Jump to content
Forums forums
PRIMETIMER
Wiendish Fitch

Wonderful Things in Mediocre (or Just Plain Bad) Movies

Recommended Posts

There are good films, great films... and then there are those that are so mediocre or awful that they miss even "okay" by a mile-wide margin. Still, just as no good movie is perfect, few are completely bad. Even movies we hate (or know are bad but still like) have some redeeming features. I remembered this thread from TWoP and thought I'd bring it back. Remember, these are films that have a more or less a bad reputation, or are not critical faves. Please keep your opinions civil, and don't get defensive if someone calls a movie you happen to like bad (or, if you must, defend it in a polite fashion). 

My picks:

The birthing scene from Big Momma's House: I never liked Martin Lawrence, and while Big Momma's House does have its defenders, even they must admit it's responsible for spawning some unfortunate sequels. Still, the birthing scene is hilarious to me, from the timing, to Lawrence using oven mitts, Paul Giamatti's reactions ("They use Crisco for everything here!"), and even Anthony Anderson (whom I can't stand) gets a chuckle or two ("Damn... that's a baby!").

Flashdance is a shallow music video posing as a movie (it's still a guilty pleasure of mine, but I can't deny what it is) with a sorry excuse for a screenplay... but I have to admit, it just might have one of the all time greatest happy endings. Seriously, I'm getting the feels just thinking about it.

Care Bears II: A New Generation... it's a damn Care Bears movie, all right? Bitching about it or making fun of it is like shooting fish in a barrel. But this song? I'm such a mush, it's so sweet.

Pooh's Heffalump Movie is basically one of Disney's little cash cow movies, but it does have one line I absolutely love: when Roo asks to join the expedition in the woods, Rabbit tells him no, that the "woods are fraught with danger!" Tigger then adds, "You just can't argue with a word like 'fraught'!"

LOL!!

*Unimpressed silence. Crickets*

Well, I think it's funny.

Edited by Wiendish Fitch
  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post

1 hour ago, Wiendish Fitch said:

The birthing scene from Big Momma's House: I never liked Martin Lawrence, and while Big Momma's House does have its defenders, even they must admit it's responsible for spawning some unfortunate sequels. Still, the birthing scene is hilarious to me, from the timing, to Lawrence using oven mitts, Paul Giamatti's reactions ("They use Crisco for everything here!"), and even Anthony Anderson (whom I can't stand) gets a chuckle or two ("Damn... that's a baby!").

Tichina Arnold yelling "We ain't frying chicken!" during that scene is probably my favorite line out of the film. That or after getting shot, Paul Giamatti saying "Is that morphine? Beats the hell out of aspirin!" I might be a little off in remembering the exact quotes since I haven't seen it since it was in theaters.

1 hour ago, Wiendish Fitch said:

Care Bears II: A New Generation... it's a damn Care Bears movie, all right? Bitching about it or making fun of it is like shooting fish in a barrel. But this song? I'm such a mush, it's so sweet.

Speaking as someone who is obsessed with Grumpy Bear, I love all the Care Bear films from the 80's, and that's one of my favorite songs from them.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Arthur 2: On the Rocks was a terrible, unnecessary sequel, but the moment where Hobson comes back via dream/hallucination was lovely.  The part where he tells Arthur that he's seen his son was the best part, although part of the credit should go to the chemistry between Dudley Moore and John Gielgud.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Classic film musical geeks (such as yours truly) can tell you that The Kissing Bandit is not only considered the worst MGM musical (and they made plenty of stinkers), but the worst film Frank Sinatra ever made. In fact, he hated it so much, he rarely discussed it, and bringing it up was a guaranteed way to get on his bad side; a sentiment shared by his leading lady, Kathryn Grayson. I've never seen it, but I will vouch that it does contain a fantastic dance number, "The Dance of Fury", featuring Ann Miller, Cyd Charrisse, and an impossibly young and dashing Ricardo Montalban (I won't blame you for rolling your eyes at how quaint it is).

