Saturday, January 2, 2010


Every year, there are always some films you see that are shockingly bad, unbelievably boring or pathetically sad that you can't believe that they were actually made.

I realize that nobody intentionally sets out to make a lousy film and I also know that there are people out there that will have liked or loved one or all of these films I'm going to mention. Despite this, I'm still going to name some films I didn't care for during this past year. You may or may not agree with me but that's what so great about cinema (or any art form for that matter). . . there is no film that is really "good" or "bad", that will only be determined by each individual viewer.


This film was my biggest disappointment of the year. I saw the great trailer and was REALLY looking forward in seeing this but it was a big fat bust. "Watchmen" is an adaption of the comic book by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons and was made by director of the good but not great, "300" (2007), Zack Snyder. It's set in 1985 in an alternative world and the U.S. and the Soviet Union are in the middle of a Cold War and Richard Nixon is still president. A group of mostly retired super-heroes investigate a conspiracy against them and uncover something even more sinister. The film looks great but the problem is that the film feels bloated and is uninspired and sleep inducing. Even the sight of a large blue penis doesn't help matters.


"Fame" is a completely pointless and unnecessary remake of the 1980 film. This version follows a group of more pretty than talented students who attend the performing arts school in New York but this time the kids are stripped of any personality and decent songs to perform. I knew this wouldn't be great but was shocked at how bad it actually was. This film is not even worth renting.


"The Box" is another big disappointment and I was fooled by another good trailer. It was my fault because I read all the bad reviews but I had kept my faith in director, Richard Kelly with thoughts of his great film "Donnie Darko" running through my head but he let me down BIG time. Cameron Diaz stars as a woman tempted by a big box with a button in the middle and the fate of her life at her fingertips. It could have been good but the story unravels into a crazy and incoherent mess.


"New York, I Love You" is a round up of celebrated film directors who each made a short film about finding love in the city of New York that features an all-star cast. Every film was mediocre and as stale as week old bread. New York deserved much better and so did the audience.


I am a big fan of Rebecca Miller's film, "Personal Velocity" (2002) but her latest, "The Private Lives of Pippa Lee" (which is based on her novel) is nowhere in the same league. Robin Wright stars as Pippa, a woman who married a much older man to start a new life and help save her from her troubled teenage past but now she is bored and developing new emotional problems as an adult. This film is so lethargic and dull that I didn't care one bit about either Pippa's public or private lives.


I know there are many people who loved "An Education" but beyond Carey Mulligan's very good performance, I think this film is wildly overrated and a complete snooze-fest. This is the story of a young student who is seduced by a wealthy older man who teaches her things she would never learn in a school book. I don't think this necessarily is a really bad film but it's just too ordinary and predictable.