Blogathon: Movie Confessions

Nostra from My Filmviews has come up with another great blogathon idea: a questionnaire about our film-related confessions. When he sent me the initial lineup, I was excited to take part. Here are my answers:

Which classic movie don’t you like/can’t enjoy and why?
There were three highly-regarded films from my 50 Movies Project last year that didn’t do much for me: 8 1/2, Akira and Last Tango in Paris. I can certainly understand the merits of all three, but none of them did much for me.

Which ten classic movies haven’t you seen yet?
Based on my unchecked movies that are in the most lists on
Lawrence of Arabia
The Bridge on the River Kwai
Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans
Singin’ in the Rain
King Kong (the original)
Gone with the Wind
On the Waterfront
The Wages of Fear

I will be seeing at least four of these this year, as some are included in my 50 Movies Project.

Lawrence of Arabia poster

Lawrence of Arabia: I will be seeing you soon!

Have you ever sneaked into another movie at the cinema?
Nope, not that I can remember.

Which actor/actress do you think is overrated?
Keira Knightley. I have yet to see a performance from her that I liked. Don’t get the love for her at all.

From which big director have you never seen any movie (and why)?
I know there are still a few, but the one I am most interested in checking out is Krzysztof Kieslowski. He seems to get mentioned a lot in the blogging community, and I hope to see the Three Colors trilogy sometime soon.

Which movie do you love, but is generally hated?
Well, if we’re looking at poorly rated movies, there are three so-bad-they’re-amazing titles I love: The Room, Troll 2 and Samurai Cop. IMDB ratings, respectively: 3.3, 2.5 and 4.3. Of course, each movie has a cult following, so it’s hard to say they are “hated”.

Otherwise, the serial killer flick, Hatchet, was poorly received (49% on Rotten Tomatoes) but I had a lot of fun with that one. Not a great movie by any means, but very entertaining.


Hatchet: not for those with weak stomachs

Have you ever been “one of those annoying people” at the cinema?
No, not even in my youth, thankfully. I refuse to even look at my phone to check the time.

Did you ever watch a movie, which you knew in advance would be bad, just because of a specific actor/actress was in it? Which one and why?
I didn’t know what to expect with Descent, but I was interested in seeing it because Rosario Dawson had the lead role. That movie was absolutely horrible. Another example is Havoc, which I saw because of Anne Hathaway. Not even gratuitous nudity could save that debacle.


Anne Hathaway and Bijou Phillips: two rich kids who desperately want to be gangsters in Havoc

Did you ever not watch a specific movie because it had subtitles?
Never. I don’t mind subtitles at all.

Are there any movies in your collection that you have had for more than five years and never watched?
Not for five years, but there are still some box sets I haven’t finished off. Most notably, I bought the ESPN 30 for 30 set last summer, and I have only made it through maybe six or seven of the 30 documentaries. All highly enjoyable, but I just haven’t gotten around to the rest. I also still need to see the third and fourth Alien films from the Blu-ray set.

Which are the worst movies in your collection and why do you still own them?
I only tend to buy movies I know or think I will enjoy, but there are a couple duds in my Criterion BBS Story Blu-ray box set. Drive, He Said and A Safe Place are both only notable for being artifacts of the BBS era, and they were forgotten for a reason.

Drive, He Said

The only notable shot from Drive, He Said

Do you have any confessions about your movie watching setup at home?
Not really. Once in a great while I will watch movies on a computer, but it has a good-sized monitor so I don’t feel too bad about it.

Any other confessions you want to make?
I didn’t really fall in love with film until just a few years ago. I have been playing major catch-up since then, overly indulging in anything I missed out on over the years. It was embarrassing at first to tell friends that I hadn’t seen Back to the Future, The Terminator, Predator or so many other beloved movies, but it was a lot of fun to see them for the first time.

That’s all I’ve got! I had a blast filling out this questionnaire. Be sure to check out the other participants over at My Filmviews.

49 thoughts on “Blogathon: Movie Confessions

  1. Chris says:

    This blog-a-thon looks like fun to take part in!

    Last Tango in Paris, those main characters were tough to like

    Of the classics on your list, On the Waterfront I saw this month, blew me away!The Wages of Fear on the other hand was a snooze-fest, and I didn’t finish Lawrence of Arabia either.

    • Eric says:

      You should join in, Chris! Would love to see your answers.

      Now you’ve got me excited to see On the Waterfront. Hopefully I’ll catch it in the next month or so.

  2. Morgan R. Lewis says:

    I hear you on Akira. It was OK, but it wasn’t a great film or anything. Personally, I think it gets a big boost in peoples’ estimation simply for being one of the first feature-length Japanese animations to make it “big” over here. It was different at the time, there was a cachet in watching something so underground, and now its popularity is largely coasting on its own hype.

    • Eric says:

      I can get behind that. My problems stemmed from having no clue what was going on half the time, as well as a lack of interest in any of the characters. Loved the animation style, but yeah, I don’t entirely get its “classic” status. Nice to hear I’m not alone on that one.

