Movies You Should Love . . . But Hate Anyway

Bonus Episode: Movies We Do Not LoveEver have the displeasure of hating a movie everyone else seems to love?  Loren and Scott have!

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What We’ve Been Up To



  1. Claudiu Dobre says:

    About your picks:

    There Will Be Blood – totally agree with everything you guys said… love the explanations! You’ve made it even clearer to me why I don’t like that movie. I hate the worldview and character attitudes it presents as well, not to mention the ending… Scott Pilgrim vs. the World – no surprise that here too, like many times before, I’m on Scott’s side of the argument; I’ve rarely played video games, I haven’t read a comic book more than once or twice in my life, and yet I’ve adored this movie since the first time I saw it. I love that type of humor as well and I think it’s very funny.

    “people who can’t be bothered to draw pictures” – nice one! I love romantic comedies too, by the way. Avatar SUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCKED… totally! Well, yeah, it WAS O.K., it wasn’t COMPLETE crap (it was competently made, I guess), but definitely a one-time watch. I’ve never even CONSIDERED rewatching it. I too did not get into the story or the characters at all, I thought pretty much everything about it was completely cliched and forced, and even the original aspects weren’t that original. Thankfully, they went with The Hurt Locker that year at the Oscars. I’m also definitely not a big fan of Pretty Woman or Dirty Dancing (the latter is at least interesting). I do love Titanic, though (and, in fact, most other James Cameron movies, like Terminator 1&2, Aliens and The Abyss). I love Gone with the Wind, although it does have its flaws, and they’re in plain sight. But it has many, many qualities. I also love Up. I’m a big fan of Tarantino’s but found Jackie Brown to be, as you say, completely uninvolving. Kill Bill I have not seen yet. I love Inglorious Basterds and I even like Django Unchained quite a bit.

    Like I’ve said before, Citizen Kane doesn’t work that well for me either (I much, much prefer Welles’ The Magnificent Ambersons, which I actually really love). And I don’t even agree that it should be considered the best movie ever just because it’s so influential and important to the development of cinema. I think there’s, possibly, a bit of a paradox here… If this movie is the best ever because it helped make movies better… and yet they HAVEN’T yet, 70+ years later, come up with even one better movie (which to me just seems completely implausible anyway), then maybe its influence hasn’t really been THAT beneficial and outstanding. It doesn’t make a lot of sense logically… the argument can be sold, if you try hard enough, but I’m not buying it for a second!


    As for the movies I personally don’t much like that most people love, I have a lot more than you guys, I guess… Or maybe my definition is looser! As you will see, a lot of these are from 2003 onward. I’ve seen hundreds, possibly thousands of pre-2003 movies; I just hate the kind of movies they were making from around 2003-2004 up to roughly 2009; in 2011 I started watching a lot more new releases, so that’s why an unusually large number of new films are there as well.

    Anyway, here are (I’d imagine most of) mine below, with short explanations. I’ll just use the AFI’s Top 100 for starters (I’ve seen 85 of them, including the top 42):

    Citizen Kane has been mentioned, Lawrence of Arabia too, All About Eve (just not too impressed), The African Queen (can’t relate to the characters or their situation AT ALL), Psycho (it’s good and all that, but it’s horribly dated for me, and, unfortunately, I don’t believe it’s just because it’s been copied so many times), Annie Hall (while good, I just don’t find it to be great), The Best Years of our Lives (I remember it didn’t hit me nearly as hard as I expected it to, it didn’t get its message across in a convincing way for me; also rather dated), Rear Window (just a pretty average murder mystery, nowhere near Hitchcock’s best work), From Here to Eternity (I just find it to be a completely average 50s drama), The Third Man (I do NOT get what all of the hype is about), Tootsie (same thing; seems to me like merely a decent to good comedy, with some romance thrown in that I can’t relate to that much, but nothing more), Network (I probably just am not smart enough to get why this is supposed to be so amazing), The Manchurian Candidate (dated; the themes it explores can be – and are, in other, superior movies – explored much better than this), Wuthering Heights (the novel is one of my all-time favorites; this movie version is, however, horribly dated and very simplistic Hollywood-style stuff, not nearly tense enough compared to the book, from what I recall of my first viewing a few years ago), Rocky (just not that great, I guess, for me), Giant (lesser Dean and nothing more), Fargo (stupid and annoying characters doing stupid and annoying things, with some decent humor thrown in here and there; doesn’t seem to me that it has anything relevant to say), Goodfellas (pretty much the same exact comment as for Fargo; none of the characters inspires, awes or shocks me in any way, OR tells me anything I didn’t already know or cared to know, really; to compare this to even The Godfather III, let alone the first two Godfather movies, is just blasphemy, in my opinion), The Searchers (not a big fan of Ford’s work overall, although I do love How Green Was My Valley; his other films seem kind of empty and uninvolving, this one included).

