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Can a Movie Be a Classic Without Being Good? 
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Post Re: Can a Movie Be a Classic Without Being Good?
MGamesCook wrote:
Well, I think I'm gonna have to side with Kael and Vexer on this. It's apparent that the only kind of movie certain people have the willingness to defend is one that has already been called one of the greatest movies of all time by 1000s of others.


This is one of those nonsensical statements that would lend people to believe you are a contrarian for just for contrarian's sake.


Tue Nov 05, 2013 9:17 pm
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Post Re: Can a Movie Be a Classic Without Being Good?
Unless you're accusing somebody here of being one of those certain people, I'm not sure of the point of that remark.

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Tue Nov 05, 2013 9:27 pm
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Post Re: Can a Movie Be a Classic Without Being Good?
Regarding Star Wars....

I watched all the movies in story order in Blu Ray recently, and while parts of A New Hope are pretty laughable (really any time Mark Hamill utters dialogue, those who crushed Hayden Christensen in the prequels should take a look at how much worse Hamill is here), the movie as a whole is still great, whimsical fun and contains its fair share of thrilling sequences. Of course I like Empire better. By splitting the characters up and cutting between locations/storylines, it gives the movie an ensemble feel that I always dig.

Funny thing is, I was going to mention SW when I first saw this thread. I can definitely see how someone would call it a classic because of its influence but at the same time despise it for the "blockbuster" mentality it helped accelerate. Twenty-something posts later..... oh well. 8-)

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Tue Nov 05, 2013 10:25 pm
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Post Re: Can a Movie Be a Classic Without Being Good?
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This is one of those nonsensical statements that would lend people to believe you are a contrarian for just for contrarian's sake.


Many contrarian films are the ones I enjoy the most. Of course I love Jaws, ET, The Godfather, The Wild Bunch. I find the Indiana Jones and Jurassic Park films to be overrated as well though. Lawrence of Arabia is another one I find to be overrated, though not bad by any means. In 1977, I prefer both Close Encounters and The Spy Who Loved Me to Star Wars. Both have held up well as interesting genre films, and I think both are intended for a slightly older audience than Star Wars. A lot of it has to do with the acting. As I said, Ian McDiarmid is my favorite performance of the series and he doesn't get to shine until Revenge of the Sith.

And look, that statement is not nonsensical. It's true. We all might as well just accept the fact that whenever a movie becomes universally praised, it will have haters. Film is an artform destined for niche appeal, not mass appeal. The Godfather has haters. Jaws has haters. Citizen Kane has haters. Because what happens is that all of these films are, at heart, niche. They have a specific audience. That specific audience will love them. But when critics overpraise the crap out of these things, they bring the films to the attention of people who would never have sought them out otherwise.

In other words, if Star Wars hadn't been so famous, I probably would never have seen it even to this day. It's not my thing. If it's your thing, great. I can't take that away from you. But when you say Star Wars reaches deep into the viewer's desire for adventure...That's what it did for the people who liked it. But that does not include EVERYBODY. There are people who haven't even seen Star Wars or who have seen it but didn't really like it. They do exist.

Since no movie appeals to every single person, there's really no such thing as being a contrarian.

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at the same time despise it for the "blockbuster" mentality it helped accelerate.


I can't say I disagree with this perspective entirely. But I'm glad you brought up the fact that New Hope's dialogue is often no better than some of the prequel stuff. The main difference is in the actors. Alec Guinness and Harrison Ford make it sound GOOD. Guinness was an actor who could have made pig latin sound good. Ewan McGregor is simply no Guinness.


Tue Nov 05, 2013 10:36 pm
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Post Re: Can a Movie Be a Classic Without Being Good?
I actually thought McGregor was better, Guinness mentioned how much he hated his role in Star Wars(he only agreed to take the role on the condition that Obi-Wan was killed off) and it really shows in his acting, he shows zero enthusiasm reciting his lines and looks like he would rather be anyplace else.


Tue Nov 05, 2013 11:49 pm
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Post Re: Can a Movie Be a Classic Without Being Good?
Guinness did a fine job. I don't deny that he probably gave it a workman's effort at best, but Alec Guinness's workman effort is better than a lot of actors' most masterful work.

Of all the actors in the prequels, Ewan MacGregor probably fared best. Comparing him to Liam Neeson is a good lesson in how two good actors can do completely different levels of work depending on how much direction they require. Neeson's a great actor, but I think it's pretty obvious that he bounces a lot off the director, and if the director's not there for him, he falters. Not so with MacGregor, who wrings about as much genuine humanity out of the material as there is to be wrung. He can do good work with or without direction.

Forget about Christiansen. Yeah, Hamill whined, too, but Hamill has a warm, engaging personality and Christiansen does not. I'd bet that if they played each other's roles, Hamill would far outpace Christiansen as Anakin, whereas Christiansen would explode that line about power converters right through the ceiling.

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Tue Nov 05, 2013 11:59 pm
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Post Re: Can a Movie Be a Classic Without Being Good?
I thought Christensen did a pretty decent job with what he was given, Hammil was OK but I think some of his post Star Wars roles were better overall.


