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Why do some films that were blockbusters, later get bashed?


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#1 of 86 DouglasRobert

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Posted April 28 2004 - 04:57 AM

I can think of few blockbusters that now seem to get bashed quite often.

Independence Day
Armageddon
Star Wars 1 & 2
Matrix Reloaded


Why does this happen?

They made a load of money, alot of people went to see them and made them blockbusters.

But years later, people start to bash them, calling them bad, worst movies ever, etc.

I understand that not everyone likes the types of films that turn into blockbusters. But obviously somebody did, or they wouldn't have been hits.

There are people that hate Star Wars( Even the OT), Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Titanic (1997) and just about anyother hit.

Why?

Sorry for the rant!!

#2 of 86 David Levy

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Posted April 28 2004 - 05:03 AM

Just because a movie takes a lot of money, doesn't automatically make it good. Will Smith has said on more than one occasion that Wild Wild West is an embarassment, but that posted huge numbers. (to use an example)

And, for my two cents, Independence Day rocked. One of the best no-brainer popcorn movies ever.

#3 of 86 Jason Seaver

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Posted April 28 2004 - 05:07 AM

People waited on those movies? Posted Image

It's pretty simple; most people react emotionally first and then intellectually later. And since many of these movies rely on visuals that hadn't previously been possible, they lose the appeal of their newness later.

You're also assuming that the people who "made them blockbusters" are the same ones who later "bashed" them, when in fact it's often two seperate audiences.

And, of course, there's the other issue - we spend our money before we've been subjected to crap like Armageddon. Afterward, we spend our time trying to convince others not to do the same. Box office success, especially front-loaded box office success like most recent "blockbusters" have, is much more indicative of the level of interest in a movie, rather than the general opinion of it.
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#4 of 86 Ernest Rister

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Posted April 28 2004 - 05:09 AM

This is true.

There is also the "stink of the common man" factor, which some cinema poseurs cannot abide. If it was seen by 200 million people, it can't be art. If a film was made by someone with a track record of commercial success, that film can't be art because the man who made it is not a true artist. He made money. Art is only art if it speaks primarily to intellectuals and the intellegentsia...the more people enjoy something, the less valid it is as an artistic property.

#5 of 86 george kaplan

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Posted April 28 2004 - 05:53 AM

I agree largely with Jason.

I don't necessarily think it has much to do with people changing their mind. The Blockbuster status comes from lots of people buying tickets. The bashing comes from a different group of people (with overlap) saying negative things.

Around here, you might hear a lot of bashing, but most of those people bashed the films when they came out (like me with Titanic & Armageddon). Most who liked the films, still do (like me with Star Wars). Most of the people who liked the films though, aren't members here, so you do see a different proportion.

On the other hand, some people who hated the films from the get-go, helped make those films blockbusters by buying tickets for them. My money paid for 4 tickets to Titanic, and after I finished watching it, I hated it, but had helped in my own small way, to make it a success. Posted Image
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#6 of 86 Jeff Gatie

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Posted April 28 2004 - 05:53 AM

Nobody I know who had strong feelings about these films waited until "years later" to bash them. Especially SWI. That baby was catching flak before it even hit the theaters. Just because something is a blockbuster does not mean it is truly great and then suffers as a victim of "backlash". There are legitimate criticisms of these films which are not attributable to simple "backlash". I happen to love Armageddon, like SWI, tolerate ID4 and dislike (not hate) MR. But I'll be the first to say most of the criticism I've heard about them is deserved.

#7 of 86 Lew Crippen

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Posted April 28 2004 - 06:04 AM

While not wishing to be categorized as a ‘poser’, Posted Image I think that (as Jason suggests), there are two separate audiences. There is no doubt that the movies you list were big at the box office. But even on the day, they did not get universal love, even from the mainstream critics, much less the intelligensia.

