Movies I Hate: The Notebook [REVIEW]

I’ll admit that romantic tearjerkers are not my cup of tea, and I go into most of them with much disdain. However, a good movie is a good movie, and I’ll never be one to dismiss a romantic movie as long as it’s well-made. I still thoroughly enjoy some romantic movies like Titanic, 500 Days of Summer, or The Princess Bride (yes, that counts). But The Notebook, based on the novel by Nicholas Sparks is not a good movie.

 

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Set in the 1940s, Allie and Noah (Rachel McAdams and Ryan Gosling) meet as teenagers and the story chronicles their summer fling while periodically switching back to their present-day circumstance. This movie depicts a terribly dysfunctional relationship masked as love.  Noah obnoxiously lusts after Allie and asks her out despite multiple rejections, and then threatens suicide if she doesn’t agree to go out with him. I understand that The Notebook is just a movie and sometimes you have to suspend your disbelief, but if someone threatened to kill themselves if you didn’t agree to go out with them, wouldn’t you be a little concerned? I wouldn’t find that adorable. Throughout their relationship, you see them constantly fighting and then passionately making up. Passion and fighting are definitely parts of a healthy relationship, but the way they physically fight is dysfunctional. This movie seems to bank on young girls thinking that this is how relationships should be and it doesn’t matter what the guy does as long as he makes grand romantic gestures.

Another aspect where this movie totally fails is with the characters and the lack of development. For some reason, we’re expected to care about these two young people. We’re only supposed to care about them because we’re told to, not because they’re interesting people with depth. Both of the leads are obnoxious, shallow, and toxic. They have no redeeming qualities, and I’m not sure why we should invest so much emotional energy into their story.

It should be fairly obvious why a character falls in love with another character. So, in theory, it should be easy to see why Noah loves Allie so much. But this movie can’t even depict why Allie is such a spectacular young lady that two men are fiercely devoted to her. I’m still baffled as to why Allie picked Noah over Lon. Lon was kind, sensible and loving. He loves Allie and lets her do what will make her happy; he doesn’t emotionally manipulate her into staying like Noah does.

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It’d be nice if Noah and Allie had more depth to them so we could really see why they love each other and what keeps pulling them together instead of the fact that… they’re both young hot people?

At the end of their lives, Allie is suffering from Alziehmers. Noah goes to visit her and over the span of the day, tries to make Allie remember their love story. Not only does this seem a little unfair to expect from a person who suffers from Alziehmers, but you can’t possibly expect that she’s going to remember the story throughout the day. There’s something that feels extremely offputting in their present-day romance. Perhaps it’s the complete cynical in me, but could he just be obsessed with her and making up this story to make her fall in love with him one last time? That actually sounds like a more interesting story to me.

Ultimately, this movie is disappointing because it plays off romantic cliches that are totally unrealistic, and gives this twisted romantic ideology for young girls. The author, Nicolas Sparks makes money off women looking for their own ‘Noah’ which does not exist.

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Bright: Movie Review [SPOILERS]

Bright is a Netflix movie directed by David Ayer (Suicide Squad, Fury) and stars Will Smith and Joel Edgerton. This movie combines the two worlds of buddy-cop and fantasy when two police officers must work together to get a magic wand that everybody is willing to kill for.

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I think this movie is a really interesting concept, but unfortunately, this great idea gets muddled in a messy script and ‘beat you over your head’ dialogue.

Obviously, the director wanted to shed light on racial tensions and highlight how cruel people can be towards anyone who looks different to them. I think that’s a fine message, but I don’t think it was handled well. In one scene you have all the cops saying racial slurs to the first ever orc-cop Nick Jakoby (Edgerton), but then in the next scene, you have them giggling over a ‘kick me’ sign. I haven’t seen a ‘kick me’ sign since second grade, and I’ve never seen it used in a serious movie as an emotional tactic. Everybody, except for Jakoby is so unlikeable. Daryl Ward (Smith) has absolutely no redeeming qualities and I still didn’t like him by the end of the movie. I don’t know if making Jakoby the only likable character was intentional, but it’s hard to watch a two-hour movie about characters you despise. Most of these characters were unnecessarily cruel, and it didn’t feel realistic. It would’ve been better if they wrote characters that were charismatic yet discriminatory, and weave an interesting web of deep character flaws yet still remain affable. All of the characters were just cruel through and through which very few people in the world actually are.

