Tossin It Out There: What Movie Do YOU Champion?

So, there’s a bit of an ongoing saga between the Shepherd of the Lamb Joel Burman and a bunch of us who were involved in the “Alien” Franchise podcast. He’s insistent that the special edition of “Alien3” is a significantly better movie than the theatrical edition, and reminds us of that fact every chance that he gets.

It came up again recently and made me think. Everybody has a movie or two like that. The ones that they like more than others, or that others havent seen, and you’re always recommending or defending… either way, you wind up feeling like the movie’s biggest fan.

So I thought that that would be a good topic for this week, especially seeing as so many of us are bloggers, what movie(s) do YOU Champion?

Are there any movies you try to push on people that they may not watch otherwise? Are there any movies you defend that others hate on? Maybe there’s a movie or two you feel like no one has seen, but you wish they had… let us hear it! Which movies do YOU Champion?


162 thoughts on “Tossin It Out There: What Movie Do YOU Champion?

  1. Alien 3 (duh)
    The Long Kiss Goodnight (there’s a great MOTM LAMBcast ep. where I whole heartly defend it)
    Showgirls (yes I actually think its a decent film)
    Jingle All the Way (very underrated Arnold comedy)

    Thats just a few that comes to mind… I’ll update later for some reason I seem to have a bunch of films I’m alone of liking or at least praising.

      • I’m not ironic and no I don’t think its Citizen Kane or Alien 3 for that matter but its an ok film not remotely as mediocre as 99,9% thinks.

        Its good structured and basically has a similar conflict as Black Swan but its obviously more ok when a film takes place in the world of Ballet instead of the Showgirls arena.
        I think people in general sees a red blanket when it comes to the sex and to be fair I need to revisit it again, it was a couple of years ago I saw it but I’m fairly sure its still a 3 out of 5 film.

      • Showgirls is the best boob movie ever. Hands errr, down. Try watching the pool sex scene with the sound off and insert your own MST3K dialogue… my favorite is “no! no! don’t throw that toaster in the pool! it’s still plugged in! what are you doing! NOOOOOO! ”


      • That’s hysterical.

        But the sound in that scene is ridiculous in and of itself isnt it? Been awhile since I watched, but doesnt she shriek like Meg Ryan in “Harry met Sally”? LOL!!

      • We watched it last weekend in the bar with the sound off. Our copy was bootlegged so there were no subtitles either. Comedy gold. Still, my god, what a rack on Gina Gershon. Ouch.

      • The Long Kiss Goodnight was listed as one of my Christmas Classics post. Also, the director’s cut of Alien 3 is actually worse than the theatrical cut. I know, I know, how can the movie get any worse? Well, with unfinished special effects, crappy unfinished film stock, and the alien as an ox instead of a dog. Plus, the movie sucks ass in general. Just sayin’.

      • Cudos to you Brikhaus for actually having seen both versions of the film. My biggest issue with people complaining about it is that 90% of them haven’t seen the extended cut.

        I don’t agree with you that it looks unfinished those issues you bring up was in the theatrical cut also. When it comes to the ox change I think that was way better in so many ways. The scene where the guy finds the dead facehugger is very chilling.

        Spoiler for ALIEN 3 EXT. Cut

        Don’t you miss the capture and escape sequence of the Xenomorph? To me its the biggest improvement of the film since it gives a larger than life feel to the film in the way that everything seem so predestinated with those scenes. I also hate the ending in the Theatrical Cut. Its awful with that queen clawing her way out of Ripley’s chest.

      • Me, too…girl. That was actually a good action movie. Come on, Samuel L. Jackson was in it!

      • Nah… well, maybe you are here, but that movie gets bashed pretty much.

        To the point where people who like it are like, I LIKE Jingle All the Way! LOL

        Good sign its not exactly widely beloved.

    • @ The Lamb:

      I agree with you that the extended chase and capture sequence in the director’s cut was an improvement. I didn’t care about the changes to the ending either way. I also felt the director’s cut had way to much Lance Henrikson at the end, which upped the unnecessary cheese factor. To be honest, I don’t like Alien 3 in either theatrical or director’s cut. I had just expected the director’s cut to be better since Fincher is a good director. It didn’t deliver on either front.

