Rants of Whine & Reason #2

Being an avid movie-watcher can, at times, be bittersweet. The “sweet” in a lot of movies comes from the enjoyable surprises, the perfect casting, the great special effects, the appropriate musical score, and so on and so on. The “bitter” in a lot of movies comes from the mundane repetition, the sequels upon sequels, the bad acting, the horrid predictability, etc. This segment is my focus (complain-fest) on the latter.

Today, I present to you the second edition of: Rants of Whine & Reason

This segment that will pop up from time to time is where I will gripe and whine about something movie-related which bothers me and then give the reason(s) as to why. Ha! It’s going to be a lot of fun! 😀 (to see the first Rant click HERE)

You are encouraged to comment in support of or in defiance of my views and reasons. My hope is that this segment turns into a discussion thread each time one posts. This is the segment to let out your frustrations about the topic at hand or something else entirely that bothers you. Complain about the current trend of sequels and remakes, or Johnny Depp’s recent box office successes, or even how in the world Kristen Stewart or Channing Tatum still seem to somehow get work in Hollywood! ha.


I’m sure that some of you will disagree with the things I choose to rant about. And that’s okay. As you agree or disagree, chime in with your thoughts and join in the conversation in the comment section. But, beware. Disagreeing with me runs the risk of me having you put into a silent movie like THE ARTIST and never heard from again!” 😉

Today’s Rant of Whine & Reason: BAD MOVIE PARENTS

They’re not even WATCHING anything!!

Whine– I am super frustrated with Bad Movie Parents. Definition: Parents who slough off the responsibility of showing their children the beauty of true cinematic classics and treasures!!

I love classic movies! As a matter of fact, growing up, that was the majority of what we watched in my home. Classic films from the 30’s, 40’s, 50’s, and so on. Great movie stars graced my television. From Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis, to Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, to Elizabeth Taylor, Danny Kaye, Jimmy Stewart, Spencer Tracy, and more. Granted, that wasn’t all that I watched, I also enjoyed several movies from my childhood (80’s and 90’s) that were highly influential upon my playtime at the park with friends (running around as a hungry T-Rex chasing my friends or running down bad guys as Batman)!

I thank my parents for showing me classic films as I was growing up! Such good parents! the BEST parents! (Can you tell that I am hoping for a good birthday present in a few months?!) 😀

Reason(s)– The reason for my whine: The kids growing up nowadays seem to know NOTHING about classics and run around thinking that Star Wars Episode I is not only the FIRST one ever made, but also the BEST?!!

That’s about as wrong as Two Left Feet!!

I was speaking with a fellow friend and movie reviewer this past week who recently took on a position at his church to work with the youth. He expressed to me his utter shock and dismay in realizing that many of them knew nothing of a classic movie series of the 21st century: The Lord of the Rings trilogy!


Of course, the teenagers of today were barely out of the womb when The Lord of the Rings graced movie theaters! But, that is NO EXCUSE! I wish I could find some of the parents and ask them: WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU??!! haha

I am okay with you showing your children whatever amount of junk you want to cram into their brains! I don’t care about what bad movies you have them watching (namely, Twilight, Pirates of the Caribbean 2 or after, Step Up #754, SuckerPunch, Alvin and the Chipmunks 8, Adam Sandler’s recent horrible theatrical offerings, or almost ANYTHING with Kristen Stewart in it)! Shoot! Watch those all you want to, if you must! (Waste your time, I don’t care.)

BUT, what I am NOT okay with, is not providing your children with a balanced education and understanding of what GOOD movies should be like!

It becomes even more apparent to me that, while it is true that “future classics” are reaching theaters today (see Inception, The Artist, Midnight in Paris, Toy Story 3, and a marathon full of proposed Future Classics HERE), there are so many from years past that are now being ignored in living rooms of the world.

Let’s take a look at a few by decade:


  • The Adventures of Robin Hood (starring Errol Flynn…Today’s teens ask “Starring WHO??”)
  • All Quiet on the Western Front (2 Academy Awards for Best Director and Outstanding Production)
  • Babes in Toyland (starring Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy)
  • The Invisible Man (starring Claude Rains)
  • Imitation of Life (starring Claudette Colbert, nominated for 3 Academy Awards)
  • Captains Courageous (starring Spencer Tracy [Who won Academy Award for Best Actor.], Mickey Rooney, and Lionel Barrymore)


