Sunday, December 11, 2011

Movies I Hate That You (Probably) Love

We all have them: that list of acclaimed films that everyone seems to love but us. Maybe we can’t fully articulate why we hate these otherwise renowned films. Maybe hype ruined them for us, maybe our issues with specific genres promote our negative acknowledgement. Or maybe, just maybe, we simply don’t like them because… we just don’t like them.

The films below are movies that I cannot stand. They’re all popular, Oscar-friendly hits that generated as much critical praise as commercial recognition. Me? I think they’re better off not mentioned than mentioned at all. I’ve seen every film on this list multiple times, because to bash a classic, I think it’s important to understand why you hate it. Basically, I’ve given these movies a fair, unbiased shot, and they simply do not do it for me.

By all means, let chaos ensue in the comments section by bashing my bashes, and, of course, telling me which popular movies you detest.

Movies I Hate That You (Probably) Love
It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
The term “Capracorn” is something I understand and appreciate all too well. Most of the time, the term is used as an endearment to describe the positive sentiment associated with most Frank Capra films. For me, it describes the ungodly corniness of the majority of his movies, It’s a Wonderful Life being the chief example.

The film is so undeterred in its every-little-thing-is-gonna-be-all-right sentimentality that it makes me want to puke. It probably doesn’t help that when James Stewart wasn’t being directed by John Ford or Alfred Hitchcock, he was a one note actor of less-than-limited range (but that’s cause for a different post).

Mind you, I don’t consider all Capra to be crap, I quite enjoyed It Happened One Night and You Can’t Take it With You, It’s a Wonderful Life, however, is heavy-handed didacticism at its absolute best. Which is meant as a grand insult.

Musicals/Epics from the ‘50s and ‘60s (1951-1964)
Sure, musicals aren’t my thing, and I don’t typically take a shine to overblown epics, but there are a slew of Best Picture winners from the ‘50s and ‘60s that I think are just laughably awful.  

An American in Paris, The Greatest Show on Earth, Around the World in 80 Days, Gigi, My Fair Lady (to name a few): hate ‘em all. While I appreciate the effort that went into the musical numbers and elaborate action sequences, those scenes are not enough to justify these films. Content matters, and aside from their epic scale, these movies have next to none of it.

Also, Audrey Hepburn’s accent in My Fair Lady is arguably the worst voice inflections ever attempted for a film. There’s a reason she wasn’t nominated for her performance.

The Indiana Jones Films (1981-1989)
To be fair, as a cinephile, it’s impossible to not appreciate (if ever so slightly) some of what is achieved in Raiders of the Lost Ark. The opening scene, the nonchalant shootout; that’s all fine and well, but for the most part, I am completely unmoved by these films.

When I profiled Steven Spielberg, I said that in the many times I’ve forced myself to watch the Indy films, I found myself counting the minutes until they were done, and that really is the best way for me to put it.

Raiders of the Lost Ark can have an indifferent pass, but Temple of Doom and The Last Crusade… hated ‘em then, hate ‘em now. At least we can all agree that Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was goddamn bloody awful, right?

Braveheart (1995)
I get it, Mel wanted to assert himself as a serious director, capable of telling sweeping stories with a nostalgia reminiscent of Ben-Hur, but good god, how much can you possibly shove down our throats? The awful accents, the fake labored love, the rape, the endless talking, the cookie-cutter acting, the forced ending; give me a break.

The battle scenes are impressive, but at just under three hours, I can watch this movie in fast forward and get just as much out of it. Probably not a good thing that the whole “FREEEEDOM!” bit makes me laugh hysterically. Moving on.

Gladiator (2000)
There’s obviously a trend going on here. It’s no secret that epic warrior films are a genre that I have little to no interest in. Now, like most every other film on this list, Gladiator has noble feats worth mentioning. Its opening battle is huge and extraordinary, and its coliseum fights (especially the chariot sequence) are astonishing, but that’s what, 20 minutes? I’m more than willing to give credit where credit is due, and I also have no problem calling out faults.

I’ve liked Russell Crowe in a handful of films, but mostly, the guy doesn’t do it for me. Aside from the impressive physicality that’s demanded of him, I think his performance in Gladiator is a series of laughable clichés and moments of monumental hyperbolic grandstanding. Everything he says and does is forced and inadequate. I wasn’t surprised that he won the Best Actor Oscar (an awards competition that is as political as most presidential elections), but his win only made me like the movie less.

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (2001-2003)
So far, I’ve tried to point out aspects I appreciate from the films on this list. The Lord of the Rings trilogy, however, will garner no such praise from me. I hate each of these films with a burning passion. They are exaggerated, incoherent pieces of garbage that I wish I had never seen. Here’s why.

