Films that I don’t like

Having listed numerous films that I do like, in my tour around the World of Cinema, I thought it appropriate to also let you know about the types of film that I never watch, and just don’t like. These choices are unlikely to gain me many friends, but I will stand by them, and try my best to plead the case for the prosecution. No clips with these, as they are generic, not specific.

Comic Book Franchises. I do not refer to the recent trend for filming graphic novels, as seen in ‘Sin City’, and ‘300’. This is an entirely different subject, and I have some time for these efforts. In particular, I am launching my attack at the filming of the heroes of Marvel, and DC comics. The Incredible Hulk, X-Men, Superman, Silver Surfer, Spider-Man, Captain America, and of course, Batman. There are many others, and you will no doubt be aware of them all. These comics all originated during the 1930’s, and were still very popular when I was at a comic reading age, during the 1960’s. As comics for young people, they are very good, providing escapism, lessons in right and wrong, and showing a fantasy world so different from the one in which we live. Unfortunately, as films, they are no longer targeted just at children, but at the mass market of multiplex film goers, and the collectors of spin-off products, such as figurines, and model vehicles. Huge budgets are ploughed into them, and A-list stars queue up to be the next big thing. Special effects, green screen, 3D, and every imaginable action film cliche is all trotted out, in the name of bringing these characters to ‘life’ on our screens. Film magazines, Internet Forums, and supposedly important film critics, all rush to discuss and review the latest offerings. I don’t watch them, because I am an adult. They are for children, and should have been left on paper.

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. How many men dressed as elves, CGI battle scenes, and fantasy forests can you possibly watch? Do you actually care about Hobbits, and whether or not Gandalf gets killed? At least the Orks look suitably evil, but the rest is just a load of tosh. The whole point of high fantasy novels, is to imagine the characters in your mind, and despite some illustrations accompanying Tolkein’s work, most of us did just that. I also read these books when I was 11 or 12. They were OK, nothing special, and far more important books have been written. So, literature for children to read, I think. Hardly the thing for grown men to discuss at the pub, or to queue outside a cinema, to be the first to see it. In case you are wondering, yes, the same thing applies to Harry Potter, so there!

Pixar animations. Disney films are great, as are the cartoon films made by other companies. Who can forget ‘Dumbo’, Pinocchio’, or ‘Snow White and the seven dwarfs’? But they couldn’t leave it alone. Year on year, they had to strive for more realism, until the animated characters almost took on human form, or began to look like they were never drawn at all. (Because they weren’t) The days of vividly coloured cartoons, with their flat appearance, great soundtracks, and memorable characters, are gone. What do we have instead? ‘Toy Story’, ‘Cars’, ‘Shrek’ and all the rest, in the strange, almost but not quite, seamless realisation that is Pixar. The stories are OK, for the most part, and some of the characters are pretty good. But they need to be cartoons. Don’t you get it?

Modern US Comedy films. Consider this to include romantic comedies also, and anything starring Steve Carrell, or Will Ferrell, and Ben Stiller too, with the exception of some things he has done. I have only to hear the name Adam Sandler, and my bum cheeks involuntarily close. ‘The Hangover’? Even the thought of being in a room where it is showing makes me annoyed. Jim Carrey, star of some of the worst films ever made, is actually a good actor, so what is he doing? He is taking the money. Like all the others, providing mindless fluff for the popcorn munching hordes, that are mostly not even watching. They even make sequels, so presumably they are doing something right? No, they are doing nothing right at all. The great tradition of comedy in American Cinema has been flushed down the toilet, and the legends are spinning in their graves. Or maybe I am just getting too old…Pass me that W.C. Fields box set, will you?

Pointless sequels. You know the type of thing, a film you love has a sequel, and surprisingly, it is sometimes better than the original. Then they catch on to this, and make a third, fourth, even fifth, trying to suck you in. They get worse after the second one, they always do, it’s a rule. I don’t need to list all the examples, you know them. But for the sake of this argument, I will comment on a few. ‘Alien’. Great film, original, exciting, first class science fiction. The sequel? ‘Aliens’, actually very good. More people. more Aliens, bigger bangs. All downhill after that. ‘Star wars’. Silly, fun, and something different. Escapism of the highest order, silly robots, and nasty villains. Great for kids, and a diversion for some adults. Then they started to take it seriously. Pretentious claptrap from there on. ‘Godfather’, one of my favourite films, and ‘Godfather II’ was arguably even better. But number three! Come on, what was the point of that? ‘Jaws’? Say no more, I think you get the idea.

