Saturday, May 28, 2016

The Top 10 Movies I Love That Everyone Else Hates

It's time for more critical suicide! Here are ten movies that I love that everyone else in the world hates. Pitchforks on standby.

I've been told several times that I hate everything. I hate nearly every movie that comes out, every video game ever released, and especially anything that people may actually like. You may recall last week that I made a list of the top ten movies I hate that everyone else loves, which you can still read in the sidebar, and that I am incapable of actually enjoying any form of entertainment.

I don't know how I could possibly give that impression. When I'm filled with unadultered rage and disgust and movies that are godawful like Batman v. Superman or 50 Shades of Grey, I'm merely trying to recommend how they movie could be better. Usually it involves being set on fire or having everyone involved in the production of said movies tar and feathered, but they're suggestions none-the-less.

So, not much else to say besides I owe it to my readers to repay my debt. I'll tell you all about ten movies that I love that everyone else hates. Now keep in mind, love is a very strong word, and I admittingly wrote myself into a corner when I titled last week's list as movies that you all love that I hate. In truth, I don't hate any of the movies from last week's list, and saying I loved a lot of these movies would be a stretch. I think they're good and while I can see why people may not like them, I tend to look the other way and admire these movies for one reason or another.

Same rules as last week apply. I have to have seen the movie, and a movie's ranking on this list is determined by how much I like the movie compared to how much everyone else dislikes it. Also, just to head off all further discussions, no, Spring Breakers will not be on this list. If I had my say, it would be number one here, but my love for Spring Breakers is known far and wide, so at the risk of being a broken record, I opted not to include it on here. With all of that said, here are the top ten movies I love (that isn't Springs Breakers) that everyone else hates.

#10: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart Club Band  (1978)
First up is a little movie that I'm sure nearly no one knows about, but the fact that it's ignored is enough to give me the impression that not many people know or even care about this movie. Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band is a Beatles movie in the same way that Across The Universe was a Beatles movie. It has a plethora of songs from the band's career all mishmashed together to tell a story about a little town that loses music because Mr. Mustard stole that town's musical instruments, so it's up to Peter Frampton and the Bee-Gees to save the town by getting the musical instruments back from Steve Martin, Alice Cooper, and Aerosmith.

The movie is as insane as the plot synopsis sounds, and it's not exactly the most memorable movie in the world and it's insanity may be a bit too much for people, but I actually love how gloriously 70's this movie is. Seriously, Peter Frampton and the Bee-Gees have to save the world with music while singing Beatles' songs. Plus you get some absolutely great performances by the other bands and artists that appear in the movie. Have you ever heard Aerosmith's cover of "Come Together"? Performed for this movie. How about Earth Wind & Fire's cover of "Got To Get You Into My Life"? Done for this movie too. In fact, some of the best Beatles' covers came from Sgt. Pepper, so I have to at least respect it for the performances alone.

I would definitely classify this as an underrated gem that more movie musical fans like myself should definitely give a watch to. I can guarantee that it'll be worth the two hour time investment for some brilliant retro grooves.

#9: Back To The Future III (1990)
Let me start of by saying that Back To The Future III is the weakest of the Back To The Future trilogy. It's not as strong as the first two movies, and it focuses most of its runtime on a throwaway line from the first movie, that being Doc always wanted to go back to the Old West.

However, when I watched all three movies back to back for the 30th anniversary of the original film, I forgot how much I actually enjoyed the third installment. Fans may say this is the weakest movie in the trilogy, and I agree, but when people say that it's bad or simply okay, I have to scratch my head. At the end of the day, it's still Back To The Future. Marty and Doc are still a ton of fun to watch, and the Tannen in this movie, Mad Dog Tannen, is hilarious and has some great comedic moments. I honestly got way more laughs and funny moments watching Mad Dog than young Biff, old Biff, Griff, or Grandpa Biff in the previous movies. Plus there's no denying that the train chase at the end of the movie is almost just as good as the last few minutes of the first movie.

