She does, in fact, look a lot closer to what my image of a medieval swordstress would be, too. Not gonna deny that verisimilitude.
So why does the movie make this realistic looking medieval swordstress never actually use a sword, but fight people by showing them her breasts? The verisimilitude argument only goes so far.
“how many are finding at least one to defend on nearly every list?”
Yeah, I’m finding quite a lot to defend. There are some lists on here that don’t have a single bad film on them at all.
“Anyway, my old film studies lecturer used to say that after years of movie watching it becomes more difficult to tell the good films from the bad ones, and the concept of the ‘bad’ isn’t as well defined as it was prior to greater ‘experience’. and i’d have to agree with that. Then again, maybe i’m just so used to watching bad films that i have no perspective anymore.”
Yeah, I’ve seen other people who’ve had this experience before. It becomes complicated when you start doing things like noticing that a really poorly made movie may have a really interesting idea, and did the idea in a way no other movie did before. It’s one of those, on a technical level Symbiopsychotaxiplasm is terrible in every way things, but anybody who really watches it critically pretty much knows that they’re watching something different within ten minutes of the movie playing. You cannot criticize Symbiopsyychotaxiplasm along notions such as “acting”, “storytelling”, “theme” (it’s more of a concept than a theme), “production value.” Most people when they want to be dismissive of it just call it a making-of documentary, when it isn’t.
So for instance, Carlita’s Angels, near the end, has this interesting scene where the women are getting ready to get into a fight with a group of other people, and then suddenly the scene cuts to nighttime and the actual director of the movie is yelling at people in frustration that it took so long to shoot the scene that they’ve lost light and continuity and now they cannot finish it, while people are yelling back at him not to be such a hardass and so big on himself, Mr. Director. And then it cuts to a day shot of all the people defeated and the “Angels” saying, “Are they done? Good, let’s go, we don’t have much time” or something like that.
It really, really makes you want to start writing an essay on how post-modern and clever the director is. The problem is that that scene was clearly not set-up (or if it was set-up, then the movie is a lot more clever than it seems, but it’s not — watch the first ten minutes I posted here). They honestly had no material to cut into that fight scene, so decided that showing that they ran out of time to shoot that scene was a better solution than just cutting from the scene beginning to the scene ending like most b-movies do when they’ve clearly hit the end of their budget. Lots of people laud movies like this for their creativity on a budget… but was that scene really a very creative solution to fixing an unshot fight scene? Or did they really think that by that point, nobody was watching so it didn’t matter. In that case, why does this movie exist?
So it’s an interesting and never-been-done-before “concept”, but does that make it “good”? So a movie doesn’t really earn props on conceptual level either.
So is Symbiopsychotaxiplasm, a movie about a person deciding to roll cameras just to see if a movie will happen, any good? Would it have been good if the crew hadn’t rebelled?
So what one of my film professors said was, “Sometimes it doesn’t really matter if it’s good or bad, but if it’s important.” That opens up a whole other can of worms.
“It really, really makes you want to start writing an essay on how post-modern and clever the director is.”
Sure sign that a film is no good in my opinion ;-)
Takes me back to my old undergraduate days hahah.
Then you think Symbiopsychotaxiplasm is a bad film, or at least “no good”?
^^i haven’t seen it Pol. Just taking the piss, that’s all. Because the standard way to defend bad movies is to argue that they are examples of postmodern genius.
just a bad joke. sorry hehe. Didn’t mean anything by it, and i have written essays about those kind of films before haha.
Heh, yeah, like with Ari, this is another conversation you and I have had before.
Here’s another nut thrown into those gears though. Lots of people try to build around that issue by speaking of “intentions.” Symbiopsychotaxiplasm succeeds because it intended to be like that, even if it didn’t know what the final product would be, whereas Carlita’s Angels wasn’t intending to make a statement about that scene, and The Room didn’t really intend to be so bad, the director just tuned in to the marketing potential after everyone gave it guff.
