What Have You Gone Cold On?

What films did you once love or have a thing for, but which you’ve lately or gradually come to regard as over-valued or somewhat less charming? Films you’ve grown past and/or seen through. Or, if you want to be buoyant about it, films you didn’t much care for when young, but which you’ve come to appreciate with age and experience or whatnot.

77 thoughts on “What Have You Gone Cold On?

  1. K. Bowen on said:

    As I said in The Vertigo thread ….. Vertigo. Because, one, Notorious goes through similar themes more subtly while being more entertaining as a story. And because, two, I recently watched L’Avventura, and realized it’s Vertigo from Judy Baton’s perspective, and a smoother and better film.
    L’Avventura is actually a film I didn’t much like the first time that I watched it but gets better with each viewing. Jules and Jim is another one.

  2. American Beauty – I thought it was amazing when I watched it first but now find it almost unwatchable,

    I love the last part of your comment, Jeff, about films one didn’t like when one is younger but then you grow to like. For me, there is nothing better than re-watchng a film and discovering all its subtleties that one has missed earlier. There are loads for me. Lately it’s been a lot of Clint Eastwood films that my father used to make me watch but I hated, but now understand much better.

  3. A Clockwork Orange was a film I loved when I was 15 because it was transgressive and strange, was bored by when I was 19 because I was obviously a moron, and was wholly mesmerized by when I was 21 because I was a little sharper on its technical mastery and understood the narrative ambiguities. And it’s so awesomely lurid.

  4. When I watched Taxi Driver for the first time I thought it was overrated. Then I watched it on the big screen and had the proverbial Roger Ebert out of body experience, and it was in my top 10. Now I”m back to disliking it and thinking it’s overrated.

  5. I’m less madly in love with “Bonnie and Clyde” than I was as a younger lad. Same with “Little Big Man”. Maybe it’s a Arthur Penn thing.

    Of course I thought “The Towering Inferno” was the greatest movie ever made when I was 10. So….

  6. Star Wars. All of them, even the two good ones. The whole thing just hit a tipping point where all the awful garbage associated with it tainted the entire series for me.

    I also find it hard to watch a lot of the giant Hollywood epics of the 50s/early 60s anymore. The films were hardly subtle, but any residual subtlety in them has been talked to death in the past few decades. The implication of the gay relationship in Ben-Hur for example.

    Going from lukewarm to a fan: Blue Velvet is the big one for me, though it might not count since it was most likely a presentation thing. I’d seen it on pan and scan VHS and thought it a grimy mess. Finally saw it in widescreen years later and it was a revelation.

    John Carpenter’s 80s movies are all strikingly improved in widescreen compared to the pan n scan versions as well.

    The Terminator, the original one, I like more every time I see it. I far prefer it to T2 at this point. That’s another that has aged badly for me, in fact.

  7. I used to love T2, but now I can’t even make it through. It’s so cheesy, and lame, and lacks any of the tension of the first. The first is still great, because of the tone, and the horror of this one guy trying to kill Sarah. The second is overblown, and tries to expand the mythology and frankly I couldn’t care less. The dialogue stinks, Hamilton stinks, Arnold is now a cornball, Furlong does a terrible Bart Simpson impression, and Bad to The Bone should never be in movies.

    A movie I’ve come around on, is The Matrix Revolutions. Despised it when it came out, but now I love it, and genuinely think it’s almost as good as the first.

  8. Yeah, not exactly even close to up there with the films you listed, but I used to dig John Waters’ Cry-baby as a kid, and now I realize it’s hella hoakey. Also, Willow looks incredibly low-rent nowadays, but it was awesome when I first saw it on the big screen. Though that arcade game adaptation essentially does it better. I also hate being a dick about it, but Porco Rosso. Once you get its movie references, it doesn’t really hold up on its own. Also, I don’t remember being a huge fan of it in the first place, but damn did the pacing suck when I saw Project A recently. There’s one film I know which turned me off the first time, because of how sick it was, but which comes off brilliant in later viewings: Monty Python’s Meaning of Life. I can’t think of much else, though, which I’ve soured on, since I only generally keep movies which give me replay value. I guess I could say I like Airplane more for individual gags than as a whole.

