Monday, September 19, 2011

I want my two hours!

Today is the day of the
being run by Alex J. Cavanaugh. Should be an interesting topic. See, the thing is, everyone's favorite movies tend to all run in the same direction. Which is not to say that everyone has the same most favoritest movie, but, if you go looking around at people's favorites lists, the movies listed become rather repetitive. It's not all that often you'll come across something that really stands out. However!
People tend to have different lists for movies they hate, and that list can be much more  interesting than favorites. I mean, generally, when you hear that someone loves Star Wars or Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter, you just smile and nod in agreement, "Yeah, that's a great movie." But, when you hear the list of movies people don't like, there is the opportunity for those, "What are you talking about?!" moments, "I love that movie!"

Contrary to popular belief, I quite like movies. Back when I was in high school and college, my friends believed, except for a few exceptions (like Star Wars), that I hated movies. Really, I just made them hate movies. We'd come out of seeing something, and I would point out the flaws and weaknesses, and they would go from "that movie was great" to "oh... that movie really wasn't very good." They interpreted that to mean that I had not liked the movie when that was usually not the case at all. Even though I could pick the movie apart, it didn't (necessarily) diminish my enjoyment. I just accepted that (most) movies would have issues and accepted them for what they were despite plot holes, bad acting, or predictable endings. Eventually, I learned to keep my mouth shut so that my friends could retain their own enjoyment.

None of that is to say that I don't have my own list of movies that you couldn't pay me to sit through again. Okay, well, you probably could pay me, but you'd really have to make it worth my while. I mean, really, really worth my while, and I consider my while to be worth quite a bit. Mostly, I'm going to focus on big, blockbuster movies that I think are completely overrated, although there will be a few where, if I could have, I would have demanded my two hours back. Keep the money, just give me back the time I wasted.

I'm not going to do a countdown here. Well, except for the top few. Mostly, I'm going to go sort of chronologically and deal with them at the time in my life when they happened, and why I think they don't deserve the attention they get.

10. Superman. There has not been a Superman movie made that is worth seeing. I grew up watching the old George Reeves Superman television series, which I thought was great (I haven't seen it since I was a kid, so I don't know how I would feel about it, today, but I loved it back then). The first movie was so much worse than the TV series. Not that Christopher Reeve wasn't good, but the movie itself was just boring. I've never understood why so many people hold it up as the epitome of the super hero movie. Yes, it was the first, but that doesn't make it the best. Besides the boring, it had one of the stupidest endings ever. You  have to understand that this is coming from the 8-year-old me, too. The idea that Superman could fly around the Earth really fast and make time go backwards is just... well, it's stupid. If an 8-year-old could recognize that, there's no excuse for all the adults that were all giddy over the film. And that was the high point of the Superman franchise. Don't get me started on Superman Returns. That's one of those where I want my 2 hours back. Brandon Routh did a great job with what he was given; unfortunately, what he was given was a steaming pile of crap, and there's just not a lot you can do with that.

9. Star Trek. Excluding the latest Abrams version, these movies should never have been made. Again, the first one was the best, and they just went down hill from there. Yes, I hear you all out there cursing me and protesting with mumblings about Wrath of Kahn, but, really, it just sucked. At least, the first one actually had an interesting plot. It might even have been okay if they hadn't been so busy patting themselves on  the back over their less than adequate special effects that they felt it necessary to devote over 30 minutes of screen time to absolutely nothing happening. "Ooh! Our model of the Enterprise looks really cool doesn't it?" "Yes, it does!" "Let's just pan around that sucker for, like, 15 minutes so the audience can really appreciate it!" "Oh, yes, absolutely!" And, then: "Ooh! Look at all the pretty technicolors we can make!" "That's awesome!" "Let's just have Spock fly into this stuff for the next 20 minutes so the audience can appreciate all the cool stuff we can do!" "Oh, yes, absolutely!" What a waste of time.
Now, to be fair, I'm a Star Wars kind of guy, and the action in Star Wars is "faster and more intense!" Action in the Star Trek movies is pretty yawn inducing. That's not tension; it's boredom.
In the end, though, the biggest issue with Star Trek as movies is that I never felt like I was watching a movie. They were just episodes of the TV show that were, for some reason, being shown at the theater. That's just not right. If they'd been on TV, they might have been okay.
The Abrams one, though, that was a movie, and doesn't belong in this list.

8. Batman. To be specific, the Batman franchise that was started by Tim Burton. I think I was the only person that came out of the theater in 1989 with the words "well, that sucked" on my lips. The thing is, if Burton had just been honest and called that first movie The Joker, I might have been okay with it. As it was, though, I hated it. And Keaton, whom everyone was worried couldn't do Batman was fine as Batman, but he sucked as Bruce Wayne. And the more of those movies they made, the worse they got. To the point of, "I want my two hours back!"
Years later, I found out why they were so bad. During a controversy with Kevin Smith, Burton proclaimed, "I would never read a comic book." Tell me how, exactly, you can attempt to make a movie about Batman without ever looking at the source material. That explains why he got everything wrong about those movies.

