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Archive for June 21st, 2011

How many times has someone told you they don’t like a movie that you love? I don’t have problem with this, I think it is good for viewers to have their own taste what really annoys is people trashing a movie because it is fashionable to do so, this is even worse when people haven’t even seen the movie in question. With this in mind I have come up with a list of movies that I think have been unfairly criticised in recent years. Feel free to tell me you hate them and I am full of shit but please watch them first!

Jenifer’s Body (2009)

After winning an Oscar for Juno there was a bizarre backlash against screenwriter Diablo Cody resulting in situation where her next movie was never going to live up to scrutiny. Then you have the movies star Megan Fox, fresh from the horrendous Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, Fox was not a good name to have in the titular lead role. To add to the pressure director Karyn Kusama was also looking for some kind of cinematic redemption after her second feature Æon Flux (2005) failed to live up to her impressive début, Girlfight (2000). So how can I defend this movie? Well firstly Megan Fox is perfectly cast playing on her reputation and image, secondly she may have the title role but the real leading lady and star of the film is the sensational Amanda Seyfried. The story is funny well paced and does a pretty good job of balancing horror with comedy. I think this is actually a movie most people didn’t see rather than didn’t like, so if you dismissed it at the cinema give it a go on DVD.

Doomsday (2008)

Doomsday is a bit of a mess of a movie but it such a good fun mess it really doesn’t matter. Made up of multiple set pieces including shootouts, car chases and sword fights (inspired by movies as varied as Escape from New York, Aliens, Mad Max 2 & 3 and Gladiator) the final result is a little disjointed but each element is extremely well made. At the heart of the story and holing it all together is Rhona Mitra in her best role to date as a sort of female Snake Plissken. The rest of the cast is fantastic too particularly Bob Hoskins as the grizzled world weary chief of police. Not as good as Neil Marshall’s masterpiece The Descent (2005) but still an accomplished piece of work, a more polished and high quality take on a Enzo G. Castellari style movie. It actually gets better each time I watch it.

Kingdom Of Heaven (2005)

On its release Kingdom of Heaven received mixed reviews. A true epic in its original form, the directors cut is even better. On repeated viewings I actually enjoy the movie more than director Ridley Scott’s better received Gladiator (2000). Part history, part fiction the movie tells the story of the defence of Jerusalem against the Muslim leader Saladin. The great thing about the movie is how old-fashioned it is, that’s right, I did say old-fashioned is good! With vast sets, thousands of costumed extras and amazing cinematography the movie is like the old movies that people say “they don’t make them like this anymore”. The plot gets a bit weighed down and sags in the middle but this is a tiny criticism of a great movie that really is underappreciated.

Miami Vice (2006)

A slick thriller that actually presents a far more believable and gritty impression of undercover police work than the old TV show. And that’s the problem, some people probably went into it expecting a fun nostalgia trip others wanted a high octane all action film. That creates a twofold problem, as well as the people who didn’t like it for these reasons others who would probably liked it stayed away for the same reasons. Its problem is finding a comfortable middle ground, it doesn’t have an underlying message to make it a “worthy” Oscar friendly film but it isn’t a dumb mindless action film. If you haven’t seen it give it a chance, if you have give it a second chance, either way forget the TV show and watch it with an open mind.

The Beach (2000)

I’m a big fan of Alex Garland’s debut novel The Beach (although I actually think his lesser known follow up The Tesseract is a better book). When the film version was announced I had mixed feelings; Danny Boyle seemed like the perfect choice to direct but I just couldn’t see Leonardo DiCaprio as Richard. Then the movie opened to poor reviews and I went to see it with some trepidation but was actually pleasantly surprised. The film looks great; DiCaprio is a very different Richard to the one from the book but that isn’t a problem, neither is the fact that he is American not British; the changes to the story, although annoying to many work well in the context of the medium, and that is important, cinema is a very different medium to literature; Angelo Badalamenti’s score is excellent. All in all it is an unfairly panned movie and more than a decade later its still an enjoyable movie.

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