Saturday, December 29, 2012

Five worst movies of 2012...

Of the 26 movies I saw on the big screen this year the following five were not necessarily utter failures, but they were the most disappointing and underwhelming in my humble opinion (so maybe 'worst' movies is a slight exaggeration and least favourite a better description).

JOHN CARTER
Giant John Carter movie billboard
The biggest mistake Disney made in their marketing of John Carter was removing the 'of Mars' from its title. Every piece of advertising showed this to be a sci-fi movie and yet the studio refused to celebrate this fact and failed to clearly communicate what the film was about.

That being said the movie itself held very few surprises and more than once felt like it was borrowing a little too much from Star Wars (it's no wonder Disney has now bought the rights to the Star Wars franchise).

The over-reliance on CGI to create the Martian world and its people, plus the apparent need to create cute sidekick creatures also didn't help endear itself to me.

John Carter is not unwatchable, but I feel like I've seen it all before, which is never a great opinion to leave the cinema with.

Original John Carter movie costumes on display
Original John Carter movie costumes
If you are a fan of the movie, be sure to check out all these fantastic original John Carter costumes and props on display.

RESIDENT EVIL: RETRIBUTION
Resident Evil Retribution movie billboard
I came late to the Resident Evil movie franchise, but I love a good post-apocalyptic movie with an ass-kicking action heroine as much as the next person.

I really shouldn't be surprised that the fifth installment in franchise turned out so bad, but the previous movie sequels had been improving and had some compelling sci-fi ideas beyond the simple zombie shoot-em-up video game origins.
Resident Evil Retribution movie poster
Resident Evil: Retribution seems to revert to the poor quality and almost 'cheapness' of the original film, with cardboard cut-out characters, very little originality or plot, and absolutely no reason to come back for future installments.

PROMETHEUS
Prometheus movie poster
An Alien prequel seemed to hold such promise, with so many questions to be explored, the ability to leave behind the increasingly convoluted movie sequels and blurring of franchises with the Predator movies, plus the return of the original director Ridley Scott to hopefully create movie magic once again.

Ultimately Prometheus turned out to be such a disappointment. It looked beautiful, had great costume design, effects and art direction, but I couldn't differentiate between characters or frankly care for them at all.

Maybe central to my problem with the movie is, did we really need to know where these 'Space Jockey/Engineers' glimpsed in the original Alien came from? Isn't the mystery surrounding them what keeps them so compelling? Do studios continually need to spell out every single detail of a movie these days, or can't we just leave something to our imagination.

Yes, Michael Fassbender was wonderful as the synthetic human 'David', but on the other end of the scale, how do you run and jump around with apparent ease when you've had an alien parasite ripped from your womb and then had your stomach stapled back together.
The revelations we did receive were slightly underwhelming and predictable at best, and overall the film felt like an homage to the original and not necessarily anything groundbreaking or genre-defining.

THE DARK KNIGHT RISES
Giant Dark Knight Rises movie billboard
Now my next choice may be the biggest controversy of all. I enjoyed the third installment in Christopher Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy, but as a finale it left me feeling a bit empty.

One of my biggest criticisms, not just of Batman but the whole DC Universe, is how 'dark' a place it seems to be (the forthcoming Man of Steel looks worryingly so). Marvel's Avengers proved you could have fun, colourful spandex wearing heroes saving the world without the doom and gloom.

The Dark Knight Rises seemed overly violent and I couldn't help but think of the Aurora theatre shootings whilst watching, which made the violence seem even more exaggerated.

Far too long, with heavy-handed symbolism and a telegraphed ending, it was a bit of a disappointment.

After a huge build up, the final act seemed to falter. In The Avengers there's a whole alien armada to battle, here Batman has to evade three missiles in the skies of Gotham. The spectacle just isn't there and maybe it's a case of timing, if it had come before The Avengers I'm sure I wouldn't have the same problems with the action sequences.

With all that being said, Anne Hathaway as Catwoman was superb and Joseph Gordon-Levitt will no doubt make a worthy successor for the cowl.

Original movie costumes from The Dark Knight Rises on display
Original Dark Knight Rises movie costumes
It was pretty amazing to see these original Batman, Catwoman and Bane costumes from The Dark Knight Rises up close at ArcLight Hollywood though.

THE IRON LADY
Iron Lady movie poster
I know that The Iron Lady earned an Oscar for Meryl Streep's performance as 'Margaret Thatcher', but aside from accompanying fantastic makeup and costumes that made her transformation complete, the film itself was a bit of a let down.

Growing up during the Thatcher years in Britain this felt like a watered down version of her life and times. My main criticism was how her political Opposition, and even the members of her own Cabinet, didn't seem to be portrayed with any real substance and were glossed over, whilst in truth they and the battles she had with them were what actually shaped her and made her into such an 'Iron Lady'.

The London Film Museum did have this fantastic exhibit of costumes and props from The Iron Lady on display in May this year.

Original movie costumes featured in The Iron Lady on display
Iron Lady movie costume exhibit London Film Museum
What do you think, am I mad in my choices? Let me know what you think.

Now that you know what I didn't like so much, be sure to also check out what my five favourite movies of 2012 were.

Be sure to come back soon for my end of year review...

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