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Most Overrated Movie - The Short List


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Initial post: Sep 2, 2011 2:30:32 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 7, 2011 12:03:15 PM PDT
Lev says:
I have read 130 pages of people's opinions re: the most overrated film of all time:

* The first 100 pages from "Most OVERRATED Movie of all time to receive critical acclaim"
(http://www.amazon.com/forum/movie/ref=cm_cd_fp_ef_tft_tp?_encoding=UTF8&cdForum=Fx2E577OZX17PPI&cdThread=TxUWLL67WOX99C)

* The last 10 pages from the same thread

* The first 10 pages from "Most Overrated Movie Forum 2: Electric Boogaloo"
(http://www.amazon.com/forum/movie/Tx2GO63KX2DICYH?_encoding=UTF8&cdForum=Fx2E577OZX17PPI)

* And the first ten pages from "Most OVERRATED movie of all time to get critical acclaim"
(http://www.amazon.com/forum/movie/TxDUW8VQXO7JBK?_encoding=UTF8&cdForum=Fx2E577OZX17PPI)

From these pages, I have compiled a list of all the movies that were cited by four or more people as their top choice for this dubious honor. They appear below in alphabetical order:

American Beauty
Avatar
Brokeback Mountain
Chariots of Fire
Citizen Kane
Crash

The Dark Knight
The Departed
The English Patient
Forrest Gump
The Godfather
Gone with the Wind

Inception
Lost in Translation
Pulp Fiction
Shakespeare In Love
Slumdog Millionaire
Titanic

People have been naming films since Aug 15, 2009! I think it's high time we put it to a vote. For the purpose of this thread, nominations are now closed. Which of the films amongst the 'front runners' in our list do you choose as the most overrated film of all time?

Please consider all the nominations carefully before choosing.
Please vote for one film only--if you change your mind, delete the previous vote.
Please offer some explanation re: your choice.

At some undetermined time, I will count everyone's votes and announce the people's choice.

Posted on Sep 2, 2011 2:50:11 PM PDT
Quexos says:
Shakespeare in Love, and to me its not even close with the rest of that list. More than half those movies don't belong IMO

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 2, 2011 2:55:25 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 2, 2011 2:56:55 PM PDT
I have not seen 7 of these. I am surprised Pulp, Wind and Avatar are on the list. No way to me are they overrated. Avatar for it's effects alone.

I have to pick The English Patient. It was so boring we had to turn it off about half way through.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 2, 2011 2:56:46 PM PDT
Shakespeare in Love is one of the ones I have not seen.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 2, 2011 3:06:11 PM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Apr 27, 2012 3:33:07 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 3, 2011 3:00:05 PM PDT
Banner says:
Brokeback was definitely overrated imo. It wasn't horrible I guess but it was lacking in much except some good acting.

There are waaay too many good movies on that list for my liking. Actually some of my favs are on that list.

Posted on Sep 4, 2011 11:13:34 AM PDT
D. Stepp says:
All of those films are overrated but I have to go with Titanic.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 4, 2011 11:52:15 AM PDT
The Departed, American Beauty and Crash are overrated for sure because they won the Best Picture award.
Lost in Translation was just okay.
Forrest Gump was junk.

Many of the others I have not seen or I do not know why they are on the list.
Since I at least understand what people see in Forrest Dump, I would say The English Patient wins your prize.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 4, 2011 4:30:23 PM PDT
Avatar.

Unobtainium? Rehash of Ferngully and Dances with wolves (as another poster has explained previously). Cheap idiotic weak plot, bad one-dimensional characters, bad acting, extremely overrated effects. Hyped as a game-changer and then delivered absolutely nothing new. Cliched tribal bore. Too stupid for adults and unnecessary cuss words ruin it for kids. What a travesty.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 5, 2011 4:38:46 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 5, 2011 4:52:37 AM PDT
Lev says:
ILHJ says: "Of the six that I have seen, I don't think they are overrated. Individually they have their merits and I enjoyed them."

Lev: An overrated film is not necessarily a bad film--it might even be a good film. It remains overrated--at least, in some people's eyes--because the film, as good as it was, simply did not deserve the praise heaped on it by the academy awards, critics, general audiences and/or cult followings. At times, you yourself have probably been in the position of being disappointed by a film that was OK, but had been 'over hyped' by your friends, or by the critics in your local papers. Perhaps you would have enjoyed the movie even more, if you hadn't heard the hype.

