Can a Film Be So Good It’s Bad?

It sounds too crazy to be true, but are there films out there that actually do too good of a job?

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About Doug Walker

Creator of 5 Second Movies, Nostalgia Critic, Bum Reviews and more.

264 comments

  1. Might as well ask the question: who’s skipping out on next week?

    • Why would you want to skip it?

      • Gonna bet on it being clipless.

        • The Real Silverstar

          Of course it’s gonna be clipless; Ghostbusters 2016 is still playing in theaters…Sony and the copyright cops would take the video down instantly if it contained clips.

          But am I going to skip next week’s review? Heck no. I know a lot of people typically get their shorts in a bunch over clipless reviews, but they don’t bother me in the slightest. With all of the backlash this movie has generated, I’d have been surprised if Doug didn’t address it in some way.

          • I don’t watch clipless, because I never go to the cinema and see actual movies. Without any real understanding to what being parodied this turns into just pretty poor acting show hence why I’ll be skipping. But ofc this is my personal issue.

          • I had a problem with this only with Phantom of Opera, for the first view. I understood it better with the second view. With Pixels, BvS and Mad Max, which I both haven’t seen in cinema, I still understood it. If you plan on watching the movie one day and then watching the review, go ahead. If you plan not watching at all, that’s your decision too. But, if you don’t plan to come back at all, you might as well at least try few minutes of review, to figure out if it can be understood. Just a thought.

          • I had a problem with Hocus Pocus since I’ve never seen it. I was so confused.

          • Something that bugs me about the clipless reviews is that I can’t know if his criticisms of the acting and special effects are valid. They might be exaggerating for comedic effect, and unless I watch the move myself, I won’t know if it’s bad enough that I wouldn’t like it.

            Also, I don’t like how he’s doing reviews of movies that are still in theaters. On top of violating the established rules of his return, it just seems like he’s trying to cash in on the movie’s popularity while people are still talking about it.

          • I definitely understand that criticism, and perhaps there is a bit of that “cash in” attitude. But there are many people who actually want him to talk about current movies and want him to make clipless reviews. On this website, there used to be a table, with the most viewed reviews. The first and the second were clipless and right after that was Matrix which even if not clipless does have a lot of Critic’s side story. And when you go to Youtube, clipless reviews get a lot of views there too. It’s completely understandable that you don’t love clipless reviews. I wasn’t really happy when he started with it. And I do acknowledge that some aren’t as good. But others are on top of my favourite reviews. In the end, it’s just the matter of opinion I guess.

          • I just wish he would label them “Clipless.” It’s easy enough to tell with something like this, since it’s still in theaters. But with ones like Phantom of the Opera and Hocus Pocus, I didn’t realize until I’d already started watching, so it just became a huge disappointment.

          • Maybe Doug knows that if you are fan and support his work, regardless of it being clipless or not. Personally I love his clipless reviews. They are really funny because a scene that is stupid in the movie, will be even more exaggerated in his review. That is probably why Jurassic World is still his best review. Plus keep in mind, he can’t be a person in front of a camera anymore, there are too many reviewers out there now and alot of good ones too. His show needed to adapt to times, and it did. I think in a positive way. I did think about what would it be like if he decided to go back to just him with a camera again, no Tamara and no Malcolm. It would be depressing. Alot of us love his old reviews because of Nostalgia reasons, but going back to doing that because of Nostalgia isn’t gonna make us happy he went back to it, because now we have new Nostalgia, which happen to be his reviews with Tamara and Malcolm.

          • The only clipless reviews I enjoyed were Mad Max and Phantom cause I thought they were really good and well put together; I’m just getting tired of them.

        • It’s fine to not like clipless reviews, but I can’t believe everyone (I’m directly replying to maveag but this goes out to everyone–my account is new so IDK if others get notified) is putting him down for it when he made a video explaining that YouTube’s copyright investigation is so nonexistent that any video with real clips is just about guaranteed to screw him over with money lost and legalities to endure. He could just delete his YouTube channel, but then the lost profit from the ads on there might cause a financial strain for him. It’s the only reason I can think of for why he doesn’t do it.

