Category Archives: Greg’s Lists
This seemingly random stock photo will make sense later on in reading this piece.
There’s a blatant continuity error in Jurassic Park that terribly irked my six year old brain. I’ve pointed it out to tons of people in my life, so I might as well publicize it here too. I’m sure it’s already on IMDb, but c’mon, this is my life story here.
When the helicopters are landing to deliver our main characters to their exotic location, there are several shots of the helicopter slowly lowering to the landing pad. It’s a great sequence, but in it is a shot of two jeeps pulling up to a stop, and in the wide shot, the jeeps are already there.
This mistake was very bothersome to me. It also awakened me to the fact that movies are fake, and, that they are made by people.
Later in life, I learned that Spielberg doesn’t care about continuity mistakes and just lets them happen. Scorsese has a similar attitude. In their minds, you should be paying attention to the story, and if a mistake like that ‘takes you out of the movie’, then they have already failed. In other words, if a movie is truly lessened by these errors, how good could it be in the first place? Scorsese just lets his actors go nuts and freely cuts between takes, because he knows that, at the very least, he’s adding to the jaggedness of the scene. And when Spielberg overlooks them, it’s because he’s simply more focused on the story than the amount of coke left in someones glass.
Continuity errors don’t bother me—unless we’re talking Troll 2 or something. Instead what’s always bothered me is the bizarre rules that govern the worlds in movies.
I haven’t been to the theater much lately. And by lately, I mean since I was a kid. I’m basically waiting for them to make movies again (see The Idea of What a Movie Is). I mostly deferred to John’s list to see what even came out this year:
Nope, not gonna touch this one. Too easy.
It’s easy to pick on classics. In fact, by virtue of being considered ‘classic’, they’re almost assuredly not as good as they’re said to be. Anything so beloved is automatically suspect. This is not contrarianism; it’s healthy skepticism. In an age where most people still aren’t atheists and science is constantly hindered by new age nonsense, skepticism is beyond necessary.
I figured I’d apply that maxim to culture and pick the ten most overrated classic movies ever made. But, like I said, it’s easy to pick on the big ones. Casablanca, The Godfather, and Gone With the Wind all have their place in history, but that doesn’t make them better than Back to the Future. And they aren’t. Not artistically, and certainly not in our collective hearts.
However, here, rather than just list the most acclaimed classic movies and call it a day, I really wanted to hone in on some particular titles that I find obnoxiously overrated:
The cinematic powers-that-be tend to decree that Citizen Kane is the best movie ever made, or sometimes Raging Bull. I don’t have a problem with that appraisal. It’s fun. Lists are fun—they expose people to cool movies they may not have heard of, and cause debates over who’s the most badass horror villain from the 80s, or what the best movies for libertarians are.
However, what is annoying is that whenever these movie freemasons decide that Vertigo is the third-best movie of all time or something, it causes all the opinion-scavenging cinephiles-in-training to rant their little hearts out about how The Rules of the Game or whatever really deserves to be ranked third-best. These lists also do a good job of tricking people into thinking The Godfather is artistically superior to Back to the Future, which is ridiculous.
Sometime in the year 2000, I went to the movies, and I don’t even remember what I ended up seeing because one of the previews left such a profound mark on me that what followed has been erased from my memory. The preview was for Under the Tuscan Sun, and when it came on all I could think was, ”who the fuck would ever want to see this movie?”. That moment crystalized my understanding of the irrelevant.
The movies on this list are not famously bad like Plan 9 From Outer Space. And they’re not notorious flops like Ishtar and Bonfire of the Vanities. In fact, there’s nothing remotely memorable about them. They just sort of exist, but it’s hard to believe they do, because nobody talks about them. In a way, they’re much worse than awesomely bad triumphs like The Room and Troll 2, because those movies at least found an audience. These movies are so wholly uninteresting in every way that they aren’t even worth making fun of.
If you’ve seen any of the following movies, please let me know. You’ll be the first person ever to have seen them, and will be given an award as their respective patient zero.