PDA

View Full Version : Worst Hollywood director


Floyd Remora
12-27-2005, 09:48 PM
Who do you think the worst or most overrated film director is? I nominate that hack Paul Verhoeven because of the stool like Showgirls he's responsible for.

Silentgoldfish
12-27-2005, 10:01 PM
Michael Bay represents in one person everything that is wrong with modern blockbusters.

Paul WS Anderson represents in one person everything that is wrong with modern hollywood science fiction.

Mr. Blue Sky
12-27-2005, 10:13 PM
Joel Schumacher really sucks.


I want to NOT nominate Ed Wood. He transcended bad.

pesch
12-27-2005, 10:48 PM
Ivan Reitman and Chris Columbus. Competent directors who bring absolutely nothing to a project. Their sole function is to bring the script in on time and under budget. They're incapable of improving a weak script or making a great script better.

But probably the king of big bad directors is George Lucas. What kind of career would he have had if "Star Wars" didn't hit the way it did, and no sequels followed?

Diogenes the Cynic
12-27-2005, 11:00 PM
Vincent Gallo has to be on this list.

Omniscient
12-27-2005, 11:08 PM
Who do you think the worst or most overrated film director is? I nominate that hack Paul Verhoeven because of the stool like Showgirls he's responsible for.

Well, this thing is going to get heated really fast...

wolf_meister
12-27-2005, 11:11 PM
I remember asking the SDMB for the name of a director and got my answer in a minute (typical SDMB efficiency).

I only remembered William "One Shot" Beaudine for this great quote.

Someone in the "front office" came to the director to complain that a film was running behind schedule. Mr Beaudine replied "You mean someone is actually waiting to see this?"

He may not have been a great director, but at least he had no exaggerated ego problems.

nameless
12-27-2005, 11:13 PM
Uwe Boll. (http://www.somethingawful.com/articles.php?a=2649) What an asshole.

Omniscient
12-27-2005, 11:15 PM
Ivan Reitman and Chris Columbus. Competent directors who bring absolutely nothing to a project. Their sole function is to bring the script in on time and under budget. They're incapable of improving a weak script or making a great script better.

Well, let's remember that Ivan Reitman is responsible for Old School and Animal House. His best work has been as a relatively hands-on producer and has produced some classics. He doesn't really identify himself as an uber-director and its probably unfair to label him as a bad director when that's not really his forte.

But probably the king of big bad directors is George Lucas. What kind of career would he have had if "Star Wars" didn't hit the way it did, and no sequels followed?

Well, American Graffiti didn't exactly suck. Maybe if Star Wars had flopped maybe he'd have not gotten so lazy and self-important. If he were forced to be a director with a studio and producer with authority over him perhaps he'd have been better than he was in the newer trilogy.

Sampiro
12-27-2005, 11:34 PM
David Lynch. His close-ups on inanimate objects, the voiceovers, the "weird for the sake of being weird" shots and touches... just dreck. The Elephant Man is about the only movie of his I've ever been able to sit through without fidgeting mercilessly, and then it was only because of the brilliant performances.

Another nomination for George Lucas. I didn't realize just how bad he was until I saw Hayden Christensen in other movies and realized "Hey, the kid's not a bad actor!", then watched the extras on the DVD when George was telling him to "Emote more! Emote!" in a scene that would have been much better understated than "Ming the Merciless"ly hammed up like Lucas was going for.

The Hamster King
12-27-2005, 11:46 PM
I didn't realize just how bad he was until I saw Hayden Christensen in other movies and realized "Hey, the kid's not a bad actor!"... I had exactly the same realization watching Natalie Portman in Garden State: "Hey, she's really good! Man, Lucas SUCKS."

uglybeech
12-27-2005, 11:50 PM
Too easy - Steven Soderbergh. I will never understand what deal this lightweight made with the devil to get the kind of acclaim he does (let alone Best Director Oscar). None of his movies have risen above the level of a competent Law and Order episode (with a bigger budget), and some of them are downright awful - I dare you to enjoy anything about "The Limey". The exception being "Gray's Anatomy" which is only remarkable because Spalding Gray is so amazing (even still it's the worst of the three monologue movies).

Hilarity N. Suze
12-28-2005, 12:09 AM
Are we talking absolute worst director, or most overrated?

'cause for worst, there are all these straight-to-vid thing, plus Conan the Waitress.

For overrated, there's Alfred Hitchcock.

Tuckerfan
12-28-2005, 12:13 AM
Vincent Gallo. I've not seen his "Brown Bunny," but apparently it was so bad it gave Roger Ebert cancer.

Omniscient
12-28-2005, 01:28 AM
Too easy - Steven Soderbergh. I will never understand what deal this lightweight made with the devil to get the kind of acclaim he does (let alone Best Director Oscar). None of his movies have risen above the level of a competent Law and Order episode (with a bigger budget), and some of them are downright awful - I dare you to enjoy anything about "The Limey". The exception being "Gray's Anatomy" which is only remarkable because Spalding Gray is so amazing (even still it's the worst of the three monologue movies).

Wow, just wow. I mean he's not the second coming or anything but Ocean's Eleven alone gets him a free pass in this thread.

Rodgers01
12-28-2005, 01:55 AM
I'll second Joel Schumacher. There are lots of bad directors out there, but Schumacher is particularly offensive to me because he's a terrible director who is consistently given interesting source material that he wastes no time in mucking up. "Flatliners" had an interesting premise, and could have been a great movie -- until Schumacher got his hands on it. Ditto "Falling Down." And "Batman and Robin." And "8 MM." And "A Time to Kill." And even "Phantom of the Opera." All interesting source material utterly ruined by this terrible man.

some white dude
12-28-2005, 04:18 AM
Vincent Gallo. I've not seen his "Brown Bunny," but apparently it was so bad it gave Roger Ebert cancer.
I know I shouldn't laugh at this, but ROFLcopter. It was funny.

Liz
12-28-2005, 04:24 AM
Vincent Gallo has to be on this list.
Hey, that 20-minute blowjob scene was art, man! It was a metaphor for life and disillusionment! You just don't get it!

In other words, I second that asshole Gallo.

Silentgoldfish
12-28-2005, 04:31 AM
I know I shouldn't laugh at this, but ROFLcopter. It was funny.

Not only funny but partially accurate as a description of the altercation between Gallo and Ebert after the movie was released. From the imdb:

In particular, Roger Ebert called the film "the worst in the history of Cannes" to which Vincent Gallo responded that Ebert was a "fat pig with the physique of a slave trader". Ebert paraphrased a remark of Winston Churchill and responded that "although I am fat, one day I will be thin, but Mr. Gallo will still have been the director of 'Brown Bunny'". Gallo then put a "hex" on Ebert's colon, to which Ebert responded that "even my colonoscopy was more entertaining than his film".

Coldfire
12-28-2005, 04:34 AM
Verhoeven, right off the bat. Classic. :)

Verhoeven is sort of hit or miss for me. His films are either brilliant (Soldier of Orange, Starship Troopers, Robocop), or really bad (indeed, Showgirls).

It's hard to name a director who consistently makes bad movies, I think. I mean, yeah, Lucas is a lazy slob whose carreer rides on the initial succes of Star Wars - but SW was brilliant in its genre. So he's got that going for him.

I'm struggling to find a mainstream director that has made no decent movie to speak of. Maybe you don't get tot hat level if all you make is crap.

Robert Emmett
12-28-2005, 04:36 AM
You thought Starship Troopers was brilliant?! HEATHEN!

Uwe Boll, hands down, is the worst director alive. Not sure if he qualifies as Hollywood, though. He's one of the few people that I can think of that get rejected from that taudrey house of sin. Have any of you seen House of the Dead? I never particularly liked the game, but I felt that I had been violated by bad taste.

Scissorjack
12-28-2005, 04:37 AM
Wow, just wow. I mean he's not the second coming or anything but Ocean's Eleven alone gets him a free pass in this thread.

Let's not forget Out Of Sight, which is not only the best Elmore Leonard adaptation {against some fairly stiff recent competition}, but made me regard George Clooney as more than just Tom Selleck for the 90's and made Jennifer Lopez look good. And The Limey was fucking great.

Walloon
12-28-2005, 05:27 AM
Postscript: Roger Ebert gave a "thumbs up" to the re-edited version of Brown Bunny, surprising even himself.

Seven
12-28-2005, 05:36 AM
I'm struggling to find a mainstream director that has made no decent movie to speak of. Maybe you don't get tot hat level if all you make is crap.