For example:

·Independence Day received (IIRC) pretty mixed reviews. For sure a lot of people watched it (and I was one).but there was so much that was so easy to bash (even then) that it was pretty hard to refrain. From my perspective this film received its fair share of blows on release.
·Armageddon—I even own this on DVD, but if you think this got good reviews on its release, your memory is very different than mine. I may think that it is a hoot, but I could also be first in line to club it into oblivion. Another where your premise that the bashing is only now occurring is incorrect.
·Star Wars 1 & 2—now this one was probably not as universally critically panned as some of the others, but not even fans could stomach Jar-Jar Binks. And once the novelty of a CGI character wore off, the gloves came off as well. On a personal note, I despised number one on its release and have no plans to reassess it. I was a bit heartened by Attack of the Clones, but overall both are so far from the standard of the first two, that they were disappointments for many. I do think that there has been some revision as to initially liking and now bashing of these films (at least TPM).
·Matrix Reloaded—we may have read different critical opinions here. Many of the reviewers I read did not care much for it—though I did hear one very positive review on NPR. And Ebert quite liked it. But here I think that you are incorrect in people’s opinions changing over time. Those who liked it initially still do—and those who did not, still don’t. On this one, I fall into the category of ‘what were they thinking when they made a sequel?”

I’m sort of curious as to your ‘years later’ criteria for films released in 2003 (Matrix Reloaded) and 2002 (Star Wars 2). After all we are still early on in 2004.
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#8 of 86 Jason Seaver

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Posted April 28 2004 - 06:09 AM

Quote:
Around here, you might hear a lot of bashing
Is "bashing" only considered to mean "forcefully expressing disapproval"? I always figured it had the connotation of that criticism being unsupported, unfair, or otherwise ignorant.

Quote:
There is also the "stink of the common man" factor, which some cinema poseurs cannot abide.
Heh. My favorite example of this is the local alternarag's review of School Of Rock, which basically amounted to a column-foot of trying to recast it as a subversive adult movie because the critic apparently couldn't fathom having enjoyed a PG-rated kid flick.

Of course, it goes the other way, too. I mean, I'd love to literally shove Lars von Trier's head up his own ass (as it is already there figuratively) for all the artsy Lars von Trier-ness of Dogville even when I know he largely accomplished what he set out to do with that thing.
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#9 of 86 Pete-D

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Posted April 28 2004 - 06:17 AM

I remember in early May 1999, reviews for Star Wars Episode I started to filter out and a lot of them were negative.

I have to honest, I walked out of the Episode I feeling like someone punched me in the stomach. Maybe it was because our theater had a huge pre-party atmosphere for the movie and it was something I really couldn't fathom as being mediocre.

The audience was so hyped, I remember every trailer (especailly Austin Powers 2) got loud cheers and the place just about exploded when the Star Wars logo came up, but the feeling as people filtered out of the theater (granted it was about 2:30 AM) was very subdued.

I still have good memories of the overall summer though as far as I had a lot of fun with the whole Star Wars prehype (getting the tickets, going early to the theater, I admit I even bought some of the toys, heh), it was just the movie was a letdown.

Its odd, but I kind of identify the various summers on me growing up by the movies that were playing that summer (I guess for other people they associate music which was popular for any given time period -- for me its movies).

#10 of 86 Dome Vongvises

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Posted April 28 2004 - 06:32 AM

Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace has gone through different cycles for me. At first, I love it. Then hindsight said it wasn't that good, and it had terrible moments. Then later hindsight says it's not that bad. I'm still waiting for hindsight number three.

Independence Day hasn't held up too well for me. I remember loving it in theaters, but it really isn't all that great anymore. Strangely enough, Armageddon has held up much better over the years. It's hard to believe anybody takes it seriously although the part with the dad and daughter was sort of touching. It's really strange when people take it seriously (yes Steve, I'm talking about you. Posted Image ).

Matrix: Reloaded was like meh. Not bad, not good.

#11 of 86 Ernest Rister

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Posted April 28 2004 - 06:39 AM

"My money paid for 4 tickets to Titanic, and after I finished watching it, I hated it, but had helped in my own small way, to make it a success."

Didn't you say you went back to see it again with your wife? Posted Image

#12 of 86 Ernest Rister

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Posted April 28 2004 - 06:48 AM

My favorite story along these lines was a review of Hook I read in FilmThreat, in which the critic went off on the movie, and said it was garbage from the very first shot of a leaf falling.

Trouble is, the first shot of Hook is of a child.

The "leaf shot" is at the very end of the film, when an open window causes fall leaves to blow into a child's bedroom, and one of these leaves wakes up Peter's wife.

But Premiere magazine - in a story about the making of Hook - commented how Spielberg made some 50 odd takes of that leaf falling, trying to get it and the camera movement to land just right.

Taking the two things together, it led me to wonder if the FT reviewer had actually seen the movie, or had written his review prior to seeing it, simply on the basis of his contempt for Steven Spielberg, using the Premiere Magazine article for details. Es posible.

