films i'm avoiding for one reason or another

  • american history x
  • american pie (series)
  • american psycho
  • amistad
  • analyze that
  • basketball diaries
  • blair witch project
  • boys don't cry
  • braveheart
  • bringing out the dead
  • charlie's angels
  • chuck and buck
  • coyote ugly
  • crumb
  • eyes wide shut
  • fight club
  • final destination
  • gummo
  • happiness
  • julien donkey-boy
  • just married
  • kids
  • leaving las vegas
  • mission to mars
  • meet the parents
  • natural born killers
  • passion of the christ*
  • people vs. larry flynt
  • perfect storm
  • pulp fiction
  • quills
  • ravenous
  • the replacements
  • requiem for a dream
  • saving private ryan
  • scary movie
  • schindler's list
  • seven
  • showgirls
  • the skulls
  • spice world
  • star trek series
  • thin red line
  • trainspotting
  • 2001
  • (pretty much all war movies)
Author Comments: 

* new additions

i'm not saying these films don't have redeeming qualities--some of them i actually curious about and just don't think i could handle watching (on topics like war/slavery/holocaust). some of them i just know aren't worth my time. feel free to comment...

(i've also NOT included obvious ones, like Little Nicky and Deuce Bigalow...) again. ok, i understand mostof thislist bc i know you and i could pretty much predict it, but as a fellow ewen admirer, i must say go see won't regret it.

well, if you twist my arm reeeeeeeally hard, i'll think about it. in the meantime, i'll just keep renting Little Voice. ;)

Schindler's List is a must see--but I rented it so I could stop it when it was too emotional for me. Excellent movie, well-done, good acting.

i'll definitely consider this one if the opportunity arises. a professor of mine in college showed just five minutes of it in class once and i don't think there was a dry eye in the room--perhaps it would be better to view alone. thanks for the recommendation!

2001 has not a speck of gore, a great deal of eye candy, and some nostalgia value (see it with "The Right Stuff", or "Apollo 13" as a double bill). Not at all like any of the others. Plus, unlike "Star Trek", no one has any idea what's going on, which cuts out 90% of the heavy speechmaking.

yeah, this flick is kind of an exception to the usual reasons i avoid films. i've actually watched the first 20 minutes but couldn't get into it--and of course someone with me said "well, you have to be *high* to understand it." i see... so it's one of those aversions that come from the people you associate the film with. (like if you don't think people who quote monty python all the time are funny--you end up being biased against MP...) perhaps 2001--and other flicks that are known in some circles as Films Which Should Only Be Viewed While Chemically Altered--get an unfair rep. i might consider trying this again at some point in the future.

I wouldn't say 2001 should be viewed under the influence of anything (though I haven't tried, so perhaps I'd like it better). I just have to say that I personally had to try watching it about 3 times before I made it through without falling asleep.

5 times here

I made it through on the second or third try (can't remember). Glad I saw it, wouldn't watch it again.

2001 is one of the greatest movies ever made. True, it does start out slow ... and you only get a few clues as to what's going on ... but all the pieces of it build and fall together toward the end.

A movie to watch at night ... and when you're in a mellow (and perhaps a bit reflective) mood ... but probably not something to watch when you're sleepy.

I'm with you, Centrist. This is a movie that really separates the sheep from the lambs. Those who think a movie should lead them by the nose, should not demand that they pay close attention, should not require any patience, will fail to appreciate it.

On a lighter note: the key to sticking with 2001 is meals. Yep, that's right, meals. You should watch it when you're hungry. There are seven meals in the movie, and each one marks a significant stage in the progress of the story. Remember, Centrist?

I'm not adverse to posting 1.5 yrs after this comment was posted, regardless of if no one sees it. But, it being 2001, and so is this post, then I guess I'll reply by saying:

Yeah, I've tried to watch it twice, fell asleep both times. I need to watch it earlier in the day, to be sure.

In your last reply you said something that really got me thinking...

