Friday, December 20, 2013

Disappointments of 2013- Javi's Picks!

As always, we'll be a very stereotypical movie blog and make a bunch of lists. First up (so we can end the year on a high note) are our disappointments of the year. The unofficial theme here is "Directors That I Really Respect and Like Who Made Bad Movies."

Check out my picks below.

Now, I loooooooooove Ben Wheatley. Between SIGHTSEERS, and THE KILL LIST, he has made some of the most memorable movies of the last few years. A FIELD IN ENGLAND was one of my most anticipated movies of Fantastic Fest 2013 thanks to its various trailers and posters that just made the movie look so intriguing. In execution, however, the movie is a unnecessarily bloated and complicated for the type of story that its trying to tell. There is a warning that there will be strobbing effects during the movie. If that warning is going to be there, I feel that it has to earn it. Don't get me wrong, I loved so many things about this movie, but maybe the marketing and the expectations shouldn't have been set so highly on the "trippy" aspect of the movie as it rarely makes sense in the context of the movie. By the end of the movie, I was left scratching my head as to why I had to experience this story the way that I did.

You think that the director of DISTRICT 9 would have been able to make another great piece of science fiction laden with social commentary. Unfortunately, that's not the case. This movie is neither of the things that it's trying to be and it's a worse movie for it. It's neither a smart commentary on the income gap and healthcare situation, nor is it even a badass action movie. Sharlto Copley after showing so much range and skill in DISTRICT 9, is relegated to an inexplicably angry dude whose accent is way too thick to understand.

This is a tricky one. I never expected it to be "good" in the conventional sense of the word. The original, GI JOE: RISE OF COBRA was one of my favorite movies for that year just because unlike TRANSFORMERS, it was literally a Saturday morning cartoon that just happened to have real people in it. There were power suits, non-sense plot, laser guns, underwater Arctic fortresses. I just wanted to the sequel to at least match some of that zaniness. What we got instead was a poorly edited, confusing mess of a movie. What hurts even more is that this should have been released a year ago but was delayed due to various reasons, but none seem to have taken into account that they needed to spice up the script a little. From what I understand, the extended director's cut of the movie actually makes more sense but not by much. At least there's going to be a 3rd one and maybe they'll get it right that time.

To be honest, out of all of the Marvel Universe movies, the IRON MAN series has been the weakest on most levels except when it comes to Robert Downey Jr.'s performance as Tony Stark.. The issues with the movie are many. Let's start with the really obvious one, that being the fact that we have a terrorist hitting American targets, and yet no one from S.H.I.E.L.D. or the Avengers are there to help. For all of the praise that the Marvel "Shared" Universe gets, it's funny that in practice, it's only a shared universe when it's convenient and not fully immersed one, and this movie is the best example of this. The story itself is really not much without the big plot twist in the middle, and it's one of those stories (just like the original IRON MAN) that ends up having a lot of inconsistencies that become apparent after you watch the movie. Don't forget that the Iron Man suits seem to be made of paper this time around, and that a large emotional beat of this entire series is relegated to a 5-second montage and you have what's easily one of the worst Marvel movies.

It seems that the popularity of DRIVE got into director Winding-Refn's head, because this follow-up to the very well-received DRIVE seems to take the formula of that movie  and then turns everything up to 11. You want some rad beats and music? You got it more of those! You want some day-glo style cinematography and beautifully framed shots? You got it! You want a stoic Ryan Gosling character that doesn't speak and a barely-there plot? This is exactly what this movie is. And that's where the movie goes wrong. As chill bro Adam Frazier from Geeks of Doom said to me, it's "color porn with a total of 9 minutes of actual narrative." This one really hurt the most since I was really hoping for a healthy working relationship but it seems to be more of a one-off.

Jonesy will be posting her own list soon enough. Look for our "Best Of" and "Best Discoveries" out next week. So tell me in the comments, did I get them completely wrong or do you agree?

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