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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Keith Law: Moneyball

I’m sorta reminded of the time Effin’ Stink Lad (non-LOSH) cruised a dump on D.O.A.: A Rite of Passage because he was too close to the action.

Moneyball, the movie, is an absolute mess of a film, the type of muddled end product you’d expect from a project that took several years and went through multiple writers and directors. Even good performances by a cast of big names and some clever makeup work couldn’t save this movie, and if I hadnt been planning to review it, I would have walked out.

...Then there’s the baseball stuff, which is not good. For starters, the lampooning of scouts, which draws from the book, isn’t any more welcome on screen (where some of the scouts are played by actual scouts) than it was on the page; they are set up as dim-witted bowling pins for Beane and Brand to knock down with their spreadsheets. It’s cheap writing, and unfair to the real people being depicted. Current Oakland scouting director Eric Kubota also gets murdered in a drive-by line that depicts him as a clueless intern given the head scouting role after Beane fires Grady Fuson in April after a clubhouse argument (that never really happened). I’ll confess to laughing at the scout referring to “this Bill James bullshit,” although the A’s bought into that bullshit years before the film claims they did - and, in fact, hired Paul Depodesta three years before the movie-A’s hired Brand. (In the film, Fuson refers to Brand as “Google boy,” a term applied to Depodesta by Luddite beat writers in LA three years later.)

 

Repoz Posted: September 14, 2011 at 10:46 AM | 326 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: athletics, books, media, reviews, site news

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   1. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: September 14, 2011 at 11:09 AM (#3924408)
I have never in my life walked out of a movie, and I've seen some real stinkers in the theatre.
   2. Greg K Posted: September 14, 2011 at 11:15 AM (#3924411)
I walked out on "Spice World". Though I kind of only went in because it was $2 and we thought it would be funny. (The act of seeing it, not the movie itself). Unfortunately, like so many SNL skits turned into movies, I discovered that stretching a "Wouldn't this premise be funny?" moment into 100 minutes is a bad idea. I think that's when I realized the true danger of succumbing entirely to irony.

Ironically enough my brother was a huge Spice Girls fan (don't ask), so I ended up seeing bits and pieces of that movie several times over the next couple years.
   3. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: September 14, 2011 at 11:28 AM (#3924412)
I have never in my life walked out of a movie, and I've seen some real stinkers in the theatre.
I walked out of Watchmen, but that's about it.
   4. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: September 14, 2011 at 11:31 AM (#3924413)
I've never walked out of a movie, but I have gone all MST3K on crappy movies to the annoyance of everyone around me.
   5. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: September 14, 2011 at 11:38 AM (#3924414)
#4-My friend did that next to me in a packed theater for "Millionaire Dollar". I hated the movie, but I was still mortified, especially as he cackled in delight during the emotional death scene. Actually, in retrospect I admire him for his conviction.
   6. Bhaakon Posted: September 14, 2011 at 11:49 AM (#3924420)
#4-My friend did that next to me in a packed theater for "Millionaire Dollar". I hated the movie, but I was still mortified, especially as he cackled in delight during the emotional death scene. Actually, in retrospect I admire him for his conviction.


I've never heard of this movie.
   7. Lassus Posted: September 14, 2011 at 11:51 AM (#3924422)
This is what I expected from Keith Law as far as a review. I trust Gleeman more.

The only film I ever walked out of was Spaced Invaders.
   8. Avoid running at all times.-S. Paige Posted: September 14, 2011 at 11:57 AM (#3924429)
Oops! "Million Dollar Baby". I should really stop posting from my blackberry.
   9. Ron J Posted: September 14, 2011 at 11:58 AM (#3924430)
I doubt I'm going to go see the movie. I'm pretty sure the same things that annoy Keith would annoy me to roughly the same degree.

I am well aware that you can make a lousy movie while remaining faithful to the source material -- Gettysburg is about as bad a movie as I've ever seen for instance -- but certain forms of artistic license annoys me more than is sensible.
   10. Lassus Posted: September 14, 2011 at 12:12 PM (#3924440)
46. Greg (U)K Posted: September 14, 2011 at 06:30 AM (#3924402)
I think quite a few of Law's criticisms are about how it would be impossible to make a realistic movie about a GM rather than how Moneyball itself isn't a good movie (if that's a meaningful distinction).

He complains that watching a guy talk on the phone swinging a deal makes for a boring scene (to which I agree)
Then later complains that a GM flying half-way across the country to discuss a trade for a reliever with another GM face to face is unrealistic (also agreed)
But it's a movie, you're going to have to make some kind of compromise there.

47. Greg (U)K Posted: September 14, 2011 at 07:12 AM (#3924409)
Dammit, now there's a Keith Law Moneyball review thread and no one is going to read my dangerously insightful comments.
   11. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: September 14, 2011 at 12:16 PM (#3924441)
I don't think I've ever walked out of a movie. If I stayed till the end of Graffiti Bridge, & I did, I figure I'll sit through anything on the screen.

Bands, though ... bands I've definitely walked out on. Like the ghastly Jane's Addiction & the horrible Red Hot Chili Peppers at the end of the first two Lollapaloozas.
   12. Ray (RDP) Posted: September 14, 2011 at 12:42 PM (#3924449)
Walked out of Cowboys & Aliens a couple weeks ago.

