Earlier today, I received a text from my good friend Robert Cooper who informed me that, while rewatching some of the classic movies he enjoyed back in the day, was shocked to discover that a number of the seminal films from his youth are, upon further review, not that good – or, at the very least, not as good as he remembered.  I can empathize as it has happened to me countless times when I’ve revisited some of my old favorites.  Sadly, a lot of just don’t hold up.

Some of the movies I LOVED back in the day that I’ve fallen out of love with in time:

Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Phantasm

Monty Python’s The Meaning of Life

Forrest Gump

Apocalypse Now

Con Air

Ghostbusters

Groundhog Day

Gladiator

Crash

To be fair, I’m unimpressed by most of what I see, so this just serves to trim down an already slim list.  It makes me almost afraid to re-watch The Sting, Tombstone, Pulp Fiction, and Clue less.

Thank goodness for Die Hard, Misery, and Planes, Train and Automobiles – classics that DO stay the test of time.

So what about you?  What movies have you recently revisited that – well, aren’t anywhere near as good as you remembered?

27 thoughts on “November 3, 2018: You Can Never Go Home Again!

  1. It may either encourage or annoy you that they are actually doing a Clueless remake!

    https://deadline.com/2018/10/clueless-remake-at-paramount-girls-trip-tracy-oliver-glow-writer-marquita-robinson-1202489751/

    Yeah, sometimes movies are best left in the times during which they were enjoyed, like the finest steak that really doesn’t hold up well after 3 weeks in the fridge.

    A few really do seem to hold up well, though – I recently rewatched all of the Star Wars movies, and the first two of the original trilogy really hold up pretty well.

    Hmm. I better post this comment – we’re getting some crazy winds here and my power keeps flickering!

  2. I tend to rewatch favs like Fifth Element, and quite a few you mentioned. They still work for me.

  3. I recently rewatched Clue.
    It looks SO cheaply made, and has production issues galore.

    … but I still loved it!

  4. Sooo.. no sooner did that last comment get saved before the power actually DID go out. Hopefully won’t be too long, but it’s REALLY windy.

  5. Original Sam Raimi Spider-man trilogy-the Evil Dead Trilogy for me still seem more than watchable, but Spiderman really hasn’t aged well. Anything from the early 90’s because of-what the heck were they wearing-attitude from me 🙂 80’s and 90’s vhs anime, i have over 70, didn’t think they could be surpassed, then i tried watching one recently…sometimes that nostagic memory should never be anything more.
    Jim Carrey’s The Mask, Rambo, Indiana Jones, the Last Samurai, and i expect a lot more, but i’m not going to torment myself by finding out.

  6. Whoa. I think we need some explanations on why some of those movies made your list…

  7. When I was growing up, there were a lot of great Disney movies. The Black Hole, Condorman, and The Cat from Outer Space.

    The Black Hole stands up very well. It’s not as action/adventure as the modern movies, but the special effects are quite acceptable and it always was a rather more cerebral movie.

    The Cat from Outer Space, sadly, doesn’t stand up so well. The special effects are awful and the story line is more cutesy than interesting now. Sigh. I still love the Jake of my memories.

    I haven’t found Condorman, but now I need to go looking for it.

  8. Funny you mentioned Tombstone because that was on about a month ago, and I enjoyed watching it so much I watched it a second time a day or two after that. So many great moments, like when Kurt Russell smacks around Billy Bob Thornton. And Val Kilmer’s Doc Holiday was perfect.

    But if I had to pick a movie I loved back in the day and still enjoy now, it would be another Kurt Russell classic, Big Trouble in Little China. So many quotable moments. Love it.

  9. “Young Frankenstein”. It was one of my favorite movies when I was younger but now I just don’t find it that funny.

    I’m not sure how I feel about “Return of the Jedi”. I loved it when I was a kid but now I find a lot of it annoying.

    “Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery” (the first movie in the series) still holds up for me.

    Also “Four Weddings and a Funeral”. Never get sick of that one either. No matter how many times I’ve seen it.

  10. I watched “The Last Starfighter” not long ago. I watched that so many times when I was young I wore out the VHS cassette I had! I was worried it wouldn’t stand up but I was pleasantly surprised. Sure, the effects are dated but considering it was one of the first movies to use computer generated VFX it was pretty impressive for the time.

