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Film You Tried to Watch but Couldn't Get Into It?


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I try to find some redeeming value or interesting aspect of everything I watch, especially the most beloved or acclaimed films, but it doesn't work out that way all of the time.

 

The most universally beloved film that does nothing for me is probably THE SOUND OF MUSIC.

 

The most consistently praised filmmaker whose work generally bores me is Jean-Luc Godard.

 

 

I played Sister Sophia on stage and so I see The Sound of Music now with a different perspective.

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I played Sister Sophia on stage and so I see The Sound of Music now with a different perspective.

I don't begrudge anyone for liking the film. I know it's a beloved favorite to a LOT of people. It just wasn't my cup of tea.

 

I worked in a local production of GREASE when I was much younger, and so I view that one a bit differently.

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But did he really have to exploit those poor animals to say it?

 

Any film that involves exploiting animals or endangering their lives or cruel behaviour to them repulses me. I understand that a tiger nearly drowned during the making of The Life of PI (inspite of all the marvelous CGI effects in that same film).

 

But then, to be honest, there must be so many westerns in which that is the case regarding horses, particularly films from the studio system days.

 

I love the 1936 Charge of the Light Brigade, and I regard the final charge sequence as a classic piece of thundering filmmaking. Really brilliant stuff. But the director, Mike Curtiz, didn't give a damn about the horses (any more than he did the riders), and a lot of the horses were put down afterward as a result. Errol Flynn, an animal lover, wrote about it in his autobiography and reported the incident at the time to the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (or some such name) at the time.

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Any film that involves exploiting animals or endangering their lives or cruel behaviour to them repulses me. I understand that a tiger nearly drowned during the making of The Life of PI (inspite of all the marvelous CGI effects in that same film).

 

But then, to be honest, there must be so many westerns in which that is the case regarding horses, particularly films from the studio system days.

 

I love the 1936 Charge of the Light Brigade, and I regard the final charge sequence as a classic piece of thundering filmmaking. Really brilliant stuff. But the director, Mike Curtiz, didn't give a damn about the horses (any more than he did the riders), and a lot of the horses were put down afterward as a result. Errol Flynn, an animal lover, wrote about it in his autobiography and reported the incident at the time to the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (or some such name) at the time.

I find myself worrying about the horses more than the people when I watch westerns anymore.

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I find myself worrying about the horses more than the people when I watch westerns anymore.

 

Right, because the people are there voluntarily (professional stunt people) while the animals, no matter how well trained some might be, are not.

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Any film that involves exploiting animals or endangering their lives or cruel behaviour to them repulses me. I understand that a tiger nearly drowned during the making of The Life of PI (inspite of all the marvelous CGI effects in that same film).

 

But then, to be honest, there must be so many westerns in which that is the case regarding horses, particularly films from the studio system days.

 

I love the 1936 Charge of the Light Brigade, and I regard the final charge sequence as a classic piece of thundering filmmaking. Really brilliant stuff. But the director, Mike Curtiz, didn't give a damn about the horses (any more than he did the riders), and a lot of the horses were put down afterward as a result. Errol Flynn, an animal lover, wrote about it in his autobiography and reported the incident at the time to the Society for Prevention  of Cruelty to Animals (or some such name) at the tim

This is why movies now have a disclaimer about how no animals in this film were injured in the making of a film.

 

On another site that focuses on movies where three of us in particular like to talk about what films to seek out that involve our favourite artists that the other two have not seen, I mentioned that I was about to see the Roman Novarro version of Ben Hur.  My friend who is a fan of both Ben Hur movies - I still haven't seen the Heston film -had horse deaths that happened during the chariot racing scene so that I would be prepared ahead of time.

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Agreed. That was one of the main reasons why I had trouble finishing it in one sitting.

