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I Hate Movies That Make Me Feel Brain Dead!!!


TomJH
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I heard those words 25 years ago at the show, as the lights in the cinema came up at the conclusion of watching the movie Jacob's Ladder.

 

The final scene in the film had me completely baffled as to what had just occured, and, as I sat in my seat, mulling over the scene, those "brain dead" words were spoken quite loudly by my girlfriend sitting beside me. The theatre was quiet when she said it so there was a fair ripple of laughter around us in response to her sentiment. I rather thought it was sympathetic laughter due to a lot of other viewers identifying with her feelings at that moment.

 

I created this thread because I thought of those words again yesterday when I viewed the final scene in Birdman last evening. I still don't know what really happens in the last scene of last year's critically acclaimed, Best Picture Oscar winner. Perhaps it is deliberately ambiguous but it left me unsatisfied because I couldn't make logical scene of that hospital room scene.

 

What about anyone else? Anyone care to name a film or particular scene in a film that left you hopelessly confused? If it's a critically applauded film, it may even give you that brain dead feeling because you just don't "get" it while, presumably, others do.

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I heard those words 25 years ago at the show, as the lights in the cinema came up at the conclusion of watching the movie Jacob's Ladder.

 

The final scene in the film had me completely baffled as to what had just occured, and, as I sat in my seat, mulling over the scene, those "brain dead" words were spoken quite loudly by my girlfriend sitting beside me. The theatre was quiet when she said it so there was a fair ripple of laughter around us in response to her sentiment. I rather thought it was sympathetic laughter due to a lot of other viewers identifying with her feelings at that moment.

 

I created this thread because I thought of those words again yesterday when I viewed the final scene in Birdman last evening. I still don't know what really happens in the last scene of last year's critically acclaimed, Best Picture Oscar winner. Perhaps it is deliberately ambiguous but it left me unsatisfied because I couldn't make logical scene of that hospital room scene.

 

What about anyone else? Anyone care to name a film or particular scene in a film that left you hopelessly confused? If it's a critically applauded film, it may even give you that brain dead feeling because you just don't "get" it while, presumably, others do.

 

I hate movies that are brain dead and can leave the viewer as such.

 

Sex_Lives_of_the_Potato_Men_DVD_cover.jp

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Yep, Tom! Antonioni's "masterpiece", "Blow-Up" comes first to mind here.

 

I've watched this thing three times and have never discovered what so many of the critics AND of course "the intelligentsia" have found so great about it.

 

(...however, once I read that the producer pulled the plug on it after Antonioni hadn't filmed all he had planned to and because he was running WAY over budget, I began to see "the big picture" here)

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I thought this thread was going to be about MOVIES that are brain dead, i.e., ones that challenge or engage you in any way except at the basest level. I would say the movies you mention are exactly the opposite. They're movies that want you to think for yourself and not have everything spoon-fed to you. I never before heard the words "brain dead" used to mean you feel confused or ignorant about something. I suspect the other people around you laughed because they thought your girlfriend meant the movie was brain dead.

 

Here's my interpretation of JACOB'S LADDER, if you're interested: it's something like the same plot twist later used in THE SIXTH SENSE (SPOILER ALERT!). Tim Robbins is killed in the opening scene. For the rest of the movie, its seems like he's back home, but he's really in Hell or Limbo. Because he's resistant to accepting the idea he's dead, he can't see the angels who are trying to guide him to Heaven for what they really are; instead he perceives them as frightening monstrosities. But he finally learns to accept at the end of the movie.

 

As for BIRDMAN, I think the ending is meant to be completely open to your personal interpretation (Again, SPOILER ALERT!). I've looked at the message boards on imdb and other Websites. The vast majority of posters choose to take the bleakest possible interpretation: he kills himself, and his daughter's surprised, happy smile is only part of his delusion that he's flying, not reality. I tend to be a glass half full kind of guy and since this film flirts with magical realism anyway, I prefer to think he really is flying at the end and only his daughter can see it because she's finally empathetic with him. Or something like that.

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I thought this thread was going to be about MOVIES that are brain dead, i.e., ones that challenge or engage you in any way except at the basest level. I would say the movies you mention are exactly the opposite. They're movies that want you to think for yourself and not have everything spoon-fed to you. I never before heard the words "brain dead" used to mean you feel confused or ignorant about something. I suspect the other people around you laughed because they thought your girlfriend meant the movie was brain dead.

