Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Sacred Cows and Sharp Knives

Premiere Magazine has published a list of the 20 Most Overrated Movies of all Time.

Also, they allow for a rebuttal from another staff member, describing the films worth.
I am very curious to hear what you have to say about this list. Do you agree? Disagree? What film(s) would you add to this list and why?

If anyone plays along then I will chime in, too.
Sharpen your knives and lets carve up some sacred cows, people!


Blogger FoxInDetox said...

N/A= didn't see it.

American Beauty: Love the rose, hate the movie

Chicago: N/A

Clerks: Amusing at best

Fantasia:Walt Disney's answer to Ambien.

Field of Dreams: Sentimental and sappy but likable all the same.

Chariots of Fire: I was too bored and too young to care.

Good Will Hunting:Not sophisticated, but Clever and entertaining none the less.

Forest Gump: Loved it. It does what a movie is supposed to do...entertain.

Jules & Jim: N/A

A Beautiful Mind: A beautiful movie.

Monster's Ball: N/A

Moon Struck: Left me dumbstruck. How did this ever make it to the cinema? Parts were likeable, but sooo unrealistic. What self respecting Italian woman would ever let her husband get away with cheating? Ti amo my ass!

Mystic River: Read the book first. The movie never stood a chance.

Nashville: N/A

Wizard of Oz: Sacred.

An American in Paris: N/A

Easy Rider: Coolest movie ever when you saw it in re-runs on tv at 10 years old. Now? Not so much.

Red Shoes: N/A

2001 A space.. blah blah blah: Uh...yea. It was a movie.

Gone with the Wind: Hated it. Vivien Leigh was brilliant as Scarlet, but I hated Scarlet. She was spoiled, insipid and idiotic...and frankly Clark Gable makes me gag.

9:36 AM, December 27, 2006  
Blogger Andy said...

Okay...good job. Now, what movies do you consider "classics"?

12:15 PM, December 27, 2006  
Blogger FoxInDetox said...

Lets see... there are the old the Wizard of Oz, Breakfast at Tiffanys, Casablanca, All the Capra stuff...Miracle on 34th Street, It's a wonderful Life, Mr. Smith goes to Washington, Mr. Deeds goes to Town, Arsenic and Old Lace etc...then there are some newer ones like Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (circa 1971), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (circa 1968), Scarface (1983)...then there are cult classics like...Repo Man, A Clockwork Orange, Reefer Madness, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Eraserhead, The Hills Have Eyes (original) ...and lets not forget John Waters... Pink Flamingos, Female Troubles, etc... etc...

There are too many films that I would call "classics" or "future classics"... The Breakfast Club for instance...not a classic yet, but it will be.

12:48 PM, December 27, 2006  
Blogger Greg said...

OK, I've been reading your blog for a while but this one has inspired me to finally post. I hope I make it worthwhile. Using Fox's method:

American Beauty: Waste of time; don't see what others saw in it.

Chicago: Surprisingly, I liked this one, although, I can see the complaints that were cited. Was it Oscar worth? How should I know. I really like what they pick.

Clerks: I can't remember if I saw this. I guess that says something.

Fantasia: I could not get through this, and I tried to watch it while I was in my classical phase. :-)

Field of Dreams: There is not much that I love more than baseball and this movie didn't rate. Give me Fever Pitch any day. I have no suggestions for the non-Red Sox fan.

Chariots of Fire: N/A; although, I immediately started singing dum-dum-dum-dum-dum and can't get it out of my head now. I wish it had words, even though I would probably sing about the 'bathroom on the right.'

Good Will Hunting: They missed on this one. This was a real good movie and I usually don't go for those 'day in the life' films. The Southie aspect did little for me and I still enjoyed it.

Forrest Gump: I never wanted to see this, although, I caught a scene on TV where he was in the military; he was running back and forth saving people as the bombs were dropping. It was a pretty tense scene and I still couldn't get into it. I guess I enjoyed how they put him in all those historic scenes but I was even more impressed when the DS9 crew was inserted into the original Star Trek episode with Kirk, et. al. To me, Big is Tom Hanks best film. Yes, better than Philadelphia, although, that was real good, and better than Castaway, which I never thought I would like but felt really bad when wilson floated away. I know there were a bunch more good ones from him but I can't think of them now, so I guess that says something.

