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Ask a Dork: Bad Movies

“What makes a movie “bad” to you? Are there elements that are absent or over indulgent?”

I may be outside the norm on this one, but it is my opinion that movies should be judged on how enjoyable they are to watch. We can all take stabs at poor cinematography, ineffective blocking, derpy acting, inept dialogue, inappropriate sound design, and inconsistent direction, but at the end of the day those things are pretty irrelevant in the wake of an enjoyable viewing experience.

Tommy Wiseau’s The Room is a great example of this phenomenon; the editing is counter intuitive  acting is notoriously unnatural, stock footage of San Francisco pollutes nearly every scene, and Adam Sandler probably could have been a more serious lead actor, yet the film is seen in an affectionate light by millions of people – myself included. In fact, despite being one of the most technically inept feature films to come out in recent memory, The Room is still being shown in theatres to this day (a feat very few films are able to achieve). Many film critics were quick to label Wiseau’s magnum opus a failure for its inability to tell a well-developed story (or even justify its existence), but I would have to argue that it is more of an “unconventional success” for its ability to entertain the audience with its shortcomings.

At the end of the day, we watch films to be entertained. Some films, like The Room, may be entertaining in a non-traditional sense, but that doesn’t mean that they should be seen as being a “bad” movie as a result. In fact, I’m far more critical of a film’s shortcomings if it just fails to keep my attention in spite of being of high-quality otherwise. Disney-Pixar’s Brave might have been lauded by most critics for its technical achievements, but I couldn’t have cared less; the film bored me to the point where I was convinced that Pixar had no hand in its contrived Disney Princess narrative. Would I label Brave a “bad” movie? Not necessarily, but that doesn’t change the fact that I’d rather watch The Room instead.

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Trent Seely

I'm not that crazy about me either.

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