Movies That Don't Suck // 2003 // 94 Minutes // Unrated
Reviewed by Judge Bill Treadway (Retired) // October 31st, 2003
"Whatever happens is...whatever happens"
-- Graham Nash
Finally, two and a half months until the start of the new year, here is the worst film of 2003. A film with no shame, no morals and no brains (well, there's one exception).
The plot...oh, what does it matter? Is anyone out there watching a movie called Bar Fighter expecting a plot? It follows the misadventures of a "struggling actor" named Jack Moser as he goes to bars in search of patrons willing to fight. I know some people will do anything for their big break, but this? He should be ashamed of himself. There are better, safer, and smarter ways to get discovered. Harry Chapin rented a Greenwich Village cafe for an entire summer in 1971. Orson Welles started the Mercury Theater. Heather Rose, a young actress with cerebral palsy, wrote, co-produced, and starred in an independent feature. The list could go on, but you get my point.
The influence of Jackass is seen throughout this stinker. That show (and film) had a midget, Wee Man. This film has one of their own, Peter Badalamenti, whose claim to fame is urinating on the holiest of all literature in front of a bystander. Another "gag" is lifted from Problem Child 2. When you're resorting to lifting material from one of the lesser John Ritter vehicles, you know you've hit rock bottom.
The film's treatment of women is execrable. These jerks do things to them that would have Arnold Schwarzenegger shaking his head in disbelief. No doubt that some women will do anything when a camera is in sight. But is it necessary to exploit them for a cheap thrill? I say no.
There is only one small ray of light in this cesspool. Raelyn Hennessee was not originally part of this film but managed to impress the filmmakers. It's easy to see why. She is charismatic, funny, and has a razor sharp wit that is lacking in the rest of the cast. If given a chance, she could be a real talent on the indie circuit.
A full frame presentation is fitting, considering the digital video origins of the photography. It looks fine, with colors in good shape and very little grain. The camerawork itself wasn't very good to begin with. Why do some cinematographers, when given a digital video camera, feel the urge to create vertigo-inducing images? There are affordable attachments such as Steadicam Jr that will produce a stable, crisp image when handheld.
The disc's lone extra is a commentary track featuring the cast and crew. There are quite a few gaps in the track. As Judge Naugle pointed out in his review of National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation: Special Edition, apparently some actors think that the recording sessions are the proper time to watch the movie. This is no different. Again, Raelyn provides the best moments. But otherwise, skip it.
There is no scene selection option on the menu, yet there are chapter stops (16) that one can skip through. How hard is it to provide a scene selection? Some of the worst public domain titles have scene selection. Why not this one?
So how do I sum this up? With all apologies to Dr. Seuss, here goes:
I do not like it in the store
I do not like it right at home
I do not like it here or there
I do not like it anywhere
I do not like Bar Fighter: The Movie
I do not like it, Jack-I-Am.
Guilty! Now get out of my courtroom before I find you in contempt, Movies That Don't Suck!
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Movies That Don't Suck
* Full Frame
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono (English)
Running Time: 94 Minutes
Release Year: 2003
MPAA Rating: Unrated
* Commentary Track with Cast and Crew
* Official Site