Movies/Entertainment,  Quick 5/Top 10

G-S-T Quick 5 – Movies Better Enjoyed On ‘MUTE’

You know, as the old saying goes, you just “can’t please all the people all of the time”.  Well as film fans, it seems that no matter what goes into a film we all have something to gripe about.  It could be dialogue, a casting decision, the story line, music, the director and so on, but there’s bound to be one element keeping us from liking every film.  So I’ve comprised a rather personal and unique topic to post on the site.  The list below highlights the 5 films I love to look at but, as you’ll find out because of one reason or another, I am not entirely fond of the story or some other aspect…so I think they are better appreciated when viewed on ‘MUTE’.

Now to be fair, this list by no way infers these are terrible films, nor am I saying that I don’t enjoy these movies.  I’m just saying that due to something that gets at me (like a nagging that won’t quit), I don’t find them as fascinating as I ought to and I think they just work better on a purely visual level.  Artistic enjoyment – that’s about as much as I like to derive from them.

So here goes, my top five films that are Better Enjoyed on ‘MUTE’


1. Blade Runner – This has been the top of my list for years and I’ll still never fully like it the way the masses appreciate it – maybe I’m dense, weird or just don’t appreciate fine art.  Well, call me what you will, but this movie is such a waste of potential.  The premise, the characters, God, the visuals, oh and the incomparable soundtrack from none other than Vangelis…why don’t I love this film??  Well, this should have been the slickest movie ever but then what happens in the final showdown with Rutger Hauer and Harrison Ford??…well if you’ve seen it, you know and maybe all you fans are fine with it, but to me  it’s just bland and the lack luster ending just kills all the events leading up to it.

What were Hampton Fancher and David Webb Peoples thinking?  It kills me that every time I have to watch the film, knowing the end will ruin all the fun I should have with it, so I’d rather watch it on MUTE.  <Whew> That felt good to get out in the open. Although I’d like to that Hatter for getting me to reevaluate it. Ruling? I do like it now, but it’s still not one of my favorites…


2. Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow – From the moment I saw the trailer for this, I had such high hopes that would be an incredible mixture/combination of The Rocketeer and The Iron Giant which are two films I just love.  Oh, how was I let down when I saw that this movie was not all I made it out to be.  Like I mentioned above, this movie isn’t on the list because its a bad film or I don’t like it, not the case at all, it’s just something about having to listen to the dialogue between Jude Law (who generally is good actor) and Gweneth Paltrow (who was sorely miscast) and their painful post-relationship banter.

It was enough to take me out of the film, but the visuals made up for what I disliked about their chemistry. Simply put, the movie’s settings were so stunning that you could have taken any frame of the film and hang them on your wall as art. Well I have a flat screen LCD mounted on my Living Room wall, so when I watch the movie on MUTE, it’s like having moving art…I’d call that a “double bonus“.


3. The Island – I’ve written before about how drop dead gorgeous this film is.  I also really liked Ewan McGregor and most of the cast, but some sequences are just too intolerable, even in a “check your brain at the door” Michael Bay film, to keep me from calling BS! halfway through the film.  That said, I still think that Bay’s vision for the movie comes through with all the 1080p brilliance that God intended. However, there’s always a flipside with Bay, some of the over-the-top action sequences lend this film to my optimal enjoyment with the picture ‘sharpness’ at a maximum and the ‘volume’ at a minimum.


4. The Wind and the Lion – Now who on this planet doesn’t love Sean Connery?  Well I’m in the vast majority (I think) when I say that Sean is one fine actor and still the best Bond to date (sorry Craig, you’re great, but do 5 more films and well revisit this). The Wind and the Lion is a good movie, and the efforts of Connery and Brain Keith were fine acting by any definition. Yet, and this  is the case for some older movies I watch, the story line is not as grabbing as more recent films. Plus I didn’t grow up with these older films like my parents did is a factor. I simply find myself not really caring about the story, or characters.

Now let me elaborate on that; I care enough to find out what’s going on on screen and what events unfold upon the characters but I just am not “engrossed” enough to stay in the film. Kind of like if you were watching a movie through the window of your neighbor’s house…you just get the gist of what’s going on but there’s this sort of detachment from the events on screen. But maybe that’s just me.


5. The Chronicles of Riddick – I like Vin Diesel and he did the best he could with this given that he’s not the world’s most talented actor. Further this film was a tough sell from the get-go as it was such an ambitious advancement in scope and story following the surprising success of the first film. Vin was aces in Boiler Room but mainly because he had a small part. Personally I think that’s where I think that’s where his talent lies a s a supporting/character actor. The screenwriters/casting agents should have taken that into consideration when giving him screen time opposite the likes of Judi Dench and Colm Feore.