Walked clear the hell out. What a cartoonish movie (even setting aside the aliens) and a horrid performance by Harrison Ford.
   13. JE (Jason) Posted: September 14, 2011 at 12:51 PM (#3924453)
For starters, the lampooning of scouts, which draws from the book, isn’t any more welcome on screen (where some of the scouts are played by actual scouts) than it was on the page; they are set up as dim-witted bowling pins for Beane and Brand to knock down with their spreadsheets. It’s cheap writing, and unfair to the real people being depicted.

Well, these real-life scouts weren't forced to appear in the film so they probably are fine with the caricature.

We get it. Law could have summed up his disgust in one sentence: "I really, really had hoped for a three-hour docu-drama that would have played for barely one week before a stat-geek audience [and no one else] at E Street and the Bethesda Cinema and Drafthouse."
   14. BDC Posted: September 14, 2011 at 01:01 PM (#3924458)
I walked out of An American Werewolf in London – wow, that's 30 years ago – it was too horrific. Sometimes you catch a movie on a bad day, though most of the time it just means not laughing at a comedy or not taking drama seriously. For some reason Werewolf freaked me out. First and last movie theater I've left mid-show.
   15. JE (Jason) Posted: September 14, 2011 at 01:02 PM (#3924459)
I have walked out of only one film: Wired.
   16. Rusty Priske Posted: September 14, 2011 at 01:08 PM (#3924460)
I have never walked out of a movie.

HOWEVER, I once had the HONOUR of getting preview passes to see Battlefield Earth. Two of the cast were in attendence. One fellow (a tall guy who played an alien) was sitting in front of us with his friends. He said he had not seen the movie yet!

Half way through the movie someone pulled the fire alarm. While we were waiting for the m to give us the all-clear the fellow sheepishly asked his friends if they minded if they left. They did not argue.

Wow, did I feel bad for the poor guy...
   17. Fist Pumping Maniac Posted: September 14, 2011 at 01:20 PM (#3924468)
Keith Law = angry little fella. Not quite as insufferable as Lupica, but he's working on it.
   18. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 14, 2011 at 01:23 PM (#3924470)
I walked out of "Tomb Raider". I don't even know why I took my then girlfriend to see it, it totally was not her kind of movie either, but I think I didn't know her very well at that time.

I wanted to walk out of "Mission Impossible II" and "Hannibal" but I was with friends who wanted to stay, so I closed my eyes and went to sleep.


This is what I expected from Keith Law as far as a review. I trust Gleeman more.


Agreed. Didn't expect Keith to like it. Keith is the Jay Sherman of scouts.
   19. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: September 14, 2011 at 01:27 PM (#3924473)
Most of the review is standard Law ########. I think Keith is one of the smarter guys out there but he ratchets up the ol' #####-o-meter high enough and often enough that I tend to tune out a lot of what he says as hyperbole. I have thought all along that anyone expecting a 100% accurate depiction of events was going to be disappointed and I think Law is being unreasonable in the specific complaint about the inaccuracy of Beane flying to meet with a GM.

He may be right, this may be a lousy movie, but from this and other reviews it seems Law was unable to get to a mental place where he accepted that this (like all "based on a true story" movies) was going to take some liberties.
   20. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: September 14, 2011 at 01:35 PM (#3924479)
I was being the good Dad and took the girls to "Under The Cherry Moon" which was a Prince movie or something where Prince was filmed being in a bathtub.

Anyway, after 20 minutes of nonsense I left and sat in the truck and listened to a Cubs game.
   21. Nasty Nate Posted: September 14, 2011 at 01:39 PM (#3924486)
Seems like KLaw might be trying to solidify his scout-cred and/or appease his sources in the scouting world.
   22. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: September 14, 2011 at 01:40 PM (#3924487)
I walked out of An American Werewolf in London – wow, that's 30 years ago – it was too horrific. Sometimes you catch a movie on a bad day, though most of the time it just means not laughing at a comedy or not taking drama seriously. For some reason Werewolf freaked me out. First and last movie theater I've left mid-show.

I had the same experience. In fact, it was the first movie I saw without parents; I was 10 and went with a friend. Bad idea. I still haven't seen the whole thing.

I might have walked out of Damage, but I can't remember. Maybe I just fell asleep.
   23. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: September 14, 2011 at 01:40 PM (#3924488)
I should have walked out on "Lethal Weapon 4," which I got dragooned into seeing against my will. But in a way, I'm glad I didn't. I would have missed the splendor that is Froggy.
   24. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: September 14, 2011 at 01:41 PM (#3924489)
I walked out of "Instinct" and "Final Destination."

I would see pretty much anything at the dollar theater in my teen years but those two flicks were too awful to sit through.
   25. Justin T steals bases with his bat Posted: September 14, 2011 at 01:43 PM (#3924491)
I was being the good Dad and took the girls to "Under The Cherry Moon" which was a Prince movie or something where Prince was filmed being in a bathtub.

Taking your girls to see a man in a bathtub is being a good dad?
   26. The Good Face Posted: September 14, 2011 at 01:44 PM (#3924492)
I've only walked out of one movie so far in my life. It was the right call.
   27. A big pile of nonsense (gef the talking mongoose) Posted: September 14, 2011 at 01:44 PM (#3924493)
Anyway, after 20 minutes of nonsense I left and sat in the truck and listened to a Cubs game.


