The Disappointing 10
These are the films that I just let me down. WARNING: Spoilers will most likely follow.
Watchmen - There are some stories that I feel are unfilmable, that is, it is near impossible for the story to be captured as a cinematic release (mini-series are another story). I went into Watchmen with some trepidation, knowing the original story. And while I did like some things about the film (Jackie Earl Haley’s portrayal of Rorschach is spot on), I felt I was let down by the movie. One of the running themes of the original graphic novel is how much a “superhero” like Dr. Manhattan can change the world. Though set in 1985, Dr. Manhattan has managed to transform the world into a technological wonder. That was not the case in the movie, where Dr. Manhattan was severely powered down… inconsistently, since he seemed to perform god-like feats while not being able to create a stable reusable power source. We won’t even get into the “ending.”
Avatar – This was not a movie I saw in the theater, though I heard such rave reviews of it. Maybe it was all the hype that built up my idea of the movie, but I felt that, while wonderfully rendered, the story was little more than Dances With Wolves in Outer Space.
Matrix Revolutions – The third and fourth movies on this list I group together because I felt that neither one seemed to reach the heights that the first film reached. I felt that the two films were too long on their own and, if the two were edited down to one film, they would have been better.
Star Wars Episode One: The Phantom Menace – The first three Star Wars movies (Episodes 4, 5, and 6) are genius, even after Lucas mucked around with them, over and over. The build up, the rumors, and the hype of the release of this movie built up the standard high, one which fans believed George Lucas could reach. The end result, however, was a movie with flat characters, contradictions with the original movies, and Jar Jar Binks. This was the movie that made me say I would never pay full price for a Star Wars movie again.
Star Wars Episode Two: Attack of the Clones – It is pretty sad when a movie has lower expections (mostly because of Episode 1), and fails to meet them. At least the characters were not flat in this movie. It is just sad that none of them were all too likeable. Kenobi comes off as a bit of a jerk, Anakin is a major brat, and Padme has to be the galaxy’s biggest tease. This was the movie that made me say I would never pay for a Star Wars movie ever again.
Underworld Evolution – There was something about Underworld that seemed to click. I don’t know if it was Kate Beckinsale, or the whole portrayal of vampires as political creatures (like Vampire: The Masquerade plays off). Unfortunately, the sequel turned into a complete mess. In the first movie, Michael Corvin has set up to be a hybrid of werewolf and vampire, the first of its kind. That’s all well and good, except that the big bad of Underworld Evolution displays very hybrid like qualities. That and the inclusion of scenes which seem to only be in the movie to bump up the ratings and to show off who the director got to sleep with nightly.
Evolution – This movie was supposed to be Ghostbusters of alien invasions, even with Ghostbusters director Ivan Reitman in the chair. Yet, the whole movie just doesn’t click, and ends up being pretty forgettable.
King Kong – This is the remake… the Peter Jackson remake, not the one from the 1970s/1980s (which is just really bad). Jackson had a tough path to follow with this one. The original King King is a cinematic classic. Hopes were high for this movie, especially after Jackson managed to bring Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings to the silver screen so well. However, the movie runs far too long, adding too much to the original story that just seems superfluous at best.
Mission to Mars – this movie ends up being a disappointment because of how it was promoted rather than for the movie itself. The film itself is still relatively unremarkable, though its portrayal of a mission to the red planet is probably the most realistic. The problem lies with its twist ending. (SPOILERS FOLLOW) the twist of the movie’s ending is that Mars once had a thriving civiliation doomed by a galactic disaster. They flee the dying planet for the stars, with one ship turning inward toward Earth. This twist would might have made this movie more interesting if (big if) the twist had not been revealed in the trailers for the movie. Included in the trailers are scenes (cool as they are) that reveal the twist of Mission to Mars. It would be as if the trailers for The Village revealed that the village was set in modern times and not some colonial setting as it portrays.