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8 Movies That Have Not Aged Well
The Not Like a Fine Wine of Cinema
By Joe Oesterle
January 11, 2010
Just because a movie doesn’t hold up 20 years between viewings, doesn’t mean it’s a terrible flick, or it somehow invalidates your childhood, but if you are old enough to serve your country, you’re old enough to know the truth about some of your movies that just don’t hold up as a grown-up.
Cold War espionage, deadly secret agent gadgets, gorgeous double-crossing women, brassy big band background music, high stakes baccarat and top shelf liquor. You know what’s missing from that menu of sure-fire ways to produce a decent James Bond movie? Phaser guns, outer space, and phaser gun battles in outer space.
To be fair, the filmmakers showed us what this movie was in the obligatory opening Bond action scene, when the menacing metal-toothed mammoth of a villain, Jaws drops from 7,000 feet, flaps his arms like a bird, and crashes through the big top of a nearby circus, and lands safe and sound on the trapeze net.
7. The Towering Inferno
Starring Fred Astaire, O.J. Simpson and the kid who played Bobby Brady, The Towering Inferno is easily one of the greatest movies of all-time to ever feature Fred Astaire, O.J. Simpson and the kid who played Bobby Brady.
Our favorite part? Robert Wagner notices his building is on fire, so he throws a damp bath towel over his head and almost manages to mess up his hair. With a reassuring wink, he tells his workplace fuck buddy he once ran the 100-yard dash in 10 seconds flat and then proceeds to run out of his office and directly into a flaming chair, not 3 yards into his 100-yard dash. This sends him into a fiery slow-motion stumble into every other piece of flaming office furniture until he trips and falls through a plate of glass that must be so sheer, that we wouldn’t consider safe enough to drink water out of.
We’d rather be set on fire than sit through this flaming bag of turds again.
It’s fun to find a TRON fan and tell him the movie sucks. (Trust us, we’re not being chauvinistic, if you find a TRON fan, you have also found a him.) The truth is it only kind of sucks, but only in the way all-live action Disney movies after 1978 sucked.
The problem starts and ends with the logic that is laid out to us by the films antagonist; the super-computer, “Master Control Program.”
Master Control Program happily informs us in one scene that it is 2,415 times smarter than a human being. You know why that’s hard to believe? Because if it truly were 2,415 times smarter than us, it wouldn’t need a human to download a file so it can speak Chinese. If that computer is so damn smart, how come it never heard of Babblefish.com?
5. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
Sure it’s easy to complain about Kate Capshaw’s whining, screaming, and crying, but if we ignored that we’d have to focus in on her bad acting. Of course Capshaw is not even the worst thespian in the bunch. That credit goes to child actor Ke Huy Quan as Short Round.
Short Round’s main purpose in this movie is apparently to inform the audience that something we don’t find funny is indeed absolutely hysterical–as in, “Very funny, Indy, very funny.”
Maybe the best anyone could expect from three Indy movies are two good ones, and one flawed effort. Thank God Spielberg, Lucas and Ford never teamed up again for a fourth movie. (We’re closing our eyes and plugging our ears now. No they didn’t, No they didn’t, no they didn’t.)
4. Batman (1989)
More times than not, Tim Burton gets so lost in his stunning visuals that the actual story suffers. Jack Nicholson’s Joker seems very cartoonish--especially when compared to Heath Ledgers’, Billy Dee and his immeasurable charm are completely wasted here.
Most importantly however, while Michael Keaton did a much better job in the role than anyone suspected, we never really understand why Bruce Wayne is so obsessed with the death of his parents that he becomes really smart, really strong, fights bad guys really well, invents things really good and dresses up like a bat.
Also on the bell tower at the end, how does The Joker know who Batman is when the Dark Knight informs the Clown Prince of Crime he murdered his parents? Joker replies, “Hey, I was a young man at the time.” How does the Joker know Batman wasn’t referring to six months ago? Riddle me that Tim Burton.
3. Superman I
Ok, we know we’re going to take some flak for this one, and the original still holds up surprisingly well; Marlon Brando and Gene Hackman are brilliant, and yes, we did really believe a man could fly. Our sole complaint is with Christopher Reeve, or more specifically, his limited acting ability.
Hey, no one could have played a more convincing Superman in that film--that’s not our problem. The problem is when he moves to Metropolis and adopts the “geeky, klutzy” Clark Kent persona, it just makes us want avert our eyes in shame. Reeves’ portrayal of Kent should infuriate a high school drama teacher, and only looks that much more pathetic when it’s weighed against pros like Brando, Hackman, Glenn Ford, Ned Beatty, Terrance Stamp, Jackie Cooper and Trevor Howard.
Sorry Chris, but if it’s any consolation, you absolutely were Superman.
First of all, let’s address the obvious right off the bat. “There can be only one.” If this is so, (although three crappy sequels and a crappier TV series beg to differ) why didn’t Clancy “The Kurgan” Brown just chop off Connor MacLeod’s head in their very first battle on the shores of Loch Shiel in 1536?
And why does Sean Connery, an Egyptian dressed like a gay Spanish party boy who has spent a great deal of time in Japan have a Scottish accent, when an actual Scotsman (MacLeod) sounds more like Ren Höek from Ren and Stimpy fame?
And why would you teach a guy who you will one day fight to the death how to become a better fighter... and how come–awww just kill us already.
1. Superman II: (The Lester Version)
This film is easily the worst offender of the bunch, and mainly because we loved it so very much as kids. That Mount Rushmore scene makes us cringe with every repeated viewing. Since when did being super strong make you a super sculptor too?
Aside from the fact that Superman inexplicably gives up his powers and abilities for Lois (by the way, Lois loves those powers and abilities) how the hell do they travel back from the North Pole?
And then, after it’s “crystal” clear that Kal El can never EVER be Superman again if he gives up his powers, guess what happens? He gets his powers back after walking through the hundreds of frozen miles again in dress slacks and a Member’s Only jacket–as a human!
This hurts like kryptonite to even mention, but what the hell with the super memory-erasing kiss, and whipping off the “S” insignia to wrap up bad guys in cellophane?
Superman’s greatest villain is not Lex Luthor or General Zod. It’s Dick Lester.
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