The JOE-DOWN Presents: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of 2017

Froemming: We watched 51 movies this year. Fifty-one (REDACTED) movies. Some out of curiosity, some just to see what the other thought, mostly just to spite one another. It was a wild time. Except for, you know, season three of “Fuller House,” which really tested not only our patience, but our sanity as well.

We also recorded two podcasts this year, both insane Nicolas Cage films. Looking back on the films we watched, there was a lot of so-called classic films that turned out to be hot turds once the nostalgia factor is taken out. Like, say, 90 percent of George Lucas’ catalog.

So we once again compiled a list of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly, which honestly if I had it my way, “The Room” would dominate every category.

So here it is, our year-end review of the dreck we sat through, because we are masochists.

The Good

Can be good as in it was a good film or good as in it was stupid fun to watch and review.


Brown: Suspiria

October is the most tense time for me in the JOE-DOWN (Non-”Fuller House” division) because horror movies aren’t my thing. Especially jump scares. You know what I use movies for? To avoid feeling tense and stressed for 90 minutes. And scary movies, especially modern-day ones, are just stress fests that I don’t care for.

So, I went old school and picked “Suspiria.” And I found my favorite horror movie in the process.

There’s something about wonton murder being so beautifully shot that still stays with me.

From the review: Brown: During her sick spell, Suzy is moved to her on-campus dorm and her medicine is a glass of wine daily. I mean, sure, this is Europe, so I’ll believe this shaky medical advice. I mean, she had a HEMORRHAGE and NEEDS TO GO TO A HOSPITAL, but wine works.”

Honorable Mention:Batman: The Movie” (1966)

Brief thoughts:

Froemming: There are two things that still stand out to me here with “Suspiria:” The vivid colors and Goblin rocking my (REDACTED) socks off with their kick-ass soundtrack.

Brown: Eli Roth said once that “Suspiria” director Dario Argento “puts the gore in gorgeous.” Yep, I can agree with that.


Froemming: The Room

I had no idea what to expect from this when Brown made the call that we needed to do this film. I had avoided it somehow throughout college and beyond. And what did I get? I movie that is charmingly awful, but incredibly rewatchable that also came with a head shot of director/star Tommy Wiseau with an ad on the other side selling his brand of underwear. I became obsessed with it for a while, reading “The Disaster Artist” the day after I watched this and even got a Tommy Wiseau Christmas sweater to celebrate the holidays. There is no reason I should like this movie as much as I do, but here we are.

From the review:  Froemming: There are movies that are so bad, they are good. This movie is the rare occasion, for me, of being so bad it is a (REDACTED) masterpiece.

Honorable Mention:Logan

Brief thoughts:

Brown: If we’re being honest, “The Room” could apply to every category we put together this year. It’s a special kind of terrible that I have repeatedly referred to as a religious experience.

Tommy Wiseau is bad-movie Jesus. And that is a terrifying thought.

Froemming: Hands down the greatest film I saw this year. And with my Tommy Wiseau Christmas sweater, it is the gift that keeps on giving.

The Bad

A film that was just bad that stood out the most to us.


Brown: American Graffiti

I won’t deny this movie it’s place in history. It’s in the Library of Congress. It put George Lucas on the map and helped him finance “Star Wars.”

I don’t care. “American Graffiti” is a boring, aimless movie about nothing but hot rods. I’m sure my parents think this movie was great because it’s reminiscent of their childhood. I had a Nintendo, so this was NOTHING like my childhood.

From the review:Brown: The movie just ends because life is meaningless. And honest to God, my final note for this movie was: I just wasted almost two hours of my life.

We’ve watched movies with cowboys fighting dinosaurs and Jean-Claude Van Damme in a comedy, and this is the first time I’ve written this phrase.”

Honorable Mention:Twilight

Brief thoughts:

Froemming: I think this film is honored for reasons George Lucas didn’t intend. I doubt it was intended as a slice of life in the late 1950s America. I saw the online documentary about how “A New Hope” was saved in editing and saw the prequels: George Lucas has no idea how to tell a coherent story.

Brown: I think George Lucas makes two kinds of movies: Where everyone talks and nothing happens, or everyone drives around and nothing happens. He may just be the blind squirrel who found a nut. Sorry to ruin your childhood, everyone.


Froemming: Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull

Like Brown, I got George Lucas in my sights for this category. But a different film. “Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull” should never have happened after we saw what Lucas did to the “Star Wars” prequels. But alas, we get CGI gophers, Dr. Jones surviving a nuclear blast via refrigerator and (REDACTED) aliens. This series went out on a high note with “Last Crusade,” only to be brought back and bludgeoned to death with Lucas’ dumb hubris.

From the review: Froemming: You’ve just become that guy who defends midichlorians in the “Star Wars” prequels. I don’t even know who you are anymore, Brown.

Honorable Mention:Charlie St. Cloud

Brief thoughts:

Brown: I still don’t think “Kingdom of the Crystal Skulls” is that bad of a movie. Indy does stupid (REDACTED) in every movie, so the fridge never bothered me. The CGI is a bigger flaw than the impossibility of every Indiana Jones movie.

