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The most overrated movie of all time... 
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Post Re: The most overrated movie of all time...
I thoutht The French Connection was terrific but I do think the ending is both abrupt and anticlimatic. It is actually a real letdown of an ending. Too bad because the movie is incredibly exciting and Gene Hackman is always great to watch.


Sat Jun 27, 2009 2:58 am
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Post Re: The most overrated movie of all time...
ilovemovies wrote:
I thoutht The French Connection was terrific but I do think the ending is both abrupt and anticlimatic. It is actually a real letdown of an ending. Too bad because the movie is incredibly exciting and Gene Hackman is always great to watch.


Have you seen the French Connection II? It's a piece of shit and sucks ass but it does conclude the storyline.


Sat Jun 27, 2009 5:13 pm
Post Re: The most overrated movie of all time...
HomerJ wrote:

And speaking of hype: I couldn't remember if anyone had mentioned Blair Witch Project in this thread yet, so just to be safe I'll mention it again. Blair Witch Project. Overrated.


Ah, but to be there when the zeitgeist hit the fever pitch! Long before the 'scariest movie ever' label came to be applied Blair Witch was something wholly new and exciting. That may have been an illusion but the sheer exuberance with which they pulled off the movie is enough to quiet down the voice that screams 'overrated' and tip my hat to a movie that fooled me completely for 90 minutes. It was a minor masterpiece and it's failure to hold up to general scrutiny isn't nearly as nerve-wracking as the first time through it at a broken down theater on a stifling Texas night. My memories of this one are fond no matter how the movie may play for me now.


Sun Jun 28, 2009 5:34 am
Post Re: The most overrated movie of all time...
To me, I just never got Scarface. Pacino drives me crazy in this. And Forrest Gump hasn't aged well so I'll throw that it.


Sun Jun 28, 2009 7:18 pm
Post Re: The most overrated movie of all time...
majoraphasia wrote:
Ah, but to be there when the zeitgeist hit the fever pitch! Long before the 'scariest movie ever' label came to be applied Blair Witch was something wholly new and exciting. That may have been an illusion but the sheer exuberance with which they pulled off the movie is enough to quiet down the voice that screams 'overrated' and tip my hat to a movie that fooled me completely for 90 minutes. It was a minor masterpiece and it's failure to hold up to general scrutiny isn't nearly as nerve-wracking as the first time through it at a broken down theater on a stifling Texas night. My memories of this one are fond no matter how the movie may play for me now.


I don't think it was an illusion at all. It was new, and if it wasn't as exciting as the hype implied (I wonder if any flick could possibly be that scary), it was certainly unique. Interesting is in the eye of the beholder, but it remains an intersting flick to me.

As far as it's failure to hold up to general scrutiny, I'm not sure I follow precisely. I mean, sure, like most flicks, you can poke holes and stuff, but like most ghost story/supernatural horror flicks, well, don't you expect to be able to poke holes? In the scale of the supernatural film genre, I actually think it holds up to scrutiny better than most.

I guess I'm jus taking what you're saying a little farther. I actually think it's a good movie, even today. Not great, and not without flaws (although the "films without flaws" list is a very small one, at least IMO), but a good film that did some interesting things.

Of course, since the topic is "overrated" and not "bad," I will now impale my own argument. The Blair Witch Project is obviously not as well regarded as it was when it was first released, or even less than it was before it was released. Still, if someone were to argue that the delta between the hype and what we got was among the biggest of all time, I'd be hard pressed to argue much.

But I'm reminded of The Shawshank Redemption. Nice, three star film in my book. But, as has been argued elsewhere in this thread, it's not even close to The Best Film of All Time (as IMDB ratings would suggest). In that context, I'd buy Blair Witch as at least initially overrated.

But I still think it is actually pretty good.


Sun Jun 28, 2009 8:10 pm
Post Re: The most overrated movie of all time...
HomerJ wrote:
Matrix, however...with all the hype, how could it not be overrated?