Jules and Jim: Never even heard of it. Of course, it was black-and-white so I'm not surprised. ;-)

A Beautiful Mind: N/A

Monster's Ball: Rented it for the sex scenese, which was smart because the story was pitiful.

Moonstruck: N/A

Mystic River: Never read the book but was still unimpressed with the movie.

Nashville: N/A

Wizard of Oz: I agree with Fox, how can anyone say something bad about this classic.

An American in Paris: N/A

Easy Rider: N/A, although, this is one I would think to go rent. Maybe not now.

Red Shoes: N/A. Is it anything like Red Shoe Diaries?

2001: Never saw it, if you can believe that. It may have been something for the first ten or fifteen years after it came out but it seems to have been left behind.

Gone With the Wind: I actually liked this one, although, I'm not really sure why this is termed a classic. It's no Oz.

As for classics, I may be thinking differently than most (not unusual) but I see Breakfast Club as a definite classic, as are movies like Footloose and Dirty Dancing. These movies are dated but I can see generations older and younger than me sitting down and enjoying the story. While that may not be the real definition, to me that is what makes a movie stand the test of time and, therefore, a classic.

Using that line of thinking, movies like Jaws and Alien (or even Aliens) are classics for their genre. As are Untouchables and Goodfellas. Of course, the groundwork for them was laid by a true classic: The Godfather. As Fox said, Scarface could fall into this category, too, although I think the audience for Scarface may be narrower. I loved it.

And what about action films? To me, Rocky, Rocky II and Die Hard are classics.

Independence Day is up there but it may be crossing into the SciFi genre where it really doesn't hold up to Star Wars or the two Alien movies.

Bird Cage may be a classic. I still laugh out loud when I see it. I think Good Morning Vietnam could be, too, although, I have not seen that since it first came out so I don't know if it would pass the 'time test.'

As you can see, my selections for classics are somewhat narrow but these are just the ones that stand out to me right now. I'm sure there are others, like Pretty Woman (there, I though of one) that are also great.

Actually, now that I think of it, When Harry Met Sally is a classic. I never thought I would say that about a meg Ryan movie.

As for the ones Fox puts forth, the ones I have seen are certainly good choices, except Pink Flamingoes. The fact she even knows about this movie gives me pause. Not that I want to start trouble here. :-)

1:59 PM, December 27, 2006  
Blogger Andy said...

Are there any OTHER movies that either of you think are overrated pieces of celluloid?

3:08 PM, December 27, 2006  
Blogger FoxInDetox said...

I'm a closet fan of all the sappy ones... Like Kate and Leopold, Pretty Woman, Sweet Home Alabama... I'm a sucker for the sappy, happy, Cinderella ending (it's a girlie thing)I Can't help it...real life sometimes sucks that much.

As for the Pink Flamingos crack from Greg (who could quite possibly be a bigger geek than I) I sometimes hang with Trannies make me watch wacky stuff like that from time to time... :o)

3:25 PM, December 27, 2006  
Blogger Andy said...

My 2 cents:

Gone with the Wind is a classic film. Hands down one of the most faithful book adaptions ever.

I'm always amazed that The Philadelphia Story isn't better regarded by current audiences.

I think that Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971) is one of the most overrated films ever made.

I freakin' HATED Moonstruck.

A handful of other overrated films that leap immediately to mind:

The Third Man - 1949
I can't remember the last time that I was bored during a film noir.

Notorious with Ingrid Bergman & Gregory Peck was just painful.

The Sound of Music - You too can beat the Nazi's by singing. Utter crap.

Rain Man - Where do I begin? Cruise playing a selfish, arrogant bastard who learns to better himself through love? Where have I seen that before...oh yeah, its called "his whole career".

