I recall exactly how long I’ve been disgusted with the practice of quick cuts and jerky hand-held shots. The Rock annoyed me with it first, though I liked the movie. Armageddon annoyed me with it most, and I hated it. There are sequences in Armageddon where the narrative of the action is quite important, yet completely indecipherable.
Since then, things have gotten worse, as other directors have jumped on the bandwagon, many of them perhaps because they come from music video backgrounds, where fast cutting is part of the form. Television shows do it, too.
The practice itself can be employed well, as in Saving Private Ryan or Moulin Rouge. But more often I find the way it is used no better than outright incompetence. In the hands of a lesser cinematographer or director, it’s like giving a violin to a three year old and turning him loose. Excruciating.
David Bordwell is more diplomatic and thoughtful on the subject than I am. It’s a wonderful read. Check out his post on the Queasicam here.