"Smart" movies you think are dumb

blackrave

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Twilight
Ok, not really :D
My sister referred to it as "smart" once. I gave her my biggest ever "the fuck is wrong with you" look

In all seriousness- Matrix
I'm sorry, but the whole "humans=batteries" thing is stupid
If machines would have used humans for anything else, I would be fine
(for example drawing original thought from humans- and use original ideas for technological improvement)
But power generation? C'mon, almost everything else can be used for more efficient power generation.
Water, wind, radiation, Earth core, plants, fungus, other animals
Hell, plug rats into bioreactor and you can drop the whole simulation thing altogether
Power saving from that alone would make rats more preferable over humans
I know there are supposed to be other things in Matrix too, but I can't get past stupidity of the premise.

inu-kun said:
Smart in this case is a bit proportional, but Frozen is this for me,

The big twist that the prince was evil was obvious the second you remember that there are almost no live triangles in Disney movies, especially since the movie isn't about the love, so obviously they'll just reveal one of them as evil. It's just another Gaston.

The entire "accept your difference" is overused as fuck in current popular media that "everybody is super duper special" and just about anyone can interpret it in a way that suits them.

And the little sister being saved by sibling love was already made in Brave.

It's not a bad film, but dear god people are hyping it and it infuriates me that people see tropes being averted or laughted on as genius despite being made million of times.
BNguyen said:
that and elsa, or whatever her name is, looks like a smarmy ***** in all of the advertisements, anna looks like a naive dork and olaf is just grating
Guys, guys, guys
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Let it go!
 

T8B95

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Guilion said:
I wasn't going to respond to this thread because I couldn't think of a movie. However I was just having a conversation with someone about how America is crumbling, and how London Bridge is falling down...


Hands down the most stupid movie that pretends to be smart, I still love the movie but honestly I consider it a guilty pleasure rather than one movie I would recommend.
Not sure if anyone's going to call that "smart"...but that looks like possibly the most hilarious thing I've ever seen.

The movie Only God Forgives is mine. I loved Nicolas Winding Refn's previous films that I've seen (Bronson and Drive) and had high hopes for this one. But god damn it, it doesn't make it easy. Apparently it's about morality and redemption, which is hard when none of your characters have any redeeming features and all seem to be equally bad. It's also intercut with random fantasies of the main character and karaoke sequences (of all things) that try to be deep, but just come off as pretentious and annoying.
 

ledchicken

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lax4life said:
darkcalling said:
When I watched Rubber it seemed to think that it had a point to make. I couldn't tell you what that poit WAS. Though I think it was supposed to be a parody of arthouse movies so maybe that was the point.
Is it supposed to be a parody? When I first watched it, I thought that it was a very good Expressionist film.
I hope you're not being serious ;D that movie was utterly ridiculous from start to finish. Personally, I liked when
the director of the film, who plays the director of the film in the film, and also a cop in that film, tries to kill off all the people who are watching the film in real time with binoculars with a poisoned turkey.

*also rubber was amazing
 

Goro

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Melancholia was loved by critics and hailed as a tour-de-force of intelligence. It's the most boring.pretentious and obvious lump of crap I've seen in a long time. The planet is coming, it will destroy everything..... and that planet is.... Depression! Boy didn't see that coming.
 

freakonaleash

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Not sure if hereafter was "smart", but it seems like that was what it was going for. I thought it was one of the most boring movies I have ever seen.
 

SidheKnight

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Inception!

Also, Avatar (YMMV, I don't know if this is considered a "smart" movie, but I have heard people expressing that point of view, but it might be the exception).
 