 

Here's my interpretation of JACOB'S LADDER, if you're interested: it's something like the same plot twist later used in THE SIXTH SENSE (SPOILER ALERT!). Tim Robbins is killed in the opening scene. For the rest of the movie, its seems like he's back home, but he's really in Hell or Limbo. Because he's resistant to accepting the idea he's dead, he can't see the angels who are trying to guide him to Heaven for what they really are; instead he perceives them as frightening monstrosities. But he finally learns to accept at the end of the movie.

 

As for BIRDMAN, I think the ending is meant to be completely open to your personal interpretation (Again, SPOILER ALERT!). I've looked at the message boards on imdb and other Websites. The vast majority of posters choose to take the bleakest possible interpretation: he kills himself, and his daughter's surprised, happy smile is only part of his delusion that he's flying, not reality. I tend to be a glass half full kind of guy and since this film flirts with magical realism anyway, I prefer to think he really is flying at the end and only his daughter can see it because she's finally empathetic with him. Or something like that.

Michele, the girlfriend, made that "brain dead" comment because the film made her feel like a dope because she couldn't understand Jacob's Ladder's ending. Thanks for your interpretation of it. I haven't seen the film since that occasion in the theatre, though (no particular desire to re-visit it, to be honest with you) so my memory of the film is gone and I'll accept what you said. At the time of my viewing of it, though, I was scratching my head along with Michele.

 

As for your interpretation of the last scene in Birdman, I don't understand why (SPOILER ALERT) the daughter is smiling if he's dead (besides, she's looking up, not down upon his body in the streets, so I don't think that's it). If she's smiling because he really is flying (and I thought of that one already on my own), why would the film suddenly decide to have her father defy the laws of science for an ending? Any flying that he did earlier in the film was a reflection of his imagination and ego. Having him suddenly really fly doesn't make a lot of sense to me. This is a guy having a breakdown.

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What about anyone else? Anyone care to name a film or particular scene in a film that left you hopelessly confused? If it's a critically applauded film, it may even give you that brain dead feeling because you just don't "get" it while, presumably, others do.

 

I'd personally rather watch Jeb Bush talk about selling footwear in Panama than suffer again through the brain-numbing experience of watching My Dinner With Andre.  That epic snoozer made me feel like George Costanza in full retreat from one of George Steinbrenner's monologues about calzones.

 

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I'd personally rather watch Jeb Bush talk about selling footwear in Panama than suffer again through the brain-numbing experience of watching My Dinner With Andre.  That epic snoozer made me feel like George Costanza in full retreat from one of George Steinbrenner's monologues about calzones.

 

 

 

Andy, were you confused by the film? You sound more like you were just bored, which isn't what I'm talking about when I refer to feeling "brain dead" as an inability to understand a film or scene.

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Another film that gives me that "brain dead" feeling (my inability to understand what I'm viewing) are large passages in the final scenes of 2001:A Space Odyssey. I've heard others state, however, that one should read Arthur C. Clarke's book in order to fully understand it.

 

This makes me feel somewhat better, if that is the case. That way I can put the blame on Kubrick's inadequacy as a filmmaker for causing my confusion. :)

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Another film that gives me that "brain dead" feeling (my inability to understand what I'm viewing) are large passages in the final scenes of 2001:A Space Odyssey. I've heard others state, however, that one should read Arthur C. Clarke's book in order to fully understand it.

 

This makes me feel somewhat better, if that is the case. That way I can put the blame on Kubrick's inadequacy as a filmmaker for causing my confusion. :)

last nite I lived dangerously and watched The Fifth Element on syfy. :)

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THIS PART IS QUOTING TOM JH'S POST:

As for your interpretation of the last scene in Birdman, I don't understand why (SPOILER ALERT) the daughter is smiling if he's dead (besides, she's looking up, not down upon his body in the streets, so I don't think that's it). If she's smiling because he really is flying (and I thought of that one already on my own), why would the film suddenly decide to have her father defy the laws of science for an ending? Any flying that he did earlier in the film was a reflection of his imagination and ego. Having him suddenly really fly doesn't make a lot of sense to me. This is a guy having a breakdown.

 

 

 

 

THIS PART IS ME REPLYING. I'M TOO STUPID TO KNOW HOW TO TAKE MY RESPONSE OUT OF THE QUOTE BOX:

Well, the laws of science are possibly being defied the whole movie, from the very opening shot where he's meditating in his underwear in mid-air and moving stuff with his mind all through the movie. So why not fly away at the end? A movie doesn't always have to be logical or make sense, in my opinion, to be enjoyable. BIRDMAN was intentionally meant to be ambiguous. Sometimes that comes across as pretentious ( a number of arty '60s movies come to mind), but it worked for me.