When I saw The Fellowship of the Ring in theaters, I sat baffled and pissed when the film “ended.” As if Elijah Wood uttering a few words and fading to black is a suitable way to end a movie. What happened to making every film in a saga its own? If the LOTR films are meant to be seen as one fluid piece of cinema, then release a nine hour movie. More on this in a bit.

The Two Towers, by far the worst film in the series, represents the only time I have ever walked out of a movie theater. I sat there for nearly two hours, completely unaware of anything that was going on, and instead of continuing to play catch-up, I salvaged my night by walking out. (For the record, I later watched the film in its entirety in the theater. I was far more bored the second time.)

And then there’s the Oscar-sweeping Return of the King, which is orgasmic bread and butter for fans, but for me, is an egregious waste of time that I prayed would end hours sooner than it did. 
Now, when I bitch and moan about these films to fans, I’m often met with two key arguments. One: if I read the books, I’d appreciate and understand the films more. I’m sorry, but that is utter nonsense. I have seen and loved hundreds of films based on books without reading their source material. A book should in no way be a prerequisite for a movie. A film is a film, and it should stand on its own.

Two: the films are meant to be viewed as one, not as three distinct films. Again, nonsense. By that rationale, every trilogy or film series can only be best appreciated on an all-encompassing basis. I can name you dozens of films that stand fine on their own, and do not need the other movies in their respective series' to complete their stories.

I watched every LOTR film in the theater and, years later, was convinced by a friend to watch them all on DVD. I was glad I did, because it made my argument stronger. As much as I tried to like them a fraction of how much everyone else seems to, they simply do not do it for me, and they certainly never will.

Be sure to tell me what popular movies you loathe in the comments section. Have at it.

87 comments:

  1. It's a shame Capra is remembered for the overly sentimental It's a Wonderful Life (which, admittedly, was made right after him and Stewart got back from World War II, making its pleasantries understandable if not still a bit grating). So many of his films are so bitter and funny like Mr. Deeds and Meet John Doe that it's a shame that that one gets lauded while his other stuff is ignored.

    I don't necessarily agree with you on a couple of these (You don't like Indy? Wow.), but your complaints about Lord of the Rings are pretty spot on. Well made, but barely cliff notes that only work for people who love the books.

    Oh, and for personal hatred, I'd have to go with Star Wars (all of 'em), Leon: The Professional, non-Kubrick comedies made in the late 1960's, and the unbelievably awful Toy Story 3. Such a let down.

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  2. What a brilliant post! I agree with all of your choices! I hate all those movies that I've seen that you listed. Some movies I loathe that others love are THE USUAL SUSPECTS, CRASH (2005), STAR WARS, PAN'S LABYRINTH, THE DARK KNIGHT (don't hate it, but don't love it either), and pretty much any movie based on a comic book or "graphic novel."

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  3. To me LOTR is one of the few recent trilogies to maintain its qualities through all 3 movies. But you have the right to your opinion, and i'm not doing to bash you for yours.

    As for, the closest i've come to hating a well regarded film is 2001. I don't actually hate it, but i personally found it far too "arty" for my tastes. It is my least favorite Kubrick film.

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  4. I'm with you on Indy (apart from Last Crusade) and Braveheart. I can sort of see why people love them but I think you're spot on. I'd put the Harry Potter films on my list, I know they're for kids but....

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    1. harry potter will always be a legend and the best movie/book series of all time,better than lord of the rings

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    2. I always love hearing fans of both those franchises debating which is better.

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  5. Daring move, mister Alex:) but I do agree with the Lord of the Rings part- I really don't understand what the fuss was all about; too big and long for my taste! Although I really liked Viggo Morgenstern and Orlando Bloom, but they weren't used too much. Interesting list!

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  6. @Danny While we don’t agree on Indy, I’m oh so very glad we can come together in our aversion to Star Wars (Empire is okay, I can do without the others), and Toy Story 3, which I still, for the life of me, do not understand all the fuss. You and I are going to get along fine just fine.

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  7. @Tyler Thanks man! As for your choices, Crash did it for me when it came out, but now I’m not quite sure why I initially liked it so much, and Star Wars is blah. Love the other ones though.

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  8. @dirtywithclass Hey thanks for stopping by. 2001 is in my top 5 of all time, but like you say, everyone has a right to their opinion. That’s a very progressive way of thinking, by the way. Many people think that, because you don’t agree with them, then you are wrong. In the States, these people are most often referred to as “Republicans”

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  9. @Pete The second Harry Potter film marks the only time I have ever fallen asleep during a movie in the theater. Hated the first one, didn’t make it through the second, haven't seen any since. I thought about putting them on the list, but then I’d have to sit through the rest, which ain’t gonna happen. Thanks for commenting!

