Saturday, September 29, 2007

Good Bad Movies

I'm not sure if my husband and I coined this expression, but it is part of our signature spousal language. We always know what one another means when we say..."I'm so in the mood for a good bad movie." Let me define.

Good Movie: Thought-provoking. Can induce laughter or tears, or both, but definitely requires post-movie discussion. Not always a crowd-pleaser. Sometimes a critics pleaser. Has some social context. Overall quality film-making.

Think: "Good Will Hunting"; "Philadelphia"; "Schindler's List"; "Life is Beautiful" (subtitle version please!); "It's a Wonderful Life"; "October Sky"; etc.
If you don't know these movies - you MUST rent them!

Bad Movie: No plot. No character. Bad acting. Bad score. Bad photography....Bad Bad Bad.

Think: "Daddy Day Camp"; "Idiocracy"; "Spiceworld"; "Battlefield Earth"; "Xanadu"
If you don't know these movies - thank your lucky stars. These are hours of my life I can never retrieve.

Good Bad Movie: A very individual definition. Not everyone agrees. It requires a strange combination of inadequate and yet compelling storytelling. It is pure entertainment. Enjoyment for enjoyment sake. Rarely thoughtprovoking, often laughable in its plot line...and yet NOT a turnoff. Most often, not afraid to laugh at itself without spiralling downward into completely stupid or violent behavior. There are sub-categories created by venues...fantasy, chick-flick, comedy...but very rarely drama. Bad drama is just...well...bad.

Think: "The 5th Element"; "Galaxy Quest"; "Must Love Dogs"; "Dogma" (or most any Kevin Smith film - until he met winning withJ-Lo in the movie); "Ladyhawke"; "50 First Dates"; "Beautiful Girls"...I can go on and on.
If you don't know these movies...give them a try. Remember I categorize them as good BAD movies, so view at your own risk.

One other category of movie is out there - the Indy and/or Documentary. I don't usually rate Indy's as good, bad, or good-bad. I just admire the hutzpah of these people willing to turn lives and bank accounts upside down to tell a story they are passionate about.

One of my all time favorites - because I have to grin every time Brian Herzlinger does (he is the main character and writer/director of the film) - is "My Date with Drew" If you haven't heard of this or seen it on the Independent Movie Channel - YOU MUST!! This absolutely authentic guy, living in L.A. and trying to make ends meet wins a game show (a pilot) and gets $1100. He decides to take this money and try to make a film...he decides the subject will be how an ordinary guy can use the 6 degrees of separation to access a famous celebrity like Drew Barrymore.

This could have been a scary stalker movie, but it wasn't - it was utterly charming and I have saved it permanently on my DVR so I can catch that grin whenever possible. I won't spoil the has its own unique charm. All I can say is - I highly recommend it.

Last, but not least - still in the Indy field is the bizarre movie "Hedwig and the Angry Inch". Okay this movie is DEFINITELY not for everyone. Unlike the Drew movie - which is essentially G-PG, this one is warped and definitely R. It is a rock-musical (started in theater) that showcases the life of a transexual. How can a bizarre rock-musical be touching? I don't know. But it is. Really. I tentatively recommend this for the more adventurous viewer.

What are your favorite good, bad, or good-bad movies?


Blue Tissue Box said...

OMG! Someone else in the world watched My Date With Drew!! I thought it was cute. Boy was he crazy hairy!! He dresses up well though. :)

jlsipner said...

What about "Love Actually"?? really..I have sat with you on a weekend of book reading and movie watching and I actually seen movies that I might not otherwise have looked at...but what are sisters for but to share their good and bad movies!!!


Found you through the chick...

first off....Jlo movies are my candy! how can you not love "the wedding planner"..."monster in law"..."an unfinished life"..."maid in manhattan"...ok maybe not that last one but COME ON when she's trying to be funny it's CUTE.

secondly....the 5th element is the worst movie i have ever been forced to sit through multiple times. horrible horrible horrible NOBODY should have to watch it