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The "Good" versus the "Awesome".

There is a phenomenon in movies that I feel needs to be further explored: the difference between being a “good” movie and being an “AWESOME” movie. Logically, one would think to be an awesome movie, it must first be considered good. This could not be further from the truth.
Probably one of the more well-known recent examples of this idea is the Expendables movies. I have heard them described (especially the second) as “the 80's kicking down your door, guns blazing.” This is probably the most accurate description you could reasonably ask for. It has everyone, Rambo, the Terminator, Ivan Draggo, John McClain, Chuck Norris, just to name a few, but it does not try to be a “good” movie.

This is good, because it is not a “good” movie in the technical sense. The characters (in the loosest sense of the term) are mostly bags of testosterone and bullets. The plot is virtually nonexistent, and is just an excuse for getting the characters from one fight to the next. But here's the thing: it is still an “awesome” movie. It knows exactly what it wants to be: over-the-top violence that appeals to the basest of emotional gratification. It isn't Citizen Kane, but it is not supposed to be.
That's not to say that The Expendables is alone in this category. Look at any of the Grindhouse Picture or something like Shoot 'Em Up, and it's the same story. Now some of you may point to a mainstream filmmaker and ask if his movies, based on a high selling toy franchise, also falls into this category. I speak of course of Michael Bay.

I hear he tried to change his middle name to 'splosion.

Michael Bay movies initially seem to embody this idea, especially in Bad Boys and Transformers. The problem is, however, Bay does not go in to these movies trying to make an “awesome” movie, or if he is, he fails at it. In Shoot 'Em Up, there is a plot (kind of) but you don't care, and can just laugh at the ridiculous gunfights. In Transformers, not only does the plot try to be more relevant, but it's kind of distracting. Probably because the characters and story aren't just present, they actively detract from the experience. The character of Sam from Transformers is the worst offender. In an “awesome” movie, this character wouldn't even exist, because an “awesome” movie, the focus would squarely be on the giant, gun-totting robots. Instead, Transformers tries to get the audience to connect with the characters and the story through Sam, and doesn't do it especially well. In fact, one could say it fails miserably.

Because of this, Michael Bay movies can't be “awesome” by my definition. On the other side of the spectrum, there is the greatest “awesome” movie I have seen recently: The Man with the Iron Fists.

There is a plot, but it's dirt simple: there's a bunch of gold, and a lot of people want said gold. There are a whole slew of colorful and unique fighters that pull ridiculous martial arts moves and weapons that make no sense in the slightest, but create great visual effects. I measure this movie's greatness in how many times something makes me laugh and go “wait..what?!” and it does that a LOT.

I know many people turn their noses up at “awesome” movies. They appeal to the basest of emotions, they don't push the art of storytelling and blah blah blah. I don't feel that way. Art in any format is supposed to be an emotional experience, and there is nothing concrete that says the emotional drama of people in suits being sad is intrinsically “better” than the emotional experience of an “awesome movie.”

In essence, stop being a snob, and enjoy your Kill Bill.