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Post your least favorite classic films and tell why

87 posts in this topic

13 hours ago, EricJ said:

Having watched Lynch's recent '15 Showtime cable "reunion" of Twin Peaks--where every episode now ends with credits playing over whatever art-alternative band Lynch just discovered, onstage at the roadhouse--I'm convinced that Lynch had some actual artistic vision back when he was "filming dreams" for Eraserhead, Elephant Man, Dune and the first Twin Peaks S1...But that he crawled into a desert roadhouse beer bottle of Pabst Blue Ribbon sometime around "Blue Velvet", and hasn't crawled back out since.  :(

(I could take everything else about Twin Peaks '15, but wasting half the series on "wacky" scenes of an amnesiac Kyle MacLachlan stumbling around repeating everyone else's dialogue like Edward Scissorhands, is a tragic waste of national TV treasure that goes far beyond any of the crimes Twin Peaks S2 ever committed.  And those were many.)

I think he just wanted to make a movie about Shallow Swinging Wayward 60's Youth, and we just thought the movie was about a murder mystery...Ie., the character doesn't really care, so why should we?

Brian dePalma took the 60's element out when he made Blow-Out, and the thriller was much tighter.

It's also quite possible you just don't understand the motivations of Lynch, which can be daunting to the more prosaic of film and tv critics. With such groundbreaking and iconic moments that are revisionist to Lynch's own canon, it often takes some mindbending of one's own to fully appreciate such things as his return to Twin Peaks, unlike the movie Blow Out which is easily discernible at first viewing. I doubt Lynch wanted his return to TP to be like a return of Andy Hardy to his hometown of Carvel.

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3 hours ago, GordonCole said:

It's also quite possible you just don't understand the motivations of Lynch, which can be daunting to the more prosaic of film and tv critics. With such groundbreaking and iconic moments that are revisionist to Lynch's own canon, it often takes some mindbending of one's own to fully appreciate such things as his return to Twin Peaks, unlike the movie Blow Out which is easily discernible at first viewing.

He WANTED (and said so) TP S1 to be a "parody of Peyton Place", and small-town-secrets soap operas, long before such a thing as "Bingeable season-arcs" ever existed.  Possibly "Blue Velvet"--and its kinky small-town-secrets--was his first-draft audition for the idea, but TV should be lucky that that one had Dennis Hopper and TP didn't.

And it's only the core fans who try to wave "art" over the heads of the mainstream and say "Your brain is too mainstream to understand his genius!"  Um, how many times have I had to explain Eraserhead's "REM-state filmmaking" style, of Lynch trying to imitate the cinematic style of nighttime dreams, to other posters on the board, and then explain how he used that style for his first mainstream-studio gig in "Elephant Man"?   (Seriously, the first five minutes, with the abstract shots and Anthony Hopkins at the freak show, are cribbed straight out of Eraserhead's style, not that I'm complaining.  B) )  Lord knows I've had to explain the "Agent Cooper's midget" scene of TP S1:E3 enough times.  

But there's Lynch BEFORE "Wild at Heart", and there's Lynch AFTER...Although it's really TP S2 where you can first see him getting bored with himself, getting into the self-goofing jokes, and leaving the planet.  From your screen name, I'll take the liberty of guessing you're one of those later-Lynch fans, who think Lynch's hearing-aid FBI chief (he shouts and gets things wrong, get it? 😓--Um, does Lynch even know what hearing aids are like today, almost thirty years later?) is one of those unique-filmmaker things, and not just something insultingly cribbed out of a 50's sitcom, because Lynch can't quite parse the human concept of "Comedy relief".  When "Dune" starts looking like a work of unique, artistic, experimental early-Lynch, you know his later style is in trouble.

(And does anybody else who watched the revival now keep seeing Lynch's Chief Cole whenever they see President Trump in public, and vice versa?:  "What?  'Fake booze'?...No, we've got genuine Jack Daniels, the real stuff!")

