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Is a movie you don't like a waste of time?


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I put this question on another forum and got some many interesting answers I thought I'd ask it here. A friend of mine thinks that if he sees a film and doesn't like it then it's a total waste of his time. My position is that even if I don't really like a certain film I still find seeing it worth my time. Good or bad, I enjoy the experience of watching a film and I always learn something about the actors or the director or whatever that adds to my knowledge of films and filmmaking. I'm sure I've seen a few over the years that I really felt were a waste, but even then I learned something. The movie stank. Any thoughts?

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The way I look at it is that if you take the trouble to sit down to watch it, you really don't know if it's good or not but you've planned that 2 hours for movie watching. It's always a crap shoot if you've never seen the movie before, right? So therefore I don't think it's a waste of time because it's a planned activity and you should know within the first 15 minutes if you're going to like it. Sometimes I won't dislike a movie right away but when I think about it later I might decide that it was predictable, or it made me feel bad in a way I don't want to experience. But I rarely feel that way because I know my tastes well enough to know if I'm going to enjoy it or not based on the synopsis of the movie. There are a few I've turned off after a few minutes though.

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Very interesting question - my own answer surprised me when I thought about it.

 

If it's a newer movie that I didn't like, say from the 70s onward, I do feel that it was kind of a waste of my time. But if it's an older movie, I think of it more as a learning experience. At any rate, I never leave a film halfway through, either in a theater or at home.

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I think a bad movie is a bad movie but, if you're in the right frame-of-mind, you can watch a bad movie and like it. I did so with Air Force One awhile back. I like stupid movies, but that one takes the cake. You just can't believe that it could get any worse, and it does, but it's done so smoothly and by a filmmaker who no doubt realizes how stupid his material is but figures if it's presented entirely over-the-top then maybe some damn fool will like it just for that reason. I think you can learn something from reading Spenser but the only thing you're gonna learn from watching a bad movie is just how desperate some people are to get a job in the movies or just how desperate some people are to make movies or just how desperately we as a society encourage the production of derivative, bad movies (such as 95% of what's currently in your neighbourhood AMC). My friend is a post-production supervisor for some B-movie company with a wing in Toronto and she loves working on bad movies and would probably be the first to admit that nobody is going come away from a really bad movie any more enlightened than they already were, unless it's with the added knowledge of being aware of the existence of yet another bad movie. That's just my opinion.

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Hello,

 

Growing up in the 1960's, a steady diet of American International pictures probably ruined my taste...for life. I rarely watch a movie I dismiss as a complete waste of time.

 

johnnyweekes70 mentioned "Air Force One" as an example of a stupid movie but, watchable. His comment reminded me of the movie "Executive Decision" from 1996. As a 'terror in the sky' movie, it's okay...I've seen better. What makes the movie worth a view is watching hot shot Steven Segal sucked out of a jet plane (at cruising altitude), without a parachute, 30 minutes into a 130 minute movie. Now that is my idea of a so-so movie elevated to a must-see!

 

Rusty

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I don't think it's a waste of time. Especially if it has actors in it I really like. I tend to make a point of seeing all the films, both good and bad, of the actors I really love. I think seeing the bad ones makes me feel like I 'know them better'. Because not only have I seen the ones that everyone has seen (the 'victories')...but I've also seen the 'obscure for a reason' films (the 'defeats').

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Differences in watching films over the years:

 

1910s -1950s:

maybe a crap shoot but I will learn something about film making, film history or acting that I may not have considered. Are they all classics? No. Many bad films were made. There are films I readily admit I would never watch again. But there are films I am thankful for being exposed to.

 

Films from the 60s and 70s:

Incredibly interesting because of the history. The end of the studio system, the inflated budgets, the egos, the missteps. The unexpected surprises from filmmakers and actors. The exhiliration of discovery that the filmmakers and the actors of Hollywood's Golden Age can still take your breath away or take a role so against type that you sit up and take notice.

 

The final nails in the coffin of the Code and how that new freedom played out. I love watching the changing morals of America through the films being made from the beginning to the 70s. The movies highlight that conflict every step of the way.

 

Films from the 80s and 90s:

Still great metaphors for who we are and what we hold important. Still important as social history as we watch Hollywood abandon an audience that grew up with films and want to see films in a theatre setting. We are replaced by the all ruling demographic: teenagers. The problem: teenagers typically don't love film and given a choice on a weekend night will choose another option.

 

Films from the 2000s:

Some are still worth seeing. Others get rated on how many hours of my life I won't be getting back.

 

Bottom line:

 

It's all a crapshoot and I still love it.

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Last night I forced myself to watch ?The Boys from Brazil?, and I found it to be very dull and poorly made. The entire film is based on a one-sentence plot: ?An ex-Nazi doctor clones Hitler in the 1980s.?

 

That plot idea is worth a 30 minute TV drama and no more. This film is not a ?classic? and it should not be shown on TCM. Watching it was a waste of my time, and paying for a satellite service so I could watch it was a waste of my money.

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albatros1, I think you've mistaken the film I was discussing. I was calling Air Force One with Harrison Ford a stupid but mindlessly enjoyable movie and not Howard Hawks' film with John Garfield. I entirely agree with you about flag-waving pictures made during the actual fighting and the context in which to view them. The only problem I have with the genre is that it's never really ground to a halt. One can only watch the same stupid tricks so many times, via so many different actors, before it gets a little tiring.

 

pktrekgirl, I'm like you in respect to watching everything a certain performer has made, good or bad. Sometimes it's fun to see a great performance in a really bad film or an awful one in a really good film. You get that a lot with Errol Flynn. I love Flynn, but it's taken me twenty years to accept that Northern Pursuit is a stupid movie (moreso if the viewer's a Canadian, which I am) even though I like it and Flynn's awkward performance. What I originally meant to write was that no, I don't think a movie you don't like is a waste of time because, more often than not, I watch films for reasons other than the storyline, and character performances, snappy editing, interesting lighting or whatever can elicit interest in an otherwise stupid movie.

