Tuesday, August 28, 2012

I HAVE A BAD FEELING ABOUT THIS:  TotalFilm slideshows its list of the Fifty Most Disappointing Movies of All Time; thank goodness someone compiled it all onto one page.  (My complaint: not enough Shyamalan. Where's Signs?)


  1. The Pathetic Earthling11:56 AM

    For sheer disappointment -- the difference between expectation and result -- I can't think of a more disappointing film than Highlander 2.  Highlander was such a great movie and even an okay sequel would have been welcome, if just to fiddle around in that universe again.  But Highlander 2 was, well, Highlander 2.  And except for the safety information film Sean Connery watched on his flight, it was utterly without merit.

  2. Anonymous12:23 PM

    I love how "Of All Time" pretty much means "The last 20 years." Granted, there's a case to be made about modern movie marketing, and the hype generated by movies from the moment they're announced, and how that whole machine inevitably leads to disappointment.

    And Adam: the reason Signs wasn't on the list is because Signs is awesome. Ok, so it falls apart right at the very end ("Swing away"? Really?), but it's *really* good and creepy until then.

  3. <span>I love how "Of All Time" pretty much means "The last 20 years." Granted, there's a case to be made about modern movie marketing, and the hype generated by movies from the moment they're announced, and how that whole machine inevitably leads to disappointment.  
    And Adam: the reason Signs wasn't on the list is because Signs is awesome. Ok, so it falls apart right at the very end ("Swing away"? Really?), but it's *really* good and creepy until then.</span>

  4. The ending is the problem; it takes away so much from the film.  (And then after Signs, nothing else is as disappointing because lower expectations have been set.)

    For pre-Godfather III, Ishtar has to be on the list, as well as Heaven's Gate and Bonfire of the Vanities.

  5. Another movie that should have been on the list: Cars. Based on the premise, my expectations weren't high, but it was still Pixar. The movie was the first Pixar dud. (I'm talking quality, not box office results, merchandising, or ongoing appeal to five-year-old boys.)

  6. isaac_spaceman1:28 PM

    In college, my roommates and I were all so excited for this one.  We had a VHS tape of Highlander and watched it constantly, full-on quoting ("dare can BE only wan!").  We loaded up and drove out to the burbs to see II on opening night.  About halfway in, one of my roommates just about got the shakes, whispering "whatthefuckisthis?  whatthefuckisthis?"  When Connery almost got crushed by the rotating blades, and then he didn't, and then he, what, said? shouted?  "THE QUICKENING," we just started laughing.  Then there was a scene when Virginia Madsen got backed into a dead end, pinned down by hostile fire, out of ammo, a real "what now Virginia Madsen" moment.  Cut to action elsewhere, and then all of a sudden Madsen comes running up.  WTF?  It was like somebody lost an index card in storyboard and they just decided not to fix it. 

    When we got home, we decided to pump it up as the most awesome movie of all time so that the guys across the hall would go see it the next night.  They did.  When they got back, all they said was "you guys are dicks." 

    But that was also the year we rented "Frankenstein Unbound," on the theory that "Raul Julia has never made a bad movie."  This was pre-Mario Brothers, of course, but there's a first time for everything.  That one was so funny that we were in tears.  The guy goes back in time and makes out with Mary Shelley!  Classic film. 

  7. isaac_spaceman1:33 PM

    Heaven's Gate, yes.  People thought Cimino was going to make a masterpiece.  And Bonfire, yes, because the book was a legitimate phenomenon.  But nobody thought Ishtar was going to be great -- even when it got green-lighted, people thought it was a terrible idea, two more-or-less serious actors doing a faithful Hope-Crosby remake. 

    Still, expectation vs. execution -- pretty much has to be Phantom Menace, right (though one could make an argument for Jedi)?  That was the movie that turned Star Wars from myth to just another thing. 

  8. Jordan3:03 PM

    I'm unfortunately fairly easily disappointed by movies, but Kill Bill Vol. 2?  I loved every minute of it.  Still do.

