Scrolling through the possible titles on-demand the other night made me think of how many hours I have spent watching movies. Some have been entertaining, even transforming, but admittedly, there are some hours of my life spent in front of the large, or even small, screen that I will never get back. So I thought a little ‘worst movies ever’ meme might be called for.
My list isn’t really about the Battleship Earth sort of disaster. Or film critics’ consensus. These are movies that I went into the theater to see, with high hopes that were dashed, or petered out, slowly and painfully.
Amusingly, I realize, after starting this list, that for many, these films might show up on their “best” lists. To each his own. In no particular order:
Dune. Even Sting in a leather bikini can’t save this. Or sink it. It’s just too awful.
Suburbia was incomprehensible, but even worse, as boring as the suburban hell it sought to depict.
Lawrence of Arabia, I know, is a classic. I sat through the whole damn thing and learned nothing about T.H. Lawrence except that an extremely long film was made about him and to be sure to pee before you stake out your seat in the theater, because it’s a long time until intermission. I will say that the one bright spot in my memory of this film was a scene where the blue of Peter O’Toole’s eyes and the blond of his hair matched the desert sky and sand perfectly.
Matrix 3. Whatever. I love the blank beauty that is Keanu, but I couldn’t take this mess.
Anything by Kenneth Branagh post Emma Thompson. Let’s face it, he hasn’t done anything good in a long, long time. Frankenstein? Any of his Shakespeare bowdlerizations?
Seabiscuit. Just shoot the damn horse or shoot me, because I can’t take this one more minute. Except I had to, because I was on vacation, trapped in a movie theater with my whole family who thought it would be “fun” to see this slow-motion torture. They liked it.
I was given The English Patient on video because the person gifting was sure I’d love it. I tried to watch it more than once and fell asleep every time before the “must see” scene-something with beautiful wall paintings. I refuse to make another attempt.
2001 A Space Odyssey. I know, I know. But I’m sorry, except for a little of the monkeys in the beginning and HAL at the end this is just one long suck. I remember being so excited as a kid when this came to the local movie theater. After a lackluster viewing, I figured I just didn’t get it. Years later, still don’t get what all the fuss is about. I’ve heard that it’s better if you read the Arthur C. Clarke book. Except it’s a movie and should work without a text.
Forget Divine Brown. Nine Months is dumbest thing Hugh Grant ever did in Hollywood.
So, there’s ten (counting two Branaghs) for starters. Any “great” films you wish you never saw?