The Crimson Pirate (1952)
Burt Lancaster is electric as the pirate Captain Vallo in this highly entertaining swashbuckling romp that was clearly an inspiration for Pirates of the Caribbean. But even the charismatic Vallo is upstaged by Ojo, his captivating, non-speaking sidekick who is best described as a cross between Jack Sparrow and Harpo Marx. Together they get into one scrape after another, always the best of friends, and always fun to watch.
Howard the Duck (1986)
This could have been a fun ‘80s romp. Unfortunately, Howard’s wisecracks, Tim Robbins’ “scientist,” the hokey bad guy, and all other attempts at humor fell flatter than a pancake after being visited by a steam roller. And then there is the bizarre and unsettling scene when Lea Thompson tries to seduce Howard that is wrong on so many levels, especially in a movie obviously aimed at children.
(You know I've seen some really bad movies this year when something as infamously bad as Howard the Duck is only the fourth worst movie I saw all year.)
Coming up next: two very stylish movies, one of which is a slick work of art while the other is a confusing mess.