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  10. @Aziza Thanks ;) I like Viggo too, I think he’s turned into a great actor. But that doesn’t make me want to sit through the LOTR movies by again by any means

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  11. @Alex Withrow

    What I don't understand is why would you lose your time yet again with the three movies to see them on DVD if you didn't like them the first time? especially since they are sooo long

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  12. @Aziza I've seen each of them twice. I only watched them for a second time to make sure that I did indeed hate them. Twice was enough. Never again.

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  13. I was waiting for the HP series too.

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  14. Well, as much as I enjoy films like the Lord of the Rings trilogy, My Fair Lady, the Indiana Jones trilogy (last film doesn't count), and Braveheart.

    I never really cared for It's a Wonderful Life while I haven't seen a lot of the musicals of the 50s/60s to really say anything about it.

    As for Gladiator, sure it's got some nice action moments but it's not that great of a film. I found the story to be boring and not very involving. I liked Russell Crowe but wait a minute. Didn't he win Best Actor for A Beautiful Mind? Man, that movie sucked. That was a period where I really didn't like Russell Crowe very much. Not to mention that his music is fucking shite.

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  15. @Evan Not worth writing about, good or bad.

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  16. @thevoid99 Glad we agree to dislike It's a Wonderful Life, that's a start!

    Crowe was nominated three years in a row, for The Insider, Gladiator, and A Beautiful Mind. He won for Gladiator (despite his performance being the fifth best among the nominees), but lost to Kevin Spacey in '99, and Denzel Washington in '01.

    And, yeah, I think A Beautiful Mind sucked too. Never bothered to listen to his tunes, but I'm oddly pleased to hear that they are crap.

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  17. I am with you on Indiana Jones. All others except LOTR, They are kind of Ok. I Love LOTR but I was LOTR fan even before movies. I read the book way before watching them. As for myself, I do not hate them but I do not get appeal for Citizen Kane, Blue Velvet, Almost every Kubrick movie I have seen except Clockwork, Trainspotting and Slumdog too.

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  18. What about "The Sound of Music"? I never tire of watching it but maybe it comes under the muscial category that Alex mentioned. And, I should say that liberals, i.e. Dems are sometimes also categorized as being somewhat "closed". I just couldn't let that pass...ha ha. Thought that Indiana Jones, Rings, Braveheart, Harry Potter, the musicals were not my style.

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  19. @SDG Interesting choices. Slumdog is a lot like Paul Haggis' Crash, when I first saw it, I was completely taken with it. Now... it's okay.

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  20. @Unknown Sound of Music I actually like, mostly because of Christopher Plummer.

    Fair enough about the Dems, I was just trying to be silly, I'm actually not political at all. Glad to hear you don't like most of the flicks on the list!

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  21. The type of films you disliking are rather consistent: sweeping epics set in another time.

    I don't care for Braveheart or Gladiator or the Indiana Jones series.

    "It's A Wonderful Life" though is great - and within its sentimentality comes some real emotion. Not didactic in the least.

    As for the musics, not much I can argue - not the biggest fan. Especially West Side Story.

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  22. @Sam Fragoso Yeah that's what I meant about the trend in my distaste for warrior epics. Definitely not my preferred genre.

    I suppose It's a Wonderful Life is to me what Mean Streets is to you (and Rebel Without a Cause) ;-)

    I actually don't mind West Side Story that much. Not crazy about it either, though.

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  23. Gladiator was a good flick brah.

    My votes:

    Gangs of New York
    Titanic
    Chicago
    Pearl Harbor
    Gran Torino
    Evictus
    Scarface
    Juno
    Cast Away
    English Patient
    Boondock Saints
    Donnie Darko
    Full Metal Jacket

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  24. @Brent Shiiit, give me Bill the Butcher over Maximius Whatever The Hell any day of the week. (But Leo does suck in GoNY.

    Nice choices (especially Boondock Saints... never understood why people love that so much), but I certainly hope most people don't like Pearl Harbor. Barf.

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  25. @Alex Withrow
    To Tell you the truth, I really have a problem the way it Portrays India. I can be liberal but not when it smacks on your face in almost every other frame. You either have to be incredibly stupid or extremely ignorant. And Citizen Kane, that was so much about Rosebud that by the end I didn't care about it. Oh Yeah, And I love Sound of Music and because of Audrey Hepburn, don't mind My Fair Lady much. And I hate Star Wars too. :)

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  26. @SDG I have a few friends from India, and they all hate Slumdog for that exact reason, which is very interesting to me.

    I think a lot of people agree with you that the end of Citizen Kane is a cop out (I'm not one of them, but to each his own).

    Seriously loving all of this Star Wars hate!

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  27. Gangs was watchable because of Daniel Day Lewis, but it certainly didn't deserve 10 Academy Award Nominations that year.

