Sometimes I watch films and they make me really angry for one of many reasons. And I mean, really angry. I leave the cinema all grumpy and I swear at children and generally act like Kanye West for the rest of the night. And the thing is, it’s not usually because a movie is bad. I’ve seen heaps of bad movies. Fuck, I watched Ghost Rider and I was all right afterward, in fact I was probably happier. And the best drinking game I ever played involved taking a mouthful every time you saw a bad special effect in the Mortal Kombat movie. It’s never the cheap shitty movies that make me angry though. It’s these…
Movies where the main character dies at the end when he doesn’t really have to:
Examples: Blood Diamond, Saving Private Ryan, Ladder 49, The Departed, Titanic
There’s absolutely no good reason why Solomon couldn’t help Danny up the mountain at the end of Blood Diamond. The helicopter was like, five fucking metres away but DiCaprio’s character suddenly gets all self-sacrificial because he’s completed some girly episode of holy revelation and is apparently a good person, despite basically being a complete wanker for the previous two hours. ‘No, no,’ he says, ‘I’ll just stay here on this hill and wait for half an hour for the bad guys to reach me, long after you’ve completed the short dash to the transport’.
Obviously directors do this because sappy, over-dramatised death scenes of well-developed characters gets the audience all teary and earns Oscar nominations but I can see through their dirty schemes of manipulation. Ladder 49 was another one. There’s that bit where all the fireman are walking around on the roof of a burning building (which seems like a dumb fucking idea to begin with) and one bloke falls through and presumably lands a story down, within what most people would guess to be a pretty easy place to retrieve a victim. But no. Some other guy says something along the lines of, ‘No, you know as well as I do that there’s no saving him,’ when there clearly was the opportunity to do so.
But hey, I’m not a fireman or a South African mercenary so what do I know about falling two metres and having sore legs on mountaintops.
Movies that end on those ‘Dot-dot-dot’ moments:
Examples: K-Pax, Inception, The Thing, Dreamcatcher, The Sopranos (I know it’s not a movie but what the fuck?)
It’s not smart, it’s not thought provoking, it’s just fucking annoying. I don’t want to have to sit afterward and discuss with my friends what the shit just happened, I want resolution. It’s like sex without an orgasm. You go home feeling awkward, tense, confused and a little pissed off that you actually sat all the way through the credits because you were hoping there would be a bit at the end where it explained, ‘Oh yeah, turns out he was an alien’.
Unless the writer died before he got to finish the script, I want a conclusion. If I wanted something that stopped suddenly and seemed as if it was missing a proper ending, I’d read River Phoenix’s autobiography.
Movie versions of things that are cool and should have been a lot of better than they turned out:
Examples: Max Payne, The Beach, The Last Airbender
Sometimes the ineptitude of directors just blows you away. On many occasions I’ve walked into cinemas thinking to myself, ‘Okay, there’s just no way they can fuck this up,’ but somehow they do. Max Payne’s a prime example of this. The video game had its own film-noir direction and narration, with dialogue that could have come straight out of a 1940s John Huston movie. It was all there, the movie was essentially pre-written, pre-directed and pre-acted. But fuck, John ‘Bucketarse’ Moore could have just recorded some teenager playing the game with a handy-cam and it still would’ve come out looking better than his piece of shit travesty starring the always confused Marky-Mark.
Movies that do this make me uncontrollably angry. There’s no excuse for them being awful. When I left the cinema after seeing Max Payne alongside my friend Jimmy, he had quite accurately said, ‘Well, that was shit’ but I was pissed off and replied, ‘As if you’d fucking know, you liked National Treasure,’ and then we didn’t speak to each other for a while.
Movies that get way over-hyped and can’t live up to the expectations:
Examples: Inception, Avatar, IronMan
There’s nothing worse than too much hype. It’s near impossible to meet the expectations that are created when tens of thousands of rampant, excited movie-goers start declaring that the movie in question is ‘the greatest movie ever and you have to go and see it, and you’ll love it, and it’s ten out of ten, and Jessica Alba takes her shirt off in it’. Past experience tells me that no movie is ever going to be that good, and that Jessica Alba is never going to take her shirt off on-screen.
