Part one can be read here.
If you’re a teenage girl, I understand – Leo is soooo
dreamy (retch). But if not, you have no excuse. Utterly ludicrous interpretation of a tragic event. Exploitative in the extreme. Yes, during the sinking of the Titanic, I’m sure that people went hunting each other with pistols. The dialogue is some of the worst ever penned. And she throws the diamond into the sea at the end? My God, old woman, there are millions starving and you throw a priceless jewel into the ocean? Selfish hag.
9. Some Like It Hot:
Not a terrible movie, just not a great one. Still unsure why this is considered one of the great comedies of all time. I love Billy Wilder, but this isn’t his best comedy, or even among his top ten movies (see The Apartment
, The Fortune Cookie
, Stalag 17
, the underrated Ace in the Hole
, Witness for the Prosecution
, Ball of Fire
, Love in the Afternoon
, Sunset Blvd.
all rank above it). And what the hell does the last line even mean?
A good movie, but is it really the best script of all time?
7. 2001: A Space Odyssey:
45 minutes of greatness, almost two hours of poop, including half an hour of monkeys hitting each other with sticks. Oh yeah, and there’s a monolith.
6. The Usual Suspects:
When I finished this movie, I wanted to punch somebody. Here’s the deal with twist endings: you have to give the audience clues, and the twist must not invalidate the entire movie. The Usual Suspects
broke both these rules. First, the clues were not available the entire movie – only when they show you the board, the mug, etc. do you realize he’s been making up the story. That’s called cheating. Second, the twist invalidates the entire movie – what’s true and what’s false? Which parts, if any, are real? If I’ve just been watching a two hour shaggy dog story, what’s the point? Movies with great twists: Planet of the Apes
, The Sting
, The Prestige
, Eastern Promises
. Movies with overrated twists: The Sixth Sense
, Fight Club
5. Pulp Fiction:
See my comments about Tarantino here
. Pulp Fiction
is typical Tarantino – moments of brilliance submerged in a sea of triviality. If Tarantino could ever figure out how to write non-episodically, he’d be incredible. I just don’t see that happening anytime soon.
The Coen Brothers have become more palatable as they’ve aged. No Country For Old Men
was bleak but good, and True Grit
was well-directed if hackneyed. The critics’ obsession with Fargo
, however, is odd. The movie isn’t short on plot, but it’s also quite repellant.
3. American Beauty:
Obnoxious beyond belief. The critics loved it because it ripped suburbia, made heterosexuality out to be a mental defect, and scoffed at traditional American values. The movie trashes everything from the military to marriage. That alone wouldn’t make it overrated. What makes it overrated is its over-the-top plotting, thoroughgoing nastiness, and contempt for anything resembling likability. The kind of movie where you want to wash your brain out after watching.
2. Raging Bull:
Time for my rip of Scorcese. He picks out the most horrible characters imaginable, then asks us to follow them for hours on end. There is nothing to like about Jake LaMotta. Nothing. He’s abhorrent, the people who surround him are abhorrent. Why should I care what happens to him? The same is true of GoodFellas
and Taxi Driver
. This lack of sympathetic characters makes watching a Scorcese movie a lot like watching a fishtank – aesthetically interesting for a while, but certainly not immersive in the way film can be at its best.
1. The Graduate:
This is not a great film. This is not even a good film. Benjamin Braddock is a whiny bitch of a human being. His parents, who are portrayed as yuppie boors unable to see Benjamin’s inner depths, don’t do anything to earn the scorn of the fimmakers, yet they do just that because they’re over 30. The end of the movie is perhaps the worst of all time, the beginning of a minor staring-out-the-window-of-a-bus trend. So life is uncertain. People have known that since Creation. Get over it.