          • So if that’s the case, why not just go back to reviewing older movies that have been out of the theaters for years?

    • Cory of PRIVATE Corp

      NOPE.

      Instead, I’mma make myself a whole tub of popcorn for it! As in a literal bathtub full of popcorn.

    • I saw the movie yesterday so I’m curious what Doug will say. Frankly, I found it, especially with the characterization of Erin, to be ultimately a misogynistic pile of puke.

      That’s right, it’s the movie, not the haters, that misogynistic.

      And I’m sick and tired of everyone claiming there’s no fat jokes with Abby. Yes there is. Like the misogyny it’s subtle, but the whole soup thing obsession, the bit with the sandwich – they’re all fat jokes. Cause “Haha. She’s fat so she’s obsessed with food.”

      • I thought the bit with the soup was more a “imagine the worst delivery service you’ve ever had and take it up to 11 for the lawlz” moment than anything at the expense of her.

        • Look, I’m a fat lady, so I know my fat jokes. If they gave those lines to any of the skinny characters, fine, but they only gave the soup obsession to the fat character. Then there’s the whole part where Patty’s saying to Abby that they brought her a sandwich so she wouldn’t pick on their’s – meaning she eats other peoples’ food. The “low blood sugar” bit when Abby is revealed to be possessed. And what is the ONLY thing Abby can think about that’s good with the world? Soup!

          Again, “Haha, she’s fat so she’s obsessed with food.”

          They’re subtle blink and you’ll miss them fat jokes, but they ARE fat jokes.

          • Eh, I’m a bit overweight myself and fat jokes don’t bother me that much, so I must’ve missed them. Well, that or the fact that being in a movie with Slimer could make a bed-ridden, 600 pound man seem like Chris Hemsworth.

          • If they gave the same lines to a thinner person then you would have been fine with it, but it’s offensive because an overweight person is saying it? I’m sorry, but you seem to be the one fat shaming.

      • then what are your thoughts on Fat Amy in Pitch Perfect, or just Pitch Perfect in general?

    • While it’s going to be clipless, I’m sure it’s going to be great and a lot of fun. I’m mixed on the clipless reviews but on the whole I think they’ve been decent. The “worst” one probably being the Hocus Pocus one. But it’s hard to not love Mad Max and Pixels.

    • Am skipping out. Ive watched every other clipless review and dislike ALL of them, and im the kind of guy who tries to find the good in everything and likes a lot of things even if they’re bad so 😛 But yeah, not watching it.

      • Don’t know think the reason you didn’t like the other reviews was just because you didn’t think they were good reviews, clips or no clips. Clips do not make a review, the person doing the reviewing makes it!

    • “Ghostbusters 2016 Nostalgia Critic Review: No Review. I refuse.”

    • Yep! Because I cannot stand his clip less reviews of movies that are still in the theatre!

    • No way. Even though I still have no intention of seeing the Ghostbusters reboot because of how cheap it looked, and because I never wanted a reboot, I still want to see The Nostalgia Critics take on it, I am not one of those people that gets my knickers in a twist just because people like or dislike something I have no interest in.

      Also his clipless videos have been good, his Mad Max and Batman v Super Dawn of Justice ones were well done and there is so much hard work put into them. There have been some weaker ones but I enjoy them for what they are 🙂

    • Nah, I’m not going to skip it, but I am going to wait to rent the film at redbox before I watch it. Just to see if he and I have the same thoughts about it.

    • Not me. I actually enjoyed the new Ghostbusters movie in spite of its flaws, but I enjoy Doug’s reviews enough that it doesn’t bother me too much when he reviews something I enjoyed. I’m not super fond of the clipless review format, but even those reviews usually have at least one or two entertaining moments.

    • This mon! I practically CALLED that this would be the next review. I just wish I wasn’t right.

    • Sadly, I am. Not because I did enjoy the movie (cause I did. Honestly, the move isn’t 4 stars by any mean…but it wasn’t terrible. Just a sit back and enjoy popcorn movie) but because I’M SICK AND TIRED OF CLIPLESS REVIEWS!

