Patrick and JB count down their annual list of underrated, overrated and just plain bad movies from the past year.
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Read Mark Harris' essay "The Birdcage" here
I had also forgot about Sextape. Well done Jbones for reminding us about what was so easy to forgetReplyDelete
Youtube F is a new one for the anals of Fthismovie. Brilliant
I had seen 9 of JBs misses. And I cant think of one either that I would say he needs to watch,
Enjoy the two extra days you gained this year JB
Great work guys. A couple of underrated that ive not yet seen and Malificent made a Billion dollars, what the F is going on?
Great show and great list. I don't think Malificent made a billion I think it was like 700 million. I agree with what you said about spider man and transformers but would have to disagree in regards to lumping Malificient in that category. I enjoyed Malificent as I like the whole idea that it is a re-telling of a known story from a different POV and being that the only real sleeping beauty film was the disney one from 50 odd years ago I don't think you can really lump it with Spider man and transformers as I don't think Malificent is a rehash film with the sole intent of just making money for the sake of making money or that they were out of original ideas.ReplyDelete
I see this as a stand alone film which gives you a different version of the story and I don't think people of this generation or even last has even seen the original sleeping beauty so I can't see them saying lets go watch Malificent as it is a sequel to Sleeping Beauty unlike Spider man and transformers which has that power to draw audience just by reputation. I also read that the movie was made with a box office prediction of 300-400 million.
Also look forward to your next show.Delete
I totally understand you liking Maleficent, but for me it was representative of the exact same kind of thinking/storytelling choices that made ASM 2 such a disaster. I could explain why I think that, but it would bring me no joy to pick apart something you like. And welcome! We're happy to have you with us!Delete
I thought the Gone Girl segment made an interesting argument that I'd love to hear you guys explore further.ReplyDelete
Specifically: It didn't sound like you guys were necessarily arguing the movie was misogynistic. It sounded more like you were saying the film was at fault because it could be interpreted as misogynistic by audiences that misconstrued its message.
It's a slippery-slope argument, it feels like, because at some point you're arguing for making sanitized films that can't be misinterpreted by the dumbest person in the room. And that sounds awful, obviously. But I also remember watching Fight Club with a lot of testosterone-pumped dummies in college who immediately went out and start fights and cause quasi-sorta-anarchist trouble (i.e. destroying property), presumably because the film portrayed these actions so convincingly and glamorously.
It feels like it'd make for an interesting debate. To what degree should filmmakers be held responsible for the "lessons" of their films? To what extent is the film industry responsible for the ways their product is consumed? To what extent are audience members simply looking for movies that trumpet back opinions they already have, and to what extent do you think they're being legitimately swayed by something potentially destructive?
I'd hate to see a nanny-state mandate to make all films as safe and bland as possible for every possible audience. But I've also seen firsthand the destructive effects of an incendiary film misconstrued by the vast majority of its audience. Where's the line? Is there one?
Tons of good points, and you're absolutely right about the way that discussion came off. I probably should have been clearer that I feel like it's the movie that's misogynistic and not just maybe the men who will respond to it for validating what they feel. While I think it lends itself to that, I can't hold it against the film.Delete
It reminds me of a lot of the conversation around Wolf of Wall Street last year (and even last week in our own comments section). People were accusing it of glorifying the characters' behavior -- or, at least, not outright telling us that they are bad and expecting us to come to that conclusion ourselves. That made me crazy, because at no point did I think the movie needed to be any more obvious than it was. I don't want filmmakers to dumb their material down to the lowest common denominator.
I'm probably extra sensitive to some of the Gone Girl stuff this year because it came out at the same time as all that #GamerGate garbage, but I don't think it's Fincher's fault if his movie is misunderstood -- unless, of course, he just didn't do a good enough job of communicating what he intended, which might be the case here.
Something to think about - Fincher's films are all studio movies based on books or true stories. I love him and he definitely has an amazing style, but I don't think he EVER puts any of his own feelings into his movies. I think most of all he has made is "how can I show this correctly". I think Fincher's style is his voice, not his thoughts. He is IN demand, therefore, he is really the best "for hire" director out there.Delete
Gone Girl was one of my favorite movies of the year and I love almost all of Fincher's films BTW. I think Zodiac is a masterpiece but still falls into my criteria - it does noting but state the facts of the case (with amazing performances), shot beautifully, an has no representation of feeling whatsoever.Delete
But does the fact that he keeps being drawn to a certain kind of material (or at least material with certain themes) eventually create a kind of authorial consistency? That's not supposed to be a leading question. I don't know that it does.Delete
I don't think that Fincher is a misogynist personally but his filmography indicates he fucking hates people though, regardless of gender or any other signifier. Nothing wrong with that (I'm a big fan of most of his work), just an observation.Delete
That's a great question, Patrick. I struggle with that. I often ask myself, does the same apply to other directors who do the same? I don't know.Delete
Adam, I honestly do think that Fincher might hate people. I also think that Kubrick did too.
