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Wiendish Fitch

Wonderful Things in Mediocre (or Just Plain Bad) Movies

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IMO, Tomorrowland is a complete and utter hot mess: bloated, overly complicated plot, a worthless protagonist, a lame villain with a muddled motivation, and the Ayn Rand-ian worldview Brad Bird has been accused of having is really, really laid bare... but its 2 hour running time is almost justified by the exchange at the end by Athena (Raffey Cassidy) and Frank (George Clooney).

Spoiler

Precocious girl Athena (who's actually an android) and Frank have known each other since Frank was a kid. Frank used to try to make Athena laugh during his childhood in Tomorrowland. At the climax, Athena (who's so ridiculously useful, I wonder why she wasn't the protagonist instead of that loser Casey) has sacrificed herself to save the world. As she's dying, this exchange happens:

Athena : Do you want to know why you could never make me laugh?

Frank Walker : Why?

Athena : Because you're not funny.

I'm sorry, it's so terrible that I love that, but you have no idea how much the movie needed that levity, and how desperately a lot of people in real life need to hear that. 

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

Objectively, Antoine Fuqua's King Arthur is a bad movie.

I've never actually made it through the movie in one sitting, but I always had a soft spot just for the fact that it's the only King Arthur movie to actually use the Sarmatian Theory, which has always been a personal fave.

4 hours ago, Wiendish Fitch said:

the Ayn Rand-ian worldview Brad Bird has been accused of having is really, really laid bare... but its 2 hour running time is almost justified by the exchange at the end by Athena (Raffey Cassidy) and Frank (George Clooney).

For the record, I actually liked Tomorrowland, but I've never seen the supposed Ayn Randian worldview in any of Brad Bird's work (although he was called a Soviet apologist for The Iron Giant).  I agree about that scene and think Raffey Cassidy is talented and I'm surprised she hasn't done more.

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Pearl Harbor is a terrible movie, with awful characters and an insipid, shallow love triangle, but man, that forty minutes or so that depicts the Japanese attack is really, really well done.

For Love of The Game is definitely Kevin Costner's weakest baseball movie, and the flashbacks to his tortuous romance with Kelly Preston are too schmaltzy and fraught with silly drama. But the parts of the movie that focus on him as a tired, worn out old pitcher coming to terms with the end of his career as he pitches the best game of his career? Well that's just engineered to hit me right in the feels. I love a good, heroic sports movie.

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4 hours ago, Danny Franks said:

Pearl Harbor is a terrible movie, with awful characters and an insipid, shallow love triangle, but man, that forty minutes or so that depicts the Japanese attack is really, really well done.

It really is. I hate the whole movie except for Japanese attack. That was awesome. Whenever its on I'll watch that part and only that part. 

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22 hours ago, Wiendish Fitch said:

IMO, Tomorrowland is a complete and utter hot mess: bloated, overly complicated plot, a worthless protagonist, a lame villain with a muddled motivation, and the Ayn Rand-ian worldview Brad Bird has been accused of having is really, really laid bare... but its 2 hour running time is almost justified by the exchange at the end by Athena (Raffey Cassidy) and Frank (George Clooney).

Athena was really the only thing I liked about that horrible movie. lol

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Just now, Mabinogia said:

Athena was really the only thing I liked about that horrible movie. lol

It's weird, Athena actually annoyed me for the most part, but she gets massive points for at least being useful. Seriously, what the hell did that shrill little idiot Casey contribute besides being "optimistic"?? 

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11 minutes ago, Wiendish Fitch said:

Seriously, what the here did that shrill little idiot Casey contribute besides being "optimistic"?? 

I hated Casey. UGH! She was the worst part of that movie. And that is quite an accomplishment. That movie was not well thought out. 

Athena reminded me of Vicky from Small Wonder so I think she started out in the plus column with me. 

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At least Tomorrowland gave us Jenny Nicholson's brilliantly hilarious critique of the film, especially of Britt Robertson's performance as Casey ("Willikers, Mr. Clooney! I'm definitely not 25 years old!").

Edited by Wiendish Fitch

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I didn't love "Ricki and the Flash" even though I'm a huge Meryl Streep fan, but the last scene is great.  She performs (at her son's?) wedding and the performance is great.

"Rock Star" is just an okay movie, but it has a great scene where Mark Wahlberg sings a song in the middle of it.  If you've seen the movie, you know what I mean.

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The film adaptation of Watchmen wasnt what I would call a bad movie, just a sort of average one, which for an adaptation of one of the greatest and most influential books in the 20th century, might actually be even worse than being a full on clusterfuck. However, the into sequence, where they set up the alternate universe where superheroes were real and affected various major world events of the 20th century and basically gives the entire backstory of the story in one sequence to the tune of The Times They Are a Changin, is an amazing piece of filming and visual story telling. I am glad that this movie exists just so I can watch that intro over and over, its that good. 