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The storyline of Bright seems extremely simple in theory – there’s a magic wand that everybody wants and they can’t let it fall into the wrong hands. Yet, it was truly confusing at times. Bright raises a lot of questions that it doesn’t answer about the world its built up, which personally makes me feel like it was not properly executed. This movie tries to juggle too many themes and story-lines which makes every aspect muddled and mediocre.

The idea of a fantasy world mixed with downtown LA is interesting, and I wish they took more time to build that world up. Perhaps this movie would’ve better executed as a TV series – you’d have more time to get to know the characters, immerse yourself in this new fantasy world and understand the ‘rules’ behind them. You’d be able to incorporate more discriminatory plot lines without making the whole series feel overwhelming.

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I wish this movie would’ve given the actors more to work with because there was definitely potential with a conscientious message behind this project. Will Smith and Joel Edgerton are good actors, but you’d never know it in this movie. The man of charisma himself, Will Smith, couldn’t bring the magnetism out of his character.

Overall, this movie isn’t as good as the director thinks it is. Bright 2 (which should be titled Brighter) is already announced, and I can only imagine the immense budget this movie will get. One of the most frustrating aspects of movies today is getting sequels to terrible movies. Nobody asked for a sequel to Bright, but let’s hope there will be a better screenplay for the next one.

Why Did Treasure Planet Fail?

I was seven when Treasure Planet made its theatrical debut, and I was not in any movie theatre to see it. But why not?

I specifically remember seeing Tarzan (1999), Toy Story 2 (1999), Emperor’s New Groove (2000), Monsters Inc (2001), and Lilo and Stitch (2002). So I can’t say I was a stranger to the movies.

In fact, the first time I ever saw this movie was when I was home sick at fifteen years old because it was a free rental on a movie channel. But I was pleasantly surprised at how good this film was.

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Perhaps because my father was out of the picture, and I always felt like I was disappointing my mom, Jim really stood out to me as a character and I resonated with this movie. I loved all the characters; they were all interesting with their own respective motives, passions, and drive. Additionally, this is possibly one of the most complex Disney villains we’re ever given.

This movie is also visually stunning and really comes to life. The setting of traditional nineteenth-century swashbuckling pirates mixed with the futuristic space cyborgs is really interesting, and would, theoretically, bring in more crowds.

Despite this movie taking place in an alternative setting, everything felt real. The music and sound production were amazing. Every sound the cyborg made sounded like what a hypothetical cyborg would sound like. Every door opening, every creek, every switch, every step felt real. This movie deserves credit just for creating a real atmosphere in a very unreal world.

All and all, this is a really good movie. So why did it bomb? Treasure Planet cost $140 million to make but only made $38 million in Canada and the United States opening weekend.

Could it all come down to when this movie was released? It was released on Thanksgiving weekend 2002 in the United States. Frozen, Moana, Toy Story 2, and Tangled were all released around the same time in their respective years and they raked in millions. But they weren’t up against such swift competition, whereas Treasure Planet had to compete with Harry Potter.

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Could it be that people weren’t ready for swashbuckling pirate adventures yet? Pirates of the Carribean came out in July 2003, eight months after Treasure Planet was released. Maybe kids didn’t understand how cool pirates could be until they saw Pirates of the Carribean. A lot of children probably didn’t know the story of Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson, so why would they care about the re-telling of the story on the big screen?

But the same argument can be applied to almost any Disney movie. Are kids fans of talking llamas? Or an alien invading Hawaii? Kids will see any movie that looks funny and exciting – actually, kids will see just about anything.

It’s odd for a Disney movie to do so poorly at the box-office considering Disney could sell water to a fish. I truly believe if they wanted to make this movie successful, they would’ve. Even Chicken Little (2005) only cost $60 million to make, and they grossed $314 million. That movie wasn’t even good!

