Friday, July 19, 2013

John Daniel's Top 5 Most Overrated Films

5. The Breakfast Club (1985)

Maybe it's because I hated high school, maybe it's because I couldn't relate with any of the characters, maybe it's because I'm not a huge fan of the 80s; whatever the reason, I don't know why people love this movie so much. Not only do I not relate with any of the characters, but I genuinely dislike a few of them. The inability to sympathize with them, however, is probably why.

The fact that I hated high school doesn't help either. When I got out, I never wanted to go back. And when I was in it, I only wanted to get out. I find nothing enjoyable about reflecting on those days, and I don't experience any nostalgia when I think of them. So, this movie doesn't resonate with me much.

My uncle and cousin quote this movie a lot. They love it. It's one of their favorites. And I never understand why. The lines they quote are funny when they quote them, but in the movie, I don't find them funny at all. To me, it's just another 80s movie about high school, one with which I cannot identify and one I don't like watching. (Ferris Bueller's Day Off, on the other hand, is awesome. That movie's humor and enjoyability transcends time.)

4. The Boondock Saints (1999)

I was an emo kid when I was 13-15. During that time, I went to Hot Topic a lot. I would always see this really cool looking merchandise, with two guys standing next to each other, pointing their guns down at someone out of frame. This would frequently be coupled with a long block of text, with the McManus brothers' famous speech. My friends talked about how awesome the movie is, and they would quote it around me and I would be the only one not enjoying the memory, because I hadn't seen it. Finally, I watched it when I was about 16. At this point, almost all of my friends had talked about how awesome it is, so I was excited.

When the movie ended, I though, "Is that it?" It had awesome moments, funny moments, and Willem Dafoe is pretty badass, but, for the most part, there wasn't anything special about it. I could see why so many guys love the movie, because it is definitely the kind of movie that guys can come together and enjoy, as it feeds their desire to do cool tricks, use cool guns, say cool things, and kill bad guys, all while having a great time.

But, as a movie, it's not extraordinary. It's built up so much, but it's not much better than your average decent acting movie. It's fun, enjoyable, often funny, and even awesome at times, but it's definitely not what people make it out to be.

3. Tootsie (1982)

In 1998, the American Film Institute's "100 Years...100 Movies" list had Tootsie at #62. In 2007, the updated list has it at #69. On their "100 Years...100 Laughs" list, Tootsie is #2. While this movie is funny, while Dustin Hoffman's performance is great, while it is quite clever, while I understand that the comedy in its day and age was somewhat groundbreaking, I can't help but wonder why people think it's so amazing. To me, it is on par with movies like Mrs. Doubtfire and Mr. Mom. I think both of those movies are funny, but I wouldn't consider either of them one of the greatest films of all time! On AFI's list, Tootsie comes before A Clockwork Orange, The Apartment, Sunrise, Pulp Fiction, and many other amazing movies. Come on, people, it's just simply not that good! I don't think it's a bad movie; I actually like it. But, seriously? It's better than Sunrise?!

2. Moulin Rouge (2001)

I actually hate this movie. And I don't like that my wife owns it and I have to have it on my movie shelf (haha, I think I need to put a dollar in the douchebag jar). Their incorporation of modern pop songs into this period piece was, in my mind, a failure. I would almost compare it to Pride & Prejudice, and Zombies, as it takes something pop culture finds boring and adds an element that spices it up a bit, making it more to pop culture's liking. Except, this movie isn't fun. It unfolds with song after painful song, complete with chaotic choreography, Nicole Kidman acting like an idiot, and frequently engaging her voice in the one pitch of hers that I cannot stand, and Ewan McGregor's melodramatic pretty-boy singing voice that begs a roll of the eyes. Why, Nicole Kidman?! Why Ewan McGregor?! You both are usually so awesome!

The movie is obnoxious and super dramatic, tugging on the heartstrings of moviegoers with every trick in the book, and feeding them silliness for 2 hours. With such a cumbersome, abrasive romp, I am surprised it has so many lovers and is held in such  high acclaim (it was nominated for 8 Academy Awards, for God's sake!). Its only redeemable factor is that it is visually stunning; but this does not come close to making up for the rest of it.

1. The Searchers (1956)

It pains me to include this movie in the list. I really wanted to like it as much as so many people do. I really wanted to agree with AFI in naming it the greatest Western of all time, and placing it at #12 on their top 100 movies list. I really wanted to understand why Martin Scorsese and so many others see such greatness in it, inspiring their own film creativity. But, alas, I could not. I can't see the difference between this and other John Wayne films. I liked The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence and True Grit more, but still not enough to call them two of the greatest films of all time.

I can see how people can highly respect the cinematography, but, beyond that, I don't see the glory in it. Even when reading reviews by people like Scorsese and Roger Ebert, I often wonder, "Really? You see that here?" My friend Zach and I both simply do not understand, no matter how much we try. Maybe its problem is that its brilliance cannot be recognized by most. Or maybe that's its brilliance.

Nevertheless, as painful as it is to do, I put this at number 1 on my most overrated list because it is considered one of the greatest films of all time, and I don't see more in it than other John Wayne westerns.

John Daniel Holloway is a Biblical-Theological Studies major. Apart from his passion for reading theology books & writing (@, he loves watching movies. A huge fan of classic films, it's rare for him to find a movie these days that he genuinely likes.

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