Froemming: To quote from the review above, you’ve just become that guy who defends midichlorians in the “Star Wars” prequels. I don’t even know who you are anymore, Brown.

The Ugly

A film so bad it was almost intolerable to sit through and hard to review.


Brown: Birdemic

This year, we watched two movies that are routinely mentioned as the worst ever: “The Room” and “Birdemic.”

For all its many problems, there’s a certain charm about “The Room.” That’s why there’s midnight screenings of it, and a movie based on the making of it in “The Disaster Artist.” I saw “The Disaster Artist” and I’d highly recommend it.

“Birdemic”… It was entertaining for all the wrong reasons like “The Room.” And I can say it was unequivocally the worst movie I’ve ever seen.

But, it’s one thing to be a bad movie. It’s another for a movie like “Birdemic” that is terrible AND preachy with an overbearing environmentalist message.

Finally, for a movie called “Birdemic,” it took 45 minutes for (REDACTED) birds to show up.

From the review: Brown: The way I described Rod in my notes was that he’s the human embodiment of a limp-wristed handshake.”

Honorable Mention:No Holds Barred

Brief thoughts:

Froemming: I don’t think it was ugly ugly, but this was not a good film. I’ve seen student film in college that were better put together. It lacks the charm of classic bad movies, and frankly, there was a shocking amount of creepy stares from our protagonist toward the woman lead that made me feel like someone should call the cops on him.

Brown: I want to find where this movie was made and NEVER stay at the hotels in said town. The one thing that haunts me from this one was how soot black the female lead’s feet were when she was about to have sex with Rod, our bionic lead.

Plus, the female lead is credited as Nathalie. I refuse to spell the name Natalie like that.


Froemming: “Maid in Manhattan

Looking at the list of films we reviewed, most of it was pretty solid. Then Brown decided to make us watch this Jennifer Lopez Rom Com. I saw red throughout this entire stupid movie. From the confusing politics to the dumb romance, this movie is more useful as a torture technique than entertainment.

From the review: Brown: Obsessed with Nixon to the point that Ty (who plays J-Lo’s son) spent his summer vacation working on a speech about the man. This has next to nothing to do with the plot, but I’ll be damned if I’m going to ignore a child who wasted his summer on Richard (REDACTED) Nixon. Not for nothing, but this movie took place in 2002. Ty was not listening to Simon and Garfunkel. Probably Hoobastank.

Honorable Mention:The Wicker Man

Brief thoughts:

Brown: The one was a slog, I will admit. And thanks to the Anthony Hopkins Hannibal Lecter movies, all I think of when I see Ralph Fiennes is him slaughtering people as The Red Dragon. Would have made for a more terrifying, and probably better, movie if that were the case.

And to think a story ‘80s legend John Hughes was the basis of this dreck.

Froemming: Children will never fawn over Richard Milhous Nixon. This movie tried to make that a thing. I have no (REDACTED) idea why. This movie had to have been spawned by demons in hell.

The Guilty Pleasure

A film that we probably shouldn’t have enjoyed, but ended up having fun with it.


Brown: Manborg

A little background: As a sports writer, I work late nights. And as a page designer, Froemming works late nights. So occasionally, I’ll give him a call around midnight and just shoot the (REDACTED).

Two phrases from movies seem to have stuck with us. One is from “Dead Zone” when Walken yells “THE ICE. IS GONNA BREAK.”

The other: Manborg, telling his friends in a robotic, monotone voice: “It’s not about the killing. It’s about… family.”

Nothing makes sense about this movie. And as a film, it is shot like a cut scene from a old-school Playstation game. But it’s so down-right bizarre that it’s a lot of fun.

Plus, Nazi vampires.

From the review:Froemming: His brother, there to comfort Manborg in his final moments, gives him encouraging words such as “There is no heaven.”

This is the end of the hero’s journey, folks: His dead brother informs him there is no heaven as he is about to die. Holy (REDACTED) I was not expecting that.

Honorable Mention:Bridget Jones’ Diary

Brief thoughts:

Froemming: Best video game movie ever. Also, it was never a video game.

Brown: I’ve seen video games that run much smoother than this movie does. It’s something that both shocks and intrigues me.


Froemming: “Bridget Jones’s Diary

Boy did Brown’s revenge pick go sideways on him here, because this was not a typical Rom Com. This was a funny Rom Com with dark edges and Hugh Grant getting punched in the face! And I generally thought this was a fun movie. I could identify with Bridget Jones being a single person in their 30s making dumb resolutions on changing their life, only to not really do so.

From the review: Brown: And really, Daniel is as much a PR nightmare as Michael Scott, but at least Michael Scott had a trying-too-hard charm about him. Daniel sees a woman in a skirt that’s a little bit short and immediately has the hormones I had the first time I watched “Porky’s.”

Honorable Mention:Manborg

Brief thoughts:

Brown: As I’m writing my thoughts on our picks, I’m munching on a bag of gummy bears while waiting on a turkey pot pie to cook in the oven.

First, I feel like that’s something Bridget Jones would totally do. Second, why do pot pies take so damn long to cook?

