The Courier: 30 days of film - day 22

Some films make you feel like Howard Beale in Network, mad as hell and unable to take it anymore. Our writers discuss the movies that really make them mad.

multiple writers
6th May 2020
Howard Beale's 'Mad as hell' speech in Network has become iconic
Some films make you laugh, some make you cry, and some just make you angry. Here, our writers take a look at the movies that make them mad as hell. From Pixar, to social realism, it just goes to show, if you're into the movies and a little emotionally unstable, any film can tick you off.

Toy Story 4 (2019)

I want to preface this before anyone attacks me for discrediting any aspect of the beloved Toy Story franchise: I like Toy Story 4 as a whole, but I hate that it exists. The film itself isn’t bad, just painfully forgettable. However, the fact that it exists after the perfect ending that is Toy Story 3 makes me angry.

I think this film just really showed how much Disney and Pixar just don’t care about the integrity of their franchises. Instead, they’d rather have another opportunity to sell toys to kids, ruining what was a literal perfect ending. Toy Story 3 leaves you on the painful ending of Andy’s childhood, but on the optimistic ending that donating toys is good, and other people such as Bonnie may love the things that you refuse to let go of. Andy’s sacrifice of Woody to give to Bonnie makes me cry every time, but it’s okay because I know that he will be adored by Bonnie.

So, what does Toy Story 4 do? Hey, you know that ending everyone loved? Yeah, scrap that. After a few months, Bonnie’s sick of Woody and he hasn’t been played with in months. Instead, he’s back to square one. Wow, thanks Pixar for ruining the end of Toy Story 3, one of your best pieces of work. I just hate it so much. Andy only gave Woody away to Bonnie because she loved him- he was planning on keeping Woody for college! Instead, Bonnie just seems like an ungrateful brat who disregarded Woody once she got bored of him. The end of Toy Story 3 makes me mad now because any shred of optimism I had died with Toy Story 4!

I like elements of this film: I like the idea of lost toys, I really love the antique shop, and I love Duke Caboom. I quite like the ending too. However, it makes me angry because it was a film that didn’t need to be made, and its biggest sin is undermining one of the best endings in cinematic history. Oh, and Forky can suck on a spoon.

Woody's treatment in TS4 taints the ending of the previous film. Image:IMDB

Sophie Hicks

The Kids are All Right (2010)

The only reason I ever watched this godawful film is because my very straight Head of Year, who thought that liking red wine was a personality trait, made us sit through it in her assembly on LGBTQ+ history month. I think that goes a long way in explaining who this film seems to cater for.

It seemed interesting at the start: the conflicts arising a family of two lesbians mums and their children, and we rarely see queer domesticity in film. But then (and I’m going to spoil it because no one should bother watching) one of the mums sleeps with their sperm donor.

This issue is obviously not, ignoring the cheating aspect, that she might be bisexual, although the assumptions that lesbians can be ‘turned’ by sleeping with a man are so harmful, and this film does seem to perpetuate them. But it also just turns the whole thing into a dull, affair-driven drama that sidetracks the interesting relationship between the parents and late-teen children that made it worth watching at the start.

It makes me so angry, half at my head of year, that this was what she considered a good film to show anyone, yet alone a room of young-ish girls, and half at everyone, including the Golden Globes where it was somehow awarded, that ever let this be created in the first place.

The famous cast did not make up for the awkward handling of LGBT+ issues. Image:IMDB

Leonie Bellini

Blackkklansman (2018)

Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman (2018) follows African-American detective Ron Stallworth (John David Washington) as he infiltrates the local Ku Klux Klan during the 70s. Based on a true story, Stallworth was able to expose the group by imitating a white voice over the phone and subsequently befriending their leader David Duke (Topher Grace). The film also features Stallworth’s colleague Philip Zimmerman (Adam Driver), whom Stallworth recruits to act as him during meetings with the Klan members, although this was added by Lee as a plot device.

