Saturday, November 26, 2011

Critical Confessions

Any “respectable” film buff knows that certain films are simply great. It doesn’t matter if they “like” the movies or not; you HAVE to like them or no one will respect your movie opinions anymore. While I recognize why many of these films are important, here is a list of movies that I do NOT like and therefore do not deserve to be seen as having REAL opinions worth being heard…

“Rushmore” (1998) Director: Wes Anderson 
The film that made quirky a fad. The idea is to call your film a comedy and then make it not funny, just strange. Your aim is to make people knowingly and smugly grin—but not laugh.

“Do the Right Thing” (1989) Director: Spike Lee 
It’s about racism, so you have to call it great—or you expose your own racism.

“Don’t Look Now” (1973) Director: Nic Roeg 
Some people call it the scariest movie of all time. I would bet they don’t bother watching past the graphic sex scene. If they do they must fall asleep and dream an actual scary version.

“Network” (1976) Director: Sidney Lumet 
A movie aimed at getting you worked up about all the problems and shortcomings of modern society. It attempts to be strange and surreal, but the makers must not have been doing as many drugs as everyone else at the time because it is just slightly dumb.

“Raging Bull” (1980) Director: Martin Scorsese
A story that Scorsese couldn’t even be bothered with until he realized it was all about his pet theme: redemption. Only problem is it is about a guy who chases but never obtains it, and so unlikable that we are glad he fails.

“Blue Velvet” (1986) Director: David Lynch 
Supposedly a mystery, but whereas Hitchcock made a voyeuristic mystery story about exposing evil and the thrill of facing danger to do so, this is more about a fascination with the extreme underbelly of society and a thrill with how sick people can become.

“Rocky” (1976) Director: John G. Avildsen 
“Yo, Adrian… I lost!”

“The Graduate” (1967) Director: Mike Nichols 
Yes, the Boomer generation’s self portrayal claims with pride that they are a lost directionless group. Time has proven them right, but that doesn’t mean it is an entertaining story.

“E.T. The Extra Terrestrial” (1982) Director: Steven Spielberg 
I dislike this film and I was a child of the eighties! I never did understand all the hoopla.

“One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” (1975) Director: Milos Foreman
I tend to be rather cynical, but this one goes too far even for me.

“2001: A Space Odyssey” (1968) Director: Stanley Kubrick 
This is not the sort of film you “get,” and anyone claiming to “get” it is bluffing. That does not make it a bad exercise, but it doesn’t mean you have to like it. I find it terribly boring.

“Citizen Kane” (1941) Director: Orson Wells 
Sure, this movie invented most film techniques and conventions. That does not make it the best film ever, just the most groundbreaking. The story itself is a bit tedious. And “Rosebud” is not the biggest reveal ever, it is the biggest letdown ever.

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