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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Not so great movies

There is a hilarious article in the Guardian by Joe Queenan as he attempts to define a criteria for the worst movies of all time.

In his own words:

To qualify as one of the worst films of all time, several strict requirements must be met.
  • For starters, a truly awful movie must have started out with some expectation of not being awful.

  • Two, an authentically bad movie has to be famous; it can't simply be an obscure student film about a boy who eats live rodents to impress dead girls.

  • Three, the film cannot be a deliberate attempt to make the worst movie ever, as this is cheating.

  • Four, the film must feature real movie stars, not jocks, bozos, has-beens or fleetingly famous media fabrications like Hilton.

  • Five, the film must generate a negative buzz long before it reaches cinemas; like the Black Plague or the Mongol invasions, it must be an impending disaster of which there has been abundant advance warning; it cannot simply appear out of nowhere. And it must, upon release, answer the question: could it possibly be as bad as everyone says it is?

  • Six, to qualify as one of the worst movies ever made, a motion picture must induce a sense of dread in those who have seen it, a fear that they may one day be forced to watch the film again - and again - and again.

  • There is one other requirement for a movie to be considered one of the worst ever: it must keep getting worse. By this, I mean that it not only must keep getting worse while you are watching it, but it must, upon subsequent viewings, seem even worse than the last time you saw it.


  • I normally try to steer away from so called bad movies but every now and then for whatever reasons, I force myself to watch a few not so pleasant movies. In that regards, almost all the bad movies I have seen have forced me to add this criteria:
  • The movie is so bad that it makes for a hilarious viewing.


  • Ofcourse, no one intends to make a bad movie. Most films start out with good intentions but then things go wrong. On the plus side, bad films are good case studies on how to not do things. Also, often good movies spring up from the graves of bad movies. The re-launched Batman series is a perfect example of this. Each subsequent Batman movie kept getting worse until rock bottom was reached with Batman & Robin. Out of the ashes from that disaster rose a slick and smart Batman Begins in 2005.

    Over the last two months, these are the worst rated movies on my viewed list: Ghost Rider, London, Sunday, 300, Ali G Indahouse, My Name is Anthony Gonsalves, 30 Days of Night.
    But these are just personal tastes. I found 300 to be a laughably bad movie but currently the average imdb.com rating for the film stands at 8/10 as per 164,552 votes. Moreover, I know a lot of people who love the movie. I loved the look and feel of 30 Days of Night but everything else frustrated me. Even though the Bollywood film Sunday is quite bad, it provided me with plenty of genuine laughs. Same goes with the Ali G movie -- bad but there were some very funny moments. I honestly have nothing good to say about Ghost Rider.

    Although I have a funny story regarding My Name is Anthony Gonsalves. I tried watching this Bollywood movie but after 20 minutes or so, I had to turn it off. A few days later, I was at a party where my friend was asking for some new film recommendations. A fairly polite guy heard us and told my friend that he had to see My Name is Anthony Gonsalves. He turned to me and asked if I had seen it? I replied that I had not finished it as I found it a bit dull. The guy and his wife had such a shocked look on their face as both of them loved the movie and must have thought that I had poor taste in films. When I got back home, I tried to finish the movie. And the film only kept getting worse and worse, satisfying part of Queenan's final criteria. The biggest disappointment regarding this movie is that it is not made by a new director but by E. Niwas who at the tender age of 23 directed a masterful movie (Shool) back in 1999. Unfortunately, his subsequent efforts have been not as good and My Name is Anthony Gonsalves is the latest in a string of substandard fare.

    Maybe once I am done all my regular film spotlights this year, I should try to put together a bad film festival where I try to see the worst of the worst. It will be painful but it should be worth a few laughs.

    1 comment:

    Anonymous said...

    Good One and Thanks for the info
    =================================

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