Some Like It Hot Takes A Hit

Question: Name a film that you always have to defend liking, and a film that you always have to defend not liking. Name them but don’t defend them. HE answer: For defending liking, Sydney Pollack‘s Castle Keep, Curtis Hanson‘s In Her Shoes or Abbott and Costello Meet The Mummy. And for defending not liking, Billy Wilder‘s The Lost Weekend, A Foreign Affair or…ahh, screw it, pretty much any Wilder film after The Fortune Cookie. I’ve also never liked Johnny Guitar.

  • Ghost of Kazan

    I got bored and dropped out halfway through. (Of the above interview, not SLIH.) Dinner with a dead person is an original question?

    Great use of the chair, though.

  • JLC

    Defend liking: Speed Racer. Defend not liking: Return of the Jedi.

  • Thom Phoolery

    Defend liking: Raging Bull. Defend not liking: Plan 9 From Outer Space.

  • Ghost of Kazan

    Guess the least I could have done was answer the question.

    Defend liking: Ordinary People, Ladykillers ’04.
    Defend not liking: Scarface, To Kill A Mockingbird

  • creepingmalaise

    Defend liking : 1941 (don’t ask–see what I mean)

    Defend not liking: Shawshank Redemption

  • Jesse Crall

    Defend liking: J. Edgar
    Defend not liking: Tiny Furniture

  • Ira Parks

    I unabashedly love CASTLE KEEP. The opening shot has one of the best depictions of fatigue ever seen in a war film.

    Defending liking: BOSS’ WIFE ’86. Plummer, Stern, and Mull are excellent in it. One of the last 20th Century farces of any worth.

    Defending not liking: One I’d like to mention is from the magic movie year of ’99, but if I named it, the place would burn down with contempt.


  • leeroy

    Defend liking: Temple of Doom, Quantum of Solace

    Defend not liking: No Country For Old Men/The Artist

  • Kakihara

    I’m really surprised he can still direct when he sounds like he can barely breathe while talking.

  • Kakihara

    Defend Liking: Very Bad Things and Brain Candy. Defend Not Liking: Most of Quentin Tarantino’s Stuff, James Cameron’s post True Lies work, Naked Lunch, A History of Violence, and V for Vendetta.

  • jery

    Defend Liking: Amistad

    Defend Not Liking: Gone with the Wind

  • Tristan Eldritch2

    Defend liking: Eyes Wide Shut. Defend not liking: Wes Anderson, full stop.

  • Bix B-Roll

    Defend liking: Mann’s 2006 Miami Vice, Showgirls, A.I. Defend not liking: Gladiator, Shane, everything by Godard ever.

  • bill weber

    liking: Death to Smoochy

    not liking: Godard’s Contempt

  • cyanic

    I don’t have to defend liking anything since most people don’t have my taste, although, Scorsese is a filmmaker I respect from afar than greatly appreciate and enjoy.

  • cyanic


    I love Brain Candy.

  • shefhammer

    Defend Liking: Sex and the City, Charlies Angels 2, Eyes Wide Shut
    Defend Not Liking: Duck Soup, Rashomon, The Shining, A.I.

  • Jesse Crall

    I like Death to Smoochy as well, plus any movie that features Danny DeVito saying “Dildo” gets a pass.

    @Parks: I’m guessing your ’99 pick has gotta be Magnolia or Being John Malkovich because American Beauty seems to get shit on all the time (though I love it).

  • JBM…

    DRIVE. The first three FAST & FURIOUS films.

  • Ghost of Kazan

    Jesse picked my first guess (Being John Malkovich), so I’m gonna have to go with Toy Story 2.

    Most of the highly-regarded films from that year have been kicked around a bit by some people here, but the only one I can think of slagging on Toy Story 2 was Lex.

  • JoeTanto

    Defend liking: Take your pick, since I like almost every movie ever made, and usually big dumb shiny action. But I’m unapologetic and unironic in considering “Armageddon” a legitimate American masterpiece.

