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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
Source: www.joeartistwriter.com

8 Movies That Have Not Aged Well
© Mania/Bob Trate


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.

8. Moonraker

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.

2. Highlander

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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egoist 1/11/2010 2:34:10 AM

Moonraker should be #1. The special effects were outdated before it got to Betamax.

Dazzler 1/11/2010 4:26:12 AM

Moonraker is my favorite of the Bond films!  Better than curent stuff anyway. 

I see your points in this list, but again these movies are for fun and entertainment, seems like everybody forgets that. 

Versutus 1/11/2010 4:27:28 AM

"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"

He was going to but he got tackled by Angus and Duncan...  


Wiseguy 1/11/2010 4:40:12 AM

Burton's Batman is still the best Bat film to date, bar none. And Nicholson's Joker more like the comic book Joker than Nolan's new interpratation where all the fantasy associated with the character went out the window. But since today everyone wants "realism" even in a comic book based film. Burton's was dark, edgy and had the feel of a real comic book Batman more and IMO inspired TAS which rocked. Nolan's "realism", generic city and emo Batman doesn't gel with me.

What was the theme of this article? I forgot. Oh yeah, Burton's Batman still rocks, they need to converted to 3D and re-release it

Highlander still works too, even today. The sequels are the ones that fukked up the mythology

Was the point films that didn't age well or ones with stuff that doesn't quite gel with the story, cause even the best movies today can be picked apart


cheekymonkey 1/11/2010 4:55:58 AM

Superman 1?  I don't think so. After the Crystal Skull, Temple of Doom is looking better and better.

I'd add E.T. to the list.  I loved it as a kid, can't stand it as an adult

cheekymonkey 1/11/2010 4:57:34 AM

I agree with Wiseguy that Batman does not belong anywhere near this list.  While Dark Knight is an awesome flick, I don't think that it changes how good the 89 flick was.

Flint521466 1/11/2010 5:22:45 AM

"Moonraker" is GARBAGE. It's the Broccoli's tryin' to cash in on the "Star Wars" craze.  Much like they're tryin' to cash in on the "Bourne" craze today.  That being said I really liked CR & QoS so it must be working.

I never thought "Temple of Doom" was as bad as some have made it out to be.  Personally, I liked it better than "Last Crusade"

Wise is dead on w/ "Highlander" holding up.  GREAT FLICK made even better by Queen's soundtrack.  Sequels were dog shit.

Burton's "Batman" is great.  The only problem I have w/it is how they had young Jack Napier shoot the Wayne's and not Joe Chill.  

Nothing wrong w/"Superman". 

death4sale 1/11/2010 5:38:23 AM

It's funny, but I still love every film on this list. They are all still terrific movies and I would take any of these films over the crap being released nowadays. Superman I, just bought the Blu-Ray. For a movie of it's age, it looks decent in High-Def. It's still a classic and Reeves is still Superman. The original Highlander is one of my favorite flicks of all time and has one of my favorite climactic battles in cinema not to mention the soundtrack. I grew up watching Superman II the Lester version almost more than any other movie because Terence Stamp is awesome. The only movie I don't much care for is the '89 Batman. I could never take Michael Keaton seriously as Batman. Most criminals would laugh if they came against a midget dressed up in a Bat costume. It wasn't Bob Kane's Batman, it was Tim Burton's Batman and sometimes I think Tim Burton is a little overrated. Tron is awesome and don't fault the computer knowledge of the time. No one really knew Jack about computers at the time. I guess most people just assumed they ran on magic. And I always find it funny that most people seem to hate Temple of Doom, but it is my favorite Indy film. I felt it was his darkest story and the Thuggees made it personal when they infected him as well. I thought it was a more adventurous film than the other Indys.

littlemikey979 1/11/2010 6:16:54 AM

Moonraker - "I think he attempting re-entry"

Redshirt1 1/11/2010 6:32:31 AM

I pretty much agree with death4sale.  Your comment about people not knowing very much about how computers worked back then and believing they worked on magic was very funny because it was true, and to a certain part still is I think.  Of course that is fairly common approach to writing in Sci-fi, writers have to rely on the lac of understanding of the average reader/viewer in order to get them to suspend their disbelief.  Look at all the original Marvel super-hero origins.  Almost everyone was created by some form of radiation exposure.  Sorry folks, if your exposed to a sufficient amount of radiation you do not get funky super powers.  You get sic and die so don't lick the stuff in your smoke detector.  

Of course lately genetics in a similar vein have become the bitch of science fiction.  Average people simply don't know enough about it so they assume that you could use it to create all sorts of super-powered beings.  Everyone from Dark Angel to the updated Spider-man is being based on genetic manipulation.

However, I've gotten off topic.  Highlander is and will forever be cool. While its sequels should be sent to the bottom levels of Hell.  To be honest I never minded the series very much.  I just imagined in my own head that the stories simply took place before the movie and Kurgan or some other immortal killed Duncan.  Then Connor and Kurgan faced off ending the immortal conflict once and for all.  That's how i see that particular universe.

Batman under Tim Burton was essential from moving Batman from the campy TV series to the much Darker versions that we've all pretty much come to love.  I thought Jack was excellent as the Joker and Keaton did surpisingly well.

I can't believe your trash taling Superman 1 and 2.  Yes Clark was a klutz, but that was how he was in the comics as well.  Clark didn't get an overhall to the football playing high school cool kid till the 80's revamp.  Also I agree there were plot holes that you could fly a Kryptonian battle crusier through, spinning around the planet sow that it reverses its orbit would more likely shatter the planet like an egg, but I accepted it because he's Superman and it made for a fun set of movies.

Anyway what I saying is this.  You can nit-pick movies all you want.  I sure that when these movies were first released some critic also brought up all of these points as well.  So you basically like the movie or you don't.  If you like the movie it's because your willing to accept or at least tollerate the interptretation or "flaws" of the movie.  I still willing to accept these movies and love them as they are, wrinlkles and all.  

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