Confession time: I have lousy taste in films

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Patrick Sun, Jun 23, 2002.

  1. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1999
    Messages:
    38,718
    Likes Received:
    463
    Somewhere else I comprised a list of what I've seen over the past year or so, and I broke the ratings of them into 3 broad categories, and after looking at the division of the films, I must conclude I tend to go against the critically acclaimed and even publicly acclaimed films:

    I guess for me, I'm not overly impressed with CGI-laden effects (but don't get me wrong, I love looking at them). For me, I need to have characters that I give a damn about, or can relate to in some form or fashion.

    You have to realize, I see just about anything that I have a remote interest in seeing, so I see a lot of films at the theaters, so perhaps I'm suffering from burnout because I find a lot of film predictable that aren't as predictable for others who don't see as many films as I. I'm one of those annoying people that laughs a good second before most other people do because I usually anticipate the punchline of a scene, so if it's subtitled, I laugh ahead of the other people because I tend to read in clumps, thus get to the punchline faster than most movie goers (who probably don't read as much anyhow).

    Of late, I have enjoyed:

    Y Tu Mama Tambien (great dialog and characters)
    Spider-Man (made me relive my comic book reading days and put a smile on my face as I walked out of the theater)
    Windtalkers (sucked me into the predicament of the characters)
    A.I. (simply an awesome film)
    Undercover Brother (started slow, but had a good finish)
    Scooby Doo (nailed Scooby, and had the right cadence from the cartoon)
    The Royal Tannebaums (good characterizations)
    Mulholland Drive (simply a taut drama)
    Not Another Teen Movie (funny parody)
    Amores Perros (interesting intersecting storylines)
    Panic Room (fun cat-n-mouse caper)
    Spy Game (Redford still can spin an interesting yarn)
    A Beautiful Mind (good performance all around)
    The Majestic (an old fashion movie with heart)
    Princess Diaries (just thought Anne Hathaway was endearing)
    We Were Soldiers (good look into mindset of our soldiers)
    Ghost World (simply fun to watch a neurotic girl trying to figure it all out)
    The Rookie (good film to root for the main character)


    Movies that were okay:

    About A Boy (it was okay, heartfelt)
    Princess and the Warrior (a bit slow, but still fascinating to watch)
    Kate and Leopold (also endearing, though Breckin Meyer steals the show)
    The Gift (good effort by Cate Blanchett)
    The Heist (okay film, could do without Rebecca Pidgeon)
    Behind Enemy Lines (Owen Wilson was enjoyable enough)
    In The Mood For Love (rather irritating, but that's what the director was going for)
    Birthday Girl (a very dark vehicle for Nicole Kidman)
    The Last Castle (good battle of wits between Redford and Gandolfini's characters)
    Sorority Boys (had some heart to its wacky premise)
    High Crimes (okay, but predictable)
    Unfaithful (strong performance by Diane Lane, but hated the way the film unravelled)
    The Sum Of All Fears (Would have been better with the money shot in the film)
    The Bourne Identity (didn't like the main character, though he had some excellent skills as a spy/assassin)
    Bad Company (funny, but the story material wasn't anything to laugh about)

    Movies that could have been better:

    Imposter (Too chaotic and confusing)
    Harry Potter (too long, and goes downhill once the minitaur shows up)
    Final Fantasy (horrible character development)
    Swordfish (only had the opening money shot, and Halle's berries)
    Tomb Raider (a snoozer)
    Legally Blonde (annoying, how did Reese Witherspoon smile for the entire flm?)
    Attack of the Clones (1st 100 minutes are a wreck, the last 40 minutes almost pull it out)
    LOTR (didn't care for any of the characters, far too many to develop or flesh out)
    Insomnia (over-rated, could have been better)
    Minority Report (liked the 1st hour, bored with the 2nd hour, last 20 minutes felt like a Scooby Doo cartoon exposition)
    Black Hawk Down (subject matter just pissed me off - w/r/t the government leaving our guys in a no-win situation)
    Ali (just plain dull)
    K-Pax (really dull)
    American Sweethearts (horrible screenplay, no one really likable)
    Ocean's 11 (movie making by the numbers, Soderbergh phoned it in)
    Vanilla Sky (too much beating over the head in the last half hour with just what was going on)
    Count of Monte Cristo (average retelling of the classic tale, Richard Harris was the only bright spot)
    Collateral Damage (Ahnuld needs to transistion out of the action genre)
    Hart's War (nothing too memorable)
    Rollerball (flat out bad)
    In The Bedroom (didn't care for the slow simmer approach to the disintegration of a married couple after their boy is murdered)
    Monster's Ball (just a blah film, save for the sex scene, which was sort of out-of-focused and flat out goofy in spots)
    Mothman's Prophecies (started out like an X-File, but just got sillier and sillier)
    Don't Say A Word (exasperating)
    40 Days and 40 Nights (sort of lame)
    Showtime (can't imagine who greenlit this film, wasn't a good idea from the get-go)
    Ice Age (didn't really get into it)
    Resident Evil (lame)
    Death To Smoochie (one of Ed Norton's bad films out of so many good ones, he was due for a flop)
    The Deep End (didn't like the lack of communication between mom and son, which led to some silly development in the plot)
    The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (Yadda yadda)

