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wordsfromlee

Movies you loved ages ago but watched recently and it’s not that great

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We all have those films that we used to love back when we were a teenager. Usually when you're about 17 and getting into 'proper' films because of you've just started a Media Studies A Level at Sixth Form and found out what the word 'cinematography' means. You thought they were great, they spoke to you. You may have even reckoned that they changed your life. But you haven't watched them decades so you dust off the collectors edition DVD that you haven't touched since you moved out of your parents house, re-watch it and think "what the fuck was i thinking?! This is awful!"

I have a couple:

Kids (1995)

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I thought, "wow, cool skateboarding kids, smoking weed and copping off with girls. Rawkus house parties. Giving the finger to The Man. I wish I was one of them". It was gritty, and real, and had sex and drugs in it, and I wished my life was like theirs (minus the HIV stuff), and "do you know the weed they smoked and the parties they were at was real? Yeah, takes the movie to a whole new level compared to more mainstream cinema". 

Looking back at it now, it's all a bit gross. Maybe it's because I'm older and those kids in the movie aren't my peers anymore. Like the movie equivalent of going to a nightclub and feeling really old, wondering how I found those places fun in the first place. Maybe it's because I'm looking back on youth, with older and wiser eyes. Maybe it's because most of Larry Clarke's subsequent movies are also based around kids who engage in drug use and underage sex.

 

Garden State (2004)

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This was one of the movies that helped invent the Manic Pixie Dream Girl stock character type that Zooey Deschanel has made a career off and as a 17-year old lad at the time when this came out, I was the target demographic and was reeled in hook, line and sinker.

I think that fact that a lot of 'coming-of-age, indie flicks' followed the same kind of blueprint in the wake of this movie - and did it much better - makes me realise when watching today that Garden State really isn't that great. The fact that it took Braff 10 years to make his follow up and it that it was shit speaks volumes that Garden State was a great case of right movie, at the right time.

Even that American Dad episode, 'Independent Movie', is better than it and it's a parody episode which admittedly absolutely nails the tropes of low-budget, independent American filmmaking which Garden State is full of.

Oh, yeah, and every character is a really annoying dickhead.

On a positive note, the soundtrack is alright. It introduced me to The Shins and Zero 7 at least.

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It's weird, the films I loved as a kid tend to still be my favourites today. It tends to be films that I may have watched once when i was younger, remember thinking they were great but revisiting them now and wondering if I'd remembered wrongly or was thinking of something else. That said, I watched Electric Dreams relatively recently and didn't like it nearly as much as I remembered.

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Kids is a good shout, just cause i think people enjoyed it for all the wrong reasons. It tied in with skateboard culture and like Lee said a lot people (myself included to a degree) just saw them as a wild bunch of kids drinking, shagging and raising hell whilst turning a blind eye to the fact that they were utter scumbags to go along with it.

Certainly not a movie to belong here but another film that younger people i knew seemed to like for the wrong reasons was Full Metal Jacket. The general feeling i always remember people having of it was that the first half at bootcamp was hilarious, the second half was terrible. Everyone seemingly turning another blind eye to the fact that the first half is a pretty disturbing portrayal of someone being bullied into killing themselves.

A film i'll add here on topic though is the original Last House on the Left. I only ever saw it once when i was about 18 years old and i dont think i was fully prepared for the kind of movie it would be. Until that point id only seen horror movies that entertain as much as scare you. The Last House on the Left was the first time i watched a movie where any hint of entertainment was stripped away and it was just a horrible experience. Ive added it here because that's the only time i saw it, and is the closest i ever got to having one of those video nasty experiences everyone seemed to have in the 70's. I just know it wont hold up on repeated viewings though so i just let that nasty little memory fester in my brain.

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On first watch I thought Donnie Darko was brilliant, now I realise it is bobbins.

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3 minutes ago, Keith Houchen said:

On first watch I thought Donnie Darko was brilliant, now I realise it is bobbins.

I've wondered if I'll head that way on a rewatch too. Especially as Richard Kelly has proved to be a massive hack since.

Regarding Kids and Last House on the Left, they were two of the worst films I've ever seen on the only viewings I've done of them, so I'm glad people got there eventually.

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4 minutes ago, Keith Houchen said:

On first watch I thought Donnie Darko was brilliant, now I realise it is bobbins.