Mrs.Doubtfire - oh dear Mother of God make it stop.

The English Patient - I agree with Elaine on Seinfeld; DIE ALREADY!

Jerry Maguire - See Rain Man, above.

Your comments are welcome.

3:33 PM, December 27, 2006  
Blogger Greg said...

Fox, at least you have a reason. I can't even remember where, why or when I watche it. I just remember it scared me like no horror film I've seen.

Andy, knocking on Tom Cruise, eh? Well, I can't counter with much except that he did do Born on the 4th, which was real good. Oh yeah, and he was married to Nicole Kidman.

I loved Mrs. Doubtfire. Must be that trannie thing, again.

I can't remember too many movies I hated. I must block them out. I did catch a good nap in the theater 'watching' Fabulous Baker Boys, though.

4:04 PM, December 27, 2006  
Blogger FoxInDetox said...

Ok.. I'm going to say what others only dare to think... classic or not... I hated Casablanca! I friggin hated it! I wanted to slap the skin off Ingrid Bergman's face. She drove me nuts.. "I love him, no I love him... Hmmm... well, I can use him to get me closer to him... but he's making me leave with him...maybe he doesn't want me? Impossible! Did I over play my hand? What to do, what to do?"....Slaaaap! Overrated like it was crack!

And...over rated doesn't even begin to describe A Streetcar Named Desire...

Blanche: "Hi everyone, I'm Blanche and I'm ...uh...a serial victim".

Everyone: "Hi Blanche!”

Oh... how about this little gem...considered by some to be the best movie ever made (because scotch is their best friend)....Citizen Kane... Does a movie exist that has the ability to suck the life essence out of its audience more than this one does? I seriously doubt it. I tried to watch it three times... I don't think I've ever snored so loudly in my life.

Anything with Tom Cruise is destined to fail in my eyes. I have come to hate the patented "Tom Cruise Back Pose"... (see Vanilla Sky, War of the Worlds, Top Gun, A Few Good Men...the list goes on) That's where our studly hero removes his shirt and turns his back to the camera, then does one of those over exaggerated muscle flexes...usually with some prop in one a TV remote, or a bat. Get over yourself Tom. You're not that hot and by the you know you're crazy?..yes.. nuts.. as the day is long. I suppose if I were being paid as much as you to sing his praises...Xenu would be my homeboy too.

Ok.. I have to stop now...I'm feeling a little agressive... I want my blanky and some cocoa....Mommy.

6:28 PM, December 27, 2006  
Blogger Andy said...

I can see that the kid gloves have come off. :-)

You hated "Casablanca"? WOW! You're onlt the 2nd person that I've ever heard say that. Would it help if you knew that the writers were writing the script as the movie was being shot and Ingrid Bergman had NO IDEA which character she would stay with until the last scene was actually filmed?? It's true. She played it as if she loved both men and was torn by the decision which totally comes across in the film. Also, Bogart has never been better as Rick Blaine. His rapport with Louis is masterful.

However, I will agree with you about "A Streetcar Named Desire".

I disagree about "Citizen Kane". Although I still wish that I hadn't known the ending beforehand I still think it is an amazing cinematic achievement.

You're right about Tom Cruise - he IS batshit crazy. However, "Top Gun" is one of my guilty pleasures so I can't completely write the guy off. Also, I occasionally will muscleflex with a stapler or a paper clip while I'm in the office. It drives the soccer mommies wild!

8:22 PM, December 27, 2006  
Blogger Cynthia said...

I will only comment on the movies I own, which truly constitutes a sacred cow.

Chariots of Fire: It's the Eric Liddell character that keeps me coming back again and again.

Field of Dreams: I watch this every summer. The first time I saw it was at a drive-in in Northfield, MA in the back of my best friend's pick-up, she and I wrapped in sleeping bags, sitting on lawn chairs under a summer night sky. I still cry at the end every time (my father died when I was 19).

Good Will Hunting: The relationship between Will and the doc and Will and his girl were great, plus the friendship with Chuck. Besides, the whole Boston thing was nostalgia at its best (for me).