  2. Badly Drawn Manchild

    Okay, I know it’s your opinion and I respect that, but I utterly disagree with you when you say Bram Stoker’s Dracula’s the most faithful Dracula adaptation. That will always be the TV miniseries Count Dracula from the 1970s. The Coppola movie is just so over-the-top, corny and gets a number of the characters completely backwards.

    That said, the vid does raise some interesting points, and I find myself having a similar experience with games. There are a number of critical darlings out there that are meticulously made, but they’ve never grabbed me for one reason or another. They do seem “too good”. It’s a bizarre concept, but it’s intriguing to see someone articulate their thoughts on this phenomena.

    • If you haven’t yet, you might be interested in seeing The Dom’s Lost In Adaptation of Dracula.

      http://channelawesome.com/bram-stokers-dracula-lost-in-adaptation/

      The miniseries isn’t the one with Jack Palance, is it? I tried watching that and found him so horrible as Dracula I couldn’t get through it.

    • With games, it’s a bit easier. Once you’ve played enough different games, it tends to be one of four things. The first is the game is painfully formulaic. It’s technically great, but it feels like a cheap reskin or knock off and all around detracts from the game (Super Mario Galaxy 2 and Legend of Zelda Twilight Princess had that effect on a lot of people). The second is nostalgia, and without nostalgia googles, those games aren’t really all that good, especially when compared to later games (Pokemon, Zelda, and Sonic really suffer here). Third, bought reviews (don’t think I need to elaborate here).

      The fourth is where things get more interesting, and that’s when there are certain disconnects. One example is Bioshock Infinite, where on a surface level (which most critics and at the time main stream gamers only cared about) the game seemed great. Spend two seconds analyzing it, and the game falls apart so much, it’s spectacular (both mechanics and story, look up the critique done by Mathewmatosis if interested), however it had all the tropes to make it seem like a deep story, looked great, ran great, and played okay.

      Another disconnect is when a mechanic just doesn’t click, as games require effort on the player’s part, so an annoyance can quickly escalate, really hurting the game for you. An example of one for me is in Chrono Trigger, you can’t move your characters in battle, some battles always have to be fought when backtracking, and some enemy attacks take too long. None of those are really big, but they really hurt my opinion on the game.

      Lastly, hype and expectations can also cause this. This is where the biggest similarities between this effect on games and movies are. Some are overhyped or have the twist spoiled, while others are so different from the expectations, there’s too much of a disconnect to enjoy it. While the rest technically apply to movies, I think that the disconnect, especially from expectations (either getting exactly what’s expected, or something too different in a way that doesn’t click for you) is the biggest reason for the so good it’s meh effect. The rest are much more game focused.

      • “while others are so different from the expectations, there’s too much of a disconnect to enjoy it”

        This really hit it for me with the movie Brave. The previews had nothing to do with the actual story and built it up to be completely different from the mother/daughter story that it was.

  3. I definitely think there are films that can be so effective that they can be really hard to watch. A Clockwork Orange, for example, is an absolute masterpiece of filmmaking that is downright traumatizing. Another instance would be characters that are supposed to be annoying but you end up hating every second they’re on screen. In such cases it could be said that the character is too effective. I defiantly

    • Yeah my dad kept saying how amazing that movie was and finally badgered me into setting down and watching it. It raised some interesting questions but honestly my main reaction was I need a shower… with Lysol

    • Snorgatch Pandalume

      I think that might be closer to what Doug was trying to describe, a movie that achieves its goal so well that you end up not liking it because its goal is something that makes you uncomfortable. My example would be Jacob’s Ladder. Many people cite this as a masterpiece. I saw it in the theaters when it first came out and I disliked it intensely because it was so disturbing. I understand that that was its goal, and it definitely achieved it, but it still turned me off.

    • Not a film, but I think this is the reason why I can’t get into South Park. I know from a rational perspective that it’s an expert and brilliant fountain of satire which brings important social issues to light by depicting humanity at its worst, and encouraging its watchers to become better people by showing how not to act.

      But in anything more than small, 5-minute doses, my feeble and generally optimistic mindset just can’t handle it.

