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Sunday, December 31, 2006

Top 10 Most Disappointing Films of 2006

While I'm waiting for Youtube to process my latest video (of the Filmmakers Anonymous held in Indiescene Cafe two nights ago), I'll put up a top ten list of films that left me disappointed this year despite its hype. Yes, note that this not a top ten WORST films, just top ten DISAPPOINTING ones, basically films that I heard so many good things about, expected so much from, only to end up disappointed in the end. So films that I expected not to enjoy, and ended up having my suspicions confirmed (The Da Vinci Code, Eragon, Lady In The Water etc.) are excluded from the list.

Let me begin, oh, and it's all in alphabetical order, it's too painful to relive which one was more disappointing than the other:

Swifty's Top 10 Most Disappointing Films Of The Year

1) Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan


After hearing people claiming it to be the funniest comedies in decades, and then seeing the critical acclaim it's been getting by critics (it's in quite a lot of top ten lists), I expected it to be a comedic masterpiece that would make me laugh so much that my jaw would fall off. That didn't happen. Yes, there were parts that made me laugh like hell, but that's it.

My review here

2) Confession of Pain 伤城

Confession of Pain

A film starring Tony Leung and Takeshi Kaneshiro? Directed by the Infernal Affairs duo? What could possibly go wrong? Well, almost everything. Ran to watch it with dad during its opening night, almost wept in disappointment. This list was almost made because of this film.

My review here.

3) Drawing Restraint 9

Drawing Restraint 9

I knew this wasn't going to be a popcorn experience, nor a life-altering cinematic experience. Matthew Barney is a visual artist, not an actual filmmaker, thus I was already expecting to appreciate the film as art, for its craftsmanship or originality. I expected surrealistic, trippy images that would haunt me for years, I ended up getting some pretty shoddy filmmaking (questionable lighting, cinematography and editing) that left me cold. One would say that all these can be overlooked because it still has original ideas, but for me, I feel that execution is just as important as ideas, yeap, not just the what, the how is also important.

My review here.

4) Flag of Our Fathers

Flag of Our Fathers

When I went to see this, I was the youngest person in the cinema. Not really the biggest fan of Clint Eastwood (I liked Mystic River, but thought Million Dollar Baby was just okay), so expectations weren't sky high. Yet film was disappointing to me because I actually felt that it could've been much better if it hadn't tried to be so many things at once. Battle scenes were great to watch, the dramatic scenes had some decent acting, but due to the fact that this tried to be both war film and character drama, battle scenes were few, dramatic scenes lacked emotional depth due to lack of character development, became unnecessarily convoluted with its many plot strands and non-chronological order.

My review here.

5) Miami Vice

Miami Vice

Was looking forward to this because of Gong Li, and because Michael Mann's last film, Collateral (with Tom Cruise as a bad guy, whoohoo!), was one of my top ten favourite films of 2004. Not really a bad film at all, but I expected more, thus I was disappointed. Still loved the cinematography. But bothered by the fact that Colin Farrell looked as if he had just popped into the film from the set of 'The New World' as John Smith (with the unkempt hair and beard).

My review here.

6) My Super Ex-Girlfriend

All I wanted was to be entertained by some harmlessly silly popcorn fluff. Remembering director Ivan Reitman as the one who brought us the Ghostbusters movies, which gave me countless wonderful childhood memories, and starring Uma Thurman, who was sooooo badass in Kill Bill! And a superhero film too! Wheeeeee!

Despite not having any expectations at all, the film still made me feel miserable. WTF. :(

My review here.

7) Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man's Chest

One of the year's most-loved films, and this year's runaway box-office champ. It's not a bad film at all, but I didn't enjoy it as much as the first one, hence my disappointment. First half was a bit too slow, and when things started getting really good, credits started rolling. Major frustration. Even so, I am definitely looking forward to part 3.

My review here.

8) Snakes On A Plane

No, I wasn't expecting this to be Oscar material, I was merely expecting this to belong to the 'so bad it's good' category (like, say, the Dead Or Alive movie) where I could just laugh at, like those Stallone films of the late 90s, or Steven Seagal films. Turned out to be quite an unmemorable film. A day after seeing the film, Justin and I tried to remember what we saw, we ended up asking each other whether we actually did see the movie. Some of the Snakes on A Plane video mashups done by fans prior to the film's release was more entertaining.

My review here.

9) Superman Returns

Despite never being much of a Superman fan, I was just as excited about the film as anybody when it was about to be released. The hype was insane, I was looking forward to this just as much as I did with Pirates of the Caribbean 2 (after all, I loved the first two X-men films, yet the end results were underwhelming. There were some good parts, but it felt rather overindulgent, and at times, pretty boring. Was slightly flabbergasted by some early reviews of the films which demanded every single cast member (including the dude who played Jimmy Olsen) to get nominated for Oscars. Bryan Singer shouldn't have left the X-Men films for this. And speaking of X-Men, I actually enjoyed X-Men 3 more than this, probably because my expectations were MUCH lower.

My review here.

10) V For Vendetta

V For Vendetta

One of the more talked-about films earlier this year, (yet it felt forgotten these days) almost everyone I knew loved it, telling me how incredibly cool the fighting scenes were, how awesome Hugo Weaving was as V, how thought-provokingly disturbing post-apocalyptic future London looked. Being a Natalie Portman fan myself, my expectations were absolutely sky high, I went into the cinema (dragging Justin along, who was forced to go through it a second time with me), and ended up wondering what the hell was I missing. The experience was pretty forgettable.

My review here.

(Dis)Honorable Mention:

The 3rd Generation

The 3rd Generation

I can't really say that I was disappointed with this high-profile Malaysian Chinese film since I was already expecting it to be bad. However, my immensely sarcastic review of this film turned out to be one of the most-commented entries of all-time in this blog. So check it out for fun.

So, there you go, what about you guys? What are the most disappointing films you've seen this year?