Thursday Movie Picks: Movies That Haven't Aged Well

 

This week's theme from Wandering Through The Shelves is movies that haven't stood the test of time. There are so many films that are going to fall into this categories. Mainly comedies. We could probably talk about the entire Hangover trilogy here, but I decided to pick from a few different genres. Here's what I came up with.


1) Ace Ventura: Pet Detective -
When I was a kid, I watched Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls all the time, but I believe I only saw the first one once. When the trans community started talking about how offensive this movie was, I struggled to even remember what happened in it. Then I watched the documentary Disclosure where they showed clips of the awful transphobia that happens in this film. I struggle now to even think how anyone found this funny.


2) Swing Time -
This was on my Blind Spot list last year and I was absolutely loving this movie until Fred Astaire dawns black face in order to perform a tribute to Bill Robinson. This totally ruined the movie for me. If you removed this scene entirely, it would honestly be an A+ but it is just so offensive and out of place. I hate that scene so much.


3) The Aristocats -
Because of Disney+, I've revisited a lot of those classic films I watched as a child and to say one of the characters in this film is offensive towards anyone from East Asian decent is an understatement to say the least. A Siamese cat playing piano with chopsticks and singing about fortune cookies? Voiced by a white guy? Yeesh. 

Comments

  1. I had a feeling Ace Ventura would show up on a lot of these today. I was never a huge fan of the movie, but that was because I found Ace himself to be obnoxious and unfunny. But now I see how transphobic it was too. Black face is also an instant no for me. How you felt about Swing Time was how I felt about Breakfast at Tiffany's. Would have given it an A+ myself if not for Mickey Rooney's character.

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    1. Yes, Mickey Rooney is awful and so distracting in that movie.

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  2. The only one of your picks I watched is Aristocats. That was years ago, so I can't really remember much about it but that just sounds awful!

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    1. Neither did I, but it all came crashing back when I watched it again...big yikes.

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  3. I hated the Ace Ventura movies when they came out so I'm not surprised it has not withstood the years well.

    Knowing that number in Swing Time was intended as a complete tribute to Bill Robinson, who was on record as being flattered by it, it doesn't bother me. Love the entire rest of the film.

    It's been many years since I saw The Aristocats and I remember next to nothing of it though I think I liked it when I was a kid.

    My first impulse was to go the sci-fi route but their arcane effects can't really be counted against them since they were probably the best available at the time. So I looked for things that made a big impact at the time and are now puzzling as to why.

    Crash (2005)-Inexplicable Best Picture winner is a dreadful collection of noxious elitists having conniptions about all “the dark people” threatening their privileged existence in Los Angeles. Yuck!

    Lovers and Other Strangers (1970)-They say nothing ages faster than topical comedy and here’s the proof! Awash in shag carpeting, Nehru jacket, love beads and “groovy” talk of raising consciousness, EST, and a bunch of other hippie dippy subjects of the ME decade. In its favor it does have a phenomenal cast-Bea Arthur, Cloris Leachman, Stiller & Meara, Gig Young, Bonnie Bedelia and in her screen bow Diane Keaton among others, plus the Oscar winning song “For All We Know”. This was a big hit, but you’ll be scratching your head as to why if you watch.

    Easy Rider (1969)-Meandering biker flick was a seminal turning point in cinema the year of its release, made on a minuscule budget it was unbelievably successful becoming the fourth highest grossing film of 1969, creating the whole “Born to Be Wild” rebel motorcycle genre. But it is a collection of maddeningly diffuse thinkspeak vignettes when viewed today.

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    1. I don't think Bill Robinson ever got to be in a position where he could say "No, that's racist" so even that doesn't fix it for me. It irks me because that movie is so good otherwise.

      Crash...God. What a dud. I'm not shocked it didn't hold up because it was never Oscar worthy to begin with.

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  4. What's surprising to me is how long some of this stuff took to be seen as offensive. There's a lot of rethinking of what was normal years ago--movies like Revenge of the Nerds are unwatchable now because of the gleeful promotion of rape culture.

    Blackface, though...as a reminder of just how pervasive it was, Larry Parks got an Oscar nomination in 1946 for a blackface performance.

