A few weeks ago, Semaj posted about this year's Golden Raspberry Awards, and it got me to thinking. I decided that it might be interesting to take a look back through the worst picture nominations at the Razzies from the beginning and see if there were any movies listed in that I liked or at least found tolerable.
I thought maybe 1 or 2 movies might pop out for me, but boy, was I wrong. So come on a journey through the years with me.
Friday the 13th: OK, I am the first one to admit that this wasn't the best movie of 1981, but it wasn't horrible either. Along with Halloween this movie established many of the major tropes of the modern slasher genre, and it helped introduce Kevin Bacon to the world, and really, can that be so bad. This is one of those movies I wouldn't want to own, but I will watch it if it is on TV. I understand this selection though based on the critical reviews of the time, and while I don't agree with it, I can see how it was made. (I looked it up and it is currently 1% from being fresh at Rotten Tomatoes)
Rambo: First Blood Part II: Now this was a selection which I thought was really weird. I really don't understand how this movie was picked amongst the worst of its year, though I am assuming that I do have the blinders of seeing it as a kid affecting my judgment of it, but I don't think I do. I am willing to admit there are movies from my youth that just didn't hold up, but I've seen it recently and I didn't feel that sense of "Wait, what?" that I've felt with other movies from that time period like, I don't know, Red Dawn. I mean, maybe I am approaching this movie from the perspective that it didn't take itself too seriously... that on some level it was a little ludicrous, and that it would never be as bad as Rambo III.
Rocky IV: This one I admit is a bad movie. Like bad, and yet I can't look away. It is just so over the top and silly that somehow it won me over. I don't really subscribe to the theory of so bad it's good, but this is probably as close as I would get to that line. And I have to say, Rocky movies always tend to have these really specific sound effects for the punches that just make every blow sound like it should be the last hit in the fight, and the training montage will likely still be embedded in my brain when I am going senile in many years. Again, not a good movie, but if it is on, yeah, I am watching it. ESPN Classic has my number on that.
Howard the Duck: When I was a kid, I had a crush on Lea Thompson, and I wanted to see this movie because she was in it. I didn't get to see the movie at the theater however, and I ended up buying the novelization at my local Corner Store. I did not read it to the end, so I had some idea of what I was about to watch, and yet, I can't hate it. Maybe it is the casting outside of Thompson, but I can sort of dig it. It isn't great, I have to admit that, but I find it very watchable.I think it is Tim Robbins' geekish turn in the movie that won me over in the end.
Bonfire of the Vanities: I think Morgan Freeman really got to the heart of the nature of this bomb in a documentary, and yet, knowing that it just didn't work still doesn't make it less enjoyable for me. After I knew some of the stuff about the filming and how it just didn't come together right, I took another look at it and while I can see its flaws, I find the movie enjoyable. On some level, watching a few of the actors play against type is also interesting, and come on, it is a movie with Morgan Freeman as a judge, how bad can it really be.
Last Action Hero: Look, I like media that winks at itself and plays with the tropes associated with it, so my liking Last Action Hero was sort of a given. I think it is well written and definitely knows exactly which ridiculous premises to really hammer throughout the proceedings, and the cast is good too, especially Charles Dance's turn as the antagonist.The fact that Ian McKellen shows up as Death from The Seventh Seal is an added bonus. I have absolutely no hesitation telling people I like this movie, no shame... I like it unabashedly.
An Alan Smithee Film: Burn Hollywood Burn: Yep, it is crappy, 5 razzie bad. No denying it. But somehow, there is something about this movie that just appealed to me when I first saw it. Maybe it is the "hey, it's that guy/girl" thing with all the small parts, or the fact that it is a mockumentary, or the fact that in 1998 someone thought that Stallone, Whoopi Goldberg and Jackie Chan would be the ultimate combination of acting talent to open a fictional blockbuster. I get a bit of the vibe that Pootie Tang was putting down with this movie, but this one just isn't as fun.
Armageddon: It is disaster porn with Bruce Willis, how could I not enjoy it on some level. Granted, I would rather watch The Core any day of the week, but it is a big budget movie with a somewhat laughable plot that still manages to entertain me, and really, isn't that enough. I wonder if this is the only movie nominated for a Golden Raspberry Award that ended up in the Criterion Collection.
The Dukes of Hazzard: Why do I like this movie? The Escape from Atlanta. Really, it is as simple as that. All I was looking for from this was a pair of cousins foiling the schemes of Boss Hog with stunt-filled driving, and the movie delivered on that. And Willie Nelson is the only person I could see playing Uncle Jesse that isn't Denver Pyle. They just showed this movie this weekend followed by Starsky and Hutch and I knew which one was the one that better expressed the general feeling that the TV show they were based on had.
G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra: It is big and dumb and while it changed some of the fundamental story elements of the original cartoon, I am more than okay with this movie. Van Helsing rubs me the wrong way, but somehow G.I. Joe doesn't because to me it taps into some of the same energy the first The Mummy had. I like it in a junk food kind of way and I won't apologize for it. It is the kind of movie like the new Star Trek that is on two or three times a month across the various channels of a particular cable network and I will always watch it when it is on.
If you asked me which one of these movies I wanted to watch right now, it would probably be G.I. Joe.