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Sierra Burgess is kind of a crap movie, but I absolutely LOVED the scene where everybody is getting ready for the football game and the music is going. It felt really updated John Hughes.

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10 hours ago, tennisgurl said:

The film adaptation of Watchmen wasnt what I would call a bad movie, just a sort of average one, which for an adaptation of one of the greatest and most influential books in the 20th century, might actually be even worse than being a full on clusterfuck. However, the into sequence, where they set up the alternate universe where superheroes were real and affected various major world events of the 20th century and basically gives the entire backstory of the story in one sequence to the tune of The Times They Are a Changin, is an amazing piece of filming and visual story telling. I am glad that this movie exists just so I can watch that intro over and over, its that good. 

The opening credits are definitely the highlight. The only part that felt that Alan Moore would have approved of. 

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The first 20 minutes or so of Valerian are really good! The rest, not so much. But the opening and Big Market bits are good.

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Scooby Doo while a shitty movie. They couldn't have done any better with the casting every actor has the perfect look for their character! 

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The Great Outdoors is an okay movie, though not one of John Candy or Dan Aykroyd's best. Still, the one part that really stands out for me is the dance sequence at the credits:

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Davy Jones singing (while dancing with  the excellent choreographer Toni Basil) that catchy but rather poignant music hall tribute song 'Daddy's Song' in Head. Not only did this showcase the duos singing and dancing talents to an extraordinary degree but they did the song wearing alternately monochrome outfits of black tux with white shirt and vice versa while singing identical notes and making identical dance moves and giving the film editors an extremely challenging workout by matching sometime several times a second going back and forth! IMO, this was virtually the  ONLY truly entertaining or pleasant part of the otherwise confusing, pretentious and incoherent movie! 

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Rey and Finn's faces melting into joy and relief when they find each other again at the end of TROS (yes, Poe was there too, but the real emotion is between Rey and Finn). After all the shit and the separations they went through, they're finally together forever.

After all the pointless ship-wars that went on in this fandom, it was immensely satisfying for the true endgame of the trilogy to be this trio, however you chose to interpret their bond with each other. 

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I watched Daddy's Home 2 on TV yesterday and although it was a bigger dog than the first one (which says a lot), I did love everyone singing "Do They Know It's Christmastime" at the movie theater. I really needed to watch something like that right now. Here's the clip so you don't have to suffer through the whole movie:

I also cracked up at all the dads flipping out over the one kid messing with the thermostat.

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The Rise of Skywalker has its problems... oh so many problems... and I know Ben has his haters, but I don't care. This is a beautiful scene and genuinely my favorite across all three movies (and small miracles that Han was one of the only characters I think the sequels didn't ruin).

 

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I wouldn't call Rise of Skywalker bad.  Maybe on the high side of mediocre.

But the music and visuals are lovely.

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The Hobbit should be a case study in how not to adapt a book, and I hate everything about it... except Cate Blanchett's dress. Seriously, look at it, it's gorgeous!tumblr_mec4alm7xL1r8lanyo1_500.jpg.dbf626a6b1e967dc86ae8305d01a7c51.jpg

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"The Lucky Man" 2018

This flick has no redeeming social value.  Billed as a faith and spirituality film, it's really a cheap slasher film trying to pose as a modern contemporary essay on good vs. evil.  A spiritual Bonnie and Clyde it ain't.

Even in the age of coronavirus, it's just a waste of time.The_Lucky_Man_Film_Poster_(1).thumb.jpg.fc93c2779a9eff5a741a673bd8f69971.jpg

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12 hours ago, Winter Rose said:

The Rise of Skywalker has its problems... oh so many problems... and I know Ben has his haters, but I don't care. This is a beautiful scene and genuinely my favorite across all three movies (and small miracles that Han was one of the only characters I think the sequels didn't ruin).

 

Yeah it's my favorite scene of the movie and one of my favorites of the sequels. Adam Driver and Harrison Ford are great in it.

Iron Man 2 is one of my least favorite MCU movies but the suitcase armor scene is awesome. It's a neat nod to comic book canon, the CGI looks seamless, the sound effects and music are fantastic and I love the crowd reaction to Tony becoming a superhero before their eyes:

 

 

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On 5/4/2020 at 5:52 PM, Winter Rose said:

The Rise of Skywalker has its problems... oh so many problems... and I know Ben has his haters, but I don't care. This is a beautiful scene and genuinely my favorite across all three movies (and small miracles that Han was one of the only characters I think the sequels didn't ruin).

