May 31, 2012

10 Phenomenally Overrated Movies

SCARFACE - If I want to spend three hours with a sociopathic irredeemable asshole, I’d hang around my ex-brother-in-law more often. With its awful music score and silly montages, this movie practically stinks of the 80s. Yet it’s more popular now than ever, mostly by dumbass thugs who perceive themselves as badasses, but have never watched a real gangster movie.

AVATAR - Take away the admittedly-great 3-D, and you’re left with a three hour retelling of Pocahontas. This movie also confirms that director James Cameron, despite pushing the technological envelope, doesn’t have a single original idea of his own.

BLADE RUNNER - Probably blasphemy to sci-fi fans, but guys, I’ve tried really, really hard to like this movie over the years (yes, including the director’s cut) but just can’t honest say I care about it. And don’t try to tell me I didn’t ‘get it’. Dekker’s a replicant, I get it. It’s still long, slow and boring.

HEAVY METAL / PINK FLOYD THE WALL - If you were in high school when either of these came out, you probably thought they were totally awesome. You were also probably totally high. Watch them now, without so much as a beer in your hand.

APOCALYPSE NOW - Some of the iconic scenes in this movie are stunning, almost hypnotic at times. Then Brando shows up during the last half hour with his massive gut, mealy mouth and verbal vomit. And where the hell is the ending?

NATIONAL LAMPOON’S CHRISTMAS VACATION - I could probably list any Vacation movie here. Everyone I know loves them, especially this one, but I’ve never found them to be funny at all (I’m also subjected to Christmas Vacation at family get-togethers during the holidays every year). Too bad, because the original stories published in the original National Lampoon are nasty, politically incorrect and absolutely hilarious.

HALLOWEEN - This movie established director John Carpenter as a creative force to be reckoned with, perhaps because it was the first of an endless line of hack-and-slash horror films that followed. And there’s a lot to like here...the music score is perfect, and what lurks in the shadows creates a ton of suspense. But the dialogue is shitty, the characters behave stupidly and the actors look ten years older than the teenagers they supposed to depict. And who the fuck goes trick-or-treating when the sun's still up???

THE SHINING - I love Stanley Kubrick. He made one of my favorite movies ever (Dr. Strangelove). But he was totally the wrong guy for the job. It takes a conscious effort from a tremendous talent to take the scariest book I ever read, slow the pace down to a crawl, then use Jack Nicholson and a Steadicam to dupe virtually every critic in the world into thinking this is one of the greatest horror movies of all time.

FORREST GUMP - I like this movie...a lot. But the Best Picture of 1994? The same year as The Shawshank Redemption, Pulp Fiction and Quiz Show? Puh-lease.

JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING DIRECTED BY TIM BURTON - I'm probably the only person on the planet who thinks Pee-Wee's Big Adventure was Burton's greatest film, made long before he became the darling of Emos worldwide. What's actually kind of ironic is that, most of those Burton-worshiping Emos often cite The Nightmare Before Christmas as their favorite Burton film, even though he didn't actually direct it.

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