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.


  1. Eric

    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. 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.

  2. Jason

    Just got back from seeing Sliver Linings Playbook and Midnight Meat Train is on the marquee of the theater that Pat and Tiffany get in an argument in front of.

  3. Scott

    Really Dan? Ennio Morricone is the master? His worst scores put John Williams to shame? I will give you The Mission because that’s one of the greatest scores ever written. I’m a big fan of Jerry Goldsmith but Maurice Jarre is pretty hit and miss and Bernard Herrmann more or less made a career doing Hitchcock films and recycling the same score over and over.

    And don’t sit there and say that all Williams does is recycle the same score and made his career doing Spielberg films. That is completely inaccurate. Why I enjoy Williams scores so much is that the guy takes risks and each of his scores are unique to the film he is composing.

    Listen to the scores to Catch me if you can, Jaws
    (one of the greatest scores ever written) The Fury, Black Sunday, Close Encounters, 1941, E.T (one of the greatest scores ever written) Raiders of the Lost Arc, The River, The Witches of Eastwick, Empire of the Sun, Home Alone, JFK, Far and Away, Born on the fourth of July, Jurassic Park, Schindlers List, Sleepers, Amistad, Saving Private Ryan, Angela’s Ashes, Harry Potter, Memoris of a geisha, Tin Tin, War Horse and Munich. You’re biased so all you’re going to say is that each of these scores are identical. This couldn’t be further from the truth. When I listen to a James Horner score I know it’s a James Horner score because of his use of horns. Williams, like I said, uses his music to compliment the film and unless it’s a sequel, each one is uniquely different.

    To call him a hack is a little harsh but let’s see what a hacks resume looks like shall we?

    2002 distinguished him as the most Oscar-nominated living individual, with an astounding 41 nominations. In 2003 his total increased to 42, after receiving a nomination for “Catch Me If You Can”. In 2004, he received his 43rd nomination, for “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban”.

  4. Scott

    Wasnt done.

    In 2006, he tied Alfred Newman for the most number of Oscar nominations (45) received by a composer-conductor, when he was nominated for “Memoirs of a Geisha” and “Munich”.

    In 2005, his scores for “Star Wars”, “Jaws”, and “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” were respectively ranked #1, #6, and #14 on the AFI’s list of the Top 25 Film Scores in the past 100 years.

    Was nominated for Film Composer of the Year in 2004 and 2011 by the International Film Music Critics Association (IFMCA). He won in 2011.

    In 2012, he surpassed Alfred Newman as the most nominated composer in Oscar history with 42 nominations for Best Original Score when his scores for “The Adventures of Tintin” and “War Horse” were nominated for the award.

    Williams has won five Academy Awards, four Golden Globe Awards, seven British Academy Film Awards, and 21 Grammy Awards. With 48 Academy Award nominations, Williams is the second most nominated person, after Walt Disney.[1] John Williams was honored with the prestigious Richard Kirk award at the 1999 BMI Film and TV Awards. The award is given annually to a composer who has made significant contributions to film and television music.[2] Williams was inducted into the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame in 2000, and was a recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors in 2004.

    Williams has received three Emmy Awards and five nominations, seven British Academy Film Awards, twenty Grammy Awards, and has been inducted into the American Classical Music Hall of Fame and the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame. In 2004, he received Kennedy Center Honors. He won a Classic Brit Award in 2005 for his soundtrack work of the previous year.

    Williams’ richly thematic and highly popular score to 1977’s Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope was selected in 2005 by the American Film Institute as the greatest American film score of all time. His scores for Jaws and E.T. also appeared on the list, at No. 6 and No. 14, respectively.[37] He is the only composer to have three scores on the list. Williams’ scores for the following films were nominated for the list:

    A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001)
    Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
    The Cowboys (1972)
    Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001)
    Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
    Schindler’s List (1993)
    Superman (1978)
    The Witches of Eastwick (1987)

    Yep, that’s certainly the resume of a hack

    • I never said he wasn’t popular. And I don’t know how you can say Williams takes chances and then dismiss Morricone, who is one of the most diverse and accomplished composers in film history. Oh well, pearls before swine and all of that.

  5. Hulk is a very decent film, and far superior to the Louis Leterrier entry into the Phase One canon.

    How about Tommy Lee Jones in Batman Forever? He did what he could with Two Face, but nobody came out of that film unscathed.

  6. I’m baffled by the agressiveness of the response to the dissing of E.T.. It’s the kind of response I might have expected if he’d remade Brokeback Mountain featuring Jesus and Muhammed. But for a movie like E.T.? Come on. I love E.T., but this is ridiculus!

