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Sunday, 22 May 2011

DVD CHALLENGE: The Films We Avoid

We all have them. DVD's we buy or borrow, then take six years to watch because we're just not interested. Our reasons are usually ignorant and stupid, but they keep us away from watching.

This week I will be battling past my presumptions and watching the films I've been hiding from. I challenge you to do the same and tell us all about it.

Below are the films I've been avoiding, along with my ignorant assumptions:


Ignorant Assumptions: It's three hours long and is going to be boring and preachy!! I am going to struggle to get taken in by it.. although paradoxically I believe it may be my favourite film ever once I watch it.

The Grapes Of Wrath

Ignorant Assumptions: It's going to be old and slow and boring and simple.

Kung Fu Hustle

Ignorant Assumptions:
It's a pile of bullshit.

39th Battalion

Ignorant Assumptions: This film was recommended to me. But my assumption is its going to look cheaply made and have a terrible story.


Ignorant Assumptions: That it'll be too long and 'cool' and it won't hold my interest.


Ignorant Assumptions: Now that its been copied and inspired so many others, it'll be hard to see its magic. It'll just be twentysomething white people talking about dating and weed and I'll get so bored i'll give up film viewing forever.

Ice Cold In Alex

Ignorant Assumptions: Will be too British. Unrealistic and lame, and I'll feel guilty for thinking a supposed masterpiece is boring and silly.

So that's me... Will you be fighting the resistance and watch the films you've been resisting? What are your ignorant assumptions?

Care to share?


  1. Mine are Amelie, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. And yeah... I will watch them someday. I think.

  2. Ice Cold In Alex is fantastic - a bit 'stiff upper lip' but genuinely gripping in my opinion; interesting to see if you agree. I'd been avoiding SATC2 given to me as a present - I dug it out and watched it - it was pretty terrible, almost as bad as I suspected but there was a kind of joy in finding that out.

  3. I haven't seen Gandhi for almost 20 years so I don't really remember what I think of it, but instinct tells me your ignorant assumptions will be confirmed, except for the part about it being one of your favorite films ever.

    Grapes of Wrath is worth it, but will suffer from dating.

    Although I've seen it I have almost no recollection of Kung Fu Hustle. I think I enjoyed it a bit.

    Casino feels like a Goodfellas retread (perhaps by virtue of the fact that De Niro and Pesci are the leads). It's not as good, but still pretty awesome.

    Slacker may have been a film that you had to see in its day. I'm not sure it will have the same resonance as it did for me in 1997.

    I'm not familiar with the other two.

    For me, I generally don't buy DVDs of films I've never seen unless it's a bona fide classic that I'm sure I'll want to own. That said, I think I've only ever bought one DVD that I hadn't already seen.

  4. Aside from my issues with a British actor playing Gandhi and this weird white person gaze that my country is subjected to, Gandhi is a film that I feel needs to be accompanied with a reading of My Experiments With Truth and some information about the Indian independence movement. Since I'm not a fan of the individual himself, watching this film is a little hard for me.

    As for DVDs I avoid, they are mostly films by Adoor Gopalakrishnan because I don't have the tolerance for a scene of a man walking that takes five minutes of film time and happens in five minutes of real time because that is one defition of "realistic cinema". Maybe I'll enjoy the meta-ness of it all, but I don't want to risk it.

  5. Wow, good thing I read the comments before writing because Jason Ihle has done my job for me. Exactly what he said! I hope you do get round to watching Grapes of Wrath though and that it does move you the way it moved me. Yes it can be said that it suffers from dating but I love film noir and so many films where you can say the same thing. There's something very special about the Grapes of Wrath though that I can't quite put my finger on. But it is there every time I see it. I'd love to know what you think.