19 votes

What cultural touchstone movies have totally passed you by?

I just caught part of one of the newer Terminator movies as I was flicking through channels on TV, and I was only able to identify it because a scene with a visibly 60-plus Arnold Schwarzenegger made me realize he probably hasn't acted in a decade and a half otherwise. I've never seen any of the Terminator movies... a fact which never fails to elicit shocked responses in movie conversations. I've also never watched any of the Alien, Indiana Jones, or Harry Potter franchises, am yet to watch any of the Shreks (despite one of my exes quoting them all the time and telling me she basically learned most of her life lessons from them), nor any of the Toy Story movies. I think the only Pixar movie I've ever watched is Up. I do mix up Pixar and Dreamworks all the time, so that whole debate between the two goes over my head, but I know I've never found Nemo or seen Frozen, or practically any of the others.

Obviously this is most egregious for stuff that's been released during your lifetime, or maybe adulthood, but feel free to include whatever you've never been particularly convinced you've missed out on, from any era.

65 comments

  1. [23]
    streblo
    Link
    The Marvel movies. I’ve seen some of them and they seem fine as a summer blockbuster type movie but I don’t get the hype they have, especially in geek circles.

    The Marvel movies.

    I’ve seen some of them and they seem fine as a summer blockbuster type movie but I don’t get the hype they have, especially in geek circles.

    21 votes
    1. [11]
      mrbig
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      The MCU is a cohesive rendition of the Marvel Universe. Most films are good enough, some are great and one or two are epic and awesome. Marvel innovated with a long term project and took its time...

      The MCU is a cohesive rendition of the Marvel Universe. Most films are good enough, some are great and one or two are epic and awesome. Marvel innovated with a long term project and took its time to dazzle a whole new generation. For many, the MCU was the first engaging contact with the super heroes subculture. There are now young adults that were teenagers when the MCU started, and teenagers that were children. Those movies are for them what Star Wars, Harry Potter, and the Lord of the Rings trilogy were for previous generations.

      For me, seeing all the characters I loved on comic books as a kid in a version that doesn’t suck is thrilling in itself.

      10 votes
      1. [9]
        cfabbro
        Link Parent
        Ditto... especially since before the MCU (or more accurately; before Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy, which essentially kicked the live-action superhero renaissance off) we basically only had absolute...

        For me, seeing all the characters I loved on comic books as kid in a version that doesn’t suck is thrilling in itself.

        Ditto... especially since before the MCU (or more accurately; before Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy, which essentially kicked the live-action superhero renaissance off) we basically only had absolute trash tier representations of superheroes when it came to live-action TV/Movies. Now don't get me wrong, the pre-MCU trash tier stuff had its charms too, but it definitely wasn't as satisfying to watch as all the new stuff that has come out since.

        4 votes
        1. [8]
          mrbig
          Link Parent
          I agree. But I believe Bryan Singer’s X-Men in 2000 is usually considered the starting point of the super heroes movie renaissance. I remember seeing it in the theater, it was awesome.

          I agree.

          But I believe Bryan Singer’s X-Men in 2000 is usually considered the starting point of the super heroes movie renaissance. I remember seeing it in the theater, it was awesome.

          4 votes
          1. [7]
            cfabbro
            (edited )
            Link Parent
            Eh... X-Men (2000) still had way too much lingering campy/cheesiness from its 90's predecessors to be considered the start of the renaissance, IMO. Whereas Nolan's Batman Begins was the first...

            Eh... X-Men (2000) still had way too much lingering campy/cheesiness from its 90's predecessors to be considered the start of the renaissance, IMO. Whereas Nolan's Batman Begins was the first superhero movie to finally shake off the "superheroes are just for kids, so the plot doesn't have to make any sense, and our writing can be super lazy!" excuses of the past, and take itself seriously as a film.

            4 votes
            1. [6]
              mrbig
              Link Parent
              Well, one must take into account that X-Men and Batman are very different franchises. In 2005 Batman was already an adult, tortured, gritty character – Frank Miller’s Batman Year One, from...

              Well, one must take into account that X-Men and Batman are very different franchises. In 2005 Batman was already an adult, tortured, gritty character – Frank Miller’s Batman Year One, from 1987(!), among many others arcs, limited series, and graphic novels, had already introduced a Batman for grown ups devoid of campy/cheesiness.

              4 votes
              1. [5]
                cfabbro
                (edited )
                Link Parent
                Yeah, it's true that a few of the Batman comic runs and spinoffs were pretty dark/adult oriented, but the vast majority were just as kid friendly as the X-men runs were. But regardless, X-Men...

