The JOE-DOWN Presents: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of 2018

Froemming: We watched 49 movies this year. Forty-nine (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.
We also recorded a whole month of podcasts this year, because we were too lazy to write about them.
So we once again compiled a list of the Good, the Bad and the Ugly, which looking back this year, we enjoyed the highs of “Citizen Kane” and the lows of “Twilight: New Moon.”
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: Dead Alive
From the review: Brown: Why would Paquita be attracted to a man who is clearly in his Norman Bates origin story? If this wasn’t a movie with zombies and diseased rat-monkeys, Lionel would definitely wear Paquita’s skin as a cardigan by the end.”

Honorable Mention:L.A. Confidential

Brief thoughts:

Brown: I mean, the best movie we watched was “Mad Max: Fury Road.” That movie is pretty much perfect.
But, I don’t remember having as much fun with a movie as we did with “Dead Alive.” The kung-fu priest is my banner photo on Facebook, so clearly it made an impact. If only more Academy Award-winning directors made schlocky horror movies in their past.

Froemming: This movie kicks ass for the Lord.


Froemming: Heat
From the review: Brown: Not to mention, this movie is hardly just De Niro and Pacino. This movie could be called “Michael Mann’s Night of Too Many Stars” and I’d be OK with it.”

Honorable Mention:Mad Max: Fury Road.”

Brief thoughts:

Froemming: Watching this floored me. I can’t believe I had not seen it before. It’s up there with “Bio-Dome” and “Die Hard” as a perfect movie. It is also a rare moment after watching a movie for the JOE-DOWN that I ended up buying the film. Which reminds me, I should watch it again tonight.

Brown: I recall as a teenager watching this movie with surround sound and being kind of surprised that the neighbors didn’t call a SWAT team thinking there was a gun fight in the house. This is a quintessential action movie.

The Bad

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


Froemming: Super Mario Bros.

From the review: Joe Brown’s realization that his knowledge of the Mario games being why he is single.

Honorable Mention:Double Dragon

Brief thoughts:

Froemming: This was a tough one to sit through. Everything about it was terrible. The only reason it isn’t in the Ugly category was I got to watch it with Brown while he was up in Bemidji, which made it a fun experience. Plus I made him take it with him when he left, because I didn’t want that DVD in my home.

Brown: It’s true! It’s still sitting in my car, where it’ll never join my DVD collection because it tries to desecrate the most beloved video game character in history. Also, Dennis Hopper has corn rows and I feel like that’s cultural appropriation.


Brown: Green Lantern

From the review: Froemming: Remember when I mentioned the ring’s limits is the imagination? Hal Jordan is a man child whose first thought in saving the day was “toy cars!”

Honorable Mention:The Flintstones

Brief thoughts:

Brown: Now I completely understand why Ryan Reynolds killed himself in “Deadpool” after watching this movie. This is, by far, the lamest superhero movie I’ve watched. And it broke Froemming to the point where he kept making tasteless Ted Kennedy references.

Froemming: Before Zack Snyder began ruining DC films, there was this piece of (REDACTED). When I found out they finished the script halfway through filming, it made more sense. Everyone involved with this movie should feel bad.

The Ugly

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


Brown: Mother

From the review: Brown: That’s when it dawned on me: This movie is a two-hour episode of ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’ where the worst people in the world come into a unassuming person’s life and go on to destroy them. They did it to Rickety Cricket and now they’re doing it to Mother.”

Honorable Mention:Wild Hogs

Brief thoughts:

Brown: A caveat: This is actually a decent movie. But for someone with anxiety, watching that many people in a house just break a bunch of social cues and getting all up into someone’s space… I’ve never felt more uncomfortable watching a JOE-DOWN movie than I did thanks to “Mother.” Darren Aronofsky, I enjoyed “The Wrestler,” but (REDACTED) you!

Froemming: Yup, this raised my anxiety ten-fold watching it. I really liked it for that, but like Aronofsky’s other movies, I won’t watch this one again.


Froemming: “The Boy in the Plastic Bubble

From the review: Froemming: This soul-sucking monster named Gina is to become the cause of a bunch of future grief for Tod, who really needs another (REDACTED) “d” in his first name.

Brown: People, with Froemming and I both working in newsrooms, we kindly ask you to stop naming your kids stupid (REDACTED).

Honorable Mention:Hackers

Brief thoughts:

Froemming: Travolta makes a teenager with a horrible disease unlikable. The man has a (REDACTED) gift. This made-for-TV-movie has everything we want in a Travolta movie. Brown struck gold here with this terrible, terrible movie.

Brown: I wish John Travolta actually had to be kept in a bubble so we’d A. Never have to sit through his movies again. And B. So he’d stop touching everyone’s face like he seems to in every movie.

