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).
Is it that time again? Yes, I finally made it back to the theaters, and this time to review a movie that I’ve been highly anticipating, Transformers: Dark of the Moon.
Let’s do a brief history recap of my views on the Transformers series so far. I thought the first Transformers movie was so good, just so good… it basically took Michael Bay’s sensibilities, put it to the Transformers property, and made a fun action movie. The plot was dumb, but I didn’t go to a Michael Bay movie for plot, I came for special effects and action and that movie had both in spades. Transformers 2? Oy gevalt… what a fucking tragedy. The trailers looked like it was going to give us more of the same awesomeness, and instead we got a complete train wreck. It was seriously bloated, not funny, unbelievably bad plot, and a lot of the action was incomprehensible. I pop in the first Transformers from time to time when I want something fun to watch. Transformers 2? I have only seen it in it’s entirety once and then another time Chris and I skimmed through the movie when it was released on video, that’s it.
So when Transformers 3 came around, needless to say I was apprehensive. When that first teaser trailer came out, I got more excited, but it was when the full trailer hit that I was totally amped for this movie. Then again, I tried to temper my expectations because Transformers 2 looked good from the trailers as well and turned out to be complete shit, so I tried not to get my hopes up too high. Early reviews seemed generally positive, but when the full critical consensus came out, it was mostly negative (38% on Rotten Tomatoes so far). Despite that, I was still excited to see it because Michael Bay obviously doesn’t make critic friendly movies, but I still dig Bad Boys 2 and Transformers 1.
Thankfully, Transformers 3 is better than Transformers 2; unfortunately, Transformers 3 never reaches the heights of Transformers 1.
What I really don’t understand is why Michael Bay has not figured out that less is more? Transformers 3 would’ve been an insane balls to the wall action film if it ran at a much tighter 105 minutes instead of the bloated 154 minutes that it is. Why Bay insists on trying to build plot for a film that people go to see for the action spectacle is just mind boggling. The story literally makes no sense and the movie as a whole is super dumb, why not just run with that like movies such as Commando and Fast Five and just give us a bunch of fun action shit to watch and entertain us? I want to see giant fucking robots beat the shit out of each other! Not stupid conspiracies and pretending like we actually give a shit about the “characters” in Transformers.
What makes it difficult to create an emotional response to the Transformers themselves is that the concept of them is something that is not relatable to real life. The reason Transformers 1 had that emotional connection, however slight it may be, is because of the whole boy and his first car element (which was a Steven Spielberg implementation). That’s something that everyone can connect to. The second and third films have nothing for anyone to grasp onto emotionally. It’s just robots beating the shit out of each other. Not that there’s anything wrong with that (I am an advocate for robots beating the shit out of each other lol), but the fact that Bay fails so hard in trying to make you care is really a detriment to the film itself.
What really saves this movie from being a complete redux of the mess that was Transformers 2 is the better action sequences and the top notch special effects. I saw the film in 3D and the opening scene was an absolutely gorgeous 3D space sequence. There is stuff in this movie that you will not see anywhere else, guaranteed.
The last 45 minute block of action is ridiculously insane over the top action. For action junkies, it is a glorious sight to behold. The only area where Michael Bay seems to have improved is with his visual sense during the action scenes. Whereas Transformers 2 was his (failed) attempt at a Paul Greengrass shaky cam style action, this time around the action is clear and shot extremely well, taking advantage of the depth of 3D without being too obvious/gimmicky.
It’s sad to say that there’s not a whole lot of improvement from the Transformers 2 aside from the action. If you go into the movie for a special effects extravaganza and insane action, you won’t be disappointed. Unfortunately, the movie gets bogged down in so much other not worthwhile crap that I can’t wholeheartedly recommend it. This movie is pretty much critic-proof though and you KNOW people will see it, so I will recommend that if you do see it, see it in 3D because this is the way 3D was meant to be used to enhance the movie going experience.
I was planning on writing more but… fuck it, y’all are going to see this movie anyway lol. It’s not a great film, but I think that the experience of seeing all the special effects and action in 3D is basically worth the price of admission.
EXACTLY. Megan Fox > Rose Huntington
Even though Megan Fox was totally used by Michael Bay as a sex object, at least she had some feistiness to her character. Rose Huntington-Whitely might as well have been a robot in this movie. And don’t get me started on that cringe-worthy scene with Megatron, ugh…
Are you fucking kidding me? ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME!?
Fuck Transformers 2, this looks like it’s going to blow it out of the water. From the brief glances of action it looks like we’re going to actually be able to see the action this time around! Bay was using 3D cameras this time (which FYI are really heavy), so I read that he had to actually use steady controlled takes instead of all that shaky cam he uses in 2. I know it’s Michael Bay and I shouldn’t get my hopes up after Transformers 2, but I’m sorry, I can’t help but be excited!
[note: LOL at them trying to copy the Inception music sound haha]