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Most Overrated Director


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Initial post: Dec 20, 2011 12:23:26 PM PST
SMH says:
It seems like for every loved and praised movie, there are plenty of people who will list it as overrated.

The same goes for directors. For every director some consider to be brilliant, there are others who will call him/her a hack. So, who do you consider to be the most overrated and why?

Discuss.

Posted on Dec 20, 2011 1:28:53 PM PST
Federico Fellini: So far, I find all of his characters annoying. All of his plots are meandering and pointless. The pacing is either frantic or agonizingly slow. The little inside jokes, gags, and puns are never funny. Maybe you had to be around in the straight laced 1950's to appreciate how different he was. Bergman and Godard were incomparably better.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 20, 2011 2:53:01 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 20, 2011 2:53:23 PM PST
I don't care much for Woody Allen. But that is just my taste. I would not call him overrated. Just tiresome. Though Vicky Barcelona was good.
And Match Point too. Hmm... maybe he is getting better.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 20, 2011 2:59:32 PM PST
J. Baker says:
Lately:

Lars ("Von") Trier.

All-time:

Stanley Kubrick or Frank Capra.

Posted on Dec 20, 2011 3:09:26 PM PST
Oz le Fou says:
Lately:

Chris Nolan.

All-time:

Ridley Scott or Martin Scorsese

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 20, 2011 3:21:23 PM PST
Stanley Kubrick might win it if he only did Eyes Wide Shut.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 20, 2011 4:19:16 PM PST
J. Baker says:
I think I prefer your choices, T.S., if we're talking strictly who's most remembered today (Scott and Scorsese are still very active, and Scorsese's movie 'Hugo' has a good chance of dominating the Oscars this year.)

I would totally agree that Nolan is Hollywood's most overrated, but I still think 'Memento' is rated properly high.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 20, 2011 4:20:36 PM PST
J. Baker says:
Try 'The Purple Rose of Cairo' and 'Midnight in Paris'.
Also: 'Radio Days' and 'Crimes and Misdomeanors'.

Posted on Dec 20, 2011 4:28:11 PM PST
Savage Lucy says:
Can't stand Kubrick. The only Kubrick films I like are Dr. Strangelove and the first twenty minutes of Full Metal Jacket. The rest of his work I just don't get. I can't see the appeal. And when I tell people how underwhelming I found Clockwork Orange they give me a sad face like I've let them down. "Aw I thought you were cool..."

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 20, 2011 5:05:44 PM PST
Oz le Fou says:
Yep. Memento deserves its praise. Very clever film. Fine acting. Great pace. Visually interesting. Left field casting that works. And here's its "Ta-Da" moment....it makes you think.
Very cool.

I wonder though if Scott is rated highly, or merely seen as a director who makes films that people enjoy. I can't say, as I don't really enjoy his films OR rate them highly. Any Scott fan's out there may be able to help me on this one.

Posted on Dec 20, 2011 5:30:25 PM PST
S. Kelly says:
Christopher Nolan. Though he is mainly overrated by the Batman fanboys. His early low-budget films were interesting, his "Memento" was clever (although the backwards storytelling HAD been done before), and I liked his character-driven "Insomnia" (one of Al Pacino's few late-career really good films). Beyond there, I haven't been crazy about Nolan at all. I DID like "Inception", but it's still oh-so-much sound and fury and style over substance. Otherwise, I found "The Prestige" pretty dumb, actually (especially the last third or so of it). And those big, loud, taken-way-too-seriously, Batman movies have to be some of the most overrated movies in all of modern cinema. And, I wonder how many of these young males who think Nolan is the greatest director in history ever even really heard of him or watched his films prior to his doing the Batman films.

The next runner-up is James Cameron. One of the most technically innovative filmmakers, perhaps, but his stories are, again, this modern style of moviemaking for people with limited attention spans. These huge, loud, expensive, constant action, CGI movies that simply exhaust me. The truth is, the more and more sustained action there is, the more bored I become. If you have some drama and storytelling punctuated with action scenes, they may have some impact. When it is non-stop explosions and chases, I completely lose interest.

Posted on Dec 20, 2011 8:31:56 PM PST
Oh my; this is a good topic. Recent: von Trier (how anyone can take his work after Europa seriously is beyond me).

Back a bit more: Fellini--pretentious and sentimental.

Back a bit more than that: Capra--sentimental and pretentious.

MOST overrated of all? Have to consider a bit.....

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 20, 2011 8:55:50 PM PST
J. Baker says:
How about Vincente Minnelli?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 20, 2011 9:57:39 PM PST
Balok says:
@mr. critic:

> Federico Fellini

The key word is "indulgent."

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 20, 2011 10:03:20 PM PST
Balok says:
@Jonathan P. Baker:

> How about Vincente Minnelli?

Them's fightin' words, boy. I'm not saying that Minnelli was the greatest director ever, but he is certainly not the most "overrated" director.

My vote for Most Overrated Director would probably go to James Cameron if I were not reasonably sure (or at least filled with the pious hope) that he will eventually be forgotten. I would probably also be inclined to nominate Godard or Fassbinder (or, if we're going to trade shots across the bow, Resnais). Pretentious pseudo-intellectualism != great filmmaking. (Speaking of which, Adrian Lyne might be another candidate, although he's only directed 8 films so far. . .)

