Author Archives: alcmaeonid

The 10 Most Overrated Films

posted by alcmaeonid

Do you ever hear people talk endlessly about a movie, they quote it and they joke about it and won’t stop talking about, but then when you see it you hate it?  You begin to question your taste in movies, and possibly your choice in friends.  You feel disconnected from the world because you cannot share in the film bliss.  Well don’t despair, you are not alone, I give you: The 10 Most Overrated Films ever made.

Now this list is not necessarily based on the quality of films versus the number of awards they won or critical acclaim, nor is it based on financial success.  This is purely a personal assessment of films that are considered classics or are extremely popular, but on viewing them just do not live up to the hype. Basically, they make you feel like this:

orange3

The list from top to bottom is categorized based on a combination of hype and critical claim in opposition to how mediocre the film is. The #1 film is the most overrated.    Prepare yourself and try not to smash your computer…

10) Pirates of the Carribean (All 3)

The first one was a box office sensation and made superstars out of Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom, and Kiera Knightly, and the second shattered opening weekend records.  The first also garnered Depp an Academy Award nomination for best actor.  Yet all three movies are just bad.

jack-sparrow-pirates-of-the-caribbean

Well, here is possibly America's finest actor, nuanced and subtle...

Maybe the first was watchable, but it certainly did not deserve any sort of Academy Award nomination outside of sound effects.  The second and third however were simply terrible, nothing more than bland clones of the original.  Perhaps worst of all, despite a remarkable career with countless memorable performances, Johnny Depp will always be Capt. Jack Sparrow in our hearts and on the Disney Channel.

9) Scarface (1983)

It is one of the most iconic films in modern times, with Tony Montana’s quote “say hello to my little friend!”, and the famous shot of Pacino mowing down countless hoods with an M16.  Every rapper uses Scarface as their icon, with even one particular artist adopting the title name as his own.  However, actual viewing of the film reveals that it is merely a melodramatic, boring, and overdone heap of a film.  It is considered an “action film” but there is only one notable action scene which occurs at the end, and it takes almost 3 hours to get to it.  Al Pacino is one of the greatest actors ever, but his Cuban accent is far from realistic or subtle.  Outside of surprising gore there is little in terms of twists or shocking revelations, which are hallmarks of great films.  Simply overrated.

8) Brokeback Mountain

Broke-ass Mountain was the toast of the Academy Awards the year it came out, with Ang Lee winning Best Director.  He should have won it for Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, not for this piece of crap.  If you read my previous post “Naked or Gay” you would know that gay-themed films are practically automatically showered with Academy Awards, so there is a simple reason why it got so much praise.  The film stretches on forever, and it is oh so boring.  Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger were good, but to be nominated for Best Actor, please.  Honestly, if the story were the same but with a heterosexual couple, it would probably be on Lifetime.

7) Titanic

In 1997, every girl in America saw Titanic at least 12 times, and even guys can admit they saw it at least 4 times because of the girls.  It was all anyone wanted to do for months: see Titanic over and over again.  It also won 11 Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director.  But you know what, it is just so boring.  Unless you are into slow, stupid romances, the only entertaining part was when people started dying and the Titanic split in half. Oh, and  Kate Winslet’s boobs were nice too.

6) Gone With the Wind

Often considered amongst the greatest films of all time, a classic of American cinema.  It is a constant reminder of the grandeur of the “Golden Age” of American cinema with massive sets, melodrama, lavish costumes, thousands of extras, and so on.  Adjusted for inflation, it is by far the highest grossing film of all time, raking in over $150 million dollars when movie tickets cost no more than a nickel.  Despite this, it is 3 hours of unbearable dialogue alongside a hefty dose of racism and sexist overtones.  As God as my witness, I will never see this movie again!

5) Reality Bites

I know some people personally who will hate me for this, but I just cannot get into this movie.  I get that it is all about the Generation X/grunge/angst era and all that crap, but I don’t care!  Sure Ben Stiller is believable as a douche, but he’s better in goofy stuff.  Ethan Hawke, well, he does a good Kurt Cobain impression that’s for sure.  I would fault Winona Ryder, but she always sucks at acting so this film is no different.  Despite all this what I hate the most about this movie is all …the stupid… Big Gulps!  I mean seriously, its just soda damn it!

Goddamn Big Gulp!!!

Goddamn Big Gulp!!!