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I don't know that I would call a film I have seen that I didn't like as "a waste of time." However, there have been some movies and some TV-movies where I have wished I could get those two hours back in my life. I could also say that some movies I have seen in theaters that I didn't like could be described as a waste of money.

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For me, I don't believe that anything in life is a waste of time....even a bad mistake.........IF I can learn something from it. Movies are no different. If it has nothing to teach me and I can find nothing at all to learn from it, try as I might, then, like someone already stated, I find it two hours of my life that I wish I could get bad. Luckily, not very many films fall into this category, even if I've only learned how NOT to do something. Due to a bad set of circumstances, and an unintended error on my part, I've even learned something ethnic on this list that I didn't know before. So all learning is good.

 

Scarlett

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"I could also say that some movies I have seen in theaters that I didn't like could be described as a waste of money."

 

I felt like that when I went to see Man Trouble with Jack Nicholson. I was one of two other people in the theatre and they were people I went with. I should've known better when no one else came in.

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?I felt like that when I went to see Man Trouble with Jack Nicholson. I was one of two other people in the theatre and they were people I went with. I should've known better when no one else came in.?

 

Funny you should say that. I?ve been to a few modern movies that I didn?t like but that had large audiences, but I went to one several years ago that only had about 5 people in the theater. It was ?Selena? with Jennifer Lopez. I loved the film, but I think it bombed at the box office. Too many Mexicans in it. But I thought it was a great film, which reminded me some of the old bio classics of the past, the ones about struggling musicians whose lives ended tragically.

 

But I?ve been to Mexico many times. I like most Mexicans, especially the family-oriented kind like in that movie. Selena?s story is a very sad and tragic one, which was well told by that great film, but the film never attracted much of an audience. That film should have received a few Academy Awards, such as for sound and for make-up. They made Lopez look just like Selena. And she acted like Selena too.

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90% of the films that I watch on The Sundance Channel I have never seen so I usually check out what other people are saying about it on IMDB before I watch it. I will give the foreign films a hard try knowing that I am seeing attitudes of another culture and if I like the film I will record it the next time it is showing (many of these films need a second viewing in order to understand what is going on).

 

As far as the Vintage Films that are on TCM, I know if I like them or not, there is no guess work there. The directors and actors are all familiar and I know what to expect. I enjoy watching films that I have never seen before the best and will usually pass on films like Doctor Zhivago or War and Peace, and other Vintage films on TCM that I have seen, instead choosing something new. That is why I will have to admit that I do not watch TCM to often, maybe about twice a week.

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It depends. I've seen some films that I thought were pretty bad during bouts of insomnia and it didn't seem like it wasted my time. I sure wasn't doing anything else with it. A long time ago I watched "The Moon and Sixpence" during such a night and thought it was the most boring film I ever sat through. Since it was such a night I know I ought to give it another chance.

 

I don't go to the movies very often as I'm more likely to think I wasted my money rather than my time. I ask myself - "Can this wait for DVD?" At least I can get out of that easier.

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FredCDobbs: I think That 30 minutes would be including the commercials. I have on several occasions tried to watch all the way to the end, without success, the Harry Potter movies. Is it just me because I found them to be quite boring. And they gave one of those the Best Picture Oscar and turned down "Star Wars". Brother!!

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A very interesting question Mark, but an easy one for me to answer. I can watch just about any movie and find something of value in it. Hence, I wouldn't consider any movie viewing experience to be a complete waste of time even if I found the plot implausible or uninteresting, the acting (or casting) poor, the music inappropriate or dull, etc.. My wife says I can watch anything, and that's certainly true. For all the films I've seen, I've walked out on (or turned off prematurely) less than a handful. At the very least, I learn that I don't need to watch a particular movie again and can better appreciate, recognize, and/or differentiate films of quality

 

Message was edited by:

path40a

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FredCDobbs: I think That 30 minutes would be including the commercials. I have on several occasions tried to watch all the way to the end, without success, the Harry Potter movies. Is it just me because I found them to be quite boring. And they gave one of those the Best Picture Oscar and turned down "Star Wars". Brother!! >>

 

Albatros,

 

I don't think any of the Harry Potter films have won the Best Picture Oscar.

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albatros1

 

quote:

"I have on several occasions tried to watch all the way to the end, without success, the Harry Potter movies. Is it just me because I found them to be quite boring..."

 

You are not alone. The first DVD I rented after I bought our first DVD player was the first "Harry Potter" movie. My reaction: strictly kids stuff. My consideration of "Harry Potter" is not wholly negative. I thought most adults would react, "I have seen that plot a few times". Kids would probably like the movie.

 

I never read any of the "Harry Potter" books (I can't concentration long enough to read an entire restaurant menu in one sitting). I hope the books are a little more...original.

 

Rusty

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Hello,

 

There I go again.

 

"I can't concentration" becomes "I can't concentrate..." .

 

From now on I will post twice--one post with my original message and a post of original message corrections.

 

I don't need no stinkin' "Preview" button.

 

Rusty

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jarhfive, I've done the same thing you've done so many times and I just hate posting mistakes but my brain works faster my fingers. A lot of other people have probably noticed something that I never did before, and that's the little icon beside the 'click here to reply.." icon. It allows you to edit your message and ad the little line "message was edited by..." (though I don't apply it to my newly corrected messages!). Now that that I know it exists I can sleep easier and if you decide to use it, and it works for you, you won't have to post twice!

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