The Please, Please, For The Love Of GOD, Don’t Make Me Watch This List

I’m shamelessly breaking my own rules. I didn’t post a recommendation yesterday, and I’m probably not going to write one tomorrow—limited internet access, dammit. Everyone should have wireless. Anyway, today I decided that I didn’t feel like recommending anything (other than wireless) because I wanted to talk about something else instead.

See, I’m a huge sucker for movie trailers. I can watch previews for hours on end, just seeing what looks interesting, what looks shitty, what I would potentially eat dirty socks full of drain cleaner before paying to see in theater. And, thinking about it, I realized that there are at least five types of movies that just automatically equal zero interest for me. I mean, for me to even consider going to see this kind of movie . . . dude, Joseph Gordon-Levitt AND Jensen Ackles both better be in it, shirtless, CONSTANTLY shirtless, and maybe singing and playing the guitar in a soulful manner while they’re at it. Shirtlessly.

And so I present to you, a list:

The Please, Please, For The Love Of GOD, Don’t Make Me Watch This List

*Most, if not all, examples are of movies that I have not actually seen yet, so there are no spoilers. You may have seen this movie and disagree with the category that I’ve put it in. That’s fine. However, that’s how the movie struck me as I watched the trailer (or heard it described from others) and that is why I’m not interested.*

5.) Romantic Comedies

Look, I like my share of romantic comedies. I do. I’m a girl. Give me horror; give me blood, but occasionally, I’m gonna wanna cuddle. I have made my peace with that.

However, that being said, most of the romantic comedies that I’ve seen advertised over the past five years have made me kind of want to vomit, preferably over Katherine Heigl’s face. Uptight, neurotic, gorgeous woman; guys who do something “unforgivable” and get caught twenty minutes before the movies over; formulaic plots or ridiculous plots . . . everything but a fucking laugh track, really. I’ll rent a romantic comedy sometimes, but I haven’t seen one that I’d be willing to pay even matinee prices for in years.

Examples: Made of Honor; Killers; The Bounty Hunter; The Ugly Truth; Life As We Know It; The Back Up Plan; Letters to Juliet, etc, etc.

Exceptions: Definitely, Maybe; Enchanted

4.) Thrillers Where There’s A Good Chance That The Protagonist Is Going Crazy

I like mind-trippy thrillers, to an extent, but I hate this plot twist: the hero/heroine has lost their girlfriend/boyfriend/son/daughter/puppy/goldfish and asks the police for help, only the police have no record of the girlfriend/boyfriend/son/daughter/puppy/goldfish and, furthermore, has the hero/heroine been taking their meds lately? Then it’s a big conspiracy if the hero/heroine really IS crazy, or if it’s the government/aliens/mustache-twirling villain fucking with them, or maybe the hero/heroine is crazy but somehow someone really IS in danger, and in the meantime I so checked out of this plotline twenty minutes ago to go watch something that didn’t make me roll my eyes into my brain.

There are actually a good number of variants on this basic plotline, but they all annoy me. Here’s another one: someone has died (possibly been murdered), and either a loved one or a person in authority (cop, doctor, etc.) who’s investigating suddenly starts having unexplained hallucinations or experiences, and maybe there is no crime after all. Maybe the cop/doctor/loved one has actually been crazy all of this time, and they’re in a loony bin bouncing off walls, talking about rainbows, or who the hell knows. I still don’t care, and my eyes have still been violently relocated inside of my skull.

Examples: Flight Plan, The Number 23, Shutter Island, Gothika, Jacob’s Ladder

Exceptions: Err . . .

3.) Mafia/Mob Type Movies

You’d think that I’d love mob movies, with my penchant for fictional violence and whatnot, but truthfully, there’s something about these types of films that just doesn’t intrigue me at all. Unlike many of the stupid romantic comedies mentioned above, I’m sure that many of these films are actually good ones—obviously, there are some hugely classic mafia movies—but given the choice between sitting down and watching the ultimate family business or, I don’t know, reorganizing my sock bucket, the socks usually win. (I lie. Actually, I ignore both of these and go read angsty fanfiction. I know my priorities.)

I like a decent amount of heist movies, from the fun Ocean’s Eleven to the somewhat less upbeat The Usual Suspects, but mob movies? So not my cup of tea. And there’s really no justification for this. I just don’t give a damn.

Examples: The Godfather, Scarface, Casino, Goodfellas, The Town. To be fair, I’m not sure The Town actually has any mafia in it. But it’s, you know, another gritty movie about Boston. I’m telling you, I’m tired of Boston, man. See, I’m from California. I’m for more laid-back crime.

Exception: The Departed. And even then, I wasn’t that interested when I watched the trailer, only a little, and that was mostly due to the Matt Damon, the Martin Sheen, and The Rolling Stones. And now that I have seen the film, I willingly concede that it was quite good. Also: I never need to watch it ever again.