  4. I can’t think of any movie off the top of my head that’s “so good it’s bad” but there have been several movies that I’ve watched and enjoyed but then just felt “done with”. Seeing those movies just once was enough and I had no desire to see them ever again. It’s not easy to explain so I’ll say that for me those films fit your designation to a point. Any additional viewings would make the good things about the films worse for me so I choose not to see them again so that the don’t become bad.
    Sorry I can’t share more.

  5. When I read the title, I immediately thought about all of these “oscar bait” films which tend to shwcase the same traits :
    – All-star actors who are at the top of their game when it comes to acting ;
    – A difficult or mature topic ;
    – Inspiration from real-life events ;
    – An overall sober or dark tone set in a realistic manner.

    One movie of that kind would be, let’s say, The King’s Speech. You can definitely find nothing wrong with that movie per se, and the emotion is there when needed, but these types of movies feel like they don’t have a lot of re-watch value because, as Doug said, they lack some quirk, something to make them stand out aside from just being “stories on film with good actors”.

    • I’ve never seen King’s Speech for exactly that reason, Lavender. Doesn’t matter how good everyone tells me it is, all I can see is a soulless, factory produced chimera that has been stitched together Frankenstein-style out of all the themes and topics that attract award-judges attention. “Oh its a period piece, based on a true story, about a guy with a disability, with an unlikely friendship that has class struggle themes, and shades of World War II, with the creme de la creme of acting including a lead everyone says is ‘due’ an Oscar”
      All I can see whenever the movie gets brought up is just a series of boxes being ticked on a list labelled “How to Win the Shiny Trophies”. Or Malcolm and Rob’s business guy characters saying “But the charts say…”

  6. I think most of the Oscar bait films fall into this category for me, but more for the reasons that they’re usually slow, angsty, traumatic, sometimes downright miserable films, and the ones that focus on a historical figure are sometimes all of the above, and even if not, they’re inaccurate and disrespectful to the subject. Films like Amadeus fall into this category for me. I saw it once, and I don’t ever feel the need to see it again. I’d say primarily what’s missing from these “so good” movies is rewatch value, and what’s missing from the rewatch value is fun, and humor. That’s just this one girl’s opinion. I don’t enjoy wallowing in other people’s drama or suffering.

    • The Inquisitive J

      Rewatchability is definitely hitting the nail on the head for me. If a film is great, then I want to watch it all over again to see more that I didn’t see before. If something tries to sell me on the impression that it’s great and I don’t feel that, then it leaves me skeptical of its quality.

  7. Please do a charity shout out to Goodwill! I knew it would be “Ghostbusters”. We all did. Didn’t you say “Spirited Away” made you jealous of how good it was? That’s kind of like what you’re talking about. You truly hate “District 9”, remember?

  8. In a way, I would put The secret Life of Pets as a so good its bad movie. I absolutely love the movie actually but coming out of the theater of it I felt like all of the energy had been drained out of me.

  9. Ghostbusters next week?

    I see Doug’s feeling like indulging his masochistic side again…

  10. I can’t think of any “so good they’re bad” movies. I can think of a lot that people tell me I should like that I don’t. I think Don Bluth is over rated, even if he does have the good taste to use music by Barry Manilow. I think Jurassic Park, both the book and the movie, is lame and that Ian Malcolm is the only good character in it. I actually can’t stand many Disney movies like Beauty & The Beast and The Little Mermaid. I hate Gone With The Wind with a burning passion. And I’ll never understand the appeal of A Clockwork Orange or Citizen Kane.

  11. SwedishMovieNerd523

    I find this discussion very interesting. Personally, I believe it has something to do with perfection. First of all, perfection is something of a personal opinion – we all have our preferences and ideals. What I am trying to say is that, to some extent, perfections is boring. We need something to irritate us, i.e. to capture our attention. When something is “perfect” it becomes static, and to some extent dead as it cannot exceed anymore; it is final. When we have some sort of disorder (yet again, this can make it or break it depending on your personal preferences) we balance the harmonious structure. Maybe it has to do with something with life itself? As life is hardly perfect it would feel fake to see an absolutely perfect movie.

