22 January 2012

Movies that I'm supposed to hate, but don't

I saw Underworld: Awakening this weekend with a few friends. We all liked it. One of my friends is the same one with whom I saw the first movie in 2003, and we both liked that. Critics, on the other hand, have always dismissed them. My dad saw Red Tails, which is getting mostly negative reviews, probably because people love to hate George Lucas. But my dad apparently enjoyed it quite a bit.

I also really liked The Immortals a few months ago, which has gotten ho-hum reviews. It was directed by Tarsem Singh, the same guy who directed The Cell. The Cell also got ho-hum reviews, and I freaking love that movie.

Anyway, I was reading the box office report and audiences apparently really like the new Underworld movie based on CinemaScore, which I had never heard of. According to Wikipedia, it's a research firm that has audiences score movies on an A-F scale, and it's exceedingly rare for a film to get an F. One of the few to be totally hated by audiences? The Box, starring Cameron Diaz. Maybe it was my low expectations, but I couldn't figure out why it was so loathed. It was a spooky sci-fi throwback to old Rod Sterling style horror and, being a fan of that genre-style stuff, I thought it was great.

I think the moral is, fuck what other people think. Now, a low aggregate might affect how much I want to see a movie I'm on the fence about, but if I want to see a movie, dammit, I'll form my own opinion. Besides, critics and audiences alike often change their tune. John Carpenter's The Thing was panned by critics and flopped at the box office. Carpenter himself is quoted on Wikipedia as saying,
"I take every failure hard. The one I took the hardest was The Thing. My career would have been different if that had been a big hit...The movie was hated. Even by science-fiction fans. They thought that I had betrayed some kind of trust, and the piling on was insane. Even the original movie’s director, Christian Nyby, was dissing me."

Carpenter had the last laugh, because it's now revered as a modern classic by critics and horror fans alike. And, predictably, the new one – which I enjoyed – was totally panned. Well, fuck you. I love the widely panned espionage/romance flick The Saint with Val Kilmer and Elisabeth Shue. True Grit, which critics said I was supposed to like, was so dull and predictable it practically put me to sleep. I suppose most of the time my tastes are in line with the aggregates. I liked The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, and I thought the new Conan was painfully average. Every so often though....




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