Again, it's not perfect, and it definitely is the weakest of the series, but being weak does not meant that it is bad. It just means it's not as great as literal 80's perfection.

#8: Last Action Hero (1993)
I'm actually kind of confused why this movie gets such a bad rap. Don't get me wrong, enjoying a Schwarzenegger movie isn't difficult at all, but some of his movies are awesome because they're awesome, while some are awesome because they're ironically awesome. Take Kindergarten Cop. As a movie, it's not that good at all, but because Arnold is in it, it suddenly becomes awesome just because he's in it. I feel like if any other actor was in Kindergarten Cop, it would be a career low for them, but Arnold somehow salvages the project.

Some people think that Last Action Hero is so bad that not even Arnold could save it. Boy are those people wrong. Arnold not only saves the movie, but he actually makes it better than it ever could have been. Seeing Arnold play a movie character, who is played by Arnold is just meta enough to keep me interested, yet the jokes are fresh enough for me to laugh every time I watch it. Watching Anrold perform Shakespeare is as captivating as it sounds, and watching a movie that exists as a love letter to Hollywood is strangely enjoyable. A ton of tropes pop up in here with some bizarre movie cameos (why does Death just get up and walk around at the end?), but all of them are enjoyable. They're so over the top that I can't hep bu love them.

With any other actor, I would easily say that Last Action Hero would be a poor script with a stupid and annoying premise. It's only with the grace of Arnold and his... Arnold-ness that I can actually enjoy and fall in love with this movie. I love Last Action Hero so much that it's one of my favorite Arnold movies, and I dare you to try and knock it down a peg.

#7: Cloud Atlas (2012)
Cloud Atlas is a very peculiar beast. I am in love with this movie, yet whenever I show this to a friend of mine, their reactions are always mixed. Some people don't understand the confusing concepts, some people call the ideas of reincarnation and the transmutation of souls bull, and others just say the movie is a glorious disaster. No one had said though the the movie lacked ambition and scope and if a person didn't like it, they can at least say that it was a well directed disaster.

I personally have never read the book that the movie is based on, but I never felt the need to hunt out and find a copy of the book. As far as an adaptation goes, Cloud Atlas plays with the idea of reincarnation brilliantly by casting every actor as characters that go beyond race, gender, age, and in some cases, humanity. People like to call the film racist because of this, but I don't see it that way all. The racism mostly is in regards to one of the six sequences of the movie, a sequence in the future in New Seoul, where several white actors play Asian characters instead of giving the roles to Asian actors. In an age where white washing is now a hot button issue (even though white washing has been around for decades and no one has felt like bringing up that it still exists until now), Cloud Atlas is a movie where it can't possibly cast new actors for each of the six sequences because it'll ruin the point of the movie. Seeing Tom Hanks play six different characters that each deal with several of the same ideas makes sense in context, but out of context, of course hearing the phrase "Tom Hanks plays Asian man" is going to spark some outrage. Context is key in this case.

Outside of the whole race issue, Cloud Atlas is incredibly lofty in its goals and ideas. A phrase used to negate critics of this movie is they just didn't understand the themes of this movie, and I find that defense of this movie to be stupid, even as a fan of the movie. Instead I would argue that Cloud Atlas bears repeat viewings. I still don't understand all of the intricacies of the movie, but I want to learn more about them and understand more about the movie. I want to learn more about these characters and how one incarnation influences the next one, and I want to spend my time learning about them.

If this movie made no coherent sense to you, I can totally understand. I didn't understand it fully when I watched it the first time. But instead of being turned away from ever watching it again, I watched it more and more until the movie clicked for me. I adore Cloud Atlas for its ambition alone, but the fact that it's a great movie is just icing on the cake.

#6 Eight Crazy Nights (2002)
Yes, I think the Adam Sandler animated musical that features reindeer poop is actually a good movie. Let me explain.

