Friday, July 8, 2011

Movie Rant: Popular Movies I Dislike ...Which Will Likely Make Me Unpopular

The Breakfast Club
While re-watching Pretty in Pink (1986) again for the first time in years last week, I realized how much I enjoyed it as a guilty pleasure film (poor, loyal Duckie). Than it reminded me how much I disliked The Breakfast Club (1985) -- arguably John Hughes' most popular and beloved film.

It got me thinking about other popular movies that everyone seems to love but makes me feel like an outcast for actively disliking. Not hate, mind you, just dislike (as in, I don't get the fuss). So, I thought it'd be fun to make a list of Popular Movies I Dislike ...Which Will Likely Make Me Unpopular. 

1) The Breakfast Club (1985)
The Brat Pack get sentenced to a Saturday morning detention -- and all five of them bond in the process. And how do they bond? By spending nearly two hours moaning about their awful parents as if that's the only thing to blame for their failures in life. It's teen angst that isn't really fleshed out or interesting and, as a result, the characters just come off as irritating.

2) Avatar (2009)
An overrated blockbuster that was, essentially, just a re-hash of Pocahontas and Dances with Wolves. The CGI wasn't particularly earth-shattering and the performances and dialogue were pretty cringe-worthy. Made me long for the days when Titanic (1997) was still the highest grossing film of all time.

3) Crash (2004)
Just about as mediocre as movies come. The fact that this won Best Picture (over Brokeback Mountain!!) ruined the Academy Awards for me, forever. Granted, the Oscars have made mistakes in the past but this one is unforgivable and doesn't make any sense. Why it was even nominated in the first place is a mystery in and of itself. A huge cast of so-so actors go through the motions of showing why racism is bad without offering anything new to the discussion. Been there, done that.

4) Pretty Woman (1990)
I saw this for the first time ever earlier this year. I'm already not a fan of Julia Roberts, so I tend to avoid her films. Roberts plays a prostitute hired by a businessman to be his escort for the weekend. While the two fall in love (!!) she proceeds to spend his money, revel in all the jewels he gives her and tells off a saleswoman for thinking she had no money (even though it isn't actually her money). All women apparently only like shiny things and ultimately want to get married to boring businessmen who stay in nice hotels. I know some critics have defended the film, calling it fantasy, but I'm still not buying what its selling.

Jerry Maguire
5) Jerry Maguire (1996)
It's too cute for its own good. I'm not a fan of Cameron Crowe, in general, but this one is my least favourite of his films. It's cute quirk factor is overwhelming and Cuba Gooding Jr. is too much to handle.

6) The Matrix (1999)
I never got all the fuss with this franchise. In fact, I only saw the first one all the way through and remember very little of it, other than that it bored me to tears and had way too many slow-mo gun battles.

7) Garden State (2004)
I know so many people who love, love, love this film. It was fine. Like Jerry Maguire, the characters are too unnaturally quirky to the point of distraction. I've only seen this movie once and it made me want to explain to star and writer Zach Braff why ripping off the vastly superior The Graduate will never work in your favour.

8) Sex and the City (2008)
I should have passed this one over. What was I thinking? What was once a charming and funny show has become a shallow, empty, fashion-obsessed bore where women only talk about men, sex, men, sex, weddings and shoes. *snore* It was borderline offensive at some points. No thanks, ladies. It's time to retire those Jimmy Choos.

9) Superbad (2007)
A whole bunch of swearing and a couple of guys wandering around looking for places to get drunk and laid. That's all I remember. No thanks.

Saving Private Ryan
10) Saving Private Ryan (1998)
I feel like this one is likely going to get me into the most "trouble" but I need to admit my dislike of this film. I liked it when I was younger but when I watched it again as an adult I was bored and not the least bit interested in any of the characters. The fact that it also has Ed Burns and Tom Sizemore in the cast doesn't help matters either. Sure, those opening 20 minutes are incredible, but nothing else in the film even comes close to that emotional first scene. For a genuinely fantastic look at the Second World War, check out the Steven Spielberg-produced Band of Brothers instead. Powerful story, great script and a perfect, A+ cast. 

