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Movies you thought you wouldn't still like but it turns out you do

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This topic was prompted when I had the chance to rewatch 1989's Civil War drama Glory. 


This was one of those movies I saw in the tiny arthouse theater room at my local cineplex when I was 14 years old.  Because I was reading a lot of Roger Ebert at the time, I remember fondly that I was keeping track of my starred movie reviews (zero to 4, just like Roger) in a notebook.  I'm pretty sure this was my first 4-star review in that notebook, though that honor may have also belonged to Henry V.


I begrudgingy sat down to watch a copy of Glory just a couple weeks ago, assuming when I did that this was certainly no longer my type of movie. smile.png  The musical manipulation going on during the opening generic war scenes did nothing to change my hopes.  Somewhere about halfway through, though, my defenses went down completely as the war drama funneled down into specific characters beautifully realized by Denzel Washington, Morgan Freeman, Andre Braugher, and many others.  (Googling some old reviews, I was surprised to find at least one John Ford comparison.)  And I think the prayer service before the big battle is sublime.  This experience made me realize that I shouldn't be too quick to abandon films of certain genres and styles (in this case, epic historical drama or sweeping war drama) just because I'm not usually impacted by those types of films anymore.  Sometimes the reason I'm not impacted by them anymore is because I avoid them to my detriment. 


How about you?  Do you have films that you were surprised to find that you still liked/loved when you came back to them years later?

Edited by Brian D
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Great topic. Brian! I'll have to give this some thought, but will start by agreeing with you on Glory. That's a movie I loved when it came out, and which I thought would be the first of many Ed Zwick films to come that I would admire. That expectation was put to rest after Legends of the Fall.


As I started to see more independent and international cinema, I thought Glory, while well polished Hollywood storytelling, would suffer when I revisited it. It didn't. I've always had some issues with Matthew Broderick's performance in the film, and those haven't gone away. But I still deeply admire the film.

Edited by Christian

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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How about you?  Do you have films that you were surprised to find that you still liked/loved when you came back to them years later?


You know, Glory fits into the category for me. I watched a lot of war films as a child. As I grew up (and as I became more pacifistic), I thought I'd not like some movies like this. Surprise! Still like them. Especially stuff like A Bridge Too Far and Zulu (though the latter has gone down a notch of so).

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I was watching The Untouchables with my dad last night. Never saw the whole film before, but I had seen the train station scene years ago -- we studied it in film class when I was in grad school. Interestingly, though I think the rest of the movie's great, I didn't feel like the train station scene held up. Too stagey and overdone. (Yes, I know, they were going for the Battleship Potemkin tribute and all, but still.) Compare the endless setup for the action, and then the unspooling of the action, to what Hitchcock did with the crop duster sequence in North by Northwest. Hitch made it all so much tighter and therefore so much more suspenseful.


In the area of musicals, Summer Stock (Gene Kelly & Judy Garland) has held up for me; Royal Wedding (Fred Astaire & Jane Powell, dir. Stanley Donen) has not. The musical numbers are brilliant, but the film itself falls flat. More and more (and largely against popular opinion), I'm convinced that most of what was good in the famous Kelly/Donen collaboration came from Kelly.


And a couple of films have actually improved for me over time. I would put His Girl Friday and The Lady Eve in this category. Not that I didn't think they were great to begin with, but now I think they're even greater than I thought. thumbsup.gif  )

Edited by Gina
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Last year I took my stepson to see Breaking Away, which came out when I was a sophomore in high school, and remained a favorite through my early twenties.  I figured he'd enjoy it, but wasn't expecting it to have the same thrill that it once did.  Well, I was wrong.  Now, thirty years later, my eyes were opened to just how well written the parts for Paul Dooley and Barbara Barrie were, as the parents of Dave Stoller.  I've felt the same occasional bursts of mild exacerbations, as well as joy and pride in my step kids, that Dave's parents go through throughout the film.  And the Little 500 still generates a great level of excitement.

Formerly Baal_T'shuvah

"Everyone has the right to make an ass out of themselves. You just can't let the world judge you too much." - Maude 
Harold and Maude

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There are always films that surprise me every year.  Most recently, I suspected that I would strongly dislike -


Ruby Sparks

Anna Karenina

Les Miserables

The Cabin in the Woods

Silver Linings Playbook

Trouble with the Curve


Midnight in Paris

The Artist

The Dilemma

Let Me In

The King's Speech

(500) Days of Summer


- but all of them pleasantly surprised me.  I blame my own prejudices combined with the trailers.

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