    When it comes to John Williams, I like his music (he’s somewhat of a gateway drug into classical music), but sometimes it definately feels like he’s got a range similar to that of Modern Talking.

    • Tom Haggas

      Just to be clear Trond: No one is knocking Dan for not liking E.T. We are concerned that he thinks that E.T. is Spielberg’s worst film. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but this opinion so far off-base, that it can only be an attention-grab.

      FTR, (and in in defense of Dan) I love Happy Endings. I think it’s a great show. Some of the best writing out there and line-for-line you cannot get better rapid fire pop culture than you get with HE.

  7. Scott

    Its not a matter of him being popular. Hes the most accomplised composer in the history of cinema and you do not have an argument against this fact. Did I dismiss Morricone? Nope and like I said, the score for the mission is one of the greatest scores ever written. You call him one of the most diverse and accomplished composers in film history. Whats this based on? The fact that he did the scores for the untouchables, the mission and the good, the bad and the ugly? He is a very good composer but is in no way on the same level of John Williams. But I guess there is no accounting for taste.

    • Scott, it’s difficult for me to discuss this with you because you clearly are unaware of the breadth and depth of Morricone’s work. He has over 500 composer credits to his name, most of which I can only assume you’ve never heard because you think his range is limited and you can only name three films he’s scored.

      I’m not saying that having a lot of credits is what counts, mind you, but he has had far more opportunity to stretch as a composer because of the amount of music he has composed. His work is truly diverse, and has influenced composers not just in film, but musicians such as John Zorn and Jay-Z, The Orb, Morrissey, and many many more.

      I’m not saying that Williams isn’t a major composer. He clearly is. What I’m saying is that in my years of studying film and music, I’ve come to the conclusion that Williams is a simplistic and uninteresting composer who has little depth.

      But he is undeniably popular, people will go sit and listen to an entire concert of his music. Try to get most of those same people to go to a concert of Stravinsky pieces, or even Mozart, and they’d would rather have a root canal. That makes me sad.

      • William Henley

        To be fair, though, it seems that a lot of what Morricone has done over the past 20 years or so is soundtracks for foreign made-for-television movies. The films I have seen (such as the 1990s remake of Lolita, Mission To Mars, Bugsy, The Bible) didn’t have that memorable of a score (although The Bible, just in that movie, had some amazing orchestral pieces, and quite a bit of diversity just in that one movie).

        However, considering his first score was in 1959, and he is still doing scores, and has done hundreds, I am assuming that he must be pretty good, or they wouldn’t keep hiring him.

        While I may not agree with everything Dan says, even though I may have never heard teh name Morricone before today, a simple search on IMDB is enough to tell me he is an accomplished and diverse composer.

        BTW, that was looking up his composer work. When you click on teh soundtrack ta, suddenly I recognize a LOT he has done.

      • Eric

        Oh yes I forgot that Morricone did the Untouchables. Well there you go. Morricone’s worst is in no way even close to any of Williams Scores. The Untouchables has some of the corniest, silly, over dramatic music ever. In fact it pretty much ruins the film for me. Even though I find many other flaws with this fan fav. But the score is one of the lowest points. Talk about over emotional. How about the scene when Ness’ crew come to the rescue with shot guns blazing and it has the goofy romantic hero music. Blah. Williams on his worst day would not write garbage like that.

        Now that is not to say that Morricone did not have some brilliant scores. The The Ecstacy of Gold scene in The Good the Bad and the Ugly is one of my fav moments in cinematic history and it is mostly due to that amazing score.

        But man the Untouchables was a bad one.

        • Josh Zyber

          This just goes to show that taste in music is even more subjective and divisive than taste in movies. I cannot even begin to fathom how anyone could say something like this, much less actually believe it.

  8. Standing ovation for Daniel for his ET review. 😀 Couldn’t be more accurate. And the John Williams “Let me tell you what to feel all the time” description is just absolute perfection.
    I always fight with my friends when we talk about Spielberg. To me, he is the most overrated director of our times. Manipulative, extremely sentimental.
    The Village Voice described him once this way: “false, sanctimonious, and emotionally manipulative”. Yup, that’s your “great” Spielberg.

  9. Scott

    Dan, You assume a lot. I am very aware of the works of Morricone. In my final year at film school I decided to focus on post production. One of the areas that I studied was music. We would watch scenes both with and without music and were able to see first hand how a movies score beat compliments the action on the screen. We learned a lot about the various uses of score and what makes a composer great.

