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Monday, November 21, 2005

Deja blog

I may have seen this term before, but on the off chance I haven't, I'm going to coin it now: Deja blog. This is when you get the nagging feeling that you've blogged something before. I find that it afflicts me more and more as Byzantium's Shores marches on: I find myself thinking about a possible post, or even writing it, when I realize that I think I've already written on the very subject. I'll search my archives, usually finding it, but sometimes not.

Today I found it.

Atrios has a "Ten Movies You Hate" thing, and I started to craft my own list -- when I realized that I'd already done so, nearly two years ago, with the added irony that when I wrote that post, it was also in response to a post by Atrios. What a tangled web, and all that.

Anyway, here's a repost of the list of ten movies I hate, since it's pretty much the exact list I would have written now.

1. City of Angels. The only film in which I have dozed off in the theater. There is a scene, late in this movie, that had me thinking, "Hmmm, a big lumber truck would be ideal right about now." Sure enough, there was one. If you've seen this incredible snoozer, you'll know exactly which scene I mean.

2. The Usual Suspects. The lamest trick movie I've ever seen. What started out as in interesting character study of a group of criminals detours into a "mystery" with a "staggering revelation" that I spotted a mile away.

3. Se7en. The second-lamest trick movie I've ever seen, with by far the crappiest ending I've ever had to endure. This movie was superb up to a certain event, and then it just totally derailed.

4. Scream. What the hell is this? A parody, like Blazing Saddles or Airplane!? An attempt to combine teen horror with the "Oh, we're just so jaded" irony-fetish of the mid-1990s? Either way, it's a dull and stupid movie in which nobody acts like any real person would act in any such situation. The Drew Barrymore scene is fun; too bad her scene constitutes the movie's first ten minutes.

5. Alien. Good once. Boring after.

6. Aliens. Predictable and numbing.

7. Live and Let Die. By far the worst entry in the James Bond series, with more blatant sexism than ever before and a nice dose of blaxploitation to boot. Ugh.

8. Beaches. When I saw this in a college screening, everybody around me was crying at the end, and I'm thinking, "My God, I hate both of these women! They spend virtually the entire movie treating each other like dirt, and yet I'm supposed to cry when one of them dies?!"

9. Highlander. It takes a hell of a movie to fail completely despite the presence of Sean Connery and Clancy Brown, but this one pulls off the trick.

10. Saving Private Ryan. I'll probably catch hell for this. A lot of the film is really superb (the D-Day stuff is outstanding, really), but the concluding act is one of the most staggering let-downs I've ever seen in a movie (probably the worst, if not for Se7en). William Goldman wrote an essay for Premiere that explains just how bad the ending is, and I agree completely. You can find the essay in Goldman's book The Big Picture. I couldn't put my finger on just why I didn't like this film until I read it.


Those movies add up to about a day of my life that I'm never gonna get back. I could have done something with that day, dammit!

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