      But as long as you like it, that’s all that matters.

      • I haven’t seen the theatrical cut in ages so I don’t recall any changes in the Lance Henrikson scenes.

        Technically I wouldn’t call the extended cut a directors cut because its not. Fincher didn’t superwise the cut. His editor finished it from notes and memories of how Fincher wanted the film to be.

  2. Awesome topic man! I find myself defending these three (very different) movies:
    -Point Break (my all time favorite bad movie)
    -In the Mouth of Madness (Stephen King request, Lovecraftian goodness! Do you read Sutter Cane?
    -Disneys Three Musketeers! Still my favorite Musketeer movie. Great action, great casting, tons of quotable lines and one of my favorite movie villains!
    Again I love the topic and can’t wait to see the other responses!

    • UTAH! Get me two!

      😀 Glad you like this one CW, I hope we get some good answers, too.

      Obviously I approve of Point Break – CLAssic flick.

      I’ve seen in the Mouth of Madness, too, but its been awhile. I recall liking it though. Sam Neill was great…

      Thanks for posting up! 🙂

    • absolutely LOVED In the Mouth of Madness! I actually went to see it 3 times in the theater. I’m not claiming it was award worthy, but I enjoyed it immensely for what it was.

  3. Red Rock West – a little out there but story, characters, and actors are intriguining to me
    American Werewolf in London – has it all: story, Frank Oz cameo, & Rick Baker effects; not just a run of the mill horror film (and I’m not really a horror buff- apologies)

    • Oh, American Werewolf is a classic. Definitely.

      Red Rock West… I know Ive seen it… without IMDb, is that Hopper and/or Cage in that? If it’s both I may have to go back and rewatch imediately, just for the insanity of that pairing! LOL

  4. I find myself constantly insisting that Batman Begins was a much better film than The Dark Knight.

    • It’s quite a stance to take, gentleman.

      I’m sure you’re both aware up front that it flies in the face of conventional wisdom.

      That said, would either of you care to illuminate us as to the whys and hows of your belief? 🙂

      • I should do a post on this at some point. I think the Dark Knight is a great movie, but Batman Begins does all the heavy lifting. It builds the world and sets up this version of Bruce Wayne’s character. It does really well with the origin story and makes these moments feel important (not just required). I love the fact that Liam Neeson isn’t a super human and has a worldview that isn’t so different from Batman’s. It’s true that the Scarecrow doesn’t match up to the Joker, but the scenes when he puts on the mask are terrifying. The chaos of the final hour is excellent, and there aren’t any cringe-inducing moments like the scenes on the boat at the end of TDK.

        I know that I’m rambling, so I’ll give a quick summary. It’s like a football game where a team drives all the way down the field. Batman Begins gained all the tough yards, and The Dark Knight stepped in to take the ball across the goal line.

      • With almost every incarnation of Batman, no matter how hard they try to keep things…serious (pun possibly intended), things usually become more campy as they go along. Batman Begins had Wayne Manor, the Batcave, and interesting villain choices. The Dark Knight had that silly cellphone computer thing, two overused Batman villains, and a Batcycle with guns on it.

      • Well… I’ll just say I disagree. Seeing as you guys brought it up as an opinion you champion, I’m sure you know its a minority position.

        It’s not one I share with ya. 😦

  5. It changes all the time. It really depends on the moment. Last year, I promoted the heck out of Attack the Block after I saw it; this year, I’ve been singing the praises of Detention all over the place since interviewing Joseph Kahn. There aren’t many films I champion as, like, part of my career or anything, but as a loose rule the ones I do throw my weight behind tend to be those suffering from really shite release schedules and minimal hype and marketing.

    • Attack the Block was a great one. I still have my eye out for “Detention”, but it may need to wait til home video… still not appearing on the radar here.

      I did start watching “Certified Copy”, I’m in the middle of it.

      • Certified Copy is a great one, and another film I tried to get people to see. You’ve got to let me know what you think of it once you see it.

        And you’re probably right about Detention, but it should be worth the wait.

      • I’m not really sure what you’re disagreeing on. I’m not bringing the movie’s quality into question, or suggesting that people didn’t like it. I’m suggesting people didn’t see it, which by and large they didn’t.