The problem with that is that oftentimes some of an artist’s best work is the one they didn’t “intend” at all. Many people find The Crying of Lot 49 to be Pynchon’s best novel. Pynchon calls it “A short story with a goiter problem.”
That’s why there’s so much room to find meaning even in things that don’t have them. Unfortunately. Life would be simpler if modernism succeeded in its goal without giving way to post-modernism, but it didn’t.
^^it’s interesting what you say about the distinction between concept, execution and results. When i was going through my big Carpenter phase in my teens, i used to defend Escape From L.A constantly on the grounds of ‘postmodernism’. I wrote an essay in my undergraduate years that defended the film as an ironic parody of the original, and a parody of action films in general. If you were going to read that essay though, and make a judgement on the film’s quality from my own point of view, you might assume that i actually prefer Escape From L.A to New York, which is far from being the case. But the nature of the film opens itself up to that kind of analysis. Yet if you want my opinion of the film, now that i’m no longer a John Carpenter fanboy, it’s a lot more difficult to tell what’s deliberately meant to be ‘bad’(i.e self parodic/mocking), or what’s just plain old fashioned unintentional bad. So if someone asks me if it’s a good film, my response would have to be ‘depends on what you are looking for’ hehe
Quite often analysis of this kind leads one on a long and winding conceptual road to nowhere.
Which is why most people have no patience for it, and I understand that. I prefer postmodern analysis of actually postmodern conceptual works, like Sans Soleil.
Carpenter definitely fits the creative within a budget and valuable entertainment value with some interesting concepts critical approaches, and yes, even under all of those things he’s not the best at any of them, and mixing those three together doesn’t make him better at the individual aspects.
“you might assume that i actually prefer Escape From L.A to New York, which is far from being the case.”
Oftentimes critical reviews are read as “defenses” or “justifications” of the text far beyond their own (the critical review’s) intentions as well. Sometimes I’ve read critical articles where I’ve even realized after a certain point that the writer doesn’t really even like the movie or think it’s all that great, but there was just one specific thing within the movie that inspired the writer to write about it. Most readers assume that if the writer bothered to write about it in the first place, then the writer thinks it’s good.
This gets even clearer if you read a lot of those sociological/historical perspectives on film criticism. The whole, “How does The Dark Knight tap into post-9/11 America” type articles. Even if The Dark Knight does (and it does), doesn’t mean it necessarily does it well, OR that The Dark Knight is a good movie; but the purpose of the article would be to review how it places the movie into the time it was made, what it says about art and audiences at the time (good or bad), and so on.
“Symbiopsychotaxiplasm” is a great film about the creative process and what goes on on a set.
20. Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny
19. Batman & Robin
18. Titanic II
17. The Garbage Pail Kids Movie
15. Tales from the Quadead Zone
14. Troll 2
13. Criminally Insane 2
12. Death Nurse
11. Pocket Ninjas
10. Space Thunder Kids
9. High School Musical
8. Titanic: The Legend Goes On
7. Ax ’Em
6. The Legend of the Titanic
5. Night of Horror
3. Disaster Movie
2. Superbabies: Baby Geniuses 2
1. In Search of the Titanic
wow Max you really like anything related to Titanic, no?
Oi, Om Yuki, I love how you hate Audition. :)
…going through my big Carpenter phase in my teens…
John Carpenter is not a “phase”. John Carpenter is for life.
And I reckon that when it comes to entertainment and working within a budget, Carpenter is as good as anybody who ever picked up a movie camera. This is not to say that all his films are brilliant, but when he’s at his best, he’s churned out some of the greatest movies of all time. Certainly ones that are extremely (re)watchable and (sometimes) have something to say.
and i’m never going to watch showgirls to know.
I’m still puzzled by how you are finding these films – most of them I have never heard of – is it herding ? following a group into a theater?
