Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Top Disappointments of 2013: Jonesy's Take

2013 was a year of solid theatrical releases. While reading various sites and their lists of "bad movies" or "box office bombs", I realized I was lucky enough to miss most of those films that made those lists. Instead, I have my top five disappointments of 2013. These were films that had high expectations but failed to deliver for various reasons. 

Check it out after the break.

Where do I begin with this one? Disappointment is too nice of a word. I'm downright angry at this film. Director Neil Blomkamp's first feature, DISTRICT 9, was one of my favorite movies the year it came out. The only decent part of ELYSIUM ends up being the look of the world because Blomkamp always has an eye for visual style. Everything else about this film absolutely fails. The story is predictable and dull, the characters are one note, and he complete wastes the talent of Sharlto Copley. It makes me very nervous for whatever Blomkamp decides to put out next.  

My expectations for this film weren't that high to begin with. IRON MAN 2 was downright awful, so I figured, all the series can do is go up, right? Wrong. IRON MAN 3 does fix some problems from 2, but the plot inconsistencies keep this film from rising up to the level of the original. Also, this film ends up getting lost in a year of much more memorable movies.

I love a great sports film. Generally, these films play with your emotions with inspirational speeches and swelling music. There's hasn't been a big screen portrayal of Jackie Robinson's life since the 1950's when Robinson played himself. This film had all the hope of being THE sports movie of the year, but instead I left the theatre feeling more underwhelmed than I should have been. All of the parts were there, but the filmmakers ended up creating something that felt more cheesy TV-movie-of-the-week than feature film.

This film ended up being all look with no substance. Even with a solid cast and performances from DiCaprio and Mulligan, the film felt messy. This was supposed to be the great adaptation from the high school reading list that students will watch when they don't want to read the book. Maybe it boils down to a problem with the book and its story (that's another argument for another time), but no amount of catchy music and bright colors could save director Baz Luhrmann's movie from being just dull and not having the impact the book had. 

What made the first MACHETE so much fun was the gritty look of the film coupled with the fun performances of Trejo. It's cheesy, but was self-aware. However, KILLS tries to shift away from its roots of a cheesy Mex-plotation film and the story ends up being two-thirds of a science fiction movie. The grittiness feels lost with too much post-production effects, and the story ends up feeling more disjointed than cohesive. 

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