Are you KIDDING me??

August 07, 2010

I had no intention of writing a blog post at 6:00 in the morning when I was getting ready to call it a night and go to sleep. But then, somehow, I clicked on this story from Entertainment Weekly and got sucked into a vortex of bad taste and worse opinions.

The article is called "20 'Classic' Movies You Call Overrated" and while I agree with three or four of the ones they chose, the comments about each film seriously made me lose any bit of faith I had left in the future of the human race. Or at least the future of good taste.

Let's look at a few examples, shall we?

On To Kill a Mockingbird:

"What is all of the hype about? This was the biggest snoozefest that I have ever watched. And Atticus Finch is the number 1 top-rated hero of all time?! Sorry, but that goes to Indiana Jones or, if you want your heroes wise, Obi-Wan Kenobi."

First of all, anyone who was expecting an Indiana-Jones-style adventure flick when they put To Kill a Mockingbird in their DVD player was dumb to begin with. But it only proves that they have the attention span of a gnat if they can't find anything worthwhile in the plot. And I'm just totally at a loss for words on the hero thing. I mean... really???? REALLY???

On His Girl Friday:

"Ooh, His Girl Friday is a terrific example because I didn’t care for that brand of humor. While you’re at it, all of the Hepburn-Tracy rom-coms of the ’40s are dull."

Yeah, um, His Girl Friday stars neither Katherine Hepburn nor Spencer Tracy, you moron. And I'm sorry that the 40's "rom-com" doesn't have the same wit and sparkle that Transformers II does. *facepalm*

On An Affair to Remember:

"I think if you see Sleepless in Seattle beforehand, it ruins it. You expected so much, for it to be this AMAZING love story, but it drags on."

Speaking as one who did in fact see Sleepless in Seattle before An Affair to Remember, I can vouch for the fact that it IS an amazing love story, and it does NOT drag on. Nothing spoiled it for me, and I still find it one of the most powerful romance films ever made. How jaded are people today that they can't see this?

On Citizen Kane:

"I totally agree about Citizen Kane. Maybe it was too hyped before I saw it, but I found it a bit dull. Not to mention I have known what Rosebud was since I was 6 years old."

To begin with, Citizen Kane is not dull. Let's just toss that out of the way right off the bat, since it is not even debatable. Now, I think it goes without saying that everyone on the planet who has any knowledge of film knows what Rosebud is. We also ALL know that Janet Leigh gets killed in the shower in Psycho, that Rhett Butler says "Frankly my dear I don't give a damn," that Ingrid Bergman gets on the plane with Paul Henreid and that Bambi's mother gets killed. WE ALL KNOW. But guess what, people still watch these films and they still enjoy them. Citizen Kane is not considered the best film ever because of the great surprise at the end that Rosebud was the sleigh. That's not why people watch it, and it's not why people love it! The whole darn film is good on it's own, you stupid stupid person.

I could go on -- there are, after all, 20 films being torn apart in this article -- but I'll just let you go look for yourself. You too can cry yourself to sleep, weeping tears for future generations who will expect every film to come with 3-D glasses, HD color and explosions every minute, on the minute. Oh the humanity!

ps. As for the people who ripped The Way We Were... are you not aware of the fact that the film could be missing it's audio, shown backwards and upside down and it would still be a great movie, just for the sheer presence of that studly hunk of a man named Robert Redford??


Rachel said...

"I think if you see Sleepless in Seattle beforehand, it ruins it. You expected so much, for it to be this AMAZING love story, but it drags on."

This kills me. Wasn't SiS based on or modeled after An Affair? So why, if you're going to compare the two (but why would you, let them stand on their own) would you watch Sis before Affair, simply because Affair was made first!

Classic movies teach us so much about history, social attitudes, fashion, music-like them for that reason if you can't like the story they tell.

Sorry to rant!

Sophie said...

OH MY WORD! Seriously, how could they sleep at night after making that list!? ;D Do they have any idea what they're talking about, and, even if half of it were true, what does anyone get out of a "discussion" like that anyway?

I agree with everything you said about those films! After reading a couple of pages of comments for "An Affair to Remember", I too started to despair!! Ok, there were some of them that I wouldn't call classics - namely the 2 (or was it 3) that were less than 20 years old and Close Encounters of the Third Kind (just, UGH!). But really, The Sound of Music, Singin' In the Rain, The Philadelphia Story...GONE WITH THE WIND!??