                Yeah, it's true that a few of the Batman comic runs and spinoffs were pretty dark/adult oriented, but the vast majority were just as kid friendly as the X-men runs were. But regardless, X-Men (2000) was still pretty shit IMO, and Bryan Singer is a sexual predator scumbag, so I absolutely refuse to acknowledge that movie as the start of the superhero renaissance. ;)

                3 votes
                1. [4]
                  mrbig
                  Link Parent
                  I didn’t know he was a scumbag. But he did start the super hero era, I’m afraid. This is more about box office than anything. The quality of being a grown-up film is not really a requirement.

                  I didn’t know he was a scumbag. But he did start the super hero era, I’m afraid. This is more about box office than anything. The quality of being a grown-up film is not really a requirement.

                  3 votes
                  1. [3]
                    cfabbro
                    Link Parent
                    In your opinion maybe. But to me, and many others, the modern superhero tv/movie era doesn't start until the grown-up quality actually does come into play, which Singer was not really the start...

                    In your opinion maybe. But to me, and many others, the modern superhero tv/movie era doesn't start until the grown-up quality actually does come into play, which Singer was not really the start of, IMO. But since we're just arguing over arbitrary delineations, and semantics at this point, it's probably not worth continuing. :P

                    3 votes
                    1. [2]
                      mrbig
                      Link Parent
                      I believe most super hero movies are juvenile, simple fun adventures. Batman is the exception, no?

                      I believe most super hero movies are juvenile, simple fun adventures. Batman is the exception, no?

                      1 vote
                      1. cfabbro
                        (edited )
                        Link Parent
                        Most of the DCEU is pretty damn dark/serious in tone, as is a significant portion of the MCU (E.g. Winter Soldier, GotG Vol. 2, Age of Ultron, Civil War, Infinity War/Endgame, all the Netflix...

                        Most of the DCEU is pretty damn dark/serious in tone, as is a significant portion of the MCU (E.g. Winter Soldier, GotG Vol. 2, Age of Ultron, Civil War, Infinity War/Endgame, all the Netflix shows, etc), so I wouldn't say Batman is the exception there at all.

                        Batman was definitely the more mature exception in the DC comic universe for quite some time (other than Lobo), but the Marvel comic universe has had quite a few similarly dark/mature characters over the years (e.g. Punisher, Cable, Ghost Rider, Daredevil, Deadpool, Venom, etc.), and more than a few extremely dark/mature series runs (e.g. all the MAX titles) and alternative timeline series too.

                        1 vote
      2. streblo
        Link Parent
        I guess I don’t understand the appeal of comic book heroes. I love similar fictitious genres like fantasy and sci-fi but IMO they are rooted in escapism while I personally see comic book heroes as...

        I guess I don’t understand the appeal of comic book heroes. I love similar fictitious genres like fantasy and sci-fi but IMO they are rooted in escapism while I personally see comic book heroes as drawing on power fantasy and vigilante themes. I thought Alan Moore’s The Watchmen novel to be a pretty good exploration of this.

        3 votes
    2. [7]
      culturedleftfoot
      Link Parent
      I should have included the MCU in my list too. I had just taken a part-time job a movie theater before the pandemic and caused consternation amongst the crew by telling them that despite liking...

      I should have included the MCU in my list too. I had just taken a part-time job a movie theater before the pandemic and caused consternation amongst the crew by telling them that despite liking Marvel comics as a kid, I'd only watched one of the movies all the way through and subsequently hadn't really expected much from the rest. After some conversation, I asked them which one they thought was the best film overall so I could give it a shot, and they said it was probably Captain America and the Winter Soldier... and I told them that was the one I watched! LOL. I also thought it was fine, but I wasn't getting particularly excited over it.

      5 votes
      1. [6]
        mrbig
        Link Parent
        That is not the best by a long shot. Avengers Infinity and Endgame are vastly superior, as well as Dr. Strange.

        Captain America and the Winter Soldier

        That is not the best by a long shot. Avengers Infinity and Endgame are vastly superior, as well as Dr. Strange.

        2 votes
        1. [5]
          culturedleftfoot
          Link Parent
          Even as standalone movies?

          Even as standalone movies?

          2 votes
          1. cfabbro
            (edited )
            Link Parent
            Even for the standalone (i.e. non-Avengers) movies, Winter Soldier is definitely not the best, IMO... not even close. Spider-Man: Homecoming, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Thor: Ragnarok are...

            Even for the standalone (i.e. non-Avengers) movies, Winter Soldier is definitely not the best, IMO... not even close. Spider-Man: Homecoming, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Thor: Ragnarok are probably my favorites of the bunch. If you haven't seen those you should consider giving them a watch.

            p.s. Even though it's not technically part of the MCU, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is great, and well worth watching too.

            3 votes
          2. [3]
            mrbig
            Link Parent
            I’m not sure I understand the question.

            I’m not sure I understand the question.