    How ’bout a thread about older movies you’re seeing for the first time which you think should be up your alley, but fall flat for you? I unfortunately had that experience with the first Death Wish.

  9. Rashad: If you watched The Matrix sequels as regular tentpoles, rather than as a continuing storyline to the original film, they’re easier to enjoy.

  10. Fried Green Tomatoes was my first serious movie. Though affection for Evelyn Couch hasn’t wavered the film surrounding her is sandcastle solid.

  11. Kaki: I always liked Reloaded as a continuation, it was just Revolutions I had issues with. I really like the entire story arc, including The Animatrix.

  12. Reservoir Dogs & Pulp Fiction – I used to regard these as masterpieces, but Tarantino hasn’t really progressed or matured as a filmmaker, he’s only gotten bigger budgets (and a bigger ego). So they seem like… I don’t know. Flukes isn’t the right word, but you catch my drift.

    Jurassic Park – time hasn’t done it any favors. Cheesy and contrived. If Spielberg hadn’t strayed so far from the source material, it could have been great. I’d love to see a more faithful reboot.

    Apocalypse Now – Fell asleep the first time. Now it’s one of my all-time favorites. Ditto The Conversation.

  13. “The Conversation” and “Rosemary’s Baby”.

    As a kid I thought the first was “bo-ring” and the second “like, wasn’t scary at ALL”.

    Classics. Both of them. All-time.

  14. John Woo’s “The Killer” seemed like the coolest thing in the world in 1989. Now it just seems silly. Probably because it’s been copied so many times, by Woo mostly.

  15. THIN RED LINE. I bet I’m not the only person to have experienced this, but I’d only ever watched it once: when it was released in the UK. I was 18. The experience was near as dammit perfect in my memory. And ever since, I’d considered TRL to be a classic and advocated for it.

    In my 30s, I’d thought, yeah, fuck it—BUY THE BLU RAY…

    And sat in total horror when I re-watched it. JESUS.

    —-

    Can’t think, off the cuff, of any films that’ve grown on me as I’ve aged.

  16. down: Taxi Driver – just can’t get into the young man aggression thing any more that i once found so amazing.

    Stars Wars – the blu-rays don’t do it any favor. it really looks like a student film with mostly amateur actors (and you can’t shake the feeling that alec guinness is thinking the exact same thing – he looks positively bewildered/bemused to be part of this silly exercise). it picks up momentum, though, along the way.still, i couldn’t bring myself to watching “empire strikes back” after that. it seems such a waste of time.

    up: If – i used to love it as a youth for its wildness and audacity. but i never realized how much the movie dealt with homoeroticism and homoerotic impulses, until i watched it again recently (some 25 years later). a pretty great film all around. and yes, it’s still wild and audacious.

    Hustle – never thought much about it, but when i watch it now i’ll have to say no studio would touch a movie like that now with a fork nowadays. a cop living with a hooker? get outta here! and aldrich is handling it as the most natural thing in the world. also, i thought the story line with the child rapist/killer oder whatever he was was handled very maturely and without foaming at the mouth.

  17. I second Zach’s choice of Pulp Fiction. I worshipped that movie when it came out. I still think it has great moments, but as a whole, it doesn’t hold. Fight Club was great at the time it came out. It captured that uneasy y2k feel. Now it just seems silly and contrived.
    I always thought The Last Emperor was boring as shit. I rewatched it recently and to my surprise I was drawn in, especially the second half.

  18. WILD AT HEART.

    Huge, huge Lynch fan, love his vision, his soundscapes, the mood, music, atmosphere, imagery. LOVE Fire Walk with Me, even like Dune. When I was 17, I thought WILD AT HEART was some bad-ass ride, when probably I was just all giddy to see anything dark and violent that was “cool.”

    But it’s an ugly, gamy, try-too-hard Lynch movie. Some good moments, but Laiura Dern is all 19 going on 47 with bad 1990 hair and dressed like an extra in FORD FAIRLANE…. Cage is fun, awesome even, but that opening shocker of smashing in a black guy’s skull– really, what the fuck is that, or the Crispin Glover cockroaches, or the porno with the fat women being filmed at their motel, or any of the EMBARRASSING Wicked Witch stuff? All of that stuff, in the words of Leonard Maltin, is “protypically” Lynch, but something seems off, sour, overly ripe in a BAD way about WaH, despite the “cool” vibe and awesome soundtrack and Willem Dafoe and Harry Dean Stanton. It’s also one that, for many years before DVD, was pretty hard to come by in widescreen and which had THE worst video transfers known to man.

