one man's underrated film is another's piece of crap
Bill Simmons, the master of all list makers, has finally confirmed my notion that his taste in entertainment is, well, tasteless.
He's got a whole list of rules for determining whether or not a movie can be judged as truly underrated, but I won't bother listing them because he broke plenty of those rules himself when he made his list. He has 12 movies plus some honorable mentions. The first thing you notice when you look at the list is a picture of Chuck Norris.
There is no such thing as an underrated Chuck Norris movie because there is no such thing as a good Chuck Norris movie.
His number 10 movie is Eddie and the Cruisers. I cannot begin to describe all the ways in which I hated that movie, not the least of which is the Bruce Springsteen mimicry in all of the Cruisers' songs.
I'll agree with Simmons on his number 8 choicee: Toy Soldiers. I watch it unfailingly every time it's on tv. It's one of those movies that you happen to catch a glimpse of while you're flipping the channels and before you know it, you've watched the whole damn thing again. And I love Bill's take on Wil Wheaton's acting in the film: Wil Wheaton's turn as the hardened son of a Mafioso might be the most amazing casting misfire in Hollywood history. Has to be seen to be believed. It's like somebody lost a bet. Hey, it's got Sean Astin. Don't knock it until you've seen it.
Turner and Hooch? Tom Hanks partnered with a drooling, ugly dog? I'd watch Hanks with that stupid volleyball before I watched this piece of crap again. I bet this film ranks above Bachelor Party on Tom Hanks's list of Mistakes I Made.
Sudden Death. Jean Claude Van Damme. Hockey. Assassination plot. Can we say no thanks? The part that Simmons likes so much is the part that made me cringe: Van Damme sneaks into the Pittsburgh locker room and notices the unconscious Penguins goalie. Within three minutes, he strips the guy of his gear and puts the goalie's equipment on himself. Then he skates out for the third period, keeps the Penguins in the game, robs someone on a breakaway, and starts a bench-clearing brawl. Suspension of disbelief wasn't enough to get me through that scene.
Just One of the Guys. Oy. Vey. Of all the dumb-plotted movies of the 80's, this one was the worst. I have to agree with Simmons that the little brother's character was great, but that did not make up for the awful dialogue, the thin plot and the fact that the lead actress, Joyce Hyser, reminded me of my seventh grade math teacher, Mr. DiSantos.
Last American Virgin. This movie often gets tied in with the other teen sex movies of the 80's; Valley Girl and Fast Time at Ridgemont High. People often confuse the abortion story in Virgin with the abortion story in Fast Times. And they confuse the soundtracks of all the movies and sometimes they think Nick Cage was in Virgin, but he was in Valley Girl.
See, they're just all really the same movie with interchangeable characters and plot lines, but only one had Jeff Spicoli.
The Honorable mention list is really long, so I'll take it on later because right now we are going to watch a really underrated movie, Boondock Saints.