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Disliked Movie Settings or Story Types


LawrenceA
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I was curious what types of movie settings or story types were among the least favorite by others. Now, I don't mean genres necessarily, like westerns or horror of sci-fi or war pictures. I believe most everyone around here has voiced dislike of horror movies in general, and nearly as many dislike science fiction.

What I'm talking about is more specific. For example, story settings like jungle pictures or desert pictures or arctic pictures. Or stories concerning specific sports, like boxing movies or baseball movies. Or about specific types of crime, like kidnap-and-ransom stories or bank robbery pictures.

I bring this up after watching Broadway Bill (1934), which concerns one of my least favorite storylines/settings: racehorses, or horses in general. Don't get me wrong, I like horses well enough, but movies about them are boring to me, and often follow the same story beats.

I also know that no matter what the setting/story trope, a good movie can be made about it. I can name at least one movie that I like about every one of the examples I provided above.  But that doesn't mean they're all good.

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Why the long face? :huh:

Okay I'll bite. Me, I generally dislike hospital movies.  They seem always bound to play out the same way every time; especially if run as straight drama. After a while they lost all credibility with me.

TV shows as well. I grew more and more mystified at this long-standing trend in television. Why are any dramas set in hospitals ...at all? How morbid! Insensitive as well.

This paragraph by the way, begs closer examination.

Quote

I also know that no matter what the setting/story trope, a good movie can be made about it. I can name at least one movie that I like about every one of the examples I provided above.  But that doesn't mean they're all good.

So what can you conclude from this stern over/under? Isnt it a case of 'exceptions prove the rule'? If I was in your shoes I would winnow out the rare good film --and set out to discover what makes it good; when all the rest are uniformly bad. In other words, don't permit an exception to a general rule. ;)

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Movies that center on computer hackers/hacking, or other wildly exaggerated computer usage. Always shot with a fast-moving camera, rapid edits, and a pounding soundtrack to try and distract from the fact that we're watching people sitting and fake-typing.

 

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Ah I have another. Didn't think I could name more than one but in general, southern plantation films fare poorer with me far more often than they succeed. I like them better when then they are old and crumbling, post-bellum rather than antebellum. Tennessee Williams and William Faulkner rather than Edna Ferber. Poor South rather than rich South. The whole mint-julep thing, lends itself to lampooning more than anything else.

The white, ruffled shirt-fronts on the dandyish southern gentlemen. What do they call those anyway?

 

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21 minutes ago, LawrenceA said:

Movies that center on computer hackers/hacking, or other wildly exaggerated computer usage. Always shot with a fast-moving camera, rapid edits, and a pounding soundtrack to try and distract from the fact that we're watching people sitting and fake-typing.

 

And they're always able to hack into the alleged high-security computer system on the first try. 

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While I cannot rule out all romantic comedies as a whole, because there are some I enjoy (an exception to every rule as Lawrence alluded to in his first post), I tire of the ones that follow the same predictable plot.  I believe that Hallmark only uses about 4 scenarios for their millions upon millions of films:

SCENARIO 1

Boy meets girl.  Boy and girl dislike each other immediately.  They spend the beginning of the movie constantly running into one another.  These unwanted encounters are met with sneers, sighs of exasperation and perhaps some snarky comments.  Boy and girl are forced to deal with one another in some fashion.  Maybe their job places them on the same assignment; he's hired by an outside party to perform some work, forcing the girl to deal with him; she's his son's teacher, whatever the case may be.  During their forced meetings, they find that they have something in common and fall in love.

SCENARIO 2

Big city Boy or girl find themselves stranded in a small town.  Usually this small town has some sort of quirk, like 24/7/365 Christmas, or it has an amazing vineyard, something.  The strandee will encounter their opposite sex counterpart in town.  Usually he or she has a job, like carpenter, or interior decorator, or something that keeps them in town and consequently a major part of the local community.  Usually the strandee is annoyed that they're stuck in the middle of nowhere and are unable to find the silver lining.  Then, they are unexpectedly (but very expectedly as far as the viewer is concerned) charmed by the town.  They end up leaving their big city job, marrying the other lead in the film and settling in the small town.

SCENARIO 3

The family business is in trouble.  Nobody knows that Grandpa's Gingerbread House Factory really hasn't turned a profit for the past 10 years, because he's been trying to keep tradition going.  However, Grandpa is about to lose his home.  The lead, usually female, is upset and tries to come up with a plan to save the family business.  At some point in the beginning of the film, she will meet a man, at somewhere like the grocery store and immediately fall for him.  Everything is perfect about him, until she learns that his company is the one who is planning on foreclosing on Grandpa's business.  She must now convince her new beau to not foreclose on Grandpa's business by introducing him to the people whose lives he's going to affect.  He usually sees the error of his ways and decides to not only let Grandpa keep his house, but finds a way to pay Grandpa's bills as well. 