*cough*Michael Bay (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000881/)*cough*

Coldfire
12-28-2005, 05:49 AM
While I agree that's an impressive list of mostly shite films, I actually liked The Rock. A lot. So Bay's off the hook as well, for me. :)

Walloon
12-28-2005, 06:17 AM
Why the "cough"?

Slithy Tove
12-28-2005, 07:03 AM
Robert Aldrich would take good ideas and great actors, and then, in movies like Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?, and Emperor of the North,fuck them up with his undiguised contempt for the audience (starting by having them scored by Frank "Theme from the Brady Bunch" De Vol).

Aeschines
12-28-2005, 08:06 AM
Not only funny but partially accurate as a description of the altercation between Gallo and Ebert after the movie was released. From the imdb:

In particular, Roger Ebert called the film "the worst in the history of Cannes" to which Vincent Gallo responded that Ebert was a "fat pig with the physique of a slave trader". Ebert paraphrased a remark of Winston Churchill and responded that "although I am fat, one day I will be thin, but Mr. Gallo will still have been the director of 'Brown Bunny'". Gallo then put a "hex" on Ebert's colon, to which Ebert responded that "even my colonoscopy was more entertaining than his film".The sad thing is that Ebert later saw the recut Brown Bunny and said, "This ain't so bad!"

Gack. BTW, I saw the blowjob scene online, and it is indeed heavy-duty. That slut really appears to be drinking him down to the last drop, almost gagging on the effluent.

Get a room. Gack.

middleman
12-28-2005, 08:47 AM
I gotta toss Renny Harlin into the mix.

Dante
12-28-2005, 08:49 AM
Uwe Boll. (http://www.somethingawful.com/articles.php?a=2649) What an asshole.
I came in specifically to mention him and to link to that story. I couldn't believe that they handed him Bloodrayne after the mess he made of Alone in the Dark. What a hack.

RealityChuck
12-28-2005, 09:57 AM
Verhoeven, Bay, and Schumacher, definitely.

But you never know. Joe Johnston did some really bad hackwork, then came out with October Sky.

Hey, It's That Guy!
12-28-2005, 10:40 AM
I gotta toss Renny Harlin into the mix.

I actually love The Long Kiss Goodnight, but that's because I'm a Shane Black fanboy (he wrote it) and I think Geena Davis is smokin' hot in it.

Trunk
12-28-2005, 11:08 AM
I've never really enjoyed anything Michael Bay has done. His films seem like something anyone can do.

Everyone else mentioned here, in particular Verhoeven and Shumacher, are at least epic in their failures, rarely boring, and sometimes great.

I prefer the bile that some of their films produce in me to the feeling of blah that Bay gives me.

PoorYorick
12-28-2005, 11:13 AM
I've never really enjoyed anything Michael Bay has done.
I have to admit, though, I thought that The Island (http://imdb.com/title/tt0399201/) delivered as an action movie (if not as science fiction).

Larry Borgia
12-28-2005, 11:16 AM
Bay. For Pearl Harbor. The Song in TA:WP had it exactly right. How could anyone make a boring movie about Pearl Harbor? And yet Bay did. Kind of impressive, almost.

FilmGeek
12-28-2005, 11:35 AM
Michael Bay redeemed himself with The Island in my eyes. I liked it a lot.

I can see why you feel that way about Hitchcock, Hilarity, but I disagree wholeheartedly. I don't find his movies to be that engaging anymore, but he was one of the finest directors to ever head a film. He created a genre.

jackelope
12-28-2005, 11:45 AM
The sad thing is that Ebert later saw the recut Brown Bunny and said, "This ain't so bad!"Why is it sad? I was impressed with Ebert's willingness to reevaluate the edited version of a film he'd so thoroughly excoriated the first time. (Review link (http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20040903/REVIEWS/409020301/1023))

As for Gallo being the worst director: Well, I haven't seen Brown Bunny and probably won't, but I enjoyed Buffalo 66. It wasn't good enough to qualify him as a "great" director by any means, but it was definitely strong enough to get him out of the running for Worst.

vivalostwages
12-28-2005, 12:37 PM
I'll second Bay and Verhoeven. And what the heck.....I'll throw in George Lucas, too. He can misdirect just about anyone. Portman has certainly done far better work in other films, and Christensen was quite good in Shattered Glass.

Judith Prietht
12-28-2005, 01:41 PM
God, Schumacher's kind of tough for me. Yes, he's directed a bunch of crap, already nicely encapsulated by others above (throw <i>Dying Young</i> and <i>Phone Booth</i> into there, as well. But he also did <i>The Lost Boys</i> and <i>Tigerland</i>, and I feel I need to cut him a little slack for that.

I was watching that INXS greatest hits video collection and up comes the video for "Devil Inside," directed by Schumacher. And although I've seen it a million times, I was freshly befuddled by what exactly is happening. There's the threat of a rumble on a boardwalk between leather-clad bikers and tanned blond surfers/skateboarders? And some woman in a leather dress cut all the way up to her hooha? And all the while INXS is playing on a merry-go-round? I still don't understand.

Omniscient
12-28-2005, 02:09 PM
Maybe it's just me, but I don't think we need to hate on Michael Bay. Sure his movies have been mostly junk, but that's what he's all about. He unashamedly treats movies as disposable, shallow, popcorn-popping fare. His movies make money, are a spectacle and acomplish exaclty what he intends. Citizen Kane they are not, but e doesn't try to pretend they are and has never been that director who gets all pissy like a typical artist.

And hell, I enjoyed The Rock, Armageddon, and most of Pearl Harbor. I got exactly what I expected, which in and of itself is more than most directors can accomplish.

Trunk
12-28-2005, 02:20 PM
Maybe it's just me, but I don't think we need to hate on Michael Bay. Sure his movies have been mostly junk, but that's what he's all about. He unashamedly treats movies as disposable, shallow, popcorn-popping fare. His movies make money, are a spectacle and acomplish exaclty what he intends.
The problem I have with him is not that he makes popcorn movies. It's that he fails on that level. There are good ways and poor ways to do even that.

For one, they're completely over-edited. Take The Rock. IIRC, you had a Hummer chasing a ferrari in San Francisco. Can't miss, right? Wrong. The chase is so chopped up, you can't tell the two cars are in the same city, much less on the same street. Close up of Ferrari going around corner. Cut. Close up of Hummer ramming car. Cut. Close up of person jumping out of way of Ferarri. Cut.

Go watch the chase in Ronin, then watch The Rock.

But, you know what. . .the people who see his movies don't pay attention. They come out going, "Ferrari! Hummer! San Fran! Awesome!" Sorry, not awesome. I got nothing against a car chase. I got something against his.

His fight scenes are worse.

And, he ALWAYS throws in this little non-sense heart-tugging sidelines. The father/son thing in Rock. The girl in Con-Air. You always see it coming a mile away.

And even if I did like that style, it's something that seems to take absolutely no art or craft. They look like anyone could make the exact same movie if given the same screenplay. That's not true of most of the people on this list. Bay is completely bland and forgettable.

That said, I still might see The Island. I've heard better things about it.

Trunk
12-28-2005, 02:23 PM
Sorry, he didn't do Con-Air. I always clumped Conair and the rock together. I think cause of Nick Cage.

Anyway, change that example to the girl in "Armageddon". Same thing.

Hey, It's That Guy!
12-28-2005, 02:39 PM
Sorry, he didn't do Con-Air. I always clumped Conair and the rock together. I think cause of Nick Cage.

Anyway, change that example to the girl in "Armageddon". Same thing.

I was gonna say, Simon West did Con Air. But basically, both of those directors came out of Propaganda Films, where they "came up" shooting commercials and music videos, and producer Jerry Bruckheimer pretty much rubber-stamps every action movie they make, so they all have that similar look and feel. Bay gets a bad rap, and perhaps deservedly so, but he's just doing what Bruckheimer wants.

want2know
12-28-2005, 02:42 PM
Easier still: Ken Russell . From Tommy to Lisztomania to The Devils , this guy gave new meaning to the word "Hack".

(Dis)Honorable mention: Douglas Sirk , the king of the '50s weepies.

Hodge
12-28-2005, 03:56 PM
Sigh, once again I'm shocked by some of the names that come up in best/worst of threads.

I disagree with the nominations of Lynch and Verhoeven and am completely flabbergasted that someone would call Hitchcock overrated. He definitely deserves his place in the pantheon of director-gods. Heck, his name has even been adjectivized: Hitchcockian. Not many directors can claim that kind of influence.

