“Ishtar” Podcast Movie Review


Warren Beatty and Dustin Hoffman in Ishtar

Ishtar (1987; Elaine May)Dare Daniel Podcast Episode 33

“Telling the truth can be dangerous business/Honest and popular don’t go hand in hand”

Dare Daniel takes on another “bad movie” legend in this week’s episode.  The inept and self-unaware podcasting duo of Daniel Barnes and  Corky McDonnell review Elaine May’s Ishtar, starring Dustin Hoffman and Warren Beatty as the inept and self-unaware songwriting duo of Rogers and Clarke.

A film long synonymous with box office bombs and out-of-touch Hollywood excess, Ishtar essentially ended the directorial career of Elaine May.  However, the comedy has enjoyed a resurgence of critical approval in recent years.  So is the film merely a misunderstood messenger from God, or is it really just a barren desert of blind camel jokes?

Daniel and Corky descend into Ishtar to find out for themselves, along the way discussing candy bar beers, hot fudge love, destabilizing maps, “classic ledge hijinks” and Jack “Relax!  Boogie!” Weston.


U.S. theatrical release date: May 15, 1987

Box office: $14.4 million (production budget: $55 million)

Critic scores: 34 on Rotten Tomatoes; 52 on Metacritic

This week’s craft beer: New Glory Brewing‘s King Size Satisfies (12.5% ABV)

This week’s Darer: Tom Marvolo Riddle

Why did Lord Voldemort dare Daniel and Corky to watch Ishtar“Since you’re obviously not opposed to a little history, you’ve got to consider Ishtar or Heaven’s Gate one of these times, although I’d give the edge to Ishtar just for the singing.”

IMDB synopsis: “Two terrible lounge singers get booked to play a gig in a Moroccan hotel but somehow become pawns in an international power play between the C.I.A., the Emir of Ishtar, and the rebels trying to overthrow his regime.”

This week’s referenced movies: A New LeafThe Heartbreak Kid; Mikey and NickyHeaven Can WaitTootsieRedsThe BirdcagePrimary ColorsThe GateHeaven’s GateWaterworldTough Guys Don’t DanceLeonard Part 6Anchorman: The Legend of Ron BurgundyCan’t Stop the MusicThe Karate KidCliffordThe Last EmperorRevolutionTransylmaniaThe Birdman of Alcatraz

Ratings for Ishtar: Daniel – Dare; Corky – Reverse Dare


Original theatrical trailer for Ishtar

Rogers & Clarke perform “Little Darlin'”

Hawk vs. vultures

Siskel and Ebert’s Worst Films of 1987 episode

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