What is it about people liking bad movies? Whenever the year-end box office charts are finalised, there’s invariably something way too high on there that critics have universally agreed is terrible and fans seem to happily agree. Is it because we’re all sado-massochists when it comes to cinema? Or are marketing companies just a little too good at pretending bad movies are good enough to see?
In truth, it’s probably a little of both. And it’s definitely important ot acknolwedge that we do tend to gravitate towards bad movies for the same reason we look at car accidents and injury videos on YouTube. It’s grotesquely appealing, like a sort of rite of passage.
On an entirely other level, it takes something very special for a movie to be bad, but to still be charming and entertaining enough to capture your heart anyway. It isn’t enough for them to be “so bad, they’re good” in that sort of kitsch way where you admire the confidence of the film-maker in making something so mind-numbingly terrible (like The Room or most things Michael Bay has made), this is a category of movies entirely apart from that.
12. Forrest Gump
It might have won six Oscars – including 3 of the big four (it wasn’t up for Best Actress) – and been nominated for a massive seven more, but Forrest Gump is not a great movie. It’s an entertaining experience and there’s a lot to enjoy in the performances, but it’s one of the single most cynical pieces of art ever created.
Gump nails its colours to the mast early, seeking as much sugar and sentiment as possible and throwing in a liberal dose of emotional manipulation to drive the plot. It says very little that is actually profound, some of the script is dire and you can see just how much it’s working hard to suck you in.
But it’s also incredibly successful, and the fact that it’s Tom Hanks in the lead makes absolutely all of the manipulation and the rubbish parts entirely forgiveable. And to think it was almost John Travolta…
11. Batman Forever
For all of the stories around the production of Batman Forever, it’s a wonder that a movie ever ended up being released. What got to the screen in the end certainly wasn’t what any fans of Tim Burton’s predecessors would have wanted, nor was it even what Joel Schumacher himself really wanted to make. But all Warner Bros wanted was a film that made money and didn’t limit marketing and merchandising opportunities.
Unfortunately, that compromised the film’s quality badly. It’s cheesy, badly-written and a little unsure of its own identity and it was definitely the first step towards the ruination of Batman that its sequel confirmed with aplomb.
But that all said, it’s still perversely charming. It should be one of the most unlikeable movies of all time, given how obnoxious it sets out to be, but Val Kilmer makes a great Batman, Jim Carrey IS excellent as Riddler and it’s hard not to be enthuasiastic about the fun. Watch it after most of the modern DCEU and it’s a bloody masterpiece.
10. Love Actually
Like Forrest Gump, Love Actually is now considered a classic because it is incredibly successful at manipulating its audience. Not only is it set at Christmas (immediately scoring it charm points), but it has a great cast, what appear to be mostly heart-warming messages and an infectious confidence in itself that’s hard to resist.
Unfortunately, if you actually pay attention to Love Actually, you’ll realise very quickly that absolutely everyone is a terrible person (apart from Emma Thompson, anyway) and most of the relationships are based on poor decisions or come at some awful cost.
But it’s still solid gold trash and it’s mostly thanks to how self-aware it is of what it’s doing. At one point Rowan Atkinson’s character was supposed to be a literal angel – this film KNOWS it’s doing exactly what everyone profiting out of Christmas does – dialling into inherent emotions that you cant resist no matter what’s doing the pulling.
Say what you want about Michael Bay as a director – and lots of people often do just that – but he knows how to make money. His awful but financially bullet-proof Transformers movies prove that much, at the very least.
The director seems to know how to channel into some latent yearning in his audiences (which is possibly why he was drawn to the childhood franchise in the first place), which is definitely evident in Armageddon too. The ridiculous sci-fi actioner would be no more than an Asylum/Sy Fy movie normally, but the injection of a big budget and major acting talent dragged it out of the basement.
Sadly, the acting is mostly very poor (particularly from Ben Affleck) and the more dependable talent (like Steve Buscemi) ends up wrestling with frankly idiotic material. But then again, watching Buscemi ride a warhead and be instantly and very frankly diagnosed with “space dementia” will never not be gloriously charming. And at this stage, Bruce Willis was still action dad, so it was hard not to feel when he gave his life up for us all.
(Excerpt) Read More at: WhatCulture.com