My Insecurity for Today
For the past few posts I've been researching the topic of preferences and why we like what we like. Last Friday I suggested that Flannery O'Connor's "Revelation" is the best short story ever written. After that I posted my Battle of the Bands post with a discussion about what makes music good. If you have not visited that post and voted I hope you will--I'd love to get your feedback.
Both those posts stirred some interesting discussion and maybe bordered on ticking a few readers off. After all I gave my warnings that I might be saying some outrageous things. This post will be no exception.
Today I'm going to go even further. I'm a little concerned that I might irritate some readers in such a way that they might want to avoid me in the future. Trust me--I'm doing this in the name of science or something like that. Please don't get too mad at me. So here I go...
One of the worst movies of recent years is 2012's The Avengers. The movie concept held promise and most people seemed to love it. Why, why, why? That was one of the dumbest movies I've seen. I mean really now--a wormhole opens up to let some angry bunch of aliens through to attack Earth. I like wormholes almost as much as Stephen Tremp, but this was a bit much.
Then there was that stupid cast of superheroes. Thor is a freaking idiot so I'm not even going to go there let alone go to Asgard. I do kind of like Captain America and Iron Man, but why do these movies have to go so over the top with things. The Hulk was one of my favorites when I was young, but now he's bigger, badder, stronger, and more annoying than ever.
Part of the problem is the filmmakers are drunk on CGI. I'm starting to get so sick of computer generated imagery. I used to think it was really cool--and it is--but then the effects departments started going overboard with it. Now one movie has to top everything that came before with bigger more elaborate computerized effects. Pretty soon we won't need actors, which actually could be a good thing, but that's the subject of a future post in some far-off galaxy.
Think about it. How stupid was it to see the Hulk flying through the air almost like he was Superman? Those scenes were so phony that they were laughable. I know this is comic book stuff but I don't think it was intended to be outright comedy. The Avengers was less of a movie than it was an overly long computer simulated amusement park ride. Fifteen minutes of that crap would have been enough for me.
I've lost interest in superhero movies and haven't seen any of the latest ones. Let's face it--they've all gotten very similar. Mega budgets with storylines to match--if you can call them storylines. I've been going back to the simpler films and enjoying them much more.
Give me more sedate thoughtful movies where actors act and screenwriters write stories with decent dialogue and thought-provoking plots. I don't need no stinkin' CGI. Well maybe small doses sometimes, but not the whole movie. Let my car chases be done with real cars on real streets and have stuntmen doing more realistic stunts than flying through the air like Superman.
Better movies that I enjoyed more than any of the recent CGI extravaganzas? Nebraska was nice. It was about an old man going somewhere and it was so quiet that you could have slept to it. But the story kept me awake and it had kind of a nice message that was more down to earth than false gods on imaginary Asgard.
A series that has its flaws but stimulated my thinking was Atlas Shrugged Parts 1 and 2. Part 3 is supposed be in the theaters in September. I'm not thrilled by breaking the film up like that, but I like the idea of mixing entertainment with a thoughtful message. The film had CGI, but the effects did not drive the film, the story did.
There are plenty of other decent films but I'll let you add your own choices in the comments.
I don't think any films of the past several years can be ranked among the best ever made. So what are the best films ever? There are so many, but I'll name a few. I can't imagine that anyone would disagree with me, but you can try.
1. Fellini's Roma
2. Fellini's 8 1/2
3. Fellini's Ginger and Fred
4 Just about any movie by Federico Fellini
5. Citizen Kane
6. Singin' in the Rain
7. Wizard of Oz
8. Kiss Me Deadly
9. Apocalypse Now
10. The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly
All better than The Avengers.
I doubt whether I'll have any disagreement on this so I'll ask why you think my choices are among the best films ever made? If in the unlikely case that you disagree with me then what do you think are some of the best films ever made? If you happened to actually have liked The Avengers please tell us why.