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Author Topic: Bad Movies - What makes movies bad?  (Read 1235 times)
A.J. Bauer
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« on: October 19, 2013, 10:56:42 PM »

I have to wonder exactly why so many movies suck. Some movies suck for a variety of reasons, so I have to ask to list some things that doom a film from the start.

-Uninteresting/Unlikable Characters: You fail to get invested in a film is you don't give a crap about the protagonist(s). This is always a kiss of death on horror films as there is no suspense in watching bland or unpleasant characters getting picked off. When you get invested in a character their death brings so much tragedy, while others may as well be Star Trek redshirts.

-Continuity issues: When you bring a plot point up just to drop it people get confused and questions are raised. Take for example the movie Night Claws. At first it seemed like a cheesy and stock horror flick about hunting Bigfoot. Well when they were hunting Bigfoot. Then Frank Stalone came out of nowhere and the plot was about him! Uh hello...? Bigfoot? He's been killing teens most the movie you can't miss him!

-Low budget: There are some low budget films that turned out great such as A Nightmare on Elm Street. Compare that to the low quality high budget titles. What the hell is your excuse, Micheal Bay?

-Bad acting: I don't care if you have to be mean, you will make the actors do your bidding! Use many takes and force them to do it right for once!
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zelmo73
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« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2013, 01:48:46 PM »

Bad ideas are the real killer; kick the movie in the shins before it even gets out of bed in the morning. This is before the script is even written and/or finalized, before the execs actually finance the project, before the casting director starts calling the actors' agents, etc. This is the initial hare-brained idea, the "moment of clarity" while Jules Winfield is sitting there drinking his coffee and eating his muffin, Joliet Jake's "I HAVE SEEN THE LIGHT" moment, or that epiphany that always seems to happen to everybody when they are sitting on the porcelain god during a session of "quiet meditation".

Let's use Pearl Harbor (2001) as a good example, and not just because the OP brought up Michael Bay. Now, we all have a pretty good idea of how this idea came about. Someone saw Titanic (1997) and thought that the coming trend in Hollywood was going to be romantic tales within disastrous events. How that grand idea devolved into a slutty nurse "in love" with two hotshot hick pilots from Tennessee who manage to save the entire world during the "day that will live in infamy" is anyone's guess, though my guess is that watching one too many "Naughty Nurse" movies had something to do with it.

What killed this movie was that they didn't realize that Titanic (1997) managed to work in spite of the dull romantic story between Leonardo DiCrapio and Kate Winslet, not because of it. Take out the romantic bit, and Titanic (1997) still would have been a good movie; it is my firm belief that the last half of that film would have been just fine without the first hour-and-a-half, and the movie producers apparently agreed with me, because the home video VHS and DVD releases both had the shipwreck portion take place on the second tape/disc. Take the romantic bit out of Pearl Harbor (2001), however, and you're left with maybe 45 minutes of any real action, plus another 15 to 20 minutes of plot filler...okay, the Doolittle Raid part was pretty good.

The point being that trending ideas do not necessarily translate into good ideas. The current trend of remaking/rebooting every movie idea under the Hollywood sun is proof of that. I won't even get into the comic book movie thing yet, which is kinda related to the reboot/remake thing. I'll save that for after the football games that are on today.
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LilCerberus
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« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2013, 02:14:36 PM »

Perhaps it's one of those movies that tries to please EVERYBODY, ultimately failing on the whole, yet having at least one or more scenes that find a niche crowd...... Lost my train of thought. Bluesad
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zombie #1
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Oookaay...


« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2013, 09:48:32 PM »

I have a hard time answering this question

there are movies which are hilarious because they take themselves too seriously, and movies which are dull for the same reason.

some movies are great cause of bad acting, some are ruined by bad acting.

some movies have plots that make no sense in a brilliant way, some have plots that make no sense in an annoying way.

etc, etc, etc....

I'm stumped
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LilCerberus
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« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2013, 10:36:38 PM »

perhaps it depends on what the film maker does & doesn't overthink... lemme start over...
perhaps it depends on what the film maker manages to to accomplish without overthinking it.....

...in presenting a balance in which the viewer is successfully able to switch off their brain with little or no effort...
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LilCerberus
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« Reply #5 on: October 20, 2013, 10:59:37 PM »

That single nondescript blinking red light bulb on a dashboard, that could mean anything, but means whatever they say it means to conveniently fit the story, even though you kinda already guessed.

