During a recent telephone conference, DT emphatically stated that we needed to take the reviews up a notch and come down hard on some really crappy movies. Did someone say crappy movie? Well Leonard Part 6 fits the bill period. Winner of three Razzi Awards (Worst Actor (Cosby), Worst Picture, and Worst Screenplay (Jonathan Reynolds and Cosby). The film was nominated for two more Razzie Awards, for Worst Supporting Actress (Foster) and Worst Director (Weiland). The film was so bad the Cosby went on the talk show circuit denouncing the film telling people to save their money. Cosby went so far as to personally buy up all of the television rights to Leonard Part 6 so it could not be shown on T.V. Wow, that really says something. However, even these facts never really prepares the viewer for the soul draining Leonard Part 6 experience. Even the normally benign movie critics Siskel and Ebert were as hard on this film as I have ever seen (see review below).
Anyone who lived through the 1980’s remembers the Cosby Show (1984-1992) which was constantly at the top of the Nielsen ratings. The Cosby Show was so popular in fact that they moved the airing of the World Series so that it didn’t run against it. That’s pretty god damn popular no matter how you cut it. We all know that actor Bill Cosby is mortal and like so many actors he must have let his ego out of the cage and into the wilderness. In fact Leonard Part 6’s director in an interview said “It was a terrible mistake. … When anyone gets into that position (Bill Cosby’s position of power in the 1980s), they are surrounded by sycophants and no one tells them the truth. But Cosby just wasn’t funny. I couldn’t tell him directly. I’d say it feels slow, and he’d say, ‘You worry about construction, let me worry about funny.’” For his part Cosby did try to shift some of the blame to the films first time director, but he had nowhere to go there as not only did Cosby act in this movie, but he also wrote and produced it.
Let’s try to summarize the plot—this is very difficult because there is so much crap you have to sift through. Our hero, Leonard Parker, is a former secret agent turned San Francisco restaurateur forced out of retirement by the CIA to retrieve some sphere that makes animals, insects etc. kill humans. In addition to this “storyline” his daughter is engaged to a septuagenarian black Italian, and his estranged wife, who, after seeing him for the first time in seven years, dumps soup all over him.
Leonard uses his daughter’s engagement to the old director as an excuse to call his ex-wife. For the next 20 minutes or so we are treated to a montage of Cosby getting ready for the dinner with his ex-wife (who he could only bear live across the street from)—doing everything from getting a petty cure to exercising with Jane Fonda to get in shape. According to SJ “this was the worst part of the movie.” After getting soup dumped on him, Cosby decides to return to the spy business and stop the evil vegetarians. First, he goes to see some gypsy fortune teller that he doesn’t understand who eventually gives him sticks of butter (to ward off attacking lobsters). All beef patties (to use against the vegetarian henchmen), a queen bee to distract a hive of bees protecting the sphere, a hotdog that makes the evil woman’s side kick explode and we don’t even know what else!
Then the film really starts to move when Leonard infiltrates Medusa’s lair and must fight an army of dancing bird-men in bikini briefs for god’s sake who try to dance him to death, but Leonard outsmarts him by putting on a pair of ballet slippers he got from the gypsy. He then dances his way out of trouble and foils his attackers. We could not make this shit up!
Next, we see him riding an ostrich on the roof of a building, through a neon sign, then turning into some obvious puppet while there’s an explosion behind him. Cosby also performed surgery on himself, drove his Porsche 928 with a turret on top through the streets of San Francisco (of course jumping through the hilly streets), throws alka seltzer into vats of dish soap to stop the liquid from contaminating the Bay area and Christ who knows what else. Don’t call us liars, this is the actual film!
But don’t take JPFmovies word for it here are some live comments from critic at large SJ:
“Isn’t this a spy movie? It’s been 20 minutes of no spying.”
40 minutes into the film: “what is happening?”
“Whose Idea what this?”
“Why is there narration?”
“Shaving the dancing chicken—I am not sure that is really necessary.”
“Aren’t her attacks supposed to be animal based? Why is there a machine gun and why is she so sparkly?”
SJ hand on forehead pulling back her hair.
“What’s with the fortune teller having a queen bee?”
“That is definitely not how bees work?”
“This is a terrible idea. Why is he operating on himself? Why can’t this guy do surgery (butler) why can’t he go to a hospital?”
“Why doesn’t he train the butler to be a surgeon?”
The Play “why is any of this part of the movie?”
“Any good villain should know that you don’t monolog.”
“Stop screaming; they’re lobsters!”
“Really? They had that made of glass? That’s just poor planning.”
“Really?” (Beef patties thrown on vegetarians)
“Oh god. Who approved this?” (Cosby riding ostrich)
“That is not how ostriches work. Nobody taught Bill Cosby that the ostrich is a flightless bird?”
What if I told you that this movie cost 51 million in adjusted dollars to make? “Jesus Christ!”
So, you want to torture a movie lover? Just make them watch Leonard Part 6—it works every time.