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Films That Did Not Make My Digital Shelf

by Jeremy C.

Created 12/12/17

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Just because a film is a classic or important contemporary film worthy of being in the Collection does not mean that I will like it or be positively interested in it enough for me to put it on my digital shelf. (Or put a box set on it because it contains that film.) This list is for those films, which I may have only tried but not viewed to completion so I could move on to better things. Reasons for not including them can be as simple as having one thing that irked me or a failure to pass the test of time. They range in quality from the fortunately rare few I find worthy of vituperation (ex.: Breathless); to those that exist in the liminal space between bad and good (ex.: Fiend Without a Face); to those that are good, but not good enough (ex.: The Shop on Main Street). (More detailed) comments forthcoming.

  • I don't think that Hitchcock is suspenseful. Maybe if I were around way back when he was making movies I would, but nowadays I don't think that he's passed the test of time. This has a few funny moments, but otherwise it's nothing special.

  • As an agender person, I'm always on the lookout for androgyny in film, so I was excited for this one. Unfortunately, I didn't like the way in which things bleed together.

  • Modernity (or post-modernity, or whatever the hell we're in now) has much in the way of problems, but I've never felt the alienation expressed in this film. If anything, I connect most easily to the technology that Godard wants to throw weaponized poems at.

  • I’m glad that these films shook things up a bit, but I don’t think that they’re all that great in and of themselves. The King of Marvin Gardens is the best of the bunch, but not good enough to add to my shelf. Due to how film history has been told, Easy Rider is the most notable, but I don’t like how it wanders.

  • Even if it weren't pretentious and vapidly bleak, the editing would sink this one. It's so consistently, slightly jumpy that it's annoying.

  • It's may the best film version of "Beauty and the Beast" ever made, but it's still "Beauty and the Beast." I'm not much a fan of the story, and this film didn't change that.

  • Colonialism has never looked so beautiful....

  • The worst thing this movie has going for it is that it's actually not bad. It's competently made and has a basic message behind it that keeps it from being vapid. If it were bad, I might have been able to enjoy that badness, but it's just okay.

  • This is a mixed bag if there ever was one. It is very enjoyable overall, but flaws poke momentary holes in that enjoyment. I haven't seen it in a while, so I don't remember details, but some of the ideas discussed (that Kechiche seems to approve of) during parties and such are problematic. Also, the director is an ass man if there ever was one; I tried to keep track of the ass shots, but lost count at around a dozen.

  • Maybe if I'd seen it while I was in high school I would've liked it more, but this didn't do anything for me now.

  • This is a film whose critical success only makes me despise it more. In a vacuum, it's just a raging dumpster fire made by someone with no idea how to edit or frame a shot. With the critical acclaim mixed in, I want to break the DVD case in half and scream.

  • This movie tried to shock me from the beginning with mother-son incest, but it didn't land and I never laughed. For one thing, the childhood twincest of Cerci and Jaime Lannister got to me first.

  • The camerawork isn't Breathless bad, but Varda still gratuitously whips the camera around when a simple cut would do.

  • That Pasolini wrote the story is a plus, but it's still a freshman effort by a director I don't have much love for.

  • It's certainly well done, but I'm not sure that the concept was fully thought through. (Roger Ebert articulates this well, so I'll leave it to him for now: https://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/the-curious-case-of-benjamin-button-2008) But then how could it be? After all, his life is contrary to literally all of human experience since there were humans. My mind boggles at having to think through the logical implications of aging in the wrong direction even before relationships with people who are going the other way are factored in.

  • I don't like the Ten Commandments. (As George Carlin demonstrated, they can be edited down to two.) So far I've seen A Short Film About Killing, which made me wonder what was being hidden behind the blacked-out portion of the screen.

  • The problem with stylized films is that if I don't like the style, that really does a number on my liking of the film as a whole, even if the rest is excellent. (This is why there isn't any Wes Anderson in my collection.) If this were less colorful, for example, I probably would have mostly loved it.

  • This may have worked if it were a genre film, magic realism being the best fit. However, as it stands, it's a metaphysical film – if a beautiful one – with a mystical portrayal of the world. Outside of genre, that doesn't pass muster for me.

