Skip to comments.'Horrible Bosses,' 'Bad Teacher': Why we love 'bad' – and bad – movies
Posted on 07/09/2011 11:46:56 AM PDT by smokingfrog
When it comes to movies, lets just call this the summer of bad.
Its not just grown-ups behaving badly though there is plenty of that. From Jennifer Aniston as a rapacious dentist in Horrible Bosses, which opens Friday, to Cameron Diaz as every students nightmare in Bad Teacher, to the projectile body functions in Bridesmaids and Hangover 2, multiplexes are awash in R-rated adult comedy.
But this is also a record summer for just plain bad movies doing very well.
Roundly panned films such as Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Green Lantern, and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides are breaking box office records and spawning sequels at the same time they all have miserable rankings on such popular review sites as rottentomatoes.com.
As Hollywood.com box office expert Paul Dergarabedian puts it, Fewer tomatoes, more green than ever this summer.
(Excerpt) Read more at csmonitor.com ...
Heard “Zookeeper” was the worst.
Hollywood has no new ideas...my proof; a remake of Footloose with the names and script nearly identical to the first. Pathetic.
just took the kids to see super 8 the other day, i liked it, steven spielberg and jj adams from lost it was like close encounters meets the goonies
As much as I shouldn't, I LOVE the beginning of the movie ‘Escape From LA’ when the whole damn city brakes off from the rest of the country and is used as a prison. Good libertarian movie btw.
I only wish they woulda made more WWII movies from 1946-1975. My TV is constantly on the prowl for WWII movies. :)
I liked Escape from New York more than the LA version. But I did like it when Stacey Keach(IIRC) Tells Snake Plissken: “You KNOW the US is a NON-smoking country!” Plissken says: “The land of the free...” and then later shuts down the entire power grid and lights up a cigarette as he walks away. Loved it! And Kurt Russell is right-leaning in real life, too.
The only movie I have watched this year is “Battle: Los Angeles.” Otherwise, I just watch movies from my Blu-ray disc collection. Today I am watching “The Patriot.”
Shane: The greatest Western of all time? Seriously? Nobody who actually likes Westerns thinks that, but that's the critics' choice.
2001: A Space Odyssey:? No plot, no pacing, no acting and a completely incomprehensible ending. Needless to say, the critics adored it.
The Day The Earth Stood Still: A great science fiction movie? The original is AWFUL and the remake was even worse. It's thinly veiled commie propaganda with a kewl robot who actually appears in all of about 90 seconds of the film. Bilge. The critics thought it was great.
The Longest Day: Terrible movie, according to the critics. Their choice: Full Metal Jacket. Oh PUH-LEASE give me a small break. The former is based on actual vignettes researched by Cornelius Ryan. The latter is -- like most of Stanley Kubrick's dreck -- completely unwatchable.
The audience tomatometer for Transformers is 90%. That is a huge number, and it tells you that if you like Actioners, you're almost certain to enjoy the film, regardless of what the critics say. I haven't seen it, but based on audience reaction -- not critical acclaim -- I'll go.
I totally agree.
You can’t pretend to like Sci-Fi and then diss both The Day The Earth Stood Still and 2001: A Space Odyssey.
I didn’t think Green Lantern was all that bad... but then, I saw it for free.
My kids saw “Green Lantern” and “Monte Carlo” earlier this week. They said both were “Okay,” which doesn’t lead me to want to spend more money in the theater any time soon.
I was sitting in the lobby reading a book, and it seemed like they spent half the time going to the bathroom or the snack bar, anyway. Might as well stay home.
I loved the original “The Day The Earth Stood Still,” other than that I agree with your comments.
Except for R Lee Ermey as the DI....
Please tell me it is the Mel Gibson Revolutionary War one, and not the Eco weenie Steven Segal one.
The Days the Earth Stood Still were preachy and boring. 2001 was pretty on the wide screen but pointless and boring. They should be avoided unless one is in need of sleep.
