What do you mean Rotten?
Rotten Tomatoes is an invaluable resource for sifting through the numerous film releases to find the cream of the crop. Sometimes, though, the website loses its fresh perspective and ends up reading as totally rotten. There are way too many films to mention that have a fresh rating that I would gladly argue as rotten*. So instead of ranting, here are a selection 4 genuinely great films that do not deserve the stigma of a rotten tag:
*Crystal Skull (2008) and the Star Wars prequels for example.
Fear and Loathing In Las Vegas (Terry Gilliam, 1993)
Reasons for low score: Accusations of a lack of ‘moral judgement’, complaints of repetitiveness, migraines.
Reasons to re-evaluate: Gilliam’s film manages to capture the mood of the book rather beautifully, a well as much of the writer Hunter S. Thompson’s personal philosophy. Johnny Depp channels a personal affinity with Thompson into one of the performances of his career, and Benicio Del Toro is also impressive as personal attorney Dr Gonzo. Once you stop looking for a conventional movie, you can appreciate the film for what it is. Very well made and very, very funny.
Natural Born Killers (Oliver Stone, 1994)
Reasons for low score: Sex and violence…mainly. There was a lot of controversy when this film was originally released.
Reasons to re-evaluate: Ok, so Oliver Stone does go a little over the top with the cinematic tricks. One minute we’re in widescreen, the next we’re staring at 33mm print. And yes, this can be annoying. But at least it is INTERESTING. 1994 is the year of overhyped Forest Gump (71% FRESH), perhaps one of the least interesting best picture winners of all time*. Therefore it’s nice to see a bit of experimentation in the mainstream. The satire may be abit obvious, but its message is timely and (still) very much relevant. The main reason for NBKs success, though, lies with its main characters: Mickey and Mallory. I can’t think of any other film outlaws that have managed to be just so immorally cool, over the top and pulpy. It’s difficult not to get so caught up in the whole excessive mess.
*Except fro Crash (2004) obviously.
Lost Highway (David Lynch, 1997)
Reasons for low score: That old chestnut: too much sex and violence. Also, incoherent plotting and the fact is “doesn’t make sense”.
Reasons to re-evaluate: In retrospect LH is the first film where Lynch fully discards the need for a conventional plot and instead dumps his characters into a dream-like version of reality. It is, hence, the first film where he goes all the way. It also contains some of his best and creepiest sequences and, in the form of Patricia Arquette, one of his most alluring Femme Fatales. Though it may be off putting to many, it’s a great film and worth checking out, especially for fans of Mulholland Drive (2001) and Inland Empire (2006).
Sympathy For Mr Vengeance (Chan Wook Park, 2002)
Reasons for low score: Complaints (again) of too much violence. Accusations of style over substance.
Reasons To re-evaluate: Rather than the quality of the film, the low score actually represents an early confused reaction towards new Korean cinema. Though initially appearing excessive, Mr. V now fits comfortable alongside such contemporary Korean classics as Oldboy (2003), Tale Of Two Sisters (2003) and The Host (2006). Just as Phantom Menace has since been revaluated rotten (80% to 57%), a re-released version of Mr. V would deserve a similar turn around.
Any more suggestions? Find me on twitter @_kill_yr_idols.