    • This is actually a well documented phenomena that happened with classical ancient greek sculpture. As the period of artistic enlightenment continued and accurate realism was becoming closer and closer, artists finally created perfect representations of the human body. down to the last fingernail they where ridiculously accurate, however, the period of time in which these works of art where actually popular is ridiculously short compared to the previous and following movements. Why? it quickly became boring, the art wasn’t engaging and dynamic enough, so they got ridiculous. you know all of those famous artworks such as “Laocoon and His Sons.” the proportions have been exaggerated, the tailbone removed to extend the curve of the back and create a more graceful transition into the lower body, the muscles are all tense instead of alternating which ones are tense vs. relaxed based on position, so they all look like hyper muscley gods. in reality, these people wouldn’t be able to function let alone stand. Obversely, The realism movement took a separate turn in order to create interesting and dynamic work that could hold up to these god like figures. they started hyper realism and changed the subjects to be average poor-men. there is a fantastic sculpture of an old famished woman where you can see every wrinkle in here face, creating a beautiful and very human contrast to the other extreme. not to mention, creating art in the image of the poor was un-heard of at the time. Bottom line, perfection is boring and often precieved as “unnatural” though no one is quite sure why.It seems to perfect to be human i guess. people like thinking of themselves as either deeply flawed or the picture of epicness.

      • SwedishMovieNerd523

        Have you seen some of Johannes Vermeer’s paintings? He creates this thing with the fabric/tablecloth in some if his paintings. The scenes he had were often serene, sometimes so to the point of being static and unnatural. But with the fabric, or even so more often with a tablecloth, he would create folds that would contradict the tranquility that his subjects would have in his artwork. Something that in a way a teases the eye. It makes you wonder “why is the fabric/tablecloth disordered?” or “what has happened at this scene before it was forever captured on the canvas?”. It gives that little extra history to the scene that no one can ever give us the answer to, and room for the viewer to add their own interpretation into the artwork, and you sometimes need that in a movie. This is to some extent similar to the way of thinking in how some Asian movies/dramas are being made. Many Chinese historical dramas are tragedies, i.e. we do not get the ultimate perfect happily ever after that we so desperately cheer for – i.e. they are not afraid of shunned by leaving the audience unsatisfied by not presenting a happily ever after. How many tragedies are we presented by from an American movie industry? Only a few. Then we have the Japanese movies that often end with a unconcluded ending (Hayao Miyazaki uses this a lot in his movies, e.g. Porco Rosso or Spirited Away etc.). We only get to see a glint of the characters lives and sometimes we are not even given a hint of how their lives are going to continue once the movie is over. This once again leaves room for the viewer to fill in the “blanks” by adding their own values and ideas to the story, i.e. making it and to some extent “their own”.

  12. I liked the movie Zootopia, but it just seemed too perfect. There was something wrong in how few mistakes it had. It had a great message, the animation was beautiful, characters memorable. But then I saw Angry Birds a couple of weeks ago, and even though the pacing was off, the characters weren’t always the most likeable and the story was a bit all over the place, I much preferred it to Zootopia. Angry Birds just felt more like it was made by people who wanted to entertain, not preach a moral or be seen as amazing. Zootopia was too clean cut… and that just didn’t work for me. After five months I’ve only seen Zootopia twice, after three weeks I’ve seen Angry Birds four times, and plan on watching it again soon.

  13. After a thought, I think: fifties musicals.

    In the fifties, they didn’t have MTV, so they had musicals. And… no matter how good the music, it always too me out of the plot. Far far out. Because the “cutscenes” between dance and music was too good. It emphasized the ridiculouslessness of the musical numbers.

    Then I found Rocky Horror & Cannibal the Musical, and there was no longer anything good about the cutscenes. They were even more campy and ridiculous than the music, if anything.

    Problem solved.

  14. I adore Cinema Paradiso and The Truman Show, but I get what you’re saying. The Bourne Identity, Deliverance, Jackie Brown and the first Conjuring are the biggest examples of this feeling, at least to me.

    • I definitely agree with you on Bourne Identity and Jackie Brown. I LOVE Bourne Supremacy and Bourne Ultimatum, but Identity just didn’t do anything for me. Tarantino is one of my favorite directors, but something just seems off about Jackie Brown. It’s definitely not bad, but something just feels wrong.

