Blog Archives

The Very Best of The Good Doctor

The Iron Lady (2011) ★1/2

Jack and Jill (2011) ★

The Room (2003) [1/10]

The Beaver (2011) [3/10]

The Help (2011) [4/10]

Five “Bad” Movies That I Think Are Actually Quite Good

As perhaps a “sequel” to my earlier post 5 Really Bad Good Movies, here are five movies that the general public (but certainly not everyone) have declared to be really awful movies, that I think have artistic merit as a film and are well within the range of that ambiguous defining categorization of “good.”

1: Gerry (2002)

The first instalment in a trilogy by Gus van Sant is perhaps the best. It’s plot is simple, and some will say unoriginal, but the way Van Sant does it makes it different from all the other rubbish. It’s about two men, both named Gerry (played by Casey Affleck and Matt Damon), who go on a hiking trip in Death Valley and get mindlessly, hopelessly lost. Van Sant relishes in showing countless beautiful shots of the Valley, and likes to linger these shots for quite a long time. In fact, the film contains exactly 100 shots, no more no less, whereas a normal film of its length contains thousands. Many have criticised it for being boring, slow-paced and uneventful, but I see it as a beautiful work of art that sucks you in with its raw, subtle power. Gerry is, for better or worse, the most accurate and precise description of getting lost.

2: The Brown Bunny (2003)

Perhaps the movie with the worst reputation on this list, and one which I will continue to persevere with and try to understand is Vincent Gallo’s seminal, brutally subtle but hugely affecting drama which deals with the raw hurt and heartbreak of a man whose past is so bitterly latching onto him and eating away at him, that in every single frame we see the enormous toll it has taken on him. I wrote a review of the film not too long ago, and hopefully that’s enough to convince people who couldn’t see the sense in this movie to revisit it like I did. When I first saw it, I despised it. But in time, and by rewatching it, I soon began to see what Gallo was trying (albeit inconsiderately) to get across, and it blew my mind.

3: Funny Games (1997)

Okay, maybe this isn’t a hated film, but I’ve read more bad reviews than good and I seem to be the only person I know who really liked it. This is the first in a trilogy of 3 movies which I refer to as the Mid-Career Passageway, in which Haneke directed his three best movies, this, The Piano Teacher and Cachè. Funny Games is both a condemnation and tribute to cinematic violence. There is no real plot here; just mindless, senseless violence and a menial excercise in the pointlessness of it all.

4: Vanilla Sky (2001)

While certainly paling in comparison to its highly superior original, Abre Los Ojos, Cameron Crowe’s 2001 remake is nevertheless, not crap. It manages to retain at least some of the feel of the original, and is every bit as provocative and original as Abre Los Ojos seemed to its target audience at the time. How this got 40% on Rotten Tomatoes is beyond me.

5: Pink Flamingos (1972)

Okay, this is more of a so-fun-even-though-its-disgusting-Divine-makes-me-laugh-so-fucking-hard-with-her-accent-and-oh-my-god-just-look-at-the-shitty-cinematography-of-this-ugly-underground-film-is-that-no-no-no-she-isn’t-o-m-g-she’s-eating-a-dog-turd-oh-my-god-that-must-taste-awful-I-feel-kinda-dirty-for-watching-this-it’s-really-bad movie. It’s bad, sure, we know it’s bad, but we’re compelled to watch anyway.

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What are some ‘confirmed’ bad movies that you enjoy? Do you like/dislike my choices? Leave a comment below.

Thanks for reading.

Heartbreakers and Heartachers: Ten Great Romantic Movies… and Ten Really Bad Ones!

A good romantic comedy is so rare these days, and you’re lucky if you get even one remarkable rom-com (or rom-dram) each year. So I thought I’d highlight ten great romantic movies from the history of cinema–not the ten best, just ten great ones. And to remind us how the romantic genre has failed in recent times, I’m also including ten romantic movies that make me groan…

The Heartbreakers: Ten Great Romantic Movies:

1: It Happened One Night (1934)

This delightfully original romantic comedy swept the Oscars in 1934, winning all five major Academy Awards (Picture, Director, Screenplay, Actor, Actress). It is a great and funny story of two people who hate each other but grow to fall in love whilst travelling cross country. Sound familiar? Well it’s been done many times but never like this. Fantastic.

2: Casablanca (1942)

The original, classic romantic comedy is this beautiful, enthralling tale of love between Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, whose characters are steaming hot and full of secrets, through the stunning scenes of a bar in Morocco where men come to drink away their sorrows and love is strangled by an air of cigarette smoke and booze. Play it once, Sam.