Share this post


Link to post

The Night of the Comet is a cheesy 80's zombie movie for the most part, generally along the lines of 'so bad it's good', but the scene where the younger sister breaks down as she talks about her dead friends is genuinely good and well-acted. So is the scene where the scientist tells Not Erik Estrada about the diabolical plans the other scientists have, before she euthanizes herself.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

9 hours ago, manbearpig said:

Blake Lively's Carol recognising that Ryan Reynolds was the Green Lantern instantly and then having a giggle fit.

I've never seen it but I just YouTubed that and it's the best!!! "You think I wouldn't recognize you because I can't see your cheekbones?!?!"

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post

The Chronicles of Riddick is pretty average in terms of both story and acting, but the costume and set people went all out. No one told them it was going to be average. Also, Thandie Newton is incredibly hot.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
4 hours ago, methodwriter85 said:

The Night of the Comet is a cheesy 80's zombie movie for the most part, generally along the lines of 'so bad it's good', but the scene where the younger sister breaks down as she talks about her dead friends is genuinely good and well-acted. So is the scene where the scientist tells Not Erik Estrada about the diabolical plans the other scientists have, before she euthanizes herself.

"She was right. You really are cute. Santa Claus...."

The scientist was played by Mary Woronov, who was also in 1982's Eating Raoul with Robert Beltran. She was the only thing that made that movie worthwhile as anything other than a cult classic.

Share this post


Link to post

I know nobody liked The Tourist, but the Venice scenes are gorgeously shot and Angelina Jolie's wardrobe is amazing.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

I'm sure to think of more as time goes by, but in the movie Burlesque, when Christina Aguilar's character finally decides to go for it and sing on stage.  I even like the way it was edited in the beginning showing everyone dumbstruck by what they were hearing. 

Also, I don't know that it's considered a bad movie (it may be even slightly better than mediocre) among the general viewing audience (I liked it), but the critics panned Now You See Me, 2 and there are moments of brilliance in it thanks to Mark Ruffalo.  I wrote in the thread for the movie that most action movies are about just that--the action and the acting is usually anywhere from "ok" to "good".  During the scenes when Mark's character was reminiscing about his father, even at times when he wasn't speaking to anyone, just looking at pictures, he was fantastic. You could totally feel his grief.  It was a step above "good", imo.

Thor is often listed as the worst in the series of Marvel films, but that moment when he tries to pick up the hammer and fails shows what a good actor Chris Hemsworth could be with the right material.

Edited by Shannon L. · Reason: Added one more movie
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

I was mostly really unimpressed with the Fall (it has a surprisingly good score on IMDB, but reviews were pretty poor), but that one scene in the end between Alexandria and Roy, where she begs him not to kill the last hero in the story he created for her, aka himself, is really, really wonderful. 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
On ‎06‎/‎26‎/‎2016 at 9:34 PM, methodwriter85 said:

The Night of the Comet is a cheesy 80's zombie movie for the most part, generally along the lines of 'so bad it's good', but the scene where the younger sister breaks down as she talks about her dead friends is genuinely good and well-acted. So is the scene where the scientist tells Not Erik Estrada about the diabolical plans the other scientists have, before she euthanizes herself.

Plus it has the line "Daddy would've gotten us Uzis."  This movie, as cheesy as it is, is one of the few rare exceptions to my "Absolutely No Zombies!!" rule.  (P.S. Not Erik Estrada is Robert Beltran, who was later one of the stars of Star Trek: Voyager.)

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post

1941 is utterly ridiculous but for this one part when John Belushi and Dan Aykroy share a salute right before Belushi boards the Japanese submarine. It's the only part where their characters interact, a subtle nod to their real life friendship that I can't help but smile at.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

I can't make myself sit through the entire movie when Harlem Nights is airing, but I'll try and watch until the "Come on sucka, let's get it on!" alley fight between Eddie Murphy and Della Reese is over.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

(I know for a lot of people this is not a bad movie, but to me it is.)  In Legally Blonde, when Jennifer Coolidge gets her dog back from her ex.  "I'm taking the dog, dumbass" is great, and musing that the fact the ex is probably still scratching his head means a nice break for his balls is even better, but the way she looks over at Elle and thanks her is the best.