  • This doesn't feel like a Melville film, which makes it feel weird; it lacks his cool detachment. Chalk it up to Early Installment Weirdness, I guess.

  • It is a very freeform documentary. I wish it were a bit tighter.

  • The only thing worse than an argument for a position I find horrible is a horrible argument for a position I hold. Here, that position is feminism. (Well, its correctness.) Mine should have some adjectives put in front of it to distinguish it from this lazy, gender essentialist misandry with a healthy dose of misanthropy thrown in to cover everything else. It all gets tiresome before the first sex scene, and it somehow manages to get worse after that.

    It makes me wonder if Catherine Breillat bleeds straw.

  • It's one of those movies that doesn't really detract from or add to the experience of staring at a blank screen for a while. I don't remember anything else about it.

  • The stories at the beginning were... fine. I didn't love Spalding Gray's voice, which wasn't good since there was a lot of it. The added lights and such were trying too hard to add to what he was saying. Perhaps a black box theatre aesthetic would have been better.

  • I love violent movies, but I don't think that a movie can be good on action alone; there needs to be some more weight to it to give the action some impetus. (Though, as long as a film has enough class and style, that weight doesn’t have to be a lot.) This isn't utterly vapid action, but the themes that are there don't interest me.

  • For some reason, the pseudo-documentary format is not a good fit for this.

  • I really wanted to like this one (Catherine Russell's essay hits on several points this film has going for it, especially vis-à-vis Yuki), but it's not funny. As a rule of thumb, Kurosawa doesn't make me laugh (the only exception that comes to mind right now is a moment in Seven Samurai in which Toshiro Mifune pretends to be a bandit while next to one; when the bandit realizes who he is, he freaks out hilariously). Normally, this is not a problem since everything else is so strong, if not brilliant, and jokes are only a minor part of the film and/or the general sense of levity being present is nonetheless successfully conveyed. Unfortunately, a lot of this film rides on its humor.

  • Melodramas of this sort can have really fun, crazy plots to make their ideas extra-enjoyable to consume, and appreciating them can sometimes be an exercise in camp. This one, however, tries way too hard to get a rise out of me, so I found it to be more annoying than anything else. The crazy music is a particularly egregious offender.

  • It's philosophical humanism is less problematic than most varieties, but it starts to overstay its welcome after 4 hours or so. With another 5.75 hours to go....

  • It's interesting to see Ozu in his early days, and his charm is definitely present here, but this is still a comedy that did not make me laugh.

  • It's actually pretty good for about an hour or so, but then it starts to become disjointed. What inertia there was between the scenes gets lost, and then it's just alright.

  • This could have been... a bit calmer. The opening five minutes especially could have used a sedative. I thought that the soundtrack was going to have a heart attack.

  • For this film to overcome the fact that Polanski is a fugitive child rapist, it would have to be a divine bolt from the heavens that manages to restore my crappy eyesight. It is not.

  • It feels like The Godfather I and II, which I have mixed feelings about. (Technically, they feel like The Leopard, but I didn’t see it before them.) Those feelings got applied to The Leopard. Also, the soundtrack has way too many violins in it.

  • This movie just isn't crazy enough for me to like it. It crosses the line, but doesn't go so far as to loop back again like Sweet Movie does.

  • Not a fan of the voiceover.

  • Chaplin's empathy for poor workers shines through to this day, but it didn't make me laugh, so unfortunately it falls short as a movie today.

  • Yet another victim of hype. Also, something about it feels off, and not in a "David Lynch doesn't need drugs" sort of way....

  • It's transgressive – and I'm perfectly willing to give points for that – but it's sleazy. I don't like sleaze. I have more of a Hannibal sensibility; I usually like my extreme content with at least a touch of class.

  • This movie wants me to be outraged by it, but I couldn't bring myself to care about it in the first place so I could get outraged.

  • I really wanted to like this one, but the miraculous ending killed any hopes of that.

  • It doesn't just depict a stuffy society (which is fine by me), it feels stuffy.

  • As a film (not considering content), it is excellent, but I'm not overly interested in the dance it portrays.

  • As I watched this, there was something off about it I didn't like that I couldn't put my finger on. The accompanying essay's phrase "nervier, more radically modern" hit it on the head.

