Discussion of movies and ReelThoughts topics

It is currently Wed Dec 24, 2014 9:46 pm




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 19 posts ] 
Pleasant Surprises 
Author Message
Producer
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2011 9:04 am
Posts: 2725
Location: Lancashire, England.
Post Pleasant Surprises
A thread for films that you thought would be complete gash, but ended up alright. Me first, a film I watched Sunday evening -

The Three Musketeers (2011)

I feel vaguely ashamed to say this, but this was bloody good entertainment. I mean, it's daft (directed by Paul WS Anderson who once again casts his wife as an action femme fatale), but it's lively, the characters are funny and human, and WOW, it is really beautifully shot!!

If you accept the silliness at face value, and don't scrutinise too closely, this is a grand couple of hours entertainment. I'm surprised it was so poorly received.

_________________
... because I'm a wild animal


Tue Apr 15, 2014 5:18 am
Profile
Online
Producer

Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2009 11:04 am
Posts: 2307
Post Re: Pleasant Surprises
Silent Hill: Revelation - Didn't think it was going to any good even though I loved the first one and I actually ended up enjoying it mostly. It was a pleasant surprise.

Soul Surfer - This movie really caught me off guard. I thought it was going to be an after school special and not even a good one either. But I shocked at how deeply it moved me. AnnaSophia Robb is incredible in the movie. In my opinion, she was worthy of an Oscar nomination. That's how great she was. Carrie Underwood doesn't embarrass herself, unlike when Kelly Clarkson tried to act. Mind you, she's not given a very meaty role, but she handles her part decently enough. This being her first stab at acting, doing a role in an ensemble movie like this was probably a smart move on her part. It lets her feet get wet without giving her to much to do. The movie's success doesn't rest on her shoulders. Another pleasant surprise about this movie? It's a movie about faith/religion that doesn't feel preachy or like a sermon. Kudos to the writer and director for pulling it off. The shark attack scene wasn't handled well, but I suppose that's probably due to the PG rating.


Twilight Saga Breaking Dawn Parts 1 and 2 - Call me crazy but I actually enjoyed the final two Twilight movies. The other 3 movies range from mediocre to terrible, but the last two actually entertained me.


Tue Apr 15, 2014 5:42 am
Profile
Producer

Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2012 7:44 pm
Posts: 2023
Post Re: Pleasant Surprises
NotHughGrant wrote:
A thread for films that you thought would be complete gash, but ended up alright. Me first, a film I watched Sunday evening -

The Three Musketeers (2011)

I feel vaguely ashamed to say this, but this was bloody good entertainment. I mean, it's daft (directed by Paul WS Anderson who once again casts his wife as an action femme fatale), but it's lively, the characters are funny and human, and WOW, it is really beautifully shot!!

If you accept the silliness at face value, and don't scrutinise too closely, this is a grand couple of hours entertainment. I'm surprised it was so poorly received.


Glad you like it, though I can't say it's my favorite from Anderson. But yeah it has a strong sense of entertainment.


Tue Apr 15, 2014 7:17 am
Profile
Assistant Director
User avatar

Joined: Sat Dec 15, 2012 9:35 pm
Posts: 815
Location: Puerto Rico
Post Re: Pleasant Surprises
Most recently, Serenity. Even though I just finished watching the show (Firefly), I really wasn't extremely crazy about it; or at least not as much as I've seen other people be about it. Still, I was pleasantly surprised to see that, not only did the film correct some of my complaints about the show, but that it was pretty darn good overall.

Other recent ones that I remember... Premium Rush. I was expecting it to be some mediocre action film, but I was pleasantly surprised to see it was a pretty solid, albeit light, thriller.

Also, I didn't had much hope for Mission: Impossible 3 when I first stumbled upon it, particularly after the crappy second film; but I was pleasantly surprised to see how good it was. It has become one of my favorite action films.

_________________
"Get busy living, or get busy dying"

Visit my site: Thief12 profile


Tue Apr 15, 2014 1:06 pm
Profile WWW
Online
Auteur
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 12:02 pm
Posts: 4017
Location: Zion, IL
Post Re: Pleasant Surprises
Agreed on Soul Surfer.

To be fair to Kelly Clarkson, I don't think she embarassed herself. I think the script for the film embarassed her, "From Justin To Kelly" has one of the worst screenplays of all time, even the most talented of thespians couldn't possibly make such terrible dialogue look good. I'd actually like to see her act in a real film.

One film that surprised me was Vampire Academy, the trailers made it look kind of eh, but it turned out to be a much better version of Twilight, it was funny, charming, entertaining and compelling.

The last two films sucked just as bad as the first three, there was nothing enjoyable about any of them for me.

Didn't care for Three Musketeers though, I found that to be a total borefest, even Milla's presence couldn't redeem that film.


Tue Apr 15, 2014 2:06 pm
Profile
Director
User avatar

Joined: Sun Jun 20, 2010 4:04 pm
Posts: 1805
Location: New Hampshire
Post Re: Pleasant Surprises
I'm going to go with Starsky and Hutch.

