Sunday, March 12, 2006

Love/Hate relationship--Everyone loves it, I hate it

I have been looking around on the web, searching for others who share my opinion that "Crash" was WAY overrated. It was as subtle as a sledgehammer, and it had dramatic elements straight out of a TV movie of the week. It's message? Racism is bad? Thanks for the update. Everyone is racist? Utter BS.

I have found plenty of scathing reviews of that film over at the best review site on the net, Rotten Tomatoes.

This got me to thinking: what other movies did I hate that everyone else seemed to love? I found a paragraph on Movieline Magazine's website that dissed TWO films that fit the description.

Shawshank Redemption has been bewilderingly praised by some critics as a searing study of prison life. In truth it's the purest Hollywood hoakum--a sunny, heart-tugging hymn to that old chestnut, the indomitability of the human spirit. The acting is strong, and the tears are jerked effectively by director Frank Darabont. But this film is every bit as fraudulent as the year's other feel-good crock, Forrest Gump.

Right on. I couldn't agree more.

What about you? What films do you hate that everyone else seemed to love?

P.S. I'll add two more--American Beauty and Gladiator.


Anonymous said...

Eric...darling...light of my hated American Beauty? What are you, some kinda agitator? How many times have you seen it...might be time for another viewing...and a quart of scotch might make it more tolerable.

Here's the rub on Crash (Which I voted for as best pic of 2005) it's not about racism in everyday situations in as much as it is a snapshot of LA with unhappy people showing their racist colors in EXTREME situations...situations when we are programmed to suspect the worst in another race. Loved Crash.

Let's make a distinction about hating movies everyone else liked. Hell, everyone liked Toy Story and The Incredibles...but these films weren't up for best picture. Let's hammer films that are supposed to be above the frey...but sucked...and I am with Eliane Benes on this one...The English Patient sucked in spades..."Just die already!" Honorable mention goes to Braveheart and Driving Miss Daisy. 1989 DMD wins best picture over Born on the Forth of July? WTF?


Eric said...

The direction in Crash was so ham fisted--the slow motion, the closeups, the emotional music in the background. I want a little subtlety in a film. I don't like being told what to feel, how to feel, and how long to feel it. Spielberg does the same thing.

I still don't get it. Why is Crash a good movie? The opening scene of the film automatically disqualified it. That was a pretentious, ridiculous, incorrect absured monologue capped by this nonsense: "We crash into each other just to feel." Ugh. Does anybody really believe that? Anyone? This is the kind of statement people take on faith as deep and true, but when they think about it, the falsity of the statement shines through. What's worse, the statement DIDN'T EVEN APPLY TO THE MOVIE. However, I must say Terence Howard was really good in the movie.

I don't even have the space to tell you all the reasons I hated American Beauty.

Karyn said...

How about The Piano (not The Pianist) with Holly Hunter? Doesn't that fall into thecategory of critically acclaimed movies that sucked? For the record, I liked The Piano until Eric dissected it for me. Boy,can he ruin a movie! But ultimately I usually agree. I remember watching Forrest Gump with such anticipation because at the time I loved cheesy feel-good movies about retarded people.(HA)But I hated that movie more than Eric did. And I agree with him on American Beauty and somewhat regarding Crash. What is a good movie? Some people think a good movie makes you think in a new way or see someone else's perspective which I do think Crash did. But was it a wel-directed movie with an original story? Probably not. And also Matt Dillon always ruins movies for me. What a dope!

Faythe said...

I completely agree with you about Crash, especially it being about as subtle as a sledgehammer.

As for movies that everyone else likes and I didn't, all I can come up with is The Fifth Element. Actually, I'm not sure if everyone else liked it, but my boyfriend thinks it's genius. I, however, found it grating and stupid and not funny at all. Plus, Chris Tucker's character irritated the hell out of me, and finding out that the fifth element is love was just way too Hallmark Movie of the Week for me.

Anonymous said...

One film that will never, ever, ever fail to live up to its reputation: Trapped in the Closet. I'd put that up against any of this year's best pic nominees for sheer enjoyment.

Anonymous said...

Eric, I think you need to define your dislike of music in movies. It seems to tend to cringe when a director uses music to "heighten emotions". What I would like to hear is which emotions do you personally like a director to keep their hands off of?

Karyn, I agree with you on The Piano...but no more Miss Holly bashing! In retrospect, she did do an excellent job playing a role without any lines.

Faythe, can it be? There is someone else on this planet that can see the brilliance of 2001? Just keep me away from your boyfriend...I just might have to challenge him to a duel. there's a movie were the master never told you anything...he showed you a mass of images and then let you decide the meanings behind the images for yourself.


Eric said...

Any time the music simply adds a lot more of the same emotion that we are seeing on the screen, I hate it. For instance, if someone dies, and the camera closes up on someone crying, sad music with swelling strings is's ridiculous, unnecessary and obvious.

I know you are thinking of 2001, and the use of music is brilliant in the film. Imagine the movie without the theme song. It adds to the film in a way no visual could. It is necessary.

