Where This Meets That
Someone recently accused me of being too easy on films I review. The reality is that I generally don’t review films that I don’t want to waste further precious moments on.
Oh, but they are out there. To knock out as many as possible in an easily digestible format, here are five categories, each covering five films I didn’t enjoy.
Feel free to agree with me or toss your rotten fruits my way in the Comments section!
Very Bad Things – 1998, Peter Berg We made it through perhaps twenty minutes of this and turned it off, utterly disturbed that anyone could find anything funny about graphic murder and dismemberment.
Napolean Dynamite – 2004, Jared Hess You know those movies you go into with such low expectations that you can’t help but enjoy it more than you expected? That’s what I hoped for from this, but it didn’t take long to realize it was even worse than I previously thought any movie could be.
The Campaign – 2012, Jay Roach I personally think that if you could bottle up the talent of guys like Will Ferrell and Seth Rogen, you might be able to fill an ink pen. There are people who are funny because they are clever, then there are those who are funny because of a blatant disregard for personal dignity. I consider Ferrell in the latter camp. I see no talent in the guy apart from an ability to shortcut wit, yet I still thought I’d give The Campaign a go. It covered our screen for no more than fifteen minutes.
Okay, I’m noticing a trend here: three movies in, and I haven’t finished watching a single one. When it comes to some movies, life’s just too short to finish watching, much less spending extra time reviewing. Moving on . . .
Superbad – 2007, Greg Mottola Written by Seth Rogen, so yeah, didn’t finish this one either (though I must confess that “McLovin” would be a pretty great single-word name to have).
Failure to Launch – 2006, Tom Dey It took five movies, but I finally finished one! Ugggh, why did I finish this one?
Any Given Sunday – 1999, Oliver Stone As a huge football fan and a formerly pretty big Stone fan, I was amazed at how pathetic this movie was. Pacino was utterly unconvincing as a football coach, and I’ve never understood the passing inclusion of a plucked-out eyeball on the field. Just a terrible, terrible film.
John Q – 2002, Nick Cassavetes A good example of a movie trying too hard to preach, and doing so badly. The screenplay must have been drafted with about an eighth grade audience in mind. Just silly.
Lost in Translation – 2003, Sofia Coppola This actually won the Oscar for Most Boring Film in 2003. Well acted film about totally normal people living totally normal lives.
The English Patient – 1996, Anthony Minghella For a film that took away nine Oscars, all I took away from it was that it was booooring.
The Terminal – 2004, Steven Spielberg Hollywood legends Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks team up to make the most utterly dull and pointless movie ever made? What gives? Seriously.
The Adjustment Bureau – 2011, George Nolfi Dumb, dumb, dumb. I like Matt Damon, but when I’m halfway through a movie and can’t tell if it takes itself seriously, how can I?
Training Day – 2001, Antoine Fuqua Ethan Hawke gets initiated as a narcotics officer under the tutelage of a rogue Denzel Washington in the single most ridiculous work shift in history. And that’s only before lunch!
Planet of the Apes – 2001, Tim Burton I’ll say this about Tim Burton: he directs great thirty-second commercials. Sadly, those commercials are tied to generally pathetic films.
Superman Returns – 2006, Bryan Singer Just one more film in this week’s Friday Five that I couldn’t finish.
Shutter Island – 2010, Martin Scorsese This promising and highly anticipated film started out thoroughly engrossing before sputtering into something terrible. The second half of the film was abysmal.
Brazil – 1985, Terry Gilliam I wanted to like this, I really did. I don’t always fully appreciate Gilliam’s work, but I appreciate the spirit of his film-making. Nevertheless, here’s another film I couldn’t finish.
Eraserhead – 1977, David Lynch After hearing this called a classic one too many times, I had to see it. Having seen plenty of Lynch’s subsequent films, I went into Eraserhead with both eyes open. If I could only erase it from my head now, I would.
The Fountain – 2006, Darren Aronofsky Aside from perhaps David Lynch and Tim Burton, few filmmakers are as self-indulgent as Aronofsky. The Fountain is a train wreck.
Edward Scissorhands – 1990, Tim Burton Another entry by Tim Burton. This was like scissorhands on a chalkboard to me.
Eyes Wide Shut – 1999, Stanley Kubrick What a shame that this was the final entry in Kubrick’s legendary catalog. I fell asleep, but I still remember that blasted piano haunting my dreams the rest of the movie.
Glengarry Glenn Ross – 1992, James Foley Let me just nod to the cast here. The ensemble of Al Pacino, Jack Lemmon, Ed Harris, Alan Arkin, and Kevin Spacey is pretty great, but I found the film itself rather empty. It’s a character study on multiple characters and little more. I was left asking, “So what?”
Gangs of New York – 2002, Martin Scorsese Another overblown offspring of Scorsese and DiCaprio. That the film was nominated for 10 Oscars and carried away none seems fitting. The lone bright spot was Daniel Day Lewis’s performance as Bill the Butcher.
The Godfather: Part II – 1974, Francis Ford Coppola Overrated. There, I said it. It tops countless best movies lists, but it took me at least three attempts to make it through. The original was much better but still not even among my top ten.
Slumdog Millionaire – 2008, Danny Boyle & Loveleen Tandan I just didn’t care for it and find it grossly overrated. It took eight Oscars in a subpar year for cinema that, frankly, should have been ruled by The Dark Knight. I can’t help but wonder how the far more compelling 2007 film The Kite Runner would have cleaned up in 2008.
Crash – 2004, Paul Haggis Whereas Slumdog Millionaire benefited from a weak field, Crash‘s acclaim is lost on me. It’s generally praised for its ultimately redemptive elements, but I felt that it really sold society short. For its first hundred minutes, it does its best to show the worst of society, painting everyone as fundamentally malevolent and racist. I didn’t agree with its premise, and thus, I couldn’t fully appreciate the message. Add the fact that it topped films like Spielberg’s Munich and Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain, and my ire only grows.
So, how about you? Agree? Disagree? Leave a comment below.
Meanwhile, I hope you all have a great weekend!