Which, sadly, wasn't yet an option when you walked out of the premiere of Birth of a Nation.
   28. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: September 14, 2011 at 01:47 PM (#3924494)
Justin

Obviously I had no information in advance as to the content of the movie. Most expected something similar to the Purple Rain movie which I understand is/was a musical.

Anyway, they came out a half hour later and I took them to the mall where again I stayed in the truck and listened to the game.
   29. Dangerous Dean Posted: September 14, 2011 at 01:49 PM (#3924500)
I think I have walked out of two movies. When I was just a tweener my parents let me go to the theater to see Scanners. I am not especially squeemish, but the exploding heads were just too much for me so I walked out.

My girlfriend at the time (now my wife) wanted to see Back to the Beach, a Franky Avalon and Anette Funicello movie where the wrinkled pair go BACK to where it all started. It was so putrid that we left.
   30. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 14, 2011 at 01:50 PM (#3924502)

I was being the good Dad and took the girls to "Under The Cherry Moon" which was a Prince movie or something where Prince was filmed being in a bathtub.

Anyway, after 20 minutes of nonsense I left and sat in the truck and listened to a Cubs game.


Well they both have stupid nonsensical endings.
   31. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: September 14, 2011 at 01:53 PM (#3924508)
walked out of a "special preview" of this execrable piece of dung
   32. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: September 14, 2011 at 01:54 PM (#3924510)
Alexander looks really painful.
   33. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: September 14, 2011 at 01:55 PM (#3924511)
gef

Birth of a Nation is pretty fascinating.

Only distantly related to the conversation my aunt Ethel took a lot of razzing throughout her adult life based on her pronouncement that after seeing her first moving picture in a theater in Iowa City that 'moving films had no future'.
   34. villageidiom Posted: September 14, 2011 at 02:04 PM (#3924520)
Metareview

I work in a research department. Whenever we devise something new - even if it's a new way to do something that other departments have been doing for decades - and meet with our internal customers to walk them through it, there will be a portion of the audience who will say what we're doing is worthless. That's fine, and we welcome that feedback on the rare occasion when what we've devised is in fact worthless. (Then again, when we produce something worthless, we drop it before it even gets to the customer for feedback.) But there are a few of those folks who will invariably claim the new thing is "worthless - just as I'd expected".

When we get that feedback, it's hard to take it seriously. We rarely produce something worthless - and when we do, we recognize it as such and drop it - so we haven't deserved that kind of a priori expectation. So, we're left with this: is it really worthless, or is it that these people decided beforehand that it would be worthless and we failed to convince them otherwise? And if it's the latter, would anything have convinced them?

Over several years, what I've found is that some of those people enter into the whole thing heavily invested in the notion that what we're going to present to them must be wrong. They want it to be wrong. Maybe they don't like the implication that they've been doing something wrong for decades, or that they needed us to tell them how to do their jobs right. Maybe they're only slightly involved in the work we're discussing but don't want to be painted with a broad brush as being associated with something needing improvement, or that they don't like their friends being painted with that brush. Maybe it's something else.

Regardless, I've now reached the point that if someone reviews anything and starts with "it's bad, which is what I completely expected", that opinion doesn't move the needle for me. Far too often that encapsulation reflects the reviewer far more than it reflects the work being reviewed. Hey, maybe it doesn't, but that's my point: the objectivity, and thus the usefulness, is questionable. It leads me down the path of asking, "Is there any reason I should expect the subject matter to offend the reviewer? And if so, is there a risk that the review is not objective?"

In this case, hell yeah. The reviewer is a writer on scouting, objecting to the inaccurate portrayal of scouts; he's a former assistant-to-the-GM, objecting to the inaccurate portrayal of GMs. This, after being OK with exaggerations or fabrications in The Social Network because, as he put it, "Since it’s not pitched as a documentary, I don’t have a huge issue with this." The way the review is written I get the sense that the key to the plot is the the notion that Billy Beane the character had his job on the line; but the reviewer rejects that notion for the character simply because it wasn't true in real life. The reviewer is clearly bringing in too much exogenous baggage to allow enjoyment of the movie, which means I can't tell if the problem is the limitations of the movie or the limitations of the reviewer. In short, it is certainly possible that Keith is correct about the movie, but I find it highly unlikely that he is objective about it.

Is Moneyball a movie I'll like? Beats me. Do I want it to be a good movie? Only if I'm going to see it, which given my schedule these days is not very likely. Does this review help me figure out if it's good? No.
   35. aleskel Posted: September 14, 2011 at 02:04 PM (#3924521)
Alexander looks really painful.

Oh, you ain't kiddin'. I wish I could've walked out of that P.O.S., but I was assigned to write a review of it for my college newspaper. Normally, when I saw a crap movie, writing the review was fun just because I could take the piss out of it, but Alexander was so bad I couldn't even enjoy writing about it.

I rememeber walking out of this, but I honestly have no idea what I was doing there in the first place.
   36. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: September 14, 2011 at 02:05 PM (#3924523)
I just realized that I did walk out of a movie, though it wasn't so much that I walked out as I forgot to go back in. I went to see Starsky & Hutch with a bunch of my friends, and I was in the process of reading Quicksilver at the time. I went to the bathroom, and then started reading the book in the line to buy a soda, and never went back in the theatre. Just got wrapped up in the book. I didn't like the movie very much, but it wasn't any worse than, oh, Lost in Space, which I sat all the way through.
   37. Rants Mulliniks Posted: September 14, 2011 at 02:06 PM (#3924524)
The worst movie I've seen in a long time was "From Paris With Love" with John Travolta and Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, it was just horrible. I've never walked out on a movie, I'm too cheap.
   38. 'zop sympathizes with the wrong ####### people Posted: September 14, 2011 at 02:11 PM (#3924528)

Agreed. Didn't expect Keith to like it. Keith is the Jay Sherman of scouts.


