Top 5 Movies I Hated Initially, But Now Love

Before I get on to the topic at hand, a quick note:

In 1992, my old band opened for the death metal band Cannibal Corpse. We had only been together a few months, and only had a half hour’s worth of material at most. But thanks to our lead singer’s relentless hustling of tickets to the show, we were awarded the opening slot.

So there we were: an inexperienced group of kids, thrown on a stage in a crowded, sweaty little club that had been packed in excess of the fire code thanks to the greedy owner, with all eyes on us. Waiting. Expecting.

That’s sort of how I feel right now, after getting all the love and affection from the WordPress community. Having my previous post selected for Freshly Pressed was surreal to say the least. Here I was going about my business in my quiet little corner of the blogosphere, then I got an absolute tidal wave of page views and lovely comments, and it’s been an absolutely wonderful experience. But now I feel all these virtual eyes on me. Waiting. Expecting.

I didn’t know how to follow that up, so here’s a post about movies 🙂

I found myself reading a thread on Reddit earlier singing the praises of the film Shutter Island. I don’t remmeber liking the movie very much, mostly because the trailer made the “twist” ending kind of obvious. I watched the movie and was disappointed to be proven right.

But reading all the comments from people saying how much they liked it made me think I should give it another shot. It is Scorcese, for Pete’s sake.

That got me thinking about movies I didn’t like (and in some cases downright hated) the first time I watched them, but after some time went back to them and did a complete 180. Here’s the top 5.

5. Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (Jay Roach, 1997)

austinpowers

It’s just so stupid, I remember thinking. I had already made up my mind I hated it before the opening credits were over. I can’t even remember if I finished it the first time I watched it, to be honest. I love comedy, but I don’t always like the really over the top stuff like the bottom-tier Wayans brothers (Marlon and Shawn), and every Adam Sandler movie since Big Daddy.

Then, one day I walked into the living room and my wife had turned it on, the scene where Will Ferrell’s character is telling Austin Powers how badly burned he is. It hit my funny bone just right, and I ended up settling in and watching the whole thing like it was the first time. I howled at it this time. It was like I was on a different wavelength that first time, and now I crack up at every stupid scene.

4. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (Terry Gilliam, 1998)

fearandloathing

Despite the title of this post, I don’t really love this movie, but I like it a lot more than when I first saw it. The first time I watched it, I thought it was pure crap. I just didn’t get it. I like Johnny Depp, I like Benecio Del Toro, but I don’t know…it just didn’t click. I think what helped was becoming more familiar with Hunter S. Thompson and what kind of crazy he was. Now when I watch it I appreciate it a lot more, and I feel bad for how harsh I was about it. I literally told a friend who liked it that I was sorry I ever watched it.  Sorry, DJ.

3. Starship Troopers (Paul Verhoeven, 1997)

starship

Another one where I just didn’t appreciate the humor and satire the first time around. I enjoyed the gore (of course) but I just couldn’t bring myself to like it. I later gave it a second chance and was really glad I did. I love this movie now, and can’t imagine what the hell was wrong with me when I watched it the first time.

2. Swingers (Doug Liman, 1996)

swingers

Okay, now here I was just being stubborn. I had the misfortune of seeing this movie literally after everyone I knew had already seen it. They all declared it the best movie ever, and that put an enormous chip on my shoulder. There was no way it could ever live up to the hype my friends gave it, so I basically crapped all over it when I watched it. Of course, now this is one of my favorite movies, and I feel like the ultimate hypocrite for being so cruel initially.

(As an aside, if your safe search is turned off and you do a Google image search for ‘swingers,’ you’re going to have quite an experience.)

1. Napoleon Dynamite (Jared Hess, 2004)

napoleon

I’m sure I’m not alone here. I knew plenty of people who just flat didn’t like this movie when they saw it, and a lot who seemed to instantly  hail it as an instant classic. I watched it with a raised eyebrow, unsure what to think of the dull, thick-headed characters I was seeing. It took several partial viewings before I finally started seeing the genius that this film actually was. Now I have a hard time not laughing just looking at stills from the movie.

So now it’s your turn.

I want to know what movies, books, TV shows, or music you really didn’t like the first time you experienced it, but now you really like it.

One last plug – I started using this website Readwave to publish a few short stories. A couple are nonfiction that I’ve already posted here on the blog, and a couple are stories I wrote just for shiggles. Feel free to wander on over and check them out, and leave me a comment to let me know what you think.

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8 thoughts on “Top 5 Movies I Hated Initially, But Now Love

  1. I am sitting here in Panera living out my fantasy of feeling like a “real” writer. Too many distracting conversations for real writing I find…anyway, I digress. Your first post since your fresh press does not disappoint. However, I hate to admit I asked my husband if Yoda was from The Hobbit a few weeks ago and before he filed for divorce, he gave me a chance to watch Star Wars. That stuff was pretty good!!! Thank God I liked it the second time around because it saved my marriage.

  2. I saw some of these movies a long time ago. For the most part not my cup of tea. My standards are Key Largo, Casablanca to Die Hard (one) and The Thin Man Movies. I am also fond of Charlie Chan and Sherlock Holmes. I am fond of mysteries and some of the early science fiction movies. Them is a classic as was The Thing and Forbidden Planet. I guess I am the older generation.

    1. I guess that’s why so many older movies get remade these days, the younger generations don’t seem to want to go back and watch the originals. I’m guilty myself, although I do like Alfred Hitchcock’s films and a few others, I rarely watch anything that came out before the late sixties. It’s a shame really…there are some wonderful movies out there just waiting to be discovered by new generations.

      1. There was also something to a film in black and white. Some of the directors knew how to use contrasts to their advantages. John Ford comes to mind.

  3. I really liked your blog today! I admit I found you the day your were “Freshly Pressed” How cool that was for you? Congrats!
    Anyway, like you I have had similar experiences with movies I saw once…didn’t like or appreciate and then saw later. I was in a different frame of mind (or decade) with a few and my age and life experience changed my perspective. I also took a Theater Appreciation class last Spring that has again changed the way I look at entertainment, books, movies, plays and even concerts. I love having my eyes a little wider open now! 🙂
    Thanks for sharing…..

    1. The whole Freshly Pressed experience was crazy, thanks for sticking around! I think classes like that can really change the way you look at works of art. I took a Music Appreciation class once that focused on Classical music. It really opened my eyes and made me think about it a lot differently. Thanks for commenting!

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