Five movies the critics got completely wrong…

Here at Casta La Vista, we’re all about cutting through the bullshit and giving you honest opinions of movies from a real life perspective.  Here then are five films  that the critics would have you believe were truly awful whereas I believe otherwise.
1. An Innocent Man (1989)
Starring: Tom Selleck
Tomatometer rating: 29%

Starting off with an extremely personal one then; it’s a well known fact that I love Tom Selleck – hell I even changed one of my names because of him – but this film isn’t my favourite film ever because of that famous moustache alone!

An Innocent Man tells the story of what a framed and wrongly imprisoned law abiding citizen must do to survive in a high security prison, chronicling his journey from fish to big boss man. The thing that strikes me about this movie is that it was so ahead of the curve of what we saw in the likes of Oz or Prison Break but at all times keeps Selleck’s character sympathetic even when carrying out unspeakable acts.

DVD – £2.99

2. Speed Racer (2008)
Starring: Emile Hirsch
Tomatometer rating: 37%

Up to this point in time, this is the only non cinema release I’ve reviewed in Casta’s short history. The full review can be found here.

To say that this film bombed is somewhat of an understatement and truth be told I’ve never really understood why. It’s fun, fast paced and massively entertaining. The races are well choreographed, as are the fight scenes and it’s peppered with hilarity throughout with one of the best animal performances I think I may have ever seen. And it’s colourful enough to make your eyes bleed – what more could you want?

DVD – £2.99Blu-Ray – £7.83

3. Bad Boys II (2003)
Starring: Will Smith
Tomatometer rating: 24%

Will Smith and Martin Lawrence return in one of the most ridiculously entertaining action ’em ups to ever grace the silver screen. Once again there’s some guff about drugs and what not, but the real important facts here are; witty dialogue, tight action, ridiculous stunts and intriguing camera work.

This film really is Michael Bay at his finest. That may not be saying much but if you’re one of those who enjoy their action movies where anything or anyone could explode at any given moment in time, then this should be right up your street.

DVD – £3.99
4. Final Fantasy VII – Advent Children (2005)
Starring: various voice talent
Tomatometer rating: 33%

The title alone is enough to perturb most people from this wonderful semi-quel to arguably one of the best games of all time. Take it from me that you don’t need to know anything about the game as, admittedly, the story is complete nonsense anyway.

What we’re left with then is a visual showcase of ridiculous sword fighting action that remains untouchable in terms of visuals even five years after its creation. This film is an absolute must for action movie fans as the format allows fight scenes to be choreographed in a way that would be impossible for real life actors and which still brings a buzz of excitement to me even after multiple watches. The music is worth a nod, being re-orchestrations of the classic game music and the voice acting isn’t half bad whether you choose to listen to the original Japanese or English overdub.

Final Fantasy fan or not, this is still a great watch.

DVD – £4.99 & Blu-Ray – £9.93

5. Jingle All the Way (1996)

Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger
Tomatometer rating: 16%

Talk about saving the best for last! It wouldn’t be much of a list without an Arnie film now would it?

Jingle All the Way is undoubtedly one of my favourite Christmas films. It’s the simple story of a well meaning but hapless dad trying to get his son the must have Christmas toy on Christmas Eve which would be pretty terrible if it weren’t for one thing. ARNOLD! Hollywood was on to something when it put one of the buffest men in history in a long line of ever more ridiculous comedies, this being the greatest/worst depending on how you look at it. Sure it’s stupid, sure Sinbad is awful and sure you know how it’s going to end before you even drop the DVD in the tray but this is Christmas fun at it’s best.


DVD – £3.97


29 Responses to Five movies the critics got completely wrong…

  1. Dan says:

    What about the Tooth Fairy??

    (not to hijack your post, but I’ve called you out over here:

  2. Castor says:

    Can’t really say I enjoyed Bab Boys II but it sure is entertaining 🙂

  3. rtm says:

    Hello Chrises, I found your blog through Castor’s. This is a fun list, I don’t know how many times I disagree with the critics! I agree about Jingle all the way being a fun Christmas movie, seriously those critics should chill out a bit. And yeah, Bad Boys sure is entertaining, it’s Michael Bay doing what he does best. I mean, even those Hot Fuzz blokes Pegg/Frost love ’em 🙂

  4. Dan says:

    Out of all these films I think it’s only Speed Racer that I actually have much recollection of (I feel rather ashamed of that, I really must re-watch Bad Boys II).

    I thought it was crud. But I was watching in completely the wrong environment – as a guest in a busy house with kids screaming around me and watching on a tiny portable TV set. So I imagine the fact that I couldn’t tell what the hell was going on half the time was due to circumstance than the movie (or possibly it was both).

  5. Joel Burman says:

    An innocent man Yes!
    The rest No!

    Especially Bad Boys is so much better than the crappy sequel.

  6. But aren’t you a critic? You got it right. Ha.

    I HATED Jingle All the Way, if it was a person I’d kill it. But I like this concept, sometimes (especially recent) film criticism becomes so consensus-like it’s either everyone loves it or everyone hates it. I still think the critics were wrong on The Lovely Bones and Nine.

    (Now how about a list that critics got completely wrong; that were given positive reviews.)

    • castalavista says:

      That’s a great shout – films that critics are so up their own arse about it’s ridiculous. That will certainly get a look in very soon – thanks for the great idea!

      Could also extend this to films that critics love that you may be put off by the highly elevated status they’ve received but really they’re alright. Although that is a bit of a mouthful…

      (And by critics I was of course referring to the stuffy old men with no joy in their hearts who sit in a closed up room eating their own toenails all day – I only partially meet that criteria :p)

  7. Joel Burman says:

    Well its probably every Wes Anderson film. He could direct a peanut and still have the critics kneeling for him. I find him extremly overrated.

    • castalavista says:

      I honestly felt the same until I saw the Fantastic Mr Fox which I just thought was sublime and I finally “got” what Wes was doing – I’m still not a massive fan of his but found the Darjeeling Limited tolerable (mostly down to Brody and Schwartzman)

      Here’s a link to my Fantastic Mr Fox review:

      • Joel Burman says:

        That is a great review but I found it way better than the film. To me it was the same overchoreograped and stylistic show of as his live action films. Sure from time to time it looks great but I’d rather seen this one as a shortie.

  8. castalavista says:

    and you know something, that’s a huge thing for me about whenever someone tries to adapt Roald Dahl’s stuff – to me with them being simple kids stories the idea of them lends itself better to a half hour show rather than a ninety minute one.

    I know exactly what you mean about his over-choreography and it certainly is another good case to study in the argument of style over substance.

    I guess I’ll have to wait until his next film and use that as a decider as to whether I like his stuff or not. I’m still fairly “anti” him right now but if his next project floats my boat, it’ll be harder to be against him than for him…

  9. Joel Burman says:

    “Style over substance” might be the best way to describe Mr. Andersons (sorry couldn’t help myself) directorial approach! I wonder how close it ever came that he would be on board as new Spiderman director.
    I froze when saw that rumor.

  10. Colleeng says:

    I probably shouldn’t have this in print anywhere, but I actually did enjoy Jingle All the Way. We got free tickets to see it in the theater. It was an entertaining afternoon. You’ve made me want to see that Tom Selleck movie. We had Speed Racer here (California) in theaters. My brother-in-law saw it and really enjoyed it.

    • castalavista says:

      Of course you should have it in print! That’s the point – spread the love! PUT THAT COOKIE DOWN! NOW! Ha! That Tom Selleck movie is definitely straight to TV material but is still a lot of fun – you should check it out! Speed Racer is ridiculously fun, I can never quite understand why it got so panned!

      What are your favourite “bad” movies?

      • Colleeng says:

        The one I’m probably most embarrassed about is “Joe Dirt” with David Spade. I even sort of teared up. That’s tough to beat, huh?

      • castalavista says:

        Well it’s certainly one I’m going to have to add to my list then as I’ve not yet had the pleasure!

        Cheers for the recommendation!

  11. Joel Burman says:

    Mr. T and the women I always have found to be very underrated.

  12. Joel Burman says:

    And of course Cruel Intensions 2 yet another great performance of Amy Adams!

  13. Dan says:

    Oh! I just thought of another one!

    Hudson Hawk! One of the funniest movies ever to have come out of hollywood (at least according to my 14 year old self back in the day)

    • castalavista says:

      It’s funny I added that to my list after watching your most recent episode – along with the Last Boy Scout. These had better be good!

      • Dan says:

        Have you not seen Last Boy Scout? Boy you are in for a treat! I think. Look it was a long time ago. I remember it very fondly anyhow.

        Hudson Hawk is awesome, but you have to go in expecting sillyness.

  14. Joel Burman says:

    I saw Jingle all the way yesterday and was shocked of hiw funny it was!

  15. Joel Burman says:

    Well you said it worked both ways and I agree to that but I think if it had come before twins, kindergarten cop and all the other comedies it would have been a super success. By the time “Jingle all the way” was released I think everyone was fed up with Arnold doing silly comedies!

    • castalavista says:

      Yep see where you’re coming from with that – it was just more of the same. What I wouldn’t give to see him doing something just as ridiculous right now. We need more actors like Arnie up there making fools of themselves for cheap laughs! As average as it is, I find that when it’s on, I can never turn it off!

  16. […] critics got completely wrong… I enjoyed taking apart the critics’ views so much last time that I figured I’d do the same again; so here are five more films that don’t quite have […]

  17. Rusty Pyatt says:

    I wonder if arnold will do any more movies?

  18. […] (six) movies that cure my hangover… Chris M wrote a few articles recently of films he likes that the critics don’t seem to and in the hopes of cashing in […]

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