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Overstreet

The Injustice List: Movies That Should've Been Celebrated

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This list is inspired by this tweet.

 

I still get aggravated when I think about how poorly this ambitious labor-of-love adventure film was received. 

 

What films would make your "How did it get this awful reputation?" list?

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Bless Me, Ultima.  No so much a bad reputation as no reputation.

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I recently saw Scoop, and while it's not Woody Allen's best film, I thought it was light-hearted with a tremendous sense of fun, committed performances, some very funny scenes, and some great one-liners.  I can't comprehend why it got such lousy reviews back in 2006.  I liked it better than the much more positively reviewed Vicky Cristina Barcelona and Blue Jasmine.

 

I wish The Way, Way Back had a better reputation.

 

Burn After Reading and Intolerable Cruelty are both seriously underrated.  EDIT: and The Hudsucker Proxy. (Thanks, Overstreet, for the reminder at Letterboxd)  Why is that so often considered one of the Coens' worst?

 

Burton's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory does not deserve anywhere near the amount of hate it gets.

 

I'll also never understand why Bringing Up Baby bombed when it first opened, although its reputation has since been corrected with time.

Edited by Evan C

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Hmmm. Perhaps. I guess I'm going for something less personal, more along the lines of "Don't we see now, with time and perspective, that this should've been treated better?" And, "In retrospect, doesn't the neglect of this film during its year of release seem hard to understand?"

 

These would be the films that, like Blade Runner, weren't really appreciated or understood when they arrived, but unlike Blade Runner, are still waiting for the time when that appreciation finally happens. 

Edited by Overstreet

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Burton's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory does not deserve anywhere near the amount of hate it gets.

 

Them's fightin' words.

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Carlito's Way deserves more acclaim than it has received (though Cahiers du Cinema gave it its due).

See also: A.I.: Artificial Intelligence , The Game, anything made by Francis Ford Coppola in the last decade.

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Burton's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory does not deserve anywhere near the amount of hate it gets.

 

Them's fightin' words.

I'm not saying it's a great film, I just think it's a better film than the terrible reputation it has.

 

But you want fightin' words?  How's this: Burton's film is better than the original.

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Carlito's Way deserves more acclaim than it has received (though Cahiers du Cinema gave it its due).

 

 

Oooh, Carlito's Way. Yes.

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This thread makes me want to revisit some films that I did not like when I saw them, and also were not well received at the time. I'm sure that many times a film is praised or skewered or ignored because of the zeitgeist when it was released. And I know I'm not immune from the zeitgeist.

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I love, love, love John Carter--and I do think it was unfairly dismissed. 

 

I, um, also think that the Star Wars prequels--particularly EIII--are unfairly pilloried. Now, they're undoubtedly bad--I'm not saying they're not bad--but I do think they have enough virtues to say they're merely bad, not the rampaging monsters of suckitude that most people I run into seem to think they are.  Also, Indiana Jones IV is exactly as good as two of the three other movies. But those are injustices of scale, not quality (that is, the problem isn't that they're evaluated wrongly but too strongly). 

 

A.I. Artificial Intelligence is certainly unfairly dismissed. So, what Ryan said.

Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me was dismissed at the time, but I think recent critical appraisal has started to come around to it.

Masked and Anonymous was, I think, pretty roundly condemned as a vanity project--which it is. But it's delightfully strange.

Nancy Drew (2007) was sweet, funny, and parodic in exactly the right amounts. So, naturally, it didn't get a sequel. Or much notice at all.

 

EDIT: Seeing Peter post this story elsewhere reminded me: Star Trek: The Motion Picture is the unacknowledged gem of the series. It's not as emotionally moving or satisfying as The Wrath of Khan, but it's the only time--except for ST:TFF--that the Trek movies bothered to go for something transcendent, and it does so with a patience that irks most viewers but which is really key to the experience it's trying to convey. 

Edited by NBooth

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This thread appears somewhat timely in order to assert that all five films of James Gray probably qualify.

 

When I went to see The Immigrant, I was only one of a grand total of ... three occupants in the theater.

 

I understand some of you have film reviewer obligations, but come on now, it appears as if many of you are taking the trouble to go see The Fault In Our Stars, Edge of Tomorrow or Maleficent instead of Gray's latest film.  I'm not saying don't go see all that other stuff.  I'm saying The Immigrant is something to care about.  It is worth investing time in.  It should be "being celebrated" right now.

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I'd love to secod Jeremy's scolding but suspect the reason so few have seen The Immigrant is because, as its widest release, it was showing in all of 150 theaters.

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If we think specifically of films that received no Oscar nominations in their respective years yet should have been major front-runners,  then these movies immediately come to my mind:

 

(I'm only going back to the early 1970s to keep it simple.)

 

Bad Company 1972

Savage Messiah 1972

Night Moves 1975

Luna 1979

Gallipoli 1981

The Emerald Forest 1985

The Unbearable Lightness of Being 1988

The Joy Luck Club 1993

The Ice Storm 1997

Ride with the Devil 1999

Punch-Drunk Love 2002

The Darjeeling Limited 2007 (my favorite Wes Anderson, everyone else's worst. Arrggh.)

Shutter Island 2010

every Tarkovsky film

 

Many of these movies haven't received their due even now.

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... the reason so few have seen The Immigrant is because, as its widest release, it was showing in all of 150 theaters.

That itself is a pretty good definition of "injustice" as it relates to film.

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How about The Counselor? It seems the vast majority of critics and audiences hate it, although I suppose that's kind of understandable.

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What?  The Counselor has a great script, very good performances (mostly), about average directing, and it's reviled as one of the all time worst films ever made.  That seemed to fit this list perfectly.

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Of course it wouldn't seem like I was paying attention here if I didn't bring up Rollerball.

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Danny Boyle's Sunshine.

 

 

Just kidding.  I hate that movie.

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The Counselor has a great script, very good performances (mostly), about average directing, and it's reviled as one of the all time worst films ever made.  That seemed to fit this list perfectly.

One of the worst films ever made? No, certainly not. But a serious disappointment? Yeah, I'd say so. McCarthy's great script is mangled by Scott's completely incoherent direction, and even though he has a great cast, the performances are all wildly miscalibrated (and I'm not primarily thinking of Diaz here).

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