Saturday, November 9, 2013

Weekend Weigh-in: What's the Worst Movie from Your Favorite Director?

Sometimes even the filmmakers we love can swing and miss.

When one of our favorite directors makes a movie we just don't like -- or like way less than the others -- we can sometimes take it personally. So what's the worst movie made by your favorite filmmaker?

It doesn't even have to be a movie you dislike; I know I have a way of finding things to appreciate in most movies if they're made by directors I love. Maybe it's not even a bad movie, just one you like less than the others.

And let's be civil in the comments. If someone really loves or hates a movie and you feel the opposite way, try to find some common ground. This thread isn't intended to start arguments.

34 comments:

  1. My favorite director is Quentin Tarantino so I would have to go with Death Proof for his worst movie. I still like Death Proof in its Grindhouse edit because it is a tighter movie with less of the aspects of Death Proof that I do not like. Also when it's great, it's really great. But the extended cut is a bear for me to get through namely because it's the only time in QT's career that I have had a divide in what he and I find "cool". I really don't like most of the girls in Death Proof including some of the ones I feel like I'm supposed to like. They sound like hipsters and a little of that goes a long way. I like Zoe Bell because who doesn't and Mary Elizabeth Winstead is so pretty and inoffensive that it's hard to complain. The world also needs more Rosario Dawson so that's all good. But Vanessa Ferlito, Tracie Thoms, Jordan Ladd and Sydney Poitier really annoy me in that movie and keep me from wanting to watch it most times.

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  2. Akira Kurosawa's Sanshiro Sugata Part 2.
    It was just a hired gun picture. From what I have read Akira was pressured to make the film by the studio, had no part in the writing process, and his heart was generally not in it. All of that shows. Not a bad film really, but nowhere near as fulfilling and beautiful as the first Sugata film least of all Kurosawa's greater body of work.

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  3. I'm gonna go with Robert Zemeckis and his motion capture oddity Beowulf. While Zemeckis has made many great films every now and again his need to be different can result in what I consider to be one of the sloppiest movies I have seen in his career ( and yes I include Death Becomes Her in that). It just feels all over the place and the uncanny valley with the actors is at its worst here. On the plus side I saw Flight this weekend and it was different and one of the better movies I've seen on addiction in quite some time.

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    1. I watched about 15 minutes of Beowulf and had to turn it off.

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    3. I felt so burned by Beowulf that I have said "fuck Beowulf" (to the friends I was with that night) when I am currently frustrated with something.

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  4. While Spielberg is my favorite director, we all know Hook is awful and blah blah blah.

    I love Billy Wilder. I haven't made my way through his entire filmography yet, but so far I've only seen one film of his that leaves me cold. While it has its moments, The Seven Year Itch is sloppy. Wilder's talent for sneaking sex past the censors is still top notch, and Marilyn is as smokin' as ever, but it seriously bums me out that for all his talent, Wilder couldn't figure out a way to make it a movie rather than a photographed stage play. The funniest moments (Sherman's fantasies) are great, and utilize the freedom of cinema, but most of the movie has Richard alone in his apartment endlessly talking to himself. I know it could be worse, but the structure is so stop and go, and when you're aware that you're watching a play, you're REALLY aware of it. I don't think that it's a bad movie, but when you're watching it, it's like watching a recording of a vaudeville act. Not that that can't be fun, but when I want a laugh out of Wilder, I prefer to watch Some Like It Hot or even Sabrina.

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    1. There are still a few Billy Wilder movies I haven't seen yet, too, but I had a similar reaction when I watched The Seven Year Itch during 30 Stars of Summer last year. For a comedy considered a classic, it was a huge letdown.

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    2. It's that damn Tow Ewell. He was my 50s Paul Dano.

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  5. (Sorry, I'm reposting this because I made a few mistakes that pissed me off. Let's try again, shall we?)

    I'm going with favorite director working today for whom I am able to choose a worst movie, which leaves me with David Fincher and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. The real answer is probably Alien 3, but I think a case has been made that it shouldn't count as a typical Fincher movie, and it was his first one, so I'll cut him some slack there. I do not completely dislike Benjamin Button as I think some people do, but it's definitely one of Fincher's weakest efforts. Fortunately, while I don't feel like either are on par with Zodaic-level greatness, I think he rebounded (in my opinion) with The Social Network and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

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    1. Dammit, I obviously meant *Zodiac-level greatness. I am the worst editor ever.

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  6. This is a trick question, isn’t it, because what you’re really asking is for us to pick a favorite director. I can’t have just one!