Speaking of Reese Witherspoon films I find unbearably stupid except for one moment: Candace Bergen saying, "Why don't you go back to your double-wide and fry something?" to Mary Kay Place in Sweet Home Alabama.  Oh, actually there are two in that movie: "People need a passport to come down here."

Edited by Bastet
  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
7 hours ago, Bruinsfan said:

I can't make myself sit through the entire movie when Harlem Nights is airing, but I'll try and watch until the "Come on sucka, let's get it on!" alley fight between Eddie Murphy and Della Reese is over.

That scene is definitely the standout in that movie. This is one of my favorites:

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

The movie-within-the-movie romantic comedy parody snippets at the beginning of America's Sweethearts was much funnier and more clever than anything else in the movie.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

American Reunion wasn't terrible, per se, but it was overall "meh" to me. The one part I thought was hilarious was Stifler meeting (and having sex with) Finch's mom. Stfler's reaction when he realizes he finally going to get revenge is just priceless.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
On 6/26/2016 at 6:34 PM, methodwriter85 said:

The Night of the Comet is a cheesy 80's zombie movie for the most part, generally along the lines of 'so bad it's good', but the scene where the younger sister breaks down as she talks about her dead friends is genuinely good and well-acted. So is the scene where the scientist tells Not Erik Estrada about the diabolical plans the other scientists have, before she euthanizes herself.

I hadn't seen this movie since I was 15, and about a year ago I rewatched it and it's surprisingly good for what it is. It's not Raging Bull. Hell it's not even Josie and the Pussycats, but it's a fun watch, and it's a 30 year old movie with two female leads (even if one of them had to show her boobs because it was the eighties). 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

I can't find a better thread for this, so I'll put it here.  Footloose was a huge hit, but when I look back at it, it really was just fun, summer fluff.  Having said that what elevated it to more than it normally would have been, imo, were the performances of Dianne Weist and John Lithgow.   Especially Dianne Weist.  Her two, brief, "hell yeah" moments, were when she told Marjorie to sit down and let Ren speak at the town hall meeting, then when she told Shaw that it was "the one on one where he needed a little work".  No need to raise her voice--there was strength in her quiet demeanor. 

Edited by Shannon L.
  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post

The last 15-20 minutes of Jurassic World are so much fun...I had it on in the background yesterday, and when they let out the T-Rex I was on the edge of my seat like I was in the theater. I even let out a Jesse Pinkman "Yeah, bitch!!" LOL 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

During the last week of August when my husband was out of town on business, I decided to watch a couple of bad 80s teen movies that I enjoyed when I was a kid.  One was Can't Buy Me Love.  I don't know what just made me think of it this morning, but it occurred to me that the geeks in the movie weren't really the stereotypical ones who had the "exaggerated for comic effect" looks/quirks and clothing styles.  They were comfortable around girls, if a bit shy, not really bad looking--just not "captain of the football team" handsome--and their clothes were more plain than those of the popular kids.  Also, Cindy, the rich, somewhat spoiled, popular girl, wasn't overly obnoxious, either.  She was (mostly) polite and couldn't believe for a second that her friends would be so shallow as to believe everything she said and follow along. She was even appalled when she discovered that that was indeed the case.   It wasn't a great movie, but I do appreciate that it didn't go too far into the ridiculous with the kids.

  • Like 9

Share this post


Link to post

This might also be an UO but I was never really impressed with  Love Actually. Although, I can't deny its stellar cast. To me Emma Thompson is criminally overlooked in the film. I recently caught some of it again and the part after the school play where she goes from crying by herself to acting like a proud mom so the kids won't see anything is wrong. I know she has an Oscar but why doesn't she have ALL the Oscars? 

