Tossin’ It Out There: Which “classic” movie do YOU feel is overrated?

Hello everyone. Welcome to another new series here at This one is entitled “Tossin’ It Out There”.

The intention of these posts is to initiate a discussion on a given subject. I’ll bring up a subject, and then toss it over to you, and see what you think.

Feel free to comment on other peoples comments – but please remember, be respectful. 😀

Leading the series off?

Which “Classic” movie do you feel is overrated? It doesn’t necessarily have to be a classic per se, it could be any beloved movie. There have to be movies which… You just don’t see what everybody else finds so “wonderful” about it.

My friend Garner and I had discussed this (thanks G), I had seen similar discussions out in the blogosphere (Castor I promise not to steal your topics TOO often, LOL), and then PG led the comments on Beauty and the Beast saying he didn’t see eye to eye with the masses on it, and that post wound up eventually having twice the comments of the others in that series.

So the time is right.

What do you think? Don’t leave me hangin’, you KNOW there are movies you just don’t “get” the lofty status of!

Let me hear ’em!!


43 thoughts on “Tossin’ It Out There: Which “classic” movie do YOU feel is overrated?

  1. “Apocalypse Now”. Maybe I just need to see it again, but I found it way too long.

    “Casablanca”. Good, but people consider this to be the greatest movie of all time and it’s not really up there.

    “A Streetcar Named Desire”. Boring story and apart from Brando, pretty weak acting.

    “The Grapes of Wrath”. None of the characters have any personalities of their own and the film is just dull.

    “Pan’s Labyrinth”. Great creature designs and imagination, but I don’t care about the characters or the story.

    “Brokeback Mountain”. Good, just not nearly as good as I had been lead to believe.

    “Fargo”. It’s okay, but people make this out to be the best film of the 90’s and one of the best films of all time.

    “Rocky”. Best Picture over “Taxi Driver”?!? Seriously??!

    “The 400 Blows”. Nothing bad about it per say, but not tremendously good in any way either.

    I look forward to people tearing me apart for these 🙂

    Great series by the way.

    • I don’t know about “Tearing you apart”, but all the selections you offer up make it sort of a menu to choose from when deciding what to “discuss”.

      😀 Hey, that’s the idea of this thing anyways. I’ll post some of my own and comment on other’s choices a little later. Just using the phone to check in at lunch now.

    • “You’re Tearing me Apart Lisa!!”

      LOL. I’ve had that line in my head all day since you said that. Thanks. Thinking of “The Room” always makes my day brighter.

      I mean, this is the point of the post, so there’s no tearing into anyone. I will say out of the 9 you mention, I’ll be doing 5 as “Movies Everyone Should See” eventually. And I’ve never seen the 400 blows, LOL. So potentially six!

      The one thing I will say – even though Apocalypse and Pan’s are two of my favorites ever… Rocky beating Taxi Driver wasn’t that big of a crime. Rocky is a great, great flick. And its upbeat. Taxi Driver is brilliant – inarguably – but its dark. That always costs a movie points. Honestly? I think that’s one of the best years ever in the Best Picture Category. 4 out of the five are legendary flicks, and I’ve never seen “Bound for Glory” so for all I know it’s 5 for 5.

      I honestly would give Taxi Driver the bronze in ’76. With Rocky retaining gold, and “All the President’s Men” silvering.

      The big crime is that that should have been one of those years where Best Picture and Best Director didn’t get handed out as a matching set. Scorsese should have won for Director. He’s such a presence in all his movies. I mean, with a story as strong as Rocky, any hack could have made that flick great. Whereas Taxi Driver needed a deft, deft hand to keep it from being a train wreck. That movie easily (in the hands of a lesser director) could have wound up being a horrible film.

    • Chariots. Of. Fire.

      LOL. Now that’s a good one. You know that movie beat out “Raiders of the Lost Ark” AND “On Golden Pond” for Best Picture? So incredibly ludicrous.

      I’ve never seen “Purple”. One of the joys of movie blogging I guess. I’ll get to slowly disclose all the famous movies I’ve actually never seen. LOL

  2. The first that comes to mind is “How Green Was My Valley”. Yeah, the movie they gave the Oscar to after deciding to actively snub “Citizen Kane”. I watched it, or I should say I tried to watch it, and it’s one of a very few movies I’ve turned off part way through. Maybe it’s because I was tired, but I just couldn’t find it interesting, and eventually felt that I would be better off getting some sleep. Maybe I’ll give it another chance some time, but I kind of doubt it.