I don't hate Adam Sandler as much as you may think I do. I think that Adam Sandler is in a creative rut and is making movies solely to appeal to the same demographic over and over again, but when he's good, Adam Sandler is pretty damn great. Happy Gilmore is still a comedy classic, 50 First Dates is a really sweet comedy with a good emotional core, and Funny People is actually a pretty underrated movie in my opinion. And you know what? I think Eight Crazy Nights isn't that bad.

First off, the fact that it's an animated feature for Adam Sandler is pretty unique and the animation isn't half bad. The songs in this movie musical may not be the greatest in the world, but they have a certain charm to them that makes me want to hum them even as I'm writing this. Hell, I would even argue that they have one or two good moments that actually evoke an emotional reaction in me, like when Adam Sandler's character opens a letter from his dead parents or when he's reminiscing about how he just to love his childhood crush. There's actual effort put into this movie. It's a Christmas movie after all! There has to be some goodwill in here.

I know this movie is fascinated with the idea of poop jokes and making Adam Sandler, who voices pretty much all of the main characters, as aggravating as possible for different reasons, but they never bothered me in the slightest. Even now I think that Sandler throws his voice pretty well for the roles he wrote.

Yes the movie can be mean spirited at times and sometimes Sandler's... charm can be hard to stomach, but the plot explains these negative moments in a way that's believable and understandable. And again, this is a Christmas movie. If a character is acting like a combination of Scrooge and Grinch on steroids, I'm willing to put up with in as long as the character redeems themselves, and he does. It's not Sandler's best, but it certainly isn't Pixels, Jack & Jill, Grown-Ups 2, The Ridiculous Six, The Do-Over, or That's My Boy. 

Wow Sandler has made a lot of crap.

#5: Oz: The Great and Powerful (2013)
Okay, I seriously don't understand why people hate Oz. In my honest opinion, I think this movie is a great time from start to finish with some pretty spectacular animation and effects and tells an interesting original story for the Wizard of Oz.

I have heard very few people, if any, say that they enjoyed this movie, but the one argument I hear more than any other is that Mila Kunis becomes the Wicked Witch of the West because she gets snubbed by the Wizard, so she hates him and wants to kill him because he's a cheat. Lame motivation to be sure, but there's no denying that Mila Kunis still brings her A game as the Wicked Witch of the West. She cackles, she's genuinely terrifying, and it's still a great performance, lame motivations be damned. In fact, while most of the plot for this movie leaves a lot to be desired, this is one of those few movies I can just turn by brain off and watch all of the pretty colors. When I think of a good popcorn flick, Oz: The Great and Powerful fits the bill. It has bright colors, good action, good performances, solid writing, and has enough good moments for me to overlook any of the bad ones.

I honestly wish that I had more to say about this movie, but I can safely say I'll have plenty to say about the next four films...

#4: Sucker Punch (2011)
Oh me, oh my, Zack Snyder certainly outdid himself here.

Zack Snyder is a director with a very specific style to his films. No matter what, every film he has ever made feels like it's the most important thing in existence. They're always so serious and dour, and sometimes that style is called for. Watchmen deserved to be treated like that because the world of the original graphic novel is meant to be bleak and dreary. That's kind of the point of the graphic novel and the age of comics it inadvertently ushered in. That being said, Batman v. Superman was utter trash because it took itself way too seriously, so it mostly comes down to the material given to Zack Snyder. If you give him something that is super-totally-awesomely serious and is written well, his style can do wonders for a movie. If even the slightest thing is wrong with the script or the premise, the whole movie collapses in on itself.

