What Were They Thinking: Five Great Actors In Five Terrible Films


I can respect that people need to pay bills. Hell, we have all done some things we aren’t proud of to make money (I sold bootleg pancakes out of the back of a van once), and that is just a part of life. But nowhere can that be more evident than when a seemingly great actors take ungodly awful roles in a movie that you KNOW they knew better than to take. I almost always imagine the actor, sitting behind closed doors, laughing about it to his closest friends. Hell, there are even examples where the actors or actresses openly admitted they did it for the money and knew the movie sucked.

David Cronenberg calls his cameo in Jason X the role that bought him a new car. But there are certain examples of actors who are heavily respected in the industry taking roles even I would be too ashamed to take, and I have no shame, so what does that say about them? Here are five great actors who fell far from grace during the ninety minute run of most of the movies mentioned here. I am aware it will seem like I am picking on a few kid’s movies, and that may seem unfair or an easy target, but rationalize why an actor like Walken or De Niro EVER needs to pander to an audience of children? That is the real question here. A bad script is a bad script, and all of these alumni should have known better then to allow their faces to be seen in these steaming piles of feces, eagerly passed off as film.

Bobby ” You Talking To Me” De Niro in Rocky and Bullwinkle


Atleast they could have had the balls to call it “RAGING BULLwinkle. That woulda sold some tickets.

I know there is a real inconsistency to Robert De Niro’s resume, but Rocky and Bullwinkle? ARE YOU SERIOUS?

I can only assume that De Niro and his manager had a massive falling out after they sat down and watched this. Who in the hell thought this was a good idea, in ANY form? The CG is god awful, the stupid 1950’s mentality of the jokes do not transfer into the current generation at all, and everyone seems mildly uncomfortable at all times when they are on screen. Even George Costanza (Jason who?) must have been thinking to himself “SERENITY NOW”, over and over, so he wouldn’t run off the set. But De Niro? WHYYYY??!!

I understand it may have been his only chance at doing something “kid friendly”, but my main question about that is why does he need to?  That is like Radiohead feeling compelled to put out a metal album. Stick with what you are good at, and comical impressions in kid’s movies is not one of those things for De Niro.

Al “Hoo HAA” Pacino in Jack N’ Jill


In this scene, you can tell even Sandler is shocked Pacino is here.

In what kind of twisted vision of hell is ANY OF THIS OKAY?

It is bad enough people are expected to sit through a film that gives us TWO Adam Sandlers, but then you take one of the greatest actors of all time, cast him right along side Sandler, and then expect us to be able to tolerate him trying to bounce sad jokes back and forth off each other? This is Scarface, damnit. This is the Devil. This is Serpico. I understand they threw a heaping wad of money at Pacino to do it, and I know Sandler actually does (somehow) have some pull in the movie world now, but come on. I couldn’t even make it through ten minutes of the movie, Hell, for all I know, Pacino was amazing in this, but that is like saying there is a fly that can speak French, but to find him you have to burrow through a piece of shit first.

Nah, I’m good.

Christopher “More Cowbell”  Walken (Tie) Puss in Boots/The Country Bears


Pretty sure only one of those is real, and it sure as shit aint Walken.

Okay, so which one is weirder? The one where Walken plays Puss from a musical version of Puss in Boots (which he says is his favorite performance of his), or his role as the mean tycoon trying to ruin some bears lives in The Country Bears? I know Walken is pure, beautiful insanity, and throwing curve balls at the audience is his thing, but which one of these two really deserve a spot on this list? Could it be, Puss:


Actually, this one is kind of awesome. “Just reach out a paw and catch some birds” is my new favorite Walken line.

Or, this, where he finally realizes that he is in a movie based on a shitty Disney ride, but only in his final shot:


His inflection here is without reason. It is like he realizes there are bears in the FINAL SECOND of his role.

So the winner is clearly Country Bears. While Puss in Boots is batshit insane, it is also slightly divine, and it is clear to see Walken is having a blast. With Country Bears it is like he is playing an impression of himself doing a bad impression of himself. Wow, how meta. Not in a good way, though.

