Thursday, January 11, 2018

Thursday Movie Picks - Movies You Don't Want to Watch Again

Written as part of the weekly blogathon hosted by Wandering Through the Shelves. Join in the fun by picking three movies that fit the week's theme and writing a bit about them!

I LOVE the theme for this week: Once Was Enough (Movies You Don't Want to Watch Again). I thought of a bunch of great movies that I don't ever want to watch again, so many good ones that it was actually a bit hard to pare it down. At any rate, I highly recommend these movies, but after watching them, you may also decide that you never want to see them again.

Saw (James Wan, 2004) It's not that it's too scary, it's that it's too gross. And I'm not just talking about the mise-en-scène. Nor am I just talking about the sickly green color palette they've chosen to wash all the cinematography in. I'm mostly talking about the film's main thesis statement, which got even more problematic when a fandom sprung up around the character of Jigsaw, a serial killer who designs elaborate death traps for people that are really morality tests, or something, revering him as a character who speaks truth and someone who is somehow morally complex and might actually have a point after all... and made a whole goddamn series of ever-more confounding sequels. The morass of murky (a)morality makes me so sick for humanity that I not only can't bring myself to watch this again, but have been actively rooting for every subsequent Saw film's failure. And I NEVER want to actively root for a film to fail.

Requiem for a Dream (Darren Aronofsky, 2000) If this movie was shown to every high schooler in America, we would have a lot less teenage drug addicts, I guarantee it. Aronofsky's film is so bruising, depressing, and disturbing that I can't watch it again. Part of the brilliance is how he uses lenses, music, film speed, and editing to put us completely in the heads of these characters, played with go-for-broke brilliance by Jared Leto, Jennifer Connelly, Marlon Wayans, and the Oscar-nominated Ellen Burstyn.

Shoah (Claude Lanzmann, 1985) Yes, I have sat through all nine and a half hours of this brutal documentary about the Holocaust. Yes, it is beyond brilliant how Lanzmann paints a full picture of the Holocaust, its build-up, and its aftermath without using a single frame of archival footage. Yes, it is beyond devastating. Yes, I'm glad I watched it. No, I do not ever need to watch it again.

14 comments:

  1. I haven't seen Shoah but I agree on the other two. We matched on Requim. I agree about showing it to kids. At work we show kids a movie called Smashed, it had Aaron Paul and Nick Stahl in it as the "don't do drugs" movie because it's less graphic but really I'd rather show this and Trainspotting. lol

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    1. I remember Smashed! Only saw trailers, but yeah, there's no way it could be a better anti-drug showcase than Requiem for a Dream or Trainspotting.

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  2. I right there with you on Requiem. I don't think its a film designed to be "liked" and I certainly didn't but the acting especially Ellen Burstyn made it endurable but never again.

    I just can't imagine investing all that time in Shoah when I know at the end I'm going to feel downhearted and sad. I've heard that it has the stuff of genius but I don't see myself going there.

    NOTHING could ever induce me to watch Saw.

    I had to use my first which quite honestly is crap for the obvious reason but my other two are films I liked but have no desire to rewatch.

    Once is Not Enough (1975)-Oh but it most certainly was…more than enough to be frank!! Based on the theme I couldn’t resist but this terrible film based on a trashy Jacqueline Susann novel about a naïve selfish and rather stupid rich girl (Deborah Raffin) who becomes involved with an much older man (David Janssen) as a substitute for her obsession with her father (Kirk Douglas) is tasteless, crass and badly acted by everyone except Alexis Smith and Brenda Vaccaro (who somehow managed to rise above the muck and be nominated for Best Supporting Actress). For something so salacious it’s remarkably dull.

    La Ronde (1950) - Max Ophuls’s venerated roundelay of a circle of love affairs, some serious some frivolous in 1900 Vienna is a supposed mad whirl of joie de vivre. I love many other of Ophuls’s films, Letter from an Unknown Woman, The Earrings of Madame de… & The Reckless Moment among them, so I was really looking forward to this film but while I didn’t hate it I found it rather silly and too frou-frou to take seriously and can’t see myself returning to it again.

