There is nothing more entertaining than dropping a grenade in a room in regards to divisive films, in which the room is stuffed with film buffs and dedicated fans. I do this a lot, I pick a film that is known to be either divisive or widely hated, like Spider-Man 3, then say if I liked it or not, then everyone in that room jumps on the bandwagon and they proceed to rip and roar at one another until they've exhausted themselves in agreement or disagreement.
This type of conversation happens a lot, whether it's with family, friends or on here. I've based this list on films that have seemingly been branded with the 'marmite' touch, in which people either love or really hate these films. Also, films that may have garnered strong critical reviews, but audiences have been less pleased with. Not forgetting the 'tossing a grenade' aspect, where I've mentioned my liking of each of these films to people, and they've reacted in shock and distaste, just to get a reaction. Does that make me mean? Well, it certainly makes for good conversation.
1. The Hobbit: Battle of The Fives Armies
Peter Jackson's final instalment of The Hobbit trilogy starts right off where the second film ended, and whilst it's the shortest of the three films, people found it to be the most sluggish and anti-climactic. Audiences found its use of CGI to be grossly heavy, and the infamous shot of Legolas jumping from brick to brick as they fall into a canyon is considered a terrible action beat. I enjoyed the final film an awful lot, the battle itself was spectacular, the CGI was absolutely stunning and I felt it ended superbly, though Smaug's attack could've easily been lumped at the end of the second film.
2. The Amazing Spider-Man 2
Though I can agree with a lot of critics and audiences that this sequel was overstuffed with characters, clearly for future set-ups, and the fact that the story was bloated with way too many subplots, I have to disagree with the fact people find this film to just be bad in general. I don't know many that enjoy this film, but I find it's action sequences, acting and tone to be on point, despite an underused Sally Field and a wasted Paul Giamatti. Plus the ending with Gwen Stacy is brilliant and surprisingly filled with emotional heft.
3. Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice
I can't even finish saying the entire title without someone making noises of disgust or speaking up about how awful this film is. Whilst Ben Affleck is seemingly universally praised, and rightly so, as is Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman, the critical malignancy is aimed at the tone, murky cinematography and lack of lighting, inconsistent visuals, and much like The Amazing Spider-Man 2, an overstuffed narrative with too many characters. That I can agree with but everything else, no. I had a blast with Dawn of Justice, a superhero crowd-pleaser! It could've been 15 minutes shorter, and didn't need Kevin Costner or Diane Lane despite me liking both performers, but this one is a surefire way to get people chatting and probably arguing its merits.
4. Terminator Genisys
James Cameron quoted "It’s being very respectful of first two films. Then all of the sudden, it just swerves. And now I’m going on a journey. I feel like the franchise has been reinvigorated, like this is a renaissance." He clearly appreciated Genisys. Everyone else didn't. I did. The first and second Terminator films are beloved classics, and whilst they are very good films, I love the third film more. The fifth film, Genisys, does get muddled up with its messy narrative structure, but I can't understand why it's been so derided. Arnold Schwarzenegger and the cast are clearly having a blast and the action is dazzling.
5. Quantum of Solace
I've been watching Bond since the age of 5, when my uncle showed me For Your Eyes Only on video. I own the entire collection and like them all, some more than others obviously. Daniel Craig is a terrific Bond, bold and rather brutal. When asked what's my favourite of the 24 films, it boils down to 3 choices. Goldeneye, From Russia With Love and Quantum of Solace. I've been told "you're not a fan of Bond then because you love Quantum". People get so wound up and it's hilarious, this one is a real grenade in the room type choice. Why do I love it? It's pure and simple, Bond has gone cold and renegade after the death of Vesper and her betrayal. This is a tale of revenge, and a fast-paced action packed one, it's what I wanted after the thrills and intrigue of Casino Royale. Others see Quantum as an incoherent mess with a dull plot and a lack of the 007 charm.
6. American Sniper
Labelled as force-fed propaganda, heavily jingoistic and overly patriotic, Clint Eastwood's war drama was met with strong reception but it was the portrayal of its lead character Chris Kyle, calling him hero, in spite of some controversial details about his time as a U.S Navy Seal, that really ticked people off. To me, this film is terrific through and through from its sound design to acting and cinematography. This one is an interesting one to mention, people will always bring up Chris Kyle's background, or the apparent propaganda-laden style, I just see it as a well-made war drama.
Unanswered questions are what plagued a handful of Alien fans. Whilst Prometheus could've answered more and tied up some loose ends here and there, I still found this deep space horror a spectacular adventure with stunning visuals, impeccable performances and a sense of mystery. People expecting the next Alien or Aliens were disappointed, but take this as a prequel with some neat ideas and it's a real neat adventure! My 9/10 surprises people, leaving this one a real conversation starter when it comes to film chatter.
8. Star Trek Into Darkness
A critical hit and a box office smash! I loved this film despite not being a fan of any of the previous films or the TV series. J.J. Abrams rebooted Trek films are great sci-fi, with great characters and a sense of adventure and fun. The sequel Into Darkness had a more action-driven narrative but it still retained similar themes and the wonder fans and moviegoers are familiar with. But fans felt it broke the rules of the series, the action route was too mission impossible style and it's interpretation of Khan and how Spock behaved was not appreciated. Maybe if I was a Trekkie I'd see the flaws but for me this is a 9/10 film.
I for one am looking forward to this reboot. Paul Feig has made three hilarious films in a row with Bridesmaids, The Heat and Spy. This reboot is in good hands, especially with its line-up of Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, Chris Hemsworth and Michael McDonald as the stars. However, the internet has gone stir-crazy with angst towards this female led incarnation, with Sony going as far as to deleting comments online due to the overwhelming negativity. However, the trailers look promising, each boasting stunning CGI, a great cast with laughs here and there, though I'm hoping that they'll translate on the big-screen much better!
And now for the big one that gets everyone enraged and totally baffled...
10. Transformers Age of Extinction
Why do you like this? How? What is wrong with you? Are you mad? You're what's wrong with the industry! These are just some things that pop up when I mention my love for this three hour session of Michael Bay bashing pots and pans together. I can see why people hate this film. The totally unnecessary statutory rape scene, the excessive runtime filled with too many explosions, the stuffed story and Michael Bay's presence are what tick people off, and even as a fan I see these flaws, especially that bloody pointless and inappropriate statutory rape fiasco. However, I love watching people's blood boil when I tell them why I like it. Loud, dumb-bloated fun with some tremendous CGI, awe-inspiring 3D, amazing action sequences filled with some jaw-dropping explosions and an awesome cast lead by the likeable earnest Mark Wahlberg.
So which of these films get you thinking or talking? Would you dare mention Dawn of Justice in a crowd of movie buffs? Let me know in the comments what your thoughts are on these choices, and what films you think get people talking?