 

The people who interpreted the ending as a suicide, at least the ones I've read, all pretty much say we are not seeing the real daughter in the final seconds of the movie, just Michael Keaton's projected image of his daughter. In his mind, as he's plummeting to his death, he imagines he's really flying and imagines his daughter is watching him fly. So, if you want to believe the ending was a suicide, that's a way to interpret the image of the smiling daughter.

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Well, the laws of science are possibly being defied the whole movie, from the very opening shot where he's meditating in his underwear in mid-air and moving stuff with his mind all through the movie. So why not fly away at the end? A movie doesn't always have to be logical or make sense, in my opinion, to be enjoyable. BIRDMAN was intentionally meant to be ambiguous. Sometimes that comes across as pretentious ( a number of arty '60s movies come to mind), but it worked for me.

 

The people who interpreted the ending as a suicide, at least the ones I've read, all pretty much say we are not seeing the real daughter in the final seconds of the movie, just Michael Keaton's projected image of his daughter. In his mind, as he's plummeting to his death, he imagines he's really flying and imagines his daughter is watching him fly. So, if you want to believe the ending was a suicide, that's a way to interpret the image of the smiling daughter.

 

We have different interpretations of Birdman, sewhite. All those scenes in which he is floating or mentally moving stuff around I saw as being as being as much his imagination as his flying. Even when he smashed up his room through mind control, looking for a logical explanation (perhaps my fault, there) I thought it was really his imagination, and that the things destroyed were really by his own hands, even though the viewer only sees it as he does, through his imagination.

 

After all, the actor is going through an emotional crisis throughout this film, reaching a climax at the end.

 

I could be wrong, though. Perhaps there was more about Birdman that I didn't understand than just the ending.

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TomJH,

 

See Antonioni's film THE PASSENGER that makes no sense at all.

 

See these odd IMDB reviews. They make no sense either:

 

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0073580/reviews?ref_=tt_urv

That's TWO Antonioni films that got the vote for confusion on this thread, the other being Dargo's bafflement over Blow Up. I've never seen any film of the Italian director. You guys are making me rather pleased about that fact. :)

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Another film that gives me that "brain dead" feeling (my inability to understand what I'm viewing) are large passages in the final scenes of 2001:A Space Odyssey.

 

Yeah, I know....many people say this.

I find it a fantastic movie to discuss with others. Kubrick doesn't "fail", it's really very much up to interpretation. Bear with my choice of words;

The "voices" are the "gods" the creators of the universe. When the (Bowman) the old man dies, he is reincarnated into the star child and travels at light speed through space & time. The universe as a womb is just imagery. This baby will be the first to inhabit a new planet, a new history starts over again. With a link to our earth, mankind, meaning our earth is just a terrarium of the gods.

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I thought this thread was going to be about MOVIES that are brain dead, i.e., ones that challenge or engage you in any way except at the basest level. I would say the movies you mention are exactly the opposite. They're movies that want you to think for yourself and not have everything spoon-fed to you. I never before heard the words "brain dead" used to mean you feel confused or ignorant about something. I suspect the other people around you laughed because they thought your girlfriend meant the movie was brain dead.

 

Here's my interpretation of JACOB'S LADDER, if you're interested: it's something like the same plot twist later used in THE SIXTH SENSE (SPOILER ALERT!). Tim Robbins is killed in the opening scene. For the rest of the movie, its seems like he's back home, but he's really in Hell or Limbo. Because he's resistant to accepting the idea he's dead, he can't see the angels who are trying to guide him to Heaven for what they really are; instead he perceives them as frightening monstrosities. But he finally learns to accept at the end of the movie.

 

Yeah, I thought he was referring to pointless "no-thought" junk like Julia Roberts movies - 'Mystic Pizza' or 'Pretty Woman'. You know, crap like that.

 

Tim Robbims was clinging to life throughout the movie, but he had to die (it was his time) and the experiences in his mind were a result of his fighting the journey into the afterlife. This is what his "angel", played by Danny Aiello, is patiently trying to make him realize.

 

While 'The Sixth Sense' may have been inspired in its ending by 'Jacob's Ladder', it's quite possible that 'Jacob's Ladder' was similarly inspired by 'Dead & Buried' (1981).

 

Anyway, I'm off to watch a Julia Roberts movie so my brain can rest-in-peace for a while. Just hope my stomach can take it.

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Another film that gives me that "brain dead" feeling (my inability to understand what I'm viewing) are large passages in the final scenes of 2001:A Space Odyssey.

 

Yeah, I know....many people say this.