Looking back, Pitch Black was a sleeper hit and a fairly good movie. But Chronicles  (clearly ripping off designs from the DUNE wardrobe department) tried to go waaay too big for their second installment in their attempts at creating a Riddick franchise. Trying to go for an out of nowhere epic got so muddled and convoluted that nothing stood out as remarkable…actually kind of like DUNE. Again, not a terrible movie but its tolerable value is largely attributed to the sets and scenery. Epic in looks, just not the case for the story.


Honorable MentionThe League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Underworld, and The Star Wars Prequels. All of which had equal amounts of potential to be great but they, like the ones above, have little more to offer than dazzling aesthetics.

Well friends, there you have it. Is there anything you want to comment? Does anyone have similar feelings about these or any other films??


  • Dan

    There’s a few films out there I’d prefer not to hear. But I wonder what films would work nearly as well with just the images – you could probably quite happily watch Star Wars and get a real kick out of it without any sound. But that reminds me – those new Star Wars films – definitely ones I’d prefer to see on mute!

  • rtm

    Some people might say Avatar, as the visual is just soooo pretty but the dialog left much to be desired. Oh, I almost forgot about Sky Captain, that is stunning indeed, I’m curious there aren’t more movies done that way.

    Here’s a related article that talks about visually stunning movies:

    Totally agree about What Dreams May Come and The Fall. Boy, those images of The Fountain looks bizarre! As for 300, well it is gorgeous also for the ‘leatherbound chiseled men aspect of it’ 😀

  • Olive

    Interesting list. I know what you mean about The Island, the dialogue isn’t exactly its strong point. But for me this is one of the things that makes the movie so entertaining. Some of the lines are so cheesy.

  • Rodney

    I would disagree with the point you make about Sky Captain & The World Of Tomorrow, which I think has a wonderful aesthetic and a glorious sense of pulp-inspired melodramatics. Definitely a movie you can enjoy with the sound off, but I also enjoy it with the sound on…. that film has incredible sound design, although the dialogue tends towards wooden at times.

    I’d also agree with rtm above about Avatar. That’s a film so splendiferous with amazing visuals, you could probably play it as a silent film somewhere and still get enjoyment out of it.

  • Kaiderman

    Pretty good 5 for this topic, my friend! I too am less than in love with Bladderunner which is a very unpopular opinion to have in our world. Perhaps it’s time to give it another looksy.

  • Dreher Bear (...Where The Buffalo Roam)

    For me, it would have to be Office Space. I’ve seen the movie so many times that I can basically recite it (no lie). So whenever it’s on TV and I’m doing something on the computer, I’ll mute it and just recite the lines in my head or if i’m with friends we’ll just do it out loud haha.

  • Heather

    Sky Captain would probably be my number one here. What a beautifully boring film. It was gorgeous to look at.

    At least with Blade Runner you appreciate it’s aesthetic qualities. For me it’s a film like 2001, where it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but certainly deserves a level of appreciation for it’s artistic quality.

  • MarcC

    Well here’s my attempt at one comment to rule them all:)

    @Dan…I agree that would be interesting to try out, however the one thing I enjoy most in Star Wars isn’t the visuals, it’s John Williams’ incomparable scores. But as far as the new Star Wars movies go, I will do one better – just not watch them:P

    @Ruth…Interesting article, ones I never considered. The sets in The Fountain are gorgeous (probably the only thing I did like from it) and I really really want to see The Fall, I just haven’t yet.

    @Olive…well cheesy is Michael Bay’s middle name…but some movies are just too enjoyable to take seriously and The Island is probably tops on that list!

    @Rodney…I guess you’re right, the acting and dialog was supposed to be a perfect match for what our parents saw in the serials that inspired the movie. But for a larger audience I thought they would have tried to make it a little fresher and no so tied to the time.

    @Kai…I appreciate you speaking up. Looks like I won’t be all alone and the “These Guys Don’t Like BladeRunner Stoning” of 2010. See you there pal:P But I will say check out The Final Cut of the movie per Hatter’s suggestion.

    @Dreher…I too have some movies that I can do that with but Office Space is still well written and quite watchable. I just can’t say that of the ones listed above.

    @Heather…”Beautifully boring”…what a great way to put it! Haven’t seen 2001 but that’s about what I’ve heard, just not in a rush to see it.

  • MarkusWelby1

    Finally someone agrees with me on Blade Runner! Not that I don’t love it, I just don’t worship at its alter as a lot of fans seem to do. And pick a cut already Ridley! Riddick was also a wasted opportunity so I’d agree there too. I kind of dig the Island, but I’m addicted to Bay-porn.

    • MarcC

      There’s more of us out there than you’d think…so just like Sucker Punch you’re really not alone in thinking the way you do;)