 

There has been a lot written about ANDREI RUBLEV (in which the cows apparently weren't harmed in the "effects") and, while I still struggle myself over that scene with the horse (and remember that a horse still got killed in THE GODFATHER even if we didn't see it), it still didn't bother me nearly as much as a number of other "classics" like THE RULES OF THE GAME, WALKABOUT and, especially, Jean-Luc Godard's WEEKEND. That last film really disturbed me because the goose and pig are clearly struggling, unlike the other animals who look like they have a chance of escape or were simply shot instantly by a gun with limited pain and suffering. This is also why shots of Nazis shooting prisoners instantly in the old newsreels were always less disturbing to me than the "living skeletons" in the concentration camps. While I could never sit through the 1949 documentary BLOOD OF THE BEASTS, I still appreciate that it was made since it was among the first to teach viewers that hamburger isn't just something you buy in a store.... and films like it did have positive effects in the long run with how slaughterhouses are run. On the other hand, Godard's film was totally pointless. He wanted to show that 1960s Western "Consumer" Society is a violent bloodbath (well achieved in the long auto wreck montage), but why all of the animal cruelty when the point was already made?

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There has been a lot written about ANDREI RUBLEV (in which the cows apparently weren't harmed in the "effects") and, while I still struggle myself over that scene with the horse (and remember that a horse still got killed in THE GODFATHER even if we didn't see it), it still didn't bother me nearly as much as a number of other "classics" like THE RULES OF THE GAME, WALKABOUT and, especially, Jean-Luc Godard's WEEKEND. That last film really disturbed me because the goose and pig are clearly struggling, unlike the other animals who look like they have a chance of escape or were simply shot instantly by a gun with limited pain and suffering. This is also why shots of Nazis shooting prisoners instantly in the old newsreels were always less disturbing to me than the "living skeletons" in the concentration camps. While I could never sit through the 1949 documentary BLOOD OF THE BEASTS, I still appreciate that it was made since it was among the first to teach viewers that hamburger isn't just something you buy in a store.... and films like it did have positive effects in the long run with how slaughterhouses are run. On the other hand, Godard's film was totally pointless. He wanted to show that 1960s Western "Consumer" Society is a violent bloodbath (well achieved in the long auto wreck montage), but why all of the animal cruelty when the point was already made?

 

Are you sure a horse was killed for that scene in The Godfather?      e.g.  they could have used the head of a house that died of natural causes.    There wasn't any laws that prevented such a killing in the 70s?

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Are you sure a horse was killed for that scene in The Godfather? e.g. they could have used the head of a house that died of natural causes. There wasn't any laws that prevented such a killing in the 70s?

Most, if not all, animal abuse rules re:film came about because of and subsequent to HEAVEN'S GATE in 1980/81, when Michael Cimino decided to blow up living horses for authenticity.

 

I guess I should point out that HEAVEN'S GATE was the final straw. People had been grumbling for years before that, and certain people behind and in front of the camera mandated their own rules before then, such as banning trip lines for horse falls, etc.

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Are you sure a horse was killed for that scene in The Godfather?      e.g.  they could have used the head of a house that died of natural causes.    There wasn't any laws that prevented such a killing in the 70s?

 

I don't know all of the details, but... no... nobody filmed any killing scene. The live horse shown in an earlier scene was not the same one shown in the bed. My point was just comparing the two movies' "casualties".

 

Oooohhhhh.... just scrapped what I said if it sounded too confusing. Ha ha!

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Most, if not all, animal abuse rules re:film came about because of and subsequent to HEAVEN'S GATE in 1980/81, when Michael Cimino decided to blow up living horses for authenticity.

 

I guess I should point out that HEAVEN'S GATE was the final straw. People had been grumbling for years before that, and certain people behind and in front of the camera mandated their own rules before then, such as banning trip lines for horse falls, etc.

That's a film I've never  attempted watching.  I can't believe how anyone would want to blow up animals. 

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Blowup (1966).

 

Still don't know what the film was about.

 

However, I liked it when Vanessa Redgrave did those weird, jerky movements while listening to some jazz. She was so uncool and nerdy at that moment I found her rather endearing. (Reminded me a bit of myself out on the dance floor). Well, that's ten seconds that I liked in the film, anyway.

 

Okay, to be fair, I also found it intriguing when David Hemmings returned to the park where there had been a murder. There was an eeriness there (all that stillness, with only the sounds of the wind) that appealed to me, making me think of how much I like Val Lewton films.

 

I was just hoping, though, that it was all leading to something . . .