One of the comments made me laugh, it said "I notice there are no vampires in any of these movies. And did I miss that horrible crapfest "Titantic" on the list?" Yes, WHY!? Ok, they're not considered classics yet, but I weep for the day, and it surely will come, when they are considered classics. NOOO!

The Kid In The Front Row said...

I always try to ignore articles like that -- they just make me angry!

Artman2112 said...

the over riding impression i got from the people that dissed those films is that they have NO attention span at all. they were weened on things like MTV, video games, reality shows and wrestling. their idea of poetic cinema imagery is Megan Fox running in a wet t-shirt (which isnt neccessarily a bad thing, lol). basically they have been force fed fast cut-no plot imagery since birth! of course they are not going to appreciate a film like 2001 that asks the viewer to drink in beautiful images slowly and realistically, cant keep up with a film like His Girl Friday because you HAVE to pay attention or you'll have no idea whats going on, or accept Atticus Finch as a hero in the truest sense of the word because he doesnt carry a samurai sword or blast away with a 45 in each hand sliding backwards down a stair railing (which would be totally cool actually, lol).
also why on earth were Forest Gump and the English patient even grouped with those other films?!?!? i remember an article years ago on EW called "everything old sucks" and the writer dissed Keaton, even going so far as to say hey Keaton never talked with his butt cheeks like Jim Carey! UGH!! he also dissed Jackie Gleason which is a sure fire way to get on my hate list real fast, lol.
anyway these lists are done for one reason and that's to get people talking about the list at EW and it always works, lol!

btw, 6am and getting ready for bed? another night owl huh?

Meredith said...

I really wish they were kidding, especially considering the comments you posted above and your spot on rebuttal which proves that they missed the point entirely.

Lisa said...

You just can't account for taste. Bad taste, anyway. One doesn't often see a classic Hollywood movie person ripping on new movies (a lot of them I just don't end up seeing)-- why can't a new movie person do us the same courtesy?

If the reviewer doesn't get it, he shouldn't emphasize his ignorance by calling something beyond his scope "boring". ESPECIALLY when he doesn't even have his facts straight! (Did he really just write off all Hepburn/Tracy movies in one line? Ugggggh)

I hope people reading that magazine don't give black and white movies (or all classic movies) even LESS of a fair chance than they already get in popular culture after that thick headed article.

Bravo on this post!

Simon said...

Oh, opinions...

But, seriously, who said that about Mockingbird? What's wrong with them?

Raquel Stecher said...

That is absolutely ridiculous. You gotta remember the people who are submitting their thoughts are total and utter morons.

I have a thing about people who don't appreciate Citizen Kane. It's genius that really only people who recognize and appreciate genius can understand. I use it to judge people (that's so catty of me isn't it? tee hee).

Sorry, I guess I'm as pissed off as you are!

Ivan G Shreve Jr said...

First off, this "article" or "slideshow" or whatever the heck you want to call it comes from what I always refer to as Entertainment Weakly. The people who write for that rag wouldn't know a classic movie if it bit them on the inner thigh.

Second, I learned far more from Atticus Finch then I'll ever learn from comic book-type heroes like Indiana Jones and Obi-Wan Kenobi.

Third, anyone who even thinks His Girl Friday or Citizen Kane are overrated is suffering from an incurable form of dementia and must be separated from civilized people for the good of society.

(I tried to be as nice as I could on the third part.)

Millie said...


(In fact, I even commented on that on someone saying that the TKAM comment MUST have been written by a 16-year old... -_-)

It seriously stressed me out even reading the article!

But, I love THIS post! So awesomely amazing! Haha!



Anonymous said...

It seems like the comments all fell into two categories:

1) "This movie sucks because it's about icky stuff that girls like, like love and marriage!" or
2) "This movie sucks because it draaaags so much more than Transformers and not enough stuff gets blown up in it!"

emma wallace said...

I love this post! Your response is soooo hilarious! I tried to read them but stopped at "Sound of Music." Which was third, I think (so I didn't get too far).

Overrrated just means someone else liked the movie and you didn't! Why make a list like that and act like it's fact? Blech!