On the other hand, I completely agree that Bay and Schumacher deserve to be on this list and I'd like to add one more:

Jan De Bont.

He's actually had a long and distinguished career as a cinematographer but his output as director has uniformly sucked. From Speed to Twister to the execrable remake of the Haunting he's yet to direct anything that isn't downright risible.

parthenokinesis
12-28-2005, 04:28 PM
Easier still: Ken Russell . From Tommy to Lisztomania to The Devils , this guy gave new meaning to the word "Hack".

OTOH, I found Lair of the White Worm and Gothic incredibly fun and Salome's Last Dance one of my favorite movies ever. No accounting for taste.

well he's back
12-28-2005, 04:33 PM
Didn't Ken Russell direct "Women in Love"? I think that is a wonderful film. So he made at least one really good one, while most were indeed over the top.

Aeschines
12-28-2005, 04:47 PM
Why is it sad? I was impressed with Ebert's willingness to reevaluate the edited version of a film he'd so thoroughly excoriated the first time.To me there was a kind of bought-offness to the conversion. I really haven't taken Ebert seriously since the latter years of his partnership with Siskel, when the two would call crappy movies "instant classics" and seemed to lose their critical edge.As for Gallo being the worst director: Well, I haven't seen Brown Bunny and probably won't, but I enjoyed Buffalo 66. It wasn't good enough to qualify him as a "great" director by any means, but it was definitely strong enough to get him out of the running for Worst.Never seen his stuff, no interest. I didn't nominate him in this thread, either, but I think any director that would feature himself in a hardcore porn scene has some exceptional issues.

Phantom Dennis
12-28-2005, 04:55 PM
I opened this thread specifically to nominate Schumacher, and it doesn't surprise me that I'm not the first to mention his name.

His films (with the possible exception of Lost Boys) are almost entirely built of style with barely a grain of substance. And his style is somewhere between "cheesy" and "flakey". Or perhaps "corny".

Hmm... I must be getting hungry.

Floyd Remora
12-28-2005, 05:00 PM
Well, this thing is going to get heated really fast...Why's that?

Mr. Blue Sky
12-28-2005, 05:05 PM
Why's that?


There's at least one die hard Verhoeven on the board.

priapus
12-28-2005, 05:13 PM
I gotta toss Renny Harlin into the mix.
Jeez ,you beat me to the punch

saoirse
12-28-2005, 05:14 PM
Didn't Ken Russell direct "Women in Love"? I think that is a wonderful film. So he made at least one really good one, while most were indeed over the top.

Hey, I liked Crimes of Passion, but not because of Russell. And Tommy was just awfulo. I do have to admit Women in Love is not too bad, in terms of the direction, though.

I just watched the trailer for Crimes of Passion, and discovered that Russell also did Altered States. Okay he's out of the running.

priapus
12-28-2005, 05:20 PM
Victor Salva is a director who molested an underage actor in one of his movies (Clownland,i think).he went on (after prison) to write and direct a Disney movie,Powder.If you know his history,then watch the movie,it is a definitely queasy experience

lissener
12-28-2005, 07:04 PM
There's at least one die hard Verhoeven on the board.
There are several.

Anyway, though I'll agree on Bay and Schumacher (though Schumacher gets a near pass for writing Car Wash), I think the most consistently bad director in mainstream hollywood has to be Nora Ephron.

Larry Borgia
12-28-2005, 07:08 PM
Easier still: Ken Russell . From Tommy to Lisztomania to The Devils , this guy gave new meaning to the word "Hack".

(Dis)Honorable mention: Douglas Sirk , the king of the '50s weepies.

Even at their worst, both of these directors showed a unique and bizarre vision. They certainly aren't hacks, by any stretch of the meaning of that word.

uglybeech
12-28-2005, 08:30 PM
Wow, just wow. I mean he's not the second coming or anything but Ocean's Eleven alone gets him a free pass in this thread.
Let's not forget Out Of Sight, which is not only the best Elmore Leonard adaptation {against some fairly stiff recent competition}, but made me regard George Clooney as more than just Tom Selleck for the 90's and made Jennifer Lopez look good. And The Limey was fucking great.
OK let's review his films:

Ocean's Twelve - sucked
Solaris - sucked
Full Frontal - sucked
Ocean's Eleven - overrated fluff
Traffic - overrated fluff
Erin Brockovich - overrated fluff
The Limey - sucked ass
Out of Sight - The half that I saw sucked. I'll concede its possible the other half didn't suck as much.
Gray's Anatomy (1996) - Good - but only because he was filming Spalding Gray's monologue
Sex, Lies, and Videotape - Sucked and overrated

I never saw the following, but since I've already wasted too much of my life watching Soderbergh movies, I'll have to assume they also suck or are overrated fluff: The Underneath, King of the Hill, Kafka, Schizopolis, Winston, Yes

The OP said "or most overrated," remember. I wouldn't call Soderbergh the worst director in Hollywood. But he's definitely the most overrated I can think of. He consistently gets outrageous accollades for his crap and/or fluff. Including Best Director for Traffic, which, aside from the filters, is a thoroughly pedestrian movie. You can expect about as much insight and creativity from your typical primetime drama.

Bay and Schumacher are also pedestrian directors - but nobody's putting them in for Best Director.

uglybeech
12-28-2005, 08:34 PM
Even at their worst, both of these directors showed a unique and bizarre vision. They certainly aren't hacks, by any stretch of the meaning of that word.I totally agree. The movies are incredibly fun to watch too.

BobT
12-28-2005, 09:42 PM
I actually liked Soderbergh's "King of the Hill" and it's not at all like his other films. I think I like it though because I descend from a poor family in St. Louis.

Hail Ants
12-28-2005, 10:01 PM
I can't believe no one has mentioned him yet:

Roland Emmerich

Without a doubt, one of the most talentless hacks working today. Independence Day, Godzilla, Stargate, Day After Tomorrow etc.

Ed Wood was more entertaining...

Ranchoth
12-28-2005, 10:07 PM
Anyway, though I'll agree on Bay and Schumacher (though Schumacher gets a near pass for writing Car Wash), I think the most consistently bad director in mainstream hollywood has to be Nora Ephron.

At least Nora Ephron doesn't strap strobe lights onto Meg Ryan's head every chance she gets.

RikWriter
12-28-2005, 10:27 PM
For me, it's a three way tie between Paul Verhoeven, Joel Shumaker and Roland Emmerich. As a tiebreaker, I will use personality/character...so Verhoeven "wins."

Omniscient
12-28-2005, 11:06 PM
OK let's review his films:

Ocean's Twelve - sucked
Solaris - sucked
Full Frontal - sucked
Ocean's Eleven - overrated fluff
Traffic - overrated fluff
Erin Brockovich - overrated fluff
The Limey - sucked ass
Out of Sight - The half that I saw sucked. I'll concede its possible the other half didn't suck as much.
Gray's Anatomy (1996) - Good - but only because he was filming Spalding Gray's monologue
Sex, Lies, and Videotape - Sucked and overrated

I never saw the following, but since I've already wasted too much of my life watching Soderbergh movies, I'll have to assume they also suck or are overrated fluff: The Underneath, King of the Hill, Kafka, Schizopolis, Winston, Yes

The OP said "or most overrated," remember. I wouldn't call Soderbergh the worst director in Hollywood. But he's definitely the most overrated I can think of. He consistently gets outrageous accollades for his crap and/or fluff. Including Best Director for Traffic, which, aside from the filters, is a thoroughly pedestrian movie. You can expect about as much insight and creativity from your typical primetime drama.

Bay and Schumacher are also pedestrian directors - but nobody's putting them in for Best Director.

I'm thinking this is pointless to argue with you since you've already made up your mind. First off, if you think Soderbergh sucks, what successful director do you think doesn't?

Traffic: If you think this sucked then you just don't like movies.

Ocean's Eleven: This was a fun and well done movie, and shooting a film with that cast in a casino without it blowing up in your face is a real feat.

Oceans Twelve: Not great, suffered from sequelitis, but it wasn't a flaming turd.

I agree that Solaris was bad, and Erin Brockovich was really overrated but at least in the case of the latter its al leats as much the fault of the script and story.

Sex, Lies and Videotape was great in it's time, but hasn't aged well.

Out Of Sight was a really fun movie, but I can accept that it's not for everyone. Getting J-Lo to be hot and not annoying was a real feat though.

I'm not calling the guy the greatest thing since sliced bread, but his creds are legit and [b]Solaris[/b[ is the only turd in the list. Realy if you hated Ocean's Eleven I don't think there's any chance we'd watch the same movies.

