Tedious, amateurish, or aggressively boring, most bad movies are just plain awful. But the rarer, more treasured find is a movie so bad, it’s good. Good bad movies are films that fail in such extraordinary ways, they’re actually very entertaining to watch – mostly to laugh and marvel at how unintentionally hysterical they are. Here are three good bad movies you need to check out.
Cats is everything you could hope for – and more. Nightmare-fuel visual effects, including ever-changing body proportions and mice with children’s faces. Rebel Wilson’s bad improv. Taylor Swift turning what was a fun duet in the original musical into a so-so solo. Ian McKellen yowling and lapping milk – you know, like a cat. James Corden. Just ... James Corden. Everything about this movie is bonkers. Expensive bonkers. The film is estimated to have lost Universal Pictures $100 million. But hey, Jennifer Hudson’s performance of “Memory” is legitimately mesmerizing, so long as you can ignore the CGI snot running down her face. On second thought, maybe you should just watch Andrew Lloyd Webber’s original musical instead. There, that’s better.
Jupiter Ascending (2015)
If there’s one thing to remember about space opera Jupiter Ascending, it’s that you need to have volume control ready for when actor Eddie Redmayne is on screen – he is either whispering or screaming in every scene he appears in. “He underacts and overacts in the same performance.” Then there are the many lines throughout the film that come out of nowhere, like when halfway through Jupiter Ascending, lead character Jupiter Jones, who introduces herself as Jupiter Jones, says to call her Jupe – the first and only time the name is uttered in the entire movie. Freeze the frame just about anywhere and find gold, from sexy wolfman Channing Tatum rollerblading in the air to Jupiter playing with bees who “recognize her royalty.” And we haven’t even talked about the plot! Maybe that’s because we still haven’t exactly figured it out quite yet.
The less you know about Serenity, the better – the more you know, the less it makes sense. The film follows fishing boat captain Baker Dill, played by Matthew McConaughey with all the grit and cartoonish machismo you’d expect. Baker is living quietly in a tropical enclave where everybody knows his name and the details of his personal business, apparently so that they can drive the plot forward with overwrought, “quippy” dialogue. When his ex-wife Karen, played by Anne Hathaway, tracks Baker down to hire him to murder her abusive husband, the movie suddenly veers sharply toward camp, with one critic describing Hataway’s femme fatale “as a kind of live-action Jessica Rabbit from Who Framed Roger Rabbit.” You never really get off the cinematic roller coaster from there. As a high-concept thriller, the film’s revelations are stunningly stupid – and hilariously executed. The twist is so nonsensical that you’re left wondering about the implications of what you thought were, yes, gratuitous, but innocuous shots of, say, the many, many times the screen lingers on McConaughey’s tanned musculature. From the over-the-top acting to the failed setup to the sheer illogic of it all, Serenity truly must be seen to be believed.
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