Dirty Hipsters

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blackrave said:
In all seriousness- Matrix
I'm sorry, but the whole "humans=batteries" thing is stupid
If machines would have used humans for anything else, I would be fine
(for example drawing original thought from humans- and use original ideas for technological improvement)
But power generation? C'mon, almost everything else can be used for more efficient power generation.
Water, wind, radiation, Earth core, plants, fungus, other animals
Hell, plug rats into bioreactor and you can drop the whole simulation thing altogether
Power saving from that alone would make rats more preferable over humans
I know there are supposed to be other things in Matrix too, but I can't get past stupidity of the premise.
The original idea for the matrix made more sense. Human's weren't used as batteries, the machines were networking human brains together in order to create the matrix, the human brains were basically the processors. That's why when someone was unplugged from the matrix and figured out it was all a computer program they were able to change things within the matrix when they were plugged back in, because their mind was networked with the minds of everyone else within the matrix so they were able to make small changes to the program at will. This idea was later changed to "people are batteries" because producers didn't think people would be computer savvy enough to understand a more complex idea. If you look at the Matrix with the original idea for what it was supposed to be then the whole thing makes a hell of a lot more sense.
 

vid87

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blackrave said:
Twilight
Ok, not really :D
My sister referred to it as "smart" once. I gave her my biggest ever "the fuck is wrong with you" look
I think it actually might apply to Breaking Dawn pt 2, if only as meta subtext on slavish adaptation to source material.

Hey everyone, we had to drag the finale out into its own movie so we made it extra awesome! There's super-powers, people die, gaming-changing stuff goes down! But actually, it was all a dream, just like in the boo-- don't give me that look, you wanted "faithful," right?
 

Godhead

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ledchicken said:
lax4life said:
darkcalling said:
When I watched Rubber it seemed to think that it had a point to make. I couldn't tell you what that poit WAS. Though I think it was supposed to be a parody of arthouse movies so maybe that was the point.
Is it supposed to be a parody? When I first watched it, I thought that it was a very good Expressionist film.
I hope you're not being serious ;D that movie was utterly ridiculous from start to finish. Personally, I liked when
the director of the film, who plays the director of the film in the film, and also a cop in that film, tries to kill off all the people who are watching the film in real time with binoculars with a poisoned turkey.

*also rubber was amazing
Yes, but to me that just says the film is either absurdist or expressionsist, and in my mind the film is able to qualify as both.
 

CarlsonAndPeeters

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I saw Birdman and was absolutely ready to love it. I thought it was pretty much a piece of shit. I ended up writing a review of it for my university's film review site:

Birdman is an artistic, intellectual film that does no artistic or intellectual work. It?s an outline, a sketch, a suggestion of an idea, and that idea isn?t even original. Did you know that some actors are egomaniacs? Did you know that theater and film are different? Did you know that social media is a thing that exists? Did you know that some people look down on super hero action flicks? Did you know that life is depressing sometimes and happy some other times? Did you know that Michael Keaton once played Batman?

Great. Then there?s no need for you to see this movie.

Michael Keaton stars as Riggan Thomson, a middle-aged actor who used to portray Birdman, a dark and moody superhero, in a series of blockbuster movies. Now facing irrelevance, Riggan stages a Broadway show?acting as writer, director, and lead?in an attempt to redefine his career. The film takes place in the tension-fraught days leading up to the play?s premiere, as Riggan struggles with difficult actors, family issues, and his own steadily-declining mental state. The cast of characters around Riggan?notably his method-acting co-star Mike (Edward Norton) and his troubled, recovering-addict daughter Sam (Emma Stone)?push him close to his breaking point, but it is Riggan?s own psyche, which he hears in his head as the voice of Birdman, that threatens to push him over the edge.

The premise is intriguing, but it goes precisely nowhere. Instead of embarking on an exploration of fame and greed, ego and art, sex and family, the film points to these ideas and then proudly calls it a day. The characters are all blatant types: Norton?s Mike is the classic self-centered, pompous ?artist,? Stone?s Sam is sufficiently moody and bitter to cause trouble for her father, and even Riggan himself is a character you?ve seen a million times before. He used to be famous, now he?s not so famous, and he wants to be famous again. Also he?s depressed probably. The actors handle their roles admirably, however. Norton is particularly fun to watch be brutally cruel, easily stealing every one of his scenes. Zach Galifianakis also stands out as Jake, Riggan?s friend and producer, a frantic character with little of Galifianakis?s usual buffoonery; instead he draws laughs from his desperate attempts to keep the collapsing show from imploding entirely. But there?s little to these characters to make them compelling on their own, no matter how well acted they are. They?re ideas, not humans.