Marley23
12-28-2005, 11:24 PM
Victor Salva is a director who molested an underage actor in one of his movies (Clownland,i think).he went on (after prison) to write and direct a Disney movie,Powder.If you know his history,then watch the movie,it is a definitely queasy experience
I didn't know any of that when I saw Powder, and it still made me queasy because it's terrible.
I think Roland Emmerich is a good choice. I'd be tempted to nominate McG and Brett Ratner.

Equipoise
12-28-2005, 11:45 PM
OK let's review his [Steven Soderbergh] films:

My opinions:

Ocean's Twelve - Fun romp, great cast
Solaris - Excellent
Ocean's Eleven - Fun romp, great cast
Traffic - Excellent, great cast
Erin Brockovich - Good
The Limey - Brilliant
Out of Sight - Brilliant
Sex, Lies, and Videotape - Interesting, great cast

Gray's Anatomy (1996) - Didn't see
Full Frontal - Didn't see
The Underneath - Didn't see
King of the Hill - Didn't see
Kafka - Didn't see
Schizopolis - Didn't see
Winston - Didn't see
Yes - Didn't see

So for me, he'd get a massive pass for Solaris, Traffic, The Limey and Out of Sight, four of the best movies of the last 10 years, IMO.


I didn't like Michael Bay's Armegeddon, but I liked The Rock. I haven't seen Pearl Harbor or Bad Boys. The Island could have been fantastic if he'd kept it a science fiction story instead of turning it into a dumb action adventure flick (2 highway chases??). The story was interesting and the actors were very good. Too bad.

I can find movies I personally liked from most of the directors mentioned in this thread:

Ken Russell: Altered States, Crimes of Passion;
Nora Ephron: Sleepless In Seattle;
Paul Verhoeven: Robocop, Starship Troopers, Showgirls-yes, I'm one of those people;
David Lynch: I love everything he's ever done;
Joel Schumacher: The Lost Boys, Falling Down, The Client, Tigerland, Phone Booth;
Jan de Bont: Speed;
George Lucas: American Graffiti, Star Wars;
Ivan Reitman: Meatballs, Stripes, Ghostbusters, Legal Eagles, Dave;
Chris Columbus: Adventures In Babysitting, Home Alone, the Harry Potter films, though I'm glad he stepped aside for Azkaban.

Alfred Hitchcock: The Birds, North By N...Oh hell, never mind. I really don't belong in this thread.

Zebra
12-29-2005, 12:38 AM
Alan Smithee (http://imdb.com/name/nm0000647/)

Coldfire
12-29-2005, 04:26 AM
On the other hand, I completely agree that Bay and Schumacher deserve to be on this list and I'd like to add one more:

Jan De Bont.

He's actually had a long and distinguished career as a cinematographer but his output as director has uniformly sucked. From Speed to Twister to the execrable remake of the Haunting he's yet to direct anything that isn't downright risible.All right, I can only take so much clog bashing. :D

Actually, I mostly agree with you that De Bont's directing attempts so far have been pretty unimpressive. But he gets a massive pass because of Speed, IMHO. That was a 100% good action flick as far as I'm concerned.

Coldfire
12-29-2005, 04:29 AM
I was going to add a wiseass remark how Jan de Bont at least wasn't responsible for the horrible sequal, Speed 2, but a quick glance at IMDB (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0120179/) proved me wrong. Holy moly, he really directed that as well?? :eek:

Hodge
12-29-2005, 08:30 AM
And don't forget the completely unnecessary Tomb Raider 2 (which I actually didn't see but severely doubt was any good).

But don't worry, though, I may detest De Bont, but I'm also one of THOSE people who think Verhoeven is a misunderstood genius and visionary. Unfortuantely, his reach sometimes exceeds his grasp so he's had a few spectacular failures, but the quality and quantity of his good stuff far outweighs the bad.

Coldfire
12-29-2005, 09:21 AM
He's still an asshole, though. :D

The funny thing about him is that whenever he's on Dutch TV, he speaks with an unbelievably exagerated American accent in his Dutch. So I figured, "OK, seems a little fake, but what the hell, he's been living in LA so long, perhaps his English is fluent and his Dutch had to suffer".

Imagine my surprise when I caught him on US television. His English/American accent is dreadful! So he's a hack both ways, in that regard. Pompous ass. :)

Hodge
12-29-2005, 10:18 AM
That's what appeals to me about his movies. He clearly loves to fuck around with people which makes him an asshole in real life but also makes his movies audacious with deceptive outward appearances. There's often a lot going on beneath the surface of his seemingly campy movies.

vibrotronica
12-29-2005, 10:33 AM
Michael Bay, the film's director, has enormous dogs. "He needs them," she [Scarlett Johansson] said. "He has a lot of enemies." From the New York Times Magazine, December 2, 2005.

saoirse
12-29-2005, 04:24 PM
Alan Smithee (http://imdb.com/name/nm0000647/)

Does Mr Smithee have any defenders here? I haven't seen many of his movies, but nothing there sticks out as something I should have seen.

Scissorjack
12-29-2005, 04:32 PM
And don't forget the completely unnecessary Tomb Raider 2 (which I actually didn't see but severely doubt was any good).

It wasn't bad, actually: much better than the turgid first instalment, and it actually went a long way to capturing the feel of the games. I'd even go out on a limb and say that it was the most successful game to movie transition so far - not that the competition is stiff, admittedly, but it was a good James Bond/Indiana Jones style popcorn action flick that did what it said on the tin.

lissener
12-29-2005, 04:42 PM
Does Mr Smithee have any defenders here? I haven't seen many of his movies, but nothing there sticks out as something I should have seen.
Psst, it was kind of a joke; there's no such person (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Smithee).

fusoya
12-29-2005, 05:56 PM
wow, 2 pages and not one mention of Gus Van Sant? His movies are PAINFULLY bad. I mean, he throws in shots of absolutely nothing that go on and on and on like a bad joke. His Kurt Cobain movie had the shot of a grassy side of a hill that was still going even after I got up to go to the bathroom and make a sandwich.

oh, and need I even mention the Psycho remake?

Tio Gringo
12-29-2005, 06:16 PM
McG (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0629334/). Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle was one of the worst (if not the worst) movie I have ever seen. I see he is filming the Hot Wheels movie. He seems to be a good choice.

saoirse
12-29-2005, 06:27 PM
Psst, it was kind of a joke; there's no such person (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Smithee).

Well I guess I got the whoosh award for '05 all sewn up now. I'd like to thank the Academy...

Miller
12-29-2005, 06:41 PM
There's at least one die hard Verhoeven on the board.


There are several.

Yes, but most of the others are easy to kill. You, on the other hand, keep coming back like the villain from an '80s teen slasher flick.

(I kid! I kid! Some of my best friends are villains from '80s teen slasher flicks!)

I've also got to disagree with Case Sensitive about the second Tomb Raider movie. This is a film where Angelina Jolie is standing on a fire escape, and protects herself from machinegun fire by ducking behind the wrough-iron hand railing of the escape! One of the stupidest movies I've ever seen. Although, to be fair, I've never seen the original.

(You could also argue that making a really stupid Tomb Raider movie is just being faithful to the source material, but that's an entirely different discussion.)

woodstockbirdybird
12-29-2005, 06:59 PM
I'd nominate M. Night Shyamalan and Tim Burton for the "most overrated" category, since I see them both as essentially one-trick ponies (Ed Wood was the one exception).

As far as Soderbergh, I thought Traffic sucked (and I do like movies, omniscient) - too preachy by half; it would have been about a million times better without the hackneyed Michael Douglas and his daughter storyline; the rest of his big Hollywood movies I can take or leave, but Schizopolis is one of my absolute favorite films, and completely sui generis.

RikWriter
12-29-2005, 07:11 PM
I'd nominate M. Night Shyamalan and Tim Burton for the "most overrated" category, since I see them both as essentially one-trick ponies (Ed Wood was the one exception).


Well, no...neither of them is a one trick pony, Burton especially---besides Ed Wood, he also had Edward Scissorhands and Batman.

Baldwin
12-29-2005, 07:46 PM
Traffic - overrated fluff
Whether one likes the movie or not, it's hard to understand calling it "fluff". If a movie about vicious drug lords, corruption, murder, addiction and failed U.S. policies is "fluff", then what movie isn't?

