Posted by: ckckred | September 23, 2016

Is There A Movie You Don’t Understand the Acclaim Of?


There are several of which I can admit to finding difficulty in enjoying.  Though I found its cinematography and sets astounding, Jean Renoir’s The Rules of the Game generally bored me and I fell asleep midway through the picture (although I saw and liked A Day in the Country, so perhaps a rewatch is in order).  While Cléo from 5 to 7 is considered an essential part of the French New Wave, other than a couple of scenes the picture struck me as uninteresting and I’m surprised how hefty its reputation is.  And while I understand the popularity of movies like The Shawshank Redemption* and Rocky, I regard them as pure populist fluff and neither strike me as being artistically ambitious or creative.  As for recent pictures like Birdman and Dheepan, I just outright disliked them.

But what about you?

*I am amongst Stephen King’s biggest fans, but movie adaptations of his novels tend to be hit-or-miss.  Still, I’m eagerly awaiting the upcoming Dark Tower film.



  1. I found I was underwhelmed by Avatar, as everyone was going on about it at the time.

    • Oh, I thought Avatar was extremely shallow (I felt the same way about Titanic too). It was just Dances with Wolves in outer space.

      • I liked the visuals, but the plot dragged so much I found myself dozing off.

      • I remember finding it thrilling the first time around but soon afterwards found the experience surprisingly empty. When I watched Avatar again, I got nothing out of the picture and I was very bored. Felt the same way about the LOTR movies as well.

      • Ditto for both (Avatar and Titanic). I switched off Avatar half-way through – found it boring. Titanic, well, as I was at the cinema with friends, I endured it but to this day I won’t watch it again as I just didn’t enjoy it.

  2. I’m with you on Shawshank. Loved by people but I just think it’s…OK. I was a bit bored by The Dark Knight, to be honest, but perhaps I just need to go back and give it another whirl!

    • Glad to see someone else agrees with me on Shawshank. I’m surprised how many people love it, it certainly isn’t a bad picture but a revolutionary film it is not.

      Looking back, I would agree The Dark Knight is overrated, but I still do really like that picture. Still, Memento is by far my favorite Nolan film.

      • Probably mine too, although I did enjoy Inception a lot.

    • I’ll echo your thoughts on The Dark Knight, Stu. It’s a bit dull and overlong. Although, I, admittedly, have to see it again. It’s been years.

      • They are universally praised those films…I just see them as better than average superhero movies, although appreciate I’m in the minority!

  3. My disdain for ‘The English Patient’ and ‘American Beauty’ aren’t changing anytime soon. And I can’t get through a Fellini “classic” for the life of me. 😉

    • You’re in good company with American Beauty. I thought that film was flat out pretentious. As for Patient, I think Seinfeld covered it pretty well.

      I’ve only seen 8 1/2 out of Fellini’s work, which I thought was great, and have been meaning to see more of his films.

  4. It happens with me quite often, man. Titanic is a definite. And my recent review of The Prestige explains why I don’t like that either. As much as Gladiator is decent, I also think that’s vastly overrated.

    • You’re certainly not alone with Titanic. That movie’s reputation has sunk lower than its namesake (hey, it’s been over 100 years ;-)).

      I thought Gladiator was entertaining but I’m not sure if there’s much more I can say about. Phoenix was excellent though.

  5. Gravity. What the hell is so good about Sandra Bullock saying “shit, shit, i HATE space!”??!

    The Shawshank Redemption is a film I never liked, and Rocky is… well you described it perfectly.

    Have you heard about Cell? New King adaptation, apparently he was involved in the making of the movie. I’ve read a lot of middling reviews but I still wanna check it out. Cos I mean, King is the MAN

    • The first time I saw saw Gravity, I was blown away by the special effects but later realized besides that, the movie had almost nothing to offer. I watched it again a couple months ago and just disliked the picture in general. And I’ve never quite understood why Shawshank and Rocky have become as popular as they are now.

      I’ve never read Cell, though I remember seeing the trailer earlier. I do kind of want to check it out though, but I’m extremely excited for the new Dark Tower movie next year. Hopefully it’s as good as the book.

      • I haven’t read the Dark Tower books. There is just soooo many King books its hard to get around to reading them all! Hopefully Cell is half decent, it was a good read.

        And yeah, I’m with you on all three of those movies. Especially Gravity and Shawshank…. just don’t understand the love for them. Especially Gravity. Sandra Bullock has to be one of the most bland actresses (actors?) working today.

      • You’ve got to read the Dark Tower books. All eight of them are superb and connect together the Stephen King universe. I’ll probably eventually catch Cell, but I do want to read the book first.

        Good point about Sandra Bullock. I’ve never disliked her in anything in particular but she’s never stood out to me as being particularly great in a single film movie. I really disliked Blind Side though.

      • yeah she has never wowed me. She isn’t AWFUL but she is awfully overrated. Even her attempt at voice-acting in Minions felt like it was phoned in – literally.

        I’ll have to get down to the library! I like the sound of the Dark Tower books man, and I love everything King writes.

      • King’s been my favorite author since I first picked up It. The only problem with the Dark Tower books is that (especially for the later novels) you have to read a bunch of King’s other novels that correspond to the plot in order to fully grasp the story. But that’s not a bad thing per say..