7. Catwoman. Is there even anything that needs to be said about this one? Well, maybe, source material. Use it. What a disaster of a movie.

6. Event Horizon. I honestly can't tell you why I hated this movie. It was so bad, I've wiped the memory of it from my mind. I just know that my wife and I barely sat through it. In retrospect, I'm not sure why we did. Stupid, stupid movie. One of those movies that forgets that people that really like sci-fi tend to be pretty smart people so failed to bring any amount of intelligence to the table.

5. The Matrix 2 & 3. These movies prove that sequels shouldn't be added after the fact. Although, now, the Wachowski brothers claim that The Matrix was always intended to be a series, that's just a way to justify making sequels for a movie that was never intended to have a sequel. They said as much before they started work on Matrix 2. But the money got into them, and they added a Terminator ending onto what had been a smart, thought-provoking movie. I want my 4 hours back!

4. Green Lantern. I already did a post about this one (you can see it here), so I'm not going to re-review it. Just give me back my 2 hours, okay? With the amount of money this one lost (like $100 million), I can't believe they're making a sequel.

3. Independence Day. The only stupid movie I'm glad I saw in the theater. It was worth seeing it that one time in the theater, because it really did have some cool scenes that would have been lost seeing on just a TV. However, that doesn't justify the utter stupidity that was the plot of this movie. Peter David (one of the greatest writers of comic books ever) did a great review of it back in the day which totally supported all the things that I had been telling my friends that sucked about it. It was one of those movies where the makers tried to distract the audience from the stupidity with cool, flashy things on the screen. Unfortunately, it worked. The only saving grace was Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum; they were great together. It wasn't enough to disguise the big platter of poo poo that was Independence Day, though. At least, not for me.

2. Highlander II: The Quickening. I loved the first Highlander movie. Yes, I realize it's pretty cheesy looking, today, but it was such a great concept. I watched everything that Lambert did for years after Highlander. And there was Sean Connery, too, who was already in my top 3 actors back then in 1986 (he's not anymore, although he probably still makes the top 10). How could they go wrong with a sequel? They forgot they're own source material, that's how. "Hey, I have an idea! Let's take this great fantasy movie we have and turn it into some weird sci-fi movie! That'll work, right?" Wrong. I got to see Highlander 2 for free at a special screening and walked out feeling like I'd been ripped off. That's pretty darn impressive, if you ask me.

1. The Dungeonmaster. Easily, the worst movie I've ever seen. Which I've mentioned before. I don't think 14-year-olds are supposed to walk out of movies feeling like they just wasted 2 hours of their lives. I mean, 14-year-olds are supposed to be wowed by anything that approaches special effects and be easy to please, right? Evidently, that was not the case with me. I walked out of that movie with the thought that it was the worst movie I'd ever seen, and that opinion hasn't changed in more than 25 years. Considering that Highlander 2 and Green Lantern are on this list, The Dungeonmaster is impressively bad. I want my 2 hours back!

There you have it. The worst movies I've ever seen. Well, many of them, anyway. There are a few more that could have made the list, like that monstrosity of a Godzilla movie that was made by the Independence Day people. And the animated Transformers movie. Probably even Cowboys vs Aliens, but I actually haven't seen that one, yet, and I'm not sure I'm brave enough to do it after what I've heard.
Okay, you can all scream at me, now.


  1. Catwoman and Highlander II are on my list! Die hard Star Trek fan though. Those guys could sit around and belch and I'd think it was cool. Overall, I've gotten really relaxed about movies over the years while at the same time feel rather jaded because I've seen it all.
    Thanks for participating in the blogfest!

  2. The only one on this list that I will stick up for is Event Horizon. I went in to the theater having never heard anything about the movie. I just saw a spaceship on the poster. I think most of the people in my viewing were that way, because there were terrified screams during the movie and everyone came out wowwed. I am not joking, There were like 20 of us in the theater and we all congregated outside not sure what we had just seen. I think you have to see it that way.

  3. Thank you for listing Superman on there! I get sick of Ebert and other critics saying how awesome it is. You can't turn back time by flying around the Earth really fast! That's just dumb. (Apparently in Richard Donner's version of the second one they were going to do it then too. Why not just do that at the start of the movie?) And Lex Luthor with hair? Come on. "Superman Returns" might have been better if they'd just done a full reboot instead of a half-assed sequel/reboot whatever it was.

    The first Batman movie from what I saw on AMC the problem was that by the end the producers and Jack Nicholson were basically rewriting the script, adding that whole "Joker killed Batman's parents" thing and such.