            1 vote
            1. [2]
              petrichor
              Link Parent
              If you only ever watched either The Winter Soldier, Infinity War, or Endgame (and no other Marvel movies), which would you consider the best? From what I've heard (also haven't watched Infinity...

              If you only ever watched either The Winter Soldier, Infinity War, or Endgame (and no other Marvel movies), which would you consider the best? From what I've heard (also haven't watched Infinity War or Endgame), the latter two build heavily on previous movies in the MCU.

              2 votes
              1. mrbig
                (edited )
                Link Parent
                I’d probably think Dr. Strange is the best movie that is less connected to the major arc. The Winter Soldier doesn’t even register as a particularly good movie. It’s just regular mindless action....

                I’d probably think Dr. Strange is the best movie that is less connected to the major arc. The Winter Soldier doesn’t even register as a particularly good movie. It’s just regular mindless action. Even Captain Marvel is better in my view.

                That said, the MCU is a mega cohesive saga and I don’t think it makes a lot of sense trying to isolate the parts from the whole. They are meant to work in conjunct.

                4 votes
    3. Tardigrade
      Link Parent
      I think for me I enjoyed them as reliable summer blockbuster that whenever I was able to get a chance with mates to watch a film together we knew would be a good laugh and we could see each one as...

      I think for me I enjoyed them as reliable summer blockbuster that whenever I was able to get a chance with mates to watch a film together we knew would be a good laugh and we could see each one as they came out without too much effort.

      4 votes
    4. [2]
      whbboyd
      Link Parent
      It is almost certainly the highest average quality maintained over a long-running series of 20+ movies. That's establishing a low bar, obviously. (What's the competition—Land before Time?) But I...

      It is almost certainly the highest average quality maintained over a long-running series of 20+ movies.

      That's establishing a low bar, obviously. (What's the competition—Land before Time?) But I think most people agree that the worst of them are merely mediocre, and most are—as you say—fine blockbuster action films. That's valuable to people who regularly watch movies for entertainment; if there's a Marvel film in theaters, you've got a baseline enjoyable option.

      As for the nerd hype… they're comic book movies. Nerds are incredibly susceptible to pandering.

      3 votes
      1. Omnicrola
        Link Parent
        Please explain why nerds are "particularly susceptible". As opposed to..... literally anyone.

        As for the nerd hype… they're comic book movies. Nerds are incredibly susceptible to pandering.

        Please explain why nerds are "particularly susceptible". As opposed to..... literally anyone.

        2 votes
    5. kimyon
      Link Parent
      Same here. I did watch a handful of them, but I wouldn't be able to tell you which ones I watched off the top of my head. I haven't seen any of the Avengers movies for sure, and the other day I...

      Same here. I did watch a handful of them, but I wouldn't be able to tell you which ones I watched off the top of my head. I haven't seen any of the Avengers movies for sure, and the other day I was wondering if I should watch them in a row. I don't know if they'd make sense without watching everything that came out of that Universe, but I could use some distraction right now.

      1 vote
  2. [3]
    cardigan
    Link
    Until yesterday, I had never seen Dirty Dancing, which, in fairness, was released before I was born. I really liked it.

    Until yesterday, I had never seen Dirty Dancing, which, in fairness, was released before I was born. I really liked it.

    8 votes
    1. cfabbro
      Link Parent
      Now you just need to watch Flashdance and Footloose to complete the 80s dance movie trifecta. ;)

      Now you just need to watch Flashdance and Footloose to complete the 80s dance movie trifecta. ;)

      2 votes
  3. [4]
    soks_n_sandals
    Link
    Honestly, so many. The Godfather comes to mind, as do the LOTR movies and all the Marvel moves after Thor, and Christmas movies like Home Alone. I tend to watch the same comedies over and over....

    Honestly, so many. The Godfather comes to mind, as do the LOTR movies and all the Marvel moves after Thor, and Christmas movies like Home Alone. I tend to watch the same comedies over and over. It's becoming a sticking point with my fiancée's mom, who fancies herself a cultured film critic, but I just don't take movies that seriously! I want them to make me laugh and walk away entertained. I'm not really seeking a 2 hour masterpiece that will cause me to think super deeply.

    7 votes
    1. [3]
      mrbig
      Link Parent
      You really shouldn’t take films seriously. If you’re not getting paid, there’s no good reason to do so. That said, unless you have an aversion to crime drama, you should watch The Godfather...

      You really shouldn’t take films seriously. If you’re not getting paid, there’s no good reason to do so.

      That said, unless you have an aversion to crime drama, you should watch The Godfather because you will probably enjoy it. A lot.

      6 votes
      1. [2]
        joplin
        Link Parent
        I've heard that, and it's probably true, but I think for me, The Godfather's become such a stereotype that I wouldn't be able to enjoy it. It's kind of like how "I Love Lucy" was probably...

