FilmOpinionReview

Bad Reputation: 8 Films With an Unjust Bad Rep

Griffin Conlogue ’15 / Emertainment Monthly Editor

What happens when your expectations for a movie are unmet when the film stops rolling? More often than not you tell people. You tell anyone that will listen about the 10+ dollars you’ve wasted on the two-hour blockbuster. If enough people spread this opinion a film can get the reputation that it is horrible. Many good films have had tarnished reputations given to them by a few moviegoers who over exaggerate their negative feelings towards a film. While they are not perfect films, here are 8 examples of films that are notoriously ridiculed, but are deserving of a second chance.

Magic Mike

Matt Bomer and Channing Tatum in Magic Mike. Photo Credit: Claudette Barius.
Matt Bomer and Channing Tatum in Magic Mike. Photo Credit: Claudette Barius.

Why it “sucked”: It seemed as if it was only taken seriously by critics and not by the general public. The marketing for the film made it seem like it was going to be a 2 hour film with nothing but naked men dancing on stage. Male viewers were embarrassed to see it and female viewers only saw it for the attractive men. People weren’t yet on the Matthew McConaughey hype train, but those who saw the movie took notice.

Why it’s actually good: Magic Mike isn’t just good; it’s great. Brilliantly marketed as a film that was0going to be two hours of naked men on stage and nothing but got people in the seats. An incredible screenplay and a minimalistic approach made what could have been a terrible film into one of the biggest surprises of 2012. Director Stephen Soderbergh crafted a compelling character study and gave us one of the most memorable characters in recent memory with Matthew McConaughey’s ‘Dallas.’ It will probably always have the stigma of0being a male stripper movie, but if you are willing to have an open mind, it is hard to dislike Magic Mike.

John Carter

Taylor Kitsch in John Carter. Photo Credit:  Frank Connor.
Taylor Kitsch in John Carter. Photo Credit: Frank Connor.

Why it “sucked”: This one mainly comes down to the fact that nobody saw it. It lost a gargantuan amount of money at the box office and ultimately led to then Disney chairman Rich Ross’ departure from the studio. The pacing is also a little unapproachable for the average filmgoer. Many also felt that it was derivative of films like Star Wars and Star Trek. Clearly people did not know that it was the opposite.

Why it’s actually good: The special effects are magnificent. It’s a beautifully rendered environment. Taylor Kitsch showed a great combination of bravado and charisma to be the leading man in an action film. It is also extremely funny. The banter between John and the Martians makes for a lot of laugh-out-loud moments. The scene stealing alien- dog named Woola is both adorable and a great character. The marketing may have been horrible and it may have ultimately failed to put people in the seats, but this visually striking sci-fi deserves to be revisited or watched for the first time by anyone who loves good movies.

Spider-Man 3

Tobey Maguire in Spider-Man 3.
Tobey Maguire in Spider-Man 3. Photo Courtesy of collider.com.

Why it “sucked”: Spider-Man 3 let down so many fans because it wasn’t as strong as the first two films. Expectations were high, as the first two films revolutionized a genre. The characters made some strange decisions, Tobey Maguire went emo for a little while, and this all befuddled viewers. Having three villains in the film made for a muddled mess at times. (hopefully The Amazing Spider-Man 2 can find a way to juggle 3 villains, as the new film has made the same decision to include 3)

Why it’s actually good: Why does it have to be as good as the first two movies to be good? Sure, it wasn’t the best way to end the trilogy that kicked off the superhero craze, but it was still an enjoyable film. There were too many villains and the plot was a bit convoluted but it is still better than the average mid-Summer blockbuster. James Franco is particularly strong as Harry Osborn/ New Goblin. There is still a lot to enjoy about this film. The action sequences are just as brilliantly rendered as the previous installments. The conclusion is emotional and captivating and makes up for some of the weaker parts of the film. Overall, it is a strong addition to the superhero genre.

Jennifer’s Body

Megan Fox in Jennifer's Body. Photo Credit: Doane Gregory.
Megan Fox in Jennifer’s Body. Photo Credit: Doane Gregory.