And speaking of hype: I couldn't remember if anyone had mentioned Blair Witch Project in this thread yet, so just to be safe I'll mention it again. Blair Witch Project. Overrated.


Hmmmm. I'm sensing something ironic in the juxtaposition here.

I'd make a similar argument for both films; nowhere near as good as the hype, but as time has passed, probably as good as their final appraisal has ended up (and both with inexcusably terrible sequels).

Additionally, I can think of one crucial variable--one of those films is burdened with Keanu Reeves, while the other has him in precisely ZERO scenes.

I know which film I prefer . . . ;)


Sun Jun 28, 2009 8:19 pm
Post Re: The most overrated movie of all time...
Tuco wrote:
HomerJ wrote:
Matrix, however...with all the hype, how could it not be overrated?

And speaking of hype: I couldn't remember if anyone had mentioned Blair Witch Project in this thread yet, so just to be safe I'll mention it again. Blair Witch Project. Overrated.


Hmmmm. I'm sensing something ironic in the juxtaposition here.

I'd make a similar argument for both films; nowhere near as good as the hype, but as time has passed, probably as good as their final appraisal has ended up (and both with inexcusably terrible sequels).

Additionally, I can think of one crucial variable--one of those films is burdened with Keanu Reeves, while the other has him in precisely ZERO scenes.

I know which film I prefer . . . ;)


I actually thought The Matrix was one of the few movies where Keanu was perfect for his role. I honestly can't imagine anyone else saying "woah" with as much gusto as he managed to sum up.

Anyway, I put my vote out for Singin' in the Rain. If there's any one genre I just don't like, it's the musical, and while even I'll admit that the dance sequences in Singin' are absolutely fantastic, the comedy is so over-the-top annoying the two ended up canceling each other out. Gene Kelly dancing in puddles? Awesome.Obnoxious, one-dimensional, squeaky-voiced bitch? Not so much.


Sun Jun 28, 2009 10:22 pm
Post Re: The most overrated movie of all time...
Tuco wrote:
HomerJ wrote:
Matrix, however...with all the hype, how could it not be overrated?

And speaking of hype: I couldn't remember if anyone had mentioned Blair Witch Project in this thread yet, so just to be safe I'll mention it again. Blair Witch Project. Overrated.


Hmmmm. I'm sensing something ironic in the juxtaposition here.

I'd make a similar argument for both films; nowhere near as good as the hype, but as time has passed, probably as good as their final appraisal has ended up (and both with inexcusably terrible sequels).

Additionally, I can think of one crucial variable--one of those films is burdened with Keanu Reeves, while the other has him in precisely ZERO scenes.

I know which film I prefer . . . ;)


Hmmm...well The Matrix was one of the most influential sci-fi movies ever made that fired up the imagination and testosterone to awesome levels, Blair Witch was a piece of shit then and it's a piece of shit now. It only had good marketing.


And Keanu Reeves makes awesome movies. The only one I can immediately think of that sucked was Chain Reaction...and I guess Johnny Mnemonic if I didn't find it so laughably entertaining.


Sun Jun 28, 2009 10:30 pm
Post Re: The most overrated movie of all time...
Patrick wrote:
Hmmm...well The Matrix was one of the most influential sci-fi movies ever made that fired up the imagination and testosterone to awesome levels, Blair Witch was a piece of shit then and it's a piece of shit now. It only had good marketing.

And Keanu Reeves makes awesome movies. The only one I can immediately think of that sucked was Chain Reaction...and I guess Johnny Mnemonic if I didn't find it so laughably entertaining.


I understand that the Keanu Reeves remark is designed entirely to bait me; points for being nearly effective, btw.

That said, I'd refer you a quote by the illustrious jazz pianist Chick Corea:

"Art is a subject that is inundated with opinions. In fact, that's all it is about is opinions."

This quote brings a couple things to mind.

