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Movies That Are Really Great And People Who Don’t Like Them Are Retarded

Saturday, March 24, 2007

I reject the notion of a “guilty pleasure.” There is nothing in this world that I enjoy about which I feel even the slightest bit of guilt, and the notion that these pleasurable items would shame me is actually offensive. And I mean this across the board. Go ahead, ask me about my masturbatory habits. I will tell you.

But that’d be better suited for an Occasional Porn post. This is about movies, and here I present to you, in the grand tradition of magnates such as graemepowell and James17930, five movies other people don’t like, but which I do like. Sure, maybe I willingly overlook some glaring faults, maybe I give the auteurs more credit than they deserve, maybe nostalgia blinds me. I still don’t feel any guilt.

Actually, there is one of them I do recognize as a legitimately bad movie (though I’ll be nothing but honest in my praise of it). See if you can figure out which one that is…

Masters of the Universe

A He-Man movie has no right being this good. With Eternia depicted as an overthrown wasteland; with a shirtless, probably illiterate Most Powerful Man in the Universe getting huge lash marks on his back from that lazer whip; with two occurrances of the word “shit”; with all these things and some really cool villain designs and Courtney Cox, Masters of the Universe is a legitimately badass motherfucker of a movie. And Frank Langella is insane as Skeletor. Fucking insane.

Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey

I’m not sure if this one is disliked by most or just forgotten, but either way people are fools. Excellent Adventure created the Bill & Ted fad, with video games, breakfast cereals, and animated and live-action TV series; all Bogus Journey did was rock. It’s one of the weirdest comedies I’ve ever seen, as illustrated by: the main loveable duo being murdered in the first act (by their robot doppelgangers from the future); a duel with the Seventh Seal’s Grim Reaper, waged with Twister, Clue, Battleship and more; a journey to heaven to meet the most brilliant scientist in the universe, Station — a pair of short, hairy troll things that later merge into one giant, hairy troll thing for no apparent reason; and George Carlin in a Pam Grier costume. Pure, fucked-up brilliance.

Alien Resurrection

Few movies have had me as sweaty and drooly for their release as this one. It really burned me that I couldn’t see it the Friday it came out — I had to wait all the way until Sunday! Sunday!! But when Sunday finally rolled around, it did not disappoint. Ripley being all badass with her green fingernails and one-liners (and Sigourney Weaver being awesome. I’m talking Frank Langella awesome), the Aliens being all swimmy, and that room of if-at-first-you-don’t-succeed Ripley clones — great stuff. Okay, it completely doesn’t match the tone of the other Alien movies (scifi horror vs. scifi borderline grossout comedy), and most of its secondary characters are pure setups-for-death (Chestburster through the head! Headburster!), but it’s got some great ideas, some of which it actually sorta delivers on. And Joss Whedon wrote it, and here on the Internet, that man can do no wrong, right?

Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within

Largely sited as both the first attempt at a photorealistic CGI film and the nail in that lofty goal’s coffin, I don’t consider photorealism an issue at all with this movie. Its characters are not convincingly “real” but they aren’t quite into the uncanny valley, either. What they are is just cool looking as they drive their cool scifi buggies through their cool scifi protective-domed city shooting up really, really cool translucent orange ghost alien things. What I think turns people off The Spirits Within is the combination of Anime-style forced philosophizing and the worst dialogue ever put in a movie.

Ocean’s Twelve

I’ll tell you right now: this ain’t the movie I recognize as bad. I really don’t get why the fuck people don’t like this movie. 6.0 on IMDB? 55% on Rottentomatoes? Fuck you both! This movie’s hilarious, the actors are charming and hilarious, the plot is cool and hilarious. And it’s got that French New Wave thing going, so all the film school nerds should dig it. What the fuck is the matter with you people?!?


Bonus: The Lost World: Jurassic Park

As a tribute to graeme’s inclusion of Jurassic Park III (which I do not like), I present the original cash-in. What it lacks in the first JP’s wonder and iconicness, it makes up for in snarky dialogue. I totally dig most of what’s coming out of these actors’ mouths, and the actors themselves — your Vince Vaughn, your Pete Postlethwaite, your Julianne Moore, and of course your Jeff Goldblum — make for a great group. Yeah, I could do without the little girl and her stupid, stupid, stupidest-moment-in-any-movie-ever parallel bars routine, but I will say that, overall, she’s still better than that little shit from Jurassic Park III. And then you’ve got a lot of good dino-carnage, including that T-Rex city rampage which, while I guess it could’ve been better, is still pretty cool. Based on this movie as much as the first (and not at all on the third) I will accept a Jurassic Park IV, if they’re ever kind enough to offer one to me.

Holy shit, I just realized that every one of these is either a sequel or offshoot of a pre-established franchise. What does that mean?

11 Comments leave one →
  1. James17930 permalink
    Saturday, March 24, 2007 6:46 am


    So Howard the Duck doesn’t make the list?

    Oh, and yes — Ocean’s Twelve is a great movie no matter how you look at it. That’s one that the whole critical community got totally wrong. Much like Miami Vice and Heat.

    As for which one you think is actually bad, I’ll go with FF.

  2. Saturday, March 24, 2007 7:34 am

    I don’t remember anything at all about Howard the Duck. I have no idea if I liked it, or even if I saw it in full.

    And Miami Vice was all right, nothing spectacular. And Heat, though I try again every couple of years or so, I’ve never gotten into that one.

  3. Saturday, March 24, 2007 7:44 am

    I’ve seen Alien Resurrection three times. Once with you guys at the old picture-house, and twice, (TWICE!) in two different film classes. I didn’t like it the first time, and my enjoyment of it lessoned upon each subsequent viewing.

    So I guess that makes me retarded. Oh well, I don’t mind as long as I don’t have to watch that damn movie again.

  4. Saturday, March 24, 2007 7:49 am

    Your enjoyment of it “lessoned” upon each film class viewing? Hilarious typo punnage!

  5. Saturday, March 24, 2007 7:54 am

    Er, that was completely intentional. Glad you enjoyed it.

    Lessen learned.

  6. James17930 permalink
    Saturday, March 24, 2007 10:09 am

    You didn’t say whether my guess was right or not.

  7. Saturday, March 24, 2007 12:58 pm

    I’m waiting for all the bets to come in before I show my hand.

  8. Saturday, March 24, 2007 2:39 pm

    My vote is for He-Man.

  9. Drew permalink
    Saturday, March 24, 2007 4:53 pm

    I haven’t seen Oceans 12…and judging by Beal’s reviews, my bet is on The Spirits Within. It’s been a while but, for the record, I remember it being better than I expected.

  10. Saturday, March 24, 2007 8:37 pm

    You’re all losers. But on the plus side, graeme, you aren’t retarded. Alien Resurrection is the one — as much as I like its good points, its bad points equal or outweigh them, and the fact that it breaks tone from the previous movies so much costs it.

    I can easily accept that people don’t like Alien Resurrection. And really, I can accept that people don’t like the others as well, but not without varying degrees of harsh judgment…

  11. James17930 permalink
    Sunday, March 25, 2007 9:58 am

    A note about AR — Joss Whedon’s script was changed dramatically by the time it was finalized, so he can’t really take the blame for its suckiness.

    On the other hand, no one knows that he basically wrote all of Speed but didn’t get the credit for it.

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