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I doubt Lynch wanted his return to TP to be like a return of Andy Hardy to his hometown of Carvel

I'd hoped it would be something a little better than "Fire Walk With Me", where almost nobody from the first season wanted to come back--Instead of Michael Ontkean refusing to come back to the revival as Sherriff Truman, and (SPOILERING) offscreen by phone.  :(

And I remember thinking S2 would have been better if Cooper had left the town, and cases started bringing in NYC and Vegas for more complexity, while still involving the characters...But as for the Revival, would letting Agent Cooper BE Agent Cooper again have been asking too much??

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16 hours ago, EricJ said:

'15 Showtime cable "reunion" of Twin Peaks

Are you saying it aired in 2015? It was actually on just last year!

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5 hours ago, sewhite2000 said:

Are you saying it aired in 2015? It was actually on just last year!

Filming began in 2015 I think. Either way, what a great season that was!

13-dougie-twin-peaks-coffee.w700.h700.jp

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16 hours ago, Sepiatone said:

BLOW UP?  

I too, when finally seeing it, thought it was way overrated.  See...

I remember the big deal made about it back when it came out, but I didn't see it until it wound up on a cable channel in the very early '80's.  So by that time, I was way over the '60's.

Maybe it is just being a bit cynical, but I have a certain hunch that neither the excellent reviews Blow-Up received at the time nor the Antonioni autheur effect or its enigmatic did-he-see-it-correctly plot were the reasons why audiences went in droves to it at the time. Instead, I think it had something to do with that sequence of models behaving very badly.... Scenes like that were unheard of in English-language films at the time, and most likely adolesent boys and young men streamed into the theatres just for that scene.

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7 hours ago, CinemaInternational said:

Maybe it is just being a bit cynical, but I have a certain hunch that neither the excellent reviews Blow-Up received at the time nor the Antonioni autheur effect or its enigmatic did-he-see-it-correctly plot were the reasons why audiences went in droves to it at the time. Instead, I think it had something to do with that sequence of models behaving very badly.... Scenes like that were unheard of in English-language films at the time, and most likely adolesent boys and young men streamed into the theatres just for that scene.

:P

Yeah, just like a LOT of guys went along with their girlfriends to see  '68's ROMEO and JULIET, for that NANOSECOND of a nude OLIVIA HUSSEY.  ;)

Sepiatone

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Maybe these films are not so much classic films but films from the classic era.

Stage Struck (1936) - A musical with almost no music and the rest is boring.
The Invader (1935) -Good as a short but this cheap indie got stretched to an hour. Poor Buster Keaton.
Border Radio (1987) - Maybe a little too new to be considered classic, but it borders on just awful. And yet it is on Criterion!
Snowfire (1957) - Mighty men of the west have a showdown with, not six guns, but tree branches!
Ring of Terror (1961)  - A B film with an Ed Wood vibe.
Heaven with a Gun (1969) - A western from the anti-war era where everybody talks too much for too long.
Behind That Curtain (1929) - I have no idea why Warner Baxter still had a career after this early talkie but John Gilbert did not after his first talkie.
Isle of Fury (1936)  - If you ever want to see a truly BAD film with Bogart in it
I Live For Love (1935) - WB had a hard time making films with punch when the production code first started enforcement.

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Gotta and one more remark re: Mr Smith, 20/20 hindsight, retro-judgment, and revisionism

Where all that leads to is a hideous form of 'tokenism' (below) which sacrifices the sanctity of dramatic productions for the 'sake of appearances'. (I don't know who this dimwit 'Frances McDermott' is but she's an idiot as far as I'm concerned).

https://tinyurl.com/y8zxesrs

https://tinyurl.com/y72pmslz

https://tinyurl.com/yb4rns8m

I may not have said it before on this website --I can't recall--but the entire trend towards 'cleaning up language' (including but-not-limited-to, cutting-scenes-from-movies, removing-books-from-libraries, etc) ...the entire movement towards any kind of "censorship of culture" makes my blood boil. Its Stalinist; its newspeak, it's what Orwell very cogently warned us against, and something which ought to be avoided at all costs. Politics taking over speech, thought, or art is always wrong.

