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Movies You Thought Would Suck, But Didn't...


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#1 of 95 Brian Kaz

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Posted June 06 2002 - 03:40 AM

I saw a bunch of new films during the last couple of months and there were a lot of pleasent surprises. I had no real interest in most of these and only watched them when there was nothing else on. I was certain these movies below were going to suck serious ass.

I was wrong.


Crazy/Beautiful

Kirsten Dunst and Jay Hernandez give great performances to this well made romantic drama about a mixed-up bad girl from a rich family who falls in love with a poor latino boy with a bright future ahead of him. Will she destroy his chance at success or will she overcome her problems with her family and become part of that success?

This movie choked me up a few times which is very hard to do. It also realistically portrays high school teens which is very rare in most movies today.


A Knight's Tale

This movie simply had THE WORST marketing campaign ever. The commercials had me not wanting to go near this one when it came out. When all was said and done I had just watched a witty, intelligently written and well-paced medieval film that was lightyears beyond it's awful marketing. Even the modern music (which featured one of my favorite Bowie songs) worked well and gave it a very different feel from your standard movie fare.


Searching For Bobby Fischer

Simply put, this movie blew me away. When I saw the preview I thought, "Wow, a kid's film about chess. What could be more boring." Man, was I wrong. This film is not just about chess. It's about doing the right thing for your child and not letting competitiveness get in the way of loving or being decent to others. The atmosphere is also pitch perfect. This film is one of the best dramas I have ever seen and would easily place it among the best the genre has to offer.


Josie & The Pussycats

Anything with any connection to MTV I immediately run away from, but this movie had a great take on how fake and manufactured pop music is today. Being yourself was the definite theme of this movie and I can't really think of a better film for teens in that regard. Most of the humor works really well and Parker Posey is great as the movie's ego driven, commercialist villian. Also, Rachel Leigh Cook is about as hot as you can get in this and sweet to boot.


Donnie Darko

I didn't know a thing about this when I rented it. It looked intriguing but I had never heard anything about it so I figured maybe it wasn't that good and was forgotten. I'm glad I took a chance, this movie was fabulous. After finding out when it was released (just before Sept. 11) it was obvious this movie didn't get the release it deserved, since it involved a piece of an aircraft falling on a home.

This movie is about second chances. Oh, and something about time travel. It has great performances across the board, a great soundtrack and looks incredible for the small budget it had. I liked that it kept you guessing until the very end when it all comes together perfectly, but leaves a couple of things open for you to interpret yourself.


Bring it On

Beyond teenage cheerleaders and Kirsten Dunst, I figured this would offer me nothing, but it was in fact really funny and interesting. I like good sight gags and this had those in plenty as well. There was a scene where Kirsten's little brother goes up to her and farts at her while she's on the phone. This, I believe, was the first fart joke to ever ring completely true in a movie and was totally appropriate. Even though it involved some race issues, it never took itself seriously.

Is it just me, or does Eliza Dukshu need a ton of make-up to look decent? Anyway...




Posted Image So what movies surprised you? Posted Image

#2 of 95 Chris Atkins

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Posted June 06 2002 - 03:45 AM

I honestly thought THE MATRIX would suck when I went to see it...and it didn't.

#3 of 95 Mike Broadman

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Posted June 06 2002 - 03:53 AM

A.I.: Artificial Intelligence
I just don't like Spielberg. While I don't love this film, it had some really neat stuff in it and was way better than I expected.

Spiderman
I thought it would be stupid, and it was stupid, but the way it made fun of itself made it enjoyable.

#4 of 95 RobertR

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Posted June 06 2002 - 03:58 AM

When Charlie's Angels came on HBO HD, I watched it not expecting to like it, but the sex appeal of Cameron Diaz and Lucy Liu made it work for me, even as I recognized its stupidity. Posted Image

#5 of 95 Brian Kaz

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Posted June 06 2002 - 04:02 AM

Oh yeah, Charlie's Angels. I forgot about that one. It was at it's best when they were spoofing themselves and the show, but I could have done without the somewhat serious "Matrix-y" action.

Add that to my list.

#6 of 95 Paul Jenkins

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Posted June 06 2002 - 04:03 AM

Quills - had heard amazingly bad reviews from everyone I know, watched it the other night and liked it. Mark Cuban, err, Joaquin Pheonix, was good, as was Geoffrey Rush and Kate Winslet...
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#7 of 95 Andrew Chong

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Posted June 06 2002 - 04:10 AM

The Abyss.
The Matrix.
Fight Club.
ac

#8 of 95 AJ Johnson

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Posted June 06 2002 - 04:14 AM

I thought Changing Lanes looked incredibly stupid from its trailer and I was forced to see it by my girlfriend. I ended up enjoying it a lot and had to admit to her that I was wrong :b Changing Lanes had some of the worst marketing I've ever seen.
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#9 of 95 Eric Thrall

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Posted June 06 2002 - 04:30 AM

Die Hard - it looked like typical Hollywood garbage to me, but the movie I wanted to see (I have no idea now what movie that was) was sold out, and Die Hard was the only one starting anytime soon. Big surprise!

Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure - never saw it in the theater, but my brother made me watch it on video.

Fight Club, as mentioned earlier, also fits this category...

#10 of 95 MartinTeller

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Posted June 06 2002 - 04:34 AM

Echoing some that have already been mentioned:

The Matrix - I don't love it, but my girlfriend convinced me to give it a chance (it's one of her top 5) and I have to say it doesn't suck.

