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9 March 2011

The TOP 10 MOVIES that I HATE, but everybody else seems to love.

So yeah, I saw Douglas Walker (you know, the Nostalgia Critic) making a list of the Top 10 movies he hates but everybody loves, and it was such a good list I had to do one myself. He explained himself really well, and gave really legitimate reasons to why he hates those movies. He hated a few movies that I personally love, like “AVATAR”, “District 9” or “Gladiator”, but he gave reasons why he does hate them in such a polite, mature and fair way that it inspired me to do my own list. I did agree with some of his choices but I want to say new movies, so don’t expect a re-fried version of his video…mostly because I lack his charisma and talent, but that aside this are the movies that I screamingly hate, but everybody else seems to enjoy and love.

10. The Shining.

Now, I start with this at the bottom of the list because it did received a few negative critics and a couple of Razzies, so I guess I am not alone in the haze of loath for this movie. But it surprises me how many people will stand up to defend this film and its plot basing it only in the suspense and horror elements. Stanley Kubrick was a director I was not a fan of, but I never accused him of being a bad filmmaker. I guess his movies appeal to a demography that I am not part of. What really surprises me is how Stephen King reacted to it, to the point of saying that the movie was devoid of heat and soul being just a cold mechanism for fake suspense. I never read the original novel but when you have the creator of the source material shunning the movie you made based on it, you do have problems. But if there is an element that made me hate this movie to the point of shoving my hands inside my ears was the Spanish dub. You know how sometimes dubbings count with voice actors that feel like they have no soul and emotions, to the point you think they are all vulcans?

That’s “The Shinning” in Spanish. Jack Nicholson sounded like he had three boxes of Valium, and the rest of the actors are either screechingly annoying or loudly unbearable. It’s a shame because this movie had a lot of potential, and it’s the kind of movie that I would actually enjoy. I love movies where a small group of people are trapped and isolated like “The Thing”, “The Day After Tomorrow” and “Panic Room”. But this movie doesn’t work. As soon as I started losing myself in the movie, one of the characters opened his or her mouth and ruined the immersion.

9. Children of Men.

I was really hyped to watch this movie mostly because of the plot being so original. It’s about the future of humanity if no babies were born anymore. It shows how people would decay and grow desperate clinging to the youngest people in the planet for subsistence. I think if I criticize this movie I am directly criticizing the book (which I haven’t read) so I will just say this right now, I am throwing stones at this movie, not at the novel. What I really hated of this film is how quickly it takes a side. Clive Owen and Co. are the goodie good guys who try to protect this girl who is pregnant and they are trying to escape from the evil Chiwetel Ejiofor. I have to hate how much they type-casted Chiwetel Ejiofor in the type of villain-just-because character and how they half-ass justify it by giving a single line of reason to why he acts like a complete dick. Ejiofor can be a really good actor, his work in “Inside Man” is one of the few memorable things of that movie, but when he hams it up he is like a black William Shatner, and that shows in Children of Men.
But his characterization in this void of a human caricature is not what angers me the most of this movie, but its absolute loss of faith in the human race. You may call this a naive point of view but I refuse to think that we will throw ourselves into more wars just because there are no more births in the planet. Don’t tell me it’s not because of that, it’s because of that and they show it in the movie. They show Eijefor running to a building while carrying the new born baby and the whole fucking army is blasting holes into the building. I mean, what kind of morons are these? I don’t believe that, it’s really unrealistic and if the movie was trying to convey a message it failed in my end, I didn’t get it. The only part of the movie I liked was Michael Caine as Clive Owen’s hippy buddy. He was a lot of fun to watch and enjoyable, but they smoke him off in like 30 minutes. The rest is just…It doesn’t get to me, too much of a clusterfuck for me to digest.

