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neetsiepie

Bad books and movies

neetsiepie
10 years ago

I am kicking myself for wasting time reading an absolutely awful book. I read at least one book per week, sometimes more, and I have had pretty good luck finding books I enjoy reading. However, this last one...sigh. Wretched. And I read the WHOLE FREAKING THING.

So, when you're reading a book and realize you just can't stand it, how far do you go before quitting? Or do you do like I did and read it through?

What about a crummy movie? Do you walk out early if it's the pits, or suffer through it hoping it'll get better? (I'm in the 2nd camp for the most part!! I'm a sucker!) I have been known to turn off a DVD (Royal Tennenbaums was one we turned off within minutes), but I haven't walked out of a theater.

Comments (45)

  • mitchdesj
    10 years ago

    I've walked out of theaters often, specially if it's in a mall and I know I can entertain myself until DH is finished with the movie; Sherlock Holmes was one of those movies, more recently , Inception.

    As for books, I force myself to go further even if the beginning doesn't grip me,
    then abandon it if I can't bear it. Recently, I left Reliable Wife for a while, I was half way through and couldn't see where the author was going, but
    I did finish it and I was glad I did. Other books like Julie and Julia I'll just abandon when I realize I don't give a fig how it ends.

    btw, I loved the Tannenbaums, go figure.

  • DLM2000-GW
    10 years ago

    pesky I felt the same way about Tannenbaums - could not get engaged in it at all and didn't finish it. Also, Life Aquatic, another one with high praise - it just never clicked with me and I shut it off. I have no problem not finishing a movie at home but can't remember walking out of a movie at a theater, although my DH walked out of Crouching Tiger.

    Books are easy for me to abandon and I usually have a 50 page rule. If I'm not engaged by then, I don't waste my time. Once in a while I'll keep going because of a friend's review but not always. The Red Tent comes to mind - all my friends loved it and it left me cold.

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  • runninginplace
    10 years ago

    I finally have given myself permission to quit reading a book if I am not engaged--I use dlm's model. If I'm not into it after 50 pages or so, it's history.

    Except I did just plow through Freedom, the Jonathan Franzen tome that is supposed to be the greatest literary achievement since books were invented, according to the NYT and other eastern literary establishment mavens. Meh. What a waste of the time it took me to plow through 750 pages of basically nothing about an extremely unpleasant set of characters with no redeeming or intrinsic value. That was for my book club, otherwise I would have jettisoned it PDQ.

    As for movies, I've only left a few in the theater. I don't think I made it through Howard the Duck, and there was one with Roseanne Barr that was unwatchable. However those came out back in the days when I used to see movies voraciously. Nowadays, I tend to only go to movies that I'm very interested in seeing so the chance of hitting a stinker is almost nil. I don't watch movies on tv so that never comes up.

  • Oakley
    10 years ago

    Oh, "Julie and Julia" was one I stopped watching after 30 minutes. I kept hearing how good it was, but honestly, it bored me to death!

    This is a good one. Back when Dirty Dancing came out, I saw it on video, and I turned it off after 30 min. also. Then gave it another try and boy was it good!

  • pammyfay
    10 years ago

    There are so many book titles on my "wanna read!" list that sometimes I don't even make myself get to 50 pgs. I just put one book in the library donations pile; I hadn't gotten to pg 25 even, but I just didn't like the writing style and it felt like I was being forced to read it. BUT: I frequently check out the Reader's Paradise book forum over here on Garden Web, and sometimes people will talk about books that you've only partially read, and their reviews may persuade someone to give a book another shot. So I keep an open mind and consider it again in the future (but I don't buy books anymore, I go to the library, so no money ventured or wasted!).

    One of the "not for me yet" books is "The Book Thief." Gets good reviews on Reader's Paradise, but maybe I'm just not in the right mind-set yet.

    I don't think I've ever walked out of a movie. Ticket prices are getting so high that I want to stay until the end--maybe the "bad" movie will make a turnaround? Also, you can't really share your opinion that the movie is bad, I think, unless you watch the whole thing.

    (RunningInPlace: What possessed you to see a movie with Roseanne Barr in the first place?)

  • jennifer_in_kansas
    10 years ago

    Very timely

    I've always read my books all the way through until a few weeks ago. Tragedy In Tin Can Holler had good reviews on Amazon so I thought I'd try it. It was the worst writing ever! I forced myself to make it at least halfway in hopes it would get better. Never did.