  • Like 11

Share this post


Link to post

Maleficent could have been a way better movie if they kept her evil instead of secretly good the whole time. However, there are two scenes that were good:

The christening scene, which aside from turning the three fairies into those idiot pixies, was so perfect it was practically ripped from the cartoon -- and really showcases how much fun Angelina could have been as Evil Maleficent

And just because I'm sentimental, the scene with young Aurora played by Vivienne Jolie-Pitt. Such a cutie, and I really feel for what her and her siblings must be going through in the current divorce shitstorm.

Edited by Spartan Girl
  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post

Blast from the Past is completely predictable and it's kind of creepy that Brendan Fraser is playing a man who's 35 and has lived in a bomb shelter with his parents for his whole life but I love the dance scene - I don't know who the women are, they move like professional dancers and Fraser does pretty well too.

  • Like 7

Share this post


Link to post

I finally caught Gone Girl and remembered i shouldn't be so surprised that Rosamund Pike  was that good. She and Samantha Morton were the only good things in The Libertine .  Seriously, did nobody try to edit that script?

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

Valley Girl actually has some very good, very genuinely good acting throughout it, even though it's considered just a cheesy teen comedy.

-When Tommy and Loren start hooking up, but Tommy rejects her once she asks if this means they'll be going instead instead of him and Julie. He tells Loren that she's a bad friend for trying to hook-up with Julie's ex, promises not to tell, then walks out.The way he turned it around on her, and her crestfallen reaction, was really good. You felt that- that beneath her slutty airhead persona, there was a real person there.

-The slumber party scene, when the girls start pressuring Julie about breaking up with Randy.

-Julie talking with her father, who delivers the message of the film.

-The break-up scene. It really was very well-done. "Fuck off, for sure. Like, totally." It just felt like a very real fight.

The movie did have a really good cast. It's kind of sad that Nic Cage is the only one of the young actors from the movie to go on and have a career. (I do think Tommy became a working actor, though.)

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post

The 2010 Russell Crowe Robin Hood was forgettable (he only did one Robin Hood-esque deed in the whole movie) but Alan Doyle as Alan A'Dayle was pretty awesome (and single-handedly introduced my sister to the music of Great Big Sea)

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

Reign of Fire is a nonsense B-movie about the dragon apocalypse. It features Christian Bale and Matthew McConaughey, who were both at that time in a bit of a career crisis. But you can also see why they both managed to drag their careers back on track: Man, they are committed to their roles. They might be in a nonsense B-movie about the dragon apocalypse, but obviously they didn't take that as an excuse to give half-hearted performances. Most of the fun of watching that film is seeing how into it both of them are. Okay, and the cute, deadly dragons. (-;

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

I am in complete agreement with my fellow film geeks that Joel Schumacher is a wretched director: his screenplays are a joke, and his "visual flair" is just embarrassing (I don't care how long ago it was, the man does not deserve to live down the "Bat nipples"). But you know what? He is only human, and since a broken clock is indeed right twice a day, here are 2 things that Schumacher did that I liked:

1. Yeah, it's utterly ludicrous and barely a notch above the Adam West Batman series in terms of quality, but, in Batman Forever, I do love the final scene of Batman and Robin's heroic silhouettes running in front of the Bat Signal. One, I'm an absolute sucker for shots of silhouettes, and two, it's a great, simple shot that exemplifies the more high-spirited aspect of the Batman mythos. 

2. Similarly, I agree that The Phantom of the Opera is like a how-not-to guide on adapting a stage musical to the screen (don't get me started on shouty, ridiculous Gerard Butler and bland-as-sand Emmy Rossum), but I'm one of the five people on the planet who thinks Patrick Wilson is the best thing about the movie. Raoul is a horribly thankless, unpopular role, but I think Wilson sells it (despite that laughable wig), and I think his rendition of "All I Ask of You" is lovely. Good on you, Schumacher, though that still doesn't explain Butler and Rossum.