  • This film is kind of awkward. It tries very hard to have a good story with thematic heft, but it falls short in the face of the films that followed it. That's not its fault, but that makes it difficult for me to like it. The special effects aren't bad enough to mock, but not good enough to be good. The science was good for its day, so I tried not to dock for anything that counts as an error today, but there is too much air on Mars; that kind of just feels wrong. ("Dude, you should be dead! This plot should not be continuing!")

  • It's far from a bad film, but it's not One of the Greatest Films Ever Made Since Ever, so it kind of falls flat for not reaching that high bar.

  • It's never a good sign when I start a comedy not by laughing, but just noticing the beginning, middle, and punchline of a joke. ("Hey! That right there was a joke! It's supposed to make me laugh.") Such was the noose-that-is-not-a-noose joke.

  • If there's one director I've thrown myself against to no avail the most, it's Kenji Mizoguchi. He has almost all the makings of a great director, but he's just 10% (or some such small number) too sentimental. Somehow he managed to make the laments of slaves in this film annoying. That really shouldn't be possible.

  • Cronenberg is one of those peculiar filmmakers who uses a lot of tropes that I like, but when they are put together into a film, there's a certain je ne sais quoi lacking that keeps me from really liking the film. When he's bringing his A game, he can create A- work (ex.: Videodrome, Eastern Promises), but this not his A game. That exploding head is a beautiful thing, though, especially in the form of a looping gif.

  • As a creator of films, Tarkovsky was one of the greatest, and this is no exception. But when it comes to agreeing with the films that he creates, I don't have much luck. For example, one of the things this film argues is that human rationalism is limited. On that basic point, I agree: we are but mortals with dull senses. However, this argues that we therefore need more than rationalism to discover the universe. I think that it's all we've got, but that's not a big problem. If one day, we somehow discover the secrets of the universe, that's great. But if we never do, that's fine. Anyways, there's no reason to fret over something like that that is out of our control.

    Also, it's like an anti-2001. I love 2001, and so I am also inclined to not love this.

  • I know that at least one person on this site has said that they don't like the following statement, but: This isn't really a Kubrick movie.

  • The Wild West does not deserve to be romanticized or mythologized as it is here.

  • I didn't like the zither music. Also, dutch angles really shouldn't be done in a boxy aspect ratio. (At the very least, I haven't seen it pulled off successfully yet.)

  • My entire family hates me for not liking this one, but I only found a handful of the jokes funny. ("Up to 11" is one of them, of course.)

  • I haven't seen this in a few years, so my memories are vague here, but I remember not liking the songs and finding it to be too sappy and quaint. And colorful. That I had to sit through the entire thing during my French class only made it worse.

  • Films concerning religion fall into two general categories: those that are about religion, and those that are religious. I only like the former. This film starts in the first category, but moves into the second by the time the titular spring arrives. Also, I find the concept of "virginal purity" to at least be annoying. The whole "good, light-associated, well-dressed Christians" being pitted against the "scruffy, dark-associated, Odin(which is basically Satan, right?)-worshipping Pagans" thing gets tiresome and is not substantially alleviated by what moral ambiguity is there.

  • In which Godard demonstrates that he does not need a shaky camera to create grindingly awful shot compositions. Some shots are fine. Some shots clip off all of the protagonist's face except for her nose. If this were this my first Godard film, I may have been able to put up with it since the subject matter interests me, but having seen Breathless, I just can't stand this man! Maybe I'll like Contempt.... (After-note: I did.)

  • I am largely in agreement with this film, so that is not an issue. It is an issue with overall quality; for one thing, if I recall correctly, it felt really 80s.

  • Whoever held the camera at the beginning had to have been working with shattered wrists, so I stopped watching.

  • Am I a bad fan of British comedy if this didn't make me laugh a lot?

  • If there is one thing that I consistently revile, it's atonal music. It's a shame; if this had a soundtrack that wasn't awful, it could have been a really good movie.

  • This is too psychoanalytical.

  • Lincoln was fair for his day, but his day did not make that hard. This makes it look like he was just a flat-out good person. Also, the music feels too sentimental in an Americana way.

  • Its joyful, anarchic spirit isn't exactly infectious....