Here’s a List of Movies Where I Walked Out….
Last night, I almost walked out of my first movie the year.
But morbid curiosity kept my ass parked in the seat and my eyes fixated on the screen. This movie has to get better — I thought to myself. It just has to. So, I decided to stick it out until the very end.
Big mistake. It didn’t get better. It got worse. Way worse.
The two lead characters kill themselves in the final scene. They offed themselves by inhaling the poisonous exhaust fumes of a 1975 Winnebago. No folks, I didn’t make this up. Seriously. That’s how the movie ended — two lifeless bodies charred like day-old brisket locked in a smoker. Roll the credits!
Anyone up for some Lucille’s barbecue, afterward? Never mind, doggie bags. Two caskets, please.
Oh, and the movie was advertised as one of those light comedy-romance road trips supposedly filled with lots of wisdom and reflections of life. Buckle up! Start the engine! Pure joy!
Man, I wish I’d walked out.
On average, I see about 20 to 25 movies per year in theaters which comes to one film every two weeks. My walk-out frequency is about ten percent, which means I don’t fuck around, folks. Yes, I storm out of 2 to 3 movies per year. My departure rate would be much higher if I didn’t do some serious screening and filtering. I do read critics reviews and tend to see movies on subjects that interest me. I stay away from horror films and Adam Sandler movies, which for me is kinda’ the same thing.
Here’s a short list of ten well-known movies I remember walking out on. Obviously, I’ve stormed out of many lesser-known (now forgotten) movies. This list of ten movies includes some better-known and even widely popular films I couldn’t stomach until the end:
BIRD  — This was Clint Eastwood’s pet project for many years and for him a departure from the usual westerns and crime dramas. It’s an overly-long film biography based on the all-too-short life of jazz great Charlie Parker (a.k.a. “Bird”). This sure sounds like a compelling story. The soundtrack alone stacked with Parker’s original recordings and outtakes would seem to be more than enough to carry the film through to the end. But I made it only about midway. Every note is flat instead of sharp. Parker sure loved his dope. If he shared a few snorts, I might have lasted a bit longer. Congrats, Bird — you were my first walk out.
LA DOLCE VITA  — This Italian classic directed by Federico Fellini was made two years before I was born. I saw it much later on at a retro-cinema which played nothing but old movies. Wow. What heaping pile of shit. Yeah, sure. I get all the cinematic breakthroughs film students woo about that were abundant throughout this film, and I sure love European period pieces from this era. But holy spaghetti, couldn’t someone at least have written a decent script for starters? Unsure if perhaps my earlier impression was wrong, I tried watching this again on television many years later (perhaps my tastes had changed, or perhaps I even matured — wishful thinking, indeed). The second viewing, I didn’t make it as far as the first time. Don’t ask me how La Dolce Vita ends. I don’t know. I don’t want to know. I will never know. I don’t care. But if someone’s made it through to the end and can report it involves Winnebago exhaust fumes, please message me. I’d be delighted to give it a third try.
STAR WARS  — I forgot which Star Wars movie I hated. Well, just about all of them. But the one with Liam Neeson as a swordfighter with a giant man-bun where Natalie Portman plays a queen who looks like she has lip cancer was the worst of the worst. I kinda’ liked the first Star Wars movie, but everything made since then has been horrible (I’ve only seen three films to be fair — realizing this franchise with spaceships, special effects, and grunting gorillas isn’t suited to my taste). I made it through about an hour and 20 minutes of the Neeson-Portman Star Wars (Phantom Menace) but then gave up. It was playing at the $1 movie. I was tempted to ask for my buck back but the manager might have called the cops. Damn place was packed with geeks, many apparently seeing the movie for the up-teenth time, hanging on every word from Portman’s lip melanoma.