There is nothing inherently wrong with using stock characters in a film; employed carefully, these characters can offer a great way to study and deconstruct personality types. But Birdman does none of the work to comment on its characters and forms no cohesive argument. The film relentlessly asserts that it has a valuable message, but the actual content of that message is nowhere to be found. This problem becomes unfortunately clear in the scenes where the film attempts to tackle pop culture. Writer/director Alejandro González Iñárritu constantly misrepresents and misunderstands the modern world. There?s an extended sequence where Riggan fantasizes about starring in an action movie again, but the fantasy is limited to explosions and tanks and gunfire. If you?ve seen an action movie in the past decade, particularly a Marvel movie or a Christopher Nolan film, you know that blockbuster movies can be exciting while also having strong plots, characters, and themes. But this variety doesn?t fit within Iñárritu?s preconceived box, so he ignores it.

The same goes for the film?s treatment of social media. Despite making Emma Stone mention followers and retweets umpteen times, the movie doesn?t know how to develop any of it into an argument, and it feels like Iñárritu doesn?t actually know what they are. The only time the film seems at all honest and truthful is during the theater sequences. Twisting halls cluttered with costumes and props, stage managers desperately trying to get actors into places, last-minute disasters cropping up from everywhere?anyone who has worked on a show has seen these things. Birdman brings this world to life visually, while its inaccurate depiction of more modern media is flat and lifeless.

Birdman also does some interesting things with cinematography, but it?s an endeavor that, like most of Birdman?s interesting endeavors, doesn?t amount to much. The color palate is suitably dim, and the drum-heavy score complements the mood. But the star of the show is the camera work, which presents the entire film as a single, unbroken take, all of the cuts hidden in transitions as the lens moves from place to place. It?s a risky choice, and from a technical standpoint it is executed remarkably well, but artistically it?s more distracting than engaging. Once you notice that the picture isn?t visibly cutting, it becomes hard to pay attention to anything else; you?ll be focusing on camera work, trying to spot where the cuts were hidden, instead of paying attention to the story. The camera also forces the staging into corners, and since the camera cannot cut between characters it is forced to dwell idly one person?s face. There?s a reason directors and editors cut; cutting makes scenes and conversations fresh and engaging. Without that ability, Birdman is forced to resort almost exclusively to tight close ups and long, drawn out monologues. Any benefit of the unique style is lost as the film becomes visually boring.

Perhaps the problems with its cinematography are characteristic of Birdman as a whole. The film keeps coming up with concepts, things it wants to tackle, but it never seems quite able to pull it off. It?s a black comedy that?s not that dark and not that funny. It?s limited by its own lofty ambitions to such a severe degree that it ends up being genuinely bad. Characters and plot lines are dropped as rapidly as they?re introduced, their stories never to be resolved. A cohesive argument about anything never gets a chance to develop. The messages it leaves us with are uninteresting and tired when not downright false. Birdman might have started as a good idea for a movie, but it is not a good movie. Your two hours would be better spent re-watching The Dark Knight.

The TL;DR is that the movie thinks its really smart but makes no actual interesting or unique argument. It presents itself as art without having any artistic message--art is always about the message. Also the director clearly had no interest in researching/accurately presenting action movies, which makes a whole part of the plot feel false.

Some great acting, though.
 

UberGott

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Most recently? INTERSTELLAR. The film is so incredibly bad at establishing the world it's trying to portray, is so full of half-explored ideas, and wastes so much time with cool ideas that are actually boring in execution I basically sat in the theater with my fists and jaw clenched for two and a half hours. The only character I liked in the damned movie was the Talking Kit-kat Bar they dared to call a robot... man, how can a movie with so much legit science behind it still be this dumb? I absolutely think 2001 is tedious and dull for the first act, but it's never outright stupid.