  9. Joseph Finn3:11 PM

    Raul Julia wasn't in Mario Brothers; that was Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo.   Julia was in the not-quite-as-bad Street Fighter.  Poor, poor Julia.

  10. Joseph Finn3:13 PM

    "<span>The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (2003): I liked it at the time."</span>

    No. I reject this entirely and revising your own history.

  11. Joseph Finn3:16 PM

    Oh, Isaac.  C'mon, we all know Return of the Jedi isn't disappointing.  After all, it's the second best of the three Star Wars (pre-expanded universe) films.

  12. Anonymous3:16 PM

    It's best if you just pretend there was no Highlander 2 and consider Highlander 3 the sequel. Then you have the "okay" sequel TPE referred to. I've done what I can to erase Highlander 2 from my memory.

  13. Joseph Finn3:17 PM

    Coincidentally, Criterion announced recently that they would be releasing Heaven's Gate.

  14. Watts3:32 PM

    I wouldn't have had high hopes for Sex and the City 2 in the first place: this review from Mark Kermode and this one from Lindy West convinced me I had no need to see it.

    Jennifer's Body was very much a disappointment after I saw it, because the script was good, the ideas were sound, but Megan Fox was utter rubbish and completely destroyed what could have been an interesting film. Seyfried tried her hardest to compensate for the black hole of suck that was Fox, but nobody could have matched up there.

    I went to a book signing of Bruce Campbell's book and he had a bit where he turned his back to the audience and allowed them to shout out the movie of his that they'd most like to have their money back for having seen. Overwhelmingly the answer was Congo. 

  15. Andrea3:51 PM

    I found interesting the number of actors that showed up multiple times. Sean Connery, Brad Pitt and Johnny Depp I think had the most.

  16. Marsha5:33 PM

    I'm surprised the most-mentioned person on the list isn't Michael Caine. He is well known for accepting absolutely any movie role anyone will pay him to do, and happily admits he's done a lot of dreck over the years - all of it with a decent paycheck.

  17. isaac_spaceman6:03 PM

    It's Barney Stinson who posited an exact date where everybody born before it hates Ewoks and everybody born after it loves them, right?  Guess I know where you and I fall vis. that line.

  18. isaac_spaceman6:04 PM

    But nobody expects it to be any good.  Michael Caine is disappointment-proof. 

  19. Joseph Finn7:29 PM

    Barney's graph, hysterically, is wrong by 16 days on my part, as I admire those vicious little guerilla warrirs who play drums with the severed heads of their defeated foes.


  20. Anonymous12:08 AM

    The one page list was nice, but the person who posted it has odd tastes.

  21. I think one of the reasons for the recentness of the list was because any movie that was "disappointing" that anyone remembers is actually because it is now considered a masterpiece.  Examples include Citizen Kane, Duck Soup and It's a Wonderful Life.  Orsen Welles genious wasn't fully understood at the time, Duck Soup was a flop based on the time it was released and the subject matter, and It's a Wonderful Life...uh, fell into the public domain and was played to death, but all three are now considered terrific films and are no longer considered disappointments.

  22. Genevieve10:00 AM

    I managed to skip Cars (the first Pixar movie I didn't see) as the kiddo had aged out of younger-aimed animated movies by then, but we watched Doc Hollywood with the kiddo last night and he kept exclaiming that it was Cars' plot.  So if Cars ripped off Doc Hollywood, it was even less imaginative than I had heard.

  23. Anonymous12:34 PM

    Me too.  And I like it far better than Part I.  Part II (if I recall correctly) has the Pei Mei sequence, Uma Thurman/Darryl Hannah fight, and the fantastic, drawn-out ending with Bill.

  24. The movies I find most disappointing are ones where I loved the book, and then the movie adaptation is totally botched.  One of these, "The Lovely Bones," is on this list.  I don't think "The Time Traveler's Wife" is on the list, but it's on mine.  Totally disappointing.

    As a lover of romantic comedies, as well as John Cusack and Diane Ladd, I would also add "Must Love Dogs."  Should have been cute, but was utterly awful.