    I mean Jay-Z sampled Gladiator in the Black Album. In JAY-Z we trust. Haha. But I thought it was entertaining and the fight scenes were pretty cool. Traffic was a much better film that year and should've won for best picture.

    Boondock Saints was a horrible film. I didn't even get through it. Horrendous acting and abysmal story. I remember everyone in college saying it was so good, a cult classic. Hmm. Not really.

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  28. @Brent The fights in Gladiator are legit, but right, Traffic FTW, and Crowe for the loss.

    I was at a party on Saturday and on the living room walls were posters for Pulp (nice), The Dark Knight (okay), Fight Club (obvious) and Boondock Saints, and I said under my breath, "What a dumb fuckin' movie." The dude who lived there heard me. He wasn't pleased.

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  29. Very interesting post here. I completelyy agree with Braveheart, Gladiator, Indiana Jones and all but the last LOTR. Now...It's a Wonderful Life is one of the classics for me.Why? Probably because of being old enough to remember when businesses offered credit to customers simply on a handshake; when school dances were regularly held for fun, etc. etc. etc....yeah yeah all the old stuff. It makes the movie special for me though. Life wasn't necessarily better then, just a little different. Musicals...hmmm. In those days musicals were the closest thing to special effects when you went to the movies. You got three stations on tv so a good set-filled musical was a release and escape. Yep, they are dated, lousy dialog, but I still like most of them.

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  30. @Mark All good arguments, pops, all good indeed.

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  31. Both Indy and LOTR, man you are killing me :) In all seriousness, I can see how the films listed could rub you the wrong way. I do think the hype, especially in regards to It's A Wonderful Life and Braveheart, is a little out of hand.

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  32. @CS Haha well, I'm glad we can agree on some of them. The hype for some of these is just too much.

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  33. Awesome post! From the movies you mentioned I don't like Gladiator and Return of The King, which is such a mess I barely made it through it, even though I enjoyed Fellowship of The Ring. I have 0 interest in seeing The Hobbit which from its trailer appear to be even dumber than lotr. From other popular movies I hate "Aliens" because Cameron followed horror by making his typical action cliche-loaded shit and Alien wasn't even menacing in this one and speaking of him I also can't stand "Avatar".

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  34. @Sati. Oh my god, another Return of the King hater... you just made my day.

    Aliens is a very interesting choice. I like the movie, but it is nowhere near as brilliant as Alien. I've never really been a huge Cameron fan, but I do think The Abyss is quite a fine film.

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  35. Spook Street Fo Lyfe!November 7, 2012 at 4:30 PM

    I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on comparing the differences between the Fellowship's ending and the ending to No Country for Old Men. I found the Rings films to be much as you described, and yet, in No Country, I was left with a much different feeling. It was as if I knew that there was no more to be said, even though Bardem ran free. It just was what it was, just like in real life. It’s amazing how tantalizing it was to see someone act with such disregard for human life and never pay the price, and yet, you could relate to the outcome. Obviously different genres of film but I wondered if you saw the similarities of ending a film on a quiet note and resulting in much different emotions. Call it, friendo.

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    1. I think you described the end to No Country perfectly. We agree all the way there. The difference, to me, between the two is that the Fellowship ending is so acutely aware that there are two more movies to come, so they just said, Uhh, well, hell, let's just cut out here. At least that's how it felt to me.

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  36. This is awesome, I agree on Indiana Jones and a Wonderful Life.

    I had to go with my girlfriend to the night selling of the new book from Harry Potter and see the movie... when I saw the lady being inflated and hovering above the house, I was done.

    Lord of the Rings is my baby, but I see where you are coming from. The first movies end didn't make any sense and even had me baffled. And I saw people leaving during the second movie because they didn't understand the movie for a bit :-) I read all the books and the reason that I like the serie (not love) is too see it come to life, nevertheless the movies were mere action summaries of the complete story and they missed a chance to let the "unfamiliar" watcher get acquintanced with the story in full.

    Next up, epic battle movies. I just love them and if they are based on historical or mythical events, I love them even more. Always trigger me to explore the full history of the "actual" events. Heck, I even liked Conan ;-).

    Movies I think that are overrated, slumdog millionaire. It just didn't connect with me on any level. But since I am actually going to India in a few months it might change my opinion.

    I love sciencefiction, but the funny thing is. I like the old starwars movies and dislike the new ones. But the opposite is with star trek, which I never liked untill the new rebirth.

    Another movie that I didn't like was Django Unchained, towards the middle it became a stalling adventure to the predictable end. Might be that is was hyped way too much, because I love Tarantino's work and I was really expecting a masterpiece. But didn't do it for me.

    Wow I'm stuck in talking mode again, going to end this comment now.