  • Arsenic and Old Lace (starring Cary Grant in a role initially offered to Ronald Reagan)
  • It’s A Wonderful Life (the beloved Christmas classic that bombed in the theaters)
  • Citizen Kane (Starring Orson Welles and affectionately referred to as the #1 movie of ALL TIME. The first film to be nominated for more than 6 Academy Awards [9 nominations])
  • Yankee Doodle Dandy(A musical featuring James Cagney as the Father of Broadway, George M. Cohan.)
  • Mrs. Miniver (6 Academy Awards starring the gorgeous Greer Garson)
  • Sergeant York (a biographical film about the most decorated American soldier of WWI starring Gary Cooper)


  • Ben Hur (Winner of 11 Academy Awards, starring Charlton Heston)
  • The Sound of Music (The hills are alive!!)
  • My Man Godfrey (A delightful classic starring the famous William Powell)
  • A Streetcar Named Desire (3 Academy Awards starring Marlon Brando and Viven Leigh)
  • Winchester 73 (An American western classic starring James Stewart)
  • Singin’ in the Rain (The classic starring Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds)


  • Mary Poppins (Giving Julie Andrews an Academy Award)
  • The Guns of Navarone (starring Gregory Peck)
  • Doctor Zhivago (the 8th highest grossing film of all time in the U.S. [accounting for inflation])
  • Lawrence of Arabia (A biopic based on the life of T.E. Lawrence…again, youngsters ask “WHO?”)
  • The Magnificent Seven (Starring Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson…some GOOD stuff)


  • Tora! Tora! Tora! (Pearl Harbor before Michael Bay)
  • Superman (Man of Steel will NOT be the 1st Superman movie, kids!)
  • Moonraker (the highest grossing Bond film until 95’s Goldeneye)
  • Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (Some people believe that Ep I-III are the first and are amazing. SMH)
  • The Godfather (3hr Mafia boss movie starring Marlon Brando)
  • Close Encounters of the Third Kind (Better than MIB)


  • Batman (Michael Keaton came way before Christian Bale)
  • E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (A classic alien movie that made bikes with handlebar baskets popular)
  • Raiders of the Lost Ark (No Shia LaBeouf)
  • Ghostbusters (Forget that Ghosthunters nonsense on SyFy)
  • Back to the Future (Set the bar for Time Travel movies)


  • Jurassic Park (THE coolest dinosaur movie you will EVER see. Winner of 3 Academy Awards.)
  • Forrest Gump (Kids don’t yell “Run, Forrest, Run” anymore these days…)
  • Terminator 2: Judgment Day (Arnold at, possibly, his best.)
  • The Lion King (One of Disney’s all-time greatest. Winner of 2 Academy Awards)
  • Independence Day (Aliens blew up the White House? Won’t read about THAT in History class)

And then we get to the 2000s that still remain somewhat of a mystery to kids (and adults I might add) these days!

What a sad state of affairs!

I blame parents!

SHAME on you!!!

And, if you are an adult/parent and YOU don’t know about some of these movies, then I blame YOUR parents! LOL.

It’s time for the people to get plugged in to great movies and not fall victim to “just what’s in theaters,” because, I’ll tell you, you’re missing out. And future generations will soon know nothing of great movies.

Listen to what I’m telling you. I’m not saying that great movies don’t come out nowadays. But what I am saying is that our generations are becoming more and more ignorant of the legacy in films left for them to enjoy and are being pushed to accept mind-numbing sequels, prequels, remakes, and reboots that oftentimes come nowhere close to improving upon the classics of old.

Do you and your kids a favor. Turn on Turner Classic Movies channel or get all over Netflix and start having family movie night with some of these classics of old! You will find a greater admiration and respect for movies of old and movies of today. I guarantee you.

And one more thing! Teach your kids about The Lord of the Rings already!


Well, that’s my Rant of Whine & Reason #2.

What are your thoughts? Do you like classic movies? Why? Leave a comment!

Thanks for reading!

T, The Focused Filmographer.

up next: “Trailer Time Thursday!”


  1. This past Halloween after trick or treating we sat down and watched Dracula with Bela Lugosi. The youngest didnt seem to care but my oldest enjoyed it.

    But I need to point something out about Star Wars. I agree that the new trilogy is crap. Jar Jar Binks is one of the worst things to come out of cinema, ever. Having an entire movie where the main conflict is based off of trade embargos is stupid. But the catch is, this trilogy wasn’t made for us, the die hard Star Wars fans.

    The new trilogy was made for our kids. And with that in mind, we have no right to sit and complain about how the movies turned out because they weren’t meant for us. It is a new trilogy for a new generation.

    I started my oldest back when he was the just “the boy” on Return of the Jedi. The same movie that got me hooked as a kid. He watched the Holy Trilogy almost to the point of wearing a hole in the DVDs. Then the new movies came out. He has all but forgot what the Holy Trilogy was about.

