Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Disappointments of 2011: Jonesy Edition!

Another year of movies have passed us by, and it's the time of year to reflect on the insanity that we put ourselves through whether it's seeing a matinee in an empty theatre or a packed opening weekend with friends. It's easy to pick out the atrocities of the year, but since most of those movies are universally loathed by the audiences, it's more fun to discuss the disappointments of the year. I always enjoy these because there's a visceral reaction I always have when thinking back. For me, if I have expectations because of this director or that actor or that premise sounds promising and those expectations are not even somewhat met, I get angry.
So now, in no real particular order, are my top disappointments for 2011:

THE MUPPETS- I know. Shame on me saying the infallible muppets being a disappointment, but when you start looking past whatever nostalgia you have, you'll see it too. My initial review was very positive and pushed aside a lot of the problems the movie had. However, the more and more I thought about it, the more frustrated I became. The first act of the movie seemed promising, and then the convoluted and messy second act happened. The plot became choppy with not enough buildup for many of the payoffs for a few characters. I also learned an important lesson; there's no escaping nostalgia of a property; however, I'll need to digest a movie a bit longer before I make my judgement.

HANGOVER 2- Yes, I actually had expectations for this. Even though the previews showed it would be similar to the original, I didn't think for a second it would be BEAT FOR BEAT like the original. Seriously, trade the baby for a monkey, Vegas for Singapore, and Mr. Chow for the mob and you have part two! I was so angry when I left the theatre; I couldn't believe I actually paid money to see this. Even though the first one is a tad extreme, most of the situations the boys are in are somewhat believable. In part two, I never once believed anything that was happening. The movie was just trying to out do the actions of the first. And the fact there's a part three in talks makes me so sad for the comedy world.

LARRY CROWNE and THE DILEMMA- I'm grouping these two together because they really suffered from the same problems which is how an awful script can kill whatever famous actors/directors you have in your film. Both films had such promise with tackling realistic life issues; however, their scripts are messy and all over the place. In fact, the movies are so horrendous that the studios only agreed to make the films because of who the directors were (Tom Hanks and Ron Howard). A famous name doesn't automatically mean a good movie people!

THE FUTURE- This was a festival movie I saw during the Dallas International Film Festival. Directed, written and starring Miranda July, who did the same for ME, YOU AND EVERYONE WE KNOW, the film features a couple adopting a cat and end up taking an introspective look into their lives. Before the film, I had heard rave reviews of July's first movie and how quirky and unique she was as a filmmaker. However, when I left THE FUTURE, I wasn't sure what I had just watched. The cat talked; the boyfriend froze time and space; and in the end, the movie became too pretentious for me. Everything became a symbol, and the boyfriend ended up having an existential breakthrough and ended up selling trees door to door in LA to save the city. A tad too hipster midlife crisis for me, and I just really don't understand her appeal.

Don't worry though. I'll be back with my top selections later this week!

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