2.) Biopics

This is why I’ve never seen every movie in the Best Oscar race. There’s always a fucking biopic. And I just . . .  don’t . . . care. Admittedly, there are degrees of how much I don’t care, like some things are a “blah” don’t care, and others are a “good Christ, please don’t hurt me by making me watch that” don’t care. For instance, Milk is a political biopic, and I had a little more interest in it than I had in Ray, a musical biopic, despite the fact that I like the Ray Charles music I know. I just don’t care about his life. I don’t care about his . . . drinking? Did he drink? Or have affairs? I don’t know; I didn’t see the film.

I just know that, for some reason, I usually prefer to be inspired by fictional people in films. I don’t want to pay to see the true life story of anybody. I certainly don’t want to pay to see someone’s version of this dude’s true life story. That doesn’t interest me. Maybe it’s because those movies are usually so centered around the idea of let’s make money and inspire people! that the sincerity of it usually rings a little false to me. Or maybe it’s because nine times out of ten, the movie ends with that person dead, and I hate a predictable end. I don’t know exactly what it is. I just don’t know that biopics are probably my least favorite movie to pay my own money (or anyone else’s money) to watch.

Examples: Milk, Ray, Amelia Earheart Movie, Capote, Beyond the Sea

Exception: Ed Wood. When Tim Burton and Johnny Depp team up to do more biopics, I’ll start paying more attention to the genre.

And finally:

1. Inspirational Sports Movies

I’m not real crazy about sports movies to begin with, but if I’m going to watch them, then they’d better be fucking hysterical, like Major League or Necessary Roughness. Hell, I’ll even go for The Replacements, which I fully recognize is not that impressive of a movie, but it’s one that I enjoy watching on cable when I’m bored and there’s nothing else on, (yes, even with Keanu Reeves’s infuriatingly wooden performance in it. I have learned to overlook almost every one of Keanu’s bad performances, except in Much Ado About Nothing, where it cannot be overlooked. You have to revel in it, or else the movie is ruined. Don’t let Keanu ruin that movie for you, people. Emma Thompson and Kenneth Branagh alone make it awesome.)

Ahem. Anyway. Look, if you give me a few jokes, fine, okay. I’ll try out your damn sports movie.

But if you expect me to learn some moral lesson from your sports movie, if you want to teach me about racism or sexism or classism or any kind of –ism . . . bitch, please. You can’t pay me to see those kinds of movies. (Actually, that’s also not true. You just have to pay me a lot. Otherwise, you have to be my parents, in which case I’ll have no choice and I will be awarded no money of any kind for watching your stupid movie. I will, however, be silently mocking the inspirational speech given by the quarterback before the last play in the meanest, most vulgar terms I can think of.)

I know some of them are good, I know it, but . . . UGH. Count me out on the trip to the theaters, thanks. I’ll stay home and watch B  movies (well, D- minus movies, really) on Syfy Channel and be happier for it.

Examples of My Least Favorite Movies I Get Forced To Watch: The Blind Side, The Rookie, The Legend of Bagger Vance, Remember The Titans, Friday Night Lighs, Coach Carter, Hoosiers, Glory Road, Rudy, Miracle, We Are Marshall, Seabiscuit, etc., etc. ETC!

Exceptions: The original Karate Kid, I guess? I don’t really consider it’s a sports movie, but it’s got a training montage, so I guess it is. Really, though, it’s all about Miyagi, isn’t it? Pat Morita rocked.

10 thoughts on “The Please, Please, For The Love Of GOD, Don’t Make Me Watch This List

  1. 5) Romantic Comedies

    More exceptions: The Fifth Element (um.. yes it is). Intolerable Cruelty (I love the Coens). Groundhog Day (not only a romantic comedy, but possibly the best comedy ever made).

    Okay, that’s it. Considering the number of these that come out all the time, this is a pretty damning indictment.

    4) Good chance the protagonist is going crazy.
    Hmmm. I actually thought Flightplan’s premise was okay. The problem was that the twist was absolute rubbish (and some of the “ZOMG the Muslims are on board” bits were pretty painful). (Which if your point of course. They needed to have something pretty special up their sleeves to make that twist work and there isn’t really much they could have done which would fit the bill.)

    I didn’t like Gothika either. Another example of this genre would be “The Forgotten” which actually starts off pretty well and thankfully doesn’t leave the ambiguity too long. (Actually the problem is that having worked out that they aren’t crazy they instantly manage to guess, without any decent clues, what the bizarre conspiracy involves. How? Plus it feels like an extra-long “Outer Limits” episode.)

    Still, some possible exceptions: In The Mouth Of Madness (Is he going mad or isn’t he? Well sort of…), Total Recall (once again, sort of…)

    3) Yeah, I didn’t like Goodfellas or Casino. I was of the impression that I just didn’t think Scorcesee was a very good director and then I saw The Aviator (not a mob movie) and loved it. So there you go.

    Must say, I actually really liked The Godfather. I found the sequel long-winded and confusing though.

    2) Biopics
    I have to fundamentally disagree on this one. For one thing, even YOU admit that you enjoyed Milk.

    Capote is a blooming brilliant movie – and, to be quite frank, it’s not really a biopic. It’s not just about Capote, it’s about how he came to write “In Cold Blood”.

    But yeah, the more important exceptions are strangely missing. How about “Gandhi”? Or how about, and this is a big exception you’ve bizarrely missed, “Lawrence Of Arabia”?