    I'll admit most of the Star Trek movie plots are pretty dumb. Like Superman, the fourth one is pretty stupid. How does flying around the sun let you go back in time? But Wrath of Khan is awesome. Khaaaaaaan!!!

    I love Highlander too. There can only be one! I heard the second one was so terrible they went back and reedited it to release a new version, though it's still apparently terrible.

    You're right about the Matrix ones too. Only the first one was worth watching. The rest of it was a complete waste of time.

  4. Highlander 2 is getting tons of well deserved anti-love today. You're also right about The Matrix movies. They should've stopped at one.

  5. Mutt wants Shatner to be the grandfather of his children. Abrams' Star Trek saved the franchise.

    If I carried my list out to more than one movie, it would include just about anything that had Kevin Bacon in it especially, Hollow Man, where they felt the need to digitally animate his invisible penis via heat signature.

  6. I loved INDEPENDENCE DAY for two reasons. 1: my brother had a role in it as one of the pilots. He was edited out of most of it, but you can still see him occasionally. 2: I found it humorous. And I'm always up for a good laugh.

  7. "Mutt wants Shatner to be the grandfather of his children."

    That would be awesome!

    Paramount finally did the with the stupid reboot what they shoulda did twenty years earlier: dumb it down enough for the average popcorn movie watcher and actually spend some money on effects. (And get hawt actors.)

    How you can hate Khan and like that one I don't know because the reboot is much dumber. A Romulan miner decides to go back in time somehow (with red antimatter or red Kryptonite or something) and kill Vulcans. Yeah, that makes perfect sense! Oh yeah and they're building the Enterprise on Earth, on the ground. (How the hell they're going to get into space is beyond me.)

    At least Khan didn't involve time travel, which had already been done in Star Trek IV and Star Trek First Contact.

  8. The only Star Trek film I've seen is the JJ Abrams version and I really liked that one.

    I agree with you on the Superman movies though I never did bother watching Superman Returns with Brandon Routh.

    I also agree with you on the Matrix sequels. Terrible, terrible movies.

    I liked Independence Day until the human race started winning. I'm not sure what that says about me...

  9. I haven't even seen a lot of these, and now I'm kind of glad I haven't. I agree that the Matrix sequels were awful. My fiance and I pretend like they don't exist. :P

  10. I agree with most of these. I hated Catwoman, and most of the Superman movies and Batman movies too. I also hated Matrix 2 and 3 (though I loved part 1), and hated with a vengence, Dungeonmaster. Great, awesome post. I love talking movies. I did a post recently on great movies with kid leads. I'm going to have to check out this blog hop. Thanks!!!

  11. I think Highlander should have listened to its creed--there can be only one. But Independence Day? Loved it, right down to the Data cameo as a crazy government scientist.

  12. I have not seen any of the films you mentioned but I enjoyed reading about them.


  13. So glad I passed on Green Lantern given the reviews that I've read by fellow posters!

  14. Andrew, seriously, I am so glad you mentioned the Matrix. I have tried and tried to like these movies, sit diligently when my husband slips one in the DVD player. But I just hate them! They don't make sense to me, the characters are mediocre, at best, and yes... they get worse with each sequel.

  15. I love the Superman movies and The Matrix movies. I agree with all of the rest. I actually have a love for really bad movies but only if I didn't pay to see them in the theater. The worst movie I have seen recently that I was angry about spending the money was Insidious.....which was just awful!

  16. Hi there, Hope you are well :-) If I've already introduced myself I apologise. I can't keep up with who I've said Hi to and who I haven't. I am in your YA Group. I'm just trying to catch up with everybody slowly but surely :-).
    Fab blog.
    Eve x

  17. Damn, I want to see Dungeonmaster so bad now. You keep talking it up and I get more and more excited about it. Can't find it anywhere.

    For me, enjoyment of movies has so much to do with expectations. If I had never heard of Star Wars and saw Revenge of the Sith without any hopes I would think it was a great movie.

    I saw Green Lantern this summer after hearing relentlessly about how awful it was. Yes, it was stupid. Beyond stupid. But I still enjoyed it. I new it wasn't going to shake me to the core with it's epicness before I walked into the theater. I was expecting something closer to Cabin Boy (That would have made my list, had I made one) and instead I got something that I would call a noble failure.

    Star Trek though, I recall a local reviewer here in town giving one of the crappy TNG movies a four star rating once. They interviewed her on the radio much later and she said she was a die hard trek fan and loved the movies. She couldn't help but love the movies. So even if she knew they sucked on an intellectual level, she loved them anyway, and would rate them accordingly.

