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Forbidden Movie Arguments

Old 04-29-08, 12:50 PM
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Forbidden Movie Arguments

You know, I've been discussing movies with people for a long time, even before the Internet ( ) and if there's one thing that never goes away it's several "canned" arguments that people make when defending (or attacking) a particular film.

I consider these "forbidden" arguments. Not in that the mods should delete any posts making them (although that would be nice), but in that if you make these arguments, note that the rest of us will be disregarding your opinion (and having a good laugh at your expense).

Here are some of the worst offenders:

1. "Watch it again!" Poster A states that they didn't like a movie. Poster B insists that to truly appreciate the film, it must be watched at least two or three times. With all of the movies out there, why on earth would I want to watch one I didn't like -- again?

2. "You just didn't understand it!" This argument is an ad hominem attack against the intelligence of anybody who dares to disagree with them. It's basically a way to stifle debate rather than address the points made by the other poster.

3. "You didn't like [Arthouse film]? Well, [Critically ravaged popular movie] is showing in theaters I'm sure you'll love that!" This is just a variation on #2, and it drives me equally nuts. Just because somebody didn't like whatever film you're obsessing about this week doesn't mean they're only interested in garbage. If they were, chances are they wouldn't have even seen the arthouse film.

4. "Just turn off your brain and enjoy the ride!" This is a classic defense to so-called "popcorn" movies, which basically states that these movies are all equal and above criticism. Which is a load of crap. The fact of the matter is that there are good popcorn movies (Speed) and there are bad ones (Speed 2), and it's a disservice to lump them all together.

5. "You should read the book/listen to the commentary/watch the dvd special features, then the movie will make sense." No. The movie should stand on it's own merits.

No doubt I've missed a ton. What are your "favorite" bad movie arguments?
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Old 04-29-08, 12:56 PM
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"It insists upon itself."

In a movie about [something sci-fi or supernatural], you complain about [some really bad plot hole]?! For example, the many plot holes of Independence Day bothered me but my friends who liked the movie were like "well it's about aliens attacking Earth, it's not all factual!"

Last edited by Rockmjd23; 04-29-08 at 01:03 PM.
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Old 04-29-08, 01:12 PM
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"Foreign films are better than the crap Hollywood makes."

In certain cases this may be true. But there's certainly a lot of crap boring shit coming out of foreign studios. But snobs often give shit foreign flicks a free pass just because it's from overseas.
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Old 04-29-08, 01:21 PM
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It's based on "something" (comic/book/true story)

I heard this a lot from fans of 300.
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Old 04-29-08, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Groucho

4. "Just turn off your brain and enjoy the ride!" This is a classic defense to so-called "popcorn" movies, which basically states that these movies are all equal and above criticism. Which is a load of crap. The fact of the matter is that there are good popcorn movies (Speed) and there are bad ones (Speed 2), and it's a disservice to lump them all together.
It is still often a prerequisite to "turn off your brain" to fall in with a good popcorn movie. That's what makes it a popcorn movie - fun, mindless entertainment.

A bad movie (re: Speed 2) remains just that (a bad movie) and it has not achieved the coveted "popcorn" status, and as such does not require a brain being turned off. It requires the movie being turned off.
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Old 04-29-08, 01:32 PM
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"Based on your screen name/DVD collection, I can understand why you didn't like [this movie]."
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Old 04-29-08, 01:33 PM
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Originally Posted by 12thmonkey
It is still often a prerequisite to "turn off your brain" to fall in with a good popcorn movie. That's what makes it a popcorn movie - fun, mindless entertainment.

A bad movie (re: Speed 2) remains just that (a bad movie) and it has not achieved the coveted "popcorn" status, and as such does not require a brain being turned off. It requires the movie being turned off.
agreed. i totally understand why 'turn off your brain' was included on the list, but i was going to respond in a similar fashion

some movies really are better when you don't think too hard...
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Old 04-29-08, 01:42 PM
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i dont think #1 and #2 hold up quite like the other ones because rewatching a movie actually can help (for instance, i hated pulp fiction the first time through), and sometimes people actually do not understand things going on in some movies.

that being said, i wish i had as much faith in the human race as some of you do. live in the deep south for a few years and you might think like me.
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Old 04-29-08, 01:55 PM
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Or if you accidentally ignore the wrong line of dialogue in a movie, you may get lost and find yourself more frustrated and confused than entertained if the movie moves at too fast a pace, in which case re-watching is necessary. As a catch-all I see how this is a bad argument but if you are having a debate about it with a friend and it becomes clear that you just didn't "get" it or even that maybe your tastes have changed or memory of it is not accurate, then rewatching is a logical solution.
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Old 04-29-08, 02:07 PM
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All remakes are a bad thing.

The Thing? Ocean's Eleven? Dawn of the Dead? Cape Fear? 3:10 to Yuma? Invasion of the Body Snatchers ('78)?

I rest my case.
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Old 04-29-08, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by 12thmonkey
It is still often a prerequisite to "turn off your brain" to fall in with a good popcorn movie. That's what makes it a popcorn movie - fun, mindless entertainment.
I would argue that with good popcorn movies, your brain turns off on it's own because the film is simply entertaining. But if it fails to deliver in the entertainment arena, you start noticing other problems (plot holes, bad acting, etc).
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Old 04-29-08, 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by rehmus
i dont think #1 and #2 hold up quite like the other ones because rewatching a movie actually can help (for instance, i hated pulp fiction the first time through), and sometimes people actually do not understand things going on in some movies.

that being said, i wish i had as much faith in the human race as some of you do. live in the deep south for a few years and you might think like me.
Exactly. I don't think those two really belong there.
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Old 04-29-08, 03:00 PM
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I have to agree that the difference between a movie being "bad" and it being a "popcorn" movie is based upon entertainment value.
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Old 04-29-08, 03:14 PM
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It's an old movie or it's in B/W so I will not enjoy it.