1) In terms of self-contained (and self aware) irony, it is nearly as good as my own personal favorite: "eschew obfuscation."

Anyhow . . .

The thing is, I notice that you express your opinions most often in exclamatory sentences. Perhaps it is merely that I grew up with an aunt and a grandmother who taught English, but the improper use of the various sentence types (exclamatory, declarative, imperative, and interrogative) is particularly conspicuous to me.

I understand that you probably didn't come to this site for a lesson in sentence composition. That said, because you seem like a nice guy, I thought perhaps I'd make a suggestion or two that might help, given time and the will, to change your unfortunate exclamatory habit.

You said: "Blair Witch was a piece of shit then and it's a piece of shit now." As an opinion, it can make one seem unsophisticated (at best) or unintelligent (at worst) to express such a notion in an exclamatory manner. The problem is exacerbated because the complex opinion expressed in the exclamatory sentence type is also inadequately expressed in the compound sentence class.

An opinion, especially one in which there is likely to be disagreement, is usually expressed in a declarative rather than exclamatory sentence type; moreover, again to mitigate disagreement and to buttress one's point, the sentence class chosen is typically a complex sentence, wherein one can account for the conditions and such that surely must accompany such an opinion.

Leaving aside the notion of profanity (I am a big goddamned fan of profanity myself, but not all people are, so you've probably lost a few people already by using the s-word. Insofar as that isn't my point, I'll leave the sumbitch in there . . . ), here is an example of how your opinion might have been expressed:

Blair Witch was really hyped up (precisely the sort of supportive fact one might include in a declarative sentence designed to persuade), and like a lot of movies that benefited from massive hype before they were even seen, I thought it was a piece of shit then, and I still can't see what people see in it, so I'd be inclined to say that it's a piece of shit now.

Now, I freely admit that my alteration of your sentence doesn't carry the same 'punch to the gut' devastation as your original (I'm still reeling a little, btw), nor does it measurably increase the actual persuasive quotient of the sentence, but it does benefit from being 1) compositionally correct, and 2) infused with at least enough humility to avoid coming across as believing that your un-supported opinions are actually facts.

All the best, and good luck . . .


Mon Jun 29, 2009 1:57 am
Post Re: The most overrated movie of all time...
Tuco, I think you're forgetting this is a message board. It's almost nothing but the exchange of opinions. Posts with exclamatory sentences are to be expected. In fact, I would go so far as to say that most of us are conditioned to that fact, and as a result the more audacious opinions come across as somewhat tongue-in-cheek. Or rather, the zeal with which they are delivered comes across that way.

Of course we strive for thoughtful discussion here (to a greater degree than many forums) and you may have a good point, but there's really no need to lecture other members on how to write. If you do wish to do so, use a private message next time. You seem very knowledgeable about the English language, but not well-versed in how your tone comes across (somewhat condescending).


Mon Jun 29, 2009 2:18 am
Post Re: The most overrated movie of all time...
Trevor wrote:
Tuco, I think you're forgetting this is a message board. It's almost nothing but the exchange of opinions. Posts with exclamatory sentences are to be expected. In fact, I would go so far as to say that most of us are conditioned to that fact, and as a result the more audacious opinions come across as somewhat tongue-in-cheek. Or rather, the zeal with which they are delivered comes across that way.

Of course we strive for thoughtful discussion here (to a greater degree than many forums) and you may have a good point, but there's really no need to lecture other members on how to write. If you do wish to do so, use a private message next time. You seem very knowledgeable about the English language, but not well-versed in how your tone comes across (somewhat condescending).


I'm not forgetting that this is a message board. I enjoy the back and forth of opinions, by and large, and there are several folks here with whom I enjoy some variation of sparring, discussion, or just plain learning. There are some plenty smart people here, and a fair number of people who have already forgotten more about film (to say nothing of art and culture) than I will ever know.