More specifically - I don't think it's intentionally done by them. All they think about is the craft of making films and nothing else.Delete
I used to think that Fincher was a nihilistic filmmaker, thanks mostly to Seven. But then Panic Room came along, which benefitted from Jodie Foster's gutsy performance and Forest Whitaker's ambivalent baddie. I don't think either Fincher or Kubrick necessarily hate people, but they are undoubtedly fascinated with the darker side of humanity.Delete
After thinking about it Patrick, Does the same apply to Tom Hanks? "But does the fact that he keeps being drawn to a certain kind of material eventually create a kind of authorial consistency"ReplyDelete
I think it does. Not sure if I have expressed this through the couple of years of being on this site - but I do not like "serious" Tom Hanks. Since he made it big (no pun, no put at ALL) this guy constantly plays it safe. Yet people think he's a genius. I think he takes no chances and he "eventually create a kind of authorial consistency"
I think that ends up being a different conversation, because it's something that can be said of a lot of movie stars -- Tom Cruise, Denzel Washington, Liam Neeson, Julia Roberts. There's certainly merit to the idea of stars as the authors of their own works (if we're choosing to read movies that way), but that comes down more to choosing scripts than it does shaping the scripts they choose to fit a particular vision the way a director might. To me, anyway.Delete
I'm blinded by my love for Tom Hanks, though I will fully admit that save for the last scene in Captain Phillips (where I would argue he does not play it safe) he hasn't done anything in a while to justify his status as a "great" actor.
I hear you, Patrick. I don't know if bringing an actor into the conversation changes it. Part of me thinks craft is craft; director or actor. The movie stars you mention can be viewed the same as movie directors (who are movie "stars" for this conversation). I guess my whole point is that I don't think Fincher was misogynistic with Gone Girl because 1) I do not believe he was passionate about making the film based on content and 2) the film was true to the book. The book's market was women which translates to women being the ticket buyers for the film.Delete
Side note - I hope I didn't rub people the wrong way with my comments on WOWS. I promise, I am here to discuss and share my opinions but most importantly, hear about other opinions that will turn me onto films, make me give films a second chance or make me look at a film in a different light than I initially viewed.
You didn't rub anyone the wrong way! Even when we don't agree on this site, I feel lucky that it's always respectful and backed up by an honest conversation and opinions, not just "you're stupid for liking/not liking this, fuck you." I see that other places and it bums me out.Delete
I agree that craft is craft, but I make the distinction because whereas an actor is only responsible for his or her performance (provided they're not serving as producer or something), the director makes a choice about every single aspect of a film -- including performance -- and exert greater influence over a finished product. But it's all just semantics, really.
Right on! Agreed, I cannot stand the other sites that have no respect for their followers and commenters. I found F This Movie by searching for a small film (Damn, I can't remember which one!) and you were the only one who had written a review about it.Delete
I'm happy to hear it! We love having you here.Delete
I'm glad there's someone like Chaybee here to say the things others are scared to say! I kid, of course, but I'm really glad we have a site where there are no wrong answers. The "all movies can be objectively graded as excellent or shit" mentality is why I quit taking film classes in college. As long as you keep pointing out your problems in WOWS, I can keep pointing out my problems with Nightcrawler, haha.Delete
Great conversation Chaybee, Patrick et al.Delete
I won't try to flesh out my opinion too much right now, but I think I side with the idea that Fintchers choices do represent an authorial voice regardless of the origin of the story. He could choose any type of book or event to make a movie out of but he gravitates towards certain content over and over, which after a period of time comes to reflect him rather than just the individual source of a project . If the opposite were true then you'd have to ask, why doesn't he choose a different theme /idea to explore?
I also think that a director puts their ideas into a movie through their various creative choices even when the script is based on existing source material. It's more than just visual. I.e. Holding a shot on a certain charterer's reaction to bad news would possibly reflect empathy towards that character and, even just momentarily, highlight their point of view. This plays with audiences emotions and creates a connection from film maker to us that is more than just words on a page.
I loved these types of discussions that emphasise the art of film making over than the business.
I live these type of discussions too, brad. That's why I love this site. Great points you make. I really don't think I know the answer as to Fincher's motives. Always good to hear different ideas. Could you imagine this same conversation with David lynch films?!Delete
Me too, if i disagree i always try to be respectfull. A bit of friendly banter is great. This is Movie love for Movie lovers after allReplyDelete
Out of respect for Patrick. Me and you Chaybee have to revisit the Saw movies to see if we were wrong. I'm not looking forward to it to be honest but I am gonna do it. Bluray boxset :)
Thanks, Dennis. I appreciate you wanting to give anything a second look, but I don't want to mislead you -- I would never make the case that the Saw movies are "good" in any traditional sense. I just realized I like them more than I first thought. I don't know that I would ever defend their merits to anyone, because I'm not sure what they are.Delete
Thats fair enough. I dont think I will ever love them but my original reactions were very similar to yours, which makes me think if I tried again maybe I would enjoy them more.ReplyDelete
Im also going to be watching Halloween and Satan's little helper over the Christmas period as a double bill. It will make for some fun banter afterwards ;)
Now that's a cool double feature, Dennis. Revisiting the Saw movies however? HELL NO! Haha. I appreciate the challenge but that would be hours on end I could be watching stuff I haven't seen (respect, JB).Delete
I will certainly reply once ive seen them Chaybee ;)Delete
I will give Lucy credit for absolutely making me want to see more Scarlett Johansson: Action Star. But the movie's last third was just a bit too trippy and over the top for me when I went in to see a fun summer action movie. Scarlett Johansson is a great ass-kicker, she just needs to inhabit a better action movie.ReplyDelete
I really did not respond to Stage Fright well at all. It was one of the disappointments of Scary Movie Month for me. I'm sorry. I felt it was neither a good musical nor a good horror movie. Again, I give Allie MacDonald credit for having good genes that make her pretty and for delivering a good performance, but the movie's story and music were very mediocre. I suppose Stage Fright might be a step in the right direction, but the "horror musical" concept still needs a lot of work.