    The whole whitewashing thing is just so...weird, and not always even whitewashing. No one shrugged at Charleton Heston playing a Mexican in Touch of Evil (evidently, white > Latino), and everyone was similultaneously okay with Ricardo Montalbon playing Japanese in Sayonara (Latino > Asian, I guess?). Shirley MacLaine playing a Hindu princess in Around the World in 80 Days?

    Don't get me started on red-haired Irish Jeanne Crain playing Black in Pinky...

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    1. I agree. Revenge of the Nerds always made me super uncomfortable so coming on the internet and seeing a lot of other people expressing the same concerns was a bit liberating because people always scuffed at me when I said it was rapey.

      How anyone ever thought Blackface was "okay" is beyond me, and there's so many articles out there bending over backwards to defend Fred Astaire here. No, he could've did his tribute without painting his face.

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  5. Great picks! I don't think I've ever seen The Aristocats, but YIKES. Ace Ventura is just downright obnoxious. And I love Classic Hollywood, but it's such a shame that some of their best films feature so much racism. But I appreciate how TCM discusses movies like Swing Time and try to bring context to why the studios used such racist imagery.

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    1. I imagine the cable version of Swing Time just removes that scene entirely and is better for it.

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  6. I couldn't come up with anything for this subject. Blackface isn't cool but I still liked Swing Time a lot. I still love the Ace Ventura movies. I'm just not offended by these things though Mickey Rooney as an Asian in Breakfast at Tiffany's was a shitty thing then and it's still shit and racist.

    Now they're trying to get rid of cartoons as I heard people want to cancel Speedy Gonzalez. Anyone does that, I'm dropping a fucking nuke on their fucking house. I love Speedy Gonzalez and Slowpoke Rodriguez as this Hispanic isn't going to take this shit.

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    1. Speedy is stereotypical but to me Pepe was the bigger problem. I'm Mexican so I can't say he's not offensive, but if there's a Looney Toon I always side eyed, it's not him.

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  7. I could not sit through Ace Ventura and it is one of the rare movies I turned off after 10 minutes. I did not find it funny and the lead, I found really irritating and I love the 3 Stooges! I knew I would see this Astaire/Rogers film but I agree with Joel. I am certain that Mr. Robinson knew real, disgusting racism and probably his parents were born while slavery still existed and I can’t help but have the sense he knew that Astaire meant nothing but admiration. Today, Astaire would not have done it in this manner but such were the times. If you want something worse, check out Holiday Inn a film I love to watch but that one scene is difficult and I feel bad for Louise Beavers who was an excellent actress. I remember the Aristocats and it doesn’t bother me even though it should. My mom was German..is( she’s dead now but she is German). She grew up under Hitler, lost 2 brothers during the war, survived the bombings of Hamburg and Dresden and was part of the German Resistance planting dynamite under the bridges to stop the German soldiers. She saw books being burned plus many other things yet she was called a Nazi and even my friends, when I spoke about my 2 uncles being in the war, just said “oh, so they were Nazis. Prejudice is deep and this is due to ignorance and lack of knowledge, my mom saw how, at first, many mentioned that one should get rid of pornography and books that were rude but m as you know, it escalated to where there were whole book burnings. My mom did not like all the hate, bigotry and pornographic stuff but once one censors, you open up a Pandora’s Box. She was vehemently against any form of censorship because it breeds ignorance. It is better to show and not forget, talk about it and give a warning about it but never take it away. Look at me write up a bloody storm. I heard about Pepe Le Pew and Speedy Gonzalez and I think we need to take a step back and talk rather than blanket it as bad and get rid of it.

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    1. lol that's okay I like long comments. I think Disney does a good job with putting disclaimers in front of their old material without editing it. I can't imagine getting worked up over Pepe because I always found him creepy. I think Space Jam 2 will survive without him.

      I know Robinson said he was flattered, but I also don't think he had any other choice but to say that. I know Astaire didn't mean anything malicious by it, but it's just so jarring to watch. Especially when the rest of the movie is so good.

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    2. Wait until you finally see Holiday Inn.

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  8. I also realised how bad Ace Ventura was thanks to the documentary. I haven't seen The Aristocats since I was a kid but I was reading an article about problematic Disney films and it came up for the reason you mentioned. I'm sure I will not rewatch that one.

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    1. I can't imagine what it must feel like to be a trans human and seeing the ending of that film. It's such garbage.

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