I ####### love "The Critic". One of my favorite TV shows.
   39. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: September 14, 2011 at 02:16 PM (#3924533)
34 is a good post. Some people are just nattering nabobs of negativity. In some cases, about specific issues or areas of interest. In others, about life in general.
   40. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: September 14, 2011 at 02:17 PM (#3924535)
I walked out of Nightfall (the 1988 version)

I have never seen it, but everyone I know (in real life not the internet) who has seen Beyond Therapy, describes it as the worst movie they have ever scene (including 2 people who saw- and walked out on- Nightfall with me)

Regarding Alexander, I watched that damn thing the whole way through out of morbid curiosity- I know Oliver Stone is batshit insane (and seemingly getting crazier by the minute)- but none of his films that I've seen were un-entertaining and un-watchable trainwrecks like that one.
   41. Cowboy Popup Posted: September 14, 2011 at 02:20 PM (#3924539)
I ####### love "The Critic". One of my favorite TV shows.

Wait a minute, penguins can't fly!
   42. Joe Kehoskie Posted: September 14, 2011 at 02:21 PM (#3924541)
I've never walked out on a movie, I'm too cheap.

Somebody tell this Luddite about sunk costs!


(Signed,

Someone who's never walked out of a movie.)
   43. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: September 14, 2011 at 02:22 PM (#3924543)
For some reason Werewolf freaked me out. First and last movie theater I've left mid-show.


I had heard that movie freaked people out, I didn't see it until it came on TV- and boy was I disappointed- the werewolf was not remotely as realistic/scary as I was expecting, otoh it was a lot funnier than I had anticipated
   44. The Good Face Posted: September 14, 2011 at 02:24 PM (#3924545)
I ####### love "The Critic". One of my favorite TV shows.


A really good and underrated show. Its cancellation was a duketastrophe.

Regarding Alexander, I watched that damn thing the whole way through out of morbid curiosity- I know Oliver Stone is batshit insane (and seemingly getting crazier by the minute)- but none of his films that I've seen were un-entertaining and un-watchable trainwrecks like that one.


Often a trainwreck of a movie can be entertaining in a "so bad it's good" kind of way, like Showgirls, or otherwise have some redeeming performance/quality, but Alexander was the perfect storm of suck. I think I made it about 40 minutes before I crumbled.
   45. Random Transaction Generator Posted: September 14, 2011 at 02:28 PM (#3924548)
I almost walked out of "Judge Dredd", but I went to the theatre by myself in the first place to escape the heatwave at the time (as my cheap apartment didn't have air conditioning), so I hung in there just to get another hour or so of comfort.

I wanted to walk out "Tron Legacy", but I was with a couple of friends and decided to take a nap in the middle of it.

I should have walked out of "Matrix Reloaded" (the 2nd one?). Then, I wouldn't have felt obligated to see the third movie ("Revolutions"?), hoping it would explain the stupid #### from the 2nd movie. Both were horrible, and I refuse to admit that they are extensions of the wonderfully entertaining "The Matrix".
   46. Dale Sams Posted: September 14, 2011 at 02:29 PM (#3924549)
Wild, Wild West

The Fly 2

Men at Work (The film)

And I was enjoying Men at Work. Laughing away. Then I caught my breath, said to myself "This is as good as it gets isn't it?". Then walked out.
   47. Rants Mulliniks Posted: September 14, 2011 at 02:29 PM (#3924550)
I think I made it about 40 minutes before I crumbled.


You should have stayed at least long enough to see the exquisite Rosario Dawson in all her splendour.
   48. Hack Wilson Posted: September 14, 2011 at 02:32 PM (#3924552)
I would have walked out of Pulp Fiction (Hell I would have run), but I was with a woman and couldn't desert her. After the movie she asked if I liked the movie and I said no, she said she wished I'd said something because she hated it and wanted to leave too.
   49. Greg K Posted: September 14, 2011 at 02:33 PM (#3924553)
Speaking as someone who dragged his grand-parents to see "Wayne's World" when I was kid, I would like to formally recognize (and apologize for) the odreals that loving parents and grand-parents like Harvey go through for their kids.
   50. Jose Is The Most Absurd Thing on the Site Posted: September 14, 2011 at 02:35 PM (#3924556)
I went to the theatre by myself in the first place to escape the heatwave at the time


This is a big part of the reason I've never walked out of a movie. I don't go to many movies so when I do go I'm usually either really excited to see it or with a large group of people. The few times I've seen a movie that I didn't feel like seeing was to escape the heat or some other similar ancillary reason where there was no benefit in leaving even if the movie sucked.
   51. aleskel Posted: September 14, 2011 at 02:37 PM (#3924558)
You should have stayed at least long enough to see the exquisite Rosario Dawson in all her splendour

Well yes, there was that. Of course, to get there you have to sit through a good hour of Angelina Jolie attempting a Greek (?) accent.
   52. GuyMcGuffin Posted: September 14, 2011 at 02:38 PM (#3924561)
I had no idea so many people walked out of movies.
   53. Forsch 10 From Navarone (Dayn) Posted: September 14, 2011 at 02:38 PM (#3924562)
The only two movies I recall walking out on are this one and this one. I also would've walked out on this one, but the theater served liquor.
   54. Greg K Posted: September 14, 2011 at 02:38 PM (#3924564)
I was in the process of reading Quicksilver at the time.

