My buddy Wally Conger
went the other way after I talked about my favorite movies - he started a cool conversation
about a Premiere
magazine piece called "The 20 Most Over-Rated Films of All Time
." You know the old expression "Don't get me started"? Here's part of what I posted ...
"My all-time over-rated, bloated, WTF did I waste three and a half hours of my life on this
thing for: James Cameron's Titanic
. I squirmed through the first 90 minutes getting to know nothing I cared to know about a pile of unappealing characters, I laughed through parts of the serious sinking scenes, and I was enraged at the end with what that old lady does with a multimillion-dollar jewel that could have rewarded all of the research team's labors. Oh damn, now I've gotten started ... The heartbreaking part is Cameron had done so many really terrific films before that clunker. But what do I know? After Titanic
the guy never needs to work again."
It's true. I hated it. It even took two great movies (The Unbearable Lightness of Being
and Finding Neverland
) to get the bad taste out of my mouth and acknowledge that Kate Winslet is an appealing actress after all. There's one scene where Leonardo DiCaprio's character is handcuffed to a pipe and the water is rising - Kate runs off to find a key, and when she returns to Leo her body language does not say "Thank goodness I'm back in time, let's get you out of there." No - Milady and I looked at each other, giggled and said in unison, "Hi honey, I'm ho-ome." After thrilling to the Terminator films
and The Abyss
and True Lies
, I expected a great flick. I've never been so horribly disappointed by a movie.
How disappointed was I? I usually will sink into a movie, my brain completely immersed in the characters and story. Interrupting my train of thought while I'm really
movie-watching is like being awakened from REM sleep. About halfway through Titanic
, I got up and went to the restroom. I was that
It's not a complete waste. The scene where Leo is sketching Kate is lovely without being prurient, although it did
fill my evil soul with prurient thoughts. (Hey, I'm a guy, it's what we do.) Gloria Stuart is simply wonderful as the old Kate - that's why I was so infuriated when they ruined even that character with her stupid, selfish and completely incongruous final act. And nobody films water scenes like Cameron; he was literally in his element with that aspect of this story. But overall, I hated Titanic
. I hate it so much that if I think of a film that I think is the second
most-overrated film I've ever seen, the level of revulsion won't be even close. Titanic
is far and away the all-time champ.
Yep, it's true, I just browsed the all-time USA box office list
searching for another well-anticipated movie that disappointed me so badly, and I got all the way down to #223, Traffic
, before I found one that sparked any kind of emotional reaction. And even then, I thought it was a pretty good movie, but it paled in comparison with the source material, the 1989 European miniseries Traffik
. Sure, I've seen worse movies, but hands down the worst time I ever had when I was expecting a good movie was Titanic
. It's just a horrible, sopping, bloated mess.
I know, I know - "Yeah, but what do you really
think about this movie, Brian?"