That is so very true how we associate some films with people who were with us when we watched them, or that talked about the movie all the time. Also, I realized that many times *I* was the one that probably did that to people by either talking about a movie 24-7 or quoting Monty Python to people who didn't find me particulary funny. :-)

you're very right--i'm sure i could have affected someone's opinion that way, too.

but then there are those times when you're *rightfully* enjoying a film (say, RUSHMORE)when some ogre decides you're laughing too loud and walks over to tell you "your constant giggling is more annoying than someone talking through the film--why don't you find something worthwhile to laugh at?" i almost said, "like you?!" but i didn't. nothing like an Evil Serious Man to put a damper on your film enjoyment.

I have the same problem with Monty Python, though I have to admitt - the spanish inquisition is almost always successful!

I saw you added "Fight Club" to the list... I saw it this weekend. I was very pleasantly suprised, it was far better than I expected it to be. I recommend it, you should go and see it.

there are quite a few reasons i'm not interested in seeing this flick, actually. instead of going into them here, check this review out. i found it quite convincing.

Actually, my interest in seeing Fight Club rose after reading the review and discovering that the director (David Fincher) also did Seven and The Game. I was pleasantly surprised by both those movies. But then again, I see that Seven is also on your list, so it probably makes sense to avoid Fight Club. However, I don't think The Game has anything in it that would bug you too much, and I'd be curious as to what you think of it.

Dogma was an amazing move with a powerfull message. You shouldn't avoid it.

I totally disagree. I thought Kevin Smith failed to bring forward any meaningful message. He tried and kept trying, but he didn't really say anything. Unfortunately, Silent Bob and Jay stole the show, which is very unfortunate for a religious satire.

If you're looking for a meaningful religious satire, I recommend "Monty Python's Life of Brian".

I'm not sure I'd say that Jay & Silent Bob stole the show (I just saw Dogma last night) but if they did, that shouldn't be terribly surprising in some senses considering who Silent Bob is :)

The movie overall had a lot more blood than I normally like to see, but had some wonderful moments.

Whether or not someone gets something deeply spiritual out of it, I think depends greatly on the person. I personally think he did a pretty good job of creating something that would get people thinking and not be offensive to reasonable people on either side of the religious fence. (though the hate mail on their website proves that many people aren't reasonable (and probably haven't seen the movie)).

ok, here are the movies from your list you should see:
american history x, people vs. lary flynt,pulp fiction,trainspotting, 2001 space oddysey (way too long, but a must-see)

FYI: of those on my list, these are the ones i'd *consider* seeing under the proper circumstances (ie, i'm either being brave because it has some redeeming value or i question my motives for adding it to the list): amistad, braveheart, schindler's list, trainspotting, 2001, and *under my breath* spice world.

After having been dragged to Mallrats and Clerks by an exboyfriend of mine, I'm just not up to seeing Dogma or Chasing Amy. And two I had enough of Ben Affleck and Matt Damon these days to do me for awhile. I'm one of those people who are just too darn squeamish. I did enjoy Trainspotting though. The soundtrack is fantastic! Actually it was a lot more watchable for me than say Pulp Fiction. Ewan MacGregor and Robert Carlisle are brilliant! I'm just not sure whether I want to see Robert Carlisle's Ravenous though. It sounds pretty gory to me.

i agree about Ravenous--although i've loved Guy Pearce since Priscilla: Queen of the Desert--still, i think i'll sit out on that one too. but as for Matt Damon, i recommend tolerating him just one more time to see The Talented Mr. Ripley--even if you have to avoid looking at him by focusing on Jude Law. (what torture!)

I can certainly see where one would get Kevin Smith burnout (or not be into his movies at all). But I did think the Death Star discussion in Clerks made the rental worthwhile all by itself. :)

Your list is about 95% accurate. Well done.

i'm curious--what's the 5% you don't agree with? just wondering...

Accurate? Isn't this a subjective list?