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2 hours ago, Sgt_Markoff said:

Gotta and one more remark re: Mr Smith, 20/20 hindsight, retro-judgment, and revisionism

Where all that leads to is a hideous form of 'tokenism' (below) which sacrifices the sanctity of dramatic productions for the 'sake of appearances'. (I don't know who this dimwit 'Frances McDermott' is but she's an idiot as far as I'm concerned).

https://tinyurl.com/y8zxesrs

https://tinyurl.com/y72pmslz

https://tinyurl.com/yb4rns8m

I may not have said it before on this website --I can't recall--but the entire trend towards 'cleaning up language' (including but-not-limited-to, cutting-scenes-from-movies, removing-books-from-libraries, etc) ...the entire movement towards any kind of "censorship of culture" makes my blood boil. Its Stalinist; its newspeak, it's what Orwell very cogently warned us against, and something which ought to be avoided at all costs. Politics taking over speech, thought, or art is always wrong.

Nobody in this thread is saying the films have to be censored or edited. Where has anyone done that or advocated that point of view in this thread?

I do think we can critique films that were made a long time ago and note their obvious failings or shortcomings (as well as the merits) without seeming like we're policing the content. Your phrase 'retro judgment' is interesting and funny.

But I think the over-reactionary stance of people who think the films are sacred and can't be discussed with any meaningful criticism is a huge impediment. We should be able to point out the gender biases and other cultural biases that exist within the texts of these films. They're not perfect texts, not ever above constructive criticism.

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On 11/15/2018 at 6:43 AM, Sgt_Markoff said:

I may not have said it before on this website --I can't recall--but the entire trend towards 'cleaning up language' (including but-not-limited-to, cutting-scenes-from-movies, removing-books-from-libraries, etc) ...the entire movement towards any kind of "censorship of culture" makes my blood boil. Its Stalinist; its newspeak, it's what Orwell very cogently warned us against, and something which ought to be avoided at all costs. Politics taking over speech, thought, or art is always wrong.

You realize that the vast majority of films that people discuss and enjoy on this very site were produced under a production code that was designed to do just that ? From 1934-1968 (or so), All Hollywood films had scenes cut and sanitized.

The can cut and edit all they want as long as I am able to see the uncut original.

I still have yet to see the true ending of Babyface and that irritates me.

 

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On 11/13/2018 at 6:14 PM, EricJ said:

Um, how many times have I had to explain Eraserhead's "REM-state filmmaking" style, of Lynch trying to imitate the cinematic style of nighttime dreams, to other posters on the board, and then explain how he used that style for his first mainstream-studio gig in "Elephant Man"?  

It certainly was egalitarian of you to come down to the mentally subterranean level of the masses here so you could "explain" to them such "cinematic" information about Lynchian matters. Let me offer sincere appreciation from all of us, Eric.

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You realize that the vast majority of films that people discuss and enjoy on this very site were produced under a production code that was designed to do just that ?

Ably spoken, as far as it goes. I accept the minor irony. ^_^

So let me ask you, do you think this is actually a compelling argument that says we should embrace censorship today? There's many ready and facile answers I might choose to employ in knocking down such a strange position.

For convenience and brevity, I need only remind you that participation in Hays was a voluntary act on the part of the studios. Studios themselves created the Hays office.

If you really want to insist on the point, I'd be glad to bat it around further.

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Nobody in this thread is saying the films have to be censored or edited. Where has anyone done that or advocated that point of view in this thread? 

The complaints you voiced were anachronistic and highly-political criticisms, rather than treating the film fairly on artistic points upon which it could be judged as having succeeded or failed at the time it was made.