    Defend not liking: This is not to say I don’t respect it, it’s obviously a towering work and a seminal movie… for people who were in their late teens, twenties, or thirties during the Nixon America… But I came to “Nashville” too late to have really “been there” (first saw it on a bad VHS copy in the mid-90s), and while I generally love Altman of that era, its wood-paneled bong-soaked specificity and drawn-out music scenes have always kept me at arm’s length, despite how many great “little moments” the movie has. I own it and have watched it a half-dozen times, I respect it… but I certainly don’t enjoy it, per se. And it’s one of those deals where the true-blue Altman maniacs would slag similar type movies by Demme, Scorsese, PTA or Tarantino for being too bludgeoning or broad or overwrought compared to the Mighty Altman’s “subtle,” naturalist small-moments barely-perceptible character details, but I’ll take overbaked electricity over the lazy-day amble of people in terrible bell bottoms and too much body hair.

  • MarkVH

    Defend liking: Miami Vice. Defend not liking: The Dark Knight.

  • cyanic

    I’m unapologetic and unironic in considering “Armageddon” a legitimate American masterpiece.

    No disrespect but I think you just upset me.

  • Tristan Eldritch2

    Joe Tanto – ha, often when defending my dislike of There Will be Blood, I have used that very argument ( “too bludgeoning or broad or overwrought compared to the Mighty Altman’s “subtle,” naturalist small-moments barely-perceptible character detail”) I guess I’m not the only one that feels that way, right or wrong. (I’ve never felt the need to negatively compare Scorsese or Tarantino with Altman though.)

  • Eddie Mars Attacks!

    I defend liking everything with Burt Reynolds. I think he’s the greatest movie star of all time.

    I defend not liking Haneke. He’s a pedagogue and the harbinger of the end of cinema.

  • taikwan

    defend liking – The Turning Point
    not liking – Monty Python and the Holy Grail

  • Adam Lewis

    Defend Liking: The Avengers (1998)
    Defend Not Liking: Casablanca, The Apartment

  • jesse

    Great question! So great I can’t answer just one or two. These are just off the top of my head….

    Defend Liking:

    Public Enemies: I’m sure lots of Mann people love this too but I find online a lot of Mann-heads prefer earlier stuff and get off the boat before this one, or are more likely to defend Miami Vice (which I actually don’t like).

    Alice in Wonderland: Don’t even looove this movie (though my wife does), but enjoyed it enough and shocked/weirded out by the level of hatred for it (among movie geeks; obviously some audiences liked it). Maybe just Tim Burton movies in general.

    A Life Less Ordinary: Maybe not enough people have seen this movie for my defense of it to come up that often but I do really like it and it has a pretty bad rep.

    David Gordon Green’s comedies: Not just Pineapple Express, but Your Highness and The Sitter, too.

    Defend Not Liking:

    The Exorcist. Not a bad movie, obviously, but it really doesn’t do it for me as horror.

    And more recently: Lord of the Rings trilogy, Capote, Beasts of the Southern Wild all come to mind.

  • Dave

    defend liking: titanic. unbreakable.
    defend not liking: wes anderson, lord of the rings, but since those have already been mentioned … blade runner.

  • PastePotPete

    Defend liking:

    Joe vs the Volcano, Speed Racer, Doomsday

    Defend not liking:

    Schindler’s List, The King’s Speech, Short Cuts

  • dino velvet

    Defend liking : James Bond, any and all. JW Pepper, Nick Nack, Jaws, you name it. (Legit Bond only though, i.e. not Casino Royale 67).

    Defend not liking : The Dark Knight (loved Rises though), Old Shit.

  • cyanic

    @dino velvet

    Old Shit’s a movie?

  • Defend liking: THE CORE

    Defend not liking: RAY

  • Ira Parks

    @CRALL AND GHOST OF KAZAN: It’s none of those good guesses or EYES WIDE SHUT or ELECTION(Still in love with those). I better button up my motherfuckin’ lip or I’ll give it away and get beaten up in the alley.

    EDDIE MARS: Welcome back, glad you made it.

  • Scylax

    Defend liking: Any Given Sunday, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Timothy Dalton Bonds, Spielberg post Saving Private Ryan

    Defend not liking: Mulholland Dr.,Traffic, Scorsese post Casino, Tarantino’s entire filmography.

