|Posted on October 19, 2012 at 1:00 AM|
Movies I Was Wrong On
A dull week of trailers so a normal Friday is out of the questions. There were maybe three I would post up, but I figured it easier to hold off and put them up with more next week. But, my rule is I must write something every weekday, so here's today's: movies I was wrong on.
Opinions and feelings change over time. That's why I never buy into that "you said this five years ago and are saying this now" thing (especially in politics). People change. I used to hate Chinese food, now I love. Awful example, but you get the idea. So, when it comes to reviews, it's easy to look back to the past four years I've been doing them and see some that I thought were surprising.
Of course, I'm going by review scores here, even though I don't like giving scores. The fact is, it's a thing that has to be done, so reviewers have to do them, but it's also for convenience...you know...like looking at a review and wondering what the hell you were thinking? So I went through, looked at the numbers, and just felt some were off. Some by a little, some by a heck of a lot. Plus, it's important for any reviewer and critic to look back on things they've said and done, and see if they still agree. So here goes:
Alien 3 (1/5) and Alien Resurrection (2.5/5)
It comes down to this, and numbers aren't always reflective but it has to be here: There's no way Alien 3 is a worse movie than Alien Resurrection. Did I personally like Resurrection more? A little, probably, but it's a mess of a movie that takes everything about the franchise and chucks it. At least Alien 3 tries to stay true to its roots even though it mishandles it on the way. A higher ranking for Alien 3, and a slightly lower one for Resurrection as a result.
An easy look at this one as it took but a second for me to say "no, higher." I still gave it a glowing review, but its' a movie that should be well higher score wise. 4/5 is far from bad, obviously, but a film has to be significant to be higher. Amadeus is significant, a powerhouse of a film based on a powerhouse of a play, and it deserves a higher score.
Arthur Christmas (4/5)
I'm not sure why I gave this a review as good as it is. It's a wonderful film, but far from the territory of a great score. It has heart, and I think I was suckered into the warm Christmas spirit from that.
The Cabin in the Woods (4.5/5)
I can chalk this insanely good score up to just being excited to see a horror-comedy done so well. I jumped the gun, and now in hindsight I would give a lower score. Still a fun movie, but its flaws are bigger than initially noticed.
I would give it an even lower rating. The more I think about it, the more it just feels so contrived to me, passing itself off as a documentary when people are questioning if it's actually that for the past few years.
Day of the Dead (3.5/5)
I know it's weird, we're talking about .5 of a make-believe number on something. Usually, something is good, something is bad, and most things are pretty "ok." But Day of the Dead has really, really grown on me and I think it needs to be higher. Slight, yes, but still higher.
God Bless America (3.5/5)
I already know the reason why I put this high. I state it right there in the review: this is cathartic filmmaking at its finest. It does the things we wish for, but would never do. We think about it, though, and seeing it sprawled out on screen is fantastic. But, it's also very mean-spirited, and also really has little to say about the things it "blows away" other than that we're tired of it. I love dark comedy, but I like comedy with a point to it as well. I'd give it a pretty low score now even though it scratches that itch of mine.
I Love You, Man (4/5)
Perhaps it was just the fact I really like the leads, but truth is that doesn't make up for the conventional nature of the entire film. There's really no surprises here and no surprises in a film of this nature is a deathnail. It needs to up the ante somehow and this one didn't.
In the Land of Blood and Honey (2.5/5)
You know, this is a film that sticks with you. I can still recall it today. That usually means it did something right, at least something better than the average score I gave it initially. I still take issue with some of it, but it's a film that makes an impression nonetheless, which goes against the idea of giving it an "average" score entirely.
The Kids are All Right (3/5)
Ok, ok. Yes, I still despise the ending and its forced agenda, but the rest of this film is incredible. It certainly deserves better than what I gave it.
Live Free or Die Hard (3.5/5)
Nah, sorry, no way. Out of all the Die Hard films, this one has aged incredibly poorly already. An average action movie at best, and a well below-average Die Hard movie.
You know, if I'm going to applaud films for ambition, then I need to give this one the benefit of the doubt. It's still a mess of a film, but man is it a creative and ambitious mess of a film. I'd give it a higher rating now despite the problems that persist in it.
Once Upon at Time In Mexico (3/5)
Ditto on this one too. Other than Depp, it has nothing going for it and is a disappointing follow up to Desperado. Banderas is practically just a spectator in his own film, overshadowed by Depp's screentime and given little to nothing of interest to do. The visceral feeling (and humor) of Desperado and El Mariachi is lost here, and it's a slapped-together effort as a capable action film as well.
Did I really give this one such a good review? I mean, it's fine, but that high? Reading over it, I can't fathom why. It's a forgettable film despite the good performance by Fuhrman.
Public Enemies (4/5)
Another one that I'm surprised I gave such a good score to. Again, it's a fine movie, but not that fine of one. I am a sucker for this period and this type of movie, but that's on me. I have to seperate that from a review, and I didn't here and certainly, at least, didn't say that I was taking it in to account my personal "guilty pleasures" in my review (which a reviewer should...transparency is important if you're reviewing anything).
Slumdog Millionaire (4.5/5)
The more I think about it, the more "it's fate" just feels like a copout. I enjoyed the movie, great story, great characters, some fantastic cinematography, but that plot device leaves me a bit cold. I'd give it a slightly lower rating now.
Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1.5/5)
A show of my early days of reviewing if there ever was one. I criticized this movie for what it wasn't (not the other Star Trek films) rather than for what it is (and pretty decent sci-fi flick). A mistake that goes against your basic sense of reviewing. Yes, it's not like those, but it's still an intriguing piece of science fiction - far more sci-fi than most Trek films are in the first place. I'd give a higher score now, easily.
Star Trek: Insurrection (3/5)
All that I just wrote about the previous film? Flip it, and you have the reasons why I would give this a lesser rating now. A piss-poor movie on its own, Star Trek or otherwise, and arguably more of a drag and slog than the The Motion Picture
Tron Legacy (3.5/5)
Yawn. Sorry, was this a thing? And why did I give it a good review? Can't quite fathom that one. Take off the Nostalgia Glasses, JC...this was a mistake as the film is average at best.