catapult magazine

catapult magazine

Vol 4, Num 8 :: 2005.04.22 — 2005.05.05


Garbage or genius?

?Guilty pleasures,? they call them. Some movie or record or whatnot that the critics slammed and the public loathes. Something that?s universally recognized as being sub par and void of any shred of creativity. I?d list some examples but I might make people feel guilty or embarrassed.

Whatever the case, no one is going to have your exact likes and dislikes, especially regarding the arts—?one man?s treasure? and all of that. There?s always going to be a movie or album or book that you continue to mine for redemptive gems while the rest of the world lambastes it.

Maybe it presents a good Biblical parallel that?s overlooked. Maybe it?s innovative and truthful, but was tossed out with the rest of last month?s flavors. Or maybe it?s just genuine, earnest fun that lacked the flash to get it noticed.

One of my year-end traditions is to watch Home Alone 2: Lost in New York

. I love that movie. I love it so much that I?ll inject snippets of the film?s dialogue into daily conversation (I always respond with, ?The vacuum guy?? after any mention of President Herbert Hoover).

But wasn?t Home Alone 2 basically a regurgitation of Home Alone? I guess you can look at it that way. Both films have a creepy older person who not only ends up swapping life-changing tips with Kevin, but also ends up saving the boy?s bacon at the movie?s climax. They both sport similar ham-handed ?kid vs. robbers? home invasion scenarios. And the premise of both movies—how many times can the same kid lose his family? (Well, twice if you don?t count the other non-related sequels).

While lacking in plot, Home Alone 2 is teeming with understated humor, most of it stemming from dialogue and facial expressions. The banter between Marv and Harry?the thieves?is as layered as a wedding cake. Tim Curry?s vocal tics are sublime, as are the sight gags you don?t notice until the third or fourth viewing. And the whole deal becomes even funnier if you view it as a parody instead of a sequel.

It?s good to share opinions like this, too. Someone could read this, watch Home Alone 2 with a fresh perspective and end up liking the film. Or I could just wash my credibility down the drain.

But now it?s your turn to confess your ?guilty pleasures? on the discussion board?

Discussion: Garbage or genius?

What works of art have you encountered that you feel are undervalued, either because they?re quietly ignored or loudly criticized? Think books, albums, films, plays, t.v. shows, etc. What works of art do you enjoy even though you know there?s something lacking?

your comments

comments powered by Disqus