    The other one is one that I’m rather torn on. “Easy Rider”. The cinematography in this film is absolutely fantastic, one of those where you can actually praise the cinematography and people know you’re not just reaching for something to compliment under the assumption that nobody will call you on it. The soundtrack, which is so often an afterthought in movies, is perfect. All the actors are well-cast, and Jack Nicholson turns in one of his best performances, well before he started just playing “Guy who is basically Jack Nicholson” (which isn’t always a bad thing, of course, since “Guy who is basically Jack Nicholson” is an interesting if familiar character, but he stretched himself more in his early career.) Everything is done just about as well as it could possibly be… except the plot, or lack thereof. As with “How Green Was My Valley”, it was boring, and unlike “Valley”, it was pointless. This is the ultimate shaggy dog story here. I watched this up to the end, and there wasn’t anything to it. Beyond Nicholson’s character, I didn’t feel like I was given any reason to care what these guys were doing or what happened to them, and they didn’t really do anything but ride on their motorcycles, up until the very end. I’ve heard it said that this is one of those movies that “you had to be there” for; well, I wasn’t, I was born 10 years after it came out. But it seems to me that a great movie shows you why it would have been interesting to be there, and this doesn’t.

    • That’s funny you mention that. “How Green Was My Valley” is in my Netflix queue right now because I want to do a “Hollywood Mysteries” about how Citizen Kane didn’t win. I’ve never seen it, but I will soon.

      I’m gonna agree – right now- on “Easy Rider” I think. I thought it was kind of overrated too when I saw it, but in all honesty I’ve only seen it once and it was probably at least 20 years or so ago now. It’s on my list to revisit one day. I thought “The End” was kind of pointless. For what they did, it should have had more weight somehow.

  3. Alright, here’s mine. Don’t want to have everyone else expose themselves to criticism while I sit back and not play.

    It’s “Back to the Future”.

    I mean, yeah. It’s a good movie. It was a solid, fun piece of entertainment. It was fine. But somehow over the years its grown in stature to this revered piece of 80s film history and I’m always like, wait, what? I mean… it was alllllright….

    I’ve got some others too, but that’s probably the one I feel the biggest disconnect on. Everyone is all lovin’ on it and whatnot and I’m always like. The Michael J Fox one, right? That one?


    • I can see where you’re coming from there, especially since you’re not saying it was awful, but was simply “good and fun” rather than “great”. I absolutely love BTTF (and like parts 2 and 3), but I can acknowledge that it’s not the peak of 80s cinema. Still a 5 out of 5 for me, but if I were to use a more nuanced rating scale like you do, sure, it wouldn’t hit the top spot. I think in a lot of ways it’s like “Star Wars” for people; we can all, if we’re willing to be honest, spot the flaws in it. We’re just having too damned much fun to care.

      • See? THAT’S what I’m sayin’! People comparing it to “Star Wars” and shit? DAMN!

        LOL, I’m kidding, I got your point. I’m just making jokes.

        BTW, I knew it was either you or Gelf that was a huge fan of this one I just couldn’t remember which. I think that during one of those ol movie threads I may have come to the realization I just didnt have it for this flick.

        But I recognize I’m in the minority. I do.

      • Yeah, I saw that. Always nice to get those behind-the-scenes looks at things. There are a lot of movies where I wonder if they ever bothered to think about the back stories at all, and I can’t help but think that it hurts at least some of them. I’ve read a lot of commentary from writers (novel and screenplay) which says that even details they don’t wind up using end up coloring how they write the work.

  4. One note– I wouldn’t consider Back to the Future a classic, and I’m not sure if in cinematic canon it’s really treated as such either. It’s a beloved sacred cow of 80’s filmmaking, but “classic” might be a stretch.

    I for one have never understood the appeal of Magnificent Seven. Wouldn’t you just rather watch Seven Samurai? I would. Not that they’re totally identical in all ways, of course, but differences aside Magnificent Seven doesn’t do anything for me that Kurosawa’s watershed classic doesn’t do better.

    Also– Gone With the Wind. Other than seeing Mammy yelling at spoiled and obnoxious white people, and of course it’s undeniable contributions to the art form, I can skip it.

    • Three good points.