Sucker Punch is unique in that on the surface, it looks like a terrible movie. It looks sexist, appeals to several sexy nerd fantasies, and is barely coherent half of the time. However, I think that the movie was made to be intentionally sexist just so that it can be a condemnation of sexism in modern Hollywood. It's a bit complicated to explain, but what it boils down to is that all of the female characters in this movie wear next to nothing and function solely as badass chicks with boobs while a group of overbearing and perverted men watch them. Hell, all of the fantasy sequences in this movie occur whenever the women dance for the men, entrancing both the lewd perverts in the movie... as well as the lewd perverts in the audience.

The movie indirectly says that you, the audience, are just like these horrible sexist pigs watching them dance for their own entertainment. You don't care about their personalities, goals, aspirations or dreams, and neither do the men in the movie. They just see how chicks performing for them, and that's all that matters to them; the performance and not the reason behind the performance. If you're watching this movie because it's hot chicks doing cool action, then you're part of the problem with Hollywood.

That may be reading a bit too much into the movie, but that's the general impression I got when I watched it for the first time. It's a sly, if muddy, call to action that supports feminism to get back at how society objectifies and screws over women in the media. Because of that, Sucker Punch becomes incredibly enjoyable for me to watch because of what it has to say, not what it does.

#3: Twilight: Breaking Dawn Pt. 2 (2012)
Twilight is crap. There's no getting around that.

The fact that Twilight was a phenomenon eight years ago boggles the mind and the fact that people cared about it for five years is even more insane to me. Thankfully, nearly all of the world has forgotten that this franchise existed, and for good reason. It's bad in pretty much every way imaginable, but my God that last movie.

Yes, the last movie is terrible, but I think it transcends beyond being a bad movie into a terribad movie, a movie so bad it's amazing. The special effects are laughable, watching Kristen Stewart leap dozens of feet into the air to attack wolves is hilarious, the villains have as much subtlety as a train crash on the Titanic, and everyone is so bad that I couldn't stop laughing at it.

The coup de grace came at the climax of the movie though, where the franchise decided to take all of the ill will it built up for the better part of five years and just go Leeroy Jenkins. The finale was if all of the writers of the film were executed and replaced by people with nothing but the deepest and darkest hate for the franchise, who wrote how grizzly every character died. Yes, a giant battle erupted between the villain and the good guys, and it was AMAZING. Dakota Fanning was fed to wolves! Fan favorite characters were executed with abandon! People were flying in the air shooting electricity and DBZ energy beams at each other. A man punched the ground so hard that it caused a fissure in the Earth, which opened up a pool of magma on the battlefield with heroes and villains being tossed into the magma and burning alive! And the best part was that this wasn't in the books! All of the fangirls watching this were crying as their favorite characters unexpectedly died in horrifying ways while I was laughing my ass off the whole time. I drank the tears of their misery as they saw bland and boring characters gutted and incinerated before their very eyes. Sadistic? Yes, but my God you wish you were there in theatres when it happened!

And the best part was it was all a dream.

None of it happened. It was a vision by the main villain right before the fight, and everyone just went off on their separate ways. After such an insane fight that redeemed five years of ill will, the movie spat in everyone's face. It was so bad that even the fangirls who were crying over their favorite character's dying were booing the lame twist. And that is why Breaking Dawn Pt. 2 is at number three. It made Twilight fangirls hate Twilight.

#2: The Star Wars Prequel Trilogy (1999, 2002, 2005)
So... does anyone hate me yet?

Let me state for the record that I do not like Episode I or Episode II at all. I think that both movies, as movies, are bad, mostly because of the terrible pacing and writing. Episode III I think is legitimately awesome, but that's beside the point.

No, the reason I'm defending the prequels is because of what they did for the lore of Star Wars are for expanding several characters in the series. Keep in mind that in the original trilogy, we saw that the Empire already had rose to power and Luke Skywalker, Yoda, and Obi-Wan were the only Jedis left after Order 66. The story of the original trilogy was solid and was well done, though because Star Wars was such a successful property, of course there were going to be prequels.