4) 300

Visually innovative and filled with action and oily bare chests, this film was a surprise blockbuster hit and legitimized Zach Snyder as a director and Gerard Butler as a star.  However, this film manages to take possibly the finest example of soldiering in history and dumb it down to slow motion fights and cartoon backgrounds.  Where is the historical context? Realism? It would have even been nice to see at least one hit that was in real time.  I mean slow motion is nice, but when it happens for every single blow, it gets a little old.  And don’t even get me started on the depiction of the Persians, especially  Xerxes.  Homophobic? Racist? Take your pick.

Uh, are they about to make out?

Uh, are they about to make out?

3) The Boondock Saints

This is interesting because it came out and was critically panned, and made very little money.  It was basically a disaster.  However, it has since developed a cult following somehow, and every moron living in a dorm room with a laptop and a “COLLEGE” t-shirt insists that its the most awesome movie ever!  It is unoriginal, the acting is just terrible, and the action scenes are convoluted and way overdone.  No twists. No surprises.  Attempts at humor, but about as funny as Apocalypse Now.  Come to think of it, Robert Duvall was pretty damn funny in that movie!  I take it back, Apocalypse Now definitely has more humor than The Boondock Saints.

2) Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

Matthew Broderick will always be known as Ferris Bueller, the trouble-making high school kid who is loved by men and women alike.  He is smooth and smart, and there is no situation he cannot calmly talk his way out of.  It is in the canon of the greatest comedies ever made, and is a highlight of 80’s cinema.  I cannot fault the filmmaking, or the acting, or the story.  It is just not funny, at all.  I have seen it multiple times, and I have never even chuckled, not once.  Sure he’s endearing and the situations he gets out of are cool, and that dance number in the streets was spontaneous and original, but is any of it funny?  Not to me.

He's got a mohawk! And he's sining into a showerhead! I can't contain my laughter.

He's got a mohawk! And he's singing into a shower head! I can't contain my laughter.

1) The Blair Witch Project

Well there are a few angles to look at how this movie sucks, but I’ll start with the fact that it is not scary at all.  And I can admit that I scare easily with films, but I don’t think I even gasped once, maybe yawned a little.  The climactic moment when you’re supposed to see the witch, you see… nothing. Or a shadow?  I’m not sure if it even qualifies as a horror film.

The Blair Witch, or a drunken pissing frat guy?

The supernatural... or the urinal?

Come to think of it, I’m not sure if it qualifies as a film at all.  It is closer to being a documentary, but about what?  A scary shadow? A bunch of idiots who get lost in the woods with a camcorder?  At best it could be a short story, but that would mean it would be like 15 or 20 minutes, not a full-length “movie” with no actual climactic moment.  Even the Sci-Fi channel would reject something like this.  Bad picture.  Bad acting.  Bad sound.  Basically it is the most over-hyped and over-rated film.  Ever.

Wolverine vs. Watchmen: The Evolution of the Comic Book Movie

[posted by alcmaeonid]

What's he looking at?What’s he looking at?

Coming into this movie season, Watchmen seemed like the greatest movie ever, especially based on the trailer that was breathtaking.  Maybe it was the long wait, the R-rating, the unusual film making style, or the giant blue penis, but something about Watchmen prevented it from being the blockbuster hit it could have been.  I personally loved it.  I thought it was smart, complex, I greatly enjoyed the historical scenes, I loved the cinematography which resembled Sin City in looking like a page from a comic book, and I thought the story had a good resolution.  So why did Watchmen fail?

Because it is a great movie!

What I consider a great movie is one which leaves me thinking about it afterwards, possibly for days after.  And this movie had that, and it has great re-watch value because of the details that would probably be missed the first time around (did you know that Ozymandius is gay? There’s a file in his computer labeled “Little Boys”).

My criteria for a great movie seems normal, but I also consider a great movie one which breaks the mold and doesn’t adhere to the norms of Hollywood movies.  The blue penis alone made this movie original, and it is also an example of what turned it off to younger viewers and families.  This is key because young kids and teenagers usually flock to comic movies, but not Watchmen.

Not for kids

Not for kids

The modern comic film may look something like Watchmen, and as a film buff, I love the way comic book movies are made now.  Ever since Batman Begins they have become grittier and darker, and just better.  However, a parallel evolution has occurred.  Technology has become readily available and quite useful in film making, but it has dumbed down the films which utilize such technologies.  The perfect example is X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

The first three movies were pretty good, but this new one is all action and makes no effort to have a thoughtful story.  X-Men the Last Stand had a pretty contrived plot, but at least there was some sense to the story.  This one progressed with as much sense as a Family Guy episode, and had about as many celebrity cameos.

