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Ten Misleading Movie Titles

 

There are some sad people who look at a movie and judge it immediately by the title. It’s a dangerous and ignorant thing to do, but it does happen. Here are ten movie titles which, for some naive and inexperienced moviegoers can be very confusing and ambiguous, indeed.

A Clockwork Orange

There are no clocks, nor are their oranges which play any noticeable part in this film. What gives? Author Anthony Burgess says it is based on an old proverb “as queer as a clockwork orange.” However, the validity of Burgess’s statement is yet to be verified.

Sin City

This is not a film about Las Vegas, but there are sins involved. I suppose, however, it is a better title than the actual name of the city in this film: Basin City.

Naked Lunch

David Cronenberg at his weirdest, this is not the film it may sound like, and it is a generally repulsive and disgustingly ugly film. When asked what its title meant, Cronenberg replied by defining it as “a frozen moment where everybody sees what is on the end of every fork.” Now I’m hungry.

21 Grams

No, this is not a film about drugs, drug trafficking or drug use, despite the presence of Benecio Del Toro.

Funny Games

If you’re looking for a laugh… keep looking. Michael Haneke’s name itself should drive all comedy-lovers in the opposite direction immediately.

Happiness

A hilariously awful irony. The only person who is happy at the end of this film is a pre-teen boy who has learned to masturbate.

Straw Dogs

It sounds like some sort of obscure ambiguous comedy, but in reality it is a violent, explicit look at rough societies, social interaction and human repulsion. It may be only two hours, but with the horrific extended final hour, it feels much longer (in a good way).

Pink Flamingos

Of all the misleading titles, this is the one that it would be the most disastrous to predetermine. Crappy cinematography and a generally distasteful attitude toward the human freakshow and its extremes, it is nevertheless a “classic” of underground cinema.

It Happened One Night

With today’s unflinchingly graphic portrayals of sexuality, it’s easy to see how some people might misinterpret this film’s title.

Un Chien Andalou

And finally, possibly the most misleading of them all, a 16-minute surreal masterpiece which is little more than a series of jumbled, Lynchian images collided together as one whole given the seemingly senseless title which translates in English to ‘An Andalusian Dog.’

That’s my ten, now tell me in the comments some more misleading titles, if you can think of any.

Thanks for reading.

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Heartbreakers and Heartachers: Ten Great Romantic Movies… and Ten Really Bad Ones!

A good romantic comedy is so rare these days, and you’re lucky if you get even one remarkable rom-com (or rom-dram) each year. So I thought I’d highlight ten great romantic movies from the history of cinema–not the ten best, just ten great ones. And to remind us how the romantic genre has failed in recent times, I’m also including ten romantic movies that make me groan…

The Heartbreakers: Ten Great Romantic Movies:

1: It Happened One Night (1934)

This delightfully original romantic comedy swept the Oscars in 1934, winning all five major Academy Awards (Picture, Director, Screenplay, Actor, Actress). It is a great and funny story of two people who hate each other but grow to fall in love whilst travelling cross country. Sound familiar? Well it’s been done many times but never like this. Fantastic.

2: Casablanca (1942)

The original, classic romantic comedy is this beautiful, enthralling tale of love between Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, whose characters are steaming hot and full of secrets, through the stunning scenes of a bar in Morocco where men come to drink away their sorrows and love is strangled by an air of cigarette smoke and booze. Play it once, Sam.

3: Some Like It Hot (1959)

Billy Wilder has crafted some of the greatest films of all times, from classic comedies such as this to intriguing dramas like Sunset Blvd. and downright disturbing masterpieces like The Lost Weekend. Some Like It Hot was an instant hit for Wilder, and a classic comedy with laugh-out loud moments and beautifully captured romantic scenes. The diva Monroe is a hit here, as are her counterparts, Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon, grovelling for her affection. This is something special indeed.

4: The Apartment (1960)

Considerably darker than its 1959 sister comedy, Billy Wilder’s The Apartment is nevertheless a very funny, very charming romantic comedy which also touches on important social issues. The always hilarious Jack Lemmon graces through this film, as funny and witty as he’s always been and at the top of his game. Of all the films you must see on this list, this is no. 1!

5: The Graduate (1967)

This will always be regarded as a classic among romantic movies in history for its wonderful plot and remarkable performance from then-unknown Dustin Hoffman. There’s plenty to laugh at and a lot of great chemistry as this famous romantic plot unfolds. Director Mike Nichols has created a wonderful film.

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6: Last Tango in Paris (1972)

Bertolucci’s timeless erotic drama is filled with the grace of the screen’s leads, and has a special place in my heart because of the coffin scene with Marlon Brando. Romance has never been so visceral and breathtaking as it was when it was presented in 1972 in such a glorious, explicit, memorable manner.

