So, we’ve already celebrated those movies that actually met or surpassed expectations. And now we have the unfortunate flip side of the Hollywood publicity machine… those movies that you may have decided to take a punt on thanks to all the hype, and then it turned out to be either not what it said on the tin, or simply complete pants.
Even though we actually quite enjoyed Johnny Depp and Gore Verbinski’s reboot of the vintage fifties TV show – which rather cleverly puts the Lone Ranger’s sidekick Tonto centre stage (well hey, it’s the Deppster’s star vehicle!) – the general consensus from cinemagoers was apathy with a capital A as they chose not to put their bums on seats in droves. Personally we think the years of build up, and Johnny’s decision to stick a dead crow on his head, might have had something to do with the film’s lukewarm reception.
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Ouch! One of those films that looked so good on paper (and the billboards) it should have been a license to print money… Seriously? Brad Pitt, Javier Bardem, Penelope Cruz, Cameron Diaz and Michael Fassbender all in one movie. No Country for Old Men’s Cormac McCarthy writing his first original screenplay. Ridley Scott at the helm. What could go wrong? Umm, quite a lot as it happens when you end up with an unholy mess of a movie which plays like an all-expenses paid exercise in navel-gazing. Audiences approached with extreme caution once the word was out.
After the surreal brilliance of Pan’s Labyrinth and the cult joy of Hellboy II, Mexican director Guillermo del Toro was at the peak of his powers. Only to end up between a rock and a hard place with this overblown tale of giant robot monsters taking on alien invaders. Underusing a cast that included current hot properties Idris Elba and Charlie Hunnam (he of almost-50 Shades fame!) and comparisons to the Transformers franchise definitely didn’t help del Toro’s epic vision get the attention it wanted.
Chloe Grace Moretz’s Hit Girl and Aaron Johnson-Taylor’s Kick-Ass kicked up another storm of gleefully gratuitous comic-book violence only to have this sequel suffer a PR kick in the nuts thanks to the storm of controversy kicked up by co-star Jim Carrey’s denouncing the film’s mammoth body count in the wake of the Sandy Hook shootings. And just like that Kick-Ass 2 found it’s own ass kicked by public opinion. (That should be enough kick analogies to be getting on with!)
Supposed to be Harry Potter in Space, this feature film of the first book in Orson Scott Card’s boy-space-warrior series crashed to earth thanks to far too much video-game action and not nearly enough real action. The Mormon author’s outspoken views on gay marriage and the fact that star Harrison Ford appeared to have telephoned in his performance from a call centre didn’t help.
6) After Earth
M Night Shyamalan continued his run of cinematic dogs with this turgid tale of teen triumphing-over-adversity in a future earth decimated by… Well, frankly who the hell cares. So bad it isn’t even good for a laugh. Father-and-son stars Will and Jaden Smith went on the publicity junket to end all publicity junkets to try and flog the film, but unfortunately doing the Fresh Prince Rap with Graham Norton wasn’t enough to overturn atrocious word of mouth.
7) The Hangover Part III
The experience of watching the third Hangover comedy turned out to be a bit too close to suffering the real thing – leaving audiences hoping that Bradley Cooper, Zach Galifianakis and Ed Helms will just take an Alka Seltza next time and get on with it.
Yet another post-apocalyptic future Earth chronicle, this time fronted by the Cruiser as a man on a mission to… Do something far too complicated for most action junkies to follow. This was another film which we had a bit of a soft spot for here at Movie Talk, but the title turned out to be a tad too apt when it came to the film’s staying power in cinemas.
Yippee-Kay-Whaaaa-the-…? Exactly how many do-or-die fixes can one slap-head cop get into in a lifetime? One too many it seems with the fifth and hopefully last Die Hard outing seeing Bruce Willis’s John McClane travelling all the way to Russia just so he can crack wise while shooting ‘bad guys’ with his CIA agent son. A good day to give it a rest now, Brucie.
With all the big named stars from the first film having jumped ship, this fantasy sequel wasn’t as well-hyped as it might have been. But after a three-year wait for it to appear, it still managed to vanish with even less of a trace than expected.
So there you have it, the top ten list of films you either didn’t bother to go and see, or mostly wished you hadn’t gone and seen once you did.
Watch this space in the New Year for the most anticipated movies of 2014. And if you want to give us some help with that, tell us the movie you just cannot wait to see next year.