    Keep up the great work!!

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    1. Hey man, feel free to talk as much as you'd like! Thanks for leaving such a kind and descriptive comment. I really appreciate you talking openly with me about the films we disagree on, as opposed to just bashing my tastes. Very cool of you.

      Slumdog seems to be one that's kind of gone away over the years, doesn't it? I haven't watched that film since before it won Best Picture. Never really had the urge to. I'm with you on the Star Wars film as well. I'm not the biggest fan of the original 3, but I didn't like the later 3 at all. Are you excited for the new ones?

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  37. I would never bash anyone for their taste in movies, it's really personal and I know people that have "in my eyes" a really REALLY bad taste in movies, but they honestly love watching these movies. Like my brother in law that loves all films with Steven Seagal ;-).

    I can't enjoy them in the slightest way, but he loves them. Well isn't that like the basic principle of a movie, to entertain to somebody :-).

    Slumdog Millionaire became an ok "ish" movie, but in my opionion heavily overrated.

    I believe it was one of the first more commercial movies that tried to depict the situation in India and make it into a real life fairytale, I guess people like those kind of movies and always try to relate in some sort of way. But it just didn't do it for me, I just missed the realism like in movies such as tropa de elite 1 and 2, also shot in their native language. The fact that even my friends in Brazil liked them, just make me appreciate them more.

    I am from Holland myself, the only things we really have to share are Paul Verhoeven and Rutger Hauer.

    Regarding Star Wars, let's say I'm really curious what they will do with the franchise, with the rumours of bringing the old cast back. I believe that I read the original screenplay once as in how it should continue and that doesn't include the past characters at all.

    Next to that I am not the biggest Disney and JJ Abrams enthusiast, but it might be a match made in heaven. Hopefully they'll surprise me in a way that I never imagined.

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    1. Paul Verhoeven and Rutger Hauer ROCK. I love a lot of Verhoeven's films. Of his American pictures, Basic Instinct and Starship Troopers are my favorites. I genuinely love both of them. I'm curious what Abrams will do with Star Wars as well. I feel like he has so much working against him... I mean, can he really please the die hard fans?

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  38. I've got a pretty long list with some surprising entries. I'm just gonna say a few of them. One would be the ENTIRE filmography of Baz Luhrrman (I hate him with a passion. I honestly think he's even worse than Michael Bay). Another (a really big one, not because of how much I hate it, but because of how much love everyone has for it. Like, everywhere I go, I see merchandise and fandom for it) would be the Star Wars saga. Like you and Indiana Jones (last time I saw Raiders, I thought it was just okay and that I definitely liked it more as a kid) I've given Star Wars many chances, and it never once did anything for me. Three seconds in and I immediately lose interest. Also, I've only seen three films from Ridley Scott (Blade Runner, Alien, and parts of Gladiator) and I get a similar effect as Star Wars. They're well made, but a bit boring. One really unpopular one would be North by Northwest and The Birds. North by Northwest was okay, but it felt mostly like Indiana Jones's grandpa, and I was just bored to death by The Birds. Some more recent ones include Avatar (highest-grossing film of all time? Really?), Argo (I can't believe that won Best Picture over Beasts of the Southern Wild or Zero Dark Thirty or even Silver Linings Playbook. It was cliched and dull and the car chase on the airport runway at the end seemed insanely silly and cartoonish. I like Ben Affleck as a director, but honestly Argo felt like his weakest effort), and The Avengers (as well as the other Marvel movies, but The Avengers especially, because a lot of people are calling it the greatest superhero movie of all time, even over The Dark Knight and Superman: The Movie, but it really isn't. I get that the characters were supposed to develop in other films like Captain America and Iron Man, but Iron Man was the only movie that I felt actually did that job with Tony Stark). Also, Life of Pi. It's pretty sad when I'm actually trying to fall asleep during a film. I've only done that during Life of Pi and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Then there's The Tree of Life and Fantastic Mr. Fox, but those two (especially Fantastic Mr. Fox) I think I can like if I saw them a second time.

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    1. Really bold picks here. I dig it. I can tolerate one Baz flick, but other than that, the dude's style simply doesn't work for me.

      In all honestly, Star Wars nearly made this list. I don't HATE them, but I certainly don't like them as much as other people.

      As for your other picks: I adore some of those films, but dislike some of them too. We like what we like, I suppose.

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    2. There's a funny thing about Fantastic Mr. Fox. I absolutely love Wes Anderson's work. I love all of his other films (yes, even Life Aquatic) and while Fantastic Mr. Fox is perhaps his most universally beloved film, it's the only one I hated. But like I said, I think I could like it if I saw it again.

