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Weekend Roundtable: Worst Movies Made by 2013 Oscar Nominees

Sure, they’re getting lauded with accolades now, but this year’s Oscar nominees haven’t always been renowned for award-caliber filmmaking excellence. In this week’s Roundtable, we take a look at some of the worst movies made by the Oscar-nominated actors and directors from the Class of 2013.

Specifically, we’re looking at the following people, but you can feel free to expand your criteria to other Oscar categories in the Comments.

Best Director: Michael Haneke, Ang Lee, David O. Russell, Steven Spielberg, Ben Zeitlin
Best Actor: Bradley Cooper, Daniel Day-Lewis, Hugh Jackman, Joaquin Phoenix, Denzel Washington
Best Actress: Jessica Chastain, Jennifer Lawrence, Emmanuelle Riva, Quvenzhané Wallis, Naomi Watts
Best Supporting Actor: Alan Arkin, Robert De Niro, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Tommy Lee Jones, Christoph Waltz
Best Supporting Actress: Amy Adams, Sally Field, Anne Hathaway, Helen Hunt, Jacki Weaver

Tom Landy

One of my most hated movies of all time is ‘X-Men Origins: Wolverine‘, starring one of this year’s nominees for Best Actor, Hugh Jackman. It wasn’t that Jackman was terrible in it. (For the record, I still think he was the perfect choice to play everyone’s favorite irate Canadian mutant.) It’s that everything else around him in that film is so cringe-worthy. You know a movie has to be bad when: a) Taylor Kitsch is supposed to be playing a charismatic character, b) the producers themselves couldn’t even agree on how they wanted to go with the movie, and c) you have to watch ‘Jonah Hex’ right afterward just to wash away some of the stench. The coup de grace is what the movie does to Deadpool (played by Ryan Reynolds). For lack of better words, it’s a swift kick to the nut-sacks of Marvel fans everywhere. If I ever had to make a Top 10 list of movies I wish I could unsee, this one would be on it.

Adam Tyner (DVDTalk)

It was only a few short years ago that Bradley Cooper (now an Academy Award nominee!) starred in a cheerfully titled little movie called ‘The Midnight Meat Train. Say it out loud a couple of times to really let that sink in: ‘The Midnight Meat Train’.

I have fairly terrible taste in general, so I’m pretty much the target demographic for a goofy splatterfest with “meat train” in the title. Sure enough, this Clive Barker adaptation sloshes around plenty of the red stuff, what with Vinnie Jones carving up a bunch of poor schlubs and stringing up their carcasses in subway cars like so many sides of beef. For a flick this gruesome and sopping with blood, it’s actually kinda boring. There’s no real room for suspense since Vinnie Jones just quietly walks up to his victims and butchers ‘em eight seconds later. I can’t say that I was all that invested in the sprawling, centuries-old mythology behind the midnight meat train either. Bradley Cooper plays a photographer who becomes obsessed with all that lore, and I guess you’re supposed to be horrified when his hardcore vegetarian starts grabbing bloody chunks of meat and licking his fingers clean, except… well, no, that’s about as uninspired as everything else in the movie. I don’t know if you really need someone to tell you “Sorry, The Midnight Meat Train really isn’t very good,” but on the off-chance you do, then there you go.

Mike Attebery

I couldn’t finish ‘The Terminal‘. After ‘A.I. Artificial Intelligence’ and ‘Minority Report’, Steven Spielberg subbed for Lasse Hallstrom at the last minute on ‘Catch Me If You Can’, found that audiences still liked it when he made films with a little zip, and must have thought he needed one more “light” film with plenty of scenes at airports. So, he bought the rights to Merhan Nasseri’s true story, and voilà!, he had an entire movie set at an airport (complete with an endless number of product placement opportunities). The movie is unbearable. Tom Hanks did better work on ‘Bosom Buddies’. I just have this image in my head of him sleeping between two airport seats, then slipping through and hitting the floor. Over and over I see this image. It haunts me. I think there’s a laugh track too. If there isn’t a laugh track, I’m amazed that there isn’t one. In fact, there should be.