      • I interpreted the post to be more about films other hate but you like etc. and with that perspective a large majority of the ones who have seen it seem to praise it a lot.

      • Yeah, that may be my bad. I kind of tossed BOTH potentials out there in the topic

        1) Not enough people have seen it, so you push it 2) People have seen it but hate it so you defend it.

        I can see how some wires could get crossed. Who’s runnin’ this joint, anyways?

  6. It’s three for me too. I that is I dont pick the obvious superlative films that everyone likes. I consider V for Vendetta a modern classic. Transformers 2 to be some of the best cheese to be put to film. Lastly, Ang Lee’s Hulk smacks down Louis Leterrier’s pansy boy Norton’s hulk every time. I doubt Ruffalo’s Avenger turn, will even fit in with the hulk mythos. Punks!

    • Wowza! You’ve got a couple of beauts there Ric! 😀

      No argument about V, its a great flick! But I dont know any circumstances I’d watch Transformers 2 under. LOL. Talk to ipodman!

      And Ang Lee’s Hulk? I’d watch the tank battle in the desert, but…

      Although maybe I was just in shock – I believe that flick introduced us to skinny Jennifer Connelly. LOL

    • YES on Ang Lee’s Hulk! Eric Bana was the best damn moody Hulk ever. A proper comic book film that was!

      I second your “Punks!” statement.

      • Thank you kindly Jaina! And Fogs you didnt say anything about hopeless Championing 😉 I root for those that cant root for themselves.

  7. I actually defended Human Centipede. I felt that only the concept was the gross part and didn’t feel it was very gory or anything. People were so turned off by the idea and wouldn’t even give it a chance. It’s not my favorite cup of tea, but I felt they had a great mad scientist villain running the show and the film works as an original B level schocker. Of course they had to go all the way gross with the second one which I can’t defend.

    • Havent seen either. The high concept just holds no appeal.

      I’ve heard the “Mad Scientist” stance on it before, its just not quite enough to sell me… I guess that means I’ve fallen into the “People were so turned off by the idea and wouldn’t even give it a chance.” category. 😦

      • I saw it out of curiosity and all the hype.

        Most pointless film I’ve ever seen. There’s pretty much zero actual gore in it. It’s just the subject matter of it all that’s gross.

        I just got bored!

  8. Mmm…nothing really comes to mind. Watched Hunger Games though today and not very impressed. Good story and acting but I’ve seen better. Also watched “Teeth” yesterday. Was quite hilarious. 🙂

    • I have a feeling the Hunger Games hype is going to wind up leaving a lot of people feeling left down.

      Happens a lot with this kind of stuff. 😦

      What’s “Teeth”? If you circle back… not ringing a bell for me.

      • Well, the feeling you have is correct Fogs. A pity that it does happen hey?
        Anyways, Teeth is way back for sure..LOL! 2007 to be exact. Here you go:

  9. Ang Lee’s Hulk, Serenity, Crimson Rivers (French film with Jean Reno and Vincent Cassel), Wanted, Speed Racer, Up, are what I can think off the top of my head.

    Oh and often, Rocky IV. It’s cheesetastic, but I always stand by it.

    • (Tumbleweed blows across the street… the Western showdown whistling begins… Fogs puts his hand down by his holster, twitching his fingers)

      So are you saying Rocky IV is better than Rocky III, Jaina?

      (Eyes squint…)

    • Being from Philly, Rocky holds a near and dear place in my heart. Sooooo, having seen all 6 movies repeatedly….I’ve got to side with Fogs and say Rocky III is the better of the two; although Rocky IV isn’t that far behind. Rocky V, however, has the best damn lines for repeating…”Yo Tommy! I didn’t hear no bell”

      • BOOM.

        I’ll… have to rewatch V soon. Its the only one I dont watch frequently. I literally watched III and IV again last weeekend. 😀

        Meanwhile, My prediction for the fight? PAINNN

      • Aww but Rocky IV was all about the Russians vs. Americans! That’s a classic plot line from the era. It was all about the cold war back then and even the Rocky franchise managed to wangle that into their story of an underdog of a boxer.

        Apollo’s death hit me hard!


        I know, I love it too. You make a valid point. Apollo’s death hit me hard too.

