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Unjustly underrated films

| Friday, April 5, 2019


Diane Park | The Observer

Movies exist in many planes of entertainment. The purposes of making movies are as diverse as movies themselves. There are many extraordinary pieces of film, and there are films that are less so. It might be enjoyable to poke fun at a film’s failures, but some films have been deemed “bad” that just aren’t. These movies might have one or two glaring errors, but they are relatively good and simply get a bad rap for certain reasons. These are a few movies that are not only underrated but have also been unjustly judged.

Betrayed by Marketing:

Half of a film’s success depends on its marketing. The Wachowskis completely aborted the reputation they created while making the “Matrix” trilogy during the creation of their next film “Speed Racer.” Earning a 40% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, this film was not a commercial success. The movie is filled with bright colors and exciting graphics (sometimes to a fault) while it mixes in a heartfelt underdog story with the drama of tragedy and the love for sport. The movie was marketed as the sisters’ next drama, when in fact it was an entertaining and touching story. It mixes in the fun of scenes involving monkey candy heists with the harsh sting of remaining idealistic in a world spoiled by capitalism. It simultaneously depicts the love of a family and the love for sport. Keep drinking that cold milk Speedy and stay away from those “non-jas.”

Betrayed by Ambition:

Every once in a while, a movie comes out that shamelessly caters to teenagers. “Empire Records” —which earned a solid 29% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes — is only one such movie. Though a significant amount of the movie was cut to maintain a PG-13 rating, it still has the personality of a 16-year-old girl who obsesses over vinyl and uses the word “ironic” too often, but it is incredible. The movie shows the strife of every teenage character through breakdowns and dramatic displays of affection. Every person you meet in high school shows up at some point in the film. What makes this movie amazing is also what caused it to fail. The humor has a certain duality of being both completely random and meticulously thought out. This movie simply needed to pick a character to focus on, but instead, it jumps between the drug-addicted princess, the artsy poor boy, the depressed emo kid, the sarcastic deep thinker and the overly sexual teenager. All this ambition — in some convoluted way — plays off the comical nature of the overly simplified characters and makes the viewer realize the trivial nature of any individuals’ problems while jamming out to a killer soundtrack. Maybe this is the reason that every time my friends and I are looking for something to put on at 2 a.m., we click on “Empire Records” and escape into the world of a nonexistent record store.

Betrayed by Expectations:

With an all-star cast including Jesse Eisenberg, Morgan Freeman, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson and Dave Franco, “Now You See Me” was bound for success. Though it has the highest of our movies’ Rotten Tomato scores at 50%, I do think that out of these three choices this is objectively the worst. The movie does lack character and resembles a patronizing attempt to please the public, but boy is it entertaining. With the captivating subject (Who doesn’t like magic?) and a stellar cast, it did not turn out as well as it could have. Just because it did not meet expectations does not mean that it is a bad movie, though. The plot is relatively intriguing. The movie’s $75 million budget allowed for it to be well made with stunning depictions of magic. It screams nostalgia for child-like belief in magic — a sting I felt a little too hard when I watched with my parents at the end of my grade-school career. I thought I was more grown up than I was.

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