Sunday, May 01, 2011

Films I hate!

Recently I was speaking with my friend Amber about movies – a typical conversation between us – and I brought up how much I hate “Top Gun.”

To my surprise, since “Top Gun” is considered to be some sort of "classic,” she hated it as well. Thank you Amber!

For me, “Top Gun” is all that is wrong with big budget vapid Hollywood fare: big names, big effects and nothing else. I particularly hate the film for how the lead female character is treated in it. Kelly McGillis is a civilian instructor who risks her entire career in order to have a relationship with the arrogant fighter pilot played by Tom Cruse.

The film celebrates very bad values and is completely soulless, but it clearly has touched the 13 year-old make fantasy that lives in too many adult men.

While I am stumped when asked what is my single most favorite film, I do know what films I hate and what films I couldn’t be made to watch again. I’ve been told over and over my taste in films is not with the critical norm.

For instance, I don’t think Adam Sandler is a huge comic star. Neither is Will Ferrell. They do the same damn movie over and over. “Avatar” is an exercise in re-presenting themes common to several genres. It’s a derivative piece of crap.

I’ve never seen “Titanic” and never will. Knowing how the film ends kills any interest in it.

“Independence Day:” a big budgeted 1950s sci-fi film, again with few new ideas but a lot of noise. A mini-budgeted film, such as “Cube” has more ideas and more tension that than film.

"2001" is really really pretentious and amazingly boring and I know I'm supposed to love that film.

Most of the Robert Altman films I've sat through bored me to tears – "MASH," "Nashville" – with the one exception of his adaptation of "Popeye," which I liked alot. Of course,most Altman fans HATED "Popeye."

“Gone With the Wind” is a film I saw in the eighth grade and I’ve never seen the thing in its entirety since. Now, we 13 year-old white kids from Granby Junior Senior High School were hustled into a bus and brought to the theater to see The Great Film and not a single teacher provided any context for us nor did anyone challenge any of the racist images and scenes depicted in the film.

Besides all of that, Scarlett O’Hara is a psychopath. Why would anyone want to be with her?

“White Christmas” was a television staple around the holidays as I was growing up, but it always seemed to be so fake on so many levels. Shot on soundstages, the film lacked any touch to reality. This is another film I grew to despise.

In fact, almost anything with cloying self-conscious Danny Kaye is enough to make the skin peel off of my skin.

Here comes a shocker: I’ve never seen “Bambi” or “Dumbo.” That’s right “Mr. Animation” has never seen either film, both of which are celebrated classics. I intend to go to my grave never seeing them. Why? I’m the biggest sentimental lunkhead when it comes to movies. I’m sure I would sit and bawl when Bambi’s mom is shot or when Dumbo is teased and that kind of emotional response is not entertaining to me.

I spent several evenings with my pal Steve watching films with him that naturally he LOVED and just brought me closer to the grave. “Sante Sangre,” “The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and her Lover,” Jan Svankmajer’s “Faust” and “Twin Peaks: Come Fire Walk with Me.”

Now with Steve, the more he realized I hated each film, the more pleasure he received from the film. If you asked him, those four films probably among his favorite films, I’m sure.

We remain close even those any one of the films could have torn the friendship apart!

What films are you suppose to like, but you hate?

© 2011 by Gordon Michael Dobbs


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Chip Douglas said...

Top Gun is pure adolescent fantasy, but so are all the best "guy" movies! And 1980's Kelly McGillis sure is easy on the eyes. Stay cool, -Iceman