Wednesday, February 10, 2016

They Say It's Great, But I Hate It! - We Want To Hear From YOU!!!

As Fleetwood Mac Sez: You Can Go Your Own Way

As folks who are regular visitors to the site may have gleaned, I don't take any particular pleasure in disliking things which are either popular by mass appeal or critical consensus.  For example, the entire thrust of my discussion of The Revenant was really about how I thought it was a good movie, but maybe not a great movie.  And how I figured this meant I'd spend the next six months trying to decide if I needed to be polite in mixed company, or if I'd just be "that guy" and make noise about my opinion.

A few days ago, an old high school pal, JoeC, started asking folks on facebook about what bands people hated that folks seemed to really dig.  You could say why, and some folks did.

Today he asked folks about what movies people hated that had popular or critical acclaim.  He volunteered his own answers and gave some great explanations why - some were logical, some visceral - and then invited others to join in.

I am afraid I came off as a pretentious jerkface for bitching about Whit Stillman, but, man, I cannot stand that dude's work.

I love the idea of us all working through our cognitive dissonance together.  So, I'm going to ask the same thing Joe asked:

What movie do you hate that seems to get all the kudos, laud & honor - and you think it's just terrible?

A few ground rules for your response (we're going to ask for a bit more than Joe did).

In your answer - please provide:

1.  Name of movie (we'll do bands and books later, I guess.  Let's do an easy one first)
2.  Why you hate it.  In a complete answer.  And, yes, "I just hate so-and-so's dumb face" is a perfectly acceptable response.  But WHY do you hate that face?  And WHY is it dumb?
3.  What movie do you like that has a poor public reception or critical rating?

I know!  #3 is a problem.  But one of the things I kept wondering while watching Joe's facebook pals comment away was "well, huh.  So...  as a point of comparison, what do you think is a good movie?"

And that wasn't a criticism of Joe's pals.  That was me feeling like I didn't have a complete picture.  Yes, you found Citizen Kane boring.  But did you then go on to love Joe Dirt?  Or was it because it was no Magnificent Ambersons?

So, let's hear it!  LET YOUR HATE SPILL FORTH.  May your bile flow freely in the comments!  Join the Dark Side!


Stuart said...

I was trying to answer this, but can’t summon hatred for any well-regarded movies. Disinterest, sure. I feel no need to see The Revenant, as I can tell from the trailer that it’s not my cuppa tea. I’m sure it’s well-crafted though, and wish it no ill. Maybe The Godfather? But not because it’s bad. I actually like the first act a lot, but as soon as Pacino goes to Italy I start to doze off. A Clockwork Orange and Texas Chainsaw Massacre, I suppose. Again, not bad; but they make me uncomfortable to watch, so I don’t.

On the other question, I’d have to go with The Lone Ranger (2013). What I love is that it’s a celebration of story itself – who owns the narrative of Western expansion and the Western Hero, and what does it say about us? I think what people failed to see through the Johnny Depp fatigue is that it’s actually quite subversive putting ownership of the story in Tonto’s hands. Also, Hans Zimmer covering the William Tell Overture was a thing of beauty. Granted, it’s a bit long, and would’ve been nice to see Tonto played by a native actor. But I try not to let the perfect be the enemy of the good, and to me, this one was good and worth celebrating.

The League said...

So you're saying you did not care for The Godfather?

We're a little slow going here, so I'll go ahead and say: People look at me like I'm a monster for not liking "Inside Out". I mean, like, they really think something is wrong with me, that I must be dead inside. But I just thought, as extended metaphors go - it was distracted, and, a bit like Tron, the metaphor got lost in some half-baked narrative and gags. And kind of gave a privileged kid's free pass to "all your emotions are okay". All of which, when I'm saying this to people, of course, just reinforces the idea I'm a monster. So, now I just nod and remain silent when my co-workers gush about that movie.

And, of course, I'll always champion "John Carter", which was just assassinated in the reviews and written off as silly in the same era where people are taking Iron Man and The Matrix films totally seriously. When the public and critics struggle with this sort of thing - I just set the clock and wait to see if this is going to be a "Flash Gordon" that ends up outlasting Oscar winners as it finds its audience.

Stuart said...

Well, I do love The Money Pit.

I think, for a lot of things, not just movies, if they really connect to you emotionally, then you’re apt to overlook some flaws that come with the package. Case in point: there’s a lot not so great about Superman: The Movie, but it will (I think I can safely predict at this point) always be my favorite movie.