LORD OF THE RINGS  — I’m not into midgets, dancing ferries, and weird-looking old wise men with wild hair and long beards — although that last remark hits just a little too close to home. I bought a ticket to the first Peter Jackson movie (I hear this was a trilogy — but all it took for me was ONE STRIKE, and I was OUT). Beforehand, I was kicking and screaming and knew I’d hate it. But hey, it won “Best Picture,” so everyone’s right and I must be wrong. Well — I was right, again. About 40 minutes into a parade of waddling midgets and doddering old people, I turned to Marieta (wife) and said, “fuck it….we’re out of here.” She replied, “thank you!!!….I thought maybe it was just me. Let’s fucking go!!!” Great minds think alike.
MONSTER’S BALL  — I had to see what all the hoopla was about surrounding Halle Berry’s Oscar-winning performance, even though from what I can tell she’s never made a decent movie — including this one. At one point, Berry screws hillbilly hunk Billy Bob Thorton, who plays a redneck racist (I know, so hard to buy into the casting). If the scene of Thorton banging Berry isn’t enough to make you squirm and storm out and head straight for a shower with a fresh bar of Lava, then nothing else will. Afterward, I felt as though I’d overdosed on a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken at a Ku Klux Klan rally. Bwwwwwaaaaah.
NAPOLEAN DYNAMITE  — Dumb as fuck. I lost IQ points inside the theater. Give me some credit, please. I gave it the old college try. I gave it my best shot. The movie theater was packed with pimply 14-year-olds all giggling like schoolgirls high on paint fumes. Looking back now, I think the scene of the suicidal Winnebago I witnessed last night was funnier than Napolean Dynamite. Total dreck. By the way, what happened to the actor who played the lead? Did he do a McCaulay Culkin? No one’s seen him sense. So, perhaps the film wasn’t totally without redeeming qualities.
THE BLACK DAHLIA  — Not exactly Brian De Palma’s best work. Wish I had a Full Metal Jacket because after seeing this I sure felt like Scarface. Pre-crazy Angelina Jolie stars in this movie about a true crime that happened in Los Angeles during the 1940’s. Josh Hartnett co-starred. Something about Josh Hartnett seriously creeps me out. I can’t stand the guy. Gawd, this movie sucked. Lasted about 40 minutes and then split the cinematic crime scene. De Palma should have been charged with pickpocketing in a mass class-action lawsuit for making this film.
CASINO ROYALE  — I’ve seen just about all the James Bond films. This marks the downfall, the turning point where the franchise turned sour for me, which wasn’t entirely Daniel Craig’s fault (though he desperately lacks the panache and humor of his predecessors). Casino Royale was a dull remake of an earlier film that wasn’t very good to begin with. The Bond franchise has since become an extended 2-hour commercial, a shameless succession of product placements and little more than an excuse to squeeze every last dollar out of a corpse of creativity. Even the once-great villains in Bond movies are boring as fuck. Producer Barbara Broccoli, who inherited this film dynasty from her late father should not be allowed anywhere near a movie studio unless she’s holding a garden hose. And besides, the poker scenes were atrocious.
TINKER TAILOR SOLDIER SPY  — Someone should have received an Oscar for somehow making writer-spymaster John le Carre so boring as to be utterly unwatchable. I thought such a thing would have been impossible. Hard to believe the great Gary Oldman couldn’t salvage this snoozefest that seemed to be shot through a cloudy camera lens that desperately needed a blast of Windex. This might be dullest, slowest-moving, most pointless movie I’ve ever attempted to stick through. I didn’t make it and surrendered to the Russians about an hour in. So dull, it makes the thought of attending an insurance seminar instead seem like a wild sex orgy.
ANCHORMAN 2: THE LEGEND CONTINUES  — I blame myself entirely. What in the hell was I thinking even remotely considering this would be something I’d enjoy? It can’t really be that bad, can it? Well, yeah — it was that bad. Holy shit — what an awful movie. A painful experience. Makes Mall Cop seem like Serpico. Of course, defying all human decency, Anchorman and Anchorman 2 earned millions at the box office and they’ll probably make a dozen more. The official title of this excruciating exercise in filmmaking is “The Legend Continues.” Please, dear god. Don’t let this legend continue. Makes Police Academy 6 look like Vertigo.