    On the other hand, I had trouble getting into Three Cups of Tea. The overly descriptive paragraphs about K2 just turned me off. Several friends recommended the book so I pushed through those chapters and am so happy I did. Such an inspiring story.

    As for movies, never walked out of one. Like RunningInPlace, I only see movies I'm very interested in and have already had good reviews. Although I was tricked by the 3-star TV rating of Punch Drunk Love last week. DH and I tortured ourselves by watching the whole thing. And we were at home - what were we thinking??

    pammyfay - that's the the tip about the Reader's Paradise forum.

    Jennifer

  • busybee3
    10 years ago

    pammyfay, you've got to give 'the book thief' a try! i really enjoyed it...very well written. even my then 15year old son liked it! got to admit tho, there were mixed feelings about it in my bookclub...the majority liked it tho.

    i dislike many movies geared towards teenaged boys, the worst probably being, "epic movie". wanted to walk out on that one, but stayed with my family...

  • terezosa / terriks
    10 years ago

    I've heard Avatar described as the best looking bad movie ever, and I'd have to agree.

  • awm03
    10 years ago

    Sometimes I'll stick with a bad book, just to analyze what it is that makes the book bad. Makes you appreciate good writing all the better.

    We only watch movies at home. If a movie is awful, then my husband or sons start a running commentary that is hilarious. They are all fast wits, and the oldest has a bit of the autism spectrum thing too, so he makes observations & alternative dialogue that just leave us howling with laughter. So some of my favorite movies have been real stinkers!

  • lynninnewmexico
    10 years ago

    When it comes to going to the movies, I tend to be very frugal and practical. I think that movie tickets are too expensive these days and try to go only for the few that I know (hope) will be so much better on the big screen. I hate wasting good money on (IMO) bad or boring films. The last one was "Inception". My DH, DS & DD liked it; I wanted nothing more than to leave and do *anything* but sit there, but was stuck in the middle of a long row of seats. Most of the time, though, if DH wants to stay, I'll get a latte at the theater's coffee shop and wait there for him.
    With DVDs at home (my preferred way to watch movies), I'll read while DH watches it. If I'm really disliking it, I'll go read in bed.
    With books, I use the 50 Page Rule. My free time is too valuable, to me, to waste on a lousy or boring read.
    I've traded in a lot of those books at my favorite used book store over the years.
    Lynn

  • natal
    10 years ago

    Oh, "Julie and Julia" was one I stopped watching after 30 minutes. I kept hearing how good it was, but honestly, it bored me to death!

    Meryl Streep and Stanley Tucci were excellent in that! Lots of laughs! Hard to imagine being bored.

  • CaroleOH
    10 years ago

    I had the same feeling reading "The Reliable Wife". But it turned out to be very good, lots of twists!

    The one book I really just couldn't get into was "The Help". Everyone is raving about this book, and while the underlying story about the ways of life in the south between whites and blacks in the 50-60's was something that should be told, the overall story and characters were so boring, I just stopped reading it, and I rarely if ever don't finish a book.

  • DLM2000-GW
    10 years ago

    I can't imagine not liking either The Book Thief or The Help! But that's why there's chocolate and vanilla - we all get to choose our entertainment!

  • mahatmacat1
    10 years ago

    Ugh, Lynn, my DH and I agree with you on Inception! It made me depressed, actually, to see that something so derivative and FLAT (the dialogue sounded like it was someone's undergrad project) was raved about like it's the essence of Art...man. CLICHE'd and pathetic. I can't believe the talent that was wasted on this overproduced, pretentious, hollow pile of video game visual assault. I could just imagine my drama school professors gagging on the sophomoric (freshmanic?) dialogue that arrogated to itself so much Significance.

    What does it say about art or society today that this film can get such adoring reviews? That's the truly sad part. At least with Avatar there was some larger ethical (albeit derivative) implication...in this there's nothing. No Thing. I'm glad we saw it second-run and only paid $3/ticket for it, but it wasted a perfectly good date night!

  • lowspark
    10 years ago

    I don't think I've ever walked out of a movie in the theatre that I paid for. Something about the fact that I forked over those dollars makes me sit it out. I haven't been to the movie theatre in years now, though. I have a large screen with surround sound and would much rather watch movies for free (from the library) in the comfort of my own home.

