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R.M.Alger

What are your Favorite B and C Movies?

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Many of us occasionally partake in enjoyments we know are not perfect. We can love a well-cooked veal, but also enjoy a baloney sandwich from time-to-time. Movies are no different.

Here are some of my imperfect enjoyments:

Tremors – Themes? Themes! You don’t need no stinkin’ themes! You got giant, man-eating earthworms to enjoy. This is about a group of people who have to survive or kill “graboids” (the worms I previously mentioned); usually with resourcefulness and some know-how. Only movie I’ve seen where one of the heroes is a right-wing, survivalist, gun nut.

tremors.jpg

Hackers – This painfully inaccurate cult-classic launched Angelina Jolies career. In its own stupid way it can be fun to watch.

War Games – This movie rode on Cold War fears of nuclear annihilation; the old video games and computer are also fun to watch.

The Karate Kid – There are some parts of this movie that are incredibly well done, but so much clumsiness and clashes still give it a B-movie vibe. This was an inconsistently unique movie; about martial arts but stressing self-assurance and control; the various sequels never did it justice. Plus, the movie gave mr. Miyagi to the world (I still own a shirt that says: Wash on, Wash off”.)

Serenity – I love Firefly just as much as the next guy; but lets face it, this movie is B. In any case, Captain Reynolds stands in my mind as one of the best Sci-Fi captains to date.

Waterworld – I fully realize that Kevin Costner is not the best actor in the world; but I just don’t get the rabid anti-Costner culture out there; I like a lot of his movies, even Waterworld. The movie, which at its release was the most expensive ever made, bombed in theaters. It sports one of the coolest boats I’ve ever seen; the mythology of the movie was also interesting (which was about 60 percent of my enjoyment of the film.)

Waterworld_MotionPictureSoundtrack.jpg

Blankman – A comedy about an inner city nerd who becomes a city-wide hero using his super-intelligence and a pile of junk. What’s not to like?

The Last Starfighter – Every kid dreams that somehow, becoming proficient in video games will result in something awesome; like becoming a real starfighter.

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – Gotta love the most bizarre combination of traits on the planet (Ninjas + Teenagers + Turtles.)

Crocodile Dundee – A tribute to Americ….uh….Australian individualism; for all its faults, the movie created a fun and charming character (and yes, I’ m mad too that it never explained the psychic thing.)

Those are just a few I came up with on the top of my head; I’ll probably think of more later.

Anyway, here’s the time to post yours.

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Many of us occasionally partake in enjoyments we know are not perfect. We can love a well-cooked veal, but also enjoy a baloney sandwich from time-to-time. Movies are no different.

Here are some of my imperfect enjoyments:

Tremors – Themes? Themes! You don’t need no stinkin’ themes! You got giant, man-eating earthworms to enjoy. This is about a group of people who have to survive or kill “graboids” (the worms I previously mentioned); usually with resourcefulness and some know-how. Only movie I’ve seen where one of the heroes is a right-wing, survivalist, gun nut.

tremors.jpg

Hackers – This painfully inaccurate cult-classic launched Angelina Jolies career. In its own stupid way it can be fun to watch.

War Games – This movie rode on Cold War fears of nuclear annihilation; the old video games and computer are also fun to watch.

The Karate Kid – There are some parts of this movie that are incredibly well done, but so much clumsiness and clashes still give it a B-movie vibe. This was an inconsistently unique movie; about martial arts but stressing self-assurance and control; the various sequels never did it justice. Plus, the movie gave mr. Miyagi to the world (I still own a shirt that says: Wash on, Wash off”.)

Serenity – I love Firefly just as much as the next guy; but lets face it, this movie is B. In any case, Captain Reynolds stands in my mind as one of the best Sci-Fi captains to date.

Waterworld – I fully realize that Kevin Costner is not the best actor in the world; but I just don’t get the rabid anti-Costner culture out there; I like a lot of his movies, even Waterworld. The movie, which at its release was the most expensive ever made, bombed in theaters. It sports one of the coolest boats I’ve ever seen; the mythology of the movie was also interesting (which was about 60 percent of my enjoyment of the film.)

Waterworld_MotionPictureSoundtrack.jpg

Blankman – A comedy about an inner city nerd who becomes a city-wide hero using his super-intelligence and a pile of junk. What’s not to like?

The Last Starfighter – Every kid dreams that somehow, becoming proficient in video games will result in something awesome; like becoming a real starfighter.

The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – Gotta love the most bizarre combination of traits on the planet (Ninjas + Teenagers + Turtles.)

Crocodile Dundee – A tribute to Americ….uh….Australian individualism; for all its faults, the movie created a fun and charming character (and yes, I’ m mad too that it never explained the psychic thing.)

Those are just a few I came up with on the top of my head; I’ll probably think of more later.

Anyway, here’s the time to post yours.

It simply has to be the legendary "Plan 9 from outer space"

Plan 9

So bad, it's great

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Off the top of my head:

Mortal Kombat 1 and 2

The Postman

.Perhaps more will come to mind later...