      I was pretty much using “Classic” and “Beloved Movie” interchangeably. It’s a worthwhile distinction. Beloved Movie didn’t work as well in my post title though.

      You’re spot on regarding the quality difference between Seven Samurai and Magnificent Seven. But I know you and I have traded posts before on the foreign barrier… I think even WITH a movie as high quality and actually, complete accessibility… The general public will steer clear. Of course, the type of folks who love movies enough
      to read and write movie blogs won’t let that stop them.

      “Gone With the Wind” is a good one. I’d LIKE to write it up as a “Movie That Everyone Should See”, but how do I say “You might get bored, it’s like ten hours long… watch it in pieces…” LOL.

      That said, I have massive respect for it. And Rhett and Scarlet BOTH are classic characters. If I was making or reading a Top Movie Characters of All Time list, they would be glaring omissions if they weren’t on it.

      • On “Seven Samurai” and “Magnificent Seven”, I’ll say that both are great movies. (I saw M7 years ago, and 7S last week.) Sure, you do kind of have to give the nod to the original, it’s only fair, but I think this was a very reasonable case for “re-envisioning” a movie for a different audience. Americans — especially Americans in 1960 — are not terribly well-versed in samurai culture, and are going to miss much of the significance of Kurosawa’s film… enough, I dare say, that it would seem like a standard action flick to many of them. Some things, I think, would be fairly clear, like the effects Kikuchiyo’s commoner heritage. But other things, not so much. There’s a great character-establishing moment early on when Kanbe Shimada shaves his head to pose as a monk to rescue a child. Since a samurai’s hair is an important symbol of their honor, this shows that he’s a man who puts actual honor and peoples’ needs above how he is perceived. But I only know that bit about the hair because I still have a very few facts bouncing around in my head from a class on “War and the Samuari” I took in college when I found myself needing to pick up a few extra credits after another class was abruptly canceled. I wouldn’t know it otherwise, and I’d wager that if you asked a hundred Americans on the street, you’d be lucky to find even one who understood the significance of that scene. Conversely, in “The Magnificent Seven” there’s a different early character-establishing moment, with Chris and Vin volunteering to escort a funeral procession that is being opposed due to the deceased being an Indian. They don’t know the deceased; it’s just the right thing to do. Same basic character being established, but in a framework that is immediately clear to an American. And this isn’t cultural near-sightedness (at least, no more than every culture practices), but simply the fact that “Seven Samurai” assumes its audience is deeply versed in lore that most Japanese are indeed deeply versed in, and most Americans aren’t, by the simple fact that they didn’t grow up surrounded by tales of the Japanese feudal period. They grew up with tales of the old west, and it is those tropes which are understood and easily accessible. Now, I don’t think this is a full barrier to “Seven Samurai”, but I think it does lessen the impact some — and this impact can be helped by having seen “Magnificent Seven” to help draw the parallels.

  5. I guess I’ll never be a good film critic, as I think of the wide variety of films and consider some to be overrated in today’s standards, I just can’t help but think what influence the social climate has on films when they are released. Of course losing that influence over time can skew a perspective on one being overrated or not. So I would be more inclined to discuss a films artistic integrity, actors performance, storyline, or cinematography, than my personal opinion on what’s overrated.

    • Well… that’s a good point. LOL

      Still. Gotta talk about something, right?

      I guess, I got it…ok. What I would say to that is. If a movie is still respected and still revered, beloved, etc now then we can have this kind of discussion on them by todays standards, what you think of them now, etc Otherwise, we’d have to be historians to always credit the context.

      But that is a really good point, I try to give a lot of weight to the times and the context when I do the MTESS write ups. Trying to at least. Because I do think thats really important too.

  6. I understand your point and want to emphasize that I personally have the difficulty in establishing an overrated definition, because I don’t do the research or have that movie insight that you experts have. I feel that offering an uneducated opinion (although I’ve been known to do that) in this case, could do some films an injustice.

  7. Fogs-
    Thanks for the blogosphere shout out!
    Please allow me to “toss one out there”-
    GUMP- Ugh….I’m not even sure where to begin…All the cheese of Back to the Future (Same Director – I believe) with a whole lot of American History.

    Yes, Tom Hanks is a wonderful actor and certainly in the immortal words of Robert Downey Jr. ,in Tropic Thunder- an absolute classic film- he went partial *&%)$# and hence all the critical acclaim, but this movie makes me apoplectic.