***You cant pretend to like Sci-Fi and then diss both The Day The Earth Stood Still and 2001: A Space Odyssey.****
I saw them both and didn’t care for them. My idea of Sifi movies is IT CAME FROM BENEATH THE SEA and THE BEAST FROM 20,OOO PHATOMS. Good 1950s is great! Bad sifi is really bad.
Then there is always THE PHANTOM EMPIRE. Gene Autry fights aliens from the underworld.
Full Metal Jacket rocks! At least until they go to Vietnam, then I couldn’t care less. Funny that the “war” part of the movie is boring, and the training part is riveting. I totally agree about 2001, WTF was that last 15 minute psychodelic ride all about, and the floating fetus? The special effects are amazing for 1969 technology, though.
Uh...yeah...I guess there is that.
Revisiting them now, it's quite clear that they don't hold up. The smarmy, smug, superior attitude of Michael Rennie is perfectly acted to convey the smarmy, smug, superior attitude of the writers who apparently don't think the defense of liberty is worth dying -- or even living -- for. Sorry, but the message of the film is clear: the ideological struggle between totalitarianism and freedom is a "petty squabble" to those of us of advanced races (progressive douchebags, wherever in the universe they may be.)
As for 2001, just not a good film. With today's special effects as a backdrop, you go back to it and ask yourself, beyond a nicely done spaceship and a Frankenstein theme that's been done to death what actually is there in this film? Answer: nothing. Arthur C. Clark never impressed me, but the book is actually a good bit better than the movie, which Kubrick ruined because he refused to use the actual ending. So we get this giant embryo out in space getting ready to do ... nothing. In the book at least he averts a nuclear war. Again, nothing but Cold War liberal cliches, but at least he does something. In Kubrick's version we get the usual 60's LSD treatment and the astronaut comes out sucking his thumb. We must agree, I fear, to disagree. 2001 aint makin' my list.
And please don't tell me I "pretend" to like Sci-Fi just because my tastes have matured since adolescence. It also doesn't change my original point: the critics did not love these films because they were science fiction. They loved them because of their liberal themes or their liberal directors, and in spite of them being science fiction. Why do you think Philip K. Dick is Hollywood's favorite Sci-Fi writer?
This month's upcoming "Cowboys and Aliens" starring uber-lefties Daniel Craig and Olivia Wilde should be interesting, at least from the perspective of casting and plot/message/propaganda.
The trailers tell almost nothing whether the movie will simply aim to entertain, or presume to preach. The utter incongruity of Craig as a cowboy, however, does not bode well.
re: “Cowboys and Aliens” - I forgot to include lefty Harrison Ford with the cast. The prospect for some sort of preachy plot thickens.
FredZ, regarding “The Day The Earth Stood Still”, when I was younger I liked both it and “Forbidden Planet”, and have both in my movie collection. Nowadays, however, the only one I ever have the urge to re-watch is the latter. It still holds up, at least for me. (Anne Francis might have something to do what that, as well... /g)
Transformers 3 is a good movie. It’s theme to me seemed to be corrupted hope.
Optimus and the autobots had decided that there was no hope of Cybertron ever being reached or livable again, and that their best hope was with humanity and aiding human freedom.
Megatron and the decepticons hoped to restore cybertron, where they claim all the robots were gods despite the fact that their war destroyed it. Their hope was based upon enslaving the human race to restore it.
A lot like Obama and the Democrats would enslave America pursuing a dream that can not possibly be.
Even Pixar finally put out a clunker.
I always resent the “we love bad movies” types...who is “we”?
The ones who still go to films regularly are teenagers, mainly boys, who think these are funny. The rest of us watch at home...when there are no good movies to see, we get out of the habit of going to films at all.
I can’t agree. I think TDTESS holds up remarkably well, and it’s well before my time. I was barely a teen when Star Wars debuted. The remake however, went way South of awful.
I can accept Kubrick’s ending in much the same way that I accepted his ending for A Clockwork Orange. Different from the books certainly, but I found both to be cinematically sound. The same could be said for Planet of the Apes. Boulle’s ending was changed, but again, I think the director’s ending worked better on film, while the author’s ending worked better in print.
