There are literally thousands of new movies released every year all over the globe. We the movie-going public find out about most of the wide releases through trailers, ads or the internet. This is why The Muppets snuck up on no-one, why practically everyone knows The Avengers is on the way and that the reboot of the reboot of Spiderman is imminent.
Plus of course a kajillion sequels and remakes are inevitable in this creatively challenged era where familiarity trumps adventurous decision making.
Everyone who watches more than a few movies each year has a release or two that they are really looking forward to that they have been tracking since it was but a blip on the radar.
This has been the case with me for decades but since hyperspace was invented it goes like this; the first trailers come and are devoured – if all goes well, interest is piqued – the net is trawled for release dates and (as a non-American) initial critical reaction if released to the US first. Then the local ads for the days preceding the release and then the day finally comes…
This process can take months – even years – so what happens when the two hours following that prolonged build up are underwhelming or worse still, suck?
Here are more than a few films that I have eagerly anticipated, only to find that the menu pic and final product are two entirely different realities.
A sequel too far.
OK so you have a successful film with well drawn characters, solid action and the right crew in front of and behind the lens. That’s a recipe for the Asian meal known as ‘Ka-Ching’ right? Not always;
Never seen it. Won’t ever see it. Curse you John Landis for putting your bank account ahead of your cinematic legacy. Fat Dan Ackroyd. Fat John Goodman. Some cute white kid? I could be captured by terrorists and given the choice between bloody death and watching this film followed by immediate release. Goodbye cruel world that would allow Blues Brothers 2000 to exist. .
Why follow up the least of the sensational Pixar stable with a sequel – go to a kindy or primary school and look at how many Lightning McQueen and Mater backpacks and you’ll have your answer. In true Pixar style Cars 2 tried to please both adults and kids alike, but could never do it at the same time. The first Pixar effort I have ever had to dub as less than worthwhile.
Shia LeBeouf. Aliens. Sub-par everything else. Repeat after me; Indiana Jones was only a trilogy. Indiana Jones was only a trilogy. Indiana Jones was only…
OK the first was hardly world-beating but I loved the set-up and the savagely clinical way that Castle went about his vengeancing. A far cry from this shoddy uber-violent effort that makes uninspired student films look Oscar worthy.
There’s a minute difference between eternal underdog and past it chump. In films too… (Funnily enough Rocky Balboa and Rambo 4 were both decent enough despite the fact Stallone now gets senior’s discount on bus-fare!)
The Descent 2 / The Ring 2: Sequels to great films that really didn’t require a follow-up to potentially sullying their memories. They were never going to threaten the original films for entertainment value, but the best thing I can say is that neither were bad enough to make me feel different about the original flicks. (That said don’t tempt fate with The Descent and The Ring 3 please!)
How is that possible if he/she is in or behind it?
But…but…but Kevin Smith is a creative genius who just happens to be on a decade long cold streak right? Cop Out suggested he was over-rated due to a sharp original (Clerks) and a couple decent efforts (Chasing Amy / Dogma). Red State abso-fucking-lutely confirmed it.
How could ‘the 6th film by Quentin Tarantino’ suck? Because nowadays Mr T thinks gushing to the media about what niche genre he is reinventing and asking a has-been actor to star and a name actor to go against type is enough work. (Next up an action film set in the time of slavery with Don Johnson, Gerald McRaney, Kurt Russell and Leo DiCaprio as a slave owner. Critics will gush regardless, then never rewatch it.)
But The Office? Extras? His effortless hilarity in interviews? Even Ghost Town is really good (and equally underseen). Ricky Gervais in a world where he is the only man who realises lying is possible? How can that not be hilarious? Rent the DVD for 2 hours of what I call proof.
Simon Pegg and Nick Frost write a script about sci-fi dweebs who find an honest to goodness alien. And the alien is (voiced by) Seth Rogen! Oh this is just the best film ever! HEY WAIT A MINUTE! Why have I left the theatre un-entertained? Where is my smile? What is this single tear running down my face?
And for that matter most Chinese language efforts. Jackie spent his 20s, 30s and 40s cheating death on film, becoming my favourite all time action star in the process. He is now nearer 60 and no longer cheats death – aside from Twitter rumours that is – now he cheats his audience with pap like The Spy Next Door.
What a premise! (What… Execution?)
BTW, anyone who thought Cowboys and Aliens was a sure fire winner prior to the release because it had 007 and Indy Jones was delusional.
Adam Sandler in a film with a script. An up and coming foil in Seth Rogen. Judd Apatow behind the scenes, still yet to create a turkey. Whoops, spoke too soon.
Up until the half way point this was really quite good, but Hollywood won the arm wrestle and managed to steal away any potential in favour of a big explosion ending. Still, people with zero IQs and no grasp of what the title was supposed to represent seem to like it, but then again they swipe away at balls of yarn for hours…
After LotR there was a 0.000001% probability that Peter Jackson could make the ultimate larger than life story boring, they’re the opposite of lottery odds. Hey, looks like we won the reverse lottery! Sorry but this was overlong, hammy and you will never sell me that Skull Island could compartmentalise its creatures so well that we would only see them for their respective scenes before they vanish forever.
Seems an odd choice I admit, but Youtube any MacGruber clip with a run time of sub 2 minutes and you’ll see the possibilities. An over-serious out of his depth tough guy with numerous personality issues in the real world should have proven hilarious, and I love good comedy. But no we’ll just plumb for joke names like Kuntz instead.
I admit I was one of the sheep. ‘300 was an indulgent slo-mo aberration’ they said, ‘just clearing out the cobwebs before a masterpiece’. Then Snyder got took the reins of a superhero juggernaut, killed off anyone interesting and expected me to give a fuck about a guy who dresses like an owl.
This year sees me looking forward to many films, though nothing with breathless anticipation aside from The Dark Knight Rises. After all it’s just sequels, reboots and remakes again for dinner. I could be talked into warming to Prometheus, I know I’ll see The Hobbit and The Avengers and with all likelihood my fondness for the original will tempt me enough to see the Total Recall remake. Hopefully none of them make a future revision of this list…