I agree with a lot of these, and to my dismay have seen several that I wished I hadn't. I actually thought The People Vs. Larry Flynt was really good though I figured I'd hate it.
Wished I hadn't seen Showgirls or Leaving Las Vegas though, and am now avoiding all movies set in Vegas as a result!

I wanted to think of a good Vegas movie before replying to this, but none are coming to mind (wasn't one of the Vaction movies set in Vegas :). So I'll have to content myself with agreeing that The People Vs. Larry Flynt was a pleasant surprise. Thanks for reminding me of it . . . I'm going to go add it to a list.

you're absolutely right about the accuracy comment! thanks for reminding me that i'm allowed to have an opinion... geesh.

as for People vs. Larry Flynt--i might consider it, but Courtney Love makes me want to wretch every time i see her in something. she absolutely ruined Man in the Moon for me...

BASEKETBALL is REALLY FUNNY! If you liked Airplane or any of the Zucker brothers movies or if you liked the South Park movie, you'll love Baseketball! It's irresistibly hilarious. Seriously. Of course it's not high-minded or anything but it's a damn good laugh.
Other movies you're seriously missing out on - 2001, Trainspotting (but the book is better), Schindler's List, Pulp Fiction, and a bunch of the others, but those are the main ones. You are right not to bother with the Basketball Diaries. It's very overrated. - Jenhowell

Jenhowell again - Oh - and FIGHT CLUB!!!! IT IS EXCELLENT> not just about fighting, easily the best movie of 1999.

Oh wait and American History X - DUDE! Wait, you don't like Edward Norton either! No wonder! But how can you say you don't like him when you've missed his two greatest performances?

i agree with jenhowel about FIGHT CLUB....i didn't really want to see it but i went anyway and was really surprised by it! it's so creative and with lots of twists and turns in the plot...all the things to relish about a truly original movie...and if you're avoiding it (besides the edward norton part) because of any squeamishness, i have to tell you, there's not that much violence...that's another thing i was surprised by...yeah....and also there are great performances by brad pitt, edward norton :), and helena bonham carter (bonus) I STRONGLY ENCOURAGE YOU TO RENT THIS MOVIE TODAY!!! and then get back to me. if you still don't like it after watching it, i'm sorry...but you'll be one of the few that wasn't charmed by it (besides some critics...but who really listens to them anyway???) decide for yourself, taryn.

You will be missing truly great films if you choose not to watch Dogma, Amistad, or any of the World War II movies. Many of the movies can be graphic and troubling to watch, but they raise important questions or are simply well-acted, directed, etc. I have viewed the majority of the films on your list, and I can say that most of them are fantastic with the obvious exception of such films as Spice World,Showgirls,and The Skulls.

Okay, I think I'm one of maybe 3 people in Indy who saw "American Psycho." Okay, there were probably more than 3 since there were 3 of us the day I saw it. I'm a fan of the book, and thought the movie was fairly well done. Admittedly, one more than one occasion I looked at "patrick bateman" and thought of Jim Carrey. Still, I considered it a challenging, yet worthy moviegoing experience.

Why not Boiler Room? I just saw it myself, and thought it was quite good.

my reasons aren't profound with this one, jim--it's partially the existence of ben affleck and partially a lack of interest in your run-of-the-mill greedy stockbrocker tale. it's not a hard line i'm drawing though--i like Giovanni Ribisi & Nia Long enough that if it were playing at someone else's house i might sit down and watch it. (whereas alot of these other movies would make me leave.)

well, it happened. somebody picked up movies without my input and i ended up watching Boiler Room. and you're right, jim, it wasn't that bad. fortunately, ben affleck's appearance was brief. ;)

i would like to say, though, that i'm surprised this flick didn't offend more people--it had some pretty misogynistic and homophobic dialog going on, and i'm not sure it was redeemed by the end. but overall it was more intriguing than i imagined, and was at least good for some momentary suspense.

Maybe it's just that I had such low expectations going in, but I actually liked Coyote Ugly. Not one to add to my list of favorite movies though.