Ughhh...
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Old 04-29-08, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by wishbon3
It's an old movie or it's in B/W so I will not enjoy it.

Ughhh...
yeah i know people who refuse to watch anything that is subtitled, or not native English spoken dialog

i can't really argue with them TOO hard b/c people like what they like, but some of the best movies in the world are subtitled
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Old 04-29-08, 03:25 PM
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Originally Posted by taa455
"Based on your screen name/DVD collection, I can understand why you didn't like [this movie]."
You can't judge someone's taste based on their movie collection?
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Old 04-29-08, 03:26 PM
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If you can accept that a man can fly/travel through time then everything else in the movie should be considered reasonable.

A poor argument. Just because a movie has unrealistic elements, doens't mean that all logic goes out the window. If a character has the ability to fly but makes a poor common sense decision, then that's still something I can take issue with.

Edit: I see that Rock touched on this earlier in the thread.

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Old 04-29-08, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by William Fuld
You can't judge someone's taste based on their movie collection?
Not necessarily. They might have kids. Or a wife. That's not very likely on this particular forum, but possible nonetheless.
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Old 04-29-08, 03:31 PM
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I loathe the terms "popcorn movie" and "Joe Sixpack".
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Old 04-29-08, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Giantrobo
"Foreign films are better than the crap Hollywood makes."

In certain cases this may be true. But there's certainly a lot of crap boring shit coming out of foreign studios. But snobs often give shit foreign flicks a free pass just because it's from overseas.
Yup. As a compliment, same goes for indie films. They serve their purpose as alternate entertainment. They ocassionaly serve their purpose as 'getting your name out there' for talented individuals who can't scrounge up the money. And there's some really amazing ones (this year, The Diver and the Butterfly, for instance). But I give up on the art fucks who think lousy movies are worthwhile just because they were independently financed.
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Old 04-29-08, 03:41 PM
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While looking at Box Office Gross...

I can't believe [popcorn movie] finished at number one and [arthouse movie] barely made the top 10!!!! I'M LOSING FAITH IN HUMANITY!!!

Shut the hell up, please. Just because the general audience does not have the same taste in movies as you does not mean society is going down the toilet. God forbid people watch movies to kill 2 hours of their life instead of looking for an epic, life changing experience everytime they go to the movie theatre. Yes, Alvin and the Chipmunks grossed higher than There Will Be Blood. Get over it. I really don't see the big deal anyway, were you hoping for a sequal?
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Old 04-29-08, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by troystiffler
Yup. As a compliment, same goes for indie films. They serve their purpose as alternate entertainment. They ocassionaly serve their purpose as 'getting your name out there' for talented individuals who can't scrounge up the money. And there's some really amazing ones (this year, The Diver and the Butterfly, for instance). But I give up on the art fucks who think lousy movies are worthwhile just because they were independently financed.
To their credit, with Foreign films it's usually only the good movies that find their way over here. So it makes some sense that people consider "foreign movies great!" because the mounds of horrible foreign movies don't see the light of day on our soil.

I do agree though, too often you're stuck with "Foreign movies are amazing, American ones suck.", many flaws being overlooked in said foreign movies because many are held to a different standard it seems, and lastly -- when a remake is due a movie suddenly becomes and end all or some sort of classic that it otherwise was not and is instantly better than the remake, no matter what. Of course, opinions are hard to really judge.

The worst is "Indie films are better."... yes, many great films are indie flicks.

But holy shit are there some horrible ones out there, loads, and loads, and loads of them.

Two of mine: It was too unrealistic applying to the spectrum from X-men to Knocked Up and People don't talk like that! applying to the spectrum from Pulp Fiction (obviously stylized) to Superbad ("they swear too much!"... I can't believe people went to a high school where people weren't swearing every chance they got.) Internal logic matters a lot, but people can't seem to separate the real world from a movie sometimes.

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Old 04-29-08, 03:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Goat3001
While looking at Box Office Gross...

I can't believe [popcorn movie] finished at number one and [arthouse movie] barely made the top 10!!!! I'M LOSING FAITH IN HUMANITY!!!

Shut the hell up, please. Just because the general audience does not have the same taste in movies as you does not mean society is going down the toilet. God forbid people watch movies to kill 2 hours of their life instead of looking for an epic, life changing experience everytime they go to the movie theatre. Yes, Alvin and the Chipmunks grossed higher than There Will Be Blood. Get over it. I really don't see the big deal anyway, were you hoping for a sequal?


And apparently some people expect families to take their kids to see stuff like There Will Be Blood.
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Old 04-29-08, 03:53 PM
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Originally Posted by rehmus
i dont think #1 and #2 hold up quite like the other ones because rewatching a movie actually can help (for instance, i hated pulp fiction the first time through), and sometimes people actually do not understand things going on in some movies.
That is true, but the problem is when people use #1 and #2 in a condescending manner, which happens often here.


Originally Posted by William Fuld
You can't judge someone's taste based on their movie collection?
Yes, but that is beside the point. The point is these retorts are used in a condescending manner to dismiss a person's opinion without debating the criticisms that person brought into the discussion. This is the main reason I removed my collection link from my signature. I don't need others judging my taste in movies. Just because I might not own a movie doesn't mean I can't like that movie or a similar movie.
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Old 04-29-08, 03:57 PM
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These are under the banner of "movie speaks for itself":

The sequel(s) ruined the original
No. You let your opinion of the original be influenced by another movie. Everything that you liked about the original is still there.

That's not what I would do
Of course not. You didn't write the movie, and apparently you can't form an opinion on a character's motivations or gain insight into a characterization from a depicted act (however unfathomable or stupid that act may be).
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