There is another thread in this forum entitled, 'What do you consider the single greatest film ever made, and why?' I bet you that every film on the 'overrated' list is cited by many people in that thread as the greatest film ever. It boils down to this: Some people thought that the film was good enough to deserve all the attention it received; others thought that the film, whether bad, good or very good, simply didn't deserve all that attention.

There usually seems to be a 'split decision' involved. A few people in this forum have said that 'Up' was great, others said it was overrated. No one, however, said that 'Toy Story' is overrated, the consensus being that it deserved all the attention that it got. No one said that 'Barb Wire' was overrated either, for the simple reason that everyone hated it. No split decision involved.

Posted on Sep 5, 2011 7:08:40 AM PDT
Cheese says:
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Posted on Sep 5, 2011 1:47:28 PM PDT
Jersey Girl says:
Can we nominates some movies?? I would love to add that I think the following newer ones should definitely be on this list.

The Social Network
The Kings Speech
127 Hours
Black Swan

Of the films that are currently on the list I would go with Shakespeare In Love..although Crash is tied in my book.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 5, 2011 1:56:41 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 5, 2011 2:12:05 PM PDT
Lev says:
Cheese says:
"Amazed these are not on here
All Starwars films
Paranormal Activity
A serious Man (the worst movie of all time and it got nominated for best picture)
Deer Hunter"

Lev: Many people wrote that Star Wars, A Serious Man, and Deer Hunter were vastly overrated, but each of these three films were only cited twice as the most overrated film of all time. Paranormal Activity was chosen once. So all of the films you mention earned "dishonorable mention'. Your instincts are sound.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 5, 2011 2:07:03 PM PDT
Lev says:
Jersey Girl: "Can we nominates some movies?? I would love to add that I think the following newer ones should definitely be on this list.

The Social Network
The Kings Speech
127 Hours
Black Swan"

Lev: Rest assured that The Social Network and Black Swan each got two nominations, but not enough to make the short list. I've decided to close nominations now, since there would never be an end to new movies that are overrated, and voting can't really start unless nominations are closed.

Also consider that any new overrated movie would have to compete with others on the short list, some of which have been overrated for decades. Tough competition!

Posted on Sep 5, 2011 5:46:29 PM PDT
Hmmmm... I've seem them all, some of them should not be on the list, in my opinion - but this forum is about opinions. So here goes:
Tough decision between three: Avatar (I've been using the "Dances with Wolves in Space" analogy with friends since it came out). Good special effects but that's it!!!! And, sorry, but even as far as the effects - no computer generated character has ever been able to convey what an actual live person can do, no matter how well it's done. It's something lacking in the eyes, I think. The script was cliched; the acting only adequate. Nothing original about it.
Lost in Translation: giving boredom a new name.
But I have to go with FORREST GUMP!!!! Fake sentimentality; so calculating in its attempts to work on your emotions; I was insulted by this movie. Remember when that movie Pay it Forward came out? It was ripped (deservedly) to shreds by the critics for doing the same thing GUMP did.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 5, 2011 6:04:15 PM PDT
Jonathan says:
Cheese says:>"A Serious Man (the worst movie of all time and it got nominated for best picture)"<

That's funny. I consider it the very finest movie to ever be nominated for *any* major American award.
How could it be very overrated? Hardly anyone has heard of it.

Posted on Sep 5, 2011 6:43:29 PM PDT
MTK says:
Wow...I had no idea "A Serious Man" was nominated. That was a convoluted picture, hard to decipher. I certainly thought it was interesting, but not Best Picture worthy.

"Chariots Of Fire" is also a real stinker...supremely boring and nominated largely for being associated with the triumphant soundtrack song that became a "slo-mo" cliche for years after.

"American Beauty" is brilliant-- i think that film showed the dark underside of suburban life and really had a massive affect on me. I am still in wonder of how good it is. There are parts that cna be ridiculed, but for the most part, the acting, story, music, direction-- its really all there. "Pulp Fiction" ushered in a new kind of screenwriting that turned the indie-movie scene upside down. Should have won alot more awards than it did.

I'd say "Slumdog Millionaire" deserves a second vote as being overrated. I didn't enjoy that one as much as others did, and it was pretty predictable. Fun direction, heartfelt, but "City of God" was a much better story that exposed that a culture/country (outside of America) in a far more interesting way.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 5, 2011 6:52:59 PM PDT
I think the problem many have with 'A Serious Man', is they find little reason to care. I personally found it fascinating watching this man getting hit from all angles, and searching for a way to gain some CONTROL, but I know people who said they just didn't care.

