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Subject: Movies that are better than they have any right to be rss

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Erik D
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I'm enjoying these movie discussions lately, so here's my twist. What are your favorite movies that had no right to be any good, and yet excelled? Some of mine:

Addams Family Values - An unnecessary sequel to a just-ok film, so you would think. Good lord, the summer camp scenes are some of the funniest scenes put to film, especially the Thanksgiving play. Bonus fact: David Krumholtz really couldn't shoot the arrow and genuinely threw it un frustration. He thought he was going to get in trouble and didn't understand why everyone was laughing when they cut.

21 Jump Street/22 Jump Street - Did anyone see this coming? Taking an old show and giving it a comedic twist is nothing new (see: Brady Bunch Movie, Starsky and Hutch), but Lord and Miller turned 21 Jump Street into an amazing meta-commentary. The sequel may be even better, and has the best end credits I can remember. Who thought Channing Tatum could be funny? (ex: when he realizes Jonah Hill slept with the captain's daughter)

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl People are so (rightfully) blinded by Johnny Depp's performance they forget how perfectly Geoffrey Rush chewed up the scenery as well. Though a bit overlong (a problem with all the PotC movies), still great fun.
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Peter Johnsson
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Great twist on the movie threads!

I'll agree about 21 Jump Street (haven't seen the second one)!

For me I would say
Starship Troopers
I mean the acting is (not surprisingly) soap quality. But I just thoroughly enjoy this movie! I love the propaganda format and the effects are for the most part way better than they should have any right to be.
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Froggy McFrogface
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erak wrote:
Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl People are so (rightfully) blinded by Johnny Depp's performance they forget how perfectly Geoffrey Rush chewed up the scenery as well. Though a bit overlong (a problem with all the PotC movies), still great fun.


I have to agree. [Movie executive: So, we're going to create a movie based on a 50 year old theme ride at Disneyland. Trust us - it's gonna be great!]

Seriously one of the best pirate movies ever.


I think my choice for this category would have to be Tropic Thunder. I really didn't expect much from this movie, and then it just blew me away. From the hilarious opening trailers, to the brilliant scene with RDJ & Ben Stiller talking Oscars and "going retard." And Tom Cruise's movie exec! Really fun from beginning to end.
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Erik D
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riboAWEsome wrote:
For me I would say
Starship Troopers
I mean the acting is (not surprisingly) soap quality. But I just thoroughly enjoy this movie! I love the propaganda format and the effects are for the most part way better than they should have any right to be.


Good call. It looks like a dumb action flick (which it is), but we didn't see the brilliant satire coming. (We should've known better--it is Verhoeven after all.)
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Tanner Griffin
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Regarding Pirates: They did well to mostly just ignore the ride and make an entirely different story. Sure, there were a few things thrown in about the ride, but they could have done completely without them, called the movie Captain Jack Sparrow, and still made a great film and a bunch of money.

My nomination is 1990's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: the Movie. Gosh, this movie is incredible. They could have done the cheapest, most ridiculous production ever and just and made a huge check based on the fact that every kid in the world loved Ninja Turtles. In fact, they did that exact thing later on, milking that franchise until it had no soul. But the original? Man, what a great film.

They actually got a good story, with multiple side characters with interesting stories. Of course Mikey and Donnie and Splinter are rather one-dimensional, but Leo and Raph's argument ("Maybe I'll just take my attitude and leave!"), all the turtles' infatuation with April ("I thought I'd do some redecoratin'! Maybe some throw pillows, a TV news reporter, what do ya think?") Casey and April's romance ("Just shut up and kiss me, I've got a report to do"), Danny's shifting loyalties from his dad to the Foot ("We are your family. I am your father."), and Chief Sterns blackmailing Charles ("Charles Pennington? You got a son named Danny, Charles?") all add up to a really great story and very interesting character development. Just the fact that the story is focused on the supporting characters rather than the titular ones made this movie really great.

Maybe I have seen this movie too many times. But if you haven't you definitely should.
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Chapel
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The Lobster - I mean really, this movie sounded D.U.M.B(society where single people have 45 days to find true love, or else they are turned into the animal of their choice and released into the woods). Heh, seriously. And it had Colin Ferrell to boot.

But, it's was actually pretty good.
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Erik D
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MWChapel wrote:
The Lobster - I mean really, this movie sounded D.U.M.B(society where single people have 45 days to find true love, or else they are turned into the animal of their choice and released into the woods). Heh, seriously. And it had Colin Ferrell to boot.

But, it's was actually pretty good.


Looking forward to seeing that one. I've heard great things.
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Justin Case
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A movie fitting here that comes quickly to mind for me is Knight and Day.

It takes two stars who weren't exactly known for their comedy chops, gives them a nothing special spy thriller script, and sets them loose in a film that ends up being a laugh-out-loud comedy spoof of action thrillers and spy flicks, even while it *is* a pretty good action thriller and spy flick.