 

Of course it's very sad that Fischer's death made it necessary to do all these adjustments, but I thought that is one point where the movies did really well. And now in hindsight, the turning point or the one moment that really sets the whole thing towards the light for Kylo is killing Han. Both Driver and Ford are great in that scene and you see how sad Kylo is, how it's tearing him apart and how the murder doesn't make anything "better" or make him comfortable with the dark side. And an important aspect of that is when Han is slain and is already falling, he's grieving and he's stunned, but you see that he forgives Kylo and that his love doesn't go away. And that's why the remembrance/replay of that moment in TROS is such an emotional punch: Kylo/Ben has been replaying and regretting that decision the whole time. And he finally makes what amends are still possible. They didn't plan on making Han Solo the emotional focal point of that redemption arc, but I think it works beautifully. Particularly since the movies are so heavy-handed about the Skywalker twins and their legacy, it's cool that Han gets to be the emotional center in one of the story arcs. Which is also something Ford talked about, "meaningful death" and all that.

The "Hobbit" movies are such a mess and I like them against my better judgement because of the source material and because Freeman gives a performance for the ages in a trilogy that totally wastes his talents and sidelines him in his own story. I'm also really amused by whatever it is that Lee Pace does with Thranduil and would have watched a spin-off with him sulking, being mean to everyone, then in the end coming through in the fight against Sauron. And for all they tried to make that elf/dwarf star-crossed lovers thing happen, IMO the most moving moment of that story arc is Thranduil at the end breaking out of his icy demeanor and trying to comfort Tauriel in her grief. Well acted by both and genuinely surprising moment in a movie that is often predictable in the worst ways.

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Alfred Hitchcick's TOPAZ(1969)  was made when his career was in decline and was neither a critical or financial success.  There are still scenes that show why he's the "Master of Suspense" but they happen to different characters. The movie"s major flaw is it doesn't have a central protagonist all the way through for the audience to care about. Despite that here is one memorable shot though that is just brilliant. It may be Hitchcock's last great one.

 

 

Edited by VCRTracking

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Jennifer Hudson sang the hell out of "Memory" in Cats.

No, I didn't see it, but I didn't have to. I knew just from the trailer it would be the one good part in that garbage.

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20 minutes ago, Spartan Girl said:

Jennifer Hudson sang the hell out of "Memory" in Cats.

No, I didn't see it, but I didn't have to. I knew just from the trailer it would be the one good part in that garbage.

She sings it so well, you're almost able to overlook the ever-present snot on her face (seriously, WTF, Tom Hooper?!).

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15 hours ago, Wiendish Fitch said:

She sings it so well, you're almost able to overlook the ever-present snot on her face (seriously, WTF, Tom Hooper?!).

The closeup technique only worked with Anne Hathaway in Les Miserables because she didn't have to worry about any hideous CGI.

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Jaws the Revenge(1987) is very bad, both in conception and execution(a shark is really going to follow the Brody family to the Bahamas for revenge for what happened to other sharks in previous movies. Seriously?). Michael Caine missed getting his first Oscar because he was making it. He quipped "I've not seen Jaws the Revenge. By all accounts it's terrible. I have however seen the house it built, and it's terrific!" The one thing I like about it is it has a woman in her 50s as the protagonist and a romance between two middle aged people. You never see that in mainstream popcorn movie then or now!

Edited by VCRTracking
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Virtuosity is a terrible movie, but damned if Russell Crowe didn't throw himself into his performance as SID 6.7.  He's clearly having a lot of fun.

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On 5/20/2020 at 12:00 PM, VCRTracking said:

The one thing I like about it is it has a woman in her 50s as the protagonist and a romance between two middle aged people.

It loses a little of that when you learn that Lorraine Gary was married to Sid Sheinberg, who was the head of Universal Pictures.

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1 minute ago, starri said:

It loses a little of that when you learn that Lorraine Gary was married to Sid Sheinberg, who was the head of Universal Pictures.

I knew that when I watched the first Jaws and they mention it on the DVD documentary. I dont mind that because she was actually good and she and Roy Scheider are believable as a married couple. It is sad that the only way for a 50 something woman to be lead in a summer blockbuster is be married to the head of the studio!

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The CGI Addams Family movie is aggressive middling, but the theme sung by Christina Aguilera is awesome.

 

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I mean, if you want hip-hop songs from early-90s films, how can you go wrong with...

 

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2 hours ago, starri said:

I mean, if you want hip-hop songs from early-90s films, how can you go wrong with...

Vanilla Ice made more than one song!?!??!!!!

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A while ago I said that the attack sequence in Pearl Harbor is great, and I'd like to add another movie that is very similar - Midway.

