Top Five… Guilty Dislikes

A few weeks ago, RvR writer Lester Square gave a rundown of his favourite guilty pleasure movies. Now he reveals the movies he’s been told to love but just can’t help hating. Not sure he feels too guilty, mind…

By Lester Square

I blame Australia.

For years a friend told me I had to visit – it was the best country in the world, he said. So I did, had a nice few weeks, came home. End of. Except it wasn’t. On returning to Lester Square Towers, I found I was continually questioned if I thought Australia was indeed the best place I had visited. ‘Isn’t it great?’, I was asked. Such lovely people, beaches, surfs, big rocks etc. All true, but one thing nagged and nagged – it wasn’t my favourite place and everybody asking me was expecting me to say it was.

So, bravely, I did the only thing I could.

I lied. Then I lied again. Then lied some more. Yes, it was the best place I’d ever seen as a tourist. I said it so often I started believing it. But it kinda got me thinking *looks out of window in a Carrie Bradshaw-type fashion*… What happens when you don’t agree with the people, when you guiltily dislike what they love? And not just Australia, but movies?

Who is wrong, them or you? It is them.

5. Life is Beautiful (1997)

Some things are not funny. The latest series of Curb Your Enthusiasm, Little Britain, the Holocaust. Not to get all moral on your ass but pretending it was a little game, whatever the intentions, was tactless, strange, bonkers. And no-a disguising it in-a accents makes it good. It won two Oscars. The main character’s surname is Orefice.

4. Apocalypse Now (1979)

Yes, it had some great music, a couple of good lines, and they had a hell of a time making it. But it is tedious. And hackneyed. Find Kurtz? I’d rather wait for Godot. And he wasn’t much fun either.

3. Pulp Fiction (1994)

Reservoir Dogs was magnificent. This was sixth-form nonsense in comparison. Contrived to the point of desperation – the Gimp, the wincing dialogue between two men off to kill someone, the kooky French character – it is the kind of film only a student could love.

2. It’s A Wonderful Life (1946)

Not being the Grinch here: it is a good movie, but Capra and Stewart made a better film together than this, Mr Smith Goes To Washington. And it is less sentimental. Funny in retrospect that the Big Bad Guy is a banker. But just, just, a little too white picket fency.

1. Star Wars (1977)

A fairytale in space – no more, no less. Watched it, shrugged my shoulders, never remotely cared what happened to Luke, Darth or the big ape. Or Chewbacca. The effects are good but if I want my film viewing to be judged by that, I would have gone into IT. Am I alone, does nobody else think this? If I am, I promise to sit down and watch all prequels and sequels in one go (and still think it ordinary).



home button1
Bookmark and Share


29 Responses to “Top Five… Guilty Dislikes”

  1. After all the “Guilty Pleasures” blogs that are kicking around I have to say this is close to geniuses in concept, however I have to say I love all but one of the films you picked.

    I don’t really have guilty pleasures or dislikes as I will tell people what I think about any film. As for highly regarded films I don’t like here are a few:

    Forrest Gump: I now it is a bit of an easy target as many people deride it these days but it is still no. 38 on the IMDB top 250 so it must be loved by some people! I just get nothing from it, to work it must be interesting, touching and funny. I get none of this from it.

    The Wizard of Oz: I find it really tedious and annoying.

    The Sixth Sense: The most overrated film I have ever seen, and I saw the so called amazing twist coming far to soon.

    Monsters Inc. I hate Disney and I can’t get excited about most animation, I was talked into watching this on the basis that I liked Toy Story. It’s a bit harsh to put it on the list as I haven’t actually seen it; I gave up and turned it off after half an hour.

    Gandhi: It is tedious beyond belief and Ben Kingsley’s performance is really wooden, he won an Oscar for this beating the brilliant Paul Newman in the outstanding The Verdict, how did that happen?

  2. great list Lester, although i disagree with a few of your pics.
    i can see why some people hate Pulp Fiction but i still like it.
    Apocalypse now is a bit patchy but has some great moments – although the whole French bit in the Redux is perhaps the most boring 20 minutes ive spent in a cinema in my life.
    Its A Wonderful Life is great and Star Wars is badly acted, clumsy and completely ridiculous – but still great.

    cant help but agree with Fandango (yes Fands, you can copy, paste, print and frame that sentence) on Gandhi. dreary, worthy guff. Paul Newman’s performance in The Verdict is the man’s best, making it arguably one of the greatest performances of all time.
    Cmon though, The Wizard of Oz? its one of the best films ever made…

    on my list of guilty dislikes:
    Million Dollar Baby – i just dont get it. she boxes, talks to some old guys, then gets hurt. about as subtle (but not as good) as an Animaniacs cartoon.
    Lost In Translation – pretentious. pointless. pretentious.
    Sideways – I wonder why critics loved a film that focused on two adult losers who whine about themselves all the time?