Now THERE'S an adaptation I would pay good money to see.
   55. JJ1986 Posted: September 14, 2011 at 02:39 PM (#3924566)
Greek (?) accent.


Greeks (and all other ancient Europeans) have British accents when they speak English. Movies have taught me this.
   56. My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto Posted: September 14, 2011 at 02:39 PM (#3924567)
I've fallen asleep at numerous movies ("Vantage Point" being one particularly restful nap), but have never walked clear out of the theater.
   57. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: September 14, 2011 at 02:40 PM (#3924568)
My girlfriend at the time (now my wife) wanted to see Back to the Beach, a Franky Avalon and Anette Funicello movie where the wrinkled pair go BACK to where it all started. It was so putrid that we left.

I actually think Back to the Beach was ok. You, sir, are a monster!
   58. Dag Nabbit is a cornucopia of errors Posted: September 14, 2011 at 02:40 PM (#3924569)
I ####### love "The Critic". One of my favorite TV shows.

I give it my highest rating -- seven out of ten.
   59. Dag Nabbit is a cornucopia of errors Posted: September 14, 2011 at 02:44 PM (#3924572)
Wait a minute, penguins can't fly!

Here it is
   60. Dave Spiwak Posted: September 14, 2011 at 02:46 PM (#3924576)
I saw The Crying Game at a dollar theater in Orange, California. When the 'payoff' scene happened (SPOILER: you see a wiener), about half of the 10 or so people in the audience got up and walked out. They were mostly young bros that were probably fighting back boners most of the movie, then got mad because the 'she' turned out to be a 'he.' Anyway they were really angry as they left the theater.
   61. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: September 14, 2011 at 02:48 PM (#3924579)
I had heard that movie freaked people out, I didn't see it until it came on TV- and boy was I disappointed- the werewolf was not remotely as realistic/scary as I was expecting, otoh it was a lot funnier than I had anticipated


The scenes with the ghost of the dead friend are a little disturbing. Particularly the bit in the movie theater, where the ghosts of the victims are all arguing with each other and trying to convince him to kill himself.
   62. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: September 14, 2011 at 02:50 PM (#3924581)
I've never walked out of a movie, but if a movie is bad enough I do fall asleep. That happened with Hangover 2, XXX, and Takers. I also remember being the only person in the theater when I watched Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within, which was really creepy.

And I think Keith's review is summarized pretty well by 45.
   63. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: September 14, 2011 at 02:50 PM (#3924583)
I would have walked out of this, if I could, but I was being paid to project it.

Trust me: Nine bucks an hour ain't enough.
   64. Greg K Posted: September 14, 2011 at 02:51 PM (#3924584)
I also would've walked out on this one, but the theater served liquor.

I didn't have cable so I followed the 2004 playoffs on a mixture of radio and Fox's Online streaming "Plate Cam!", which essentially let you look up Jason Varitek's nose for 9 innings while the TV commentary played.

So when I saw Fever Pitch (I guess some time in 2005?) it was the first time I saw how close the play was on Dave Roberts' steal. I usually try to refrain from speaking at all during movies but I think I embarassed everyone I was with with an extremely loud "Jesus ####### Christ that was close"
   65. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: September 14, 2011 at 02:53 PM (#3924586)
I walked out of Nightfall (the 1988 version)

That's probably the worst movie I've ever seen (but I didn't walk out!). It's amazingly, jaw-droppingly bad. Other contenders are 1969, Wisdom, and Batman & Robin.

Often a trainwreck of a movie can be entertaining in a "so bad it's good" kind of way, like Showgirls, or otherwise have some redeeming performance/quality, but Alexander was the perfect storm of suck. I think I made it about 40 minutes before I crumbled.

One of my all-time favorite movie experiences was seeing The Shadow. I don't think I've ever laughed that much in a movie.

I had heard that movie freaked people out, I didn't see it until it came on TV- and boy was I disappointed- the werewolf was not remotely as realistic/scary as I was expecting, otoh it was a lot funnier than I had anticipated

The gore isn't scary. There's just something about the tone, esp. in the dream sequences. In that sense it's a far more effective horror movie than a lot of the recent slasher flicks. It's the same with The Shining.

And while I agree that the movie can be funny, IMO the humor seems to reinforce the eerie tone rather than softening it.
   66. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: September 14, 2011 at 02:53 PM (#3924589)
The most audience walkouts I ever saw during a movie I was projecting happened during Saving Private Ryan. We had a fairly large crowd of older people (including some WWII vets, if I were to guess), and the opening scene where they storm the beach was just too much for some of them.

