I Love Bad Movies*

*This entire post is my caveat to that statement. 

This is a fitting first post for 2013, my watching and reading lists of 2012 are posted on Tumblr and the other day I posted a few tweets back-to-back on why I hoped a movie called Cooties will be 'delightfully bad'. I've recently started reading Nathan Rabin's My Year of Flops the printed version, where he talks about if critically panned movies are really bad or if they were maybe a secret gem. I haven't seen many of the movies he's discussing but that doesn't mean I can't enjoy and appreciate what he's  doing in this book. 

I think about my love and obsession with movies, even when I don't always debate and argue them and talk about their worth and value. I will. I mean, I have a blog where the sole purpose of it was so I'd have somewhere to be obsessive about movies and review them and postulate what-ifs and write about imaginary casts that wasn't my main blog. It's been quiet for a while, I haven't seen too many things where I felt the immediate need to write about it. Or I haven't had the time and whatever other terrible excuse I have for not writing about movies and television I like. But I do, I love most movies I see. I love the weird things, I love the bad acting, I love how silly things are, I love the unrealistic drama and I love criticizing the overreactions. I compare how I'd act in a depressing dramatic scene and I enjoy doing these things. 

I also love bad movies. I love the no budget big monster movies of the 40s and 50s. I love the weird little indie skits posted on YouTube, filmed in personal apartments where costumes are the actors clothes and the effects could be better. I love the men in rubber suits as aliens and monsters. I love seeing where the wire it attached to the actor and how they're flying, awkwardly fulcrumed at their waist. I love it so much. I also love critical darlings, I love the things audiences rave about and (well, not always) and I love the award winners. I'm in it for the drama and the suspense. Even when i can predict how a movie will go based on genre, I still love it. Even when I want to punch a character for being an idiot, I find things to love.

At it's core it's an escapist fantasy. Movies are a way to explore a world a bit different from the one we live in and I like to believe in that dream. 

I think about the things I like about 'bad' movies and it's not just that it's bad. It's that it tried. It tried and it failed but it has heart. In every bad line delivery and every weird cut, there was someone working on this movie that loved it and believed in what it could be. Any time an actor changes because they got mad at every else, or they realized what they were in was terrible, I love that the creator decided that the film has to be finished and released. The crew on the side of the frame and in reflections, the robot effect that failed and was still used. It's the creative dream and vision. The passion that drove that creator to bankruptcy and infamy sometimes. I also love the spirit, usually the sets sound like they were fun as everything was ridiculous and it was an experience for all involved. It's more than just putting a narrative together to share, it's expression without pretension and the drive to create even if it's not ultimately what you envisioned and it's what you desired. It's the heart of it. Someone believed in it and not just because of the money, they believed in something else. 

When I say i hope that something is delightfully awful, the premise sounds ridiculous and that there's no way this movie could be good but it also seems so ridiculous it has to be fun to watch. It's a movie to get drunk to, to watch with friends on a Friday night and yell at a the screen and laughing at the characters. I'm not laughing at someone's dream, I'm enjoying it so much I have to laugh in general. It becomes more than a movie, it becomes a shared experience, in-jokes and quoted monologues.

Action Adventure Dream

I've been serious, here, enjoy something silly, ridiculous and possibly a little embarrassing  But i'm putting myself out there on the Internet, I should be more embarrassed by my last post than this one...

I recently quit smoking again, it’s been about 5 or 6 days after smoking lightly for about 3 weeks. Smoking aggravates my skin disease but when I’m anxious and depressed I don’t care. I know, cognizantly it doesn’t help, it probably never has. I mean, there is the communal aspect of smoking where one friend goes out so like 7 of you go out and talk about stuff. Nothing really, but you go out, out from the hot music venue to the swampy humid air because you’re still in fucking Norfolk; out to the cold to wonder if it’s really worth it when the nicotine hits you, your limbs get heavy and you’re just relaxed; out to just be out because you’ve been in for so many hours.

But, I’m trying to quit again for my health and I swear I have had the most fucking vivid dreams these past few mornings. Wednesday I went to bed at 2am, after planning the futures for the Cinema cast that doesn’t need to exist (I don’t care about their story after high school. Too many characters to follow but they all go their separate ways to college. I care about them influencing one another, but it was a fun thought experiment).  A lot of twitter accounts I’ve recently followed or been interested in recently made an appearance in my dreams, by accounts I do mean the people who own those accounts. It was weird. At some point I feel like I’m more of a camera than a participant in my dream, that’s fairly common for me. Or I’m not actually ‘me’ I don’t know who I turn into.

Sometime around the beginning of the dream I’m hanging out with Matt Cohen, we’re talking about movies or pop culture or something and we start talking about bank robberies and prison escapes. He had recently made a jail escape and was quite proud of it. He needs me and some other people to train and practice at escaping from jail (the same way people would train for a bank heist) so I go about doing this.

 There’s a scene when I’m getting gun training. Being taught the parts and general gun safety.  Other people in my class are really dumb with their and almost shoot themselves. I’m apparently a badass taking my Walther PP7 apart (It was far too big to really be a pp7. Does Walther even make the PP7? I honestly don’t know guns) and looking at the rounds, which were packed like shotgun shells but in metal casing and not the red paper-y looking casing that they always have in cartoons. I wonder how good I’m going to be with this gun if I only have 8 rounds. The guy that almost kills himself has as shotgun and is unloading it wrong. I’m between him and some other dude who’s proficient at cleaning and maintaining a gun.

I eventually get caught somewhere in South America and I’m in the same prison as Neil Degrasse Tyson. Tyson is level headed and cool the entire time he’s handcuffed to his chair. He also happens to be wearing a sun/moon/space themed vest and he tells me and our interrogators that’s he’s gotten out of every other jail and prison in South America. He doesn’t fucking care! You just know he scienced his way out (yup, Atomic Robo use of the word ‘science’). It’s like he was physics-magician (fuck you physician for already being a word. Would have been a great portmanteau).

He gets us out and I end up somewhere in America, still awestruck that I met him. (Listen to him or watch recordings of him. He is just fucking cool and comfortable being who he is, loving space and being a bit of a smart ass.) I think I’m in New York, it’s raining or blue-grey at least. I’m in some swanky hotel about to give the assist to Etta Divine in some heist she’s about to go one. There are weird, large, caged beasts in this building but she’s about to go to a different building. (it falls apart more here) It was some weird swanky hotel-restaurant with glass balconies and stairs. I meet with Etta and talk to her for a moment. Sometime after this she leaves to go after her mark and I meet Gabe Diani. We talk about Etta and just as I’m about to run out and stop her I wake up.

There are a number of notable people from twitter (notable to me) who I think could have ben great in this dream. But really, the entire thing was a weird action movie where escaping from jail was the big heist. This shit was fun.