Anywhere in the academia of the humanities fields, this practice is abhorred for being not only faulty and imprecise, but biased.

I like your film reviews and I like your writing and plenty of ideas you espouse. But history is a hot-button with me, no question about it.

I'm sensitive to anti-historical and relativistic trends because unfortunately this type of thing doesn't exist in a vacuum. It's not found only in one obscure forum thread on a film website. There's a sanctimonious mindset running rampant lately. We're awash in widespread revisionism. Digital media is plunging us back into a dark age.

If criticism of the past were confined to quiet, theoretical mutterings, I might not be so wary. But look at the examples I've cited: scenes are being cut from movies. Spoken language is being policed. Printed words are being made forbidden. These urges to 'clean up the past' are exploding.

Lawsuit and legislation is being determined by a 'dictatorship of the proletariat'--except that it isn't. Its a dictatorship of the 'lobbyist' and the 'special interest-group'. Same as was, Prohibition.

It's a very short hop from castigation to redaction.

 

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Hey Sarge, can I ask to whom you're directing your previous two posts?

Ya see, I've noticed lately that you often quote someone in your posts around here, but somehow whatever method you're using doesn't show who you're quoting or the date/time they posted their comment, and thus which comment from which member's earlier posting you're soliciting a reply and/or commenting upon.

Your above two posts being another case in point.

And then I also wonder if whoever you're quoting actually receives one of those little "notifications" up there to the right in order to then get a little heads-up and possibly reply back to you.

(...just sayin')  

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You may certainly ask!

I'm replying to TopBilled and GGGerald in turn. They addressed me, two posts above GordonCole.

I need to do something about this quote thing. You're right.

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'George Formby' night on TCM. A friday night! As avid a fan as I am of British variety theater can't Friday and Saturday nights be devoted to more rousing fare?

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every time I see Audrey Hepburn sing, I'm embarrassed for her. I'm just as embarrassed when other people watching the movie think that's singing. If I could take a time machine back, I'd fire her the day before filming starts and replace her with Julie Andrews.

I made it through the rest of the opening salvo of (non-Smith) remarks in post #1 of this thread without undue excitement but this one sure gave me pause. Julie Andrews over Audrey Hepburn? Say what? Julie Andrews ...is who the proverbial paper-bag was made for. For good singing there has always been phonographs. That is to say: 'phon-o-graphs'.

But if one is watching a movie, visuals are key. Andrews is a book author rather than babe-a-licious.

A movie can often succeed with bad singing, but a movie can't succeed with unappealing visuals.

Circumstantial proof of my assertions:

Screen+shot+2010-08-22+at+11.10.46+PM.pn

 

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3 hours ago, Dargo said:

Hey Sarge, can I ask to whom you're directing your previous two posts?

Ya see, I've noticed lately that you often quote someone in your posts around here, but somehow whatever method you're using doesn't show who you're quoting or the date/time they posted their comment, and thus which comment from which member's earlier posting you're soliciting a reply and/or commenting upon.

Your above two posts being another case in point.

And then I also wonder if whoever you're quoting actually receives one of those little "notifications" up there to the right in order to then get a little heads-up and possibly reply back to you.

(...just sayin')  

Dargo,

When he quoted me but didn't include my screen name, I did not receive a notification. So it's a good thing I make a habit of periodically checking the thread.

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4 hours ago, Sgt_Markoff said:

The complaints you voiced were anachronistic and highly-political criticisms, rather than treating the film fairly on artistic points upon which it could be judged as having succeeded or failed at the time it was made.

Anywhere in the academia of the humanities fields, this practice is abhorred for being not only faulty and imprecise, but biased.

I like your film reviews and I like your writing and plenty of ideas you espouse. But history is a hot-button with me, no question about it.