BlacKkKlansman is one of the best films I’ve seen in a while, but the subject matter and plot are nothing short of rage-inducing when we are introduced to the Klan members as well as police brutality against African-Americans. I think you can already guess that the film is filled with racial slurs and the ridiculous views of the white supremacists. What makes it worse is that people still have these attitudes today, and how Stallworth had to cope with discrimination in the workplace by his own colleagues and listen to Duke’s philosophies which influenced so many people, manipulating them into joining the KKK.

Kate Dunkerton

I, Daniel Blake (2016)

I felt furious and cheated and bitter. The aim of this film was to highlight the injustices of the benefit system and the people who suffer at its cold, cruel hands. Since it’s 1st screening at Canne’s film festival I, Daniel Blake has done just that leaving in its wake stunned and sad viewers. Ken Loach’s directing is perfect and Paul Laverty’s script is heart-breaking, the long time collaborators nailed it with the film. It’s a film that shows the power of cinema and the power that even a scene can have on an individual. This film set in Newcastle draws you into character’s lives with the perfect mix of scripting and ad-lib showing that the actors knew their characters on another level. If there were a way to fix our benefits system, this film would have achieved that because it’s a masterpiece. I, Daniel Blake is the film that turned my rage to those at the top playing puppets with those they see as below them.

Loach deals with the grim reality of the UK's welfare system. Image:IMDB

Eve Ducker

#Horror (2015)

When I was thinking about a film for today my mind went straight to The Last Airbender (2010) and how it tarnished the reputation of the fantastic Avatar show from my childhood and just plain sucked. I was ready to rant to high heaven about it. And then one of my friends (yes, I have friends) reminded me of my worst film experience, ever. #Horror (2015). Safe to say my vision went red and the mere mention of this monster. Calling it a film would be a discredit to the cinema.

This horror “film” is supposedly based on a true story and follows a group of teenage bullies who start getting killed off as penance for their crimes. This “film” makes no sense and I refuse to give it any more of my time or a re-watch as the first one hour and 37 minutes was torture enough. It’s such a dumb “movie” that I hate that I put my eyes through such an ordeal. The editing in this made me want to cry as it tried using graphics for showing what kids social media looked like and it just looked weird and fake and like a nickelodeon show. The acting as painfully awkward and weird as their dialogue not fitting the scene, they are supposed to be apart of. It got to the point where I was envious when the characters died. In short, I hope this “film” burns.

Chances are you haven’t heard of #Horror and for that, I truly do envy you. The memory of just watching it is a curse I shall carry to my grave.

#Horror is rated 3/10 stars on IMDB. Image:IMDB

George Bell

Atonement (2007)

Films don’t usually make me angry – TV shows do that for me instead. But, when I watched Atonement in college because we were studying the book, my rage at the book was now also a rage at the film. Why? Because Briony is an absolute brat who ruins everyone’s lives, making me believe that Robbie Turner was alive, in love, happy but he was DEAD the ENTIRE TIME. 13 year old Saoirse Ronan was robbed of the Oscar for her performance as THE DEVIL.

Throughout the whole film, Briony makes all these decisions, all these choices and never learns that actions have consequences and it boils my blood. Why didn’t she slow down with all her assumptions and just talk to them? Why did she have to make everyone else sad and me sad at the same time. This is a film that isn’t fair and that makes me mad. I just wanted to watch a nice love story and Briony ruins it for me. Perhaps, that’s why this film is so good as the story and its characters are so brilliantly effective in making the audience feel things. It’s like a roller coaster of anger, of love, of anger and some more anger and pretty much more anger.

This film is incredible, from the beautiful acting performances to the gorgeous cinematography to the emotionally harrowing depiction of war to the overall strength of the romance. Every frame looks like a beautiful oil painting. My only problem is that it boils my blood whenever I re-watch it, knowing what Briony does.

I’m not saying I want to fight a child, but Briony better watch out.

Lucy Lillystone

There are quite a few films that have angered me, for numerous different reasons, but nothing compares to the anger I feel towards Briony Tallis in Atonement. Whenever I watch the film now it brings an array of different emotions from sadness to pure anger, more sadness, heartbreak and rage towards Briony.