8. The Orphanage.

As a Spaniard there are some Spanish movies that I really don’t like and I could easily fill an entire list with those. Mostly all of Almodovar’s filmography falls in this category, but I wouldn’t hate Almodovar as much as I hate “The Orphanage” for several reasons, and the most important of them is that his movies are free of bullshit. His cinema is really straight forward, no bullshit in it, and I may not like his films but I admit they are not trying to josh you. “The Orphanage” in the other hand is riddled with joshing moments. It was built up before its premiere as the ultimate suspense and horror movie of the year (a year that was also graced with the premiere of “.Rec” by the way). It was promoted and produced by Guillermo del Toro (you know, the best human being in the surface of the planet and I am being dead-fucking serious here). And it starred Belen Rueda, known for her TV Series “Los Serrano” (which might sound like a Spanish version of “Los Soprano” but no, it definitely isn’t). So what could go wrong?
The acting was really hooky for me, ranging from chewing the scenery to watered down to absolute narmy. The story made absolutely no sense in that it’s filled with plot holes: How does she break her leg while running through the beach? Why are the kids inside the oven? Why does she spend 2 days preparing the house when it all builds to nothing? Why the exorcism session that goes nowhere? What happened with the husband and why is he gone for more than half the movie? Why couldn’t they find the basement of the house if it’s opened to the sea? I could go on guys, this movie makes absolutely no sense and I know I lost it really early when she is looking for her kid, she is in this masks and costumes party, and she is taking off the masks of children taller and definitely not like her son to see if they are her son. Plus, it also ends with one of those endings where you are supposed to not know if what just happened is real or not, right before they spoil you that what you just saw is not real, that she died, the kid has been dead all this time, and they go to kids’ heaven inside the orphanage. I am sure if they didn’t build it up so much this movie could have been okay, but the fact they portrayed it like the ultimate suspense movie while “.Rec” was clogging the cinemas’ toilets with the scared shit of the viewers is a shame and a rip off. I want my money back, por favor.

7. Scarface.

Before you even ask, yes, I saw this, and yes, I don’t regret it. I don’t regret it because I now have a reason to nit pick this film that is by far the most boring thing I have seen in a long run. I will be honest with you and say that the only reason why I watched this movie was because of the climax. I wanted to see Tony Montana going batshit and fucking pissed off gunning down all these thugs and blowing people up into tiny pieces. I actually paid for this film just because James Rolfe recommended it so much in his video “Top 10 shoot ‘em up movies”, and the fact that Scarface surpassed movies like “The Wild Bunch” and “Hardboiled” was enough for me to give it a try. I never say no to new movies and TV Shows, so I thought I couldn’t lose anything watching it.
Scarface is, whether we like it or not, an Oliver Stone movie which means there are a lot of dialogues and conversations that rarely lead somewhere. Now, let’s be fair and say that his movies are actually pretty good in their own right. I still like “JFK”, “Wall Street” and “Born the 4th of July”, but those movies are all about dialogue and story. Whatever little action is in them, if there’s any at all, is used to contrast with the dialogues, but in “Scarface” the action was presented as one of the key points of the film. I trusted James Rolfe with this one and I was 100% sure that I was going to love it (I share many opinions with him, and many movies he recommended have actually become personal favorites of mine), but with this one it turned out that I was 100% off. Boring dialogues that accomplish nothing in a story where you already know how it’s going to end. The climax with Tony gunning down all those guys felt like eating a wet cracker soaked in piss, and the character never felt likeable or relatable, so when he dies there’s no feel of loss and dread. Besides, they made a videogame after wards, so he is actually not dead, so who gives a fuck anymore? I know I don’t.

6. Crash.

I have yet to use an adjective that you may see repeated in this list so many times, and I held back up until this film to start using it: Pretentious. This film is absolutely, screamingly pretentious. Remember a movie directed by Robert Altman around the 90’s called “Short cuts”? It had a very interesting concept of how a group of people and their lives are connected between each other by odd links, a movie that plays like “6 degrees of Kevin Bacon”. This is exactly what “Crash” is about, it’s about the lives of several people in LA that got connected because of terrible, life changing events. It is a very simplistic movie and a very simplistic plot, but it never gets me and it never penetrates an inch inside my heart.
The characters are the heart of the movie, they are the heart of every movie, and well written movies manage to break the barrier between reality and film and make you feel for them, worry for them. Every single director has managed to make it at least once or twice (fucking hell, even Uwe Boll did that once!). But Crash never does it to me. The characters are flat out stereotypes on their own, and the way they heel turn to show how they can change is so absolutely predictable! The racist cop arrests a couple for public indecency, only to have to save the wife of the couple a few minutes later (movie wise) making him see that being a racist is bad. The cop who can’t work with the racist guy asks for a transfer and portrays himself as a tolerant person, only to kill a black dude by the end of the movie. The Persian family man buys a gun to protect his business only to discover that violence is bad when he almost kills a kid with it. The Hispanic stereotype has always being scarred by the death of his father only to surpass those fears when his daughter is almost killed. It goes on an on these plot lines and they all reach to the same conclusion: Human beings are dicks. We know we can be dicks, we see that all the time in the news, making a screenplay that you can re-edit and post it online as news headlines doesn’t make the movie interesting, it makes it boring. My God, what a bad movie this was, and I really hated how much praise it received when it actually deserves none. But of course, that’s just my opinion.