 

Maybe it did, but, whatever it was, I missed it.

 

Time for me to turn on Cat People or I Walked With A Zombie.

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Any film that involves exploiting animals or endangering their lives or cruel behaviour to them repulses me. I understand that a tiger nearly drowned during the making of The Life of PI (inspite of all the marvelous CGI effects in that same film).

 

But then, to be honest, there must be so many westerns in which that is the case regarding horses, particularly films from the studio system days.

 

I love the 1936 Charge of the Light Brigade, and I regard the final charge sequence as a classic piece of thundering filmmaking. Really brilliant stuff. But the director, Mike Curtiz, didn't give a damn about the horses (any more than he did the riders), and a lot of the horses were put down afterward as a result. Errol Flynn, an animal lover, wrote about it in his autobiography and reported the incident at the time to the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (or some such name) at the time.

 

Good for Errol! I read about this in his autobiography and it endeared me to him even more.  I believe that he had nothing but bad things to say about the making of Charge of the Light Brigade.  Wasn't this also the film where a stuntman also died?

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Good for Errol! I read about this in his autobiography and it endeared me to him even more.  I believe that he had nothing but bad things to say about the making of Charge of the Light Brigade.  Wasn't this also the film where a stuntman also died?

 

There was definitely a stuntman killed when he landed on his sword during the Civil War scenes in the making of They Died With Their Boots On. I believe that Errol wrote, however, that that incident occurred during Charge. I think the old boy may have gotten his films a little confused there.

 

However, I'm not prepared to say that some other stuntman didn't die, for sure, while making Charge. I just don't know of any.

 

According to David Niven, of course, it was while making Charge that a burly stuntman deliberately put the tip of his lance up the arse of Errol's horse, causing him the actor to be thrown to the ground, to the accompanying sound of gales of laughter from the assembled stuntmen (with whom the newly minted star was not too popular). Errol dusted himself off then proceded to clean the clock of the stuntman in front of everyone. There was then a new found respect for Flynn's fisticuff abilities among the roughhousers (possibly mistaking him as a bit of a pretty boy pansy), along with no more lances interferring with his horse's butt.

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Blowup (1966).

 

Still don't know what the film was about.

 

However, I liked it when Vanessa Redgrave did those weird, jerky movements while listening to some jazz. She was so uncool and nerdy at that moment I found her rather endearing. (Reminded me a bit of myself out on the dance floor). Well, that's ten seconds that I liked in the film, anyway.

 

Okay, to be fair, I also found it intriguing when David Hemmings returned to the park where there had been a murder. There was an eeriness there (all that stillness, with only the sounds of the wind) that appealed to me, making me think of how much I like Val Lewton films.

 

I was just hoping, though, that it was all leading to something . . .

 

Maybe it did, but, whatever it was, I missed it.

 

Time for me to turn on Cat People or I Walked With A Zombie.

I have exactly the same attitude about this movie.  I love detective movies, books, etc.  I watched this film with the idea that we were going to find out the identity of the murderer, even if the police don't-it turns out it is unimportant to the Hemmings character.  I would never have watched it in the first place if I had known that.  I know now that the movie will either make no sense to me, or it will be long and boring (eg. Camelot) when a movie has David H. in it, no matter how stunning the cinematography is.

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There was definitely a stuntman killed when he landed on his sword during the Civil War scenes in the making of They Died With Their Boots On. I believe that Errol wrote, however, that that incident occurred during Charge. I think the old boy may have gotten his films a little confused there.

 

However, I'm not prepared to say that some other stuntman didn't die, for sure, while making Charge. I just don't know of any.

 

According to David Niven, of course, it was while making Charge that a burly stuntman deliberately put the tip of his lance up the arse of Errol's horse, causing him the actor to be thrown to the ground, to the accompanying sound of gales of laughter from the assembled stuntmen (with whom the newly minted star was not too popular). Errol dusted himself off then proceded to clean the clock of the stuntman in front of everyone. There was then a new found respect for Flynn's fisticuff abilities among the roughhousers (possibly mistaking him as a bit of a pretty boy pansy), along with no more lances interferring with his horse's butt.