For the record, I intended to be ironic and condescending in my detailed 'English lesson.' I knew precisely what I was doing (or, at least, what I was trying to do; clearly, I carried off the consdescending part and missed entirely on the ironic part).

That said, I would argue quite vehemently that my post to Patrick was no more condescending than toss-offs like "Blair Witch was a piece of shit then, and it is now." In fact, I disagree that his tone comes across as tongue-in-cheek.

Now, I'm a big kid, and Patrick belittling an opinion of mine certainly won't kill me. In fact, I admit that I could just as easily have dismissed it out of hand, or responded with more obvious humor (an approach I've tried--maybe I'm not nearly the gut-buster I think I am). However, I am sometimes unsure as to the best approach when dealing with rudeness, and there are times when confronting it is called for.

In any case, I am firm in my opinion that my post (posts, actually, I've been leaning on him a little lately) to call him out on his rudeness is certainly no worse than the rudeness I was responding to. The thing is, I don't want this board to devolve into a series audacious statements of opinions expressed as fact; the problem, as I see it, is that it is starting to lean that way a bit more.

I also know that I'm not the only one who feels that way.

I believe, if you look through the majority of my posts, you will see that I take great pains to qualify my opinions as opinions. I strive to give credit to the worthy contributions of others, particularly those with whom I disagree, and I try (with an apparently dismal lack of success) to be humble in my posts.

In the end, I feel bad about this for one reason: James' reviews and his correspondence deserve better. I've been reading his reviews as long as anyone, and his writing makes me feel (in what I hope isn't a stalker-esque sort of way) that he is one of the family. I want to support his work, and I explicitly do not want to contribute to an atmosphere of tension; in that regard, I regret any addition my post made.

I'll tone it down.

All that said, you're kidding yourself if you think that posts like the one Patrick (and I mean him specifically) made to me aren't chasing some of the more thoughtful posters away, precisely because they are the stuff of nearly every other message board.


Mon Jun 29, 2009 3:18 am
Post Re: The most overrated movie of all time...
Tuco, check your PM.


Everyone else, let's get this thread back on topic.


Mon Jun 29, 2009 4:29 am
Post Re: The most overrated movie of all time...
Then allow me to submit Minority Report.

Once, when driving down a state highway at 75 mph in the middle of a work zone, I was pulled over by an officer of the law that informed me I 'could have killed someone'. This is a difficult point to argue for either party involved -- I hadn't injured anyone but I felt that pointing this out would have gotten me into deeper hot water. Instead, I paid up the $250 and attended several hours of traffic school to right the traffic law wrong. Years later when I saw Minority Report my mind was frequently disengaged by the thought that I may have been watching a philosophical discourse on how our laws generally serve to prevent a crime rather than effectively punish the criminal once he's had his way. It was all a little too familiar and 'bottom of the philo hierarchy' to take as seriously as it wanted me to.

It's like this: you're more or less free to murder one person. I'm not advocating this. Murder one person and you're not likely to have the opportunity to try it out on another person. Minority Report gave us this and other philosophical musings in 150 minutes of pyrotechnic glory -- a movie that was so dazzling it was almost miraculous that it could have a brain in its head. That being said, I found the movie overrated but won't typically argue this point because when a well-lubricated machine runs as beautifully as that film one doesn't want to throw any wrenches into the cogs. Years later, whenever I spy a pop philosophy book on someone's shelf, I still want to say "Minority Report already gave us the Philosophy 101 breakdown... read something else."


Mon Jun 29, 2009 6:01 am
Post Re: The most overrated movie of all time...
majoraphasia wrote:
Then allow me to submit Minority Report.

Once, when driving down a state highway at 75 mph in the middle of a work zone, I was pulled over by an officer of the law that informed me I 'could have killed someone'. This is a difficult point to argue for either party involved -- I hadn't injured anyone but I felt that pointing this out would have gotten me into deeper hot water. Instead, I paid up the $250 and attended several hours of traffic school to right the traffic law wrong. Years later when I saw Minority Report my mind was frequently disengaged by the thought that I may have been watching a philosophical discourse on how our laws generally serve to prevent a crime rather than effectively punish the criminal once he's had his way. It was all a little too familiar and 'bottom of the philo hierarchy' to take as seriously as it wanted me to.