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    3. The Life Aquatic is the only way I can get into at all. I didn't really flip over Moonrise Kingdom either, now that I think about it. I saw Mr. Fox once, and once was enough. All three of those films come nowhere near the success of Bottle Rocket, Rushmore, Tenenbaums and even Darjeeling. For me, anyway.

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  39. I don't like some of '50/'60 musicals (Singin' in the Rain is Masterpiece), LotR is good: 1st+A, 2nd B, 3rd -A. (best fantasy ever made), Indiana Jones just the BEGIN IS GOOD, It’s a Wonderful Life I CAN'T WATCH (too bad), Braveheart/Gladiator good, but least deserving Oscar. The Dark Knight Trilogy is good, but not good as is Batman (I don't read the comics), boring are Taxidriver, 2001: A Space Odyssey and Bergman movies.

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    1. See, this is exactly what I'm talking about. You clearly LIKE films, but not necessarily the ones that are almost universally revered. Taxi Driver, 2001, and two of Bergman's films are in my Top 10 of all time. Doesn't mean you're wrong for not liking them. Just means you have your own opinions, which is totally cool. Thanks so much for the comment, I really appreciate it.

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    2. Many of Bergman's films are boring, but some are too smart for me: Persona, Cries and Whispers, The Seventh Seal, Wild Strawberries (are excellent, but I don't like them). 2001 is smart (I don't like Kubrick very much), instead I like Star Wars (LotR copy Star Wars). Taxi Driver is one of the best Scorsese's film (I'll never fully understand), but Goodfellas, Raging Bull and Casino are better (DeNiro play better in Taxi Driver than in Raging Bull).

      A question: do you like any of Peter Jackson's films?

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    3. Again, I like that you can acknowledge that many of those films are good, but that they're just not for you. I freely admit that the LOTR films are impressively made, they just aren't for me at all. We like what we like.

      I do like some of Peter Jackson's films. The Frighteners is a ton of fun, Heavenly Creatures is fantastic, and I even like most of his King Kong.

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  40. Im really indifferent to the Dark Knight and Inception- both featuring fantastic ideas and plot devices, spoiled by over-eager editing and cuts (IMO, just really not my thing). I never saw the appeal of LOTR (especially the third), if not for that badass battle of Helms Deep, and am really quite taken aback by how many praise Dead Clam (yes De Niro was good, but that really goes without saying and its fucking absurd by the end), Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon (which really just makes me laugh), Cloverfield and above ALL: The Godfather II. I agree it’s well-made, superbly lit and shot and I love Vito’s early life segments, but I’ve always preferred once Upon a Time in America (which funnily enough seems a far smoother narrative progression of time). Maybe Im just a sucker for the prohibition, maybe I enjoy it when something exciting happens in my films bar the first couple of minutes and some great family turmoil (take that description as you will) towards the end.
    Oh and Saving Private Ryan, amazing action film, but you can’t flirt with brutality and harshness of war and then end with a huge guns blazing morality free battle, as well as romanticising Americans as some angelic race of super-humans whom conquered Hitler all by themselves.
    Thin Red Line. Incredibly complex and uniquely entertaining. Fucking love the cinematography and music too. Apocalypse Now- pretty much the same can be said and it’s so perfectly scripted.
    Alex, if you do read this, should I check out Come and See- being a big fan of the more… risky war films?
    Hope I didn’t piss anyone off 

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    1. I read and respond to all of my comments, no matter how old the post is! I'll definitely check out Come and See soon. It sounds interesting and the poster on IMDb is great.

      Great comment here. You're definitely not pissing anyone off. I really dig what you said about Saving Private Ryan. I do enjoy that film, but it's a tad too gung-ho! for me, especially when viewed against The Thin Red Line, which is a masterpiece. Also love that you never saw the appeal of the LOtR films. Yuck.

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    2. Yea The Thin Red Line is just masterful- and needs more attention no matter how floaty and Pretensious it is for some. Im sure you'd 'enjoy' Come & See from what I've read, and if you have time (and want to :p) Id love to see a review for it.
      also you inspired me to do my own movie blog Frame By Frame (working on it :/). Thanks for that bro your adoration of film is something else :D

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    3. Wow man, I'm honored! So happy you're starting your own blog. Can't wait to see it. Definitely stop back and let me know when it's live!

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  41. So what you are saying is that this aren't bad films, you just don't like them? Or you consider them bad, overrated films?

    Musicals from the ‘50s: You don't like Singin' in the Rain? (I consider all musicals just a mess, because they are just unrealistic, its impossible to sing on street in real life, the only musicals that I consider really masterful are All That Jazz and Singin' in the Rain)

    Could you make a post about films you realy love and others just hate? (Not just guilty pleasure films.)

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    1. NO. I mean really bad films, like M Night Shyamalan stuff. Not like Point Break, which is one of the best action films of '90s. But pretty good lists.