Shannon Nutt

There’s little doubt that Denzel Washington is a great actor, having been nominated for six Oscars, two of which he brought home (Supporting Actor for ‘Glory’ and Best Actor for ‘Training Day’). However, Denzel’s talents were definitely not on display in the 1995 misfire ‘Virtuosity‘, where he plays a cop on the trail of – get this – a computer virus! What could have been an interesting twist on the cop-versus-serial-killer genre turns into a by-the-numbers affair that almost (but thankfully didn’t) sunk Denzel’s career. But let’s not be too hard on Mr. Washington for deciding to do this role. After all, his nemesis in ‘Virtuosity’ was played by Academy Award winner (and three-time nominee) Russell Crowe.

Daniel Hirshleifer

E.T.‘ is considered one of Steven Spielberg’s enduring classics, but it’s ripe for a re-evaluation. Stripped of nostalgia, the film is a trite and maudlin movie about a lonely boy who finds friendship with an alien that looks like a sack of shit with a penis for a head. Spielberg desperately tries to evoke what he sees as the lost magical world of childhood, but all he does is shove a handful of clichés around a few key sequences. Who can forget the scene where the main character abruptly gains telekinetic powers to free dozens of frogs who are about to be dissected, or the scene where E.T. turns the color of bird-droppings while scary men in radioactive suits prod him? John Williams’ “Let me tell you what to feel all the time” score serves to cheapen the proceedings even more. If you want a true evocation of the magical world of childhood, go see ‘Labyrinth‘ and leave Spielberg’s masturbatory spewings in the trash heap, where it will find kinship amongst the legendary long-buried landfill made up entirely of ‘E.T.’ cartridges for the Atari 2600.

Josh Zyber

It should go without saying that ‘Hulk‘ is the worst movie that Ang Lee has directed. That’s too obvious, right? What a giant green turd that is.

My next pick may be a little controversial. Director David O. Russell’s ‘The Fighter‘ was a very popular, critically-embraced film that scored several of its own Oscar nominations (including Best Director and Best Picture), and even won a couple of statues for the very broad, showboating performances by Christian Bale and Melissa Leo. Personally, I thought that the movie completely sucked on every level.

After making several complex, daring, challenging films that were unfortunately not big box office hits, Russell apparently decided that he needed to sell out to Hollywood in the most blatantly pandering way he could, and the best way to do that was to direct the safest, most conventional and clichéd sports movie anyone had ever seen. If I told you that ‘The Fighter’ began life as a spec script for ‘Rocky 37′ with some of the character names changed at the last minute, absolutely no one on Earth would question it. I remain utterly baffled by the acclaim that the movie received. It has absolutely nothing to distinguish itself from any other formulaic sports picture ever made. The film is so shamelessly calculated and bereft of any artistic worth that it can only signal a filmmaker who has given up any pretense of caring about the movies he makes anymore. Even though I was a huge fan of Russell’s ‘Flirting with Disaster’ and ‘Three Kings’, I just can’t force myself to muster up any interest in seeing ‘Silver Linings Playbook’.

What are your picks for the worst movies made by this year’s Oscar nominees? Tell us in the Comments.

121 comments

  1. Dan Hirshleifer

    Adam, I was one of the few people to see Midnight Meat Train in a theater. The Nuart in Los Angeles did a single midnight screening of it. The screenwriter showed up with his friends, utterly sloshed, stumbling out of a Hummer-limo. They held up the start time, then proceeded to talk and even shout as the movie was going on. I had to tell them to shut up.

    The movie is nothing special, but the original story it’s based on, which can be found in Clive Barker’s Books of Blood, is excellent.

  2. Scott

    Did someone just call ET Spielbergs worst movie? I couldn’t even believe what I read? I actually just watched ET last nights, its a classic and from from the terrible movie described.

          • Mark Hagen

            That is why I only read the reviews on this site for their technical aspects only. Personal opinions of a film’s merit are exactly that – personal opinions. Too often, a reviewer will complain that a movie isn’t what the reviewer thinks it should have been rather than what it is.