It seemed like this movie was set up to fail from the very beginning, and it seemed like executives were just not interested in this film despite already being greenlit and in production. For other movies like Lilo & Stitch, there were teasers six months before the movie even came out featuring other beloved Disney characters like Belle, the Beast, Aladdin, and Jasmine. I still remember seeing those teasers.

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I just watched the trailers released for Treasure Planet, and honestly, they’re terrible. I can understand why people weren’t jumping off their couch to see this movie in theatres, especially if they knew they could just watch at home in six months. The trailers don’t really let you know what this movie is about, and yet they reveal quite a lot at the same time. They reveal a character that we don’t even see until an hour into the movie.

Why would Disney release a movie on the same weekend as other movie giants like Harry Potter? They knew that most audiences would go to see Harry Potter. Why not release the movie a month earlier when there were no other box-office hits to worry about?

The directors of Treasure Planet, Ron Clements, and John Musker tried to get Treasure Planet greenlit for years. They pitched for the idea in 1985, but Jeffrey Katzenberg, the chief of Walt Disney Studios wasn’t interested. Executives kept denying the project and giving them something else to work on, and telling the duo they could work on Treasure Planet after. This period of time is when Ron Clements and John Musker gave us classics such as The Little Mermaid, Aladdin, and Hercules. Obviously an extremely talented pair!

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I believe this movie was sabotaged. I believe executives controlled the marketing in this movie and made it so that no one would want to see this movie because they weren’t interested in it and they didn’t want it to succeed.

It’s quite sad that such a beautiful movie that obviously required a lot of work and had such a talented team behind it, was basically sent out into the abyss by Disney.

What did you think of Treasure Planet? Do you think it was an underrated movie?

7 Reasons Why Jurassic World Is the Worst

Jurassic World is like Christmas when your parents are divorced and hate each other. It’s still an exciting time, but the magic is gone, and you’re kind of left with a weird feeling in the pit of your stomach.

Is Jurassic World the worst movie? No. I’m simply being dramatic, as most bloggers are. I actually enjoyed the movie when I first saw it in theatres, but I was left with a weird feeling in the pit of my stomach, and the more I thought about it, the more I hated it. And here are seven reasons why:

1. Claire

Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) wearing heels throughout this whole movie is merit enough for her to be number one on this list. I understand that she had a meeting with investors and needed to look nice, but she really didn’t have a pair of flats she could throw on? But what’s more disappointing than her choice of outfit is her character. She’s cold and rigid but just needs the charm of Chris Pratt to let her hair down, loosen up, and become more maternal. Claire has obviously picked her career over starting a family, and that’s seen as a bad thing. Why? She’s obviously worked incredibly hard to get to where she’s at, she’s obviously incredibly intelligent and ambitious. Do we see any of that? No. We see cold Claire, a terrible aunt who’s never hugged a child. Also, SHE RUNS AWAY FROM A TYRANNOSAURUS REX IN HEELS.

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2. Owen

Chris Pratt as Owen is pretty disappointing in this movie, and it’s not because of his acting abilities. It’s his cheesy, arrogant dialogue. Dr. Grant and Dr. Malcom had their quirks and unlikeable qualities, but they were still likable people. They were entertaining to watch, and they made relatively rash decisions. Owen is unlikable, and everybody in this movie makes dumb decisions. And of course, they needed to throw in a romance between Owen and Claire because no big blockbuster movie would be complete without a forced romance.

3. The Kids

Remember in Jurassic Park when you felt so bad for little Timmy who got abandoned by an adult in a moment of crisis, almost eaten by a dinosaur, almost crushed to death in a car and got electrocuted? You gotta feel bad for that little kid! They were decent additions to the movie, and they served a purpose. I don’t know why Zach and Grey are even in this movie other than for Claire’s dismal “character development”. They’re not really characters of their own, and the divorce subplot that was thrown in was supposed to give them depth, but it just made them come across as more annoying.