I wouldn't consider it overrated, for the same reasons as above. Just coz it garnered nominations, doesn't mean it garnered viewers. Pity, because its superb, and I always love seeing new actors given a chance, as opposed to the same actors, time after time.

It certainly doesn't come close to 'Shawshank...', in terms of being overrated.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 5, 2011 7:30:39 PM PDT
Hikari says:
Lev,
Thanks for your work in consolidating all those dozens of pages and nominations. I am surprised that Shawshank Redemption did not make the cut, seeing as it was the choice of OP, Marseagle, who seemed to have plenty of collaborative agreement.

Our dearly departed ami du nord had compiled a running list some time back and I think English Patient and Titanic were neck-and-neck for the dishonor of Most Overrated.

Lots of deserving dishonorees on your short list. Many Best Picture winners, too. Which to choose? Merely being awarded an undeserving Oscar alone isn't enough to do it, in my opinion. We've got over-hyped Oscar winners that fell into obscurity as soon as the ceremony was over (Crash; Slumdog Millionaire); others whose sheer populism propelled them to an Oscar win over smaller, more artistically-deserving films, yet are still well-crafted entertainments that succeed as engaging movies with or without Oscar (Shakespeare in Love; Titanic; Forrest Gump; The Dark Knight)--their box office and the enduring fondness their fans have for these speak for themselves. Then there are the small artistic gems that were passionately supported by a vocal fan base but did not, finally, won the top prize, thus excluding them from truly being most overrated by definition (Brokeback Mountain; Pulp Fiction; The Departed); yet others which were overhyped to the skies in advance of Oscar time and had boffo box office, but the voting members of the academy obviously were not swayed by the campaigning onslaught because they, rather embarrassingly for their creators, failed to win any of the huge awards they were allegedly shoo-ins for . .also disqualifying them technically from most overrated status in those terms--Inception; Avatar.

There are the Oscar winners whose wins deserve, in my opinion, to stand uncontested, whose commercial and artistic excellence for their respective times speak for themselves: Gone with the Wind; The Godfather; Citizen Kane. All three of these have been cornerstones of the cinematic arts since they were made and endure because they have the qualities of truly great filmmaking--compelling stories, iconic images, memorable characters, popular appeal, and they pushed the boundaries of the cinematic arts in their respective eras. Then there are a couple of movies that are chock-full of artistic pretension that did not quite rise to the standards set by the preceeding three, but nevertheless I think deserved top honors in their years--Chariots of Fire and The English Patient. That they are films of artistic quality, literary merit & cinematic beauty is not disputable.

Which leaves two from this list that make my cut for the most insufferable overrated films that I have personally seen--Lost in Translation and American Beauty. I think, had not Lost in Translation and its sophomore director Sofia Coppola, been so praised to the skies as absolutely THE cinematic experience of 2003, I could have enjoyed this slight little extemporaneous bicultural romp on its own terms. I like Bill Murray, and he's the best thing in this. I even lived in Tokyo for half a year, so the charms of LiT ought to be more obvious to me than to anyone coming to this movie without any foreknowledge of modern Japanese culture. Except I think Sofia blew it. And the notion that she actually won the top screenwriting prize of the year for a 15-page outline, when most of what she shot on film was entirely improvised by her actors I find beyond droll. LiT is a charming premise with a few nuggets worth saving, but mostly zero execution--it's a case of the Emperor has no clothes on for me. But it does have a few saving graces as a little movie, if not as Oscar material--most notably Bill Murray, who makes me laugh just by staring into the camera. In the end, Academy voters saw sense and did NOT give LiT the top prize. It was very thin competion up against the likes of the Return of the King (winner--though I would call that overrated in another discussion--i feel that award went to the trilogy as a whole, and is a populist CGI fest in the mold of Titanic). I myself would have picked Master & Commander as the best picture of 2003.

LiT is my dishonorable mention on this list, since it didn't end up winning. Which leaves my top pick for the most overrated movie of all time--AMERICAN BEAUTY. I find this film repugnant on every conceivable level. Its competition was not particularly strong--The Sixth Sense, the Green Mile, the Cider House Rules--not exactly groundbreaking. But the prize should have gone to the Insider and to Russell Crowe.