Edit: Well, that and the time we showed The English Patient where the projector broke down four times (once for a half hour!) and the film caught on fire twice. I don't think that really counts, though.
   67. Rants Mulliniks Posted: September 14, 2011 at 02:54 PM (#3924591)
God I hate Jimmy Fallon. He isn't even remotely funny.
   68. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: September 14, 2011 at 02:55 PM (#3924592)
I forgot Yogi Bear in the list of awful movies. I actually forced myself to fall asleep. I had to sit through it because I was with my kids, but it was incredibly painful. It was only slightly better than the bar exam.
   69. Greg K Posted: September 14, 2011 at 02:57 PM (#3924595)
Other contenders are 1969

Oh man, talk about a let down. I'll watch just about anything with Winona Ryder, (hell, I stuck it out through "The Darwin Awards" and "The Ten") plus Robert Downey Jr. What could go wrong? Answer: EVERYTHING.

Probably the worst movie I've ever seen is "The Bachelor" with Chris O'Donnell. I got it free once with a pizza delivery. I think I lasted 15 minutes before I had to chuck the DVD out a window.
   70. Rowland Office Supplies Posted: September 14, 2011 at 03:00 PM (#3924600)
I am well aware that you can make a lousy movie while remaining faithful to the source material -- Gettysburg is about as bad a movie as I've ever seen for instance --


Gettysburg could've used Brian Wilson as a Beard Consultant.
   71. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: September 14, 2011 at 03:00 PM (#3924602)
Over several years, what I've found is that some of those people enter into the whole thing heavily invested in the notion that what we're going to present to them must be wrong. They want it to be wrong. Maybe they don't like the implication that they've been doing something wrong for decades, or that they needed us to tell them how to do their jobs right. Maybe they're only slightly involved in the work we're discussing but don't want to be painted with a broad brush as being associated with something needing improvement, or that they don't like their friends being painted with that brush. Maybe it's something else.

People see what they expect to see. It works in the opposite direction, too: if a guy's spent weeks talking about this awesome concert that's coming up, by the time the concert actually happens it almost doesn't matter whether it's good or not. The guy's primed for awesome, he's going to walk away thinking it was awesome, and that is that.

Movies I've walked out on:
* M*A*S*H - second part of a double-feature with "Young Frankenstein" (which I loved). I was 10; the blood spurting in the early O.R. scene freaked me out.
* Shadows - Cassavetes; again, Part 2 of a double-feature. My girl & I just stuck around to see if it grabbed us, and it didn't.
* In the Company of Men - about 20 minutes in: "Jesus, this is painful. Why are we watching this? It's a nice day outside." So we left.

I've gone MST3K on too many movies to count.
My favorite was A Few Good Men, because it was unplanned & unintentional. That final courtroom scene just cracked me up. Still does.
   72. Rants Mulliniks Posted: September 14, 2011 at 03:01 PM (#3924604)
I can never tell if someone is walking out or just going to get some popcorn or take a piss, I don't really pay attention to whether or not they come back. I have no idea why I remember this, but a couple of buddies of mine went to see the really bad "Memoirs of an Invisible Man", and decided to laugh as loud as we could to every joke and gag, whether we actually thought they were funny or not. A few people left that mostly-empty theatre, but I don't know if it was because of us or the movie.......
   73. Greg K Posted: September 14, 2011 at 03:05 PM (#3924610)
The most audience walkouts I ever saw during a movie I was projecting happened during Saving Private Ryan. We had a fairly large crowd of older people (including some WWII vets, if I were to guess), and the opening scene where they storm the beach was just too much for some of them.

I saw Passchendaele with my dad and a few of his friends. (While obviously they aren't WW1 vets they are mostly Canadian history teachers so they were pretty up for it). That was one of the most terrible experiences of my life.

NOTE: for those of you who haven't seen Passchendaele (I'm assuming, everyone) it's like Saving Private Ryan...except it's actually a love story, 80% of it takes place in Western Canada, and the writer (who also happens to be the director and main character) writes himself as a kind of Jesus figure. And when I say "kind of", I mean he ends the movie quite literally with him sacraficing his life to save others and dies stuck on some planks and barbed wire that looks an awful lot like a cross.

It is a pretty terrible movie, but it might be more offensive than bad.
   74. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: September 14, 2011 at 03:06 PM (#3924614)
I see people leaving early
They don't know what they're missing
They don't know what they're missing
They're missing half the movie

I've never walked out of a movie (and rarely stop watching in the middle with rentals/home tapings - Battlefield Earth was an exception). Not entirely sure why.
   75. Johnny Sycophant-Laden Fora Posted: September 14, 2011 at 03:10 PM (#3924618)
The scenes with the ghost of the dead friend are a little disturbing. Particularly the bit in the movie theater, where the ghosts of the victims are all arguing with each other and trying to convince him to kill himself.


disturbing? It was effing hilarious.
Eerie tone? I don't get it, I know plenty of people who loved that movie and who said it was eerie and scary, and I honestly don't get it- some scenes are funny, the straight/scary scenes (except for the very beginning) just fall flat.

to each his own.
   76. The Essex Snead Posted: September 14, 2011 at 03:11 PM (#3924620)
In hindsight, I wish I walked out of the Pelham 1 2 3 remake; I didn't know it at the time, but replacing Walter Matthau & Robert Shaw / Martin Balsam / Hector Elizando / Earl Hindman (Home Improvement's Wilson!) w/ Denzel & a honey-ham'd Travolta is up there on the Crimes Against Old Movies scale. That, plus the group of 10-15 bused-in kids sitting right behind me & my friend that would not shut up (after coming in 10 minutes late!), should've had me running for the exits.

