November 7, 2005

Viewer Discretion Advised

Print More

Since with the last few Viewer Discretion Advised I haven’t seen any comments on the online edition, I thought it would be appropriate to write about a topic that everyone can disagree with: most overrated movies. Just to get things straight, I want to repeat that these movies aren’t bad, they simply aren’t as good as everyone makes them out to be. We all know there is one movie out there that everyone seems to love but makes you react like Mugatu to Derek Zoolander’s different “looks”: “I feel like I’m taking crazy pills!” Well you are not alone, here is my list of the top five most overrated:

5. Psycho (1960)

It pains me to list this film. I love Alfred Hitchcock’s work and I love Psycho. However even I have to admit, it isn’t scary. There are some suspenseful moments and it is still worth seeing for Hitchcock’s pure cinematic brilliance, but anyone who tells you that you will faint or be afraid of showering after seeing it should get their head examined. Unfortunately, Psycho has been outdated by the horror genre that it created.

4. Saving Private Ryan (1998)

Saving Private Ryan is a good movie, but it is nowhere near the caliber of other war films. The film’s plot is disjointed and simply seems to be a setup for the admittedly well filmed and gory opening. However even a war film like MASH delivered a more powerful message without needing to shove violence in our face just for the sake of violence. Swept up in the spirit of “greatest generation” honoring, Saving Private Ryan and its simple message wrongly overshadows its much more emotionally powerful peers.

3. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

A bold vision of the future and of mankind? Yeah right, 2001 is simply a personal tour of a Stanley Kubrick acid trip. Self indulgent and pointless 2001 finally boils down to 40 minute segments of apes, big black slabs and semi-freaky “star child” fetuses. While the film has tons of great “movie moments” when you actually sit down to watch them it turns out that they are excruciatingly boring. When a monotone computer is the most exciting character in your movie, you’ve got a problem.

2. Scarface (1983)

This is an almost three hour unnecessary extravaganza whose final message is nothing more than drug dealing is bad. Some people applaud Pachino’s performance, but in my view I have to deal with enough loud, annoying jerks without having to pay money for movie admission or rental. What’s even worse is how this film has been completely misread; originally made to scorn organized crime and drugs, it is now viewed as a celebration of it. “There’s a bad guy comin’ through! Better get outta his way!” Trust me; I’ll make sure of that.

1. Gone with the Wind (1939)

When Gone with the Wind was re-released in its restored print in theaters a few years ago I thought it would be nice to take my grandparents since one of their first dates was seeing this movie back when it opened. My grandfather opted to stay at home and do crosswords while my grandmother fell asleep in the theater well before the Civil War started. This all proves that Gone with the Wind is simply a four-hour-long soap opera watching Scarlett O’Hara complain our ear off. Gone with the Wind is good, but it is no more a “cinematic masterpiece” than its modern-day counterpart, Titanic. The film was simply legendary producer David O. Sezlnick thinking up which camera shots would make his studio more money (it really didn’t even have a director). The only character we sympathize with is Rhet Butler who seems just as annoyed to be paired with Scarlett as the audience. Did I just piss a lot of people off from Atlanta? Probably, but “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”

Archived article by Mark Rice
Film Editor