A director who uses music very well is Wes Anderson. His choices are never obvious, and each song adds a dimension the visuals couldn't, like "Dear Yoko" in Rushmore.

MC said...

I’m not going to ague for Crash, (although I agree with Karyn-it made me think more than that gay cowboy movie, which made me think about what my friends really do when they go fishing), it’s the Academy Awards. Oscars-meaningless like a Grammy. The best three movies I saw last year weren’t even nominated for best Picture: Syrianna, A History of Violeence, and The Constant Gardener.

Any drama with Tom Hanks-especially Saving Private Ryan-the first half hour was great and it went downhill from there.

Any film directed by Ron Howard (especially the vomitous A Beautiful Mind).

Almost every Steven Spielberg film (the Star Wars prequels in particular).

Any Jim Carey comedy-especially the sophomoric Dumb and Dumber.

The Last Samurai, I can’t believe how many Japanese people loved it!

Karyn said...

Pat, I loved Dumb and Dumber. It did what it set out to do-make you laugh your head off at stupid and stupider (Ha Ha) jokes. It was a stupid movie but it made me laugh so therefore I liked it. In fact, I actually saw that movie 3 times, twice in the theater. I think once with Rob actually. Not award winning but valuable for what it was. P.S. I love Jim Carrey, his mere existance makes me laugh.

Stacy said...

I like Dumb and Dumber as well. It's stupid, but very funny.

I can't think of any recent movies that everyone seems to love and I hate. That has more to do with the fact that the last movie I watched was Raising Arizona...again. (I don't get out much). However, there is one movie that I cannot stand. It's a Wonderful Life. I would rather eat that stuff they serve on Fear Factor than watch that movie.

There is a movie that I like that nobody else seems to, at least anyone I’ve talked to, and that’s The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. I don’t know why I like it, I just do.

Jake Dunkin said...

Eric... here's something for you to think about. One of the more important ideas that I took from Crash was that we all look at things from a specific perspective. Perspectives that are very different and, at times flawed. Sure, it seemed to focus around racial tensions and issues that are especially prevelent in large cities such as LA. The way you view movies is very much the same. Your opinions are based on knowlege and insight that most of us, including myself, will probably never achieve. Everything that you know about film and all the great and not-so-great movies that you've seen influence your experience. From the cinematography and director's techniques, to the actors and, yes, the music... all of that is subjective. You have a unique perspective when it comes to viewing and reviewing any film... the good and the not-so-good. You find things that you love and things that you just loathe.
So, my point... the very fact that an opinion on the movie CRASH that you do is, ironically, one of the more important themes in the film. I will agree that I thing that it was a bit heavy-handed when it comes to get that theme across... but some of us need a bit more of a shove than others to get us into the deep end.
Don't stop loving me...

Eric said...

I see what you are saying, Jake. That was a theme the movie was exploring. But I have seen an episode of PBS's "Arthur" that has dealt with the theme of honesty and betrayal, but it was much better explored in the film, "Secrets and Lies." I felt the depth of analysis in "Crash" was more akin to a TV movie than an Oscar-winning film.

Jake Dunkin said...

I felt that "Crash" did not deserve the Oscar win, as well. However, there WAS one relationship in the film that moved me. The locksmith and his daughter. When the storeowner confronted him at home, I was anticipating the daughter's action to protect her dad... I was bawling like a baby. The rest of the movie was just filler as far as I was concerned. Perhaps winning the Oscar is just a matter of building a medocre film around one or two fantastic and original scenes... or even a performance. I, personally, don't give a rip about the Oscars. They've never been very reputible about awarding the films that have made HUGE differences in filmaking, or our social fabric. Once in a while, they'll get it right... but they missed the big one this year with "Brokeback Mtn".

Eric said...

Jon Stewart said it best. After 3-6 Mafia won the Oscar for best song, Stewart said, "3-6 Mafia 1, Martin Scorcese 0." That sums up the Oscars for me.

Jake Dunkin said...

Well said, Jon.

Going back to something "m c" said:
The Last Samurai, I can’t believe how many Japanese people loved it!

This is a movie that I must admit, I enjoyed... UNTIL The end. Hollywood just had to drop in that closing monologue for that Americanized ending. If they would have just ended the movie with them on the battlefield... Oh WHY??? Why do Americans think of themselves as the pinacle of cinema? I don't know much about foreign film bodies, but IS there another award that is given in another country that has the same weight as the fnckiug "oscar"???

Do yourself a favor if you view this film. Stop when the final battle sequence ends.

Jake Dunkin said...

Ok. I thought of a fim that I didn't like.

March of the Penguins.

I hated the narration... it was the line... "this is a story about love."

It was all downhill from there. I watched the documentary that was also on the disk and I really thought that it was a much better total package... WAY more interesting.

That's All.

rayleen said...

I liked Crash. I don't think anyone said it was supposed to be subtle. :)

Just like other themes that are dramatic such as war, genocide, etc, sometimes these things have to be hammered home in books and movies to keep people aware. Racism is alive and well.