    He doesn’t care about any of it because it’s not his trilogy. It’s his old man’s trilogy and before the fancy re-releases thats all he saw. An old movie.

    Besides that, I try to get my kids to watch a decent old flick whenever I can find em. They’ve seen the original Michael Keaton Batman. They just watched ET last weekend.

    Also, Superman 2 was a far superior film than the first Superman. KNEEL BEFORE ZOD!!!


    • You brought up a great point that I hadn’t thought about in reference to Star Wars prequels. I was actually talking about your point at work today as a result. Thanks for bringing it up.

      I like the fact that you at least share some of the classics with your kids! See? that’s what I’m talking about! ha.

      Kneel Before Zod! ha. I wonder if they will have Michael Shannon say that in Man of Steel.

      Thanks for the comment on my rant!


  2. Hi, Terrence and company:

    Wow! Did you steal some of my coffee this morning?!!!

    Superb rant!

    My parents were born in the early 20th century and weren’t Bad Movie Parents. They just let me have a little too much access to B&W TV and theaters while I was growing up. I had the privilege of seeing most what I wanted to. And all that time paid off handsomely.

    I shy away from what passes as ‘Comedy’ today. Because the situations aren’t believable and what draws laughs has degraded considerably and usually insults my intelligence.

    Though it was lots of fun grounding my young nice in many classics from the 1940s on.
    Still can’t believe how hard she laughed during ‘Arsenic & Old Lace’ and ‘Bringing Up Baby’.
    Or how enthralled she was with ‘Lawrence of Arabia’, ‘Zulu’ and ‘The Thing From Another World’.

    If Hollywood wants to make serious money. They should go back and study, Cukor, Wilder,
    Ford, Welles, Lubitsch, Hawks and Sturges. And learn that their audience is smarter they they think.

    Securing My Soap Box.
    Carry on.


    • haha! Yeah, I snuck some of your coffee. Guilty! LOL.

      It would appear that both you and I are of very similar mindset and taste! I just find it sad that so many classics are being forgotten about and not passed on. It’s like our kids are doomed to buy sweet potato pie from Wal-Mart instead of using the superb recipe that was passed down by great grandma, but then forgotten about!



      • Ahahaha, Jack’s comment made me laugh. That was my reaction as well, did you wake up on the wrong side of the bed or something, ahah. But kidding aside, I agree w/ your rant. I know I’m guilty of not seeing enough classic movies myself, even though my mom introduced me to quite a few of them. I know there are a bunch on this list that I still need to see. But at least I have seen AND loved the Lord of the Rings 😀


      • 😀

        this post has been getting a mixed reaction. Which is good! I’m glad to read some fantastic insights from differing perspectives!

        There are just so many great gems that I wish more people knew about. The list I made was just a snapshot of hundreds upon hundreds of them BUT at least you HAVE seen Lord of the Rings! 😀


  3. Eh…Im not on board with this rant. I personally don’t like old movies, or at least have no desire to see anything before the 80’s. That is not to say I haven’t watched a few older one’s, but I definitely don’t go out of my way.

    Ur rant sounds like how our parents felt about their music compared to the music we grew up with. It is the sound of our time, and its hard to tell a young person not to enjoy what it is.

    I can’t say I would push old movies on my kid. So feel free to label me as a bad parent now. I would never keep them from enjoying the art of their time just because I felt that it was better years ago…IJS


    • 🙂

      Ah, Tajuana! You made me smile reading your comment. You make me sound almost like an old fogey! LOL.

      As per your request, I now label you: Bad Movie Parent! 😀

      jk. I think you may have misunderstand my point just a tad though. I’m not endorsing keeping anyone from enjoying “the art of their time.” As a matter of fact, I encourage the exact opposite. I acknowledge that future classics are in theaters right now.

      I just wish that more would be encouraged to see art of times past as well and add to their repetoire of classics!


  4. I actually am ashamed to admit how many of those classics I havent seen, T. 😦 My parents had good taste in the (then) current movies they weaned me on though.

    And I do hear what you’re saying.

    Some of your bullet points were hysterical!

    Close Encounters of the Third Kind (Better than MIB)

    Raiders of the Lost Ark (No Shia LaBeouf)

    Independence Day (Aliens blew up the White House? Won’t read about THAT in History class)

    LOL. Nice post man! Enjoyed it…


  5. I hear what you’re saying, but I think it’s a lost cause while the kids are, in fact, kids. When a kid is in their early teens, they’re just then starting to look at movies that aren’t animated. Dropping something like All Quiet on the Western Front on them, as good as that movie is, is just going to turn them off from films. A lot of what makes the classics classic is dependent on having experience and perspective on life that the kids don’t have yet because they simply haven’t lived it yet. The time for most of the classics is when you’re an adult.