    So, now that they ARE free, I have no qualms about turning them off if they are bad. Same with books. I get them at the library, mostly audio books, and if I'm not interested after the first disc, I'm done.

    This is a good one. Back when Dirty Dancing came out, I saw it on video, and I turned it off after 30 min. also. Then gave it another try and boy was it good!
    I had a similar experience with "The Usual Suspects". I think I turned it off after maybe 20 minutes the first time. Later, many people had raved to me about how good it was so I gave it another chance. Turned out to be one of my favorite movies ever. Who knows what I was thinking or what my mood was the first time around!

  • texanjana
    10 years ago

    I read quite a bit, so if a book doesn't grab me pretty quickly, I don't waste my time.

    The only movie I walked out of (and lots of people walked out) was that first Borat movie. We got our money refunded!

  • doonie
    10 years ago

    texanjana, that is so funny! That first Borat movie was what I thought of too! I did sit through it though since I had paid money for it, but you were far wiser.

    I still feel the need to slog through a book that I have started. I do try and carefully cull what I will read through Amazon ratings and that has helped considerably. I carry a very dry copy of "The Medieval Village" by GG Couton published in 1925 in my car. I think I started it over 2 years ago. I pick it up and read it when I have forgotten whatever I am currently reading. (I can not go anywhere with out a book!)

  • Bumblebeez SC Zone 7
    10 years ago

    dlm, I didn't like The Book Thief or The Help. But I loved Julia and Julia. Book and movie.
    I must be a pistachio person, neither chocolate or vanilla.

  • leahcate
    10 years ago

    Recent Movies: Just watched DVD Sex and City 2 with DD (30's). We agreed, the Worst Screenplay EVER! Stupid movie and SJP looked , well, simply witchy-awful. And, no, the over-the-top outfits did not help enough!
    Eat Pray love: Sooo boring, almost walked out.
    Loved Julie and Julia, but then it's Meryl Streep, people!
    Books:
    The Book Thief: indifferent start for me, but ended up loving that little girl!
    The Help: easy and very enjoyable.
    I could go on and on about books, but will keep it to one recommendation that always comes to mind: " And the Ladies of the Club."

  • mahatmacat1
    10 years ago

    That's funny, I guess I'm a brown sugar ice cream kinda girl...I actually liked Borat. Not all of it, but a lot. The episode with the overweight prostitute was actually endearing...I have thought of the goodnight moment on her porch and thought that he definitely took the high road with her because she was just such an authentically sweet person. A lot of the rest of those folks deserved the 'exposure'.

  • DLM2000-GW
    10 years ago

    Well it's as I always say..... that's why there's chocolate and vanilla.....AND pistachio!

  • haley_comet
    10 years ago

    I always feel that life is too short to waste time reading a bad book and there are too many good books waiting in the wind to be read.

    However, I REALLY try to give a book a decent chance a good 100-150 pages

    I appreciate hearing of the book forum on GW...will have to check that out.

    Right now I am reading Gone with the Wind...boy I hope this one grabs me pretty soon...so far..pretty blah.

    Haley

  • Sheeisback_GW
    10 years ago

    American Psyco. I saw it at the movies when it came out. It was a group date. My friend was on the blind date and I have no idea why that movie was picked once we got there. I donâÂÂt even like movies like that. Only remember bits and pieces but I do remember putting it on the terrible movie list.

    I liked Jack Black in School of Rock and Shallow Hal but canâÂÂt seem to get into the rest of his movies. Nacho Libre hits up there on my bad movie list.

    Some of the ones listed above I can't even bring myself to watch. (Borat)

    And IâÂÂm sorry, but why did they make Home Alone movies after the first two and Macaulay Culkin grew up?? I absolutely love 1 & 2. I think just because they came out when I was a kid and it reminds me of that time. IâÂÂm due to dig them out soon. I believe I tried to watch Home Alone 3 but didnâÂÂt like it.

  • work_in_progress_08
    10 years ago

    Bad books (for me), I give max 50 pgs then I put them in a pile to donate, pass along or I might hold on to them and try again when my mood of the moment or whatever may change. After I've tried twice, they go, ex: Diana Gabaladon (sp?) too long and tedious for me. My MIL just loves them, so an example of chocolate, vanilla and pistachio.