There you have some of my cinematic pet hates. I don’t buy into the hype, wear the costumes, or collect the figures. There is no harm in any of it really, as long as it is not heralded as great Cinema. Trouble is, all that money, the time and effort, and obvious talent, could be put to so much better use. (I’m putting on my flak-jacket now)

54 thoughts on “Films that I don’t like

  1. Pete, you might as well have posted “here are the most popular movies of the last twenty years” and it’s virtually the same list! I say that because while I don’t agree with all of your choices here (LOTR), I DO agree that cinema has become nothing but empty spectacle, cheap laughs (or NO LAUGHS) and shallow emotion in far too many cases…I recently watched the “King Kong V. Godzilla” and it was STUNNINGLY bad in every way – you could see the obvious cash grab!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. (1) Comic book franchises. I have some of the earlier entries in the genre, and enjoy them, but since then Hollywood has flooded the market with superhero movies. It’s out of control!
    (2) LOTR trilogy. I’ve watched my special extended edition box set twice. But only twice because it’s such a massive visual undertaking. I’m not fond of fantasy in general, but these movies are well made and engaging. (Also, I’ve read the books.)
    (3) PIXAR animations. I like a select few of them. But when it comes to animation, it’s hard to beat “The Emperor’s New Groove,” which always leaves me smiling, or “Beauty and the Beast,” which always leaves me humming the tunes.
    (4) Modern US comedy films. I generally avoid them, although I do enjoy “Intolerable Cruelty.”
    (5) Pointless sequels. I’m a huge fan of Paul Verhoeven’s “RoboCop.” No sequel should ever have been made. I do prefer “Aliens” to the original, though. Cameron’s sequel kicks…derrière.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Pete, all you wrote is spot on. Super Hero’s be damned! Can the untalented globs in Hollywood find a decent idea for a movie? A real movie like the ones made by real directors, writers, and producers, mainly in the 1940s through the 1960s. It appears that this young generation of movie attendees have the attention span of a gnat and unless there is a constant bombardment of action and effects, they can’t handle the movie. Hollywood recognizes this, so that is what comes our way. The last good film I watched, “News of the World” with Tom Hanks. There is not much out there in filmland these days.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Count me in on disliking comic book movies, although I do watch some because my grandnephew is the stunt coordinator on many of them. Love the great Disney animated films but Pixar computer animations are sterile to me. As far as the current brand of movie comics, like you, I reach for my W C Fields. After the first original Star Wars, they should have stopped.
    I really liked LOR but as for The Hobbit Trilogy…how can that small book spawn 3 long movies.
    And as far as Kuruswa… I have seen almost all of his, over and over and over. And the same goes for Mifune no matter who directed it.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow, that was an intriguing read. I have been dealing with superhero fatigue and I do find a lot of Pixar movies to be overrated and I’m finding more of them to ripoff stuff. Funny enough, I mentioned to Pixar characters in a Top 7 list involving characters people don’t want to call ripoffs:

    Some movies I don’t like include several mainstream movies, but I have a few examples that are very controversial.

    -The Garden of Words
    -The Rabbi’s Cat
    -The Painting
    -The Lion King

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well I am going to disagree about ‘Dumbo’, as I still love that now, and it is one of the few films to ever make me cry. Also ‘Sanjuro’. Kurosawa can do no wrong for me, and Toshiro Mifune is one of Japan’s great actors. He has a very theatrical style, but that was the style of his period in that country.

      But that’s the whole point of opinion pieces like this one, and your one. To say the things many are feeling, but reluctant to vocalise. Full marks to you for doing that.

      Do you like any Kurosawa films? I can recommend many others he made.

      I really dislike ‘The Lion King’. The animated film, the stage show, anything to do with it. Leaves me cold.