    Spielberg: Honestly, I’m not feeling the hatred for Hook. It’s cheesy fun. I say the artificial sweetsy syrupiness of The Terminal is his worst.

    Wes Craven: He’s had his share of misfires, but My Soul To Take was especially disappointing. The worst movies are those that could have been amazing but are instead just mediocre, and that’s this one.

    James Cameron: Uhhh… Avatar, I guess.

    The Coens: Even though it’s got some really funny bits, Ladykillers was too commercial Hollywood and not enough Coen-y.

    John Hughes: Curly Sue, which left out funny and genuine and instead went straight for cutesy.

    Tim Burton: Dark Shadows. I mean, come on.

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  7. I like John Wtoo quite a lot, but Wind talkers is just terrible. It's not even terrible like M:I-2 is terrible (which is in the most hilariously awesome way) it's just dull and cliche. I would have found a movie about Codetalkers really interesting, but Woo decided to just make every WWII ,movie ever made.

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    1. I love John Woo, but he has had more than a few stinkers.

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  8. My fav director is probably David Lynch. If I had to pick the worst from him I would have to say Dune. I know, I know, people love it. I simply just like it but it really is a flawed mess. I mean c'mon, Lynch took his name off of it so that's saying something. Would loved to have seen the Jodorowsky version!

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    1. To be fair, he only took his name off of the extended TV edit. But I get what you're saying. I love David Lynch, too (I even like Dune). The movie of his that I just can't get into is Inland Empire.

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    2. Thanks Patrick! I have a bunch of friends that say the same thing about Inland Empire. Before that film my favorite Lynch film was Fire Walk With Me. Many Lynch fans disagree with that as well. But now my favorite is IE. I watched it like 7 times within two or three weeks of it coming out on DVD and I was absolutely stunned by how I perceived the film differently after each viewing. I completely understand why some Lynch fans didn't dig IE, but I think it is an amazing experience and there will never be anything like it.

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    3. Wow! I did not see that coming. I certainly didn't mean to bag on your favorite. I just found it impenetrable, but I knew at the time I would need to see it again. I just haven't been able to bring myself to revisit it.

      David Lynch is one of those guys whose every movie I could see as being someone's favorite. Mind tends to rotate between four movies depending on which one I'm watching.

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    4. You should only shoot Laura Dern on the best film stock available. That is Inland Empire's cardinal sin. I do really like the (spoiler) final surreal dance scene in Inland Empire though. It's like 'hey you survived this grueling experience, let's celebrate.'

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    5. Oh, no Patrick I didn't take it as you baggin' on IE at all. I have had some friends sit through it with me and although they were glad they watched it, they were not feeling it whatsoever!

      Adam, I agree with shooting Laura Dern on film, however, the Region 2 Blu Ray is a huge upgrade from the DVD. The sound design stands out so much more. Sadly, if what Lynch says is true, we will never see another movie from him on film.

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    6. That really is too bad, because all of his movies (shot on film) look SO great. Still waiting for a Blu-ray of Lost Highway, because that movie needs a GREAT sound mix.

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    7. Agreed. I was lucky enough to see Lost Highway in the theater and, man, that film looked incredible! Do not buy the canadian region free blu ray. It's awful. Not sure if you have a region free blu ray player - if so this is the set to get. It's amazing! http://www.amazon.co.uk/David-Lynch-Box-Set-Blu-ray/dp/B007NYDVV6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1384196604&sr=8-1&keywords=david+lynch+blu+ray

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    8. I am NOT region free, and it is ruining my life. Thanks for the heads up anyway.

      I went to see Lost Highway several times in the theater back in '97 because I KNEW it would never be the same again.

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  9. Kubrick is my favorite but I really think Lolita is boring. I enjoyed some aspects of it, but compared to the rest of his work, it is my least favorite.

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    1. Yeah, I really love Kubrick too and Lolita bummed me out. I wasn't a big fan of that one either.

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  10. This is tough for me, as I've got a few and like macmcentire above, I can't have just one as well!

    Barry Levinson: He's got his share of failures (Toys, Sphere, Man of the Year) but I'm gonna go with Envy. Seeing Ben Stiller and Jack Black feuding over dog poop spray is just completely not funny.

    Oliver Stone: It has to be Alexander. Colin Farrell in a bleach blonde wig, Angelina Jolie trying to seduce his own son and everyone speaking in weird accents makes this one of the worst biopics ever.

