Whatever Happened To Ishtar?

There is certainly no shortage of bad movies these days, but to A.O. Scott, there don’t seem to be many current films that approach the colossal level of sheer badness attained by the Hollywood of yesteryear. Why should we care? Well, the elements that go into a great flop are frequently the same pieces that can come together to form a masterpiece: “extravagant ambition, irrational risk, pure chutzpah, a synergistic blend of vanity, vision and self-delusion. The tiniest miscalculation on the part of the artist – or of the audience – can mean the difference between adulation and derision. So in the realm of creative achievement, the worst is not just the opposite of the best, but also its neighbor.”