4. The Dinosaurs

The dinosaurs in all three episodes of Jurassic Park were terrifying and awe-inspiring. They were animals with thousands of years of extinct in them. They weren’t going to walk up to Dr. Malcolm and shake his hand, they were going to eat him. But they anthropomorphized the raptors in this movie, and in one swoop, they killed all tension that these raptors bring. The anxiety and fear that’d leap into your heart when you heard the click of the raptor’s nails? No more! They’ve turned into war-hero pets. They’ve lost all edge.

It’s also a little disappointing that they felt the need to create a scarier dinosaur, with “more teeth”. The line where Claire was telling her investors that people aren’t impressed with dinosaurs anymore, felt more like the actual board meeting for Jurassic World. But I’d like to tell every Hollywood exec: dinosaurs are still exciting. Hell, I just watched Jurassic Park the other day anad I still get anxious watching the scenes featuring old Rexy and the raptors.

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5. The Women

The women in this movie are highly annoying, one-dimensional characters, which is so disappointing in comparison to other Jurassic Park movies. Dr. Ellie Sattler is intelligent, passionate, and strong. Dr. Sarah Harding is again, passionate, intelligent, and strong. Even Lex is a more interesting character than Claire – at least we know she’s good at hacking and hates meat. Claire, her assistant, and her sister are such frustrating characters. The only character that seems to escape this fate is Vivian played by Lauren Lapkus.

6. Safety

This one may be a little nitpicky, but I can’t be the only one who thinks this way. Jurassic World is a functioning dinosaur amusement park with 20,000 guests a day. So, why is there only one security guard to watch over the i-rex? Why can the kids just use the gyrosphere to travel around the park with no restrictions or no override to bring them back to safety? Why are all the pterosaurs kept in a glass dome that can easily be shattered? Why were those half-pteradon half-demon dinosaurs even created? I actually think one of the few things Jurassic Park 3 gets right are the scenes with the pteradons in their dome. They felt like real animals, and it was terrifying. In this movie, they felt like they were thrown in for the sake of Claire shooting a gun, and Zara being brutally killed (which yikes, still makes me feel a little sick to my stomach).

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7. CGI

I’m not here to bash on CGI, and I think it’s amazing what technology can do with movies now. Whenever I watch Planet of the Apes, I’m convinced they really trained monkeys to talk. But there’s something that feels off regarding the dinosaurs in this movie. They don’t look real. Jurassic Park 1 and 2 feel so intense because of the mix between CGI and animatronics. I’ve read that they used an animatronic head for the brontosaurus that Claire was supposed to cry over instead of finding her nephews, but that still doesn’t look good. How could a budget of $150 million still have sub-par looking dinosaurs?


Well, this is my list of things that really bothered me about Jurassic World. People may tell me that I’m taking an entertaining movie too seriously, but I truly believe you can make a well-made movie that’s both entertaining and has some level of depth to it. At the very least, create characters that are believable and not highly annoying. Jurassic Park is a perfect example of this. But I’m curious to hear your thoughts on Jurassic World! Did you enjoy this movie? Let me know in the comments.

The 7 Worst Movies of 2017

I feel the need to make a little disclaimer here: this list is entirely my opinion. You may have loved these movies, and think I’m out of line for hating them. That’s okay! That’s the beautiful thing about movies – everybody has different opinions, and everybody is inspired by different things. With all that being said, here are the worst movies of 2017!

7. Downsizing

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I recently wrote about the movie Downsizing, so click here if you’d like a more in-depth review. In summary, Downsizing is an extremely disappointing movie that had all the potential in the world. This movie doesn’t know what it wants to be or where it wants to go. The interesting story felt wasted on bland characters and unutilized moral conflicts.

6. Justice League

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Again, if you’d like a more in-depth take on Justice League: Dawn of Justice, click here. This movie was bad for a lot of different reasons including an extremely bland villain, embarrassing dialogue and cheesy banter. The CGI for Stepphenwolf was terrible, especially considering the $300 million dollar budget. Ultimately, Justice League didn’t feel like it was earned, and it’s a disappointing addition to the DC universe.