  15. I guess this is why I wasn’t a fan of the Godfather.
    I couldn’t really find anything universally wrong with it but there were parts I didn’t get.
    So I’m kinda curious as to what people found great in the movie aside from the “It’s a perfect interpretation of the life of crime” comment.

    But until then, I guess I can label it as one of my own entries on the “It’s so good it’s bad” list.

  16. A movie that in your opinion does everything it’s supposed to do aesthetically (and maybe even more) cannot be “bad” on an artistic level. However, that does not mean it can’t be considered bad if, for example, it expresses a viewpoint that’s morally and/or politically repugnant (e.g., Triumph of the Will or Birth of a Nation).

  17. I always thought that art – good art, and lasting art – is interactive. Not like Choose Your Own Adventure, but a piece of art that forces you to interact with it, usually in a frustrating way. Flaws leave you open to this.

    I can’t really think of any movies, but I remember having an argument the other day over Steven Universe. One person in a group said that, shocking all of us, she thought Ruby and Sapphire were a bad couple. She made the point that good relationships aren’t ones where people are completely inseparable from each other; people need to self-define rather than define themselves as a unit (see: Garnet is the identity they take on). We were all really taken aback, because we acknowledged she had a point, but everyone in the group really loved the show and the characters and almost didn’t want to acknowledge that there was room for a problem in it. After a while, I realized we weren’t really arguing about the characters or the message, but for the sake of the show’s perfection. SU hit people so much and so effectively that it felt perfect even though we knew there were problems.

    For a contrast, I thought about The Princess and the Frog. Now, that movie is not without problems, but I bring it up because it clicks nicely into something we constantly talk about with children’s movies and shows: do they send negative messages. I remember walking of tPatF thinking that finally corrected the mistakes of every previous Disney movie, message-wise. It advocated for working hard but not letting it take over your life, it said that romance is good but you should also be independent, etc… And not even before Tangled came out, people barely talked about it. And then I realized that was because no one had any reason to talk about it. The message was perfect, they couldn’t really find flaws (at least in that department) and, as a result, I don’t think people were really drawn in. There was very little investment to be made. It was better to find something that just FELT perfect, like Steven Universe, so that we came back, poured over it and got invested in proving its goodness that made us so attached to it. We poured an emotional stake into that wasn’t really required from other perfect shows.

    They say that good art needs to be digested and reconsumed. I think that’s the problem with a lot of these movies – if they do everything right, that makes them easy to digest. You take them in, briefly acknowledge that they work brilliantly, and then never look back because they don’t leave you with anything to come back to. I think really great movies need something not necessarily wrong, but bold and tricky enough to keep you coming back saying, “But did that part work?” People go out of their ways to prove that Pulp Fiction isn’t as shallow as it seems. They try to argue that the slow pacing in Brokeback Mountain or Blade Runner is actually a strength to people who say they’re boring. Eternal Sunshine has people coming back to convince themselves that it isn’t too confusing or maybe uses some rather tropey characters. And these are all movies that are great because they demand that we keep coming back. Do you want to look at a brilliantly made image in an art museum, or would you rather look at something that feels a bit scratch and unrefined, because it asks you, “What part of me is missing or off? And should that matter?”

    My old comedy mentor always told me “leave ’em wanting more; never leave ’em wanting less.”

  18. I think this may best describe how I feel about Gravity Falls. I do think there are one or two legitimate criticism that can be directed at it but to be honest, I know those criticisms aren’t the reason I can’t get as hyped as a lot of people do.

    I always described it as being like “the best of kids animated tv” in one show and I stand by that, but I always felt like I recognised everything. Which I loved but maybe didn’t get exited about.

    To compare it to it’s peer Steven Universe; not as consistently good as GF but a show that I get much more exited about. I think it is perhaps the surprises and the chinks, the experimentation even when things go wrong. The experience of watching is much more bumpy but comes with it’s own kind of buzz and excitement.