          • Josh Zyber
            Author

            Why does it offend you that someone might have a different opinion than you do? Has it never occurred to you that you might actually find an interesting perspective by listening to a different opinion? Or are you so locked in your own head that you can’t tolerate anyone thinking differently than you do?

          • @Mark: I’ve never understood why people insists that movie reviewers should keep their personal opinion out of the review. A movie review is by definition 100% subjective.

            Completely objective movies reviews, that only contains facts like aspect ratio, average color and maximum volume are pretty much useless to me.

      • William Henley

        I think ET is overrated, but I don’t think its bad, and I certainly wouldn’t call it Speilberg’s worst. I mean, come on, The Terminal, Hook, Amistad, AI, War of the Worlds, Catch Me If you Can, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

        I find ET a mediocore movie – not great, but I enjoy seeing it every few years. The Terminal, on the other hand…..

      • I understand not liking a movie. But there’s a difference between giving an opinion and knowing full well that you’re going to piss people off. I imagine you sitting there in front of your laptop with pure glee while you describe E.T. as looking like a sack of shit with a penis for a head. You come off like a bitter, failed film school hipster, not a journalist.

    • JW

      HDD should be ashamed to even publish such an obvious contrarian review for E.T.

      Either it was done intentionally, through transparent, shameless, mindless tactics, to fire people up & drum up attention, appealing to people’s need to express outrage, (which is insulting in its own right) OR

      It was approved in some misguided attempt to allow all opinions, no matter how extreme, to be voiced. If this is the case, you’ve failed to recognize an employee who cannot separate their own identity problems (the need to feel nonconformist) enough from their work that they come off as ignorantly desperate.

      Either way, it cheapens the integrity of the entire site & insults the intelligence of your readers. Further, other reviewers should be unhappy this droll was published because it reflects poorly on all contributors & staff because, believe it or not, only the most dedicated readers (those you see the most in forums for example) use time & energy to understand the differences in individual reviewers.

      As you can tell I’m not here to defend the movie itself to any great extent; rather, I hope future attention will show a better understanding of your value as a media fourm; well thought out & written analysis rather than extremist garble from a hostile nonconformist.

        • While I don’t agree with the E.T. comments, I am amazed people are getting upset over it. It is just someone’s opinion. And it doesn’t lessen anything about the site by them posting it. Instead, ask the site why they sometimes tag a review as “hot” when it gets 3 stars or less across the board.

          • Josh Zyber
            Author

            The “hot” tag merely designates that a review is notable. It is not meant as an endorsement for the disc. A review that utterly trashes a disc, but does so in an entertaining way that people enjoy reading could be flagged as “hot.”

      • Josh Zyber
        Author

        JW, I find your comment very disturbing. The notion that a site like ours should not be allowed to publish a review that you consider “nonconformist” is frighteningly close-minded. Are you really that offended that another person on Earth would hold a different opinion about a movie than you do?

        Does every one of your opinions about movies directly line up with the majority popular culture groupthink? Have you never disliked a movie that, for whatever reason, turned out to be incredibly popular and acclaimed with other people? Do you love every single blockbuster hit and award winning film that gets released? Do you believe that if a movie is popular with other people that it MUST be good, no matter what?

        If not, if you have ever found yourself disliking a movie that others love, how would you feel if I told you that YOU’RE NOT ALLOWED TO FEEL THAT WAY, EVER, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE, and you will be punished for even thinking it?

        Believe it or not, no matter how popular or beloved a movie like E.T. may be with others, some people out there don’t like it. Dan is one. I am another. Should our opinion be suppressed to prevent it from damaging the esteem in which you hold the film? If your attachment to the movie is that precarious, perhaps you should evaluate why you insist that it’s good at all.

        The purpose of these Roundtables is not to provide a definitive, all-time judgment against a film that everyone is required to agree with. This is simply a forum to let our staff and readers sound off with their opinions on certain topics. Sometimes, those opinions will be “nonconformist.” Sometimes you’ll find disagreement within the staff. This is not a bad thing. In fact, we welcome it as fodder for discussion.