Artists? at work? sort of

Artists? at work? sort of

Here you see Will I Am as one of the mutants, and another is Ryan Reynolds, who is the death knell of any movie with potential.  Liev Schreiber is a good actor, but as Sabertooth? But the casting wasn’t the biggest problem with the film.  No, that honor goes to that technology I mentioned before.  This movie seemed more concerned with flashy and confusing action scenes than with making a good film.

This scene was actually really cool

This scene was actually really cool

The opening 15 minutes was pretty good with the different wars and Sabertooth running everywhere like a cat mauling people.  That might have been the highlight of the whole film, which is disappointing.  Despite all its flaws, Wolverine made almost twice as much money in the US as Watchmen, which makes no sense to me.

Watchmen lineup

I guess I just consider a great movie one that is considered weird by most other people.  It might be asking too much for comic book movies to always deliver like Iron Man or Sin City, but I guess there are so many made these days that they can’t all be good.  It just astounds me how successful Wolverine is compared to Watchmen, but what do I know?

Potheads Make the Best Athletes (Top 10 Pothead Athletes of All Time)

posted by Alcmaeonid

Popular belief would say that marijuana makes its users slothful and ineffective.  Essentially all potheads are lazy and overweight couch potatoes, right? Wrong!  In the wake of the Michael Phelps bong photograph, it is clear that stoners make some of the best athletes.  With this in mind I give you the Top 10 Pothead Athletes of All Time.

Now on the one hand I could rank the athletes based on who are the heaviest smokers, but that is subjective because we cannot really gauge who smoked more than others.  My main criterion here is on-the-field success, while taking into account the fact that the particular athlete regularly smokes marijuana.  Here is my top 10:

10. Carmelo Anthony, Basketball, Denver Nuggets

The small forward for the Denver Nuggets has a long history of marijuana usage dating back to college, where he won a national title with Syracuse.  If nothing else, his nickname, Melo,  should give away his penchant for smoking (i.e. “mellow”).  A few years back, Melo’s car was being driven by a friend in Denver, and he was pulled over.  The officer found a large bag of weed in the car, allegedly belonging to the Nuggets forward. In true pothead fashion, the driver told the officer he was holding it for a friend.

9. Ricky Williams, Football, Miami Dolphins

The veteran running back had a great stint at the University of Texas before being drafted into the NFL by the New Orleans Saints.  Over the years, Williams has been suspended a number of times for marijuana use, and has continually been brought back from suspension. However, a spiritual crisis led to Williams’ departure from the game, and into a Buddhist Temple in South Asia.  A few years and countless joints later, Williams is back in the NFL with the Miami Dolphins.  There is certainly no better place for a recovering drug addict than… Miami!

8. Michael Vick, Football, Atlanta Falcons

Vick transformed the quarterback position  with his athleticism and his style.  He dominated football at his high school in Virginia and in college at Virginia Tech, and had great success in the NFL with the Atlanta Falcons, winning multiple playoff games.  During a routine inspection at an airport, Vick was found hiding marijuana in a thermos.  This is quite surprising because we all know how good Michael Vick is at hiding illegal activities.

7. Randy Moss, Football, New England Patriots

As a wide receiver coming out of high school, Moss was one of the most highly touted prospects ever, for any sport.  His freakish athletic abilities would have sent him to Florida State if not for multiple incidents of marijuana use (he told a reporter he smoked crack too!).  Randy’s love of weed led him to Marshall University, and eventually to the NFL with the Minnesota Vikings.  Moss remains a top player in the NFL, and consistently smokes in the off-season.  Based on his often lackluster effort on the field, one wonders if he only smokes in the off-season…

*From here, the Top 6 athletes are champions at the professional level:

6. Rasheed Wallace, Basketball, Detroit Pistons

As a better shot-blocker and rebounder than most big men, and a better shooter than most small guards, Rasheed Wallace is unparalleled in his athletic ability.  Wallace had great success at the University of North Carolina, and has been an all-star in the NBA. He was drafted by the Portland Trailblazers (obvious enough?) and won an NBA title in 2004 with the Detroit Pistons.  A policeman found weed in his car while he was still with the Blazers, riding with fellow NBA player/pothead Damon Stoudemire.  ‘Sheed remains a top player in the league, although NBA scouts note that he tends to be lazy on the court for some odd reason.