      I haven’t seen the other three you mention, so haven’t commented on them. I could live quite happily having never heard of nor seen anything to do with Pixar.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The story of Dumbo isn’t bad, but when I saw it as an adult I noticed the racist stuff they did with the rastabouts and the crows. It really doesn’t help the lead one’s name is Jim which I didn’t know when I was a kid. I do like Akira Kurosawa and I enjoyed the Yojimbo movie, but Sanjuro made the title character look like a God Mode Stu in it with him always winning and always being right or the other samurai looking like idiots around him.

        Sure thing and I understand that. I’ve been bullied for what I liked and didn’t like in my past, so it’s been good sharing my opinions here and on my blogs.

        Besides Yojimbo, I like Seven Samurai, Ran, Throne of Blood, The Hidden Fortress, and Ikiru from what I’ve seen of Kurosawa’s work.

        Even though I used to like The Lion King when I was a child, all I can say is THANK YOU! That is the most overrated Disney, nay, animated film of all time. As an adult, I found legit reasons to hate that movie with most of the characters being ripoffs of the 60s anime Kimba the White Lion, Disney trademarking the phrase “Hakuna Matata”, the racist implications of the hyenas, and literally using a plagiarized song with “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” which stole from the South African song “Mbube”. Don’t believe me, then watch The Lion’s Share documentary on Netflix. It sickens me with how many people defend this crap.

        That’s fine. They were more obscure works anyway since I watch a lot of independent stuff. Pixar is something I find to be overrated and I haven’t seen a movie from that studio in a long time. If I’m not mistaken, the most recent film I saw from front to back was Cars and even then I didn’t like it.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m with you on these with one exception; ‘Blades of Glory’, starring Will Ferrell. I have never laughed so much as when I watched this film. You cannot help but find it funny. I thoroughly recommend it.

    Liked by 2 people

        1. Not yet, but I intend to. I think he could be good as a straight actor. It is the comedies that make my flesh crawl. US comedy was once quite clever, and often witty. (Example, The Front Page) Then it went ‘downmarket’.

          Liked by 1 person

                1. No you’re talking about a film (original version) that is American comedy genius! More like that!

                  As for our new venture, maybe we should have an unsympathetic character and change the mind of the audience about it. Something like ‘Bingo The Murder Hornet’ springs to mind. He just hates the fact that nobody likes murder hornets, and wants everyone to love him.

                  Liked by 1 person

  7. If you want me to repost this comment without links, you can delete it and let me know.

    All valid criticisms, Pete. I’ll throw in my two cents:

    I think that one of the draws of watching an adaptation of a book on film, like Lord of the Rings, is to see if the vision you have had matches with someone else. Sometimes it’s close, other times, well, you get Dune. I wrote a post on that topic:

    Animations: I suppose since the beginning of animation, creators strived to get closer to realism as they could, so really, it was inevitable that with the advent of CGI, that we would get to where we are. On the flip side, animated TV shows, seem to be going in the opposite direction, opting for a more crude, cartoony look.

    Sequels? It’s all about the money, right? How many Fast and Furious movies are there? Nine too many, perhaps?

    As for people disagreeing, of course they will, we can’t always be right…

    Yeah, I did a post on that too:

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks, Leon. I have left in your links.
      I read all the Dune novels, and was completely lost in the wonder of those imagined worlds at the time. When the Lynch film came out, I went to see it, not expecting to like one second of it. However, much of what was on screen realised the images in my mind. The huge sandworms, Freddy Jones as Thurfir, Brad Dourif as De Vries, and Francesca Annis as Jessica. All as I imagined them. Linda Hunt was perfect as Mapes, and I even enjoyed Sting as Feyd. My main disappointment was the Fremen. Perhaps I wanted them to be more ‘Alien’. I haven’t seen the newest version, but will probably watch it one day.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. The part where you said that the third sequel is usually not as good as the other movies, I agree. They should just create one, and then if people want another movie they could create a part two, but there’s no need for a third.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I agree with almost all of these, but I have to put in a punt for a couple of Jim Carrey films, namely Bruce Almighty and The Truman Show, though I guess the latter isn’t really a comedy. I absolutely agree about the cartoons, it makes me sad

    Liked by 2 people

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