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maryann johanson, ruining movies since 1997

question of the day: What are the “best” worst defenses offered for terrible movies?

Today’s question comes via reader Gensing, who sent me a link to “Top Ten List of Worst Excuses Made for ‘Bad’ Movies” by Brad Brevet at Rope of Silicon. Brevet’s No. 10 is “You Just Don’t Get It”; his No. 7 is “You Went in Wanting to Hate It”; and so on. Please do click over to Rope of Silicon to read the whole thing.
Gensing writes:

Reading through the list reminded me of the ongoing “conversation” about Tree of Life.

I’m surprised the classic “You’re an idiot who has no right to an opinion about a film this great” (and all its variations) didn’t make the list!

I was curious what your list would look like.

FYI, my Tree of Life review, with accompanying comments, is here.

I heartily second everything on Brevet’s list, and I do have two of my own entries to add. First is one I’m not surprised Brevet didn’t touch on, because it’s likely one he’s never encountered. It often takes such forms as:

“Well, what else can we expect from a feminist?”
“You’re a woman, so what do you know?”

And anything else that suggests that my gender and my awareness of gender politics automatically precludes me from having anything interesting or valuable to say in my analysis. (This would be a subset of Gensing’s “You’re an idiot” example.) This one is particularly ironic, because with filmmaking so dominated by men and our culture so dominated by a (white, hetero, middle-class) male perspective, a woman’s point of view and a feminist perspective should be especially trenchant. Of course, that’s probably why it upsets so many people: no one likes having their privilege called out.

But my No. 1 on such a list would something I’m surprised Brevet missed (though it’s sort of implicit in some of his examples): any “defense” that suggests that a given movie is somehow above, beyond, or immune from criticism. Whenever anyone says anything like “It’s just a movie,” I want to scream.

Your turn: What are the “best” worst defenses offered for terrible movies?

(If you have a suggestion for a QOTD, feel free to email me. Responses to this QOTD sent by email will be ignored; please post your responses here.)

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