No wonder we don’t see eye to eye as you don’t care for Phillip K. Dick. The Man in the High Castle was truly a masterpiece if I have ever read one. And...C’mon, Do Android’s Dream of Electric Sheep was not only great in print, but the film adaption—Blade Runner rises to such a level that it can only be called iconic in the sci-fi genre.
I’m curious. Now that I know what you don’t like. What science fiction do you like?
I can’t agree with you there. My wife and I go to the movies regularly, and we’re rarely surrounded by an audience of teens. Thor, is the only recent exception that I can think of. The theater is usually filled with adults.
I'm a pretty big scifi fan and have to say most of the newest movies don't measure up. It's my theory that CGI has contributed greatly to the slide...
Back in the 50's special effects were difficult to get right and expensive to produce, so a wise director focused on old-fashioned concepts like compelling characters, conflict, and plot development. The monster was obviously a stuntman in a rubber suit, so you didn't show him until you had to - this was called SUSPENSE.
Nowadays you can create realistic aliens using a computer. You can blow up a whole city, or plunge an ax into a teenager's brain flawlessly, or squash him like a bug under a 100-foot robot's heel. Maybe this is what the public really wants to see, but IMHO the action sequences take over the whole movie, and there's little need for talented writers/actors anymore.
I like a good shoot-em-up action movie as much as the next guy, but these movies don't wear well. There's a whole crop of movies out there that are only worth seeing ONCE (if at all).
For a side of Philip K Dick most don’t know, find his short story “The Pre-Persons”. That one will never ever be a movie.
He certainly had a wider range of stories and ideas than many SF writs and was hard to categorize. It’s amusing to me that Hollywood pick and chooses from his stories to make movies they can stomach.
He is by no means my favorite but I do acknowledge his skill!
And I think The Day The Earth Stood Still and 2001 are awful but I don’t find most SF movies much better I love space opera and there just aren’t any good movies like that (other than, say, the original Star Wars)
Kellys Heroes is on tonite at eight. EST
I’ve read it. Although I know he was intentionally “over the top” to make a point, it just struck me as absurd. For those who haven’t read it, the whole thing revolves around abortion being legal until the soul enters the body which is when the mind grasps mathematical concepts beyond simple arithmetic. It should also be noted that it was written as he was experiencing a severe mental breakdown.
Again, a Kubrick treatment that is decidedly inferior to the book. The film is salvageable because the original work was so good, again, in spite of the director.
No wonder we dont see eye to eye as you dont care for Phillip K. Dick.
You were inattentive: I did not say I didn't care for PKD, I asked why do you think he's Hollywood's favorite science fiction writer? I actually have read everything by PKD. Some of it -- as you correctly point out -- is quite good. Some of it is really rather awful. A lot of work before he went off his rocker for the first time is more or less boilerplate pulp sci-fi; but even in that there are occasional glimpses that he would eventually be a very creative, enjoyable, but NOT technically gifted, writer.
I don't actually "like" anyone universally in Sci-Fi. Personally I have not in the 45+ years I've been reading Sci-Fi actually found anybody whose work is always good, as say, I find Cormac McCarthy, or Faulkner, Borges, Dostoyevsky or Nabokov to be. But I "mostly" like in rough order, Heinlein, Van Vogt, J.G. Ballard, Silverberg, H Ellison, Frank Herbert (especially the short stories, which most people don't know of), Asimov, Vinge, Cherryh, Sturgeon, Joe Halderman, Jerry Pournelle, Zalazny and Niven. Don't care at all for quite a few of the big names like LeGuin (have read everything trying to see why people like her -- just hideous and a complete waste of time), PJ Farmer, H Harrison, or Ray Bradbury (never connected with RB at all.)
In my ordering, Heinlein is probably my favorite, and down from there to Niven.
The story you're talking about, I don't believe I've read, but I looked it up and the plot synopsis is so familiar I'm sure I've read it or heard it before somewhere. Have to go find the story itself and read it.
What was your opinion of Thor? It's playing at the local $3 theater.
Underwhelming. Possible spoiler:
Thor spends way too much time in the movie being stripped of all power. IMHO, it kind of ruined it.
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