5. Alien: Covenant

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I hated this movie. I went to see it with my mom who is a huge Aliens fan and was beyond thrilled to see the new movie in theatres. We both kept looking at each other throughout the movie as we couldn’t quite believe how dumb these characters were and the decisions they made. We didn’t understand what was going on for some parts of the movie because the decisions the characters made didn’t make any sense. A few tense senses were totally killed when Fassbender started fingering with himself. I never want to see another recorder in another movie ever again.

4. The Circle

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I hate to be one of those bloggers that always claims the book is better than the movie, but the book is better than the movie. The writing in The Circle is terrible. Some of the dialogue is so awkward and uncomfortable, I almost thought it was a joke at first. But no, it’s all too real.  This movie had a lot of potential, and a decent cast, but it’s pretentious, boring, and hard to watch.

3. The Snowman

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Again, disappointing! The Snowman looked like an interesting movie with a lot of potential, and although I haven’t read the source material, it sounded amazing. Besides some visually stunning settings, this movie is bland, predictable, and a complete mess. It felt like everybody working on the film gave up halfway through and tried to salvage what they had left.

2. The Mummy

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So, we’re starting the Dark Universe, and we’re kicking it off with The Mummy. Yikes. Perhaps I’m a little biased because I’m not the biggest fan of Tom Cruise, and the only good thing he’s done in his career is the Mission Impossible movies. But he felt like such an odd choice to star in the movie. The Mummy has giant plot holes that they’ll probably try to cover up in the inevitable sequel, bland characters and again, terrible writing.

1. The Emoji Movie

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This is my number one hated movie, simply because I could not get through it despite trying on three separate occasions. I wanted to watch this movie to see if it’s really as bad as everybody said, and it is so bad that I fell asleep on all three occasions. It’s quite possibly one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen, and not in the so bad, it’s good kind of way, like The Room. It’s so bad, it’s bad. You’re basically watching an ad for the entire run-time. One thing I do enjoy reading is all clearly paid positive ratings this movie has gotten. One reviewer even referred to this movie as an art masterpiece. So those are fun to read!

But this is just my opinion. What movies did you hate this year? Let me know in the comments below!

Downsizing: Movie Review [SPOILERS]

I really wasn’t sure what to expect with this movie. The trailers showed an uplifting satirical comedy about a man going through a mid-life crisis discovering himself, and what he’s meant to do. However, this movie can be summed up in one word: disappointing.

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This movie centers around married couple Paul (Matt Damon) and Audrey (Kristen Wiig) Safranek who are considering the procedure to “get small”. After Paul completes his procedure, butt plugs included, he gets a call from his wife saying she couldn’t go through with it. Her character disappears as quickly as she appeared – just like his mother. I don’t think these two characters are completely pointless, they serve in demonstrating how mundane and timorous Paul had become. He stuck close to his mother and ended up staying in the same house where he grew up. He never became the surgeon he wanted to, he worked at the same restaurant for years and he tried to do anything to make his wife happy. We get the feeling that Paul is such a nice guy and such a stable character, that his family took advantage of that.

We get back to Paul a year after he first gets downsized. His mansion is gone, and we see how sad he is, once again. He tried to use downsizing as an escapism from his former boring life, but we see he’s bounced right back to his mundanity. I think this is an accurate representation of how people use materialism, travel, or even other people to escape from something. But often times our external situation or circumstances don’t matter – it’s how we feel about ourselves that affect the way we deal with life. Paul demonstrates that perfectly. He had everything but still felt empty.

 

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Through his charismatic neighbour Dusan (Christoph Waltz) he meets one of Dusan’s cleaners, Ngoc Lan Tran (Hong Chau). Ngoc has a tragic backstory and forced to downsize. She is by far the saving grace in this movie, as even Dusan feels like an underwhelming character despite the always amazing Waltz giving a decent performance. Ngoc’s disability and misfortunes are never seen as her weaknesses, but instead, she is the unwavering moral compass. She’s vulnerable yet strong, and demanding yet dependant on others. She was an interesting character, and she was the only character in the movie that brought any emotion out of me.

