How many times have you faced someone whose mouth is agape before the words “You don’t like…?” are shot from their mouth, roaring towards your opinions like a bullet to the side of a large barn door. You attempt to justify your opinion but you get a shake of the head in return. After a while you begin to make concessions. You stutter that “It’s not as bad as…” or “I didn’t hate it.” But it’s no good. That person now looks at you like you are something brown and stinky on the bottom of their shoe. I get this look often and not just because of my personality. Just as there are films which you may be embarrassed to like, there are others which you are embarrassed that you don’t like. While I don’t dislike any of the films below, I don’t like them as much as ‘society’ tells me I should. I expect ‘society’ will now also hate me for the opinions I’m about to express below, but anyway here are Six of the Best Films I Should Like More But Don’t.
1. The Wizard of Oz (1939)
MGM’s classic fantasy musical is still much loved, over seventy years after its theatrical release. Of all the films on this list, Oz is the film I like the least and the one that has bought about the most distain and shaking of heads from others. The film looks bright in its shimmering Technicolor and the story is epic in its scale but personally I think people give it an easy ride because they think they have to like it. I find the film incredibly annoying and full of plot holes. The Munchkin characters are just about the more irritating in all cinema history but are luckily at a good height to kick in the face. The Wicked Witch of the West is one of the weakest baddies in cinema and is a character who on one occasion throws a fireball at our heroes. The fireball misses so she leaves. In almost every scene she simply arrives, cackles and leaves. There is no peril. The plot itself is set around the ‘it was only a dream’ premise, something which you’d get told to re-write in English class, aged 10. Other plot holes include the Good Witch failing to mention to Dorothy that she could have got home all along and a bad guy who is destroyed by water. All in all, this is a film which is given far too much credit by people who are partially blinded by its unquestionable visual beauty.
2. The Gold Rush (1925)
Anyone who has been reading my blog for a while will be well aware that Charlie Chaplin is pretty much my favourite film maker. I’m currently working my way through his filmography and have so far reviewed around forty of his films. I’m yet to get to one of his most popular films, The Gold Rush, but I have seen it once before. Produced at the height of his popularity, The Gold Rush was the film that Chaplin himself wanted to be remembered for. To me it is neither as funny, sweet or satirical as the films by which it is sandwiched and feels poor in comparison to the likes of The Kid and The Circus, two films which are much less widely known but much funnier. While I wouldn’t begrudge anyone liking Chaplin, this film’s popularity when compared to the rest of his movies is bewildering to me.
3. Blade Runner (1982)
The popular science fiction noir, Blade Runner is one of the best regarded science fiction movies of all time and is certainly a good film. My problem with Blade Runner is that if it is such a great film then why has the director gone back to alter it so many times. By my counting, there are seven different versions of Blade Runner and why does a near perfect film require seven versions? Other problems for me include the pacing which I found far too slow and a plot which while undoubtedly interesting for a time, soon bored me. The movie generally looks great but the strobe lighting effects created by light entering sets from the outside is very off-putting. There is still a lot that I do like about Blade Runner but I certainly don’t like it as much as most people do.
4. The Lion King (1994)
I didn’t see The Lion King when I was a child, something which I’m told is the reason I don’t really rate the film. The plot is plodding, predictable and dull and the songs drive me up the wall. The characters are broadly drawn and mostly annoying and it still bugs me that members of the same family have accents which are separated by oceans. You could say “But lions don’t really talk” but here they do, so why do they have different accents? The film has an interesting idea at its heart and I look forward to showing it to my children in the same way that my vegetarianism won’t stop me from offering them meat but personally this is a film I don’t understand the love for.
5. North by Northwest (1959)
I adore Alfred Hitchcock and some of my favourite moments in the last couple of years have been discovering his films for the first time. From firm favourites like Psycho to hidden gems like Rope, his films have never failed to excite me. I’ve found a pattern emerging which began with Vertigo and came to a head with North by Northwest. Quite often, the better known the film, the less I’ve enjoyed it. I’m certain that this has something to do with heightened expectations and while I wasn’t particularly keen on The Birds, I felt that this point was best exemplified by North by Northwest. When I reviewed the movie last September I gave it 6/10. I was honest and took some flack for it but stuck to my guns and presented my reasons which are thus. The film bored me. Despite some great action sequences, it was a film which lacked mystery and intrigue and for a thriller I was never thrilled. Like a couple of films on this list though I will go back to this one when I get a chance, in the hope that I am swayed towards the opinions of the masses.
6. The Godfather (1972)
If you were pissed at me before, you’re going to hate me now. That’s right; I don’t think The Godfather is one of the greatest films ever made. Don’t get me wrong, it’s fantastic and a game changer as far as film making is concerned but I don’t rate it as one of the best ever and much prefer The Godfather Part II. For me The Godfather contains some of the most boring scenes in any good film I’ve ever seen. The wedding sequence feels like it lasts for months and I got little enjoyment out of it. Other long, hushed discussions did nothing for me either. I’ve seen this movie twice but each time felt as though I was missing something as I usually enjoy the genre, like the director and love the sequel but The Godfather leaves me cold. Having said that, it’s on my list for a third watch soon so maybe I’ll be third time lucky.
So there it is, my honest opinion. Six films I should probably like more but don’t. What do you think about the list? (Don’t be too mean). Are there any films that you don’t love but everyone else does? Let me know.