This of course isn’t really the movie’s fault. It’s the type of people who over-hype the movie that are the problem. We’re talking about teenage, sheepish fan-boy types who are a little too into Dr Who and sleep next to stuffed effigies of Wes Anderson and write letters to street press magazines. And if their extravagant overstating doesn’t ruin the movie for you, then your undeniable desire to disagree with the little rat bastards will.
Movies with too many bland characters that look the same:
Examples: The Departed, Ocean’s Eleven through Thirteen, Black Hawk Down, March of the Penguins (a joke), Twins (a second joke)
Don’t put Mark Wahlberg and Matt Damon in the same film. It’s like trying to tell apart a cast of Lego Men. Everyone hates that person who sits there in the theatre going, ‘Who’s that guy? Is that the chick from before? What’s with the guy in the evil rabbit suit?’ So when you’re forced to deal with an entire theatre filled which such whispers, it tends to take away from the experience. And it pisses me off. This is why I don’t watch any movies about Asian team-sport.
We’re not just talking about actors who look the same, worse still are the movies where the characters are so freaking boring and uninspired that you simply forget about them altogether. Gangster movies generally have this problem. There are only so many Italo-American mafia archetypes that you can squeeze into two hours of film.
Movies that are clearly based on the desperate, adolescent fantasies of horny teenage boys:
Examples: Kick-Ass, The Girl Next Door, She’s Out of My League, Loser
I don’t like movies about nerds doing wonderful things and getting gorgeous women. It offends me because I am a nerd and I rarely achieve wonderful things and the only way I have success with a gorgeous woman is if I get her completely arseholed and convince her that I’m related to Guy Pearce. It’s unfairly raising the hopes of my kind, who then enter out into the world in a newly formed bubble of naivety and approach beautiful girls in bars with underserved confidence. And then these bubbles get violently punctured and our self-esteem goes flying around the room like a untied balloon, making the 'prffrffrffftttrftt' sound.
That’s not what life is like. Nerds shouldn’t be allowed to write movies like this. They should be forced into pointless office jobs like the rest of us and have every song removed from their iPod accept for Radiohead’s Creep. I can never enjoy movies where ugly guys nail hot chicks, even though I know it’s actually happening out there. I’m overcome by a juvenile envy that accentuates my pettiness, encouraging snide little comments that make my friends silently promise to never watch a movie with me again.
It’s not fair. Hmph.
Movies whose posters have red text on a white background:
Examples: Not Another Teen Movie, Confessions of a Shopaholic, Dodgeball
This is an observation my old roommate and I made and not really a reason for disliking a movie, more of a trick to save you time. Shit movies always have white backgrounds, with red writing. Type in ‘Movie Poster’ into Google Images right now and try to find a decent movie that has a white background with red writing. Unless you thought Alvin & the Chipmunks was an underrated masterpiece, you’ll find nothing.
I presume there’s some sort of marketing psychology at play here, something about white and red that makes douche-bags with expendable income think maybe ‘Norbit’ might be worth a gander. I dunno. Ask Freud.
I will admit that there’s an occasional exception to the rule, but if you see the names Rogen, Wayans, Seltzer or the caption ‘From the People Who Brought You Scary/Epic/Date/Disaster Movie’, back the fuck up and choose something else.
Movies in which Leonardo DiCaprio tries to act like a tough guy:
Examples: Blood Diamond, Inception, Shutter Island, Body of Lies, The Departed, Gangs of New York, etc…
I kinda hate Leonardo DiCaprio. This category is here simply to outline the fact that all but two of the other seven contains a Leonardo DiCaprio movie. I’m not sure why I hate him. It could be his weedy facial hair, it could be his squinty eyes or it could just be because I hated Titanic. But I loathe him.
But I think what I hate about him the most is his insistence on taking roles as gun-wielding tough guys. He looks about as aggressive as a wet newspaper and he sounds as manly as Enya. He’s clearly much more adept at playing cunning soft types. Look at Catch Me if You Can, that movie was great, and The Beach was pretty all right. But expecting us to believe that he’s a wily street tough is like Ricky Gervais going for the role of Batman. He can’t pull it off.
Would make a pretty good Penguin though…