I don't know what happened to George Lucas. American Graffiti was full of life and humor, with great characters and believable dialogue (and practically no special effects). The Phantom Menace filled the screen with special effects but the characters were lifeless. (In fact, if that was the only movie you'd seen Liam Neeson in, would you think he was much of an actor?)

Kolak of Twilo
12-29-2005, 07:54 PM
Let's not forget Out Of Sight, which is not only the best Elmore Leonard adaptation {against some fairly stiff recent competition}, but made me regard George Clooney as more than just Tom Selleck for the 90's and made Jennifer Lopez look good. And The Limey was fucking great.
I'm glad someone said this for me in defense of Soderbergh. sex, lies and videotape ain't too shabby either. And I will second everything said above concerning Out Of Sight.

Runs With Scissors
12-29-2005, 08:04 PM
Immediately Spielberg came to mind.

I prefer a bit more subtlety in movies.

His handprints are all over the movies he directs.

Exceptions? 1941 and Raiders of the Lost Ark.

woodstockbirdybird
12-29-2005, 09:24 PM
Well, no...neither of them is a one trick pony, Burton especially---besides Ed Wood, he also had Edward Scissorhands and Batman.

Right. Which both dealt in the same themes he always deals in, hence the "one-trick pony" label.

Marley23
12-29-2005, 09:43 PM
McG (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0629334/). Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle was one of the worst (if not the worst) movie I have ever seen. I see he is filming the Hot Wheels movie. He seems to be a good choice.
I nominated him earlier based on that flaming piece of crap. Hot Wheels may be a good choice for him, since I bet many small children could make better movies with handheld cameras and actual Hot Wheels toys...

I thought McG also directed The Italian Job remake, but that was F. Gary Gray. Has Gray done anything else good? Because The Italian Job was also awful. Ed Norton hit new levels of phoning it in.

Mr. Blue Sky
12-29-2005, 09:50 PM
Has Gray done anything else good? Because The Italian Job was also awful. Ed Norton hit new levels of phoning it in.


IMDB listing (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0336620/)

Looks like he's done a lot of music video work.

Marley23
12-29-2005, 09:54 PM
Yeah, I took a quick look. People in the "disappointing movie" thread are talking about how bad Be Cool was. I guess Friday has its fans...

Steve MB
12-29-2005, 10:05 PM
I've never really enjoyed anything Michael Bay has done.I have to admit, though, I thought that The Island (http://imdb.com/title/tt0399201/) delivered as an action movie (if not as science fiction).
The Island was like two movies (a big-budget remake of Parts: The Clonus Horror and a generic action movie) spliced together. They might as well have included a title card indicating the moment when Bay's dose of Ritalin wore off.

mrunlucky
12-29-2005, 10:06 PM
OK let's review his films:

Ocean's Twelve - sucked
Solaris - sucked
Full Frontal - sucked
Ocean's Eleven - overrated fluff
Traffic - overrated fluff
Erin Brockovich - overrated fluff
The Limey - sucked ass
Out of Sight - The half that I saw sucked. I'll concede its possible the other half didn't suck as much.
Gray's Anatomy (1996) - Good - but only because he was filming Spalding Gray's monologue
Sex, Lies, and Videotape - Sucked and overrated

I never saw the following, but since I've already wasted too much of my life watching Soderbergh movies, I'll have to assume they also suck or are overrated fluff: The Underneath, King of the Hill, Kafka, Schizopolis, Winston, Yes

The OP said "or most overrated," remember. I wouldn't call Soderbergh the worst director in Hollywood. But he's definitely the most overrated I can think of. He consistently gets outrageous accollades for his crap and/or fluff. Including Best Director for Traffic, which, aside from the filters, is a thoroughly pedestrian movie. You can expect about as much insight and creativity from your typical primetime drama.

Bay and Schumacher are also pedestrian directors - but nobody's putting them in for Best Director.

My biggest problem with Soderbergh, besides that right from his very first film, which I hated when it came out, forever cementing my dislike for his work, is that the majority of his films are remakes, and further, a bunch of them have different titles than the originals, so that they are easily overlooked by a less discerning audience.

It seems to me that a director who bases most of his career on remakes, would be someone to consider as weak. But is he one of the worst? No, he still has some personal "vision", like in Kafka or Schizopolis. Lately though even his personal "vision" is limited to clever cinematography, like the monochromatics in his remake of the BBC series Traffic or the extreme blue in his remake of Solaris.

As for Bay, I learned my lesson the hard way with Pearl Harbor. What a great idea -- let's use a historical war backdrop, on which to lay out a mind-numbingly dull love triangle which takes up 2/3 of the film! That way, men, who want to see an action movie, get suckered into watching a mind-numbingly dull romance! And women, who might want to see a romantic movie, don't go to see a supposed action movie about Pearl Harbor! What a nice way to treat your primary audience of 13-24-year-old males, and old war veterans.

And for Schumacher, we all know his mission statement as a director by now: quantity over quality. It doesn't matter if you have nothing whatsoever to say as a director as long as you just fill up every inch of the screen at every possible second, and then, no one will have time to notice that you have nothing whatsoever to say until after the movie is over. I'm sure there's another superhero movie sequel he's just waiting to get his hands on right at this very moment.

RikWriter
12-29-2005, 11:55 PM
Right. Which both dealt in the same themes he always deals in, hence the "one-trick pony" label.


Sorry...Edward Scissorhands and Batman dealt with the SAME THEME???? :confused:

Zebra
12-30-2005, 12:20 AM
Well I guess I got the whoosh award for '05 all sewn up now. I'd like to thank the Academy...



If a director feels that the final version of the film is soooo bad, (It's all the producer's fault, really!) the director's guild allows them to change their name to Alan Smithee. (or Alan Smithee Jr.) There are many famous directors that have chosen this option for one reason or another.


I personally think that after he dies, directors should use the name Joel Smuck-mocker as a tribute to the worst working director.

woodstockbirdybird
12-30-2005, 12:31 AM
Sorry...Edward Scissorhands and Batman dealt with the SAME THEME???? :confused:

Yeah, the "dark" "misunderstood" outsider/outcast living in a kiddie-goth comic book/fairy tale world - so one of 'em fights crime and the other cuts hedges. He's still saying the same thing with the same visual feel, and his "vision" doesn't seem sufficiently deep to sustain more than a film or two, IMO.

Zebra
12-30-2005, 12:36 AM
Tim Burton is rather like Terry Gilliam. They pit the lone dreamer against reality. Gilliam does Brazil, 12 Monkeys, Baron Von Muchason, Time Bandits, and The Fisher King.


Burton gives us Batman, Sleepy Hollow, Willy Wonka and Big Fish.

woodstockbirdybird
12-30-2005, 12:45 AM
Tim Burton is rather like Terry Gilliam. They pit the lone dreamer against reality. Gilliam does Brazil, 12 Monkeys, Baron Von Muchason, Time Bandits, and The Fisher King.


Burton gives us Batman, Sleepy Hollow, Willy Wonka and Big Fish.

Exactly. I like Gilliam (I think I'm the only person on earth who enjoyed Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, though I haven't seen The Brothers Grimm), but he seems to do a lot more with the premise than Burton.

Equipoise
12-30-2005, 03:30 AM
Yes, but most of the others are easy to kill. You, on the other hand, keep coming back like the villain from an '80s teen slasher flick.

(I kid! I kid! Some of my best friends are villains from '80s teen slasher flicks!)


What was the point of this pointless snipe at lissener? He's intelligent and articulate and has very good reasons for his point of view, which he's presented time and time again, backed up by other intelligent and articulate Dopers, as well as essays by intelligent and articulate film critics. Your desire to "kill" lissener says far more about you than it does about him. I'd think that most of the other Verhoeven supporters haven't been "killed" but rather think life is far too short to waste dealing with people who refuse to accept that someone has a valid point of view, because they'd rather make moronic jokes that make them look like a 3rd grader. You certainly haven't "killed" me, because I've always refused to join the fray in the first place (see partial reason above). I only enter it this time because your post is the most nasty in the seemingly never-ending attempt to bait lissener (specifically) into an argument, especially since it's couched as a "just kidding!" joke. Disgraceful. You almost seem disappointed that he refused to rise to the bait in this thread, and therefore decided to get in the last word with a pointless snipe, otherwise what was the point of this pointless snipe at lissener?

Wait, don't answer that. I already know the answer.