    I can’t think of any movies I loved as a kid that don’t hold up today. “Back To The Future”, “Die Hard”, “Gremlins”, “Raiders Of The Lost Ark”, “Aliens”, “Terminator 2”, “The Abyss”, “Big Trouble In Little China”, “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels”, “Pleasantville”, “The Dish”. They are all on my favourites list and I watch them all at least once a year.

    There’s also lots of movies I thought were mediocre and upon recent viewings I invariably agree with my younger self. I would love to discover a long dismissed movie and add it to my favourites list but I am yet to find one! I guess my tastes in movies hasn’t changed since I was a teenager!

  11. I am an old movie /TV buff and find that films from that 70’s-2000 are usually films I will ré watch again & again. I also look at earlier films which have been recommended to me or where a reviewer has scarhed the film. Funnily, these I will enjoy 98% of the time. However, since the introduction of CGI, I find the storyline very hard to swallow as the actors were filmed in a warehouse (13) with green walls and had no idea what was coming at them. However, with sci-fi, CGI will be possibly essential.

    This must be the work of the producer and or director but the finished result will never be seen until completed.

    These days I usually am a fan of TV series & box sets as the work is.still put in by the actors & the result is a very good storyline with great character plot lines. Don’t get me talking about DARK MATTER and syfy decision to cancel !!

    One last point should also be raised. As you write & produce tv series could this not affect your decision as to whether the film is good or not? I still watch Stargate, Star Trek, et al and still enjoy them.

  12. I rewatched Chitty Chitty Bang Bang recently. Ugh, how awful. And Breakfast at Tiffany’s is a hot mess. One of the movie channels has been rerunning the original Sabrina. Euw. Not romantic, creepy. Yet somehow, I still am fond of Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. And Some Like It Hot. Still, people, communication is the key to your life not being a romantic comedy!

    I am trying to rewatch Legend. It’s not all that great. Wah. I’m afraid to repeat Willow and Labyrinth now.

    I still like Groundhog Day, plot holes and all. Animal House and Blues Brothers hold up well for me. Blazing Saddles and even Weird Science make me laugh. Hell, I can still rewatch Phantom of the Paradise and not cringe, except for he continuity stuff with the cape. But that was never a “good” movie, just one I’ve liked since my aunt took me to see it because she felt sorry I didn’t have a date for Homecoming because I’d just moved back from Iran. The movie has given me far better memories than any date would have.

    The Magic Christian is one of my all time favorites, and although it is dated, I always enjoy it. I first saw it as an impressionable teenager in the 70s.

    Sometimes I love movies not because they’re good, but because they’re fun. Heck, I even do shadowcast for RHPS, which is an act of love.

  13. Groundhog Day!?!?!?!? How could you possibly not like Groundhog Day? No matter how many times I see that movie it is still great.

  14. Definitely stay away from Pulp Fiction, one of my all time favorites, until I re-watched a few months ago. Ugh.

  15. I still enjoy Groundhog Day any time I see it on TV. Still one of my all time favorites. Maybe you have seen it one time too many. But I don’t see how that’s possible.
    But Young Frankenstein hasn’t held up as well as I thought it would.
    Also 2001 A Space Oddity for me seems a little slow now.
    I’m afraid to rewatch THX1138. I hope it’s as good as I remember.

  16. +1 on Planes, Trains and Automobiles. Also Better Off Dead is always going to be a favorite for me

  17. I was just thinking – shows and movies may have become terribly dated, but you know what’s totally timeless? 80’s TV show theme songs!!

  18. Behwy intewesting qwestion, considering I too often find myself either wholly unimpressed
    or quickly losing interest after an initial enchanted moment or two,
    when it comes to movies and television series.
    Albeit, now that you got me thinking of it,
    there are, surprisingly,
    more than I thought there’d be,
    that made the list of having withstood the test of time.

