9 Movies With Great Writing But Low Production Value, According To Reddit

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Elvis Released in theaters this summer, and while it looks spectacular and sounds sensational, the musical biopic received mixed reviews and was criticized for being too stylish on substance. The film is drenched in brilliance and there’s a sparkle that few other films have, but the writing isn’t its forte and it neglected to reveal the more shocking parts of the singer’s life.

But the pendulum also swings the other way, and sometimes movies have a great premise with amazing dialogue, but the production value is non-existent. Redditors were quick to note which films fall under the great writing/poor production column, and they bring up near-forgotten gems that might have been.

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Pi (1998)


Pi has an inscrutable premise, especially as far as mainstream audiences are concerned, as the film follows a mathematician who is pained by the fact that he cannot figure out where a mysterious number came from. The film is shot in black and white, is extremely slow and looks completely flat, but the theme of an order-obsessed number theorist slowly losing control of reality is a hilariously brilliant and understated idea.

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Weekly_signal6481 argues that the writing is, in fact, excellent, but the poor production is impossible to ignore. Pi was filmmaker Darren Aronofsky’s debut film, and although he didn’t establish his style until later, the 1998 release is a compelling debut film. Aronofsky became one of the most celebrated filmmakers of the 2000s and, ironically, few other films have such breathtaking cinematography as Black Swan fact, and even fewer films are as ambitious as Noah.


Star Wars (1977)


Darth Vader boards Princess Leia's Rebel Blockade Runner surrounded by Stormtroopers and fallen Rebel soldiers in Star Wars A New Hope

In what is a massively unpopular opinion, Writing_Gods argues that star wars has poor production value, but there’s really no argument there. For now, star wars had a relatively modest production budget of $11 million (as reported by box office mojo), and George Lucas managed to create one of the most important and satisfying cinematic events in history.

However, to the user’s credit, a few A New Hope the effects got a bit dated, like the original lightsabers and alien puppets. But other than that, the 1977 film’s output is still as impressive today as it was 45 years ago.


The Bucket List (2007)


Edward and Carter talk in front of the sunset

The Bucket List is one of the most sentimental movies of the 2000s and it’s hard for a viewer not to get attached to Edward (Jack Nicholson) and Carter (Morgan Freeman), especially since Nicholson and Freeman give performances so powerful. But for all the jet-setting around and the characters’ ambitious bucket lists, that’s not exactly represented in its output.

Bruhmangoddman says, “It’s absolutely amazingly written and utterly captivating. The Bucket List should not look like a IndianaJones movie or be composed by John Williams, and those schmaltzy movies don’t have the budget for such things, but it’s still one of the best feel-good movies of the 2000s.


Cube (1997)


Although it is not a popular film, cube has gained a huge cult following since its release, and a big part of that is because the film isn’t particularly exciting, despite having a thrilling premise. MrX16 explains the film as follows: “Individuals trapped in a bizarre and deadly maze of cube-shaped rooms.” The sci-fi horror is fantastically written, but it also looks incredibly rough due to its $350,000 micro-budget.

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But given that the movie is so surreal, unique, and interesting, the 1997 film could benefit from a remake. According Movie Slashan American remake of the Canadian film is in development at Lionsgate, but since it’s been “in development” for over 7 years, it looks like it’s stuck in development hell.


Reservoir Dogs (1992)


This Reddit user think Quentin Tarantino’s directorial debut, reservoir dogs, has low production value, but admits, “Still works incredibly well as a movie.” However, just because the film is not to the scale of Django Unchained Where Inglourious Basterds doesn’t mean it has bad production value.

A low budget doesn’t always mean poor production quality either, and the film actually has incredibly impressive production value for its low $1.2 million budget (according to box office mojo). The film is well shot, there is excellent costume design and even though it is mostly shot in one location, it also has excellent set design. reservoir dogs launched Tarantino’s career, and that includes how particular he is about every little detail in the production.

Slipstream (1989)


wake Mark Hamill 1989

There are huge names attached to the 1989s Slipstream both behind and in front of the camera. The film stars Mark Hamill fresh out of his star wars success, Bill Paxton has a supporting role, it is produced by Gary Kurtz, who produced the star wars movies, and it’s directed by Steven Lisberger, who previously directed tron.

RELATED: Mark Hamill’s 10 Worst Movies, According To Rotten Tomatoes

But like the 1982 cult classic, Slipstream has a great concept that is let down by its disappointing production value. Improbable_Layer_2268 points to Slipstream as the best-written film with the poorest production. The film is about a bounty hunter in a dystopian future that is now full of savages. And it’s more relevant today than ever, as the story centers on how civilization was wiped out by climate change.

Man from Earth (2007)


Anthropologist Dan arrives at Oldman's for his farewell party

Kanute3333 draws a deep cut from the history of cinema and challenges The Earth Man to have great writing but terrible production value. The movie has a unique premise in which a college professor pretends he’s a 14,000-year-old caveman. However, for such a conceptual idea, there are no known actors and the entire 90-minute film takes place in and around a house.

It’s no surprise that the movie didn’t look great, as it’s another movie that had a tiny budget of $200,000. But since the whole film is made up of intellectual conversations between faculty members, it doesn’t really have to sound like 2001: A Space Odyssey.


Clerk (1994)


Dante and Randall discuss in Clerks.

Clerks is a classic 1994 comedy, but, in reference to director Kevin Smith, Joelluber note: “I’m convinced he should have been a screenwriter.” Smith is the first to criticize his own work, and he even said something similar about himself. In an interview published in film historythe filmmaker said, “The only thing I knew I was good at was writing.”

In many ways, Clerks established Kevin Smith’s cinematic style even though the production of his films improved a lot. Based on the 1994 film, it’s clear the writer-director didn’t quite know how to frame a shot or shoot action, even a small-scale hockey game. But it’s still full of hilarious banter between the characters and its crude jokes.

Mandrel and male (2000)


Buck hides in the woods with a creepy face in Chuck & Buck

See you later my friend think that Mandrel and maleThe story suffers from low production value, despite being based on a fantasy screenplay. The film follows the two titular childhood friends reuniting after years apart, but things get awkward when Chuck reminds Buck of their sexual encounters and confesses his love.

The Redditor actually has some production reviews, noting, “One of the first movies shot on digital video and it shows! And way too many close-ups.” The film was marketed as a comedy, but it’s much more of a comedy-drama and even has the tone of a psychological thriller. But while that was obviously a creative choice, the poor editing and framing are clearly the result of less than stellar cinematography.

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