Sublight
12-30-2005, 04:16 AM
If a director feels that the final version of the film is soooo bad, (It's all the producer's fault, really!) the director's guild allows them to change their name to Alan Smithee. (or Alan Smithee Jr.) There are many famous directors that have chosen this option for one reason or another.
I think the director's guild also requires the would-be Smithee to show that the final cut is sufficiently different from what the director created. So a director can use this out when the studio takes his finished project and hacks it to pieces, but not when he suddenly realizes that he's done a piss-poor job all on his own.

Scissorjack
12-30-2005, 05:31 AM
Yeah, the "dark" "misunderstood" outsider/outcast living in a kiddie-goth comic book/fairy tale world - so one of 'em fights crime and the other cuts hedges. He's still saying the same thing with the same visual feel, and his "vision" doesn't seem sufficiently deep to sustain more than a film or two, IMO.

Here's one I started earlier (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=280116) {Let's be ignoring the Verhoeven bashing, since this thread was a sore point: FTR, I thought Starship Troopers was excellent, but it probably wasn't geared to an American sensibility}.

saoirse
12-30-2005, 08:26 AM
I think the director's guild also requires the would-be Smithee to show that the final cut is sufficiently different from what the director created. So a director can use this out when the studio takes his finished project and hacks it to pieces, but not when he suddenly realizes that he's done a piss-poor job all on his own.

Having just been enightened at Wiki, I found nothing saying that the Guild is involved at all. It seems to be a name used when a director refuses to be credited for the film. So the director isn't even using the name. The producer is.

priapus
12-30-2005, 08:29 AM
Here's one I started earlier (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=280116) {Let's be ignoring the Verhoeven bashing, since this thread was a sore point: FTR, I thought Starship Troopers was excellent, but it probably wasn't geared to an American sensibility}.
I also like Starship Troopers. It skewed the usual scifi bugfest and it made you say,"Wait a minute".

Tamerlane
12-30-2005, 08:38 AM
What was the point of this pointless snipe at lissener?


Eh, I just thought it was Miller's typically rough sense of humour playing off all the Verhoeven battles, not a snipe. More playful teasing. I could be wrong I guess.

I have felt that since he returned there has been some baiting of lissener though, so perhaps it was a bit too close to the edge given that.

- Tamerlane

RikWriter
12-30-2005, 08:39 AM
Yeah, the "dark" "misunderstood" outsider/outcast living in a kiddie-goth comic book/fairy tale world - so one of 'em fights crime and the other cuts hedges.

Sorry, but that's a ludicrous statement. Bruce Wayne is not an outcast...he's a freaking millionaire playboy. Yes, as Batman he's an outsider, but he makes himself that way, he's not forced into it. And he LIKES it that way. The themes couldn't be more different and your attempt to make them the same to further your argument is just laughable.

woodstockbirdybird
12-30-2005, 10:47 AM
Sorry, but that's a ludicrous statement. Bruce Wayne is not an outcast...he's a freaking millionaire playboy. Yes, as Batman he's an outsider, but he makes himself that way, he's not forced into it. And he LIKES it that way. The themes couldn't be more different and your attempt to make them the same to further your argument is just laughable.

Yeah, I'm sure Burton was drawn to it because of the millionaire playboy angle and not the outcast element. I think he was gonna call it "Bruce Wayne" until the studio decided it wouldn't be as easy to market. Come on, he was taking on an already clearly-defined character; the reason he was interested was because of the theme of the outsider against society (the fact that the outsider status was self-imposed doesn't change the basic theme). Even taking Batman out of the equation, tell me there aren't similarities between Scissorhands and The Nightmare Before Christmas, Sleepy Hollow, The Corpse Bride, and Big Fish (I haven't seen his remakes, but both Planet of the Apes and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory would seem to have elements of outsider-vs.-society and comic book/fairy tale storylines). Anyway, even if you don't buy that, here's a definite theme running through all his movies: they suck ass. He's never lived up to the promise he's shown (or his own hype). I can't think of another director that's actually seen as "visionary" that's made so many mediocre films.

woodstockbirdybird
12-30-2005, 10:52 AM
Here's one I started earlier (http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=280116) {Let's be ignoring the Verhoeven bashing, since this thread was a sore point: FTR, I thought Starship Troopers was excellent, but it probably wasn't geared to an American sensibility}.

Yep - I agree with your analysis, obviously. You made your case much better than I did. Though, as I said, I did think Ed Wood was decent.

RikWriter
12-30-2005, 12:44 PM
Yeah, I'm sure Burton was drawn to it because of the millionaire playboy angle and not the outcast element. I think he was gonna call it "Bruce Wayne" until the studio decided it wouldn't be as easy to market. Come on, he was taking on an already clearly-defined character; the reason he was interested was because of the theme of the outsider against society (the fact that the outsider status was self-imposed doesn't change the basic theme).


It does in the sense that the "basic theme" only exists in your opinion wrt Batman.


Anyway, even if you don't buy that, here's a definite theme running through all his movies: they suck ass.

That's your opinion and frankly it isn't a very well spoken or well founded one. Batman, Sleepy Hollow and Big Fish are very good movies.

woodstockbirdybird
12-30-2005, 01:00 PM
That's your opinion and frankly it isn't a very well spoken or well founded one. Batman, Sleepy Hollow and Big Fish are very good movies.

Speaking of "not very well spoken or well founded", "They're good" isn't exactly an insightful critical analysis.

lissener
12-30-2005, 01:08 PM
That's your opinion and frankly it isn't a very well spoken or well founded one. Batman, Sleepy Hollow and Big Fish are very good movies.
While I agree that woodstock's opinion is not very well spoken, I have to say I disagree with you, Rik, on Sleepy Hollow and Big Fish. Burton's brilliant when he's brilliant (Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), but he's pretty inconsistent.

All the same, woodstock's "statement" is representative of the main reason I try to stay out of threads of this nature; threads set up to go negative off the bat. Not much to be gained by sending out a general call for negative opinions.

woodstockbirdybird
12-30-2005, 01:17 PM
All the same, woodstock's "statement" is representative of the main reason I try to stay out of threads of this nature; threads set up to go negative off the bat. Not much to be gained by sending out a general call for negative opinions.

Why's that? I've never really understood why people take this stuff personally - if you say you love a certain director's work and I say I think he puts out hack crap, it's no reflection on you, or my opinion of you or your intellect or anything. It's all just opinions, as are most discussions of aesthetics. There are plenty of things I like that most people can't stand, but I don't assume anyone's looking down on me for my particular taste. It's fun to argue merits (or the lack thereof) of artistic works, but the only judgement being made is about the work itself, not the admirers of the work.

marymargaret
12-30-2005, 01:22 PM
Michael Bay would get my vote for worse director.

even sven
12-30-2005, 01:34 PM
Traffic: If you think this sucked then you just don't like movies.

Heh. I wrote a whole paper on why Traffic sucked. Any drug movie that portrays sex with a black man as the ultimate low (and plenty of movies do....Requiem for a Dream, Thirteen) is going to get some nasty words from me. Traffic was a racist, simplistic, faux-intellectual, pseudo-comlex movie that relies on cheap camera tricks (ohhhh...I used indoor balanced film outside whenever I shot something in "Mexico", I'm an artiste now!) to make it's crappy platitudic (ohhh...drugs are complicated and bad!) faux-point to make upper class white people feel 'informed' and 'objective' about a 'tragic' subject that they and this movie know jack-shit about. It has as much resemblence to the actual drug trade as a nice winter haiku does to string theory.

FWIW, I think both Con Air and Showgirls are pure genius and truly masterful films. Few movies show such masterful understanding and pure exploitation of their medium.

My controversial nomination is Robert Altman. McCabe and Mrs. Miller was at least interesting. The rest of his movies are ugly, plotless, bad sounding, pointless muddles that discredit the "auture" theory. Yeah, theres something going on there. But whatever it is that is there just isn't worth sitting through three hours of characters you don't care about walking around and mumbling. It's about as interesting as watching an antfarm while listening to other people talk on their cell phone. If I wanted to see an old man wank, I'd...well, whatever I did it would probably be more interesting than watching a Rober Altman film.

lissener
12-30-2005, 01:40 PM
Why's that? I've never really understood why people take this stuff personally - if you say you love a certain director's work and I say I think he puts out hack crap, it's no reflection on you, or my opinion of you or your intellect or anything. It's all just opinions, as are most discussions of aesthetics. There are plenty of things I like that most people can't stand, but I don't assume anyone's looking down on me for my particular taste. It's fun to argue merits (or the lack thereof) of artistic works, but the only judgement being made is about the work itself, not the admirers of the work.
I agree.

