I could say I’ve seen a few movies in my lifetime. I’ve seen the good, the bad and the fucking horrendous! I’ve also viewed my share of atrocious films which were, nevertheless, heralded by film critics and the public. Here are a list off ten movies which received more than their fair share of praise!
10) Slumdog Millionaire
This movie was a portrayal of the poverty-stricken, strenuous life endured in the slums of Bombay. The story follows a 18 year old chaiwalla from those very slums who competes in Kaun Banega Crorepati and was miraculously able to answer every question because each question had some relation to his past.
I don’t have a problem with this far-fetched, unrealistic story. I don’t even have a problem with the fact that this uneducated shantytown dweller speaks chaste English with an impeccable Oxford accent.
However, the acclaim this film received is undeserving. There have been more noteworthy films created by Indian filmmakers (not some British bloke) which accurately portrays slum life in an authentic and more engaging way. Movies including Salaam Bombay, Deewar and Nayagan have never received their fair due on the international platform. I suggest you check them out
9) Life of Pi
I read the novel and watched the movie. I am sorry to report that I was impressed with neither. As enthralled as I was with the cinematography, the plot was disappointing. The protagonist, Pi, has a severely superficial understanding of religion. I mean, dude, you can’t follow three religions which are inherently contradictory to each other! I don’t care how accommodating and cosmopolitan you want to be!
The end was completely preposterous. After he revealed the second story involving humans instead of animals, I was so angry Pi wasted almost two hours recalling a tale which was obviously false. At that point, I felt I wasted my two hours (despite having previous knowledge of the plot). I only went for the cinematography. That’s the only thing I got from this movie.
8) Forrest Gump
The fact that Forrest Gump received more acclaim than Shawshank Redemption or Pulp Fiction at the Oscars is a testimony of how irrelevant the Academy Awards really are!
This movie was nothing more than a story about some mentally-retarded Southerner who aimlessly wanders through thirty years of American history yet unknowingly acquires luck wherever he wanders. Tom Hanks received a lot of praise for his portrayal of Forrest Gump but I found his acting to be soulless and monotone, with that constant stone look on his face. None of the characters are remotely likable and the story is completely flat. In fact, there is barely a story! It comes across as patronizing to the mentally-ill. Somehow, if you blindly follow orders and swift through life like a leaf riding on the flow of a river, you’ll be prosperous in any manner!
The so-called inspirational quotes were utterly meaningless. “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get”…..ummm, unless if you look at the fucking box!!! And that’s my problem with his movie. People view Forrest Gump as a deep, profound cinematic work. It’s nothing more than two hours of drivel!
7) Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
This classic 1986 film marks the introduction of Ben Stein into the spotlight, where he would proceed to do a myriad clear eye commercials and direct a propagandist documentary promoting creationism.
But this movie is not about Ben Stein, who played a humble economics teacher taking attendance. The story circles around Ferris Bueller, a good-looking, charismatic all American boy loved by all despite being a sociopathic, manipulative douche! His scheme of faking an illness and cutting school is threatened by the evil Edward Rooney! Yes, the Edward Rooney! Whose determined goal is to catch Ferris and get him back to school because…well he’s the Dean of Students and that’s sort of his job. Hmm….I’m sorry who was the bad guy again?
This is an example of why I hate teen movies. Ferris gets away with every lie and act of destruction and the adults are too stupid to catch him in the act. It paints an unrealistic picture of life and sends a misleading message to the viewers.
6) The Breakfast Club
Ugh! Another high school movie! And this film also embodies many of the qualities I hate in teen movies. This story is about five high school students embodying five different stereotypes (because who has the time to write a three-dimensional character?!) who all receive detention. So, they all are forced to meet at the school library on Saturday where they are to be sitted for the entire day. And for some reason, they’re unsupervised for the majority of the movie.
So, you have the rebel, the jock, the nerd, the weird girl with a plethora of psychological idiosyncrasies, and the rich princess. At the end of the movie, the weird girl gets a makeover and…surprise surprise!…the jock falls for her (not to sound superficial at all!). The rich princess falls in love with the rebel. Sure we can discard the scene where he performed non-consensual cunnilingus on her. I mean, why should we get all up at arms over sexual assault?!
No surprise this is a John Hughes movie. He’s the guy who also directed Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. I mean, was he high in the 80’s or something?
5) The Blind Side
This movie depicts two of America’s greatest pastimes: Football and Exploiting White Guilt! This screenplay concentrated more on the latter. The protagonist is Micheal Oher,a heavily built black teenager from a broken family and impoverished background. Now, one would think the film will dive deeply into Micheal’s childhood, the relationship with his (drug-addicted) mother and (half) siblings, the traumatic events he might have endured, along with his experiences with foster homes.
Instead, the writers decided to focus on Leigh Ann, a White, Southern, Republican affiliated Christian woman who, out of the goodness of her heart, took in this poor, helpless negro who only speaks in monosyllables.
