I was reading through Yahoo!’s 100 Movies To See Before You Die list when I thought to myself: "coming up with a silly list of things that express my personal taste and which won’t be the same as anybody else’s list of things that express their own personal taste in a manner that’s very similar to hundreds – if not thousands – of other lists of things that express personal tastes on TV, the internet, or in print is a great idea for a post when it’s been a few days and I haven’t really got much time to come up with something dazzlingly original anyway."
That’s the sort of thing I think when I read things. Long sentences, rambling thoughts, lazy ideas; yeah, I’ve got them all.
So, how about 10 Must Avoid Movies To Not See While You’re Alive?
I’m not really asking you. I’m going to go ahead and list them regardless of your response.
1. Alien Versus Predator: Requiem
Plot: Aliens are fighting Predators who are fighting Aliens who are all fighting the inbred inhabitants of a small town in America somewhere.
Why You Must Avoid It: I like the Aliens films (well, not all of them obviously) and I like the Predator films. I even liked the first of the Aliens Versus Predator films because it was an unusual time and location setting and there was a nice Predator Likes Girl plot going on too. This film, however, is total shit. It’s a 1970s college teen horror film with an increased budget allowing the producers to replace "Man In Cheap Mask" with "Man In Alien Suit" and the result, from quite early in the film as it happens, is that you find yourself rooting for anything but the townspeople to win because they’re all so astoundingly unlikeable. And not because they’re acting unlikeable. They’re just unlikeable.
2. Blade Runner
Plot: In the future it’s dark and neon manufacturers are making a killing and there are android-robot-cyborg-things on the loose and only one man can catch them. Or is he a man? Yes. Or is he? No. It depends which version you watch. And which of the twelve thousand re-releases of the film had the sheep in it again?
Why You Must Avoid It: It makes every fecking "best" list in the world. And near the top too. It’s an okay film. It’s just not that good. The only reason it gets in lists is twofold: firstly, because it was released at the start of the VHS boom when video shops stocked it, Porkys, Beastmaster, and maybe one other film so there’s a nostalgia thing going on. Secondly, it gets re-released every other year and confuses people. Right now we’re up to Special Director’s Extended Edited Unedited Producer’s Platinum Remastered Ultimate Original Ending Cut. This may have changed by the time you read this. By not watching it you may help to stop the madness.
3. Dr Strangelove or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb
Plot: Something about the start of an atomic war and a plane and some people in a room and Peter Sellers and a cowboy hat.
Why You Must Avoid It: People slam Steve Martin for poor, over-the-top comic performances in sell-out films but somehow when Peter Sellers does it in stylish black and white with an overrated director it’s fine. You know that line about not fighting in here because it’s a war room? Ha ha! Yeah? You know that one? They show it in all the clips, yeah? Ha ha! Yeah, well, the reason they show it in all the clips is because it’s the one good three-second strip of celluloid that was shot in this otherwise pointless pile of crap and total waste of time of a film.
4. The Godfather, Part II
Plot: Godfathers won’t be around for ever so there’s always room for more Godfathery antics with the wacky (in every sense) Italian American family.
Why You Must Avoid It: It’s not as good as the first Godfather no matter what anyone says. Despite this, some people will claim it is better. But they’re wrong and I’m right. You can avoid arguments by simply not watching this film and then refusing flat out to do so when the movie’s proponents tell you that you simply have to. It will really annoy them and that will give you a far better feeling than pointing out why they’re wrong in the first place.
5. I Am Legend
Plot: One man and his dog hiding at night and killing the plague-ridden people during the day.
Why You Must Avoid It: It’s based on one of the best science fiction books ever written; a tale that challenges what you see as good and evil by the end. But "based on" turns out to be Hollywood-speak for "we’ve taken the title and the lead character’s name and then optioned a zombie film script we’ve had laying around for a while." The amazing (truly, truly amazing) twist in the book’s ending becomes… a chase/mob attack followed by a suicidal grenade explosion! Everyone likes explosions! The explosion tested well in the vital Drooling Morons demographic. If you like films that make you ask questions then you might like this but your questions are only going to be "what?", "how?", "why?", and "huh?" Read the book. Stomp on the film.
Plot: A space flight towards the Sun trying to throw some kindling on it to keep it going a bit longer encounters some problems. With hilarious consequences.
Why You Must Avoid It: Take one part hard science borrowed from actual scientists, one part mind-numbingly dull philosophy borrowed from movies as tedious as Solaris, and one part screw-it-all, half-way through we’ll switch to a horror film borrowed from numerous horror films, and you’ve got yourself a recipe for disappointment on a grand scale. Could have been good, turned out to be confusing just because it could, and ended up helping a breed of chin-rubbers to utter compelling reasons for its greatness such as "makes you think" and "oh! Ah! Yes. Mmmm."
7. The Dark Knight
Plot: Joker commits crime. Batman fights Joker.
Why You Must Avoid It: Films are either good or not good. A film can become less not good by including plots, direction, cinematography, and writing. Films cannot become less not good by having an actor die before release. The one does not influence the other positively. In this instance it actually made it far worse as the film’s editors decided to forego the reason for their existence and simply cash in on all the spurious extra footage they had of the guy by putting every single scene they’d shot of him in the cinematic release. From about an hour from the end you will be crying inside for the film to just… bloody… end!
8. Ocean’s Twelve
Plot: A group of conmen and hustlers set out to cast Europe in a bad light by filming an awful heist movie there.
Why You Must Avoid It: The first Ocean’s Eleven was a good, entertaining film with a clever switcharoo-twist at the end. The remake of the first Ocean’s Eleven was a good, entertaining film with a clever switcharoo-twist at the end. The sequel to this garbage was a good, entertaining film with a clever switcharoo-twist at the end. This aforementioned garbage concentrated on in-jokes, "exotic" settings such as train stations, and then just pulling the rug out at the end and saying "fooled you!" In case you ever have to, the order you should watch the Ocean’s films in is: original, then remake of original, then Thirteen, then hang yourself.
9. The Haunting (1999)
Plot: People are being haunted in a haunted house by something that’s haunting the haunted house.
Why You Must Avoid It: Remakes are generally dreadful. Remakes of average films might be excused on the grounds that someone is trying to take a good idea and run with it again. Remakes of great films make no sense. What can you possibly hope to achieve? The Wicker Man is one obvious example and The Haunting is another. Take a great and thoroughly terrifying, atmospheric thriller and hand it to Hollywood. Ramp up the overt lesbianism? Check! Discard tension in favour of blowing the CGI budget to smithereens? Check! Folks, we’ve got ourselves a winnah here!
10. The X-Files: I Want To Believe
Plot: Plot? Oh. There’s a priest with a penchant for young boys. And there’s snow. Body parts feature in it somewhere.
Why You Must Avoid It: I want to believe I didn’t watch this film but my physiological reaction to just thinking about the movie tells me I did. Actually, it’s not a movie. It’s a double-length episode of the TV show. But more than that: it’s a double-length episode of the TV show that they would never have shown on TV because Seinfeld has the exclusive rights to Things About Nothing. Do you like aliens? Do you like the paranormal? Do you like the things that made you like the X-Files? Yeah, well none of those are in this tripe. Oh, but Scully and Mulder end up in bed. Whoop-de-doodle-yawn.