Movies We like Even if No One Else Does – A Rant by The Rogues

In this month’s Rogues Rant, we decided we were tired of being laughed at for liking certain movies, so we’re gonna tell you why you got no business laughing at us and why if you all had any sense, you’d like them too. (We know you’re still gonna laugh, but that’s ok. If everyone liked the same movies, no one would need reviewers, and then we’d be out of a job.)

Charles Pratt:
Spongebob Squarepants is a Great Film and You’re Crazy if You Don’t Like It!

I’ve gotten more grief over watching-and thoroughly enjoying SpongeBob Squarepants the Movie than any other film I can think of. "You’re HOW old??", people say with exaggerated surprise. "At 36 most people have moved on to better things than stupid cartoons!" You know what I say back to them ?(With all Christian love, of course) SCREW YOU, buddy!" Maybe if you loosened up a bit and eased off on the buttock tension that poker you got shoved up your dark side would fall out a little sooner.

Spongebob Squarepants rules the world and you’re just to puckered to notice it. Yeah, it’s a cartoon. And it’s great. It contains what you obviously don’t-an IMAGINATION! Spongebob Squarepants is an animated everyman doing the best he can. My eyes are open, my dim witted and deluted friends! I can see the Patricks and the Squidwards and the Mr. Crabbs of this world and I’m proud to tell you that I live my life to be more like Spongebob!!

Spongebob aspires to be more than a tiny sponge in a big ocean.

Spongebob freely gives of himself. He knows what friendship is.

Spongebob DREAMS BIG, baby, and your miserable humbugging isn’t going to dampen his spirits or mine.

Spongebob is good and kind and fun to be around and no matter how old he gets he’s not afraid to be just a big dumb goofy goober-Because that’s what its all about-shirking the fear and the chains of social bondage and being who and what you were created to be!

I’d trade any 3 people I know for one friend like Spongebob Squarepants cause he’s true and yellow and a hell of a sponge!

Spongebob isn’t ashamed, man! He isn’t ashamed of himself, his home, his friends, or his aspirations. He doesn’t carry on with some big subterfuge like most people do so they can look big in other people’s eyes.

Spongebob is a free thinker.

Danny Runion:

I’ve not ever really gotten crap about any movies I like. I’m just going to mention a few movies that have gotten me some strange looks. I’m far more of a believer in enjoy whatever type of movies except the pseudo-intellectual artsy-drama, romantic comedies, or any movie called a triumph of the human spirit. Most people only want to tear down our love of Godzilla or Evil Dead movies for us mocking bad romantic comedies.

I have gotten a few raised eyebrows for proudly proclaiming my purchase of the box set of Streetfighter movies. Apparently, my friends thought sequels were made to Jean-Claude Van-Damme’s Streetfighter.

Maximum Overdrive isn’t a great movie. It is an extremely bad movie with some of the actors. The whole "We made you" bit has been indelibly burnt into my brain. I do happen to think it isn’t anywhere as bad as other people do. Hearing Lisa Simpson scream "Curtissssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss!!!!!!!!!" is far funnier to me than it ought to be.

To be fair, most of the early Peter Jackson movies are on "the how can you possibly like them" list. Bad Taste and Meet the Feebles just have enough insanity to escape much scrutiny. Dead Alive has been a bit too much of a splatterstick movie for some of my friends. Apparently, the pudding scene is just too much for them. I either have stronger stomach concerning movie gore, or they wouldn’t be considered even be lightweights for splatterstick movies.

Dennis Grisbeck:

So what is so bad about "Xanadu"? Hey, it’s a musical for cripes sake. Admitedly a goofy, garish, made-in-1980 cheese-fest musical, but still pretty fun.