    I’ve brought this up before, too, and I LOVE and worship TRUE ROMANCE, but with age it’s begun to nag at me how many innocent people those idiots Clarence and Alabama get killed, including Slater’s own awesome dad, and Pinchot, and Penn and Sizemore, and, pretty effectively DICK RITCHIE will go to jail and get assaulted for a decade or two. It’s visually beyond reproach, one of my favorite Tony movies, great dialogue for the most part (a few clunkers can be attributed to QT’s relative naivete then)… But I don’t know, getting half the cast killed so you can sell some cocaine seems a lot “cooler” as a romantic movie trope when you’re 20 than it does at 40.

  19. LOVE Fire Walk with Me, even like Dune.

    But Fire’s in hackspect ratio with a dog in the lead. Dune, theatrical cut, is everything.

  20. I thought SLAUGHTERHOUSE FIVE belonged to the 10 best movies of all-time when I saw it in my early 20s… 10 years later I was pretty bored…

  21. Same kinda goes for books… When I was a 20-year-old kid going for an English degree, I cited the following as my three favorite novels: GREAT GATSBY, CATCH-22, and CATCHER IN THE RYE.

    Pretty typical stuff, but two decades on, I can’t remember a THING about Gatsby, and I read it three times, maybe more, as an earnest smart kid wanting to be all profound. Catcher, ditto. CATCH-22 still sticks because of the movie and ART GARFUNKEL being in it and the years-later delight that the name YOSSARIAN clearly sounds Armenian, and when I was 20 I had NO IDEA what an ARMENIAN was but now I live in a city of TEN ZILLION OF THEM.

    But as a GENERAL POINT, I think everybody’s enduring favorites remain a mix of SHIT THEY SAW WHEN THEY WERE 15, and stuff from their formative years that reminds them of BETTER DAYS.

    All the stuff you see in college, or when you’re JOE ARTHOUSE in your 20s, it kinda falls by the wayside. From 18 to maybe 28 you have this glorious era of intellectual curiosity where you READ THE TEXT and EXPERIMENT with WORLD CINEMA and really feel connected to the world, to better impulsive, to progressive politics, to expanding your mind.

    By like 33 years old, the average white man (in particular) becomes a shut-off, non-curious, grumpy, increasingly conservative type who’s always mooning for BETTER DAYS.

    I have experienced this personally and it’s true with 100% of my friends… Anything that got in under the nostalgia cutoff of age 6-23 will forever remain some IMMORTAL CLASSIC, no matter how bad it is. Anything you saw between teenage years and late 20s is on the cusp, some stuff that you could forever love, OR some stuff that, when you become a grumpy old conservative, you write off as some douche bullshit from when you were naive.

    Not EVEN saying it’s a good way to roll, it’s embarrassing and shallow and narrow-minded and xenophobic, but it’s kind of true. I bet if you asked 100 film “geeks” say of MY generation, Gen X, that some throwaway movies from our young tender earnest years will FOREVER remain some unassailable “classic,” whether it’s CADDYSHACK or STIR CRAZY or ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK or FLETCH… But some deal from your COLLEGE YEARS, like CRYING GAME or THE PIANO or CARLITO’S WAY or PULP FICTION, it’s easier to turn on that stuff, act like it wasn’t really all that.

    But then some stuff from your early 30s, maybe you still feel plugged into that,. but it never quite reaches the standards of love as the earlier stuff. I don’t know, like Jeff, I find myself all clinging to the “recent past” cool stuff like TWBB or NO COUNTRY or FIGHT CLUB like some CLASSICS, whereas some deal from my “see every gay hustler movie of 1997 at the Sunset 5″ era, I kinda write that stuff off today as me trying to hard to be all progressive and open-minded.

    In a weird way, you lock in forever on shit from your teenage years, write off the stuff you watched for homework, and re-emerge by possibly overrating the stuff you see in middle age because you wanna still feel plugged in.

