Sunday, January 17, 2010

Movies: I Don't Get Them

Here's some fun from Ben Shapiro:
Top 10 Most Overrated Directors of All Time
My suspicion is that this is a list not dissimilar from Ben's "Directors I've Heard Of" list. Here are the names:
10. Ridley Scott
9. Michael Mann
8. David Lean
7. Darren Aronofsky
6. Mike Nichols
5. David Lynch
4. Quentin Tarantino
3. Woody Allen
2. Martin Scorsese
1. Alfred Hitchcock
Now just for fun, here's the whole of his Hitchcock entry:
He’s not even close to the worst on the list, but he’s certainly the most overrated. He never made a great film. He was the Stephen King of the silver screen: he made films with great premises, but he never knew where to go from there. The psychoanalysis at the end of Psycho is laughable. North by Northwest relies on the tried-and-true random helpful coincidence to save our hero, time and again. It brings to mind one of Twain’s rules of writing, directed toward Fenimore Cooper: “the personages of a tale shall confine themselves to possibilities and let miracles alone; or, if they venture a miracle, the author must so plausibly set it forth as to make it look possible and reasonable.” Not so much for Hitchcock. Spellbound once again relies on amateur psychoanalysis. Notorious is the same movie as Rebecca. Rear Window makes one reach for the fast-forward button. Vertigo makes one reach for the cyanide. The Birds quickly becomes inane. If you want to see good Hitchcock, rent Alfred Hitchcock Presents. Restricted to the one hour medium, he’s at his best. Left to his own devices, he’s slightly better than mediocre.
I was initially looking for Ben's exceptionally stupid column about how the ACLU should totally sue the Metropolitan Museum of Art but the "I don't like or understand movies" bit was funnier.

27 comments:

Smut Clyde said...

Sounds like a fun guy to go to the movies with.

Substance McGravitas said...

He recommends you stay home with all those one-hour TV episodes Hitchcock didn't direct. [There is one exception.]

Smut Clyde said...

Is this a regular feature of Ben's contributions to Big Holly Wood? "10 Most Overrated Authors (from Fennimore Cooper to Thomas Pynchon)"? "10 Most Overrated Art Movements"?

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

what, he never saw "The problem With Harry"?

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

Hitchcock understood zombies.

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Ben shoulda stuck to lecturing about things he knows about, like sex.
~

Smut Clyde said...

Heh. I forgot "10 Most Overrated Orgasmic Techniques".

Pinko Punko said...

1. Fingering

2. Rogering

3. Jiggering

4. Buggering

5. Humping

6. Dry-humping

7. Everything else is not family appropriate.

mikey said...

Damn straight, Pinko m'man.

There is NOTHING overrated about The Old How's Your Father!!

NOTHING, do you hear me?

tigris said...

Notorious is Rebecca? Only if you haven't actually watched either one. And the psychoanalysis stuff is great fun, esp. in Spellbound; Salvador Dali dream sequence? Who couldn't love that, it's a total hoot.

J— said...

What an amusing submission by the Virgin Film Critic. Lawrence of Arabia and Bridge on the River Kwai are too long. The Graduate doesn't end properly. Raging Bull and Taxi Driver are ugly and their main characters aren't particularly likable. I almost feel sorry for Shapiro—almost—because he simply doesn't get it.

tigris said...

"The Graduate is contemptible and snort-worthy spoiled 1960s-child angst. The ending of that movie alone makes it unworthy of human viewing. All future directors take note: having your main characters staring blankly into nothingness is not an ending. It is a cop out."

Hee. BTW, do read the comments, even the die-hard Big Ho regulars aren't having any of it.

Substance McGravitas said...

Rogering

Jolly.

Substance McGravitas said...

My hero Leonard Snerdley:

I bought this DVD as a way to show off my new DVD player to my family. I had seen the movie several times in the theater, and knew its bright colors would be beautiful on my TV screen.

To my horror, I saw that Columbia had seen fit to alter a masterpiece. Yes, the film came complete with those horrific black bars at the top and bottom of my screen, which obscured about half of the picture. I've seen those bars on the "artsy" videos on TV, and I sometimes enjoy them. But this is a classic work of art! You don't try to make it "hip" and "relevant" with modern touches. It would be like adding a moustache to the Mona Lisa.

Until Columbia drops the act and releases "Lawrence of Arabia" without those bars, letting us see all of the picture, stay away.

J— said...

BTW, do read the comments, even the die-hard Big Ho regulars aren't having any of it.

Quite a beating from the Big crowd. Then there's this:

In Ben's defense, movies are not his strong point.

He should stick to political theory.


Yes!

mikey said...

Did any of the commenters help Leonard out?

You know I ain't going over there...

Substance McGravitas said...

Leonard's at Amazon and is a high-quality reviewer IMO, despite the weakness for David Gates.

It just seemed that Ben, as J—, notes, does not get it at all. Is he as funny as a parody reviewer? You be the judge.

Substance McGravitas said...

And hey, the comments following Leonard's review are pretty funny.

tigris said...

In Ben's defense, movies are not his strong point.

He should stick to political theory.


Well, they ARE still BigHo commenters. Baby steps, my dear, baby steps.

You don't try to make it "hip" and "relevant" with modern touches. It would be like adding a moustache to the Mona Lisa.

OK, that ROCKS.

Peter said...

Thank you S. McG. for that extended excerpt. Perhaps this is one time it's a good thing to leave the boat.

I wonder that Ben didn't use a different example of Hitchcock's "stupid psychological crap." Rope was nothing but.

Say wat? Ah, that explains it then. Rope DID have John Dall and that adorable Farley Granger prancing about.

Substance McGravitas said...

Snerdley's reviews of gadgetry are pretty great too.

5.0 out of 5 stars De-lid with the best - Black and Decker, November 5, 2004
By Leonard Snerdley
Like any red-blooded American, I open a lot of jars. Whether they be for grape jelly, mayonnaise (or an equivalent mayonnaise-type salad dressing), pickles or strawberry jelly, it always seems like I'm always de-lidding my food products. I wasn't ever sure that I needed a machine to help me do it, though. So when Grandmother Snerdley gave me this device for Christmas, I was skeptical - what did I need with a jar opener? I figured it would be yet another gift from her that would get stowed away in the attic (along with the apple peeler, the apple corer, the perfect egg egg maker, and literally dozens of items she never gave me the receipt for). Sure enough, I tossed it up there with a laugh, forgetting it even existed.

Then one day, I came across the toughest jar of pickles I'd ever encountered. I'm talking the kind that will break a man's wrist if he's not careful! I must have spent thirty minutes with that jar, to no avail. I began to think I'd probably have to eat my sandwich sans pickles. Then, as if a lightbulb went off in my head, I thought of this machine. I ventured up to the attic and retrieved it. Within brief moments, I was chomping down on my sandwich - with those pickles, whose jar was short work for the JW200.

Now, I open no jars without the aid of this device. None. I even try to share the wealth with others, occasionally setting up a table at the grocery store to help old ladies with their assorted jellies, jams and the like. Sometimes people will even ask me if they can try the JW200 out. . .I usually say no, but I'll say it in such a way that it comes out like a joke and makes them laugh, which removes the awkwardness from the situation.

Stop hurting your wrists - get the Black and Decker JW200 Lids Off Jar Opener today!!

fish said...

Sometimes people will even ask me if they can try the JW200 out. . .I usually say no, but I'll say it in such a way that it comes out like a joke and makes them laugh, which removes the awkwardness from the situation.

That could be the funniest thing I have ever read on the internet.

M. Bouffant said...

Has Leonard no monkey butler to handle these recalcitrant jars?

JW200: Jar Wrassler?

Substance McGravitas said...

Lissen: Then one day, I came across the toughest jar of pickles I'd ever encountered.

Monkey butlers just bare their teeth and shriek when the Toughest Jar comes around.

mikey said...

Yah, boss, de jar is way too strong for jar jar...

The jar jar binks of jar de jarring.

Um, lid something jar pickle fucker...

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

The jar jar binks of jar de jarring.

Jar Jar Spinks!


The Graduate doesn't end properly.

Yeah, he should realized that the patriarchy is always right, and behaved himself at that wedding.

Brando said...

Ben Shapiro's column is number 1 in my Top 10 Worst Things Ever Written About Movies. My only question is if he needed one or two trips to the bathroom to crank this out.