Tag Archives: Defending Bad Movies

Defending Bad Movies: The Adam Sandler Edition

What’s with Adam Sandler lately? We get the unfunny missed opportunity with‘Grown Ups’ last summer, and now ‘Just Go With It?’ What’s happening to the guy who used to deliver comedy after comedy that’d keep us either laughing or disgusted (in a good way) all the way through?

Actually, it looks like the majority of folks out there don’t even care much for some of Sandler’s previous work because despite his all-star status most of the films responsible for skyrocketing him to fame are, well, pretty rotten. Sandler didn’t manage to break into fresh territory on Rotten Tomatoes until 1998’s ‘The Wedding Singer,’ and even then it only earned him a 67%. From there, it was a nine-film gap until his next fresh ratings, ‘Punch-Drunk Love’ and ‘Stupidity’ followed by ‘Reign Over Me’ in 2007 and then ‘Funny People’ in 2009. Overall, of Sandler’s 34 rated films on Rotten Tomatoes, he’s earned just five fresh ratings. Otherwise, all his films are rotten, and some very rotten.

The curious thing is, for some, it’s natural to look back on some of these supposed rotten films fondly. In fact, as sick as it sounds, a handful of them were personal childhood favorites. Sandler’s style of humor is an acquired taste and if you weren’t feeling it when ‘Billy Madison’ hit in 1995, odds are the entire Adam Sandler movement was one entirely rotten experience. Just because these films aren’t for everyone doesn’t mean they’re not enjoyable to some, so here’s to the ones buried in thumbs down that still have a lasting positive impact.

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Defending Bad Movies: ‘Sorority Row’

It isn’t easy for a horror remake to get any respect. The filmmakers are merely reusing material, hiring inexpensive unknown stars and collecting their money with seemingly no concern for quality. There’s certainly a massive selection of remakes that never should have been, like ‘Black Christmas,’ ‘One Missed Call,’ ‘House of Wax,’ ‘Halloween II,’ ‘Prom Night’ and more, but there’s also a selection that really aren’t all that bad. The new ‘Friday the 13th’ and ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’ certainly can’t compare to the originals, but at least both films featured some decent performances and delivered some disturbing death scenes. In fact, there are even some remakes out there that trump their predecessors. Breck Eisner recently gave George A. Romero’s ‘The Crazies’ a much-needed update and the result is wildly entertaining.

But Eisner’s ‘The Crazies’ is one of few horror reboots that received approval from moviegoers and critics alike. It’s generally expected for this type of film to earn a 30% or below on Rotten Tomatoes, have an impressive opening weekend and then nosedive from there. Unfortunately for Summit Entertainment, ‘Sorority Row’ didn’t fair too well with critics or with moviegoers. The film only managed to earn a 22% on the Tomatometer and couldn’t even crack $12 million at the domestic box office during its eight-week run. When you’ve got absolute garbage like ‘Prom Night’ that was downright despised by critics pulling in over $20 million in week one, it’s baffling that something that’s actually a fun film couldn’t manage to attract more horror fans.

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Defending Bad Movies: ‘Not Another Teen Movie’

Spoof movies instantly get a bad rap. (And, for argument’s sake, let’s leave parodies like ‘Mars Attacks!’ and ‘Shaun of the Dead’ out of this.)

In this article, we’re talking about the ones that go for pop culture’s jugular and tear apart specific movies individually. The Wayans brothers kicked off the craze somewhat respectably with ‘Scary Movie’ back in 2000, but ever since, this type of film has been synonymous with critical panning. Even the ‘Scary Movie’ franchise plummeted from the first to second film. ‘Scary Movie’ nearly attained a fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes, but the second film came in with just a 14 percent. The third film did a little better, with a 36 percent rating, as did the fourth, with 37 percent, but we’re still looking at a series that’s just flat out not very good.

Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer may have reveled in the success of their script for ‘Scary Movie,’ but once they moved on to writing and directing their own films, a positive review was a thing of the past. ‘Date Movie,’ ‘Epic Movie,’ ‘Meet the Spartans,’ ‘Disaster Movie,’ and ‘Vampires Suck’ all failed to crack even a 10 percent rating on the Tomatometer.