5. Santonio Holmes, Football, Pittsburgh Steelers

Holmes has recently become a big star after his amazing touchdown catch and MVP award from this years Super Bowl.  As a young man in Florida, he admits to having sold marijuana on the streets, and I wonder if he followed Crack Commandment #4? (If you don’t know B.I.G., I feel for you) More recently, Holmes was arrested for marijuana possession in October of 2008.  It’s amazing how quickly we forget such transgressions in favor of Super Bowl highlights, unless you are…

4. Michael Phelps, Swimming

The best swimmer, and perhaps best Olympian of all time, Phelps has brought swimming to the forefront in America. He has become a multi-million dollar empire of t-shirts and autobiographies, and more recently, a notorious pothead.  Phelps is pictured smoking out of a bong at a Carolina college party, and the photo has become widely circulated around the globe.  As a result, Phelps has lost his squeaky-clean image and millions of $ in endorsements.  But the greatest tragedy of all is that by losing his Kellogg’s sponsorship, Phelps has squashed the pothead dream of having a lifetime supply of Frosted Flakes.

3. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Basketball/Actor/Cool Dude

Born Lew Alcindor, Kareem is an icon of civil rights, religious freedom, and athletic greatness.  He dominated the NBA with the Milwaukee Bucks, and later won multiple titles with the “Showtime” L.A. Lakers.  Kareem was famously a student of Bruce Lee (he was in Game of Death, see it!), and regularly appears on film and on television.  In his retirement years, Kareem admitted to smoking marijuana throughout his career to relieve pain and stress.  Does that mean Bruce Lee was a pothead too? Well, that’s another list.

2. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Body-Building/Actor/We got to get to the choppa! Now!

Before he saved John Connor, California, and Christmas (Jingle All the Way, don’t see it!), Arnold was dominating the Mr. Olympia competition.  He won multiple titles alongside fellow thespian Lou Ferrigno through hard work– oops! I meant to say steroids.  In the classic documentary Pumping Iron, Schwarzenegger illustrates how a champion bodybuilder prepares for competition: by smoking a doobie.  That’s right, the governor of California is on film smoking a fatty!  Oh, California…

1. Bill Walton, Basketball/NBA Analyst

Walton is number one because he embodies the main criteria of this list more than any other athlete.  Not only did he win 88 games in a row with the UCLA Bruins, an NCAA title, and multiple NBA titles with the Trailblazers (coincidence?) and Boston Celtics, but Walton is also the biggest hippie ever! I mean come on, UCLA? In the 70’s?  Please.  Not to mention his tendency to ramble incoherently when asked a simple question, or his love of tie-dye shirts.  Not enough you say?  Dude’s got a tee pee in his backyard.  ‘Nuff said.

Naked or Gay? How to Predict an Oscar Winner

posted by Alcmaeonid

With award season comes endless predictions and theories as to what is the best way to determine who will win at the Academy Awards.  Some say skilled acting is key, others say an actor must break the norm, while still others think it’s prestige. But anyone who follows the Oscars knows that the one sure-fire way to win is not acting skill or a good script, but nudity.  That’s right! NUDITY!  Surprised?  Here are some past winners:

Hale Berry: Monster’s Ball

Kim Basinger: L. A. Confidential (no nipples, but it still counts)

Gwenyth Paltrow: Shakespeare in Love

Charlize Theron: Monster (kind of gross nudity, but still nudity!)

Juliette Binoche: The English Patient

..and so on.

With this in mind, I give you my best actress winner:

Kate Winslet for The Reader

and best supporting actress:

Marisa Tomei for The Wrestler , giving her 2 Oscars for her career, placing her amongst the greatest actors to ever live, just kidding.

But that is the point, nudity trumps good acting every time.

Now the best actor category is  a little different. Nude men have notoriously been snubbed come Oscar time (see Willem Dafoe, Harvey Keitel, Kevin Bacon for god’s sakes!).  Instead, the Oscar goes to either the drunkest, highest, or gayest (is that a word?) actor.  Don’t believe me?

Tom Hanks: Philadelphia

Nicolas Cage: Leaving Las Vegas

Jamie Foxx: Ray

Michael Caine: The Cider House Rules

Alan Arkin: Little Miss Sunshine

Phillip Seymour Hoffman: Capote

….etc.

Thus my best actor winner is:

Sean Penn in Milk

This category was tough, because Mickey Rourke was just drunk and on steroids in The Wrestler, but steroids don’t get you high, they make you lie to Katie Couric. Therefore, Sean Penn is way gayer than Mickey Rourke is drunk.

for best supporting actor:

Phillip Seymour Hoffman in Doubt

He was mad gay in this movie. Wasn’t he? I have my doubts. Ha.

Best picture and best director can be easily predicted by combining the criteria for men and women, it’s foolproof.

Best director: Gus van Sant for Milk

I don’t think I need to explain

Best picture: The Reader

Why? Dude have you seen Kate Winslet naked? It’s awesome.