  19. In my case, the best example of this would be “The BFG.” By all accounts, it should be a perfect film, a lifelong passion project of director Steven Speilberg, with his talents for enchantment and whimsy on full display with his technical acumen; a perfectly constructed final screenplay from Melissa Mathison, in only her second (and sadly last) collaboration with Speilberg after they made “E. T.”; adapted from Roald Dahl’s timeless classic of a novel; with eye-popping visual effects from Weta Digital employing the same groundbreaking technology developed for “Avatar;” a masterful musical score by John Williams; a mesmerizing central performance from Mark Rylance; and all produced by Walt Disney Pictures, bringing their penchant for brilliant family entertainment to their first collaboration with Spielberg.

    And yet, it never fully clicks together to form a film that is greater than the sum of it’s parts, which you would very much expect from such a confluence of talents. It delivers what you’d expect from it’s creators, who all turn in career-best work, but nothing more. It left me with a unshakeable feeling of longing for it to deliver more than I was expecting from it, and I do feel that it set me up for that expectation. But again, I can’t put my finger on why it left me dissatisfied, so yeah, I guess I can say that “it was so good, it was bad.”

    • This is pretty much spot on with how I felt about The BFG. At first I thought it was an undying bias for the 1989 animated version of the Roald Dahl story, but after pondering it more I realised it was precisely because there was so much heart put into the film with so many gorgeous visuals, brilliant performances from Rylance and Barnhill, and all of the other details you mentioned… and yet it never reached that emotional plane that allowed me to love every moment and invest in every decision that defines my relationship with the animated one. That version, in contrast, has very noticeable flaws: One can tell a small studio made it, the score is dominantly synthesized, there are animation goofs, and there are some alterations from the book that can be easily questioned. At the same time, the execution brings tears to me every time and Malcolm Rowe’s music is miraculously a thousand times more memorable than what Williams came up with for Spielberg’s rendition. It disappoints and saddens me every time because it was so full of goodness that I /wanted/.to love it, but I just couldn’t.

  20. It’s not that these films are too good, they just all tried too hard. When something is amazing while seeming effortless, we can discover it. When the artist commands attention and makes a big show out of their talent, it seems desperate. It’s why many like street magic over the overblown stage magic, it seems more genuine and personal. Truman Show seemed like a movie that wanted to make you feel things, rather than just allowing you to feel. Same with many Oscar films, they are trying to be emotional and uplifting. Dracula wanted to be visual and stylized so much, that the style overshadowed the story and it came off as goofy. An artist shouldn’t force their audience to have a reaction, they should just create their art honestly.

  21. PhoneBoothAaron

    I admit right up front that I am setting myself up to be absolutely CRUCIFIED for this, but I never got into Mad Max: Fury Road, despite having no problems with it. All of the performances were perfect, the stunts and effects were incredible…I have no complaints about it whatsoever. But I just never got emotionally attached, and I have no idea why. And, believe me, after hearing all the hype and immense praise surrounding the movie, I REALLY wanted to love it, but it just never grabbed me for whatever reason. :/

  22. The movie that immediately comes to my mind is “Boyhood”. I hate it with a passion, but a lot of people like or love it. To me, it’s cliche, predictable, and above all absolutely boring.

  23. This probably isn’t an example that everyone can relate to, but I recently had this discussion with my father while watching wrestling. He complained about the outcome of the match being predictable. My response was that, sometimes, the best ending is exactly what you’d expect. It’s the resolution that makes the most sense but, somehow, that isn’t enough to satisfy the audience. We’ve been conditioned to expect some major plot twist at the conclusion of everything to the point where what we expect to happen isn’t what we normally would expect in any other story. So something that is objectively very good, becomes subjectively bad.