And these are only the more well know films of the genre. Ever see ‘Shriek If You Know What I Did Last Friday the 13th’ with Coolio, Tiffani-Amber Thiessen and Tom Arnold? Or what about ‘My Big Fat Independent Movie’? We’re basically getting spoof after spoof with little to no concern for quality. They’re relatively inexpensive to produce and some manage to earn quite a chunk of money, regardless of poor reviews. At this point, it seems as though studios are pleased with the formula.

However, there is one film out there that defies the procedure. It may fall into line with the rest in terms of the butts of its jokes, but the big difference between ‘Not Another Teen Movie’ and the rest is that not only is it downright hilarious, but it manages to combine those laughs with enough of a story of its own.

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Defending Bad Movies: Grease 2

It’s sad to say, but the summer is coming to a close. It’s even sadder to say – for some – that another school year is about to begin. About this time every year, I get a song stuck in my head. Well, two. First is Billy Madison’s back to school song. You know, “Back to school. Back to school, to prove to Dad that I’m not a fool. I got my lunch packed up, my boots tied tight, I hope I don’t get in a fight.” The second comes from a movie with somewhat more acceptable classroom behavior, but also one that’s underappreciated, Grease 2. “I gotta go back, back, back to school again.”

When you’re following in the footsteps of a film as beloved as Grease, you’re practically in a lose-lose situation. There was really no way director Patricia Birch could top Randal Kleiser’s work and Max Caulfield and Michelle Pfeiffer were just no match for the ultimate duo, John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. You know what you do when there’s just no way of being the best? You settle for mediocre and just have a blast with it. And that’s exactly what Grease 2 is; a so-so film that gets major bonus point for being such a damn good time.

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Defending Bad Movies: Fired Up

There are so many raunchy, sex-driven teen comedies out there, most of which are pure garbage. Miss March? Ridiculous. The whole straight-to-DVD American Pieseries? Junk. I Love You Beth Cooper? I shudder at the title alone. But Fired Up? What was so terrible about that one? In fact, I think it’s quite good. The film is downright hilarious, it has some heart and is entertaining through and through.

It stars Nicholas D’Agosto and Eric Christian Olsen as Shawn and Nick, two jocks so obsessed with the ladies, they opt to ditch football camp for cheerleading camp. They convince their high school squad, The Tigers, they’re committed solely for athletic purposes, but they’ve got another plan in mind; hook up with as many ladies as possible before ditching and attending an epic football party. Problem is, not only does Nick develop a little crush on the head cheerleader, Carly (Sarah Roemer), but both guys find themselves getting into the whole cheer thing.

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Defending Bad Movies: Georgia Rule

Regardless of whether or not you think she deserves what she’s getting, Lindsay Lohan must be feeling pretty rotten these days and I can’t help but to feel a little sympathetic, even if it’s just the slightest bit. So, in honor of Lohan’s downfall, while everyone else is knocking the once promising actress, I’m going to give her a little credit. In fact, I’ll do so for a film that not only marked the starting point of her demise, but one that got universally panned as well, Georgia Rule.

The film stars Lohan as Rachel Wilcox, a rotten city kid who’s sent to spend the summer with her grandmother, Georgia (Jane Fonda), in hopes it’ll straighten her out. Rachel’s mother, Lilly (Felicity Huffman), may let her get away with misbehaving at home, but at Georgia’s Idaho abode, things are different and Rachel must abide by “Georgia Rule.” When Rachel isn’t getting her mouth washed out with soap, she’s either working at the vet Simon’s (Dermot Mulroney) office or trying to corrupt the local golden boy Harlan (Garrett Hedlund). Rachel manages to squeeze by committing only a handful of atrocities until one of her stories takes things a bit too far. When Rachel tells Simon her mother’s boyfriend molested her, he tells Georgia who tells Rachel’s mother who returns to Idaho to straighten things out during which the harbored frustrations between three generations boil over.

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