The acting isn’t overly bad. Michael Beck was still a pretty hot item after starring in "The Warriors", and was certainly a good sport playing the role of the struggling graphic artist "Sonny". I will grant you that the portrayal of the relationship between Sonny and the aging "Danny McGuire" (played by Gene Kelly (!)) was cringe-inducingly bad. Who can forget Olivia Newton John? She certainly held her own, given the silly role she was cast in. I’ve always had a crush on her, so I’m probably being a bit subjective here, but she was hot! (Remember the leapord skin leotard she had on during the grand finale? Yow!) But really, who watches Xanadu for the acting? It’s the music and the over-the-top dance numbers that keep me coming back time and time again. Wow! My two favorites, I must guiltily admit, are the lavish Find-An-Outfit-For-Danny scene (Those outfits! Ouch!), and of course, the roller-skating glam-fest at the end of the movie. I predict that you will never see Gene Kelly leading an army of rolling-skating zoot suit gangsters around a skating rink, in this life or the next.

Xanadu is cheezy, silly, and at times downright awful. But it IS fun!

Duane Martin:

I think the only movie I’ve gotten a lot of crap over liking is Spice World. I know the Spice Girls were overexposed and overpromoted and people got sick of them, but the fact is that if you actually listen to them, they’re all really good singers and their voices blend really well together. For me it was a shame when they broke up, because despite the fact that teenieboppers everywhere cried in their pillows that night, the simple fact is that a really nice singing group was lost. Fortunately, I believe they’re getting back together, so that’s gotta make some teenieboppers happy. I guess I’m just a 34 year old teeniebopper at heart. It’s actually weird because usually I stick to classic rock and 80’s hair bands for the most part. Oh wait, I know what it is that really drew me to them. They’re freakin’ hot! Never dismiss the drool factor folks. It has a big influence on every guy that’s ever taken a breath.

As for the movie, it was stupid campy fun. It’s also got Richard E. Grant in it, who’s a phenomenal actor and really helped step it up to a higher level. So I don’t care if people laugh at me for watching it. It’s fun and it’s stupid and pretty much any time I watch it, it’s pretty much guaranteed that a tent will be pitched.

Jonathon Pernisec

I’m going to play fast and loose with the definition of “love” and how it applies to the movies in my collection. What you fine readers must know is how much I can love an unabashedly stupid movie. Also, and may whatever spiritual force have mercy on my soul, I think I secretly adore Halle Berry and her never-ending crusade to make herself look like an evil wench. She’s completely out of her mind, this is certain, but her innate madness led to the creation of one of my favorite and widely despised movies. I’m talking, of course, about Catwoman.

What audiences need to understand, especially if they’re made up of b-goers, is this could very well be considered as much of a turkey as Battlefield Earth. Both chugged along the development track because of the vanity of their stars. John Travolta wanted to make a whiz-bang action fest glorifying L. Ron Hubbard, and Berry wanted to prove to…well, someone, that she could play the headliner in a superhero movie. In the end both celebrities got what they wished for and the resulting disasters are worth noting any day of the week.

I saw Berry’s tale of woman-turned-feline when it was originally released in theaters, and as usual brought a friend or two kicking and screaming for the ride (these are the same friends who also had to watch Thunderbirds, Ballistic: Ecks vs. Sever and countless other bombs at their local theater). They of course couldn’t stand what was unreeling before them, a bizarre feminist fable about one gal’s crusade against an evil makeup organization. Okay, can I just say this is a genius plot device? You can’t get any cheesier than having your villains be made up of Clinique-rejects who knowingly release an unsafe face cream. And what’s more, Sharon Stone is their leader. Who can’t squirm with glee over seeing this woman embarrass herself every time she walks in front of the camera?

A major point of discussion must concern this Catwoman’s bevy of powers. For while in Tim Burton’s Batman Returns, where the clawed kitty was merely a bit of a cook with a penchant for S&M, the new edition actually has cat powers. She contorts like rubber, can leap atop the highest of book shelves, and yes, even has a need to devour shrimp cocktail and pure cream. Can you imagine if any other superhero movie had taken its character so literally? What if Spider-Man shot webs out of a keenly placed hole in his spandex? This kind of direction and basic-decision making is right up there with putting ice skates in George Clooney’s Bat Boots, and I applaud it completely.

