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The most philosophically bad movies you've ever seen

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Years ago, I was fascinated with Fight Club and it's anarchistic themes. At the time, I was rotting away in a 'dead-end' job and welcomed the wish-fulfillment. It's only in hindsight and the context of experience do I realize how anti-rational and misanthropic it was; Tyler Durden is essentially a cult leader who employs charisma and brute force to impose his primitivist utopia that he believes to somehow be an enlightened state of living. It's only for his focus on property damage and civil disruption do I refrain from calling him a terrorist but he was close to that distinction and would have inevitably resorted to murder if left to his own devices.

However, Bad Lieutenant plummets to new lows of altruist propaganda. A corrupt cop investigates the rape of a nun who forgives the offenders. He can't wrap his head around how such an atrocity can be forgiven but it gives him hope that he can be redeemed for his own scumbag life. He finds the rapists and after terrorizing them at gunpoint he gives them $30k that was intended for a gambling debt and a bus ticket out of town. At the end, the 'selfless hero' is shot to death by the gangsters he owed the money to.

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Years ago, I was fascinated with Fight Club and it's anarchistic themes. At the time, I was rotting away in a 'dead-end' job and welcomed the wish-fulfillment. It's only in hindsight and the context of experience do I realize how anti-rational and misanthropic it was; Tyler Durden is essentially a cult leader who employs charisma and brute force to impose his primitivist utopia that he believes to somehow be an enlightened state of living. It's only for his focus on property damage and civil disruption do I refrain from calling him a terrorist but he was close to that distinction and would have inevitably resorted to murder if left to his own devices.

However, Bad Lieutenant plummets to new lows of altruist propaganda. A corrupt cop investigates the rape of a nun who forgives the offenders. He can't wrap his head around how such an atrocity can be forgiven but it gives him hope that he can be redeemed for his own scumbag life. He finds the rapists and after terrorizing them at gunpoint he gives them $30k that was intended for a gambling debt and a bus ticket out of town. At the end, the 'selfless hero' is shot to death by the gangsters he owed the money to.

HA! That sucks. That'll teach him to steal from Peter to pay Paul, so to speak. That is, if Peter and Paul were rapists and gangsters. That aspect of altruism (the cop) is the ugly one as it shows what lengths people will go to if they perceive an OBLIGATION, a duty to help those around them. I can jive with the nun, though. Regardless of her motivations to forgive, she did so of her own volition...and to a group of truly despicable people. The beauty part of her position is that the catholic faith teaches that forced forgiveness is not valid and indeed counts as bearing false witness, or lying. The same goes for a forced apology or confession. None of them are valid. This nun would have known that and therefore only have forgiven her attackers if she chose to. While I wouldn't embrace her calling in life, I can respect the strength that it takes to do what we least want to do.

For me, Kingdom of Heaven popped into my mind. Not because it was BAD, per se, but it's probably the movie in which I most wanted to throttle the lead character for a misplaced sense of righteousness. I actually love the movie. I think it's great. It does have a couple redeeming messages, too. My main issue is when Balian meets with the King of Jerusalem and the king offers Balian his sister in marriage (with whom he's already in love) and the Kingdom itself (the king is dying) if Balian would have executed Guy de Lusignan, a terroristic French Knight Templar who uses his royal blood lineage as diplomatic immunity when slaughtering nomadic muslim civilians. Predictably, Balian refuses, quoting his father that Jerusalem "is a kingdom of conscience or nothing at all." Disaster ensues. However, he could not be more inaccurate. Here's why:

Guy de Lusignan is a murderer. It's a fact. Everyone knows it, a lot of people have personally witnessed it, but his station in life prevents any prosecution under the current administration of Jerusalem. My argument is that as king (and thereby head of all armies/law enforcement in Jerusalem), Balian would have a professional responsibility to see that Guy de Lusignan was brought to justice and most likely executed (which, given the accepted standards of the day, would have been quite merciful). Even if he didn't want a lawful execution on his conscience, he could have imprisoned him for life. The real problem though, lies in the carnage that follows his decision not to intervene. The king dies, Guy de Lusignan usurps the throne and leads the christians on a disastrous attack against the muslims. The muslims win, attack Jerusalem, and countless more lives are lost on both sides in the butchery that ends in a stalemate at the city walls. Upon realizing that Balian will destroy the entire city to prevent the muslims from taking it, the muslim commander agrees to a truce and safe passage for all of the civilians out of the city. "Happy ending".