3: Some Like It Hot (1959)

Billy Wilder has crafted some of the greatest films of all times, from classic comedies such as this to intriguing dramas like Sunset Blvd. and downright disturbing masterpieces like The Lost Weekend. Some Like It Hot was an instant hit for Wilder, and a classic comedy with laugh-out loud moments and beautifully captured romantic scenes. The diva Monroe is a hit here, as are her counterparts, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon, grovelling for her affection. This is something special indeed.

4: The Apartment (1960)

Considerably darker than its 1959 sister comedy, Billy Wilder’s The Apartment is nevertheless a very funny, very charming romantic comedy which also touches on important social issues. The always hilarious Jack Lemmon graces through this film, as funny and witty as he’s always been and at the top of his game. Of all the films you must see on this list, this is no. 1!

5: The Graduate (1967)

This will always be regarded as a classic among romantic movies in history for its wonderful plot and remarkable performance from then-unknown Dustin Hoffman. There’s plenty to laugh at and a lot of great chemistry as this famous romantic plot unfolds. Director Mike Nichols has created a wonderful film.

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6: Last Tango in Paris (1972)

Bertolucci’s timeless erotic drama is filled with the grace of the screen’s leads, and has a special place in my heart because of the coffin scene with Marlon Brando. Romance has never been so visceral and breathtaking as it was when it was presented in 1972 in such a glorious, explicit, memorable manner.

7: Annie Hall (1977)

Whether you love it or loathe it, you’ve got to admit Woody Allen’s 1977 comedy is original and very clever. It adopts techniques and uses them in new ways for its era, as well as spawning provocative one-liners (“the size of a Buick!”) and tirelessly hilarious scenarios. Everyone should be able to find something to relate to in this classic comedy.

8: When Harry Met Sally… (1989)

“You made a woman mieow?” Rob Reiner’s classic romantic comedy stretched the boundaries and let in a flood of new emotions. It was a romantic comedy like no other, and yet if it were made today they would probably screw it up. The leads are enthralling and the film is hilarious. Well done.

9: Groundhog Day (1993)

It’s hard to forget the hilarious chemistry between leads Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell in this laugh-out-loud comedy from Harold Ramis. Bill Murray plays one of his best performances as he attempts to win over MacDowell and there are plenty of laughs to be shared. A great romantic movie.

10: As Good as It Gets (1997)

Winning Oscars for both its leads, this great dramatic romance has its moments, and more, as it manages to master emotions. Jack Nicholson is excellent in his performance as an embittered writer, and the supporting performances by Helen Hunt and Greg Kinnear are nothing short of remarkable.

So there you have it, ten great romance movies. But unfortunately, there are more bad romance movies than good ones, such as the following dreadful ten:

The Heartachers: Ten Horrible Romantic Movies:

1: Gigli (2003)

Probably the worst film on this list, Gigli is infamous for being a shockingly bad romantic comedy starring Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez. Disgusting acting, a soggy script and plain awful direction by Martin Brest (who surprisingly directed one of my favourite comedies, Midnight Run plus the excellent Pacino hit Scent of a Woman) are all components of the driving force behind this absolute shithole.

2: The Hottie and the Nottie (2008)

You should know what to expect when you see Paris Hilton stars in this, as well as its terrible reception, Razzie pickups by the dozens, and generally distasteful and amoral viewpoints on society. Are we trying to dumb down our teenagers? At this rate, we’ll have twenty-year olds crashing on a beanbag enthusiastically watching Barney by 2050, not sure how they’ll ever grow up.

3: Down to You (2000)

Suicide by shower utensils? Freddie Prinze, Jr.? Excuse my blunt language, but f*ck that! Yet another distasteful addition to romantic comedies that don’t even try to be good. Any semblance of togetherness this film might have had is washed away long before the film starts.

4: Mannequin (1987)

Certainly not as bad as some of the others on this list, my disliking of this crummy eighties love story has been emplanted into my brain because of the day I saw it: in June, last year. I had watched three movies that day already: Lawrence of Arabia, 12 Angry Men, Being There and then… this. It ruined my day and wasted my time.

5: Rumour Has It (2005)

Again, this doesn’t suck as much as others, but I just have a complete and utter dislike of Jennifer Aniston. I can’t even look at her without feeling… sick. She calls herself an actress? I can’t believe it. And attempting to revive The Graduate fever with a plotline involving that successful film is not paying tribute to it, but rather, insulting it.

