Monday, March 31, 2008

I'll take that meme



Kathy links to a thing at Libertas (a forum for conservative thought on film): "Top-Five Critically-Lauded Movies I Simply Detest"

he lists
1. Raging Bull
2. O Brother, Where Art Thou?
3. Being John Malkovich
4. Vertigo
5. Mystic River


Kathy gives
1. Anything by the Coen Brothers after Raising Arizona. Too much hipster hick-mockery. Fargo? Don't get it. Never will.
2. Anything with Quentin Tarrantino's name on it except True Romance. Pulp Fiction will one day be remembered as the Worst Film of the 1990s.
3. 2001
4. Night of the Hunter. Ultra-stylish anti-American, anti-Christian fairy tale. More hick-mockery.
5. Every "great" Oscar-nominated movie made in the last 15 years (Gosford Park, Moulin Rouge, Mystic River, Gangs of New York, Age of Innocence, The Thin Red Line, blah blah blah)
6. Because it has to be said: the entire Star Wars franchise
And I still don't understand why Chinatown is called Chinatown.


It's funny that (as I was killing my knees scrambling up mountains yesterday) I was thinking about a movie that everyone swooned over that I think I really detest:

The English Patient.

Pretty sure I can come up with four more.

2) Apocalypse Now

3) Like Water for Chocolate

4) Everything by Woody Allen (even before he started sleeping with his daughter)

(I know this isn't a movie, exactly but)
5) the BBC version of Brideshead. While watching, I could feel myself losing the will to live, even before Charles Ryder met the fam.
6) (Comrade) Ghandi


But Kathy stole one of my favourite Peeve Films.

2001 was just stupid. There was no excuse for it. I had a huge argument with the instructor in a screenwriting class I took once, who tried to convince us it was brilliant and a metaphor and a lot of other blithering po-mo hogwash. I was only 17 at the time and didn't know much of anything, but I knew this guy was a prat for liking that film. He tried to make us read the script. What script? Was there any talking in it?

You can't even say, "well, it was the '60's and everyone thought a lot of absurd rubbish was 'profound' and 'moving' when it was really just a lot of LSD-induced tat. After all, it was the age when people wore tie-dye without the intent-to-mock and sat around interpreting the spiritual meaning of Beatles' lyrics." But I don't buy it. The sixties also brought us Planet of the Apes, which was cool and fun and is still regularly watched by Real People.

How could our parents have sat through forty-five minutes of the wormhole effect from Stargate and come away thinking they'd seen God? Were they just dumb or something?

I was seven when I first saw it and was bored out of my tree, and I was an SF fan from toddlerhood. I knew what was good. Kirk beating up aliens in rubber suits and kissing big-haired women in sparkly dresses: that was good. I think 2001 was my earliest inkling that the adults didn't know what the hell they were doing. It was an emacipating moment.

So, on the other hand, maybe I should be thanking Stanley Kubrick.


I think I'll tag someone:

Steve
Dale
Fr. Finigan
Mac
and John

10 comments:

J D Carriere said...

O Brother, Where Art Thou? belongs on a very different list.

"Woman is the most fiendish instrument of torture ever devised to bedevil the days of man!"

I mean, that is good stuff.

HJMW said...

Mr. Carriere,

I'm afraid you are in the doghouse sir.

Haven't heard from in months, no blog posts, no commbox appearances.

Shame sir.

Shame.

J D Carriere said...

True, true, and yet, admit it, me returning with so prime a snippet of misogyny is sort of endearing.

HJMW said...

a little mollifying, I suppose.

Lorraine said...

The English Patient...ugh...the evening I watched that was probably the worst-spent 3 hrs of my entire life.

Incidentally, it would be more difficult for me to think of five critically-lauded movies I enjoyed.

J D Carriere said...

As if you could be mollified!

Dale P. said...

Response completed.

Yes, Gandhi buried the actual human being under saintly plaster, but Ben Kingsley's my favorite actor, so I can't go there.

Haven't seen The English Patient, and from the waft coming up from the sewer, won't.

Mac McLernon said...

I'm done... enjoy!

John said...

The requisite five are here.

Harder than I thought it was going to be. Apparently, I am pretty good and not going to movies I know I won't like.

Cheers,

-John-

lambertdw said...

"Like Water for Chocolate" was a truly terrible movie. I couldn't watch even a third of it. I was only able to watch "The English Patient" because I had paid to see it at the theater, and was too stubborn to leave. "O Brother..." , however, was truly funny. Maybe because I live in Alabama.