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Off the top of my head:

_____

*Incidentally, my vote for worst movie of all time: Samson vs. The Vampire Women (1962). I've only ever seen the MST3K version, but if you look past that and actually watch the movie, it's far worse than anything else I've ever seen.

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I thought "B movie" meant low budget and/or low gross? Movies made for TV would probably also qualify.

When I'm in the mood to watch a "bologna sandwich movie", pretty much anything with Eric Roberts will do. He is the king of B movies, and as terrible as they can be I enjoy watching his performances.

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I thought "B movie" meant low budget and/or low gross? Movies made for TV would probably also qualify.

To clarify, is the "prestige" gradient of dramas supposed to be: theatre > one-stretch/2.5-hour tv movies > multi-part tv movies > tv series? If yes, is technology of home theatres surpassing the quality of experience in theatres changing the gradient?

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I thought "B movie" meant low budget and/or low gross? Movies made for TV would probably also qualify.

Those are both common traits of B-movies; but I think a B-movie is determined more by the quality of the filmmaking then anything else. The writing, directing, and acting all play a part.

Waterworld was a large budget movie; but it was decidedly silly and B. The Illusionist, on the other hand, had a modest budget, but was certainly not B. Same goes with financial success.

To clarify, is the "prestige" gradient of dramas supposed to be: theatre > one-stretch/2.5-hour tv movies > multi-part tv movies > tv series? If yes, is technology of home theatres surpassing the quality of experience in theatres changing the gradient?

It certainly has.

I think for this reason movie theaters are starting to drift towards different types of formats. Subtle 3D is becoming popular (with Spielberg making a live-action 3D film, Ghost in the Shell, which comes out in a couple of years.) IMAX is also becoming a medium of choice for many movie makers; it’s also something that can’t currently be matched in the home-theater. The Dark Knight, for instance, is partly filmed in IMAX format. I expect, in a few years, theaters possessing an IMAX will be the norm, as stadium seating has become now.

With TV continually increasing in quality, theater-based movies need to find a new edge (and I do think this changes how we define B-ness.)

Excuse me if I rambled. One last statement: this is just a personal opinion, but I don’t think B-ness is determining primarily by format.

-Ryan

P.S. – Here are two more B’s for your consideration:

The Crow – A cool stylistic movie that never really goes anywhere; spawned some sequels which where practically copies of the original.

Demolition Man – Staring Sandra Bullock and Stallone; this action movie almost makes the leap to “smart-action movie” but decides not to. On the up side, there is a great little speech by a well-known comedian about over-protective societies and governments.

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When I'm in the mood to watch a "bologna sandwich movie", pretty much anything with Eric Roberts will do. He is the king of B movies, and as terrible as they can be I enjoy watching his performances.

I always thought Eric Roberts deserved more credit as an actor. Maybe he just got type-cast into certain kinds of roles.

I thought he was very good beside James Woods in The Specialist (which is also a B-movie.)

- Ryan

P.S. -- Any of Chuck Norris' old action movies are fun, but sometimes not in the way they want to be (just watch Delta Force or Invasion U.S.A.; classic action!.)

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I forgot to mention these movies! I can’t believe you brought up Earth Girls are Easy; I haven’t thought about that movie for years. One question though: if you shaved the aliens from that move, wouldn’t they have a five-o-clock shadow over their entire body?

Buffy’s also a fun movie (with some very decent actors in it; including what’s-his-name from The Italian Job.)

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The Big Combo.

A B-grade film noir from 1950. Standard cops and robbers fare, but with beautiful minimalist lighting. A UCLA lighting instructor pointed this one out in a class, and for good reason.

Repo Man.

Off-beat, quirky humor. Some choice lines:

Debbi:Duke, let's go do some crimes.

Duke: Yeah. Let's go get sushi and not pay.

Agent Rogers: It happens sometimes. People just explode. Natural causes.

The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension

Over the top 80's campy flick. Lines:

Buckaroo Banzai: I've been ionized, but I'm okay now.

President Widmark: [reading] "Declaration of War... the short form."

Mission Control: Buckaroo, The White House wants to know is everything OK with the alien space craft from Planet 10 or should we just go ahead and destroy Russia?

Buckaroo Banzai: Tell him yes on one and no on two.

Mission Control: Which one was yes, go ahead and destroy Russia... or number 2?

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The Librarian:

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0412915/

A made for TV B release but I loved it. Pretty zany and far fetched and doesn't take itself seriously. It's also quite embarrassing how much I identify with the lead character in this too... DORKS UNITE!

If you're wondering what it's like... think Indiana Jones type adventure... but cheesier.

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Any of the Babylon 5 Made-for-TV movies:

My favorite guilty pleasure, Starship Troopers. It's totally different than the book, but still entertaining. Not the sequel though.

Oh, and the sequels to "Revenge of the Nerds" = Nerds in Paradise, The Next Generation, Nerds in Love

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