I didn’t think I’d be posting back on here, but since I can’t post this kind of stuff on my Fandango blog feed, I’ve turned to this blog to get it out of my system. I’ll have the Top Ten list soon (a few more movies I need to catch up on) as well as Top Ten performances list. But enough of looking into the future, let’s get crackin’…
Every year is filled with them – movies that look amazing and great and, “Oh my gosh!! I can’t wait to see it!!” And then we plunk down out $15 (might be cheaper in your neck of the woods. Studios and theaters like to gouge us city folk) and settle in for two hours of cinematic bliss only to be awarded with a stale, boring and/or disappointing experience and that’s before the asshole sitting two rows in front of you starts fiddling with his smartphone.
As we head toward the end of the year, a flurry of lists are going to start appearing and before I unveil my Top Ten of 2011, I decided to unveil my Top Disappointments of the year. Put simply, these movies did not arrive as advertised and ultimately resulted in disappointment and me wishing I could get my money back.
X-Men: First Class – On paper, this sounds like a promising movie and I’m not taking anything away from Michael Fassbender, who played an excellent Erik Lehnsherr. The rest of the cast from January Jones’ cardboard acting to the presence of Havok, this movie is a mess. Interesting concept, but a misfire as far as I’m concerned.
Real Steel – I went in thinking I was going to be watching a kick-ass movie about robots beating the crap out of each other and Hugh Jackman punching out one-liners and romancing the ethereally beautiful Evangeline Lilly. Well, at least I got the Evangeline Lilly part. But I also got a boring cookie-cutter family story about an annoying punk kid and a less than likeable character in Jackman’s deadbeat father. But like I said, this is a cookie-cutter script rehashed by brilliant studio notes, so it all turns out well in the end. Out of all the movies listed here, this is the one that I was most hyped about and faced the biggest let-down.
No Strings Attached – Natalie Portman, in a comedy about friends who decide to escalate their friendship with empty a la carte sex. You would expect some kind of nudity in this, ratings board be damned! But more than the lack of skin is a story that starts off promising but ultimately becomes grating and annoying.
Hall Pass – The commercials made it look sooooo funny. That Jason Sudeikis, whatta character! Thankfully, I was subjected to only the disappointment of wasting a couple hours of my life watching this crap. The movie, especially the end, is a mess and fall apart faster than, well, me in front of Evangeline Lilly.
Sucker Punch – Five babes, including Jamie Chung and Vanessa Hudgens, badass CGI action sequences and those giant samurai robots things! F**k yes!! If I had known I was going to be subjected to a lazy two hour music video, I probably would have passed on this snooze-fest. On top of that, those giant badass samurai robot things are the first obstacle defeated! If I could, I would have virtually punched Zack Snyder in the nose right then and there.
J. Edgar – Leonardo digs into his bag of accents in this dry, bland story of J. Edgar Hoover. The story is all over the place, the pacing is really, REALLY dry and frankly, I hate to say this, but it’s time for Clint Eastwood to hang it up and enjoy his remaining years.
Drive – What I expected, judging from the trailers, commercials and clips – a pulsating, suspenseful action flick where Ryan Gosling goes around waxing bad guys with a hammer. What I got – about 50 minutes of stagnant, boring drama followed (finally) but bursts of action. On the plus side, at least Albert Brooks gives a great performance.
Miral – There’s only one reason I went to watch this movie – Freida Pinto. Still, I ended up really nauseous watching this and it has nothing to do with Freida. Rather, it’s the over-use of close-up shots combined with “shaky camera” that led to some serious motion sickness. I know one guy in the audience couldn’t stomach it and had to excuse himself midway through to upchuck his overpriced popcorn in the restroom. The things I will endure to watch Freida. I hope Black Gold isn’t like this movie.
Super – Rainn Wilson goes around whacking people on the head with a monkey wrench while Ellen Page slips into a skin tight superhero suit! Sweet! Um, so what’s up with the dark tentacle hentai anime sequence, the looooong stretches where nooothing happens and that incredibly uncomfortable seduction scene between Page and Wilson. This movie got compared to Kick-Ass, but I assure you, it’s nothing like that movie.
Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy – Critics love it. Most British people like it too. Me, I love it too, but only if I need something to put me to sleep. First the positive, the opening sequence is excellent, but then from there it’s chat chat chatty chat chat. From the trailers, I expected Gary Oldman to be some senior level Jason Bourne setting out to expose corruption within the government. Instead, it’s a two hour conversation between a bunch of well-known British actors that fails to draw me into the intrigue established by the opening scene. Tom Hardy is pretty good in it though.
So what did I learn this year? Well, don’t trust trailers for spy/action movies, avoid future films shot by Eric Gautier and I have an enduring fascination with seeing Evangeline Lilly and Freida Pinto on the big screen. OK, well, the last part I already knew.