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    2. I don't love any universally awful films.

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  42. My Grandma is an LotR fan. She said to me that you don't know nothing about films when I said to her that you dislike LotR and you gave a C- (read: 4/12) to the 3rd part. I completely disagree with her opinion. My answer to her was "Fuck you! You don't know shit".

    People like what they like and hate what they dislike. Me, love LotR but my friends and buddies hate it. They say that its too long. I partially think that are too many not important and boring things and less of what its really great.

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    1. Well, that's definitely not the first time my entire movie tastes have been called into question, just because I don't like three movies. But I fully agree, we like what we like.

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  43. ''I hate each of these films with a burning passion.'' When ever I read that my hate for LotR become stronger. Not that I hate LotR, I respect it a lot, but I paid 30 lei (10 dollars) to see 8 hours of Hobbit. Now I am completely indifferent with anything. You can put my watch anything and I will not even remember it. (I saw Jackie Brown AFTER I watched Interstellar, and I couldn't even recall Jackie Brown.) My point is fuck The LotR, fuck The Hobbit, fuck Peter Jackson if he will attempt to make The Silmarillion. Which will lead to 5 (fucking) films: Ainulindalë, Valaquenta, Quenta Silmarillion, Akallabêth, Of the Rings of Power and the Third Age. LotR is just perfect. 3 thick books = 9 hours of film. The Hobbit is too long. 1 relatively slim book for kids (should not) = 8 hours of film.
    In a normal day The Fellowship of the Ring: A+; The Two Towers: A-; Return of the King:A+.
    Today: The Fellowship of the Ring: D+; The Two Towers: D-; Return of the King: D; The Hobbit: F. But I am too kind. F for 1032 hours in the Middle-earth.

    Tell me about other films that you really hate, I'm really interest.
    100 out of 10 for this page.

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    1. Wow, so LotR has really dropped for you. Interesting. I dislike a lot of films, but some popular ones that aren't really for me:

      Stars Wars
      Harry Potter
      many super hero movies
      Dances with Wolves
      Titanic

      I'll have to think about more.

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    2. Pretty much I can agree that StarS Wars, Harry Potter, Dances with Wolves, Titanic are a little bit overrated, but Star Wars was my (now one of) favorite films of all time. A saw them when I was 4 years and I was stunned. I didn't saw them just when I was 14 years but I remembered all the Darth Vader speech from Empire Strikes Back. That impress me even today. StarS Wars have the best villain ever, better than Norman Bates, better than Hannibal Lecter, better than even all villain ever.
      Harry Potter was good when I saw it. Now just The Prisoner of Azkaban and The Deathly Hallows – Part 2 are good.
      Just three super hero films I can say that are masterful: The Incredibles which is very great and funny; Unbreakable where Samuel L. Jackson and Bruce Willis are giving their best performance of their career and the film stood out as so incredible because of the themes; and The Dark Knight which IS THE BEST SUPER HERO FILM EVER.
      Dances with Wolves was good...I can't recall most of the film and probably I'll never watch it again but I remember as good. Just it shouldn't won the Oscar for film and director.

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    3. I do love those three super hero movies. Unbreakable is so goddamn good, and The Dark Knight is definitely the best super hero movie ever.

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  44. I really respect you for this post. There is one big truth: LotR films depend one of another. You can't watch #1 without #2 and #3. But you can watch Through a Glass Darkly without watching Winter Light or The Silence. Or you can watch Three Colors:Blue without watching Three Colors:White or Three Colors:Red.

    I have some questions: Do you any epic film? Because I kind of like Braveheart and Gladiator but I LOVE 300. Much better battle scenes.
    Do you any musical film? Because I agree An American in Paris, Gigi and My Fair Lady are pretty bad, but I love Singin' in the Rain to the end.
    I hate all the musical films because they are just unrealistic but I never saw actors who play so happy characters.

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    1. YES! I love what you said about the LotR trilogy, so true.

      Epics I love (excluding battle war movies):
      Lawrence of Arabia
      Schindler's List
      Seven Samurai
      2001
      Napoleon
      Birth of a Nation
      Andrei Rublev
      Berlin Alexanderplatz
      The Right Stuff
      The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
      Once Upon a Time in the West
      Once Upon a Time in America

      Musicals I love (excluding biopics/cartoons):
      South Parker: Bigger, Longer and Uncut
      West Side Story
      All That Jazz (does this count?)
      Grease
      Singin’ in the Rain
      Once
      Moulin Rouge!

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    2. Love pretty much all of those epics myself Alex, and great to see the Leone trio there- but was Visconti's 'The Leopard' excluded from that list or am I missing something? :/

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    3. I haven't seen it! Good stuff?