    1937 & 1973 versions of Lost Horizon
    1938 Bringing Up Baby -Katharine Hepburn
    1939-Ongoing Bugs Bunny (Early to mid 70s were my all time favs)
    1939 Wizard Of Oz
    1946 Stairway to Heaven – David Niven.
    1951 Abbott & Costello Meet The Invisible Man
    1955-1965 Alfred Hitchcock Presents
    1968 Yellow Submarine (animation)
    1971 Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory
    1987 *****Princess Bride*****
    1987-2001 StarTrek TNG & Voyager
    1989-1998 Seinfeld
    1991 Defending Your Life – Albert Brooks
    1993 Schindlers List
    1997-2009 SG-1 & SGA
    1998 Meet Joe Black
    1999 Bicentennial Man -Robin Williams
    1999 Analyze This! – Deniro & Crystal 😀
    There are also various movies with
    some favorite actors, such as Morgan Freeman & Will Smith,
    I definitely enjoy rewatching simply because of their brilliant portrayal
    of a character.

    Movies & Shows I initially loved but did not withstand the test of time?
    (Not as wonderful or as brilliant as I remembered).
    Waaay,Waaay!, Waaaaaaaaaay!! too many to list them all here!
    And yes, unfortunately, … Monty Pythons Holy Grail, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and
    even some widely beloved movies & tv shows, such as
    Stanley Kubric’s 2001-A Space Odyssey, The Hobbit,
    Pink Panther, Soylent Green, Logans Run, I Love Lucy
    and Taxi with Tony Danza & Danny Devito also made it onto my,
    ‘No longer quite as good’, list
    when I rewatched each at different points between 2000-2017.

  19. I find that it is my position in life that changes my perspective on movies and books. There are very few that I can re-watch/read and feel the same about them now as I did then. It’s worse with movies because we’ve gotten so spoiled with special effect improvements.
    Now I go back and watch a movie that terrified me, like Forbidden Planet with it’s invisible monster, and it looks cheaply done. I have to remind myself that at the time, it was the best there was available. Some of them were even ground breaking. To be fair, Forbidden Planet’s premise of our monsters being constructs of our own minds still resonates with me today, it’s the imagery that looks cheap.
    I think the only series I can rematch with the same sense of wonderment and awe is Star Wars (the original series, not the news ones). They were so groundbreaking at the time that they won’t even loose that impact for me. They are part of the reason I am a Sci-fi author now (under a pen name, so don’t bother googling me).

  20. I think you have reached the limits of what the media on Earth can teach you. What can you teach us? You already explored the stars. I have <3 your shows for years. I still feel there is more in you. Humanity needs you. Save us.

  21. I just rewatched Blake Edward’s “The Great Race” after brief introduction of myself to Buster Keaton’s classical films (found that classical slapstick holds great but in small doses) and rewatching “It’s a mad, mad, mad, mad, mad world” (holds up extremely well, writing is solid as rock). It comes to shock to realize that in terms of slapstick GR is somewhat mediocre (Edwards definitely was master of more modern comedy, bar fight is ageless) and writing is chaotic. Still, trying to understand why GR is panned by critics in comparison to “Those Magnificent Men in their Flying Machines” (writing in extremely dull and jokes… not so funny and repetitive) – and make me think that tendency to write reviews without watching the damn film is ancient tradition.

  22. I agree about “Ghostbusters”, it’s a rough diamond badly carved.
    And “Gladiator”‘s a total let down indeed.

    “The Goonies” is kinda disappointing as well. All the ingredients are here but the cooking time is too long and there’s no baking powder, so it doesn’t expand.

    “What about Bob”, I think I watched this movie 25 times in my youth, and now I can barely stay seated in front of it. Don’t know why.

    And, of course, a lot of Disney movies, but there are to many to list. 😀

    On the contrary, Jaws, Duel, Aliens, The Abyss, Titanic, BTTF (among a few others) really hold up to time. Still amazing (for me, at least).

  23. As others here, I still love Groundhog Day.
    But I recently saw Escape from New York which I found excellent at the time. Seeing it again, I I was shocked – bad effects I can live with, it was in the 80’s after all. But all the cliches and the bad dialogue.
    My only excuse is that was a lot younger then….

  24. Splash. When I rewatched it, I was stunned with how the plot really doesn’t really make sense. There’s a lot of moments where stuff just happens and you feel you’re missing something. I still love Daryl Hannah in the role. She’s gorgeous and the underwater scenes are so great, but the rest left me lukewarm. I LOVED this movie when I was a teenager.

    Meanwhile, The Lost Boys does hold up!

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