Thursday, December 04, 2003

Ten Movies I Hate

Atrios lists ten movies he hates (actually, the same movie, ten times -- he must really hate The English Patient). In the same spirit, here are ten movies I can't stand. These aren't necessarily the worst movies I've ever seen, because a lot of the very worst movies I've endured I can only barely remember (like a movie I once saw that had Gary Coleman as a homeless kid who had, if memory serves, the gift of being able to predict the horse races). Here goes, in no particular order:

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.

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