        A NOTE TO EVERYONE: If you wish to debate movies, keep your arguments focused on the movies. Personal attacks are not allowed and will be deleted.

      • I’m having trouble comprehend what you’re saying here. Are you suggesting that opinions that go against the grain should be silenced? Please tell me I’m misunderstanding your meaning here.

    • Then again, not even Thelma Schoonmaker could edit that into a coherent film. When the footage is sloppy, all the editor can do is lose.

      (completely unrelated: isn’t it funny that “Schoonmaker” means “someone who makes something beautiful” in Dutch … which is what a good editor does)

  3. Drew

    Bob,

    Exactly. It doesn’t really mean much, coming from the guy that reviews ‘Happy Endings’.

    ‘E.T.’ is a shining example of genre-work, at it’s finest. It’s a film that delivers a new delicious little wrinkle, with each subsequent viewing. There are so many meticulous and perfect little touches, in every aspect of it.

    It may not be Spielberg’s best film, but he definitely can’t make a film as good as it, any longer.

    • So, because I review Happy Endings, I can’t have opinions on other things?

      And two of Spielberg’s all time best films came out two decades after E.T., Minority Report and Catch Me If You Can.

      • William Henley

        Wow, I consider Catch Me If You Can to be one off Spielberg’s worst. I find the movie practically unwatchable.

        If we are to talk about his finest, I would put up the first and third Indiana Jones movies and Jurassic Park.

    • Josh Zyber
      Author

      No need to get nasty. There are plenty of people out there who don’t like E.T., myself included. It’s Spielberg at his absolute schmaltziest. Never cared for it. Even as a kid, I found the scrotum-faced alien more creepy than adorable.

  4. Nick Sanford

    Fuck you forever for saying E.T. is a poorly made film. It’s the fourth most attended film in North American box office history for a reason. Asshole.

  5. HuskerGuy

    So much for respectful discourse, wow. Just because something is popular doesn’t mean everyone thinks it’s good. If you disagree, make a legitimate effort at defending it or ignore it and move on. Simple stuff people.

    • Tom Haggas

      I don’t have a problem with someone saying they didn’t like E.T. I take issue with someone who considers themselves an authority on film saying that E.T. is Spielberg’s worst film. It reeks of “look-at-me-look-at-me” desperation.

      • John Burgess

        *forcibly drink down saccharin concoction* Ugh.. *hiccup* yeah, that… was delicious. Why wouldn’t anybody, !HMMPH! *holding back vomit* like this?

  6. Mike

    This reminds me of Tracy Jordan going on talking head cable and just screaming. Gotta love Internet comments.

  7. Robert

    From someone who saw ET in the theater as a child in the early 80′s, I remember being so bored by this movie. It was just plain bad. I didn’t see it again until the 20th anniversary. I watched the same non “fixed” version. It was worse than I remembered. I’m glad there are other who feel the same.

  8. This could be the worst list of things I’ve ever read. I like everything listed quite a lot and a few are even classics. In the end this is just a list that shouldn’t even exist.

  9. ET being a terrible film? Seriously..it may not be the best, but it as an old film that basically stands the test of time (currently). It is a classic, not every movie that is considered a classic is flawless.

    From what I get you are bashing how a film looked at the time it came out how many years ago? It may not be the greatest film (obviously) but there are far..far worse films out there and comparing the look of ET to a pile of shit with a dick for a head. This just sounds like a grudge, you are criticizing an aspect of how a form of alien is viewed.

    Sorry but the reviews on this site seem so biased. Some I agree with and I keep coming back but a lot of them are just so ridiculous.

    Is the film laughable for its age and the acting, yes. Is it still a landmark film? Yes. Complaining how ET looked is like complaining how fake Jaws looks…yet it is still a landmark film.

  10. Dan

    ET is great in my opinion! Out of all the Spielberg movies you could think of on this list, Jurassic Park 3 doesn’t come to mind? How about Hook?

  11. Bruce

    Ya, same guy who couldn’t stand Ben hur because Jesus was in it for a whole three minutes and its a 212 minute flick!

