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Author Topic: Showgirls (1995)  (Read 1286 times)

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Chiprocks1

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Showgirls (1995)
« on: December 20, 2012, 09:36:42 pm »

Look, I make no bones about how bad Showgirls is. It will never be confused with fine art or Z Grade films. It's a disposable commodity that really won't be remembered for anything other than the controversy surrounding the writing, direction and especially the "acting" by those involved with the making of Showgirls. So, with all of these things adding up to a heaping pile of sh*t, why am I watching this? That's easy, I like train wrecks.

So, where to begin with reviewing Showgirls? I guess I will start with the "writing" first. This is hands down one of THE worst screenplays ever. It's not that plot that sucks, which by the way is just a reworking of Joe Eszterhas' own Flashdance mashed up with All About Eve, but set in the world of Vegas, it's the dialog that makes you gag as you hear the characters speak. It's awful. No one talks like that, even the dumbest people on the planet have a better sense of real dialog as oppose to this made up garbage. That brings us to the "acting" by those brave enough to recite these "gems" written on the page. The biggest offender in the acting department is by Elizabeth Berkley as Nomi. The way she acts and says her lines is pretty horrendous to say the least. Her tantrums and reactions to those around her are so over the top ridiculous and make no sense at all. She has got to be the most p*ssed off character of all time. It's like she isn't even in the same scene and doesn't know what the appropriate way to behave in regards to what's transpiring in the scene. This brings me to the direction of the movie.

Paul Verhoeven who was awesome with Robocop and Total Recall, can't even be bothered to correct not just Berkley's atrocious acting, but everyone else involved. It's like he shot the scene and said to his DP, "that's good enough for me, let's cut and move onto the next scene". A real director or one that actually cared, would have reeled in the performances somewhat. Give the editor and yourself something to work with when putting the movie together. This brings me back to the Joe Eszterhas, who by the way I think is a joke and way overrated in general. Isn't the goal of writing to create a likable character, one that the audience can at least get behind so that we can empathize and root for them to succeed by movie's end? There is absolutely nothing to like about Nomi at all. Her sense of entitlement is such a turn off and therein lies why I think the movie succeeds in the entertainment department for me.

Because she is so unlikable, you can't help but get some sort of perverse satisfaction of all the sh*t that seems to fall into her lap. She deserves it because she is so callous and malicious toward other people, including her "friends". Look, I have nothing against Berkley at all, I actually like her and I do feel bad that her career tanked after the movie came out. She really was out of her league her and both Verhoeven and Eszterhas are to blame here. She trusted them and it was THEIR job to make sure that the movie came out good. But she can only go by what is written on the page and trust the director that they got the best possible take before moving on.

Showgirls really is a strange movie for me. How can something so bad be so damn entertaining as I find this to be? Like I said, train wrecks are fun and this, warts and all is definitely fun. If you've never seen this (which I find highly unlikely), you owe it to yourself to Rent this. If not for the bad writing, bad acting and bad directing, you will definitely want to check it out for all the T&A scenes. There are plenty and Berkley  turns in a couple of doozy's when it comes to dancing, which by the way...is HORRIBLE! But fun none the less! What's ironic is that Gina Gershon for all the negativity surrounding the movie, she came away from this pretty much unscathed. That's not to say that she didn't lay an egg or two here, which she did. I just find it somewhat strange that everyone else involved was torn apart by the media and she wasn't

FYI, this was the first and last NC-17 movie I've seen in the theater. I actually saw this on Opening Day, first showing. So, having watched this today, do I think this is the worst movie ever produced by Hollywood? Not even close. I've seen some pretty epic failures over the years that make Showgirls look like Oscar caliber worthy contenders.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2012, 10:30:44 am by Chiprocks1 »
Chip's Rockin' Art
Michael Scott To Meredith: "You've slept with so many men, your starting to look like one. BOOM! Roasted! Go here.

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Chiprocks1

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Re: Showgirls (1995)
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2012, 09:37:18 pm »
Showgirls DVD Screencaps

Coming soon.....even for a 2 star movie, there is plenty to post.
Chip's Rockin' Art
Michael Scott To Meredith: "You've slept with so many men, your starting to look like one. BOOM! Roasted! Go here.

Neumatic

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Re: Showgirls (1995)
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2012, 11:35:36 am »
I want to create an "After Dark" thread in the creative writing section for this kind of movie (along with stuff like "Night Shift" and "Doctor Detroit") but I'm worried it'd be censored or removed.

I probably should see this, but I also might want to consider writing down what I think it is beforehand.  Not sure yet.  Just never been inspired enough to see it.

Chiprocks1

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Re: Showgirls (1995)
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2012, 11:47:14 am »
Toss up your "pre-review" of Showgirls now and then come back and see if it matches.