        But Mickeys did too. III still. LOL :p

  10. I know you dislike the film Fogs, but I find myself consistently standing up for The Matrix Revolutions. I thought it was a solid conclusion to the Matrix mythology and was a big improvement over The Matrix Reloaded.

    As for a film I don’t think enough people have seen, I would have to go with Chang: A Drama of the Wilderness. It’s a silent docudrama from the guy who did the original King Kong. It’s one of the most original films I have seen (it combines a narrative feature about a native farmer and a documentary about the wilderness of the jungle) and it is easy to see how King Kong emerged from this.

    • Wow. “Chang” sounds like a total hidden treasure for film fans… where’d you even come across that?

      Meanwhile, I’m not even going to pile on on Revolutions. You must feel like its you against the world on that one, because that’s a pretty universally bashed movie. Rough one to defend, LOL.

      I feel for you on it more than anything. 😀

      • I was looking through all of the Best Picture nominees and I found Chang through that way (it was nominated during the 1st edition of the awards when they had 2 best picture categories). I looked for it on Netflix and luckily they had it on their streaming service. Unfortunately, they took it off their streaming service last year so the only time I come across it now is once a year when TCM airs it as part of their Silent Sundays programming.

        And yes it does seem like me against the when it comes to The Matrix Revolutions.

  11. This is a case where you have to know the audience. I’ll recommend different movies to my parents or a co-worker then I would to a film lover. Movies that I find myself talking about a lot include:
    Magnolia (still don’t get the hate from some)
    Jackie Brown (best Tarantino film!)
    Kicking and Screaming (the Noah Baumbach film, not the Will Ferrell film)
    L.A. Story (an underrated Steve Martin comedy)
    Metropolitan (love all three from Whit Stillman)
    Serenity (loved by many, but still underseen)
    Collateral (I’m a huge Michael Mann fan, and this one gets lost in his career)

    There are a lot more, but this is a small sample.

    • LOVE Magnolia. But that’s a challenging film, Dan, you cant see how some people have a reaction against it? It’s not an easy movie for people to latch on to…

      I love it though.

      Love me some Jackie Brown too but you’re crazy about it being his best. LOL

      Serenity’s great. I had to imediately watch Firefly after I saw it. Great flick.

      I’m not a huge fan of Collateral, I might have to circle back on that one. The rest, sadly, I am not versed enough in to intelligently comment on, although I do vaguely recall being unimpressed with LA Story when it came out.

      • Fogs, I see your point that Magnolia’s challenging, but I’m surprised when people with similar tastes to me not only don’t like it, they hate it. They usually have specific reasons for it, but it’s still a surprise.

        I know that selling Jackie Brown as QT’s best is tough, but I just watched it on Blu-ray, and it just reinforced my feelings. I think it relates to my enjoyment of Elmore Leonard and how well it connected to QT’s world. In a similar vein, I love Out of Sight because of the way it combines Leonard and Soderbergh’s voices.

      • Well, I love that one. Actually may have taken a second viewing to find the love though… but I do dig it now. Awesome, awesome, awesome flick.

        I have nothing against Jackie Brown, I just cant get behind it being called Tarantino’s best… I might have it fifth even.

      • I only saw that at the theater but I see Jackie Brown is available on Netflix streaming I have to give that a rewatch

  12. “Collateral” – I think people were sick of Tom Cruise when it came out
    “Hudson Hawk” – My guilty pleasure
    “Transformer” – Only the 1st film
    “Popeye” – I think Altman nailed it, apparently no one else did
    “Nate & Hayes” – a thought it was a good pirate movie, and again, apparently no one else did.

    • I havent seen Popeye in forever… I know Robin Williams was pretty funny, but other than that, I cant speak to it well enough. LOL. It is a fun choice here though!

      What’s Nate & Hayes? Never heard of that one…

    • I haven’t seen the last two, but I’m with you on the first three. Collateral was a very good film. Hudson Hawk was a lot of fun (admittedly, I’m a big fan of heist films). The first Transformers film wasn’t brilliant, but it was actually pretty entertaining, and a lot better than I expected it to be.