Quite simply though, Balian could have personally prevented the loss of tens of thousands of lives by acting in accordance with existing law and executing a man guilty of murder.

- "We must not fear the actions of evil men as much as the indifference of good men."

Edited by shadesofgrey
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At the top of my "Atrocity List" of philosophically corrupt movies (of the ones I've seen) is (drum-roll, please):

1--The Game, with Michael Douglas and Sean Penn. The basic message of this film seems to be that the rich--even if they've never hurt anybody--should be brought down, not by a peg, but by about forty storeys, quite literally. Just because they're rich. If you see the film you'll know what I mean about the forty storeys.

I was very angry with the writer and the director of this film after I saw it.

Then:

2--When Worlds Collide (1951), directed by George Pal. It's very entertaining, but there is a supreme act of moral injustice in this movie. Someone--it happens to be a crotchety old rich man in a wheelchair--is promised his life if he contributes money to the building of a spaceship that would carry 40 people off the earth to another planet to avoid being destroyed by a planet on a collision course with Earth. Watch how this financier is betrayed. It is truly appaling, though the act of betrayal is presented as virtuous.

3--It's a Wonderful Life (1946), with Jimmy Stewart. The villain of the movie is one Mr. Potter (Lionel Barrymore), yet another crotchety old rich man in a wheelchair. He does all kinds of dastardly things to people of lesser means, apparently because he's rich.

4--Fly Away Home, with Jeff Daniels and Anna Paquin. A man endangers his little girl just so she can "fly" a flock of parentless geese in his airplane south to where they would normally migrate to: some little pond hundreds of miles away from the girl's home. Let's all just sacrifice to nature.

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Years ago, I was fascinated with Fight Club and it's anarchistic themes. At the time, I was rotting away in a 'dead-end' job and welcomed the wish-fulfillment. It's only in hindsight and the context of experience do I realize how anti-rational and misanthropic it was; Tyler Durden is essentially a cult leader who employs charisma and brute force to impose his primitivist utopia that he believes to somehow be an enlightened state of living. It's only for his focus on property damage and civil disruption do I refrain from calling him a terrorist but he was close to that distinction and would have inevitably resorted to murder if left to his own devices.

I disagree. Remember, in the end,

Tyler Durden is killed.

At the top of my "Atrocity List" of philosophically corrupt movies (of the ones I've seen) is (drum-roll, please):

1--The Game, with Michael Douglas and Sean Penn. The basic message of this film seems to be that the rich--even if they've never hurt anybody--should be brought down, not by a peg, but by about forty storeys, quite literally. Just because they're rich. If you see the film you'll know what I mean about the forty storeys.

I was very angry with the writer and the director of this film after I saw it.

What? The movie had no messages about bringing down the rich. The only point of the movie was that you shouldn't be so obsessed with making money that you reject your personal life.

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What? The movie had no messages about bringing down the rich. The only point of the movie was that you shouldn't be so obsessed with making money that you reject your personal life.

I agree. Let's remember that Michael Douglas' character was rich and lived that life for awhile. He was clearly happier at the end of the movie and didn't have to sacrifice his wealth to get there. Happiness seems to be underrated in a lot of the posts I've read. I'm all for financial security, but I wish people would remember that money can, in fact, make some things worse under certain circumstances. It may be one of the end goals of productivity, but I'd call it a high-intermediate factor of happiness.

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Natural Born Killers --

Ugh! I'll second that! I HATED that movie! (And just about every other movie I've seen Juliette Lewis in for that matter!) Why Rodney Dangerfield accepted that awful role, I'll never know. I was always a fan of his, but his part in this disgusting film almost ruined him for me!

Apocalypse Now - can I get another nightmare please? (And I didn't see it until I was in my 20s!)

True Romance - saw it way back in the early 90s, had an all-star cast, yet still stands out in my memory as one of the most icky movies I've ever seen.

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I disagree. Remember, in the end,

Tyler Durden is killed.