  12. Bruce

    We didn’t even speak. The flick didn’t even show his face. He was just a positive symbol to for the main character which gave him hope. Ben hur didnt even know anything about him.

    I bet if the movie portrayed him fucking one of his followers or dressed him up like a hippy you would have loved the movie. Just like you liked the last temptation of christ
    . Ben hur is one of the very few main stream movies that show Jesus as a positive figure. But for the 196 min film its about two childhood friends that become enemies and race in one of the best actions scenes off all time. That chariot race Is fucking awesome.

    • I have no problem with Jesus being portrayed positively. I just don’t enjoy seeing him portrayed as this being that would make people drop to their knees at the mere sight of him. Jesus was pretty loathed in his time. He was unpopular, threatened the power structures of Judaism and the regional Roman authorities, and was generally derided until Constantine made Christianity the dominant religion of the Roman empire.

      The Last Temptation of Christ was better at making him a human being, although it’s not a perfect film. That’s why I like the film so much. I really connect with Jesus as a result of that movie. The scene with him sleeping with Mary Magdelene is the temptation put in front of him by Satan, one he ultimately rejects. I think that film portrays him very positively.

      • Bruce

        Good points which are all true, however is was also loved by many. You have to admit he had to have been a very charismatic figure. Their had to be something about him. And if one was open to his message their had to be something about his presence. Their are accounts that mobs of people wanted to stone him but somehow escaped the situation.
        So ya, I compliment the film makers for taking such an artistic aproach of what people of that time could have seen in this man that would make them follow him and even die for him by just their facial reaction from the man..
        I don’t want to make this I to a relguous discussion, but come on, you got to see why your commits rubbed people the wrong way. I’m pretty sure if one had a open heart to the man you would see something special about him.

        • Charismatic? Certainly. Turning people into gooey messes just because they see his face? Not so much.

          And if my comments about the portrayal of Jesus in Ben-Hur rubbed people the wrong way, that wasn’t my intention. As you can see, my issue is not out a hatred for the man or his message. Now, the religious institutions on the other hand, that’s a whole other discussion that’s best left for another day.

  13. Pyronaut

    Wow, a lot of picky people here. I thought a lot of movies on this list were great (The Terminal, Virtuosity, E.T., The Fighter). I don’t think that Wolverine was a great movie, but there were many elements I enjoyed seeing.

    Then again, I thought The Hurt Locker was quite boring and didn’t get what all the hooplah was about, so I would have cited that as on my list if Katherine Bigelow was nominated for Best Director. Since Spielberg is though, I’d have to sat that my least favourite of his films was A.I.; that was quite a disappointment.

  14. Ryan

    Every single person on the list above has made a stinker or two….
    I’m going to base my on HYPE and only that.
    Brokeback Mountain was supposed to be amazing and all it did is bore me to tears. Gay or Straight…nothing about that movie struck me as romantic. I thought it was horrible…for Pete’s sake, the first sex scene was pretty much a rape!

  15. Funny that David O. Russell was once considered “a very difficult man to work with” and “box office poison”. And now, he has two back-to-back successful movies.

    My $0,02:

    - Robert DeNiro is a phenomenal actor, but he has made some stinkers since he opted for “comedy”.
    - Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland” was very underwhelming. I love the original Frankenweenie, but I haven’t seen the full-length feature.
    -David Silverman deserves kudos for every classic Simpsons-episode he directed, but … wait a minute, he never made a bad episode! Hurrah!

  16. Wouter

    Schoonmaker can mean someone who makes beautiful, but “schoon” can mean both beautiful and clean, and today schoon means clean. A schoonmaker is a cleaner, you know, the persons who vacuum and dust of the office once everyone has gone home. About the reviews and opinions on movies, debating them is fun but ulimately futile, and opinion is an opinion, not fact. Avatar is my favorite movie of all time, I thought wolverine was good, I think the amazing spiderman and the bourne legacy sucked bigtime. I read the movie review for entertainment, the PQ and AQ portions for fact :)

  17. Roger

    “Spielberg desperately tries to evoke what he sees as the lost magical world of childhood”… desperately? HYPERBOLE ALERT.