        I've heard that, and it's probably true, but I think for me, The Godfather's become such a stereotype that I wouldn't be able to enjoy it. It's kind of like how "I Love Lucy" was probably hilarious when it first aired, but having it constantly be on in re-runs as a kid, it just seemed stupid. The same jokes from other shows (that actually probably stole it from "I Love Lucy"), and the same episodes shown over and over again. Plus I'm really tired of the "All Italians are in the Mafia" stereotype. Obviously, some are/were, but since it's the only version of Italians ever shown in cinema, I'm not really interested.

        4 votes
        1. mrbig
          (edited )
          Link Parent
          The Godfather is definitely more nuanced than you think. I mean, you have a lot of assumptions about a movie you haven’t watched, and I happen to think most of them are wrong. It’s not easy to...

          The Godfather is definitely more nuanced than you think. I mean, you have a lot of assumptions about a movie you haven’t watched, and I happen to think most of them are wrong.

          It’s not easy to make correct statements about things we do not know.

          9 votes
  4. [15]
    Grzmot
    Link
    Anything by Kubrick. I watched Clockwork Orange, I've tried watching 2001: A Space Odyssey. I didn't enjoy either of those movies. It seems to me that the way Kubrick films maybe just isn't for me.

    Anything by Kubrick.

    I watched Clockwork Orange, I've tried watching 2001: A Space Odyssey. I didn't enjoy either of those movies. It seems to me that the way Kubrick films maybe just isn't for me.

    7 votes
    1. mrbig
      Link Parent
      The Shinning and Full Metal Jacket might be better entry points.

      The Shinning and Full Metal Jacket might be better entry points.

      10 votes
    2. [3]
      wervenyt
      Link Parent
      My favourite Kubrick movie is Dr. Strangelove. Where his other films benefit from his manic attention to detail through increasing a sense of wonder, dread, or anxiety, Strangelove uses it to...

      My favourite Kubrick movie is Dr. Strangelove. Where his other films benefit from his manic attention to detail through increasing a sense of wonder, dread, or anxiety, Strangelove uses it to enhance its pretty clear-cut satirical comedy. It's like a high-brow, cinematically inventive Airplane!, well before the latter was around.

      4 votes
      1. [2]
        culturedleftfoot
        Link Parent
        Airplane! is probably my pick off the top of my head if I'm forced to name my favorite movie, so I'm definitely about to get around to Dr. Strangelove now, thanks.

        Airplane! is probably my pick off the top of my head if I'm forced to name my favorite movie, so I'm definitely about to get around to Dr. Strangelove now, thanks.

        3 votes
        1. wervenyt
          Link Parent
          Fair warning; it's nowhere near as dense with wordplay or goofiness, but there are multiple layers of off-the-wall comedy in every scene and constant references to other, self-serious, pieces of...

          Fair warning; it's nowhere near as dense with wordplay or goofiness, but there are multiple layers of off-the-wall comedy in every scene and constant references to other, self-serious, pieces of media in the same way. I hope you enjoy it!

          1 vote
    3. [4]
      Akir
      Link Parent
      I personally really dislike Kubrick's style. It's very boring and I don't think that his attention to detail really does all that much to build the world like most people like to point out. I...

      I personally really dislike Kubrick's style. It's very boring and I don't think that his attention to detail really does all that much to build the world like most people like to point out. I think he's extremely overrated in just about every aspect. In my opinion his best movie is AI: Artificial Intelligence, and he didn't even direct that one.

      Now if you'll excuse me, I need to find shelter for the people who are going to try stoning me to death for saying this. :P

      2 votes
      1. [3]
        mrbig
        Link Parent
        I’m trying very hard to keep my stones down :P

        In my opinion his best movie is AI: Artificial Intelligence, and he didn't even direct that one

        I’m trying very hard to keep my stones down :P

        5 votes
        1. [2]
          Omnicrola
          Link Parent
          Oof, me too. Sets rock down What's your opinion on that movie if you amputate the Speilbergian ending? It's been awhile since I've seen it, but it was clear that ending didn't belong with the rest...

          Oof, me too.
          Sets rock down

          What's your opinion on that movie if you amputate the Speilbergian ending? It's been awhile since I've seen it, but it was clear that ending didn't belong with the rest of movie.

          2 votes
          1. mrbig
            (edited )
            Link Parent
            Optimism is not in Kubrick’s DNA, and Spielberg is basically the opposite. Kubrick clearly wanted a dark Pinocchio, and Spielberg could only do the Disney version. Even when Spielberg doesn’t do...

