6 Movies Everyone is Sick of Hearing About
Unfortunately, no movie can exist in a vacuum. Even when a good movie finds the attention it deserves, it’s often spoiled by the hype and backlash that comes from audiences and critics alike. Eventually, it becomes difficult to separate the film from its fanbase, or to view it without over-inflated expectations. Movies that might be just passable in another situation can seem horrible after you’ve heard so much praise for said film. Of course, truly great films can generally withstand the hype machine and endure, but some just become more tiring the more they’re talked about. Here are six movies I think everyone is sick of hearing about.
1. Boondock Saints
Troy Duffy was supposed to be the next Quentin Tarantino — he was an LA service-industry worker with a knack for stylized violence and quippy dialogue. Unfortunately, Duffy only ended up being a pale imitation of Tarantino, mimicking his world of uber-cool criminals with his debut film Boondock Saints. In the film, Duffy replaced subtext with ridiculous melodrama, misogyny, racism, and confused religious allusions. Unfortunately, the sound, fury, and immature jokes of the film resonated with teenage boys, many of whom have now grown up but still regard the film as some kind of masterpiece.
2. The Dark Knight
In a world of superhero films, somehow Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight became the gold standard for “serious” comic book films. It’s undoubtedly a good movie, with some trenchant subtext about the war on terror, but those who rank it as one of the best films of the ’00s or even of all-time tend to overlook its flaws and focus solely on Heath Ledger’s chilling performance as the Joker. Look beyond his electrifying portrayal and you’ll find a film that features about two too many climaxes and a third act that has Harvey Dent transform into a villain and subsequently die at — wait for it — the flip of a coin.
3. The Revenant
Director Alejandro González Iñárritu is really good at making movies that look and sound important, but don’t quite know what they want to say. The Revenant gained plenty of attention this past awards season for its visceral (and very loose) adaptation of the story of Hugh Glass, a trapper who was left for dead in harsh winter conditions but managed to survive just the same. The scenery is undeniably gorgeous but the film stretches it on for far too long, as it does with just about everything else. Brutally violent scenes become boring by their end, and surreal moments of awe-struck whispering ring false amidst the film’s incessant misery. The resulting movie is at times captivating, but mostly just a confusing slog with little to no characters to speak of.
4. Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens
I’m glad that people loved the new Star Wars film — really I am — but in the wake of The Force Awakens‘s release, it was easy to get burned out on the entire franchise. News outlets are always abuzz with the latest gossip, and many fans have already placed The Force Awakens on the pedestal previously reserved only for the original trilogy. Well, The Force Awakens isn’t anywhere near as good as the trilogy it so systematically copies, mostly because it’s too desperate to recapture the past than to tell its own story. I’d never go so far as to call it bad, but a critical watch reveals how little the characters really matter in their own story and how lazy J.J. Abrams’s storytelling cheats often are.
5. Forrest Gump
Many people say the internet has allowed us to build our culture around communal nostalgia, but I’d argue our culture of nostalgia began around the time of Forrest Gump‘s release. The film, which follows the life of a slow-witted man who stumbles through the latter half of the 20th century, is little more than a nostalgia fest for baby boomers. The film runs through the biggest hallmarks of the decades without thinking about the implications of Forrest’s repeated successes. He’s a dim man who does whatever he’s told and so he thrives in American society while his idealistic, intelligent female counterpart only meets misery after misery. Thanks to a few scenes of mushy sentimentality and a whole lot of slack-jawed catchphrases, everyone loves the film anyway.
6. Gone with the Wind
The golden age of Hollywood produced at least a 100 films more worthy of remembering than Gone with the Wind. The movie is a four-hour epic of a Civil War film that’s still recognized as one of the best films of all-time.
Troubles with the film’s productions show through even today — several directors were cycled in and out at the insistence of producers, resulting in a disjointed film that jumps between vastly different sequences with little to no reason. The tonal shifts work in some cases, but often result in long stretches of the film that are just better left forgotten. Low points include scenes that depict slaves as subservient family members who ought to be grateful to their white masters. It’s undoubtedly an important film in Hollywood history, but it’s time to admit the flaws of this old classic.
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