    Moonrise Kingdom (2012)-Two youngsters fall in love and run away together which leads a search party to set out for them while they have quirky adventures. I know I’ll probably take heat for this one and maybe it’s because Wes Anderson films by and large leave me cold but while others were telling me how charming and lovely this was I thought it was forced, trying too hard for a feeling of whimsy. Again I didn’t hate it but I had a big feeling of So What? at the film’s conclusion.

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    1. Oh, I LIKED Requiem... in a way, it's almost too good at what it does. The acting really is incredible (although I would still give the Oscar to Julia Roberts over Ellen Burstyn that year). And I do not blame you AT ALL for avoiding Shoah and Saw (which... were Saw a standalone film and got rid of that ridiculous "cool" twist-for-the-sake-of-having-a-twist, would actually be interesting, if still a not-that-great film).

      I will probably get around to watching Jacqueline Susann's Once Is Not Enough when I finally go full-tilt Oscar completist, but MAN am I NOT looking forward to it.

      AW, I ADORE Moonrise Kingdom! It's probably my favorite Wes Anderson film (give or take Tenenbaums), but then, his dry deadpan wit is a perfect fit with my sense of humor. And I know how that can be very much not someone's thing.

      I haven't seen La Ronde but I've loved all the other Ophüls films I've seen so far.

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  3. I don't ever want to see Saw or the sequels. There is enough crap in the world without seeing this. I don't believe in making a serial killer somehow a hero which is why I never watched Dexter. I wanted to see Requiem but I don't think I will now. Shoah does sound brilliant and i might be tempted to see this since my mom lived during this time but she was German. No she was not the nasty kind but actually tried to help and was part of the resistance as I mentioned before.

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    1. Requiem for a Dream is BRILLIANT. Full stop. It's just a VERY difficult sit. Same with Shoah, which might be more bearable if you break it up into sections shorter than nine-and-a-half hours lol.

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  4. Excellent picks - as in I agree! I also want all Saw films to fail, but mainly as I hate this type of genre and I'm sick of the franchise. Requiem is so bleak, I can't believe I actually watched it twice!

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    1. I couldn't believe my eyes when they released ANOTHER Saw movie in 2017 - I thought we had finally moved on as a society!

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  5. I must admit that I was sort of surprised with how much I was entertained by the original Saw. The sequels are just disgusting retreads. Requiem for a Dream I saw a few times when I was younger. Never again after that. It's really virtuosic filmmaking though.

    I have the Criterion Blu-Ray of Shoah on my shelf right now. Still haven't watched it for over a year. One of these days though.

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    1. The IDEA of Saw was so interesting, and they pretty much squandered it. You are so right on Requiem being virtuosic. I've seen it a couple of times since the first, mostly to analyze it and figure out the most effective bits, but that was always in sections. I don't think I would survive another full watch.

      The Criterion blu-ray was the only reason I watched Shoah. Well, that and being unemployed at the time. That was also when I watched Berlin Alexanderplatz.

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  6. Looks like Requiem is a popular pick this week. I get it because it's hard to watch, but man it's a great film. I've watched it several times and probably will again. Every time I'm blown away. It's one of my all-time favorite horror flicks. Yes, I meant horror.

    Great points about the Saw franchise. I enjoy the movies for what they are: something I watch when I want over-the-top gore. That said, I agree that placing Jigsaw on some type of pedestal is disturbing.

    Not sure I'll ever see Shoah. 9+ hours...yeesh.

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    1. Oh I am WITH YOU on Requiem being a horror flick. It absolutely is, and is completely brilliant. As is Shoah, but yeah, 9.5 hours is a bit of a commitment.

      Yeah, the gore turned me off to the sequels but I was kinda shocked by how little gore was in the first Saw.

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  7. Saw is the only one I've seen and I watched it twice. I actually liked it. Most of the others are unwatchable though.

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    1. I thought the idea behind Saw was really compelling, but the sequel set-up and "cool" twists at the end turned me off.

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