    John McTiernan: The Rollerball remake. If you thought Chris Klein was hilariously bad in Street Fighter: The Legend of Chun-Li, this film is one of many that proves Klein is an awful actor, and to this being one of McTiernan's last films is really upsetting.

    Wolfgang Petersen: Poseidon. Remaking a very popular disaster film seems interesting, but some really crappy acting and unrealistic thrilling scenes gets that movie to drown for real at the box office and is Petersen's last directorial effort for now.

    But the last of which has to be "Timeline" by Richard Donner. Another failed Michael Crichton adaptation that makes it a cheesy ride and squanders a large cast.

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  11. Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises. Way too much going wrong in that movie

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  12. I love Brad Bird, but for some reason I can't get into Ratatouille like his other movies... I don't know why.

    For Spielberg - I never really "got" The Color Purple or Empire of the Sun... again, don't really know why.



    psst! ... yeah over here! (I actually enjoy Indiana Jones & the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull) shh!

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    1. I re-watched The Color Purple recently and maybe the reason you couldn't get into it was the score? It is trying so hard to manipulate the viewer it feels like being poked with a stick trying to make you cry. The screening was affected for me even further by hipster douche bags, that put me in a bad mood so I'd like to give the film another chance further down the line. I liked the three main female actors, but some of the performances and the way in which it was over -scored, as well as how certain scenes played out, just gave me the feeling that Spielberg felt we are all stupid.

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  13. So these are favourite directors who are still making movies to make this list shorter and a bit easier:
    Jane Campion - In the Cut. I don't think it is as bad as people made it out to be at all, it just leaves me a bit cold. I think the cool to the touch feel is intentional, it seems like a riff on Noir or Neo - Noir, which I should really appreciate, but that is it. I like the look of it, I like the people in it, I love who is directing it, I think there are more things to like in it, so why isn't working for me more? Maybe it just comes down to the fact I don't think it is as interesting as it thinks it is.

    Miyazaki is set to retire but The Wind Rises is yet to come out so I am going include him. I have been introducing his work to my siblings so have managed to get their reaction as well as reassessing what I think of them. I would say that Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind is one that I didn't connect to as much as the others. I really liked it, I think it is it is a great film but the Giant Warrior embryo thing lost me a bit. I appreciate what it represents, but I wasn't as invested in the film as I have been with his others.

    Chan - wook Park - Sympathy for Mr Vengeance. Again I don't think this is a bad film, just my least favourite at the moment and that might change when I do re-visit it. I can't convince myself to re-watch it, which I think it deserves. It is so powerful and so intense. I just don't wish to put myself through watching certain scenes at the moment as they really were tough to sit through (all I will say on that is electroshocks, I could barely look at the screen).

    Tarantino, I agree with Adam about Death Proof and the hipsters comment. This stops me from loving it on the level I do with most of his others.

    The Coen Brothers - The Ladykillers. Here is a film I think is genuinely bad due to what it represents. I love the original so much, it is a little treasure to me, so the fact the Coen's could remake this was a bit of a slap in the face considering how much I admire their work, distinct voice and creativity. I tried not to be biased before I watched it (I really did) but after I felt angry. I felt constantly let down whilst watching it. I think they could have even done something more with the idea they did have, but why did it have to be a remake of The Ladykillers? Couldn't they try and work with what they had and try to make it more of their own, develop it and the characters further, rather than something that could have been directed and written by anyone?

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  14. Gotta go with Carpenter's Village of the Damned. I actually got this on DVD recently because 1) gotta be a completist where he's concerned and 2) I wanted to give it another chance. Didn't work.

    There ARE some very food things about it...mostly that occasionally it looks absolutely outstanding. The score is pretty good. And Linda Kozlowski is actually doing a damn fine job in it.

    What doesn't work: pretty much everything else. It's oddly restrained for the most part, violence wise; while I don't think it needed to be a gorefest, some more intensity overall might have helped. I think Reeve was a good actor, and I understand why they'd cast him for this part (the essential human decency the man seemed to exude), but he stull felt miscast. Ditto on Alley -- for someone who seems like a fairly no-nonsense "tough broad" in real life (and appears to cultivate said image herself) she sure comes across like she's trying to convince us of that WAY too hard.
    Lastly, the kids are flat-out not scary and instead are more than a little ridiculous. In order for this to have been successful for me, I'd have had to have been at least a little unsettled by them, and I wasn't. Not for a second.

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    1. I invite all of you to my "food stull" for a bite anytime.
      Speaking of needing a better editor...

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