As for your After Dark thread, get it started. We talk about all sorts of stuff...within reason. No  p o r n o g r a p h y  or discussions of Torrents and things that are basically illegal that could get this forum shut down are permitted. But everything else is okay.
Chip's Rockin' Art
Michael Scott To Meredith: "You've slept with so many men, your starting to look like one. BOOM! Roasted! Go here.

Neumatic

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Re: Showgirls (1995)
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2012, 11:49:34 am »
No no, of course (with terms of the restrictions and so on).  The plan was total reasonability, I just thought it would be a pre-emptive takedown.

Okay, here's what's in my head for what *I* think the movie will be, and I'm sure I'm being influenced by the career trajectory and response to the flick:

Nomi (Berkeley, right?) is at the top of her game, you have this glitzy new club on the strip and she's the star and she's signed a contract for big bucks, stuff's going her way.  And it all goes downhill for her from there.

For the "midwestern girl" just off the bus who's the fresh eyes into the whole experience, I can picture her moving on to something like a big grand "proper" stage job, she totally stole Nomi's boyfriend by accident because he's attracted to her genuineness (he's... I dunno what he is, he works at like a car dealership or something, and works out the car deals for ca si nos, you know those "win a car in a game" games, he secures the cars from his dad's dealership (but it'll be his one day, if he works hard).  Of course, Nomi is flaming furious at Midwestern Girl so she continually tries to sabotage her career and performance, and when he proposes, she does something "Basic Instinct" level of crazy when the guy proposes.  And during their wedding, she has an insane drug-fueled o r g y (I can't believe I have to stretch that word out like I'm Danny Devito or something) in a whole "who needs you" type of rebellion that's really just dragging her further and further down.

We also have the big Vegas star that Nomi models her life after, has everything Nomi wanted and she's about to surpass her.  Remember her, because she'll come up later.  She's got like a stable of boyfriends and she does drugs and it all looks glamorous and a lot of the furnishings in the house are shiny.

There's also this character who, in the clash of the titans between Nomi and Midwestern Girl falls to the wayside, who really didn't do anything wrong but wasn't a dynamo enough, those tow raise their game so much she can't compensate or gets fired and winds up in po rno or something, and someone else who just quits the lifestyle and walks out halfway through the movie (like so much of the audience) and we never see her again (because the actress had to go shoot another movie).

And of course, in their drive to out-compete each other, they keep making compromises the other wouldn't make, the Midwestern girl gets a Play Boy offer or something and so Nomi out-trashes her (maybe releases a s ex tape into the world to raise her profile, which seems like more of a 21st century thing to do, but whatever), they're selling their souls basically.

We also get a cameo from Casper Van Dien in one of the few daylight shots of Los Vegas.  Maybe as a hustler.  For some reason I think he's wearing a fedora and looks stupid.

The woman that Nomi modeled her life after dies of AIDS or something like that... which only drove Nomi into the drugs further.  There's a cut from the tacky Las Vegas funeral to her grungy apartment with loud blaring music and Nomi's nose deep in a mountain of coke while she's sobbing uncontrollably.

Nomi winds up ruined and destroyed, hoisted by her own petard, famous but not in the way she wanted "be careful what you wish for" type endings, shot up with heroin and snuff and flib (I don't know drugs, clearly) in some lousy crack house with her teeth falling out, and the genuine good soul dancer that she corrupted follows her example too well and there's the question of whether or not she's beyond redemption...  maybe a scene where she has a choice to help her, (be the bigger person) or just brush Nomi off the way Nomi brushed off everyone beneath her-- which, to her, WAS everybody.

Or MidWestern Girl ends up a suburban mom or something and that whole world and lifestlye was a bad dream-- I'm picturing this following the structure of a biopic for some reason.  This is a true story-- a too true story.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2012, 12:28:38 pm by Neumatic »

Chiprocks1

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Re: Showgirls (1995)
« Reply #5 on: January 15, 2013, 11:27:11 pm »
Siskel & Ebert - Showgirls Review

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5l7g_D5-DfE

A blast from the past. I haven't seen this review since the day it aired. So long ago!!
Chip's Rockin' Art
Michael Scott To Meredith: "You've slept with so many men, your starting to look like one. BOOM! Roasted! Go here.

Neumatic

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Re: Showgirls (1995)
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2013, 09:16:36 pm »
I'm still curious if I was ANYWHERE close with my little write-up.

Chiprocks1

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Re: Showgirls (1995)
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2013, 09:18:23 pm »
I'm still curious if I was ANYWHERE close with my little write-up.

No comment.
Chip's Rockin' Art
Michael Scott To Meredith: "You've slept with so many men, your starting to look like one. BOOM! Roasted! Go here.

Neumatic

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Re: Showgirls (1995)
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2013, 12:29:03 am »
So many thoughts on this movie, so many notes.  But it's running late so I'm not sure if I should wait until tomorrow to type them all out or storm out of here in an angry rage and cry against a random car!