I remember reviewing this in my critic days and not expecting much. It was a early in the year release, the promotion hadn't made it look like anything special, and it was a remake to boot. It ended up being a legitimately funny, entertaining film, and I liked it a lot.

_________________
Death is pretty final
I'm collecting vinyl
I'm gonna DJ at the end of the world.


Tue Apr 15, 2014 5:19 pm
Profile
Director
User avatar

Joined: Sun Nov 18, 2012 2:37 am
Posts: 1195
Location: Laurel, MD
Post Re: Pleasant Surprises
Draft Day. It's not great, but it gets more right about the business side of the NFL than it does wrong, and Costner is excellent. The trailers made it look like crap, but then again, this subject matter is a little too dry to make a good two-minute compilation of clips. You have to get the whole package before judging it.

_________________
https://www.facebook.com/ken.rossman.5


Tue Apr 15, 2014 5:33 pm
Profile
Cinematographer

Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 8:09 pm
Posts: 737
Post Re: Pleasant Surprises
Movie 43

Not only was this decidedly not the worst movie ever made, but I genuinely liked it. It's a funny, sometimes, gulp, clever satire of Hollywood. Not all of the skits work, but most do and they each seem to be saying something about how Hollywood operates. It's not subtle, and the comedy certainly isn't for everyone, but I enjoyed the movie as a whole.


Wed Apr 16, 2014 5:10 pm
Profile
Online
Auteur
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 12:02 pm
Posts: 4017
Location: Zion, IL
Post Re: Pleasant Surprises
PeachyPete wrote:
Movie 43

Not only was this decidedly not the worst movie ever made, but I genuinely liked it. It's a funny, sometimes, gulp, clever satire of Hollywood. Not all of the skits work, but most do and they each seem to be saying something about how Hollywood operates. It's not subtle, and the comedy certainly isn't for everyone, but I enjoyed the movie as a whole.

Same here.


Wed Apr 16, 2014 5:20 pm
Profile
Assistant Director
User avatar

Joined: Sat Aug 04, 2012 5:43 pm
Posts: 863
Post Re: Pleasant Surprises
She's Gotta Have It, which I feared would be Spike Lee's political message in regard to sexism and feminism.

There's a touch of that but, as poorly acted and clumsily scripted as it is, I think the movie is pretty cool. It's got such energy and first-time filmmaker ambition: a color dance sequence, a hilarious dinner scene right out of Faces, Spike Lee introducing Mars Blackmon, lovable and unique characters. Oh, it's so great! I thought it would be a cheap nothing, meaningless romp. But it's meaningful and sweet and wonderful and people should see it.

_________________
"The Internet has given everybody in America a voice. For some reason, everybody decides to use that voice to bitch about movies." - Holden McNeil


Wed Apr 16, 2014 5:43 pm
Profile
Cinematographer

Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2009 6:19 pm
Posts: 666
Post Re: Pleasant Surprises
Mark III wrote:
She's Gotta Have It, which I feared would be Spike Lee's political message in regard to sexism and feminism.

There's a touch of that but, as poorly acted and clumsily scripted as it is, I think the movie is pretty cool. It's got such energy and first-time filmmaker ambition: a color dance sequence, a hilarious dinner scene right out of Faces, Spike Lee introducing Mars Blackmon, lovable and unique characters. Oh, it's so great! I thought it would be a cheap nothing, meaningless romp. But it's meaningful and sweet and wonderful and people should see it.


I saw it, but I can't say I found anything pleasant of it. Then a while later I let a woman talk me into seeing Jungle Fever. In comparison, She's Gotta Have It would be kind of pleasant. That ended my intentional viewing of anything Spike Lee.


Wed Apr 16, 2014 6:30 pm
Profile
Online
Auteur
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 12:02 pm
Posts: 4017
Location: Zion, IL
Post Re: Pleasant Surprises
CasualDad wrote:
Mark III wrote:
She's Gotta Have It, which I feared would be Spike Lee's political message in regard to sexism and feminism.

There's a touch of that but, as poorly acted and clumsily scripted as it is, I think the movie is pretty cool. It's got such energy and first-time filmmaker ambition: a color dance sequence, a hilarious dinner scene right out of Faces, Spike Lee introducing Mars Blackmon, lovable and unique characters. Oh, it's so great! I thought it would be a cheap nothing, meaningless romp. But it's meaningful and sweet and wonderful and people should see it.


I saw it, but I can't say I found anything pleasant of it. Then a while later I let a woman talk me into seeing Jungle Fever. In comparison, She's Gotta Have It would be kind of pleasant. That ended my intentional viewing of anything Spike Lee.

I'd recommend you check out Oldboy, one of his best films if you ask me.

One Lee film that surprised me was Inside Man, the trailers made it look pretty generic and forgettable, but it turned out to be a very tight and competent thriller.