5. The Departed.

Again, another movie that was highly praised in awards and critics but that I see as a massive failure of directing, editing and acting. Not only is the movie absolutely confusing with its flash eye-bat editing but the acting ranges from the hilariously over the top to the totally narmy. I will get this out of the way and just say that my favorite thing in this movie is Mark Walberg. People may like him and people may hate him (and douchebags may keep calling him Marky Mark), but there’s no denial that he is a great actor, and most likely the best part of a bad movie. But this film, this absolute waste of two hours remake from a Japanese film (that I saw by the way) is everything but good. You know a movie is bad when you start cracking up and laughing at what is supposed to be a drama. Martin Scorsese directs but it totally doesn’t feel like his style. This is not a movie like Raging Bull, Goodfellas or The Aviator, this is like Steven Spielberg directing AI, they can tell you he did it but you don’t believe it for a second.

They keep saying Miyamoto did this. Riiiiiight.

But the worst thing of this film are the needless things. First of all, why do we need a flashing frame of Jack Nicholson’s cock? Why do we need to establish him as a sexual animal when that was practically absent in the original film? Why is Matt Damon so fucking over the top? Seriously, he is so rabid and angry in some scenes that I could see other actors surprised at his sudden burst of anger. Why does Martin Sheen’s character contribute nothing to the story? Why don’t they go back to the microchips? Why does Nicholson trust on DiCaprio more than on the people he trained himself? It’s riddled with plot holes and non-sense, and yet they praised this movie as the best film Scorsese ever directed in the Oscars. The Departed is not, is 1000 miles away from being that. It’s not. It’s a cumulous of annoyingness and uneasiness packed in scenes that make no sense and editing that doesn’t add up. Where are my pruning scissors?

 4. 2001: A space odyssey.

Another Stanley Kubrick film, and before anybody says anything, I do like his movies. I liked Eyes wide shut, and I liked Barry Lyndon, but 2001 is a movie that I can’t digest. It’s too gooey, too dense, too…pretentious. It’s fucking pretentious, it’s a mix between an artsy film and a sci-fi drama with a message that is conveyed really well in the first 10 minutes of the film. An alien raze gives humanity a push in technological advancement and then we skip from monkeys smashing bones to space stations and hyper advanced technology. I would even accept the theory that this movie is still valid as a futuristic perspective to the year 2001, in the case humanity was visited by an alien race when it was just a bunch of hairy homo sapiens (it’s pretty much how Mass Effect works!). But the problem of this film is how much it drags without going anywhere. You can take all the meaningless scenes out of the film and it’s only 15 minutes long!

More like the director’s cut of this film, that is around 2 hours shorter.

It’s loved by every single sci-fi fan that I encountered with and I had to endure the dribbling defenses they draw when I try to say anything negative of this film. They always go about how humanity gets destroyed by what we have created (Hal 9000) because we are irresponsible and we are not allowed to control that with which we have been graced (by the aliens I guess). The final scene with the astronaut going inside the monolith and getting that acid trip, it’s so 60’s and it’s so dated, I can’t imagine people looking at it nowadays and saying that it held up. It didn’t, it so didn’t. I look at this film and all I can think of is: “What the fuck where we thinking back then?” We certainly were not thinking straight.

3. Slumdog Millionaire.

I hate this movie and every single aspect of it, from the story telling to the tiniest, smallest technical aspect of it, I hate its entirety, and I am not a hater of Danny Boyle’s movies! I really liked Trainspotting, The Beach, 28 days later and 127 hours, but Slumdog Millionaire is just painful to watch and endure. First of all, the Dutch angles. Remember Battlefield: Earth, how every single shot in that film was at an angle? This movie is not as bad with the Dutch angles, but it’s pretty close! The cinematography is all over the place and it never focuses on what it’s trying to be, getting muddy with incredibly awful lens flares to terrible over-layered shots like in Man on Fire. Speaking of which, the editing is also terrible. There are so many edits in this movie that last like less than a second and it’s always to show an over the top perspective of an elevator going up or a car driving through a street. There’s even a scene that doesn’t even lasts 5 seconds, and it shows a bunch of cops walking in front of the camera and one of the cops goes “Sorry, you can’t film here” and they cut to something else.

Yeah, like that but with bullshit.