Hook is a bad movie because it has a bad screenplay and because Spielberg was a bit lazy in certain respects...not because it starts (or doesn't start) with an overly sentimental shot of a leaf falling through a window. But the FT article proved to me that people are going to hate certain filmmakers for reasons that have nothing to do with their filmmaking...their status within the industry is enough for their work to "suck" in certain people's eyes.

#13 of 86 Chris Atkins

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Posted April 28 2004 - 06:50 AM

Quote:
· Star Wars 1 & 2—now this one was probably not as universally critically panned as some of the others, but not even fans could stomach Jar-Jar Binks. And once the novelty of a CGI character wore off, the gloves came off as well. On a personal note, I despised number one on its release and have no plans to reassess it. I was a bit heartened by Attack of the Clones, but overall both are so far from the standard of the first two, that they were disappointments for many. I do think that there has been some revision as to initially liking and now bashing of these films (at least TPM).


I would say your last point applies better to AOTC than TPM...AOTC was VERY WELL received at the HTF (initially), then people started to cool off when the DVD reviews came out.

#14 of 86 DougFND

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Posted April 28 2004 - 06:54 AM

Titanic seems to be the biggest example. It won 11 Academy Awards and made over $1 billion just in theatrical grosses. Yet, it is now un-cool to admit you like(d) it on just about any board you visit. Some people hated it right out of the gate, no doubt. Others are just jumping on the bandwagon, I think.

I think that part of it was Cameron's acceptance speech at the Oscars. I heard more than one time after that that most people were pretty turned off by the "king of the world" comment.

On a general level, I think sometimes it just comes down to the same kind of crap that happens when we're kids. The "cool" kid(s) decide something is good or bad and others go along with it in order to fit in. Some people desperately want to be accepted on these boards. Admitting that you like Titanic, Armageddon, etc. will probably get you flamed by the cool kids.

#15 of 86 Lew Crippen

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Posted April 28 2004 - 07:03 AM

Quote:
"My money paid for 4 tickets to Titanic, and after I finished watching it, I hated it, but had helped in my own small way, to make it a success."

Didn't you say you went back to see it again with your wife?

What George neglects to mention Ernst, is that he secretly subsidized young teen age girls addiction to this film, by buying blocks of tickets at San Antonio theaters and having them distributed around Junior Highs located in disadvantaged areas.

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#16 of 86 Pete-D

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Posted April 28 2004 - 07:05 AM

Titanic is the better example. I think if it had just been a mid-range hit that a lot of people saw, they'd generally have good feelings about it. Taken on its own merits, it's not a bad movie and was well recieved by the critics.

But anything that is that popular is going to have backlash. Also I think it probably became an easy target because it was percieved as more of a "girly" blockbuster. If you're a guy (and even a girl) and you admit to liking the film, you're probably going to get some odd looks from people.

#17 of 86 Lew Crippen

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Posted April 28 2004 - 07:05 AM

Quote:
Then later hindsight says it's not that bad. I'm still waiting for hindsight number three.

Dome, if as big a fan as you has a view that ‘it’s not that bad’—it is that bad. Posted Image
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#18 of 86 Chuck Mayer

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Posted April 28 2004 - 07:35 AM

Hey, I *LOVED* Titanic. I still do. Like Lew, I own Armageddon, but like to bash it...good-naturedly.

Titanic is a good lightning rod. It wasn't "well-received". It was adored, gushed over, and LOVED by critics. Check the reviews dated 12/19/97. The majority were full point raves. I still have NO PROBLEM loving Titanic and defending said viewpoint to anyone, on any board.

Ask Edwin P. or Seth to pontificate on the rampant hypocrisy of dismissing the film as a "girly" blockbuster, while embracing a boy-based blockbuster such as Star Wars or Die Hard. I highly recommend it Posted Image

FWIW, I loved Reloaded as well Posted Image

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#19 of 86 Richard_D_Ramirez

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Posted April 28 2004 - 07:48 AM

I have to admit, I have enjoyed The Matrix: Revolutions more after repeated viewings on DVD...
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#20 of 86 Holadem

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Posted April 28 2004 - 08:01 AM

Quote:
Some people desperately want to be accepted on these boards. Admitting that you like Titanic, Armageddon, etc. will probably get you flamed by the cool kids.
This is where everyone flocks in and proudly claims the "I don't care what everyone thinks, I swear!" independence of their opinions Posted Image

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