    THAT WAS A GREAT ANALYSIS.

  22. Lex/Tanto/Whatever:

    I usually dislike your posting style and online personality, but yeah, that was great analysis.

    Great to the point where I’m now actively looking at my best of lists and internally debating whether the movies there belong or not or whether I’m seeing them through either some nostalgic prism or approaching-middle-age (34 yrs) need to feel relevant.

    Depressing really.

  23. Ditto Wild at Heart, Lex. Was terribly excited for that nice DVD, then shocked at how…lame and forced it all seemed. I must have still been drunk on BV love when I first saw it.

  24. I was 17 when L.A. Confidential came out and was bowled over by it. I watched it again last year and it didn’t age as well as I’d hoped. Still a solid movie, but I don’t think it holds up as classic noir alongside the greats.

    On the flip side, the first time I saw The Prestige, I appreciated it as a slickly told entertainment, but I found it a bit too thematically diagrammed (like many of his movies). I watched it again two years ago and I now think it’s one of Nolan’s two best films alongside Memento.

  25. Minority Report. I didn’t think it was a masterpiece or anything when it came out, but I was impressed. When I watched it on Blu-ray recently, I was shocked at how primitive it is. For me, this is true of many/most Spielberg films. Their spirit of obvious, crowd-pleasing compromise does not age well.

  26. I don’t approach movies like I’m dissecting a frog, so I don’t tend to say, “wow, I never noticed how poorly framed that scene was.” I’m also pretty good at maintaining the suspension of disbelief I had as a kid, so things that I liked then, I still like today.

    I find this phenomenon applies a lot more to old TV shows. Especially sitcoms with laugh tracks. But films, not so much.

  27. Movies I didn’t like at first that I’ve come to appreciate with age, well that’s easy. I can remember being in high school and being bored and befuddled by THE THIN RED LINE and 2001 and BLADE RUNNER. I remember mocking BOOGIE NIGHTS as some sort of Scorcese rip-off. Ha ha. I remember seeing RUSHMORE in the theater and thinking, gee, that was a fun little movie, not realizing that it was an All-Time Classic, like the other ones I’ve mentioned. I’m sure I could come up with 20 more examples.

    The first part of your question seems harder and more interesting. All of those Best Picture winners that everyone dismisses as junk now, I still think are great. AMERICAN BEAUTY, THE ENGLISH PATIENT, DANCES WITH WOLVES, FORREST GUMP, all great movies that everyone says are pieces of shit now. I’m having a really hard time thinking of movies I used to love but have gone sour on…I kinda feel like I figured out what I liked around college and have stayed pretty consistent since. Is that good or bad?

  28. It’s not exactly an Oscar winner, but I always remembered “Summer Rental” fondly, I watched the first half of it a couple weeks back and I guess I didn’t recognize at the time that the movie was merely a “Vacation” rip off. Candy’s wife Karen Austin is a poor man’s Beverly D’Angelo.

    I also watched Tootsie this summer and can’t imagine what the fuss could possibly have been about in 82.

    On the flip side, I gave a “meh” to the original Mission Impossible in 1996 and enjoyed the heck out it during a recent rewatch.

  29. “down: Taxi Driver – just can’t get into the young man aggression thing any more that i once found so amazing.”

    I don’t really get that, because surely Taxi Driver doesn’t celebrate youthful masculine aggression, but rather exposes it as a form of psychopathology, and what’s more, subversively implies that that same psychopathology may lie at the heart of the American myth of the lone vigilante/moral avenger. For me, Taxi Driver is a stone cold classic that grips and unsettles from the very first second, and pretty much rips the lid on the masculine inadequacy/anxiety and psychosis underlying America’s fantasies of catharsis through acts of purifying violence. Even today there are few films as scarily intense, and Fight Club is a glib postmodern cartoon in comparison.

  30. Ira Parks:

    “Gleaming the Cube”

    Ha! Gleaming the Cube (1989) was never good but it’s still nice to see it mentioned.

  31. As a teenager I really liked Trainspotting, but after digging 127 Hours I revisited it and found it almost unwatchable. Boyle’s style annoys the hell out of me. Same thing for anything Guy Ritchie did.