Wed Apr 16, 2014 6:32 pm
Profile
Cinematographer

Joined: Sat Aug 22, 2009 6:19 pm
Posts: 666
Post Re: Pleasant Surprises
I appreciate the recommendation, but I've resolved to live out my life with no more Spike. He seems to be an interesting person, but I don't have an appetite for his cooking.


Wed Apr 16, 2014 7:03 pm
Profile
Online
Auteur
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 12:02 pm
Posts: 4017
Location: Zion, IL
Post Re: Pleasant Surprises
CasualDad wrote:
I appreciate the recommendation, but I've resolved to live out my life with no more Spike. He seems to be an interesting person, but I don't have an appetite for his cooking.

I can see why, if the first Lee film I ever saw was the truly awful and offensive "She Hate Me" then I probably wouldn't have wanted to go near him again either.


Wed Apr 16, 2014 11:09 pm
Profile
Online
Producer

Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2009 11:04 am
Posts: 2307
Post Re: Pleasant Surprises
Spike Lee may have a dud or two, but he's made some incredible movies like Do the Right Thing and Malcolm X.


Thu Apr 17, 2014 12:02 am
Profile
Assistant Director
User avatar

Joined: Sat Aug 04, 2012 5:43 pm
Posts: 863
Post Re: Pleasant Surprises
And Bamboozled and 25th Hour and Get on the Bus. Looking at his filmography, I appreciate almost everything he's done -- including She Hate Me, obnoxious satire that it is -- and would only rate Summer of Sam as bad. Of course, I haven't seen everything. Maybe I'll check out Girl 6, School Daze and some of his documentaries one day.

_________________
"The Internet has given everybody in America a voice. For some reason, everybody decides to use that voice to bitch about movies." - Holden McNeil


Thu Apr 17, 2014 1:14 am
Profile
Online
Director
User avatar

Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2012 10:42 pm
Posts: 1452
Location: Bangkok
Post Re: Pleasant Surprises
I haven't seen any Spike Lee beyond the two famous ones, Do the Right Thing and Inside Man. Can't imagine anything bad I watch of his will lessen the former's quality or the latter's fun.

I also haven't seen most of Spielberg's "lesser" ones, but I wonder what perception of his films someone would have if they saw Something Evil or Always first. Maybe that's the case with CasualDad. I would still recommend him to try those two Spike Lee above before putting him off forever.


Thu Apr 17, 2014 1:47 am
Profile
Director
User avatar

Joined: Sat Oct 13, 2012 2:42 pm
Posts: 1131
Location: New Zealand
Post Re: Pleasant Surprises
I think a lot of people here seem to have the wrong approach to films generally. There is no reason to buy into "but it's meant to be bad" reasoning for not watching a film. If you're into films, you're INTO films. Warts and all. I, for one, will watch anything - you can't build up a true appreciation of film if you refuse to watch something you THINK might be bad, without KNOWING if it's bad by watching it for yourself. Sure, I begrudgingly have to be selective "perceived" quality-wise for the simple reason that I can't watch EVERYTHING - but if the director/writer/star/concept/genre/etc incite my interest, I'll end up watching it regardless of so-called consensus (or reviews). You discover a lot of gems this way. They might not be gems for anyone else, but they're gems for YOU - and, after all, while you're watching the movie that is all that matters.


Last edited by nitrium on Thu Apr 17, 2014 4:36 am, edited 1 time in total.



Thu Apr 17, 2014 3:46 am
Profile
Producer

Joined: Thu Oct 11, 2012 7:44 pm
Posts: 2023
Post Re: Pleasant Surprises
nitrium wrote:
I think a lot of people here seem to have the wrong approach to films generally. There is no reason to buy into "but it's meant to be bad" reasoning for not watching a film. If you're into films, you're INTO films. Warts and all. I, for one, will watch anything - you can't build up a true appreciation of film if you refuse to watch anything you think MIGHT be bad, without KNOWING if it's bad by watching it for yourself. Sure, I'm as selective as anyone quality-wise for the simple reason that I can't watch EVERYTHING - but if the director/writer/star/concept/genre/etc incite my interest, I'll end up watching it regardless of so-called consensus. You discover a lot of gems this way. They might not be gems for anyone else, but they're gems for YOU - and while you're watching the movie that is all that matters.


Yeah I tend to watch movies mostly based on genre or if I like the director. But very few directors have made more than a couple films that I love. So many times I've discovered a new favorite movie which I liked so much that I immediately sought out another work from the same director. Most of the time that lead to being disappointed and underwhelmed. But that's the way it goes. I know that many of the films I consider gems aren't thought to be so by anyone else.

I'd also say the "warts and all" mentality applies within the movies themselves. A great film is rarely a flawless film.

I too have only seen Inside Man and Do the Right Thing for Spike Lee. I like those movies, but not enough to compel me to seek out more from him.


Thu Apr 17, 2014 4:35 am
Profile
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 19 posts ] 


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Vexer and 6 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group.
Designed by Vjacheslav Trushkin for Free Forum/DivisionCore.
Translated by Xaphos © 2007, 2008, 2009 phpBB.fr