Seriously, what is with Micheal’s one-word responses? Even real-life Micheal Oher, currently an offensive tackle-man for the Carolina Panthers, criticizedhis character portrayal for “being stupid”, contrary to his actual aptitude.
But hey, Hollywood audiences love indulging in White Saviors! Speaking of which…
A lot of critics chastise Avatar for utilizing the ‘White Savior’ trope. While it is a valid point, the film’s lack of originality is far more problematic.
Ever seen ‘Dances with Wolves’? ‘Pocahontas’? You might notice some similarities between those films and ‘Avatar’. Your typical South Indian film buff might even recall ‘Vietnam Colony'(both the 1992 Malayalam version and its 1994 Tamil remake)!
Just because you throw in a bunch of blue people, the story is still about a privileged protagonist who fights with indigenous people against corporate exploitation.
On the plus side, the cinematography and CGI was mesmerizing! The innovative motion capture techniques is a tremendous breakthrough cinematic technology. The direction was splendid. I wish I could say the same about the plot
3) Passion of the Christ
Ooh boy! What can I say about Passion of the Christ. Well, obviously Mel Gibson has some orgasmic fantasy with torture. I wouldn’t exactly call myself devout. However, I love religious-themed movies. They have a certain timeless element. Ben-Hur is among my favorites. Nevertheless, Passion of the Christ negates the purpose of religious films.
Faith-themed productions are supposed to be inspirational. They should convey a message of hope, encouraging the viewer to be a charitable, virtuous person. On the contrary, Mel Gibson decides to guilt-trip the viewer in a lengthy, agonizing story of Jesus being cruelly whipped and beaten until his battered body hangs from the cross, blood and water pouring from his wounds. Now Jesus could have saved himself from such a bloody death, yet he chose not to do, because he loves humankind…and he chose to die for our sins
WTF!? What am I, the viewer, supposed to take from this? Since when does a snub film convey any positive message? And where’s the screenplay? Is there even a screenplay? There’s no character development! None of the characters even have any basic traits! The movie is literally just one guy getting the shit kicked out of him! I mean, what the fuck!!!
On a positive note, the film was directed in Aramaic and Latin, accurately depicting 1st century Palestine. Usually biblical stories, even well-produced ones like the Ten Commandments, the dialogues are recited by the actors in an awkward, Transatlantic English accent. So this aspect of the film is refreshing.
2) Gone with the Wind
By 1939 standards, Gone with the Wind would have been more remarkable. After all, color pictures were extremely rare in that era. Perhaps I’m viewing this film through 21st century lens but I found it completely horrendous. Vivian Leigh’s acting as Scarlet O’Hara was laughable. The portrayal of the Black characters such as Mammy and Prissy was akin to a blackface minstrel show.
Scarlet O’Hara is supposedly this icon of feminine strength and will power. Honestly, she seems to be nothing more than a selfish, conniving shrewd who marries men who truly loved her, only to get some material gain. All the while, she yearns to be with Ashley who has no feelings for her whatsoever. Then, predictably, her third husband, the supposedly dashing, yet creepy looking Rhett Butler, gets so fed up, he ends up leaving her. And frankly, I don’t give damn about either character!
This film, along with the novel written by Margaret Mitchell, would have appealed to disgruntled Confederate soldiers and aristocratic Southerners who nostalgically reminisced the bygone days of slavery and white supremacy. I mean who wouldn’t miss those golden days when nappy-headed, uppity niggers knew their place!
In addition, I’m sure your typical impenitent bitch would have identified with Scarlett O’Hara. But I can’t imagine any decent person being dazzled by this heralded, yet contemptible story.
I saw this film when I was a child. I couldn’t explain why but somehow, I hated it! After fifteen years, I think I can articulate my thoughts on Titanic
The sinking of the Titanic was one of the most significant events in the twentieth century. You could imagine the 1500 people riding on that ship and the myriad of stories each of them had.
However, the plot decided to focus on a tale between a good-for-nothing, penniless artist and a first-class aristocratic lady. Gees, you’ve never seen that story! It didn’t help that the two protagonists only knew each other for a couple of days yet somehow were in love. Think what you want about me but I don’t usually subscribe to this notion of “love at first sight”
I honestly don’t know what my problem is. I never liked romantic movies. In fact, I nearly throw up at the sight of two people kissing or cuddling. Maybe, I’m just a cynical asshole! So sue me!
Anyway, you know the end. Leonardo Dicaprio drowns while “My Heart Will Go on” is played as the background score. I never really cared for Celine Dion but whatever.
I’m a history buff and normally I would be fascinated with any film involving a historical event, including the sinking of the Titantic. But there were 1500 passengers, each with their own unique story. Why did the writers choose to focus on a cliched love plot?