SCENARIO 4

A single parent moves to a small town to start a new life.  His or her child however, is highly introverted and barely talks to anyone.  The parent and the child will encounter someone at the coffee shop, or a toy store, or somewhere else in town.  The parent will meet the barista or the shop owner or what not, and they'll find they have a bond and go out to dinner.  The parent's new love interest is made aware of the very shy child.  Through the love interest's personal magic, he or she is able to connect with the child and the child speaks for the first time.  We see a montage of the love interest and the child bonding, laughing and having fun while performing a variety of activities.  The single parent will be seen smiling and looking on adoringly.  There will usually be some sort of conflict, like the single parent or the love interest possibly moving away.  However, they will stay together and the formerly introverted child will have the parent he or she never had. 

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I don't mind equestrian dramas or films with horse races. But movies about car races seem incredibly dull to me. GRAND PRIX, LE MANS and DAYS OF THUNDER are all sleep inducing.

I'm not a fan of movies about coming out stories. They always seem to be overly sentimental, with a thesis about acceptance. But we all know people whose coming out process was painful and not good; people who come out and are not accepted. But gay filmmakers do not want to show the negative aspects of coming out, so none of these films are at all realistic to me. They're a lot of phony propaganda.

Movies about rape. They always set up the viewer to side with the victim. Seldom if ever being a story where the victim is lying. In the "me too" era these stories are very political. I'd like to see one of these stories from the point of view of the accused. Where the accuser is the villain.

Talkies with little camera movement annoy me. 

Movies about the crucifixion are always patriarchal. I'd love to see a religious story about a woman on a cross. Or a western where the person being hanged by a rope is a woman. Tell it from her point of view for a change. Stop making these stories about men all the time. Movies like KING OF KINGS, THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST and THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST perpetuate sexism in organized western religion.

 

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I don't like films that focus on certain types of characters. It has nothing to do with whether they are good or evil (and btw Lawrence, who doesn't love horror films?), it has more to do with my innate dislike with a character type. 

An example: I would probably watch the Showtime series Shameless if it weren't for the William H. Macy character. I absolutely hate characters like that. There are plenty of examples in movies, but the Macy character is a perfect fit.

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8 minutes ago, Sgt_Markoff said:

Auntie Mame with Roz Russell? I thought that was set in Manhattan penthouse apt?

That's the film. She is wooed by and marries Beauregard Jackson Pickett Burnside, who is the scion of Peckerwood in the South. His mother disapproves and has the best line:

"Mother of Jefferson Davis, she's passing the fox!"

Btw, the name of their plantation, Peckerwood, is a joke, as it's a word that refers to poor southern whites.

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11 minutes ago, TopBilled said:

I don't mind equestrian dramas or films with horse races, since the horses at least have some personality. But movies about car races seem incredibly dull to me. Except for the Love Bug movies, the cars do not have personality. GRAND PRIX, LE MANS and DAYS OF THUNDER are all sleep inducing.

I'm not a fan of movies about coming out stories. They always seem to be overly sentimental, with a thesis about acceptance. But we all know people whose coming out process was painful and not good; people who come out and are not accepted. But gay filmmakers do not want to show the negative aspects of coming out, so none of these films are at all realistic to me. They're a lot of phony propaganda.

Movies about rape. They always set up the viewer to side with the victim. Seldom if ever being a story where the victim is lying. In the "me too" era these stories are very political. I'd like to see one of these stories from the point of view of the accused. Where the accuser is the villain.

Talkies with little camera movement annoy me. 

Movies about the crucifixion are always patriarchal. I'd love to see a religious story about a woman on a cross. Or a western where the person being hung by a rope is a woman. Tell it from her point of view for a change. Stop making these stories about men all the time. Movies like KING OF KINGS, THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST and THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST perpetuate sexism in organized western religion.

 

Robert Redford's THE CONSPIRATOR covers the trial and execution of Mary Surratt, the woman convicted in the conspiracy to assassinate Lincoln. I don't think it's very good, but a woman gets hanged.

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Speedracer, that was great. Those ARE the four official templates of romantic comedies, especially the ones a la Hallmark. Congratulations!!

I do not like Bad New Bears-type stories. The team that can't win and then gets the coach or inspirational player and suddenly they become champs. Now North Dallas Forty is a movie about sports that's about the reality and business of sports; that one I love.