I get the youthful folly route..
a lot of em are on netflix streaming or at least streaming seems to add a lot of bad films.
Spy Kids 4 incidentally was particularly bad, just watched that
Showgirls is a pile of shit. It’s not even good camp. I suppose it’s a cult hit with gay men in the same way that Mommie Dearest is beloved by the gay community. If only gay men could understand the sheer pointlessness, the total frustration of a film about naked female pole dancers that still manages to be boring. You don’t know whether to keep watching or turn it off. Maybe some folks like it because it’s so bad. All I see is lots of beautiful women wasted in a pile of absolute horseshit. Elizabeth Berkley deserved so much better. Seriously, go rent a copy of The Real Blonde instead. Far more entertaining than Showgirls—and much more politically incorrect, too—the scene with the Holocaust denier is priceless. Plus you don’t have to watch Liz Berkley get humiliated in it. Actually, I gotta revisit that one again myself.
You’ve seen X from Australia? Wow, I wanted to see this at the Melbourne International Film Festival. They had it in 35mm, and it’s playing again soon at the National Film and Sound Archive (Canberra).
It was filmed in Kings Cross so I’m not certain if the film title is meant to be “X” as in rated-X OR “X” as in “cross” (and pronounced this way).
A film like that might be fun for me because I’ve been to the Cross and it’s actually quite safe for the casual traveller. Although I can imagine that the film might very easily be shit.
Speaking of shit from Australia, how could I forget The Horseman? One of the worst films I’ve endured, even worse than Hedwig and Anatomy of Hell.
Any insight into why you didn’t fancy X, Dennis?
I’m not gay and I like Showgirls and Mommie Dearest. Boobs are fantastic. Though, I don’t like Mommie Dearest for boobs…
It’s too bad Four Rooms has been suggested more than once :(
It’s a nice, fresh take on the slapstick/gag comedy genre – a wonderful little homage to the classic era of the genre. Tim Roth’s performance is one of my favourite comedy performances.
EDIT: Oh, and the lounge music soundtrack is probably the best film score of the ’90s.
The Horseman was awful you are right Mark
think I am at a place where I cannot stomach certain kinds of abuse on screen anymore and that is why X was impossible to recommend.
It’s not it, its me.
and I do LOVE the real blonde along with much of that director’s work
Naturally, not everyone who likes Showgirls is a homosexual. However, it is the sort of movie that is embraced by the gay community (or at least splinters of it) for its “camp” value. I imagine you’d like it for one reason, King, but the gay community has a long history of claiming really shitty movies because of the “camp” value of those films (nobody else claims them so they try to make them their own, probably due to the shortage of films that they feel they can “relate to”—the gay community also likes to reclaim/recycle worn out popstars like Taylor Dayne and others—there’s a reason why these old hags end up doing gay nightclubs once they hit 40—it used to be how you’d start your career, e.g. Grace Jones, Bette Midler, but I digress). I think the term “camp” is overused/misused and therefore people think of Showgirls as wonderful camp when it’s just pure trash. Hey, if you love garbage, great! But it really is a rotten film, no matter how many naked women it has.
Obviously I have no problem with gay people but I am merely pointing out that the “gay film culture” has an odd habit of embracing certain films and elevating them above their worth. However there are other cultures that do this with other films, it’s not something exclusive to this group or that group.
Surely you must’ve read my constant warnings against The Horseman, right?
Australian film tends to have its biggest success with stomach-churners—look at Snowtown. I really do think that Australian film is in desperate need of a new direction. We produced a handful of great films not that long ago but now the wheels are slowing down.
Ironically, the call for new ideas is usually led by the underground film brigade who want to see more films like The Horseman. So if these are the new ideas that we are going to get, we’re in terrible need of help.
Mind you, I did like Animal Kingdom and Red Hill very much. Samson and Delilah can only be watched so many times until you think “okay, I get it already” and Red Dog is your stock standard summer blockbuster fare.
