And Presenting, for the First Time When Stars Collide, Magic and Mayhem Ensues


Published: April 17, 2008

Who would win in a fight—Jet Li or Jackie Chan? Come April 18, we may finally know. The answer to this ageless and most important question will be graciously provided by “The Forbidden Kingdom,” which, I can assure you, is the greatest movie ever made. I don’t really know what it’s about yet, but it looks like there’s going to be a great deal of fighting, possibly magic. Perhaps Jet Li and Jackie Chan have superpowers? It doesn’t really matter. But it’s about time, in any case: a man can only wait so long to watch two of his favorite actors beat the tar out of each other. So, in the spirit of anticipation, I present to you a list of other notable cinematic team-ups, from the masterpieces and the hallmarks to the most abhorrent, cancerous heaps of celluloid trash.
Let it begin.

Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee
“The Satanic Rites of Dracula” (1974)

The sequel to “Dracula A.D. 1972,” “Satanic Rites” has more than just a bitching title to secure its place in the hallowed halls of camp-horror excellence. I’m referring to the cast, naturally. Horror legend Christopher Lee returns to the role of the infamous Count, joined this time by fellow horror-alum Peter Cushing. What follows is a garbled mess of futuristic viruses, satanic rituals and secret agents. It’s ludicrous, silly and undeniably excellent. All that’s missing is Vincent Price.

Captain Kirk and Jean-Luc Picard
“Star Trek: Generations” (1994)

Here I venture into dangerous territory. I must be cautious, lest I rouse the sleeping wrath of the Roddenberry-faithful in their writhing thousands. But nevertheless, I’m going to say it: “Generations” isn’t that bad. In fact, it’s pretty awesome. The first and only film to unite the two greatest captains of the Enterprise, “Generations” is centered around a celestial anomaly called the Nexus, a force that can make all one’s deepest desires come true. After finding Kirk himself lost within the Nexus, Jean-Luc and the crew of the Enterprise try to stop a renegade scientist (played by none other than Malcolm McDowell) before he can blow up an entire star system. The film’s portrayal of Kirk and Picard may not please the most hardcore fan, but it makes for a damn good movie.

Selma Hayek and Penelope Cruz
“Bandidas” (2006)

Sometimes a movie can be so bad that it’s funny. Somehow, even with its ridiculous pseudo-premise, “Bandidas” manages to fall short of even this dubious distinction. A vapid, fatuous exercise in softcore cheesecake, “Bandidas” does not actually appear to be about anything. There’s a farm in there somewhere, and I’m pretty sure someone is trying to buy it. Maybe Penelope Cruz’s father dies. Someone is doing something evil, and the only resolution is, quite naturally, to become “Bandidas” and make out with Steve Zahn. Now that I think about it, I’m entirely convinced he was the driving force behind this rambling, Victoria’s Secret commercial of a movie. But who can blame him, really?

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Arnold Schwarzenegger
“The 6th Day” (2000)

Finally. I’ve been waiting to see two Arnolds grace the silver screen ever since I saw “Predator.” Slightly disappointing, then, that the man should face his own doppelganger in such a misguided sci-fi/action flick. A slightly flimsy bedtime story about the dangers of cloning, “The 6th Day” isn’t all bad. It has its fair share of interesting ideas (black-market cloning facilities, cloning clauses for athletes and celebrities), most of which were promptly ripped off by Michael Bay’s “The Island.” However, the action sequences leave something to be desired, especially when you pause to consider the damage two Arnolds could—and should—be doing.

Batman and Robin
“Batman and Robin” (1997)

If you want to get technical, Batman and Robin actually met up in “Batman Forever,” but “Batman and Robin” presents such an easy target that I find it hard to resist. What can I say about this movie that hasn’t already been said? It’s a self-indulgent mockery of comics, film and people everywhere. Anyone who likes good things should avoid this movie like the plague, and world leaders everywhere should band together to see every last copy burned upon a pyre, the smoke of which would probably rise like a poisonous tongue to ruin the sky. Flamboyant, ridiculous and absurdly overbudgeted, “Batman and Robin” is the reason people hate Joel Schumacher. I am not entirely sure how George Clooney managed to survive this festering fart of a film, nor am I convinced that he deserved to, having had to sit through two hours of his sideways grins and fanciful cavorting. At the very least, I feel I deserve an apology.