NDP
12-30-2005, 04:36 PM
That's your opinion and frankly it isn't a very well spoken or well founded one. Batman, Sleepy Hollow and Big Fish are very good movies.
Speaking of "not very well spoken or well founded", "They're good" isn't exactly an insightful critical analysis.
Neither is "they suck ass."

Whatever his inconsistencies as a director (and I generally like most of his movies), I think Tim Burton should get credit for the work he did on Pee Wee's Big Adventure and Beetlejuice. In the case of the former, he took I character I only found amusing in small doses--Pee Wee Herman--and was able to make an imaginative and entertaining full-length movie around him. And if you still think that was easy to do, just compare Big Adventure to its nearly-forgotten follow-up, Big Top Pee Wee, which wasn't directed Burton. As for Beetlejuice, I found it to be one of the funniest movies from the last 25 years. Unfortunately, Burton's success with weird comedies like PW's Big Adventure, Beetlejuice, and Ed Wood made the failure of his hug comic strike-out, Mars Attacks!, all the more infuriating. But even the best directors have had their disappointing efforts.

RikWriter
12-30-2005, 04:46 PM
Speaking of "not very well spoken or well founded", "They're good" isn't exactly an insightful critical analysis.

As opposed to "they suck" it's practically Shakespearean.

RikWriter
12-30-2005, 04:50 PM
While I agree that woodstock's opinion is not very well spoken, I have to say I disagree with you, Rik, on Sleepy Hollow and Big Fish. Burton's brilliant when he's brilliant (Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory), but he's pretty inconsistent.



De gustibus, but whether either movie disappointed you, it's safe to say neither "sucked ass."

Miller
12-30-2005, 05:07 PM
What was the point of this pointless snipe at lissener? He's intelligent and articulate and has very good reasons for his point of view, which he's presented time and time again, backed up by other intelligent and articulate Dopers, as well as essays by intelligent and articulate film critics. Your desire to "kill" lissener says far more about you than it does about him. I'd think that most of the other Verhoeven supporters haven't been "killed" but rather think life is far too short to waste dealing with people who refuse to accept that someone has a valid point of view, because they'd rather make moronic jokes that make them look like a 3rd grader. You certainly haven't "killed" me, because I've always refused to join the fray in the first place (see partial reason above). I only enter it this time because your post is the most nasty in the seemingly never-ending attempt to bait lissener (specifically) into an argument, especially since it's couched as a "just kidding!" joke. Disgraceful. You almost seem disappointed that he refused to rise to the bait in this thread, and therefore decided to get in the last word with a pointless snipe, otherwise what was the point of this pointless snipe at lissener?

Wait, don't answer that. I already know the answer.

No, you really don't know the answer. Not even remotely. Although we've fought in the past, I like lissener quite a bit. I was sad to see him get banned, and thrilled to see him come back. I'm fairly certain I can provide cites for both statements, as I posted to that effect in the threads generated by both his departure and his return. If lissener took offence at my earlier post, I'll certainly apologize, as that was not my intent, but seeing as hasn't complained about it, I'm going to assume he took my post in the spirit it was intended.

woodstockbirdybird
12-30-2005, 06:21 PM
Neither is "they suck ass."

Yeah, thanks for pointing that out. I guess my comment that precipitated it just popped into my head apropos of nothing.


De gustibus, but whether either movie disappointed you, it's safe to say neither "sucked ass."

Oh, sorry. I didn't realize I was dealing with the final arbiter of a film's worth when I made that comment. My bad. If I'd realized it had been your majesty I'd been arguing with, I'd surely have bowed out before now.

RikWriter
12-30-2005, 06:27 PM
Oh, sorry. I didn't realize I was dealing with the final arbiter of a film's worth when I made that comment. My bad.

Now you know...and knowing is half the battle. :rolleyes:

woodstockbirdybird
12-30-2005, 06:38 PM
Now you know...and knowing is half the battle. :rolleyes:

Wow, that's deep. Must be a line of dialogue from a Tim Burton film.

RikWriter
12-30-2005, 08:10 PM
Wow, that's deep. Must be a line of dialogue from a Tim Burton film.


No, it's more your speed, apparently.

Equipoise
12-30-2005, 09:38 PM
No, you really don't know the answer. Not even remotely. Although we've fought in the past, I like lissener quite a bit. I was sad to see him get banned, and thrilled to see him come back. I'm fairly certain I can provide cites for both statements, as I posted to that effect in the threads generated by both his departure and his return. If lissener took offence at my earlier post, I'll certainly apologize, as that was not my intent, but seeing as hasn't complained about it, I'm going to assume he took my post in the spirit it was intended.

Far be it from me to speak for lissener, but as an outside observer I've seen time and time again where if he defends himself from snipes and outright hostility, he gets accused of being oversensitive or defensive or any number of things he actually isn't being. If he let your insult pass by without comment I wouldn't automatically assume it's because it wasn't offensive to him. Maybe he just didn't want to rise to your bait. Whatever your stance toward him elsewhere and in the past, implying he should be killed (hyperbole or not) because he likes Verhoven is pretty beyond the pale. "Just kidding" doesn't cut it as an excuse for me.


Back on-topic: I agree that Tim Burton should get a pass for Pee Wee and Beetlejuice. I also happen to love Big Fish. I cried.

I've never seen an Uwe Boll movie, but after reading about him, I don't think I'd want to.

woodstockbirdybird
12-30-2005, 09:45 PM
No, it's more your speed, apparently.

Nice comeback. Let me guess: that one's from Pee Wee's Big Adventure.

RikWriter
12-30-2005, 09:59 PM
Nice comeback. Let me guess: that one's from Pee Wee's Big Adventure.

I would never quote from your autobiography.

Miller
12-30-2005, 10:47 PM
Far be it from me to speak for lissener, but as an outside observer I've seen time and time again where if he defends himself from snipes and outright hostility, he gets accused of being oversensitive or defensive or any number of things he actually isn't being. If he let your insult pass by without comment I wouldn't automatically assume it's because it wasn't offensive to him. Maybe he just didn't want to rise to your bait. Whatever your stance toward him elsewhere and in the past, implying he should be killed (hyperbole or not) because he likes Verhoven is pretty beyond the pale. "Just kidding" doesn't cut it as an excuse for me.

I am simply baffled as to what you're going on about. Someone made a reference to there being a "die-hard Verhoeven fan" on the boards, almost certainly refering to lissener. lissener himself said there were several such fans. Since lissener had been banned (at least partly because discussions about Verhoeven got out of control) and was later re-instated (which is extremely rare) I made a joke about him being the only "die-hard" fan on board because he got "killed" (as in banned) and came back. Y'know, like a villain from a teen slasher flick? Okay, so it's not exactly James Thurber, but I seriously don't understand why you're so bent out of shape about it, especially since lissener himself doesn't seem to care. I'm not advocating that anyone be killed; if I were, I'd hope you'd report the post to the mod, since that's pretty explicitly against the rules. I only made the joke in the first place 'cause I thought he might get a kick out of it. It's great that you've appointed yourself defender of lissener's honor, but can you at least admit that this time, maybe your zeal is a bit misplaced?

And again, lissener, if I did offend you, please say so, so that I can render a full apology.

Equipoise
12-31-2005, 12:51 AM
I am simply baffled as to what you're going on about. Someone made a reference to there being a "die-hard Verhoeven fan" on the boards, almost certainly refering to lissener. lissener himself said there were several such fans. Since lissener had been banned (at least partly because discussions about Verhoeven got out of control) and was later re-instated (which is extremely rare) I made a joke about him being the only "die-hard" fan on board because he got "killed" (as in banned) and came back.

You said, in reaction to lissener simply saying that there were several Verhoven fans/supporters on the board...


Yes, but most of the others are easy to kill. You, on the other hand, keep coming back like the villain from an '80s teen slasher flick.

So ok, now I get that you were referring to his being banned, but it's still a poor joke. lissener should never have been banned in the first place. Besides that, however you meant it, it sounds like all Verhoven supporters have been silenced except him, whom you equate with cheezy movies and mindless killers.

Look, I realize it was a joke, but I am so sick of the lissener-bashing/baiting. Seems like he can't win. If he keeps quiet, it's as if he's saying snipes are ok. If he responds, it always seems to start a shitstorm of misunderstanding. I've never said anything in the past (I'm hardly someone lissener would want defending him) but I couldn't keep quiet this time. It almost seemed like this whole thread was designed to lure lissener into a flame war (I don't mean that that's a reality, it just almost seemed that way).