  24. I like that Dracula. But for me it is forest gump. I thought was ok. Not as good pulp fiction

  25. You want me to give an example? I’ll give you three: Krzysztof Kieslowski’ Three Colors’ Trilogy. I’ve watched those movies many, many times (yeah, i’m THAT kind of hipster), and i can see it’s perfection: All three movies are perfectly acted, very symbolic, directed to the point that not a single detail is not without meaning or purpose… And yet i just can’t connect with them the way so many critics connected. All of them talk about it as this transcendental movie experience, but by the end of them, i only ask myself “I’m sorry, what is there even to say about them?!”. In fact, on a strange way the one i connect myself more with is “White”, the movie everyone says is the weakest of the trilogy. I connect myself more with it because i can at least say what it’s trying to tell, while “Blue” and “Red” are more subtle. In fact, i think that’s the point where i think they become “so good they are bad”: Critics praise how subtle and artistic they are, but maybe they are a little TOO subtle and artistic, to the point that the average Joe like me has no idea what to think about them, when their purpose is exactly to make the public think.

  26. TheSuicidalTeddybear

    1. Godfather 1-3; by no means bad movies, but they will never be movies for me
    2. Titanic; this one is technically not flawless with some continuity errors, but for one of the highest grossing movies of all time, I find it kinda meh
    3. Batman (1989); technically, I find several flaws with this one, but it’s still a masterpiece in Doug’s eyes
    4. The Revenant; never understood the fuzz
    5. American Beauty, Saving Private Ryan and Forrest Gump; just like the critic have stated before, these were some damn big names for their time but haven’t aged very well
    6. Frozen; seriously… why?
    7. The Lion King; I agree with the critic saying it’s overrated
    8. The Sound Of Music; WAAAAAAAAAY too happy and romanticised

  27. There are a lot of good movies I don’t watch mainly because they’d either be boring or just meh. I like Strange Magic even though I know it’s a bad movie because while its message is a little botched, it’s still a fun watch. I watched the Jungle Book remake and thought it was…. just okay even though critics are praising the hell out of it, and for me it’s because I have more of a soft spot for the original disney flick.

  28. Michael Blaylock

    I felt this way about Frozen. I saw it in theaters and agreed that it was good: good acting, artwork, music, comedy, drama, and a very clever ending that played on a classic Disney trope and genuinely threw me for a loop. But I haven’t seen it since and don’t want to. I don’t know why, but that movie always repels me. Even “Let It Go,” though it’s well-sung, well-composed, and has a great message, always annoys me a little. I don’t know why, but I do feel you on that: it’s embarrassing when you say you don’t like something, but can’t figure out why.

  29. I don’t have a movie example, but when I read the title, I thought of some other form of art – music.

    I know many will disagree, it’s just how I feel about it. To me there’s a band that is simply perfect. That band is Tool. Extremely talented vocalist, guitarist, bassist and drummer. In my opinion they’re so good, they’re just too perfect. Everything seems well thought out that after some time I got tired of it. I needed to find something that has rough edges, where you can hear the band going for pure chaos, yet still having a great sound. The band that was looking for is Neurosis.

    Just to compare my favourite album of each band:
    Lateralus has amazing sound and structure, with thought provoking lyrics. It feels like a spiritual experience and I would compare it to a clean, sharp blade of a sword.

    Through Silver in Blood is really tough to go through, with contrasting transitions and ovewhelming layers of sound. This is a very emotional experience, leaving the listener exhausted and I see it as a rough axe, hacking it’s way.

    • I was having some trouble thinking of movies, but I definitely agree with you on the music.
      These are some more pop music examples, but I’ve never been that big a Taylor Swift fan. I felt like the songs should speak to me more than they really did, and even the ones I did like didn’t sound so great on repeat listens. I’ve got no technical complaints with them, and it’s not like some songs where repeat listens brings up something in the chorus that’s annoying. If asked I can point out some very good points about several of the songs but they just don’t seem to click very long. I guess she’s a so good it’s bad artist for me.
      On the other hand I really love the song “Dead and Gone” by T.I. more and more each time I listen to it. I’m not generally a rap fan, and if I where pushed to say why I’d normally say something about how it comes off as unpolished. But in this song’s case it feels like the roughness brings out the best of the song, and it also made me appreciate how the less pretty aspects of rap can tell a story and shape a mood better than “prettier” music. This really comes down to taste, but for me the “good” parts of the song are so rewarding that the “bad parts” turn from tolerable to a extension of something I love, and the song would be less perfect without its imperfections.
      I’ve also heard it said that a good musician knows when to put some roughness into their music, because something that is technically perfect can come off as soulless.

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