Question: Favorite so bad it’s good movies?

This post was inspired by contentcatnip’s embarrasingly cringey music: 70’s and 80’s edition.
The line between intentionally campy and unintentionally funny is often hard to distinguish. Below are a few films I enjoy despite ridiculous moments.

 

 

 

 

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The Room (2003)
Often cited as the worst movie ever made. A flop when released, but has since gained a cult following. Horrible acting from the lead Tommy Wiseau, he’s the worst actor I’ve ever seen. Way too many sex scenes as well as scenes of throwing a ball. That laugh Johnny has, “ha ha” is hilarious. How the hell did this film cost $6 million!? 🙂
Just about the only positive is the photography of San Francisco in the intro.
If you enjoy “so badly done it’s funny”, an essential watch.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)

Indiana Jones was always a bit campy and over the top. The realism was lost in Temple of Doom which I love but when a boy is beating up grown men it’s hard not to chuckle. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008) also took liberties with reality such as Shia LaBeouf swinging through trees like Tarzan accompanied by monkeys. Ludicrous yet amusing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Flash Gordon (1980)

Based on a cartoon strip from the 1930s. Was it intended to be funny? Who knows. What I do know is as a child I loved the sets and the colors. Great escapism. Like a world you have never been to and the characters are very memorable. I’ve read the filmmakers kept fiddling around with the script, trying to decide whether to be funny or realistic. Has a camp style similar to the 1960s TV series Batman.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Moonraker (1979)

Cashing in on the Star Wars hype in the late 70s, Moonraker is easily the silliest Roger Moore Bond film. The scenes with henchman Jaws are so laughable that it’s endearing. And the gondola chase in Venice should be in a comedy movie, not a secret agent film. The best scene in is “You missed Mr Bond.” “Did I?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Commando (1985)

Suitable when you are craving a mindless action film. The 92 minutes just fly by. Especially the opening hour surprises with its action sequences. The acting and one-liners tend towards so-bad-it’s-good territory. The silliness is part of the fun. I still consider Commando a quintessential Schwarzenegger actioner, and superior to the movies he’s made in recent times.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Showgirls (1995)

A very divisive film. Is it a misunderstood satirical masterpiece or superficial misogynistic trash? I’m not sure. Some believe it’s worthy of critical re-evaluation such as Adam Nayman who examines the film in his book It Doesn’t Suck. Others laugh at it ironically.
I’ve only seen Showgirls once and was never boring to me, although the frequent nudity was overdone. The characters do illogical things, such as kiss someone for no apparent reason besides it’s sexy. The ridiculous ending is an improbable one-in-a-million coincidence. The movie derailed Elizabeth Berkley’s career but has gained cult movie status. Although the film was not successful when first released, it generated $100 million from video rentals and became one of MGM’s top 20 all-time bestsellers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Road House (1989)

About bouncers and with plenty of bar room brawls. Big chunks of the movie are clichéd, the acting is below average, and the dialogue an 80s cheese-fest. Yet somehow defies logic and is entertaining throughout!
Roger Ebert wrote: “Road House exists right on the edge between the “good-bad movie” and the merely bad. I hesitate to recommend it, because so much depends on the ironic vision of the viewer. This is not a good movie”.

 

 

 

 

 

Did you watch any of these films and what is your opinion? Which bad movies do you think are entertaining?

 

Films and TV of the month: October

 

 

 


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Jaws (1975) (Steven Spielberg)

Rewatch. Action horror thriller by Spielberg at his peak with groundbreaking camerawork. John Williams’ iconic soundtrack enhances the suspense. There are reviewers who complain the shark looks fake (The thing kept malfunctioning and forced Spielberg to find creative ways to represent the monstrous fish) but I didn’t doubt the great white was a threat for a second and disagree with the naysayers. Apparently the behavior and appearance is not accurate although I’m not a shark expert so didn’t bother me.
Arguably the story could be a commentary on the greed of humans and the instinctive hunger of animals, I’m not sure. My favorite character is Quint (Robert Shaw) who plays an alcoholic obssessed shark hunter war veteran who more than likely is suffering a form of PTSD. Roy Scheider is also excellent as the local police chief who has his hands full during the beach season. Besides the action, my favorite scene was the “You Got City Hands Mr Hooper.” quarrel.
9/10

 

 

 

 

 

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The Dark Crystal (1982) (Jim Henson & Frank Oz)

Puppet-animated dark fantasy adventure film. The puppets are believable as living, breathing creatures, and I liked the detail and beauty of the art direction and practical sets. The vulture-like Skeksis are effective villains though the noises they made got on my nerves. The draining of the essence scenes and giant spiders were chilling for a kid’s movie. While a very impressive technical feat, the main characters lacked the personality of Jim Henson’s Muppets. If you love set design this is a must-see but don’t go in with high expectations for the story which is quite basic. I haven’t seen the new 10-episode Netflix reboot The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance (2019)
7/10

 

 

 

 

 

 

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All Good Things (2010) (Andrew Jarecki)

