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"Classics" that you dislike 
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Post Re: "Classics" that you dislike
calvero wrote:
whoah Preston Sturges??? You seemed to be a great fan of his after your mini marathon of his films, what happened?


I began to see a discrepancy between Writer/Directors and Directors, followed by an overwhelming preference for the latter, followed by a borderline dismissal of the former. It's just me personally I guess, but having discovered Anthony Mann gave me a greater appreciation for other straight directors, like Ford and Hawks, I realized that those guys were reaching a higher potential of cinema than someone like Sturges ever aspired for. Many of the best comedies are funny for their direction, but Sturges is all talk. I think most of his films, especially Lady Eve, come off as quite second rate compared to the Cukor, Hawks, and McCarey comedies of the day. Because the films rely so little on visual storytelling, they are difficult to enjoy more than once. My favorite remains Christmas in July, because it is his most simple, most heart-warming, and perhaps most personal; and Dick Powell is awesome. But the others seem to age as contrivances.


Wed Sep 14, 2011 12:52 am
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Post Re: "Classics" that you dislike
Quote:
I began to see a discrepancy between Writer/Directors and Directors, followed by an overwhelming preference for the latter, followed by a borderline dismissal of the former


funny. you seem to often gravitate towards extremes in your opinions.


Quote:
but Sturges is all talk. I think most of his films, especially Lady Eve, come off as quite second rate compared to the Cukor, Hawks, and McCarey comedies of the day. Because the films rely so little on visual storytelling


what are the Cukor, McCarey comedies you prefer? and do they rely on visual storytelling much?
most great comedies of that era are 'all talk.'


Wed Sep 14, 2011 3:13 pm
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Post Re: "Classics" that you dislike
calvero wrote:
what are the Cukor, McCarey comedies you prefer? and do they rely on visual storytelling much?
most great comedies of that era are 'all talk.'


Well Philadelphia Story relies chiefly on performances I think. The Awful Truth has some pretty good gags. The Thin Man films also come to mind. The thing about Sturges is that he's not only all talk, but all all concept. His films are like rockets that use their absurd premises for fuel, but gravity always seems to weigh them down before the running length is up. They depend too much on the dialogue, while a film like Bringing Up Baby is composed almost entirely of directional gags. Sturges' dialogue is also very good, but honestly, not as great as some of his non-director contemporaries like Ben Hecht, Jules Furthman, and Leigh Brackett. These guys were so good at what they did that the jazziness of their language would come through no matter who the director happened to be. In comparison, the Sturges style seems a bit vain. Oh, and I forgot to mention Lubitsch as a counterexample. He was not a writer, and his "touch" was 100% visual. Going to see a Lubitsch film theatrically felt like a good play on broadway. Going to see Sturges theatrically felt more like a kid at a talent show; somehow, just not quite on the top level of Hollywood craftsmanship.


Wed Sep 14, 2011 4:22 pm
Post Re: "Classics" that you dislike
ADayintheLife1979 wrote:
I think 2001 could potentially pop up often...it's either fervently loved or fervently hated. I know a lot of people who cannot even get past the apes ("Why is this taking so long?!") Luckily, I fall into the former category. In fact, I saw a 70mm blowup of 2001 back in 2001 at the birthplace of HAL: Urbana, IL, at Roger Ebert's Overlooked Film Festival. When you see a 70mm print of 2001, eighth row center, on a screen that is about, oh, 50 feet tall...you will never discount the impact of this film again.

Erik :)


Just noticed this. I beg to differ. I was privileged enough to see the film on 70 mm in Hollywood; I walked out after intermission.


Wed Sep 28, 2011 2:34 am
Post Re: "Classics" that you dislike
MGamesCook wrote:
ADayintheLife1979 wrote:
I think 2001 could potentially pop up often...it's either fervently loved or fervently hated. I know a lot of people who cannot even get past the apes ("Why is this taking so long?!") Luckily, I fall into the former category. In fact, I saw a 70mm blowup of 2001 back in 2001 at the birthplace of HAL: Urbana, IL, at Roger Ebert's Overlooked Film Festival. When you see a 70mm print of 2001, eighth row center, on a screen that is about, oh, 50 feet tall...you will never discount the impact of this film again.

Erik :)


Just noticed this. I beg to differ. I was privileged enough to see the film on 70 mm in Hollywood; I walked out after intermission.


Why, was it a Nolan-directed remake?