    Bad movies: I've never walked out of a movie for many of the reasons set forth above by others. Just feel it is too cost-prohibitive to do so, and therefore, I've sat through some doozies. Most recently, was "Dinner with Schmucks. Sadly, it was my pick, but the best scene of the movie was at the very end and the trailers made the movie look quite funny. Ugh, that was a long nite!

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVED Dirty Dancing!

  • folkvictorian
    10 years ago

    50 pages? 100 pages? That's like realizing there's a rock in your shoe and it's hurting your foot but you're going to walk another half mile to see if it gets better.

    I've given up on lots of books and hardly ever watch movies in the theater. One type of book that is IMMEDIATELY abandoned is anything with a stereotypically resentful teenager in it. I haven't seen Dirty Dancing, may have to try it one of these years!

  • gail618
    10 years ago

    work in progress - you should check out the original version of that movie. It's French, "The Dinner Game". It is a riot. I can never understand why great foreign films are always remade in America when the originals are so good. Another one was "Death at a Funeral". The original is British - Chris Rock recently did an American version. I saw neither remake because I don't think they could make them any better.

  • mahatmacat1
    10 years ago

    Ugh, you couldn't have paid me to see American Psycho.

  • lynninnewmexico
    10 years ago

    I'm really enjoying this thread and should try and locate the Books Forum here on GW.

    The worst movie that I've ever seen, and one I regret to this day watching is "Seven". The acting was good but the premise haunts my nightmares still, all these many years later. I don't like violent or gruesome movies, and I thought "Seven" was definitely both.

    Leahcate: I've had "And the Ladies of the Club" on my bookshelf for over a year now to read, and can't seem to get past the first chapter. Are you saying it's a good book or a bad book?
    Lynn

  • leahcate
    10 years ago

    Hi Lynne:>)
    "and the Ladies...." is wonderful and memorable. It's been quite awhile, but recent reviews from friends agreed with my initial take. It is long, but filled with a great feeling/picture of the times ( pre- Civil war till...): politics, history, the camaraderie of the women and their lives over decades. It has a classic feel, ala Little Women. Enjoy it during the long winter by your pretty fireplace.

  • lowspark
    10 years ago

    I'll second gail618's recommendation for The Dinner Game (French title actually translates to "Dinner for Idiots"). HI-Larious. I haven't (and won't) see the US remake. The French one was so funny I watched it three times in the span of a week.

  • lynninnewmexico
    10 years ago

    Thanks, Leah! I almost took it with me to the used bookstore today with a few others, but decided to wait and see what you had to say. I'm glad that I did! Now that I have your recommendation, I'll definitely read it.
    Lynn

  • runninginplace
    10 years ago

    "I don't like violent or gruesome movies, and I thought "Seven" was definitely both."

    Same here. I never see those types of movies. And, personally, any movies that deal with children being hurt, abused, kidnapped or killed are not in my opinion entertainment.

    Then again my list of film genres I don't like is far longer than the ones I do. Not into violence, action crash-n-bash, comic book characters, most sequels, or rom com. I do like a lot of indie and foreign character-driven films. However my recessive movie gene is that I seem to have the sense of humor of a 15 year old teenage boy. LOVED Borat, Bad Santa, The Hangover...that genre gets me every time.

  • leahcate
    10 years ago

    Enjoy, Lynn, and let me know if you like it as much as I.
    Only because it's another that, invariably, most everyone loves, I'll risk another: "Cold Sassy Tree".
    Ditto runninginplace on the gore or heart attack inducing thrillers like 24...especially just before bedtime! Borat on t.v. was funnier than the movie, big time.

  • demeron
    10 years ago

    Bitterly hated Neil Gaiman's "American Gods" which won the 2002 Hugo, for some inexplicable reason.

    Didn't like Reliable Wife much.

    Loved Inception. Go figure :)

    Mostly the things I hate fall in the "American Gods" category-- where really violent, horrible images, often involving children, are used to make things more interesting. If you're going to use graphic violence, I think you've set the bar higher to justify the use of it and say something sad or true or transformative. Not just for the shock value. So that rules out a certain number of books and movies for me.

  • newdawn1895
    10 years ago

    I ordered My Life so far by Jane Fonda, I gave it 29 pages and then put it back in the bookcase, BORING.

