Thursday, August 21, 2003

While concocting my overrated list, I tried to determine what really made a movie overrated. These are not necessarily movies I hate, although a few of them I do, but more or less movies that are okay or even good for the most part but have been consumed by the masses or in some cases critics like they were pure gold, and I just don't get why they are seen as that good. A few that didn't make the list but were right on the border are as follows.


All except the last one on that list I actually like, and I own a couple of them, but I just don't get the love and adoration they got. They're solid films, but by no means great ones. Now, as for my top 12:

12. SAVING PRIVATE RYAN - Pretty much everything Chris said nailed it for me. Great opening sequence, pretty muddled middle section, and an ending that is pretty much a letdown. The sniper scene is a blatant ripoff of "Full Metal Jacket," which is a film that suffers a lot of the same problems this film does. Also, if you're going to bookend the story with narration, at least make it come from someone who was there to witness the entire story. That should be rule 1 in screenplay writing. How Speilberg let that slip between the cracks is anyone's guess.

11. AIR FORCE ONE - This movie is pretty solid for about an hour and a half, and then Gary Oldman dies. So, why not have one of the secret service guys be in on it to give the movie another thirty minutes, and have some of the worst special effects ever witnessed on film, that is until Wolfgang Petersen committed the same crime with "A Perfect Storm," but luckily no one praises that piece of junk. It's too bad that Harrison Ford's best work since "The Fugitive" could be seen on screen this summer ("Hollywood Homicide"), but alas no one went and saw it. Why did he turn down Michael Douglas's part in "Traffic" again?

10. CAPE FEAR (1991) - I just wanted to make sure you knew which one I was talking about. Because the original is quite good. Nick Nolte gives a hell of a performance, Robert DeNiro gives a terrible one, and I don't even want to talk about Juliette Lewis. God, she is a terrible actress. There is absolutely no suspense in this film, DeNiro comes back to life about a zillion times, and I was done caring before he died the first time. I actually heard someone say the other day that this was the best suspense film in 1991, not "Silence of the Lambs." I can understand not wanting to agree with the masses, but don't be an idiot. Sometimes the industry does get the Oscar right.

9. BRINGING UP BABY - I'm not much for screwball comedies as it is, but the best time for them was the thirties ("The Awful Truth", Duck Soup"). However most people seem to enjoy Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn chasing a tiger around for an hour and a half. I personally don't see the point. Howard Hawks is probably the best of the work for hire directors, and maybe the only good one ever, but this was dissapointing in my book.

8. VERTIGO - I really do like this movie quite a bit, but I can't understand why this is considered Hitchcock's best. I can think of a slew of other ones I'd put ahead of it (Rope, Strangers on a Train, Psycho, North by Northwest, Rebecca, The Lady Vanishes, The 39 Steps, Notorius, etc.). It's an interesting story that drags on for far too long, and it has a pretty silly climax when you think about it. I don't know. I like it, but I far from love it.

7. THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE - Why people want to herald this as a horror movie classic is beyond me. It's got the most asinine characters in it, and it's not scary. While I understand gore's place in horror, this movie is just simply disgusting, and I mean everything about it; even the way it's shot. Tobe Hooper is the worst director to direct ten or more films easily. I don't think he ever made a good movie except for "Poltergeist," and let's face it, Speilberg had a big hand in that one. Has much as I love horror films, I will never understand this one's appeal.

6. RAIN MAN - This movie is retarted, no pun intended. First off, the academy got it wrong. Tom Cruise acts circles around Dustin Hoffman in this film. And I know hating movies of this genre always makes me sound cruel, but I'm looking at this from a movie stand point, and these are all the same. How about a little originality. There's plenty of guilty offenders here (My Left Foot, Nell, Shine), but this one took home the Oscar, so it makes the list.

5. BLADE RUNNER - I've seen this movie probably 6 or 7 times, and I just don't get it. I don't get it. Everything Chris said I agree with.

4. DELIEVERANCE - The dueling banjos song is cool. There is nothing else about this movie that is. The Ned Beatty scene is just gross, not scary, just gross. And this movie just drags on and on until Burt Reynolds is standing in a canoe with a bow and arrow.

3. THE NATURAL - You both knew this was coming. My second Barry Levinson film on the list. (I also have three movies with Harrison Ford in them and two with Jon Voight, the last of each is coming up). The love story is unnecessary. The climatic baseball moments (glass shattering in Chicago, glass shattering wherever they are at the end of the film) are just cheesy. The score is great, as is Wilford Brimley as the coach. Everything else does not interest me in the least.

2. MIDNIGHT COWBOY - Yet another Oscar winner that shouldn't have even been on the ballot. This movie really, really sucks. Jon Voight has never been a good actor, and Dustin Hoffman is good, but he doesn't make up for everything else in the film. And this is not a criticism, but why was this movie X even for the time period. Bonnie and Clyde came out before it, as did The Graduate and In the Heat of the Night, I would think they were more graphic than this film, and a lot better.

1. THE RETURN OF THE JEDI - Yes, this movie is better than the most recent "Star Wars" films, but it's still a piece of dog shit. Yes, the Jabba the Hut stuff is cool, but does nothing to further along the ongoing story, it's like it's own seperate short film. Han and Leia's relationship is reduced to cheesy bantering and one-liners; Luke and Leia are related (ugh!), and the Ewoks; oh my god, the Ewoks. I really like "Star Wars," and I really love "The Empire Strikes Back," but how can these people keep defending Jedi. It's terrible, terrible I say. This was when Lucas was more concerned with action figures than an actual interesting storyline.


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