Michael “I Can Still Beat Your Ass” Caine in Jaws 4: The Revenge

moondo cain

In this moment, we see Michael Cain realizing the awful mistake he had made, and attempting to sink this ship to make up for it.

Okay, with all due respect, we know Caine had hit a bit of a dry spell by this point in his career, but regardless of that, Jaws 4 is so bad of a film, it makes New Jersey Shark Attack look like Shakespeare at sea. Not only does Jaws 4 toss out everything that made the first two Jaws films work so well, they added a “this shark is now like Jason Vorhees, and is bent on revenge” tip to it all. I mean, to put it in perspective, the shark follows the woman to the Caribbean. There are scenes where it growls, and it attacks a helicopter. You know, like that fake meme pic?


Yes, Jaws 4 did it first, and did it worst.

Yes, and on top of it, the shark explodes at the end of the movie as an homage to the first movie, yet explodes for no reason. Don’t tell me that tracker inside is what exploded. That is bullshit.  Okay, enough talk, just Michael Caine’s lack of actual emoting sums up this movie perfectly.  No, seriously, look at how he reacts to this (unbelievably stupid) death. You need to see this.


His reaction to a shark jumping out of the water and eating Mario Van Peeples is the way I react to hearing we are eating leftovers for dinner.

I don’t care how much they paid him, Michael Caine kicks WAY too much ass to be subjected to drivel like this. What was he thinking?

Ben “I Was Gandhi” Kingsley in BloodRayne


Oh, the whole “gonna stab you in the boob” thing. Yeah, that’s a Boll trademark.

I honestly believe any self respecting actor to willingly star in a Uwe Boll movie is doing the career equivalent of making a direct to DVD movie shot on a flip phone. Uwe Boll is such a humongous ass of a man, and every time he makes a film, the actual medium of film making loses an ounce of credibility, as does the gaming industry, which is where he oft sucks his inspirations from,  shitting on anything that made that game or story at all interesting. We could sit here and talk for hours about why Kingsley did this, but nothing I say or read will make sense to me.

You are talking about the man who played Gandhi, and made us somehow BELIEVE HE WAS GANDHI, suddenly working for a man who, literally, threatens to beat up journalists who say bad things about him. Sorry, but this one will never make sense to me. Oh, and while we are on the subject of Boll:

Hey Uwe Boll, I think you suck, and if you REALLY hated me, cast me as a bad guy in one of your movies. THAT will teach me way worse than beating my ass would!

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  1. Caine has a fantastic quote when asked about Jaws 4 – he says something along the lines of ‘I haven’t seen Jaws 4 but people tell me that it’s dreadful. I have seen the house that it built however, and that is magnificent’. At least he’s honest about it!

    Kingsley on the other hand – this is the same guy who was the Hood in the god awful Thunderbirds film a few years back! His film choosing ability appears to be up there with Nic Cage’s

  2. Explaining Christopher Walken’s thought process in being in the two movies mentioned above is simple, he doesn’t turn down movie roles. He believes that being able to act for a living is such a blessing that it’s wrong to turn down an offer. Only exceptions being if he’s too busy due to other commitments.

  3. Not sure if it was about BloodRayne or some other movie, but Kingsley said he took roles because they were fun for him to play without regarding the quality of the film itself. Which makes sense I suppose.

  4. Selling bootleg pancakes out of the back of a van sounds goddamn amazing, Carreiro, but I think the question on everyone’s minds is “WHY WOULD YOU WATCH THESE MOVIES?!” I saw Jaws because shark, and Bloodrayne because vampires, but what convinced you Rocky and Bullwinkle was a good idea for 90 minutes of your life?

  5. “Bill Murray in Garfield” – I feel bad for him. He was duped into thinking Joel Coen wrote it, but he didn’t. Even he regretted it (see Zombieland, lol).

    And Nick, I have a 10-year-old boy – I can’t even count the number of times we’ve watched the Jaws franchise. I drew the line at Country Bears, however.

  6. I had heard that Kingsley admitted he was in BloodRayne for a somewhat childish reason: He had never played a vampire before and he wanted to wear a cape.

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