6: The Bachelor (1999)

Okay, I’m especially pissed off at this one for attempting to recreate Buster Keaton’s fantastic 1925 comedy Seven Chances. It is a failed remake, tribute, parody or whatever it was trying to be.

7: Mr. Wrong (1996)

Before we ever knew Ellen’s true sexual agenda, she starred in this painfully dry comedy in which she is trying to avoid a stalker of a suitor. One of the most painful viewing experiences I’ve ever had the misfortune to watch… if watching only the first hour counts.

8: Blind Date (1987)

The only way in which this is close to Die Hard is chronologically. Other than that, it’s a flop and a complete stinker. Bruce Willis is disgustingly lame and manages to waste our time in ways that we’ve never thought possible… or have we?

9: Say It Isn’t So (2001)

Despite the sexual appeal of Heather Graham following Boogie Nights and that Austin Powers movie she was in, we uncover one of her true sides and that is that she can’t always put a movie together. As for the Farrelly brothers… for shame!

10: From Justin to Kelly (2003)

If ever Gigli had a rival on this list for worst movie, it would be From Justin to Kelly. This is a hopeless romantic comedy which made me cringe with disgust and boredom, and is unworthy of any love, compassion, respect or even pity. Awful. No, horrible. No… adjectives cannot describe the deep hatred I have for this film.

So there you have it! Ten great romantic movies and ten horrible ones. So… what’s your opinion? Do you agree or disagree with my choices? Leave a comment below and tell me what you thought.

Thanks for reading.

Five Really Bad Good Movies

If You See This Man... Please, Please, Please Kill Him

There are a lot of blockbuster movies out there that the people love but are generally in reality quite bad movies. Sure, they have a quality that redeems them from the low level of being terrible, but often times the movies you go to that you expect to be really uber-awesome end up sucking big time. Here are five examples:

1: Avatar (2009)

I do not know where to start with what I dislike about this movie. I went to see it in theatres, which is the only place to see it (or more preferably, not at all) and I walked out having been thrown cliché after wasted cliché at my poor, disgusted face. Sure, the visuals are stunning and perhaps make the film worth watching, but they are its only highlight. How many more films about overcoming racism and falling in love with an alien do we have to see? And there are sequels in the works! Agh!

2: Titanic (1997)

The second James Cameron film on this list is certainly not as bad as Avatar, but again it has one of the same fatal flaws: a love story where a love story is not needed. This film could’ve been much cooler if not for the recycled storyline of the Jack and Rose characters, only this time they’re on a boat. Cameron’s visuals are stunning, as with Avatar, but the film laughs in the face of the true story it is based on. At least there can’t possibly be a sequel.

3: Transformers (2007)

I’m really looking at the horseshit “Revenge of the Fallen” sequel here, but it really started with this less abhorrent but still pointless adaptation of what used to be a cool kids concept. And I’m looking at you, Michael Bay. He himself admitted that Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen was crap, and that he was only in it for the money. If I was a film director, as Bay claims to be, I wouldn’t make this even if I was offered a billion dollars. Congratulations, Michael Bay, you’ve just completely ruined the ability to tell between a good and bad movie that all pubescent kids used to have.

4: Crash (2005)

Now I don’t hate this movie as much as some people do, but I’m not acknowledging it as a great movie either. It’s in between, but makes the list simply because (like the other three), it fails to come up with any original ideas. Sure, we all know racism is bad, does Paul Haggis have to rub it in our faces? It tries so hard that, even though it manages to fail to be special, we have to give it some recognition for trying. I was disappointed by Crash. When it finished, I felt like I had just been called a racist, and that Paul Haggis was scolding me. I am not, nor have I ever been a racist! This film is unnecessary!

5: The Blind Side (2009)

Sandra Bullock may have won an Oscar for her role in this semi-interesting suprisingly disappointing football family movie, but, like her character in Crash above, she is annoyingly arrogant and generally distasteful. A lack of originality poisons this film, which could’ve been better. I mean think about it, did we really need another movie about a kid from the projects who gets adopted by a rich, wealthy white family and has a unique soccer ability? No. And did we need Sandra Bullock to play the mom? Hell No. As uplifting a story as it sounded the first time, this theme has been overdone, overcooked and overestimated.

There. Those are five picks. I could list more, but I don’t want to waste your time with any more whiny opinions. Please, feel free to shove my whininess back in my face by leaving a comment about what you thought of my choices. All criticisms are welcome.

Thanks for reading.

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