7: Annie Hall (1977)

Whether you love it or loathe it, you’ve got to admit Woody Allen’s 1977 comedy is original and very clever. It adopts techniques and uses them in new ways for its era, as well as spawning provocative one-liners (“the size of a Buick!”) and tirelessly hilarious scenarios. Everyone should be able to find something to relate to in this classic comedy.

8: When Harry Met Sally… (1989)

“You made a woman mieow?” Rob Reiner’s classic romantic comedy stretched the boundaries and let in a flood of new emotions. It was a romantic comedy like no other, and yet if it were made today they would probably screw it up. The leads are enthralling and the film is hilarious. Well done.

9: Groundhog Day (1993)

It’s hard to forget the hilarious chemistry between leads Bill Murray and Andie MacDowell in this laugh-out-loud comedy from Harold Ramis. Bill Murray plays one of his best performances as he attempts to win over MacDowell and there are plenty of laughs to be shared. A great romantic movie.

10: As Good as It Gets (1997)

Winning Oscars for both its leads, this great dramatic romance has its moments, and more, as it manages to master emotions. Jack Nicholson is excellent in his performance as an embittered writer, and the supporting performances by Helen Hunt and Greg Kinnear are nothing short of remarkable.

So there you have it, ten great romance movies. But unfortunately, there are more bad romance movies than good ones, such as the following dreadful ten:

The Heartachers: Ten Horrible Romantic Movies:

1: Gigli (2003)

Probably the worst film on this list, Gigli is infamous for being a shockingly bad romantic comedy starring Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez. Disgusting acting, a soggy script and plain awful direction by Martin Brest (who surprisingly directed one of my favourite comedies, Midnight Run plus the excellent Pacino hit Scent of a Woman) are all components of the driving force behind this absolute shithole.

2: The Hottie and the Nottie (2008)

You should know what to expect when you see Paris Hilton stars in this, as well as its terrible reception, Razzie pickups by the dozens, and generally distasteful and amoral viewpoints on society. Are we trying to dumb down our teenagers? At this rate, we’ll have twenty-year olds crashing on a beanbag enthusiastically watching Barney by 2050, not sure how they’ll ever grow up.

3: Down to You (2000)

Suicide by shower utensils? Freddie Prinze, Jr.? Excuse my blunt language, but f*ck that! Yet another distasteful addition to romantic comedies that don’t even try to be good. Any semblance of togetherness this film might have had is washed away long before the film starts.

4: Mannequin (1987)

Certainly not as bad as some of the others on this list, my disliking of this crummy eighties love story has been emplanted into my brain because of the day I saw it: in June, last year. I had watched three movies that day already: Lawrence of Arabia, 12 Angry Men, Being There and then… this. It ruined my day and wasted my time.

5: Rumour Has It (2005)

Again, this doesn’t suck as much as others, but I just have a complete and utter dislike of Jennifer Aniston. I can’t even look at her without feeling… sick. She calls herself an actress? I can’t believe it. And attempting to revive The Graduate fever with a plotline involving that successful film is not paying tribute to it, but rather, insulting it.

6: The Bachelor (1999)

Okay, I’m especially pissed off at this one for attempting to recreate Buster Keaton’s fantastic 1925 comedy Seven Chances. It is a failed remake, tribute, parody or whatever it was trying to be.

7: Mr. Wrong (1996)

Before we ever knew Ellen’s true sexual agenda, she starred in this painfully dry comedy in which she is trying to avoid a stalker of a suitor. One of the most painful viewing experiences I’ve ever had the misfortune to watch… if watching only the first hour counts.

8: Blind Date (1987)

The only way in which this is close to Die Hard is chronologically. Other than that, it’s a flop and a complete stinker. Bruce Willis is disgustingly lame and manages to waste our time in ways that we’ve never thought possible… or have we?

9: Say It Isn’t So (2001)

Despite the sexual appeal of Heather Graham following Boogie Nights and that Austin Powers movie she was in, we uncover one of her true sides and that is that she can’t always put a movie together. As for the Farrelly brothers… for shame!

10: From Justin to Kelly (2003)

If ever Gigli had a rival on this list for worst movie, it would be From Justin to Kelly. This is a hopeless romantic comedy which made me cringe with disgust and boredom, and is unworthy of any love, compassion, respect or even pity. Awful. No, horrible. No… adjectives cannot describe the deep hatred I have for this film.

So there you have it! Ten great romantic movies and ten horrible ones. So… what’s your opinion? Do you agree or disagree with my choices? Leave a comment below and tell me what you thought.