            Optimism is not in Kubrick’s DNA, and Spielberg is basically the opposite. Kubrick clearly wanted a dark Pinocchio, and Spielberg could only do the Disney version. Even when Spielberg doesn’t do happy endings, he usually manages to reinforce our belief in humanity somehow. That’s what he did with Artificial Intelligence. But, since that was not really supposed to be a Spielberg movie, the ending is extremely contrived and plastered on. It’s as if Spielberg couldn’t stand the direction Kubrick was going for. It’s a terrible ending by all accounts.

            The rest of the movie is competent, interesting, and entertaining. But endings are like super important.

            To be clear, in general, I absolutely love Spielberg.

            2 votes
    4. knocklessmonster
      Link Parent
      A Clockwork Orange is a pretty meh adaptation, to be honest. I like the story, but Kubrick's refusal to accept the last chapter of the book when it was finally able to be published also completely...

      A Clockwork Orange is a pretty meh adaptation, to be honest. I like the story, but Kubrick's refusal to accept the last chapter of the book when it was finally able to be published also completely undermines any value the story had (I feel this way about the book, too, but Burgess didn't have a say in that on the first run).

      I'd recommend trying to see 2001 in a theater, or in a quiet, dark room with the sound turned up a bit. It sounds weird, but a large part of that movie is built into the sound, particularly with regards to mood setting. It's one I can't watch if there are distractions, because you've gotta immerse yourself in it, which is arguably bad for a movie. However, that's a lot of effort for a movie that may just not hit.

      2 votes
    5. [5]
      kimyon
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Those two movies are pretty avant-garde as far as Kubrick goes, and I don't think it'd be controversial of me to say that A Clockwork Orange is often considered one of Kubrick's worst movies. I...

      Those two movies are pretty avant-garde as far as Kubrick goes, and I don't think it'd be controversial of me to say that A Clockwork Orange is often considered one of Kubrick's worst movies. I personally consider 2001 to be his best but I wouldn't blame anyone for falling asleep during its runtime.

      Apologies in advance for unsolicited advice, but I'd really give him another shot by watching Full Metal Jacket or Eyes Wide Shut. If you like either of them, you can then try The Shining.

      2 votes
      1. [4]
        mrbig
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        Interesting that you said that, since I believe The Shining is probably the most accessible Kubrick. It is, in my view, a rather typical and easy to understand ghost story.

        If you like either of them, you can then try The Shining.

        Interesting that you said that, since I believe The Shining is probably the most accessible Kubrick. It is, in my view, a rather typical and easy to understand ghost story.

        2 votes
        1. [3]
          kimyon
          Link Parent
          This is my opinion of course, but I feel as though The Shining has less Kubrickian quirks than those two. If you're not accustomed to the idea that everything in a Kubrick movie is deliberate,...

          This is my opinion of course, but I feel as though The Shining has less Kubrickian quirks than those two. If you're not accustomed to the idea that everything in a Kubrick movie is deliberate, some of the things in The Shining might come off as... I don't know how well to describe it. Amateurish? Cringe-worthy?

          1 vote
          1. [2]
            mrbig
            (edited )
            Link Parent
            I find that hard to believe. I think the movie works for the uninitiated. It’s an unusually sophisticated horror film, but one that is well within the confides of the genre. Just an anecdote, but...

            If you're not accustomed to the idea that everything in a Kubrick movie is deliberate, some of the things in The Shining might come off as... I don't know how well to describe it. Amateurish? Cringe-worthy?

            I find that hard to believe. I think the movie works for the uninitiated. It’s an unusually sophisticated horror film, but one that is well within the confides of the genre.

            Just an anecdote, but I watched The Shining as a young teenager on VHS, with no prior knowledge of Kubrick. It worked very well. I enjoyed and was also scared shitless.

            1. kimyon
              Link Parent
              Well, I don't know what to tell you. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

              Well, I don't know what to tell you. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

              1 vote
  5. MonkeyPants
    Link
    Wall-E is the only one on your list that I think is worth making the effort to see, it really is a classic.

    Wall-E is the only one on your list that I think is worth making the effort to see, it really is a classic.

    7 votes
  6. [6]
    Atvelonis
    (edited )
    Link
    I've gotten around to most of the popular-ish or critically received movies in the past few decades, minus some of the more esoteric stuff (like Tarkovsky), which I'm still working on. I like film...

    I've gotten around to most of the popular-ish or critically received movies in the past few decades, minus some of the more esoteric stuff (like Tarkovsky), which I'm still working on. I like film as a medium a lot, even though I dislike most movies I end up watching—mostly on account of the vomit-inducingly bad dialogue that characterizes most major Hollywood productions. I've ended up avoiding most comedies and romances because I can't stand the way American studios try to emulate normal human behavior with these absolutely robotic screenplays. Comedies in particular are tough because they tend to rely on awkwardness to produce humor, which makes me writhe in agony in my seat. I sometimes feel like I'm missing out, and then I try to watch another one and almost die from secondhand embarrassment. So that's a pretty good chunk of the casual pop culture movies that people around me are able to quote offhand.

