Tag: bad movies

Offended by bad?

Michael-Bay-Movies-List-900Yesterday I had an interesting experience.  I was following the reviews for Transformers 4 (It’s like a car crash that you can’t help but look at).  Sometimes the bad reviews are the most entertaining and so as I was doing a rather boring project I put on podcasts and reviews and it all sounded pretty terrible.  It was funny as the day started the score on Rottentomatoes.com steadily declined from 53, 35, 26, 18, 13…

When my roommate got home I was telling her about it and how frustrating it is such junk gets made and that people go to see it!  The only reason 4 exists is because the 3rd one made over a billion dollars.  That makes it #7 in all time box office gross.

“Well, all movies are trying to make money”  my roommate responded, which is completely true.  However, I like to think people who create things for us to consume have at least an ounce of artistic integrity.  That they are at least trying to do something that is beautiful or funny or splashy to them.

Stephen Spielberg, James Cameron, Tim Burton, Wes Anderson, and even M Night Shyamalan are making money yes, and some junk, but what they think is beautiful or interesting or challenging.  Even George Lucas in those awful prequels can’t be faulted for trying to make something that he liked. It was terrible but not a complete cash grab.

The Simpsons is perhaps the greatest marketing machine there is.  Simpsons cups, toys, clothes, and everything else but the show is made with a certain degree of integrity.  Some could argue that the last 10 seasons have been unnecessary but I feel like they are at least trying to do something good.

Then we get to Michael Bay…

Michael Bay has made the same jaw droopingly bad movie over and over again.  They keep making money (why America?) but come on?  Wouldn’t a movie that is actually good also make a lot of money?  2 of Michael Bay’s movies made it on my Movies I Hate list Pearl Harbor and Armageddon.

I could easily put Transformers 2 and 3 on that list.  They all are explosions, objectified stupid Maxim cover girl women, and mind numbing special effects with horrible music.   To make matters worse Bay also always includes humor that is based on some type of ethnic stereotyping.

Some language in this clip but it shows throughout his movies the same cringe worthy treatment of Latinos, women, African Americans and any other non-alpha male group.

After talking a little with my roommate she said something interesting.

She said ‘well, I don’t like it.  I’m not really offended by it though’.

I said ‘well, I’m not offended by it either’

She said ‘Are you sure?’

It made me think.  Am I offended by it or is it just simply something I don’t like that others like?

offended- resentful or annoyed, typically as a result of a perceived insult.

Given the definition I guess I am a bit resentful that all the money spent on making and watching such trash and  it isn’t used to create something at least a little bit fun. Pacific Rim proved you can do ‘giant transformer movie takes over city’ without being so insulting to your audience.

I’ve long said that my most hated movies of all time are Drop Dead Gorgeous, Superstar, Brother”s Grimm, Armageddon and Pearl Harbor, but I recognize DDG and Brothers Grimm were trying to do something different and it didn’t work.  So what is worse the lazy mediocrity or the ambitious flop?

Pearl Harbor gets a special place in offensively bad movies because it is takes a dump on the memories of our brave servicemen.  It’s one thing to see autobots and dicepticons  dodge explosions while humans engage in cringe worthy dialogue, but an entirely new level of nightmare when it is real people who sacrificed everything in those explosions.  They deserve better than an hour of Ben Affleck pining over a woman and another hour of mindless explosions.  It’s offensive to me…

Some language in this but the NC says it pretty well…

And what about other mediums?  For instance, last year’s Mixology definitely offended me.  I really hated the book Julie and Julia.  There was a little book called Amazing Adventures of Dietgirl that came out a few years ago, and I was really offended by that book.  (The author actually contacted me on goodreads after my review and we discussed my feelings.  Love her.  Hate the book).

But I also hated Austenland, but I’m not offended by that.  So where’s the balance?  Where does something tip the scale between not caring for something and finding it’s existence offensive?

I’m not sure. The Michael Bay movies make me nuts because I know he has every available resource and this is what we get?


I think where it crosses the line to offensive and not just bad is when it is mean spirited, cold, insulting, chauvinistic, degrading of any ethnic group/women.  That I just don’t get. That’s why Mixology made me so angry.  I like to think that over the years we have learned something about how to treat human beings and then something like that exists and it blows me away.

I actually hope that Michael Bay is just being lazy and stupid.  If he really see’s this as art then shame on him.  I do not get why people see it.  Why?