Wed Oct 05, 2011 4:55 am
Post Re: "Classics" that you dislike
MunichMan wrote:
MGamesCook wrote:
ADayintheLife1979 wrote:
I think 2001 could potentially pop up often...it's either fervently loved or fervently hated. I know a lot of people who cannot even get past the apes ("Why is this taking so long?!") Luckily, I fall into the former category. In fact, I saw a 70mm blowup of 2001 back in 2001 at the birthplace of HAL: Urbana, IL, at Roger Ebert's Overlooked Film Festival. When you see a 70mm print of 2001, eighth row center, on a screen that is about, oh, 50 feet tall...you will never discount the impact of this film again.

Erik :)


Just noticed this. I beg to differ. I was privileged enough to see the film on 70 mm in Hollywood; I walked out after intermission.


Why, was it a Nolan-directed remake?



That was lousy, dude.


Wed Oct 05, 2011 10:08 pm
Post Re: "Classics" that you dislike
I sat through 2001 only once, and that was more then enough times for me, I don't care how many arguments people make for that film, to me it was just boring and pretentious.


Wed Oct 05, 2011 10:16 pm
Post Re: "Classics" that you dislike
Vexer wrote:
I sat through 2001 only once, and that was more then enough times for me, I don't care how many arguments people make for that film, to me it was just boring and pretentious.


Kubrick, to be fair, just doesn't click with the theatrical experience as well as some others. I'd be curious to see how much laughter a screening of Dr. Strangelove would garner, compared to say, Bringing Up Baby or Some Like it Hot or a Lubitsch. The first half of Full Metal Jacket seems to me the most successfully mainstream segment of Kubrick's career. Barry Lyndon is his best though; Eyes Wide Shut a close second for me. Kubrick demonstrates with those films that he can make his characters feel like real, interesting individuals. Not so much with 2001. I walked out because I knew there would be no real emotional payoff in the second half; no reason to keep watching.


Thu Oct 06, 2011 6:15 pm
Post Re: "Classics" that you dislike
MGamesCook wrote:
Not so much with 2001. I walked out because I knew there would be no real emotional payoff in the second half; no reason to keep watching.


That, right there, is many peoples greatest flaw as filmgoers. I could get emotional payoff from 27 Dresses, Coyote Ugly or Martian Child, but that wouldn't make those films suck any less for it. One of my favorite movies is True Romance, I feel elated whenever I watch that film (or listen to its soundtrack), but I don't give it a free pass from its flaws because I get an emotional payoff from it. Similarly, 2001 and Jeanne Dielman are both decidedly cold films, but they are also masterpieces. They're not lesser films because they are more intellectual then emotional. Emotions often get in the way of us seeing movies for what they are. Manipulative filmmaking may rake in the money but it often doesn't make for superior films, and arguing that you don't get an emotional payoff from a film is a half-assed reason to argue for its merits or demerits as oppose to what it honestly says, "I just don't like this film." Nothing critical about that.


Thu Oct 06, 2011 6:58 pm
Post Re: "Classics" that you dislike
JJoshay wrote:
MGamesCook wrote:
Not so much with 2001. I walked out because I knew there would be no real emotional payoff in the second half; no reason to keep watching.


That, right there, is many peoples greatest flaw as filmgoers. I could get emotional payoff from 27 Dresses, Coyote Ugly or Martian Child, but that wouldn't make those films suck any less for it. One of my favorite movies is True Romance, I feel elated whenever I watch that film (or listen to its soundtrack), but I don't give it a free pass from its flaws because I get an emotional payoff from it. Similarly, 2001 and Jeanne Dielman are both decidedly cold films, but they are also masterpieces. They're not lesser films because they are more intellectual then emotional. Emotions often get in the way of us seeing movies for what they are. Manipulative filmmaking may rake in the money but it often doesn't make for superior films, and arguing that you don't get an emotional payoff from a film is a half-assed reason to argue for its merits or demerits as oppose to what it honestly says, "I just don't like this film." Nothing critical about that.
Well "cold" films just don't engage me in the least, if the filmmakers don't care much about the characters, then why should I?


Thu Oct 06, 2011 7:40 pm
Post Re: "Classics" that you dislike
If they don't engage you that's fine, but cold doesn't mean the filmmakers don't care about their characters. The makers of the Saw films didn't give two shits about their characters, not the case in either 2001 or Jeanne Dielman.