I find it a fantastic movie to discuss with others. Kubrick doesn't "fail", it's really very much up to interpretation. Bear with my choice of words;

The "voices" are the "gods" the creators of the universe. When the (Bowman) the old man dies, he is reincarnated into the star child and travels at light speed through space & time. The universe as a womb is just imagery. This baby will be the first to inhabit a new planet, a new history starts over again. With a link to our earth, mankind, meaning our earth is just a terrarium of the gods.

oh, so that's what all that means. old man bowman's palatial living quarters threw me off. :)

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Another film that gives me that "brain dead" feeling (my inability to understand what I'm viewing) are large passages in the final scenes of 2001:A Space Odyssey.

 

Yeah, I know....many people say this.

I find it a fantastic movie to discuss with others. Kubrick doesn't "fail", it's really very much up to interpretation. Bear with my choice of words;

The "voices" are the "gods" the creators of the universe. When the (Bowman) the old man dies, he is reincarnated into the star child and travels at light speed through space & time. The universe as a womb is just imagery. This baby will be the first to inhabit a new planet, a new history starts over again. With a link to our earth, mankind, meaning our earth is just a terrarium of the gods.

You got that just from the Kubrick movie, TikiSoo?

:blink:

 

If the film doesn't "fail," then why do so many viewers not get the ending? And we haven't even touched on the black monolith.

 

Any film in which a computer has the most human sounding voice in it is a film which has a few problems, from my perspective. In that respect, the coldness of this film is representative of so many Kubrick movies, though, of those that I've seen, this is the only one that has given me that feeling of a brain dead syndrome to which I alluded in the opening post.

 

2001 is a film that has always divided its viewers: those who love it, and those who scratch their heads as to what the other viewers see in it, particularly the film's final chapters.

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I find it a fantastic movie to discuss with others. Kubrick doesn't "fail", it's really very much up to interpretation. Bear with my choice of words;

The "voices" are the "gods" the creators of the universe. When the (Bowman) the old man dies, he is reincarnated into the star child and travels at light speed through space & time. The universe as a womb is just imagery. This baby will be the first to inhabit a new planet, a new history starts over again. With a link to our earth, mankind, meaning our earth is just a terrarium of the gods.

 

Sounds good to me! :)

 

We need to add that narration to the end of the film, in a man's voice, with a nice British accent. :)

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I'd rather watch Mel Brooks' "History Of The World, Part I" than "2001:  A Space Odyssey".  I found "2001" to have too many boring stretches where I was flat-out uninterested.  I honestly do not think I could stay awake if ever I attempted to watch "2001:  A Space Odyssey" again.  I'd have to keep my eyelids open with toothpicks.   I don't hate "2001", but I don't find it interesting enough to ever want to watch again.    

 

     JACOB'S BLADDER leaks rotten pi - ss.       

 

     And WISDOM is even worse.  What a dumb script.     

 

     DAUGHTERS OF DARKNESS (1971) I found too disjointed to enjoy.  I won't watch it again.  Once was enough.   

 

      SCRATCH:  HARRY (1969-UK) (aka:  "The Erotic Three").  This movie should be re-named "ARTY BRITISH '60s SWILL".  What rubbishy twaddle this was.  Reminded me of that Anthony Newley movie "HIERONYMOUS MERKIN" for some reason.  And 'MERKIN' was a junk movie, too.  I felt more stupider (sic) after attempting to watch and make sense out of it.  What a waste of talent.  I could only get through the first 40 minutes and then I asked myself why in hell should I continue watching this incomprehensible slop? ► I did not give myself a good answer so I stopped the tape, re-wound it and haven't bothered with it since. 

 

      (On the flip-side I did quite enjoy the 1975 musical "THE OLD CURIOSITY SHOP" which starred Anthony Newley). 

 

     I will not watch THE USUAL SUSPECTS again.  The ending negates the whole movie.  Apparently the Devil is a secret storyteller and enjoys wasting his time.  And mine!  :angry:

 

     THE WEDDING PLANNER was pretty rank.  There was zero chemistry between the two stars.  I blame Matthew McConaghey for that.  I don't watch many RomComs and I should've skipped this one.   

 

     NAIL GUN MASSACRE (1987-Shot on video) was utter junk.  And LAST HOUSE ON THE LEFT (1972) from Wes Craven was stupid garbage.  There's plenty of bad movies I like.  'LAST HOUSE' ain't one of 'em.  It's a dumb movie and it's unbelievable the bad guys would end up at the girl's parents house. 

 

     FEAR NO EVIL (1981) needs to have its negative recycled into bong water.  Totally uninvolving teen-oriented horror movie.  I'd gladly burn the negative for this waste of film if I could.  

 

   

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