It is even worse when it is geared towards children. The Smurfs was such cynical film making.  It exists only for the money.  The second Smurfs was  literally a giant Sony product placement.  This makes me sad because it discourages people from participating in modern storytelling.  You have a bad experience with a Smurfs or Transformers and you assume it’s all a waste of time.  It doesn’t have to be that way.

I agree with Chris Stuckmann.  Certainly our kids deserve better

So, yes these kinds of things offend me.  Not often but it does happen. I know many are cynical about pop culture, literature, movies, television and it’s no wonder when you have this kind of cash grab.  It’s discouraging, but I refused to let such junk sink me down.  I believe in storytelling in all it’s mediums.

And perhaps that is why such garbage does offend me.  I know the power it has and it is being used to give us less than nothing.  Roger Ebert once said about a film ‘this was the first time I’ve been to a movie where staring at a blank wall would have been preferable’.

That’s a pretty low standard to be setting and yet I’d agree with him.  At least then you could come up with your own stories.

It’s summer.  Please do something outside or rent The Lego movie.  Don’t reward this behavior.

If you don’t believe me here’s a lot of smart people who do.  Don’t’ see Transformers 4. Please!!!!

I guarantee you these reviews have more wit and thought than the mess for nearly 3 hours on screen. (some of these have strong language)

there I said it!  🙂


Movie Survey


A few weeks ago I did a little survey on books.  Since people seem so fascinated with my opinions on movies I thought I would do a similar post on movies.

Here goes:

Your favorite movie: Up

The last movie you watched : Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
Your favorite action/adventure movie(s) : Inception
Your favorite horror movie : The Shining/Wait Until Dark
Your favorite drama movie :  Tough call.  Slumdog Millionaire
Favorite Comic book movie:  The Avengers or possibly X-Men
Your favorite comedy movie:  Clueless, Office Space, Monty Python Holy Grail, Better Off Dead
Your favorite romance: Breakfast at Tiffanys, 500 Days of Summer
Your favorite romantic comedy:  When Harry Met Sally, You’ve Got Mail
Movie you are looking forward to:  Book Thief, Enders Game, Hobbit 2
Favorite based on a true story: (favorite genre of mine) Beautiful Mind, Rudy, Apollo 13, Walk the Line, Kings Speech
A movie that makes you happy:  You’ve Got Mail, The Artist, Silver Linings Playbook
A movie that makes you sad: Bright Star, Schindler’s List, Amistad, Les Miserables
A movie that makes you happy and sad: Perks of Being a Wallflower
A movie that you know practically the whole script of: Breakfast at Tiffanys, You’ve Got Mail
Your favorite director: Norah Ephron, Hiyao Miyazaki
Your favorite movie from your childhood: Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast
Your favorite animated movie: Up
A movie that you used to hate but now love: Pinocchio maybe?
Favorite movie in high school: Clueless
If Someone were to play you in a movie?: Melissa McCarthy
Best Adaptation:  Harry Potter movies except 7th part 1 which bored me.
Your favorite quote from any movie:  I love Nora Ephron.  Rom coms haven’t been the same (or even produced) since she left us. Some favorites:
         Sometimes I wonder about my life. I lead a small life – well, valuable, but small – and sometimes I wonder, do I do it because I like it,  or because I haven’t been brave? So much of what I see reminds me of something I read in a book, when shouldn’t it be the other way around?
         People are always telling you that change is a good thing. But all they’re really saying is that something you didn’t want to happen at all… has happened.
         Well, I’m gonna get out of bed every morning… breathe in and out all day long. Then, after a while I won’t have to remind myself to get out of bed every morning and breathe in and out… and, then after a while, I won’t have to think about how I had it great and perfect for a while.
          The odd thing about this form of communication is that you’re more likely to talk about nothing than something. But I just want to say that all this nothing has meant more to me than so many somethings.  (how I totally feel about this blog.  Thanks everyone!)
I could go on…(love her movies and writing). See http://smilingldsgirl.com/2012/07/12/nora-ephron/
The first movie you saw in theaters: The first one I remember was Little Mermaid.  Also Home Alone sticks out.
The last movie you saw in theaters: Wizard of Oz (so amazing)
Favorite score of movie: The Mission
Favorite song in movie:  Over the Rainbow.  (Also my favorite song period)
The best movie you saw during the last year: Les Miserables
A movie that disappointed you the most:  Star Wars: Phantom Menace
Your favorite actor(s): Carey Grant, Jimmy Stewart
Your favorite actress(es): Emma Thompson, Audrey Hepburn, Meg Ryan
The most overrated movie:  What a can of worms to open again… (see post on this topic)  Terms of Endearment isn’t on my earlier post so I will go with that.  Also, hate to say it but I thought Rushmore was overrated. Just didn’t make me laugh. (send the hate mail 🙂 )
The most underrated movie: See my post on this topic Again I’ll bring up a movie I didn’t put on this list.  Stranger than Fiction.  Love it
Your favorite character from any movie: Holly Golightly
Favorite documentary: My Kid Could Paint That, Civil War (Ken Burns but not really a movie)
A movie that no one would expect you to love: Warrior if they didn’t know I was into MMA
A movie that is a guilty pleasure: Rom coms in general.  Cheesy Christmas movies. Love Comes Softly series
Favorite classic movie: His Girl Friday, Bringing Up Baby, Notorious
Movie with the best soundtrack: The Chorus is wonderful, modern day soundtrack- When Harry Met Sally (love all the Harry Conick Jr)
A movie that changed your opinion about something: Slumdog Millionaire made me decide R rated movies might be ok and to focus on screenit reviews, content rather than ratings
Your least favorite movie: Armageddon, Contact, Drop Dead Gorgeous (only movie I’ve left theater crying in a bad way).  See Movies I Hate