  32. I’m a huge Mann fanatic, but the one of his films I’ve cooled a little on over the years is Collateral. Still loads to enjoy in it, but it is Mann-lite, the Cruiser as Terminator chase on the train is one of the very few truly pedestrian moments in Mann’s career, and all in all the Cruise character is a little hard to swallow at times. Still a milestone in nocturnal urban cinematography though.

  33. Lots of films I didn’t like or was disappointed in when I first saw them have improved as I’ve gotten older, notably Citizen Kane, Vertigo, Lawrence of Arabia, Earrings or Madame de, Exterminating Angel, Persona.

    Many French films I once loved I still regard highly, but they don’t do stir me as they once did: Rules of the Game, Jules and Jim, Last Tango in Paris.

    Except for 8 1/2, all of Fellini is less compelling on second or third viewings. Recently the little woman wanted to see Nights of Cabiria again, and it was agony to sit through.

    Lots of movies I loved as a kid or teenager are still pretty good: Naked Jungle, Hard Day’s Night, How to Murder Your Wife.

  34. Loved initially, now not so much: T2, Fight Club, The English Patient (book still great though), JFK, The Departed, When Harry Met Sally, Cabaret.

    Improved upon later viewings/appreciated more at an older age: 25th Hour, A Man for All Seasons, Dangerous Liaisons, Moulin Rouge, Terms of Endearment, Immortal Beloved.

  35. “The Graduate”, far and away…..I was in college when it opened…and oh boy…was it ever a sensation with us baby boomer collegians….Showed it to my daughter a few years ago….we both groaned and rolled our eyes…it seemed….mannered to a fault, precious, massively in love with itself….i’t's more like a curious aritifact of its time than an artisitic work.

  36. I’ve had a think on it (film that’s grown on me): TRANCERS.

    But I have to qualify, I haven’t rewatched it yet—it’s just grown into something I’d love to see it again. The chances of finding a DVD version, in Tokyo, are not great; but I think about this film at least once a month.
    All I can remember of it is a single image/scene, from a TV showing of the film when I was very young (Lex’s golden zone); and obviously it wasn’t anything to me then—as I quickly forgot everything else in the movie.

    But the tiny fragment that’s left has persisted in the memory. As I say, it pops into my thoughts at least every few weeks.

    I doubt rewatching TRANCERS will bring any epiphanies, but I need to experience the neon tube signs and raincoats and cathode gun TV picture that every 80s director knew translates into THE FUTURE (for some reason).

    Also, some shitty 80s film about dreams — mute girl or boy in waking life, bullied by father or such in dreams, turns it around in the dreamworld, etc. — it’s like the holy fucking grail of cinema to me at the moment. Need to see.

    On a related note: LAWNMOWER MAN. Was awesome when I was a teenager… Hasn’t aged well at all.

  37. Forgot about Altman. Loved him in the 70s, but all those films seem too self-conscious, cutesy, and mean-spirited now, especially Nashville.

  38. The Greengrass Bourne films – especially Ultimatum. I’m a left leaning guy but I always chafed at Greengrass making these anti-American action movies, kick ass action flicks that are all “boo hoo America has lost its soul.” Fucking irritating – bugged me then and now it makes long stretches of Ultimatum – especially the end, with Albert Finney hamming it up like he’s playing Emperor Palpatine in Star Wars – nearly unwatchable.

  39. Since people have mentioned The Thin Red Line, I’ll add a wrinkle to this …. the film that you watch and love, then don’t see for a while, during which time you fear it won’t be as good next time, and then you see it again and it’s even better. That was my Thin Red Line experience. As well as Rushmore.

  40. NETWORK,viewed now, is ghastly. While it predicted the direction of TV news and entertainment, it’s preachy and simplistic. Peter Finch is great, but Holden, one of my favorites from Hollywood’s golden age, and Dunaway are awful.

    I could still watch VERTIGO once a week.

    I did not have to wait 22 years to hate DANCES WITH WOLVES. I loathed it in 1990 and continue to despise its silly, self-congratulatory, and condescending “noble savages” sentiments. Mann’s LAST OF THE MOHICANS is far better.