Edited by Wiendish Fitch
  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
On October 8, 2016 at 1:21 PM, katha said:

Reign of Fire is a nonsense B-movie about the dragon apocalypse. It features Christian Bale and Matthew McConaughey, who were both at that time in a bit of a career crisis. But you can also see why they both managed to drag their careers back on track: Man, they are committed to their roles. They might be in a nonsense B-movie about the dragon apocalypse, but obviously they didn't take that as an excuse to give half-hearted performances. Most of the fun of watching that film is seeing how into it both of them are. Okay, and the cute, deadly dragons. (-;

My favourite part (really, the only thing I particularly remember) was that in the post-apocalyptic cave colony the adults entertained the children by re-enacting the Star Wars trilogy. Ahahahahaha!!!!

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

Depending on the day of the week, Star Trek V is the worst thing the franchise ever committed to celluloid.

And yet, there's this one line that always gets me on the rare occasions I watch it:  "I lost a brother once.  I was lucky I got him back."

No matter the movie's faults, the portrayal of the brotherly love between Kirk, Spock, and Bones was mostly great.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

I love Martin Lawrence but I remember not finding Black Knight funny.  He's a modern day person sent back to Renaissance times, I guess.

Except I love this ONE part where he's just trying to sit in a chair.  19:42 - 19:60.  

Same situation with The Ladies Man.  I love Tim Meadows and Karyn Parsons, but I don't remember loving the movie.  However, when Karyn's character takes one of Leon's cassette tapes and wrecks it, and Leon calmly protests, is funny.  2:30 here.  (Youtube is just wonderful!)

Edited by Ms Blue Jay
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

I know not many people enjoyed Battleship, but I loved the part when the crew were pretty much screwed and didn't know what to do next and then the "old salts" stepped in helped them. The whole montage with them getting the Missouri ready and working together made that movie for me.

  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post

Oliver & Company, while not a bad movie by any stretch, has the misfortune of being a pre-Disney Renaissance flick, and doesn't tend to be held in high regard. My take? It's decent enough (though the animation is kinda ugly), though the soundtrack eclipses the story.

But. 

It has this one scene that speaks to me and my values, and refreshingly forthright for a kid's film. Context: Not much to explain, it's Oliver Twist. The titular Oliver (a kitten this time) has initially fallen in with Fagin's scrappy band of pickpocketing dogs, then is adopted by a sweet, wealthy girl named Jenny, but Fagin owes Sykes money, so he kidnaps Oliver and sends a ransom note. The ransom note is obviously meant for Jenny's parents, but since Jenny is one of those movie kids whose parents are never around when you need them, she goes out in the rain to pay the ransom, clad in a sad raincoat, piggy bank in hand (okay, this is all a little maudlin, but bear with me). Fagin spots her, naturally asks what she's doing out alone, she explains her predicament, and then this exchange happens:

Jenny: And what kind of person would steal an innocent little kitty?

Fagin: Well, I... I mean, he... He might be up against a stone wall, at the end of his rope.

[Jenny starts sobbing]

Fagin: He must have been a poor, desperate man.

Jenny: It's still wrong!

THANK YOU, DISNEY.

As someone who is so sick of characters' every horrid deed being justified with their Tragic Backstory, or the poor judgment of the protagonist, or the laziness of the screenwriters, it makes my heart rejoice that the good folks at Disney had one of their characters cut through  mealy-mouthed, bullshit rationalizations with the simple fact that it's. Still. Wrong.

The Phantom loved Christine and had a crappy childhood? He's a murderer. It's still wrong. 

Killmonger has abandonment issues and has experienced racism? He's a thuggish tyrant. It's still wrong. 

Erik "Magneto" Lensherr is a Holocaust survivor who's dealt with anti-Semitism and prejudice for being a mutant? He's a manipulative, back-stabbing, megalomaniacal asshole who not only hurts humans, but isn't above hurting his fellow mutants as well. It's still wrong.