I'm sure I've seen this one six or eight times now, as it's turned out to be what I call a "flypaper movie" -- if I'm channel surfing and happen upon one of those, I stick for a while.

cool

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the manatee
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Tremors -- the king of this category; the ultimate B movie.
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Matt Riddle
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Don't Mess with the Zohan

I mean, I laughed a lot despite it being racist, sexist, and homophobic throughout
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Michael Howden
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Jaws

It's a monster movie! It's a giant fish movie for goodness' sake! How often has that worked? Even Herman Melville died unrecognized and poor. I've said it before and I'll say it again, this movie is a clinic in visual storytelling. Spielberg & the late great Verna Fields made a masterpiece out of a giant killer fish. It's only in hindsight that we forget this had more chance of failing miserably than even making money.
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They Live (1988) - If I told you a movie that stars Roddy Piper as a guy who discovers an alien conspiracy is amazing would you believe me? Oh, it also has the best fist fight in movie history.
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Sean
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Cashback was really, really good if you were in that frame of mind. Great soundtrack too. Otherwise I think most people passed it over.
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Geeky McGeekface
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The Patriots engineer the greatest comeback in Super Bowl history and give Brady and Belichek their fifth championship.
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That's the way I've always described Independence Day. Goofy sci-fi, just about every cliche in the book, but it was a lot of fun.
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Andrew Brannan
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Kingsman: The Secret Service - Everybody thought this would be terrible, and yet, you find yourself saying the entire movie "This is better than it has any right to be!"

John Wick - Looked to be a cookie cutter revenge film from the previews, but it had a great character and presented the most fascinating world
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Walt
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riboAWEsome wrote:
For me I would say
Starship Troopers
I mean the acting is (not surprisingly) soap quality. But I just thoroughly enjoy this movie! I love the propaganda format and the effects are for the most part way better than they should have any right to be.

Really untrue to the book, though not maybe the propaganda part. I like Roughnecks: Starship Troopers Chronicles though it's not perfect; it's CGI animation if that turns you off.
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2001: A Space Odyssey and Star Wars

Look at the previous space movies, and there's no way you expect either of these. The best previous is probably Forbidden Planet from 1956.
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Raiders of the Lost Ark

It's just a pulp adventure story. How can it be that good? I suppose I should mention:

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

After Temple of Doom, it had no right to be as good as it was.
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Back to the Future (all 3)

Doing time travel well is very hard.
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Erik D
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riddlen wrote:
Don't Mess with the Zohan

I mean, I laughed a lot despite it being racist, sexist, and homophobic throughout


I love the dad using his glasses to serve himself hummus. So perfectly dumb.
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shumyum
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Elf My expectation was: Will Ferrell phones in a Christmas movie. Didn't bother to read reviews when my kids forced me to go. Turns out to be really funny and inventive...like most Will Ferrell movies...not sure in retrospect why I expected it to be lame.
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-=::) Dante (::=-
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Hedwig and the Angry Inch - While there have been a handful of notable exceptions, expectations can't get much lower than film remakes of Broadway musicals. John Cameron Mitchell maintaining complete creative control of his opus has everything to do with this one defying all expectations. Think Rocky Horror Picture starring Ziggy Stardust and the Sex Pistols.

Happy Accidents - The other is-he-nuts-or-is-he-actually-an-alien film that may seem derivative after seeing K-Pax except for the fact that this charming indie starring Marisa Tomei and Vincent D'Onofrio actually came out a year earlier.

Gridlock'd - Little known film with great performances by Tupac and Tim Roth directed by the actor who played Ben Urich in Daredevil? Yup, that's actually a thing.

Harvie Krumpet - Talking about pitch sessions, how about this one: "Please greenlight my film about a man who has Tourette's Syndrome, chronic bad luck, nudist tendencies, and a book of 'fakts' hung around his neck. Oh yeah, and it's going to be claymation". Voiced by Geoffrey Rush. On second thought this one has every right to be exactly as good as it is.

And since we're on the subject of indie claymation brilliance...

Mary and Max - Aussie black comedy about a pen pal friendship between a lonely 8 year old girl in Melbourne and an obese middle aged New Yorker starring Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Toni Collette. Criminal that this didn't get at least an Oscar nomination.

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Adrian Hague
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Be Kind, Rewind Great little movie with a lotta heart. The characters' renditions of poorly recollected movie plots/ themes is frickin' hilarious.
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Peter Johnsson
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(Regarding Starship Troopers)
Tall_Walt wrote:
Really untrue to the book, though not maybe the propaganda part.

That is very true, I really like the book as well, even if they are very different beasts. I watched the movie before I read the book though, would probably not like the movie as much if I had read the book first.
The CGI really turned me of Roughnecks, so have not seen (much of) it.
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Tony
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I find myself watching a good chunk of "From Dusk Till Dawn" anytime I stumble across it while channel surfing.
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Dwayne Hendrickson
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Motel Hell - Horror films aren't my cup of tea, still don't know why I went to see this one, but somehow it just clicked for me. The ending....how do I describe the ending without ruining it?
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Jonny Lawless
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Kung Pow at a glance should be totally unwatchable, but it has probably made me laugh as much as any other movie, and is incredibly quotable.
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Abraham Lincoln vs. Zombies - I expected I'd watch for 20 minutes and turn it off because of, well, the title. Well, I enjoyed this one a ton. Who knew Abe was such a badass?
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