    Surely its the absolute combination of the cheesy gooey nonsensical story and the farcical, laughable and vapid treatment of American History. We run from the civil rights movement to Vietnam to the derivation of the smiley face in less than 3 hrs- Wow! Don’t forget about LBJ and Ping Pong in China-
    And when its all said and done we’re left with the best tastin’ frozen shrimp that’s microwave ready. I’ll take mine with extra cheese!

    • I guess it speaks to your point when I can’t find a way to readily defend that film. In fact, as I write this, I’m wondering how strongly I even want to defend the film.

      But in the end, I guess my instinct was to defend it rather than chime in with you on the “Gump Sucks” bandwagon… so.

      I think its the character. There’s something about a sweet simpleton that appeals to us. Maybe there’s a desire in all of us or a wish is a better term, there’s a wish that if we simplified things and didnt think so hard and boiled everything down to basic emotions – then life would be good. Cause thats what the movie does, right? He personifies the lack of thought, but has almost super powered emotions, and the doors of the world open to him.

      There’s something at the sub conscious level that we all want that to be real.

      Of course, I DID just intellectually analyze the shit out of it. LOL. Perhaps I should have just said [Forrest] I LIKE Forrest Gump [/Forrest].

  8. How do we consider back to the future without one single mention of the delorean? Has any other movie so prominantly featured a mother-f’in delorean? I don’t think so…

    • Perhaps because the Delorean was only around for the blink of an eye? Just a suspicion.

      But Ok, yeah, its got that. If I ever did a top ten movie cars of all time list (Which I frankly may start working on now LOL) I’d be remiss if I left that off of there, right? Gotta be there.

      • For what it’s worth, Back to the Future featured a DeLorean precisely BECAUSE it was a blink-and-you-miss it commercial failure. It was pretty much a gag on Doc’s sense of style.

  9. 1. Gone With The Wind. I appreciate it’s place in cinematic history. I do think it’s a movie that everyone who is serious about movies should see. But gawd… I despise it.

    2. The Goonies. I may be the only person in my generation that dislikes this movie. The kids are annoying as hell in this.

    3. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Let’s face it… it’s a more comedic remake of the original. Temple of Doom was pretty bad, but at least it was original.

    4. Chasing Amy. Actually… I don’t really like any Kevin Smith movie after Clerks. And Clerks is overrated in some quarters IMO.

    • I think I acknowledged the Gone with the Wind concerns earlier in the thread… other people have mentioned that one too. I think its long, but I do see the good in it.

      I’m with you on the Kevin Smith movies. He’s ten times better at self promotion than he is at directing. I think everyone of his flicks (Clerks included, even though I love that one) are overrated by 10-20% easy.

      I think that Last Crusade is right about where it should be in the pop culture mindset though. I liked it, I was good.

      And yeah, The Goonies? You’re right. Drink the Kool aid, will ya? That movie is AWESOME. 😀

  10. So im not sure its legitimate to post someone elses opinion or not but it generated some heated discussion so hopefully it will do the same here : natural born killers. I started with “I just don’t understand all the hype. People either love this movie or hate it. But the people who love it REALLY fanatically love it.” I took this to mean that its almost ironic that the people who love this movie may display some of the same obsessive tendencies as the movie is critqueing. I suppose in some ways that’s true….its a bit like watching people watching a trainwreck….its hard to look away. Its hard to watch but once you start it you have to finish. Why? Because “mickey and mallory knox are, without a doubt, two of the most twisted de-praved pair of shit @#$%&s it has ever been my displeasure to lay my goddamn eyes on. I tell ya those two mother@#$%&s are a walking reminder of just how how @#$&ed up this system really is.”

    • Try to sway whoever it is who you were takling to into visiting us and representing! Spread the word…

      Aside from that, I have big love for NBK. I think its a great great movie. But I also understand its a challenging film. Its going to be difficult for a lot of people to get past 1) all the violence 2) The outright cynicism the movie has at times 3) The film style Stone employs. I think the movie has a LOT to offer, and frankly is really enjoyable now that I’m accustomed to it, but I have to acknowledge how tough a pill it will be for most people to swallow.

  11. Wow, some good ripping of classics in here. I am nowhere near the level of you people with your analysis of movies so here’s one from the person who just sits backs and watches movies for the enjoyment value with some analysis and criticism. Also remember, this is coming from someone who has ADD.

