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Irrational Movies

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One favorite movie of mine is Christopher Nolan's Memento. The film is broken down into a number of segments. We start with the final segment and work our way back to the beginning. This is not a good sense of life film at all, but it is simply fascinating on an epistemological level.

I agree. I very much enjoyed Memento. Not a film I'd want to watch again though. Once you 'figure it out', there's not much else to gain from it.

I love a movie that I think most objectivists would hate - Mulholland Drive. Yes, the sense of life is terrible - it is a David Lynch movie after all! But I just had so much fun putting this seemingly incomprehensible movie together like a jigsaw puzzle that I consistently include it in my top 10 movies of all time.

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Actually, I think that it is the exact opposite and that the message is "This is what real life is like for those who are essentially depraved."  Every depraved action in this movie has a serious consequence- everyone get's their comuppance (and then some).

I would not object to a violent movie where the depraved people got their comeuppance, if there were a hero to compare them to and who is the agent of their (depraved ones) destruction. The message I got from Pulp Fiction is that this is the essence of life and there is nothing better to look up to. I did not see any positive characters in the movie.

There was in article in TIA in 1995 or so, The Worm and The Spider (I think) that compares Pulp Fiction with Forrest Gump and condemned them both. I read the article some time after both movies and I agree with it.

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This alway gets me. Two Objectivists with the same explicit value structure look at the same movie and yet one says that the film depicts depraved violence and disgusts him and the other says that it is because the film depicts such extreme violence and shows what happens to such people that he was uplifited. One sees no heroism anywhere and is repulsed, the other sees no heroism anywhere but sees other virtues in the film depite this.

I would think that there would be greater unaformity but apparently not.

Well, Objectivists are passionate valuers! It would be boring if we all agreed on everything. I enjoy reading the debates and contributing to them. Even if we "agree to disagree" there is still value in the conversation.

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^^ Look up a few posts.

The worst movie I have ever seen is undoubtedly Pay It Forward, which advocates a bizarre and thoroughly stupid form of altruism.

That's high on my list too. I saw it on a plane and gave up partway through.

My worst movie ever, though, was Eraserhead. It made absolutely no sense whatsoever.

"SYNOPSIS

Director David Lynch’s feature-film debut is a masterpiece of the macabre and grotesque. Reportedly a reaction to the news that he was about to become a father, Lynch's ERASERHEAD follows a sensitive young man as he struggles to cope with impending parenthood. Henry Spencer (Jack Nance) lives in a hopeless industrial landscape, lusting after the beautiful woman who lives in the apartment across the hall. After his girlfriend, Mary (Charlotte Stewart), informs him of her pregnancy, he is forced to eat dinner with her extremely odd family. The baby is eventually born, only it isn’t a human baby at all; it’s a deformed creature that resembles a lizard. The baby won’t stop crying, a horrifyingly piercing wail that drives Mary insane. Left alone with the baby, Henry is serenaded by a woman who lives inside his radiator, and soon he decides to murder his baby in order to stop the nightmare once and for all. Five years in the making, ERASERHEAD contains all of the trademark attributes of a Lynch film--haunting visuals, an ethereal score, unsettling sound design, and, most notably, a black sense of humor--creating a world onscreen that is exhilarating, terrifying, and unique."

from http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/eraserhead/about.php

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^^ Look up a few posts.

That's high on my list too. I saw it on a plane and gave up partway through.

My worst movie ever, though, was Eraserhead. It made absolutely no sense whatsoever.