I'm sensitive to anti-historical and relativistic trends because unfortunately this type of thing doesn't exist in a vacuum. It's not found only in one obscure forum thread on a film website. There's a sanctimonious mindset running rampant lately. We're awash in widespread revisionism. Digital media is plunging us back into a dark age.

If criticism of the past were confined to quiet, theoretical mutterings, I might not be so wary. But look at the examples I've cited: scenes are being cut from movies. Spoken language is being policed. Printed words are being made forbidden. These urges to 'clean up the past' are exploding.

Lawsuit and legislation is being determined by a 'dictatorship of the proletariat'--except that it isn't. Its a dictatorship of the 'lobbyist' and the 'special interest-group'. Same as was, Prohibition.

It's a very short hop from castigation to redaction.

Not sure i'm following what you're saying. Are you saying that any time we point to outdated cultural views in a text, we are being anachronistic because we are looking at it with modern sensibilities? If that is what you are saying, you are basically suggesting that no older text can be evaluated, critiqued or re-examined for any reason. 

You load your response with sensational phrases like "anti-historical" and "relativistic" and "widespread revisionism" in an attempt to discredit/quash any meaningful criticism of the past, then suggest if someone voices disapproval of the cultural norms in an older film they are trying to censor it or delete it from our collective memory. I think at one point in a prior comment you used the word Stalinist. 

It almost seems like you are practicing a form of censorship against those with views that are too progressive and different from your own.

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12 hours ago, Sgt_Markoff said:

I made it through the rest of the opening salvo of (non-Smith) remarks in post #1 of this thread without undue excitement but this one sure gave me pause. Julie Andrews over Audrey Hepburn? Say what? Julie Andrews ...is who the proverbial paper-bag was made for. For good singing there has always been phonographs. That is to say: 'phon-o-graphs'.

Kind'a overstating your case here, aren't ya Sarge?!

(...'cause while granted, Julie was never any sort'a cover girl or ravishing beauty, I always thought her appearance was quite appealing in a "white bread cute" sort'a way) 

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But if someone goes so far as to suggest we travel back in time and somehow replace Hepburn with Andrews, I think a reminder about Andrews' lack of sex appeal has to be strongly stated. Just look at the conversation about 'Torn Curtain' if you don't believe me. No one liked her in that, why would she fare any better as Eliza Doolittle? I ask ye.

Darg Man sez:

Quote

Kind'a overstating your case here, aren't ya Sarge?!

 

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5 minutes ago, Sgt_Markoff said:

But if someone goes so far as to suggest we travel back in time and somehow replace Hepburn with Andrews, I think a reminder about Andrews' lack of sex appeal has to be strongly stated. Just look at the conversation about 'Torn Curtain' if you don't believe me. No one liked her in that, why would she fare any better as Eliza Doolittle? I ask ye.

Andrews played the role on Broadway for almost two years (March '56 to February '58). She was strongly identified with the part of Eliza and had the musical ability to do it justice on film, in a way that Hepburn would never be able to achieve in a million years.

https://www.ibdb.com/broadway-cast-staff/julie-andrews-29923

At any rate, I think you're being overly argumentative (again). This topic was meant to stimulate a conversation about the ways in which so-called classic films may not seem very classic to some of us. That's all.

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14 hours ago, Sgt_Markoff said:

For convenience and brevity, I need only remind you that participation in Hays was a voluntary act on the part of the studios. Studios themselves created the Hays office.

 

But, it was created because of pressure from the government. And to avoid government intervention.

Let's not confuse the two things:

  • Censorship is the government telling me I cannot produce nor watch content.
  • Political Correctness is people making personal decisions

Media is more free now than probably any time in history. Just because channels choose not to show a film or companies choose to edit media doesn't make it censorship. Because I can find the original version and watch it. And we can always vote with our dollars and force change. 

With so many channels jockeying for viewers, showing content that might offend potential viewers is bad business. Because they can simply turn the channel. We may not like it but, its always a business decision. 

Your real argument is with the sensitive public.

 

 

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