Why it “sucked”: This is another film where the marketing led to its downfall. Teen viewers expected a scary movie, and when they were met with a tongue-and-cheek satire of the horror genre, they were quite disappointed. Female viewers complained that men only like it because Megan Fox is hot, but the make-up department did a good job at making her repulsive. That was actually an obvious inside joke of the production.

Why it’s actually good: It’s a comedy. It was marketed as a horror film, which confused viewers, but there is no doubt that Jennifer’s Body is a satirical horror film. Scribed by Juno writer Diablo Cody, the Whedon-esque dialogue and goofy characters are clearly there on purpose. The dialogue is particularly strong, with lots of memorable one-li
ners. Also, the soundtrack is amazing and the made-for-movie track “Through the Trees” is incredibly catchy.

Superman Returns

Brandon Routh in Superman Returns. Photo Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures.
Brandon Routh in Superman Returns. Photo Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures.

Why it “sucked”: It’s too long, too boring, too confusing. What was Lex Luthor trying to do anyway? Make an island? Wait, is it a sequel? It’s not a reboot because the film came out 26 years after the prior in the franchise. Many were confused by the story, and were not aware that it was meant to be a sequel to the Christopher Reeve films. People wanted the dark and gritty feel of Christopher Nolan’s Batman Begins, which was released only one year earlier. Fans have shown they will flock to a grittier Superman film like Man of Steel, even if the finished product is not all that great.

Why it’s actually good: Like most good superhero films, it is a visually striking look at a compelling character. The Superman franchise has had mixed results in its0products, and this film is stronger than most of them. It’s emotionally complex, filled with symbolism, and packs a poignant punch. Bryan Singer made a great transition from the more ensemble focused X-Men franchise to the continuation of the Christopher Reeve films. Kevin Spacey shows why he is one of the best actors in Hollywood with his dark and sinister turn as Lex Luthor. The film is interesting, the characters have depth, and the plane scene is one of the most memorable scenes in recent movie memory.

Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Harrison Ford and Shia LaBeouf in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
Harrison Ford and Shia LaBeouf in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

Why it “sucked”: Two reasons. Nuking the fridge, and aliens. Though the film franchise has always had an element of the supernatural, this film’s conclusion is overtly science fiction. People were really upset that the potential final film in the franchise ended up being about aliens. And as for the nuking of the fridge… It’s this type of thing that people shake their heads in disbelief about, but can’t stop talking about it for a while.

Why it’s actually good: It’s fun to return to the world of Indy. Though the plot may have been campy, Harrison Ford shows why he is a legendary actor with his return to the character. The script is funny and Steven Spielberg’s directing is fast paced and keeps the viewer intrigued. It tonally matches the first three films and is enough like them to satisfy the older fans. It’s also fresh enough to be approachable for a younger audience. Though it may not live up to the other three classics in the franchise0, it’s still a high quality action/adventure film.

Prometheus

Michael Fassbender in Prometheus. Photo Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.
Michael Fassbender in Prometheus. Photo Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.

Why it “sucked”: A lot of people were upset that it did not answer a lot of the questions that were left from the Alien films. The film was originally billed as a prequel to the0 franchise, but Damon Lindelof came in and reworked the script to make it a stand-alone story. Though it did have ties to the Alien films, it was for the most part its own story. The characters were quite stupid and made some bone-headed decisions. Logan Marshall- Green gave a pretty terrible performance. For some reason when people read the name Damon Lindelof they get angry and immediately think the film will be terrible. This probably stems from many fans of LOST being disappointed with the finale. People don’t like working for answers in their films, and Lindelof’s scripts are often hard to gleam answers from.

Why it’s actually good: It is absolutely stunningly beautiful. The cinematography is brilliant and well composed. Director Ridley Scott really captured an amazing visual style and it leaves his fans wondering how beautiful Alien or Blade Runner could be with modern technology. Most people compared the film to Alien, yet regard Alien as a much better film. Many of the complaints made about Prometheus could also be made about Alien, but are ignored by many when discussing the film. Regardless of this, the film is worth watching for an incredible performance by Michael Fassbender. Adding to an already impressive resume, Fassbender commands the screen as a mysterious android named David. Keep your mind open and Prometheus can be seen as the modern sci-fi classic that it is.

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