Overrated Films and TV

Chat about stuff other than Transformers.
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Warcry
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Post by Warcry » Wed Apr 27, 2011 6:53 am

DrSpengler wrote:I've always felt that Mel Brooks films are the "Scary/Epic/Date Movie" of their era.
That's actually a pretty spot-on comparison, isn't it? The sad thing is they didn't really have to be. Brooks has shown a lot of talent for satire and more 'intelligent' comedy, and the lowbrow jokes usually detracted from that rather than enhancing it. I just don't understand how that thought process works..."OK, we've got a brilliant, subversive movie that lampoons the shit out of racism, but it's missing something. Oh, I know! Let's end the movie with a pie-fight between the bad guy and camp-gay musical cast! Brilliant!"
Cliffjumper wrote:Segue 1: I do like me some Cary Elwes, though. Shame he appeared in so few good films. I just love the way he seems to have escaped from a 1940s swasbuckler and doesn't really seem to understand a lot of what's going on around him.
If you've got to be typecast you could do a lot worse than he did, that's for sure. I'm kinda curious which other good movies he's been in other than The Princess Bride, though.

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inflatable dalek
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Post by inflatable dalek » Wed Apr 27, 2011 7:07 am

The first Saw is decent enough, though it probably qualifies for this thread as it's insanely overrated. Apparently he's in one of the 800000 sequels as well but I wouldn't bother if I were you. He was also incredibly dull as a semi regular with an axe to grind against the T1000 in the last year of The X-Files.
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Auntie Slag
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Post by Auntie Slag » Wed Apr 27, 2011 8:41 am

Paul053 wrote:Star Wars...That self destruction wasn't even the prequel trilogy but when he reworked/added the scenes for the original trilogy. That was totally drawing legs to snake, unnecessary.
I grew up watching the original untainted trilogy and I totally disagree with this. I love the reworked/extra scenes and think they work very well with the exception of Han shooting first (it doesn't matter that much), and Hayden Christensen's spirit replacing the original old man Vader character actor in the final glowy bit at the end of ROTJ.

George Lucas said he was simply putting in all the special effects and extra bits that he always wanted in the originals, but couldn't afford. I'm happy with that.

I own the 2-disc sets of each film, one with the original theatrical version, and the other with the 1997 digital updates. I've only bothered watching the theatrical cut 'A New Hope', I completely prefer the '97 editions.

He chose to remake/recut this stuff, and I chose to buy this stuff and I like what he's done.

I could argue years from now Michael Bay re-jigs the 2007 TF movie to incorporate bits with Arcee in it, and lots of other crap. I'll probably buy it, and I'll be happy to agree if its an improvement.

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inflatable dalek
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Post by inflatable dalek » Wed Apr 27, 2011 8:58 am

The problem with the Star Wars special editions for me is that they're done with no sympathy for the original material. Lucas is desperate to make the films feel like they've been made now and just flings the new technology at them without thinking of how it'll look stuck on 30/40/whenever he did the last jazzing up year old material. The CGI robots buzzing about Mos Eisley don't remotely look like they belong in the same film as the Cantina creatures.

I think the various Star Trek revamps have shown the best way to do it. They haven't gone crazy with them, they've tried their best to put themselves in a 60's/70's mind set, to try and think "What would they have done then with that bit more money and time?. They even went back to abandoned storyboards and scanning the models from The Motion Picture, and as an added extra touch tried to match the film grain on the new footage.

Now, I'm generally not interested in special editions as I think anyone who can't cope with the Enterprise being a model on a stick probably won't be able to cope with the costumes and sets either, but at least with Trek there's nothing working against the style of the piece.

I suppose the difference is, the Trek special editions are made by people who love the original material and want to present it as best they can. The Star Wars ones are made by a guy who hates his original "mistakes" and is keen to erase them from history.
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angloconvoy
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Post by angloconvoy » Wed Apr 27, 2011 10:47 am

Notabot wrote: As far as overrated TV, I've got to say that the British knockoff of "The Office"* isn't as brilliant as a lot of people think. I honestly think we did it better on our side of the pond.
A lot of people rave about the American version but I watched a few episodes on a plane last year and if they were indicative of the whole then I can't get behind that, it just seemed really forced, as does everything I've seen Steve Carrell in outside of Ron Burgandy.

