Friday, November 20, 2009

where we're going we won't need eyes

A bit shout out to my main man Jann for directing to me to the A.V. Club's film flops hall of fame in response to my post referencing Nicolas Cage's performance in the remake of The Wicker Man. Yeah. Props. Respect. Recognize.

Anyway, sure enough The Wicker Man does find a spot on the list, along with another Cage film, Zandalee, which looks as if it features a Cage performance so hammy you could make X out of it, where X is some comically appropriate culinary thing involving a lot of ham that I can't think of right now. A ham sandwich? No, not enough ham. A hamburger? No, that doesn't work. Maybe an installation art piece featuring 140kg of ham piled on a bed? Yes. It's not culinary, but goodness me that's a lot of ham.

There are various other films which prompt me to nod at their unspeakable awfulness, most obviously Pay It Forward which I saw on an aeroplane in about 2001; I have yet to fully recover from its desperate mawkish manipulative cheesy teeth-grinding horribleness. All I would say in defence of A Life Less Ordinary is that no film featuring Holly Hunter in a tight skirt and knee-length boots (even though she does do a really irritating accent throughout) can be completely without merit. The appearance of Kathryn Bigelow's Strange Days on the list, however, prompts me to construct this brief list of my own, which I choose to entitle Films I Quite Liked, Even Though Pretty Much No-One Else Did:
  • Dune. I probably liked this (I went to see it in the cinema when it came out in 1984) because a) I was only 14 at the time and the whole outer space and giant worms thing seemed really cool, and more importantly b) I'd never read any of the books (and still never have, and almost certainly never will). I've also never watched it again since, which is probably key to retaining any fond memories.
  • Fearless. One obvious reason to hate this: Rosie fucking Perez and the most annoying voice in the world. One obvious reason to like it: the Dude! I suppose it's obvious that my paranoia about flying should mean that I find this fascinating, but I don't think it's just that.
  • Strange Days. The virtual reality thing has been done to death now, but this was quite innovative stuff when it came out. The A.V. Club guy is quite right, though, when he says that only a fool would fail to recognise that the fantastically foxy Angela Bassett is far more attractive than Juliette Lewis, even a topless Juliette Lewis on roller skates. Plus, it's got Michael Wincott, keeping up his rigorous voice training regime of gargling battery acid and clock parts.
  • Event Horizon. I thought this sci-fi/horror combo was really quite good, despite being about 20 minutes too short - apparently there were a whole load of wranglings between director and studio and a lot of stuff got cut. Consequently the last third of the film feels weirdly rushed and confusing, but it's still good. And Sam Neill is an asset to any film; he was one of the two things that made Jurassic Park bearable (the second being Bob Peck. Clever girl!) Well, OK, Omen III was a bit shit.


Emma said...

Ray has tried repeatedly, and unsuccessfully, to convince me of the merits of 'Dune'. He has it on video if you ever want to re-watch it.

electrichalibut said...

Actually I did start to watch it when I was sleeping on your floor in Henley; I think we'd all sat through Beastmaster earlier the same evening. Barely made it through the opening titles before falling asleep though, so I'm none the wiser.

electrichalibut said...

When I was sleeping on your floor in Henley one night when I came to visit, I mean; not suggesting I was your secret lodger for any length of time.

Emma said...

Think I also fell asleep around then. Had one more go at watching it subsequently, and similarly dozed off during opening credits.

Beastmaster probably requires rather less concentration, as films go.