So I think it is with Inside Out. The message, for me, of not being afraid to embrace the sadness, that it’s okay for your kid to not be not overjoyed all the time, that they HAVE TO experience those things to become a fully-formed human being, hit close to home. So, it’s okay if some flaws come with the package. It still made me FEEL far more than most movies ever even attempt.

I did love John Carter when I saw it in the theater. However, I've never felt the urge to watch it again. I often flip past it in the Blu-ray collection, consider it for a few seconds, and then invariably move on to something else. I guess it feels disposable. I don't know if this says something about me or the movie.

Viewing a film, just like any work of art, is a collaborative experience with the author(s): you bring as much to it as they do.

Ultimately, I feel like that last statement is why I don't write reviews anymore and am kind of sick of my own opinions on pop culture. Their transient, everyone's got 'em, and they don't really matter anyway.

Also, you are clearly a heartless monster.

The League said...

It is astoundingly true that opinions on a film, band, album, book - do not matter. It's commerce. Thus - we're headed for 9 Transformers movies.

I, too, had grown sick of my own opinions, but why I had returned to blogging in 2015 was to actually mark that transience. My opinions had changed. I was older, had a new perspective, and - while I write my opinions so I have my own record and to satisfy some mental disorder or other - it isn't the same thing an excitable 25 year old would put out there.

And, watch John Carter again. While drinking.

Paul Toohey said...


JAL said...

Cabin in the Woods. Why? It's a self-congratulatory circle jerk of mediocrity. Never has a movie winked and nodded so much to an unimaginative audience that was so well versed in the joke. Fanboyism at it's very worst.

Ask me next year an it'll be "The Witch"...oh wait..."The VVitch".

In an attempt (success!) to lose all credibility, I love the 1996 "Dr. Moreau". Holy shit. Drugs, monsters, lunatic acting, Fariuza Balk. Frankenheimer in full-tilt paranoia. This film totally checks my boxes. That said, I'd have really liked to have seen the Richard Stanley version. He's great. The doc about it is very good.

The League said...

I can't entirely disagree with your assessment of Cabin in the Woods. What I will say is that I laughed like hell at the giant snake at the end.

I kinda wanted to see the The VVitch. Oh, well. Maybe this is all because I don't really watch too many horror films.

You know, recently I was reading about Dr. Moreau and swore I'd watch it, but I never remember to do so.

Sound Affects said...

There a lot of movies I know I'll hate and never bother to see no matter what. I have made a blood vow to be the last human to never see Avatar. I guess Titanic might be the only thing that I've actually seen and fits the criteria. How I know it was horrible is that I saw it with my future wife when were in that "love is everywhere" phase and we both were still bored to tears by it. I particularly remember that everyone was going nuts about how amazing the CGI was, but to me it stood out like a sore thumb in a bad video game. Oh, wait, bad CGI just reminded me of one that will surely ignite some torches and pitchforks: the first Raimi Spider-Man. Actually, the second one too. Did not care for either one. At all.

A movie that people hate but I kinda like is Constantine. Yeah, it's not the comic book, but so what. It was still entertaining. Also, both Hulk movies. I found it weird that when everyone was going gaga over Spider-Man's CG, they were trashing the Ang Lee Hulk because a giant green monster looked "fake."

The League said...

I'll be straight up with you. You are missing absolutely nothing by missing Avatar. Just read the Wikipedia description and you've got it. I am totally surprised to hear you throw Spider-Man in there as a "do not care for", but you seem well aware of the price for putting yourself out there for that one.

I couldn't separate my 90's-era love of Hellblazer from the movie. But, yeah, I don't get the hate on the Hulks. Those both worked for me.

RHPT said...

I don't hate it, but I do not understand the big deal surrounding "Attack the Block". It was an okay movie, but I didn't think it was earth shattering. I also thought Raimi's Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2 were just "okay". I did not like the third one though.

A lot of times I feel stupid for not being impressed with movies that critics and film connoisseurs really enjoy.

The League said...

I know when I saw "Attack the Block" I was impressed that it was so character-driven and the young cast so enjoyable. I don't really recall what the critical consensus was on that one.

It's a tough call on sorting through critical response, but it always true that what works for you works for you. You can use those reviews as guides to understand the movie better or see what folks are saying, but you're certainly never under any obligation to like a movie. I guess the question is: do you care enough to understand the arguments that generate the critical consensus to evaluate that opinion for yourself?