In the end, Paul realizes that he doesn’t have to be in the big picture to make a difference, but helping people every day makes a difference. Ngoc helps him to understand that his contribution in alleviating the pain of people now, is better than not helping anyone but perhaps furthering the human race in a post-apocalyptic world.

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The concept of this movie is so interesting, but it was completely wasted. They raised interesting conflicts that would arise such as voting rights, political rivalry, social class, materialism, global climate, and economic strife. But none of those ideas were explored further or properly executed.

This movie is visually stunning, and some of the scenery was breathtaking. I thought the atmosphere in suburbia in contrast to the atmosphere in Norway was great. There were some funny moments, like the box of keepsakes turning into a moving truck. But ultimately, this story felt wasted on bland characters (except for Ngoc), intriguing moral ideas that were squandered, and a tone-deaf movie not knowing what it was or where it was going.

Hopefully, we will see more of Hong Chau in more lead roles in the future.

Rating: 4/10

4 Surprisingly Bad Rotten Tomato​ Scores On Decent Movies

Movies are like food – everybody has different tastes. Some people prefer junk food with no real substance, while others prefer something finer. And some, like me, prefer a little bit of both. So here are some movies I personally enjoy that have surprisingly bad Rotten Tomatoes scores!

The Strangers (45%)

The Strangers is about a couple (Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman) who go away to a remote vacation home and are terrorized by three masked assailants. I remember when I first saw this movie, at the tender age of thirteen, and it terrified me in the most thrilling way. Upon more recent watches, it doesn’t hold up as well as I remembered it. This movie is understandably not the best horror movie. But the acting is relatively good, and the atmosphere is amazing. I love the set design and the overall creepy tone this movie gives. The first half of the movie is quite suspenseful, but as the movie goes on, it’s chock-full of horror movie cliches. But if you’re a fan of thrillers and enjoy getting a little freaked out, I’d still recommend that you give it a watch. Does this movie deserve a 45% rating? Let me know in the comments below!

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The Perfect Storm (47%)

This movie is about a group of commercial fisherman who get caught in the perfect storm – roll credits! This is a surprisingly low score considering how great this cast is including George Clooney, John C. Reilly, Mark Wahlberg, and William Fichtner just to name a few. This is a pretty heartwarming story about fishermen trying to make a living dealing with the harsh reality of the sea. This movie sheds a light on the lives of hardworking fishermen who risk their lives every time they go out. The sea is terrifying and dangerous, and you really feel for these average everyday men just trying to do their jobs. This movie has a lot of intense scenes and concludes with a bleak reality. If you’re interested in fishing, the sea or hearing some New England accents, this movie is for you! Do you think this movie is deserving of its 47% score?

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Twister (57%)

This movie is about a storm hunter couple (Bill Paxton and Helen Hunt) on the brink of divorce who has created a weather warning system that they must test out on a recent surge of deadly tornados. This is a movie that my family and I watch every summer, and we never get sick of it. This movie has great special effects, especially considering the time it was released. The acting is good, and there are a few really touching moments that bring some heart to this movie. The humour is also an added bonus, and the late Philip Seymour Hoffman as Dustin brings magic to this movie. Good action, story, acting, and humour – what more is needed in an action movie? Do you think this movie is deserving of its low score?

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Fun With Dick and Jane (27%)

Okay, this rating truly shocked me, and perhaps I’ve been stuck in my own bubble for all these years. I love this movie, no matter how many times I watch it, it still makes me laugh. Truthfully, I’m not a huge Jim Carrey fan – I do think he’s talented, but most of his movies are a miss for me. In fact, the only other movie I like from him is Dumb and Dumber. This movie is about Dick Harper, played by Jim Carrey, who recently lost his job and turns to a life of crime along with his wife Jane, played by Tea Leoni, to make ends meet. I understand why the critics don’t like this movie: it doesn’t do anything creative and it doesn’t break new grounds. But it’s a hilarious and entertaining movie to watch. Do you agree with this rating? Please tell me I’m not crazy for liking this movie!

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Again, these movies are by no means groundbreaking. But I don’t think they merit their low scores on Rotten Tomatoes! Are there any movies you enjoy watching that have low movie scores? Let me know in the comments below.