A Film Review Blog

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Monday, January 15, 2007

Most Overrated Films: It's Time for Part Two!

Okay, here's the rest of my list! I might have to go back and make some changes as the week goes on...whenever I put up a list, I either get e-mails with alternate suggestions, or I engage in conversations with people that make me reconsider my choices. I'm always willing to concede that I may have erred, but here's the second half of the list as it stands now.

The Breakfast Club: The Breakfast Club is a classic case of something you love as a child/teenager and cling to desperately as you grow up. All in all, it is pretty silly and superficial; and it’s not even John Hughes’ best film (that prize has to go to Ferris Bueller or Planes, Trains & Automobiles).

Shaft (1971): Have you ever watched Shaft all the way through? As awesome as Richard Roundtree is, I was disappointed by the original Shaft. The music, production design and imagery are wonderful, but the plot and acting are so ridiculous that it is hard to sit through.

Chasing Amy: Where do I even begin? Chasing Amy was so painfully self-conscious and boring to me that I could barely sit still in the theatre. The playful free spirit of Clerks (and even Mallrats ) is attempted but ultimately smothered by an intolerable miasma of forced, hollow, self-serving blather. Ugh.

Saving Private Ryan: Great battle scenes, decent acting but, overall, not deserving of all the praise it received. The Thin Red Line was ten times better. To me, Saving Private Ryan felt like a regurgitation of every World War II drama that Spielberg ever watched as a child, revamped and sewn together into a Frankenstein’s monster. While I think it was well executed, I’m not sure why it’s on everyone’s favorites list.

The Big Chill: Great movie if you feel like watching a bunch of neurotic people have sex with each other, not so great if you want a decently paced, emotionally engaging film experience. The Big Chill cannot be redeemed by Tom Berenger’s hotness. It does have one of the better soundtracks, however (which reminds me, I should make a best movie soundtrack list).

Dirty Dancing: Dumb, dumb, dumb. Poor Jerry Orbach must have lost a bet to have been involved in this silly fiasco.

The Blair Witch Project: I have nothing but respect for this film’s marketing campaign—how genius! The film itself is, however, kind of disappointing overall. Of course, I felt nauseated by the camera work, so that might have something to do with its inclusion in this list.

A Beautiful Mind: The best thing about this movie was Ed Harris, who is so good he should just get an Oscar in the mail every year. While I thought Jennifer Connely and Russell Crowe were both quite good, I found Howard’s direction a bit too sentimental for the material, and I ultimately felt like I was watching a toothpaste commercial (but with game theory and schizophrenia).

The English Patient: The best thing about The English Patient was the dress that Juliet Binoche wore to the Oscars. I think it was Oscar de la Renta. Fabulous. The film is an interesting but awkward combo of Casablanca and Lawrence of Arabia. Unfortunately, it achieves the greatness of neither. The sad fact is that The English Patient was a good film that achieved greatness because its studio, Miramax, whored itself out big time to get award nominations. Seriously, if production companies were women, Miramax would never keep her legs together.