Now I feel kind of bad for Gone Girl being one of my favorite movies of the year. It's a highly entertaining, interesting and watchable movie that is very well made and acted. I hadn't really considered the potential through line of Fincher's movies. That's an intriguing theory, but I don't know. It's hard for me to consider him anything but a highly skilled, great filmmaker.
Muppets Most Wanted, Cold in July and The Drop will make for movies that I will catch up with in 2015. Thanks for the recommendations!
Godzilla has to be my least favorite movie of the year that I saw in a theater. I try to avoid things that I think are going to be bad, but with Godzilla, I was just thinking, "it can't be as bad as everyone is saying." But it was, and it was the only movie I can think of that made me actively mad after watching it.
Finally, your mention of Jingle Bell Rocks, which does sound super interesting, makes me wonder: Have you ever considered doing a show on your favorite documentaries? Would there be enough material there for a full show? I think that topic could make for a good one.
Totally agree on Godzilla. I don't get upset by a movie that's just bad, but I get angry at movies that have a ton of potential and end up boring. I was viscerally upset after seeing it.Delete
Yes, that's what makes it so angering and depressing. There was so much wasted potential in that movie, mostly concerningDelete
a talented cast that was ultimately boring, given nothing to do, and/or cast aside too quickly, including one giant lizard that should have been much more prominently featured.
Thank you F-crew, for a great year of podcasts and intriguing conversations.ReplyDelete
Always a fan of this annual tradition. Although its unpleasant to talk about the crappiest movies of the year, my g/f and I were cracking up throughout a good part of that conversation, so it is fun to listen to.
-Not seeing the David Fincher misogyny throughline. Think "Gone Girl" subverted a lot of our traditional ideas about psychopaths. Didn't love the film, but it didn't find it offensive
-Whiplash. So wrong to dismiss this one guys. It's not the slog of Foxcatcher or the simple-minded St. Vincent. Sunshine winner for a reason
--I'll definitely check out Lucy, and Stage Freight. I'll check out the others too, but I've heard really good things about Lucy, and you really built up Stage Freight as a unique horror film
--Glad to hear the positive Babadook rumblings, hope it gets more discussion next week too
--Are we getting to hear your guys best movie lines of the year next week? Certainly hope so.
Sorry for grammar issues, no edit button. Fast fingers, not a dull mind!Delete
You guys are not alone about They Came Together. I got it from Redbox, watched it alone and howled through the whole thing. I laughed harder at that damn cheeseburger than at anything else in a movie this year.ReplyDelete
My other takeaway: I really gotta check out Hercules.
Interesting that you mention those two. A friend and I sat down a couple nights ago and watched the two movies you just mentioned. I thought They Came Toghether was one of the funniest things I'd seen in awhile. To be fair, I'm a huge sucker for absurdist comedy. I loved the movie. I don't want to oversell you on Hercules, because it's just pretty fun and nothing else. This show reflected exactly what my buddy and I were saying after seeing it (that the main character was kind of shallow and given little to do, etc.) but it was still enjoyable. Especially if you're a fan of The People's Champion.Delete
What an interesting double feature!Delete
Odd pairings can happen when your selections are affected by Redbox availability. I know VOD is better, but it's more expensive and I'm perpetually broke. This one wasn't as jarring as my No Country for Old Men/Superbad experience.Delete
My all-time craziest double feature: Cadillac Records and The Spirit.Delete
Dang I finally caught up to this episode and came here hoping everyone else had been posting their lists as well! I had so many underrated and overrated and worsts I wanted to share. I mean I guess there's nothing stopping me but I don't want to be the only one. Am real curious what a lot of the regular posters' lists would look like.ReplyDelete
Still no underrated love for Locke? Edge of Tomorrow was okay for the mindless (skillfully made, but mindless nonetheless) action movie it was, but I admit that as I exited its screening, reeling from the cacophonous climax and its gratuitous Hollywood smooch, I felt both regretful and a little ashamed that I hadn't opted for Locke instead, even though it was only playing in a tiny theater across town. Having finally seen it just now, I can confirm that Locke is a film more worthy of love and championing than LDR:LoT.ReplyDelete