I also agree that Taxi Driver, while being a great movie, can't really live up to the hype it's accumulated over the years. A victim of its own merits. The first time I watched it I hated it, mostly because I'd been hearing how it was the best thing in the history of anything ever. A few years later I watched it again and really enjoyed it, mostly because my memory of not liking it countered the hype.

A lot of people also raved to me about Curb Your Enthusiasm. I just about managed to get through two episodes. It's like Seinfeld without anything that made that show (occasionally) fun.

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DrSpengler
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Post by DrSpengler » Wed Apr 27, 2011 11:44 am

Warcry wrote:If you've got to be typecast you could do a lot worse than he did, that's for sure. I'm kinda curious which other good movies he's been in other than The Princess Bride, though.
Well, he provided a pretty perfect voiceover in the English dub of "The Cat Returns" costarring Peter Boyle and Anne Hathaway (the entire production of that dub was really, really good).

Aside from that, "Saw" and "Princess Bride" I really can't think of *any* movies I've seen him in, much less good ones.

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Post by Auntie Slag » Wed Apr 27, 2011 11:48 am

He was in Hot Shots!

"Its not another woman is it, I just couldn't compete with that".

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Post by angloconvoy » Wed Apr 27, 2011 12:23 pm

And Liar Liar as the actually fairly decent stepdad who gets screwed over.

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Post by Cliffjumper » Wed Apr 27, 2011 12:51 pm

He also does pretty well with a completely thankless role as a nice white guy in Glory... But usually he's just the best thing in bad films (Bram Stoker's Dracula, Days of Thunder etc.). He's so good in Dracula you can actually forget the obvious "Shit, we'd better have an American" casting (see also Robert Downey Jr. in Richard III).

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Post by Paul053 » Wed Apr 27, 2011 2:30 pm

Auntie Slag wrote:I grew up watching the original untainted trilogy and I totally disagree with this. I love the reworked/extra scenes and think they work very well with the exception of Han shooting first (it doesn't matter that much), and Hayden Christensen's spirit replacing the original old man Vader character actor in the final glowy bit at the end of ROTJ.
I can stand the extra random aliens, troops, and robots showing up but these are the parts I don't like as I can remember now.
1. In New Hope, Jabba and Han should never have that talk and Jabba shouldn't even show up. They were at the pace of running and escaping and that scene slowed everything down (and I remembered that scene almost made me drop my drink the first time I saw it in the theater).
2. Luke shouldn't meet and talk to Biggs before taking off. At the time like that, you know...
3. In ROT, Hayden Christensen showed up as the ghost irked me. WTH!!!
4. In ROT, at the end celebration, all the extra cities showing fireworks.
If I rewatch again, could be more coming up.
I could argue years from now Michael Bay re-jigs the 2007 TF movie to incorporate bits with Arcee in it, and lots of other crap. I'll probably buy it, and I'll be happy to agree if its an improvement.
Now I agree with you. Lennox hopped on Arcee and drove to Blackout. Then Arcee transformed (knocked Lennox out) and shoot Blackout at the clutch. That sounds fun.

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DrSpengler
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Post by DrSpengler » Wed Apr 27, 2011 2:33 pm

Cliffjumper wrote:He also does pretty well with a completely thankless role as a nice white guy in Glory... But usually he's just the best thing in bad films (Bram Stoker's Dracula, Days of Thunder etc.). He's so good in Dracula you can actually forget the obvious "Shit, we'd better have an American" casting (see also Robert Downey Jr. in Richard III).
Yikes,I completely forgot he was in Bram Stoker's Dracula. In retrospect, he would have made for a pretty good Jonathan Harker (ignoring the fact that anyone would have made a better Harker than Neo, but that's another topic altogether).

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Sixswitch
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Post by Sixswitch » Wed Apr 27, 2011 2:40 pm

Couldn't disagree more about Mel Brooks. At least Spaceballs and Men In Tights (the two I've seen). They're really good fun parody, and Rick Moranis is awesome. That is all.

I consider Star Wars overrated. They're good films, sure (well, I watched A New Hope again recently and I've got fond-ish memories of the other two in the original trilogy), but they are not the best thing to happen to sci-fi ever, and I'm quite bemused that they've captured so many peoples' imagination to have done so much EU stuff.

Trek also has a ton of EU stuff, but there have been a ton of TV series' and films to give a firm grounding with which to work with (OK, some are crap, but still...)