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 20, 2011 10:08:00 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 20, 2011 10:09:11 PM PST
DB Edwards says:
@ William A Smith

Frank Capra? Sentimental. Yes, indeed! Pretentious? He was the champion of the common man. No pretense here. Sorry. IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE has cult status and will only grow in popularity and admiration in the coming years.

Posted on Dec 20, 2011 10:12:57 PM PST
Ralph Novak says:
He's not even in the league with Allen, Fellini and Kubrick but the flaccid Quentin Tarentino certainly thinks he is better than he is. And like Spike Lee,he insists on casting himself in his movies. Hitchcock did it as a joke but Quenty thinks he can act

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 20, 2011 10:21:49 PM PST
J. Baker says:
Back to defend the sticky pretensions of MGM Artiste-in-residence!
Re: "Vincente Minnelli"

Not my first pick for most overrated director of musicals (Baz Luridman, anyone?,) still he's high in the running; although I like a few, including 'Meet Me in St. Louis', which Master Smith hates, which is why I asked about Minnelli, to egg him onto a possible explanation/elaboration for his unaccountable hatred of an all-American '40s Christmasy classic.

There's nothing pretentious or pseudo-intellectual in the world of Resnais's cinema.
Since we're trading blows now:

Pedro Almodovar, most overrated director in Hispanic film history. SUb-sub-sub-surrealist middle class mediocrity.

POW! BAM! ZAP!

Also, since I'm mentioning a Spanish-language director of over-inflated reputation, I have yet to be remotely impressed with the work of Alejandro González Iñárritu. 'Babel' in particular drove me up the wall barely containing my screams.

Posted on Dec 20, 2011 10:34:56 PM PST
Sean Geary says:
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In reply to an earlier post on Dec 20, 2011 10:46:19 PM PST
J. Baker says:
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Posted on Dec 21, 2011 1:10:33 AM PST
W. Grieve says:
Talk about indulgent ! All Pixar movies.

Mate..mate..mate

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 21, 2011 7:54:59 AM PST
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Posted on Dec 21, 2011 8:12:45 AM PST
JPB: Well, thanks for introducing another candidate--Minnelli--and certainly Spike Lee deserves a place in this rogues' gallery.

For musicals--the only one of Minnelli's musicals that is absolutely first rate is The Band Wagon, largely because it doesn't take itself too seriously. On the whole--not in the same league as Stanley Donen or Busby Berkeley. As to Meet Me In St. Louis--like Seinfeld, it's a film about nothing. It's very pretty, no doubt, and if you like Garland (I don't) that certainly adds to the alleged charm. But--like Oakland--there's no there there. Terribly sentimental, to boot. And that is the real problem with the vast majority of Minnelli's films--very pretty, no substance, often sentimental. I certainly don't loathe the film, like that poisoned Christmas sweetmeat It's A Wonderful Life--but it's rather like a puppy of some attractive but witless breed like an Afghan Hound. Pretty but stupid as the day is long.

As to Coppola--major falloff in quality, but the best of his work is among the best.

As to Kubrick--again--his best work is almost beyond criticism. My own list of his weakest films is somewhat different from most--but I think his reputation is on the whole appropriate.

As to Cameron and Bay--I think we ought to limit the "overrated" discussion to filmmakers whose work can be taken seriously by thoughtful people.

Another candidate for highly overrated--Chaplin. Major fault--sentimentality and repetition. Another (more controversial): John
Ford. I'm finding that his sentimentality mars his work the more that I watch his films. (I will admit that to a degree that is matter of taste.)

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 21, 2011 4:26:35 PM PST
J. Baker says:
>Wm.:"...can there be a more pretentious film than It's A Wonderful Life building the myth of the cosmic significance of a failed bank owner?"<

It's not something you put much stock in then, Mr. Smith, this whole interconnectedness-of-all-things, every-life-matters business?
All a bunch of Pretentious humbuggery?

Posted on Dec 21, 2011 4:32:24 PM PST
S. Kelly says:
@ William A. Smith,
"As to Cameron and Bay--I think we ought to limit the "overrated" discussion to filmmakers whose work can be taken seriously by thoughtful people."

INDEED! So, we'll exclude Nolan, as well.

And I don't think anyone has ever overrated Bay anyway. Most everyone I know of thinks he sucks.

I feel downright guilty somehow saying Fellini, but his characters are grotesque and obnoxious, and his filmmaking VERY self-indulgent. I by far prefer Rossellini, De Sica, Antonioni, Pasolini, and Bertolucci to Fellini. Although I DO like his earlier stuff, like "La Strada" and "Nights of Cabiria". I also hate to admit that I have a hard time getting through a lot of John Ford's stuff. It hasn't aged well.

I DON'T see Scorsese as overrated at all. His reputation is WELL earned. I don't think he's EVER made a rotten film. Some are better than others. But most all of them are worthwhile.
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Discussion in:  Movie forum
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Initial post:  Dec 20, 2011
Latest post:  Apr 20, 2012

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