Probably the most violent reaction I've had to a movie for being stupid was DOGVILLE. The film is smart enough to assume we can deal with a drama not having sets and characters gradually revealing themselves to be the opposite of what they claimed by their own actions, but it also thinks we need every character's emotions narrated to us like we're sitting around the teacher being read a story. What the fork is this turd, and why did friends of mine I tend to think of as smart get tricked by it? (And how did Takashi Miike make a GOOD movie using the exact same gimmick?) Von Trier has made good movies. This is not one of them.

I love THE UNTOLD STORY - the Hong Kong movie that put Anthony Wong's name in the public eye - but it really is two separate movies running side by side: One of them is a wacky comedy about incompetent and arrogant cops abusing their authority to feel better about themselves, and the other is a grueling drama about a deranged spree killer doing his thing. The stuff with Wong as the "Bun Man" is solid gold, but the Adam Sandler-esque nonsense on the other end makes the film feel like a bipolar mess... and yet, this was the template Hong Kong used to make pretty much all of their exploitation films for the 1990s. Man, that was a weird time!

I loved MARYTS, though I can see why other wouldn't if they're any less prone to pitch-black humor than I am. The last five minutes honestly transform it from a seemingly legitimate celebration of torture porn into a cold, no-uncertain-terms statement of theology. The whole film is one long, sick joke, and the punch-line is about as hard and heavy as it gets.

Nobody would accuse it of being smart, but Lucio Fulci's CAT IN THE BRAIN was so god-awful it took me like 5 separate sit-downs to finish it off. I love bad movies, but that... that was the line.
 

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Lovely Mixture said:
Not sure why Fight Club is being brought up here. It's a pretty straightforward film.


American Hustle and The Wolf of Wallstreet are movies that are basically made for the actors to show off their skills with the story being left on the backburner till it becomes relevant. They have good scenes but are so padded that you begin to lose interest.

However, I will give Hustle more credit because it did not have an absurd amount of sex and drug scenes.

Here Comes Tomorrow said:
Into The Wild.

Good god I hate that film SO. MUCH.

Words cannot describe how hateful I find the main character. The message apparently is "act like a selfish prick and die like an idiot and we'll make a whimsical movie celebrating your stupidity later".
This.
Kid is angry at his parents for reasons. Decides to go off into the wild for ...reasons, and then die because he was unprepared. BRILLIANT.
I agree with the kid's idiocy but I didn't think the movie was siding with him.
 

DefunctTheory

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UberGott said:
Most recently? INTERSTELLAR. The film is so incredibly bad at establishing the world it's trying to portray, is so full of half-explored ideas, and wastes so much time with cool ideas that are actually boring in execution I basically sat in the theater with my fists and jaw clenched for two and a half hours. The only character I liked in the damned movie was the Talking Kit-kat Bar they dared to call a robot... man, how can a movie with so much legit science behind it still be this dumb? I absolutely think 2001 is tedious and dull for the first act, but it's never outright stupid.
Strange. I thought the world building was exactly what Interstellar did best. I was completely enraptured during the first act, even if some of the stuff was a bit weird (Mostly his son).
 

ensouls

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I'm really glad someone else hated Snowpiercer as much as I did, because I watched it, despised it, then saw the rottentomatoes score and was totally baffled. I suspect this is one of those movies that was much better as the book (apparently in this case, graphic novel), and the writers tried to hold onto all of the wrong things, especially a seriously bloated cast.

They didn't have time or writing power to make anyone terribly interesting (that babies line cracks me up, and the "artist" reminded me of no one so much as Moliere from that Disney Atlantis movie). The villains end up being Hunger Games/Harry Potter style caricatures rather than grim oppressors and no one's actions make a lick of sense. I'm sorry, you used to eat babies but the cockroach jello is too much for your refined palate? The baddies rely on guns rather than, I don't know, some kind of gas weapon that wouldn't destroy your life-sustaining enclosed space?

