I absolutely despised a lot of movies in 2011 (“Jack and Jill” anyone? “Tower Heist”? “Sucker Punch”? “Another Earth”?). On the other hand, there were also a lot of movies that everyone else in the world seemed to hate that I rather enjoyed. Here are a few of the notable titles on that list.
Yup, it’s official, I’m a fifteen-year-old girl. I didn’t go in expecting to like “Beastly”, but somewhere, roughly halfway through, I came to a startling realization: holy shit, I like “Beastly”. This is a movie that stars an Olsen twin, doesn’t teach you anything, and was designed to appeal to tweens on some sort of instinctual level. You can almost hear Neal Patrick Harris scream, “why am I in this movie? I have a legitimate career again!” I am not the target audience, I look like a homeless logger, but still, “Beastly” appealed to something hidden deep down inside of me. I’m not proud of this fact, but neither am I too proud to admit the truth.
Probably the most divisive, universally despised film on my list. I don’t get the hate for this one. By no means is “Green Lantern” brilliant cinema; it is silly, cheesy, and nowhere near as good as either “Captain America” or “X-Men: First Class”. However, it is the exact same movie as “Thor”, which people totally loved the crap out of. Both films have the same faults, the same upside, and remarkably similar story arcs, and I enjoyed both to an equal degree.
Yes, I enjoyed a movie about a smart-ass, animated Easter Bunny, so sue me. Undoubtedly aimed at children with the intention of imbuing Easter with the same myth and magic normally reserved for Christmas, “Hop” may entertain some of you older folks, too. There are poop jokes to be sure—EB, as the angsty teen Easter Bunny is known, poops jelly beans, and you’re right, some unsuspecting innocent will eventually eat some—but also a “Fatal Attraction” gag, and an undercurrent of class and racial tensions amongst the anthropomorphized animated critters as a chick named Carlos incites a worker rebellion.
Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides
Sure, it wasn’t good, I’m not going to try to make that argument, not by a long shot, but “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides” was entertaining enough, especially for a big, dumb tent pole movie. And it was a damn sight better than either of “Dead Man’s Chest” of “At World’s End”. Then again, I didn’t pay to see it, and I might feel different had I forked over hard earned cash in order to watch Johnny Depp prance around shipboard while mermaids splash about in the ocean.
Battle: Los Angeles
“Battle: Los Angeles” is a typical war movie, full of typical war movie types, themes, and tropes, and the only thing that distinguishes it from the pack is that instead of fighting invaders from some other country, the invaders are from space. Not exactly ground breaking, and you don’t actually care about any of the characters. The whole “Black Hawk Down” aesthetic transposed to the streets of LA is a nice touch, but “Battle: Los Angeles” doesn’t even care much about that. What the movie does care about is explosions and armor plated alien killing machines. And that, my friends, is a pretty damn good time in my book. Nothing will surprise you, not even slightly, but there is enough dizzying action to carry you past most of the glaring flaws.
Take Me Home Tonight
Michael Dowse’s (“FUBAR”) 80s nostalgia flick garnered almost universal hate and disdain, which mystifies me. This is an affable throwback to the “one crazy night that changes everything” genre that was so prevalent in the decade of excess, and I enjoyed it thoroughly. There is hard drug use, gratuitous nudity, relatable characters, raunchy humor, charming bits of emotion, and an edge of over the top absurdity that makes it all the more authentic and fun.
Season of the Witch
“Season of the Witch” is a bad movie, but a bad movie in the most entertaining possible way. Nicholas Cage and Ron Perlman play old-timey crusading nights, disillusioned with the Church, who strike out their own only to encounter teenage witches, winged demons, and wolves that weren’t scary enough on their own, so they had to have their wolf snarls enhanced with CGI. Absolutely ridiculous, bordering on slapstick, Cage and Perlman play their roles with a sly wink and a knowing nudge, like, “hey, you though that was funny, wait until you see what happens next,” well aware of what kind of movie they’re in. Come on, with a line like, “We’re gonna need more holy water,” you know no one involved took this movie entirely seriously.