Even though two of the three prequels were bad, they still have their place in the franchise for one reason or another. Without the prequels, we wouldn't have been able to see Yoda be a Jedi badass. We wouldn't have seen Anakin turn into Darth Vader and kill the Younglings. We wouldn't have seen Darth Maul or listen to any of the epic music from John Williams. We were able to get some great experiences out of the prequels despite their quality, and we even got some great bits of lore from the prequel trilogy.

In it, we were able to learn about Darth Sidious and the birth of the Sith Lords. We learned how Palpatine was able to gain so much power and become an unstoppable tyrant of the Galaxy. Not only that, but the prequels actually expanded the Star Wars universe for the better. If you watch the original trilogy, most of the worlds seem barren and come across as sets. Good sets mind you, but I could always see the strings being pulled for lack of a better phrase. That doesn't mean the original trilogy is bad by any strethc of the word, but the prequels allowed me to believe that these were planets. These were planets with hundreds of thousands of people on it with different races and species coexisting, as well as expanding the Star Wars mythology even more.

It's easy to say that the prequels are bad, and the first two are really bad, but they didn't hurt the franchise as many people are led to believe. They helped expand Star Wars into the 21st century and keep the flame alive for the next generation. That's at least something to admire.

#1: Spider-Man 3 (2007)
The hate for Spider-Man 3 is legendary. It's called one of the worst comic book movies of all time not because of how awful it is, but because of how inept it is. It's a smack in the face to all Spider-Man fans and makes characters like Venom an absolute joke.

That's what I've been hearing for nearly a decade now and after watching the film, it's really not that awful. Hell, I wouldn't even call it bad! It's not the best film in the series, but it's still a damned fun movie in my honest opinion.

When something is called "The Death of..." a particular genre, that's a heavy remark to make, and Spider-Man 3 simply isn't as bad as Batman & Robin, Catwoman, or Fant4stic. All three movies are insulting to the characters they were trying to portray, had terrible management behind them, and were completely unlike any other superhero movie at the time for all of the worst reasons. Batman was wacky and zany while still trying to be serious when superheroes were on shaky grounds, Catwoman tried to be hip and sexy when superheroes were still a laughing stock, and Fant4stic was bleak and grim when superheroes were optimistic and heroic. Spider-Man 3 is none of those things. It still keeps the same tone as Sam Raimi's other Spider-Man movies and still respected Peter Parker and the struggle he was going through.

Tobey Maguire is still the definition of a perfect Peter Parker in my opinion, though he isn't really a great Spider-Man. I'm not the biggest Spider-Man fan in the world, but when I see Spidey, I know he usually has a good quip to go with whatever he's doing and is almost always approachable. He's your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, but Macguire plays his as being too stiff and serious, which is perfect for Peter Parker. It just so happens that a lot of the movie comes down to the struggles of Peter Parker, which works to he movie's benefit.

Peter finds out who killed Uncle Ben and gets exposed to the Venom Symbiote, which begins to change his mind and personality. Peter Parker becomes unlikable, but we're meant to not like him. Yes, Emo Peter is laughably stupid, but it's still Peter Parker trying to be cool. He can't possibly be cool, but this is Peter's idea of what being cool is like. It fits perfectly with the character and what he's supposed to be going through, and when he's wearing the Symbiote suit, letting him cut loose on Sandman makes sense and actually makes Macguire seem stronger than he is.

Sandman is another aspect that makes Spider-Man 3 stand strong. The struggles that he goes through are relatable and understandable, and watching him rise from the sand for the first time is beautiful to watch, You may hate the movie, but you have to at least admit they did Sandman right. They may have screwed up Venom, making him into a weak and limber loser, but I never said Spider-Man 3 was perfect.

People like to call this one of the worst superhero movies of all time, but I honestly can't see it. I enjoyed it way more than I did any of the Amazing Spider-Man movies, so when I hear people say they hate this movie, all I can do is say that I really enjoy it and that it's a damned good time.

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