  3. ruth says:

    Oh I haven’t seen Lawrence of Arabia either, Eric, actually I did rent it a while ago but haven’t got around to actually watching it. For shame as I heard it’s such a masterpiece!

    I hear ya about Knightley. She’s not as bad as Kirsten Stewart but she’s not very expressive either, she just pouts too much!

  4. Stephanie says:

    I am doing a lot of catching up on film watching too. πŸ™‚ Hatchet looks pretty brutal. Based on your screenshot, I’m not sure whether it’s disturbing or humorous. πŸ™‚

  5. Castor says:

    Totally agree about Keira Knightley being overrated. She really doesn’t strike me as more than memorable in any of her roles. The only movie I ever sneaked into was Harold & Kumar 2. I don’t even know why I did that, except to follow my friends. My movie was terrible.

    • Eric says:

      Yup, not a fan of Knightley. The most memorable performance I have seen from her was in A Dangerous Method, and it was memorable for all the wrong reasons.

      That’s funny about Harold and Kumar. Probably a good thing you saw it for free. πŸ˜€

  6. jackdeth72 says:

    Hi, Eric:

    I answered several questions over at T’s ‘Focused Filmographer’.
    One I didn’t is the question about actors I consider over rated.

    Where to start?

    Shia La Beouf: Whose last good films were ‘The Battle for Shaker Heights’ and Bill Paxton’s ‘The Greatest Game Ever Played’.

    Anne Hathaway: A banal one trick pony who Hollywood is trying to groom as the next Meryl Streep.

    Nicholas Cage: ‘The Wicker Man’, ‘Drive Angry’ and ‘Ghost Rider’. Need I say more?

    Sean Penn: Who was superb in ‘The Falcon and the Snowman’ and ‘Carlito’s Way’… What happened?

    Lucy Liu: Possesses an acting range of A to B. Hasn’t found her niche yet, though she keeps trying.

    • Eric says:

      Hi Jack, thanks for sharing your thoughts! I agree with most of your selections, particularly Nicolas Cage. It’s a shame he has devolved into what is essentially a caricature of himself lately. I just saw Raising Arizona for the first time this month, and I loved his ridiculously over-the-top performance. He’s still over-the-top, but without the flair shown back then.

  7. SDG says:

    This is turning out to be a nice read on all the blogs !!

    I have very similar opinion on Akira. I did not get on it at all. Even 8 1/2 when I saw that first. But that is one movie that I had most dramatic turn around on. The more I think about it, the more I like it.
    About Kieslowski, if you get a chance watch Double Life of Veronique as well. No doubt, Three Colors trilogy is amazing but I know lot of people including myself who will rate Veronique above all Three Colors movies.
    It’s really awesome that you have whole 30 for 30 set. I have seen very few of them, but loved them all. I really want to see Once Brothers from it.

    • Eric says:

      Wow, so maybe I should start with Veronique then? I have heard good things about it, but it seems the Three Colors trilogy gets the most attention. I would like to see all of them at some point, for sure.

      I have yet to see Once Brothers, but that one does sound especially interesting. Writing about my neglect of 30 for 30 has me inspired to get back to it… I think that will be the first one I watch once I do. Thanks for the reminder!

  8. Jaina says:

    Drive? Really? I love that film!

    Keira Knightley? I’ve never been blown away by any of her performances. I saw her in a theatre production of The Children’s Hour and she just kept shouting all of her lines. I guess that’s what she thought was “projecting her voice”.

    • Eric says:

      I love Drive, too! So much so that a screen grab from it is in my banner. πŸ˜€

      The movie I mentioned was Drive, He Said, an obscure 70s flick from the BBS Story box set. It’s claim to fame is that it was directed by Jack Nicholson. Otherwise, a fairly meaningless film.

      Glad we agree on Knightley. I’m getting a lot of helpful support on that one. πŸ˜€

  9. The Blog of Big Ideas says:

    I’ve also become very fond of the movies recently and, like you, have been playing catch-up with everyone else in the blogging world.
    Of the list of classics you haven’t seen, I have only been able to watch Ben-Hur (when I was a young teen though), Gone With the Wind (I gave it a 4/5), Singin’ in the Rain (Gene Kelly’s musical and dance genius at his best, a solid 4/5), On the Waterfront (with another game-changing performance by Brando, a 3.5/5) and Metropolis (which I analyzed in depth for my architecture and film series) Link:
    I also agree with you when it comes to Keira Knightley, and I wouldn’t be at all ashamed in declaring that I don’t quite get the fascination with The Last Tango in Paris.

    PS…I have definitely sneaked into several movies when I wasn’t supposed to

    • Eric says:

      Whew, glad to know I’m not the only ‘late bloomer’ when it comes to loving film. πŸ˜€

      Nice to see high marks from you on those classics. I remember your Metropolis post — I’ll have to give it another look after I finally see the film. Thankfully it’s on Netflix Instant so I should be able to catch it soon.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Niels!

