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Underrated, Overrated, or Just Right?

What he has to say:

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Its awards season once again and that got me thinking (insert wise-ass comment here) about various films from both past and present.  Each year some supposedly important people tell us which movies are worthy of praise and which ones aren’t.

I don’t always agree with these choices. I often feel like Hollywood is like a bigger, richer version of high school. If a few people think something is cool, many others will jump on board.

Take The Social Network (review here), for example. I thought it was a pretty entertaining little piece of work. A clean-cut, nicely acted movie, but not anything all that special. I am not really seeing anything all that unique or mind-blowing from this movie. The funny part is the director seems to agree with me!

If there was anything about this movie that I would pick out as being great it was Andrew Garfield’s performance. To be honest, I think he drove the movie more than Eisenberg did. Eisenberg and the movie itself are getting all the praise, but Garfield gets nothing? That’s criminal!

I am equally – if not more – baffled by the nomination of Inception (review here) for best picture.

People comment that Keanu Reeves performances are often wooden; The Matrix being a very good example of that. Well if you think that’s bad; try watching a whole group of people act that way. Boring is the first word that comes to mind after watching these performances. Matter-of-fact, anti-climatic, and ho-hum are a few more.

This movie wanted to be this generation’s Matrix and it wasn’t even close to that as far as I’m concerned.

Speaking of this year’s nominees, how in the hell was Inception nominated, but DiCaprio’s other big movie from 2010 – Shutter Island – not? It was far, far more entertaining. As bored as I was by Inception, I was on the edge of my seat while watching Shutter Island. There were so many possible explanations for what was going on, I never blinked an eye.

Speaking of Martin Scorsese films, how does The Departed win best picture, while some of his better films do not? Did the academy just feel sorry for him at that point? Raging Bull, GoodFellas, Casino, Cape Fear, and several others are all far better movies as far as this movie reviewer is concerned. The over-the-top stuff from Nicholson, Wahlberg, Baldwin and some others was incredibly distracting to me. It ruined the movie for me.

And while I am talking about talking about mafia-type flicks, can I just say The Godfather is one of the most overrated movies of all time? I don’t care how many people this gets me in trouble with, but I find it to be a rather dull piece of work.

Some call it the best movie ever made. I don’t even think it’s the best mafia movie ever made. I would easily rank both GoodFellas and Casino above it. All 3 are long, epic movies, but the latter two are told in a much more interesting fashion. It’s not that I think The Godfather is a bad movie, I just find it highly overrated. It’s really kind of boring in parts.

Speaking of overrated, how can I not bring up James Cameron? Make no mistake, the man has produced some truly awesome stuff over the years – but he’s directed two of the most overrated movies of all time.

I’m speaking of Titanic (which is downright laughable) and Avatar (review here) of course. How they both managed to generate quite that much money is a little beyond my powers of comprehension. I enjoyed the latter more than the former, but they were both so incredibly overvalued upon release it bordered on insanity.  Though, I like to think most people’s opinions have come back down to Earth by now.

This article was written for your reading pleasure on February 2, 2011.