    If you can find some sort of pattern to my taste in films, have at it.
     
  2. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 1998
    Messages:
    21,763
    Likes Received:
    2
    So what about your listing constitutes "lousy taste"? I don't share many of your assessments, but that list covers an impressive range.

    M.
     
  3. JohnRice

    JohnRice Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2000
    Messages:
    8,850
    Likes Received:
    230
    Real Name:
    John
    Well Patrick, I personally don't see a particular pattern in your feedback. A lot of the time, folks won't like films that require some patience. In your case, however, you didn't like Monster's Ball and Insomnia, which I think fit into this category, but you did like Mulholland Drive and Ghost World.

    I don't know. I mostly don't agree with your opinions on the films in your list that I have seen, but I haven't seen that many of them yet, and most I will never see. I thought Monster's Ball was outstanding, and A.I. was only OK.

    In fact, you don't have many of my favorites from last year listed, like The Man Who Wasn't There & Donnie Darko. You see a lot of movies, but I'm wondering how many of the ones I would consider particularly good you see. Not that my opinion is particularly special.
     
  4. Bill J

    Bill J Producer

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2001
    Messages:
    3,970
    Likes Received:
    0
    Our tastes in movies are pretty similar.

     
  5. Andrew_Sch

    Andrew_Sch Cinematographer

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2001
    Messages:
    2,153
    Likes Received:
    0
     
  6. Dome Vongvises

    Dome Vongvises Lead Actor

    Joined:
    May 13, 2001
    Messages:
    8,172
    Likes Received:
    1
    Lousy taste in film? Sorry, but that right is reserved for John Waters and Pauline Kael.
     
  7. Christ Reynolds

    Christ Reynolds Producer

    Joined:
    May 6, 2002
    Messages:
    3,597
    Likes Received:
    0
    Real Name:
    CJ
    i think the worst taste award is a tie. it goes to rex reed and joel siegel.
     
  8. Ryan Potts

    Ryan Potts Stunt Coordinator

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2002
    Messages:
    107
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ultimately, what it boils down to is whether you are comfortable in your decisions on those movies. Not everyone ever agrees all the time on these things.

    If you ask my wife, I have a "different" taste in movies. All I can say to that is that I like what I like and I'm tired of seeing the stuff that I don't. But then again I move to the beat of my own drummer...

    If it makes you feel better take a look at my (partial) collection of movies off the link listed below. ;-)
     
  9. Morgan Jolley

    Morgan Jolley Lead Actor

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2000
    Messages:
    8,722
    Likes Received:
    115
    I know people who have worse tastes in film. Yours are actually kinda standard, with a few deviations.
     
  10. JasenP

    JasenP Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 1999
    Messages:
    1,280
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Real Name:
    Jasen
    Patrick-
    Your declaration must be considered null and void due to lack of evidence. Magnolia was not mentioned in your list and therefore, lousy taste you cannot have.
    I believe you have just set a legal precedent. [​IMG]
     
  11. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1999
    Messages:
    38,718
    Likes Received:
    463
    I think I meant by "lousy taste" is what "assessment/rating" I give films I see via a minimalist review. I find that I'm out of step with what many people find to be exceptional films and really sordid films. But I have to be honest with my gut feelings on films, so I'm okay with my assessment of them and how that entertained me or caused me to re-think themes in life.

