Some of these movies I actually enjoyed somewhat but ended up not living up to the expectations I had. Also, just so you know these are my subjective picks for disappointing films, not an offical “these were the DEFINITIVE disappointing movies of 2011.”
10. The Hangover 2 - 2/10
The only reason this movie isn’t higher on this list is because I had a feeling that it was going to be a train wreck and good God it did not disappoint in that respect. This is one of the most utterly worthless movie experiences I’ve ever had in my life. I liked the first Hangover film, but it wasn’t THE FUNNIEST MOVIE EVER for me like it apparently was for many others. When I heard they were making a sequel, everything about it just screamed cash grab to me and I was 100% right on the money with that assumption. It’s like they literally took 30 minutes to write out the basic story structure on cocktail napkins and just recycle everything from the first with no ingenuity. Complete trash and I wouldn’t be surprised if they went back to milk the cow for a third one SMH…
9. Transformers: Dark of the Moon - 6/10
To be honest, I enjoyed quite a bit of Transformers 3, but that doesn’t mean the movie as a whole was good. The only reason this wasn’t higher on my list is because after Transformers 2, my expectations were dwindled quite a bit. I remained cautiously optimistic after the trailers for this one hit because it looked good, but so did Transformers 2 from the trailers. The CGI, 3D effects, and action were all pretty good, but anything tying those things to any resemblance of a plot or characters was utter shit. If this movie was a 100 minute balls to the wall action excursion, I would’ve loved this movie, but instead we got a bloated 153 minute movie filled with inane story beats and unfunny gags.
8. Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows - 6/10
I generally liked the first Sherlock Holmes film. It was light on the detective work and a little more heavy on the slow motion and action, but it was a fun romp. All I wanted out of the sequel was more of the same, but what I got was an over the top version of the first one with even less heart and brain. I’m not going to lie, I enjoyed it as a popcorn action flick, but when I see that “Sherlock Holmes” name on the title I kind of expect more than just that.
7. Cowboys & Aliens - 6/10
Another film that I still found enjoyment in as a popcorn flick, but considering the pedigree of the people involved one would expect the next great summer blockbuster. Directed by Jon Favreau (Iron Man), executive produced by Steven Spielberg, produced by Brian Grazer and Ron Howard, and starring a plethora of the biggest names in Hollywood including Daniel Craig, Harrison Ford, Sam Rockwell, Olivia Wilde, etc. Those filmmakers with that cast should have created something incredible, instead we got a lukewarm film that is totally forgettable.
6. Cars 2 - 5/10
It’s Pixar… these guys have never made a bad movie. Cars was easily their worst film, but it was still enjoyable. When they said they were making a sequel to Cars though, I started hearing those sirens go off in head that screamed “CASH GRAB!” I knew that Disney made billions off the toy licensing of Cars and making a sequel would be a good excuse to make even MORE. I had faith in Pixar though because they wouldn’t just make a movie to make money, but maybe I was wrong. After the first 10 minutes of this movie and the opening action set piece I thought “Fuck the critics! This is going to be awesome!”, but then everything else hapened. Whoever thought it was a good idea to make Mater the main character really needs to have their fucking head cut off. This movie would have been bearable had he not been in it. Pixar’s next film Brave looks worlds better than Cars 2, so hopefully they’ll be back on the ball this year because Dreamworks Animation has been kicking their asses lately with the Kung Fu Panda series and How to Train Your Dragon. As David Chen from the /Filmcast put it: “2011 was the year we saw a Brett Ratner film reviewed better than the Pixar film,” and that is a fucking shame.
5. Pirates 4 - 4/10
Fuck everyone involved in this fucking movie. I thought that now that they didn’t have to worry about multiple plotlines and wrapping up everyone’s story that we could finally get a Pirates of the Caribbean movie on par with The Curse of the Black Pearl. Clearly I was wrong. This is one of the most lifeless movies I have ever seen in my life. The most I can say for this movie is that I didn’t fall asleep and the mermaid sequence was cool, but that’s about it. Whoever decided that Captain Jack should be THE main character should kill themselves (he was always a brilliant diversion from the Will/Elizabeth plotline). Whoever decided that having Penelope Cruz on board should be beaten down. Whoever cast the bad ass motherfucker that is Ian McShane and then decided to not have him do anything needs to be savagely eaten by panthers. As my friend once said, “Rob Marshall can eat a fat one,” FUCK THAT GUY. Also, Sam Claflin, I really hope you’re in like 10 minutes of Snow White and the Huntsman because you really fucking suck. FUCK THIS MOVIE!
4. Green Lantern - 4/10
It takes a lot for me to get bored during a movie, but I was bored as hell during Green Lantern. I checked my watch about a dozen times during this movie and couldn’t believe how brutally slow it was going. One cool action set piece does not redeem your entire movie of crap. Martin Campbell… what the fuck, man? The cast is talented but entirely miscast; in what world does Ryan Reynold, Blake Lively, and Peter Sarsgaard (who all look about a decade older than another) grow up together!? One of the most uninspired films I’ve seen in a long time.
3. In Time - 6/10
I enjoyed In Time somewhat, but I can’t help but be disappointed because Andrew Niccol wrote The Truman Show which is one of my favorite movies ever. I guess I shouldn’t be as disappointed as I was because I thought Lord of War was all right and that was also written/directed by Niccol, but the concept of this film was so cool! I was so disappointed at how little he got out of this premise, hopefully someone remakes it in a few decades.
