Biggest Movie Disappointments of 2009

Yesterday I covered my biggest movie surprises. Usually what makes movies a surprise is that they are unknown to the viewer or perhaps the viewer has a really low expectation. The following movies had a lot of talk and buzz about them and these just couldn’t live up to the way I’d built them up in my mind.

6. Milk

Judging by Sean Penn’s acceptance speech at last year’s Oscars, you’d think this was the most important movie ever made. But really it’s not. It’s the kind of movie that critics probably rave over just because it’s the PC thing to do, but when it comes down to entertainment value the last thing I want to watch is dudes making out. The movie is the story of Harvey Milk, and his struggles as an American gay activist who fought for gay rights and became California’s first openly gay elected official. But don’t let that description fool you…its also apparently about dudes kissing. If I’m to identify with a people group and how they’ve struggled and been oppressed socially and politically then maybe you should show that instead of dudes making out. Every time Harvey Milk was involved in something interesting on screen the momentum would come to a screeching halt to show another love scene. It might appeal to some, but for me I couldn’t get past all the dudes making out. 2 TPACs

5. Terminator Salvation

The Terminator movies really need no introduction. We finally get a chance to see a tough John Conner!  The leader of the resistance after the machines take over the world. Christian Bale is on a roll right now and so the stage seemed to have been set for an awesome summer blockbuster. Unfortunately someone forgot that the Terminator was the machine and John Connor was the human. You most identify with the terminator and John seems cold, unstopping, and emotionless (like a robot). But the biggest problem with the movie (and there are many) is that it literally does nothing in advancing the story/lore of the Terminator series. It was a Terminator themed film with all the right characters and in the end we know absolutely nothing new about the overarching story. I had fun, but I was sorely disappointed. 3 TPACs

4. Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

I enjoyed this movie when I first saw it. I just want to get that out there. On the car ride back to my apartment after seeing this movie, I started explaining all the things that didn’t add up or that I felt were kind of weird. In a few days I started to believe I’d seen a really bad movie and I even wrote about the things that bothered me. I’d give a small explanation about what the movie is about but it really makes no dang sense. Everything they did was over the top and it kind of ruined what should’ve been a super awesome sequel. Ah who am I kidding most sequels suck and this one was no exception. It wasn’t quite Max Payne bad, but if I never see it again I’d be okay with that.  2 TPACs

3. The Hurt Locker

This was a simple case of “I heard it was good” and then it wasn’t. A blog that I read normally was going on and on about how bad movies were this summer and how The Hurt Locker was the only good and original thing out there. So based on such strong words I gave it a shot and I was disappointed. I’m not a huge fan of war movies anyway (unless it’s like barbarians or something medieval/fantasy) and I was also feeling ill. The main point of the film seems to be “war is a drug,” but I don’t buy it. I really went in expecting to come away moved by some vivid scenes and hard conversations and emotions. Instead I came out thinking “that was dumb” and “I think I’m going to throw up.” 2 TPACs

2. The Curious Case of Benjamim Button

This movie is about a baby born as an old man and grows young instead of old and dies as a baby. Weird, but it seems like you can do a lot with that. I’d had my eyes on this movie since I saw the first trailer but I heard it moved kind of slow, so I decided to wait for it to come out on DVD. Then it got some nice press around the Academy Awards. So when it came in the mail via Netflix I was pretty excited. Saying the movie was “slow” was probably generous because I feel like it didn’t move at all. There were only two exciting parts in the whole film 1) the very beginning when you are about to see an ugly, old, wrinkly baby but they suspend that moment for a few min, and 2) when he gets shot at on the boat. That’s it. The rest of the movie nothing really happens. It’s really too bad because the concept is so interesting. It’s not a bad movie, but I always had the feeling that I was stumbling upon a mid-day soap opera where I donn’t know any of the characters but it doesn’t matter because nothing is happening anyway. A good movie, but not great. And not what I was hoping for. 3 TPACs

1. Slumdog Millionaire

A lot of people love this movie and are passionate about it. I enjoyed the movie, but it disappointed me because this was supposed to be the movie of the year in 2008 and I don’t think it was deserving of that. It’s about Jamal, an orphan kid who grew up on the streets of Mumbai and how he gets on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire and is winning. Just before the last question, during a commercial break, he’s arrested and interrogated. About half way through the film I started to get bored. The film wasn’t boring but it started to get predictable because the story telling formula never changed. Here’s how it goes.

Police: you are cheating!

Jamal: no I’m not!

Police: then how did you know the answer to question 1?

Jamal: *flashback*

Police: ahhh we see. But that brings us to the next question. You are cheating!

Jamal: no I’m not!

rinse, repeat

That’s it. Times 10. It’s like watching Ben Hur and realizing that they are going to show all 12 laps around the track in their entirety and there’s nothing you can do but endure it. Again, it was a great movie, but the Best Picture?

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3 thoughts on “Biggest Movie Disappointments of 2009

  1. Agree 100% on Slumdog Millionaire. I got to the end, I said “That was good,” and then I didn’t think about it anymore. Way overhyped.

  2. So I agree with everything but your Slumdog critique. I thought the concept was very creative. Yes repetitive but I believe the repetition is just in the mode of telling the story. The actual story was solid and I was captivated from beginning to end. It was my favorite of 2008.

    On a side note, another favorite that surprised my was Doubt. Did you get the chance to see that one? If so, what did you think?

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