NoirGirl said...

Brava, Miss Kate - BRAVA.

Favorite part: "Now, I think it goes without saying that everyone on the planet who has any knowledge of film knows what Rosebud is. We also ALL know that Janet Leigh gets killed in the shower in Psycho, that Rhett Butler says "Frankly my dear I don't give a damn," that Ingrid Bergman gets on the plane with Paul Henreid and that Bambi's mother gets killed. WE ALL KNOW."

That totally belongs on some "best EVER thoughts on a classic film blog" list. REALLY!

I worry about the future of film, too. Watching these modern action flicks is like being bombed out of your seat in the theatre. Plus, it's all completely CGI. Almost none of the film is real in any way! That is one of the aspects that bothers me the most. I understand that many highly skilled people have to work like dogs to crank out those computer generated monstrosities, but I'd rather watch a home movie with homemade special effects.

Anyway! Sorry for the rant - it seems like this is a hot topic for most of us. :)

Sally said...

This had me boiling too!!!! I love your responses. They're perfect!!

Terence Towles Canote said...

I would read the article, but somehow I think I would wind up very angry. It wouldn't be so sad, but I think from the comments made it seems to me that those commenting know nothing about film and probably a lot of other things too. And quite frankly, I have no use for anyone who prefers Sleepless in Seattle to An Affair to Remember!

Andi B. Goode said...

Funnily enough, I didn't know what Rosebud was until one of my friends in my course said "Rosebud is the sleigh. I just saved you 2 hours of boredom". Then I watched it (because I read that Velvet Goldmine was done in a similar way) and wanted to punch him in his ignorant face.
Also, I've never seen 'To Kill a Mockingbird' (!!!) but why do people always think heroes are going to go on adventures and things?
I'm not sure if I'm brave enough to look at the list...
-Andi x
PS There are plenty of hyped classic films that I didn't get personal enjoyment from - I have a terrible attention span and, so, find it really hard to watch silent films, for example - but I almost always can see the significance in terms of film history, cinema techniques, etc. And I think you need to sort of train yourself to watch these films, if that makes sense. If you're brought up watching contemporary Hollywood films you'll most likely find it difficult to concentrate on older films (at least, I know I did...I grew up watching older films but mainly musicals and not dramas, etc.) but once you get into them you realise they're better, in general.

Artman2112 said...

its funny with all the CGI infested flicks coming out in droves these days, the 2 new films i've most enjoyed seeing recently were Inglorious Basterds and Gran Torino, lol.

panavia999 said...

A movie might be over rated but it can still be a great movie, ie, Singin in the Rain and Citizen Kane
I agree with the list except these are definitely NOT over-rated:
His Girl Friday
Lawrence of Arabia (don't care for it personally, but amazing example the prolonged epic genre)
Gone with the Wind
Wizard of Oz
To Kill A Mockingbird

Here are a few comments on films which I agree are way over rated:
The Way we Were: Very hard to watch. I wanted to slap Streisand. Her character was very annoying, and to me Redford has always been an unimaginative actor.
Close Encounters: Could not watch. I thought Dreyfuss was on cocaine. Special effects were epilepsy inducing.
Dr. Zhivago: Visually stunning but awfully British. Read the book instead.
The Exorcist : I laughed. The book was not scary, just gross. I've only seen it on TV, I've heard it's very scary on the big screen.
Breakfast at Tiffany: Hepburn didn't even want to make the movie, she thought it was trash. She was right.
Forrest Gump: clichéd claptrap. I don't get the fuss.
An Affair to Remember: I don't like either the 30's or 50's version of this story even though I like all the actors. Sleepless in Seattle is also over-rated.
Sound of Music: some nice songs, but it's just a movie
Love Story: this was popular at an age when I should have been crazy about it, but for romance and death, I always prefer Dark Victory and One Way Passage.
I would also add the ubiquitous Xmas movie "It's a Wonderful Life": it's a good movie, but depressing. No way will I watch that at Xmas time.

Unknown said...

Definitely have to agree with you on Kane. My theory is that by saying Rosebud, he was referring to his childhood, something he may not have had after he was taken away from his family. Anyway, yeah, its not the greatest film ever, but it is definitely brilliant.
Excellent post!