I’ve seen a lot of movies in my time, some I loved some I hated. I admit I am kind of a movie snob and I must say it takes a lot for me to give a movie thumbs up. I am a very unforgiving reviewer. Still I think it is just common sense that some of the movies people seem to worship are really not as great as credit is given. I am not necessarily saying these are bad movies, I am just saying that people tend to inflate them much more than they are worth.
I begin my list with the story of a pregnant teenager. Many friends of mine gave Juno rave reviews. Of all the movies on this list, Juno is the only one I can say I honestly hate. I think a better title for Juno would be Vignettes From the Life of a Snotty Teenager. The only thing I can say about Juno is that it has a pro-life message, but that is it. Juno, the main character, is incredibly sarcastic and boring. Essentially what makes this movie unique is that Juno breaks the mold from the typical pregnant teenager in that she is a nerdy sort and so is the father of her baby. Still, I don’t like to see Revenge of the Nerds meets Knocked Up. If that doesn’t sound good to you, don’t ever touch this overrated movie. I still can’t explain why so many people like it.
Next we come along to a movie that actually won the Palme D’Or at Cannes, which is one of the highest honors for a motion picture. In one poll it was voted a greater movie than even Apocalypse Now (which about made me puke because I love Apocalypse Now). Before I get to it I must say I love Martin Scorcese’s work; I loved Gangs of New York and Shutter Island may be a new movie but I must say it is on my favorite films list. Still, people seem to point to Taxi Driver as his most important work; it is far from it. Taxi Driver is nothing more than some blended together scenes from the life of an insane taxi driver named Travis Bickle. If you want to sit for two hours and watch the antics of an insane man then you will love this movie. Most people do not love such things. In some ways it reminds me of another overrated tale of a madman, Crime and Punishment. (If I got on the tangent of overrated literature it would require a separate article). However, unlike the previous movie I found this one actually watchable and I would recommend you see, albeit only once.
Now for something political. Not just one movie can be placed on this list, rather an entire director. I am talking about liberal filmmaker Michael Moore. Michael Moore makes bad, leftist documentaries. It is not my disagreements with much of his politics, it is simply the way in which he presents his one-sided garbage. From the fact that he used a hospital reserved for government elites in Cuba and claimed it was representative of Cuba’s socialized medicine to his putting the picture of a dead child on the aging Charlton Heston’s step and basically blaming him for the child’s gun related death Michael Moore takes no prisoners. Of course, because Michael Moore is a radical liberal Hollywood absolutely adores him and gives his movies all kind of awards. If you are a militant leftist with no desire for objectivity you will love his movies, if you are not, or even if you are a mainstream center-left type you will have no use for his overrated garbage. If you do watch his movies help put even more money into the pocket of a rich man who hates capitalism and claims that he earned nothing from capitalism. I will make an exception for Canadian Bacon which is an excellent movie, but that is not a documentary.
If you would like a good movie about race relations in the USA then watch Gran Torino. It truly is just as great a movie as everybody says it is. American History X by contrast overdoes things. Instead of focusing on a mainstream situation it takes things to the extremes by focusing on a group of young neo-Nazis. Even then I do not suspect a hardcore Nazi youth like the younger brother would come to a racial epiphany as quickly as he did, nor would he get shot while in the bathroom of his school in cold blood by a black kid while carrying his essay which reveals his racial epiphany. It would be a nice story if it happened, but it is one of those unbelievable overly dramatic tales with some bearing on reality, but not much. It is also a vehicle for Edward Norton to attempt to become a great actor. Actually that’s why at the start of the film it says, “directed by Alan Smithee” because Norton was using it as a vehicle for himself so the real director signed off any association.
Finally we have what I consider the cream of the crop. It was over ten years between James Cameron’s Titanic and his next movie, Avatar. In those ten years James Cameron became even more of a genius because he realized that by simply filming a run of the mill sci-fi film with a story ripped off of Dances With Wolves and then putting it in 3D he would earn one billion dollars simply because of that last part about 3D. James Cameron did not have the first 3D movie but the fact that it was hyped so much and made so much money (the highest grossing of all time) means that it launched a trend that will be hanging over our heads for a long while. Once again did I mention that it was merely a run of the mill sci-fi story that rips off Dances With Wolves? I must admit I did enjoy the movie but to me it was nothing to write home about if not for the 3D, yet somehow it almost won best picture. Still it was ironic when James Cameron’s ex-wife beat him. Titanic was simply an earlier incarnation. James Cameron decided to make a super big budget film, hype it up, and let the money roll in. Once the money rolled in it would be secure as a great motion picture even though it was simply a cheesy love story about a lower class guy falling for an upper crust girl. The only way Woody Allen couldn’t have made this into a movie is the fact that everybody dies in the end, but that is my two cents.