  3. Great Idea for a list, Lester.
    Are you alone thinking Star Wars is ordinary? Yes.
    I ashamedly only seen It’s A Wonderful Life for the first time the other night, and must say it lives up to the hype. The only happy ending i’ve ever had to fight the tears off.

    My list would include:
    Heat – meh at best, and should be as good as everyone says because of the quality of the cast. I cant help but feel people are afraid to criticise both emperors and their new clothes.
    Monthy Python – any of them. I’m all into stupid humour, but this I just don’t get. Some genuinely funny moments, but they are only moments.
    Ferris Bueller’s Day Off – Perhaps it is because I seen this out of the context of the 80s; perhaps it was because I needed to be in school at the time to fully appreciate it; perhaps its because I have made a vow to delived Matthew Broderick’s soul to Satan.

    Good shout on Million Dollar Baby too McG, I found Elliot Gould’s Matilda more moving

  4. ET – it’s plainly rubbish.

    The Shawshank Redemption – I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, this is a film for people that don’t like films, just like the works of Dan Brown are books for people who don’t really like books.

    Finding Nemo – completely overrated

    Crash – failed to see what was so amazing about being smacked in the face for two hours with a big sign that says ‘IT’S ABOUT RACISM’.

  5. Dr Manhattan Says:





  6. Ross McG, Apocalypse now is a great film, I haven’t seen the Redux version so can’t comment on the French scene. I won’t frame your comment, you agree with me so often I don’t have the wall space; I’m going to start using them as wallpaper instead!

    Ross McD, Don’t like Monthy Python, what’s wrong with you man?

    Cinemascream: I have never actually seen ET. We were lent a pirate copy when I was a kid that was so bad we couldn’t watch it. I started watching it on TV years later but gave up after a bit.

  7. If you think the new Curb season isn’t funny, I feel sorry for you.

  8. Pulp Fiction and Star Wars are two of the best film ever made, I can’t understand how anybody could disagree but I have to live with the fact that some people have strange tastes in films.

    BUT…what cinemascream said?? How can anybody slate Shawshank? for those who don’t love films? I’ve watched thousands of films in my life and to me Shawshank is by a mile the best film ever made and correctly the best film ever according to!

    Alas I accept all films can’t appeal to everybody, I think the Godfather is overretted and not a patch on Goodfellas and the wizard of Oz is rubbish

    Slumdog, No country for old men, Fnding Nemo, Forrest Gump, Psycho and the Exorcist are all totally overratted!

  9. could’nt agree more about the Godfather James, I saw it for the first time in years recently and i forgot just how booooooring it was, I was just sitting there thinking when is this going to bloody end!!

    Apocalypse Now is the most overrated film of all time, ok like the Godfather it has some great scenes and fine acting but that does’nt make it a good movie, they should put a warning before these movies are shown on the tv, “viewers are warned that this film contains scenes of tedius dullness throughout” actually i’ve never watched Apocalypse Now all the way through, I think I tried to watch it a couple of times but thought life is too short and gave up.

    I think the same can be said for forrest gump, vertigo, the wizard of oz and any film clint eastwood directs.
    Oh and heres another one The English Patient, how did that one win 9 oscars, were the americans trying to be nice to the brits?? it was so boring my face nearly melted.
    And American beauty, what the hell was that all about????????

    nice one lester square, i’ve finally found other people who share my views on these awful films. I’ve been wanting to let all this out for a long time

  10. Antonius Maximus Says:

    Keegobob, your post was so boring MY face nearly melted, now get back to work! I dont pay you to have an opinion…

    btw, Into the West, directed by Sean Penn, self-righteous drivel. Thought i loved it while watching it, then woke up the next day and realised i was an idiot!

  11. Antonius Maximus Says:

    When i say ‘Into the West’ i obviously mean ‘Into the Wild’! Thats how annoyed i was after watching it!

  12. 24hourstomidnight Says:

    Agreed on “Knocked Up” – I thought Seth Rogen was an unforgivably bad person, and Katherine Heigl was a shrew.

  13. James: I’ve watched thousands of films in my life and to me Shawshank is by a mile the best film ever made and correctly the best film ever according to!

    …well plenty of people want to bring back hanging and millions watch Eastenders but that doesn’t mean either one has any place in the civilised world. My problem is that behind the important sounding tones of Mr Freeman it is actually no deeper than a naff inspirational poster. If you want to wallow in easy albeit false sentimentality take up drinking or move to Liverpool.

    p.s. I bet he did kill his wife – at least that would have made the film more interesting.

    re. Apocalypse Now Redux – Am I the only person who prefers it? – how can you not when the French Plantation scenes recast the finale in a ‘Once Upon A Time in America’ style.

