Thursday, February 08, 2007

Horribly Overrated Movies

Forcefully inspired by a link in an article a friend sent around, I've decided to take out my frustration at mankind in this little post. It's my little "fuck you" to the world for all the ire it's unknowingly caused me--at least that the world of film has caused me. Here follows a list of movies that I think are so overrated and, well, overenjoyed, that they drive me to near-madness just thinking about them.

Rather than give a brief, ranked list of movies that are overrated, I'm going to go so far as tell you WHY these movies are due mockery. First, let me cleanse your palette; I'm sure your mind is already grinding away trying to predict what movies I've put on my big shitlist, and I want to avoid that, I want to surprise you, like that time I hid around the corner in a stairway with a rusty hacksaw as a friend unwittingly walked up the stairs.

Here's some exceptional movies:
Lord of the Rings Trilogy
Star Wars Trilogy, Ep. 4-6
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
LA Confidential
Lawrence of Arabia
The Fugitive
Office Space
Indiana Jones Trilogy
Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure*
Fight Club

*these movies aren't exceptional, they're CRAZY exceptional

Now that you're daydreaming about the AT-AT Hoth scene in Empire Strikes Back, I'll drop a load of fresh shit on your head.

Scarface: Boom. In how many college dorm rooms did you see the poster of Al Pacino with the machine gun? 95% seem like a fair estimate? Of those people, you know how many people have actually seen the movie? Zero. Here's a typical conversation about the movie.

Me: Scarface huh?
Scarface poster-owner: Hell yeah.
Me: What's that movie about anyway, I've only seen bits and pieces.
SPO: Pacino plays this badass, you know? "Say hello to my little friend!" (with accompanying machine gun pantomime)
Me: Yep, that's right there on the poster.
SPO: ...

If you asked these people about the plot, they'd simply tell you it's about a drug dealer in Miami, and that rudimentary response is only thanks to playing 100 hours of GTA: Vice City. I did finally saw this movie, and its plot is as static as its camera work. Anyone watching it can tell that even the cameraman is coked-up by how fixed and immobile every single goddamn shot is. When the plot finally does pick up about 2.5 hours in, you don't even care because you're either too drunk, too stoned, too coked-up, or just in the other room eating a sandwich having forgotten you were watching the movie to begin with. Finally, after much fanfare, Al Pacino gets shot to death and you're happy it's all over [SPOILER, whoops].

Meet The Parents/Fockers: Begin scene. Awkwardophile Ben Stiller butts heads with stone-cold coolster Robert Dinero. Only, rather than in Ronin, Bobby D plays the same role in the exact opposite movie. Stiller endures homicidal dogs/cats, gasoline fires, lie detector tests, pot-smoking in-laws, and alien rectal exams; this movie is horrible. Bobby D must have been coerced into doing these movies to prevent his family from being executed on Christmas Day, that's the only explanation I can conceive of for how he got involved in these movies at all.

(LEFT): This may as well be a picture of me 10 minutes into the movie.

$hrek 2: A good friend of mine, one who I trust(ed), recommended this movie to me, and HOLY SHIT. I can't even look him in the eye anymore. The top page of the script the voice actors read before joining on must have simply stated their salary and had a long line underneath for their signature. There was absolutely no plot to this movie. As far as I could tell, a big green JPEG walked and talked about something in a Scottish accent for 90 minutes and then asked for $9.50 out of my wallet.

(ABOVE): "Can we have some more money?"

Deathwish: Much is made of Deathwish for its ushering common violence and the revenge saga into modern cinema. If you, however, actually watch this movie, you'll be treated to an experience comparable to listening to the "Video Input 4" setting on your TV at maximum volume for 2 hours. A fair estimate would be that there's 30 lines of dialogue in this entire film, 10 of which, at least, include "oh yeah?", "what?", and "hey" in them. Saying this movie has a soundtrack is inappropriately generous since it rudely interrupts only at the few times when you'd expect there to be no music.
(LEFT): Charles Bronson proves to the film crew that he can, indeed, balance on two feet.

Animal House: The seminal college comedy, right? Fuck that. The only funny parts in this movie are courtesy of John Belushi's coked-up mumbles. If Animal House ever comes up in conversation someone inevitably mentions that "Kevin Bacon was in that movie, you know?" Yes I do know, everyone knows that. Kevin Bacon was also in Tremors, which was a far awesomer movie. I think that the most poignant moment in this movie arrives about halfway through when the delta tau deltas go to a downtown bar and one of the female characters remarks that she's studying "primitive cultures," which is immediately followed by a shot of black people dancing. Not that this blatant racism ruins the comedic value of the entire movie, but I also don't think 85 minutes of waiting to chuckle at John Belushi cokingly swing across a rope during a parade merits eternal commendation. Eternal condemnation, though? Yes.

Star Wars Trilogy, Part 2: Except for my dream of having a tube system send me anywhere in the world in a matter of minutes, I've never seen something so overanticipated and underrealized in my life. The original Star Wars trilogy circumscribed the sci-fi genre for a mainstream audience for the first time. It combined elements of comic books heroism, mythology, history, and science fiction in a concoction so potent even the Fonz wasn't too cool to enjoy it. Ironically, every actor in the original series except Harrison Ford and Billy Dee Williams (I consider those Colt 45 ads a smashing success) fell flat after Return of the Jedi. The ironic humor is lost, however, in Star Wars: Episodes 1-3, that so brazenly belie the spirit of the original movies and, for all intents and purposes, may as well have sodomized the original three. Not only do "special effects" not make a movie, not having a plot also does not make a movie. People are already thoroughly bored and confused by international politics, why would we care about a fake intragalactic congress? I think their DVDs should simply relegate the first 2 hours of each one to the "Additional Materials" section of the menu screen. to avoid wasting people's time trying to follow the nonexistent plots.