Fight Club - never ever expected to like it, but I think it's a really good movie.

A.I. - Spielberg didn't fuck it up half as bad as critics said he did. Still would have preferred Kubrick to do it, though.

#11 of 95 Richard Kim

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Posted June 06 2002 - 04:40 AM

I thought Fight Club was a brainless macho testosterone filled action film, but then I heard all the positive feedback on the internet, and decided to give it a chance. A pretty damn good film.

#12 of 95 Matt Stone

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Posted June 06 2002 - 04:43 AM

The Matrix - Didn't even want to see it, but a friend convinced me to.

American Pie - Not the damn sequel though...I hated AP2.
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#13 of 95 Joseph Young

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Posted June 06 2002 - 04:46 AM

The Fast and the Furious
Whoah was I wrong about this one. After seeing the trailer I remember feeling totally disgusted, but low and behold it was one of the most well directed, finely tuned and entertaining popcorn films I'd seen in a long time.

Bring it On
I caught this on cable a few months back and loved it! Not the sort of film I'd expect to like. Great stuff.

Wings of Desire
I had heard so much praise about this one from pretentious art students and figured it would be some boring, meandering pseudo-Fellini exercise. But instead, I got a ruminative, almost documentary style meditation on human existence.

Pitch Black
With the slew of failed sci-fi thrillers mounting, Pitch Black's emergence fortold certain doom. But what's this? A literate, meaningful, even at times deep sci fi actioner? Whoah...

Quote:
This movie is about second chances. Oh, and something about time travel.

Hehe, tell that to the massive Donnie Darko thread devoted to deconstructing the film's logical/scientific premises (not that there's anything wrong with that). The film is about second chances and happens to involve time travel... not the other way around.

Joseph

#14 of 95 JonZ

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Posted June 06 2002 - 05:02 AM

Well,I didnt say "This'll suck", but I had no expectations and came away very pleasantly suprised and enjoyed, and in a few cases, loved them. Off the top of my head:

Ravenous
True Romance
Bugsy
Harry Potter
Love Stinks
Unbreakable
Gattaca
The Way Of The Gun
He Got Game
Bound
Evil Dead & Sequel
One False Move
Thirteenth Warrior
Hard Eight

#15 of 95 Joe Reinwald

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Posted June 06 2002 - 05:06 AM

I hold a strong belief that no matter how bad the movie, there is some redeeming quality to it. That being said, there are a lot of movies I that I think are going to be terrible (usually because my wife suggests them), but later I think "Wow, I'll have to buy that." A few:

Angel Eyes: My wife and I saw this in the Bahamas on our honeymoon as a hurricane kept us confined to the room. I'm not a J-Lo fan, but I do like Jim Caviezel a lot. I thought it was going to be this romantic mash of stuff, but the real smoochy scenes were minimal overall. There's a very haunting, helpless quality about the whole movie.

Pay it Forward: I can't stand Helen Hunt or the Osment kid. However, I really liked the contagious seeping of the message. Now that I think about it, it has Jim Caviezel in it, too... I tried paying it forward by helping my neighbor with mowing his lawn when he broke his leg, and am still waiting for someone to give me a car. Patience...

Last Temptation of Christ: I'm not a big religious-type movie fan, but this one blew me away. It's definitely not your normal church flick. I have the Criterion, and the transfer is absolutely beautiful.

Meet Joe Black: I'm a huge Hopkins fan, as well as Pitt, but I didn't think I'd make it through this one in the theaters. Forlani helped me through it, though. At the end of the movie, you wonder "They'll have to notice Hopkins' character is no longer around the house," but you soon toss that away as the music swells at the end. I have to admit I got a little misty...

Vanilla Sky: I didn't understand this one bit in the theaters until I got home and thought about it. It's still an odd movie, a little too odd, perhaps, but needless to say, I own it.

There are plenty more that I could name!

-Joe

#16 of 95 Bill_D

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Posted June 06 2002 - 05:21 AM

Joy Ride

Quote:
Candy Cane......... Are you out there?


#17 of 95 Brian Kaz

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Posted June 06 2002 - 05:33 AM

JonZ, you have a few listed I would add to mine:

Harry Potter
Evil Dead 2
Gattaca


And now, thinking beyond the last couple of months:

Run Lola Run - Man, I LOVE this film.

Return to Me - David Duchovney and Minnie Driver in love? You bet.

Pi - Arronovsky is my favorite of all new directors.

Erin Brocovich - I should have known, being a Soderbergh film, but I'm not a fan of Julia. Now I am.

Serial Experiments: Lain - Twisted, weird and, oh so good.

Frequency - A lot of suspension of disbelief required, but a good little movie.

When Harry Met Sally... - Forced by my girlfriend to see this at the show. I became an instant fan.

#18 of 95 Thomas Reagan

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Posted June 06 2002 - 05:53 AM

It pays to keep an open mind, I guess:

Evil Dead 2 (and subsequently the one before and after)
Gattaca
Murder at 1600
Fight Club

Thos.

#19 of 95 kevin_asai

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Posted June 06 2002 - 05:54 AM

Basic Instinct
Before I read the reviews from various websites, I thought this movie was about sex Posted Image but after I read some reviews from many DVD websites, I bought the Unrated edition. I loved this movie from the beginning to the end.

#20 of 95 george kaplan

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Posted June 06 2002 - 06:14 AM

I figured Gilda was a melodramatic Bette Davis type soap opera, and it turned out to be a great film noir. Posted Image
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