Is a film worth watching if its only plus is looking good?
It's a complex question, and one that many cinephiles would answer with a definitive: "No." But consider for a moment that - aside from offering up a good story - cinema is (for the most part) a visual medium. Surely, a truly beautiful film, despite how bad it might be on a narrative level, can make a convincing case for watchability on account of its aesthetics?
The following ten films, then, are some of the most visually striking you'll ever see, but have few redeeming features aside from their looks: they fail to engage on pretty much every other level, with narratives that lack weight and are crammed with ridiculous plot twists and poorly-written characters. Then there are those that are plainly boring from start to end.
Despite their flaws and failings, however, each and every one of them is also downright beautiful to stare at for the sum of their runtimes...
10. Sucker Punch (2011)
Zack Snyder's insane teenage boy-cum-fantasy mash-up is an innately bad film: it clings to a wholly ridiculous plot, embraces one-dimensional characters and is generally awful in every department. Snyder appears to have designed Sucker Punch as a means of getting everything he ever fantasied about rendering on the big screen out of his system (skimpy girls, robots, Nazi zombies); it's not really all that surprising that it barely hangs together.
But for all its faults (of which there are many), Sucker Punch does achieve something rarely glimpsed in a Hollywood blockbuster: it uses CGI beautifully.
Despite the fact that Sucker Punch is way, way too long and actually begins to feel a little bit boring after only thirty minutes, it is a visionary delight; as Snyder's film switches back and forth between the "real" and "imaginary" worlds that make up the plot, it is near-on impossible to deny that what he has conjured up is strangely beautiful. CG rarely looks "gorgeous," but Snyder embraces its limitations (that is, he ensures it's purposely hyper-realistic) and makes it an advantage. It could play on loop forever in a really cool club.
All said and done, the film might well be a load of rubbish.. but what attractive rubbish!