Friday 8 May 2009

Don't you just love it when you enjoy a terrible movie?.

I've had a busy few days. As I finally got a night to myself I realised that, more than anything, I just wanted to watch a movie. Of course, being the Kid In The Front Row that's hardly surprising. I went down to my local video store looking to rent a film as nothing in my own collection was really doing it for me.

I picked up 'Mad Money' starring Diane Keaton, Queen Latifah and Katie Holmes. It looked terrible. I took my iPhone out of my pocket and imdb'ed the film. My fears were confirmed. General wisdom was that the film was pretty poor. For some reason though - I wanted to see it. I guess partly because I wanted a film where I didn't have to think and partly because of my love of much of Diane Keaton's past work, to say nothing of my teenage Dawson's Creek obsession with Katie Holmes. So I rented the movie.
And I really enjoyed it! I just sank right into it. It's the story of three women who come to the realisation that being good has never really paid off - so they turn against the system and rob money, from the Federal Bank of which they are all employees. A ridiculous premise. But it worked for me.

And it was just one of those films that, if you're in the right mood for it, it works. If I had paid attention to the online reviews of the film, I never would have watched it.

An even bigger example of this is 'Meet Dave' starring the much ridiculed 'has-been' Eddie Murphy. I have never read or heard any good thing about this film. But when I watched it a few months ago I was in absolute hysterics throughout - I thought it was wonderful. Excellently executed physical comedy and Murphy was great in the role. But if you had listened to the anti-hype around its release; or the magazine and internet reviews when the DVD came about; it was enough to put anyone off of seeing it.

Of course; it's a free world. We're all free to praise movies and we're all free to say how much we hate them. It's a right I use on this very blog. But what I'm realising more and more is how some of the films I have enjoyed the most have come after being almost completely talked out of ever seeing them due to either terrible reviews or bad word of mouth.

I'm thinking you should go rent a movie tonight. Or go add something to your Netflix (LoveFilm in the UK). Make it a film that at some point, even momentarily, you really wanted to see but changed your mind after reading fifty reviews completely ridiculing it. Or, y'know, maybe that lame looking chick-flick staring that actor you like isn't really a chick-flick, they've just marketed it that way and given it a pink cover. It's all marketing and media -- take a risk, forget all about that; and go watch a movie. And not one that has 90% on Rotten Tomatoes. Go find something that slipped by the net, or one that got caught in the net and dumped into the trash. True, it might suck; but you never know, you might find something that says something to you. You might find a film you can relate too. You might find a little gem that got bad reviews because the well-paid corporation-payrolled reviewers couldn't relate to its heart.

Care to share?


  1. Mike Judge's Idiocracy! Discovered in a $5 bargin bin.

  2. Hey :) Thought I'd come and check out your blog.

    I've pretty much given up reading media reviews of films, they're not objective enough in most cases and are far too biased and driven by the reviewer's personal tastes and grudges. There's been so many films that I've loved which have been snootily looked down upon by the reviewers, and also plenty that have been raved about but have left me cold.

    So now, if I like the look of a film I watch it, and make up my own mind.

    I like the way you write :) it's intelligent but you make it interesting too.

  3. Anonymous, thanks for that-- I just read up on the film, it looks interesting. I'll be watching it soon!.

    Hello Girl Interrupted, welcome to the blog!. I agree about reviewers. Even so, it is hard to ignore what people say I think. I'm better than most people I know at watching a film regardless of what people say; but even so.. it's impossible to completely ignore it, or to not be influenced by it at all!.

    And most of all, thanks for complimenting the way I write. I really appreciate that. I try to use a variety of letters, I've learned all 26 from the alphabet and attempt to arrange their use in a way which makes for good blogging. Stick around!

  4. I love "bad" movies and I don't think I've ever paid attention to a movie review in my entire life. Also, in answer to your question~ yes, probably a bit crazy. It's probably even more obvious on my other blog.

    I didn't comment on your most recent post, but your interview with the editor was very good. It's always cool to read interviews with the behind the scenes movie people.

  5. I never read reviews...and I tend to like everything everyone else hates. I just like being obtuse, I think.

  6. I don't trust reviews, especially by professional critics, 'cause more often than not, I just don't agree w/ them. Films are so personal and whether you like something or not often depends on your personal worldview, opinion about the filmmaker/cast, and/or the state of mind you're watching it. So yeah, I love a bunch of movies that get bad reviews... some are for pure guilty pleasures, some I actually think they're good with a capital G.