  41. This is kind of hard for me, because a lot of the “classic” movies being mentioned here I didn’t catch up on until I was in my late-teens/early-20s (not a big movie-watching household; I don’t even think we finally got a VCR until I was about 13!). I “studied” film before I had really “seen” a lot of them (I mean, other than the big ones that pretty much everyone sees), so the earliest release that I can honestly say I’ve “grown cold” on is The Last Starfighter, which probably sounds ludicrous.

    Others (mostly mentioned by others here):

    American Beauty: A no-brainer in this category.

    Jurassic Park: Lots of these FX-driven blockbusters age poorly, and this is no exception (has anyone EVER bought Twister on home video?). Oddly enough, the FX have aged a lot better than the performances.

    Amores Perros: I still enjoy it — it’s just that the fractured timelines-interlocking story thing seems pretty passe and overdone by now; this is probably the same reason many are listing Pulp Fiction here (it’s too formative of a film for me to ever truly be objective about it; I’ve also probably seen it or had it playing in the background more than anything ever made).

    Good Will Hunting: Wasn’t actually THAT fond of it the first time I saw it, but tried to watch it again recently…echhh. Has anyone ever made it through this entire flick in the past 5 years?

    Cast Away: Probably more a function of the plot than anything else — it’s a decent enough flick, but who wants to sit through a guy talking to a volleyball for another 2 hours?)

    There’s Something About Mary: This kind of shock humor rarely ever ages well — oddly enough, Dumb and Dumber and Kingpin seem immune, which makes me think there’s a deeper kind of zen-funny going on there (which I always sorta suspected).

    The Talented Mr. Ripley: This seems like your prototypical, “it’s good for one watch” kind of flick (I think Minghella’s filmography is littered with these, lol). Great acting, good characters, well-shot, nice story, decent suspense. Never wanna see it again.

    Gladiator: Tries to go for that long, ponderous sword and sandal epic feel (a la Spartacus). It more or less worked at the time, but comes off a little flat now, IMHO (I think Ridley gets it right a few years later with KoH: DC, though). There should have been more fighting here — I’m much more likely to pop in 300 than this (maybe I should feel guilty about admitting that?).

    The Insider: A true “homework” picture from a great filmmaker (along with Ali, I suppose). Now that he’s got the Oscar-bait out of his system, he better never make another movie not revolving around guns ever again.

    Chasing Amy: I used to love this (and parts of it I still really like), but…I don’t know. There aren’t enough jokes in here or something (although the ones that make the cut are probably some of best he’s ever written). It’s a damn good thing Smith has as good of a sense of humor as he does, because — without it — his characters are REALLY selfish, petty, and full of themselves. There are long stretches here where you just want to punch both leads in their genitals.

    Not personally on my list (for a variety of reasons), but I’m surprised no one else has mentioned: Shawshank Redemption, Shakespeare in Love, Titanic, Sixth Sense, Blair Witch.

  42. Also: I’d put Avatar in basically in the same category as Jurassic Park above. Great technology on display throughout; it’s extremely boring to sit through, though.

  43. Kaned: Strongly disagree with you on Jurassic Park, Good Will Hunting, Cast Away and Gladiator which I feel are all shining examples of the ‘TNT test’ in that they can be on cable television any given weekend and I’ll still likely watch them again. I think the general public feels the same way too, hence their cable ubiquity.

    Disagree too on The Insider – I’d say if anything Mann’s Oscar-bait pictures were Mohicans and Ali. The Insider seems more like Heat set in the business world, and as such is one of his best. Crowe is incredible; perhaps his best performance.

    Agree on most of the others though, particularly Amores Perros which was my college-age foreign-film-du-jour that EVERY pseud taking a film class professed their love for. 21 Grams was, as a result, one of the most highly anticipated films among pretentious film students. When it resulted in nothing more than a long, miserable slog, most people went back and reevaluated AP and largely found it was the same. Inarritu hasn’t really escaped that rut since.

  44. “But I don’t know, getting half the cast killed so you can sell some cocaine seems a lot ‘cooler’ as a romantic movie trope when you’re 20 than it does at 40.”