      • Oh good, I can really champion if I am introducing it to you, or maybe this synopsis will ring a bell: Eric McCormack (pre-Will and Grace) and best friend are struggling filmmakers and big film/sci-fi geeks in LA. They have workaday industry jobs and are constantly talking about movies and working on their big project that will make them stars. Eric is always in debt, big-time, to the other friend. They bump into “Bill” (William Shatner) in a book store and pursue him like groupies. He is working on his one man musical – I won’t tell you the subject that would be a spoiler – but Bill figures these young guys can help him out too, and of course it can always be a bummer to get to know your idol too well. Very funny all the way through with some real classic film spoof bits, but laughs are mostly in an intellectual Metropolitan tone, more big guffaws of a Caddyshack.

        Wikipedia classifies it as a romantic comedy but I think that’s wrong, it’s more a comedy – unless the love object is William Shatner….

      • Jan? You had me at William Shatner.

        I just watched Star Trek 3 this weekend! 😀

        I’ll totally be on the lookout for it now.

        And that was solid “Championing” right there! 😀 SOLD!

    • Free Enterprise is so great. I don’t think it would work so well for people who don’t like sci-fi (especially Star Trek), but I loved it. Shatner hams it up so well and makes fun of himself, which is great to see. I love all the geeky references to Trek, Logan’s Run, and so much more.

      • Damn you Heaton, now I REALLY want to see it.

        10 to 1 its not on Netflix streaming (Of course not)

        Added it to my DVD queue at poistion 1, though! Now to just mail back the last one… whatever it was. LOL

  13. “Wings of Desire”. Wim Wenders masterpiece of existence and human emotion. Angels witness humanity with all their ups and downs but can not interact or experience any emotion themselves. One angel decides to give up his immortality to finally feel for himself all that he has seen. “Babette’s Feast” from Isac Dinesson’s story. A movie about food? Sort of, but more about emotional magics spell weaved through a feast!

  14. I haven’t tossed my hat in the ring in awhile here.

    Since I’ve been blogging, I’ve pretty much been Captain Blade Runner. I love that flick, I dont think it gets its due in the general public (we bloggers know its awesome for the most part).

    Other movies I try to push based on not enough people having seen them/not holding a high enough place in pop culture – Jacob’s Ladder, Searching for Bobby Fischer, Midnight Run, Zodiac

    I’m hard pressed for a bad movie I love in an unironic way…

  15. Alien 3 workprint/directors cut, is a far better movie than the theatrical, I’ve said so on numerous occasions since the blu-rays were released.

    Recent Movies I’ve championed

    Stake Land a very fine post apocalypse vampire film, far better than The Road ( and I adored the book)
    Repo Man, fantastic 80’s punk soundtrack, and just released on Blu-ray

    Dead Man, Johnny Depp, in a mesmeric, monochromatic, existential western, with a brooding improvised score by Neil Young, directed by Jim Jarmush

    The Fountain, a flawed masterpiece by Aronofsky, and another amazing soundtrack by Mogwai and the Kronos Quartet

    and Finally..

    El Dia de La Bestia ( The Day of the Beast) Álex de la Iglesia’s forgotten masterpiece, a Spanish horror comedy about the birth of the Antichrist! with another fantastic soundtrack of Spanish heavy/thrash metal (sounds better than you think) I hope it gets a Blu-ray release sooooooon!

    • “a Spanish horror comedy about the birth of the Antichrist! with another fantastic soundtrack of Spanish heavy/thrash metal”

      How is that movie not a huge hit? 😀

      Flawed masterpiece is a great term for “The Fountain”. I like that one myself.

      I havent seen Dead Man yet, but it’s got a rep… one of these days I should check it off the list.

      On Alien 3, I’m sure that its a better film, the question is is it a GOOD film? LOL

  16. In a way, I’ve found myself oddly championing the movie Super. Any time I come across a review for it, I have to read it and comment on it. I didn’t think it was the best movie of all time, but I just find it to be an interesting movie that gets a wide variety of reactions to it. I rarely find two people that saw it the same way.

    As far as a movie that I recommend to people that I really love, but are just to the side of mainstream, there’s The Last Unicorn for a beautiful and classic animated movie. And Tomie: Replay or Tomie: Rebirth for the bizarre asian horror movie.

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