    As for the more light-hearted stuff… yeah, Robin Hood is a good call. But it’s futile to think that they’re going to latch onto the vintage adventure movies over the current ones. Even if they like Star Wars, that’s not going to make them think The Phantom Menace was bad — and really, we have to ask ourselves how much of our own distaste for that movie is because it was made for kids more than for adults. Well, the kids are kids. They don’t have a problem with it, and it’s kind of hard to argue they should. For some of the other stuff, well, kids are notoriously indiscriminate; the ones that are old enough to remember Spider-Man and X-Men still think Spider-Man 3 and X-Men 3 were great movies, and I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve heard my nephew declare a movie “totally awesome” before it even came out. The ability to say that a movie isn’t good doesn’t really develop until adulthood, I think.


    • Thanks for the fun insight, but I’m not certain that the age of kids would still keep them from enjoying some of the “classics” as it were. A lot of those that I mentioned I, myself, was watching from an early age. (granted, not All Quiet on the Western Front…but Robin Hood? Oh yeah!)

      But I do see where you’re coming from as well. And so many movies nowadays are much more alluring to young eyes than Black and White films. But an appreciation for them can still be cultivated. ha.

      I wouldn’t say it’s a lost cause, but perhaps a cause that is not necessarily for everyone (but could be for more!…by FAR)


    • Completely and utterly with you Morgan. While I’m all for trying to introduce your kids to these classics at a young age, it’s hard to keep a kid’s attention for more than 30 seconds these days and not sure those earlier films are quite up to the challenge!

      I for one didn’t really appreciate film until I was probably about 11 or 12 years old. That’s when I really started consuming as many films as I could. But even then, I was learning about films for myself and from friends and peers. Which kind of made is more exciting.

      For one thing, when you’re a teenager are you really going to want to do/watch something your mum or your dad wants you to watch? No. It’s your teenage side that’s going to want to make you rebel against that. It’s like the law, or something!

      I myself haven’t seen a lot of those films past the 70s. It’s something I’m making up for now because I have a drive to want to see these. And now, I think I’ll probably appreciate them more.

      I’m all for parents educating their children when it comes to film, but sometimes… parents don’t know best and it’s more fun for kids to learn things on their own.


      • I agree with your points, Jaina. There is something to be said for the appreciation one can have for films they may have missed from years past. I experience that every week for sure! You’re right!

        And yes, most teens do like to rebel against what they feel forced into.

        But I think we can still introduce some things to are kids in the mix!and that’s what I hope happens. Let kids enjoy some of the things we did too. 😀

        Sometimes parents don’t know best. There’s no set handbook for parenting and my intent is not to slam parents and the hard work that parenting entails. Mad respect. My intent is to encourage sharing a few things to them to enjoy that they otherwise may not be aware of.

        I have enjoyed reading all of the responses to this rant and wasn’t expecting nearly the types nor the amount that have been made. Thanks for chiming in!


      • It’s an excellent topic, T! It’s funny, I do wonder where I got my film taste from. Parents or learning by trial and error?


  6. I love this rant, T. I agree whole heartedly. The present could learn a hell of a lot from the past. I am proud to say there are only a few you listed that I have not seen. I love the classics! I am a little sad that there weren’t a few of the Dukes movies listed 😛 At my kids age I just fill them with the classic cartoons of old for now. That’s better than 90% of the crap that represents cartoons today.They can’t truly appreciate a lot of the classics yet but believe me they will!!! Great post as always.


    • Dude! Right on! Yes, I’m sorry that The Duke isn’t well represented here, but he’s no less important. Love his films for sure! Grew up with The Duke’s movies too.

      and you are SO right about today’s cartoons…horrible in comparison.

      Thanks for commenting and good job on knowing most of these classics.


  7. Yeah, just try to get a kid to sit through a classic black & white, or have the patience to watch a film that doesn’t employ quick MTV-style editing. It’s impossible. Being a huge movie buff and an avid reader, it pains me to see sequel after sequel, and a lack of originality in Hollywood. But I also understand that the problem is exacerbated by movie theaters that don’t give “art” or “indie” films a chance.


    • I’d have to argue that it’s not impossible. i did it, my sisters did (they are 9 and 11 yrs younger than I), many other friends/families I know do it every day. They just have to realize, I guess, that there’s more than just cgi and bright colors to watch in a good movie!