  18. Jon

    Can’t believe E.T. was your pick for “Worst Movie” made by Spielberg. Have you seen: “The Lost World”, “Indy & the Crystal Skull”, “1941″, even “Hook”?
    And sorry, if you’re calling our Williams’ music as telling you what to feel, you should have a lot of beef with a lot of his work, including “Star Wars”, “Superman”, “Home Alone”, and “Hook”. Odd that thoss are some of his most famous scores and shame on him for mission accomplished. The score is SUPPOSED to guide you emotionally.
    If you want Oscar winning “music” that doesn’t guide you emotionally, Trent Reznor’s background noise to “The Social Network” has your name all over it.

    • I own the score to The Social Network. The only Williams’ score I ever voluntarily listen to is Superman. That one is still manipulative but I buy into it anyway. In general, I think he’s a hack.

      • You’re entitled to your opinion (of course!), but can you genuinely say you never feel any excitement hearing “Raiders March”? “You Are The Pan”? “The Imperial March”?

          • I see you know as much about music as you do film:)

            Williams scores are not always great and he seems to have lost his ability to write a classic score. But he is responsible for some of the greatest film scores of all time.

            Most film music is used to ge an emotional response. Williams tends to be one of the best at it.

            Just wondering. What is a great film score to you.

    • William Henley

      LOL, don’t forget Harry Potter. Oh wow, Hogwarts must be so magical and wonderous, just listen to that music!

      Oh, something michevious is about to happen here in the snake house.

      Oh, Quidditch is about to happen, we can’t tell it’s high action without the music.

      :-) But I love that soundtrack! Shoot, I think I love everything that John Williams ever did – even Lost In Space (oh man, there was some great music in that show!).

  19. Tom Haggas

    I’m calling shenanigans on Daniel’s E.T. bashing. Just a controversial pick to drum up publicity. Overplayed to say the least.

    If this is an authentic drubbing, then I’ll be sure to make note of Dan’s byline on any reviews I read here. Either he has no idea what he’s talking about or his inner child is dead.

    The internet is overrun with people bucking the establishment in the name of “cool.”

    • I’m not trying to buck anything. That always has been and remains my genuine reaction to E.T. And please do take note of my bylines. If you ever find yourself agreeing with one of my reviews, please examine your inner child to see if it died.

      • Tom Haggas

        And why would my inner child care about your reviews? Your reading comprehension is lacking too, I see. Oddly, this is all starting to make sense.

    • First off let me start out by saying that Spielbergs best film by far is JAWS. Everything about the film is perfect.

      Now the dumping on of E.T. I will admit I was a tad shocked when I read this. I take it that the authur was looking to get a response. Even if he does not like E.T. he could have and should have at least said Hook was Speilbergs worst or he last Indy film, which was by far one of the worst made by any popular director. But were would the fun in that be? Anyways I always laugh when someone says “if you re-evaluate film today and strip a film of nostalgia” then you would see it for what it is. This can be said of many classics. Everything he complains about can also be said of films like The Wizard of Oz and A Wonderful Life. Both are still great films but the nostalgia adds to it. Films we love because we grew up on them.

      Personally I have no problem saying that a film I loved as a child has not aged well – I grew up loving 80′s action films and now find most of them unwatchable.

      But E.T. is not one of those films. Hell I would say that the author’s alternate film that he claims is better “Labyrinth” is a film that he views through nostalgic eyes.

      E.T. is a very simple film to be sure. But it’s a well crafted, funny, exciting, and emotional family film. And anyone who comes down on John Williams score is really just trying to get us with “shock” value rather then give us a serious entry into this list.

      • I saw A Wonderful Life for the first time this year. Never grew up on it. No nostalgia for me. Loved it.

        And since for some reason I couldn’t respond to your other comment about film scores, let me point you in the direction of the true master of music in film: Ennio Morricone. His worst scores put John Williams to shame. I also have great love for Jerry Goldsmith, Bernard Herrmann, John Barry, Maurice Jarre, Sergei Prokofiev, and many others who rarely given the time of day while everyone praises Williams to high heaven for his heavy handed scores.

