“Choose to be optimistic, it feels better” is a quote from the Dali Lama. It’s good advice, although it gets very hard to be optimistic about movies when the box office is saturated with reboots, rebrands and mismanaged DC flicks that tend to leave the bitter taste of disappointment in your mouth.
Be optimistic all you like, Mr. Lama, but you should maybe draw the line at the films that from the very get-go look like they’re on track to a worse cinematic experience than Titanic 2: Jack’s Revenge.
However, for every fumbled brilliant concept there’s a terrible one that ended up surprisingly bearable. Sometimes a film that has all the red flags in the world can still turn out pretty damned excellent, to be completely honest. Troubled productions, unachievable levels of ambition, cast members walking out (or even dying), confusing (or just outright terrible) premises and studio meddling should be the resounding knell of death for a movie, but not always.
Some films endure. Some films overcome. Despite all the odds, some movies turn out way better than they had any right to be…
7. The Lego Movie
I’d have put good money on the lego movie being terrible. And then I’d have lost that money, because The Lego Movie is awesome. The first glimpses of information we got made The Lego Movie look like a confusing mix of characters across multiple lego properties mashed into a baffling cluster of cameos contained a barely disguised 90-minute lego advert.
Ultimately, it turned out to be a masterpiece of family-friendly comedy and warm, cuddly heartfelt moments to move even the manliest of men to shed a tear. The various characters always feel honest and well placed in the world,
The voice talent of Liam Neeson, Morgan Freeman, Will Ferrell, Elizabeth Banks, Alison Brie and Charlie Day bring the script to life, not to mention the incredible Chris Pratt killing it in his first ever starring film role.
6. Iron Man
It’s hard to look back and remember that there was a time not very long ago where Iron Man was a B-Tier superhero at best. Marvel had sold off a lot of their big names through the 1990s and aside from the Chris Nolan’s Batman films the comic-book movie genre was petering to what felt like a full and final stop.
Robert Downey Jr. had clambered out of the cocaine fuelled stupor of the early 00s but still wasn’t the blockbuster A-list people might have expected to carry a superhero movie, but oh boy did he blow it away with his performance as Tony Stark.
Iron Man looked set to be just another middling action flick, but the tight script, acting and direction set the stage for the cinematic behemoth the MCU has become. Civil War. Infinity War. Homecoming. Iron Man was the proof of concept for them all and the birth of a billion dollar vision for the MCU. Who’d have guessed the fruits of it’s endeavour would still be paying off a decade later?
5. The Emperor’s New Groove
The Emperor’s New Groove went through a more troubled development than a child born in Gateshead. Originally meant to be a completely different film called ‘Kingdom of the Sun’, the entire thing was scrapped, and the production team was given two weeks to salvage the basics of an idea or be shut down.
Meanwhile, all the animators were reassigned to work on Fantasia 2000, leaving a hodgepodge of people floundering to put together something Disney would go for in less time than it takes Mickey Mouse to scream ‘You’re fired’. Late in production they had to rename the emperor’s name from ‘Manko’ to ‘Kuzco’, upon finding that the word ‘manco’ is a slang term in Japanese for vagina.
Add to that constant cast shifts and Sting resigning from making the music for the project, it’s a wonder the film ever got made at all.
And we’re lucky it did, for the under appreciated buddy-comedy kid’s flick is still worthy of a spot on the shelf, even if it’s only for Patrick’s Warburton’s incredible performance as Kronk.
4. A Quiet Place
So place your bets folks, will a mostly silent horror film be able to hold the attention of the popcorn crunching, explosion loving masses for an hour and a half? What if it’s also directed and starring an actor known primarily for comedic roles? What if it’s not even based off an existing property and has to tell an original story? Well, actually John Krasinski managed to pull it off.
A Quiet Place is one the best films of the year so far, with a gimmick that would have been a recipe for unbearable cheesiness and boredom if it was handled any less than expertly. Aside from the prologue, the film takes place entirely over a 24 hour stint, with only a tiny cast to hold the narrative together. It manages to be tense, tragic, and heartwarming, all wrapped up in an easily digestible 90 minute run time.
Not bad, Jimothy. Not bad at all.
(Excerpt) Read More at: WhatCulture.com