    And like any person reading reviews, find one that agrees with your taste in assessing/rating films, and you'll seldom go wrong. Going with the "consensus" on film reviews hasn't really produced a good track record for my film viewing, but it doesn't curtail taking in such films (it's good to take in a wide range of genres for variety's sake), but I seldom find highly rated films to be the next best thing to sliced bread like some reviewers go on raving like it is (I'm sure I could be accused of the same, I am aware of the irony).
     
  12. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1999
    Messages:
    38,718
    Likes Received:
    463
    Magnolia: Could have been better, it was overwrought and just exhausting to sit through and watch to completion.
     
  13. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 1998
    Messages:
    21,763
    Likes Received:
    2
     
  14. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1999
    Messages:
    38,718
    Likes Received:
    463
    The reviews I write are the reviews I want to read, meaning, I try not to give stuff away in my reviews, but try to only give my reaction, and whether it'd be worth your time to go see or not see a film (or wait for the rental). I sort of rely on people having already seen the film's trailer at a minimum when they read a review. When I see a plot synopsis in a review, I immediately scan ahead to the reaction portion of the review because I don't want the plot of a film spoiled for me, but still want to know if it's worth checking out. That just me. Some people want to know the plot beforehand (why, I have no idea, but people watch films for different reasons, so it's all good).

    People that read my plot synopsis for TV shows know I could easily punch out such plot wrap-ups in my reviews, I just choose not to spoil it for readers of my minimalist film reviews. TV shows are different because they'be been broadcasted, and it's okay to cover all of the plot elements in a review/reaction of them.
     
  15. Michael Reuben

    Michael Reuben Studio Mogul

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 1998
    Messages:
    21,763
    Likes Received:
    2
    OK, so what prompted this thread? Do you really think you have lousy taste, or are you just wondering why your reactions to films seem "out of step" (which I don't think they really are)?

    M.
     
  16. JasenP

    JasenP Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 1999
    Messages:
    1,280
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Real Name:
    Jasen
     
  17. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1999
    Messages:
    38,718
    Likes Received:
    463
    Probably my "out of step" reactions to films. It just floors me when I see a film that is universally praised, and yet that same film doesn't do it for me. Am I too picky, too dumb, too dead inside, too unperceptive to "bad/sloppy movie making", too easily manipulated by bad movie making techniques, too easily amused by sophomoric humor, too lacking in the ways of the world?

    I think some of it may be due to burnout and being one step ahead in a screenplay while watching a film, or not being able to get past a plot hole, which just stops a movie dead in their tracks for me.

    The other reason for the thread, just to show that I know I'm out of step, but still appreciate the amount of effort that filmmakers make in bringing movie magic to the big screen, even I don't enjoy the end product as a whole.
     
  18. Mark Pfeiffer

    Mark Pfeiffer Screenwriter

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 1999
    Messages:
    1,339
    Likes Received:
    0
    Patrick, is it possible that when seeing films that are beneficiaries of excessively well reviewed films your expectations are too high?

    Also, "great" to me doesn't necessarily mean that it hasn't been done before. Roger Ebert wrote that a movie isn't what it's about but how it's about. I think this is a useful way of looking at films, especially as you see more.
     
  19. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 1999
    Messages:
    16,738
    Likes Received:
    129
    Still haven't screened, say, Black Hawk Down. So I can't discuss its merits or otherwise. But with this specific film, maybe I can pick a point worth debating Pat about: Pat, you say you didn't like the film because of the situation it portrayed, which is based on a historical incident. If the Somolia debacle was accurately portrayed, and the film itself succeeded in the dramatic presentation thereof, then the film must have been "good"--but it's the historical event itself with which you take exception. No? Just a point to toss out there.
    Otherwise, based on your list, I can make one broad observation: You go to commercial cinemas more often than a lot of home-theater enthusiasts do! And that is probably a good thing.
     
  20. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
    Moderator

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 1999
    Messages:
    38,718
    Likes Received:
    463
    Well, one of things that disturbs me is why am I not seeing the "greatness" of a film? Perhaps I do get bored if the film seems to pave familiar territory, even if the "how" is a more novel approach, perhaps that is what's being lost on me, or doesn't impress me as much. I'd like to be impressed by the critically lauded films, but I just feel that I wouldn't be honest when I didn't have that exhiliarating cinematic experience when viewing such a lauded film, and thus can't recommended it wholeheartedly and without reservations like many others do.

    Do expectations play a part, most definitely, but
    I do try to keep it to the actual film viewing experience, so as to downplay such expectations.
     

Share This Page