Froemming: There are two things I really enjoy about the JOE-DOWN: I love it when Brown’s revenge picks blow up in his face. I also love hearing him complain about how long it takes for pot pies to cook. Yes, I am an evil man.

The Revenge

Films we picked purely out of spite to make the other suffer.


Brown: Charlie St. Cloud

I summed this up at the start of the review: “I just wanted to make his life a living hell for 90 minutes. And I picked “Charlie St. Cloud” just by name alone. See, Froemming grew up in St. Cloud, and like any cynical adult, he’s not exactly fond of his hometown.”

Between a dead brother, constant geese problems and graveyard sex with a ghost (or something, I don’t know how to describe it), I nearly broke Froemming.

From the review: Froemming: Well, Tess shows up before with a (REDACTED) concussion, which Dr. St. Cloud just patches up with iodine and calls it good. Then, he swoops in on this poor, confused, concussed and obviously in need of medical care woman and asks her on a date. And she accepts.

Charlie St. Cloud, in my opinion, is a sexual predator in this film. Preying on someone who is obviously not in a position to make rational decisions and whatnot.”

Honorable Mention:Maid in Manhattan

Brief thoughts:

Froemming: (REDACTED) this (REDACTED) movie.

Brown: I will find “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2,” and then you will witness Civil War, dear readers.


Froemming: Twilight

It took me about a year to find something on equal footing as the time Brown picked “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.”  With “Twilight” and the glittery vampires of Forks, Wash., I believe I came close to breaking Brown. And with its sequels, we have a Cold War era-style Détente from torturing one another with movies about magical pants and emo vampires.

From the review: Brown: You know, Froemming… we’ve made picks on this blog many times to try to spite one another. At times, I’ve thought you were a misguided jerk. But in picking “Twilight,” you finally evolved into a monster.

Honorable Mention:You Got Served

Brief thoughts:

Brown: I’m still convinced that Bella has an undiagnosed sinus infection that causes her to have to breathe out of her mouth like a goon. And Anna Kendrick is still the best actress in this movie for a throwaway line about her boobs looking good in a dress.

Thought I must take umbrage with my quote above: You’ve always been a monster. “Twilight” just reminded me of that.

Froemming: I am so happy there are four more of these we can review!

Standout Moment

Part in a particular movie, good or bad, that sticks out the most.


Brown: Nic Cage in “Deadfall.”

Nicolas Cage Month was one hell of an endeavor for us Joes. We met up and watched four straight movies featuring Hollywood’s favorite eye-bulging lunatic.

Each movie had its psychotic moments. But Nic Cage’s brief showing as Eddie King in “Deadfall” is a PhD class in insanity.

I can’t give this performance justice. Just watch the YouTube video.

From the review: Brown: After watching this performance, it’s clear that Nic hates his brother, right? The only thing giving an A-effort in this movie is Nic’s vocal chords with how much he screams.”

Honorable Mention: The first 25 minutes of “The Room”

Brief thoughts:

Froemming: When we started watching “Deadfall,” we thought we had made a huge mistake. Until Cage came into the picture. And blew our minds with whatever the (REDACTED) you call what he does in this movie. I am still in awe, and if you want peak Cage craziness, watch the video above.

Brown: He somehow won an Academy Award. We can’t let this fact go, man.


Froemming: Nic Cage punching a woman while wearing a bear suit in “The Wicker Man.”

I, too, went back to Nicolas Cage Month for what has become an ongoing joke not only in our JOE-DOWN reviews, but when we chat via Facebook. We watched this together in a crazy night of four Cage films, and we both laughed way too hard at Nicolas Cage, wearing a bear suit, just up a punching his child’s kidnapper in the face at a pagan celebration.

I need to take a look at this again.

Ahhh, that’s the stuff.

From the review: Brown: This is where we, here at the JOE-DOWN, remind you that Nic Cage is an Academy Award-winning actor.

Honorable Mention:  The insanely catchy tune “Hanging Out With My Family” that had the whitest white-people dancing scene ever from “Birdemic.”

Brief thoughts:

Brown: Most surreal moment you’ll see in a movie, ever. When I’m in a terrible mood, Nic Cage, who makes it a habit in this movie to assault women without a second thought, the man in a bear suit triggers endorphins in my brain that cheer me up. Who needs antidepressants with Nic Cage in a bear suit? Actually, probably Nic Cage.

Froemming: Hold on, I gotta see that again.

Yup, still makes me feel a lot better.

That’s a wrap on 2017…

Brown: Starting from “Flashdance” all the way to “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” we’ve watched some classics and some absolute (REDACTED) both to amuse ourselves and our readers.

And in 2018, expect more of the same.

I mean, there’s plenty of Jerry Bruckheimer movies out there.

And we’ve never covered a Steven Seagal movie yet!

Heck, Adam Sandler has avoided the wrath of the JOE-DOWN… so far.

No more “Fuller House,” though. We’re done with that. No Al Pacino getting pulled back into “The Godfather” for us.

So as we close out 2017, thank you for reading and letting us use the phrase (REDACTED) a whole lot.

Here is what’s coming up for the next Joe-Down:

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