    Not once have i bad mouthed Morricone. You say hes diverse because he has composed over 500 pieces. Thats fine. How many of those are memorable? Those are the ones that I listed. I forgot to mention Orca and the Thing, both scores I really enjoyed so I apologize. And yes, I have heard more scores than the one I listed. I went to IMDB just to see how many of his films that I have watched and it was closer to 40. Not bad considering a lot of his work was done in Italian cinema.

    Like I said before. Although Williams uses an orchestra and not a synthesizer (which I hate and Morricone has experimented with) each one of this scores is sidnificantly different from the one before. He composed both Jurassic Park and Schindlers List in the same year.

    So you’re saying that Williams is a major composer to film. And he is also simplistic, uninteresting, has little depth and is a hack. But, and I’m assuming here, you feel that he is recognized because he is undeniably popular and because people will go sit and listen to an entire concert of his music. Wow. That’s a very interesting assumption.

    I actually enjoy classical music a lot and see quite a few similarities in Williams work and the two artists you just mentioned. But please don’t attack me for this statement. I am NOT saying that Williams is Remotely close to the same level as
    Stravinsky or Mozart. What I am saying is that I believe a majority of people who go to a Williams concert appreciate classical music as much as I do and listen to his work because of this appreciation. But you assume a lot, especially for a writer and that’s what makes me sad.

    • The only thing I assumed about you is that you were unaware of the scope of Morricone’s work. The other things I said were about people in general, not you specifically. The fact is, MOST people won’t listen to a concert of symphonic music, but they will for John Williams because of the very traits I listed: His music is simplistic, which makes it easy to hum along to.

      I also see similarities between Williams’ work and more famous composers, because he’s frequently stolen material from other works. This is something else I can’t stand about him.

      As for Morricone, I have hours upon hours of his film scores, many for films that were never released in the U.S. To me, the vast majority of it is memorable, but I look for more than many do when it comes to film scores and music.

      You also poo-poo Morricone for using synthesizers because you hate them, but doesn’t his use of non-traditional instruments (a trait that goes back to his Leone scores) give a clue as to his flexibility in composition and arrangement?

      When I hear a John Williams score, the melodies may be different, but the effect is the same. I always imagine a small Williams on my shoulder, whispering in my ear, saying “You should feel sad now. You should feel happy now! Be excited!” There’s no mystery, no sense of discovering the music or emotions for myself. Conversely, I’ve been listening recently to Jerry Goldsmith’s scores for the Star Trek films, and they’re full of small, subtle touches that elevate the work above basic telegraphing of the basic emotion of the scene.

      • Ian Whitcombe

        Dan, while you are entitled to your opinions and I disagree with some of the vehement rhetoric spewed against you in this thread, it is very clear that you are trying to defend your opinion on John Williams without putting much thought into them.

        John Williams does not write “simplistic” music. Ever. His compositional and orchestrational style is the antithesis of both musical and thematic simplicity in terms of sheer amount of notes, leitmotifs, harmonic complexity and tempi. I’m sorry, since “musical simplicity” is an actual quantifiable term (like colour density or depth of field in cinematography, or vocabulary and grammar in writing) it is factually incorrect to say that John Williams writes “simplistic” music.

        You *could* have said that you find Williams’ music to be irritating, obnoxious, saccharine etc. The difference is that these are *subjective* criteria directly related to your emotional connection to his music. I still would have problems with your dismissal in these terms though, if you didn’t properly explain them.

        • Ian, thank you for trying to understand where I was coming from, and thank you for being precise in your critique.

          I will say then, that I find Williams’ music to be irritating, obnoxious, saccharine, etc. because I feel that he tries to force his audience to feel instead of letting the audience feel how they want to feel. His music is, to my ears, manipulative in the context that it’s tied to specific moments in specific films. Many composers are capable of creating music that complements a given scene instead of just doubling down on the thrust of the scene.

  10. JM

    Spielberg, Lucas, and Coppola all should have retired in ’81.

    ‘ET’ was only his first worst, of his many worst, but his most worst is ‘Tintin.’

    It must kill Spielberg that no one talks about him the way they do Kubrick.

    But no matter how many Oscars he makes his people buy him, it won’t fill the hole.

  11. Wouter

    What makes it a FACT that people who go to his concert don’t go to classical concerts? Is there research on the subject, or is it FACT because you assume it to be, or because you know a few people who said so? Anectdotal evidence is no evidence.