I'm not sure of your reasoning on Charlie's Angels or Meet the Parents, but they don't really seem to fit in with the rest of the list.

Charlie's Angels isn't as dumb as you might think. Sure, the premise of the whole thing -- super-rich guy you never see hires three beautiful women as super-detectives -- is pretty stupid, but that's true of a lot of movies. If you can get past that, it's a pretty good movie. Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu are both wonderful actresses, and they do an excellent job. (Cameron Diaz is a lot like the original blonde ditz on Three's Company, only anorexic and with no tits.) It's not as bad as the TV series, btw. My wife loved the series, had (has) all the dolls, etc. and thought the movie was great. I thought/think the series was pretty dumb, but really enjoyed the movie.

Meet the Parents was really funny. Not low-brow -- or at least, not much. Certainly not on the level that BASEketball looked from the ads. DeNiro was great as always, as was Stiller. Sure, it wasn't the most cerebral movie in the world, and some of the gags were foreseeable, but all in all, a very funny movie. I also liked Ben Stiller in Mystery Men and the Zero Effect (thanks Jim!).

yes, you're right--these two movies have little in common with the rest of those on the list, but they have a lot to do with this list over here.

thanks for tryin' though. ;) they may not be permanently listed here, but have been annoying me enough lately to be added for now.

Hmmm... A double whammy with Drew Barrymore and Cameron Diaz, but I'll say that Diaz wasn't too annoying. Lucy Liu was wonderful, though. And Barrymore was good, I thought.

If you don't like Ben Stiller, you don't like Ben Stiller, and there's not a lot I can do about that. DeNiro, however, was worth seeing in Meet the Parents, and Stiller was probably at his best.

Keep avoiding Happiness, Scary Movie, 2001, Dogma, Bringing Out the Dead, and Boys Don't Cry. I can tell you that from experience. But I still don't understand what you have against seeing Mission to Mars (it's got a great cheesy ending!), Braveheart (I know you don't like gore, but you REALLY should see this one some day), Amistad (GREAT historical value), and The Perfect Storm (is it George Clooney or the subject matter that has you leary?) luv ya cuz

You really should see American History X. There are a few gory parts in there but it really is worth the time. I took a Social Psychology class and for the last class we could vote on a movie to watch as a reward for our stellar behavior in class. I suggested American History X and once we finished watching it there were several people in the class who changed their minds over the "white" vs. "black" discrimination issue. I also showed it to a friend of mine who is a bit racist against "blacks" and I think it helped to soften his ideas. I would suggest that anyone see this movie. Some parts are a little forced, but the message of the movie is very on target. If any type of media can promote tolerance and understanding I am all for shouting its praises.

must see: american history x, dogma, fight club, pulp fiction, saving private ryan, schindler's list, trainspotting, american psycho, crumb

not worth seeing: final destination, mission to mars, showgirls,

everything else i could care less about :-)

ok, maybe "care less" was too harsh. the others fall into the middle of the movie-going spectrum.

more about the new additions...

worth seeing: charlie's angels, meet the parents

Continue to avoid Meet the Parents. I didn't laugh once. Booooooring. And I usually like Ben Stiller and Robert DeNiro.

some of the movies on this list i just dont understand why. such as fight club, the skulls, and possibly final destination. scary movie was not worth seeing at all. and i heard that american history x was really good.

i'm considering changing the name of this list to Movies I Continually Get Crap for Avoiding... *grin* seriously though, if you read the author note and all the posts and you're still wondering why about something specific, then i'll try to explain further--otherwise, it's just my list and you'll have to take it for what it is. *shrug*

