These aren't duds that I happened to casually catch on cable late some nights when nothing else was on, or crapfests I was forced to watch in film class. These are motion pictures that, for one reason or another, I paid to see in an actual movie theater. Some of these may have their admirers and supporters, but for me, they were a waste of time.
Leaving Las Vegas - This was without a doubt the most depressing flick I ever endured. I walked out of the cineplex wanting to slit my wrists. Watching Nicolas Cage's character, Ben Sanderson, slowly drink himself to death was not my idea of entertainment, nor did I find anything enlightening or profound about the so-called story. It seemed to me nothing more than a variation of a familiar, overused theme that I had seen a hundred times in other, better, more complex movies -- it actually reminded me of dozens of horrendous student films I had to sit through. While Elisabeth Shue was a highlight of an otherwise meritless production, her role was still a glorified cliche -- the hooker with a heart of gold. Even though Cage won an Academy Award for his performance, and the film received a number of other Oscar nominations, it was still unbearable to watch.
Tank Girl -- The only movie I ever actually walked out of in a theater was this misguided mish-mosh. The original comic which was the source material for this travesty would have been better served as an animated film, but as a live action motion picture, it was ridiculous, especially Ice-T as a mutant kangaroo. The often wonderful Lori Petty, Naomi Watts, and Malcolm McDowell could not save this cinematic dungheap. To be fair, since my friends and I walked out about a quarter of the way through it, maybe it redeemed itself and delivered some wonderful moments later on -- but I wouldn't bet my life on that, and I certainly have no motivation to watch it again to see if it improves on second viewing.
Joe Versus the Volcano -- I love writer John Patrick Shanley who also directed this drivel, so I feel especially bad including it on this list, but I must. The plot is ludicrous and all over the place, retelling it here would make your brain cells die just by reading it. Tom Hanks is bland in the lead. Meg Ryan plays three different characters, all forgettable. The absolute worst part was Abe Vigoda as Chief of the orange soda loving Waponis.
Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday -- I've seen some crappy horror films in my day, but this one takes the booby prize for the worst of the worst. The only thing I can be proud of was that it was not my choice to see this monstrosity of celluloid in the first place, but I followed the crowd and hence paid the price by losing two hours of my life that I will never recover. One doesn't have delusions of seeing an artistic classic when watching a slasher movie, but this turd represents all the negative diatribes hurled at the genre. My friends who convinced me to see it tried to point out the silver lining -- the first scene was well-done (a stereotypical damsel in distress trying to escape the psychopath Jason Voorhees, with a predictable but mildly effective twist) and the very ending was a crowd-pleaser (a teaser for Freddy vs. Jason, but too little too late) -- none of which was enough to add any positive points to the dullest, least interesting chapter in the Friday the 13th franchise.
Map of the Human Heart -- Among my inner circle of friends, I will never live down dragging them to see this movie. What can I say to describe this film that I am sure none of you have ever heard of? I have done my best to wipe it from my mind, but certain elements still linger, tormenting me, refusing to be erased from my cerebrum -- an improbable love-making scene on top of a hot air balloon (I kid you not) and the annoying phrase "Holy boy!" I wanted to see this film because I was really impressed with the performance of its star Jason Scott Lee in Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story. It's such a shame that he followed up that terrific movie with crap like this and Rapa Nui.
If any of you like any of these films, my apologies, but I stand by my opinion that these are examples of the worst stories ever recorded on celluloid.