I do not like first **** stories like Summer of '42. Pauline Kael once quipped that a great parlor game was for everyone to tell a story about "that summer I became a man." The biggest liar has a future as a Hollywood screenwriter. That being said, I adore Experience Preferred . . . But Not Essential, which is British, quirky, and altogether delightful, and sometimes sad, about a summer that includes a young woman's first sexual experience.

I do not like stories where someone like a homeless person offers great pearls of wisdom which transform the lives of the middle-class dolts who encounter him.

I don't like stories where someone, especially a regular guy *cough*Bruce Willis*cough* kills about a bazillion professional killers. I suppose superhero stories, as in comic book heroes, would be a genre, but I dislike "origin stories" even more than I dislike the other kind of superhero stories.

Surely this post is curmudgeonly enough for one evening!

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**Any kind of story where a supposed 'regular guy' has obviously spent many years in a hi-tech gym, steroid use, etc.**

Aye thumbs up for North Dallas Forty; thumbs down for that gorgon Kael; thumbs down on super-hero origins but thumbs up for the Salkind's Superman with Chris Reeve, the only decent example of the genre ever made.

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I do not enjoy books, plays or movies in which a character is wrongfully accused and is condemned with no chance to defend themselves. Such a situation is more emotionally devastating than any physical assault, accident or illness could ever be. I feel strongly that to consider this type of thing to be entertainment is on a par with watching for amusement people being decapitated. 

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4 hours ago, speedracer5 said:

While I cannot rule out all romantic comedies as a whole, because there are some I enjoy (an exception to every rule as Lawrence alluded to in his first post), I tire of the ones that follow the same predictable plot. 

Have you watched: Romantic Comedy (1983)? It is Mary Steenburgen and Dudley Moore directed by Arthur Hiller. It is very much like a Neil Simon play but it was written by  Bernard Slade.

It uses some romantic comedy tropes in skewed ways and pokes fun at others. They begin to fall in love on the day they first meet which is very unfortunate because it is his wedding day. They deny their feelings for many years as they work well together as playwrights which is exact opposite of the bitterness/fighting turning to love trope. There comes a time when they are both single and their first sexual encounter is a complete disaster for both.

When discussing the problems with a play they are writing and considering whether there can truly be "love at first sight":

Jason Carmichael: It happened to me once. I was at the Tony awards two years ago. I saw this woman from the back. She was wearing a blue taffeta dress, and she had gleaming black hair, cascading over creamy white shoulders. I fell instantly in love. Then she turned around, and it was you.

Phoebe Craddock: It was green actually.

Jason Carmichael: What was?

Phoebe Craddock: The dress. It was from the second act of "Somewhere Every Summer." I borrowed it from wardrobe.

Jason Carmichael: I might have known you wouldn't have bought it.

There are many flaws with the movie from the uneven pacing to the insipid ending but I find it quite enjoyable and believe that you might not hate it.

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Haha, I can't stand B type mysteries that my film club often shows as double features. It all started with my disdain of non Asians as Charlie Chan. I noticed the formulas were all the same: they resolve neatly at the end. Really, we can't have a true mysterious ending?

A few Sherlock Holmes are OK for the winding, complicated stories, but you still know it will be a neatly tied up conclusion in 68 minutes. Agatha Christie features are the only mysteries where I find the story is actually more interesting & satisfying than the conclusion.

I much prefer stories that actually leave some aspects of the conclusion up to the viewer and feel THE UNINVITED '44 is an excellent example of a fairly ambiguous ending.

And I simply cannot watch violent movies and much prefer the "clean" violence of old WB Cagney gangster type movies. No blood! No guts! Just a quick, bloodless gunshot! (even machine gun shooting in SOME LIKE IT HOT was bloodless!)

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It DOES seem there are more gripes about genres than movie settings, but in some cases, they do go "hand in hand".  but, to add my  $0.02..............

"High school confidential" type movie, especially since the '80s, where NONE of the schools or their "problems" resemble anything real and where everybody, from the teachers to the gangs of bullies that seem to constantly roam the halls, and even the NERDS are all cartoon cliches.

I SWEAR I wish I had a DIME for every time in one of them, some dimwitted acting punk uttered, "You're HISS-TREE!"  or;  "I'm your WORST NIGHTMARE!"  Every time I hear that, I also hear myself inwardly say, "I THOUGHT that face looked familiar!"  ;)

DANCE COMPETITION movies bore me to the bottom of my bowels as well.

Sepiatone

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