Saturday, January 15, 2011

I'm My Own Grandpa, and Other Reasons Why Great Scenes in Bad Movies Are Evidence of Parallel Dimensions

     Remember The Stupids? You know, the one where Tom Arnold plays that dumb guy who talks loud and smiles a lot? No, not that one with Rick Moranis, it's the one---No, not the one directed by James Cameron---
     Anyway, there's this scene in that dreadful movie that is too funny for its own good. You can watch it  here.
     There is also a scene involving a cigarette, an airbag, and a surprise fender bender that is particularly amusing. Both of these scenes are rare glimpses into a movie that does not exist. You see, there is a world where The Stupids is a delightful slapstick comedy. And in order for us to glimpse that world, we have to watch the version we have in our world and search for holes in the fabric of space-time.
     This phenomenon is not limited to The Stupids. In fact, there are many, many bad movies which offer glimpses into this parallel dimension. Sometimes a film comes along that includes, between its incomprehensible plot, unconvincing acting, poor pacing, and uninteresting set design, a scene that peels back the layers of matter between our world and another, similar world where things are opposite. Much like great films with bad scenes (I'm looking at you ridiculously staged smack-around scene involving Sonny and Talia Shire's beau in The Godfather), bad films with great scenes are rare, precious stones that can make people do and say crazy things, like, "Come on, guys The Stupids wasn't that bad. What about that one scene?" or "Really? You thought Knowing was a bad movie? What about that great tracking shot of the plane crash?" (Seen here )
     Yes, these scenes do not just display another world, they intentionally confuse well-meaning folks about what it means to see a good movie. The previously mentioned tracking shot from Knowing is impressive in its ability to show absolute realism with a tragic plane crash, yet the scene is surrounded by muddy, poorly scripted premise-with-no-plot narrative. However, as a well-meaning folk, I walked away from that movie thinking only one thing. (Hint: that second bit of dialogue was yours truly.)
     It's true, what I'm talking about is purely subjective. I mean, Roger Ebert loved Knowing, giving it four stars out of four. He was not so kind to The Stupids, but maybe he never saw the veil of space-time open up before him during his screening of that particular movie.
     Or maybe something happened, something sinister, something that will reveal the true nature of opinion.
     What if there is no opinion? What if what we like is based on another dimension's version of a film you saw in our world? Perhaps, during those great or bad scenes in otherwise opposite films, the fabric of space-time opens up too wide for some people. Maybe sometimes that fabric breaks, and we are left with a perfect film that others see as nothing but lameburgers.
     This could be what happened to me when I saw Southland Tales. Maybe the scene involving a particularly rousing dance number broke something in the universe that caused my brain to view the film as perfect.
     There are infinite examples of this phenomenon. You can find great scenes in bad action movies. In bad horror films. And you can even find them in bad Surf Ninja movies.
    Have any of you ever experienced this break in the fabric of space-time? Please, tell me when this strange and dangerous occurrence has happened to you in the comments section.


  1. I feel like all of Slappy and the Stinkers is a good scene in a bad movie. Does that count?

  2. How about the kitchen scene in TWISTER? Is that a great scene in a bad movie, or a great scene in a good movie? You know my vote.