    1) Inspirational Sports Movies
    Yeah agreed.

    Invictus tried so hard and oddly enough one of the most annoying things was the American soundtrack music. This is a film about South Africa dammit! When Nelson Mandela is riding in on a helicopter, I do not want hear some random American soft rock band! In the end, this is an extension of the biopic problem, because not only is it a movie about a guy’s life, but it gives the impression that the main thing he had on his mind during this vital period of time was a rugby team. I mean Morgan Freeman plays the part brilliantly, but it’s hard to take this movie seriously.

  2. I didn’t enjoy Milk. I didn’t SEE Milk. Like I said in the beginning, most of the examples are of movies that I’ve never watched. I haven’t seen them mostly because I haven’t been able to work up the interest in seeing them, even if they’re supposed to be amazing films. But you’re right, Lawrence of Arabia should be on the list . . . as a movie I’m not interested in. I know how incredible it’s supposed to be. I know how most film geeks I know loved it. I will probably watch it at some point. But right now I have NO interest in it at all, other than Peter O’Toole, and I can just watch High Spirits for him, you know?

    • Did you just say that f***ing “Enchanted” was more worth watching than “Lawrence Of Arabia”??!!?!!

      You’ve got some seriously twisted priorities….

      • Sorry, angry blunder.

        Replace “Enchanted” with “Ed Wood”. The sentiment is still the same.

        Basically I think you are being too quick to judge the movie. I do understand your basic point here, but I think you’ll find that Lawrence Of Arabia (what with being one of the best movies ever made) is actually an exception.

        Imagine if Kill Bill volume one was actually a biopic… 😛

    • Also, while Lawrence of Arabia dies at the beginning of the movie, that only serves to guarantee that for the rest of the events of the movie he CAN’T die. (Like an action hero.) If anything it makes him seem even more amazing in the long run. (And thankfully the beginning isn’t also the end.)

    • “I didn’t SEE Milk”

      “For instance, Milk is a political biopic, and I had a little more interest in it than I had in Ray, a musical biopic”

      I got the impression that these were examples of movies that you have watched and made you swear off the genre forever. There must be some such examples. What are they?

  3. I’m not trying to judge ANY movie. I’m not saying that these movies are bad films (except for the bad chicks flicks. Yes, those are awful.) The only thing I’m saying is that these films don’t interest me much from the get-go. That’s it. That’s all. Look, someday, I’ll watch Lawrence of Arabia, and it may in fact be the wonder that everyone’s said it is. That doesn’t mean I’m going to watch it tomorrow, though. If the interest isn’t there, it isn’t there. There’s something about watching previews for biopics, inspirational sports movies, etc, etc that just makes my brain go, “Eh, next please.”

    So, yeah. Lawrence of Arabia is probably a better movie than Ed Wood, but I’m more interested in Ed Wood than Lawrence of Arabia. I don’t really have a problem with that. Johnny Depp being weird versus Peter O’Toole in the desert? I doubt I’m the only one who honestly thinks this way. And if I am . . . well, I AM the Blasphemous Wench, after all : )

    • It must said that I have my own reasons for not really wanting to see Ed Wood. Those reasons being that it’s directed by Tim Burton who never fails to disappoint me. The other reason being that Tim Burton is particularly bad at directing Johnny Depp, who always seems much more impressive in pretty much ANYONE else’s movies.

      I cannot help but feel that I have very good reason to not want to see any more Tim Burton movies because I have seen so many other movies of his and been horribly disappointed – every – single – time!

      (I have post on that here:
      I think that -if you read the comments too- gives you pretty much everything you need to know.)

      My point here, in spite of what it might look like above, is not actually so much to berate you for preferring a Tim Burton movie to one of the greatest movies of all time (and the greatest performance of Peter O’Toole’s career). Rather it’s to ask you which biopics you HAVE seen which led you to your current conclusion.

      Gandhi and Milk both suffer from the whole “the beginning is the end” thing, (“he got shot” – and that’s not a spoiler, it’s historical fact) but you don’t claim to have seen either of those. (And let’s face it, this isn’t a problem unique to biopics.) It’s a good point well made, but what actual movies have led you to your current distrust of biopics?

      • I don’t really have a lot, honestly. When I watch trailers for most biopics, they look like those kinds of movies that are both a) really good and b) I never need to watch again after the first viewing. That’s how I feel about some movies. Movie A very well done, great acting, good directing, wonderful script, etc, etc, but I never, ever need to see it again. Off the top of my head, the only two biopics like that I can think are The Last King of Scotland and Raging Bull. There are probably others., but those are the two that are coming to me. I’m sure most biopics are good, but I have to drag myself to see them.

        And I must disagree with the Johnny Depp/Tim Burton stuff. I love their work together.

  4. Last King Of Scotland isn’t a biopic. It’s an adaptation of a fictional novel. Idi Armin never actually decided to lavish attention on a Scotsman.

    Other decent Biopics, now I come to think of it: “Downfall” and “Good Night and Good Luck” (and “Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind”? It IS an adaptation of the guy’s autobiography after all…)

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