Can I express the delight about BAD movies in mere words? How do I give you a turn of phrase to say this is emotionally, philosophically, musically, and culturally important and you should fall in love with it the way that I am? Then it becomes a question of tempering the excitement and expression so that you’ll be interested but not so set up for the idea of it that it can’t meet what is in your (our) heads ….
First, there is just bad so that its really funny …..Like ….
Then there is bad but it should be good and I don’t know why everyone doesn’t like it …….
Howard the Duck (1986) Dir: Willard Huyck – It’s just that the 1980’s were awful all around …with hair too big and those horrible shoulder pads? Everything from film to clothes to music seems to be a stoner’s elaboration of the 1940s…..
and of course…..the really good and why is this panned? I liked it ….
Jersey Girl (2004) dir: Kevin Smith – Its really not just that I adore Kevin Smith and he can do no wrong …don’t even think it…or say it …..I really loved this film. Its true; Ben Affleck is stiff and completely lacking in charm in this role…but that works….he is supposed to be a really flawed human being in an uncomfortable place between what he should be, what he wanted to be and what he can be. and yet ……Raquel Castro as Gertie is beyond adorable, George Carlin is perfect as the grumpy grandpa and Liv Tyler is sweet, awkward and stoic. If the film had done the Hollywood angle and been focused on how he really gets back into being that rich guy and falls in love…it would be a better Hollywood / popular film but that wouldn’t in my opinion make it good. But let me just thank Kevin Smith for the amazing kids play sequences from Sweeney Todd …That is freaking brilliant. (We will talk about the cinematographer, Vilmos Zsigmond in a upcoming column)
and lastly …there are really bad movies that I just don’t get it …Why is this considered good?
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008) – Dir: David Fincher — I sat in the theater watching this film and being so excited about actors and moments; Jared Harris is always delightful to watch and his scenes were wonderful. Cate Blanchett had scenes that were visually stunning and Taraji P. Henson was heartwarming. Unfortunately, there were so many moments went I felt like , yah yah yah …get on with this ….and the people around me were tearful or laughing or sitting in rapt silence. My companions kept going over and over it as we walked out and still more at dinner…..and I was quiet, just thinking …mulling it over….what was it that I didn’t connect with? The premise is silly, but that has never stopped me from enjoying a movie. I respect David Fincher as a filmmaker so I still struggle with the elements for me that read no emotion in the film…I felt like I was watching people act.