  • Dan Revill

    Defend Liking: Speed Racer and Miami Vice recently.

    Defend Disliking: Forrest Gump.

  • Ira Parks


    Defend liking: RYUICHI MEGACOPTER 2

    Defend not liking: SHOSHISHU COP FORCE 3

  • Ira Parks


    Defend liking: All of my glorious movies that are occasionally misunderstood, but will stand the test of time.

    Defend not liking: THIRD MAN. Nowhere near enough action.

  • Jesse Crall

    @Parks: The Insider?

    And yeah, good to see Eddie Mars back wading through the dysfunction.

  • Hallick

    Defend Liking: Juno, LIttle Miss Sunshine, Step Up 2

    Defend Not Liking: Being John Malkovich, Titanic, The Royal Tennenbaums

    Defend Not Watching: Mad Men, The Walking Dead

  • MrTribeca

    Defend liking: Twister, Clash Of The Titans (’10), The Mist.

    Defend not liking: Princess Bride, Platoon, Young Frankenstein.

  • Ira Parks


    Defend liking: FATAL BEAUTY ’87. It’s basically BEVERLY HILLS COP with a lady, but I can’t resist.

    Defend not liking: I could be making you some news here, Jeff…….LAWRENCE ’62. It’s just notWells to Robert Harris: In case you’re not familiar with the house jokes, I’m cutting things off right here. LAWRENCE is tops and all HE commenters know it, or they’re gone. Finished.


  • Luke Y. Thompson

    Two for both:

    defend liking: Indy 4, Star Wars: ROTS

    defend not liking: Notorious, Schindler’s List

  • Gussie Finknottle

    Is it Fight Club Ira?

  • Bob Hightower

    He doesn’t like SOME LIKE IT HOT? How could anyone not like SOME LIKE IT HOT? What’s wrong with him?

  • Simonster

    Defend liking: Moulin Rouge
    Defend not liking: Cosmopolis

    This is way more fun if it’s at least a wee bit embarassing.

  • moviewatcher

    Defend Liking: Forrest Gump, this movie is picked apart because of its rivalry with Pulp Fiction and Shawshank Redemption. me, I think it’s a masterpiece. And it got the oscars, bitches, so shut up!

  • KRF

    Defend Liking: Adventures of Ford Fairlane, Event Horizon, Road House, Indy 4 (already mentioned but good one, extremely crisp direction), Rent

    Defend Not Liking: There Will Be Blood, The Dark Knight, Up in the Ai (OK but really overwritten).

  • Hollis Mulwray

    Defend Liking (Loving) : 1941
    Defend Not Liking : Anything by Cameron (exception ALIENS)

    Woody is morphing into Groucho. Look at his eyes, HIS EYES!!!

  • cyanic


    Is it Three Kings?

  • Floyd Thursby

    “He doesn’t like SOME LIKE IT HOT? How could anyone not like SOME LIKE IT HOT? What’s wrong with him?”

    Watched a few minutes of it Sat. and still find nothing to like except for Curtis’ imitation of Grant. Men dressing up as women has never been funny.

  • Tristan Eldritch2

    Ira – Gotta be FIGHT CLUB. Wise men have been defending not liking FIGHT CLUB ever since ’99.

  • MarkJ

    Defend liking: Lynch’s Dune, The Keep, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, Star Wars: The Phantom Menace

    Defend not liking: The Dark Knight, Star Trek reboot.

  • Raising_Kaned

    Defend not liking:

    The Matrix: Not bad, just overrated; I actually prefer the second film in the series (I think I’m the only one)

    Requiem for a Dream: Ultimately justifies its presence in cinematic (not to mention spank-bank) history with that last indelible shot of Connelly, but the majority of this flick indulges in Aronofsky’s overblown techniques for questionable ends. I’m generally out on “drug movies” to begin with, but if you’re going down that road, you should at least try to illustrate what makes the concept so initially appealing. That’s where RFaD fails miserably, IMHO.

