A guide to avoiding bad moviesMikey 11 comments
We've all seen plenty of 'top 10 worst movies' lists and even more reviews on bad movies, and I've contributed my share here on numerous occasions. This got me thinking: How does one avoid seeing a bad movie?
There probably is a science to this mythical art which escapes most of us, but I will attempt to pass on my wisdom to you in the hope that you won't ever have to hand over your hard earned clams to see a bomb again.
I will mention at this time that this guide is not about how to get out of being dragged kicking and screaming to a 'chick flick' by your better half. There are some very creative ways to get out of that but perhaps that's a topic for another article.
Also bear in mind there is an assumption that you already know a little about the plot, who directed, who's stars etc perhaps from at least watching the trailer. So without our further stalling, I present my guide for avoiding bad movies.
Does the movie star any of the following actors?
- Chris Tucker
- Jennifer Lopez
- Eddie Murphy
- Jean-Claude Van Damme
- Ben Affleck
- Steven Seagal
- Paris Hilton
- Jessica Simpson
- Lindsay Lohan
If the answer is 'yes' to any of the above, you need to do the following. Take the money you were going to spend on this movie and donate it to a charity or give it to a homeless person, because the mere fact that you would contemplate seeing a movie with any of these actors suggests that your karma is way off balance and needs re-adjusting.
Is this movie a sequel?
If this movie is a sequel to a movie you know is already good, does it have any affiliation with the original movie? Same cast? Same director? A comparisons for reference would be:
- Alien = Good: All following sequels = Crap
If not, then the odds are against you so proceed with caution. Best to wait until a friend wastes his money on the movie first so you can get some feedback you trust. There are occasionally times where a sequel, despite best intentions with original cast and director can be an epic failure. Example:
Are computers central to the story line?
If your response is 'yes', read this first and save your money. It's no secret that Hollywood doesn't understand computers. We have Hackers, The Net and Swordfish as long-standing proof that if you don't understand computers, and you go and make them central to the story line, your film will blow chunks.
Is the movie a parody?
If you answered 'yes', now ask yourself "Was this parody created by anyone other than Mel Brooks?". If you responded with 'no' and you still want to proceed, you risk severe loss of IQ due to brain poison on a par with Meet the Spartans or the Scary Movies. For more advice, check out The Movie Whore's The fine line between good and bad movie parodies/spoofs.
Is the movie based on a video game franchise?
I'm sorry, but if you still cling to the misguided hope that a good movie will ever be spawned from a video game, then you are deluded. For your punishment, and yes you do deserve one, I think you need to re-watch any of the following atrocities (while sober):
Is the movie directed by Michael Bay?
Michael Bay's movies are easily among the worst in Hollywood history. With 7 films under his belt and only one possibly being barely passable, the odds are stacked against you. If you need reminding, revisit Bad Boys 1 and 2, The Rock, Armageddon, Pearl Harbor, The Island or Transformers.
Has the movie been over hyped?
As far as movie marketing formulas go, the over-exposure of a movie is directly proportionate to how sh*tty it will end up being. Movies that are pimped on radio station and or SMS competitions will always fare even worse. As a general rule of thumb, if you are exposed to more than 3 marketing attacks of the same movie in the same day, it will surely suck balls.
Does the movie suffer from bad casting?
Tara Ried as an archaeologist? Eddie Murphy as a professor? Natalie Portman as a queen? Samual L Jackson as an art collector? If you know the movies I'm talking about, you also know how much they sucked. There's nothing worse than popular actors being cast as intellectuals and other bad casting choices, and when it does happen it's embarrassing for everybody involved.
Is the movie a remake or something that was done right the first time?
Let me throw these examples at you.
- Starsky and Hutch TV series = good. Movie remake = crap.
- Mission: Impossible TV series = good. 3 movie remakes = sh*t.
If it isn't broken, don't fix it. If you've already seen it and you liked it, why pay to see a lacklustre version of it? Because you are weak and gullible that's why. You should know by now that all, yes ALL remakes are vastly inferior to their original counterparts.
Does the movie have a tech gimmick?
The 3D cinema phenomena that was popularised in the early 50's and then someone thought it would be a great idea to reintroduce it to an unsuspecting generation a few decades later. If a movie can't be sold on it's own merits then alarm bells should be sounding. Need I remind you of Jaws 3D?
Is this movie part of the 'Movie' series?
You know the ones I mean. Scary Movie and Epic Movie to name a couple. If there was ever a time to put the cinema manager in a headlock and demand a refund it's after watching any from this series. In fact, these movies are so bad that I think it might hold up in court if you demanded a refund after only sitting through the opening credits.
I think in the interest of helping out our fellow film-goers, everyone should feel free to contribute to this list in the comments below.