"SYNOPSIS

Director David Lynch’s feature-film debut is a masterpiece of the macabre and grotesque. Reportedly a reaction to the news that he was about to become a father, Lynch's ERASERHEAD follows a sensitive young man as he struggles to cope with impending parenthood. Henry Spencer (Jack Nance) lives in a hopeless industrial landscape, lusting after the beautiful woman who lives in the apartment across the hall. After his girlfriend, Mary (Charlotte Stewart), informs him of her pregnancy, he is forced to eat dinner with her extremely odd family. The baby is eventually born, only it isn’t a human baby at all; it’s a deformed creature that resembles a lizard. The baby won’t stop crying, a horrifyingly piercing wail that drives Mary insane. Left alone with the baby, Henry is serenaded by a woman who lives inside his radiator, and soon he decides to murder his baby in order to stop the nightmare once and for all. Five years in the making, ERASERHEAD contains all of the trademark attributes of a Lynch film--haunting visuals, an ethereal score, unsettling sound design, and, most notably, a black sense of humor--creating a world onscreen that is exhilarating, terrifying, and unique."

from http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/eraserhead/about.php

Eraserhead was bad but if you want mindless and pointless see 'Suicide Club'.

It made me laugh, it made me cry. It made me kiss two hours of my life goodbye.

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Hahahaha, I was looking through the threads and decided to read this one to be warned of any terrible movies. Immidiately Suicide Club popped into my head. Then what do I read at the bottom:

Eraserhead was bad but if you want mindless and pointless see 'Suicide Club'.

That movie is an abomination. Apparently, the writer did not think it necessary to actually explain the random stuff that happened. They gave a lot of clues that meant nothing though, does that count? NEVER EVER watch it. I have no idea why I did but I wish I hadn't. UGH!!!! Here's a review of it:

http://www.midnighteye.com/reviews/suicclub.shtml

Sorry to bring up a dead thread, but ugh. No one should waste their time with that movie.

edited by me to correct typos.

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"3000 Miles to Graceland" was just flat out bad. No one acts well, and no one seems to have any real purpose except to die cool. The only reason to watch this movie is for a scene played by Ice-T. (Spoiler Warning) Two hours of misery lead up to a final shoot-down in a warehouse. A couple dozen SWAT guys manage to position themselves all around the interior perimeter, and in what is portrayed as "a cool way to kill them all", really is about the most idiotic maneuver I have *ever* seen, (and I've seen "The Core")! Ice-T's character, a gunman of sorts, chains himself upside-down, by the ankles and then swings himself out into the middle of the SWAT guys (Yes, like a pinata) and attempts to do this inverted-T double-handed shooting. Yes, he dies. Quickly. And yes, it's totally hilarious. (Which was not the director's intent)

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The worst movie I have ever seen would have to be Anti-Trust.

It came out in 2001 and from what I remember it was about the evil leader of a big computer corporation spying on kids and then killing them. He would then use there ideas to make money. But then a college graduate gets hired at the company, figures out what is going on, defeats the evil CEO, and all computer ideas from that day on are free for everyone to use!

At least that how I remember it. The entire point of the movie was to show how ever big business and CEOs are.

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Someone mentioned "Once Upon a Time in America" as one of his all-time favorites.

I have to say it ranks right up there as one of the most appalling, offensive, unentertaining movies I have ever seen in my life. It is rife with negative sense of life.

I recognize it was not the intent of this movie to glorify gangsters. Its plot-theme is too nihilist for that. Its relentless thirst for violence and its naturalistic focus on its subject matter augment the movie's negative sense of life.

Definitely an irrational movie.

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David Lynch's 'Dune' is high on my list.

I'm a sci fi fanatic, and I very much enjoy the Dune series of novels.

I could only describe this film as the most foul bastardization of written fiction I've ever witnessed. The plot was completely reworked in every way. Intricate elements were removed because Lynch feared the public would not understand what's going on (he was right, the public would have no idea what's going on, a good reason as to why Dune should never be put on film). He added a good hour of material not in the novel. Ordinarly, this can be done quite successfully (like in LotR). But he added awful elements. The one that sticks out in my mind is the ridiculous spice trance scene in the desert where a bunch of worms look on. Huh?