As a movie, it really isn't great at all. The acting is flat, the script is hackneyed, Mandy Moore might as well not be in the movie and they don't do a good job of creating human interest, but the combat sequences are great. Divebombing aircraft carriers, dodging anti-aircraft fire, the CGI ships, it all looks really good. 

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Despite the presence of John Goodman and Maria Bello, I hate pretty much everything about Coyote Ugly - especially the romance where, as per usual, a woman is supposed to be charmed by a total nuisance of a guy - but I was just going around the dial and came across one of the only scenes I like:  when Violet's dad winds up in the hospital for emergency surgery after her life-long best friend's wedding, and the best friend shows up in her wedding dress to sit with her until she learns if he's okay.  When Violet says she told her not to come down, it's her wedding night, the best friend waves that off, saying, "[New husband] has been in my family for, like, five minutes.  You’ve been in it my whole life.”

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I wouldn't call this movie 'bad' - I think it's a silly 80's comedy that knows it's a silly 80's comedy - but I love how almost literally in the middle of Mannequin, they just stop and do a full music video! Costumes, sets, dancing, everything:


It's a cute, fun, little sequence and so 80's!

(The song is Alisha's "Do You Dream About Me".)

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On 6/28/2020 at 1:54 PM, Trini said:

I wouldn't call this movie 'bad' - I think it's a silly 80's comedy that knows it's a silly 80's comedy - but I love how almost literally in the middle of Mannequin, they just stop and do a full music video! Costumes, sets, dancing, everything:


It's a cute, fun, little sequence and so 80's!

(The song is Alisha's "Do You Dream About Me".)

I like that James Spader saw that the script was about a guy who falls in love with a mannequin that comes to life and realized that meant he could be as broad as he wanted:

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Edited by VCRTracking
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X-Men: Dark Phoenix isn't as bad as critics made it out to be.

It's somehow much worse.

But there is one scene that's actually kind of effective (at least to me): Jean Grey, in full eeeeeeevillllllllll mode, mentally compels wheelchair-bound Charles to walk up the stairs to her, and it's appropriately grotesque and creepy. Props to James McAvoy's physical acting (and possibly any special effects that were used) for making this body horror scene work in an otherwise nothing movie.

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In addition to Goldie Hawn's effortlessly charming and funny performance almost making up for Chevy Chase's millstone effect in Foul Play, it needs to be said in retrospect that some of the claims re Church wealth and properties of the seemingly mad, anti- Church zealout and would-be kidnapper played by Rachel Roberts wound up being chillingly accurate but at the time they just seemed like ranting hot air of a villain! 

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2 hours ago, Blergh said:

In addition to Goldie Hawn's effortlessly charming and funny performance almost making up for Chevy Chase's millstone effect in Foul Play, it needs to be said in retrospect that some of the claims re Church wealth and properties of the seemingly mad, anti- Church zealout and would-be kidnapper played by Rachel Roberts wound up being chillingly accurate but at the time they just seemed like ranting hot air of a villain! 

I don't think of Foul Play as a bad or mediocre movie at all. It was well regarded both critically and commercially. It's one of Hawn's best films and I actually like Chase in it. It has so many great moments like the Dudley Moore scene.

Star Trek V is the worst Trek film but the scene where McCoy remembering euthanizing his father only for the cure to his fatal illness being discovered after his death was great.

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6 hours ago, VCRTracking said:

I don't think of Foul Play as a bad or mediocre movie at all. It was well regarded both critically and commercially. It's one of Hawn's best films and I actually like Chase in it. It has so many great moments like the Dudley Moore scene.

I agree.  I watched that movie over and over as a kid, and it came up in conversation with a friend several years ago.  We watched it during our next movie night, and we both still loved it.  (I actually associate "Stayin' Alive" with Foul Play rather than Saturday Night Fever, because I love that Dudley Moore scene so much.  I love her whole reaction, especially the way she says, Stanley, really!")

(We also re-watched Oh Heavenly Dog, which didn't hold up as well, but still had some amusing moments).

I should re-watch Funny Farm, too, because I remember it being disappointing on the whole, but with some true LOL moments.

 

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I liked Foul Play enough to tolerate Chevy Chase in it, but I still personally think any actor could have done just as good a job in that part.

The Dudley Moore scene is the best part hands down. "You're into binoculars too?" LMAO!

Edited by Spartan Girl
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2 hours ago, Spartan Girl said:

I liked Foul Play enough to tolerate Chevy Chase in it, but I still personally think any actor could have done just as good a job in that part.

 At that period of Hollywood in the late 70s? Not really. What made Chevy the breakout of SNL's 1st year was he was this seemingly normal looking leading man type who could unexpectedly be funny and goofy. Now we have a whole bunch of actors like that like Ryan Reynolds.

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