Thu Oct 06, 2011 7:50 pm
Post Re: "Classics" that you dislike
JJoshay wrote:
MGamesCook wrote:
Not so much with 2001. I walked out because I knew there would be no real emotional payoff in the second half; no reason to keep watching.


That, right there, is many peoples greatest flaw as filmgoers. I could get emotional payoff from 27 Dresses, Coyote Ugly or Martian Child, but that wouldn't make those films suck any less for it. One of my favorite movies is True Romance, I feel elated whenever I watch that film (or listen to its soundtrack), but I don't give it a free pass from its flaws because I get an emotional payoff from it. Similarly, 2001 and Jeanne Dielman are both decidedly cold films, but they are also masterpieces. They're not lesser films because they are more intellectual then emotional. Emotions often get in the way of us seeing movies for what they are. Manipulative filmmaking may rake in the money but it often doesn't make for superior films, and arguing that you don't get an emotional payoff from a film is a half-assed reason to argue for its merits or demerits as oppose to what it honestly says, "I just don't like this film." Nothing critical about that.


Well I'll be bold enough to say that I don't believe Kubrick cared for any characters in 2001. This is a strange argument, because it's almost as if you're saying we should all detach ourselves emotionally from a moviegoing experience. That's not the case. If anything, a film critic, or any sophisticated film buff, should be more akin to Alex DeLarge than to HAL 9000. Now, a film's value shouldn't be judged entirely from an emotional standpoint, but an opinion which does not factor that in is incomplete. It just sounds like you're giving a free pass to 2001 for not doing something that almost every other "great film," including most of Kubrick's, does very well. And just as you say an emotional payoff does nothing for 27 Dresses, I'll counter by saying that 2001's strengths cannot ultimately make it enjoyable enough to ignore the lack of emotion. A film can try anything, and succeed at its goals quite well, but that does not necessarily make it good. If that were the case, then why would we need film critics at all? Most films, after all, largely succeed at what they're trying to do. Neither Kubrick nor his fans have any problem with the extended screensaver of the film's last act, but I do, because it no longer works the way it should. We all complain about special effects without plot/character substance, but what would you call that?


Thu Oct 06, 2011 9:16 pm
Post Re: "Classics" that you dislike
Sometimes characters are touching and sometimes ideas are touching. In 2001, it's the latter.


Thu Oct 06, 2011 11:11 pm
Post Re: "Classics" that you dislike
MGamesCook wrote:
JJoshay wrote:
MGamesCook wrote:
Not so much with 2001. I walked out because I knew there would be no real emotional payoff in the second half; no reason to keep watching.


That, right there, is many peoples greatest flaw as filmgoers. I could get emotional payoff from 27 Dresses, Coyote Ugly or Martian Child, but that wouldn't make those films suck any less for it. One of my favorite movies is True Romance, I feel elated whenever I watch that film (or listen to its soundtrack), but I don't give it a free pass from its flaws because I get an emotional payoff from it. Similarly, 2001 and Jeanne Dielman are both decidedly cold films, but they are also masterpieces. They're not lesser films because they are more intellectual then emotional. Emotions often get in the way of us seeing movies for what they are. Manipulative filmmaking may rake in the money but it often doesn't make for superior films, and arguing that you don't get an emotional payoff from a film is a half-assed reason to argue for its merits or demerits as oppose to what it honestly says, "I just don't like this film." Nothing critical about that.


Well I'll be bold enough to say that I don't believe Kubrick cared for any characters in 2001. This is a strange argument, because it's almost as if you're saying we should all detach ourselves emotionally from a moviegoing experience. That's not the case. If anything, a film critic, or any sophisticated film buff, should be more akin to Alex DeLarge than to HAL 9000. Now, a film's value shouldn't be judged entirely from an emotional standpoint, but an opinion which does not factor that in is incomplete. It just sounds like you're giving a free pass to 2001 for not doing something that almost every other "great film," including most of Kubrick's, does very well. And just as you say an emotional payoff does nothing for 27 Dresses, I'll counter by saying that 2001's strengths cannot ultimately make it enjoyable enough to ignore the lack of emotion. A film can try anything, and succeed at its goals quite well, but that does not necessarily make it good. If that were the case, then why would we need film critics at all? Most films, after all, largely succeed at what they're trying to do. Neither Kubrick nor his fans have any problem with the extended screensaver of the film's last act, but I do, because it no longer works the way it should. We all complain about special effects without plot/character substance, but what would you call that?