Oh, and the greatest gem was the ending. Paul Atredies, the protagonist in the novel, was portrayed as a conflicted child placed in a religious spotlight. He was gifted, but not supernatural in any way. Lynch interpreted this as Paul being a God-like figure. Paul even makes it rain on Dune at the end of the movie. HUH? It only rains on Dune after 12 years of terra-forming. Oh, and during this the narrator is blabbing on about how Paul will bring "peace and love" to the universe. Wrong! Paul results in 60 billion deaths in a religious jihad.

Overall, it was a disgrace. The only good part was the fact that Patrick Steward was casted as Gurney Halleck.

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David Lynch's 'Dune' is high on my list.

Overall, it was a disgrace.  The only good part was the fact that Patrick Steward was casted as Gurney Halleck.

I completely agree! The Sci-Fi channel released it's own mini-series of Dune a few years back, which was much better. There were still things that drove me up a wall :D or into one... Overall, it was much improved.

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heh, the Dune movie... I couldn't watch it... the actor they cast to play Paul was a total lamer, definatly not my envisionment of god-emperor of an entire galaxy.

I saw the remade mini-series a few years ago, and at the time thought they were fantastic. Of course, I have a flaw in that I enjoy Sci-fi pulp, I enjoy learning science and even more so, I love to see science applied within the context of a story.

Though I saw the mini-series before I read Atlas Shrugged (Or at least had a grasp of the concept of Objectivism) so I can't comment on Dune's philosophical foundation.

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David Lynch's 'Dune' is high on my list.

I'm a sci fi fanatic, and I very much enjoy the Dune series of novels.

This is one of my pet peeves. Dune fans have always rabidly attacked Lynch for what they feel is an almost blasphemous misinterpretation of the first book. What they don't acknowledge is that (and I'm getting my information from Dreamer of Dune) Frank Herbert himself had a lot to do with that movie. Before it was edited, cut, cut again, he enjoyed it and admired David Lynch's artistry. What ended up happening was that the movie was continually overhyped, the edits (the original version was a magnificent five hours of story) to make the movie more economical (more run time per day) stole a lot of story, and then critics descended on it, picking it apart like vultures. To be fair to Lynch himself, he is also disappointed with it. The only real issues Herbert had with the movie were:

1. The baron was a bit more of a caricature in the movie than a cold, malevolent tyrant

2. Paul Atreides causes it to rain in the end. This destroys the message of Dune Messiah--that the leader of the jihad is completely unable to contain or control it. It also makes religion divine, rather than a skillfully manipulating political organization.

By the way, that "long version" of his you've seen on TV...that's an Alan Smithee. Lynch didn't have anything to do with it, and you'll notice that they recycled and reused footage from prior scenes to extend it. As for the series, it wasn't bad, but next to the intensity of Lynch it looks awfully prosaic.

Anyways, back on topic (sorry).

A few irrational movies that I can't stand:

1. Signs Well done, but really a terrible message. The movie offers evidence of a god in its fictional world, but the priest is surrendering to him. Since the alternative is (according to Christianity) Hell, he has to choose to obey a god that killed his wife on a whim, allowed aliens to hunt humans for sport, gave his son a life-threatening case of asthma (apparently to save the boy's life once), and--to be fair--made his space angels vulnerable to the universal solvent and pantry doors.

2. The Passion of the Christ...no comment...

3. Every movie from the creators of Independence Day and almost everything having to do with Jerry Bruckheimer

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That's the first time I've ever seen a Sergio Leone film described as "naturalistic".

You probably dislike Scorsese and Tarantino as well.

Read Ayn Rand's The Romantic Manifesto to find out what I mean by Romanticist and Naturalist.

Neither Scorsese's nor Tartantino's films have the quality of a Dostoevsky novel, in my opinion. Man as either boss or victim is not my idea of a positive sense of life.

Edited by Yes

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Avalon.

A movie I would definitely NOT recommend to anyone. The only thing that attracted me was that it mentioned The Matrix on the cover. The movie is slow, vain and had I not stopped watching it after 30 minutes, I would probably have died of boredom.