    I think the Trek films were hit and miss, the first one was their attempt to turn the franchise into a true science fiction story - something like 2001. They brought in Robert Wise, a legend, and gave him freedom to create. It was expensive, slow and, in my opinion, glorious. But Khan was made a few years later with a small fraction of the budget of the original, and had that adventurous spirit of the old show. The rest of the movies did their best to follow that mold. I even caught them using the same fx shots in different movies.

    Oh well, great list. I won't comment on Superman. Too personal, I can't be objective.

  18. I KNOW I've seen Event Horizon but, without googling it, I can't remember one single thing about it.

  19. Alex: I saw recently that Highlander II is commonly considered the worst movie ever made. It has a score of 0 at Rotten Tomatoes.

    Budd: I don't know what to say about Event Horizon as I honestly can't remember enough about it. I do know that both my wife and I came away from it saying it was horrible.

    Mutt: Brian Singer just made a huge mistake with Returns. He should have stayed and done X-Men 3 instead of trying to make an homage to Superman while making a sequel at the same time.

    There is a re-edited version of Highlander 2, and, sadly, I've seen it. I just had to know. It is probably slightly better but not enough better to make it worth seeing. They do remove all mention of Zeist, though.

    Here's the thing with Abram's Trek: the casting was perfect. It "felt" like Star Trek while also "feeling" like a movie rather than the TV show. The plot is dumb. Red matter is dumb. But he blew up Vulcan, and that was pretty cool. The idea that Romulan boy hung around out in space for 20 years is also dumb. However, I really went into that one prepared to ignore the plot because, well, it was going to be Star Trek, and the plots... well, they're Star Trek, and you just can't think about them too much, so I didn't. If you ignore the plot, it's perfect.

    Alicia: I'm actually surprised so many people have actually seen Highlander 2!

    Michael: I thought Bacon did a great job as the villain in the last X-Men movie. As for Hollow Man, I remember liking it until it got close to the end when they decided to ruin it.

    RaShelle: Yeah, see, it's not -really- supposed to be humorous, though.

    M.J.: Based on the amount of money Independence Day made, I don't think the human race deserved to win.

    J: The Matrix sequels don't exist. You can tell that because I don't own them.

    Dawn: Wow, someone else that saw Dungeonmaster! I've never known anyone else that's seen that one. I must have missed that post of yours (or I'm just not remembering it); I'll have to go look for it.

    julie: The other Highlander sequels weren't horrible, and the last one was actually pretty decent, but they never did live up to the first one.

    wtmwop: Wow! None of them? That's pretty impressive. You should continue to not see them.

    Jennie: Oh, it was just horrible. If I hadn't seen it for free, I would have been -really- pissed. Even my 10-year-old didn't like it, if that tells you anything.

    Alyssia: Stop trying. There's no reason to even see 2 and 3. They may as well be completely unrelated to the first one.

    Jennifer: I do love The Matrix, but that's where my love ends. I didn't see Insidious; I'll have to look it up and, then, not watch it.

    Eve.E: Welcome, I'll stop by your blog!

    Rusty: No, really, you don't want to see it. There's very little hope you'll ever be able to find it, anyway.

    I don't -hate- all of the Trek films. A few of them are okay. The issue is that none of them (before Abrams) deserved to be movies. None of them took that step from being a TV show to becoming a movie experience, so what's the point of showing them in the theater?

    Sarah P: That's probably a good thing. I can't really remember anything about it, either, other than the bad feeling I had after watching it.

  20. Poor, poor Batman. In his defense, at least Burton knows how to make a decent movie. As soon as hel left the franchise after number 2, it REALLY went downhill. Yes, I'm talking about you, Joel Schumacher, with your Jim Carrey silly damned batsuit nipples.

  21. I love the Star Trek movies, but a lot of Star Wars leaves me cold.

    Dave Wrote This

  22. I've seen all of those except Dungeon Master, though I don't remember Highlander 2 at all. I just remember that I liked Highlander 1 so much that I saw 2 and was highly disappointed. It made no sense.

    I don't remember the Trek movies much, though my hubby is a Trekkie. We both loved the new one. The little I remember of Khan gave me nightmares when I was younger (giant things in ears, aiiiii!). I still hate earwigs because they remind me of Khan, even if it had nothing to do with earwigs. I don't care.

    Superman IS slow. I liked them when I was younger, but was bored last time I tried to watch them.

    I did like Keaton as Batman. I don't read comic books, but the Batman movies were all a bit cartoony for me. Not comic-y...cartoony.

    I liked Independence Day. It was cheesy, but I enjoy a good mindless special effects film and I agree that Goldblum and Smith were great together. Funny.

  23. Beer: I don't know. There aren't a whole lot of Burton movies past Edward Scissorhands that I've liked; although, I was pleasantly surprised by Alice in Wonderland.

    Dave: I really don't know what to say about that. Have you seen a doctor?

    Shannon: Well, just continue to not see The Dungeonmaster, and you'll probably be okay. :)