        • RollTide1017

          I like all those composers you listed as well but Williams has been and always will be my favorite. Goldsmith is a close second followed by Basil Poledouris. The problem I have with your statement is that all those composers you mentioned are classicly trained like Williams. They have also all written what you describe as “heavy handed” scores (quit a few by Goldsmith, Herrmann and Jarre). Why do you excuse it for them but not Williams?

          The “heavy handed” scores are my favorite, big orchestral sound with in your face themes. Alfred Newman, Herrmann and Rozas were masters of these types of scores before Williams and Goldsmith hit the scene. Calling Williams a hack just sounds like hating to hate. I don’t like Han Zimmer’s scores but I wouldn’t call him a hack, of course I don’t call what he writes music either.

          • Eric

            As Rolltide said, many of the conductors you picked are also classically trained and have the emotional style just as JW does. Why single out williams??

            Ennio Morricone is great but to say that his worst puts Williams to shame really makes you seem like you don’t know what you are talking about. If you don’t like traditional orchastra music with big themes then I could understand. But many of the composers you listed do just that.

            You remind me of a lot of other people I read on the forums who become pseudo intellectual about films and their fav filmaker to bust on is SS. Now I am not saying you have to like him but when your arguments against him include the talent of Williams you just come across as just another wanna be cool film expert. Because of the other composers you listed.. Your argument just don’t hold up. But if it is really how you feel then I am sorry for questioning you taste. If I am right then don’t worry time and growth will get you past this stage.

            How can anyone watch JAWS an not be amazed at the music when they first encounter the shark on the Orca (I am not talking about the Bum Bum theme either) How does one listen to Star Wars or Raiders and say “Man Morricone’s worst is better the this” Empire, Jedi, Schindler’s List, Jaws 2, Superman….All great. What makes Willimas music so wonderful is that not only does it work for the film but it is so musical that you can listen to just the music itself.

            Oh and the Greatest soundtrack ever is Basil Poledouris’ Conan the Barbarian – just thought I would throw that out there.

          • I’m not sure at what point people assumed I’m against classical composition. I’m not. The heavy handedness is that Williams’ music always tells you exactly what to feel at all times. He has no respect for his audience’s ability to feel something on their own without hand-holding. The other composers I listed aren’t known for this the way Williams is.

        • William Henley

          I am sorry, I am laughing. Not at this, necessairally, it just reminded me of something. You ever seen the Family Guy episode “Blue Harvest” when they kill John Williams, and tehy are like “Damn, now we are going to have to do this movie with Danny Elfman?”

          BTW, I haven’t heard of most of these composers, but I will agee that Jerry Goldsmith is fantastic!

          • RollTide1017, good list there!!! :-D I’m a huge soundtrack fan. Personally I’d go Jerry Goldsmith, Basil Poledouris, John Williams as my top three (Funny that we’ve got the same top three, though).

            I agree that hating William’s score for ET sounds like carrying a dislike of the movie over into its soundtrack. Complaining that William’s music tells us what to feel is like complaining that a director filmed a scene to evoke a certain atmosphere and mood. Umm… that’s kinda what they’re supposed to do. ;-)
            “Damn that Kubrick for his long establishing shots of spacecraft and characters and interiors that emphasise the loneliness of space. It’s just so manipulative as if to say ‘oh, look, it’s so lonely in space’. The hack!” ;-)

  20. Tom Haggas

    How many people loved Josh’s “This might be a little controversial…” right after seeing Dan kick the shit out of a beloved childhood icon?

    Josh, no worries man. Dan laid down cover-fire for you. I’m not even sure anyone remembers what your pick was.

  21. Jon

    Tom,
    You’re probably right. Using phrases like “a sack of shit with a penis for a head” and “the color of bird-droppings” is just begging for a reaction.

  22. Judas

    Every person has to go through good and bad things in life… it is called process. I only see some of the films mentioned.. some of them are quite enjoyable.