The ending was not the defeat of Tyler's ideology; the bombs went off anyway. It was a victory for the narrator's psyche because he no longer needed Tyler to be content with his own life and had the option to continue Tyler's work as his own.

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I don't even have to think about it. Last House on the Left. Wes Craven is a sick fuck and I think it is a stinging indictment of our culture that a man who produces nihlistic, sado-masochistic (not to mention poorly written, poorly acted, and technically inept) pornography such as this "movie" has maintained enough credibility to continue doing it for nearly 40 years.

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I don't even have to think about it. Last House on the Left. Wes Craven is a sick fuck and I think it is a stinging indictment of our culture that a man who produces nihlistic, sado-masochistic (not to mention poorly written, poorly acted, and technically inept) pornography such as this "movie" has maintained enough credibility to continue doing it for nearly 40 years.

This was actually presented in one of my film studies courses...

Edited by Mister A
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One movie I hated was The International. Not only did it have a horribly made ending that made me think the movie ran out of money 3/4 of the way through filming, it's much worse than the typical "Corporations are evil" movie.

The lowest point in the movie was when the main character asks the former communist "If you spent so long fighting against capitalism, why do you know support an entity that is the incarnation of what you once hated?" According to the movie, a bank that engages in assassination and coups is an "Incarnation of capitalism."

It was also sickening how the movie stated the goal of banks was to control people by making them "Slaves to debt" and that the governments around the world are supposedly in the employ of banks.

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I wouldn't say Wes created the genre of the 1970 slasher/exploitation films. The Last House on The Left was probably one of the first somewhat successful ventures, though..And boy is it weird.

The thing that really kills me about this movie--setting aside, for a moment, the fact that its sole purpose is to depict human suffering--is that it is so poorly-made, yet has received such critical and popular acclaim. Even Roger Ebert gave it 3 and a half stars, and I usually agree with his reviews. I could do a remake of this movie in the woods behind my apartment with the video camera function on my cell phone, and have it be more technically proficient. And that says a lot, because I don't know the first thing about how to direct a movie.

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No one has said anything about John Q yet? A desperate father who can't pay for his son's medical treatment takes a hospital hostage in an attempt to force the doctors to treat him? Ranks pretty high on my list.

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The thing that really kills me about this movie--setting aside, for a moment, the fact that its sole purpose is to depict human suffering--is that it is so poorly-made, yet has received such critical and popular acclaim. Even Roger Ebert gave it 3 and a half stars, and I usually agree with his reviews. I could do a remake of this movie in the woods behind my apartment with the video camera function on my cell phone, and have it be more technically proficient. And that says a lot, because I don't know the first thing about how to direct a movie.

Well, people like old school horror movies, and myself included, because they have a very campy and ridiculous feel to them. They're so overthetop in their depravity and in their low production that it's actually quite humorous.

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Yeah, but surely there's a limit. I mean, I like stuff like The Shining and The Omen. I know slasher films have a lower threshold but, man...as much as I dislike Halloween, Friday the 13th, etc., I can at least respect that there is some resemblance of technical proficiency behind how they were made.

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Yeah, but surely there's a limit. I mean, I like stuff like The Shining and The Omen. I know slasher films have a lower threshold but, man...as much as I dislike Halloween, Friday the 13th, etc., I can at least respect that there is some resemblance of technical proficiency behind how they were made.

I don't recall watching any slasher films (if The Saw counts as one, I had to turn it off in disgust of how bad and impossible to look at it is), but I love zombie movies, and I also love serial killer mysteries.

So, just to figure out where you stand, do you consider those (28 Days Later, Dawn of the Dead -the new one, Seven, Silence of the Lambs) over that limit you mentioned?

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I didn't care for 28 Days Later and haven't seen Dawn of the Dead. 28 Days later was pretty well-made...I just didn't care for it. Silence of the Lambs is one of my favorite movies. I think that one belongs more to the psychological thriller genre, than the horror genre.

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Waking Life - Animated post-modern, mystic, philosophical trash

The Knowing - A Christians wet dream.

Blue Velvet - Vicious, violent, depraved and disgusting sense of life.

Natural Born Killers - Glorification of irrational violence for its own sake.

Constantine - Another Christians wet dream.

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