Wednesday, July 23, 2008

5 Overrated "Classic" Movies

Don't hate me for being honest.
Okay, cinephiles and film critics around the world will probably gasp in horror and brand me a heretic, but there are some "classic" and revered films that, quite frankly, i just don't like. Oh, I can appreciate the artistry behind them. As an actor, I can understand the power of the performances in them. As a director, I get the subtleties of the camera angles. And as a screenwriter, I fully understand the power of the scripts behind them. But as an audience member, I just don't get why everyone seems so enamored of them, because they certainly do little to entertain me. Understand, this is just me and my opinion. You are welcome to disagree, by all means. As my mother is wont to say "That's why they make vanilla, chocolate and strawberry."
All that having been said, here are five "classics" that I simply do not care for:
5. The Godfather. Francis Ford Coppola's great crime drama is brilliant. But who cares? With a very few exceptions, crime dramas just don't appeal to me. I think it has something to do with the fact that they are rooted in a violent and seamy reality - there are people who actually live their lives this way; and that's just depressing. Exceptions to my Crime Drama rule: Bonnie and Clyde; The Bank Job; The Dark Knight.
4. Stagecoach. John Huston's quintessential Western may be the standard by which all other Westerns are measured, but I find it (and almost every other Western ever made) to be a big, fat bore. The few exceptions to my Westerns rule: Unforgiven; The Missing; The Outlaw Josey Wales.
3. The Graduate. Okay, maybe it's a generational thing; I was only 6 when this movie first came out. But even later in life, this Mike Nichols comedy fails to inspire more than a few chuckles whenever I actually try to sit down and watch it. There are plenty of late-sixties comedies I love, but I somehow I have never been able to connect to this coming-of-age fable. Go figure.
2. Harold and Maude. Gasp! What? An outsider who doesn't appreciate the ultimate outsider movie? Yup, that's me. Yes, Harold's dark humor and fake suicide attempts are very amusing, but the thought of sex with an ancient Ruth Gordon just makes me throw up in my mouth. Of course, the thought of sex with any woman makes me throw up in my mouth, but that's just a gay thing, and has nothing to do with this inexplicably popular film.
1. The Exorcist. If you read my previous post about movies that should be remade, you'll know that I am less than frightened by this film. When it first came out in 1973, I was 12 (Oh God, now you know how old I really am) and too young to be allowed to see it. It was re-released in 1979 and after seeing it then, I said "This is really what people were so upset about?" What killed it for me was the obviously wooden head-spin effect (that and the laughing stoners two rows in front of me). Try as I might, I just couldn't be scared by this film. I suppose you have to be a true believer to be frightened by the prospect of demonic possession. As a dyed-in-the-wool agnostic, I just didn't buy it. Much more frightening to me are serial killers like Hannibal Lecter or the cannibal family in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre; creepy, realistic folk who look perfectly normal, but harbor perverse obsessions for carnage and human flesh.
So, I guess my question to you is: What "Classics" do you not get? Leave me a comment. We'll tawk. No big whoop.

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