Being so engrossed in the inanity in the foreground, that you don't realized the background set is made of painted paper curtains.

How well they handle the obligatory "don't go in there"/"behind you"/"don't just stand there, run"/"no, don't trust that guy" scene....
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"Science Fiction & Nostalgia have become the same thing!" - T Bone Burnett
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Jack
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« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2013, 07:34:30 AM »

Unlikable / uninteresting characters will kill a movie quicker than anything for me.  Especially with horror movies - just put them on a conveyor belt and have Freddie Kruger standing at the end if we're only watching this thing to see the annoying people get slaughtered.

It goes without saying these days, but remakes made for the sole purpose of getting people in the theaters based on the name recognition of the the original.  And that's about 90% of them.

"We paid this non-acting celebrity 50 million to star in it.  We paid the special effects studio 50 million to do the CGI for it.  The screenplay?  Who gives a s**t!   BounceGiggle  Just grab anything you've got lying around;  the cheaper the better."
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Ted C
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« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2013, 01:26:20 PM »

Acting: The delivery of the actors is emotionless or irrational. Their failure to behave in an appropriate manner kills suspension of disbelief.

Writing: Events don't flow in a believable manner, dialogue is unnatural, obvious solutions to situations are ignored without explanation, events occur that have no bearing on the story, gaping plot holes.

Direction: Over-reliance on certain tricks, transitions, etc. Failure to inspire convincing performances from the cast.

Editing: The movie drags -- scenes take too long, scenes don't contribute anything helpful to the story. Or the movie races -- information critical to understanding the story has been cut out.

Production: Sets, props, effects, and other production elements look cheap and unnatural, breaking suspension of disbelief.

Each of these "badness" characteristics affects the movie on a sliding scale that ranges from "disappointing" through a sweet spot of "amusingly bad" and descends down into "pathetic".
« Last Edit: October 21, 2013, 01:35:40 PM by Ted C » Logged

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tracy
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« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2013, 01:50:38 PM »

Actors that really don't belong in that movie or movie genre....for example,the film "Battle Beyond the Stars". What ever possessed Richard Thomas to do a science fiction film?
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zombie #1
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Oookaay...


« Reply #9 on: October 22, 2013, 05:52:43 AM »

Each of these "badness" characteristics affects the movie on a sliding scale that ranges from "disappointing" through a sweet spot of "amusingly bad" and descends down into "pathetic".
I like this Ted. someone should create a 'graph of doom' to illustrate the point... hang it on the wall at the Institute for the Preservation of Real Bad Movies, Colorado
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indianasmith
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« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2013, 06:16:21 AM »

Don't leave out "Cheap Special Effects" - whether it be obviously rubber monster heads, poor make-up jobs, or video game quality CGI, there's nothing like laughable SFX to turn a movie into a cheese-fest!
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Flangepart
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« Reply #11 on: October 22, 2013, 07:56:18 AM »

Many agreements from this end of the cathode screen.

What comes to mind is how well the film draws you into a fictional world, and allows you to suspend disbelief. If it fails that, it's up for grabs, and deserves the riffing it gets.
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Ted C
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Turn Up the Evil!


« Reply #12 on: October 22, 2013, 11:56:01 AM »

Don't leave out "Cheap Special Effects" - whether it be obviously rubber monster heads, poor make-up jobs, or video game quality CGI, there's nothing like laughable SFX to turn a movie into a cheese-fest!

That would fall under my "Production" category.
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« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2013, 01:16:14 PM »

To be honest, I operate under a very simplistic 'rule' and mindset. A bad movie is simply one that fails to engage me on any level. Bad acting, after all, can certainly succeed in being entertaining. What makes an entertaining film, well, one cannot truly say. I can name a good number of marketing-driven, soulless shlock that I'll gladly subject myself to anyway, thus, while those would certainly qualify as being 'bad' films on a technical level, they accomplish at least purpose of cinema, and that is to entertain.
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« Reply #14 on: October 22, 2013, 02:05:38 PM »

Bad acting or dialogue just kind of blurted out at odd moments.
Long stretches with absolutely nothing happening whatsoever.  With minimal or no dialogue.
ATROCIOUSLY BAD special effects.
Horrible music/songs.
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