  12. I have to admit, while disagreeing with the choice of ET for Spielberg, I have to go with Spielberg. I think he’s a visually superb director but I don’t think he always has the best script/story.

    Jurassic Park II – hideously bad
    Minority Report – Always feels backwards to me. It goes from special effects-filled action movie to murder mystery with a twist. It just made the film feel a bit lacklustre and limp by the end.
    AI – Some great set-pieces but overall doesn’t gel. You know something’s wrong when you get much more emotional about the teddy bear and couldn’t give a rat’s ass about the kid (Honestly, who wouldn’t want to see the movie follow Teddy and Gigolo Joe without David?).
    War of the Worlds – I remember Spiely boasting about how it’s a film about family rather than just the special effects. By the end of it, the special effects sequences really are the BEST parts of the film (And they are great). The family bits are just annoying filler.

    • William Henley

      War of the Worlds – I remember Spiely boasting about how it’s a film about family rather than just the special effects. By the end of it, the special effects sequences really are the BEST parts of the film (And they are great). The family bits are just annoying filler.

      I must agree. The family part… I mean, you have Tom Cruise, Dakota Fanning, and Spielberg all working together on the same movie. Should be cinema gold. Instead, we get Dakota Fanning screaming at the camera and Cruise being a tool, and the boy – I cannot even remember his name, is pretty much forgettable. Instead, what we have is a great special-effects movie that someone annoyingly threw a family played by great actors in. As much as I love Cruise and Fanning, the movie would have been tons better if they were cut out entirely, and I am convinced the only reason their names were on the marquee or movie poster was to help sell the movie.

  13. Jon

    Dan, are there any Spielberg movies since Jaws that you haven’t seen? Just curious.
    To say Williams has little depth absolutely blows my mind, To claim his all his scores are tied to specific moments is an absolute over-generalization as well. Where’s the scene specific manipulation emotional doubling down in Saving Private Ryan, Angela’s Ashes, War Horse, Memoirs of a Geisha, Empire of the Sun, & Schindler’s List?

  14. Rex

    While I don’t agree with all the OPINIONS presented here (I quite liked both The Terminal and The Fighter), I have to agree with the E.T. section. I was shocked when it first said E.T., but mainly because I thought “Finally, someone has the cahones to say it out loud.”

    Anyone who says that Daniel is an idiot is themselves rather foolish. It’s called an opinion, dipshits.

  15. Ian Whitcombe

    Naturally, I still disagree with you on Williams, Dan.

    You say that Goldsmith uses techniques to go beyond simple recounting of emotion… but so does Williams! Counterpoint, his use of jazz harmonies, depth of themes, etc.

    You fail to grasp that many of your favorite composers (though, honestly, how many Maurice Jarre scores can you say you’ve enjoyed?) are working in mostly the same sandbox and use mostly the same technique.

    Really, I would emplore you to have a friend send you some unlabeled mp3s of Williams work, maybe mixed in with some Goldsmith. Have them dig deep and find his concert work, Images, The Accidental Tourist, Jane Eyre, Cinderella Liberty, Presumed Innocent, The Eiger Sanction. All his more subdued work.

  16. I don’t completely disagree that ET isn’t Spielberg’s’ best, but I don’t believe it to be the worst either, that in my opinion belongs to War of the Worlds. I believe that the only issue I have is that it was proclaimed in such an unintelligent or reasonable manner, such like some of the reviews put forward by the other reviewer on this website, Luke Hickman, from time to time. If it was put forward with a decent argument as to why, I might have thought it had some merit, but then to go and say John Williams is a hack, he then completely lost a lot credibility for himself and this website.

  17. BambooLounge

    Got a kick out of reading through some of the anti-ET backlash.

    Critics can say what they will about films, but the ET bashing certainly reads like something “that guy” would say at a party or in conversation for the sole purpose of getting a reaction.

    I think most film fans or people who take film seriously know at least one “that guy.” He is the one who will loudly deride Kubrick or say something along the lines of, “I can’t even sit through all of The Godfather.” And generally, people take the bait and go all ape shit. “ZOMGGG!!! How do you NOT like Kubrick!?!”

    I know these capsule review pieces aren’t the venue, but it would be interesting to see a more informed, fleshed out critique of ET.

    I am not a particularly big fan of my generation’s answer to Capra Corn, but I respect Spielberg as a master technical director at the very least and someone who does sentimentality better than the rest. ET works on those levels, as most of his films do, save for Amistad, which fails to work on any level.

    So maybe Dan is simply “that guy” or maybe there is some film criticism worth reading yet to come from him…we’ll see.