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June 02, 2005

Shameless Topic Theft-- Good-Bad Movies

Over at the Corner, they've begun a running discussion on "bad" movies that are actually good.

I'm not quite sure what this means-- if a movie is really actually good, in that it's entertaining and acheives its purposes, how can it also be "bad"? I suppose the eggheads over there mean that they're "bad" in that they're genre movies of little (if any) ambition, and yet manage to be enjoyable entertainments despite, say, having nothing of interest to say about Apartheid or adult-onset diabetes.

Now, they've nominated some good ones -- Diggstown, the Blade series (BTW, Blade 3/Blade: Trinity is the best of the bunch), Tommy Boy, Happy Gilmore -- and some vile ones (Roadhouse). I really don't know who the hell on the face of the earth thinks Roadhouse was an enjoyable or clever movie on any level; oh, wait, yes I do, some goofball named Jonah Goldberg.

At any rate, here are some of mine. You probably know 'em, 'cuzzin' I mention them all the time.

Streets of Fire-- Kicks ass. Kicks ALL the ass.

Big Trouble in Little China -- Almost even better than Streets of Fire.

The Quick and the Dead -- Take Sharon Stone out of this movie and replace her with... well, anyone not named Sharon Stone and you have one of the best westerns of all time. Very sad to find out that "Ace" was such a clownish dipshit, though.

Robocop -- such a good movie I'm not even sure it's fair to name it here.

Mad Max & Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome -- both are kinda sucky movies, but they both have... something. Road Warrior is NOT on this list, because it's one of the best movies in the infinitely-recursive history of the 13-dimensional multiverse, if I can slip into James Lipton/Kip Thorne speak for a moment.

Blast From the Past -- Just a great movie, and one of the most archiest of arch-conservative movies ever made. Not even sure it should be on a list of "bad" movies, but it wasn't reviewed very well, and few of you out there have seen it. Check it out.

The Lost Boys -- Any movie that contains the line "She's a vampire! And don't say that doesn't make her a bad person!" is automatically a great movie, even if of the bad sort.

Overboard -- such a bubbly and infectious (if dunderheaded) comedy.

Executive Decision -- Kurt Russell is a repeat offender on any list of badly-received/B-picture movies that are actually much better than they have a right to be. Hell, this movie even coaxes a good performance out of Steven Seagal, and that's no small feat. Pretty much the last movie you'll ever see featuring, get this, Muslims as terrorists, if you can imagine such a thing.

They Live -- well, the first hour is there to kick ass and chew bubble gum, but it's all out of bubble gum, but then it finds the bubble gum in the hiddeously disappointing last half hour. Still-- that very, very padded-to-make-the-film-longer-than-90-minutes fight between Keith David and Rowdy Roddy Piper is lots of fun. So are the glasses. So is the interdimensional interstellar stardock.

Tin Cup -- The best golf movie ever.

Wyatt Earp -- if you like Westerns, you should rent this. Yes, it's overly long, but don't believe the critics; this is a great movie that just sort of forgot people don't want to spend three and three quarters watching a shoot-em-up. Better than Tombstone released the same year (which is also a bad-good movie, and again stars Kurt Russell).

Any I'm forgetting?

Update: HT reminds me of yet ANOTHER great Kurt Russell B-picture-- Soldier. Just a terrific movie on all levels -- including, get this, that interpersonal/emotional/dramatic level that men aren't supposed to care about. Yeah, the premise of an entire planet being used as a waste facility is fuckin' dumb as shit (why not just dump the shit in space?), but get past that, and it rocks.

Alternate Question: Ever see a movie you loved and then, years later, saw it again, and decided it was horrible?

I had loved 48 Hours. Best action movie ever, I thought, and freakin' hilarious too. I was talking with someone years later who'd just seen it and told me it was awful.

"You're crazy," I told him. "It's the best."

"Have you seen it lately?" he asked.

"No, but I remember almost all of it. It's great."

"Try watching it again," he advised me. "Then get back to me."

About a year later I did watch it again... and he was 100% right. The movie actually did suck. I couldn't see why I'd thought it was such a great movie the first eight thousand times I'd seen it on HBO. The only marginally interesting thing about it remains its frank -- and almost unheard of -- depiction of casual white racism (and it's can't-get-away-with-that-today suggestion that really Nick Nolte's casual racism isn't so bad, all things considered).

But otherwise-- a horrible move. And if you want to argue about that-- watch it again, and then get back to me.

Any others like that?

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posted by Ace at 07:12 PM

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