    Yeah, and there’s also the fact that almost every single player in the supporting cast has a lot more presence and charisma than the two DEADWEIGHT leads. I still love the flick like you (and worship at the altar of almost all things Quentin), but sometimes it feels like this crazy, winding caper filled with colorful characters is all built on this extremely shaky foundation of what is the thespian equivalent of two Lincoln Logs.

  45. More impressed: INTERIORS, WYATT EARP
    Less impressed: THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE, TOMBSTONE

    Yes, GOOD WILL HUNTING is painful to sit through, but it was back then as well. Kinda sucks.

  46. As an interesting counterpoint, I picked up the CRITERION (BOW, Lex) of Shallow Grave in that recent B&N sale, and was a rather pessimistic on how it would play as removed as it now is from that whole ’90s indie scene (it was released basically right in the middle of).

    Go figure — it’s still a wonderful film that I enjoyed just as much, if not moreso, than I did upon my very first exposure to Boyle/Hodge in the late ’90s. And Eccleston’s character goes through one of the more understated, haunting transformations captured on cinema in the past 20 years or so.

    I need to go back and watch Trainspotting now, but — as good as it is — I don’t remember it ever having quite that same effect on me.

  47. Shawshank Redemption

    Is a comfortable pair of worn shoes you won’t get rid of because they feel so comfortable. True Lex has attacked it but mainly because it’s sacred.

  48. I never want to see Slumdog Millionaire again. Same applies to most of the Best Picture winners over the last decade or so. Chicago, Crash, etc.

  49. Braveheart is another one. Loved it when I was a kid, but I think it’s been eclipsed now by several other epics (Gladiator included) and I just can’t be bothered to sit through those slow bits with the lady and the bad comedy for a few rousing GOD GIBSON (TM Lex) scenes.

  50. I have to say it’s pretty foolish to dump on VERTIGO just because the Sight & Sound Critics’ Poll picked it as #1. Anyone who thinks that James Stewart’s performance is not good must not understand screen acting. And it’s a poetic, dreamlike film. Criticizing the supposed implausibility of certain plot points misses the point. Just as with EYES WIDE SHUT. I remember a director friend told me after the first Hollywood screening that it was “unrealistic,” because Kubrick recreated New York on a set in London, etc. etc. I pointed out that it’s not intended to be realistic. It’s a dream film and that it’s based on a novel called DREAM NOVEL.

  51. Hmmm…see, I am the other way around with Braveheart. I’ll sit there and watch that ’til the end, although that’s perhaps because I find Gibson’s onscreen presence a little more fascinating than Crowe’s? I dunno.

  52. Exactly, Bob. Those films are (mostly) going for a hazy, dream logic not a literal, real one — the same goes for a lot of Lynch’s work.

    I’m not sure it’s fair to point to those films and say, “b-b-b-but that wouldn’t really happen,” when I think it’s pretty clear that their intentions are more about achieving a level of uncanniness than anything else (to be a little fair to critics, though, that can be a pretty tough position to articulate WHY you don’t think a flick works).

  53. I tend to like films more on the second viewing. But there are a couple that don’t hold up for me as well.

    2001 is the big film that I have mellowed out on. The first two times I loved it. The third time was in a film class where all of us students felt completely bored by it. Even our film teacher admitted he thought it was nothing special. And I am sure that a lot of the movies I loved as a teenager (the American Pie films, Phone Booth, Spielberg’s War of the Worlds) I would find almost unwatchable now.

    More films get better over time for me: Bonnie and Clyde, The Battle of Algiers, and Fight Club to name three. I also went through a lukewarm phase on The Grapes of Wrath for a while because I was on an anti-Ford kick, but now I think it’s one of his masterpieces.

    In short, if there’s ever a movie that most people consider great that I don’t like, I try my best to understand why other people think it’s great before I criticize it. But that doesn’t always mean my first reaction is invalid. Which is why I didn’t get through ten minutes of Sofia Coppola’s Somewhere and don’t plan on ever watching the whole thing.

  54. I liked FINDING FORRESTER at the time but fear it would be unbearable to sit through again. Whereas most COEN BROS. films I can watch again and again and never get tired of them.

