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Ray of Shite: Madonna's Film Career

Look what Madge got, bitches!

Madonna may have conquered the music world on several occasions but her ventures into the film world have been less respected. Let's not hold back, they've been so critically panned that I do admire her resilience in continuing her attempt to build a film career. There's some delightfully awful dabbles into acting, occasional work as a producer and most recently her work as a director. With the release of her latest directorial feature, W.E. (which looks set to flop harder than Gigli), Silver Screen Slags has taken a look at the diverse filmography of the Queen Madge.

DESPERATELY SEEKING SUSAN (1985)"Saving Private Madge"

Plot
: Roseanne Arquette stars as a bored suburban housewife, who after being hit on the head and suffering amnesia, wakes up thinking she is a free spirited drifter (Susan).

Verdict: Overrated but light comic fun with a nostalgic feel. As with all memory looss/mistaken identity films, this is chock full of cliches. But for a pleasant slice of 80's comedy, you could do worse.

Floppage: Madge's cinema career is off to a good start, as the film made $27 million, over five times it's budget.

Madge-Scale: Madge's performance is actually quite good - she's fairly charming and manages to capture the fun, rebelliousness of an 80's rocker. 2 Madges


SHANGHAI SURPRISE (1986)
"Big Trouble in Little Madgetown"
 



Plot
: George Harrison produces tale of a fortune hunter who joins forces with an opium seeking nurse on a romantic quest for stolen drugs. Yes, really.

Verdict: This is where the fun starts, Shanghai Surprise is then couple, Sean Penn & Madge's Gigli. It's an entertaining mess of a film with a ridiculous plot, bad acting with wonderful camp value. Picture an atrocious Indiana Jones film starring Madonna. There's also a fantastic soundtrack from Harrison (who cameos as a night club singer)

Floppage: Mega-flop, making back $2m of it's $17m+ budget.

Madge-Scale: This is bad Madge - camp value and poor acting, just what we want to see. 3 Madges


WHO'S THAT GIRL (1987)"It's Madge, bitch!"

Plot
: Oh no, she wasn't discouraged by the poor performance of Shanghai Surprise. An uptight lawyer is roped into proving an ex-con's innocence, whilst escorting her to Philadelphia.

Verdict: It's a fun homage to classic screwball Hollywood comedy - it's silly mindless viewing.

Floppage: Semi-Flop making $7m

Madge-Scale: Madge is playing Madge and looks like she's having fun. 3.5 Madges.


DICK TRACY (1990)
"Dirty Madgey"


Plot
: Warren Beatty stars as a detective who's life is complicated by advances from a singer, as well as an ongoing battle with the mob.

Verdict: I love Dick Tracy, Beatty's direction is rich and layered and his lead performance is one of his finest. It's elegantly made and features an incredibly strong cast.

Floppage: Success! The film did fairly well making $162m on a budget of $46m

Madge-Scale: Madge looks good but is out acted by near everyone in the cast. 3.5 Madges


SHADOWS AND FOG (1991)
"The Madgefather"


Teaming up with cinematic genius, Woody Allen is a sure fire way to save Madge's acting career...

Plot: As a strangler stalks the streets, a bookeeper roams out to find a vigilante group intent on catching the killer.

Verdict: This is typical vintage Woody Allen, several laughs throughout and Allen is highly watchable. It's also a fitting tribute to the work of German Expressionist filmmakers like F.W Murnau.

Floppage: Floptastic making $2.7m of $14m budget back

Madge-Scale: Very little of Madge but she's watchable. 1.5 Madges


A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN (1992)

"Madge of Dreams"



Plot
: Two sisters join a female baseball team but their success is hindered by their growing rivalry.

Verdict: Torturous baseball drama. Sticking sharpened pencils in your ear is more fun.

Floppage: Unfortunately a success, making $132m on a $40m budget.

Madge-Scale: Why Madge? Why...? 1 Madge because I haven't made an all greyed out Madge for 0.



BODY OF EVIDENCE (1993)

"The Passion of the Madge" 




Madge followed one of the most horrible films ever made with a trashy masterpiece.

Plot: A woman is accused of killing a man to inherit his millions by having sex with him.

Verdict: This is Madonna's filmic Citizen Kane. So unbelievably trashy, where Madonna's inability to act works in the film's favour. There's the unforgettable line "Have you ever seen animals make love?" and the hilariously unerotic candle wax sequence.

Floppage: Flop-Tastico - made almost $14m of a $30m budget.

Madge-Scale: Watching Madge channel Catherine Tramell is almost as good as Faye Dunaway's Joan Crawford in Mommie Dearest. 5 Madges - Optimus-Madge.



DANGEROUS GAME (SNAKE EYES) (1993)
"Madgepocalypse Now"


Plot
: A New York film director, working on his latest movie in Los Angeles, begins to reflect the actions in his movie and real life, especially when he begins an affair with the lead actress.

Verdict: Abel Ferrara's film is a twisted, challenging and powerful watch that blurs the lines between reality and fiction.

Floppage: Minor-Floppage (Exact figures unknown) made $23k

Madge-Scale: Madge's arty faze actually sees her give quite a convincing performance, but maybe that's just relief at not being exposed to a naked Harvey Keitel again. 2 Madges.



EVITA(1996)
"12 Angry Madges"


Plot
: This tale on the life of Evita Duarte, an Argentinian B-movie actress who became the wife of Argentinian president Juan Perón, and her tenuous relationship with the Argentinian public.

Verdict: Alan Parker and Oliver Stone's screenplay, combined with the wonderful combination of Rice & Lloyd Webber's play works a treat.

Floppage: Lack of floppage - making $141m back on a $55m budget

Madge-Scale: A genuinely excellent performance from Madge, not even for trashy reasons, she's actually good! 4 Madges.


THE NEXT BEST THING (2000)
"Madge's Baby"

Plot: This comedy-drama follows a gay man, Robert (Rupert Everett) and his best friend, Abbie (Madonna). Five years after the child is born, Abbie meets a man and wants to move away with the child, a bitter custody battle soon follows.

Verdict: Obviously Madge couldn't be in two good films in a row, The Next Best Thing just lacks any authenticity and just feels a bit smarmy.

Floppage: Almost made back it's $25m budget. Damn, so close Madge!

Madge-Scale: Madge is rather unlikable and unconvincing in this. It's not even that fun. 1 Madge.


SWEPT AWAY (2002)
"No Country For Old Madge "



Plot
: Amber, a 40-something spoilt wife of a pharmaceutical kingpin is stranded on a Mediterranean island with a cruise ships first mate.

Verdict: Swept Away is all about Madge - it's an unbelievable hot mess ranging from moments of horrific abuse to moments of pure hilarity and class from Madge's stuck up character. There's also some heart-wrenching drama chucked in for good measure.

Floppage: Sorry Madge you only made back $600k of your $10m budget.

Madge-Scale: She's madgenificent to watch. 4 Madges.



DIE ANOTHER DAY (2002)
"On Her Madge's Secret Service"


Plot
: Bond is sent to investigate the connection between a North Korean terrorist and a diamond mogul who is funding the development of an international space weapon.

Verdict: Generally hated by Bond fans for it's ridiculous OTT-style, but it's a fun, action packed Bond adventure ampted up to 11.

Floppage: No floppage here, Die Another Day made over $430m

Madge-Scale: Madge is little more than a cameo, but it's a fun appearance. 2 Madges.



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