The Bottom 3: 2009′s Worst Movies

December 16, 2009 at 3:17 am

2009's Worst MoviesWhat I love about movies is how everyone has an opinion.  You don’t have to be an expert to love or hate certain movies.  As a filmmaker, I’ve made it a point to be aware of this.  I’ll never make a movie that everyone will like.  I focus on writing movies that I like and making the best movies I can.  You have to be mindful of the audience you’re after though.  The biggest flops are the films that cater to a specific audience who are ultimately disappointed.

I would never push Playing Through towards a hardcore action fan.  I know it’s best suited for fans of drama with a small interest in golf.  My point is, consumers tend to hate movies that promise something and fail to deliver.  Which brings me to 2009’s Bottom 3:

Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen

Transformers 2 Devastator

What could have been...

A perfect example of empty promises.  I was obsessed with the first Transformers.  I find giant fighting robots entertaining. What I loved about the first film besides the battles was how small the story was given the size of the Transformers mythology.  The effects made the movie entertaining but following Sam as he discovers the world of Transformers is what made that movie memorable.  The sequel promised more of the same.  However, it delivered a story that was just too big for it’s own good.  I was disappointed.

Too many robots! Why not get rid of the offensive twins and give Ironhide and Wratchet something more to do?  Who was that ancient robot besides convenient exposition?  What’s the point of The Fallen?  He sucked as the ‘main’ villain.  He showed up late and died too quickly.

I think it would have been truly bad ass to have all the autobots defending that pyramid from Devastator.  Think of how awesome that sequence might have been.  In the end, the story wasn’t the greatest and there were so many characters I didn’t care about.

Positive: The forest battle.
Negative: Too many robots.  Not enough story.

Dragonball: Evolution

Don't be fooled... This part wasn't exciting at all.

Don't be fooled... This part wasn't exciting at all.

Let me explain.  I went into Blockbuster video a few weeks ago and scanned their previously viewed section.  Buy 2 get 1 free.  I had 5 DVD’s in my hand and needed a 6th.  Dragonball was my dark horse pick.  Who knows right?  So many people hated that movie but there must have been a reason why they made it?  Maybe I’m the audience they were looking for…

I was wrong. I was better off without the free movie.

It’s probably one of the worst movies of all time.  I didn’t like Transformers 2 but it still had it’s moments.  You could still rent that movie and sit through it relatively pain free.  This is not the case with Dragonball: Evolution.  I wasn’t a giant fan of the cartoon but I was expecting a movie with epic fights in huge open fields.  The old cartoon had fights that would last 5 or 6 episodes.  In the movie, Goku fights highschool bullies that are pretty much black belts for no good reason.  This is an example of not knowing the audience.  I think they were trying to make the film appeal to everyone and instead it appealed to no one and alienated the core fans.

So much is wrong with this movie. No good fights.  No twists.  No laughs.  No danger.  No suspense.  Who cares?

Positive: When he turns into the monkey.  That was a decent twist I suppose.  I’m sure hardcore fans saw it coming though.  Actually they probably already left the theater or burned the disc.
Negative: Discs don’t burn do they?

X-Men origins: Wolverine

Looks cool yet isn't.

Looks cool yet isn't.

One of my favorite movies of 2009 earned it’s place in my heart because of how much fun I had in the theater.  (Check back soon for more on my favorites of the year.)  Wolverine is not that movie.  I actually laughed in disbelief at certain points.  They couldn’t possibly sell this as a Wolverine movie right?  I feel like someone wrote a fantastic movie and we were destined for an awesome flick.  Then the studio heads got a hold of it and said:

“Add 9 more mutants”

“Won’t that complicat—“

“Just do it!”

The writers went back to work and jammed in a whole bunch of useless characters and plot points without explaining anything.

Maybe they thought it strengthened the story.  Or maybe they wrote a story full of holes and needed a quick fix.  I think they just wanted to sell toys.  Take Gambit for example.  Remove him from the movie and you lose nothing.  He’s an awesome character and they wasted a golden opportunity.  This whole movie is one big wasted opportunity.

Oh and also, don’t get me started on Wolverine’s memory loss.  Are you kidding me?  That whole scene belongs on the blooper reel not the final act.  I was so mad after I saw this movie.

I really wanted to love it.  I’m definitely part of their target demographic right?  I honestly thought Dragonball would have taken the top spot this year until I started thinking about Wolverine again.  It’s the worst movie I saw in 2009.

Positive: Deadpool was pretty cool.
Negative: No he wasn’t.

Honourable Mention: Drag Me To Hell…  I was so excited to see this movie.  Maybe something is wrong with me but I didn’t like it at all.

10 Flicks: Pre-Drinking Comedies

December 15, 2009 at 12:24 pm

10 Flicks Movie Lists

The Hangover was one the funniest movies I saw in 2009 by far.  Finally, I get to own the DVD and put it on the shelf next to my other favorite comedies.  It’s a very special section of my DVD collection.  A section with a select group of movies that people watch before heading out for a night on the town.  The Pre-Drinking Movies.

Pre-Drinking, or Pre-Game for some, is a skill you learn in college when you have little to no cash and a need to go out.  You learn early on that it’s a financially responsible decision to start drinking early at home and save on drinks at the bar.  It’s just smart thinking.

What do you do while you and your friends are gearing up for a massive evening?  You watch comedies.