  55. I watched 2001 on Blu-Ray the other night for the first time in a couple years. It was better than I remembered. Maybe it’s because Batman movies now routinely approach 3 hours, but 2001 doesn’t seem particularly long to me now.

    Plus, I watched it without my sunglasses on, which helped.

  56. “NETWORK,viewed now, is ghastly. While it predicted the direction of TV news and entertainment, it’s preachy and simplistic. Peter Finch is great, but Holden, one of my favorites from Hollywood’s golden age, and Dunaway are awful.”

    Exactly how I felt when it was new. Have never understood its appeal.

    Sorkin is the new Chayefsky, though not quite as pompous.

  57. “Whereas most COEN BROS. films I can watch again and again and never get tired of them.”

    The Big Lebowski is probably the most popular example of a flick that gets better with repeated viewings. I’ve seen O Brother Where Art Thou a dozen times as well. The Coen Bros rule at creating little repeating gags like “My hair!” that seem goofy at first and then downright brilliant after about the 4th go-around. It also helps to have great actors rocking their dialogue.

  58. Fight Club for me. Loved the film when I was younger, haven’t been able to watch it in it’s entirety for the past six years.

  59. The LOTR movies have faded a bit for me, particularly the parts with too much comedy relief (like the body-count contest between Gimli and Legolas, or the overly dopey Merry and Pippin interactions).

  60. FUTURE JEFF WELLS says…

    Flags of our Fathers
    Million Dollar Baby
    Gran Torino
    Unforgiven
    A Perfect World
    The Dead Pool
    Heartbreak Ridge
    Play Misty For Me
    Back to the Future II

  61. Loved Eyes Wide Shut when it came out, but now, you couldn’t pay me to sit through it.

    As far as something getting better each time, I’d have to say Fargo. Wasn’t crazy about it in the theater, but love the fuck out of it now.

    An analogue is the sub plot that you initially hated but now like. HATED Dennis Haysbert’s subplot in Heat when I first saw it, but now his scenes are among my favorites in the whole movie.

  62. This is the BEST HOLLYWOOD ELSEWHERE discussion ever for this cranky contrarian.

    See, when I was REALLY YOUNG, I thought almost all of the films mentioned as dropping in favor were COMPLETELY OVERRATED.

    To hear my respected fellow HE’ers dissing them is like raindrops falling on that overrated soppy Western that got Oscars when Wild Bunch got zippo.

    By the way, Jeff Wells outted himself as a non-Peckinpah fan with his greatest films list the other. My theory: he can’t wash the East Coast snoot out of his hair long enough to really understand Sam’s unique genius.

  63. Raising_Kaned- you’ve had me both shaking my head furiously and thinking ‘amen brother’ at different points on this thread.

    I find Good Will Hunting, Gladiator and The Insider endlessly rewatchable. I always hold the last two up as the reason I rate Crowe so highly (even though he’s made frustratingly little use of his talents of late). To be the epitome of the heroic leading man the year after being utterly convincing in the role of a highly stressed, nervy, middle-aged man who looks like Harold from ‘Neighbours’ showed incredible range. Marked him out as one of a rare breed who is both a genuine star and an accomplished character actor.

    Totally share the love for Shallow Grave. One of my favourite endings of all time. Ecclestone is a bit of an enigma – wish he appeared in more films.

  64. Was going to say JFK, but I think that goofy extended cut (the only version around now it seems) throws it off more than you’d think.

  65. Pulp Fiction. Worshiped that fuckin movie when it came out. Now I just see it as filmgeek fanboy wankery.

    Improved with age: 2010 the year we make contact.

  66. Definitely with Eloi. Jurassic Park, and Gladiator are incredibly rewatchable. I’ve must’ve seen the former about 50 times. And if all Oscar bait were as good, and sharp as The Insider, then the races wouldn’t be such a bore every year.

  67. D.Z / Kaikihara > Of course the film is going to be a piece of shit—it’s the idea (behind it) that I like.

    And the lead character is called JACK DETH for fuck’s sake.

  68. The older I get, I find a few things like looney tunes just as intelligent but not as entertaining anymore.

    Love Hate…Charlton Heston, Great Escape, Star Wars (OT)
    Love, meh, film noir, Kubrick (in general)
    Love Hate Love…Used Cars.

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