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.

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264 Comments on "Can a Film Be So Good It’s Bad?"

rsfan94
Guest

First!

RockmanX3
Guest

I lose again…

mr grump
Guest

nothing is gained by getting first comment

happymel
Guest

Except the joy in your heart. ;D

cannedfury
Guest

And countless thumbs down.

Sypoth
Guest

Nobody cares.

arist
Guest

The amount of dislikes shows otherwise.

Toondude10
Guest

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

BlackoutWB
Guest

Why would you want to skip it?

maveag
Guest

Gonna bet on it being clipless.

The Real Silverstar
Guest

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.

maveag
Guest

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.

Efeas
Guest

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.

happymel
Guest

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

DarthZorgon
Guest

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.

Efeas
Guest
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… Read more »
SSJ22Terris
Guest

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.

Trevor Santo
Guest
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… Read more »
SpikeGal
Guest

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.

HelloThere
Guest
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… Read more »
SpikeGal
Guest

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
Guest

NOPE.

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

RockmanX3
Guest

I’ll bring the salt.

Cory of PRIVATE Corp
Guest

I think the salt’s coming to us, but it’s a good thought nonetheless! Thanks, appreciate the help!

JamiSings
Guest

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.”

Caleb Rhodus
Guest

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.

JamiSings
Guest
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.”… Read more »
Caleb Rhodus
Guest

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.

mduncan50
Guest

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.

Everdeen2015
Guest

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

Trekker4747
Guest

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.

Goomy
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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.

bole
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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!

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

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

Elliott
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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… Read more »
Nikaido
Guest

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.

Tross
Guest

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.

Yin Knight
Guest

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

SpikeGal
Guest

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!

Badly Drawn Manchild
Guest
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… Read more »
JamiSings
Guest

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.

Badly Drawn Manchild
Guest

No, this is a different miniseries altogether, made in the 1970s by the BBC with Louis Jordan as Dracula.

Blazeblast4
Guest
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… Read more »
NovaAlexandria
Guest

“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.

Dapperman64
Guest

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

halfsasquatch
Guest

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
Guest

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.

Mides
Guest

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.

Brad1ey Shaw
Guest
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… Read more »
NovaAlexandria
Guest

I felt that way about Black Hawk Down. I watched it once, enjoyed it, but couldn’t watch it again.

M. Lavender
Guest
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… Read more »
PontyMython
Guest
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… Read more »
Megalodon
Guest
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… Read more »
The Inquisitive J
Guest

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.

ErichoTTA
Guest

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?

Free Verse!
Guest

Goodwill is not a charity. It is a non-profit organization. This might sound like splitting hairs, but the fact is that they are basically a corporation that uses loopholes to avoid paying taxes and to mistreat their workers.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/john-hrabe/the-worst-corporation-in-_b_1876905.html

Chaosdirge1
Guest

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.

dutchah
Guest

Ghostbusters next week?

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

JamiSings
Guest
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… Read more »
SwedishMovieNerd523
Guest
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)… Read more »
theatrekid
Guest
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.”… Read more »
SwedishMovieNerd523
Guest
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… Read more »
Aray 1
Guest
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… Read more »
Veran
Guest

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.

Caleb Rhodus
Guest

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.

Erik Stone
Guest

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.

NCfanboy1
Guest

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.

NDP
Guest

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).

J-Shap
Guest
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… Read more »
Titw
Guest
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… Read more »
DWP102589
Guest
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… Read more »
LilbunUWiz
Guest
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… Read more »
ProfessorTango
Guest
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… Read more »
PhoneBoothAaron
Guest

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. :/

firefly4f4
Guest

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.

Souldapop
Guest
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… Read more »
kismet89
Guest

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

David Ehrlich
Guest
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… Read more »
TheSuicidalTeddybear
Guest
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… Read more »
Jasmine
Guest

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.

Michael Blaylock
Guest
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,… Read more »
Tuth
Guest
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… Read more »
Mounkeygril
Guest
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… Read more »
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