    Anything before about 1970 is a bit of an enigma to me, with a few exceptions (e.g. some Kubrick). I'm frequently recommended Citizen Kane as well as any number of Hitchcock movies, but I just can't bring myself to go through the whole canon. Haven't seen and will probably never see Gone with the Wind. I don't remember or haven't seen any of the old James Bond movies, although I did watch Craig's contemporary portrayal, which I mostly enjoyed. I saw the first Godfather years ago but didn't really get the hype. I haven't seen the second one.

    I technically watched all of the Marvel movies as they were released (it was a social thing), but I may as well not have because I can hardly identify a single piece of information about any of them. I don't have much of an intention to keep up with the future releases, so I think they'll pass me by down the line.

    6 votes
    1. autumn
      Link Parent
      Rear Window continues to be one of my favorites, and it stands the test of time. Highly recommended if you’re looking for one Hitchcock movie to watch. Psycho is good, but I still think it starts...

      as well as any number of Hitchcock movies

      Rear Window continues to be one of my favorites, and it stands the test of time. Highly recommended if you’re looking for one Hitchcock movie to watch. Psycho is good, but I still think it starts too slow and has too many things going on.

      5 votes
    2. [3]
      joplin
      Link Parent
      Can you give an example? I have a hard time with this, too, but enjoy many popular mainstream comedies. Some movies, like Borat for example, are hard for me because they're sometimes doing mean...

      Comedies in particular are tough because they tend to rely on awkwardness to produce humor, which makes me writhe in agony in my seat.

      Can you give an example? I have a hard time with this, too, but enjoy many popular mainstream comedies. Some movies, like Borat for example, are hard for me because they're sometimes doing mean things to innocent people who don't know it's a ruse, which feels unfair to me. I also had a hard time with parts of The Office because of the awkward humor it often involved. But when I think of things like Ghost Busters, as a random example, I don't think of awkward humor. I'm just wondering if I'm thinking about the same things as you, or if I'm missing what you mean.

      4 votes
      1. [2]
        Atvelonis
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        Oh, there are plenty of comedies I really like. I'm tickled by humor that derives from clever writing or editing, especially visually, if it's not too over the top. Some awkward situations become...

        Oh, there are plenty of comedies I really like. I'm tickled by humor that derives from clever writing or editing, especially visually, if it's not too over the top. Some awkward situations become okay if the movie is "self-aware," although it's a case-by-case thing. I love Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz, Airplane!, Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Dr. Strangelove, etc. I haven't seen Ghost Busters in a long time, but I remember enjoying it. Ferris Bueller's Day Off is one of my favorite movies because it's creative, has god-tier self-awareness, and the main comic relief is a character who really deserves it.

        The awkwardness I can't handle is situations where characters feel self-conscious or anxious in a way that I recognize as both contrived and not self-aware (on the part of the film). I also don't like it when movies target vulnerable characters for humor. This means a lot of movies that takes place in a school are off-limits, because adult writers tend to misrepresent children in dialogue and play off of stupid tropes. A lot of comedic tension is also reliant on remaining physically unseen in an awkward social situation—this is especially prevalent in romantic comedies, like when someone is about to be caught in a suggestive place. It's not the sexual tension in and of itself that's the problem, but that the screenplay involving it can feel immature or just too contrived. Impersonation is also risky business, excepting for the self-aware (see: Ferris Bueller).

        I'm having trouble thinking off examples, since I usually purge unenjoyable movies from my mind within 24 hours. I quite like Cyrano de Bergerac and Roxanne (both of which tell the same story), but my favorite parts are the wordplay. I have a hard time getting through the romantic scenes because the premise of the actual drama relies on characters pretending to be someone else while not being discovered (physically or in later dialogue). Most of the humor in A Fish Called Wanda is either making fun of a man with a stutter or embarrassing John Cleese's character for a slightly contrived series of sexually loaded situations, which, while amusing, were just a bit much altogether (I felt bad for him); whereas poking at Kevin Kline's reprehensible character for being a pseudo-intellectual was no problem. I'm never going to finish The Office because the cringe-humor makes me feel terrible for every character at once. I remember being a little uncomfortable in Borat for the reason you gave. Almost any anime ever causes me to immediately die.

        These things bother me much less if I've had a couple drinks. The works above aren't necessarily bad, I'm just temperamentally inclined to put myself in the shoes of the characters, and that ends up driving me a little crazy when the writing relies heavily on social awkwardness as a source of humor.

        8 votes
        1. rosco
          Link Parent
          I understand what you mean, the physical cringe. It's helpful for me to pause movies and let that feeling subside and then continue. I like awkward comedies (read: any film with Michael Cera) but...