Kinda curious why Law refers to "Grady Fuson" as a character in the movie, though, since Fuson's name isn't listed as a character in the IMDB cast page.
   77. Dale Sams Posted: September 14, 2011 at 03:12 PM (#3924623)
* M*A*S*H - second part of a double-feature with "Young Frankenstein" (which I loved). I was 10; the blood spurting in the early O.R. scene freaked me out.


I loved having permissive parents also, who let me see "Tommy" by myself when I was 11.
   78. Every Inge Counts Posted: September 14, 2011 at 03:18 PM (#3924626)
I personally never walked out of a movie, but I do like guessing who is going to walk out of a movie (usually the elderly). Tree of Life being the most recent example of the fun watching people heading towards the exit. Or my favorite, Punch-Drunk Love, which I guess people thought was an Adam Sandler comedy...
   79. Benji Gil Gamesh Rises Posted: September 14, 2011 at 03:22 PM (#3924631)
I've walked out of The Unbearable Lightness of Being, Van Helsing, and probably a few others I am forgetting.
   80. caprules Posted: September 14, 2011 at 03:23 PM (#3924634)
I walked out of the Avengers (1998 version).
   81. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: September 14, 2011 at 03:24 PM (#3924637)
disturbing? It was effing hilarious.


It's both, IMO, but to each his own.
   82. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: September 14, 2011 at 03:27 PM (#3924646)
I loved having permissive parents also, who let me see "Tommy" by myself when I was 11.

I saw Videodrome as a double feature with 48 hours when I was a wee lad and I don't think I've recovered yet.
   83. BDC Posted: September 14, 2011 at 03:28 PM (#3924648)
disturbing? It was effing hilarious.
Eerie tone? I don't get it


That's the thing about horror – even more than humor, it depends on your mood going in. Personally, the scariest movie I ever sat all the way through was the original Wicker Man, which is quite understated. The horror there depends on your believing the situation could happen to a real person, and the understatedness helps a lot. But I can absolutely see someone watching The Wicker Man and giggling all the way through, or just being bored. (I cannot see anyone watching the Nicolas Cage version and not giggling.)

Speaking of Cage, the last film I went to where a lot of people walked out was Adaptation: I think they were bored, couldn't follow it. I was puzzled by it, but as with other Kaufman films, I had to see it again; I now like Adaptation more all the time.

I am much more likely to walk out of a play (usually disappearing at intermission) than a movie. Don't know why, except maybe I go to a lot of bad amateur plays.
   84. Dave Spiwak Posted: September 14, 2011 at 03:35 PM (#3924661)
People see what they expect to see. It works in the opposite direction, too: if a guy's spent weeks talking about this awesome concert that's coming up, by the time the concert actually happens it almost doesn't matter whether it's good or not. The guy's primed for awesome, he's going to walk away thinking it was awesome, and that is that.


This is one of the reasons movies have become such a different experience for me since I've become a parent.

Way back in college, I used to go to the movie theater a few times a week. I lived in Berkeley when the UC Theater was still around -- I'd go there, the PFA, catch some blockbusters at the other theaters. I had plenty of time to do the legwork (combing through the different calendars each theaters put out) and usually knew quite a bit about the movies I was about to see. Some were good, some were bad.

Now, every month or two there's a Friday night where me and my wife can leave the little one with my mother-in-law on a half-hour's notice and go see whatever sounds good at the time. I don't follow film anymore and I usually have no idea what's playing until we're out the door and checking movie times on my phone. Maybe we'll watch a trailer or read a review, maybe not.

And just as before, we see some good ones and some bad ones.
   85. konaforever Posted: September 14, 2011 at 03:37 PM (#3924667)
I would have walked out of Pulp Fiction (Hell I would have run), but I was with a woman and couldn't desert her. After the movie she asked if I liked the movie and I said no, she said she wished I'd said something because she hated it and wanted to leave too.


You didn't like Pulp Fiction? That's in my top ten movies of all time!
   86. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: September 14, 2011 at 03:38 PM (#3924669)
Speaking of Cage, the last film I went to where a lot of people walked out was Adaptation: I think they were bored, couldn't follow it. I was puzzled by it, but as with other Kaufman films, I had to see it again; I now like Adaptation more all the time.

I agree. I liked it the first time, but after repeated viewings it has become better and better to me. Kind of the opposite of Eternal Sunshine for me, which I loved the first time but liked it a bit less the second time.
   87. Traderdave Posted: September 14, 2011 at 03:44 PM (#3924676)
I've fallen asleep during several kids movies (and of course enjoyed others, there are some pleasant surprises in that genre) but the only movie I ever walked out on was Forrest Gump.

and re: 79 -- Unbearable got tedious but it had waaaay too much nudity to abandon.
   88. Greg K Posted: September 14, 2011 at 03:52 PM (#3924687)
That's a whole other category, Worst Date Movie experiences.

Three to Tango
Rat Race
American Pie II
   89. BDC Posted: September 14, 2011 at 03:58 PM (#3924694)
My first date with my current partner was Hotel Rwanda.
   90. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 14, 2011 at 04:00 PM (#3924700)
I personally never walked out of a movie, but I do like guessing who is going to walk out of a movie (usually the elderly). Tree of Life being the most recent example of the fun watching people heading towards the exit. Or my favorite, Punch-Drunk Love, which I guess people thought was an Adam Sandler comedy...