Rewatch. True crime mystery. I don’t understand the hate, the critics complained the movie is “clichéd and frustratingly ambiguous” but how can a true story be wrong?! Probably my favorite Frank Langella performance, the way he coldly delivers the lines with his deep voice just gets to me. Kirsten Dunst’s character is kind and beautiful while Ryan Gosling plays a man haunted by his past. I was on the edge of my seat. Better than its reputation and with a bigger scope than simply a thrill ride, dealing with marriage, fathers and sons, compromises and dreams, and what is most important to us. Also directed by Jarecki, The Jinx (2015 miniseries) took another go at telling the story in a longer format, including interviews with Robert Durst.
8/10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Brawl in Cell Block 99 (2017) (S. Craig Zahler)

An 8/10  prison movie up until the last act. The violence was off-putting in the last 30 minutes, and that brings my score down. A macho film if ever there was one and just too dark to love. The story was quite slow yet compelling and with plenty of tension. I liked the one-liners and Vince Vaughn as anti-hero Bradley Thomas was great, different to his comedic roles. I had read the director’s horror western Bone Tomahawk (2015) contains batshit crazy violence so I guess that is the director’s trademark. I agree with letterboxd reviewer MajorMajor22 that it’s an “assured but tonally bizarre exploitation flick”
7/10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Princ
ess Bride (1987) (Rob Reiner)
Rewatch. Charming, incredibly quotable, and with a great sense of humor, almost a perfect movie. The mediocre end credits song (the instrumental main theme is superior) and the princess not recognizing her boyfriend behind the mask are the only weaknesses I noticed.
9/10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Look Who’s Talking (1989) (Amy Heckerling)
From the writer of Clueless (1995) and Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982). Better than its 57% Rotten Tomatoe score. The “talking baby” protagonist is fun, voiced by Bruce Willis, Travolta dancing with Mikey is a sweet moment. Probably more innocent times, today, I don’t know if a mother (Kirstie Alley) would allow a NY taxi driver (John Travolta) she hardly knows to walk into her apartment. The movie has enough charm to outweigh the contrived elements. About a mother looking for a proper father for her child, the visions of her future are pretty funny. If you are a parent, a light-hearted comedy to check out.
7/10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Joker (2019) (Todd Phillips)

Joaquin Phoenix manages to put a fresh spin on the joker with his mannerisms and laughing at inappropriate moments, and the script does have some arresting quotes, even if the victim aspect feels a bit clichéd and manipulative, and the supporting cast is underdeveloped. Phoenix’s Joker differs from Heath Ledger and Jack Nicholson with more innocence, pain, and humanity, and his performance deserves a higher rating than the film itself.
7/10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Dolemite Is My Name (2019) (Craig Brewer)

Nice to see Eddie Murphy making a comeback and his performance is excellent, even if the constant foul language and vulgarity was a stumbling block. The soundtrack provided 70s funk discoveries such as Thank You by Sly & The Family Stone, Funky Stuff by Kool & The Gang, and Slippery When Wet by Commodores. Also features original music and songs/comedy routines performed by the cast.
While it isn’t a must to be familiar with comedy albums and Dolemite (1975), I suspect my enjoyment would have been higher if I had nostalgia for those. The funniest scene was when the group are reading aloud the reviews. The “permission from your warden”, ”buy your own food”, and “sex scene” were amusing too. The second half was funnier. I liked the friendship between Lady Reed and Rudy.
6/10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What do you think? As always, comments are welcome

 

 

 

Older song discoveries: October

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You can listen to the playlist which will be updated as the year progresses.

 

 

 

My Name is Carnival by Jackson C. Frank (1965)
(Included on the Joker soundtrack. If you read the lyrics you can see why. In the film, Arthur hears it on the radio)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We Can Work It Out (Beatles cover) by Stevie Wonder (1970)
(From Wonder’s album Signed, Sealed & Delivered. Paul McCartney recently talked to Stephen Colbert about the best Beatles covers, the discussion starts at 6.03 in the video)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the Wall (demo version) by The Jesus & Mary Chain (1988) 
A hypnotic track from Barbed Wire Kisses (B-Sides & More). Arguably better than the studio album version on 1987’s Darklands. Chromatics’ new album Closer to Grey (2019) includes a beautiful cover of On the Wall, it starts at 31.30)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After Midnight by JJ Cale (1972)
(Love Cale’s laid-back approach. He’s been added to the explore list. Thanks Rol)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jingo by Santana (1969)
(Thanks CB. I like that you can hear the different instruments/players. Has a lot of spirit)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What Have I Done? by Cursive (2009)
(A random YouTube discovery thanks to youtuber _ 404 who liked a comment of mine. I don’t listen to Emo very often, the closing ballad on Cursive’s album Mama, I’m Swollen. Lyrics about achievement and if you have done enough in your life)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Papa was a Rodeo by Magnetic Fields (1999)
Thanks Stephen1001 who ranked the entirety of the epic 69 Love Songs. I listened to his top 10 and found these gems, including Sweet-Lovin’ Man and Epitaph for My Heart . Don’t know if I have the stamina for the whole album! )