Neumatic

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Re: Showgirls (1995)
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2013, 01:43:05 pm »
I have so many notes on this movie I know I'm not going to get them all out in one post-- and if I did, you'd never read that whole post so I'm going to space them out, but of course feel free to respond.

Do you remember the show "Malcolm In The Middle?"  There's an episode where Bryan Cranston takes up painting in the garage and he's never satisfied with it so he puts layer and layer upon layer onto this giant canvas and at the end, it collapses into a giant gooey mess.  That's the makeup in this movie.

I still stand by my theory that Nomi is a man who had a sex change.  Like I said, she's too tall, lacks any femininity, eats nothing but junk food but has a body better than any of the other ones out there, and she's got an ugly face and we never see her out of her horriffic warpaint.  I honestly think she's a guy who had a huge battery of plastic surgery operations to get the ideal (to him) female body and then wants to show it off.  It explains SO much.

The junk food drove me crazy, and coming from me that's saying something, if I become vegan or a gourmet you can thank this movie for it.  She eats so much trash I honestly expected-- and kind of hoped-- that at the climax when she's on stage she would just let out a GIGANTIC fart.  Like the one in the giant fantasy in the remake of the Nutty Professor.

Oh, and here's something that annoyed me, the club Nomi was working at, Cheetah's (or alternately, "THE Cheetah," they seemed to swap names back and forth).  There's nothing Cheetah-y about it.  You tell me the bar is named Cheetahs and I think okay, maybe the club owner is NAMED Cheetah, maybe there's like a Cheetah Lounge with fake furs that looks like an old hunting lodge, maybe there's  fake jungle thing going on, maybe the girls wear leopard print or there's a lot of cat terminology or they give the big spenders souvenir cat ears... no, nothing.  That sort of thing annoys me.

And the owner of the club, the one that looks your grandfather's suitcase, he's obsessed with one certain sexual act.  It's not even that depraved, really, it's pretty common, I kinda wanted him to go on a little monologue about it, "it's the greatest thing ever invented, it's like chocolate and peanut butter, who would have thought of putting those two things together?"  That actor was robbed of what could have been a pretty memorable scene.

But they all were, really.  I mean, all the dialogue was so terrible, it was like the first draft of a screenplay where they're writing the sort of thing they'll say and it wound up being the exact thing they say.

You know what this movie actually reminds me of?  Scary Movie.  It does, they have the same approach, basically "Let's be vulgar to an insane degree to shock audiences so that they'll know we're edgy."

Oh, I have SOOOO much more to complain about.

Chiprocks1

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Re: Showgirls (1995)
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2013, 02:07:19 pm »
I kept my initial review pretty "short" because I felt it was running a bit long as it was. This movie is the poster child of how not to write a screenplay, direct a movie, acting, etc...It will take a long time to inspect everything about Showgirls and just when you think you've picked everything apart, there's even more that seems to pop up later. Even Oscar winning movies have never been so scrutinized as this one has over the years.
Chip's Rockin' Art
Michael Scott To Meredith: "You've slept with so many men, your starting to look like one. BOOM! Roasted! Go here.

Neumatic

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Re: Showgirls (1995)
« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2013, 02:15:04 pm »
You could set your watch by how often Nomi would overreact to something and storm out angrily.

It wasn't an emotional roller coaster, it was an emotional strength mallet thing where you swing the hammer and the bell rings.  And it's not like we saw her doing drugs or anything to explain that behaviour.

Oh my god, there's a line where she says "you don't know me."  NOBODY knows her, we were maybe forty minutes into the movie and we have NO insight into her whatsoever, there's not even a little hint of it or an ominous foreshadowing or a weakness or a save the cat moment or anything like that, which is why we're coming up with theories like she's a man.

Neumatic

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Re: Showgirls (1995)
« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2013, 03:09:31 pm »
Seriously, if you're gonna rec or pester people to watch this movie, you gotta suggest a chaser.  I feel like i need to be vaccinated after that.

Chiprocks1

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Re: Showgirls (1995)
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2013, 03:23:35 pm »
Go with Striptease. Not a good movie in itself, but better than Showgirls for sure.
Chip's Rockin' Art
Michael Scott To Meredith: "You've slept with so many men, your starting to look like one. BOOM! Roasted! Go here.

Neumatic

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Re: Showgirls (1995)
« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2013, 04:40:59 pm »
You know, I don't remember the last time I saw Striptease but I kept thinking I would much rather be watching that, the dancing is better (and never looked like a fully body seizure), I remember there actually being a sense of humour to it and a likable main character.  And Demi Moore is so much better looking all around.

Something that I kept thinking about while watching Showgirls was just how unlikable the nudity was, it reminded me of art class where the novelty of the whole thing wears off after a minute or so and you're just sitting there thinking "this is weird."  You know that Hitchcock line about "the anticipation of the bang?"  I think movie nudity works the same way, you want to be teased, you want to be left thinking you're going to see more, you want a peek, but you don't want it all out there all the time, you don't have anything to wait for.

 

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