As a way of wrapping up my little love letter to Catwoman there are two key scenes I should mention. First there is the oh-so awful basketball game, wherein Berry and her love interest, played by an ever-smirking Benjamin Bratt, take it to the court, as it were. Granted, having about two dozen multi-ethnic kids cheering Berry on in the background was funny in and of itself, but when the song “Scandalous” kicked in I couldn’t stop laughing. Even better is the sequence where Berry commits a jewel heist, realizes her discretion after coming out of her feline stupor, and then leaves detective Bratt some APOLOGY MUFFINS at the scene of the crime. Classic.

So there you have it, ladies and gentlemen, my case for loving Catwoman. Considering the many lame, boring, and just plain irritating comic book adaptations to come out of Hollywood in the past few years, this one actually delivers in the Morbid Entertainment Department. Watch some bad CGI, listen to some goofy dialogue, and hoot when Stone finally gets her just desserts for being the wicked makeup tycoon she apparently wanted to portray. It’ll do ya good on a rainy day, trust me.

Jordan Garren:

Ok, this is a rant so I won’t pick one movie to defend, but several. First in line is Larry Cohen’s "Q – The Winged Serpent." Already I can hear the screeching laughter from the editor and at least a dozen other people because this is the main film I’m picked on for liking. The fact that I used to watch it a lot as a young child (skinned corpses, bare breasts, and all) has probably led to my further enjoyment of the film, but how can you really dislike a movie with so many cult movie stars? It stars David Carradine, Richard "Shaft" Roundtree, Michael Moriarty (who turns in a good performance. Annoying or not, he was good damn it!), and several others. It has a giant stop-motion animated monster that flies around Manhattan and devours people. It’s got action, romance, horror, dark humor, an incredible musical score, and is directed by one of the most prolific cult movie directors of the ’80s! Yes the whole presence of the monster seems tacked on and yes there are plotholes, but this movie deserves a second chance! C’mon! Please?! First five beers are on me if you watch it!

Another often disliked movie that I enjoy is "The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou." I can already feel the shudders of contempt for this film. Directed by Wes Anderson ("Royal Tennenbaums," "Rushmore"), "Life Aquatic" is the tale of Steve Zissou (Bill Murray), a middle-aged oceanographer who has just lost his best friend to a fabled Jaguar Shark. Zissou sets out to make one last documentary, chronicling his personal seek and destroy mission against the possibly non-existent fish. Along for the ride is a huge cast of big Hollywood names including Owen Wilson, Cate Blanchett, Anjelica Huston, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Michael Gambon, Bud Cort, and others. This film is extremely off-beat, showcases some odd stop-motion effects for most of the film’s sea creatures, and may be too much to take in for the common man. The humor is dark and satirical and Bill Murray’s performance as the oceanographer having a sometimes violent mid-life crisis is just awesome! Go into this one with an open mind and a familiarity with Wes Anderson’s work, and I guarantee that you won’t hate it, and maybe, just maybe you’ll really enjoy it! I did, but then again, I liked "Q." Sheesh, everybody’s a critic!

Finally, I’d like to tell you about one more movie I’ve enjoyed that I still get flack for on a monthly basis, namely "Cabin Fever." How can a movie that was gleefully endorsed by Peter Jackson ("Bad Taste," "Meet the Feebles," "Dead-Alive," "The Lord of the Rings" Trilogy), be bad? I didn’t think it was! "Cabin" tells the story of a group of kids at a secluded cabin that are suffering the ravages of a flesh-eating virus. The film is extremely gory, contains some dark humor, has some nudity, and two amazingly gross scenes. One involves a girl getting fingered in the wrong hole… namely the bloody and slowly melting hole on her thigh! Blech! Talk about ruining a perfectly good passionate moment! The other scene is for the ladies and shows how shaving your legs while infected by a flesh-eating virus is definitely a bad idea. This film was made by Eli Roth and is definitely going for an 80’s horror movie feel (there’s definitely an attempt to make it feel like the characters have stumble onto the set of a new "Evil Dead" film). Sure the gore and violence is a deterrent for most people, but for sick individuals like me, it’s a flame that draws us horror fans. This movie deserves a little more respect my friends, so give it another go, for my sake!