngsters from Minnesota, the distinction is a high honor.

Though it is the finale, and sort of a fitting end, D3 is also irrefutably the worst film of the series. It over exaggerates its own cannon—Charlie Conway (Joshua Jackson) was never really the official ...

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Upon its release, I examined the underlying issues behind Solo: A Star Wars Story becoming box office bantha fodder. I will not rehash that all here. Suffice to say, though, it was a financial failure and not just a small one.

Solo, for all the power and hype of the Disney machine, couldn't even break $400 million worldwide. For a film not tethered to a storied franchise like Star Wars, that wouldn't be too bad. But Solo is...

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