  14. Whist I think Shawshank is a long way from greatest film ever made, to claim it is a bad film can only be movie-snobbery (something I’m sure all film lovers are guilty of from time to time). It is a good and enjoyable film I have seen several times.
    We should just accept that we all have different tastes. For example, respect the views of film critic Mark Kermode but can’t agree with his view that the Exorcist is the greatest film ever made.

  15. Apocalypse Now was so bad I couldn’t even finish it. I made it to the French villa before I gave up. I’ve also never liked It’s a Wonderful Life.

    My list would be something like this:
    1- Seven Samurai
    2- The Maltese Falcon
    3- Annie Hall
    4- Se7en
    5- Inglourious Basterds

  16. Well I have to disagree with Lester on this one. I like all the above movies. I’ve never quite got why “It’s A Wonderful Life” is hailed by so many but it still gets viewed around Xmas time. Jimmy Stewart is great. The others are all classics.

    I suppose the clear winner for ‘film I can’t understand why so many people love’ would be “The Shawshank Redemption”. Average prison movie, and hardly the best adaptation of a Stephen King story.

  17. best adaptation of a Stephen King story, DS?
    easy –

  18. Great film. That truck was a better Green Goblin than Willem Dafoe

  19. @ Ross McG

    have to disagree with you that Newman’s best performance was in The Verdict. Would go for Hud, where he played a cowboy ‘with barbed-wire in his soul’. Magnificent.

    @ nerds

    saw Star Wars the other day (the first one), that scene in the bar is a few minutes of the most excrutiating cinema in history. If only they had all been killed we would be spared this guff.

  20. Dave, you just didn’t understand that scene. Here it is with sub-titles:

  21. All I can say is that I disagree with every choice.
    My list however consists of: A.I, Gladiator, The Dark Knight and Transformers (1 and 2)

  22. People, you can’t disagree with a guilty dislikes list – everyone else is supposed to like them by their very nature!
    However Kevin, I think everyone hates Transformers 2

  23. mcarteratthemovies Says:

    I’m totally with you on “Star Wars” — never could get into the originals, so the prequels were totally lost on me.

    I’d throw in “Gone with the Wind,” too. Yeah, yeah, I know it’s an epic and it contains all kinds of ground-breaking, cinema-changing techniques and that damn “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn” line. But I don’t care. It’s long, it’s boring and I absolutely DESPISE Scarlett. She’s the kind of simpering, manipulative wet wrag I cannot begin to like.

  24. brilliant CS, brilliant.
    although, i actually quite like TEP

  25. I am so happy I could cry. I have searched far and wide for one person in this god forsaken planet that sees Star Wars for the cheesy, over ripe, over rated, useless, absolutely badly acted, filled with cardboard cutout unbelievable furry objects and crazy alien filled wasteland that it is. It had some cool gadgets, the amazing death star(i hope thats the name), the excellent light saber and of course Darth Vader, who is possibly the coolest person to ever grace the movie screen. But the rest of the movie, the direction the acting all sucked. If Harrison Ford is the definition of charming, I think the human race has forfeited the right the exist. Also the movies have not aged well at all. Star Wars is, in the end a melodramatic cheese fest. Boy finds out he is chosen one, gets trained, runs into sister who he wants to shag, finds furry animals, gets trained by a muppet, goes black, finds out he is evil spawn, loses a hand and then everyone gets knighted. Is this the formula for a great movie?

    Also I wouldnt say guilty dislike, but i do dislike the following:

    ET: seriosly…WTF?

    Saving Private Ryan: Superb opening sequence, the best of any war movie ever made, I just cant buy the government trying to save any private for any reason.

    Indiana Jones: Sorry, but all Indiana Jones movies suck. Harrison ford is not cool…had it been Tom Selleck, it probably would have been better…I think it is possibly Harrison Ford’s voice that ticks me off.

    Agree with Gone With the Wind, Wonderful life, Life is Beautiful, Wiz of Oz. May have been fun watching as a child, definitely sucks watching it now.

    Jules et Jim: So absolutely disastrously I wanted to peel off my skin and eat it.

    Cinema Paradiso: Just did nothing for me.

    Gladiator: Caligula was better…at least it had boobs.

    Ben Hur: Spectacular and all, s**t story and all too.

    Shawshank Redemption is not the greatest movie ever made. It is good, but not great. It is a simple story and it is told with a good deal of melodrama. It is a good watch, but it is not special and definitely not the greatest.

  26. I know people are entitled to their opinions, but I am very very angry that someone actually though Seven Samurai sucked. I think i will sit in a corner and cry my anger away.

  27. Coffeecrimson Says:

    Gee, you guys have such good taste. Personally I really hate It’s a Wonderful LIfe but my guilty pleasures aren’t even on anyone’s radar. But here they are: 1. Jumpin’ Jack Flash 2. Doctor Detroit 3. Clue 4. The Ref 5. Dune.

  28. […] radio battle was inspired by a post from our very own Lester Square – click HERE to read […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: