Since I started doing this blog I have noticed a lot of my favorite movies others will claim are boring and yet movies they love I will find boring. In fact, I have moved away from using the word boring in my reviews (I call it the B word) because I find it doesn’t tell you that much. It’s kind of like calling something nice, a bland adjective.
So what do I mean by boring? Well, basically a movie that puts me to sleep, that I found tedious and slow. A movie like Boyhood which others found to be boring to me was extremely compelling because its about real life. I could have watched that for days. Boyhood knows what it is trying to be so it is very compelling.
A lot of people find Fantasia to be boring but I do not because it is so different and it continually surprises me with music and visual delight. I think if the sequences were longer I might have more of an issue but each one is just enough to dazzle me.
Some also find Tale of Princess Kaguya to be boring but it is kind of like Boyhood in the sense that it was trying to be the story of young girl growing up and it executes that world and story so well I was engrossed.
Tree of Life, Where the Wild Things Are, Bambi, are all movies others find boring but for me they have a heart that drew me in, visuals that surprised me and enough happens to keep me engaged. They all know what they are trying to be and execute it well.
Unfortunately some movies fail to achieve their vision. Recently Woman in Gold was boring because it was trying to be a drama but everything was so predictable and flat that I fell asleep in the theater. If I nod off in your movie it is probably a bad sign…
Another example is Treasure Planet. It’s not a bad movie and in many ways it is very ambitious; however, despite a unique visual style it fails to create new or compelling characters. The world building is beautiful but because it is so new a lot of the scenes that should be tense weren’t. I know what is going to happen to a ship in a storm with water. I do not know in an air storm; therefore, it becomes boring when it should be exciting. It also doesn’t help that Treasure Island is one of the most famous and thereby predictable stories in all of literature. Made me fall asleep.
There are a lot of bad movies I find boring. Again because they fail to do what they want to do so it becomes a slog to sit through. On the surface you would think a movie like Transformers 4 would be exciting with all the action but because I don’t care about any of the characters or where the action is taking place it becomes very repetitive and boring.
The Last Airbender definitely lands on my boring list. It fails so spectacularly at being what it is trying to be which is a mythical action adventure. Instead we get long passages of exposition and terrible special effects that are good only for insomnia.
The Star Wars prequels have the same problem. We want to see an exciting adventure and instead we get lots of discussion about trade and land rights mixed in with terrible special effects and bad acting. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
I know many like Man of Steel but I thought it was awful. It takes it self far too seriously with reverential and annoying music. It has a confused lead character that is bland and uninteresting and supporting characters I didn’t care about. The flashback structure doesn’t work, the special effects I’ve seen before and the romance has no chemistry. I found the product placement obnoxious and the ending gratuitous. Another good one for my insomnia.
Lone Ranger another movie that should have been good but instead is a tedious series of action pieces with unlikable characters I didn’t care about. It’s handsomely mounted but that’s about all you can say for it. Rarely have I been so restless in my seat in a theater .
I know a lot of people love it but I found Life of Pi to be very boring. We know what is going to happen because the boy on the raft is narrating the story to a newsman. This takes away tension and left me on a boat with a tiger for 2 hours. I watched Cast Away about a man on an island and was riveted. Life of Pi just didn’t do it for me.
Romances can be incredibly dull too. The drama The Lucky One with the chemistry-free couple of Zac Efron and Taylor Schilling is a good example. The dialogue is terrible. The story is ridiculous and full of tropes (like you know the liar reveal is coming a mile away…). The filming looks like a million other dewy filled romance movies. It all becomes very tedious and slow.
A movie that is on my Movies I Hate list is Contact. It’s so preachy about the foolishness of religion and the grandeur of science. All of the religious characters are nefarious and suspect in some way. But even put that aside it’s so slow moving in its story and I remember seeing it in the theater and praying someone would pull the fire alarm so I could leave. It’s the first movie I had that response too.
Whenever they try to split a book into multiple movies it always makes for at least one boring movie. In the case of the Hobbit movies it made 2. In the second movie it takes 2 hours to get to Smaug!! 2 hours of filler. Ugh. The third is a bunch of battles with a few fun moments for fans thrown in. They are watchable but definitely on the boring side because the story is stretched out.
I know some people love it but I find the 7th pt 1 Harry Potter movie to be very tedious. It’s basically our threesome going around getting clues that will all become exciting for the great final movie. I remember looking at my watch again and again at the theater. Not a good sign for a girl that loves the Harry Potter movies.
You could put almost any M Night Shyamalan movie on this list but The Village certainly belongs. It fails to give us one compelling character. Instead we get a tedious fairytale with an obnoxious twist. It’s a slogfest.
Magnolia is an extremely polarizing movie but at over 3 hours I lose patience with its pretentiousness. The acting is good but Paul Thomas Anderson forgets to give all these great actors a compelling story. Instead its a lot of dramatic speeches that don’t mean anything which makes it very hard to sit through. It’s on a lot of people’s best ever list but I found it insufferable and very hard to sit through.
Comedies can certainly be boring and one of the worst I’ve seen is How Do You Know. This movie had huge potential with James L Brooks directing and a great cast but man is it a tough sit-through. A bad comedy will have jokes that don’t work but this doesn’t even tell any jokes. It is like they just made it up every day at set. The story is non-existent, characters just talk a lot without anything behind it and it isn’t remotely funny. It’s very boring. I honestly think watching these 4 actors eating lunch would be more interesting.
I love the Wizard of Oz. I think it is one of the best examples of storytelling ever put to film. I love the music, cinematography, story, villain everything. That said I’ve hated any time we’ve gone back to Oz. Return to Oz was one of the worst experiences I had at the cinema as a little girl and recent Legends of Oz was dreadful. However, they at least tried to do something visually interesting. Disney’s Oz the Great and Powerful is so bland it barely resembles the Oz I know and love . James Franco is completely flat as Oz, all the female actors are shrill and annoying (such a waste of great actresses) and the land of Oz looks like a CGI world we’ve seen a million times. Boring!
Everyone knows how much I love period pieces. Howard’s End is one of my favorite movies of all time and I love anything with Dickens, Austen or Downton Abbey in the title. Brideshead Revisited, however, I was not a fan of. Great actors can not save the melodrama of Charles and Sebastian’s bromance. I didn’t like any of the people so I didn’t really care what happened to them, making the life-long back and forth a tough watch. Even Emma Thompson can’t make this movie interesting for me…
I know there are a bunch of other boring movies I could list off but I think this gives you some idea. Basically a movie is boring when it fails to execute its vision. It might try to be a great action adventure and instead it is just a series of stunts without any character or story to go along with it and that will bore me. If the story doesn’t work and it doesn’t keep moving in interesting ways it is going to bore me. It can be slow and leisurely paced but it has to have something to engage me- a character I like, a message I respond too, an artistry that is new and different. And the artistry can only carry you so long. After about 15 minutes if you don’t have other layers (like Fantasia has the music and the segments are short) then you could still lose me.
In the end it is all subjective and what I like you might not and vice versa. So don’t get offended if I said your movie is boring. If you like it that is awesome.
Now that I have this out I will continue try to not use the B word in my reviews and give you more context as to why a movie felt boring.