    Every one of those “old classic” movies, Gone With the Wind, Citizen Kane, Grapes of Wrath, etc. Except To Kill a Mockingbird, for some reason I liked that one. But the rest, bored me too tears, ok, maybe not tears but they sure as hell put me to sleep. If I can find them on TV when I suffer insomnia, I use them.

    Classic chick flicks like Pretty Woman, An Officer and A Gentleman, again fall into the same category as above. In fact, I have never made it through any of these films. Pretty Woman and Officer had me out like a light within 15 minutes of the movie.

    I have to agree with a lot of those that were mentioned as overrated. Couldn’t stand Rocky, hence never finished it or saw any of the others.

    • Yup, thats a good idea. I think from now on I’m going to have an application process, including a resume and a writing sample before accepting comments. LOL

      Cmon. 😀

      And hopefully I can keep the posts and the site accessible to people who “just watch movies” after all, that’s all I am too. Thats what I want to do here from the opening bell, so…. dont be hesitant at all about posting thoughts.

      I’ll admit it. I like “Pretty Woman”. there are few romances on my list that I like, but that’s one that I dont mind at all. My biggest problem with romances usually isn’t the romance, its just that those movies are SO skewed to the feminine persepctive of romance that it leaves me out of it. Its a rare movie – like say, Harry met Sally, that addresses things on nuetral gournds.

      I’m going to have to defend Rocky soon, huh? YO ADRIANNN!!!!

      • A woman who writes a column for Men’s Health magazine described romances and comedy romances as Porn for women in comparison of Porn for men. Both put unrealistic ideas and thoughts into both minds as to how things should be. lol.

  12. I’m gonna try to address a few comments in one go.

    @Morgan Lewis: “Easy Rider” I’m torn on. I think I like the ideas and themes in the movie a lot more than the actual movie.

    @K26dp: I can’t call Smith overrated for two reasons. One, I like a lot of his films. Two, his movies are only loved by a small group of people. Most seem to dismiss his works as juvenile trash. I realize Smith isn’t for everyone, but I like a lot of his films. I don’t have any major gripes with “Forrest Gump”, but like you said, it beat out “Pulp Fiction” and “The Shawshank Redemption” for the Oscar. I love “The Last Crusade”, for me its on par with the original, though I understand where you’re coming from.

    @Fogs: As for “Rocky”, while it reads like my opinion of that film stems mostly out of hate for it beating “Taxi Driver”, but my opinion goes deeper than that. I just found “Rocky” to be such a standard and uninteresting story. I admit it’s hard to evaluate objectively since so much of the film is part of pop culture, but nothing about it blew me away.

    I guess we also disagree when it comes to really dark films because I love darker films.

    Oh, and I also love All The President’s Men.

    • Cool, I actually have a draft in the queue for “All the President’s Men” I’m going to post it pretty soon I figure… hook me up with some support on that one, I’m not sure if it’s going to be an airball or not.

      I mean I love it, but…

      Anyways, so I guess between you and Bruce I’ll need to move my Rocky MTESS up, huh? Cause I love me some Rocky. “Cut me, Mick”

      Meanwhile, If you’ve got a minute, I’ve been dying to know where you stand on “The Living Daylights”… its been up for a couple days. Not to sidetrack my own thread. LOL.

  13. The worst “classic” of all time is easily The Hustler. It’s this piece of shit movie starring Paul Newman. The first scene was 100% awesome as he hustles pool, and walks away with some chump’s money. The rest of the movie is him trying to win a pool match against the greatest living player, but doing it legitimately, without hustling. But hustling is supposed to be the purpose of the movie right? Well, they don’t give a shit about that. And then, inexplicably, his girlfriend kills herself. Movie over. Terrible.

    • I’m going to agree and disagree here.

      AGREE: The girlfriends stuff is terrible. Absolutely. It’s as if they didn’t know where the strength of the movie laid. It cut totally have been excised… the movie would have wound up being a “Rounders” with pool (just revolving around the loss of the bankroll and the slow build back up), and no one is the worse for it.

      DISAGREE: The pool scenes are awesome. So even though you’re right that the title is a bit of a misnomer… maybe it should have just been “The Shark” or something… its great seeing that duel between those two. And George C Scott is great in it too.

      So I still love it and respect it, I just have to acknowledge that its a movie I use the “Chapter Skip” button on now.

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