So, from time to time I'll watch a movie that I loved, but ended up being overlooked or worse panned by others. Well, since I've been sick as a dog since Thursday (this is why I hate gardening) I've mostly been lying on the couch all day watching movies.

WARNING! There will be spoilers, not many, but some in the following comments. But none of these movies are new, so it shouldn't be a big issue.


1. Kalifornia

Okay, I can't exactly remember how this one was received back in the day, so I may be calling it underrating in error. But I don't remember this movie hitting it big either. Which to be honest, surprised me because it stars Brad Pitt and Juliette Lewis. And this was back with Brad Pitt was the man!

Anyway, this is the kind of movie I like to watch. There is action, adventure, and thrills. Yes, there is some gore (on the unrated version), but in this case the gore that is there serves the story. The only time gore bores me is when it is meaningless. Take for example, just about any "scary movie" you can think of - there is blood and guts, problem is it seems eight times out of ten the gore is just there for shock value. *sigh* I miss the movies that were actually scary, not just a meaningless gore-fest.

Now I know there are many people who feel Duchovny couldn't act his way out of a paper bag, but even he does a damn fine job here. Of course, I think he done great on the X-Files until around season seven when even I could see he started phoning it in.

Plus any movie that is brave enough to make Brad Pitt unappealing - and I don't just mean because he is a killer, they actually make him visually unappealing, deserves props for that alone. Seriously, I don't know, but it seems to me that Brad Pitt and Juliette Lewis may have been born to play Early Grayce (Pitt) and Adele (Lewis) - they just really make you believe that they are these people, something that a lot of Hollywood types would have trouble doing.

Okay, fine, Brian (Duchovny) does seem like a young Fox Mulder, or maybe a more innocent version of Fox Mulder - perhaps he is what Fox Mulder would have been without his sisters abduction and the Consortiums diddling with his life. *cough* The point I'm trying to make is that yes I can see that the roles are very similar.

However, disbelief is easy to suspend, even easier now with the X-Files long gone, but even back in the day it was easy enough because Duchovny does an awesome job of showing Brian's seduction by the "dark side." Basically in a twisted way Brian starts looking up to Early and to Duchovny's credit he played this more realistically than people turned off by his stint on the X-Files would suspect. That's right, Duchovny does an awesome job here, possibly his performance here is even better than his best on the X-Files to be perfectly honest.



2. Connie and Carla

I may never understand why this movie didn't get famous. Okay, there are some problems, like being asked to believe that real drag Queens would be fooled by Connie and Carla. Early on, it is believable and it is not. However, because of the laughs it is easy enough to suspend disbelief.

But it is believable because Connie and Carla are slow(ish) to catch on, which would be natural even for (and maybe especially for) those two. Not believable because the Drag Queens would see right through them.

And while this movie is meant to be a comedy there is also a very touching story wrapped around the laughs. This is the way I like my comedies, because yes I do enjoy a good laugh, but when watching a movie I'd like to actually have a story to go along with the chuckles, otherwise said chuckles are meaningless.

Seems like I was having a Duchovny weekend, but that actually wasn't the case. I watched about five movies, he just happened to be in two of them. Anyway, Duchovny played a key role in this movie and played it very well, and unlike Kalifornia the character Duchovny played in Connie and Carla was NOTHING like Fox Mulder.



3. Death to Smoochy

The biggest problem this movie has is that it should have been made for children, but because it wasn't I found myself deeply enjoying it. However, if you read this journal long enough you will realize that I tend to have strange tastes.

But I think if the "naughty" language (fuck/fucking/etcs.) had been deleted and some of the other adult content toned down then this movie would have been a mega hit (and I probably wouldn't have liked it), because then children would have been able to see it and love it. But with the language and rating, the "target" audience would not be able to see it.

Yes, I am aware that children were NOT the target audience, which is why target is in quotes. The sad fact is that children SHOULD have been the target audience for this film, but the film PTB choose to go after a different audience.

With the adult content and language intact the biggest draw it ended up with was the appeal to parents who are tired of Barney (or whatever has taken the place of Barney these days) being all over the television and therefore running (or ruining) their lives. And, it even failed to snag those, because in the end there is simply not enough damage done to Smoochy to truly appeal to those who'd like to see Barney (or whatever has taken the place of Barney) suffer terribly and die.

I think the people in charge realized this, to some extent, and that may have been why Moochy was introduced. But Moochy is not Smoochy and Smoochy is the one adults would most like to see violently killed.

So, even there it fails to appeal to the adults that it so very wanted too. But I think mostly this movie was hoping to get in touch with every adults inner child, but Barney, teletubbies, etcs have annoyed adults so badly that I don't think Smoochy had a chance.

I suppose that is why someone like me was able to enjoy the movie, though. I don't have children, so the "animal" menance doesn't rule my life. And even when I'd watch my friends children (and therefore childrens television) the children I watched were a bit old for the real annoying stuff.


Now for a not underrated movie, but one I commented on recently and have now seen the DVD version - Cursed


One of the movies I watched was the DVD of Cursed, which I "reviewed" here.

Watching the movie on television left me with much confusion. The television version cut out at least twenty minutes (maybe more) of footage, which didn't help the movie at all. So, I will say one thing about the full version of Cursed - at least now I know where the PTB were trying to lead me. They didn't do it well and that second twist still sucks the life from an otherwise fairly decent movie...

(Seriously, I just really hate vampire or werewolf movies that leave an out, because from the moment the audience learns of the "out" you know that whoever is "turned" will end up back human at the end of the movie. *snore* BORING!

And this is where I thought Craven might pull the second twist. Yes, I knew this was a Craven project even watching the television version - he is credited, after all. Anyway, the second twist should have been leaving the characters with an out, but having them choose NOT to take it, because - without Jake going insane at the end - taking said out would have made Ellie and Jimmy bigger monsters than becoming a werewolf would have. Instead because of the "twist" the movie very heavy handedly forces Ellie and Jimmy to take the out.
)

So, NO, the DVD doesn't make the movie seem any better, and in some ways it is worse, but the positive is that I do (at least) understand what I was supposed to think on some of the things that left me confused. Though I'm still rather married to my original thoughts, if the DVD (full version) had been better, maybe that would have changed, but oh well.

However, all my gripes in this entry still stand firm and most of what was left unanswered is still unanswered. But I thought to be fair I would come back and mention that the full version of the movie does explain itself well enough for me to know what I was supposed to come away with.