 

Lol.  Good for Errol.  I could see people possibly underestimating him because of his looks, but if it were me, I think the sheer size of him would make me hesitant to mess with him.  Errol was not a small man.

 

I have Niven's autobiography, I'm looking forward to reading it.

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Lol.  Good for Errol.  I could see people possibly underestimating him because of his looks, but if it were me, I think the sheer size of him would make me hesitant to mess with him.  Errol was not a small man.

 

I have Niven's autobiography, I'm looking forward to reading it.

Flynn and Niven started out as good friends.  Eventually they parted ways.  I haven't read Niven's autobiography.  I'd love to read it.

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Lord of the Rings trilogy.

 

I sat through the three films a few weeks ago. Yes, they have massive production values and some impressive CGI effects, but I can only handle so many computer animated battle scenes of thousands before it starts to get a little dull.

 

Also, director Peter Jackson just doesn't want his films to end! Return of the King just wouldn't stop playing long after the main issue of the film had finally (FINALLY!) been resolved.

 

The intoxicating charm and pull of these films for, obviously, so many filmgoers simply eludes me.

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Lol.  Good for Errol.  I could see people possibly underestimating him because of his looks, but if it were me, I think the sheer size of him would make me hesitant to mess with him.  Errol was not a small man.

 

I'm willing to bet that the stuntman who tussled with Errol was not exactly a midget.

 

It's a great anecdote by Niven, and I'm not saying that it didn't happen. But Flynn was the star of a million dollar production when this fight occurred, and I have to wonder how indifferent that stuntman was to keeping his job when he decided to physically challenge the star of the film. And were there no others in command to stop the fight from happening? What if the star had been seriously injured and a major production was held up because of a petty fist fight?

 

Having said that, perhaps no one in command was around (Niven says nothing about that aspect) and in the heat of a moment a stuntman may well be thinking he'd rather take "pretty boy" apart more than anything else.

 

As I said before, it's a great anecdote and it adds to the Flynn legend (Errol, interestingly, made no reference to it in his book, but, then, he left so much out of his book anyway).

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Lord of the Rings trilogy.

 

I sat through the three films a few weeks ago. Yes, they have massive production values and some impressive CGI effects, but I can only handle so many computer animated battle scenes of thousands before it starts to get a little dull.

 

Also, director Peter Jackson just doesn't want his films to end! Return of the King just wouldn't stop playing long after the main issue of the film had finally (FINALLY!) been resolved.

 

The intoxicating charm and pull of these films for, obviously, so many filmgoers simply eludes me.

I agree with you.  Perhaps second viewings will change my opinion.  I also was disappointed in Jackson's remake of KING KONG.  Technically, it was flawless (like LOTR trilogy) but it lacked atmosphere.  The CGI rendering of New York City was resembled a video game.  There is too much shooting devoted to static space (endless journeys on LOTR) that stop the narrative flow of the films.

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Despite my love for Agatha Christie mysteries, I could not get through Ordeal of Innocence starring Donald Sutherland.  It was more depressing than anything else and bleak. 

 

Sutherland has been in some fabulous movies, but also really bad ones.  Another movie I tried to watch recently but gave up about 30 minutes into the movie was Steelyard Blues.

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I agree with everyone about Lord of the Rings. I watched "Fellowship" and loved it, while the second 2 seemed basically the same, with battles going on 24/7.

 

I also don't understand why Hobbit received 3 movies... Basically just so it could be dragged out as a franchise and earn them more money, I guess, but that's the way the cookie usually crumbles in Hollywood.

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I agree with everyone about Lord of the Rings. I watched "Fellowship" and loved it, while the second 2 seemed basically the same, with battles going on 24/7.

 

I also don't understand why Hobbit received 3 movies... Basically just so it could be dragged out as a franchise and earn them more money, I guess, but that's the way the cookie usually crumbles in Hollywood.

 

I don't understand why The Hobbit received three movies either.  The book isn't even half the size of any of the three books that the other films were based on.  I could understand why there were three LOTR movies, there were three books, thus three movies.  Makes sense.  I agree that they made The Hobbit a trilogy just to stretch it out.  How many stupid battles can they have?

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