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THE BOX OFFICE — In November, as part of our KSL Movie Club, we highlighted four movies we felt are great films that are super underrated movies that no one talks about. To follow up with that, we are now featuring four movies that we think are highly overrated.
This list might stir some controversy for the die-hard fans, but before you call for our heads, just know that we each have a reason for these hot-take opinions. So keep an open mind as you read our arguments for why these movies didn’t deserve their awards or big box office numbers.
We’ll be chatting about each pick in more detail on the KSL Popcorn Report podcast throughout the month of March. We'd love for you to rewatch the movies (or watch them for the first time) and give us your feedback on each movie, either in the comments or by tweeting us, @KSLPopReport.
Here are each of our picks for overrated movies: (And just know that we didn’t all agree on each other’s movie choices.)
Curt’s pick: “Million Dollar Baby”
Yeah, I hate this movie. There I said it. “But Curtis, it won the Academy Award for Best Picture.” Yes, I am very aware of that. However, 2004 wasn't the strongest year for movies, and I feel the Academy was making it up to Clint Eastwood for not giving "Mystic River" Best Picture the year before because it went to “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" (see John’s rant about this below.)
Yes, Hilary Swank looked like a real boxer and was very convincing (probably because she was trained by Mr. Miyagi in "The Next Karate Kid.") But the movie just seemed like they were trying to force emotion on the audience. And don't even get me started on the ending. I won't spoil it, but I did not like it, even though it is praised by a lot of critics. There just was not much I enjoyed about the film. I was excited to see it because of all the hype surrounding it, but feel like it was crazy overrated.
Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Director
Faith’s pick: “Avatar”
Released in 2009, “Avatar” took the world by storm with its awesome visual effects and beat out “Titanic” to become the highest-grossing movie of all time. However, if we peel back the layers of breathtaking 3-D effects and cinematography, the storyline is super predictable and, quite frankly, cheesy.
The plot is also very familiar. Remember the 1992 animated “FernGully: The Last Rainforest”? James Cameron basically took that cartoon and created the live-action version with “Avatar.” From the predictable tree-cutting bad guys to the mystical forest folk to the random human love interest who strives to help their environmental cause, it’s all there, exactly the same.
The story and dialogue were all just a little too predictable and corny for my taste, and I can’t even begin to understand why it made as much as it did.
Academy Awards: Best Achievement in Cinematography, Best Achievement in Visual Effects and Best Achievement in Art Direction
Dave’s pick: “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl”
There were many movies that I considered for my most overrated movie choice, but I ultimately settled on “Pirates of the Caribbean” because I could not reconcile what I saw on screen to how well it did at the box office.
Of course, I know people will talk about how amazing the special effects were for the time, Johnny Depp, blah, blah, blah. The movie was OK, but definitely not franchise material. Now we are getting ready for yet another "Pirates" release this summer, and I hope it's good, but ultimately expect it to be another installment that at best rises to the caliber of the creepy animatronic ride at Disneyland.
John’s pick: “The Lord of The Rings” trilogy
I know I'm going to get destroyed for this, but I can't lie to myself and I can't lie to all of you good people, so here it goes: The Lord of the Rings trilogy are not good movies.
Out of all three, the only one I can halfway stand is the first one. The second one is long and boring and serves no real purpose. The third, I believe, was Peter Jackson's social experiment to see if he could make a pretentious, long movie that had 12 endings (with none of them being very good) just to see if the public would still say it was good. He was right, because everyone did — except for me. I saw through his rouse.
I really do not find what is so grand and wonderful about these movies. I put the third one winning best picture up there with the Academy Award mistakes of voting "Crash" best picture or the recent mix-up at this year's awards show with mistakenly giving “La La Land” Best Picture.
Seeing Jackson's track record after the trilogy with duds like "King Kong," "The Lovely Bones" and “The Hobbit” disaster, we can see that he really doesn't make great movies.
Everyone loves “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy, but those movies are without a doubt, in my mind, some of the most overrated films of all time.
Box office: $1 billion total for all three movies
"Fellowship of the Ring:" Best Cinematography, Best Makeup, Best Original Score and Best Visual Effects
"Twin Towers:" Best Sound Editing and Best Visual Effects
"Return of the King:" Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Film Editing, Best art Direction-Set Decoration, Best Costume Design, Best Makeup, Best Original Score, Best Original Song, Best Sound Mixing and Best Visual Effects
What do you think about our picks for overrated movies? Let us know in the comments.
Contributing: Curtis Linnell, David Clyde, John Clyde