It's too bad because the setting and overall concept had potential, and they did keep a few cool visuals, but there's really too much nonsensical eye candy and not enough believable story going on.
 

Blood Brain Barrier

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fat tony said:
Melancholia was loved by critics and hailed as a tour-de-force of intelligence. It's the most boring.pretentious and obvious lump of crap I've seen in a long time. The planet is coming, it will destroy everything..... and that planet is.... Depression! Boy didn't see that coming.
YCRanger said:
smv1172 said:
Melancholia

The movie is about rich people who are so rich they no longer feel the need to talk to each other and as all feel alienated/disgruntled/not satisfied with pretty much anything, and with the focus on the illusion of something deeper doesn't even come to the conclusion that these people are all just causing their own issues via their own self interest, its just life is hard when you've got everything you could want combined with no principles and terribly out of whack priorities.
I think what you just said was the point of the movie. The freaking name of the comet was Melancholia. That could possibly tip you off. It was I thought a brutally honest take on depression. Depression causes you to turn inward so much to the point of alienating your friends and family. Kirsten Dunst character has every reason to be happy and content but that's the nature of the disease. She is thoughtless and selfish and taxing on everyone around her. I think the movie is well aware that she is making things worse through her actions and I think her character knows that as well. It's a part of mental illness that is not explored as much but the impact on the family and friends is real and can be extremely frustrating to all involved. I can understand being frustrated with the characters but I think that is the point. That said it is not a "enjoyable' film nor would I even say a necessarily good one.
That's not the point of it. Didn't you see what happens in the end? She's the only one able to help, and it's because of her experience with her 'illness'. That's often the case with many mental illnesses and the gifts they bring. Quite a positive message. It's not a great movie but is quite observant on how we judge and alienate certain outsiders, and a person considered to be mentally ill can be in some ways less insane than all the 'healthy' people around them. I could relate to it anyway.

Scarim Coral said:
To me that would be The Tree of Life-
Am I suppose to give a danm that mother son had died?
Why are we watching Walking with Dinosaur and the universe being born?
Ok so we're watching that family since childhood, what a bored.
Oh great so they are abusing animals now.
Why arethey important to the whole universe crap?

I guess the film is the new "Forrest Grump" for me (I didn't liked it when I first watched but then liked it some years older when I mature abit).
Tree of Life wasn't meant to be a smart movie though. I thought it was pretty brilliant, and the closest a film has come to portraying spiritual revelation as an inner experience rather than a story about someone (Jesus, Buddha).

Forrest Gump on the other hand, was intended as a "smart movie" and was far from it. I would put in the same category "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button", which I saw recently and found extremely pretentious and offering little in the way of insight into anything. The set-up and theme of both films promised so much but had so little substance.
 

Starbird

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pearcinator said:
Inception!

I could rant about this movie all day at how nonsensical it is. It is a stupid movie. I don't have the time to break it down here but there are many things about the movie that is poorly done. This movie is #14 on IMDB for God's sake!

Other movies that fulfil this criteria...
Donnie Darko
Fight Club
Interstellar

There's probably a few more but that's all I can think of atm.
Oh yes Inception would be it. Had everyone I know telling me "YOU MUST SEE THIS MOVIE THIS WAS MADE FOR SMART CREATIVE PEOPLE LIKE YOU" or something along those lines.

Ugh. Just...ugh. It was basically Matrix: Reloaded all over again. A mediocre action movie with no real stakes or engagement hidden inside a cocoon of overcomplex philosobabble and jargon, special effects and big name actors. I always enjoy Watanabe Ken though.

Another: Cloud Atlas. Some awesome concepts but...eh. I just didn't get it. So disjointed. Artsy for the sake of being artsy.