Beat me to it Keith. I like that when it first came out on DVD, and the guy I lived with at uni fucking loved it to the point that he would manage to crowbar a mention of it into most of his essays. Watched it back maybe 5 years ago, and it really is fucking woeful. I never saw the sequel (S Darko) or Richard Kelly’s next film Southland Tales, which I’ve heard is all sorts of horrendous faux-intellectual deep shit

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6 minutes ago, WyattSheepMask said:

I never saw the sequel (S Darko) or Richard Kelly’s next film Southland Tales, which I’ve heard is all sorts of horrendous faux-intellectual deep shit

Southland Tales is absolutely terrible. Kelly blamed studio interference and all that but both versions that were put out were awful. Even the Great One couldn't save it.

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The only one for me is Superman 4, the quest for peace. 

I loved it, yes it looked like crap and was made on a shoe string but I loved the nuclear man concept and people getting drilled into the moon. I could overlook it's shortfalls. 

I was so happy to see it on TV and set the TiVo as my Friday night film. I got a good beer and snacks and put it on. Then 20 minutes later I switched it off and put something else on, connan the barbarian IIRC. 

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D-Mal is spot on in regards to Kids and Last House on the Left. Both infamous and the DVDs probably sold a shitload due to it, but they're both just shit. Only thing good about Kids is the Daniel Johnston song "Casper the Friendly Ghost." Its been a while since I saw it, but I think they all get aids in the end or something, and they die like the final episode of Blake 7. And Last House on the Left is just garbage. Especially the how they have that comedy copper in every other scene to try and bring a bit of fun to the rape, murder, kidnap and drug taking. Talk about half pregnant. Like having Disco Inferno in the nWo Wolfpac. Not that the rest of it is anything to write home about.

A controversial choice here, but A Clockwork Orange - saw it on Film Four a few years ago, and didnt do anything for me these days. Used to have it on video, recorded off another video from a lad at school as well. Because it was supposedly class, so when I watched it, I loved it (because you had to if it wasnt sold in shops.) Now though, its not really up to much. Its no Critters or Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers.

Like Last House on the Left, I Spit on Your Grave is shite as well. Probably the wrong thread to put it in, because I never really loved it, but its so infamous and a classic of its cut and past lowbudget era, but its quite uneventful and dull for most part. You have an infamous rape and then another rape with the twist being that she thinks she's got away, but instead they want the "retard" (their words) of the group to have a go. The camera work is terrifyingly bad. Wilmot Brown wouldnt have had a wank to this. Its just a shot on the bloke pulling his best Joey face and moving his shoulders. Its hard to take offensive to such a comedy scene. As if Ben Dover had filmed it and edited it for the Adult Channel. I hear the "UNCUT" version is way more extreme, but there's a few things I like to do during the week and typing in "UNCUT RAPE SCENE FROM I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE" isnt one of them.

Edited by IANdrewDiceClay

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4 minutes ago, IANdrewDiceClay said:

D-Mal is spot on in regards to Kids and Last House on the Left. Both infamous and the DVDs probably sold a shitload due to it, but they're both just shit. 

Yeh, that why i wont revisit Last House o on the Left. A mate of mine bought it because it was in one of those 'Scariest movies ever' articles in Empire. We put it on expecting a Friday the 13th style slasher, the DVD artwork didnt help either.

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The best thing about Kids is the Letterman interview with Harmony Korine to promote(?) it. Same with Gummo which I'm surprised hasn't been mentioned here yet, I can't imagine watching it again all these years later and holding it in the same regard as my younger edgelord self did even if the soundtrack is 10/10.

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8 minutes ago, IANdrewDiceClay said:

A controversial choice here, but A Clockwork Orange - saw it on Film Four a few years ago, and didnt do anything for me these days. Used to have it on video, recorded off another video from a lad at school as well. Because it was supposedly class, so when I watched it, I loved it (because you had to if it wasnt sold in shops.) Now though, its not really up to much. Its no Critters or Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers.

I'm 100% with you on that. I enjoyed the film but it was very "Meh", solid and enjoyable but not up to the hype. 

I then went and read the book, which was amazing and had a much better end with the inclusion of the additional chapters IMO. 

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15 minutes ago, Merzbow said:

Same with Gummo which I'm surprised hasn't been mentioned here yet

Never liked Gummo but i did watch it because of the Kids association. 

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