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Read Ayn Rand's The Romantic Manifesto to find out what I mean by Romanticist and Naturalist.

Neither Scorsese's nor Tartantino's films have the quality of a Dostoevsky novel, in my opinion.  Man as either boss or victim is not my idea of a positive sense of life.

It's funny how no objectivist seems to be able to explain what they mean.

They can only point to books written by someone else.

It makes one wonder if they even understood what they read.

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"The Passion of the Koresh"! What a great nick!

Your comments on Dune are right on. The Lynch movie made it almost impossible to have a Dune Messiah sequel that would not have been contradictory to the benevelent divinity.

This is one of my pet peeves.  Dune fans have always rabidly attacked Lynch for what they feel is an almost blasphemous misinterpretation of the first book.  What they don't acknowledge is that (and I'm getting my information from Dreamer of Dune) Frank Herbert himself had a lot to do with that movie.  Before it was edited, cut, cut again, he enjoyed it and admired David Lynch's artistry.  What ended up happening was that the movie was continually overhyped, the edits (the original version was a magnificent five hours of story) to make the movie more economical (more run time per day) stole a lot of story, and then critics descended on it, picking it apart like vultures.  To be fair to Lynch himself, he is also disappointed with it.  The only real issues Herbert had with the movie were:

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One of the most "irrational" movies that I recently came across was the Tom Cruise movie The Last Samurai. The problem that I have with this movie is that it very much whitewashes the true nature of the history of the samurai era. Anyone who does enough reading about the feudal history of Japan will see that it was very much a society dominated by the "Attila/Witch Doctor" dynamic that Rand talks about in For the New Intellectual.

In fact, I strongly recommend that anyone who liked The Last Samurai should definetely check out the 1980s t.v. miniseries Shogun which I believe is a very accurate depiction of the irrationality of feudalist Japan.

Shogun is available on Netflix. :)

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Off the top of my head....I'd have to say A Clockwork Orange is one of those movies I couldn't stand. This movie had been recommended to me by a few people and the premise of mind-alteration looked interesting. However, I thought the entire movie was done terribly. In the end they have to restore him to his "normal" depraved self so that he may survive in society. I was really disappointed and disgusted.

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I've just watched what is undoubtably the most horrible film I've ever seen: Magnolia.

You think Magnolia was bad, brotha you'd better never watch Mullholland Drive. When I saw it, I couldn't sleep until I'd seen another good film--like washing a really bad taste out of my mouth. This was before I'd ever heard of Ayn Rand. I think if I watched it today I really would go insane.

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You think Magnolia was bad, brotha you'd better never watch Mullholland Drive.  When I saw it, I couldn't sleep until I'd seen another good film--like washing a really bad taste out of my mouth.  This was before I'd ever heard of Ayn Rand.  I think if I watched it today I really would go insane.

Then one good thing about Mullholland Drive (one of my finace's favorite movies) is Russell Crowe in the very begining when he breaks cover and slaps the crap out of the wife beater and tells him that if he ever catches him hitting an innocent woman again he'll have him put in prison for being a "kiddie raper" and let prison justice sort things out. Now, that part, I really liked.

The idea of a cop taking someone who beat their wife or any innocent person for that matter and turning the tables on them in spades for that matter seems like justice. Other than that, I pretty much hated the movie. To be honest, I kinda sorta like Magnolia in the sense I like Phillip Seymour Hoffman (sp?) and Jason Robards. The directors track of the dvd did provide a great dea of insite of just how screwed up of a director and a movie Magnolia was along with Fiona Apple. Who coincidentally I enjoy as a singer for the most part. The director from the very begining of Magnolia admits it is screwed up. Even the advertising campaign with the Fred "TJ" Mackie get laid like a wolf 1-800 adds that he ran that they talk about make you just shake your head and wonder how disturbed he is......

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