Also-Ran Movies of the ’00s – Embarrassing Films

Forever ago I started compiling lists of the best also-ran movies of the ‘00s.  These were categorized lists of the best genre films that failed to get much recognition critically or monetarily.

Recently I got a little tied up with American Idol and failed to release my final two lists to the world (my two favorite lists, in fact).  The first list is of movies that were mostly maligned by critics and that became punch lines, exemplifying all that was wrong with big budget films and big budget special effects and big budget stars.  The secret, though, is that all of these films are actually quite watchable, some of them quite good, and a few of them (I think) just weren’t appreciated in their time.

Speed Racer – It’s colorful.  It’s cartoony.  It’s ADD in film form.  I wanted to hate this movie (mostly because Mr. Mags made me see it in IMAX with him, and I hate IMAX), but I actually enjoyed the experience and I think the Wachowskis made a really fun kids’ movie.

The Island – Michael Bay is not my favorite.  I pretty much subscribe to Team America: World Police’s assessment of his filmmaking talents.  However, I am a fan of The Island.  This is a fun, fluffy sci-fi/action movie that looks great and offers up an engaging story.

Mission: Impossible III – Mr. Mags actually had this movie in his Top 10 of the decade.  I wouldn’t go that far, but this is pretty much a perfect action movie that suffered upon its release due to Tom Cruise’s couch jumping shenanigans.

Hitch – The very best case I can make for this movie is that it kept me awake even though I was watching it in bed after 10 PM.

National Treasure – I definitely made fun of this movie when I saw the trailer.  Nicholas Cage stealing the Declaration of Independence to find hidden treasure?  Do not want.  But.  In execution, it’s not half bad.

The Family Stone – This film is sanctimonious (one character –the deaf, gay son whose partner is an African American — is so blatantly in-your-face PC it’s laughable), but the film survives on its cast, specifically the always welcome Rachel McAdams.

Apocalypto – Mel Gibson has made some unfortunate choices in the last decade, to say the least, and I thought Apocalypto was going to be another one of those unfortunate choices.  Mel created quite a tidy, suspenseful, and freaky popcorn movie that just happens to be told in the Mayan language.


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