    Magnolia: Intolerable (to me) in a very specific way that a only great filmmaker can achieve

    Rosemary’s Baby: Generally love Polanksi and am a pretty big horror fan; no idea what’s going on here…

    The Exorcist: …Or here. I admire the craft here, but maybe it’s the possession thing I don’t buy on a base level?

    Serpico: Always seemed a little low-energy to me when compared to the pressure cooker of DDA (I know it’s not really fair to compare the two, but I can’t help it)

    Gone with the Wind: Probably doesn’t really belong here, but my parents watched this thing waaaay too much when I was growing up; meh

    The King’s Speech: Nicely-acted and all, but kind of a bullshit one-percenter movie through and through. So we’re supposed to feel for this guy because…what? He was born into influence and has a silver spoon? Fuck that noise.

    Close Encounters of the Third Kind: “Not liking” is probably a little strong, but I think most film buffs likely have an early Spielberg that they’re not completely enamored of (Jeff just happened to choose the most beloved). Thematically, I love this movie — ditto the music and casting of Truffaut. It’s just that — narratively-speaking — it can feel like a fucking slog the second time around (try doing a plot summary for CE3K, and you’ll realize how little of consequence actually happens before the last 20 minutes or so).

    The majority of Wes Anderson’s filmography: Too twee, too precocious (for me). It’s great to have a unique cinematic style — which he obviously does — so long as I can identify and relate to the human emotions underneath. And that’s where I struggle connecting with his stuff (although I was surprised by how OK I was with Moonrise Kingdom).

  • Raising_Kaned

    Defend liking:

    Speed Racer: I unapologetically love damn near every frame of this film. Still trying to figure out exactly how the Wachowskis distilled something so purely entertaining that everyone open-minded enough to let this in felt about 8 years old; that’s quite a trick.

    The Fountain: Here’s the flip side of Aronofsky. When he delves into the truly epic or metaphysical, his style suddenly becomes a whole lot less overblown, and a whole lot more…well, appropriate. There’s a sequence in this film set to a godly Mansell track that is among my favorite of all-time (no shit).

    Demolition Man: This movie was released in theaters when I was about 14 years old, which is just about all you need to know. Snipes had that rare ability to chew through scenery like a famished Ethiopian, and still come off as genuinely intimidating. His Simon Phoenix will likely go down as one of the great forgotten ’90s screen villains (and sort of a spiritual precursor to Leger’s Joker).

    Silent Hill: Video game adaptations are usually beyond terrible, which is a shame. This isn’t perfect by any means (that last act is a bit of a howler, although certainly not in a boring way), but it IS visually-striking and atmospheric — two of the major reasons the game caught on in the first place.

    The Ruins: Criminally underrated horror. Adaptation of Scott Smith’s novel, which plays out as a mix between the body horror of Cabin Fever, and the open-ended, what-would-YOU-do hypotheticals of his previous novel, A Simple Plan.

    Zack and Miri Make a Porno: I thought this was a real return to form for Smith, although few seemed to agree (or maybe nobody ever really liked him in the first place? Dunno…). It’s crude and sick, but it’s also genuinely funny and sweet…I’m not sure people appreciate what an impossible balance that is.

    Surrogates: Not really sure how this one fell through the cracks, but I never hear anyone talking about it (and it has a mind-bogglingly low 40% on RT…what??). I’m not going to go completely off the deep end and say that it’s better than Blade Runner or Total Recall (the original, of course) — but this is probably the best Philip K. Dick adaptation that wasn’t technically taken from one of his stories.

    Cabin Boy: You’re either completely in or completely out on this — there is no justification.

    The Chronicles of Riddick: I actually haven’t revisited this since its original release, so I definitely feel a little paranoid about admitting this one. But I’ve always liked Twohy, and this was like watching Snake Plissken stuck in Herbert’s Dune universe, and the trashy, “kitchen-sink” part of my mind found that cultural mash-up akin to crack.

    A.I. Artificial Intelligence: Not even going to attempt to rehash all the arguments here, but I definitely come down on the “masterpiece” side.

