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July 30, 2010

The Movie Burrito: Volume 5 - Overrated

I hear so-called buzz all the time about great movies that I must see. I go in wondering what the hype is all about only to leave angry and disappointed. These are definitely somebody's favorite movies. They are definitely not mine. I feel bad for people who like these movies more than they should. I feel that there is a disconnect with rational thinking. I know I sound like an ass right now, but you really need to read a lot more of what I write in order to understand that I usually do. So there.

The Matrix (1999)

This movie was praised for its special effects and unique filming style. I'll give the Wachowski brothers credit there. There was some amazing stuff happening on screen. Too bad none of the wondrous activity had anything to do with the story, the script or the acting. Keanu Reeves earned a lifetime boycott from me after Johnny Mnemonic, but I still watched this when it was on cable because I knew it couldn't really hold up to the hype, and I was right. Substance and talent be damned, the film was turned into a trilogy that got its fans to turn on it. That's the one thing about this series I truly appreciated.

Buy The Matrix on DVD or Blu-ray

The Dark Knight (2008)

Before you even say a single word about Heath Ledger, I'll let it be known that I liked his performance. The Joker was well written and performed. Unfortunately, this was the only redeeming quality of this sloppy sequel. Like the Burton/Schumacher era of the Batman films, the story was more about the villain than Batman. Then we get lackluster performances from Christian Bale, Gary Oldman, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Aaron Eckhart, Nestor Carbonell and his eyeliner. The worst part had to be the throwaway origin and quickie death of Two Face. Why bring in a villain for three seconds a la Venom? I just don't get the thinking. I just can't bear to think that they'll cram four or five classic bad guys into part three.

Buy The Dark Knight on DVD or Blu-ray

Donnie Darko (2001)

Speaking of Gyllenhaals, Jake and Maggie tag team this turd of a boring cult hit. Jake couldn't have been more lifeless and boring if he portrayed Kurt Cobain after the suicide. All I could think during this painful mess was that this would have been better if the plane just hit Donnie Darko in his sleep.

Buy Donnie Darko on DVD or Blu-ray

The Shining (1980)

Stanley Kubrick can be very hit or miss. I like A Clockwork Orange and Full Metal Jacket, but Eyes Wide Shut was a train wreck. The Shining took me three days to get through. It was so slow and boring that I just couldn't take it. Don't confuse the slow pace for any kind of build. It just wasn't there. So many people praise this as a great horror movie, but all they really remember is the "Here's Johnny" line. Even Stephen King didn't like this movie, and it was adapted from his book. If you'd like to see the story as it was intended, check out the 1997 mini-series starring Steven Weber and written and produced by King.

Buy The Shining on DVD or Blu-ray

The Harry Potter Series (2001-2011)

After sitting through four of these films in the theater, I realized I no longer needed to watch an hour long Quiddich match to know that I really didn't like a movie. The series so far has a few redeeming qualities like Gary Oldman as Sirius Black and there was that nice little nap I took in the Goblet of Fire movie. I'm not a fan of many child actors, and I can't add any of this cast to my list. I'm just not impressed with the series overall, and I don't get the fever pitch each time a new film or book is released. It's an interesting idea that has some potential to be good, I just don't see it happening, especially when every movie has Harry playing broom soccer for way too long.

Buy Harry Potter on DVD or Blu-ray

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