To celebrate The Hangover’s release on DVD I thought I would make a list of comedies that have become traditions on epic Saturday nights.

Honorable Mention: Role Models, Forgeting Sarah Marshall, Tropic Thunder, Pineapple Express, Talladega Nights and 10 others I’m probably forgetting.

Old School

I’m still hoping they’ll make the long rumored sequel someday…

“Blue you’re my boy!”

Road Trip

I’ve seen this movie hundreds of times and I still laugh every time I see it.

The 40 Year Old Virgin

Here is the movie that inspired many of the new ‘R’ Rated comedies out there.  Apatow changed the game forever and I’m extremely happy about that.

Superbad

This flick came out of no where and instantly became one of my favorites.

Van Wilder

I have a confession to make…  I was finished making this list and then I remembered Van Wilder.  It has to be on this list.  It’s one of the classic Pre-Drinking movies for so many reasons.

vanwilder

Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle

This movie could have been a complete disaster.  Thankfully, it wasn’t.  It’s hilarious.

Anchorman

I love Will Farrell.  He’s kind of a big deal. Out of all of his movies, this is by far my favorite.

Waiting

Here is a movie that not many have heard of but it continually makes me laugh.  An extremely underated comedy.

Knocked Up

Apatow followed up 40 Year Old Virgin with an extremely funny movie.  The man’s a comedic genius as far as I’m concerned.

The Hangover

Kind of redundant to make a list inspired by this movie and then include it in the list.  It just didn’t feel right without it.

pre drinking comedies

Avatar is Golden

December 15, 2009 at 12:07 pm

avatar-navi-1

I’ve been looking forward to Avatar for years…  The closer we get, the more excited I become.  I recently saw the trailer in 3D on the big screen and I was blown away.  It just looks incredible.  The action sequences alone are going to be worth the $15 dollar IMAX ticket. 

A while back, I wrote about how many people weren’t sold on the film.  It appears the filmmakers were right.  You just need to see it on the big screen and you’ll understand.  Critics and audiences are already raving about the film.  Currently, it has an 86% Tomato Rating on Rottentomatoes.com

Now, The Golden Globes have nominated the film for best picture!  I really need to see this movie.

Here’s the bad news.  I have to wait until January!

Avatar_navi

A Christmas Carol Lacks Magic

December 14, 2009 at 11:58 am

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The Athletic Nerd Movie Reviews

A few weeks ago, I talked about the box office draw of Zemeckis’ A Christmas Carol starring Jim Carrey.  I’m happy to report that it has grown some legs and still sits in the top 5 after 6 weeks.  However, the film has only grossed 124 million.  Add to that 118 million the film has made internationally you have a profitable film but you don’t have a runaway hit the studios were expecting.  The movie definitely won’t be counted amongst the all time classics or even the biggest hits of 2009.  Why?

christmas_carol

I saw the movie last night and I think I can answer that question.  The movie had no life, no surprises and definitely lacked laughs.  Going in I figured with Jim Carrey on board, they would inject some humor into the story.  Nope.  False alarm. It’s pretty much a straight adaptation of the story which can be a good thing except we already know what’s going to happen.

I’m a big fan of the story and I always will be.  I was literally sitting in the theater predicting lines of dialogue before they happened.  It’s safe to say I’ve seen a few movies based on Dickens’ book.  The filmmakers tried to change things up here and there with a couple different interpretations but not enough for me or anyone else in the theater to really care.

I honestly think A Christmas Carol depends on how much we love Bob Cratchit.  It’s vital to Scrooge’s transformation that we care about Cratchit and Tiny Tim.  I’m attached to Mickey and Kermit in the role because they had an impact in those movies.  This new version of Cratchit isn’t given much to do and barely makes an appearance in the first hour or so.  Truthfully, he’s actually pretty creepy looking so I was glad we didn’t see him often.

bob_cratchit

He looks like that creepy blond demon guy from End Of Days

The whole subplot with Tiny Tim is told but it almost seems glazed over to focus more on Scrooge.  Once Scrooge learns the meaning of Christmas, he has a small scene with Cratchit and it’s not really a big moment at all.  While I definitely loved how the movie looked in 3D, it lacked the Christmas magic you would expect.  It was even a little scary at certain points.  There’s no way I’m showing this movie to a little kid when I could put on Muppets or Disney instead.

I think that’s the true test of a Christmas film. If small children enjoy it you’ve succeeded.  (Grown ups who act like children also count.)  There were a number of children in the theater last night and I didn’t hear any of them laugh or react to the movie.  Neither did I.  Too bad really…

Will Brooklyn’s Finest Training Day Be Harsh?

December 11, 2009 at 2:02 pm

Training Day

Antoine Fuqua made Training Day.  That makes him one of my favorite filmmakers because that movie was incredible.  Denzel is completely deserving of the Oscar he won.  It’s such an amazing story with an amazing screenplay by David Ayer.

4 years later…

Mr. Ayer went on to write and direct Harsh Times.  Another crime drama involving cops and mean streets.  It was okay but definitely no where near as good as Training Day.

4 years later…

Mr. Fuqua has a new movie coming out in 2010.  It’s called Brooklyn’s Finest.  It’s a crime drama involving cops and mean streets.  Again, I’m not so sure they’ve found the same magic as Training Day.  I’m on the fence on this one.

PS: Forgive the title.  Couldn’t resist.  At least it makes sense, sort of…