Wed Nov 06, 2013 12:02 am
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Post Re: Can a Movie Be a Classic Without Being Good?
Ken wrote:
Of all the actors in the prequels, Ewan MacGregor probably fared best. Comparing him to Liam Neeson is a good lesson in how two good actors can do completely different levels of work depending on how much direction they require. Neeson's a great actor, but I think it's pretty obvious that he bounces a lot off the director, and if the director's not there for him, he falters. Not so with MacGregor, who wrings about as much genuine humanity out of the material as there is to be wrung. He can do good work with or without direction.


I love just about every character that Ewan plays due to his ability to squeeze humanity out of them. No matter how contrived the story or script, Ewan makes it feel genuine.

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Wed Nov 06, 2013 12:21 am
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Post Re: Can a Movie Be a Classic Without Being Good?
I agree with all the acting assessments. Everyone is good at something, no one is good at everything.


Wed Nov 06, 2013 12:28 am
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Post Re: Can a Movie Be a Classic Without Being Good?
Let me be uber-reductive and state that Star Wars is more legendary than it is great :|

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Wed Nov 06, 2013 6:21 am
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Post Re: Can a Movie Be a Classic Without Being Good?
If Star Wars' greatness has diminished at all, it's because practically every grand-scale adventure movie since then has made its number one goal to do what Star Wars did, except bigger and better.

For further reference, see Seinfeld Is Unfunny.

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Wed Nov 06, 2013 6:26 am
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Post Re: Can a Movie Be a Classic Without Being Good?
Standing on the shoulders of giants

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Wed Nov 06, 2013 6:47 am
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Post Re: Can a Movie Be a Classic Without Being Good?
Ken wrote:
Unless you're accusing somebody here of being one of those certain people, I'm not sure of the point of that remark.

It is a less antagonistic way of saying "You are just being a contrarian for contratian's sake." Not everything has to devolve into a flame war. Call it being weak and passive-aggressive if that is your desire.


Wed Nov 06, 2013 9:19 am
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Post Re: Can a Movie Be a Classic Without Being Good?
Sorry, that wasn't aimed at you. I thought I'd quoted the relevant post, but I didn't.

Oh well. Accept the mystery!

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Wed Nov 06, 2013 10:52 am
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Post Re: Can a Movie Be a Classic Without Being Good?
Ken wrote:
Sorry, that wasn't aimed at you. I thought I'd quoted the relevant post, but I didn't.

Oh well. Accept the mystery!


Oh...then never mind then. No need to apologize. <Gets up and dusts self off.>


Wed Nov 06, 2013 11:06 am
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Post Re: Can a Movie Be a Classic Without Being Good?
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If Star Wars' greatness has diminished at all, it's because practically every grand-scale adventure movie since then has made its number one goal to do what Star Wars did, except bigger and better.


Well, that's a pretty good reason too. I just think New Hope can no longer stand on its own, nor by all indications does Lucas particularly want it to. I think he made it pretty clear that he views Phantom Menace as the first installment and New Hope as the fourth. That's the vision he wants.


Wed Nov 06, 2013 4:37 pm
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Post Re: Can a Movie Be a Classic Without Being Good?
Well, I'm not sure how any movie that pulls in a 93% on the Tomato-meter AND lands at #15 on the AFI's Top "100 Years...100 Movies" list (1998 edition) can be considered objectively "not good." (From a subjective standpoint I guess you can say it's not "good", but you'll have an uphill battle trying to convince a majority of others that that is so.)

(For the record, I was not a huge fan of The Graduate (AFI #7) or Chinatown (AFI #19), but I personally wouldn't go out of my way to call those "bad movies"; just not my cup of tea.)

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Fri Nov 08, 2013 10:03 am
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Post Re: Can a Movie Be a Classic Without Being Good?
Johnny Larue wrote:
(For the record, I was not a huge fan of The Graduate (AFI #7) or Chinatown (AFI #19), but I personally wouldn't go out of my way to call those "bad movies"; just not my cup of tea.)


Disagree totally on Chinatown as that's a top 5 movie for me. The Graduate isn't bad. But it's also a lot more dated than other movies from that era. Hoffman and Bancroft are great and Nichols direction is well-done. But the movie as a whole hasn't aged that well. I personally prefer Nichols previous film Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf.

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Fri Nov 08, 2013 10:57 am
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Post Re: Can a Movie Be a Classic Without Being Good?
Yeah I just feel sorry for anyone who doesn't appreciate Chinatown

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Fri Nov 08, 2013 11:07 am
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Post Re: Can a Movie Be a Classic Without Being Good?
JamesKunz wrote:
Yeah I just feel sorry for anyone who doesn't appreciate Chinatown


You've used this line before and it comes off as a tad bit arrogant. Not abusively arrogant; but subtly arrogant. I am not seeking your pity nor do I feel some sort of shame for declaring that I didn't care for the movie. Did I hate it? No. Saw it once. Don't find the need to revisit it again.


Fri Nov 08, 2013 11:24 am
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