A Bad Rap: Movies that are not as bad as many would have you believe!
(Movies that were critically panned but not as bad as many think.)
Usually, when there's a sequel or a movie based on a popular IP, it’s an instant box office success or at the very least, a cult favorite. However, there are those which not only underperform both critically and commercially but are forever stigmatized in the eyes of most moviegoers.
In this segment, I’m taking a second glance at Movies that weren’t as bad as many had you to believe!
The much-anticipated sequel to the superhero film that launched what we fondly refer to as the "MCU", was met with plenty of disdain.
While in some ways, the negative response is justifiable, thanks to its rushed approach, but overall, Iron man 2 is a fun watch. There's a good sub story of Tony's quest for his arc poisoning and while it does not fully adopt the "Demon in the bottle" storyline, there's at least some homage. I mean who could hate on a drunk ass Ironman who gets into a brawl with his best friend wearing the prototype War Machine armor while Queen's another one bites the dust is playing in the background?
Also, I enjoyed the Monaco fight scene, well at least Stark's dramatic transformation into the red and silver Mark 5 armor and when you have introductions of Black Widow, War Machine and a hint of a certain Asgardian, Iron Man isn’t as bad as many may assume. Besides, its hard to overlook Sam Rockwell's dance scene. That boy gots rhythm, yo!
Yeah, I know.."Emo pimp parker"..
okay, except for that silly scene along with Sam Raimi throwing in some bad "lounge act", Spidey 3, overall was fun.
You have an escaped convict turned Sandman but more humanized that one can empathize with, a former best friend fueled with revenge that leads toward redemption and of course the mysterious black goo that during a rushed third act, becomes even a bigger threat to Petey.
The revelation of Uncle Ben’s murder was a cop out that frees up Parker's inner guilt, but despite these *sigh* flaws, it’s still a good sequel unlike Amazing Spider-Man 2 and a fitting bookend to Raimi's trilogy.
Creator and legendary Director, George Lucas has caught plenty of backlash from his lackluster prequels and in certain ways, its warranted. However, the third and final chapter of this triumvirate opus-Revenge of the Sith destroys the previous prequels!
Jedi protege Anakin Skywalker under the tutelage of a much younger Obi One Kenobi experiences constant visions of his beloved Padame dying and will stop at nothing to prevent it from coming into fruition. Even if it means joining the dark side, killing everyone that stands in his way as you can see here..
Shit, not even the younglings were spared.
With it's spaced out cinematography especially during the opening sequences, political intrigue, Shakespearean moments of betrayal, an amazing fight scene accompanied by Composer John Williams' excellent Duel of the Fates and the classic moral of dealing with the devil, Star Wars Revenge of the Sith or as I call it, ROTS is another good bookend to a film trilogy. I can’t say the same for Robocop 3 or Matrix Revolutions, though.
And speaking of which..
Sure there’s a few things missing from this second outing of the dystopian supercop. Be it the American Jesus metaphor, villains that paled when compared to Clarence Boddicker and Dick Jones or the omission of Basil Poderous' awesome theme.
Where Robo 2 fails within these categories, it excels in further character study of the titular character as he attempts to grasp what's left of his humanity. But the corporate fascists at OCP are p'od after getting wind of Murray stalking his now widowed wife, thus they reprogram him into "Officer friendly" while at the same time, a menacing drug cartel is wreaking havoc in New Detroit led by a cult like narcissistic figurehead called Cain. Now that I’ve gotten most of that out of the way, i gotta give it up for Peter Weller reprising his role as Murphy without any major inconsistencies like phoning it in *cough Harrison Ford Return of the Jedi*cough* and the actor who played that little shit, Hobs.Hobs’ exit scene was one of the highlights of the sequel, especially regarding his wakeup call. It was almost touching but with a moral of the story lesson thrown in.
Other great features of not goes to the old man being seduced by the world’s oldest weapon..ahem..the unapologetic lampooning of Robo prototypes and least of all, a spectacular auditorium massacre that would’ve made Verhooven proud! Robocop 2 is a damn good companion to the first offering and the irony of it all, is that the first movie was influenced by Frank Miller's Dark Knight returns and how Miller was responsible for Robocop 2's script....then Robocop 3 which is another story altogether.
For every Ben Affleck performance like Gone Girl, there's a Jersey Girl or Gili.