The acting is not that good either. I don’t see what people see in Dev Patel, but I think he is a terrible actor. You know an actor is bad when the only way he will give an edible performance is when you pair him with a good director. I know where Boyle was going with this movie. He wanted to make the prototypical Hollywood movie to wins a shit-ton of awards. Well, guess what? He did. Actually many directors did that in 2008 (Fincher did that as well with Benjamin Button, and even Ron Howard with Frost/Nixon). And the result can’t be clearer. 8 Academy awards. Eight. By definition and numbers this movie is better than fucking Schindler’s List. And you know the best part? Yeah, let me sarcastically tell you. Danny Boyle and the production company went to India, gave hopes to all those poor kids living in the streets, and then left not even saying thanks. It’s a heart sinking bad movie and I have no idea what is wrong with this world when movies so awful are praised so highly. Speaking of which…

2. The Hurt Locker.

I ranted about this film for so long and so many times that I am tired of it already. I don’t know what else to say, the fact that this movie got so much praise, again with the praise, is something that I will never comprehend. I will try to explain my problems with the movie as best as possible. It’s supposed to be a very tense movie about a bomb defusing squad that loses their team leader. When this happens they are given a new Team Leader, but he doesn’t like working with the team as he prefers to work on his own and do things his way. No problem with that, except that they try to set up this movie as a really tense, rally suspenseful film, and it isn’t. This film has all the problems a movie that won a lot of Oscars always has. How are we supposed to fear for the main character when the actor who plays him has been nominated for Best Actor in a Leading role? You know he is not going to die 15 minutes into the movie, you know he is not going to die by the end of the movie! There’s no suspense! There’s no drama! How can you relate to that!?

On the other hand, you know for certain that Cameron loves to kill his leading actors.

Kathryn Bigelow, I will defend her until the cows come home, but like what they did with Scorsese, she deserved the Oscar for every movie she did before this one. She is a great director who can work really well with tension (K-19, my God, that movie kicks so much ass). But here is like she is going through the motions of a drippy and sluggish screenplay (that won against Up, by the way). And it only adds more to the fuck you effect when at the end of the film the two characters that have been angry at each other’s tits the whole time suddenly become friends. You may accuse me of going to watch this film with a really bad mood, but I didn’t. I really wanted to like it, hence the even bigger let down feel that filled me. I am tired of this film, fuck this film, I don’t want to talk about it ever again.

1.   It’s a mad, mad, mad, mad world.

This is another movie that I decided to watch on recommendation from James Rolfe. I tracked it down all the way to the UK to find it and even got it imported so I could buy it. And I regret so much its purchase that the 16€ I paid for it hurt me to no end. This is by far one of the most uncomfortable, boring, dreary, mopping, uneasy, unfunny, unthrilling movies I have ever seen in my life. And I watched it three times! I know what I’m talking about here! It’s supposed to be a cartoon with real life actors, but it totally fails on that regard. The characters are unlikeable, and the way the movie portrays women is terrible! Absolutely awful! The women of this movie are so dreadfully and hatefully over the top that it makes my teeth grind. They are either greedy bitches, screaming whores, useless door mats or just like to hang around the scene and complain with a dead eye expression and zero charisma. There’s nothing fun to be seen here, only characters being mean to each other without even caring for what everybody else is going through. I hated the way this movie is shot as well, relying way too much in practical jokes that lack a punch line, slapstick that has no rhyme or reason, awkward dialogues, awkward jokes, dated references and a barrage of cameos that add nothing!

Amazingly enough, I liked this movie a lot more! At least the female characters are human.

I mention the cameos very casually, but it is true! The Three Stooges show up just standing there and saying nothing, dressed as firemen, and they are never seen again. Buster Keaton appears for a fraction of a scene and he doesn’t even make anything funny. Jerry Lewis might be the best cameo but he is shown so early you quickly forget after the 100th fucking argument between women that have loud speakers on their throats and nails in their teeth! Men are also portrayed as a bunch of poor, mindless cocks that will do whatever their wives, mothers in law or mothers will tell them to do. The special effects are not there anymore and the rhythm is too inconsistent. Lots of chatting and talking in one scene and the next minute is just airplanes crashing and cars tripping. There’s no sense of focus or order, it’s…well, it’s mad. If they were trying to convey that message then great, good for them, but it definitely leaves me out. It’s a shame because it could have been so much. But no. I guess if I grew up with it I would like it a lot more, but nowadays the movie has wore its impact value beyond the selling point.

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