Tuesday, January 17, 2012

10 Movies I Didn't Care For in 2011

47. Immortals



It sure was pretty, but the story made no damn sense beyond the general outline of the plot. All form; no substance.

46. Season of the Witch



I really wanted to like this movie; partly because I wanted to see a spooky story about a lone warrior taking on the medieval church, but also because I wanted to like Nicholas Cage in a movie again. I can't talk about why I disliked this without going into spoilers, so I'll just say that I wasn't at all pleased with either the major plot twist or the way the climax was executed in general. There's some nice mood in this movie, but it supports nothing.

45. Killer Elite



It's partially disguised by the device of having an antagonist who's not entirely a bad guy, but there's no hiding that it's filled with cliché after action-movie cliché, starting with the former assassin who's new, peaceful life is threatened when he's forced to perform One Last Job. So many actors that I like - especially Yvonne Strahovski - wasted.

44. Tower Heist



There were a couple of hilarious moments that weren't spoiled in the trailer, so that's good. I even liked a lot of the characters; especially the ones played by Michael Peña and Matthew Broderick. But the hitch in the heist was lame and led to an unbelievable and unsatisfying conclusion. And though Eddie Murphy was funnier than he's been in a live-action film in years, this wasn't the role to spotlight his comeback. He's playing essentially the same function that Jamie Foxx did in Horrible Bosses, but Foxx was funnier. Way funnier.

43. Your Highness



So unfunny. The only redeeming quality is Natalie Portman's butt.

42. Unknown



Not anything like Taken, which is what it wanted you to think it was. Characters do things for no good reason and January Jones' performance is unwatchable. Liam Neeson and Diane Kruger are fun to watch together though and it sure was nice to see Aidan Quinn again, even in something like this.

41. The Ides of March



Great performances, but the movie's only message seems to be that Politics Suck. I already knew that.

40. Hugo



I feel guilty about putting Hugo behind Cowboys & Aliens, but let me explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up. Hugo presented itself as a steampunk story with a central mystery about an automaton and a secret key. That's the movie that I went to see, but it's not the movie that Hugo is. Hugo is a love letter to the history of cinema; a concept I can get behind, but not while I'm waiting for mystic doors to open and reveal an awesome world of clockworks and magic. I'm interested in seeing this again and re-evaluating it for what it is, but until then I'm stuck with disappointment.

39. Cowboys & Aliens



Some of my favorite fimmakers got together and hacked out this SyFy original movie. The low point in several people's careers. And yet, they're all people I love.

38. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides



I've already talked about this one at length, but the gist of my complaint is that it's cartoonish and doesn't follow through on the themes or characterizations from the first three films. What saves it is Penélope Cruz' complicated character and its just being a Pirates of the Caribbean movie with all the jungle/island/sea adventure that comes with that (even if it doesn't make a lot of sense).

3 comments:

Retro-Zombie said...

i do agree with your choices, i have missed a few... though the reasons you mentioned is why i didn't want to see them. hugo for example the trailer did not pull me in enough at any level. pirates, i love jack... but you are right the main people stepped out of normal lines... did you notice jack wasn't drunk once the entire film. cowboys and aliens i still want to see, though the people have spoken. and last season of the witch, it wanted to be something... i liked it for the visuals and idea... then it dies.

Erik Johnson said...

Unknown:

I love how everything about the marketing a complete lie. Liam Neeson has a gun, something he never has in the movie. The most lethal weapon he handles in the film is a shard of glass during the final fight.

I’ve got to say I feel sorry for the city of Berlin. Cities like Paris and Rome are glamorized in cinema as monuments to love and passion with their grand structures and neighborly people. The whole film is tinted a sickly green with flashes of blood red in the background. I suppose it is effective for a psychological thriller to use such a garish color scheme as well as Dutch angles to visually stimulate discomfort, but during the end credits we see a fly by shot of the whole city and its modern architecture and it makes me wish my theatrical trip had not been so negative.

The protagonist seems rather reactionary rather than proactive. Liam just runs from the bad guys and isn’t very effective in fighting back. In fact Diane Kruger is more proactive then he is. While he jumps out the window, she fights the thugs. While he is easily kidnapped and subdued, she hijacks a car to rescue him and rams the bad guy’s truck off a ledge. I guess it really is her establishing character moment when she evades a traffic jam as well as falling debris and is not only able to escape from a submerged car, but also free her passenger and drag him to shore. This film would have made a mint if they had made her the hero instead.

Cowboys & Aliens: The aliens from "Signs" called, they want to thank you for having a weakness thats even stupider than theirs!

I'd add "Cars 2" to my own list of disappointments for 2011. I had faith that they could pull this off and I was struck down at every turn.

Michael May said...

I didn't see Cars 2, but most of what I read agrees with your feeling about it.

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