If you like cinema then you have had the “movies that suck but you like’em” conversation at some point. “Hey I just saw “Movie” and I loved it, it was so great, right?” At which point all of your Hulk rage builds up and you lose it. Because that movie to you is the worst piece of shit you have ever seen. Don’t lie to me, everyone has had this exchange at some point in Their lives. I recently had it when my friend Ken who was losing it over the idea that WWE wrestler Hornswoggle would be replacing Warwick Davis in the Leprechaun franchise. I know, I didn’t care either. But when I mentioned that I wasn’t a fan, the discussion led to this article. So behold my current list of movies that I can’t stand but are loved almost universally by the rest of the planet.
I went to see this in theatres when it opened and I had a horrible night. I was sick and it was made worse by the fact some woman decided that one bottle of Chanel No. 5 was not enough. I almost threw up several times in the film because of that and the shaky cam. I know that you are thinking this why I hate the film but actually, it’s not. It just made what would have been a bad experience that much worse. What I hate about this so called movie is the sheer idiocy of the characters in it. They never make a good decision, not once, during the entire film. They always go towards the danger and never away. The found footage premise was so ridiculous to begin with but on top of that, as you watch, they are filming things that nobody- I MEAN NOBODY! – would film. There is a point where logic should have taken hold but it never seems to. I understand that maybe a 13 year old would fall for the marketing but I actually knew adults that fell for it. WTF! How naive do you have to be to think for one nano second that any studio would show a movie about kids possibly getting killed in the woods in your local theatre? Besides that, you actually believed that the families wouldn’t have shut it down in the courts? Bitch please. I guess to some the movie provides some terrifying moments but the only time I was truly creeped out was the last 3 minutes of the film in the house. The last scene is impressive but I didn’t go to a movie to wait 78 minutes to have something interesting happen. My anger about this film is deep so I am going to stop now.
Now from your side it was a success. It made oodles of cash. Regardless of which numbers you use for the budget, it made an ass load of money. The film sparked several things in cinema at the time. One was the reemergence of the horror film to the mainstream. It had kind of fallen out of favour in the 90’s and was brought back by Blair Witch’s success. The other thing it did was make found footage all the rage (much to my distaste). It is still going strong today with the success of the Paranormal Activity series. It was also a big boon for indie filmmakers going out and getting their projects picked up by studios looking for the next indie budget mega hit. A formula that is still hard to crack. Although while not well received by many, The Purge, with a budget of only $3 million, killed the box office in it’s opening weekend with $36.4 million. Let’s face it, that’s what the studios like about the ROI on these films, not the quality.
Oh yes I’m going here. Fuck Christopher Nolan for this piece of shit! Yep, that’s right, a movie that launched Nolan’s career is made of fluff and vomit. I can’t stand this movie. People went off at the time talking about how revolutionary it was? Really? It’s revolutionary to show a story backwards so you already know the ending? Big fucking deal. I sat down to watch this based on my friend Chris’s advice, thinking I was going to have my mind blown by this masterpiece. Yeah oh-kay. As I followed the story in reverse all I kept thinking is that this must be what hell feels like. I saw the end but now it is moving away from me as i watch a movie filled with people that I couldn’t give a shit about. When it finally ended, I was crying from the joy of now being free of it’s mind numbing boredom.
The only thing this movie really did was launch Nolan’s career. He didn’t invent the reverse storytelling concept. It has been done for years in film & television to various degrees. To many who may not have seen as many films as I had, maybe it was new and fresh and mind blowing. But not to me. I just felt underwhelmed. However, Nolan would eventually get there but it was years later when he made Inception. That is his true pinnacle so far but that’s for another column. The people who I have spoken to over the years like to reference it’s innovative storytelling and use of the crime noir genre with a twist but it misses for me. I don’t see all the hub bub over it. But I did get Inception 10 years later so there is that.