      It is true that so many good films are not given the promotion they deserve and contribute to the “shunning” of style.

      i am hoping that netflix helps that to change. Thanks for commenting Herman. Welcome to TFF!


  8. Oh btw, that photo of Bilbo FREAKED me out when I saw it for the first time. I literally jumped out of my seat in the Mithril scene. But now I look at it and it’s funny! Please don’t ever put up the photo of Regan w/ the devil inside of her from Exorcist though, that is NEVER funny.


  9. My older daughter owns the complete Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers collection on DVD. Both of my kids have seen the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy. I took my younger one to see The Maltese Falcon in the theater last year at an art house. They’ve also seen Modern Times (still a favorite of the younger one) and can sing entire songs from Singin’ in the Rain by heart.

    I’m doing my part.


  10. Do you have kids T?

    As much as I agree with your rant, as a parent I see the other side of things. I am very lucky that my girls do like a variety of films, but a lot of the ones you mentioned would be too adult or lost on them. They are only young (5 and 7) and if it doesn’t feature a princess they are not interested.

    The wealth and beauty of today’s children’s films is rich enough to get children started in the journey. I am happy that my girls love watching a film, if it is Mirror Mirror or It’s a Wonderful life, I don’t mind.

    As they get older they will see more films from yester year, but apart from the big essentials it is not something I would force them to do for fear of them losing interest.

    My kids love the original Star Wars trilogy, It’s a wonderful life is christmas eve viewing, and don’t even get me started on 80s kids films like Labyrinth… They know every word to the songs from that one!!

    i think you need to let kids be kids and enjoy their time as they are soon adults with the pressures of life on them. If they need guidance in the right direction and want it, that is fine. But forcing the issue will only ever bring negative results….

    And to be fair matey, half the films you list would not be suitable for children, especially little ones. I tried jurassic Park on my two the other day. I forgot how scary it is, they lasted 10 mins before being freaked out and not sleeping…. Now that is BAD PARENTING.

    And I think BLAMING THE PARENTS is the wrong thing to say. Being a parent is a lot harder than anyone ever told you. It is full of minefields and pit holes that you have to avoid.

    Sorry matey if I sound all negative, as I am not. I am with you. It is sad that some of these classic films get over looked for an easy thrill and easy life, but you have to see it from the parents point of view. The last thing I want to do is to force feed my kids something and them then rebelling the other way.

    Still buddies?


    • 🙂 of course!

      but I’m afraid my intent of this post has been mistaken by a few readers of my rant this week. I do not think that forcing kids to watch anything has any value and works in any way. Nor is my mindset that 5, 7, 4, or 9 year olds should be watching films like All Quiet on the Western Front or Patton. Not at all. how traumatic!! ha.

      But, I do think that they can handle Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music, and The Little Mermaid.

      And some of the older ones can enjoy films such as Captain’s Courageous, Batman, Back to the Future, It’s a Wonderful Life, and Babes in Toyland.

      And even after that, The Invisible Man, perhaps even Yankee Doodle Dandy, Ben Hur, and Star Wars!

      The only thing I hope to inspire here with this post, is that parents will try to introduce these to their kids and expose them to some great classic films (age-appropriate, of course) because, I agree with you. showing young ones Jurassic Park with people getting eaten IS bad parenting.

      And parenting is indeed a hard job. True story. I’d hope the “bad parent” portion of this post would come across better as a sarcasm jab more than a conviction of guilt. 😀

      What you have done with your kids is exactly the example that I wish more parents would do: share with their children some things they enjoyed in hopes of them enjoying it too! It’s awesome that your children enjoy Labyrinth, the original Star Wars, and more. YaHOOO to that!

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts and giving me the chance to share some clarification! I hope that makes sense. 🙂

      buds to the end!


  11. My parents used to take me to the video shop every week and as a kid, all I wanted to watch was horror and blockbusters! Classics might have put me right off film for good! I still find films from before the 60’s to just not be nearly as entertaining as much of the last few decades. There’s some I like but I’ll be honest, if I did a top 100, there would probably be a maximum of 5-10 from the 60’s and earlier.

    However perhaps my parents shouldn’t have let me rot my brain with endless 80’s slasher films in my teen years and then I would have spent more time appreciating to old classics!


    • haha. I love that you watched horror! and the fact that you can still find a value in older films…no matter how few would be on your list!

      You watched a few and now know that your interest definitely lies in newer films! I don’t see an issue. But I think it’s great that you still know some.


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