The Guilty Pleasure

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


Brown: Street Fighter

Honorable Mention:Hell Comes to Frogtown

Brief thoughts:

Brown: The only good thing about this movie is Raul Julia. And he’s a big enough performance that makes me secretly love this movie. His speech to Chun-Li about the biggest day of her life just being Tuesday to him. His model city of Bisonopolis. His Tim Curry-esque, over-the-top performance more than makes up for JCVD phoning it in and a terrible paint job on Blanka.

Froemming: This movie was hilarious, only the director, actors and screenwriters never knew they were making a comedy. They whitewash Blanka? JCVD doesn’t understand microphones? It’s so stupid in a hilarious way.


Froemming: Bio-Dome
From the review: Froemming: This is a first here at the JOE-DOWN. We are attempting to critique a flawless film.

Brown: That’s a BOLD statement. The only movie I’ll say is flawless is “Die Hard.”

Froemming: A statement so bold that I made it on Twitter and got both (Pauly) Shore and (Stephen) Baldwin to like my tweet about it.”

Honorable Mention:Bloodsport

Brief thoughts:

Froemming: Flawless film. If there is a movie that deserves a Criterion edition, it is this. I am not joking, I love this movie. This movie made the list, and “Citizen Kane” did not. Think about that, people.

Brown: Like “Dirty Work,” I will always hold a special place in my heart for this terrible, terrible movie. Viva Los Bio-Dome!

The Revenge

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


Froemming: Twilight: New Moon
From the review: Froemming: Look, I think it is well established here at the JOE-DOWN that we are totally against mouth breathing. Breathe through your nose like a normal person, Bella.

Brown: Yeah, Bella. I fixed my snoring with a CPAP. The least you can do is use your nostrils.

Honorable Mention:Love Actually

Brief thoughts:


“Traveling Pants” has one sequel, this series has more. I can’t wait for “Twilight:
Eclipse” in 2019.

Brown: #TeamJacob
I often get asked about these reviews “Why do you do this to yourselves?” And when it comes to Twilight movies, I can never have a good answer, other than I know Froemming is suffering with me. Also, after two movies I’ve still not really emotionally invested in any of these characters other than wanting to see someone kill everyone in the town via garotte wire.


Brown: How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days

From the review: Froemming: Is your ‘how to’ column titled ‘How To Ruin A Friendship in 10 years?’ Because with this movie, you almost did.

Brown: More like ‘How To Ruin A Friendship in 110 minutes.’”

Honorable Mention:Hackers

Brief thoughts:

Brown: Knowing Froemming hates Rom-Coms this much gives me too much power. I now get how Thanos feels and it’s pretty (REDACTED) awesome. Plus, there’s always the looming threat of a “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” sequel.

Froemming: How this movie made Matthew McConaughey uncharming is the real story. Dude oozes charm and he’s a (REDACTED) wet blanket in this. I hated every moment of watching this. I was actually seething with hatred watching these two love birds make the other miserable.

Standout Moment

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

Brown: “The Circle of Life” becoming a recurring joke in our reviews

Honorable Mention: Samuel L. Jackson getting eaten by the shark in “Deep Blue Sea.”

Brief thoughts:

Brown: I think this started in “Dead Alive” and every time, I have to take a two-minute break to stop my laughing. The idea of Disney wholesomeness with a bunch of zombies screwing or wherever else Froemming brings it up… it just hits me hard every time.

Froemming: Yeah, we were reviewing “Dead Alive” and at the moment we brought up two zombies having sex and having a baby zombie, I asked myself “What would be the most inappropriate response to that?”

Froemming: Dennis Hopper in “Blue Velvet

Honorable Mention: Me using “Circle of Life” from “Lion King” to make Brown laugh.

Brief thoughts:

Froemming: It is not often when a character in a movie terrifies me. Leave it to David Lynch and Dennis Hopper to give the world Frank Booth, a PBR swilling psychopath who hates Heineken. And it haunts my dreams.

Brown: I think of Dennis Hopper every time I put on my CPAP to go to bed. Only, I become a sleep monster instead of a rage monster. I think my fear of Hopper subsided a little bit while watching him try to play King Koopa in “Super Mario Bros.,” but David Lynch, you have problems.

That’s a wrap!

Froemming: Well, 2018 had some highs and lows here. We lost our original website and like a snarky Phoenix rising from the ashes, we came back to make fun of “Man of Steel.”

Brown: Meanwhile, I worked like three jobs this year and the JOE-DOWN was my only consistent. Because somehow I leaned on watching bad movies to keep me sane. So that’s a window into my life.

Froemming: It was a strange year for sure. But the JOE-DOWN is always a highlight of my week. And being free of our company hosting our reviews, I thought we would have gone almost over-the-top, but we didn’t. Because some co-workers read this, I better save some of my weirder ideas for JOE-DOWN Nights, which I will never tell anyone we are doing if we ever get around to doing that. I like being employed.
And for 2019, we have some real whoppers to watch.

Brown: So dear reader, as we trek into the unknown of 2019, just know that us Joes will be here, hoping the next leap is our leap home watching (REDACTED) movies often to spite one another just for your entertainment.
So, let me ask:

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

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