    The majority of Paul Schrader’s filmography: Consider that a) he is the key screenwriter involved in many (but not all, obviously) of Scorsese’s most powerful works; b) has had a relatively interesting career as a director in his own right. His movies always felt a little bit “different,” probably due to his Calvinist background or not having seen a movie until he was 18 or whatever. He was about as far off-the-Hollywood-grid in his thinking as possible (comparable to Malick), yet he was still involved in a surprising amount of studio projects (American Gigolo, Cat People, Rolling Thunder etc.).

  • Raising_Kaned

    Also had The Avengers down as a “defend not liking,” but I forgot it (not that anyone cares).

    It’s not so much that I didn’t like it, as I don’t like how rote, safe, unsexed, vanilla, and boring it is (and yes — I’ll admit it — how POPULAR it has become).

    Wells is right — it is sort of a dumbass thing. It doesn’t aggressively insult your intelligence or anything, but it’s definitely passively-aggressively talking shit behind your back when you leave the room.

  • kdoucette

    Defend Liking: Ernest movies AND Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

    Defend Not Liking: The Godfather: Part II (save for John Cazale’s brilliant performance)

    Also, Some Like It Hot is an okay movie. However, Monroe’s part is rather wooden and uninteresting. Had it been anyone else, anyone who had lived to see old age, it would have been more obvious.

  • cyanic


    No one should ever have to defend loving 80s junk food, that’s the luxury the 80s has over all other decades in movie history.

  • Ghost of Kazan

    Ira’s pick can’t be Fight Club. People are always disagreeing over the merits of that one, even here.

    Must be Julien Donkey-Boy.

  • xamthone
  • Kate88

    Defend liking: Road House, Chocolat, Working Girl

    Defend not liking: Titanic, Life Is Beautiful, American Graffiti… and The Deer Hunter.

  • Mr. Fabulous

    Defend liking: The Blues Brothers, Point Break, The New World

    Defend not liking: American Beauty, Magnolia

  • suburbanvoodoo

    ALWAYS DEFEND: 8 Million Ways to Die, Trouble Every Day, Ladykillers (Coen Bros.), Hollywood Ending, Prime Cut, The Brown Bunny, Munich

    NEVER DEFEND: The Dark Knight, Anything LOTR, Avatar

  • MarkJ

    Kaned: A.I. is a masterpiece. Good call on Demolition Man too, some of the best-ever action film one-liners in that.

    “You’re on TV! “

  • MarkJ

    @Mr Fabulous: Nobody should EVER have to defend liking Point Break.

  • Movie Watcher

    Liking: Back to the Future Trilogy.

    Not Liking: Anything with Streep. Really.

  • suburbanvoodoo

    ALWAYS DEFEND: 8 Million Ways to Die, Trouble Every Day, Ladykillers (Coen Bros.), Hollywood Ending, Prime Cut, The Brown Bunny, Mad Dog and Glory, Magnum Force, Munich, Halloween III: Season of the Witch, Electra Glide in Blue, North Dallas Forty, Stardust Memories, The Razor’s Edge (Byrum), Somewhere, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, Silver Streak

    DEFEND MY DISLIKE: The Dark Knight, Anything LOTR, Avatar, El Topo, Ghostbusters

  • suburbanvoodoo


    Double posted.


  • Ghost of Kazan

    But wait, there’s more! For only $19.99 you can name a star after your favorite underrated film! Bundle them by director and get 3 for the price of 2!

  • cyanic

    Not Liking: Anything with Streep. Really.

    I too, hate Meryl Streep.

  • lazarus

    Defend liking: The English Patient, SW prequels, The Horse Whisperer, Scoop, Australia, post 80’s Wim Wenders

    Defend not liking: Lost Highway, anything with Gary Cooper (Peter Ibbetson excepted), new millennium Clint Eastwood

  • cinefan

    Defend Liking: Scream 2, Night of the Creeps, Bad Santa, National Lampoon’s European Vacation, The Hours, Ordinary People, Towering Inferno, The Lost Weekend

    Defend Not Liking: Titanic, Chocolat, Dances With Wolves, The Thin Red Line, The King’s Speech

  • Movie Geeks United

    Defend liking: Cobra, Eyes Wide Shut
    Defend not liking: The Graduate, Raging Bull

