What do you when you read/watch a bad book/movie?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Grokl, Jul 15, 2012.

  1. Grokl

    Grokl Registered User

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    I finished it almost all the time, but I wish I were better to quit on bad books/movies, because its frustrating to waste time on them. But at the same time I hope they get better or have a surprising ending, which could make up for a bad start.

    Only book I remember I've stopped reading was Terry Brooks "The sword of Shannare" when I realized how close it was to LotR.

    When it comes to movies I have tried to have a 20 minutes rule, where I after 20 minutes decide, if I want to finish it or not, if it has a bad start. But I almost always end up watching them to the end.

    What do you do?
     
  2. Rob Sanders

    Rob Sanders http://rob-sanders.blogsp

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    I have to admit that I try and see it through. 'Bad' is such a subjective term. Let's take a film, for instance. If I think it's bad I try to remember the hard work and skill (that I'm not capable of deploying) that it took to get that piece of cinema made. : )
     
  3. kged

    kged Gloriam Imperator

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    I seem to have lost the patience I once had. It took me literally 4 or 5 attempts to read "Something Awful" by Joesph Heller - not because it is bad, but because it is so grindingly miserable - but I didn't give up. In any book or film, no matter how poor, I always wanted to know where the story and characters ended up. But not any more. And I'm going to name names: Fiona McIntosh. I admit it, I bought her "Myrren's Gift" largely because of the cover; it had the look of a gritty, minimalist new wave of fantasy type of book. And it is completely (a-word-we-are-discouraged-from-using-on-here). Awful. Rotten. I couldn't get to 100 pages - it had to go. And that was a first for me. Since then I think the floodgates have opened, and I no longer tolerate low quality offerings. I tried to watch "Aeon Flux" recently - dear God. I don't think I got through 15 minutes.
     
  4. Loerwyn

    Loerwyn Staff

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    I bore my Twitter followers with my comments on the film I'm watching and/or I'll write a blog post that'll likely never get published.

    Simples. :)
     
  5. Mr. Aware Eagle

    Mr. Aware Eagle Registered User

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    I don't think I've ever completely dropped a book. I rarely give up on a film I've directly paid to watch (theater or video).
    I've walked out of one film my entire life-- Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland. My girlfriend and I went to the dollar theater to watch it. It started about 45 minutes late and there were a lot of small children running around the theater. We left about half an hour into the movie. I wouldn't have left if I were at the $8.00+ multiplex. I'd feel too guilty about wasting the money.
     
  6. fritzthefox

    fritzthefox New Member

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    It depends on the movie...some bad movies are huge fun to watch, and I've acquired a real taste for them over the years. The best ones are the ones where you suspect the filmmaker was sincerely attempting to create art, but failed on almost every level. It helps if they are completely off the wall. The works of Ed Wood spring to mind. They are often hilarious.

    But many bad movies are simply boring and unwatchable, and I won't waste my time on them. The last movie I turned off mid-movie was Frogs (a seventies film in which the frogs did surprisingly little). There is nothing slower than a seventies film meandering towards a forgettable conclusion. The only thing that can make such a film worthwhile is the presence of two little robots in the lower, right-hand corner of the screen making wisecracks.

    I will drop a bad book like a hot potato, though. Or simply fall asleep reading it. It is often obvious within a few pages whether the author knows what they are doing or not.
     
  7. Teresa Edgerton

    Teresa Edgerton Goblin Princess

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    I think I used to soldier on most of the time, but now I stop as soon as I realize that I have to force myself to keep on reading or watching.

    Which I find comes sooner and sooner.

    The book may get better, but after a bad start my appreciation isn't likely to grow ... they've already lost me. Either it's a bad book, or I'm not in the right place to recognize its virtues just then. It's the same with a movie.


    Better to wait and come back much later if I have reason to believe I might like it after all. Sometimes that proves to be true.
     
  8. sifutofu

    sifutofu Banned

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    I don't finish them.

    I don't have time to waste.
     
  9. Gabe.

    Gabe. New Member

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    Whilst its true that my opinion is not the same as everyone's, and thus I can never label something objectively 'bad,' I think it's fair that if I personally don't find something enjoyable, i can regard it as a bad film. Just because I don't have the skill to produce that work doesn't make the work any more enjoyable.

    Anyway, when I get about halfway through a movie, If I'm bored I find that I've already abandoned it e.g. I've started reading a book on the side or browsing the net. It's a bit of a natural process. Same with books, If it's boring I just tend to stop picking it up and it sort of never gets read.
     
