Myself. Standing in front of a mirror... In ze nude...
When I'm not watching movies, I'm...
not watching movies, I'm not watching movies, I'm not watching movies, I'm not watching movies, I'm not watching movies, I'm not watching movies, I'm not watching movies, I'm not watching movies, I'm not watching movies, I'm not watching movies, I'm...
Posted on 05/15/11 02:56 PM | Last edited on 05/15/11 02:56 PM
#5 - 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
Directed by Stanley Kubrick; Starring guys wearing monkey-suits and Hal-9000.
Nominated for 4 Oscars, including Best Director, and winner of Best Visual Effects (no arguments there), 2001: A Space Odyssey is a revolutionary sci-fi saga that is very nice to look at but is ultimately held in high regard for superficial reasons. As of 2008, "2001" is AFI's 15th greatest American movie of all-time, sitting at 8th of all-time for the greatest movies of the '60s on IMDB, with a 96% approval rating and an 8.8/10 average rating on Rotten Tomatoes and finding itself a spot on the top of nearly every "Greatest Sci-fi movies" list ever made. I'm willing to ignore the cheesy monkey scene and the fact that for about 50 minutes throughout the movie we are subjected to redundant shots of spaceships floating around to the tune of classical music, but I will not ignore the fact that though there were a few segments of greatness, 2001: A Space Odyssey is essentially a two-and-a-half hour-long existential journey that never really takes you anywhere. And despite what some people will say, nobody even knows what this movie is about anyway. I can appreciate what it did for the sci-fi genre, and even today it stands as one of the best-looking movies ever made, but it's hard to deny that although influential, it receives an undue amount of praise just for being "pretty" and "deep".
#4 - Taxi Driver (1976)
Directed by Martin Scorsese; Starring Robert De Niro and Jodie Foster.
I'm obviously not planning on making any new friends with this one. Nominated for 4 Oscars including Best Picture and Best Actor, winner of the Palme D'Or at the Cannes Film Festival, is currently 41st greatest movie of all-time on IMDB (6th of the '70s), voted as both the 47th and 52nd greatest movie of all-time by the American Film Institute, sitting at a 98% approval rating with an 8.8/10 average rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and often considered one of -- if not *the* -- greatest movie of both Martin Scorsese and Robert De Niro's career, Taxi Driver is a solemn, low-key character study with fine performances by the entire cast and a main character that's very relatable and easy to root for. Significant praise for a "groundbreaking" movie that achieved nothing that hadn't already been done before. Even by Scorsese, in fact. Blend together 1973's Mean Streets with Serpico and you might have a pretty good idea of what Taxi Driver is. A gritty look at corruption and lower-class life in the big city, add on a little anarchy and the sum looks remarkably similar to Taxi Driver. This isn't to say it isn't a very good movie, but is it overrated...? Yes indeed.
#3 - The Bicycle Thief (1948)
Directed by Vittorio De Sica; Starring Lamberto Maggiorani.
Nominated for the Best Screenplay Oscar and winner of an Honorary award for Best Foreign Language Film, The Bicycle Thief is currently ranked as the 7th greatest movie of the 1940s (above The Great Dictator, Rebecca, The Maltese Falcon, The Best Years Of Our Lives, and The Grapes Of Wrath), with a 96% approval rating and an average rating of 8.8/10 on Rotten Tomatoes. I find it comical that some people call this an "indisputable masterpiece", when the only indisputable fact about this movie is that they couldn't have made the movie's "subtle metaphors of the human experience" any less subtle. To put it bluntly this is a movie about a guy who tries and fails to live his life honestly and eventually has to take desperate measures to survive. Actually, that makes it sound much more interesting and eventful than it is, let me try this again -- it's a movie about a lowly peasant who instead of fighting for survival, whines and rolls over when confronted. It would work better as a pessimistic fairy tale than it did as a movie. This movie is nothing more than a reminder that just because something is supposed to be good, it doesn't mean that it is.
#2 - Raging Bull (1980)
Directed by Martin Scorsese; Starring Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, and Cathy Moriarty.
Winner of 2 Oscars, nominated for 6 more including Best Picture and Best Director, AFI's 2008 #4 greatest American movie of all-time, IMDB's 9th greatest movie of the '80s, holding a 98% approval rating and a 9.1/10 average rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with a 92/100 score on Metacritic, Raging Bull has received about as much critical praise as a movie could possibly ask for. In most movies there is a reason for you to keep watching, but here is a movie that is impossible to root for. The cast is filled with talented actors playing horrible people and though that may sound like a miniscule complaint, it's hard to enjoy a movie when you can't stand the sight of every person who shows up on the screen. This isn't even the only reason I dislike this movie (though it would be reason enough), but it's the easiest to pinpoint. I understand my reasoning behind this pick may not appear sensible to most people, but the reasons why people like this movie don't make any sense to me either, so we're even.
#1 - Alien (1979)
Directed by Ridley Scott; Starring Sigourney Weaver, John Hurt, and Ian Holm.
When I first watched this movie I thought it was really good, but upon repeated viewing I actually payed attention to the movie instead of blindly agreeing with the popular consensus and I found that it was both poorly-made and not at all interesting to me. Winner of the Best Visual Effects Oscar, currently as the 44th greatest movie of all-time and the 7th greatest of the '70s on IMDB, with an approval rating of 96% and an average rating of 8.6/10 on Rotten Tomatoes, Alien is both considered one of the greatest sci-fi and horror movies ever made. At least with many of the previous entries I could appreciate the quality of the filmmaking. This movie is the most overrated movie I've ever seen for a multitude of reasons. For one, the special effects, even for it's time, were very poor. You could write this off as a budget-related issue, but The Thing, which was made just one year later and barely had a higher budget, looked far better. Second: The cast of characters, although (for the most part) talented, didn't seem to care at all. I can appreciate the acting more than just about any other aspect of filmmaking, and I don't find it very hard to spot weak performances. The only two in the movie who seemed to be playing their roles with any sincerity were Ian Holm and John Hurt -- two of the most underrated and convincing actors around. Also, for a "horror" movie there is very little tension and distress given the situation they are in. Even the chest-bursting scene, though acted perfectly by John Hurt, was a bit of a letdown as you watch the very robotic-looking alien scurry it's way across the table and out of sight. It fails to impress as both a sci-fi and as a horror movie -- thanks, but I'll just stick with The Thing and Invasion Of The Body Snatchers if I feel like watching sci-fi horror, because I don't feel I need to watch this one again.
So there you have it. I'd like to see your picks for the most overrated movies of all-time, so please feel free to use this as a comment box for some of your own personal picks. P.S. Don't hold anything back on your comments -- reading sincere, passionate arguments is one of my favorite things here on RT.