    Today I went to see For Colored Girls, I gave it 20 minutes and then walked out. And walked into Due Date, I thought it was good. It's more than a comedy it had very serious moments, liked it.

    ....Jane

  • IdaClaire
    10 years ago

    I've gotten to the point of allowing myself to put down a book (and never pick it up again) if it just doesn't resonate with me fairly early on. There's not a set number of pages I'll read before making the call - I just kind of know it when I've reached the "not gonna work" point. I'll admit I feel slightly guilty when I stop reading a book, but am understanding (and trying to accept) the fact that it ain't all gonna gel.

    I can't think of a specific example right now, but I can say that I don't have a lot of patience for smarmy romance novels. I guess the same would hold true for rom-com, chick flicks as well. Most of them bore me senseless. (Katherine Heigl makes me want to run screaming from the room.) I prefer offbeat, quirky flicks. I adored Borat - can't remember laughing so hard at a movie in a long time, so maybe that says something about my crassness. ;-) The one movie I remember feeling physically ill while watching was Videodrome with James Woods. It came out in the early 80s and was one of the first movies I'd seen with gory special effects, and I just recall how it literally turned my stomach.

  • golddust
    10 years ago

    Another Borat fan checking in... I laughed until I cried.

  • mahatmacat1
    10 years ago

    Doesn't surprise me, golddust :)

  • doonie
    10 years ago

    I do have to admit some parts of Borat are outrageously funny. But...that wrestling scene with the hairy men was entirely too too much for my genteel eyes to take. Especially when they suddenly burst into action for what seemed like an eternity onto a 20 foot tall movie screen!

  • forhgtv
    10 years ago

    I'm glad to see that others give up on books and movies sometimes. I used to force myself to read a book to the end, but not any longer. I love the Amazon feature that allows you to download samples of books. I'm willing to try a sample by an author I haven't read when I wouldn't be willing to buy the book just based on reviews or the description.

    As for movies, I've walked out of two, Ishtar and Face/Off. My friend and I left Ishtar because it was so boring that we couldn't stand it. I waited in the lobby for my friends while they watched Face/Off because it was too scary for me. These days, I don't go to the theatre. It's so much easier and cheaper to rent and watch at home.

  • runninginplace
    10 years ago

    Doonie, we're perfect examples of the 'different strokes' philosophy. The wrestling scene in Borat had me laughing so hard I almost couldn't breathe! My daughter was mortified. Of course the same thing happened with the scene in Bad Santa in which he mutters 'I pissed myself'. I won't go into the details but suffice to say I almost did too, laughing at it!

    Auntjen, there are so many, many reasons I admire you, and now you've confirmed that your sense of humor is yet another one ;).

    Ann

  • lukesmom
    10 years ago

    About And The Ladies of the Club...is that the book that is about 1500 pages long that came out at least 25 years ago? If so, I read it way back then. I remember having to wait a long time to get it at the library. The best I remember, I liked it, but that was a long time ago.

  • Shannon01
    10 years ago

    I thought the chemo had sucessfully removed the image of Borat from my mind. Nope! I must say that I am pretty open to things but both me and my dh both thought that was just sooooooo disturbing.

    My 13yr dd has tried several times to read Pride and Prejudice. She isn't giving up just taking a break and reading other things for now. She wants to read it and does like it, just gets distracted too easily. I see it move around her room, it is funny.

    Both my kids love, love to read. They both can pick up a good book and read it nonstop, only taking a break to eat. I wish I had that ability. Reading is just not in me. I am reading The Lovely Bones. Way more insight into the characters than the movie revealed. I am loving it.

  • teacats
    10 years ago

    Best movie recently -- "Red" -- fantastic! funny! and action too! Great stars! :)

    WORST movie was last night -- "Skyline" -- just an "epic fail" movie. Awful -- but did sit through it. We were with another couple .... :(

    And I LOVE sci fi movies -- even the classic bad ones! :)

  • IdaClaire
    10 years ago

    Ann, that was very sweet of you to say! I return the compliment to you as well! :-)

    My sense of humor runs towards the dark and twisted side quite often, and even though I'm approaching 50 and you'd have thought I'd have outgrown this about 45 years ago, I will admit that I still find certain aspects of "potty humor" to be absolutely hilarious.
    ;-D