I was excited to see this when I heard about it. All the 80’s action stars, well at least some of them, together in the same film and some new ones also. It promised to be a balls to the wall, man’s man action movie. Well, there was action through out it… but where was the story? Maybe I was delusional to think that Sylvester Stallone would have tried to make his movie have more story and heart than the typical 80’s action flick but I was wrong. The man made First Blood & Rocky. Both of those films were more about the story and the hearts of these characters then about punching or shooting. It elevates them to a higher level and makes them worthy of praise. The Expendables does not even try to do this. There are elements in the script where they could have gone down these paths but they didn’t or the scenes were shot and the actors couldn’t carry it. Regardless, it suffers from a total lack of character development from beginning to end. Yes I know it was meant to be a balls out action film but that doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice story for the action. Do I care that they defeated Eric Roberts and his cadre of villainous henchmen? Nope not one bit.
What The Expendables did do was reignite some interest in the old school exploitation action film. Unfortunately, it hasn’t gone much past that. Europeans such as Luc Besson are holding court in this area currently and will be hard pressed to let it go. They do it cheaper and with usually more pizzazz. The relaunch of Arnold’s career didn’t quite happen – who wants to watch a 65 year old action star? He’s no Clint Eastwood or Sean Connery, the only ones I know who have done it – successfully.
The newest movie on the list but no less hated. It has Christopher Walken and Sam Rockwell, guys I really enjoy but they were sucked flat by a movie with no sense of it’s self. Yes I know the movie is self aware and breaks the fourth wall a few times but overall I found the movie to be lost in it’s own humourless self indulgence. The movie is part noir, part black comedy but I don’t think the writer knew which part he was writing half the time. It moves all over the place like a crackheads’ memories from one magical experience to the next without much setup or context and zero humour. I don’t care what anyone says, there is nothing funny in this movie except for the fact that I was stuck watching it. I felt bad for Walken who was doing everything he could to make this better but it was held down by it’s own hubris. Oh, and for the record, the only character I liked was the dog.
Only one other film on this list seems to be more loved than this one. Almost every review or person I met who saw this loved it. Which is when i realized that I live in a world that is only loosely connected to this one. They went on about all manner of things why this thing rocked or was hilarious or breaking trends or whatever bullshit they came up with. Honestly, other than the dog & Walken, I have nothing more to say about this shit other than I will never watch it again.
One of the most beloved films of the 80’s and loved by children around the world. Well except this guy. I saw this movie when I was about 18 for the first time and I was blown away by how lame it was. I didn’t feel any sense of wonder or magic that I associate with the best movies of the 80’s. It is too saccharin and of not much substance. I watched it and couldn’t not for the life of me figure out why I should care about anything that was going on. I didn’t care if that little bastard got home or liked Reese’s Pieces or could make a bike fly. It held very little for me in that regard. As for the humans – nope still nothing. My only interest is that one of them would grow up to be a coke head and alcoholic. I just can’t figure out what you all are crazy about with this movie.
While Jaws launched Steven Spielberg‘s career and Close Encounters of the Third Kind said he was someone to watch, it was E.T. that showed the world and the studios that he was the main man for big money hits. He created what for some allowed an accessible vehicle for people to get into the world of sci-fi without having to watch Star Wars or Star Trek, which were way too heavy for the average person to get into if they weren’t already into sci-fi. I also look at E.T. as the movie that helped more girls get into sci-fi who were also turned off by the in your face style of the bigger established choices. For those of you who were actually kids when it came out, I want you to think back to how many girls actually liked sci-fi at that time… now think about today and how many are into it? Is it the whole reason? No, but it did help lay that foundation for the future. I may not like it but I can appreciate that contribution at least.
Okay that’s the list, well at least how it stands today. I know for a fact that Blair Witch will never leave this list but others may come and go. If and when that happens, I may give an update to this list. For now, this is where I stand. These are not movies that I enjoyed when I watched them, or upon thinking of them now. If you want to argue with me, go right ahead. I welcome it. Like I said, these are the movies that I hate but you love.
If you’re gonna geek out, GEEK HARD!