No doubt many of you have already seen this post on the website Crooked Timber concerning movies to avoid watching before you die. This is a response, of course, to the numerous lists available of "essential movies", and although it's an interesting concept, I find fault with the premise. I find fault with it for one simple reason: I just can't think of any movies to put on such a list. This isn't to say that I have never seen a bad movie -- far from it. I have seen some movies so lacking in value of any kind that I was forced to question the very viability of the film form not only as an artistic medium, but also as an adequate means of documenting existence. Yet, I have never regretted watching any movie. I guess it goes back to that old saying, "whatever doesn't kill me only makes me stronger." Maybe I'm a masochist but I think it's healthy to, every now and then, watch movies that angry up the blood. In their passion inspiring awfulness these movies help to contrastingly define my cinematic tastes.
Who knows, maybe it goes beyond that. My ability to watch crap, more than anything, I suppose, is due to my slight OCD tendency in which I have to watch every movie I start all the way through to the end. No matter how insipid, insulting, or brutally inept a movie is, my brain will not let me stop watching. This tendency of mine isn't even limited to theatrical releases (the high price of admission providing an excuse to stick with a movie through to the bitter end). Everything I start, be it in a theater, a rental, or something on TV, has to be completed. I have never willingly stopped watching a movie halfway through. It is an indescribable force that drives me through. And all this constant exposure to banality has, no doubt, inured me to cinematic dreck.
Far more insipid to me is the adequately entertaining run of the mill movie. Through their, in your face inoffensiveness, middling movies are impossible to inspire anything but a catatonic haze in which the viewer's only thought is, "why not?". Truth be told, when I read the post mentioned earlier, I was going to make a list of my own: Barely Justifiable Adequate Movies. This list would contain movies that, although not being memorable in any distinct or definable way, carry just enough entertainment value so as not to be complete wastes of time. Seeing as the majority of movies fall into this category, the titles on this list would be so numerous as to make this an all but pointless endeavor. Oh well, maybe at some future point I'll compile such a list. For now, I leave you with Brett Ratner: