Movie Defense Force: Wild Wild West

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I've never actually seen this one, but it's sitting in my shelf. Guess I'll give it a watch.

Also, after the good things he said about Waterworld, I'm kind of curious of Jim's opinion on The Postman, which people hated even more (I like both films though.)

I am now required by law to link this -

OT: I'm with Jim on this one, it's not a terrible movie and I've seen much, much worse. There's not a lot I can really add that Jim didn't cover beyond "I actually don't hate this movie".

Oh, and I think this movie is one of the reasons I tried to back Wild West Exodus recently. Thanks Movie!

Jimothy Sterling:
When a film starts with a man shouting "giant spider," you've gotta give it a chance.

Why is that, exactly?

Jimothy Sterling:
Some stuff about the "rule of cool."

Except that there's nothing cool about it, so how does the "rule of cool" apply to such exceptionally dorky material?

JaredXE:
Ok, next movie has to be Wing Commander. Because if Jim thinks he can defend WWW, then it will take all his skill to defend that POS.

no just no.

some movies are defensible, some are bad, some are horrible but wing commander single handledly killed the wing commander franchise and space sims as a gaming genre for years

now hudson hawk id put my vote in for that :)

it suprised me wild wild west was so hated it was an enjoyable movie for me

Callate:
Neh-eh-eh...
No, I'm not going to go with this one. I saw this movie twice (saw it once, then ended up with friends who wanted to see it one evening), and, well, it's got its moments, sure. But overall, what kills it is not the ridiculousness of things like the giant mechanical spider or the booby-trapped train but the fact that the main characters are, well, kind of unlikable and do stupid, arbitrary things for no reason but to get from a to b.

Well, that's kind of what the old TV show the movie is based on was like. Think of it like a mixture of James Bond for all the spy stuff and idiotic gadgets with a main character that tries to fuck every attractive female he meets and Star Trek the ridiculous bad guys and situations in most of the episodes put in a blender and set in the late 1800's. The main character, James West is for the most part the same kind of prick that William Shatner's Kirk. The original show was shit so they really did the best they could to polish a turd.

DragonWright:
This is one of those MDFs where my initial reaction was, "This needed defending?"

Who are these people who hate fun movies?

I dunno who they are but I need to fist fight them.

I loved how silly stupid this movie was, I even know the theme song word for word >.>...

franksands:

DragonWright:
This is one of those MDFs where my initial reaction was, "This needed defending?"

Who are these people who hate fun movies?

Hear, Hear. This is one of my favorites movies. What's not to like? Steampunk giant spider for Pete's sake!

Kinda have to agree, loved it's crazy silliness. I never knew it was really seen as that bad.

I've never loved this movie, but never thought it was a piece of shit either. It's piece of stupid fun with very good performances by the three leads. It's nice to see a movie like that once and awhile.

I do love The Jimquisiton a great deal, but Movie Defence Force doesn't really do anything for me. While I can see some of my lack of enjoyment coming from pure differences of opinion (I don't believe the Alien series to be about how the xenomorph always wins) but this review in particular highlighted what I think is the overriding problem I take with the series - your defence never feels fleshed out.

For example, in this episode you make statements without really backing it up with analysis. Obviously with low brow movies, there's not a great deal of analysis that can be done, but simply stating 'A great deal of people said the performances and direction were bad. But they're not!' doesn't really cut it. You need to elaborate. Why is Will Smith so good in the part? What does Kevin Kline do for you that makes you believe his performance is better than stated? Or, for example, your idea that elements in the film are cool and therefore should get a free pass. Well, that's fine, but I know a lot of people have issues with the execution. So what was it about the direction and handling of these scenes that you felt made them really cool? What did the director do right?

From the episodes I've watched, your defences never convince me and it's this episode that highlighted that fault particularly well. Obviously, a movie that's bad to someone could be gold to another, but you've done little to convince me in any of your episodes why you believe so strongly in these films. Or at least, believe they've been underrated. Simply stating the opposite of the original criticism does little to reinforce the points you're making.

Hopefully I don't come across as too much of a dick. I love your work in general, but I find this show to be a little underdeveloped in execution.

I loved The Wild Wild West when it came out!

I didn't even know Wild Wild West was considered a bad movie.

I liked it a lot.

Callate:
Neh-eh-eh...

No, I'm not going to go with this one. I saw this movie twice (saw it once, then ended up with friends who wanted to see it one evening), and, well, it's got its moments, sure. But overall, what kills it is not the ridiculousness of things like the giant mechanical spider or the booby-trapped train but the fact that the main characters are, well, kind of unlikable and do stupid, arbitrary things for no reason but to get from a to b. ...
Look, I'll agree it's not an awful movie despite the laundry list above. But good is a stretch. For every amusing or fun bit, there's at least one bit that's mean, stupid, badly paced or weirdly off-tone. Even Smith himself has expressed his displeasure with the thing; how can one argue with him?

You pretty much said it. To me it just felt very strained. They were trying desperately to make another Men In Black and hung everything off the chemistry of the leading actors, but actually they never really had a lot of chemistry. They felt like they were all doing their own independent thing. The end result wasn't exactly bad, but it just didn't engage me at all, so that by the time the big spider turned up I simply wasn't drawn into the world enough to enjoy it on its own merits, I just thought 'wow, that's desperate'.

Still, the song was great - much better than the lame MIB one.

Jim should defend Postal. That too was a dumb action movie with stupid dialog. But it made fun of itself and it was fun to watch. Just because it was made by Uwe Boll doesn't mean it was horrible by default. (Unless its game related)

Wow... I didn't know this movie was considered bad by most people. I enjoyed it on first watch, and even on a second. But ah well, people recommended me not to watch Cowboys & Aliens because "it's shit", yet it was something I enjoyed a hell of a lot better than, say, Looper, which IMDB seems to adore for whatever reason. I am now conviced that these aren't as much my subjective opinions as I originally thought, but instead sometimes the masses are just plain wrong.

I am always entertained by this movie. I will watch it if i ever catch it on tv :D

Never saw this one, always liked the trailers though at that time.

This has always been one of my favorite films, it is great, charming, and the actors work very well together.

I was in my mid 20's when WWW came out and I STILL liked it. Can't really put my finger on why, but it's been one of my guilty pleasures ever since.

You know, I wouldn't be particularly upset if Jim took over Escape to the Movies on Friday. I know this is a retrospective piece he does here but... Jim's a pretty good film reviewer as well as a games reviewer. I'd certainly like to hear more from him.

One thing you have to credit Will Smith for, some of his projects seem head-scratching, but the man plays the long game.

Among film geeks he is famous for having pissed away his earnings from his days as The Fresh Prince alongside DJ Jazzy Jeff, and subsequently rescued by Quincy Jones who plopped him on television for six seasons.

In the time since then, he tends to select projects based not only on their US appeal but also for their potential draw in international theaters. So sometimes a movie won't do well here but will be gangbusters overseas. Altogether, his US box office only accounts for a third of his worldwide box; take those theaters into account and he is literally a six billion dollar man.

WWW wasn't hugely successful here or overseas but did gross $220m in total, which is nowhere near his highest amount, but still nothing to sneeze at. His two subsequent roles, Bagger Vance and Ali, combine to only bring in half that amount.

So not everybody can choose all the best roles all the time, and Smith is no exception, but he's smart enough in controlling his brand that he has all the money he'll ever need, and globally, he was (is?) one of the single most popular movie stars of a generation.

For shame, Jim! It's Artemis Gordon, not George.

(I was a *huuuuuuuuge* fan of the TV show the movie is based on. Used to watch it with my dad.)

Casual Shinji:
It's this movie's constant and embarrassing failed attempts at humor that makes me loath it. See also Men in Black 2, where I had serious trouble keeping my lunch down by how utterly putird the jokes were.

It's not the giant metal spider or any of the steampunk gizmos, it's the characters reaching Transformers levels of annoyance that make Wild Wild West so fucking... shit.

