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Silver Linings

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Just as every cloud has its silver lining so too does every film. Even the most mediocre of movies can have a spot of greatness if you watch with an open mind. This post is dedicated to the not so great films that nonetheless have some pretty great elements.

Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace---though Episode 2 and 3 share many of the same problems as “The Phantom Menace”, neither was quite as disappointing as this long awaited prequel. The questionable acting, convoluted plot, and the Jar Jar Binks fiasco certainly brought the movie down. The faults don’t seem quite as large however, when you’re watching the lightsaber duel between Darth Maul and the two Jedi heroes. Great action even by today’s standards.

50 First Dates---this is another typical, mediocre Adam Sandler romantic comedy. There’s nothing terribly special or memorable about it except for the final scene. Sandler sings a humorous and touching ballad for his true love which completely validates the rest of his childish antics.

King Kong (2005)---Peter Jackson’s long, self-indulgent homage to the 1930’s classic is at times quite yawn inducing. Kong’s epic fight against the two tyrannosaurs however, is more than enough to wake you up. That scene alone justifies the price of admission.

A.I. Artificial Intelligence---this science fiction tale about an artificial boy who wants to be loved is unfortunately a bit of a mess. Likely due to the fact that Kubrick began production 30 years before Spielberg finished it. Despite its less than logical plot and story progression, the film’s final moments are so heart-achingly, tear jerkingly wonderful that you immediately forget any complaints you may have had.

Lady in the Water, condemned by critics for being pompous and pretentious, was M. Night Shyamalan’s first real failure. Though this fairy tale film does have its faults, it also has some truly great characters. Freddy Rodriguez plays a lopsided muscle man who only exercises one side of his body, Bryce Dallas Howard plays an ethereal nymph named Story, and little known Bob Balaban plays a hyper-cynical movie critic.

Speed Racer---Coming from the same minds that brought us “The Matrix”, Speed Racer nonetheless proved a disappointment for many. It stayed true to the anime cartoon that inspired it, right down to the annoying pet chimpanzee. Immature though it may be, the film still has spectacularly entertaining racing sequences with cars flipping and battling through the air at ridiculous speeds. Plus it stars Emile Hirsch, John Goodman, and Susan Sarandon which certainly doesn’t hurt.

Thanks to our guest blogger and fellow movie maniac Trevor for this post.

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