Yea, I love the movies where people must have thought they were getting something totally different. Along the lines of Punch Drunk Love was "Stranger Than Fiction" which starred Will Ferrell, but was not a typical Will Ferrell movie, and I recall what seemed like a few walk outs on that.

Have you ever been the ONLY person watching a movie? I can't recall the movie, but my girlfriend and I were once the only people in the entire theater and it was pretty awful. We joked we should watch the movie naked just to make it more interesting. I've definitely been to some very lightly attended matinees though. The people that saw this had a similar experience.
   91. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: September 14, 2011 at 04:03 PM (#3924702)
Worst date movie: Silence of the Lambs.
Subject matter was bad enough, but The Date also had trouble following the plot - "Who's this guy, now? Why is she going there?" etc.
Yes, she was that hot. Sigh.
Movies are a seriously dumb first date. "Let's go someplace where we can't talk for two hours."

EDIT:
I personally never walked out of a movie, but I do like guessing who is going to walk out of a movie (usually the elderly).

One of my favorite moviegoing experiences was seeing "The Waterdance" at SF's Opera Plaza. It was just me and a little old lady, and sure enough she walked out about 15 minutes into the picture. I felt like Elvis, getting to enjoy a pretty darn good movie in my own private theater.
   92. Anonymous Observer Posted: September 14, 2011 at 04:04 PM (#3924704)
I went and saw The Guard a few weeks ago. Funny movie. There were at least 10 people who walked out if it within 15 minutes of it starting. I guess they didn't like the accents.

I've never walked out of a movie. In fact, I kind of like watching bad movies, because I want to see how bad they really are. To me, they're kind of like train wrecks. I want to look away, but can't. So on that note, one of the biggest train wrecks I've seen is Art Heist.
   93. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: September 14, 2011 at 04:06 PM (#3924707)
In this case, hell yeah. The reviewer is a writer on scouting, objecting to the inaccurate portrayal of scouts; he's a former assistant-to-the-GM, objecting to the inaccurate portrayal of GMs.

I don't read Law's writing that often, but it's not like he's a grizzled old scout or something like that. The guy majored in applied math at Harvard; he's one of the people who helped popularize sabermetrics around the time that the events in Moneyball were taking place. I see no reason to discount his review simply because of his background.
   94. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: September 14, 2011 at 04:06 PM (#3924708)
How about movies you had no expectations of, in fact, probably expected them to suck, but ended up enjoying?

A few for me:

Peewee's Big Adventure
Back to the Future
Ghostbusters
Pirates of the Caribbean (the original)
Galaxy Quest
The Last Starfighter
The Karate Kid
Slither
   95. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: September 14, 2011 at 04:07 PM (#3924709)
That's a whole other category, Worst Date Movie experiences.


When I was a freshman, one of the guys at my dorm asked a girl out on a date at the local art house cinema without knowing what was playing.

It turned out to be a one-night-only showing of "Cannibal Holocaust".
   96. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: September 14, 2011 at 04:08 PM (#3924711)
I don't think I've ever walked out of a movie. I did go to sleep during the "Beavis & Butthead" movie, though.
   97. Shooty Is Disappointed With His Midstream Urine Posted: September 14, 2011 at 04:09 PM (#3924713)
Subject matter was bad enough, but The Date also had trouble following the plot - "Who's this guy, now? Why is she going there?" etc.
Yes, she was that hot. Sigh.


I went with a girl to see Election, which I loved and she hated. Despite her ample bosoms, I just couldn't look at her the same way. If she thought Election was too negative a movie, she wasn't going to be able to tolerate me, anyway.
   98. NJ in DC (Now with Wife!) Posted: September 14, 2011 at 04:09 PM (#3924714)
That's a whole other category, Worst Date Movie experiences.

On the first date I ever had we saw Brokedown Palace. Bad idea. I spent the majority of the time trying to hide my tears. 13-year-old me thought it was just the saddest movie in the world.

EDIT: And on the best date I ever had, we saw Superbad. I also cried that night, but for reasons of uncontrollable laughter.
   99. Dock Ellis on Acid Posted: September 14, 2011 at 04:11 PM (#3924718)
I remember cutting class with some friends in high school and seeing Fear, starring a pre-credible Mark Wahlberg and pre-fame Reese Witherspoon. It was the middle of the day on a weekday during the school year, so we had the theater to ourselves and MSTK3 the whole thing. It was a blast.

Referring to Shooty's #95 and speaking of Reese Witherspoon, I did not expect to enjoy Legally Blonde as much as I did. Sure, it's formulaic as hell but she was just an absolute joy to watch.
   100. Cowboy Popup Posted: September 14, 2011 at 04:15 PM (#3924723)
How about movies you had no expectations of, in fact, probably expected them to suck, but ended up enjoying?

Shrek
The last two Harry Potter movies
Super Troopers
The Matrix (took me about two minutes to change my mind)
Talladega Nights
40 Year Old Virgin (I then had the exact opposite experience when I went to see Knocked Up)

It turned out to be a one-night-only showing of "Cannibal Holocaust".

That movie is ###### up. And not in a "wow, this movie is creepy or messed up" kind of way but in a "who ever thinks this constitutes making movie is a sadistic and cruel human being" kind of a way.
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