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    4. Excellent film. The pacing is flawless and you can FEEL the social change throughout it. Forget Come & See or Sansho (especially that one) and see this film. You wont regret it man. Oh and The Ascent.

      Oh and I saw 25th Hour and Z yesterday and both are incredible, as you said. The former certainly one of the best films of its decade.

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    5. Gonna watch all those soon. So glad you like 25th Hour and Z!

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  45. Now, upon revisiting and watching for the first time some films I found a few films that I hate.

    Heat
    I expected to really love it and I respected the films and its good, Val Kilmer was really great and Tom Sizemore, Danny Trejo, Jon Voight, William Fichtner, Natalie Portman and especially Diane Venora did a really good job, but DeNiro and Pacino didn't do a very good job, DeNiro was...and Pacino was a little good didn't have his Pacinoness. The robbery scenes ware awesome and cool as can be and when DeNiro and Pacino were in the same scene the were perfect. But it's too god damn long.

    E.T.
    I don't know. Really. Sci-fi is my favorite genre and I love Jaws, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Schindler's List, Saving Private Ryan and Catch Me If You Can (despite that I don't like Leo very much). E.T. is just too happy and childish for me. When E.T died I so happy and then.... I saw it when I was a kid and I remembered just that beautiful shot with the moon. The film suffers (like the majority of Spielberg's films) from ''a better intro than film itself''. I've tried to see it three times but I don't like it. My problem with Spielberg is that I don't like very much his sci-fi films. I didn't saw Jurassic Park in years, I never saw Minority Report (don't remember), I found out that Close Encounters of the Third Kind is very long and boring but the pay off is very good, I like more than most people A.I. because it feels like a Kubrick film and War of the Worlds is bloody awful I hate it too the bone, a really bad film, Tom Cruise and Tim Robbins (I love both of them, for their great roles [Magnolia and The Shawshank Redemption]) are horrible.

    The Dark Knight Rises
    I love Nolan, I love Batman, I love Christian Bale, I love Marion Cotillard just that this film is too much style and too less substance. The plot hole its just horrible and bad. I like it but not so much.

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    1. Oh man, I love all of those films. Heat and ET are two of my all time favorites.

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    2. Heat and E.T. just aren't for me.

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  46. I have no problem with this list. I'd keep Raiders just for fun factor, but that's all. Add Star Wars onto the bonfire too; they're no bad, but they're not great either.

    And take your Hobbit with your LOTR, while you're at it. The problem with this is that they were so far from the source material. The Hobbit is a children's book, full of wonder. The movies were standard blockbusters with shitty CGI. LOTR is an epic tale of kings, with an eons old backstory. The movies were standard blockbusters with shittier CGI, because they were a few years older. The only silver lining for me is that the Tolkien estate doesn't seem to be parting with the rights to any other material (particularly the Silmarillion - right, because Jackson could totally do justice to a creation myth) so hopefully the pain can stop now.

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    1. Way back when when I wrote this, I actually considered including Star Wars, because yeah, not bad, but certainly not masterful. To me, anyway. I've never braved The Hobbit films, and I doubt I ever will. They're just not my thing, at all.

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    2. Oh sweet jeebus, please don't. They're so not good.

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  47. The word "garbage" in lord of the rings part is annoying me. Can you edit it???

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    1. No can do, unless there's a legitimate typographical error, I don't edit my archived posts for content. Though, if it's any consultation, I wouldn't be nearly as harsh on any of the films listed here if I wrote the post today.

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  48. i guess you didn't like "non-realistic" or maybe medieval movies because you didn't like LOTR, star wars, indiana jones, braveheart, gladiator, harry potter( though i hate this movie too). anyway, for next time, don't watch any film for that genre again.

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    1. Haha great advice! Guess it's strange that I adore Game of Thrones, then.

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  49. you hated LOTR because only that small problem.

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    1. I would say those films have quite a few problems.

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  50. It's sadness you don't admit such great things from lord of the rings!

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  51. Still can't do it with those. Sorry!

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  52. Well. Atleast, although you hate that film but you have to admit it has a great score and VFX

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  53. Now its all very well to hate on the more modern films that garner such hyperbolic praise with the advent of the internet and all... but more recently I saw 'L'Avventura'. I think I remember you liking it in the booed at Cannes post and I really need your rational reason as to WHY?! Just so I know I haven't gone insane :P

    Just... so... DULL...

    8 1/2 too. Abysmal.

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    1. With older films, I often take into context the impact they've had. For example, there are so (so, so, so) many films that are derivative (or straight up rip off) of 8 1/2. That film defined the Tortured Artist Film, the Fictional Making of a Film film, the Living Dream Film, the Modern Surrealist Film and on and on.

      L'Avventura is one I'll have to watch again to comment further, but I do love it as well.

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