Wednesday, January 1, 2014

F This Movie! - The Underrated, Overrated and Ugly of 2013

Patrick and JB close out another year with their picks for the best movies people didn't see or like, some stuff other people liked but they didn't and a couple of movies no one should like.

Download this episode here. (37.9 MB)

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  1. Hey guys,

    Great show as always. Really enjoy hearing your opinions about the year in film.

    I wanted to bring up Man of Steel (I know I know) once more, just in reference to something you guys were talking about at the end of the podcast. And that is sincerity and optimism and how audiences don't know how to react to that when they see it on screen nowadays. I have a sneaking feeling that the studio, the filmmakers, etc., had that in mind when retooling Superman for a new generation which is how we got the "film" that is Man of Steel this past summer.

    Of the movies that I saw this year, it's one of my worst and, without going into all the problems with the construction of the film (it's a huge mess), I'll just say this: The film posits a Superman that is EXACTLY like us Americans, post-9-11. We are fearful of anything and everything, suspicious, and conflicted about who we are. Fear is the primary emotion in the MoS because we can't see a film with a Superman that can stand above all of that and be the symbol of the best of humanity. The lesson I got from the film is that Superman is not a superHERO, but a superBEING that we know nothing about and should be suspicious of and that Superman himself should also be suspicious of us and what we might do to him, and the world we live in. It's so very cynical, and oppressively dour and I really just wanted to see a movie that was hopeful and optimistic and made us cheer for him. I don't think I'm gonna get that Superman again in my lifetime.

    Thanks again for the great shows and have a great new year! Can't wait to hear your best of lists.

    1. I think that's a fantastic analysis.There's zero optimism in Man of Steel, and I like your reasons why.

    2. I actually enjoy the film when it's on, but afterwards, I have all sorts of questions for myself.

      I actually agree with you on all your points. I'll throw in another. I (to borrow from Ebert) hate hate hate the scene where Kal El tries to fly for the first time before screaming and crashing to the ground.

      It's like the filmmakers think we don't want to see our hero come into his destiny, but rather struggle to find it. He's Superman! He doesn't fall out of the sky like the Greatest American Hero. Does Hollywood have to go out of their way to try to make him one of us?

      I guess so since they don't even really call him Superman in this film. The S only stands for hope now. After The Dark Knight, it's not kosher anymore to call our superheroes by their actual comic book names.

      I had a similar reaction to Bryan Singer's Superman Returns and the scene where Superman stops the plane from crashing. He's Superman! I mean, he could have stopped that airline with his pinky but the filmmakers thought we needed to see him struggle, while Lois bounces all around inside without securing a scratch.

      Like the speech in Kill Bill vol. 2 says, he's Superman first, then Clark Kent... unlike other comic book heroes.

      Also changing Pa Kent's death into something that could have actually been avoided just changes so much about our hero's journey.

      It's a disappointing film, but like The Dark Knight Rises, if it's on, I'll watch it.

      But you're right. Having Superman, I mean the Man of Steel, tossing satellites out of the sky so our government doesn't spy on him (and then making a cold, hard threat back to the general) just sends the wrong message to all the children wanting a superhero to look up to.

      In this day and age, a little neck breaking is all it takes, I suppose.

    3. I think I'm one of the few people who thought Man of Steel was fun! Maybe my psyche has taken a dark turn and it's time to get my head examined. I do want to see a more inspiring tone for the next one (and right now I'm actually a little worried about that), but I've seen that Superman countless of times. This movie was something new in my book. Superman is a strange character in that most people have a set idea of who he should be, but ultimately that set idea turns out to be rather boring and static like Mickey Mouse. This makes him less dynamic, less human. The minute we try to inject some humanity... people scream and moan, "Well, that's not Superman!" But without that humanity, he's barely given a second glance. As a lifelong Superman fan, I do care about what happens to this character, and I understand why purists did not embrace this version, but I have to say, I found it a refreshing take from the boy scout in blue no one can relate to. From what I gather, the consensus is pretty split, critics hated it, audiences liked it. If this movie did anything, it got people talking about the character again. And for me, that's pretty good news.

    4. I will not disagree with anyone who enjoyed Man of Steel, but my problems with it were not that it wasn't "my" Superman (there are, after all, many interpretations of the character). My problems with it were that it didn't work as its own movie.

  2. But J.B., you adore Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, another drug filled repetitive movie that is filled with "drunk tales" told to a sober audience. I think aspects of The Wolf of Wall Street may begin to grow on you.

  3. 200+ hours of podcasts would be over eight days of listening. Have loved every second. Happy new year everybody!

  4. I would rather someone pick me up by the ankles and slam my torso into a brick wall then watch a single frame of The Way Way Back again.

  5. I always thought this site had a pre-civil war southern/nazi-ish vibe to it, and now I know why.
    White Power!

  6. On a more serious note (because racism is hilarious) I love these yearly episodes as an addition to the best/worst lists. It brings to the forefront one of this sites strongest traits, reasoned and fair discussion.
    Great show.
    JB, I hope one day you will be able to see the Lone Ranger for what it is and, more interestingly, what it is trying to be. But I get your frustration as there are movies I am unable to see past what they "don't get" of the source to appreciate what they did (ie Watchmen).

    2014 yall

  7. For Underrated, I was also shocked by how entertaining and creative Riddick was. The Wall-E first act was something I would never expect from a Vin Diesel movie. It’s something that these “low budget B movies“ like Riddick ($38 million prod), Dredd ($50 million prod), & Looper ($30 million prod) are far superior to most blockbuster tentpole movies.

    I pick Pacific Rim as my #1 underrated because to me it was the best blockbuster for the summer (yes, I even liked it more than Fast 6) & I was disappointed by the weak box office here. Of all the movies that featured a ton of destruction, at least there were attempts to minimize the casualties. Gypsy Danger saving the boat at the beginning or the sirens going off to evacuate Hong Kong before the Kaijus reached land. It did make over $400+million worldwide so I still have a lot of hope for a sequel.

    As for all of this Man of Steel talk, I’m gotta join in on the “it’s not bad but not really good either” opinion. Just go to YouTube for the Man of Steel Honest Trailer, to get how I feel about it. There was no excuse to make MOS that cynical & dark. The Smallville TV show proved you could make a hopeful & optimistic Superman (or Superboy?) in this day and age.

  8. Sigh. I'm going to have to give Frances Ha one more try, aren't I? I've gotten about half an hour in both times and I keep thinking that I just don't have a Noah Baumbach gene.

  9. Listening to this just made me realize how little I've seen this year...I guess I'll have to play catch up.

    But something that seems very underrated to me was Rush. I really loved it when I saw it and I feel like nobody talked about. Ever.

  10. Just wanted to add a couple movies I feel were underrated.

    Beautiful Creatures-Listen, LISTEN. I know that sans "The Hunger Games", movies from young adult novels have been for the most part, terrible. I had very low expectations for "Beautiful Creatures" and while it's far from perfect, the two young leads are really good and their romance is believable. It doesn't really have a cliffhanger ending, so you won't feel cheated.

    Jack the Giant Slayer-This movie got "John Carter-ed" bad by critics and the box office. If audiences gave it a chance, they would find a solid fantasy that deserved better.