July 21, 2008

On being overrated

For several reasons I've been thinking lately about stuff that's been overrated, and stuff that other people think is overrated that I don't. I won't even scratch the surface on this, but here are a few things:

Roddy Doyle says Ulysses is overrated, but it's not. It's that good. Roddy Doyle might be overrated, except for Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha, which is good enough even if he writes twenty books of crap. And he doesn't write crap, but it's not all great either.

Some people think John Banville is overrated, but I don't, not after The Untouchable and The Sea.

I'm not sure it's entirely accurate to call Indiana Jones and the Crystal Travesty overrated, but damn, there are a lot of positive reviews out there--professional reviews--of that steaming pile of crap. It's a disaster of "nucular" (listen for it ... Dr. Jones, Cold War spook, prefers the Bush pronunciation of nuclear, as Dan recently reminded me) proportions. But don't worry ... a nucular blast can be survived by hiding in the family fridge (unlike a nuclear blast, which will kill you.

Also overrated: American Beauty. Nicholas Cage. Million Dollar Baby (did I see the same movie everybody else did?).

Wanna fight about it?


Anonymous said...

The Sea is one beautiful book. Definitely not overrated. Please add the National Book Award Finalist Then It Came to an End to the overrated list. I'd rather watch the new IJ movie a thousand times in a row while eating popcorn without a soda near, then read another page of that f--ing crap book. The irony of that title is the best thing about it.

Anonymous said...

I hated Million Dollar Baby. It was so bad it wasn't even depressing when she died. I wish they'd all died.

I will defend American Beauty, though. Especially for the violence. At the time it was released, I don't think we had seen enough movies with well-heeled suburban violence of the physical kind. And the real kind -- not some Pacific Heights/Fatal Attraction crap.

Unknown said...

I have a secret candidate for "overrated," one I've never confessed to. I'm not sure I can write it out loud (so to "speak"), since I could get my medievalist ("Get Out of Dungeon Free") card revoked if I admit it (and if it hasn't been revoked already). But, maybe, just maybe...GC (?).

Michael said...

I know better than to even think about mentioning James Joyce here (oops), so my opinion will go unrecorded. Overrated: political bloggers. Underrated: the rest of us bloggers.

Tom said...

I found the recent Battlestar Galactica series over-rated, though it came highly recommended; though I liked Joss Whedon's Firefly series, I've been underwhelmed by his comic books (I was never a watcher of Buffy); I have not yet seen the new Batman film, but it (and Heath Ledger's performance) are being so widely touted that I fear both will turn out to be overrated.

I'll second Dan's claim that Goscelin of Canterbury (as the eleventh-century hagiographer is still sometimes called) is probably overrated. Or did he mean George Clooney?