 

 

 

 

 

 

If You Give To Me by Barrington Levy (1979)
(Wolfman shared his desert island discs which was great fun to explore. A nice discovery was this Jamaican singer and reggae artist)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Show Me the Way by Peter Frampton (1976)
(If I was alive in the 1970s, I’m sure I couldn’t have avoided it. From the very successful live album Frampton Comes Alive! which I’m embarrassed to say I’ve never listened to)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shame by Evelyn Champagne King (1977)
In terms of disco, I don’t know what is what. Her signature song is endlessly replayable. Also discovered King’s 1980 single Let’s Get Funky Tonight )

 

 

 

 

 

 

October by U2 (1981)
(I struggle to enjoy Bono’s vocal for an entire album. This quiter, melancholy piano driven track can be found on their lesser known album October. Surprisingly different to what they were doing at the time. We are still in October so another reason to share!)

 

 

 

 

 

What do you think? As always, comments are welcome

New songs I’m listening to

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Spinning Song by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
(At this point, Cave is creating deeply personal, vulnerable, therapeutic music. The emotional outro “peace will come” could be interpreted as an ode to Cave’s late son who tragically died aged 15. There’s also a tribute to Elvis “the king of rock ‘n’ roll” whom Cave previously has included in lyrics. The stunning artwork is presumably a depiction of heaven/paradise and a reworking of The Breath of Life, a 2001 painting by the artist Tom duBois. According to the singer the title Ghosteen refers to “a migrating spirit”. Perhaps the ghost of his son, hopefully Arthur is listening from the afterlife because his dad has a lot of love for him. Despite the specificness, there’s an ambiguity, and anyone can immerse themselves in the poetry. Everyone has to deal with loss)

 

 

 

 

 


Happens to the Heart by Leonard Cohen

(Chill-inducing, from his upcoming posthumous album, out November 22)

 

 

 

 

 


All Mirrors by Angel Olsen
(Possibly the most beautiful song of 2019. She gives Elizabeth Fraser a run for her money)

 

 

 

 

 

 


You Ain’t The Problem by Michael Kiwanuka
 (I just love the lyrics. A future classic)

 

 

 

 

 


Good Luck by Broken Bells
(A welcome return)

 

 

 

 

 


Vampires (instrumental) by Bat For Lashes
(Inspired by 80s culture, my favorite off the album. If you want to know what her influences are she revealed some of them in What’s In My Bag? )

 

 

 

 

 

 


UFOF by Big Thief
(Sad yet gorgeous. This group is getting a lot of attention and rightly so)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


End is Nigh by Alex Cameron
(Morbidly hilarious. Continues the dead pan humor which was a feature on his superb last album. Sometimes Cameron’s writing is off-putting. This melody is a winner)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hope you find one or two you like. As always, comments are welcome 

Top 10 lesser known Queen songs of the 1970s

 

 

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Nevermore (from 1974’s Queen II)
(Piano ballad from their early prog rock phase. About a break up. Short but affecting)

 

 

 

Father To Son (from 1974’s Queen II)
(As with 1978’s Leaving Home Ain’t Easy, another song most can identify with on some level)

 

 

 

 

Tenement Funster (from 1974’s Sheer Heart Attack)
(Sung by Roger Taylor, about youth and rebellion)

 

 

 

 

 

I’m In Love With My Car (from 1975’s A Night at the Opera)
(Another Roger Taylor contribution. For all those car enthusiasts. The chorus is unforgettable)

 

 

 

 

 

You Take My Breath Away (from 1976’s A Day at the Races)
(A melancholy ballad, describing love out of reach. The piano section is especially haunting)

 

 

 

 

 

Long Away (from 1976’s A Day at the Races)
(The first lines “You might believe in heaven, I would not care to say” put into words Brian May’s agnosticism and uncertainty of God and the afterlife. About mourning the death of someone, and the mourner who is comforted)

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Late (from 1977’s News Of The World)
(May shines on guitar. First heard this one on a car journey late one evening and the optimistic message I found inspiring. The we’ll-get-through-this approach to songwriting would become a go-to (some might say clichéed) formula in the second half of Queen’s career)

 

 

 

 

 

Get Down, Make Love (from 1977’s News Of The World)
(Simultaneously raunchy and catchy)

 

 

 

 

 

Dead On Time (from 1978’s Jazz)
(A fast paced, Led Zeppelin-like hard rock. Put this on to speed up your morning routine)

 

 

 

 

 

Fun It (from 1978’s Jazz)
(I love the riff. Criminally underrated. Has been dismissed by some as an inferior version of Another One Bites the Dust. I hear a bit of 80s Prince in the musicianship)

 

 

 

 

Honorable mention:

 

39 (from 1975’s A Night at the Opera)
(About a search for a planet to colonise. The connection to Nolan’s movie apparently is a real thing. Even the gap between album and film is 39 years!)

 

 

 

 

 

What do you think? As always, comments are welcome