    I’ll also do the IMDb’s top 250 list. I’ve seen many of these as well. I won’t count them, but if I had to make an approximation, I’d say like 60-70%, maybe slightly less, almost definitely not more:

    The second and third Star Wars movies (by order of appearance) – I really like the first one, but I feel that the other two devolve into typical Hollywood fantasy film (of that period) territory, into kitsch, and lose most of the substance of the first one and, ultimately, don’t ring as true to me anymore, within their own context. They’re still quite O.K. and enjoyable, but nowhere near all-time best material. The Departed – furiously overrated; Nicholson overacts brutally, most of the characters are completely unlikable and, apart from a clever screenplay and a nice ending, there’s not much to like about it at all. WALL-E I did not find nearly as endearing as most people do. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind – nice, clever movie, not a big fan of the characters, though I don’t hate them either; not much more than a gimmick movie to me, albeit an original gimmick. There Will Be Blood I’ve touched upon… Million Dollar Baby (the tragic ending just seems forced to me, not natural at all, and the whole movie doesn’t work because of that), Stand By Me (here too I can’t see what all the fuss is about), Star Trek (2009; how this is on the list is bewildering to me… it was O.K. but it never even occurred to me anyone would ever deem it great), Rosemary’s Baby (this is horribly overrated if you ask me, even as far as horror movies go; and Polanski definitely has many better movies), Mystic River (again, it’s good, even great in places, but overall it left me cold both of the times I saw it), The Wrestler (a bit overrated).

    Other overrated movies not on those lists:

    The Artist (another gimmick movie and not much more), The Tree of Life (not a big fan of Malick’s; when this is good, it’s great; when it’s not, it’s both incredibly boring and confused), Argo (I know at least one of you guys loved it, as did many others, but I fould it to be completely unremarkable, I hated Affleck’s performance, acting-wise, I felt a lot of the “suspenseful” moments were highly artificial and there was no real tension to speak of after the first 10 minutes or so, at least for me, mostly because of the unconvincing acting by the lead), Prometheus (it has wonderfully interesting ideas but executes them dismally; has its good parts, though), The Social Network (I like it, I really do… but nowhere near enough to proclaim it the masterpiece most people think it is), No Country for Old Men (pretty much the same comment), Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire (NOT worthy of a Best Picture nomination), Iron Man (not sure how overrated it is, but I definitely thought it was average at best), Across the Universe (hated it pretty much completely; Ebert, for instance, may he rest in peace, loved it), Children of Men (has been mentioned before), Babel (so unoriginal, rehashed score, heavy-handed cliched message; hate it), Munich (hate the tone), Brokeback Mountain (it’s good, but a masterpiece it is not), Closer (there are no words to describe how much I hate this movie and its characters), Adaptation (an interesting screenplay does not a great movie make), Fight Club (a little overrated; it’s not THAT clever), Misery, Do the Right Thing (not the brilliant movie they make it out to be, though it’s certainly not weak or anything), Driving Miss Daisy (I know it’s hated now, but it did get a Best Picture Oscar, so I’m including it), Full Metal Jacket (this was on one of the lists but I forgot to include it then; it’s good and very interesting, but not great), Fatal Attraction (what’s the big deal with this one?!), The Big Chill (I don’t even feel like I need to explain), The Right Stuff (a little overrated, though it is good), Coming Home (don’t like the characters), Paper Moon (it doesn’t work as well for me, I suspect, as for other people; it is, however, very interesting and well made), The Last Picture Show (roughly the same comment), In the Heat of the Night (not too overrated, but definitely a little), Alexis Zorbas (the title character doesn’t do it for me), Spartacus (not that epic, not that interesting; still reasonably good), The Ten Commandments (the most dated, overacted and over the top movie ever, for me), Marty (Best Picture over the two Dean masterpieces that year seems a bit much, to say the least), Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (also horribly dated and over the top, though maybe it’s not that well regarded either; it was BP nominated, though, if I remember correctly), Anchors Aweigh (way too corny and cliched for a BP nominee), Laura (it’s not that special), Mrs. Miniver (BP winner, no less… just not that great in any way), Ninotchka, The Lost Patrol (another furiously dated movie).