Movies I Hate


The other day I was talking to my sister and she said ‘He’s Just Not That Into You’ was her least favorite movie of all time.  I was shocked by this because while it is not perfect there are definitely things I like about that movie.  For one, I think some of the writing is good, and a lot of the performances I like.   Really if you took out the Scarlet Johansen plot line it would be a favorite rom com of mine. Maybe part of it is I liked the original non-fiction book.

This discussion made me think of what movies I hate and wouldn’t watch again unless dragged in by gunpoint.  Just to be clear, most notoriously bad movies I am smart enough to stay away from so you will notice there is no Battlefield Earth or scores of lame horror or  Adam Sandler movies on my list.   I am grateful to the critics out there who take that bullet for me and warn me from the horror.

Most terrible movies are from my college years because I was less particular back then and the $1 movie theater steered me wrong many a time.  So here goes.

My most hated movies (in no particular order)

1. Contact- I know many love it but I hated it.  I have never looked at my watch so much.  Unbearably long and completely condescending to anyone of faith, even as a high schooler my eyes rolled throughout the screening and I wanted to leave after about 20 minutes.  Science is treated as perfect and religion as the folly of the foolish and simple-minded.  Please! This is also the most boring alien movie ever made (although, Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind would be a close second). In fact, I think it is the most boring movie ever made.  Contact is the first movie I remember seeing that I truly hated.

2. Superstar- I have walked out of 2 movies in my life and both will be on this list.  I made it through about 20 minutes of this awful SNL movie before my friends and I looked at each other and all left.  I don’t think I’m much of a prude but when you have a character in your movie dressed like Jesus and openly mock Him that is where I draw the line.  You can make fun of my faith’s idiosyncrasies and strange beliefs but do not mock my Lord.

3.  Armageddon- Another movie from high school that I loathed. There is no real plot just one blast and lofty speech after another. The romance is so stupid with a love scene involving animal crackers.  Really? I hated it so much I went into another room and talked to my friends parents for the last 30 minutes or so.

4. Drop Dead Gorgeous- This is the other movie I walked out of.  It actually made me cry. Everything from the anorexic beauty queen rolled out in a wheel chair, to the shrill contestants, to the cold and callous murder of young girls, the whole movie was incredibly cold, unfeeling and creepy.  And what makes it more disturbing  is that it is supposed to be funny.  Who thinks such disgusting behavior and images are funny? It’s beyond me. What made it over the top for me is a scene where a contestant dances on a cross with a Jesus doll surrounded by crosses and is carried off the stage as if she was Jesus.  I was on a date and I started to cry and had to leave the theater and went into the lobby for the rest of the date. I still remember some of the disturbing images and it was 12 years ago!

