Thursday, November 22, 2007

Good Works You Might Ignore

This is going to be hard, but I'd like to make a list of creative works that people would normally dismiss immediately which are actually pretty good. I don't have a lot right now, but with reader comments, I think I can make a pretty complete list.

First, reasons works are dismissed:

1. Idea/concept.

Sometimes you hear the idea behind something and it just isn't attractive. Sometimes that's because the idea makes a bad movie. However, sometimes good movies come from bad ideas because the person making it built it into something that works, using the skills given to him.

2. Yeah, like that person could make something good.

Every once in a while people surprise us. Actors and directors who are known for releasing crap manage to release something that's actually worth watching.

3. Bad advertising.

Probably the worst candidate. Advertisers try to sell to the wrong audience, or don't make any effort at all to sell a good movie, so it goes ignored or unnoticed.

4. But it's a kid show.

Many shows or movies made for children tend to be simplistic and boring, with no real entertainment value. It's natural to assume that all children's shows don't appeal to adults. However, some of them are well made despite the intended audience.

5. Adult entertainment.

Sometimes movies are dismissed as just being porn, or being sex and violence without having content. Often it's true, but sometimes it's not.

6. Critical Failure

Like it or not, critics have quite a bit of influence on public opinion. They usually try to be fair, but it's a subjective field and they aren't perfect. Sometimes they let things slip through.

Now for what this list doesn't include. Any mainstream hits are of course out. If it has success it was obviously not ignored and was probably sold really well. That's not what we're looking for.

Also any cult classics will not be included on the list, so no suggesting movies like Evil Dead. Although cult classics are often good movies, they already have cult status which gives them enough life.

This is a list of movies, TV shows, games, books, and music that weren't successful enough to be hits, but weren't unique enough to gain a cult following. The works on the list might not have a spot on any top 100 list, but they're worth seeing anyways. The order here is the order in which I thought of them.


1. Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star.

David Spade might be good in small doses, but any time he has a role in a movie, he sort of creates a vacuum that sucks all the quality out of the work. However, with Dickie Roberts, somehow, either from how the movie was written or the character he was given, he managed to be believable in the role without taking away from the entertainment. Part of what might save the movie is the long list of real former child stars who agree to appear in cameo throughout the film. It kind of lends the movie some credibility.

2. Shaolin Soccer.

The idea of making a martial arts parody movie based around soccer just seems stupid. Add to that the travesty that was Kung Pow: Enter the Fist, and the fact that most parody movies nowadays are turds that rely entirely on juvenile humor, it seems that Shaolin Soccer doesn't have a chance of being good. However, despite all that, it works. The jokes work on exaggeration, using CGI that makes no effort to hide the fact that it's computer graphics. However, some of the actors were actually pretty good at working with invisible objects. Most importantly, though, the movie has heart, something which many parody movies lack. If you're going to watch this movie, I reccommend seeing the Chinese version (In dubs or subs). The American release cuts out a lot of the fat, but in doing so cuts a lot of the meat as well, which leaves the movie feeling like it's lacking something. The Chinese version is just a half-hour longer, and that half-hour is dedicated to selling the jokes and story more.

3. Simone.

For some reason, critics hated this movie. I'm not sure why. It was a fun look at celebrity and public opinion, maybe not completely groundbreaking, but still worth seeing.

TV Shows

1. Avatar: The Last Airbender.

Airing on Nickelodeon at a time when all Nickelodeon show suck, especially Nickelodeon cartoons, Avatar the Last Airbender seems to share the humor of most other Nick shows, which is to say transparent attempts at jokes, the kind of jokes that children will come up with. You have to watch a few episodes to realize how good the entire series is. It's sort of quiet in it's quality. However, once you learn a bit about the characters and the story, the show just becomes fun. Add to that the fact that the creators seem to understand Asian culture a bit better than most and were able to build a complex world around it. The show is also pretty good at guessing what my complaints will be and addressing them in a way that makes it fun. The villians are layered rather than just being truly evil. Really, just give it a chance.

2. Golden Boy

Ecchi, or Hentai has a lot of negative connotations associated with it. Most of them are fair. Tentacle pron is very popular for some reason. Golden Boy is a series where most of the humor is based around sex, however the character is really endearing despite being a pervert. Kintaro is a man who dropped out of law school and now travels around the country on a bicycle taking odd jobs in order to survive. The odd thing is, he finished all his requirements for a degree before he dropped. Obviously he's quite smart, but his personality causes people to underestimate him. One thing I say every once in a while is "the pay-off is worth the entire thing" meaning it's worth watching the rest of the work just to see the ending where everything comes together. This is definitely true for Golden boy, where he visits an animation studio and the show makes fun of Japanese animations.


none for now. Send suggestions


none for now. Send suggestions


none for now. Send suggestions

This list is far from complete. Feel free to point me toward other works that might belong here.

No comments: