Skip

"It makes nooooo sense! NO SENSE!!"
September 1, 2013 8:16 AM   Subscribe


 
Sometimes I feel these lack joy or are just searching for things ti hang complaints on, this one however is one of the good ones.
posted by Artw at 8:20 AM on September 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


My partner went to high school with Jason, and apparently, the drama club shows with him were basically this, all the time.
posted by xingcat at 8:24 AM on September 1, 2013


So there is not longer just a single uncommented upon still from Battlefield Earth to illustrate 'Dutch angle'... oh wikipedia you continue to disappoint
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 8:35 AM on September 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


You know what other movie gave Battlefield Earth a run for its money with Dutch angles? Thor. Christ on a cracker, get a goddamn shim for your camera, Branagh.
posted by entropicamericana at 9:28 AM on September 1, 2013 [3 favorites]


I love Jason Mantzoukas so much. Like, want to marry him and have 10,000 of his babies love him. I'd ask if that's weird, but I just don't care. I also love the How Did This Get Made podcast and want to marry it. I have complex desires. (The Sleepaway Camp episode is one of my absolute FAVORITES. They spend, like, twenty minutes trying to figure out the plot.)
posted by Aquifer at 9:28 AM on September 1, 2013 [6 favorites]


Battlefield Earth also perfected, if not pioneered, the cinematographic use of the Dutch oven.
posted by zippy at 9:39 AM on September 1, 2013 [5 favorites]


Is Battlefield Earth bad enough to be enjoyable?
posted by Fists O'Fury at 9:57 AM on September 1, 2013


You know, I've seen most of this movie as well as read the book. It definitely has problems both from a pure artistic standpoint and from a CoS propaganda one. That said, it is very far from the worst movie ever. Is BE really worse than, say, Transformers?
posted by DU at 9:58 AM on September 1, 2013


Is Battlefield Earth bad enough to be enjoyable?

....Not really. maybe the DVD with the directors' commentary is, because it becomes blindingly apparently listening to them that they not only didn't really know what they were doing, they also don't know enough about film to even elaborate upon what they were doing. The DVD commentary is a lot of talking-to-fill-space.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:59 AM on September 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


Is Battlefield Earth bad enough to be enjoyable?

It turned up on tv once... I lasted about 15mins
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:02 AM on September 1, 2013


I will watch any old shit with spaceships and lasers, I have never made it through a full sitting of Battlefield Earth.

Sounds like After Earth may give it a run for its money for least watchable Scientology-fueled SF film though.
posted by Artw at 10:06 AM on September 1, 2013


Woah, Battlefield Earth, After Earth... that would be one hell of a double bill
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 10:10 AM on September 1, 2013 [2 favorites]


Is Battlefield Earth bad enough to be enjoyable?

Oh sweet jesus yes, at least to my tastes -- I highly recommend it. It's never boring and there is something gut-bustingly hilarious in almost every scene. It's that rare bad movie made by people that are actually reasonably competent (just check out Roger Christian's filmography - he's not an idiot). It's clear that everyone involved is trying desperately to make hilariously awful material into something watchable, and it's exactly that struggle that produces bad movie genius.

This kind of bad movie is miles above, say, Michael Bay's brand of bad movie, which I find completely unwatchable: Michael Bay has no idea of narrative continuity, character, framing, or pacing. His grasp of filmic grammar begins and ends at the frat house. The Transformers movies are unenjoyable, angering hackwork, whereas Battlefield Earth is a joyous ode to talented people working leagues below their level.
posted by Frobenius Twist at 10:14 AM on September 1, 2013 [8 favorites]


Is Battlefield Earth bad enough to be enjoyable?

Oh sweet jesus yes, at least to my tastes -- I highly recommend it.


My experience was the opposite of this. Though I'll readily grant that other environmental factors may have played a role.
posted by middleclasstool at 10:24 AM on September 1, 2013


Mantzoukas's schtick is way too bro-y for me. Too many of his jokes are about how hot women are or how ugly other women are, "ironic" comments about how men are better than women, etc. I don't know whether the guy is like the character he plays, but his character is pretty revolting. It's the worst form of comedy.

Luckily, June Diane Raphael is a total pleasure and she keeps him in check.
posted by painquale at 10:28 AM on September 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Sounds like After Earth may give it a run for its money for least watchable Scientology-fueled SF film though.

F Y'all's I: HDTGM did an After Earth episode with Paul F. Tomkins.
posted by Room 641-A at 10:46 AM on September 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Luckily, June Diane Raphael is a total pleasure and she keeps him in check.

She's also finds him hilarious, which never fails to surprise me.

She's definitely the unheralded star of the show, for me. There's a lot of pretty typical comic "this is ridiculous" going on, which is generally fun, and then Raphael will interject with a comment or question that is so simple in its lunacy that it brings the show to a stop. Like, she'll get obsessed with a small detail of one character and go off on a tangent, sometimes based on a misunderstanding of what happened on the show, and she'll follow that tangent for a while, and it's so surreal and daffy, and whatever film she watched in her head sounds like a lot more fun than the one the others are complaining about.

Also, she does what I think critics should do, which is she tries to understand the motivations and the inner logic of a film instead of dismissing it. I always think it is a useful exercise to ask "what if what I think is a mistake was deliberate?" She's shown that it can also be a useful comic exercise.

For me, the shows also really stand and fall based on their guests. This past week's Gymkata was superb, because the guest was Michael Showalter, and his almost scholarly comic descriptive skills punched everything up. "What is Gymkata? It is a somersault into karate."
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 10:57 AM on September 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


Is Battlefield Earth bad enough to be enjoyable?

It's bad enough, the problem is that it is too cynical, too dead, to be enjoyable.
posted by zippy at 11:10 AM on September 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


"What is Gymkata? It is a somersault into karate."

The latest Red Letter Media's Best of the Worse's mystery film is [SPOILER] Gymkata... oh boy what a film that looks

(Oh and Best of the Worse series is the best thing RLM has done by a long way... check it out, even if you hated the Plinkett stuff)
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 11:11 AM on September 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, June's attempts to understand movies according to their own logic is by far the best thing about the podcast. I think it started with Rob Schneider's spaghetti robot during the Judge Dread episode, and since then, she has become expert at asking the most basic questions about the show's universe that generate all sorts of fun and wacky theories ("What, exactly, is a Street Fighter?" "Do the ducks from Howard the Duck's universe have the ability to fly?" etc.). She's willing to attempt close critical readings that most people shy away from. And I loved her dramatic reading during the Sharknado episode.

I wish they'd stop doing the live shows. They're almost invariably a lot weaker.
posted by painquale at 11:18 AM on September 1, 2013 [4 favorites]


My top HDTVMs: Catwoman, Sleepaway Camp, Sharknado, Judge Dread, Pluto Nash (Jessica St. Clair --- womp it up! --- tries to make sense of her confusions about the plot in a very June-like way in this one), Punisher War Zone, Crank 2.
posted by painquale at 11:29 AM on September 1, 2013


Is Battlefield Earth bad enough to be enjoyable?

I watched it like two or three years ago, and thought it was more dull than straight up terrible. The G.I. Joe movie was far worse, in terms of "somewhat competently filmed huge waste of money".
posted by Mister Moofoo at 12:35 PM on September 1, 2013


Mantzoukas's schtick is way too bro-y for me.

OH THANK GOD it's not just me. And more so in the live shows when he's playing it off the audience reaction.

Team June here too, and Bunny pretty much nailed why.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 2:55 PM on September 1, 2013


Thanks for linking to HDTGM. I'm cackling through their first episode attacking Burlesque.
posted by ao4047 at 3:34 PM on September 1, 2013 [1 favorite]


Sometimes I feel these lack joy or are just searching for things ti hang complaints on
If How Did This Get Made? doesn't do it for you, give The Flop House podcast a listen--three friends (two of whom work for The Daily Show) discuss films that flopped and answer letters from listeners.
They are hilarious.
posted by blueberry at 9:31 PM on September 1, 2013


Gymkata... oh boy what a film that looks

If you have not seen it... just..DUDE. Gymkata will restore your faith in the true power of a terrible film.
posted by louche mustachio at 1:44 AM on September 2, 2013


It is best enjoyed with friends and booze.
posted by louche mustachio at 1:47 AM on September 2, 2013


My top HDTVMs: Catwoman, Sleepaway Camp, Sharknado, Judge Dread, Pluto Nash (Jessica St. Clair --- womp it up! --- tries to make sense of her confusions about the plot in a very June-like way in this one), Punisher War Zone, Crank 2.

One of these things seems to stand out.
(Well, Sleepaway Camp too. But War Zone was a damn fine movie).
posted by Mezentian at 6:36 AM on September 2, 2013


They got the director in for that - it's seriously worth a listen.
posted by Artw at 6:48 AM on September 2, 2013


I love the Manzouks, especially for his fashion sense.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:55 AM on September 2, 2013


Is Battlefield Earth bad enough to be enjoyable?

It's way too frustrating visually to experience much pleasure from it's hammy acting and nonsensical writing.

The dutch angles make watching it incredibly confusing, you can't tell what is going on because every shot is framed from a different tilted angle originating from somewhere around knee-height. EVERY scene change is occasioned by an agonising STARWARS style centre scroll wipe that takes a good 5 seconds to complete, and ANY mildly demanding physical activity depicted by the actors is rendered in excruciating, multiple shot slow-motion. The print has also been saturated yellow and dark blue for outside and interior scenes respectively, making the outdoor scenes look sickly and pallid, while ensuring you can barely see anything at all during the indoor ones.

I mean these things are so frustrating and intrusive to put up with, trying to have a laugh at the other silliness is made difficult. The whole enterprise just seems purpose designed to piss you off.
posted by Thoth at 11:12 AM on September 2, 2013


Obligatory mention that the MST3k guys did an mp3 RiffTrax commentary on the movie that is full of joyful snark.
Here's a clip
posted by stavx at 11:53 AM on September 2, 2013


« Older Time travel, green faces, comedy Hitler, and a...   |   Weilue: The Peoples Of The West Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post