      • Ahh yeah I see. Cos most of his stories are based in the same town aren’t they?

      • Most of his books are set in Maine, but pretty much all of them are set within the same universe. The Dark Tower series connects King’s entire bibliography together.

      • Castle Rock is the name of the town isn’t it? Perhaps I should read some more King stuff before getting into the Dark Tower series

      • Castle Rock does appear in a lot of his books and Derry is the setting for a couple of his other novels as well. Make sure you read The Stand, It, ‘Salem’s Lot, Insomnia, Hearts in Atlantis, and Everything’s Eventual before tackling the series (though it’d be difficult to read the last three without any knowledge of the Dark Tower beforehand).

  6. One movie popped into my head right away: Mad Max: Fury Road. It was a very generic, one-dimensional action movie; one where I knew the protagonist wouldn’t die even though he performed a hundred feats that should have killed him. It was an over-the-top spectacle, but a very boring one to me. Fortunately, I watched it for free and almost didn’t bother finishing it.

    • I was one of Fury Road’s fans, though I do know several people who shared your same opinion.

  7. For me Birdman and Batman 1989 way overrated

    • I’d definitely agree with you on Birdman. It’s been years since I’ve seen Batman; though I remember enjoying it, I’ve never been a Tim Burton fan to be honest.

      • Yeah I like some of his early films but it has been a long time since I liked one of his movies. Unfortunately his latest, Miss Peregrine’s is no exception.

  8. hey mate, you wrapped your head around Meshuggah’s latest yet? 😛

    There is also new Darkthrone and Suicidal Tendencies albums!

    • Just listened to The Violent Sleep of Reason yesterday, a solid album for sure. I’m hugely pumped for the new Dillinger, Crowbar, and Testament albums as well as Darkthrone and Suicidal.

      • The new Darkthrone album is great, as is the ST album. Both are great great stuff. Haven’t listened to Crowbar for a looooooong time, might check out their new one. As for Dillinjer, like I think I said to you once before, I still haven’t heard more than one song maybe. I need to watch some clips. New Testament album will be interesting – thrash has been soooo overdone, but Eric Peterson is a riffmaster so it’ll be interesting. Chuck is still on the vox I hope

        OH, and I saw that metallica song, about moths or something. My God, it is so laughably typical, and that chorus, it made me cringe! As did Lars’ facial expressions – no surprises there ahaha

      • I thought the new “Tallica song was ok, though admittedly they’ve set a pretty low bar for themselves…

        I’m super pumped for the new Crowbar album. Saw them for the first time this past summer and they deliver a great live show.

      • I have to listen to some Crowbar, it has been a long freaking time.

        Meanwhile, Meshuggah’s new album is twisting my brain ;D

      • Crowbar’s always been pretty good and Meshuggah’s one of the most consistent bands out there. Just saw Opeth and the Sword the other night and they delivered a great show.

  9. I’m so glad you brought this up because I feel there are always a ton of films very year at the Oscars that just fail to connect with me at all. Carol, Life of Pi, Beasts of the Southern Wild, The King’s Speech and Slumdog Millionaire would just be some of the ones from recent years. I’ve also failed to connect with any of Haneke and Bergman’s work that I have seen barring Wild Strawberries…and Goddard. Oh, how I hate Goddard’s films, especially Weekend! I do admire what his films did for editing though. It’s just that I didn’t think they were any good.

    • I am amongst Bergman and Haneke’s biggest fans, having actually met the latter a couple of years ago during the festival run of Amour, but I do see that their style isn’t for everyone. And while I do like Godard’s early work, his recent movies strike me as pretentious, particularly Goodbye to Language.

      Though I thought Life of Pi was a visceral journey and enjoyed Beasts as well, I felt Carol was just okay and perhaps overhyped by critics. I did though dislike The King’s Speech and especially Slumdog Millionaire. The former is generic and the latter is so overly gooey and a dumb portrayal of Indian slums.

      • Godard’s latest work is just a whole new level of bad. I’ve seen two of his films from the 21st Century, In Praise Of Love and Goodbye to Language. And I totally agree over how pretentious Goodbye to Language was. It was absolute torture sitting through all 70 minutes.

      • To me, Goodbye to Language felt like a ponderous lecture that just rehashed a bunch of ideas from Godard’s old movies. I suppose I should be happy that Godard’s still making movies but that movie was a bore.

      • I’ve heard he’s gotten far too indulged in philosophy in recent years, just like he was fixated on making political statements in his early films, so maybe that’s a reason. He never had the subtle touches of someone like Truffaut.

      • Yeah, that’s my main problem with his recent output. Godard’s been so focused on making big declarations that he’s forgotten how to make his movies fun.

  10. I do agree with you about Birdman, I don’t like it at all, and especially the fact that it won an Oscar. And, actually, I don’t understand all the hype around Inarritu films. For me, they are more or less pretentious artsy crap. His Biutiful would have been a garbage if Bardem was not in it. I gave 7/10 for The Revenant – only, well largely – for Leo’s performance and “true” story, not way for Inarritu’s pretentious cinematography.

    • Inarritu seems incapable of subtly; his movies are just loud, obnoxious pronouncements that lack any depth or originality. I actually haven’t seen The Revenant and have little desire to because of my distaste for Birdman.

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