Please don’t blame yourself, Dennis. It’s not you, it’s them.
You could’ve stumped me with the name Tom DiCillo (director of The Real Blonde).
I forgot to add Showgirls even though that would make it 21 films
@MARK IS SUSPENDED IN GAFFA
“Mind you, I did like Animal Kingdom and Red Hill very much. Samson and Delilah can only be watched so many times until you think “okay, I get it already”
S+D is the only Australian film i’ve seen in the last few years that i would watch again. and it’s not a ‘message’ film. There is no ‘point’ to get. It’s more about their experience, removed from white society, and as a result, it’s quite possibly the most authentic film ever made about the subject in this country.
The Horseman is the kind of film i probably would have liked 15 years ago. Not now. Animal Kingdom was just a good late night t.v movie. I love how the Australian critics make out that it was such a huge success overseas. it wasn’t. It didn’t really play outside of the Anglosphere.
The ‘call for new ideas’ is mostly in the direction of genre films, yes, because these are supposedly the only films in Australia that make money, but Lantana was the biggest hit in Australia of the 00’s, and that wasn’t a genre film. It grossed more than double what ‘Animal Kingdom’ made. Nobody went to see films like Red Hill, so the problem obviously lies elsewhere, not with the tired old ’popular vs elite cinema debate that still gets trotted about. But our critics and cultural gatekeepers can not get beyond this tired debate. Even bloody Schembri harps on about it constantly.
Well aware am I that Samson was not a “message” movie.
I understand that there is “no point to get”, but as I said, you can only watch it so many times. I’ve seen it at least twice (thrice?), wouldn’t be interested in seeing it again at the cinema. It’s authentic all right but so are many other Australian films. And as absorbing as it was (I’m gonna say it…I’m gonna say it) I couldn’t help but feeling that even I, a total novice who has never filmed anything, could’ve made the film. It works not so much on a technical level as it does for sheer audacity. Plus it was non-pretentious and sincere which always helps. But I’ve seen several Aussie flicks far better over the past five years or so.
The Horseman is the sort of film I don’t think that I ever would’ve liked. It is indeed rather drab, it looks like some type of shit that would be rejected by Eat Carpet (if it were a short).
Do you like Showgirls in the so-bad-it’s-good sense or do you find it to be a legitimately great movie in the traditional sense?
If it’s the latter then I can argue very coherently against its supposed “greatness”.
As long as I’m here, I must say that Attack of the Killer Tomatoes can never be an awful film. It was intended to be el cheapo and stupid. It succeeds at both so mission accomplished. It may have the general look of a cruddy film but it’s entertaining and therefore I don’t feel that it warrants a place on such a list.
1. The Englishman Who Went Up a Hill and Came Down the Mountain (only film in my life I’ve ever walked out on. It’s definitely the worst movie I’ve ever seen [most of—I didn’t want to pay this laziest of lame movies the respect of finishing it], i.e., one that isn’t even interesting enough to enjoy as a bad movie. The rest are probably tied for number two)
2. Four Weddings and a Funeral
3. Knocked Up
4. Mrs. Doubtfire
5. The Tin Drum (might be a masterpiece but I didn’t enjoy one minute of it)
7. Close Encounters of the First Kind
9. The Corpse Bride
10. Tokyo Story (Just kidding. Just wanted to see if anyone was paying attention.)
MARK: S+D has a consistent style to it though, and the director shot and edited the film himself for close to nothing, whereas Animal Kingdom had a half decent budget and still looked like a tele movie. I got the feeling that S+D was at least part of the wide world of cinema, at least in terms of its influences, and the fact that so much of it is visually, rather than dialogue or ‘story’, driven.
and it wasn’t politically correct crap like The Tracker.
but we are getting offtopic here.
Re: Tin Drum. interesting that it has popped up quite a few times. It’s a well respected film no? I haven’t seen it in years but i liked it when i saw it 15 years ago.