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Rotten Movies We Love Book Review

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“Rotten Movies We Love” is an engaging albeit flawed book.

“Rotten Movies We Love” is a tie-in book to to the popular, helpful but controversial Rotten Tomatoes website which contains aggregate film critic reviews to movies. The book (which was compiled by the editors of the site) kicks off with a foreword by director Paul Feig and an intro by editor Joel Meares before diving into 101 films that get the spotlight here. The entries are divided into categories that include fan favorites, cult movies, so bad they’re good, sequels, ahead of their time, big name directors, and genre films. Each section has its own introduction while most titles are accompanied by a Tomato score, credits, the critical consensus, a film synopsis, and a written blurb about why it is loved. Some of the titles, however, are given different treatment in the form of critic essays (15 in all) in which the critics talk about their passion for a specific film. Finally, there are random Tomato stats scattered about along with an index and glossary.

It’s important to remember that film is subjective. Another person’s trash is another person’s treasure, some films may be misunderstood, some may be worth a second look, while others still may simply be ahead of their times. That’s where “Rotten Movies We Love” comes in to remind us of all of this and that sometimes hindsight can be important. In the case of this book, some of the poorly received movies have become cult classics (“Bloodsport”), beloved comedies (“Billy Madison” and “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective”), nostalgic classics (ala “Hocus Pocus,” “Hook” and “Space Jam”), so bad they’re good gems (“Xanadu” and “Zardoz” in particular), entertaining sequels (“Friday The Thirteenth Part 2,” “Beneath the Planet of the Apes” and “Rocky 4”) or just downright good movies like “The Stranger” (easily one of the best horror films of the past 15 years) and “Blade” (which paved the way for the modern comic book movie). Of course, some of these movies featured here are simply just bad in my humble opinion ala “Scream 3,” “Event Horizon,” “Burlesque” and “Masters of the Universe,” but, again, to each their own.

The one issue with “Rotten Movies We Love” is that it can be seriously misleading. Take the kung-fu classic “The Last Dragon” for example. Take “The Last Dragon” for instance kung fu. In the book it has a 59% rating. Hop on over to the actual site and it now has a positive tomato with 61%. In addition, the sample size of films before 2000 also tends to be small. Dragon only has 18 critic reviews compared to another title like the more recent “The Greatest Showman” which has a whopping 249 reviews. It’s important to take that into account I feel. Additionally, I really felt like the editors could have dug deeper. There are for sure some films with rotten tomato scores that could have been featured here like the fan favorite “A Goofy Movie,” Pierce Brosnan’s underrated James Bond outing “Tomorrow Never Dies,” and “The Room” which is arguably the greatest bad movie of them all.

November 14, 2019 - Posted by | Book review | , , , , , , , , ,

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