It's like this: you're more or less free to murder one person. I'm not advocating this. Murder one person and you're not likely to have the opportunity to try it out on another person. Minority Report gave us this and other philosophical musings in 150 minutes of pyrotechnic glory -- a movie that was so dazzling it was almost miraculous that it could have a brain in its head. That being said, I found the movie overrated but won't typically argue this point because when a well-lubricated machine runs as beautifully as that film one doesn't want to throw any wrenches into the cogs. Years later, whenever I spy a pop philosophy book on someone's shelf, I still want to say "Minority Report already gave us the Philosophy 101 breakdown... read something else."


This post is essentially one big spoiler, so . . .

[Reveal] Spoiler:
I remember that something bothered me the first time I saw Minority Report. What it amounted to was that I was a little annoyed at the mechanism used for the success of 'pre-crime.' 'Why do they need to explain it?' I thought. Why not just have a sort of methodological MacGuffin?

Prescience? Bah . . .

However, as I watched the film and, and shortly after, my opinion changed. From my point of view, the notion of pre-crime and the ethics of punishing/correcting someone for a crime they will commit is one of two thematic elements to the film, and I'd argue that it's the smaller one. Of course, I have strong philosophical opinions about the matters contemplated in the film, so it might just be a 2-hour Rorschach test, but . . .

The second theme is exemplified in the characters of Agatha and her mother.
[Reveal] Spoiler:
Ignore, for the sake of this discussion, the ethics of pre-crime. Assume it works effectively, (it turned out that it did in the film), and ignore the inherent manipulatability of the process. The murder rate was down to nearly zero, after all.


Concentrate, instead, on the cost to the individuals in question--Agatha and Anne. The notion of whether society has any right to demand their unwilling sacrifices in return for safety is another fairly low-level ethical discussion (although, just because the conundrum would seem to fit right into Philosophy 101 doesn't mean the general population would agree with the position staked out in the film).

What Minority Report did right, apart from being the well-oiled machine you mention, is that the character of Agatha was a remarkably odd and compelling character. I found her to be extremely sympathetic--Samantha Morton hit the role out of the park.

And that's why the film works for me. Agatha, and all she represents (in several ways), is the ethical and philosophical center of the film. Not Tom Cruise or Max Von Sydow, or the notion of pre-crime or anything else. For me, that flick was about Agatha.

It's not easy making a flick that entertaining while forcing you to at least pay attention a little if you want to keep up. Add to that whatever degree of ethical contemplation it brought forth, I think Minority Report ended up being a pretty remarkable film. It's *** 1/2 in my book.


Mon Jun 29, 2009 2:43 pm
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Post Re: The most overrated movie of all time...
Minority Report is a 4 star movie in my book. I absolutely loved it. One of the best films of 2002.


Mon Jun 29, 2009 4:40 pm
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Post Re: The most overrated movie of all time...
Tuco wrote:

Concentrate, instead, on the cost to the individuals in question--Agatha and Anne. The notion of whether society has any right to demand their unwilling sacrifices in return for safety is another fairly low-level ethical discussion (although, just because the conundrum would seem to fit right into Philosophy 101 doesn't mean the general population would agree with the position staked out in the film).

What Minority Report did right, apart from being the well-oiled machine you mention, is that the character of Agatha was a remarkably odd and compelling character. I found her to be extremely sympathetic--Samantha Morton hit the role out of the park.

And that's why the film works for me. Agatha, and all she represents (in several ways), is the ethical and philosophical center of the film. Not Tom Cruise or Max Von Sydow, or the notion of pre-crime or anything else. For me, that flick was about Agatha.