  10. Dan says:

    Good stuff, Eric. From your classics list, the ones that stand out as must-sees first are On the Waterfront, Singin’ in the Rain, and Sunrise. Lawrence of Arabia will actually come up in my other confessions when I finish my post in a few days. I have started watching it at least…

    • Eric says:

      Thanks Dan. On the Waterfront and Singin’ in the Rain are in my ongoing movies project, so I will be getting to them sometime soon. Can’t wait to see both.

      Looking forward to reading your confessions! Now I’m curious what you have to say about Lawrence of Arabia…

  11. Dave says:

    I haven’t seen most of your titles as well; some of those are pretty obscure! My post will be up this Friday, check it out.

    Do see Lawrence of Arabia and Bridge on the River Kwai when you’re ready to commit. They are beautiful, majestic and glorious films. Makes you really appreciate the magic of movie-making.

    And I couldn’t agree more about Keira Knightly.

    Keep up the great work, Eric!

    • Eric says:

      Thanks Dave! If I did this post a year ago, my list of confessions would be pretty embarrassing. I feel much better about my film watching these days. πŸ˜€

      The more I hear about it, the more interested I am in seeing Lawrence of Arabia. Appreciate the vote of confidence with that and River Kwai.

      BTW, you should join in on this blogathon. I bet you have some good stories to tell. πŸ™‚

  12. Inspired Ground (@InspiredGround) says:

    I agree with Keira Knightley there. I think she also have quite similar acting in most of her movies.

    Most guys did not like Gone With The Wind, I think, and I read it also in some other’s movie confessions. I’m not blaming them though. Still it is a great accomplishment in film making.

    It’s okay to start somewhere. I fall in love with movies about two years ago. Though I wish I’ve been since at least ten years ago, but it’s never too late! Plenty of movies to catch up.

    • Eric says:

      I actually saw bits and pieces of Gone with the Wind in the one (and only) film class I took in college. It seemed like a well-made movie, but not one I have much desire to actually sit through in one sitting. Maybe someday! Although I gotta say, seeing it pop up in so many blogathons isn’t reassuring. πŸ™‚

      I guess one good perk about falling in love with film so late is that there will likely never be a time where we run out of classics to watch. My queue of must-sees is seemingly never-ending. πŸ˜€

  13. The Focused Filmographer says:

    some fun confessions here man. No “Singin’ in the Rain” or “Ben-Hur” for you yet? Yeah, you gotta catch up on those super fast. πŸ™‚

    I laughed at the mention of Troll 2, only because a group of friends of mine quote that movie every week when they get together. hahaha

    Keira Knightley def isn’t all that, but did you see “Never Let Me Go”?

    • Eric says:

      Singin’ in the Rain is coming soon! Nice to hear so many positive comments about that one.

      Isn’t Troll 2 a riot?? Have you seen Best Worst Movie? It’s a recent documentary about Troll 2’s cult following and it catches up with many of the “stars”. The doc was actually made by the kid in the movie. It’s so much fun.

      Yep, I did see Never Let Me Go, and honestly it didn’t do much for me. A shame, too, because I really, really like Carey Mulligan, but even she was mostly forgettable in that. Perhaps I should give it another chance someday, because I have heard nothing but praise for it lately.

      Thanks for stopping by, T. Dug your confessions as well.

  14. Nostra says:

    I wasn’t blown away by 8 1/2 either and although I’ve seen Akira it didn’t do much for me too.

    You should watch Singin’in the Rain. I’m not big on musicals, but gave this movie a 10/10 (which I don’t do often). The original King Kong is stunning, especially for its time. Still have to see Metropolis as well, really looking forward to it.

    Not too big a fan of Keira Knightley either, don’t know what it is about her but I always feel like she’s trying to hard to act.

    Have seen none of those movies you love, don’t know if I should check them out πŸ˜‰

    I heard about these 30 for 30 series before, are they all about sports? (since it is ESPN)

    Since I started blogging my love for movies increased a lot which is is clear when I look at the amount I watch each year! I hadn’t seen Predator either till last year and I’m not afraid to admit that πŸ™‚

    • Eric says:

      Hi Nostra, thanks again for setting up this blogathon! It looks to be another rousing success. πŸ˜€

      Wow, a 10/10 for Singin’ in the Rain? Now I’m even more curious to check that out.

      If you’re into B-movies at all, you’ve gotta try The Room or Troll 2 at least. They both have HUGE cult followings, and they are a lot of fun to watch.

      Yep, ESPN 30 for 30’s docs are all sports-related, though some dig deeper into characters studies and whatnot. There is one in particular that got a lot of acclaim — The Two Escobars — that is just tragic to watch. Each documentary is incredibly well-made.

      Glad I’m not alone on catching up on some modern classics. Gotta love Predator. πŸ™‚

      • Nostra says:

        Yeah, the response has been crazy, currently over 50 bloggers have already taken part in it. Wasn’t expecting that! πŸ™‚

        Two Escobars sounds like a fascinating one. Remember seeing a documentary about Pablo Escobar a while ago, so interested how they mix the stories…

    • Eric says:

      Haha yeah, I suppose mine are a little tame after seeing everyone else’s confessions. But if I did this a year ago, I would probably be lambasted. πŸ˜€

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