Old Favorites that Suck – Part II

The Breakfast Club (1985): I know this is probably sacrilege with my peers, but this movie doesn’t stand the test of time to me like Ferris Beuller. Oh, I loved this movie as much as anyone when I first saw it in high school and wanted so badly to be a Claire when I was probably more like a Brian.  (I remember when Claire pulled out her bento box sushi lunch, I had no idea what it was…) But when I watch it now it just seems so… contrived.  The characters are supposed to be representations of all the clichés in high school – I get that – but, they are all so one-dimensional, even in the end when they are supposed to have “grown.”  The plot is a little ham-handed and the dialogue seems so unnaturally dramatic at times – it just doesn’t do it for me any more. ( I do still give it five stars for music, and the fade to black ending with “Don’t You Forget About Me” is a total classic.)

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Revenge of the Nerds (1984): How this stinker managed to spawn three sequels over 10 years is quite the mystery to me.  I used to think this was the funniest movie ever and now I can’t even watch it when it’s on TV.  I should have figured out that this was destined to not age well when I realized Ted McGinley was in it.  See Happy Days, The Love Boat, Married with Children, et al.

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Children of a Lesser God (1986):  This used to be my favorite movie for a long time… I don’t know what happened!  The last time I watched it I was cringing with the clunky dramatic plot points and total overacting done by Mr. Bill Hurt.  The crappy score didn’t help – it’s way too dated now with the screechy 80s synthesizer muzak and saxophones.  Well, okay – there really were no saxophones, but you get the idea.  I don’t know if it had something to do with the fact that I met William Hurt once while traveling in Austria and he was a total condescending asshat.  But, he wasn’t such an asshat as to make me hate the movie until much later, so who knows…  The sex scenes are still pretty hot, though!

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Bachelor Party (1984): I have to be upfront and disclose that I had a major crush on Tom Hanks back in the day.  It started with Bosom Buddies (yes, I liked that show – but c’mon – I was 12)  and continued on for a few years.  Sadly, like this movie, my crush on Tom Hanks petered out some time in the 90s.  Go figure – I didn’t like him once he started making award-winning movies.  (I like losers, dammit!)  Anyway, I used to think this movie was Hi-larious, but a recent viewing made me realize that not only is this movie lame and not funny, but basically filmed on the worst set ever built for a so-called Hollywood movie.  Seriously – what hotel room looks like that? I think my rose-colored Tom Hanks glasses made me see something that wasn’t there.  Go rent The Hangover if you’re hankering for bachelor party fun and go rent Splash if you’re hankering for cutie-pie Tom Hanks before he got all actor-y on us.

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Strange Brew (1983): Oh, how I loved Bob & Doug McKenzie.  I had their Great White North album,  wore a Great White North t-shirt to school when my mom wasn’t looking, and I saw this movie more than once when it came out thinking it was brilliance on celluloid!  Further viewings prove that once again, it is difficult at best to turn a funny 5-minute sketch on a TV show into a full-length feature.  Something that MacGruber, A Night at the Roxbury, Coneheads, Stuart Saves His Family, Superstar, It’s Pat and The Ladies Man could have thought about before wasting their money.  (The standouts when they are good, are really good: Wayne’s World and The Blues Brothers are classics, but obviously this is not the rule.)  Anyway, this movie is snoresville – go listen to the album instead.

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Titanic (1997): Yes, I know it’s the second-highest grossing film of all time.  Yes, I know that people went and saw this movie 10-15 times in a row.  Yes, I actually went out and bought the soundtrack.  Yes, I used to secretly like that Celine Dion song.  You know what?  It’s really not that good.  It’s too long, too overly dramatic, and too… well, just too contrived.  The heartbreaking love story I thought it was about before now seems engineered and shallow. I think that people at the time were just overwhelmed with the experience of the movie’s special effects and didn’t notice the secondary fact that the plot is sub-par. (And the fact that I was also in a doomed romance at the time has nothing to do with it… really!)  Wanna cry your eyes out?  Go rent Bridges of Madison County.

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