There's my exhaustively explained vote!

Posted on Sep 5, 2011 8:33:16 PM PDT
Cavaradossi says:
Crash. Oh, yes, my sweet heaven, definitely Crash! I loathed it during every passing second of the time I spent watching that dreck. And, boy, did the time go slowly!

Fortunately for my sanity, my brain has almost successfully blotted the experience from my mind, so that I can't now give any specifics about why I hated that waste of film so much, other than that fact. I recall that I was depressed for several days after the viewing, a depression I lay at the door of that nihilistic junk.

So, my vote for most overrated movie (I will not dignify it with the word film) is Crash.

Posted on Sep 6, 2011 5:38:52 AM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Apr 27, 2012 3:33:39 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 6, 2011 6:13:09 AM PDT
Lev says:
Jonathan P. Baker says:
Cheese says:>"A Serious Man (the worst movie of all time and it got nominated for best picture)"<

JPB: "That's funny. I consider it the very finest movie to ever be nominated for *any* major American award. How could it be very overrated? Hardly anyone has heard of it."

Lev: Hypothetically, it could have been overrated by the people who nominated it, and by the people who accepted that nomination. It could also be overrated today by the forum participants who praise it.

Having said all that, I loved 'A Serious Man' myself.

Posted on Sep 6, 2011 6:21:24 AM PDT
Cavaradossi says:
Re: A Serious Man

The subtlety of Colin Firth's acting was a joy to behold. It was no surprise that he was nominated for Best Actor that year. Predictably, he lost. Hollywood likes to occasionally give the impression it admires subtlety. In truth, it would rather self-destruct than reward it.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 6, 2011 6:48:15 AM PDT
Lev says:
Hikari says: "Thanks for your work in consolidating all those dozens of pages and nominations. I am surprised that Shawshank Redemption did not make the cut, seeing as it was the choice of OP, Marseagle, who seemed to have plenty of collaborative agreement."

Lev: It did have plenty of collaborative agreement insofar as people said that the film was, indeed, overrated. But I was looking for at least four posts in which people agreed that it was, indeed, the most overrated film of all time, and I didn't find them.

Hikari: "Our dearly departed ami du nord had compiled a running list some time back and I think English Patient and Titanic were neck-and-neck for the dishonor of Most Overrated."

Lev: That was undoubtedly before Avatar hit the screen. The OP stated that every film on the short list had received four or more nominations. Some films on that list received many more than four nominations.

I could simply have announced which film had received the most nominations and declared a winner--perhaps loser would be more appropriate--but I wanted to post the entire list so that people could consider the alternatives, instead of making a 'knee jerk reaction' to the last film that they truly despised. Also, I thought that the list was interesting in its own right and deserved to be posted.

Hikari: "Then there are the small artistic gems that were passionately supported by a vocal fan base but did not, finally, won the top prize, thus excluding them from truly being most overrated by definition (Brokeback Mountain; Pulp Fiction; The Departed); yet others which were overhyped to the skies in advance of Oscar time and had boffo box office, but the voting members of the academy obviously were not swayed by the campaigning onslaught because they, rather embarrassingly for their creators, failed to win any of the huge awards they were allegedly shoo-ins for . .also disqualifying them technically from most overrated status in those terms--Inception; Avatar."

Lev: I think that there are four ways a movie can be overrated:
1) It can be overrated by the academy awards, e.g., 'Shakespeare in Love'
2) It can be overrated by critics, e.g., 'Citizen Kane'
3) It can be overrated by general audiences, e.g. 'Gone With the Wind'
4) It can be overrated by its cult following, e.g., 'Donnie Darko'

'Donnie Darko' did not make the short list, but it did merit dishonorable mention.

Thank you for your thought-filled post.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 6, 2011 8:22:24 AM PDT
Hikari says:
@cav
You've got your "Men" mixed up. Easy to do, since in the same year we had A Serious Man (unseen by me) and A Single Man, which starred the most-deserving Colin Firth (who shall be a Sir in due course, mark my words. If Colin can do another high-profile, monarchy-friendly role in the next couple of years, I predict a knighthood for him within 5 years. Queen Elizabeth might want to consider haste in this matter since she is now 85 years old.) I'd call "The King's Speech" a consolation Oscar for not winning the statue the year previously, but his King Bertie was equally a deserving turn. Both blew me away. Mr. Firth is a jewel of our contemporary cinema.
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