I've not seen the Saw films - I find that kind of horror frankly weird, and I don't have any desire to watch it.

Batman Begins is excellent too. I've got The Dark Knight on DVD to watch but haven't yet. I'm sure I'll enjoy it, but I'll also keep in mind that Dead Artists Sell Better as I'm doing so.

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Notabot
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Post by Notabot » Wed Apr 27, 2011 3:01 pm

Cary Elwes was the bad guy in Kiss the Girls if I remember correctly. It was interesting, and he did a pretty good job, but the whole time you couldn't help but insert Princess Bride quotes.

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Post by Cliffjumper » Wed Apr 27, 2011 3:09 pm

I've not seen Saw either - slasher films just aren't really my kind of thing, though I do like the Omen films for the set-piece killings just being terrific fun (apart from the lad in the third one who gets wrapeed in melting plastic, which is a bit grim IMO... Bit too nasty and not as OTT as decapitation with a pane of glass or being sliced by an elevator). I think it's jsut that I find the props-based Omen ones that bit more inventive than "Ooh, how is Freddy/Jason/Saw Guy/Ghostface going to butcher this guy, oh, in a needlessly complicated way because it's the third film and they've got to top the guy who ingested his own spine in the last one somehow".

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DrSpengler
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Post by DrSpengler » Wed Apr 27, 2011 3:42 pm

I think the first "Saw" is a good self-contained horror movie, though a bit too close to the "pseudo-snuff" genre for its own good (never as bad as "Hostel" or any given "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" sequel, but still close).

The sequels are probably the worst thing about it, as the encapsulate all the worst elements "Saw" is recognized for; though I'll at least give the series credit for its soap opera-esque, complexly plotted story arcs.


Of the three films by James Wan I've seen, "Saw" is probably my least favorite though I do enjoy it. "Dead Silence" and *especially* the recent "Insidious" are both better.

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Post by inflatable dalek » Wed Apr 27, 2011 7:41 pm

The problem I had with the first Saw wasn't really the fault of the film. The killer is played by an actor who's been in every American TV show ever (probably most notably playing the ultimate Big Bad in season 2 of 24) and has a hugely distinctive voice. SO when you see him in his none speaking bit I was all "Hey, that's the bloke doing the voice on the tape! He's the killer!", which sort of buggered the ending.

Mind, I guessed the twist with the video tape in the second one about half an hour into it, and couldn't be arsed with any of the others.
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Post by angloconvoy » Thu Apr 28, 2011 1:46 pm

Saw was crap, the reveal about who the killer was introduced such a massive plot hole that it took them about 4 more films to attempt to explain it. It just doesn't work as a self contained piece.

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Silly Cow
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Post by Silly Cow » Thu Apr 28, 2011 4:12 pm

Notabot wrote:I think that's the problem: the characters just aren't that likable. US Office has over the top characters, but they all have some kind of redeeming qualities. Every one of them is at one time lovable and at another time detestable.
I see the difference in that US Office is made to be more of an actual sitcom, with fictional characters. The original one with its pseudo-documentary vibe has characters that are more like real human beings. And face it, not all people have redeeming qualites. I can more easily imagine a real office full of Gareths, Davids and Tims than an office full of Dwights, Michaels and Jims. And I do believe that is what they were aiming at.

I love the UK Office madly and have been able to enjoy the US version a lot more once I accepted it's not a carbon copy but a show in a different genre with a similar setting.

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Rejoice!

Post by Auntie Slag » Thu Apr 28, 2011 5:08 pm

It's a Cow! Its a Cow!

How are you, sir :smokin:

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Post by inflatable dalek » Thu Apr 28, 2011 8:16 pm

Ohhh, Sunshine! Hugely raved about at the time for being a hard SF masterpiece, it is in fact completely pants. So unsure of its convictions it turns into a silly slasher film before the end, the much hyped scientific accuracy is bollocks (even things like the standard Hollywood magic gravity are nonsense) and pretentious enough it thinks a manned mission to the sun would be on a ship called the Icarus after the guy who died horribly trying to do the same. And when that failed the follow up gets called Icarus 2. Which is the sort of crap Dreamwave did with the Ark 2.
TRANSFORMATION: LADY VS THE TRAMP
IT'S A STATUE OF LIBERTY SMACKDOWN MY LOOK AT PRIME 13!
PLUS: BUY THE BOOKS!

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