It's not easy making a flick that entertaining while forcing you to at least pay attention a little if you want to keep up. Add to that whatever degree of ethical contemplation it brought forth, I think Minority Report ended up being a pretty remarkable film. It's *** 1/2 in my book.


I have a DVD copy of the movie I received for a gift some 6 or so holidays ago. I haven't unwrapped it and didn't have any plan to watch it until you mentioned Agatha being a sympathetic character. There were any number of elements of the movie that worked -- I wouldn't call it anything less than a very good movie -- but not enough to win me over into believing I missed out on a masterpiece. I don't doubt that it is. When the plot shifted gears after the ambiguous-enough-for-withholding-a-spoiler-tag hotel scene my heart sunk -- I felt as if I'd been cheated out of something great. Oh, hell, here's the spoiler tag:
[Reveal] Spoiler:
Tom Cruise killing the man he believes is responsible for his son's disappearance is an opportunity to wonderful to pass off to complex plot mechanisms.


One can't knock a movie, really, for what it doesn't have but Minority Report is a case burdened by too many late-game explanations. It muddles the point the movie was set to make. Had I walked out really believing that Cruise wasn't as good as he ends up I would have been genuinely impressed.*
[Reveal] Spoiler:
*My comments assume that the Cruise character plays out the final act in actual physical space, not in his own mind mid-cryonic suspension. The movie didn't make it ambiguous, at least to me, and so I'm not sold on the movie being a complete success. I've heard many arguments that he's in a deep freeze at the end; this is plausible but doesn't seem to be the highway the movie is headed down.


Mon Jun 29, 2009 11:54 pm
Post Re: The most overrated movie of all time...
Sorry to open up a can of worms with Blair Witch.

I never said Blair Witch was a bad movie. I just think it's an overrated movie (which is, after all, the subject of this thread). It got so much hype, I don't think it could avoid being overrated. All the websites, all the news reports, etc. The very definition of overrated IMHO, unless the movie being made stands the test of time and becomes a classic (e.g. the original Star Wars, Exorcist, Godfather, etc). But it is effective in its way, as a first person mockumentary with a creepy tone and structure.

The sequel? Haven't seen it, but it does star Jeffrey Donovan, who I love in the ongoing Burn Notice series.

As for Keanu, what can you say about his Keanu-ness? The delivery of the word "whoa" has reached new heights of excellence. He started strong in Bill and Ted, came close to perfecting his craft in Point Break, and was nearing the pinnacle of acting in Bram Stoker's Dracula, but did not ascend to the heights of greatness until his Oscar-worthy performance in Much Ado About Nothing. Ah, Keanu...


Wed Jul 01, 2009 2:03 am
Post Re: The most overrated movie of all time...
Ah just thought of another immensely overrated film-American Psycho, I seriously don't get what's so great about it, it's WAAAYYY too self-indulgant for it's own good and Patrick just completely bored me, and Bale who I usually love was stiff and annoying beyond belief here. Overall I found it to be a pretty lousy film that was sickeningly overrated to the max :evil:


Fri Jul 03, 2009 12:50 am
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Post Re: The most overrated movie of all time...
Yes, I hated American Psycho as well. But I didn't mention it because I should probably give it another rewatch. But I remember it being boring, one note and repetative.


Fri Jul 03, 2009 1:54 am
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Post Re: The most overrated movie of all time...
Patrick wrote:
ilovemovies wrote:
I thoutht The French Connection was terrific but I do think the ending is both abrupt and anticlimatic. It is actually a real letdown of an ending. Too bad because the movie is incredibly exciting and Gene Hackman is always great to watch.


Have you seen the French Connection II? It's a piece of shit and sucks ass but it does conclude the storyline.


Patrick

I need to disagree. The film may be close to what you say if you compare it with Pt.1

However, compared to normal films o the era it's average to good.

Hardly a recommendation, but it's not what you called it :-)

Rob


Fri Jul 03, 2009 2:21 am
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