Sadly, Affleck's Daredevil falls in the latter category as far as both filmgoers and comicbook nerds are concerned. Yes, Daredevil was a failure but...BUT the same should not be said for the Director's Cut which is practically a different experience altogether! With a sub plot arc featuring "Coolio"?? Ambitious fight sequences like the one at Josie's bar and a hard R rating, DD Direct cuts out the crappy love scene between Matt and Elektra in exchange for more action. While most ladies prefer to see Ben's butt, guys like me want to see him kick butt!!
Most of the theatrical material that's left uncut is still legit and the late Michael Clark Duncan's performance as Kingpin delivers. Too bad Steven Mark Johnson didn’t cut out that annoying playground scene!
Now it’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of John Carpenter's Escape from New York. And 15 years after the premiere of the cult classic, many were excited for more adventures of the badass Antihero, Snake Plissken. Unfortunately Escape from LA had failed to live up to its predecessor's expectations. While complaints were made about its cookie cutter story, dull one-off villains like Cuervo Jones, Blaxpoiltation Queen Pam Greer's questionable character-Hershe, Bruce Campbell's role limited to 10 minutes, a weak soundtrack compared to the gamechanging synth from the original and if course, very dull special effects. I'm looking at YOU CGI Shark!
Ok now with those complaints out of the way..
What the film does right, is parodies the fundamentalist right leaning party as well as placing jabs at the pro censor left as in Tipper Gore and Senator Kohl (Looook them uuuuup..!)
But yeah, the joke is more on the right simply due to insane "legislatures" design to punish those who would be convicted of Moral offenses: No smoking, no premarital sex, no religion except Christianity, etc. Kurt Russel is "great again" as the iconic Anti Hero, Snake Plissken despite working under a so-so script and almost equally impressive is Cliff Robertson as the President for Life, a character who's unhinged persona foreshadowed that of our current POTUS actually wishes to become President for Life! Sure, it’s nowhere as great as the first "Escape" movie, but it's worth a watch.
Director Zac Snyder is often mired with controversy and it’s not for any political reasons unless your offended by his views of objectivism, but if there’s one single reason why he is at times met with such disdain, is due to his polarizing filmography.
In his adaptation of the Watchmen graphic novel, Snyder was met with criticism due to the film's inaccuracies compared to the comics, but I disagree wholeheartedly with the nerd ragers out there. Watchmen delivered for the most part thanks to solid performances from Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Patrick Wilson and especially Jackie Earle Haley who portrayed the Antihero, Rorschach!
The Dr. Manhattan twist was better than giant calamari landing atop a bunch of civilians and there’s even an epic fight scene as a bonus. Aside from using slo-mo techniques, Zac has a talent for eye popping intros be it 2004's Dawn of the Dead or yes, Watchmen's "Times are a changing" by Bob Dylan.
However, if there's one thing this exceptional film could do without is that silly love scene aboard the Owlship. "Hallelujah"??? Someone needs to administer the Rorschach treatment to the motherfucker who suggested this scene make the cut!
After several flops both commercially and critically, starting with Superman 3 to Superman Returns, Warner Brothers and Legendary pictures decided to reintroduce the granddaddy of Superheroes to the big screen. Despite being yet another ambitious effort from Zac Snyder, Man of Steel was met with praise and polarization.
While some enjoyed the loose adaptation of John Byrne's comic, others lauded the movie for being too dark, losing that optimistic appeal that was from the first two Christopher Reeve films, questionable casting in the case of Lois Lane and not to mention unfathomable scenarios such as allowing Pa Kent's to be sucked by a tornado, a huge scale battle where hundreds if not thousands are injured or killed and Superman doesn’t attempt any superheroics like actually saving lives, then there's that defining moment in which Supes, well.."Snap, Crackle and pop"!
While most of these criticisms are warranted, this shouldn't damper the overall experience of the movie simply for the fact that it is a reimagined take on the Superman mythos and by doing so, unapologetically threw in a few unconventional ideas and in many ways, paid off.
While part of Man of Steel's narrative tone dealt with themes of alienation and isolation, it was also a tale of self-discovery and what family means to an outsider like Kalel. In terms of cinematography, Zac Snyder had shot this reboot with an impressive atmospheric documentary-esque style. Again, polarizing but enjoyable.