Pure Fucking Genius. That's what I'd call the last sequence of 2001.

To put 2001 in the same camp as movies that emphacize special effects over everything else is just plain wrong. 2001 one has a plot and thematic depth that movies like Transformers or Independence Day cannot even be compared to.

I get that emotional investment is important, but 2001 is not a movie about human characters, so much as it is a movie about humanity's relationship with the vast space beyond our planetary sphere.
-Jeremy


Thu Oct 06, 2011 11:23 pm
Post Re: "Classics" that you dislike
Ken wrote:
Sometimes characters are touching and sometimes ideas are touching. In 2001, it's the latter.


Yup, what I was trying to say, only more succinct.
-Jeremy


Thu Oct 06, 2011 11:24 pm
Post Re: "Classics" that you dislike
Ken wrote:
Sometimes characters are touching and sometimes ideas are touching. In 2001, it's the latter.


I was in the middle of a rebuttal... but then Ken did a better job of putting it into one sentence then I had with a paragraph.


Fri Oct 07, 2011 12:00 am
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Post Re: "Classics" that you dislike
There are plenty of films mentioned in this topic that I think are vastly overrated, but not many that I dislike.

Here's some that I do:

The Thing from Another World. Every film critic in the world cites this movie as a great example of "less is more," of keeping the monster off-screen to build tension, but the tone is far too light for a horror film and none of the characters ever seem to treat the monster as a serious threat. There are lots of good 1950s science fiction and horror films, but this isn't one of them, let alone one of the best.

I've voiced my dislike in another topic for some of the Universal monster movies, specifically Dracula, The Wolf Man, and Bride of Frankenstein. The first is very poorly written and acted, the second is just boring, and the third is filled with some of the worst "wacky" humor I've ever seen in my life.

Big Trouble in Little China. How anyone can rank this boring and unfunny mess along with genuine John Carpenter masterpieces like Halloween, Escape from New York, and The Thing is beyond me.

Titanic. I know it's fashionable to dogpile on this movie, but it really is pretty poor. I saw it in a theatre in 1997 and just found it a bit underwhelming, but nothing terrible. Turns out I was overrating it. I saw it a decade later and couldn't believe how bad the acting and writing were.

I think The Third Man is a bit overrated, but I don't understand how anyone could find it boring. It's true that Orson Welles is off-screen most of the time, and his scenes are definitely the best, but the movie still works for me because he's still the main character. He's all the other people ever talk about. (The Thing from Another World could have learned something from The Third Man.) When he finally shows up, it's absolutely worth the build-up. Dig that music, too.

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Mon Nov 14, 2011 4:32 am
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Post Re: "Classics" that you dislike
I find Escape From New York to be overrated myself, it just wasn't particularly interesting or compelling to be honest, Issac Hayes and Kurt Russell did a pretty good job and the film looked impressive, but it judt didn't gel together as a whole for me for some reason, I much prefer Escape From L.A. I wouldn't call Big Trouble overrated myself since I haven't heard all that many people praise it(Roger Ebert wasn't that big on it)

I agree with you 100% on Titanic though, I don't care how impressive the film looked, none of that matters if you don't give two shits about the main characters, Dicaprio was just painfully wooden in this film and like you said the dialogue was truly awful, the romance wasn't convincing for one millisecond, and the shamelessly manipulative ending and that damn Celine Dion song just made me want to hurl.


Mon Nov 14, 2011 1:21 pm
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Post Re: "Classics" that you dislike
Believe me, Carpenter fans go nuts for Big Trouble in Little China. For a lot of them, it's their favorite movie of his. And it's got an 82% on Rotten Tomatoes, so I consider it overrated among critics as well. I'll be nice and say that the action scenes are good, but it's clearly supposed to be a comedy and I just spent the entire time thinking, "When am I supposed to laugh?" Usually I can at least tell what part is supposed to be funny in a comedy.

A lot of Carpenter fans also dislike Escape from L.A., which I also don't get. I'm always surprised when I hear that someone prefers it to Escape from New York, because a lot of New York fans just despise L.A.. For the record, I love them both.

As bad as Leo and Kate are in Titanic, they've got nothing on Billy Zane...

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Mon Nov 14, 2011 4:01 pm
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Post Re: "Classics" that you dislike
Close Encounters of the Third Kind, last scenes were good but overally i disliked that movie and main character for me was very uninteresting.


Fri Nov 18, 2011 5:00 pm
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