Ok, I’m opening myself up to tons of mockery and ridicule but that’s the nature of the Phenomenal 5 right? After a break for the holidays I thought it would be fun to start the Phenomenal 5 back up with a list that should have people letting me know how nutty my taste in movies can sometimes be. I’m listing five phenomenal movies that I really like and enjoy but that few others seem to care for (ok “phenomenal” may be a stretch but just go with it). There have been a few movies over the years that I (and apparently I alone) have really liked that simply wasn’t liked by anyone else. In fact, I bet we all have some of those films in the backs of our minds. I mean just here recently I took some good ribbing over my positive review of “Snow White and the Huntsman”. Well you won’t find it on this list but I’m offering up five flicks that I’ve seen multiple times and still thoroughly enjoy even if no one else does.
#5 – “WATERWORLD”
It’s not that “Waterworld” is hated, but it’s safe to say that few people really appreciate the movie as much as I do. Everyone knows the story. At the time, “Waterworld” was the most expensive movie ever made and it never actually made a profit until well into it’s home video release. I’ve always believed this played into the reason why this this film never impressed a lot of people. It’s certainly not the most polished movie but as for creative post-apocolpyptic sci-fi goes, I found it to be a lot of fun. It didn’t do Kevin Costner’s career any favors and it’s still laughed at by some and deemed utterly forgettable by others. But I still feel “Waterworld” is clever and unique and I can watch it today and still have a good time.
#4 – “JOHN CARTER”
I honestly still struggle in understanding the backlash against this year’s “John Carter”. Like “Waterworld”, it wasn’t the most even and polished movie that you’ll see, but it was far from being a terrible film. And to be honest, I had a great time watching “John Carter” on the big screen with my son and it held up after a second viewing. This isn’t a movie that has any chance of making it on my top 10 of 2012, but I thought it to be a visual feast of cool effects and futuristic creativity. I also found myself interested in the story throughout even though there were a few rough patches. This movie was slammed by critics and moviegoers alike but it’s a movie that I liked and that I can appreciate despite its few flaws.
#3 – “STAR WARS EPISODE 1: THE PHANTOM MENACE”
Okay, it’s probably safe to say that not everyone hates this movie. But it’s also safe to say that millions of Star Wars fan boys, a group that I proudly consider myself a part, took great issue with this movie. In fact, many people still blast this film as a devilish plot to kill the Star Wars franchise. I certainly don’t consider this movie to be as good as any of the three films in the original trilogy. But it does feel like a Star Wars movie to me and it has its own special moments that set it apart. Yes, I hate Jar-Jar and yes, midichlorians are absurd. But the space sequences never looked better and it probably gave us the best light saber duel in the entire franchise. It was a no win situation for Lucas, but for me he pulls it off.
#2 – “CLASH OF THE TITANS”
Talk about a movie that I spent a lot of time to defending! With the exception of my lovely wife and 10-year old son, I don’t think I found another person that I know who liked this movie. It was criticized for everything from the cheesy dialogue to Sam Worthington’s haircut. But I still think people completely missed what this movie was aiming for. I grew up adoring the “Sinbad” movies, “Jason and the Argonauts”, and of course “Clash of the Titans”. This remake was a simple tip of the hat to that past movie genre. It wasn’t trying to be new or groundbreaking. It was a fun, creature-filled action romp that took me back to my childhood. It’s sequel is utter crap, but I still proudly stand by this one, and I still thinks is does more things right than it’s given credit for.
#1 – “THE TIME MACHINE”
I really like every movie that I’ve mentioned, but this is the one film on the list that I truly love. It’s hard to explain especially because I recognize that this film has several flaws. It’s a shining example of how a movie with a great lead performance and a handful of wonderful scenes can be a genuinely memorable experience. Look, I admit the special effects are sometimes laughable and it flies a little off the rails in the second half. But I love Guy Pearce’s performance and I buy into everything his character is doing and feeling. It’s authentic and heartfelt from the opening sequence to the beautiful final shot. And while most people have dismissed this movie, it still moves me each time I watch it.
So go ahead, get your verbal guns ready. I’ve made myself an easy target. Which of these movies have I lost my mind defending? How about you? What are some movies that others hate but you adore? Please share your thoughts and please….go easy on me.