The misunderstanding and lies that unfold, causes consequences for six decades and it pains me. Although it was a misunderstanding from a 13-year-old girl, it irritates me that she didn’t just speak to her sister or Robbie and ask questions, instead of jumping to conclusions and making such a serious and life-changing accusation.

I feel such rage that throughout the film when it goes through the years of war, reunions and the heartbreak you reach the near end believing it will be a happy ending, for your heart to then be ripped out and for Briony to ruin it all again (thanks to the ending of her novel giving us all hope!).

Atonement is a romantic war drama film and is based on Ian McEwan’s 2001 novel of the same name. The film begins with the daughter, Cecilia, (Keira Knightley) of an upper-class British family falling in love with a housekeeper’s son Robbie (James McAvoy). And when her sister, 13-year-old Briony, catches them in a compromising position she falsely accuses her sister’s lover of a crime, irrevocably changing the course of several lives.

It has an incredible cast from James McAvoy, Keira Knightley, Saoirse Ronan, Romola Garai, Benedict Cumberbatch to Vanessa Redgrave. And the cinematography is stunning, however, none of that makes up for the resentment I hold towards Briony for ruining Cecilia and Robbie’s relationship.

Amy Harris

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018)

Although I did not love the first ‘Fantastic Beasts’ movie, it wasn’t as clearly of a mess as this new one. Let’s start with the character development. Queenie was my favourite character in the first Fantastic Beasts: her charm and wit were reminiscent of a more whimsical world. However, she was utterly ruined in this movie. Setting aside the idiotic turn she makes in the end, I was not big on the movie comedically playing off her exploiting her powers to drug a man who does not have any means of protection against her. That is the definition of abuse, and the fact that they did that with the two most lovable characters of the first movie is just infuriating.

I do not have the space, nor the time to go into every single inconsistency or mistake in this movie, so let’s just stick to the dumbest one, shall we? McGonagall being at Hogwarts at that time makes no sense. I am not a person that cares that deeply about inaccuracies if they are justified by storytelling: but McGonagall was not an essential part of this story. To jeopardize the storyline in service of a throw-away cameo in an already pointless flashback reads as lazy, uninspired pandering. I get that JK Rowling cannot be expected to keep up with every detail of the books and the movies. So why wouldn’t she hire someone to help her do just that? After all these years, why does she still underestimate how much the fandom cares about details?

At the heart of my annoyance with this movie is the simple fact that I did not care who won. I blame this on the unnecessarily grim setting. In the last few Harry Potter movies, the darkness was earned. The story had matured to a point in which the impending sense of doom demanded that particular tone. You cared about Hogwarts being destroyed because you had seen it thrive in the first movies, feeling how much joy it brought to Harry. Even Dumbledore fell victim to this. Though Jude Law did a good job, the costume really hindered his performance. Since when did one of the more bewilderingly eccentric characters in the world start to wear slick grey suits?

The spark that made the Harry Potter movies so appealing is completely gone: there is no whim, no wonder. Somehow, JK managed to make a magical circus into a depressing place.

DumbleSNORE - Jude Law's outfit did not match what we know about Dumbledore's character. Image:IMDB

Elisabetta Pulcini

The Hunt (2020)

Back in the good old days when we could all sit in Luther's and cry over coursework/have a pint, I saw the trailer for The Hunt at least fifty times. Maybe more. I spent a lot of time in Luther's. So, eventually, I figured I’d go see it – convincing a mate to join me.

Vicky; I am so so sorry.

The Hunt didn’t make me angry in the sense that I went off to write a steaming letter to Universal distributions about the film. No – not to mother the film but, I’m not angry. I’m just disappointed. I genuinely believed this would be a decent couple of hours of action – and when it turned out to be a mess of political satire (that didn’t even work) and an obscene number of fight sequences (just because they can), my anger just turned into disbelief. Had I really just wasted my precious pre-lockdown time watching that? Unfortunately, yes. Yes I had.

Do not watch this trailer fifty times

Harriet Metcalfe

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