          I understand what you mean, the physical cringe. It's helpful for me to pause movies and let that feeling subside and then continue. I like awkward comedies (read: any film with Michael Cera) but I definitely have a hard time getting through them.

          2 votes
    3. Akir
      Link Parent
      There are actually some really good early cinema gems that most people don't know much about but are really worth watching. I recommend you watch some of Fritz Lang's films in particular. Start...

      There are actually some really good early cinema gems that most people don't know much about but are really worth watching. I recommend you watch some of Fritz Lang's films in particular. Start off with Metropolis; it's an extremely influencial silent movie that's also perhaps one of the earliest surviving examples of science fiction in film.

      After that, watch M. It's a crime thriller about a serial killer (with recorded audio and dialog). To be honest, you'll probably find the beginning and middle to be a bit slow, but you should keep watching because the ending is really, really good. Lang considers it to be his magnum opus, and there's a bunch of people who consider it to be one of the best movies of all time.

      2 votes
  7. [5]
    mrbig
    (edited )
    Link
    As a film major, watching movies is kind of my job. I don’t think there’s a lot super popular things of value that I missed. Even today, I’m always closing gaps. My knowledge of Asian cinema is...

    As a film major, watching movies is kind of my job. I don’t think there’s a lot super popular things of value that I missed. Even today, I’m always closing gaps.

    My knowledge of Asian cinema is quite poor. I wish I knew more Asian crime dramas. They’re quite good, I reckon. I also know nothing about alternative contemporary horror such as Vitch (Witch?), Midsommar and the like, because horror movies cause night terror on me.

    5 votes
    1. [3]
      autumn
      Link Parent
      The Witch is one of my absolute favorite movies. I can’t even explain why. I just love the desperation. Horror is my favorite genre, so that probably has something to do with it. Horror can...

      The Witch is one of my absolute favorite movies. I can’t even explain why. I just love the desperation. Horror is my favorite genre, so that probably has something to do with it. Horror can present itself in so many ways!

      2 votes
      1. [2]
        cfabbro
        (edited )
        Link Parent
        Have you seen Eggers newest movie, The Lighthouse, yet? It was my top rated movie I watched this year, and I highly recommend it, especially if you liked The VVitch. And here's to hoping he keeps...

        Have you seen Eggers newest movie, The Lighthouse, yet? It was my top rated movie I watched this year, and I highly recommend it, especially if you liked The VVitch. And here's to hoping he keeps the streak going and The Northman turns out to be just as good too!

        2 votes
        1. autumn
          Link Parent
          Yes! I loved The Lighthouse, and The Northman is already on my to-watch list.

          Yes! I loved The Lighthouse, and The Northman is already on my to-watch list.

          2 votes
    2. vord
      Link Parent
      I'm no expert either, but here are some Asian films I loved, in no particular order: Old Boy Battle Royal The Audition Suicide Club

      I'm no expert either, but here are some Asian films I loved, in no particular order:

      • Old Boy
      • Battle Royal
      • The Audition
      • Suicide Club
      2 votes
  8. [6]
    Eric_the_Cerise
    Link
    Titanic (the 1997 Cameron version). I'd already seen at least two other versions, the storyline was pretty much preordained ... but mainly, the worldwide non-stop advertising blitzkrieg that...

    Titanic (the 1997 Cameron version). I'd already seen at least two other versions, the storyline was pretty much preordained ... but mainly, the worldwide non-stop advertising blitzkrieg that insisted everyone on Earth Absolutely Must See This Movie ... just drove me nuts, and I kind of swore to skip it specifically because the media kept inundating us with it. If you weren't old enough to remember it at the time, take my word for it, the advertising-saturation level for this film was just ridiculous.

    More broadly, the vast majority of the (Movie Title) 2 & 3 & 4 & 5 sequels ... I will often see a first sequel (T2, Incredibles 2, etc) if there are good reasons to believe it's not just milking the success of the first ... but beyond that, I generally just skip 'em.

    5 votes
    1. culturedleftfoot
      Link Parent
      The hype machine was definitely in overdrive for Titanic... Celine Dion's heart was going on for months, nonstop. I think it's a good movie, but probably not as good as the marketing would have...

      The hype machine was definitely in overdrive for Titanic... Celine Dion's heart was going on for months, nonstop. I think it's a good movie, but probably not as good as the marketing would have had you believe.

      6 votes
    2. [3]
      mrbig
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      Titanic is probably one of the best melodramas in the history of film. And everything that Cameron does is top notch (yes, including Avatar. I’m one of those). But if you hate melodrama, you may...

      Titanic is probably one of the best melodramas in the history of film. And everything that Cameron does is top notch (yes, including Avatar. I’m one of those). But if you hate melodrama, you may as well skip it.

