Last year, Wendell of Dell on Movies created a blog-a-thon that is about defending movies that don’t get a lot love and trash those that do. It was a unique concept last year that I participated in with my piece as it was a lot of fun. This year, Wendell is hosting the blog-a-thon again with Kgothatjo Magolego of KG's Movie Rants. Here are the rules:
1. Pick one movie that "everyone" loves (the more iconic, the better). That movie must have a score of at least 75% on rottentomatoes.com. Tell us why you hate it.
2. Pick one movie that "everyone" hates (the more notorious, the better). That movie must have a score of less than 35% on rottentomatoes.com. Tell us why you love it.
3. Include the tomato meter scores of both movies.
4. Use one of the banners in this post, or feel free to create your own.
5. Comment on this post, or on KG's Movie Rants with the two movies you intend on writing on.
6. Publish your post on any day from Monday August 22 through Friday August 26, 2016.
Here is what I’m offering:
James L. Brooks is known for not just warm and sentimental comedy-dramas like Terms of Endearment and Broadcast News as the latter is a film that I actually like. The rest of his work however isn’t very good. I don’t think very highly of Terms of Endearment while Spanglish and I’ll Do Anything are mediocre and How Do You Know is just shit. Then there’s As Good as It Gets that is loved by many as it won Jack Nicholson and Helen Hunt Oscars. Why would a film that a lot of people love be in this blog-a-thon? Well, here’s why.
It’s an overrated and sappy film that has Jack Nicholson not really doing much but play an exaggerated version of himself with OCD and then fall in love with some dog while Helen Hunt is just absolutely bland in this. How these two won Oscars for very lame performances is beyond me as Peter Fonda should’ve won the Best Actor Oscar for Ulee’s Gold while the Best Actress award could’ve gone to either Julie Christie for Afterglow or Kate Winslet for Titanic. It’s overly-long and doesn’t have any great visuals as it’s really just one of the most overrated film of the 1990s.
Now here’s a film that didn’t get its due in its initial release nor was it shown to a wide audience in the U.S. in the preferred 146-minute director’s cut by Michael Cimino. Given the fact that Cimino was still stinging from the undeserved notoriety he got over 1980’s Heaven’s Gate where he would make four more films until 1996 and never make a feature film ever again as he recently passed away in July of 2016. It’s a shame considering that in recent years that Heaven’s Gate as well as 1985’s Year of the Dragon had been given some re-evaluation with the critics. His 1987 bio-pic on the Sicilian bandit Salvatore Giuliano is an unconventional film that bears a lot of the visual motifs that Cimino is known for as it is clear he is inspired by some of the Italian epics of the 1950s/1960s like Luchino Visconti’s The Leopard. It is a flawed film as Christopher Lambert’s performance is kind of all over the place but it is this fascinating film that explores a man trying to help Sicily in the late 1940s/early 1950s in an attempt to liberate the land from Italy.
The supporting cast that includes Joss Ackland, Richard Bauer, and John Turturro help elevate the film as it explores this idea of old vs. new which is a recurring theme in Cimino’s work. Though Gore Vidal’s script doesn’t put much development into the women characters as well as emphasize a bit on camp. It does help play into the many conflicts that Giuliano would endure as he would even receive help from those he try to defy as it is about the common goal to free Sicily from Italy. More about the film can be explained in this review of the director’s cut of the film as the version that was panned largely by American critics that appear on Rotten Tomatoes is the 115-minute theatrical cut. The director’s cut version of the film is the preferred version as it’s one that audiences need to seek out and give it another chance just like Heaven’s Gate did in recent years.
© thevoid99 2016