(ABOVE): "If the Catachingians balk at the resolution we've pushed through the Lower House on tightening security restrictions on steel imports, I don't see any way that the Gangli Federation won't try to retaliate by selling off excess space credits in order to devalue our foreign-held assets and ultimately destabilize our economic grip of the outlying planets' mineral production."

Silence of the Lambs: I guess this movie was revolutionary for some reason, but I still haven't figured out why. Was it the cum thrown on the chick's face scene? Was it when the tragic hero/serial killer inexcusably escapes his creepy cage and builds a little human deli counter for himself? Oh, I get it now; it's the shock value. Know what else is shocking? Cap'n Crunch pounding Little Debbie in the ass. Now give me a fucking Oscar and millions of dollars. I've earned it. Further, I think that playing a maniacal murderer is probably the easiest character to interpret. Why? How many of them have you met? Yeah.

Finding Nemo (Cars, Over the Hedge, Happy Feet, The Incredibles, Monsters, Inc., etc): Disney/Pixar/Ultraconglomerate Animated Picture Films Studios really keeps striking gold with these movies. Their production is obviously not driven by artistic integrity, since they're all carbon copies.
(LEFT): "Did you know that we're animated by single, bearded, 30-something men? Teehee!"

Here's how your generic computer-animated movie goes:

Intro: Anthropomorphized object/creature innocently going about its life in its recognizable natural surrounding + song.

Event 1: The stupid anthropomorphized object/creature's friend or relative gets in trouble and it must set out accompanied by its character foil against seemingly impossible odds to straighten everything out + song.

Lesson 1: Anthropomorphized object/creature meets its match and nearly pays with its life; said object/creature reflects on the consequences of its foolhardiness and what is at stake; a grave lesson is learned + song.

Event 2: With renewed enthusiasm, anthropomorphized object/creature continues on its quest, probably leading even more objects/creatures of similar but different types due to its newly acquired leadership skills + song.

Climax: Anthropomorphized object/creature faces its enemy and physically, rhetorically, and ideologically defeats it convincingly.

Outro: Anthropomorphized object/creature's friend or relative, in addition to those it met and conspired with in its quest, rejoice in scripted song and dance in its recognizable natural surrounding.

Spiderman: There was a time when I tried to collect every Spiderman comic. Why? Because Venom was fucking badass. But instead, let's use the most unrecognizable and downright uninteresting villain from the comic book, Green Goblin. I heard this phrase a few times back when it was out: "No, not Hobgoblin, Green Goblin." And to boot, how 'bout we put the jockey from Sugarbiscuit or whatever into the most venerable comic costume of all kind and let him shit inside of it. Great idea. I think the best characters in this movie were Kirsten Dunst's tits. Aside from the minor detail of characters, is it me or did the CGI web-slinging scenes look like they were clipped straight from the video game that had obviously already been produced before the movie was cast? Spiderman also featured intriguing textbook examples of both overacting AND underacting, sometimes at the same time and from the same actor. Hilariously, the ending--having the Green Goblin being pelted by angry, unafraid New Yorkers who apparently missed the part of the movie where he terrorizes the entire city--was rewritten to what you saw on the screen after the September 11 attacks on the WTC to be more patriotic. It's obviously not hilarious that 9/11 changed the movie, it's hilarious that the movie's script was so loose that it allowed the entire ending to be rewritten! Please don't make Venom in Spiderman 3 look like he's from a SciFi Channel original movie. Please...


roy hobbs said...

topher grace is playing venom. Something about that sentence doesn't make sense.

Fernando J. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
F.J. Delgado said...

well done... agree with you on all those flicks. I would also throw in Jerry McGuire for good measure, but that's just me.

you complete me.

Brice Lord said...

Topher Grace? Really? I don't really remember Venom being an awkward, unathletic teenager, but okay, we'll see where this goes I guess. Nothing like expecting disappointment to get me to the theater. That's how Star Wars (1-3) did it.

Jerry McGuire should probably be on the list, you're right. Strangely, I think I saw that movie twice when it was in the theaters... I'm sure it had something to do with a girl.

wax said...


adspar said...

This is excellent work, so much so that I'll overlook my strong objection to the inclusion of Silence of the Lambs on this list.

Thank you for including Scarface though. I've only fallen asleep in the middle of my first viewing of 3 movies in my entire life (except possibly in situations involving the combinaion of alcohol and movies on network TV): Twister, Apollo 13, and Scarface. Nobody should have posters of any of those movies.

Brice Lord said...

Blade? Are you kidding me? Blade's not overrated, it's intolerably underrated! And it keeps getting better and better since Wesley Snipes fled to Nigeria after being pursued by the IRS for back-taxes, and since Joe Brogan challenged Wesley Snipes to a UFC fight to give him a chance to win some money to pay those taxes.

Twister was also a miserable movie. It's also unfortunately common on TNT (or as I call it, the Rush Hour 2 channel). I know many people will disagree with me on Silence of the Lambs, but I stand by my hatred.