I’ll be the first to admit that I’m really easy on movies. As long as I’m entertained, I consider that a win. That said, I am not always easy on movie. I have an arbitrary set of standards that I need to have met before I’m satisfied with what the filmmakers have given me. A lot of the time, they meet those standards without too much difficulty. Other times, they just don’t meet those standards. Maybe I expected too much. Maybe I should have had a more open mind. For whatever reason, the following list is chock full of films that were just. . .disappointing.
11. The Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides (2011)
I am a huge fan of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. I’ve even gone so far as to vociferously defend the much-maligned third film, At World’s End. Needless to say, when they announced On Stranger Tides complete with the return of Johnny Depp and Geoffrey Rush, my interest was piqued. Then, they added Ian McShane and I was hooked. I went to see this in theaters and, well. . .it was okay. It wasn’t spectacular. I wrote a review of it for the Cavalcade of Schlock if you want to see my full opinion. I was so looking forward to it too.
10. Man of Steel (2013)
I know I wasn’t the only one who had hopes that this would be the start of something great for DC movies. After Superman Returns, the last lackluster appearance of the titular Man of Steel, there was a feeling that this one had to be better. It just had to. They had a lot of things going for it like some great cast members (namely Henry Cavill, Amy Adams, and Michael Shannon) and a fandom that was eager to see DC’s answer to the wildly popular Marvel movies. What they got was something gray, gritty, and so very unlike Superman. Then, there was that ending. Oof.
9. Star Trek Into Darkness (2013)
I grew up on “Star Trek: The Next Generation.” I am the daughter of Trekkies. I have been to a Star Trek convention. I dressed up as a Starfleet officer for Halloween once. I loved the first of the reboot series of films, Star Trek. How they could go from the potential of that film to a ham-fisted attempt at allegory wrapped in a redo of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan will forever boggle my mind. Sure, it has some good moments, but they didn’t make the rest of it all better.
8. Hugo (2011)
Everyone loved Hugo. It was touted as a critically-acclaimed love letter to the film industry. I never got a chance to see it in theaters. My parents purchased a copy of it and we ended up watching it and I just. . .it didn’t connect with me. I don’t know what it is, but there was just something missing there. You can disagree with me all you want, though. I can take it.
7. Vampire Academy (2014)
Perhaps if I hadn’t read the book prior to seeing the movie, I may have liked it better. Perhaps if I wasn’t so aware of the portrayals of women in media, I may have liked this better. In fact, I actually kind of liked it when I left the theater. Then, I started thinking about it. The more I thought about it, the more annoyed I got at all of the things it could have been and just wasn’t. Normally, I’m really good about separating books from their filmed adaptations. In this one, I just had a hard time drawing that firm line. Vampire Academy could have been such a great film about the enduring friendship between two girls despite a bunch of random obstacles. It just fell flat.
6. Planet of the Apes (2001)
In hindsight, I think that this movie really signaled the beginning of the “dark ages” of Tim Burton‘s career. He’d done some fantastic, quirky work prior to this. His previous works may not have been critical darlings, but they have a loyal fanbase. This movie, though, was his attempt at rebooting the well-loved Planet of the Apes franchise. While not a strictly terrible movie, even I’d be hard-pressed to call it anything more than “meh.” I’ll give him props for wanting to stick with the practical make-up job for the apes and some of his casting choices. Other than that, this movie’s just forgettable with an M. Night Shyalaman twist ending back when that was still a cool thing to do.
5. The Decoy Bride (2011)
I caught this movie on Netflix. It looked like a quirky romantic comedy starring David Tennant and Kelly Macdonald. I love those guys, particularly Tennant. It had to be fun, right? Wrong. That a movie can make me actually dislike a character played by Tennant is a remarkable thing. I hated every character in this movie. I didn’t care if the two “protagonists” ended up together. It was dumb. I felt dumber for watching it. I was just bummed that it sucked.
4. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)
I’m sorry for bringing this one up. I’m really sorry. I think the less said about this film, the better. I mean. Even if you threw this movie into a lead-lined refrigerator, it wouldn’t be safe from the nuclear blast of my rage and disappointment. Man, isn’t it great that there are only three Indiana Jones movies?
3. Dark Kingdom: The Dragon King (2004)
Back in the day, there was this store called Tower Records where you could buy movies and music (and porn). It has since gone out of business like many of its contemporaries. As it was having one of its final sales, I wandered in with my family and picked up the soundtrack to this movie. It was an awesome soundtrack filled with great tunes by Faun, Corvus Corax, Schandmaul, and The Crüxshadows. Therefore, I naturally concluded that the movie would be similarly cool. That was a terrible assumption. Never judge a movie based on its soundtrack. Ever. For a movie based on epic Norse sagas, it was phenomenally boring. It was so boring that I fast-forwarded through it just to get to the end. It’s probably for the best that I’m one of the few people who knows of its existence. Let’s keep it that way.
2. Highlander: The Source (2007)
I loved “Highlander: The Series.” So, I was an easy sell when they started advertising this film. Sure, I was a little leery after seeing Highlander: Endgame, but I figured that it couldn’t be any worse than the movie that killed Connor MacLeod (Christopher Lambert). Apparently, my optimism about movies is like hubris in Greek tragedies because it always bites me in the ass. The best thing about watching this movie on the Sci-Fi Channel was being able to enjoy the commercials for their mini-series “Tin Man.” This movie pissed me off so much that I specifically created an account for the Highlander fan forums just to complain about how awful the movie was. That is how you know you’ve messed up.
1. The Muppet Wizard of Oz (2005)
This movie has the dubious honor of being the only movie that I have ever rage quit. You add the Muppets to the Wizard of Oz and you should get something good. You shouldn’t get an infuriating pile of shit that I have to turn off after twenty minutes just to save the remaining shreds of my sanity. I really don’t have anything else to say about this. I’ve tried to wipe it from my memory. Shame on you, Disney. Shame. On. You.