January 26, 2012

You Had Me at Goodbye: Movies I Should Have Quit

So far this month I have not used any of the BlogHer NaBloPoMo prompts because my brain has been overflowing with post ideas. Today, I jumped over to take a look and had to answer this one: What movies have you turned off in the middle, and why?

Previously, I've discussed the three books I put down without finishing: Books I Quit and Why. Only three to date. But I'm much more willing to quit a movie than a book.

Why? First of all, my commitment to a movie is less. I haven't spent hours reading and trying to identify. I'm not someone who can put a book down in the first 50 pages... the three books I quit, I was halfway through.

Second, I don't need to turn off a movie. My body turns off on its own. I've rarely gotten off the couch, gone to the DVD, and physically turned off a movie. I simply fall asleep from lack of interest. However, if it's a horrible TV movie and it's on a Saturday afternoon, I have no qualms about grabbing the clicker and finding something else. The choices are too vast to stick with a movie that's not catching my fancy.

But, no matter how bad the train wreck, I will watch theater movies until the very end. I have never walked out of a theater before a movie ended. If I paid my nearly $10, I'm staying. I'm hoping it gets better, or at the very least, I'm enjoying my $10 popcorn until the very last kernel.

The movies I WISH I would have walked out on (and my reasons might surprise you):

Legends of the Fall - Could a writer try and top the level of depression in this movie? It was brutal, yet I couldn't look away. I don't care how beautiful the actors and scenery were, I wish I didn't have that movie in my head. Scene after scene of watching characters find new sources of misery.

New Year's Eve - I wanted light, I usually do. A sweet movie about love and starting a new year. This was one of the rare movie watching experiences where the writer in me took over. I spent two hours rewriting the script in my head: if only this couple was written out, that couple was beefed up, this storyline was trashed, this actor was replaced. On and on. I wanted to leave there and write a romantic comedy. One that was smart and engaging. I didn't, but I sure as hell wanted to.

Get Him to the Greek - First of all, I find Russell Brand less and less attractive every time I see him. But, I don't need to be attracted to an actor to enjoy a movie. Actually, a well-told story can make a previously unattractive actor quite charming. Alas, this was not a well-told story. It seemed like a one-liner that some idiot movie executive turned into an entire movie. It was not funny, instead it was offensive and off-putting. I'm fine if you offend me and make me laugh (hello, South Park), but not if you are just offensive.

Shutter Island - I blame my sister. I don't like stuff like this. I go to the movies to be entertained, not to have nightmares for a week. To this day, I cannot shake the image of those children in the water. I could tell in the first 30 minutes that I should have left. Actually, I should have never walked into the theater in the first place.

There are more, but these are the ones that pushed to the front of my brain. Funny, I can take disturbing and deep in a book any day. Prefer it, in fact. But I can protect myself by creating my own images. I can't do that with a movie. The producer, director, movie executive, and actor/actresses have taken that power away from me.

I think that's why I don't like a lot of books turned into movies. My own version is special, and the movies don't usually live up to it. But that's subjective. I could be wrong. (Don't tell my husband I said that!).

What movie did you quit recently? And why?


J Knorr said...

I have only ever walked out of one movie in my life and that was "The Sandman"....I can usually make it through any movie but for some reason that particular movie just made me want to get up and leave. I've started some books that I absolutely can not force myself to finish but that doesn't happen to often. I am with you on the whole staying away from movies that are going to give you nightmares.....cause I can really do without being freaked out for weeks to come every time I hear a noise. LOL

Larissa T. said...

I stop any movie that will give me nightmares. I hate those.

Recently I quit the series, "Lark Rise to Candleford". I'm really into period drama series, especially BBC, but this one was just plain boring. It failed to grab my attention.

I suppose nothing can compare with Downton Abbey after you've started it.

Julie Glover said...

I have no problem quitting movies either. Most recently, I walked out on District 9. It was foul language and gross-out factor for no conceivable reason that I could determine. I didn't care what happened to the aliens and humans; neither had me rooting for them. My husband stayed until the end, while I left and went shopping. I bought a really nice dress that day.

What movie do I WISH I had walked out on? Hands down, Pet Sematary. A very small child as a ruthless killer in a movie still haunts me, and there are scenes that will not leave my head.

MommaSachs said...

I've only walked out of one movie in the theater and that was "Punch Drunk Love". I LOVE Adam Sandler but not that movie.

I'll give a book a third of the way in if I'm not interested before I give up.

If we have a movie at the house... like you, I fall asleep. :) Heck these days I'll still fall asleep even if I like the movie!

Natalie Hartford said...

Oh gosh...I loved Legends of the Fall and Shutter Island. LOL!!
Honestly, there aren't many movies that I shut off mid-point. I think it's because I like a wide variety and I also won't rent from my "genre hate" list.
Although I will say I stopped Showgirls mid-movie and have never even come close to wishing I had seen the entire thing. LOL!

Tia Bach said...

Jessica, Amen. I am easily disturbed and don't need images running through my nightmares. I conjure enough ones up all on my own!

Larissa, Series are hard to quit, so good for you. It's hard to give up on familiar characters, but the writers have to keep it interesting.

Julie, I hate those scenes, the ones you just can't purge. It's a lesson for all of us to have the courage to get up and walk out.

MommaSachs, Falling asleep it's natures way of culling through bad movies. ;-)

Natalie, I think LOF and SI are well made and well acted films. One was just insanely depressing while the other still haunts me.

Thanks everyone for your thoughts!

TangledLou said...

I drive my husband nuts because I will sit through any obviously bad movie to the bitter end and then complain about the 2 hours of my life that I will never get back.

Having said that, the only theater movie I have ever walked out of was "Titanic" because I just couldn't take it anymore and I got the giggles when everyone else was crying and I didn't want to ruin the experience for them. Or any more of my own brain cells.

Notes from Maggie's Farm said...

I walked out of Eyes Wide Shut. I never finished A Clockwork Orange, either, so guessing Kubrick was just not for me. And neither is Tom Cruise. At. All.

Walking out of EWS was actually a moment of perfect clarity that I love to revisit. I am my cinematic hero at that moment!!

Tia Bach said...

S. Stauss, Titanic did seem over the top to me, too. Plus it was one of those movies meant to play with your emotions. At least we all went into it knowing it didn't end well.

Maggie, I love what you said about perfect clarity. I have moments like that, where you truly own that you don't like something and don't need to apologize for it.

Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

Kate @ Teaching What Is Good said...

I have never walked out of a movie simply because I never go to the cinema. BUT there have been MANY movies I've rented that I shut off and returned after watching only 5 minutes of it.

Tia Bach said...

Kate, I'm impressed. Five minutes, wow. I'm a softie and usually give it at least 30 minutes before my body takes over and I drift away to sleepytown!