5. Lizzie McGuire Movie- I took my sister to this movie and I think even she knew it was a dud.  Perhaps I should give it a break because its a dopey kids movie but no, Pixar has proven that kids movies can be twice as smart and engaging.  The thing that gets me is why not make a movie about a girl going to Europe and experiencing a new culture, having a neat experience? That could actually be a good movie.  Why do you have to make her into some pop tart/celebrity? It’s like Princess Diaries was a hit so studios have been remaking it for the last decade.  Move on.  Write a good script!  Teens and young girls deserve better than the shlock that is served to them. You saw the same thing with the recent Monte Carlo, which was actually kind of cute with some engaging characters until they went all Hollywood on it. So lame.

6. What Happens in Vegas- Of all the terrible rom com’s I’ve been dragged to by friends this one is the worst (Ugly Truth, 27 Dresses, and any Jennifer Aniston movie comes to mind as well).  The thing that makes this one especially bad is you have 2 characters that are so unlikable, forced into the most strained premise imaginable and then they are completely hateful to each other.  Why would anyone these people to be happy individually, let alone together?  It was painful to sit through.  Every performance and line of dialogue was awful.  If I wasn’t there for a friends birthday I would have left.  Tip to Hollywood- stop turning board games, catch phrases, lame TV shows from the past, into movies.  If you don’t have a good script donate the 30 million to make the movie to a good charity and make a movie about that!

7. Good Will Hunting- I figured I had to pick one movie that everyone else loves.  I hated this movie . First of all, the plot is completely obvious and predictable.  How many hundreds of movies are made about the struggling genius who finds his way through an inspirational teacher (in this case a shrink. Sigh…).  The performances are tired, wooden and mundane, and evidently Oscar’s idea of a good script is profanity every sentence (and I mean every sentence).  I can handle some profanity but when it is just done for no reason and at such extremes it drives me crazy.  So lame! I actually found it to be boring and stupid.  Definitely most overrated movie I can think of (although I thought the Breakfast Club was way overrated, but, it does have some good performances).

8. Pearl Harbor- While the attack on the harbor is well done, it goes on forever, until it just starts to deaden your senses.  The romance is SO STUPID and obvious.  The acting is terrible.  The dialogue is wooden and dumb.    What those people went through and the sacrifice they made deserves better than this long, overwrought, idiotic ‘blockbuster’.

9. All Dr Seuss Movies- Aside from the short animated special made in the 60’s every attempt to turn Dr. Seuss’s brilliance into a feature film have been awful.  They are definitely the worst kids movies I’ve seen. First, we were horrified with The Grinch, with Jim Carey looking like some kind of large weed that had just been pulled out of the ground.  Then we got the Cat in the Hat with Mike Meyers as a bizarre amusement park character tormenting 2 rotten kids (such a strange, unsettling movie).  Horton Hears a Who was the best of the attempts but still strained and full of glaring colors.  Then recently we got The Lorax which I hated.  It is way too long, with boring, putrid colors, the music stinks, and  it feels like a 17 page book stretched to 90 minutes, which it is.  It can’t be done!  Stop trying and leave the poor man’s legacy alone.   Next we will see Oh the Places You’ll Go in movie form.

10.  An Inconvenient Truth- Al Gore standing in front of a power point for 2 hours with intermittent clips of global disaster= Oscar! If anything should make you discount the academy’s opinion, that is it.  So boring and did I really hear anything I couldn’t get from a quick search on google?  Boring, condescending and overly-simplistic.  Amazing California hasn’t sunk into the ocean yet?

11. My Dinner with Andre- I’m all for artsy, strange, inventive movies but this movie is so dumb and boring I couldn’t believe it was even made.  I had heard it was a hipster gem and that people loved it.  I kid you not the whole movie is a dinner with Andre.  It is 2 men eating dinner for 2 hours.  That’s it.  Nothing happens.  The conversation isn’t even interesting.  They aren’t good friends and they spend most the movie talking about the various plays they’ve been in. Kill me now.  I fell asleep for long stretches.  For the life of me I don’t understand what could be so great about this movie?  I thought it was awful.

12. I have to include Film Socialism a completely baffling art piece of bizarre images and strange captions that is supposed to be existential and moving but is merely maddening.  To read more of my thoughts on this movie read this post https://smilingldsgirl.wordpress.com/2012/01/31/good-artbad-art/

So there you go.  My least favorite movies.  What are some of yours?