Friday, February 23, 2007

Maxim Misjudgement

For their March issue, Maxim have brewed up a list they're calling "The 20 Greatest Awful Movies of All Time" - but there's a little problem. You see, there's a number of films on the list that are, simply put, rather less awful than some of this year's Best Picture contenders at the Oscars.

They Live and Big Trouble in Little China give John Carpenter a couple of black marks, the latter in the number one spot. That's just ignorant.

Peter Jackson's Brain Dead / Dead Alive is listed at number 5, Starship Troopers at number 12. Again, very silly. Meet the Feebles, maybe, but Brain Dead? I'm not being glib when I call it a genuine classic.

So, Maxim... what on earth is supposed to be awful about these films?

A few mediocrities make the list too - Tango & Cash, The Beastmaster and Hard Target. Admittedly, Hard Target is the least of John Woo's work but it's not a total wash out by any means. I could name about a hundred action films that aren't one tenth as good and find a thousand more in the bibliography appendix at the back of the Hot Fuzz script.

I do wish people would stop smugly panning films on the basis of their genres, a couple of cast members, their basic iconography or milieu and get down to thinking about the quality of the filmmaking. Of course, I've been wishing that for decades, and I'm starting to think that it's never going to happen.

See the full list online and find out if there's anything else there you want to make a case for.


Anonymous said...

Nice post - though I would argue that Broken Arrow is actually the least of John Woo's works. In it's uncut form, Hard Target isn't actually *that* bad. Keep up the great work!

Mark said...

Och, it's only MAXIM. HArdly anyone's number one destination for decent writing, especially about film. In fact, I presumed no one bought it for anything other than, y'know, TV presenters and reality "stars" doing "hands on boobs" shoots.