  10. SR_Seldon

    SR_Seldon SF Author

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    Bad books I put down never to pick them up again. Movies I will usually watch to the end, but if it is really bad, off it goes. I don't suffer through things I can't find some enjoyment in.
     
  11. Action Avenue

    Action Avenue Artist, Cartoonist & Dude

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    If a movie is terrible to the point of being hilarious, I just might stick with it. I figure if a movie is so bad it's funny, there might be some entertainment value out of seeing the train wreck to the end. If it's just beyond terrible to the point of being sad, I turn it off as soon as that realization creeps upon me. Books, on the other hand, never get the benefit of the doubt from me. I will not make time for a poorly written, ill-conceived book, whether it's fiction or non-fiction in subject matter.
     
  12. Chuffalump

    Chuffalump A chuffing heffalump

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    I've just stopped reading How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe. Got about 2/3 of the way through but really can't be ar@$d with the rest of it.

    It's not that it's bad. Not at all. It's just not for me. I just don't care what happens. I don't care about any part of it.

    Apart from the cover. All those classic ray guns with the occasional dog. Brilliant. I'd love a pair of pyjama trousers like that. :D:D
     
  13. supremedarkness

    supremedarkness Registered User

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    I can watch a bad movie due to the passive nature of watching a movie. As for reading a bad book, no I just stop reading it.
     
  14. PeteMC

    PeteMC @PeteMC666

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    My time is valuable to me - anything that's not grabbed me after half an hour gets chucked.
     
  15. Window Bar

    Window Bar We Read for Light

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    I'll quit on a movie, a book or a TV show. I figure I've already wasted my money, why waste my time? The author and/or movie producers have no clue whether I stay with it or leave. There are no issues of etiquette.

    Live theatre is somewhat different. I live in a theatre town, and I count several actors and professional musicians among my friends. Live presentations are a collaboration among playwrights, directors, tech people, actors, musicians and audience. I feel more of a responsibility to the process, though I am aware it's often a failed process. Kind of like life.
     
  16. JunkMonkey

    JunkMonkey Registered User

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    Most people do and Hollywood knows this. This is why all the 'How to Write a Script That Will Sell' type books tell you you have to have an event on page 15 (as a rule of thumb one page of script equals one minute of screen time) which, though inevitable, is surprising and suddenly changes the dynamic of the film and sets the characters off on a new course of action. Set the on-screen display on your DVD or Blu Ray and watch. More often than not Something Significant That Changes the Story happens around the 15 minute mark.

    With you there, brother (or sister)! Mr Wood is a hero. But he's not the only one. Check out the works of Coleman Francis, Ted V. Mikels, Larry Buchanan. A current favourite of mine is the British 'director' Richard Driscoll whose works have often been compared to Ed Wood's. They have the same talent-free enthusiastic terribleness that makes them compulsive viewing.


    Heller's Something Awful was dreadful, but the wrong sort of dreadful, I gave up on it too.
     
  17. ebusinesstutor

    ebusinesstutor Star Gawker

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    I dump movies and books quickly if I can't get into them. I look at is an an opportunity cost - if I continue reading/watching a bad choice during my entertainment time, I lose the opportunity to read/watch something truly amazing.

    Or in another words - to proceed down the right path, you must first stop walking down the wrong path.

    Great analogy for life.
     
  18. Chrishunt

    Chrishunt New Member

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    I think that this is not a good movie to watch .
     
  19. JunkMonkey

    JunkMonkey Registered User

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    You also loose a great way of learning about how good films are made. I learned more about film language and editing from watching bad films than I did good. Good films get you hooked up in the story and emotionally engaged with the situations and characters. With bad films you can disengage and look at the thing objectively. Why isn't this working? How could this have been made to work? I learned more about cheating time in the editing and the importance of insert shots from watching Ed Wood's Jail Bait than I did from watching any number of 'great' films. Ed Wood never did get the idea of insert shots and used to have to get his actors to do things like this:

    [​IMG]
    A not very good actor getting into an uncomfortable
    position to show the audience something.

    To let us see that a hollowed out Bible is empty. Any half way literate director would have cut in an insert close up shot of the Bible as he pulled it out of the drawer and thus also given himself the opportunity to cut back to a different take of the Master which might have improved things no end. (Assuming there was another take of the Master.)
     
  20. oceanworld

    oceanworld Registered User

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    Book/Movies

    Good question, when it comes to a book I'll try and finish it, but for a movie, if I am watching it in the movie theater I'll stay and finish it, but if it is on DVD I I'll stop it after sometime passes.