Thanks for reading.

A Film For Every Year (1915-1938)

This is a Year best left forgotten!

Every year we have a load of decent films that are released, but one may notice that the amount of good movies released each year is beginning to lower. It’s times like these we need reminder that each year does present us with good films, whether the number is two or twenty. So, I’m going to present a list of films, one for every year from 1915 to 2010, to remind us that there are such things as good films, and that they do happen. This is the first part of four, listing films from 1915 to 1938. Enjoy.

1915:

The Birth of a Nation

Whether or not it is blatantly racist (which I’m sorry to say, it is), one can’t deny the artistic value that D.W. Griffith’s three-hour picture presented in 1915.

1916:

Intolerance: Love’s Struggle Throughout the Ages

The masterful flow and presentation of this true epic more than makes up for the travesty of racist comment present in its predecessor.

1917:

Cleopatra

The highest-grossing and most expensive movie of the year, this picturesque picture reigned supreme in an otherwise uneventful year.

1918:

Mickey

F. Richard Jones’s 1918 movie was the highest-grossing box office hit of the year, and earns its place on the list as perhaps the year’s best movie.

1919:

Broken Blossoms or: The Yellow Man and the Girl

My favourite film of the 1910s decade is D.W. Griffith’s film about a Chinese man who saves a young girl from her brutal father. Definitely worth seeing.

1920:

Way Down East

Yet another D.W. Griffith movie! Yes it’s true, he is great, and this compelling film outshines that of all the year’s others as a true classic.

1921:

The Kid

A Charlie Chaplin classic, this great film is full of emotion and tone, a perfect silent movie.

1922:

Nosferatu: Eine Symphonie des Grauens

F.W. Murnau’s horror movie remains to this day one of the scariest, and definitely worth a look on a dark Halloween night. This was the film that got me into silent movies.

1923:

Safety Last!

The image of Harold Lloyd hanging from that clock is one of many reasons this silent comedy is forever a classic. Welcome home!

1924:

Greed

One of my favourite silent films, Erich von Stroheim’s Greed is a timeless, long tale of exactly that, a chain reaction of events following a lottery win. Spectacular.

1925:

Battleship Potemkin

What else? This dramatic account of a naval mutiny is filled to the brim with spectacular imagery and is truly unforgettable.

1926:

The General

It’s about time Buster Keaton made an appearance on this list, and a film like The General is a perfect way to do so. He really proves that he’ll risk it all for the laughs, and that is sadly so rare.

1927:

Metropolis

Fritz Lang hits the list with this great thriller that manages to stand out even amongst the other greats of this tricky year.

1928:

The Cameraman

While not the best Keaton film, it still stands out to me to be an exemplary film for 1928. Keaton’s attempt at becoming a cameraman is amusing, as it should be.

1929:

Un Chien Andalou

A surrealist masterpiece and the best silent film ever made, Luis Bunuel’s 1929 collaboration with Dali is a memorable excersize in artistic fun and shocking imagery.

1930:

L’Age d’Or

The surrealist style of Un Chien Andalou is revisited in this equally masterful excersize in disturbing images. Similar, but different.

1931:

M

Fritz Lang’s masterpiece and the oldest film on my Top 50 films list is this riveting, amazing tale of murder and redemption. Vigilante justice… ain’t it sweet?

1932:

Scarface

This brilliant, original gangster movie is not to be confused with its 1983 counterpart (even though the 1983 film is superior). Great gangster moments and terrific performances paint the screen.

1933:

King Kong

Who could forget this great adventure film, in all its black-and-white monstrous glory? The official monster movie.

1934:

It Happened One Night

Sweeping the Oscars and practically reinventing the romantic comedy, this swell road-trip ride through countless comic situations is original and funny.

1935:

The Triumph of the Will

Please don’t take this choice the wrong way. This is a hugely artistic, valuable film that has been misunderstood time and time again. A documentary about Nazis, this film is not pro-Nazi, but rather quite the opposite.

1936:

Modern Times

Another great Charlie Chaplin classic, this is a refreshing comedy that was undoubtedly the highlight of the year… as you can see.

1937:

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

An animated joy, this age-old fairy tale is brought to spectacular life and ingrained forever in the memories of us and our children. Great stuff!

1938:

Bringing Up Baby

A fantastic comedy from Howard Hawks starring Katherine Hepburn and Cary Grant, this is a rare treat from one of the true masters.

So there you have it, the first twenty four films of ninety six spanning nearly a hundred years. Leave me a comment with your thoughts; whether you agree or disagree. Next time I’ll be listing films from 1939 to 1962.

Thanks for reading.