So today, I saw two of these movies.
The first was MacGruber. I know. How could I? Well I did because Kristen Wiig is in it and she's
comedic perfection and Ryan Phillipe is in it and he was in Cruel Intentions, one of the greatest movies of the 90s. It got rancid reviews and no one really went to see it either, even though you could tell that Saturday Night Live was putting a great many eggs into this movie's basket. They even had Ryan Phillipe host one week and did about 1000 MacGruber spots during the big Betty White episode.
It's interesting though, when I finally watched the movie, it's not as bad as they made it sound. It's not good. Don't get me wrong. It's not good. But there were a few moments that made me laugh. I get that a comedy is supposed to have more that just a few moments in it that make you laugh and this only had about three, so that doesn't exactly make it a 4 star film. The problem wasn't the cast and it wasn't even really the plot. It's the same plot as most action movies. The problem lies in the fact that the sketch on SNL isn't all that interesting or funny. So there isn't a lot to go off of there. I do think there was a way to make this work in the way that Anchorman worked, this just wasn't really the way.
The second film I watched was Fame, the remake of the American classic. Now I will say this, there was no reason for this movie to be bad, especially in a world where High School Musical made a billion dollars. It has everything that should make a good movie. Musical numbers, teenagers striving for success, and a theme song that's a standard. But I could tell from the trailer that everything that was exciting in this movie was in the trailer.
Here's the deal. It's not unwatchable. The performance scenes are actually fun to watch, especially because the dancers are really professionals and not high school kids. I was able to pick out a few that I recognized, including Jeremy Hudson who has been dancing like a freak with the GaGa. (He's moderately incredible, just sayin) But the story about these kids, the whole point of the movie, is so thin that it's barely recognizable. And, the vocalists in the movie weren't really what I would expect in a movie that's about being a gifted performer. I mean, I've heard better in the theater department at my school. So I was a little disappointed in that because I expected stellar. (there are of course an exception or two)
It was basically like watching a two hour long music video, which for some people is a splendid time at the movies. But I usually go to the movies because I want to see a story told and sadly, there's still a lot of story to be told in this movie. As far as the studio is concerned, it made about three times as much as it cost to make, so it was kinda a success.
Bad movies will continue to fill the theaters, especially this summer where there is such a void of great movies on the ballot for 'summer smash,' but that's okay. It just makes the good movies that much better.