Question: What films would make it on your own list?


  1. I ask this very question of guests on my podcast when they come back for a second kick at the can...

    HOT FUZZ, THE LORD OF THE RINGS, HEAT, and LOST IN TRANSLATION have been amongst the answers so far. (Sidebar: I'm still hopeful that as a fellow local film enthusiast, that I can co-erce you into doing a spot on my podcast sometime).

    Ain't nothing wrong with standing up and saying "I know y'all like it, but it's not for me"...long as you can back it up with half decent reasoning.

    I *could* argue one or two of your choices, but I'm trying to shake a reputation for doing so. As for my, a film I respect but do not like is GONE WITH THE WIND: overblown, romanticized melodrama that doesn't need to be 3+ hours long.

  2. You know something. I realized that I also don't like The Breakfast club either. I found it to be uneven and unsure of what it wants to be. I always think that it's one of the most overrated film ever made.

  3. I don't merely dislike all those films you named but I actually do hate them... apart from "Avatar" because it has big blue cats in it. :)

  4. It is always funny how we take an almost irrational dis-like to films or actors/actresses isn't it?! My list will start with...

    Super 8
    Super 8
    Super 8
    Super 8..infinity! surprise there huh?!

    The Matrix...absolutely with you there...what was it actually about again?

    Saw ands its myriad of sequels...disgusting, they should never have been released. Without any modicum of intellect or adding anything to the world of cinema or culture. A disgrace and shows how far the world has been dumbed can this be called 'entertainment'?

    Hostel...what is entertaining about torturing other human beings???

    Evil Dead 2...Sam Raimi aficianados rave over it but after the brilliance of Evil Dead I wonder what was he thinking or trying to do??

    The King's Speech..totally over rated..technically excellent performances but a totally flat film.

    The Dark Knight....totally missed me...too long and I was bored senseless.


    The Lovely Bones... a complete train wreck which absolutely missed Sebold's novel...just an over glorified use of CGI.. where was the grief... the sadness?? One of the poorest book adaptations ever...shame on you Peter Jackson.

    U-571..the movie I absolutely loath the absolute disgrace and Hollywood arrogance at its worse. Historically incorrect which threw the proverbial in the face of the British. I'm sure those who lost their lives gaining the u-boat codes turned over in their graves with this one. Disgraceful, disgraceful, disgraceful.

    Oh?! Super 8 on that list??!!

  5. I'll keep this simple, because I tried posted more in depth stuff, only for it not to show up :/

    Heat: ...Too many reasons.

    Cars: A deal with the devil on Pixar's part: making a marketable film for kids, but have it weak on morals, have unmemorable (if annoying) characters, and have a cheesy premise. Essentially, they likely used the money from this to fund their much better movies later on.

    Vertigo: I'll admit I only saw it once, when I didn't understand it well. Even then I don't find it intriguing when compared to Rear Window or Rebecca. I hear it's supposed to be this big psychological study, but I missed that. This is one I should probably see again, I'll be honest.

    M: For a movie about a child murderer, he was hardly in it. More than half the movie focuses on a group of German police officers squabbling while the murderer is in hiding for most of the movie. These characters are uninteresting and undeveloped, though they're in so much that it seems that Lang wants us to care about them more than the far more interesting psychology of the murderer's character. If you want to commentate on the German police system, at least connect the two plots better.

    Gunga Din: Dated. Very, very dated. Dated, awkward humour and an especially dated portrayal by white actor Sam Jaffe as Indian Gunga Din, whose portrayal as a bumbling water boy reeks of racism. The ending was cheesy to boot.

  6. @Mad Hatter: I remember you mentioned your podcast and asking me if I wanted to do a spot. When do you usually do them and how long would the segment be? I think it'd be fun! :)

    I can understand GWTW being on people's lists. I like it (although the book is a million times better), but it does have its fair share of issues and can feel quite dated at times.

    I would love to hear which ones you disagree with that are on my list. I love good film debate. lol. Don't censor yourself here! I'm curious.

