June 27, 2016
While we’ve already covered the worrying trend of TV snobbery, it’s undeniable that publicly conveying your love of certain films can also lead to some…awkward situations. And hey, I’ll admit, I’m guilty of this too. People put the words “favourite” and “Transformers” (see also: Michael Bay) in the same sentence and I can feel my inner-self running for the hills – and maybe I’ll run too, moments later.
But okay, let’s assess this prejudice. What makes a film “bad” anyway? We typically turn to Rotten Tomatoes to figure out how our trusted reviewers feel about the film even before we purchase tickets, or maybe just to see if our bad/good feelings about our film are justified. But we all know at least one person who comes out of a “dreadful” film completely ecstatic and saying that they’d get it on blu-ray in a heartbeat. The Transformers films have a crazy big fanbase too, raking in over 92 million at the box office…and that’s in China alone.
So what’s it like when your favourite film is a “bad” one, generally speaking? Well, here’s my confession: I love the 2008 film Speed Racer, and yes, I can already feel your eyebrows raising. While it’s recently been hailed as an underrated cult film, I kept it a secret for the longest time because of how dismal the reviews were about it. It bombed at the box office, and critics raged at it for being less of a comprehensive storyline and more of a “look, ma, I can do this with my computer!”. But something about the roar of the crowd, the crazy gravity-defying track, and the campy costumes just made sense to me. Something about it clicked, and I still can’t figure out what. Maybe I felt Speed’s sense of triumph whenever he raced. Maybe his fiercely loyal family was a breath of fresh air from the torn relationships of modern-day drama films. Maybe something about how un-real it was made me hopeful that it could be real.
Cheesiness aside, the truth is that we all have our list of “bad” and “good” films. There’s no universal truth when it comes to art – yup, Film is an art. Your favourite film might be someone else’s “bad” film, just like how their favourite might make you grimace. And that’s okay. So if your favourite film is “bad”, but makes you feel happy, no one can really judge you for that. Maybe you see something in it that others don’t, and hey, you never know, maybe you’ll find a few years later that you were in on one of the best kept secrets of all time.
So hey, maybe there’s something in Transformers that I’m missing out on but uh, I’ll save that battle for another day.