It also ripped off a stunt from Maverick, a much better Wild West action comedy.

You mean like:

"What the hell do you think you're doing?"
"We need to increase turret velocity, I'm hearing too much time between screams..."
"You go to hell sir!"
"You first sir."

"Well what are you going to go as?"
"Myself"
"A negro lawman in a room full of former slave owners? You'll win first prize."

[attacked by a knife wielding engineer]
"That's it. No more mister knife guy."

GamerMage:
Smith turned down the role of Neo for this.

I'm pretty sure he actually turned down the role of Neo because he didn't think he could play Neo without being silly.

Sojoez:
Jim should defend Postal. That too was a dumb action movie with stupid dialog. But it made fun of itself and it was fun to watch. Just because it was made by Uwe Boll doesn't mean it was horrible by default. (Unless its game related)

Problem being, Postal WAS game related...

image

Saw this move probably a dozen times or so. still like it.

Honestly can't see why people don't like it. Sure, it might not look as pretty as with today's fancy CGI prettiness, but still.

NameIsRobertPaulson:

Sojoez:
Jim should defend Postal. That too was a dumb action movie with stupid dialog. But it made fun of itself and it was fun to watch. Just because it was made by Uwe Boll doesn't mean it was horrible by default. (Unless its game related)

Problem being, Postal WAS game related...

Doesn't uwe only make game related films? (and fuck em up one by one)

My dad and i used to love this movie. I remember his only problem with it was Will Smith is not Jim West. Other than that everything was goofy over the top and fun.

Bit of trivia.

The box office returns for Wild Wild West were probably inflated (in the U.S.) because it had a PG-13 rating, for which kids could buy a ticket and instead go see South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut (R rating).

This trivia comes from commentary tracks for South Park, perhaps around season 3-4, where they were talking about how exausting it was to complete the South Park film, whilst also maintain production on the regular series. I don't think they were saying they'd been doing both simultaneously, but rather that they'd moved from one project to the next without a break.

This film review puts Wild Wild West in perspective, explaining its relevance to the original series upon which it was based.

One of my Media teachers in college said this did so poorly because it had too many genres going on. Which, I can kind of agree with. The average Joe doesn't want to have too much fun.

Aardvaarkman:

Jimothy Sterling:
When a film starts with a man shouting "giant spider," you've gotta give it a chance.

Why is that, exactly?

Jimothy Sterling:
Some stuff about the "rule of cool."

Except that there's nothing cool about it, so how does the "rule of cool" apply to such exceptionally dorky material?

You, Sir have no romance in your soul. How can you not be stirred by cries of "Giant Spider!", how can Steampunk - well Steampunk everything basically - not melt your icy heart?

There's hate for this movie? I haven't seen the whole thing, but it didn't look to bad to me. Certainly not Wil Smith's worst movie.

Again, another movie I love and don't feel requires defending.

dint know either that it was seen as a bad movie. sure its not the greatest movie but as mentioned in the vid, its entertaining. i sure enjoyed it when i saw it a long time ago. have to get it on dvd one day. like to see it again.

Yeah I loved this movie as a kid, I guess I never heard of all the critical 'hate'.

Also this review was so worth hearing Jim say 'wiki...wiki...wiki... wild. wild. west.'

My only problem with the film, is that the casting of Will Smith necessitated - for some reason - some sort of explanation of how a African American man could be a secret US Marshall. Now - while somehow they expected we could accept all this miraculous steam punk tech, we still had to have a ton of exposition explaining Will Smith's presence. There was no reason to. We're already seeing the movie and understand completely that he's the lead - already. We've come to the theatre already willing to suspend *that* disbelief. So there was no reason to explain it (to me). And I'm one of the people here usually sensitive to racial issues (and yet that scene between Smith and Branagh was actually one of my favorites largely due to its audacity).

As a side note - as stated in Critical Intel - the Pinkertons used women and African American servants as agents back then. Great - much more plausible - angle!

I still want to see that Underground Railroad movie.

I also highly recommend the original TV show.

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