To each his own. Opinions are like a-holes; everyone has one. Opinion is the medium between knowledge and opinion. I understand that, with great hesitation, everyone is entitled to enjoy what they want to. I mostly accept this because I certainly want people to leave me to my vices. However, there are movies that I love in spite of their flaws or don't understand the criticisms they receive. Here are a list of movies (in no order) that I have watched repeatedly or enjoyed thoroughly, going against popular or critical opinion.
10. Maleficent -
I read more than one review that accused this movie of poor storytelling. I could not disagree more. In fact, I felt as though I were being read the most epic bedtime story ever. Angelina Jolie's performance may have been typical, but it was oh so fitting. I felt her anguish throughout. There were also complaints about other characters (such as Aurora) not getting enough characterization. Well, the movie wasn't about her. It was about Maleficent and I was okay with that.
9. Iron Sky - While most of you may have avoided this like Nikki Minaj avoids talent and good taste, I have to say it was a peculiar surprise for me. Hollywood is swimming in a sea of formula for every genre. It is refreshing to come across something that goes at its own pace, creates its own beat, and pushes forward in whatever f-ing direction it wants to. This was "Iron Sky", which is a tale of Nazi's that have hid on the moon building space ships so they can attack Earth. Cheesy? Yes. Campy? Absolutely? Apologetic? Not in the least. And when you thought it had reached it's peak of "hokey", it discovers a new level, slamming on political goofiness at the end in case you hadn't gotten the point. No oscar winner, but the intentional humor was delightful.
8. Godzilla - I was skeptical going to watch this movie. I found myself rooting for all the right people, in awe of Godzilla's size and appearance, and giggling like the schoolboy who watched the original. What was wrong with this movie? Why did people not like it? What were they expecting from a movie with Asian roots built around a man in a rubber lizard suit? This movie was epic and made far more sense than Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.
7. REC 3 - Granted, this was a risky movie with the first being a widely popular "found footage" movie taking place in one location. Yes, I realize that we left our original heroine to follow the nightmare of two relative strangers at their wedding. Yet, I can't help but love the romantic and bloody REC 3. I always want to root for the hero or heroine of a horror movie and it has been a long while since I found anyone worthy of that support. Rob Zombie's Halloween had an annoying and slap-able version of Laurie Strode. A majority of found footage characters are lacking the acting chops to keep me from wanting to kill them myself. In REC 3, I'm invested in this romantic quest of these newlyweds to reunite in the onslaught of a zombie outbreak. It was skillfully paced with the two genres (I call it a "horror-rom") blended quite nicely together. I think this got a tough break because it wasn't what was expected and not because it was bad.
6. X-Files: I Want to Believe - Speaking of expectations. X-Files fans began resurfacing and foaming at the mouth when it was announced a movie sequel was in the works. The outcome was disappointing for most fans. No aliens. No discussion of baby William. The series ended with as many questions as it began with and none of them were answered in this movie. Still, as a standalone movie, I was engaged. It was good to catch up with Mulder and Scully (still providing great chemistry brought through David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson). There were outstanding questions of morality and a look at our heroes as three dimensional people unlike ever before. Honestly, it felt like Chris Carter took a script for a supernatural crime drama then worked Mulder and Scully into it. It was not what I wanted, but it was hardly the monster audiences made it out to be.
5. Gravity - I'm not a scientist or an astronaut. At the end of the day, I don't need to be waited down in trying to understand how space works. I got Sandra Bullock and George Clooney in a creative unveiling of a story with beautiful scenery. It was like a dream and I seriously don't know what the average viewer had to complain about.
4. Bunraku - All but used at target practice from critics, Bunraku is an under appreciated bit of storytelling. More than Maleficent, this movie rides along a dark children's book about a cowboy and a samuri who team up (with the help of a story-telling bartender) to save a town from Ron Pearlman. Now, Demi Moore (who plays an enslaved prostitute of sorts) kind of phones in her performance, which is sad considering she did a better job in the Charlie's Angels' bowel movement of a sequal. That aside, I loved the transitions, the coloring, the cast of characters with sparkling performances, and the fight scenes that felt reminiscent of Kill Bill in terms of variety. Bunraku mostly suffered from snobby critics, I think.
3. Invasion - This (billionth) remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers managed to feel modern and relevant (with an ongoing love affair with behavior inhibiting drugs) with its message. Nicole Kidman was charged in her performance. I wouldn't say that was particularly horrifying, but it captured great suspense. Perhaps the downfall of this film was the fact that we've seen this movie. Maybe it wasn't "bloody" enough for the gore-hounds but was too scary for those that don't do horror. It does not fall into a clear genre, but why should it have to. I compare it to a lower-budget World War Z.
2. Sucker Punch - Here we go. I heard so many people bitching about this movie. They complained that it looked like a video game. (With the serious progression of storytelling in video games, is that really a bad thing?). A lot try to compare it to Inception. (Why? They are totally different target audiences). Look, we had bad @ss fight scenes. We had a haunting and surreal setting (each one of them). There was a story that made sense. The score was cool and the effects were effective. I imagine that the beef from this movie has more to do with who watched it. There are certain types of people that cannot wait to tear a movie like this apart because it doesn't aim to connect to anything else. It was unlike any movie I had watched before and I respected the creators.
1. Resident Evil series - Sit down and stop throwing stuff. I know that RE was not what we were expecting. No, it wasn't the least bit scary. It was mostly a Milla Jovavich vehicle for her to kick butt and look good. And? I watched The Fast and the Furious recently. It was the most ridiculous, over-the-top, masculine soap opera I've seen since The Expendables. It was still an entertaining movie. RE doesn't aim to be anything different, only with the undead and mutated creatures. It is an hour and a half (or so) that you get to turn your brain off and try to have fun. Remember that in movies? When they were simply for fun and not to remind you of real life?
In the end, there are quality movies and entertaining movies. These are not always the same. We should watch movies to learn, to be moved, to think, but most of all to enjoy. What do you think of this list? What should have been here?