There have been movies about indulgence, such as Barfly, Lost Weekend and Le Grande Bouffe, but to me the ultimate sign of indulgence is either spending a ton of money on a film or creating a dud that nobody wants to watch. If you Google "the most expensive movies ever made" and "worst movies ever," there's a lot of overlap between these two categories. Here's our short list of Hollywood at its most excessive.
The Ten Commandments and Ben Hur
Cecil B DeMille's The Ten Commandments and William Wyler's Ben Hur, (both Charlton Heston vehicles) epics actually did ok.
Passion of the Christ
Mel Gibson's went uber-sadistic in his version of Jesus' last days.
After swallowing The Lord of the Rings accolades, Peter Jackson went on to spend all his extra dough remaking this old Hollywood favorite that flopped like a freshly clubbed seal.
Kevin Costner Inc.
With two big entry blunders The Postman (filmed here in Oregon) and Waterworld, Costner proved that while he could Dance with Wolves he could also fall on his face.
Tree of Life
Terence Malick deserves special recognition. No matter how you look at his films, they are steeped in indulgence and Tree of Life is the best-looking, boring masterpiece ever made.
This Kris Kristopherson "anti-Western" came with the cringe-worthy tag, "The only thing greater than their passion for America was....their passion for each other," and was the beginning of the end of over-indulgent, long-winded storytelling. Director Michael Cimino was practically blacklisted for that fiasco, which was a shame because it was actually a pretty good movie.
The Entire 70s Disaster Craze
The Towering Inferno fizzled out, Poseidon Adventure tanked
Michael Bay's Entire Remake Repertoire
Bay has been single handedly and systematically destroying the classic horror movies of yesteryear. Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Friday the Thirteenth and Nightmare on Elm Street all have his indelible stamp of over produced, high tech wizardry that prove to be a major let down from the original versions. Leave well enough alone.
Jar Jar's Star Wars
Why would anyone think to make a prequel with better special effects than the original flicks. Too bad the scripts were as hollow as the CGI.
John Travolta invested like crazy in this scientology based sci-fi tale that bombed both critically and financially. The true measure of epic Hollywood failure.