  • buckzollo

    Great topic Wells. I am going to have to re-watch Speed Racer, now.
    Defend liking: The Help
    Defend not liking: Noah Bombach movies (except Squid)

  • Krillian

    Defend Liking: Hudson Hawk, Eyes Wide Shut, Krull, Branagh’s Frankenstein

    Defend Not Likely: Tree of Life, Thin Red Line, Leaving Las Vegas, Animal House

  • Rashad

    Defend: Matrix sequels (Revolutions is on par with the first), Indy 4, AI, Public Enemies, Most Michael Bay but particularly Armageddon and Transformers, Super 8, Kingdom of Heaven (though I guess the consensus has swung the other way with the director’s cut), Forrest Gump, Jurassic Park sequels

    Defend not liking: Aliens, District 9, Del Toro movies, Joss Whedon

  • Floyd Thursby

    No shame in loving Prime Cut. How can anything with Lee Marvin, Gene Hackman (as Mary Ann, no less), Angel Tompkins (in her prime), and Sissy Spacek’s proud young titties not be a masterpiece? If Lex had been Lex in 1972, he would have loved Sissy the way he loves KStew.

  • Floyd Thursby

    Bonus points to lazarus for mentioning Peter Ibbetson, something I thought I would never see on this site. Hathaway is a master.

  • Rashad

    Who’s ashamed of Prime Cut? That movie is awesome.

    Forgot to mention:

    Like: Body of Lies

    Don’t like: The Hurt Locker.

  • suburbanvoodoo

    I put Prime Cut on my list because I have a longtime feud with a fellow cinema geek/good friend.

    Plus, it just seems it never got the love it deserved.

  • lazarus

    Thanks Floyd. Though I should tip my hat to Mr. Glenn Kenny, whose blog post about Ibbetson led me to check it out.

    I also forgot Cooper wasn’t too shabby in Lubitsch’s Design For Living. He really stinks up Ball Of Fire and Moroco, though, IMO.

  • Movie Watcher

    One more dislike: Ordinary People. Absolutely awful.
    That made Raging Bull miss the Oscar.

  • Gideon

    Defend Liking: The Ninth Gate, Jade, Vanilla Sky, Marie Antoinette, Shadows and Fog, Starship Troopers

    Defend Loving (i.e. people generally like these movies but I consider them true masterpieces): Match Point, The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes, Gone Baby Gone, Grosse Pointe Blank, 12 Monkeys, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

    Defend Not Liking: Schindler’s List, Avatar, Dances with Wolves, The Tree of Life, The Birds, Casino

    Defend Not Loving (i.e. I didn’t dislike these movies, but I don’t consider them among the all-time best): Citizen Kane, Gladiator, Braveheart, Lord of the Rings, Ninotchka, Stagecoach

  • Raising_Kaned

    “Defend not liking: The Graduate, Raging Bull”

    OUCH. And didn’t someone up top list Godfather: Part II. Just goes to show that taste truly is subjective (although these two guys are TOTALLY wrong, lol).

    So what did the ’99 film that Parks hated end up being? Already dispelled guesses of BJM and Magnolia which were listed elsewhere here, and — like others noted — EWS, American Beauty, and Fight Club have always been really divisive.

    Gotta be The Insider, or Toy Story 2, or…The Matrix (which I listed, although in fairness it’s more of an “overrated” or “don’t love” thing than it is a “don’t like” thing).

  • Terry McCarty

    Defend liking: BUDDY BUDDY, GREASE 2. Defend Not Liking: THE UNTOUCHABLES (80s films). Defend liking: WHO’S THE MAN? Defend Not Liking: THE USUAL SUSPECTS (90s films)

  • Terry McCarty

    One more time for 70s films: Defend Liking–Michael Winner’s THE BIG SLEEP. Defend Not Liking: Tarkovsky’s SOLARIS (which I could only take an hour of)

  • Floyd Thursby

    “Defend Liking–Michael Winner’s THE BIG SLEEP.”

    Nudity from Candy Clark (in her prime) and Sarah Miles (always in her prime). And Joan Collins’ best performance.