We all have them. Special movies and TV shows that wowed us as kids and held a special place in our hearts and imagination. And then you see them as adults and… yeah… you wonder, “What was so magical about them in the first place?” While I respect the movies/shows I mention, I have to admit their luster fades.
The ultimate test of a movie or series for me is its rewatch-ability, and these have just fallen off the wagon for me. Please know that these aren’t the worst offenders out there, and there are DEFINITELY more (those may appear in a future post) – but they popped into my mind this morning.
#1: The Simpsons
Getting the big fish out of the way first — Yeah, that’s right. America’s favorite animated family just doesn’t do it for me anymore. I recently discovered that all of my love for them was just wrapped up in nostalgia when I started rewatching the series on FX prior to it going under the Disney+ banner.
I think the issue here is that after growing up watching The Simpsons, I’ve just seen better animated family shows (yeah, I said it) that have refined the formula that this show started. I am still a big fan, there are still some gem episodes in the earlier seasons, and I give much respect to the OG, but… I’d take the more recent Family Guy (el plagiarismo) or Bob’s Burgers over the Simpson clan these days.
#2: Warlock The Armageddon
The first movie entry on this list is the second movie in the Warlock series. I recently rewatched the first and second movie, and while the first one actually held up – the second one just came off as cheesy and VERY unscary (guess that’s why I loved it as a kid). Just look at this trailer…
#3: Highlander (Movies & TV Series)
So, I’ve mentioned the TV show portion of this franchise before in another post with much adoration. I still love the concept, and I’m very excited to hear that it’s getting a reboot (at least, the movies are) – but the fight scenes and setting for all of it feel dated on a rewatch.
And it’s not like it’s solely because of the eras the movie and series were made in (insert The Princess Bride as proof of those limitations not being a weakness). No. It has everything to do with things just looking/feeling cheap and slow. What they did – in hindsight – feels rushed and a bit unstructured as well. This one just needs a visual and choreography refresher along with some script tightening, and I’d probably fall into it all over again.
#4: Fist of the North Star (Series)
This one actually pre-dates me, but I remember watching it and loving the animated violence as a kid. I recently watched the entire original series from start to finish (including the movie) as an adult and I can totally see why I never watched this completely as a kid. Aside from the fact that it just wasn’t fully available in any affordable way for me prior to the internet blowing up – it is repetitive, terribly written, and it gets a little dull.
I still appreciate the aesthetic of the show, but you could probably watch 10 episodes of this 152-episode series and have the entire story settled. There have been multiple reincarnations of this show, and I value its contribution to the Anime genre – but Kenshiro is boring.
#5: Code Geass
While I’m on the subject of Anime shows, let’s keep the party going and talk about something that I used to think was the BEST thing ever when I originally caught it on Adult Swim, but now — it’s very hit or miss. No, Code Geass isn’t trash – there are FAR worse offenders out there — I’m just saying that it definitely doesn’t live up to the old hype that I had in my head. The story just… I’ll let these guys explain it…
Lelouch and his rebellion are one of the all-time OG Greats of a certain era of Anime, but it doesn’t hold up to the sheer perfection that fans might remember (that ending, though!).
#6: Blade II & Blade: Trinity
Before there was the MCU, the first genuinely quality movie that came to the big screens out of the house of Marvel was 1998’s Blade. People can argue for the Spider-Man movies all they want, overall the original Blade was just an amazing movie by comparison, and it did it with a character that people weren’t nearly as smitten with as they were the well-known wall-crawler. That said, the first installment in the Wesley Snipes-driven film was GREAT. And then… Parts 2 & 3 happened.
While I used to really love these, they honestly are a bit of a dumpster fire by comparison to their predecessor. The reliance on CG scenes is distracting. The scriptwriters phone it in. Blade’s sense of humor is a bit cringy (for the tone of the series). The unnecessary sidekicks that happen in both parts 2 & 3. The plot holes. The damn “vampire” Pomeranian! The list goes on, and while a younger me loved the attitude of the era captured in the sequels – the older me just sees them and thinks, “These definitely could’ve been better.”
#7: Cool World
I wanted to end on this one because of HOW IMPOSSIBLY WONDERFUL this one used to be in my eyes. It had everything a younger me wanted out of a movie! The animation was stellar. The story made sense to me. I wanted to be in this world! Yet – as much as I love me some Ralph Bakshi (because, deep down, I’m a degenerate) – this one is a bit of a slog to watch now.
The pacing is the issue and the fact that viewers want to see more happen outside of what’s going on with these core characters. I like to tell myself that the execution was due to the limitations of the animation at the time, but this wasn’t just any artists’ vision — this was Bakshi. The man was a magician and an animation genius! I appreciate his work and all of the creative risks he took – I really do – but this one is a bit of a snoozer for me now.
And that’s the list! Did I touch on any that you entirely disagree with me on? If so, please sound off in the comment section below.
As I said at the start of this post, this isn’t a complete listing by any means – but it’s a start. Up next, old movies and shows that actually STILL work for me. Until then…