2. Warrior - 6.5/10
Probably the best movie in this entire bunch, but the reason it’s so high on this list is because I expected an AMAZING movie. Critics unabashedly LOVED this movie and I had heard things like “Warrior does for MMA what Rocky did for boxing,” THAT is the level I expected this film to get to and I don’t think it ever got there. The performances from the main three actors were phenomenal, but everything else about this movie felt so trite and tired. They were just laying on the cliches and stereotypes so thick that I couldn’t buy it. Also, I have no idea what the people who are praising the fights in this film are talking about because I thought the fight choreography was horrendous. Shake the cam as much as you can and cut to so many different angles that you can’t even tell who just got thrown down or who’s winning! Do it over and over again! NOW! Not to mention the fact that the fights for each brother are EXACTLY the same! They might as well have shown us the EXACT SAME fight on replay leading up the championship. The only thing this movie had going for it was not knowing which brother would win but after seeing each fight end in EXACTLY the same way, the movie shows its hand and removes that element.
1. Battle: Los Angeles - 3/10
An amalgamation of the worst that Hollywood has to offer. I can imagine the conversations that took place before this film was greenlighted by the studio a few years back. “What do people want to see? Well District 9 just did really well, we could make it about aliens. Yeah! We’ll make a sci-fi action flick where aliens invade. Okay, what about the story? We’ll throw in one for everybody! The sergeant who comes back for ONE last job! The young upstart who thinks he’s prepared to be a leader but finds that in the heat of the moment he’s not! Bonus point, he has a pregnant wife as well! The guy who’s about to be married! The virgin guy! The guy who messed up on the last mission and has to redeem himself!” The trailer for this film was SO GOOD, but the movie ended being such a colossal waste of time.
Here’s to better films in 2012 (hopefully).
In Time is a dystopian thriller in which no one ages after they turn 25 years old, but then they are given only one extra year to live. In order to stay alive, the poor must live on a day to day basis to accumulate more time, while the rich stay rich and keep inheriting a nearly infinite amount of time.
This is a film that I had been anticipating for a while. While Andrew Niccol hasn’t always been consistent with his filmography from a critical acclaim standpoint, he has always given us unique films with interesting themes and ideas. The Truman Show is a masterpiece and while I found Lord of War middling from a storytelling/narrative standpoint, it did explore the world of guns in a cool way.
With In Time, Andrew Niccol created a world that was a perfect allegory for the current dilemma of our time, the rich vs. the poor. The rich keep getting richer and the poor keep getting poorer and there seems to be nothing to help unbalance the equation. The themes of this film are very relevant to the present day.
There’s a popular post on Tumblr about having a bank account filled with 86,400 dollars a day (go google it, I don’t want to type in the whole thing lol) and In Time essentially makes that post a reality, giving these characters only a limited amount of time each day to live and possibly gain more time to keep living. That is a scary world to live in, don’t you think? I’ve always said that the reason we keep doing the same things over and over is because we’re about 99.999999% sure we’ll be alive the next day. What if you never knew which day could be your last? This is the world that In Time contemplates.
Unfortunately, this is In Time’s biggest strength and also its greatest weakness. The concept of the film is so bold and original, but the film itself fails to capitalize on the potential of this world as a whole. The concept sets up the stakes, but the movie never really allows the viewer to fully become immersed in this world. This becomes especially evident by the end of the film. Whereas The Truman Show offered us a glimpse into a reality where the entire world is captivated by the life of a single ordinary man living an “ordinary life,” In Time fails to illuminate about any singular topic other than “live life because it’s precious.”
The social commentary is about as subtle as a sledgehammer to the noggin, but I didn’t really mind that because just hearing about the premise, it’s obvious what allegory Niccol is trying to represent by using time. I do wish that they explored certain themes more instead of just mentioning them and never showing anything else about it.
I found most of the cast appealing. Amanda Seyfried was better than I thought she’d be, but she was definitely better in the first half of the movie before her character changes. I’m a fan of Justin Timberlake as an actor (although I wish he would release more music) and he does solid work. Alex Pettyfer… I fuckin’ hate this guy, but he was somewhat tolerable here. Vincent Kartheiser was pretty great playing a similar role to the one he plays on Mad Men.
The one actor I want to single out is Cillian Murphy, who is one of my favorite actors, because he was fantastic in an absolute nothing role that, in my mind, represented all the problems of the movie. His character had no real clear motivation. What was his purpose? Was he trying to maintain the system? Did he sympathize with the main character’s plight? I have no idea what this character was trying to do or what meaning any of his actions had.
In Time is a decent sci-fi action thriller that has weighty themes that will resonate with today’s audiences. I still think that Andrew Niccol is a talented writer, but he has trouble getting the most out of the fantastic premises that he creates. Maybe he needs someone else to direct his concepts to get the most out of it (like Peter Weir did with The Truman Show). In Time is watchable enough and I enjoyed it to an extent, maybe give it a rental once it hits video.
I will be making an all spoiler post on In Time because there’s just so much about this movie that I want to go off on.
First official trailer for In Time directed by Andrew Nicchols. I will always have love for Andrew Niccol for writing the brilliant, and eerily accurate, The Truman Show. Definitely want to see what kind of social commentary on society that Niccol has for us this time around (no pun intended lol).
I just hope the fact that they had to cast really good looking people doesn’t backfire on them the way it did in Surrogates, where the people were beautiful, but the acting was atrocious. Even though we only see her for a bit, Amanda Seyfried sounds awful. Her line deliveries are just so off-putting. I absolutely loathe Alex Pettyfer, but I have to say, in the Comic-Con footage we saw, the two lines he delivered seemed all right haha. I’m actually a fan of Justin Timberlake as an actor, so it’ll be interesting to see how he pulls off the action hero bits of this film. Cillian Murphy is one of my favorite actors and he looks pretty good in here as well. I like the casting of Vincent Kartheiser from Mad Men as well.
Really looking forward to this movie!