Forrest Gump: Life is both like a box of chocolates and like the feather at the beginning and end; a mystery and unknown destiny/fate. I liked the rebuttal of "fable".

Wizard of Oz: I passed it onto my kids, who love it. 'Nuff said.

2001: a space odyssey: I can't watch the whole thing anymore because of cold, calcuating Hal and its calm, passionless voice. But I love the first hour or so, of the evolution of humankind, the whole space-travel culture, and its other-worldliness.

What I loved best about this list was reading the rebuttals--fantastic writing and response to the would-be naysayers. I was surprised that in the rebuttal for "The Red Shoes" there was not a quote from "A Chorus Line": "Let's get one thing straight: I never heard of 'The Red Shoes', I never saw 'The Red Shoes', I don't give a f*** about 'The Red Shoes'". (Don't go nuts, Andy...I'm quoting. :-)

As for others I consider classic, no one has mentioned "Back to the Future" except Andy on this blog. I agree with "Breakfast Club". "Superman" with Chris Reeve, "Star Wars: IV, V, and VI" (don't get me started on III), the Indiana Jones trilogy, "A Patch of Blue" and "To Sir with Love" with Sidney Poitier, "Young Frankenstein", "When Harry Met Sally", "Toy Story", "Spellbound" redeems Bergman and Peck, and my all-time favorite "Brief Encounter" with Celia Johnson and Trevor Howard.

I could go on for hours, of course, but this is a smattering of what I love to watch. Discussing movies and likes/dislikes is much like discussing wine: just because you know more about it doesn't mean it tastes any better. If you like it, drink it. If you like a movie, watch it and don't defend your enjoyment of it. Just enjoy.

9:09 PM, December 27, 2006  
Blogger FoxInDetox said...

Andy, soccer mommies? Shame on you!

on the Ingrid Bergman thing...I did not know that. I'm not saying she didn't do a fine job in her portrayal.. I guess it was her character that I just could not stand. I agree with you about Bogart...but at times I found that he was too cool for the room.

...And Cynthia! Bravo! Your wine comment is right on the money.

I went to bed last night thinking about all the movies we didn't touch on, plus all the Clint Eastwood stuff... like The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, High Plains Drifter, Dirty Harry, Kelly's Hero's and that all time favorite Every Which Way but Loose.

There are just so many movies, both good and bad.

So what's everyone's take on Psycho?

8:03 AM, December 28, 2006  
Blogger Andy said...

I think that "Psycho" was revolutionary for it's time. Older films relied on suspense, and not blood & guts,to scare an audience and, in that regard, "Psycho" is still a huge success. However, it has been copied (and parodied) ad nauseum to the point where its relevence has been diminished.

10:19 AM, December 28, 2006  
Blogger FoxInDetox said...

Ha! It's funny you should say that,because I was thinking the same thing. My favorite parody can be found on It's a 30 second reinactment by bunnies and usually shows up at around Halloween time. Actually, I highly recommend that site if you want to see what they hype is about a movie without having to invest hours of prescious time that you will never get back.

10:46 AM, December 28, 2006  
Blogger Andy said...

HA right back! I did a post about 30 second bunny films back in November 2005. Great minds, baby!!

I agree with Cindy's comment about wine and movies. However, much like books, I enjoy discussing their pros and cons. However, I disagree with her take on "2001" - Hal is what makes the movie bearable.

10:58 AM, December 28, 2006  
Blogger Cynthia said...

I liked Hal better in "2010": he makes an act of self-sacrifice that is almost human. When he asks "Will I dream?" it is the best scene in the whole movie (in fact, the rest of it is pretty weak).

No one even mentioned "Monty Python", so I will. "The Holy Grail" and "The Life of Brian" are classics; some scenes in "The Meaning of Life" require a strong stomach, but the one with the Catholic and Protestant families and their sex ethics are hysterical! Who's humming "Every Sperm is Sacred" right now?

5:28 PM, December 28, 2006  

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