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  1. #1
    Registered User Grokl's Avatar
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    What do you when you read/watch a bad book/movie?

    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. #2
    http://rob-sanders.blogsp Rob Sanders's Avatar
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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. #3
    Gloriam Imperator kged's Avatar
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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. #4
    Registered User Loerwyn's Avatar
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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. #5
    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. #6
    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. #7
    Goblin Princess Teresa Edgerton's Avatar
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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. #8
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    I don't finish them.

    I don't have time to waste.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Sanders View Post
    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. : )
    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. #10
    SF Author SR_Seldon's Avatar
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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. #11
    Artist, Cartoonist & Dude Action Avenue's Avatar
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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. #12
    A chuffing heffalump Chuffalump's Avatar
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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.

  13. #13
    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. #14
    @PeteMC666 PeteMC's Avatar
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    My time is valuable to me - anything that's not grabbed me after half an hour gets chucked.

  15. #15
    We Read for Light Window Bar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Aware Eagle View Post
    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.
    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.

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