      3 votes
      1. [2]
        Akir
        Link Parent
        James Cameron is perhaps the most insane filmmakers in history. The story to Titanic is basically just a thin excuse to talk to the audience about one of his super geeky interests, but it's one of...

        James Cameron is perhaps the most insane filmmakers in history. The story to Titanic is basically just a thin excuse to talk to the audience about one of his super geeky interests, but it's one of the best examples of a tragic romance to ever grade the screen. The same can be said of The Abyss.

        And with his later output it seems like he just thinks about how much interesting stuff he could do with whatever new filmmaking techniques and makes a blockbuster with it. The CGI in Terminator 2 is still weirdly impressive even today because it does things that no other movies do. His trick is that he does things that no other filmmaker is able to do and it just captures the imagination of the audience in a way that simply can't be reproduced by anyone else.

        He's like the complete opposite of Robert Zemeckis.

        3 votes
        1. mrbig
          Link Parent
          How is he the opposite of Zemeckis?

          How is he the opposite of Zemeckis?

          1 vote
    3. joplin
      Link Parent
      Haha! You sound exactly like me. The more I see an ad for something the less I want to see it.

      the worldwide non-stop advertising blitzkrieg that insisted everyone on Earth Absolutely Must See This Movie ... just drove me nuts, and I kind of swore to skip it specifically because the media kept inundating us with it.

      Haha! You sound exactly like me. The more I see an ad for something the less I want to see it.

      2 votes
  9. Ellimist
    Link
    There's a ton of them I haven't gotten around to seeing. The ones at the top of my list to get around to are.... Anything by Kurosawa. The Star Wars films are among my most beloved(Yes, even the...

    There's a ton of them I haven't gotten around to seeing.

    The ones at the top of my list to get around to are....

    Anything by Kurosawa. The Star Wars films are among my most beloved(Yes, even the sequel trilogy) and Kurosawas influence cannot be understated. So, eventually, I really want to get around to watching, at minimum, Kurosawa's most famous and influential films. I have seen Seven Samurai but I'm due for a rewatch. The Hidden Fortress, Ran, Yojimbo.....are probably the top three I want to get around to watching.

    The Godfather films. At least the first two. My understanding is that by the third film, it was starting to take a hit to the quality but that could be entirely inaccurate

    2001: A Space Odyssey. Science fiction films are, in general, my jam, and 2001 is, as far as I understand, THE quintessential science fiction film.

    3 votes
  10. rogue_cricket
    Link
    When I was younger I would have considered myself a geek or nerd, but as time goes on and sci-fi/fantasy pop culture media enters into more of the mainstream I am having trouble keeping up....

    When I was younger I would have considered myself a geek or nerd, but as time goes on and sci-fi/fantasy pop culture media enters into more of the mainstream I am having trouble keeping up. Someone has already mentioned the Marvel movies, which I am not interested in at all, but I also only have a very loose understanding of Star Wars. And I generally really enjoy sci-fi! I am a huge fan of Mass Effect, for instance. I just didn't get into Star Wars at all and most of what I know is from how it's talked about in the zeitgeist.

    I will list here what I can recall:

    • I have seen The First One. The original Star Wars. Is this one A New Hope? I think I saw it once on TV as a kid and enjoyed it, and watched it once on a "Movie Day" in middle school. I have seen it in its entirety at least, and I remember the characters as well as the vague plot - a planet gets exploded, Empire Bad, Rebels Good, Rebels destroy the planet-exploder.
    • From here it's all rough. I know the two subtitles of the next two movies are The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi, but I can't remember which is first. I have seen bits and pieces of both movies, but I could not for the life of me tell you what they're about or which parts belong to which movies. I think I might only remember the scene where Vader just shows up to dinner, and Lando Calrissian and his mustache are involved in this somehow. Slave Leia is in here somewhere too, but I only remember this from a video game I had on the SNES. The word "Jawa" also comes to me but I don't know why.
    • Next is the Prequel trilogy which I fully checked out of. I do not know what their subtitles are at all, but I know they follow the story of Darth Vader before he became the... well, I don't think he's the emperor, that's the ugly lightning man, but it follows his development pre-iconic suit. Everyone hates Jar-Jar, Darth Maul is a bad guy but I'm not sure what he does, and Natalie Portman is there. I know the hilariously bad "sand" scene is in one of these.
    • I saw The Force Awakens in theatres at the insistence of a friend who is an ultra-fan (the name of it is the one thing I googled here because I was embarrassed to have forgotten something more recent). I thought it was visually fun but I think a lot of it passed me by because of my poor understanding of the rest of the series.

    For what it's worth, I did also play KoToR II and I thought that was really fun, although I think I was too young and not in the headspace to really appreciate it. I know there are tons of other spin-off games, books, and TV/miniseries entries to the franchise... there's really just a lot of it.

    2 votes