Hmm...fascinating. Many of the films on this list usually make people's MUST-SEE lists. I can understand your leeriness about some of them (trust me, I thought I would hate "Charlie's Angels", and I ended up buying it on DVD - the sure sign that I love a particular film). Nonetheless, I hope you do get a chance to see at least 1/4 of them, but I would like to point out five that you MUST AVOID, even if it means passing up $1 million or anything that would entice you to do so:
- Coyote Ugly: Hell, I've been to the bar in NYC from which this movie is based on. If you ever get the chance, ask the bartenders what they think of it, but watch out for the flying bottles!
- Gummo: Sorry, this is one of the worst piles of crap I have ever witnessed. Give any moron "indie" credit and suddenly crap like this gets good press.
- Kids: See "Gummo". Makes me want to make sure I never have any of my own. Chloe Sevigny is the film's only saving grace.
- The Skulls: Wish mine were crushed while having to endure this one.
- Natural Born Killers: CRAP CRAP CRAP CRAP CRAP!!!

Love your lists, by the way. I am having a blast reading all of them. Keep up the insightful work!!!

yes, many of these films made the list *because* i'd been told so many times that i was insane for not having seen something or other. and many of them are here because of the general hype.

as for charlie's angels, i may have mentioned earlier in the comments that it was largely due to despising cameron diaz and drew barrymore, but also because friends of mine were sooooo enthusiastic about it even before it came out that i felt dead set against it. since then i've been forced to view "highlights" of the dvd and there did seem to be a couple amusing moments (particularly crispin glover/bill murray scenes) but it wasn't enough to make me want to sit through the whole thing.

oh and thanks for the comments on my lists--glad you've enjoyed them and i look forward to seeing more of yours as well!

ah, i see. i can appreciate that "Boys Don't Cry" is a movie that is too difficult to watch. it falls into my favourite category of must see but just can't.

questions: why are you avoiding "Chuck and Buck" and "Kids"? i saw both, mainly because i'm obsessed and continually surprised by the creativity and determination of indie film writers/directors. these two were really well done and very interesting but far too...something - out here? pushed the envelope too far? is it other opinions like these that keep you away or what?

yeah, "chuck and buck" and "kids" both have that bleak reality feel to them, and while the rest of the world has gone mad for reality-shows, i'm a bit wary of them. let's just say that people who have a hard time watching the 11:00 news without crying eventually learn to know what they should and shouldn't permit themselves to watch. :)

It was quite good, but you should probably add Requiem for a Dream to this list. :-)

definitely, jim... "requiem" was one of those movies that at first i was completely intrigued by and thought i might try, but a friend of mine braved it for me (who knows me very well) and gave me the same recommendation. thanks for reminding me!

american history x GOOD MOVIE (hard to watch)
amistad MUST SEE
boys don't cry good...
braveheart OLD NEWS
pulp fiction HATED IT...
saving private ryan OVER ADVERTISED
schindler's list A CLASSIC (Hard to watch)
seven FOR SOME REASON< I LOVE IT I'm miles beyond when you first posted this topic...but i felt the need to tell you the movies that you must see (i'm not sure if you've already seen them or not). Forget what anyone has told you. These are the movies, from your list, that you must see: 'crumb', 'boys don't cry', happiness', 'leaving las vegas', 'meet the parents', 'natural born killers', 'pulp fictiion', 'requiem for a dream'. if you are honestly interested in films, then these are the movies from you list that you should see if you haven't already seen them.

ugh. I didn't like Meet the Parents at all. you could live happily without it.

Oh! My poor poor heart! There are quite a few that I'd have to say I loved on this list and that you'd be missing something if you didn't try them out. These are the ones on your list that I think at least require a chance:

Boys Don't Cry
Braveheart (and THAT'S an order! hehee!)
Requiem for a Dream
Saving Privage Ryan (even if you don't like war movies)
Thin Red Line

And these are the ones I've seen that I liked, although I won't push them too hard:

American Psycho
Eyes Wide Shut
Fight Club
Final Destination
Meet the Parents (and I usually don't like comedy!)
People vs. Larry Flynt
Schindler's List
The Skulls

I've seen others on your list but those are the ones I feel comfortable saying are at least "safe" territory.