Monday, August 13, 2012

5 Movies I Hate That Everyone Else Loves

Because of my tendency towards lengthiness, I chose FIVE movies to rage on instead of DionysusPsyche's ten. See the other ones I would have chosen at the end!

This movie needs to wash itself with that soap. Badly.
1. Fight Club

There are not words enough for how much I loathe this movie that everyone else seems so enamored of. Oh, you like a macabre symphony of violence? Didn't you just love that part where Edward Norton mashes some guy's face into a grotesque soupy mess of shattered bone shards and meat? Let's all get a hobby that involves breaking each other's bones and beating each other bloody! No, better yet, let's reject society so thoroughly that we regard life as a joke, other people as members of 'the machine', and embrace a brotherhood of sadomasochism! No... We can do better than that! Let's make a goddamn anarchy club whose only purpose is to brainwash members of our cult of brutality so that we may blow shit up and make a mockery of everything, everywhere!

Man, fuck this movie. This movie is a Nietzschean nightmare, reveling in the apparent pointlessness of life.

Now I won't deny that this movie had a clever premise: revealing that Brad Pitt and Edward Norton's character were the same was an impressive twist that calls everything prior in the movie into doubt. But the vehicle bringing us this story is such a repulsive mess that it killed any interest I had in the movie, genuinely angering me that people even like it at all. It's one thing to encourage a rejection of materialism. It's something else to encourage such a disgusting bloodsport, to lure people into it and then turn them into worker drones for some anarchic new world order. Yes, I know that Edward Norton's 'character' rejects it in the end, but it still comes out pretty obvious that Brad Pitt's Tyler Durden won in the end, and that everything that I've described as so awful is perpetuated and has come to pass.
Otherwise known as: "I Need To Pee But The Movie Won't F***ing End".
2. Lord of the Rings – Return of the King

Surprised to see this one, I bet! Now let me clarify: I think hate might be too strong a word for this. But I found it completely astonishing how many people claimed to love this final movie. The first two achieved this mastery of making Middle Earth this place where hope exists, but it is drifting away much like the migration of the Elves to the west. We experience the loss of the main characters as Gandalf is overcome, Boromir dies, and the fellowship crumbles. Then we meet those of Rohan, who are noble but in a land about to be swallowed in darkness, under the “TENS OF THOUSANDS” of Uruk-hai bootheels. The main characters are capable, but not all-powerful, and it is only through the barest of victories do they get out in one piece.

Return of the King has Legolas soloing an elephant. It has Aragorn, Gimli, and Legolas basically surfing on a waterfall of human skulls. It has the Army of the Dead utterly curb-stomp what is supposed to be the biggest evil army we ever see (a deus ex machina if there ever was one). Clearly, a big problem of mine is that Return of the King embraces the cheesy factor to an extent not before seen in the previous movies. Also, there's just the fact that the other movies are simply superior. For example, we really felt for the people of Rohan. We identify with their king, we feel for Eowyn, Eomer, and their warriors. We don't feel the same about the people of Gondor, who spend most of their screentime being fatalists, running for cover, and with their morale breaking in just about every scene. We don't have anyone Gondorian to really identify with. Denethor is basically the villain for the first half of the movie, and Faramir is out of commission faster than we can blink (and that doesn't even get into how he was basically a villain for the second half of the second movie). There just isn't as much for us to get into in this movie, the threat of Sauron being put on such a melodramatic scale that you lose much of the human connection, both to the characters and the people they fight for.

Last but not least, don't forget the ending. You probably can't, even if you wanted to. That's time you'll never get back.
Further proof that movies with bowling still suck.
3. The Big Lebowski

I've tried to watch this movie going on four times and I still have yet to finish it. So I'll be brief. I'm not the biggest fan of the Coen Brothers. Their humor is quirky and, for me, it only occasionally hits the mark. A movie about slackers who spend all their time bowling? Who somehow become embroiled in some... what was it? A theft or a heist plot? I don't remember if they actually get stoned, but pretty much everyone seems stoned out of their minds for the entirety of what I saw. It just was boring, amusing only barely by lieu of the stupid and random things that happen. I think I've turned it off every time in that part (was it a dream sequence?) where Jeff Bridges is somehow flying over the city lights. Something about it just saps at my will to live. Every time I try.
Does this even look like a movie worth watching?
4. Napoleon Dynamite

Speaking of semi-retarded slackers, this here is their crown jewel. This movie does its damnedest to be as agonizingly bland as possible, and yet people dig it. It's about two thoroughly uninteresting people who live in the middle of nowhere and do nothing important. They make lame jokes. One of them runs for school president or something. There's that famous dance routine which, to a novice like me, seems like a celebration of awful, awful dancing. Seriously? What happened in this movie? Why do people like it again? It's only redeeming quality seems to be that it succeeded brilliantly in making me feel as brainless as the two main characters.
Look at all that praise! Look at all those sycophants!
5. The Social Network

The funniest thing about this movie for me is that it somehow won an Oscar for its soundtrack. I've seen it twice, and I genuinely can't remember ANY soundtrack at all. This is a minor point, but it is something that repeatedly shocks me. How does a movie win an award for a soundtrack so understated and forgettable that, even when I was listening for it, I couldn't remember it?

More seriously, this movie is energetic fluff. It tries so damn hard to be this stylistic new genre that it completely fails to say anything interesting. Hell, apparently most of it isn't even true. The moral of this story apparently is that being a colossal opportunistic prick makes you a wildly successful millionaire. Oh, let's encourage that one, why don't we? And then there were all those damn news stories trying to 'harness the genius potential' of Mark Zuckerberg. Why do we support this crap? This is why this movie pisses me off. Apparently, to be successful you must network well and then shit all over the people who brought you up. Fan-fucking-tastic.

This is why I try and write reviews about things I love. Sorry everyone! :)

Runner ups: Kill Bill, Spirited Away, Ratatouille, The Hurt Locker, Zoolander, The Expendables.

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