of, Worst of… screw ‘em! It’s time to sink through the mire towards
the stuff down there nestled under the surface. Past the big hits, cult
classics, and respected middle-tier stuff where the filler lives. Maybe
even a little closer to the bottom than the top. Treacherously close to
the bombs, the stinkers, and the abominations. Films that not only
don’t get love but don’t really even deserve love.

Except here. So with that we bring you… Ten Mediocre Films We Can’t Help But Embrace.

Each of these films is embraced by a single editor. These are not
committee decisions, not are they representative of one unified editorial focus. Each author is on their own.

Day Three – Red Planet
Embraced by David Oliver (email address for hate mail)

Director: Antony Hoffman
Writer: Chuck Pfarrer and Jonathan Lemkin
Starring: Val Kilmer, Carrie-Anne Moss, Tom Sizemore, Terence Stamp, Benjamin Bratt, Simon Baker
U.S. Box Office: $33,463,969 (Budget: $80,000,000)
Rotten Rating: 12%
IMDB Rating: 5.3/10

Sometimes embracing the truly sub-par is easier than other times.  Take for instance, Red Planet.  So average it wasn’t even the best movie about going to Mars in 2000 (but let’s be clear, neither was Mission To Mars…it was just that kind of year).  So mediocre that when looking at the work by any of the six main stars, one can easily pull up much better work that they’ve done.  Carrie-Anne Moss?  The Matrix of course, Memento.  Tom Sizemore?  Saving Private Ryan, Black Hawk Down, bitchslapping Heidi Fleiss.  Terence Stamp?  Superman II, The Limey.  Benjamin Bratt?  Traffic, Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs…Talisa Soto.  Simon Baker?  Well, one thing we know he’s not that great at is fellating Ron Rifkin.  And of course, Val Kilmer.  The guy needs no validation on this site.  We all know of what he’s capable.

The bitch of the situation was that AMEE really didn’t like that new Knight Rider

How mediocre was Red Planet?  Director Antony Hoffman was quietly sanctioned by a DGA wetwork guy and buried in an unmarked plot right next to Robert Longo.  Does any of that matter to me?  Not a bit.  I enjoyed this flick, breathable Martian atmosphere and all.  First off, despite anything else, the special effects are solid all around.  There were also a number of firsts in RP: the first female Martian commander (yay, ovaries!), the first piss on Mars (chronologically, this was decades before the Martian Hilton got built) and the first space moonshine still that I know of.  Stamp was also interested in having people kneel before God rather than the alternative. 

“Did I mention I’m due to play John Holmes?”

For antagonists, we got AMEE, who was what Hal-9000 could have been if he hadn’t been a ubiquitous, lazy fuck.  AMEE was cunning, lethal, and could have given us Carrie-Anne Moss x-ray shots had we but thought to ask.  She was part attack dog, part Terminator, with a handy set of switchblade mits and a wet drive for Val if you get my drift.  But when she went mustang (which isn’t as dangerous as her going Prius), the already shitty Martian nightlife became that much more deadly.  And the story becomes a Point A to Point B mini-exodus for survival, rather than a 3D alien tutorial of why the fourth rock became Marsmageddon and the third a lovely little FU to intelligent design.  

“They don’t drug test on Mars do they?”
“No, you’re good, Tom.”

Kilmer was essentially on autopilot this whole film, as Gallagher was a character he could play when he were dead.  But the space janitor wasn’t without his charm; and he had the prescient attitude ten years before that the Obama Administration has since adopted about Mars: Fuck That Planet.  Red Planet is mediocre goodness and I embrace it. 

Buy this movie despite common sense’s grasp on you.

Discuss this series on our message boards smartly, or really dumbly on the talkback below.

Day One: The Peacemaker

Day Two: Metro