  7. @thevoid99: Agreed. It just too easy to blame your parents for everything ...and that's literally what all five characters do for the two hour running time. I don't get it. lol.

  8. @Dr. Blood: LOL! There are a couple that I borderline hate ...but that would be a whole other list!

  9. @BRENT: It's funny because, other than Dark Knight and Watchmen, I haven't seen any of those other films you've listed! lol. I figured I wouldn't being into the Saw movies so I never bothered with them.

  10. @Alex: I loved your picks. I don't agree with Vertigo and M (two of my favourites) but I totally appreciate and, to an extent, understand where your dislike is coming from! I like how you chose a couple of genuine classics! If it makes you feel better, I needed a repeat viewing of Vertigo myself! :)

  11. I found it hard to pick movies I dis-liked off the top of my head...I will add 2001 : A Space Odyssey, a film that I think totally over rated. Wt? is it about? It is just a bunch of lights and an ominous voice!
    Also The Silence of the Lambs, sure Hopkins is good as Lecter, but again gore as entertainment let alone being rated a great film?...I think not!
    I'm with you as both Veretigo and M as they are both stock standard favs with me, but it does show how opinions differ so markedly.
    I like Crash and Saving Private Ryan!! SPW is flawed with some terrible historical inaccuracies ( Hollywood and Speilberg arrogance ) but Normandy is my number period of history so I'm somewhat biased maybe!
    Critising Gone With the dare you!! That film is inviolate...sacriledge, sacriledge!! I'm an unabashed fan of both novel and film and am surprised by people saying it is dated. Of course it IS 70 years old!

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  13. @BRENT: I have to watch 2001 again. I saw it as a teen and kind of brushed it off. I like Silence of the Lambs. Genuinely eerie suspense. One of those rare thrillers that actually thrills.

    Did I criticize Gone with the Wind? It's one of my favourite films and books. As I said, though, I do understand why some consider it overrated -- despite the fact that I really enjoy it a lot.

    By dated, I don't mean it's physically old as a film. I mean parts/aspects of it have not aged well. Some classic films are timeless and could still be watched today and feel as though it were made for today's audiences. For example, I love Rebel Without A Cause but there are aspects of it that haven't aged well and feel so dated that it comes off as ...quaint, I guess you could say? And, as a result, some people might find it overrated or dated.

    P.S. For some reason my original comment was deleted. :/

  14. I was just pulling your leg!! I know what you meant by dated! Quaint is a word I've used in quite a number of my reviews of older films. I used it on The Graduate which has dated but still a fine film.
    One of the things I don't like about Silence of the Lambs is that it started the whole Saw/ Hostel gorno genre which I am seriously anti. I really don't see the need for that sort of graphicness.

  15. My answer will forever and always be Blade Runner.

  16. I love The Graduate. The final scene is one of my favourites! And, sorry, I can't read sarcasm online sometimes. haha.

    Do you think so? I don't actually find The Silence of the Lambs gory. You never SEE the violence's either implied or it has already happened. I blame the creators of Saw for all the torture porn out there. Silence of the Lambs may have inspired them, although I think Lambs was a legit thriller ...while Saw is just violence for the sake of it. And Eli Roth hasn't helped matters with his films!

  17. @Meg: NICE choice. I wanted to include Blade Runner ...but I've never managed to finish it. lol.

  18. I'm glad you mention Crash because I think I've never been so upset during the Academy Awards. This film is perfectly forgettable. Brokeback Mountain should've won. Period.

    I enjoyed Avatar and Jerry Maguire but you're right, Cuba Gooding Jr. is a lot to handle. And I think I cannot forgive him for snagging the Best Supporting Actor Oscar from Edward Norton that year. :) Haha yes, Pretty Woman is quite problematic. It's been ages since I last watched it, but there are definitely better romcoms out there. I couldn't care less about The Matrix. I only know bits and pieces of it and that's enough.

    I just recently watched Federico Fellini's La Strada. I expected to be completely head over heels because everybody and their grandmothers calls it one of the greatest masterpieces in film history, and I perfectly despised it. Talk about an unpopular opinion... I just don't get what's supposed to be so great about it...