And besides, as my husband says "'Just kidding' is the last refuge of a scoundrel" meaning that anyone can say anything nasty or hurtful or derogatory and then weasel out of it with a "I was only kidding/I was just joshing/you take things too seriously" which puts the pressure on the person who objects. Not saying you're a scoundrel or anything (I often think you're pretty cool), but it still set off my alarm buzzer.

Miller
12-31-2005, 01:45 AM
Jesus, you're just not going to let this go, are you? You were wrong, okay? You entirely misread my post, and you attacked me because you saw things that plainly were not there, and if you're not going to suck it up and apologize for jumping my shit for no good reason, go start up a pit thread, because I'm sick to death of trying to respond to you without breaking the rules of the forum.

MrJackboots
12-31-2005, 02:15 AM
made the failure of his hug comic strike-out, Mars Attacks!, all the more infuriating. But even the best directors have had their disappointing efforts.
Wait, what? Mars Attacks! was great specifically because it was so horrible, or at least I thought so.

davenportavenger
12-31-2005, 02:53 AM
Traffic was a racist, simplistic, faux-intellectual, pseudo-comlex movie that relies on cheap camera tricks (ohhhh...I used indoor balanced film outside whenever I shot something in "Mexico", I'm an artiste now!) to make it's crappy platitudic (ohhh...drugs are complicated and bad!) faux-point to make upper class white people feel 'informed' and 'objective' about a 'tragic' subject that they and this movie know jack-shit about. It has as much resemblence to the actual drug trade as a nice winter haiku does to string theory.THANK YOU. I had the same interpretation of this movie when it came out. It is fluff, just fluff dressed up in "edgy" packaging.

No mention of Sofia Coppola? Lost in Translation was just one boring, lingering shot of poor, sad, disaffected rich people trying to find "meaning" by fetishizing the culture of another land. The most pathetic movie ever. Also a big YES to Gus Van Sant, whose movies are also very boring. Psycho was his best film just because he stuck to Hitchcock's movie scene-for-scene (what really killed that movie, other than the fact that it's a remake and they suck by definition, was the acting).

Marley23
12-31-2005, 03:23 AM
No mention of Sofia Coppola?
I'm probably as guilty of this as anybody, but this is drifting from really bad directors to 'people who directed movies I hate.' If you found Lost in Translation boring, great, but comparing Sophia Copolla to Roland Emmerich, Michael Bay and Joel Schumacher? Come on.

Miller
12-31-2005, 03:23 AM
Equipose, check you e-mail, please.

El_Kabong
12-31-2005, 09:32 AM
Man, this is tough. Michael Bay or Roland Emmerich? Roland Emmerich or Michael Bay? Lessee, I actually liked "Stargate", but I've hated every single thing of Bay's I've ever seen, especially "The Rock". So it's Bay by a nose.

Now, I too thought "Traffic" inept and pretentious, and I don't seem to be as charmed by "Out of Sight" as most folks around here, but there is no way I could list Steven Soderburgh as worst Hollywood director. I thought "Kafka", "The Underneath", and "The Limey" were all fairly brilliant, and "Ocean's Eleven" was at least good fun.

Now for this one:

My controversial nomination is Robert Altman. McCabe and Mrs. Miller was at least interesting. The rest of his movies are ugly, plotless, bad sounding, pointless muddles that discredit the "auture" theory. Yeah, theres something going on there. But whatever it is that is there just isn't worth sitting through three hours of characters you don't care about walking around and mumbling.

Firstly, yeah, he's made his share of crap, but except maybe for "Nashville", I don't know of any three-hour Altman movies. Secondly, I'll fight a cage match to the death to defend the greatness of "The Long Goodbye", "California Split", "McCabe and Mrs. Miller" and "M*A*S*H".

Of course, I'm probably the only person in history who liked his "Popeye", so there ya go.

cactus waltz
12-31-2005, 09:42 AM
I'm not sure what to think of John Singleton (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0005436/). Boyz n the Hood is a minor classic in its genre and Poetic Justice was mediocre, but probably only because of Tupac's presence. Though, he's responsible for the latest incarnation of Shaft as well 2 Fast 2 Furious , both annoyingly bad. I tried watching Shaft twice but stopped the movie ten minutes in.

Equipoise
12-31-2005, 11:12 AM
Equipose, check you e-mail, please.

First, sorry to everyone for the mini-hijack. Miller and I have made peace via e-mail. I stand behind what I wrote, but I don't want to argue anymore. Miller, thank you for writing me. I like you. I won't mention this again.

Truce.

davenportavenger
12-31-2005, 01:53 PM
I'm probably as guilty of this as anybody, but this is drifting from really bad directors to 'people who directed movies I hate.' If you found Lost in Translation boring, great, but comparing Sophia Copolla to Roland Emmerich, Michael Bay and Joel Schumacher? Come on.I was way more entertained by The Island than by LiT. For all the faults of that movie, it was at least suspenseful and attention-getting, which was not true for LiT IMO. The juvenile clones were way more interesting, and sympathetic, than the whiny celebrities of LiT. Sure, talk about art all you want to, but the ultimate goal of any piece of art is to entertain, and I think Bay entertains a lot more thoroughly than Coppola. (Even Verhoeven does that.) I'm no great fan of action films or of Michael Bay (I only saw The Island because of its SFnal premise), but at least they and he deliver exactly what they promise.

JKellyMap
01-04-2006, 05:43 PM
David Lynch. His close-ups on inanimate objects, the voiceovers, the "weird for the sake of being weird" shots and touches... just dreck. The Elephant Man is about the only movie of his I've ever been able to sit through without fidgeting mercilessly, and then it was only because of the brilliant performances.


I agree about Lynch, and about The Elephant Man . However, I would add his Straight Story to the short list of good Lynch films. It is a beautiful, simple, yet surprising account of the essential goodness of folks.... and in this case, I think the directing did have a lot to do with its power.

Scupper
01-04-2006, 07:24 PM
Altman = M*A*S*H, Popeye, and The Player = any one disqualifies him from this list.
Burton = Pee Wee's Big Adventure, Ed Wood, and Edward Scissorhands = pick one, he's disqualified
David Lynch = Wild at Heart, Twin Peaks, Blue Velvet = claiming he is the "worst" or even the most overrated is, at best, disingenuous

I'll throw in my "me too" for hating Traffic, but Out of Sight was good and Ocean's Eleven was fine, so Soderbergh is out of the running.

Let's face facts:

Uwe Boll is the worst director who has ever made a film, period. House of the Dead alone makes all others pale in comparison. Alone in the Dark?

The man has FIVE video game to film adaptations in the pipe at the moment.

We are blessed to live in an age when such an utter asswipe is alive and working to make all other films look better in comparison.

Anamorphic
01-04-2006, 07:58 PM
Uwe Boll is the worst director who has ever made a film, period. House of the Dead alone makes all others pale in comparison. Alone in the Dark?

The man has FIVE video game to film adaptations in the pipe at the moment.One of them from a screenplay written by a Doper. Who is very sad, because he (the Doper) thinks it's actually a pretty decent script (actually based more on the pencil-and-paper RPG rather than the video game, but don't tell Boll that), and because of his very low expectations for the film because of all the reasons already mentioned here. Sigh.

Scupper
01-05-2006, 10:15 AM
One of them from a screenplay written by a Doper. Who is very sad, because he (the Doper) thinks it's actually a pretty decent script (actually based more on the pencil-and-paper RPG rather than the video game, but don't tell Boll that), and because of his very low expectations for the film because of all the reasons already mentioned here. Sigh.

Oh, man. I feel for that Doper.

It's for Hunter: The Reckoning, I would guess, as that's the only one on Uwe's hit list that I know comes from a P&P RPG.

Personally, I'd jump at the chance to have a script I wrote produced, regardless of who the director is or how much I can expect them to trash it. Might regret it later, but still.

Really, if you're writing video game or RPG adaptation screenplay and your source material isn't Halo- or Doom- level, prestige-wise, you're pretty much stuck with Uwe Boll or Paul W.S. Anderson. I'd take Anderson over Boll any day of the week, but the amount of choice a screenwriter has is pretty close to none at all.

kelly5078
01-05-2006, 12:33 PM
For big names, it's a toss-up between Bay and Lucas. Really, Bay is the worst; Lucas suffers because he actually once did something worthwhile, and one keeps hoping he'll do it again. Bay, well, you don't expect much, so you're not disappointed.

For smaller films, I'd say Wes Anderson. I just can't stand any of that unfocused, meandering, depressing crap he puts out.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright 2018 STM Reader, LLC.