Edited by Wiendish Fitch
  • Like 16

Share this post


Link to post

In Jurassic World, the best part of the movie, for me, was when Claire was standing in front of the door to the t-rex's cell and waiting for her to come out.  A wide shot from behind, shows her standing, feet spread and planted, back straight, head up....then when the rex does come into site, Claire is scared, but doesn't flinch--she just waits until she's sure that she'll be followed, turns and breaks into a dead run.  It's my favorite part of the whole movie and I think it was a great sequence. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
5 hours ago, Shannon L. said:

It's my favorite part of the whole movie and I think it was a great sequence. 

Yeah that was great. And I freaking loved the whole fight scene with Rexie, Blue, and the Killer Dino, complete with finishing move from the giant fish dino. Best ending of all the movies, by far. So epic, and crazy, but in the best ways possible. 

Cruel Intentions is a pretty stupid, and even icky, movie, as much as I love it for its nostalgia/guilty pleasure factor, but the ending sequence with Bittersweet Symphony is an amazing ending, and one of the best uses of music I have ever seen in a movie. 

  • Like 8

Share this post


Link to post
On 5/9/2018 at 7:49 PM, HunterHunted said:

I love Leslie Mann and Zac Efron dancing in 17 Again. They have such great chemistry in that moment.

Also, Zac's letter scene in that movie. That is where I realized that Zac Efron really can be a good actor, and he's not just a Disney teen idol.

Tania's dance scene in Sleepwalkers. That was the one good scene in a dumpster fire of a film.

Edited by methodwriter85
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Objectively, Antoine Fuqua's King Arthur is a bad movie. Clive Owen is terrible as Arthur, which is fitting because Arthur is a terrible person. There's a cringe-inducing 21 year age difference between Owen and Keira Knightley and their total lack of chemistry makes their weirdly stony faces during the sex scene somehow worse. The whole "He's just one man!" "He's not one man, he's ARTHUR!" thing is so heavy-handed and embarrassing and it's like that throughout the whole movie. Half the relationships don't make sense, the plot is ridiculous, etc.

But I like the "knights" (Ioan Gruffud! Joel Edgerton! Hugh Dancy! Mads Mikkelsen!), the "woad" warrior women are fun, I like that they cast an actual Italian as the main Roman guy, Stellan Skarsgaard is picture perfect as the head of the Saxon invaders, and call me crazy but I was touched by the love between the Sarmatian samurai and his hawk.

...that movie really is a guilty pleasure. I won't go out of my way to watch it but if it's on and at the right part of the film I'll let it play in the background.

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
On 5/29/2018 at 6:11 PM, slf said:

Objectively, Antoine Fuqua's King Arthur is a bad movie. Clive Owen is terrible as Arthur, which is fitting because Arthur is a terrible person. There's a cringe-inducing 21 year age difference between Owen and Keira Knightley and their total lack of chemistry makes their weirdly stony faces during the sex scene somehow worse. The whole "He's just one man!" "He's not one man, he's ARTHUR!" thing is so heavy-handed and embarrassing and it's like that throughout the whole movie. Half the relationships don't make sense, the plot is ridiculous, etc.

But I like the "knights" (Ioan Gruffud! Joel Edgerton! Hugh Dancy! Mads Mikkelsen!), the "woad" warrior women are fun, I like that they cast an actual Italian as the main Roman guy, Stellan Skarsgaard is picture perfect as the head of the Saxon invaders, and call me crazy but I was touched by the love between the Sarmatian samurai and his hawk.

...that movie really is a guilty pleasure. I won't go out of my way to watch it but if it's on and at the right part of the film I'll let it play in the background.

Yeah, there is a lot about this movie that is bad. However, it did introduce me to Mads Mikkelsen and his cheekbones. I did love Stellan Skarsgaard as the Saxon leader, too. But I kept thinking 'Get back to Tristan, dammit!' throughout the entire movie.

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...

Customize font-size